As readers know from my past blogs, I am no friend of obscene speech ("Pure and Profane Speech" May 16, 2011).
Furthermore, it is important in theism and humanism to be respectful of other people's worldviews, religions, and beliefs (unless a particular belief calls for harm, abuse, or slaughter).
No, I am no friend of the gross cartoons against various religions drawn by Charlie Hebdo magazine or the recent racist image by a Palestinian cartoonist comparing Jewish people to vermin. Sick and repulsive.
But all forms--including reprehensible expressions--of free speech need to be defended from right-wing theocrats, politically correct leftists, and violent jihadists.
I am fairly well read in Islam and understand why the ban on images, Muhammad in particular, came about. Also, Islam is seeking to carry on the tradition of Judaism not to idolize.
However, #1 the ban has strangely turned into the very thing it was meant to prevent, the glorification of a human! #2 the ban now serves as a pretext, even a command, for Muslims to persecute, abuse, and slaughter others.
And #3, worst of all, the ban is contrary to free speech. Free speech is so important; free speech is the fundamental right of every human. Without free speech, it isn't possible to seek truth in philosophy, science, aesthetics, society and culture.
Whatever worldview a person holds he/she needs to understand his/her own perspective shouldn't be forced at gunpoint upon others. But tragically that is what millions of Muslims are doing around the world right now, and what Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, etc. have done in the past.
Sadly, this anti-free speech jihad of Muslims seems to go back to the founder. According to most historians, Muhammad himself ordered the murder of a woman poet because she wrote a satirical poem against him and his views!
When free speech is killed, the murder of actual humans is on the way.
Let us be free.
In the Light,