When you come right down to it cutting past all the concern about creating more Muslim riots, it seems the Muslim tabu of not talking about The Prophet Mohammad in any negative light or even depicting images of him has come head to head with other views and opinions taken straight out of the Koran. Being able to express those views and opinions is what this entry is all about.
In modern society, people that don’t like to be talked about are often doing something wrong. The people that actively try to suppress people that talk about them often come with the title of Dictator or other such negative titles that people just despise.
In China it is a regular occurrence that any criticism against the government is quickly squelched. Take your pick of activists that are locked away in China for saying their mind and often pointing out the obvious, and you begin to see what side you tend to favor. Listen to an observation that points out the obvious, or pretend it does not exist is how things are in China.
Now take your pick of any country that has shown this behavior, and you begin to feel the roots of democracy tugging at freedom’s door with the people who live there. But under the same general rule of human behavior, there are some countries that are not ready for democracy. For democracy to flourish, a certain level of education and competence must be achieved by the population. Without that it becomes like an immature child who still needs the guidance of a parent.
So enter Islam and taking note that Islam is the only major religion that has not moderated over time. It more or less assumes the position of a government. It provides laws and rules that must be obeyed or be subject to punishment that can include death by stoning or other such horrendous fate. Every other religion has abolished such capital punishment seeing that the rule only applies to some people. However Islam looks to not only punish people of the Muslim religion, it looks to punish people of all other faiths as well.
Such is the case with a certain short movie that as targeted as it is, is against the Muslim religion. The movie has set the Muslim world ablaze with rage. Without having seen the movie, but having heard what it depicts, and also knowing that it essentially comes from certain passages in the Koran, it is an opinion based on an interpretation of those passages. It is also important to point out the same interpretations are not unique. They are objective based on descriptions in the text that other people have concluded. The only difference is the short movie in question spelled it out in a much bolder way.
So what this has come to is freedom of expression vs Islam. The fact that other people take what the Koran says differently is truly no different than a Muslim extremist’s take that differs from the mainstream Muslim view. It is simply another interpretation of the same text. One interpretation may encourage Pedophilia, when another does not. It is the more negative interpretations that are the issue. But the fact again that the negative interpretations are not unique does bring up a point. That point is why is it tabu to talk about.
Now rewind the clock about 1300 years or so to the time of Mohammad and the world is a different place in general. Perhaps the most important is the human life expectancy is about 40 something years. So sex at age 12, 13 and 14 was more or less the norm of the day. Without that early start to sexual activity the human species would not have survived. But now because the human life expectancy has doubled since then, sex with someone who is 12, 13 or 14 is considered pedophilia. The age of consent laws are basically to let the mind catch up to the body and to better insure the ability to support a child. Remove the age of consent laws and Pedophilia is defined as sex with someone before child bearing age. So comments about sex with a young person back in the time of Mohammad are taken out of context of the time.
However that does not change the fact that it is tabu to talk about Mohammad or even depict his picture. So at the very least the wisdom of this rule is questioned if not openly challenged. Every other major religion is quite opposite, so it does stand out as an anomaly as far as religions go. So to punish a person for making an expression who is not required by their religion to do so is where it all comes head to head. So depending on where a person stands on this view is driven by religion and not by their own choice, and that does suggest that a change may be underway in breaking this tabu. So as the title of this entry says Freedom of expression vs Islam, we shall see who prevails.