Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Cartoon Crap

I would blog about something else, but apparently there isn't too much out there happening except people angry about Danish cartoons. I did run across this, though, which made me feel better about the whole thing.

Zahny, originally from Egypt, says the recent republication of Danish newspaper cartoons depicting Muhammad, the messenger of Islam, as a terrorist is a sign of great disrespect for Muslims that's caused him pain. "There is no joke to be made about prophet Muhammad," he says.

But other American Muslims say their fellow adherents are overreacting. "When can we begin a civilized conversation, instead of this undignified and sometimes violent answer to what was quite simply an insult?" a member of the Progressive Muslim Union asked on an online forum.

The two sides illustrate the diversity of American Muslim opinion about the simmering global controversy. But they also dramatize a larger divide within the community about Islam's attitude about free expression. Many of America's estimated 2 to 3 million Muslims are angry, but instead of throwing stones, they are calling for American-style protests, such as boycotts of Danish products like cheese and yogurt.

It goes on to discuss some boycotts, like the Philadelphia Inquirer, etc. etc. But it does show something interesting. America, for all its flaws, I think simply has done a better job integrating Muslims into its society than many European countries. The American Muslim community is obviously vibrant, and they are responding to it as citizens in a liberal democracy generally should. So there are signs of hope about this whole mess, and not everywhere with a Muslim population is denigrating into riots or trying to supress free speech.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, in Europe things are still looking grim.