Islamic anger over newspaper depictions of the Prophet Mohammed is boiling over into violence around the world, with protesters targeting the embassies of countries where the cartoons were published.Does it show the strength of your religious faith to react with violence to those who ridicule it? To act righteous in commiting acts of violence is to claim the response is proportional to the offense, so you are assigning great weight to the ridicule. If your faith is so strong, why do you perceive such power in the ridicule? Some crude little drawings and jokes threaten you? Your fear of ridicule ridicules your faith more than the ridicule you fear.
Smoke billowed Sunday from the Danish consulate in central Beirut, where hundreds of demonstrators thronged streets around the building to protest a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons depicting Islam's revered prophet....
"We do not accept any act that effects the security of others," said Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. "These groups include people who intended to [destroy] properties on purpose, giving a bad example of Islam.
"Islam has nothing to do with any of this, no matter how others disrespected the prophets, about whom God says, we have protected you from those who ridicule."
IN THE COMMENTS: Alaska Jack poses a hypothetical:
Suppose at a large dinner party one of the guests relates how his sick child's health is failing and that his wife has just been diagnosed with cancer. Upon hearing this, another guest, a cartoonist, whips out his pen and draws a series of cartoons ridiculing and making fun of the condition of the child and wife and passes them around the table. Do all the zealots agree this is a great example of freedom of expression and should be celebrated? And if the first guest gets angry, is the correct response for all the other guests to draw their own insulting cartoons so as not to chill freedom of expresson? Or is our cartoonist guest just a jerk?
Much discussion follows, not answering the hypothetical -- the answer to this hypothetical is obvious -- but posing alternate hypotheticals and claiming them to be better analogies.