a difference of opinion

A: The mad men at Charlie Hebdo have decided that they wont publish any cartoons about the Prophet, may peace be upon him. I am glad they have realised their mistake and learnt their lesson. We do not need anymore white people creating trouble for us.

S: Before you celebrate this, let me tell you that they haven’t learnt any “lesson”. They are stopping because they think they have done what they set out to do… assert their right to criticise any opinion, or belief, no matter how emotionally and deeply held. They are moving on. I suggest we as Muslims do too and stop being so offended all the time.

A: Freedom of speech does not mean that someone can hurt another’s feelings. It was wrong what they did, and so is their opinion.

S: Actually, freedom of speech does allow you to hurt feelings. One can hold or publish a “wrong” opinion, and you can’t do anything about it. When you resist with force and kill people is you who is being intolerant and opposing freedom of speech.

A: There is a difference between types of speech. A Muslim’s emotional connection to faith is often stronger than physical connections. Hurt is hurt… whether emotional or physical.

S: Yes, pain can be emotional, but we Muslims take it much too far. We burn and kill people for “blasphemy” and persecute minorities on a delay basis. Then we get all emo when someone draws a cartoon a thousand miles away. Its like faith grants one supernatural rights over other mortals. Imagine if everyone started taking things so personally. You think an Ahmadi enjoys hearing that he deserves to die for his belief? In your hurty-feeling world Hafiz Saeed would give one anti-India speech and India would declare war because its feelings were hurt.

A: You are comparing apples and oranges.

S: Yes I am Ameen, its all fruit okay! All opinions matter, and all beliefs matter- not just religious ones.