2/07/2006

Islamic reaction cannot be condoned.




Ok, is anything else simply stunned by the furore that has developed over the cartoons of Muhammad saga?

Personally I can find no way to condone the disgraceful scenes that have been seen around the world. I value free speech and I believe that people have the right to say what they want, within reason, without having their countrymen and women put in danger in embassies all over the world. The reaction has been extremist and, to my mind, downright scary. Ayatolla Khamenei has called the cartoons a "conspiracy by Zionists who were angry because of the victory of Hamas" despite the fact that the cartoons were initially printed months before the Hamas victory and in a country far from Israel.

This blog has always opposed Zionism but it is not a Zionist plot to comment that reacting to a cartoon by demanding its author be beheaded is an unacceptable reaction. I have always opposed the demonisation of Islam and its followers. Certainly people have the right to protest, but there is also a right to free speech, and more importantly, a right not to have someone threaten to chop your head off.

However, I think it also important to ensure that all followers of Islam are not tarred with the same brush as the extermists and we should also point out that Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell has praised Irish Muslims for their considered and moderate reaction to events.

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