(from a blogger who's already over-enlarged)
CCWBASS, my esteemed brother, brings up an interesting conflict regarding the whole Danish Anti-Muhammed Cartoon nonsense. It's easy to see where we might want to, alternately, praise the cartoonist for having the courage of his convictions, yet understand why the Islamic world at large might be justifiably offended by the intended slight.
I commented that my considered response to this issue is to ignore. I said that from the perspective of one who has had to endure a fair amount of ridicule over the years regarding my beliefs and the impugned reputation of an entire church because of the actions of a few in our past. I have always held such ridicule to be incredibly unfair, but have learned over the years to ignore such things. I place all such criticisms under the heading of "casting pearls before swine," and have emotionally resolved to allow the swine the full run of their mistaken notions.
Entire groups of peope cannot always do that.
Let's review here: A militant sub-group of a religion that labels itself the "religion of peace" has espoused a culture of terror whose stated goal is nothing short of the eradication of all infidels. These "enemies of Islam" must not be allowed to exist, and the hated Jews are at the top of that list, followed closely by Americans.
Yet the entire world of Islam is not like that. Many of them - let's call them true Islamists - recognize that there are common roots between Muslims, Jews, and Christians that date back to Abraham. These people are (rightly, in my mind) offended by such cartoons.
The problem here is the incendiary nature of the terrorist sub-culture. No matter how dearly we may hold the right of free speech, we simply cannot regulate how others will react to that speech. So, for example, when we use our right to free speech ("blog free, or die") to voice our opinion that terrorists are a six pack in desperate search of the plastic thingy that holds it together, we should not be surprised when we start receiving fatwas. No matter what our liberal friends would have us believe, no amount of "civil" dialogue will soon overcome centuries of hatred embedded in that sub-culture. Other Islamists - those true ones - already get it. The rest will not, I fear, understand this principle until they blow themselves straight to Allah, only to be gently told, "That wasn't what I meant."
We should never fear to express opinions when we feel (or know) something to be correct or true. But expression for the sake of incitement, I submit, will never be a "protected" right so long as the recipients exercise their perceived right to react violently.
Let's use at least a little common sense, shall we?