I find it amazingly disturbing that we are giving up our fundamental right to question (free registration required), which is even more fundamental than our right to freedom of speech, in an any form of artistic expression. I understand that having someone denegrate your icons is hard to deal with, however letting someone condone violence for it only makes it easier to denegrate your icons again.
I don’t personally have anything against the muslim faith or any islamic people, in general or specifically. Every person I’ve met who claims that faith has been wholly great, but lets be quite clear, I have not met Osama. I believe that Osama should be brought to trial and if convicted should face justice. What that would be is beyond me, and depending on who you listen to, it’s everything from being raised as a Saint (by people who believe he did what was right, realize) to those who think his entire extended family should be wiped out as punishment for his crime.
Creative punishment is not something I want to get into, but I’m sure that if pressed there isn’t a one of us that couldn’t come up with some unique and inspired bit of twisted torture to exact our own revenge. I just don’t know that I want to know what’s lurking in everyone else’s head. My own are bad enough sometimes, and that’s just when I’m writing fiction.
My bigger concern is the path we are on, as a species, as a planet. We have once again come to the cross-roads where the health of the people is tested against the health of the institutions created by and for the people. When the institutions are unhealthy, fanatics and extremists start to weild power because their rhetoric and passionate insanity seem reasonable to the scared and desperate of the world.
In the west we have the posturing and evangelizing power of the mega-church, a very American product if ever there was one. “Super-size my faith!” is all the rage in Houston, as you can see any time you drive down the 16-lane wide Highway 59. After witnessing the people who go to mega-churches fight, swear, honk and complain while trying to get through the amazing traffic when church lets out, you find that ‘love thy neighbor’ is apparently not applicable when thy neighbor is in your way.
In the middle-east we have the other end of the spectrum with the voices of carnage and destruction not even having a home much less a place of worship, yet still spouting out their beliefs and driving their followers to darker and less-enlightened places. You have people in desperate situations, on all sides, who are scared, who are worried for their friends and family, and who feel that all is lost if they don’t do something, and these convincing fanatics give the desperate masses something to do.
Of course, so did Hitler.
Having pointed that out, do you see the path we’re on?