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Thu May 7, 2015, 08:30 PM

 

In defense of the need to post blasphemous caricatures [View all]

Let me make this clear at the outset: I am not a fan of Mrs Geller: her opinions can be extreme, her agenda dubious, her style confrontational and provocative, let's just forget her for a minute.

The source of the problem illustrated by the Garland TX shooting, and the Danish cartoons worldwide fury, and the Theo van Gogh killing, and the Charlie Hebdo shooting, is that one ideology, Islam, wants universal respect under pain of violent coercion.

Yes, yes, yes, most muslims are decent human beings and citizens and condemn these shootings. The problem is not people (most muslims), it's the rules of the ideology they claim to adhere to (Islam): in islamic jurisprudence, penalties for blasphemy are very stiff, death being a clear option. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_blasphemy#Punishment_by_different_Islamic_schools_of_jurisprudence

Yes, yes, yes, many muslim clerics condemned the shootings in the West I quoted. But (link above), what they do not say is that blasphemy does require a stiff penalty under islamic Law (Shariah). And many other mainstream clerics living in muslim countries do not condemn such killings. Sometimes condone them (two Pakistanis burned alive for accidental damage to the pages of a Quran).

My point is one of principle: citizens in democracies should not allow free speech to be curtailed under the threats of so and so. I have a suggestion to make to make that point irrespective of Mrs Geller: let's millions of us post a caricature on their front lawn or Facebook page just to make the point no one can demand by means of threats to restrict freedom of speech. .

To make sure muslims do not feel singled out, let's add other caricatures ad lib: Buddha, the great Flying Spaghetti, Marx, GW, Jesus, whatever.

The key point is that there's no way any group can require compliance of speech. Let go of one liberty and then, when do you stop? Why not let fundamentalist christians and muslims forbid marriage equality? Drinking alcohol is offensive to Mormons and Muslims, why not forbid wine and beer? What a Brave New World we would build.

In short, Mrs Geller is the nasty knight of a just cause.


PS: an afterthought: please no ad hominem calling me an islamophobe, I'm not. I am commenting here the Garland TX shooting, Mrs Geller and free speech. But I do also call out the deficiencies of all other religions: the scourge of christian creationism vs schools, the hindu caste system, the violence in the jewish holy book, etc. Neither am I a fundamentalist atheist (whatever that means), I just am extremely attached to Freedom and Liberty.

PPS: edited the title from "In defense of Mrs Geller, nasty knight of a just cause" to "iIn defense of the need to post blasphemous caricatures" to make even clearer that the issue is NOT Mrs Geller

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