Posted by: johnhourihan | September 21, 2012

What do non-radical Muslims think of the reaction to the movie?

I believe we have to hear this again.

Don’t offend Muslims, we are told.
And we shouldn’t.
Muslims, in general, never did anything to us. It is a large religion of good people, for the most part, just like any other religion.
They believe in a god and they believe in living a good life, but there is a group of radical religious fanatics that most people aren’t very happy with and don’t mind offending. This group continues to perpetrate some of the most offensive acts seen by humanity, and they say they are doing it in the name of Islam. I believe they are wrong. I don’t see how a religion could condone this.
If I were a Muslim, I would be even more offended by this than I am as a Catholic.
It is a bit of a problem that some Muslim leaders seem to sit back in tacit acceptance of  these atrocities, and some make feeble announcements that they are wrong, but there are only a comparative few of the most courageous who have said the actions are not sanctioned by Islam and must stop.
Then a caricature that is seemingly innocuous to everyone but Muslims is published in a Danish newspaper and the rest of us are taken to school. We are told that any likeness of the Prophet Muhammad is taboo in the Muslim religion because the religion doesn’t want people to worship a likeness and become idolaters.
The editor who was responsible apologized and told everyone he had no idea that it was offensive and wouldn’t have done it if he had known.
There is a curious lapse of five months from September when it was published to the time the ship hits the sand.
No one believed that normal people were out in the streets destroying and burning in the name of Islam because of a Danish newspaper’s mistake in a cartoon. Even most Muslims will tell you the violent reaction came from radicals who see a new way to fan the fanatic fires of hatred and terrorism.
Three people died in protests in Afghanistan.
An Iranian newspaper decided to have a holocaust cartoon contest. (That in itself showed us what the impetus behind the demonstrations is. How is a holocaust cartoon retribution to Denmark?)
In India six people were wounded at a demonstration against the cartoon.
China took issue with the West for offending Muslims, and there was violence in Gaza Strip, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Chechnya and even Japan.
Although the Danes apologized, it wasn’t good enough.
Freedom of the press became an issue in newsrooms in all of the countries that have that right, and the discussions roil about how to handle the fact that a religion has told the press what it can and cannot print.
Then a poorly-made movie insulting the prophet hits YouTube and it begins all over again. Protesters burn our flag and that of Israel, buildings are burned, innocent people are killed, and radicals call for more killings in response to the movie..
Just as it begins to die down, another cartoon and more righteous outrage.
OK. I have and idea.
It seems to come down to, Yes, newspapers have a right to print it. The Internet has a right to broadcast it. But is it right? And most newspapers, nearly all, in the United States did not published the cartoons because to do so would be offensive to an entire religion of people, most of whom simply don’t deserve to be offended. And most people in the United States haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to.
Now let’s talk offensive.
A lot of us who are not radical religious fanatics feel the beheading of innocent people on TV in the name of anyone’s god is kind of offensive, and it is so to most Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
Blowing up fast food restaurants where mothers and children are having lunch is not just offensive to a religion, it is offensive to all of humanity.
Paying poor Muslim people to strap explosives to themselves for the promise that their families will be taken care of and then blowing themselves up in bus stations killing hundreds kind of crosses the line.
Blowing up subways, firing rockets into crowded neighborhoods of civilians, holding a woman hostage under the threat of death to make a “religious” point; those things might be called offensive.
Binding, gagging and shooting civilian workers in the back of the head and sending the tape to a television station; killing a woman and three children while they are at prayer in Iraq on a holy day; killing hundreds of your own countrymen with nerve gas, and using women and children, schools, churches and mosques as cover while you bravely fight the army that has come to make you stop doing those things is all pretty offensive to anyone who truly believes in any god.
Killing an ambassador to Libya who has done so much good in the country that most Libyans loved him is pretty offensive and not just to non-muslims..
And, personally, I believe that when, in the name of their god some of these Islamic radical fanatics flew two planes into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and crash landed another in a field in Pennsylvania killing thousands it was pretty damned offensive.
But we are told that these cartoons and movies are too offensive to print or broadcast.
Let’s make a deal.
If the real Muslims, the good religious people who know the truth of their god and have said these acts are not part of their religion could somehow take a strong stand with humanity against the perversion of their religion by those who would use it as an excuse for these atrocities, I’m pretty sure there would be no reason for anyone to think printing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad is OK ever again.



  1. I remembered those words when I saw the killing,flag burning, threats of more violance. The next thought that went thru my head was from a song. “They were not listening then they’re not listening still,perhaps they never will!” Do you think they ever will. Those good people of the Muslim religion. As I was sitting typing this another line crept in “and no religion to” I know there are religious people and people of religion. I’ll take religious people over the other any day.

    • Neil, That last line is one of the most profound things I think I have ever read.


  2. Amen! I thought that inciting violence was against the law? How come the person who made and posted this video is not arrested? Some things I just don’t understand.

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