Bravo to the Danes for standing up for their freedom of speech in the face of threats by Muslims extreme and not-so-extreme. The twelve cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten are tame by Western standards, as can be seen in the composite image below. Most don't equate Mohammed with terrorism or violence of any kind, and two in fact mock Jyllands-Posten for wanting to print images of Mohammed.
The new blog Face of Mohammed has full size versions of the images, as well as commentary about the controversy.
Some may argue that since Islam forbids any image of the Prophet, we should self-censor in order not to offend. Bill Clinton seems to lean that way. Sheer nonsense. In the first place, Islam is not a monolithic religion. Several sects within it permit or tolerate images of Mohammed as a matter of course, as proven by Zombie's Mohammed Image Archive. But secondly, the Western world is strong because is allows all viewpoints to be expressed, including controversial ones. Some of these controversial ideas will turn out to be true, better than the beliefs they supplant, and civilization progresses to the next level.
People who let themselves be intimidated into silence by those who threaten violence when their beliefs are challenged betray 2,500 years of progress. Those who encourage others to be silent are worse.
Muslims who are offended by the Jyllands-Posten cartoons should take note: as you ask the West to understand you, you must work to understand us. Westerners offend and rebuke each other as a matter of course, and we survive as a civilization because we have learned that a fist is not the correct response to a harsh word. A society where it is cannot be called a civilization.
So get over the Jyllands-Posten cartoons. You may think they are bad, but it is much worse at the Dutch Amazing Mohammed Photoshop Contest.Posted by awm at February 2, 2006 09:06 PM