Saturday, February 11, 2006

Moderate Voices

It is encouraging to see moderate majority Muslims begin to speak out against the outrageous reaction incited by extremists over the now infamous cartoons. To quote from an enlightening blog post I recently read:
What on earth are we thinking? Will we never learn?

Back in September 2005 the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons which depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. But the reaction of the muslim world back then was one of 'Ignore it and it will go away'. But somewhere, someone has gotten hold of this and decided that this is a major issue.

There have been so many depictions of the prophet through the ages that to bring this up now is simply ridiculous...

But yet again, our reaction belies how far we have moved away from the roots of Islam where tolerance was given to all. Once again the name of ordinary muslims are being dragged through the mud because of a small bunch of zealots who cannot see the beyond their own noses. Screaming and shouting about 'art' which is offensive only pushes it into the public arena and gives it unwarranted publicity.
Certainly the cartoons are offensive to the Muslim people. The sad fact is, the violent reactions to these depictions that we see in the media only serve to reinforce stereotypes against Muslims, causing an ever greater rift between cultures. It is encouraging to see the moderate elements among this society stepping up in peaceful protest--not only against the offending images, but also against the violence that has been incited by the extremists in their community.

From another post on the same blog:
So we finally seem to have got our act together and 'mainstream' muslim organizations are protesting this Saturday at 1pm in Trafalgar Square. Not just against those darned cartoons, but also against the violence perpetrated by muslims during the last week's worth of protests.
I know of many occasions where peoples of various faiths at various times have been offended by mean-spirited depictions of their most cherished beliefs. Should you speak out against these things, certainly! Should you resort to violence in the name of your offended sensibilities, certainly NOT! Should you boycott an entire nation over grievances committed by only a very few? I would say that is a pretty extreme response in and of itself.

I'll say it again, NONE of us have the right to act like barbarians simply because our sensibilities are offended. What kind of world would we have if we all behaved in that manner? I don't think it would be a pleasant sight to behold. Do you?

Extremism by all appearances seems to be the order of the day in virtually all facets of life, but there are other voices speaking up now that reveal other courses of action--courses far more constructive in their nature. Enough of 'Us & Them' mentalities. Bring on the moderates!


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