I hope this post doesn’t offend some of my Muslim friends, but I do believe that freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of a free society.
No country – be that the US, China, South Africa, Denmark or Saudi Arabia – can ever claim to endorse real freedom for their people if they don’t allow freedom of speech.
The caricature of Muhammad really tests this freedom. Some countries like South Africa have failed this test allready (see SA’s Sunday Paper’s gagged), but most countries seem to be standing fast.
If Muslims feel offended by these caricatures, then don’t read/buy the papers. I’m offended by many things that the BBC says about Afrikaners, but I don’t threathen the journalist with death. I switch the tv off. I feel that in time most people will see what the truth is.
The other thing of course is that by making such a huge noise about this issue Muslims are alienating themselves even more from the West. Many countries like the Scandinavian countries have been on the “Arab side” for a long time. One reason for this is that they have freedom of press in these countries. If they didn’t most of the public wouldn’t know about the illegal occupation of Palestine.
I myself have also been a vocal supporter of the Palestine cause. I have been in trouble many times for defending the Muslim perspective. But I cannot understand this refusal of Muslims to understand the principle of freedom of speech.
When I refer to Muslims I mean Muslims in general. I’m obviously aware that not all Muslims see this issue in the same way.