Decent people of good faith should avoid using the misconduct of the few to indulge in bigotry against the many. I, for one, do not believe that the fanatical censoriousness of some Muslims justifies hatred and contempt for all, or most, or even many Muslims. Too often it is used as such a justification.
But that doesn't mean that people who cherish core values like freedom of expression should tolerate, or refrain from decrying, contemptible censorious violence by religious fanatics. Cartoonist Lars Vilks was physically assaulted during a peaceful speech. He was assaulted based on an ideology that deems that the free expression of all people must be bound by the religious sensibilities of some people.
We ought to condemn, without qualification, such attacks. We ought to condemn the religious and political leaders who call for them. We ought to condemn our craven cringing countrymen who yield to them. We ought to condemn thuggish governments who use kangaroo courts to advance the goals of the fanatical censors.
And when religious fanatics tell us "don't say those things, don't print those cartoons, don't speak of our religious figure, or suffer violence," we ought to respond, in one voice: screw you, theocratic scrumbags. Period.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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