Monday, February 06, 2006

Islam - Insult Me & I'll Behead You?

Just over a month ago I attended a Sunday morning worship service at the Danish Christian church in Istanbul. This church is located inside the Danish Embassy. We had to go through a metal detector to worship that day.
Yesterday Shiite men in Istanbul chanted Islamic slogans as they set fire to an effigy of Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a demonstration. Then some 300 ultranationalist Turks marched to the Danish Embassy for a separate demonstration and threw eggs at the building. Why? They did this in protest of the cartoons of Mohammed printed in a Denmark newpaper. One of the cartoons depicts Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.
This is a confusing response. When Muslims around the world shake their fists and chant "Off with the heads of the infidels" one feels that the bomb has gone off. The use of fire bombs and rock-throwing and threatening more "9-11's" and burning embassies and even throwing eggs only serves to verify the Islamophobic who believes there is a basic underlying violence in Islam. Why should anyone be interested in a religion that says don't you dare ever insult me or I'll cut off your hands? I don't think insulting anyone is right either. The European-American irreligious press just doesn't get this. The ethics of Jesus, who rejected such an "eye for an eye" mentality and told us to love our enemies, is a better alternative.