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All this fuss over a cartoon

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Before I get into the meat of this post I want to say that the “anti-Muslim” cartoon that was published in various European newspapers was most definitely in poor taste and should not have been published. In addition, Muslims are whollly justified in being angry over the cartoon.

With that out of the way, I think that those who are rioting, theatening violence, and/or chanting “Death to France” are overreacting. As Tarek Fatah, a director of the Muslim Canadian Congress said, “The protests in the Middle East have proven that the cartoonist was right …. It’s falling straight into that trap of being depicted as a violent people and proving the point that, yes, we are.â€?

I can’t understand this sort of behaviour. Imagine if someone published a cartoon that depicted you beating your wife and children. You would certainly be upset. But if you got so upset that you went home and beat up your wife and children. At that point, doesn’t the cartoon then depict the truth (even if it didn’t before)? I know it’s not the best example, but I think it does, at least to a certain extent, illustrate the point.

Wouldn’t it be better to attempt to have a reasonable, rational dialogue than to fall into the trap that was (intentionally or unintentionally) set by the cartoonist? Instead of marching through the streets of Gaza or Jakarta firing automatic weapons into the air and calling for the head of the cartoonist, try to educate those that think that Islam is a hateful and violent religion.

To the cartoonist and editors who decided to publish the cartoon, I say this: Go down to the local mosque and learn about Islam. Until recently I didn’t know much about Islam. I knew that it has similar roots as Judaism and Christianity. I’d heard that it was a religion that advocated peace rather than violence. That was about it. Then I started working with a woman who was Muslim, and I asked questions (she asked questions about Catholicism, too). Now, while I’m certainly not an expert in the Muslim faith, I know a lot more than I did, say, two years ago.

I was going to say something about some of the comments that were posted on the Globe and Mail’s website, but I think I’ve said enough (at least for now).

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Written by The Canuck

February 3, 2006 at 9:37 am

Posted in politics

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