Thursday, September 16, 2010

U.S. Cartoonist In Hiding Over "Draw Mohammed Day"

U.S. Cartoonist in Hiding After Cleric's Threats

Damn it.

In my last Islam-related post, I said the Koran-burning was inflammatory and risked alienating Muslims who might otherwise support the U.S. in the war against al-Qaeda.  I have recently defended the Cordoba Center--the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque"--as well, even though I caught hell from that from a fellow conservative (albeit one much less educated and more zealous than I).

So anyone who wants to accuse me of being some kind of anti-Islamic bigot, take note.

Now it's time to criticize the over-sensitivity in certain quarters of the Islamic world.  I'm not a big fan of concept of the play "Corpus Christi" but I'm not going to make death threats or try to encourage terrorist attacks on the creator of it.

And although the creator of the play did receive death threats and a recent production in Texas was cancelled due to concerns about safety, Christians worldwide did not react to "Corpus Christi" with the same degree of outrage and violence as Muslims have reacted to depictions of Mohammed, especially unflattering ones.

Did any country block chunks of the Internet?  Did gigantic street protests break out?  Did the creator of the play have to disappear and establish a new identity?  Did anyone actually die?

No, to all of those.  There is not a moral equivalency between the reaction of Christians and Muslims in this situation.

Granted, there is precedent for this kind of behavior among Christians--a very long time ago!  We've since learned to lighten up. 

It would do well for the Islamic world to learn the same lesson--one reason the West once ruled most of the planet and is still the dominant civilization is our open society in which, as Voltaire said, we may not agree with what people say, but we will fight to the death to defend their right to say it.  Open societies encourage technological innovation and the creation of wealth, after all.

And Anwar al-Awlaki can take his threats and shove them pointy-end first somewhere sensitive.

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