Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Islam Vs freedom of speech

I don't often read the letters section of the paper but this morning I did and it struck me how much the events over freedom of speech and the response of some Muslims Afghanistan and the Lebanon have really touched a nerve. I agree with many that the media overstepping a line in printing those pictures, because people had the right to be informed about what all the fuss was about. The media claim to be morally neutral in this - they merely report what they see - or so they claim. But who really believes that, since when have the media been morally neutral??? I think they are far more tainted by their own opinions then they would ever admit. So I think they were wrong - it was morally wrong to publish the pictures... However the way that some people from the Muslim world (and it certainly is not all) have responded just reinforces the stereotypes and the predjudice about Islam. As one person commented "you cannot have one rule about censorship - no images of the prophet while at the same time undermining publicly others belief systems - homosexuals should be stoned."
These are perilous times, as worlds meet worlds, but what of the Christian response. Well I heard one suggestion that when the media treats Jesus in the same manner maybe we should riot too. That kid of talk scares me, not because I am unafraid of standing up for what I believe in but because I hear that in one ear and the voice of Jesus in the others saying turn the other
As offensive as the media can be, I think turning the other cheek is a far better response, but that does not mean we have to be quiet - just that our course of action should involve grace.

We need to pray for the media, because with much power comes much responsibility and clearly the actions of the last few weeks have been irresponsible

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If it would be nice if the mainstream Muslims showed as much outrage to events like 9/11 and other worldwide carnage in the name of Islam as they do to a few editorial cartoons (and cartoons pretty much on the mark at that!). As far as depictions of the prophet being totally prohibited, there are paintings in museums all over the world, some of them centuries old. Just another excuse to riot and murder in the name of Islam! What else is new?