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Muslims Burn Building Over Cartoon

Well this is messed up.

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister condemned an apparent arson attack early on Wednesday that destroyed the offices of a satirical French newspaper that had “invited” the Prophet Muhammad as a guest editor this week.

The front-page of the weekly, subtitled “Sharia Hebdo,” a reference to Islamic law, showed a cartoon-like man with a turban, white robe and beard smiling broadly and saying, in an accompanying bubble, “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing.”

They burned a building because they didn’t think somebody was paying their religion the respect it was due, yet I know children who don’t get violently bent out of shape over cartoons. Can you think of anything that could be a more insane reason to engage in potentially life-destroying actions? Lost at tiddly winks? No, cartoons are more insane. Breathing the same air? Yeah, that might do it.

What is the proper response? To cave and abdicate our right to free speech so as not to offend them? Is it to afford them even a modicum of respect, not because they are behaving respectably, but that perhaps falling on that sword will make them see reason (and not give positive reinforcement to psychotic behavior)? No. Those are not the proper response. The answer is to say that fear will not silence your opposition, adding that you can either play fair in the marketplace of ideas or promptly piss off.

Religion causes people, not just Muslims, to gratuitously overvalue their own (mismanaged) sense of propriety. In some cases, like this one, it causes them to value it over the lives and property of others.

Tell me again how religion is a force for good in the world.

  • sumdum

    If we can display a crucifix in a jar of urine, then a silly Mohammed cartoon should be ok too. Mock all silliness equally.

    • Crommunist

      If you’re talking about Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ”, you should probably know that French Catholics attacked and smashed the plexiglass container it is displayed in.

  • Aliasalpha

    I’m sure that I can’t be the only person remembering this routine by Jimmy Carr

  • http://www.facebook.com/gojaejin jeremygoard

    Can you think of anything that could be a more insane reason to engage in potentially life-destroying actions?

    Per your old zombie analogy: if it were reasonable to believe that all-powerful A totally hates for anyone to show pics of his #1 bro, M, then it would be crazy not to attack the newspaper. “Moderate believers” who believe the premise, yet disbelieve in the rightness of the action which naturally follows from the premise, must be doubly nuts.


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