As we see the continual protest over images and video which have been recently published of the prophet Mohammed we see people falling into the two camps. We have those that follow Islam obviously falling into the camp of disgust and anger but we see non-Muslims trying to justify the images and video and making comparisons to their own religions.
This is the wrong action and we cannot reach an understanding with this viewpoint. Religion and culture are one in the same and just as we enjoy a tasty hamburger in the West to a Hindu this would be unimaginable.
The question we should be asking. Why are these images and video so offensive?
The Koran contains a general reference to the worshipping of idols being a “manifest error”, without referring to pictures of Mohammed, but ancient oral traditions, called Hadith, quote Allah as saying it is “unjust” to “try to create the likeness of my creation”.
Another Hadith says that “all the painters who make pictures would be in the fire of Hell”. Islamic scholars are divided over whether it is ever permissible to depict the Prophet.
Controversies in recent days months and years have followed depictions which are mocking or seen and interpreted as disrespectful.
We can go back to 2005 when a Danish newspaper caused a worldwide storm of controversy when they publishing a set of cartoons which depicted Mohammed, including one in which he wore a bomb shaped turban.
The cartoon show South Park followed, with a history of satirizing religious figures including Jesus; they featured Mohammed in an episode in 2001, without provoking a major backlash.(This begs one to ask the question, who whips up this anger?)
Back In 2006 its creators intended to feature Mohammed in another episode, inspired by the Danish cartoon controversy, but was banned from doing so by the Comedy Central network.
The cartoonists did feature Mohammed, dressed in a bear suit.
So it seems that not all images are protested. The problem being when the images depict something disrespectful, this is understandable.
We must also remember that the images we see on the news and the reports we hear are from a largely Christian based media.
We project Western ideas of freedom of speech onto a belief and culture that is not our own. Going back to the hamburger and the Hindu, Things seem very different sometimes ridiculous and sometimes a reaction is difficult to understand.
This is because it is not our culture and we must take a step back, we must rise above and understand.
The Western nations are more worldly wise we are subjected to many different faiths, customs and traditions we have learned how to coexist with things we don’t fully understand. Those in the largely uneducated parts of the Middle East have not and see these things as direct attacks.
We (The West) must be the better men.
If we do not we could head into a clash of civilizations and armed religious conflict.