How Should we Approach the Mohammed Cartoons Controversy?

Posted by Olivier Melnick on May 4, 2015

The western world has become accustomed to various reactions at the mentioning or drawing of the prophet Mohammed. The reactions have been from verbal to violent to bloody, and even lethal as we have seen in the case of the murder of Dutch movie director Theo Van Gogh in 2004 or the Charlie Hebdo massacre of 2015 in Paris.

Recently, one of the few remaining cartoonist from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo announced that he was no longer going to draw cartoons of Mohammed. Ronald Luzier known as Luz explained that he had grown tired of drawing cartoons of Mohammed. He claimed that just like he had lost interest in other personalities, he had also lost interest in drawing Mohammed.

Almost at the same time and unrelated, there was a Mohammed cartoons exhibit in Garland, Texas, organized by Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Towards the end of the exhibit, two gunmen approached the facility and started shooting at one of the security guards. The two shooters were killed on the spot. Miss Geller was quick to link the shooting to the theme of the exhibit, and she was probably right.

As I see it, freedom of expression is on trial once again. Actually, when it comes to freedom of expression, it has always been found guilty without a trial by radical Muslims. Nevertheless, I believe that neither Luz nor Geller were correct in their handling of the Mohammed cartoons controversy.

Luz chose to stop drawing and make a public announcement about it. Considering how far Charlie Hebdo pushes the envelope each week, It is highly doubtful that the cartoonist has stopped his cartoons because of remorse or respect for religious figures. It is pretty much guaranteed that Moses and Jesus will continue to receive their (un)fair share of abuse and ridicule, not to mention the plethora of politicians and celebrity regularly being targeted by Luz and others.

Ultimately, it is his decision to stop drawing Mohammed, but by making that decision public, I believe that at least within the radical Muslim mindset, he has abdicated his freedom of speech. This will only be seen as a victory emboldening further crippling of the West by Shariah pushing Imams and radicals.

In his case, it would have been a lot better to stop drawing Mohammed but remain silent about his motives. That would have permitted him to maintain his dignity and his freedom of speech. No matter what the motives are, Luz will appear weak to Radical Muslims and they will use it to their advantage, as they have repeatedly done in the past.

But unfortunately, Miss Geller's Mohammed Cartoons Exhibit is not helping either. As a matter of fact, such a display of anti-Islam by Americans will only exacerbate the situation. Freedom of speech being what it is, still does not grant us the right to say anything we want, anytime we want to anybody we want. Freedom of speech guarantees that we won't be harassed, arrested, imprisoned or killed for speaking our mind but it doesn't and shouldn't give us carte blanche to say anything we want.

Freedom of speech still needs to be controlled by common sense and even moderated by respect for the sanctity of life. What Miss Geller accomplished in Texas, if anything, is a further aggravation of the radical Muslims, and in doing so, she has only fueled their fire! We already have seen what these people [radical Islamists] are capable of when they feel that their prophet has been ridiculed. I am all in favor of exposing radical Islam for what it is–a barbaric medieval ideology. This being said, organizing an exhibit of Mohammed cartoons was just poor taste.

Much education is needed if we really want people to grasp what radical Islam is capable of. Female genital mutilation, honor killings and beheadings are issues that deal with the sanctity of life on a daily basis and they are worth fighting against and exposing. As to the Mohammed cartoons, our coming to a halt or our spreading them around will lead nowhere but to a greater chasm between the West and Islam.

Those of us with Judeo/Christian ethics should know better!

Sign-Up for Newletter

Comments ...

6 comments on “How Should we Approach the Mohammed Cartoons Controversy?”

  1. Agreed. Both reactions are going too far. I don't know why antagonizing a group of people is seen as a good thing. You're only asking for trouble.

  2. So, following your logic, Mr. Melnick, if only Theo Van Gogh could have read this article before he was murdered, then he would not have foolishly made the movie 'Fitna' and Hirsi Ali would not be wasting her time educating people about what the Koran really says. Tsk, tsk

    1. I do not believe that Mr Van Gogh and Hirsi Ali have toiled in vain. We need more like them around. I do believe that education about the barbarism coming from Islamic radicalism is very necessary. Unnecessary antagonism is what I am against.

  3. Can you imagine if a Jew fought back when persecuted and opened fire in a similar fashion? All of a sudden it wouldn't be "business as usual". By the way, when was the last time Netanyahu took credit for a cold blooded murder? He wouldn't because he's a normal functioning human being. And what was "extreme" a few years ago is now becoming normal behavior. It is also becoming socially acceptable. I remember the first beheading in the middle east. America was shocked. Last year there was a beheading within U.S. borders and it barely made news after a day or two. 9/11 is forgotten. The Holocaust probably never happened. And Extreme Muslims should be dealt with compassion and understanding. Come on man!

  4. Thanks for this commonsense.

    It's the height of manipulative evil for a known "hate group" (as Pamela Geller's "American Freedom Defense Initiative" is) to deliberately provoke violence from delusional people, in order to loudly proclaim themselves "martyrs" for free speech.

    blessings, Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shalom in Messiah

We are a non-profit organization that exists to expose and fight antisemitism, as well as to equip and mobilize Christians to lead the Jewish people to the Messiah.
Copyright © 2024 Shalom in Messiah Ministries
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram