Friday, January 30, 2015

Bold Statement From Muslim Academic

Mohammed Wattad, PhD

Only Muslims Can Change the World's View of Islam
- Mohammed Wattad, PhD

The cartoons that depicted the Prophet Mohammad were drawn by Western journalists for Western audiences in a society grounded in democratic rights and freedoms, tantamount among these the right to free speech. And what is the essence of free speech if not the right to express disputed and even offensive views?

Muslims are well aware of the rights and freedoms afforded to them in democratic societies, and this is precisely the reason many of them leave their Islamic homelands for the West. It is therefore with the utmost hypocrisy, audacity and impertinence that Muslims living in democratic countries react to criticism of their faith with threats, vandalism and violence. Their sensitivities notwithstanding, if Muslims are to live among Westerners, it is they who must conform to the norms of the land, not vice versa.

Examples abound of the Christian, Jewish, Hindu and other faiths being the subject of gross insult. Yet while these expressions have sparked outrage and anger, they are met with words in the marketplace of ideas. Only among Muslims are words of criticism met by the sword. This proves exactly what the Dutch and French cartoonists sought to depict: the moral, educational and cultural bankruptcy of those who act barbarically in the name of Islam. The cartoons are not concerned with Islam, but with the way some Muslims exercise Islam. They merely reflected existing images created by extremists themselves.

If this image is wrong, then we Muslims bear the burden to show otherwise. Terrorism today stems primarily from Muslims in the name of Islam. For these images to change, Muslims must be at the forefront of countering Islamic radicalization in the Middle East and in our adopted countries
The writer is a visiting assistant professor of political science at the University of California at Irvine.
(Jerusalem Post)


John Vagabond said...

I used to think that, too. The ownership and cultural expression of a particular nation state rests with the majority within the community, often developed over centuries. Outsiders, immigrants, refugees who are either invited to a host country or choose to live there have a moral obligation to accept the rules, written or otherwise which preserve harmony and good order. If they are not prepared to do this, they are quite at liberty to go somewhere else, somewhere more attuned to their sensibilities. What they are not allowed to do is to browbeat their hosts into serving up a more palatable social agenda based on their religious prejudices. At best that's ingratitude and at worst, treasonous.

Bruce said...

I'm not understanding which part you disagree with. It appears to me that the author of this piece would agree with your assessment that Muslims must conform to the norms of the land.