Originally Posted by el güero
I don't understand what is so strange about the protests being organized. If you go to a public demonstration against or in defence of anything, it is probably organized, and the cartoon protests make no exception.
I don't have a problem with public demonstrations.
In Brussels, they held a peaceful demonstration. It was an unannounced one (normally, you have to get permission of the city...certainly in the capital city of Europe) but there were no problems at all.
In fact, I feel that many people joining the demonstration are just trying to get more respect and more understanding for their religion in the Western societies. Surely, that respect and understanding has deteriorated since 9/11. I, for one, think that Islam as a religion does deserve more respect and it should be made more clear that the extremists we see (suicide bombers for example) are not a fair representation of that religion. In the so-called Western societies, people have a vision of Islam that is too narrow and I don't really understand why the moderate voice of Islam is so quiet these days (maybe I have been listening in the wrong places).
Here, where I live, I feel that many young Muslims in particular feel that they are being more targetted after 9/11.
On the one hand, the extreme right parties (such as Vlaams Belang in my country) use them in their :retard: political campaigns as an easy target, a scapegoat for many problems we have. It's easy to do and it's human nature to want to blame others because that sure feels better than looking at yourself and putting at least part of the blame of the problems with yourself.
So, I feel that the frustration is justified and therefor, I don't mind them demonstrating peacefully.
On the other hand, more and more, we hear the voice of extremism in Islam as well and it's very difficult for outsiders to talk to them because they seem to be easily offended by anything a non-Muslim says. Any sort of open communication is next to impossible. How can we understand them better if they're not willing to communicate in an open way?
So, more and more, we see a clash of extreme viewpoints and the only effect that has is a widening of the gap between us.
We need to hear the moderate voice louder on each side of that fence.
I'm not a religious person, but I do feel that Christianity and Islam have more in common than they think so why can't people focus more on what we share instead of what divides us?
That's perhaps a naive viewpoint to take but I feel that there are a lot of people on either side who have a very political agenda and who are accentuating the differences on purpose instead of trying to build a bridge and I have the impression that this is the case with this current situation.
Sure, many people demonstrating are genuinely voicing their frustration because they would like more respect perhaps and there's nothing wrong with that but I have the impression that certain groups behind all this orchestrated it to feed on the differences and to feed their own political agenda.
Following the link from Socket. It sure is weird that those cartoons did not cause any uproar when it was published in an Egyptian newspaper in october 2005 but when a Danish newspaper publishes them, we see angry reactions that you can not portray the profet like that because it's an insult.
Sorry but I don't understand that and it would sure help to get an explanation from somebody why the reactions to the publication of the cartoons in these two newspapers were so different.