This case offers proof yet again of Sam Harris’ observation (quoted by Brad Thor here):
The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn’t, we will kill you. Of course, the truth is often more nuanced, but this is about as nuanced as it ever gets: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn’t, we peaceful Muslims cannot be held responsible for what our less peaceful brothers and sisters do.
At the root of this stance is a desperate attempt to have it both ways, to reconcile Islam’s teachings and the actions that stem from it with the religion’s claims to be just, compassionate, and peaceful. Or at the very least, it is an attempt to convince non-Muslims that the two can indeed be reconciled, and that to believe otherwise is to be bigoted and hateful. In other words, it is emotional, political blackmail.
A South African weekly on Friday published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad complaining that his followers lack a sense of humour, angering Muslims and raising fear of reprisal attacks during next month’s World Cup.
South Africa will host the month-long soccer tournament from June 11 and police have pledged to protect the 300 000 expected foreign visitors and the teams taking part.
The Mail & Guardian newspaper published a sketch by renowned South African cartoonist Zapiro after a court rejected an overnight bid by Muslim advocacy groups for an injunction to prevent the newspaper from printing the cartoon.
The cartoon depicts the prophet on a psychologist’s couch saying that his followers do not have a sense of humour.
Muslims consider any depiction of the founder of Islam to be offensive. In 2005, a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Muhammad which were subsequently republished elsewhere, sparking violent protests that killed several dozen people.
South Africa’s Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) said it would meet to discuss the cartoon, which it deemed highly offensive to the religious sensibilities of Muslims.
“It seems to be provocative in many ways on the very eve of the World Cup in South Africa, when we need peaceful co-existence and co-operation amongst religious communities in South Africa,” said MJC President Ihsaan Hendricks.
“The M&G (Mail & Guardian) needed to understand that offending the South African Muslim community is offending the international Muslim community,” he added….
And your point is…?