Islam and European Values

10 10 2006

The New York Times had an article today about the conflict between ‘european values’ and Islam.

Perhaps most wrenching has been the issue of free speech and expression, and the growing fear that any criticism of Islam could provoke violence.

In France last month, a high school teacher went into hiding after receiving death threats for writing an article calling the Prophet Muhammad “a merciless warlord, a looter, a mass murderer of Jews and a polygamist.” In Germany a Mozart opera with a scene of Muhammad’s severed head was canceled because of security fears.

I think a lot of the criticism of Islam that has been going on post 9/11 is meant to offend, not to educate.  and therein lies the problem.  I also think that Muslims, like people of every religion, get offended when their beliefs are challenged.  If religion were held to the same intellectual standards that all other reasonable thought is, I guarantee that there would be less religious violence, and less religious people.  But, that’s a long way off now.  In the mean time people need to understand that if they focus solely on the quality of their next life, they’ll have no control over the quality of their present life.

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