Everywhere I’ve gone in the blogosphere this week, I find that everyone is weighing in on the Muhammed cartoon images that have sparked violent protests throughout the world. There isn’t much for me to say on this except: free speech – good, violence in the name of religion – bad, insulting people’s religions and beliefs – bad. I know that reads a lot like the assessment at Cosmic Variance, where there is some good commentary as well as interesting links on this subject, but what else is there to say?
There is of course much to learn. I’ve been reading a series of excellent posts by Gypsy Scholar in which he discusses the issues surrounding the depiction of Muhammed. This is all very enlightening, to say the least. Dr. Hodges effectively refutes the notion that Islam does not allow renderings of the prophet and provides several examples of images of the prophet that came from Muslim artists.
There is also an excellent series at Perspectives of a Nomad that discusses some of the larger issues within Islamic society and its relationship with western society. Scottage makes the argument that we may be seeing the emergence of some new players on the world scene who are instigating this appalling violence. Afterall, as Gypsy Scholar points out, these images had been published in Egypt months ago.
One hopes that we can find ways to live peacefully together, since (I think, I hope) that is what most of us humans want. And what most religions appear to teach. Of course this really is more about the cancer of fundamentalism that can infect any religion.
So there it is, a gypsy and a nomad with lots of very thorough, interesting, and thought provoking writing on this subject that only now seems to be hitting the consciousness of the nonblogging American mainstream. I can’t help but wonder what those whose first inkling of this was yesterday’s cnn.com headline that said something to the effect of “Bush urges end to cartoon violence.” I agree. Bugs Bunny has been getting away with murder for years. Let’s give poor Mr. Fudd a break.