Thursday, February 02, 2006

Your prayers, please

Joining in the uproar over the publication in several European countries of some caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, two militant groups in the Gaza Strip announced today that they would target all French, Danish and Norwegian nationals there, and also threatened "European churches," whatever that is supposed to mean.

This could get nasty, not only in the Palestinian territories, but in Europe, as well.

I noticed today that a tabloid in Jordan published one of the caricatures, telling Muslims to lighten up. The editor, ironically named Jihad, asked Muslims what was more damaging to their image -- these pictures or videos of terrorists slitting the throats of captives or blowing themselves up among innocent people.

I have actually seen the offending caricatures, and while I find most of them to be light-hearted, others are in poor taste. I can understand why Muslims might find them to be offensive, especially given that Islam universally prohibits the depiction of Mohammed.

But not everyone in this world is Muslim and bound by those same strictures. Muslims have a right to complain, even to demonstrate and boycott, as they are Danish products, but they have no right to impose their religious or cultural values on non-Muslims.

And I ask myself why these same people, who consider Jesus to be the greatest prophet except for Mohammed, are not out protesting and making threats when He is caricatured, and in ways that are truly offensive.

Just today, someone was passing around on the internet a video clip with a gay Jesus. It shows him prancing down a city street, stripping to his skivvies as he sings Gloria Gaynor's I Will Surive, before getting hit by a bus.

Sadly, I am so accustomed to this sort of thing that I find it difficult to be offended. Sick? Yes. Pathetically stupid? Yes. But in the end, just sadly an almost daily occurrence in the Western world.

I bid your prayers for those whose lives may be endangered by this outrage and for those who are angered. Pray also for more respect, mutual respect, among people of different faiths.


Anonymous said...


I once heard a story that the BBC had to retract and apologize for offensive and tasteless humour defaming the Blessed Virgin Mary because of British Islamic howls of protest. The Christians were silent -- I suppose resigned to business as usual. But immigrant Muslims, who honour the BVM too, were upset and lit up the BBC switch board with calls of protest!

Of course, this is one ancedotal story that says more about Christian apathy in our Green and Pleasant Land than Muslim toleration.

Warwickensis said...

... And then of course there's the whole Jerry Springer: The Opera furore. I heard no Islamic voice speaking out, just the rather smug faces bemusedly wondering why so few Christians were protesting about it.

The arrows of the media often point towars the blackest areas of human thought, though barely venture into them to expose the monsters that lie therein.

As Christians, we have the unenviable task of having to wander into those dark depths in order to entice out those who are lost in the icy blackness. Our beacon is the Lord Himself who suffers the same vilification as He did on the day of His Death.