Depictions of Mohammed

Controversy over the publication of images depicting Mohammed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten has erupted into an international furor. While Muslim nations are calling for a boycott of Denmark, Europeans are divided as to whether they should stand up for Western principles of freedom of speech, or cave in to to self-censorship in the name of multiculturalism and fear.

While the debate rages, an important point has been overlooked: despite the Islamic prohibition against depicting Mohammed under any circumstances, hundreds of paintings, drawings and other images of Mohammed have been created over the centuries, with nary a word of complaint from the Muslim world. The recent cartoons in Jyllands-Posten are nothing new; it's just that no other images of Mohammed have ever been so widely publicized.

Any self-censorship would be purely out of fear and that is simply wrong! Any religion which strikes mortal fear into people is missing the point of a loving creator God!

I have not seen the images which are causing such offence amongst Muslims, but I do believe that all religion’s must allow themselves to be made fun of, after all we’re only human. Equally however, by allowing free speech in such a way, we also retain the right to freely share our faith, even when people might not want to hear it.

For some of the many historical images of Mohammed visit: http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/

2 comments:

  1. You wrote: "I do believe that all religions must allow themselves to be made fun of, after all we're only human."

    Hi Dean,
    Good to read how you and your family are doing. Just want to drop you a line.
    About the controversy caused by the Danish cartoons - I agree that it's ok to make fun of us believers (especially Christians like us - we're often asking for it!), but I don't see any good reason for insulting religious people of other faiths with cartoons that make fun of the people they feel are holy. I am seriously offended if somebody makes fun of Jesus with a cartoon -what about you? But of course, Jesus wasn't 'only human'
    Blessings
    Paul

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  2. Hi Paul
    I agree that we Christians often court humourous digs at ourselves, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. However, I don't personally take offence at religious jokes (don't often find them funny either) as I firmly believe that whilst we are the butt of jokes we retain the right to openly share our faith. To me it's a principle of free speech (which is not a 'nonsense' as some Muslim commentators have tried to deride it).

    What I find interesting in all of this is that the cartoons caused no offence at all when first published and when the 'offence' was finally taken up by Muslims the response was completely out of proportion and I feel highly hypocritical.

    I have since seen the cartoons and thought they were very poor taste and I was quite surprised that any paper printed them. However, I don't believe they should not have been printed because of fear or self censorship but simply because they weren't funny!

    Thanks for your comment, it's always nice to hear from you.

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