A Finnish student emailed and asked me to answer a few questions for a paper she is doing about the Muslim cartoon "scandal"... I thought I'd share the Q&A:
1. What do you think of the pictures that Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published about Prophet Muhammed?
I think that they are satirical cartoons...and only cartoons. Most of them were quite innocuous compared to some I've seen depicting Jesus, the Pope, etc.
2. Do you think it was OK to publish those pictures?
Yes, I believe 100% in freedom of the Press and freedom of expression and opinion. As I understand the law of Islam no MUSLIM can draw a representation of Muhammad...but no religion requires non-believers to adhere to their tenants.
3. Were the Islamic people too sensitive because they attacked against western countries because of those pictures?
Yes, It's a cartoon -get over it. The illustrators were not Muslim and are not bound by the Qu'ran and Islamic law.
4. What is this case telling us about the world we are living?
That moderate Muslims must stand up before their religion is completely hijacked and they lose the sympathy of those that are still claiming the radical are in the minority.
After I sent the email I was thinking that I should have taken more time and tried to be much more profound... I'm glad I didn't think about being the "American opinion" a head of time --that's way too much pressure...
In Islam-related news: Al-Jazerra had an OpEd urging American Muslims to start actively campaigning to have Muslim holidays included on all calendars.
Also, a LONG read, but learn of how the peaceful Muhammad murdered an entire tribe of people in 627 AD.