Much is made of the controversy over the Muhammad cartoons. I remember the issue when it first broke in Denmark, and thought to myself it funny, but yet wrong. The fanaticism that opposes the drawings is wrong too, but if we dont insult, they wont react.
It does not excuse the murders in Paris, but does give background to how the Charlie Hebdo drawings cause offense
Its not like the Islamic position on idols is alien to the West, in fact its quite well known to us. Guess what? Christian fundamentalists have it too. Even on our own little island.
The Protestant objection to the crucifix, and how us Catholics pray to it, and holy statues, holy wells and associated shrines is well documented. Indeed in nearby Ballycumber, the story of the Johnston family of landlords and how they tried to stop the pattern at the local well is of folk legend today.
To understand the Islam position is this: any drawing, or statue made of God or a holy person is objectionable due to the commandment on false Gods. Protestants and some Orthodox have the same.
But Orthodox have icons you say. True, did you ever note how the drawings are flat and not 3D? Do you not think their artists cannot paint better? Its actually because of that, they are painted that way to make them NOT look like a human. And our icons used to be the same… for the same reason.
We poke fun at Jesus as in The Life of Brian, but we are not so hung up on how our holy people are portrayed. But its not so long since we rioted at how our nation was portrayed…
The cheap laughs at Islams expense are the hallmark of a nyeuck, as we say in parts of Ireland. They add little to homour and are the lowest form of wit.
The claim all Islam is bad is akin to how the Williamites viewed all Catholics after the Jacobite Wars.
Will we see a Penal Times for the Moslem Faith?