Try as I might, I just cannot wrap my head around this. At least 25 more people died over the weekend in Libya and Nigeria alone because that newspaper in Denmark published some insulting cartoons. As part of the Nigerian festivities, 15 churches were burned to the ground and a priest and three children were beaten to death in the street.
What causes this? What makes a man reading the paper, drinking his coffee, eating his breakfast look up at his wife and say, “Hey, I just read about some mean-spirited Danish cartoons that got published a couple of months ago. Aren’t the Bakers two doors down Christians? I’m pretty sure I saw a crucifix around their little girl’s neck two years ago at the neighborhood block party. Let’s go drag them into the street and beat them to death.”
Now I do understand that there were people who sought to turn this event to their own, anti-western agenda. Apparently there has been a dossier floating about the Mid-East with a bunch of extra cartoons that never actually got published in the West. Cartoons depicting Mohammad as a pig, having sex with animals, and other such juvenile crapola. No one is certain where these came from and they seem an obvious and ham-fisted attempt to rile the masses. But my point is?well?so what? Somebody who isn’t a member of your religion, who doesn’t agree with your point of view, found something to say about it. So you want to kill him for that? Islam means “Submission to the Will of God,” and the word comes from the Arabic root “Salema,” which means “Peace.” Or at least at one point it did. Who knows what it means now.
Am I wrong in thinking that this is insane? Is there something hopelessly naive about the belief that people should be allowed to express and disagree without anyone being killed? Am I just stupid and deluded? I sure hope there’s nothing in the Koran against fantasy web-comics.