The recent controversial cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed had sparked off a furore in the Islamic world.
The caricaturizations first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September. One of the drawing shows Prophet Mohammed wearing a turban shaped as a bomb. Another depicted him holding a sword, his eyes covered by a black rectangle. Islam prohibits any pictoral representations to prevent idolatory. Consequently, Muslims worldwide claimed that Islam has been deeply wounded by such derogatory depiction of their beloved Prophet.
Newpaper editors in question claimed that they published/reprinted the cartoons to support the principle of free speech.
...Which is a load of Crap!
Free speech without sensitivity to and respect for cultural and religious practices of others is a deplorable act. The controversial cartoonist and editors had simply demonstrated their incapability of reflecting on the impact of their actions on others.
Let's suppose if their mothers are depicted in another cartoon in the most deplorable and lewdest way. Let's also assume that they love their mothers as much as Muslims love their Prophet. Are they gonna shrug it off with a laugh because after all, its a practice of free speech. Or perhaps they will consider pressing charges for libel, thereby go against free speech?
In today's world of cultural diversity and religious pluralism, people should to try to respect and accomodate other people's perception or else it will easily lead to conflicts. One cannot claim national sovereignity as techology has made national boundaries porous. Obviously the readership of the Danish newspaper, that published the controversial cartoon, is not limited to within Denmark.
An innocent act has unintended consequences let alone irresponsible acts which cause big unintended repercussions. Action begets karmic reaction. A butterfly flapping its wings in Japan could cause a tornado in California (The Butterfly Effect). Sociologist Merton calls it the Law of Unforseen circumstances. Hence better be prudent and reflect upon the consequences before acting.
On another note, there is obviously an over-reaction on the part of the Muslims. While most Muslim leaders are using diplomacy to resolve the issue, which is highly commendable, others had taken to the streets in protest i.e. in Lebanon and Iraq etc.
One wonders how many of these protestors had actually seen the cartoons? Surely the cartoons are an insult to Islam as a religion but I'm sure that Islam isn't for violence and mob-mentality.
The violence that happened seems to suggest manupilation of the crowd by radical fundamentalist groups that have a deep rooted hatred for the western world. Hopefully, Muslim and Danish leaders can alleviate the situation in a non-violent way as much as possible without extra cost to human life.