One of the recurring themes of the Great Cartoon Caper is exemplified by this article in today’s Daily Telegraph of Australia:
Only an official apology by the Danish government to all Muslims for offence caused by the prophet Mohammad cartoons would prompt the lifting of the boycott of Danish goods, Muslim preachers said.
An official apology “is absolutely necessary ... because your government has not dealt with them (Muslims) respectfully,” Islamic scholar Tareq al-Suweidan told a conference hosted by the Government in an attempt to ease tension over the drawings.
The keyword here is “respect” (or the antonym, “disrespect”). Other examples of the theme can be found here, here, and here.
In an interesting synchronicity, we had a commenter on yesterday's post who said this:
I see Islamophobia is here because there is no study of the prophet Mohammed’s words. Islam does not want terrorism but it will not let itself the slandered by scared people afraid on the Internet. If you respect us than you should get respect back but you must first give apology for what is your action.
First we must respect them.
In reply to which I have one word:
Why?Oh, I have certainly learned to fear Islam. Islamophobia is definitely a rational response to world events right now — just ask those Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia. Oh, wait; you can’t ask them: they don’t have heads anymore.
I have learned to be circumspect about Islam, to tread lightly around its outer edges. I have learned to be alert concerning it, and observe it carefully in all its different manifestations.
But I have no respect for Islam, and no amount of violence, extortion, and bullying threats will cause me to respect it.
Judaism has gained my respect. The heroic and humane actions of Jews in my own lifetime have caused me to respect them.
Hindus have gained my respect. They have developed a powerful and accomplished civilization whilst learning to accommodate widely disparate cultures in a democratic polity.
But in the past five hundred years Islam has added nothing to the general welfare of mankind. All the great accomplishments and advances that produced modern technological civilization occurred without the help of Muslims, and often in the face of their active resistance. When Islam emerges beyond its own parochial borders, the only things it gives to the rest of the world are fire, bloodshed, mayhem, and destruction.
To any Muslim or Islamic sympathizer: I invite counterexamples. Deliver them here, and I will post them.
But until there is a significant counterweight to the all the terror and backwardness, I have no respect for Islam or its Prophet.
Respect must be earned.