Threatening blood and death over a cartoon -- and Western non-Muslims continue to kowtow to their irrational bullying, instead of standing up and saying, "Wait a minute. Killing people, or threatening people with death, because of a perceived insult to someone you revere is madness, and we're not going to stand for it. We're going to defend the freedom of speech as an indispensable protection against the authoritarianism and tyranny that crushes the human spirit.
"If you revere Muhammad, revere him. But don't demand that everyone else subordinate his free conscience to yours, and revere him as well. We are not insulting your prophet for the sake of insulting him, but to illustrate and defend the principle that in a truly free society, one in which human beings can flourish, we all have to put up with things that offend us. The only alternative is to establish the hegemony of one belief-system over all others, and while we realize that that is your goal, we will not endorse it. Indeed, in the name of human rights and human dignity, we will oppose it all the energy we have."
One day, maybe, we will have a politician who talks like that (yes, the Netherlands has one now). But I am not holding my breath.
"Malaysians protest over Muhammad cartoon," from Associated Press, March 26 (thanks to Alexandre):
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- More than 200 Malaysian Muslim protesters called on Sweden on Friday to take action against several newspapers that reprinted a caricature depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog.
The protesters burned a Swedish flag outside the Swedish embassy, chanting "Long live Islam" and "Down with Sweden" and carrying posters that read "Take some lessons from 9/11!!!" and "We fight for our prophet."
They also burned a picture of Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who made the drawing of Muhammad's head on a dog's body in 2007 that was reprinted in papers recently.
"We demand that the Swedish government take strong action against the newspapers and against the artist," said Sabki Yusof, one of the protest leaders from the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party. "It's unacceptable what they did to our prophet."
Swedish ambassador Helena Sangeland called for more dialogue with Muslims for better mutual understanding but said no action would be taken against the papers. She said she was "very disappointed" that the Swedish flag was burned.
"The Swedish government will not comment nor take any action against media. Freedom of expression is enshrined in our constitution. It is not negotiable," she told The Associated Press. "I don't think Malaysia-Sweden bilateral relations will be affected in any way."...