I’m of two minds on this development. On the one hand, radical Islamists are an obvious danger to civilization. Their inflexible attitude toward other cultures and belief systems has them clashing, often violently, with non-Muslims. Having said that, I hate to see free speech banned when “more” free speech seems to be the better response.
I suppose that the most chilling comment in the article was, “Not just Islam, many other faiths which have not been legalised will face closure of their houses of worship.” Who decides what religions are valid? Is Gnosticism valid? Wicca? Can you be a Jedi?
I believe that any change to radicalism must be made by the Muslims and I believe that they will.
“Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
As many of you may know, today is draw “Muhammad Day” on the web. This event is in reaction to extremists’ threats to kill cartoonists who depict the image of the prophet Muhammad. Pakistan has even banned “Facebook” over “Draw Muhammad Day”.
I guess many people will use today to draw unflattering pictures of Muhammad. I will not.
That being said, I do stand with those who peacefully speak out against those who use violence to enforce their intolerance. As part of draw “Muhammad day”, I give you two depictions of the prophet Muhammad.
Here is a Muslim depiction of Muhammad from a 17th century text.
Another depiction of Muhammad can be found on the walls of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Religious tolerance is not a one way street and violence is not the answer to a perceived offense.
When Muslims suffer around the world in the hands of Americans, Russians, Serbs, or Israelis, the Arab and Muslim countries are very active in condemning the attacks and violence. Their governments complain and raise funds, diplomats protest, the media report, and the citizens demonstrate against "crusaders and infidels."
But when Muslims suffer in the hands of an Arab regime, then there is barely any condemnation of the violence and crimes in the Arab and Muslim world.
Since 2003, Sudans western province of Darfur is an epicenter of a conflict between the mainly "African" rebels and the Arab-controlled Sudanese government and their proxy militias. It is estimated that about 200,000 people have died in the conflict from fighting, disease, and starvation. The UN and aid agencies estimate that over two million Darfurians, out of a population of about six million, are living in refugee camps in Darfur and neighboring countries.
The Sudans ruling elite portrays itself as an "Arab" regime both at home and abroad. Some would say that this explains the lack of concern for the Darfur conflict in the Arab world. But things change when we consider the fact that both sides in the Darfur conflict are Muslim and that the Darfurians, both Arabs and Africans, are Sudans most devout Muslims.