Sunday, February 05, 2006

News: Embassy Imolated

BBC News | Danish embassy in Beruit torched
Lebanese demonstrators have set the Danish embassy in Beirut on fire in protest at the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad....The violence came a day after mobs in neighbouring Syria torched the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus.
I can sympathize with the Muslim protesters; it gets my goat when I see satirists making light of my Lord and Savior. And yet I wonder if this is because sometimes the humor has more truth to it than we believers would like to admit (e.g. the 'God' episodes in "The Simpsons"). However crass and insensitive a cartoon of Muhammad with a bomb-like turban may be, the underlying message is certainly valid.

I believe that the right of publishers to make these sometimes offensive statements is necessary in a free society, but I also think that better judgment could be used in getting the message across to a sensitive population. And I believe Christians ought to be among the most sensitive in the world with regard to respecting others beliefs. It only makes sense to not needlessly antagonize those whom we are trying to reach.

UPDATE (2-6-06): Not all Muslims recognize a taboo against depicting Muhammad. Check out the Mohammed Image Archive (contains some offensive images) (via Higgaion).


  1. "This is message being sent to thousands of sites by a robot."

    It was anti-Judeo/Christian and anti-free speech. It also didn't respond directly to the points I made in my post.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more, Dave.

    Se the newspapers attemp at an excuse here:

    This is the biggest crisis in danish foreign affairs since WWII.

  3. As a Danish ex-patriot I find the scenes of anger vented towards my country surreal. Especially when the largest protest comes from Palestinians, to whom Denmark has extended more political and economic support than any other western nation has.

    As a Christian I am saddened by the whole situation, as it forces me to choose between my belief in freedom and my desire to reach out to muslims. Although I believe we must respect all people and be sensitive towards offending others, I also believe we must stand up against intolerant and restrictive religious thinking.

    I don't like Jyllands-Posten (the newspaper who published the cartoons), as it is a right wing newspaper with xenophobic tendencies, but surely I must defend their right to criticise islam as I defend their right to daily criticise and ridicule my political and religious beliefs.

  4. Sorry for posting a very personal comment on your blog, I guess what I was trying to say is that Christians do not just have an obligation to be sensitive but also to speak out against religious intorance.

  5. No need to appologize for posting personal comments on my blog. I do it all the time.

  6. I should also say that I don't believe that an offensive cartoon is a moral justification for arson.

  7. I wholeheartedly agree that we as Christians have an extra obligation to respect other people's beliefs.

    I find it interesting, though, that while Christianity today more or less peacefully coexists with the 'free' Western world, the same freedoms arose from opposition to the established institutions, including the Church.

    It's easy to say that of course freedom and respect are essential parts of the Gospel (and I believe they are), but how would we have reacted, say, 500 years ago?