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Toronto marchers back right to publish Muhammad cartoons

2006-03-12 08:36:03

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This seems to be more of the same-old, tired argument.  What I find ironic is how Ezra Levant, the publisher of the cartoons in Alberta, who pledged to fight anti-Christian bigotry is openly supporting and promoting the same bigotry against Muslims.  I think the intention of people with their idea of unlimited free speech is clear.

It is motivated by either a hatred, fear or misunderstanding of Islam.  I equally do not agree with the violent forms of protests in reaction to these hateful cartoons which portray Islam through Prophet Muhammad as being a religion of terror which is completely unfounded.  I consider that not only to be anti-Islamic but hateful and we know if this had been about Jews people would be in jail by now.  As a Muslim I fully endorse free speech but recognize there are reasonable limits to it which is why you can be sued for making libellous or slanderous claims, further proving the obvious, that this means free speech is not unlimited.

Remember, the very same Danish paper which published the cartoons, refused to publish anti-Christian cartoons about Jesus for fear of offending Christians.  The cartoons are akin to people believing Jesus and the Christian religion are about abusing children.  Imagine the reaction if there was a cartoon depicting Jesus as being one of the priests who abuses children.  Of course, we know Jesus was a Prophet and Muslims believe in him as a Prophet but the Christian world generally does not understand or know our religion except for the often hateful and completely false representation they get from TV,  some Churches and the many anti-Islamic web sites dedicated to the destruction of Islam.  Just as we understand the actions of some priests do not mean their religion allows the abuse of children, it should be understood Islam is being taken advantage of in the same way by people pursuing their own agendas which so often completely contradict the teachings of Islam, as found in the Holy Qur'an.

What I believe is the motivation by these people, is to use free speech as a reason to fight a perceived threat they see from Islam and Muslims and also that many people believe Islam is a religion of terror.  Ironically, if any of them took the time to read the Holy Qur'an which is the foundation of Islam, they would likely see their misconceptions.

Full Article:

Toronto marchers back right to publish Muhammad cartoons

More than 100 demonstrators took to the streets in Toronto on Saturday to support free speech.

Peter Kent (file photo)

They were protesting against the sometimes violent riots that targeted Denmark and its embassies after a Danish newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad last year.

The strong reaction to the cartoons has highlighted the conflict between the Western ideal of freedom of speech and what some Muslims say is a blasphemous offence against a religious figure.

The Toronto demonstrators marched in front of the Danish consulate, where former TV news anchor Peter Kent said "any democracy worth its salt should be strong enough to endure the most controversial speech."

Kent represented the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, which seeks to change Canadian policy that they say "consistently fails to support sister democracies who share our values," such as India, Taiwan, the U.S. and Israel.

Daniel Dale, a York University student who helped organize the protest, said "we will not stand idly and meekly by while a democracy and ally is violently and senselessly attacked."

He does not endorse the cartoons, but backs the right to publish them, as Calgary-based Western Standard magazine did in February.

Most Western publications did not reprint the cartoons, many saying they didn't want to give unnecessary offence. However, critics have said the publications had been intimidated.

Ezra Levant, Western Standard publisher, will speak in Toronto on Tuesday to explain why the magazine reprinted the cartoons.

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