Monday, February 13, 2006

Cartoon Controversy

Should We Understand Protests Against Cartoons?
By Ryan Trostle

In another day of violence Muslim men and women took to the streets to protest the caricatures of Prophet Mohammed. The angry protesters have called these cartoons blasphemes and say that they will not be backing down.

In Islam it is prohibited to publish Prophet Mohammed’s picture in any way. Tempers have flared up all across the Muslim world as cartoons of Prophet Mohammed showed up in a Danish newspaper and were then reprinted in other European newspapers. So far eleven people have been killed by the protests and leaders around the world are starting to get nervous.

The Danish newspaper has defended itself saying the freedom of the press is more important than religious myth. The Danish government has not yet apologized saying that it was an issue that needed to be taken up with the newspaper itself, though the government did express regret for this happening.

On February 10, 2006 the largest demonstration yet had taken place with 20,000 Muslims taking it to the street the Bangladesh. Many people don’t believe that these violent protests should be allowed to continue, as they are not justified.

As American leaders begin to condemn the protests they continue to spread throughout the world. On Monday February 13, 2006 police in Pakistan has to fire tear gas against student protesters marching toward the governor’s residence.

Iran on Monday rejected accusations that it has inflamed the controversy from Danish and United States governments. Iran also demanded an apology saying that it could calm down growing tension.

Condoleezza Rice said last Wednesday that; “Iran and Syria have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and to use this to their own purposes”. Iran also commented on how Rice should stop making comments against the protests as it could inflame them. Rice also said that if people continue to incite it, it could end up spinning out of control.

It seems to me that Americans are always seeking reasons to validate actions that our country takes. We validated the Iraq War with weapons of mass destruction. We validated the war in Afghanistan because the Taliban caused September 11th. Validation is an interesting concept that I think needs to be rethought. Why should countries and people have to validate themselves?

Cartoons have caused a huge controversy in the east. To Americans this sounds crazy and against everything that we believe. I myself tend to start thinking that it is ridiculous and strongly against our First Amendment rights, but who am I to tell them to stop quarreling over it.

If someone was running cartoons of Jesus in the same manner, things might look a little different for us. You might see protests, some of which end up to be violent. You would see people from the Christian faith be up in arms over the issue. Then we start to understand them a little more.

I feel as an American that most of our country forgets about the fact that only 2.1 billion people in our world are Christians. That sounds like a large number, but actually Christians are only thirty-three percent of the world’s population. One of the images of Prophet Mohammed is the Prophet with a bomb on his head.

Though we do have freedom of speech, if this was Jesus, do you think we might have people who are pretty upset? I am not excusing any actions that the Muslim people have taken, just reactions that other governments have made.

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