September 16, 2012

Public Executions for Those Who Criticize Islam

muslim protestI was watching some news show the other night. I am not certain which one it was, but since the PBS Newshour is the one I've been watching most of the time, it is my best guess. They are one of the few shows I've found that consistently reports international news, and I've tired of all the skewed coverage of U.S. politics where everyone has been pretending that we only have two candidates running in our upcoming election. In any case, they were reporting on the latest Muslim violence over an Internet movie trailer and inspired me to expand some of my recent thoughts on the matter.

In one of the clips of Muslim protestors they showed, a young man was interviewed off to the side of a protest. I'd guess he was in his late 20s or early 30s. He calmly explained to the translator that the film was offensive and that it was not just "an attack on Islam" or the prophet Muhammad but on "all Muslims." Since he was not yelling and seemed fairly well-spoken from what I could tell, I assumed he would say something other than what he would next. What he said was that everyone associated with the film should be publicly executed.

I will admit that my gut reaction when I hear something like this is to suggest that we collectively increase our criticism of Islam. Perhaps this is just me being juvenile, but I firmly believe that no about of criticism of any subject matter justifies public executions or any other sort of violence. Perhaps if the Muslim world was flooded with criticism of their silly religious beliefs, they'd learn that it really isn't a big deal. Criticism is not an attack that can reasonably be met with violence.

I suppose our Christian politicians feel they have no choice but to condemn criticism of religion. Failing to do so might jeopardize international relations and would almost certainly involve the risk appearing hypocritical. But no belief system can be exempt from criticism. How many more people have to die before Muslim nations figure out how to deal with their violent extremists?

Wait a second! What about those of us right here in the U.S. and our own Christian extremists? When are we going to learn how to deal with them? That is a valid question indeed and one I will continue to ask.

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