It seems that two gunmen were killed this past Sunday outside a Draw Muhammad event in Garland Texas. Apparently they pulled up and opened fire, wounding one security guard, before being killed by other security guards. Already I’ve heard comments ranging from those criticizing Islam in general to those saying that the people holding the event were damned fools and deserved to get shot at.
I don’t know specifically where in their scriptures it says that it is a sin punishable by death to draw images of Muhammad, but I do know that they have gone after individuals for doing so. Therefore the people who held this event had to be aware that it would offend someone. I suppose that is why the event was so heavily guarded.
I also can’t know the reason they held this event; whether it was to thumb their noses at Muslims living in America or if it was some other reason. But again, they had to at least be faintly aware that they were going to piss a few people off by holding this event.
If you want my honest opinion I think it was a stupid idea to hold this event. What purpose could it serve other than to stir a hornet’s nest? But then again people do stupid shit all the time, so what else is new? But here is where it gets tricky.
Like it or not this country has a little thing called the First Amendment which guarantees our freedom of speech. People are free to say whatever they want, and produce artwork that others may find offensive. It does not protect your right to not be offended. People are going to say and do things that offend you and there is nothing you can do about it other than suck it up and go on with your life.
People say we need to be more tolerant of Muslims living in America and try not to offend them. Is that so? Do they show us the same tolerance for our beliefs? Sure there are moderates who do, but then again there are moderate Christians who show tolerance for those who practice Islam as well. It is the extremists who always make the news.
People tell us that we should not hold events like the one in Garland which offends Muslims. Is that so? A friend of mine brought up a good point on Facebook. He said that if someone were to tell the LBGT crowd that they needed to be mindful of their actions so as not to offend radical Christians society would tell them to go to hell. My friend was a bit more blunt, but you get the picture.
You see tolerance works both ways. If you expect someone to tolerate what you say and do, then you need to tolerate them for their differences of opinions and beliefs. If you don’t want someone forcing their beliefs on you then you should not try to force your beliefs upon them. It’s that simple.
Yet Muslims don’t see it that way. They believe in “It’s my way or the highway”, or more realistically, “It’s our way or we kill you.” That is not tolerance, that is conquest.
I hear a lot of people say that the Muslims have every right to hate the rest of the world because of the Crusades. They say that Christians went in and slaughtered Muslims by the droves and that is why they hate the rest of the world. That is a one sided view that people use to force tolerance of their beliefs upon us and I can’t abide it.
The truth is that Islam has always been a religion of conquest. Study your history regarding the Ottoman Empire if you don’t believe me. At the height of their power the Ottomans had conquered much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, and Africa. Once conquered the people were ruled under the context of orthodox Islamic practice…or as we know it today Sharia Law.
As long as there has been more than one religious belief system in the world people have been killing each other over their version of the truth. Neither the Christians nor the Muslims can claim to have the moral high ground in that. The Bible is full of wars where the Israelites went to war with neighboring countries to fight against the unbelievers. Is that any different from what the Muslims now believe; convert or be conquered?
Make no mistake, I’m not justifying their actions, I’m just trying to show you that there is/was a whole lot of intolerance from both sides. It seems that whenever there are conflicting beliefs regarding who is God, there will be those who are willing to go to war to forward their beliefs upon others. That is all I’m saying.
The point I’m trying to make in all this is that this is America. Like it or not we have the First Amendment which guarantees us freedom of speech. If you don’t like what someone else says, or the images they draw, then don’t look or listen. But you cannot tell them to stop, and you certainly can’t open fire upon them.
Sure, you can protest, as that is also a right protected by the First Amendment. But you can’t show up to an event you disagree with and begin blasting away at the participants. That goes equally for Christians who oppose abortion…you can protest all you want but the minute you start blowing up abortion clinics or shooting doctors who perform abortions you have crossed the line.
To those Muslims living in America I have but one thing to say to you. You need to lighten up a little bit. Whatever your reasons may have been you came to our country, we didn’t force you, or hold you in bondage. Therefore if you want to live here, then you abide by our laws and respect our freedoms. Otherwise you can pack your bags and go back to where it is you came from. And you can take your violence and your rhetoric with you. You didn’t help us build this country into what it is today, and your presence here is not needed for us to survive. So either abide by our laws and customs or take a hike.
After all, you don’t see Christians beheading Buddhists because they don’t believe in God. You don’t see gunmen showing up to art galleries that display artwork which defiles the image of Jesus do you?
That is our freedom, to do and say whatever we wish and not have to worry about coming under attack for it. We may have to verbally defend ourselves, but we are free from physical violence because of what we do and say. And this goes equally to those atheists who get all up in arms about prayer in schools. Who are we hurting if our children offer prayers in school? We are not talking to you when we pray, we are talking to our God. If you don’t believe in Him fine, don’t listen. But freedom of speech means exactly what it says, the right to say whatever we want…including prayers.
There is a saying that’s been around a long time which says something like, “I may not like what you do or say but I will defend to the death your right to do or say it.” That is tolerance in a nutshell. No one has to like what a person says or does, but they accept that everyone has their own beliefs and opinions. As my dad was so fond of saying, “Just like opinions, everyone has an asshole. And they both stink.”
Like I said, tolerance works both ways. If you want us to tolerate you then show us a little tolerance too. If you can’t do that then you don’t belong in this country and you can go back to your deserts and your oil and pound sand.
I’d prefer you take the second option, but that is entirely up to you.