|Friedman (Josh Haner/The New York Times)|
I am sending out word of this article by Thomas Friedman from the NY Times because I so agree with Friedman’s position. I only hope that the various schools of thought of Islam will sooner, rather than later, develop a more nuanced response to books, articles or art works that they perceive as insulting to their religion. We know that Christianity and Judaism have their fundamentalists too. And I am sure that Friedman would object to a violent eruption by them as well. Right now it is happening in the Arab world. Right now is a time for all of us to reflect on the use of religion to justify violence. Something about this does not appear reasonable in the 21st century.–Lilly
September 18, 2012
Look in Your MirrorBy THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
On Monday, David D. Kirkpatrick, the Cairo bureau chief for The Times, quoted one of the Egyptian demonstrators outside the American Embassy, Khaled Ali, as justifying last week’s violent protests by declaring: “We never insult any prophet — not Moses, not Jesus — so why can’t we demand that Muhammad be respected?” Mr. Ali, a 39-year-old textile worker, was holding up a handwritten sign in English that read: “Shut Up America.” “Obama is the president, so he should have to apologize!”
I read several such comments from the rioters in the press last week, and I have a big problem with them. I don’t like to see anyone’s faith insulted, but we need to make two things very clear — more clear than President Obama’s team has made them. One is that an insult — even one as stupid and ugly as the anti-Islam video on YouTube that started all of this — does not entitle people to go out and attack embassies and kill innocent diplomats. That is not how a proper self-governing people behave. There is no excuse for it. It is shameful. And, second, before demanding an apology from our president, Mr. Ali and the young Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Yemenis, Pakistanis, Afghans and Sudanese who have been taking to the streets might want to look in the mirror — or just turn on their own televisions. They might want to look at the chauvinistic bile that is pumped out by some of their own media — on satellite television stations and Web sites or sold in sidewalk bookstores outside of mosques — insulting Shiites, Jews, Christians, Sufis and anyone else who is not a Sunni, or fundamentalist, Muslim. There are people in their countries for whom hating “the other” has become a source of identity and a collective excuse for failing to realize their own potential. …
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