Live and Let…

5 May

Two gunmen were killed this week in Texas after opening fire on a security officer outside a contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet of Islam.

The event featured speeches by American Freedom Defense Initiative president Pamela Geller, who explained before the event that she planned the contest to make a stand for free speech in response to outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad. And she said in a statement, that the shooting showed how “needed our event really was.”

So is free speech needed so that we can piss off people about their religious believes, get a security guard almost killed and then enjoy the gunning down of the two nut-bags who responded to this taunting? Because you can call it free speech if you want but that’s exactly what many of my former high school students would call their common everyday harassment and bullying of other classmates, in their efforts to avoid reprimand or punishment.

Do we really need to taunt ISIS (who soon took credit for the shootings) and 1.5 billion other Muslims around the world who believe in Islam, by making fun of Muhammad? Yes, I know they have a cadre of terrorists within their midst, who often act violently and irrationally at the drop of a crayon, but does that make 1.5 billion people wrong about their beliefs or targets for mockery?

At school, those bullies would always like to target other kids who they knew could easily be “set off” just with a little push, then they would stand back and laugh and sneer with an air of superiority about them. Of course, all any of those targeted kids would have to do then is mention one of those bully’s mothers and then the bullies would explode in a mad and angry frenzy like a bunch of whirling dervishes on speed!

Everyone and every belief system, has their frailties…don’t they?

So why can’t we just live… and let live? And use our freedoms to do some good in this world, like draw cartoons of ourselves, hold them up to the mirror and see if we start laughing? If we don’t then it’s time to pull that plank out of our own eyes and stop worrying about the spec in everyone elses.

I know somebody else said that first but…who was it again?

9 Responses to “Live and Let…”

  1. marcosdepaiva May 5, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    No doubt the man in any part of the land, must learn to have freedom to express themselves does not mean confronting others, whether in relation to their religion, race, social, cultural or economic. Even each of life options should be considered regarding people. Freedom of expression means the knowledge open to all. No matter whether you are for or not Christianity, Muslim or any other religion. People are more important.

  2. womanseyeview May 6, 2015 at 4:23 am #

    Well said…

  3. makagutu May 6, 2015 at 5:39 am #

    I don’t think I agree with you. I don’t want anyone killed but it is overreacting to throw tantrums every time someone draws a cartoon of a prophet you have no idea how he looked. There are no pictures anywhere to reference. Any cartoon would work. It is childish for the Mo fanatics to threaten us with bombings all the time.

    And the moment we start to censor ourselves, you will not know the extent the opposition will take it to.

    So you are allowed to disagree with her methods but not her right to do it.

  4. drshyamalavatsa May 6, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    Yes, Matthew 7:3 in the Bible, and he’s right…
    I think this contest wasn’t the way to demonstrate freedom of speech to people who don’t understand freedom the way we experience it. They’ll read the taunt, not the underlying message they are supposed to get. What is their idea of freedom? Being able to take over a tract of land, destroy museums, harm defenceless people? Indian history is filled with people who revelled in doing exactly this – so is the abandon and joy with which they wield power called freedom? Is that what it means to be ‘free’? In which case, how can Pamela Geller or Charlie Hebdo communicate the idea of freedom of speech to them? There’s a fundamental problem in communication then…

  5. onnovocks May 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    For once I disagree with you.

    Tolerating this and not making cartoons depicting Mohamed sends the message that extremists can demand whatever and get their demand met under threat of some terrorist act. I see this as a form of extortion, to me, freedom of speech/expression is secondary in this matter.

    It is also entirely possible that the intended target was Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who was also in attendance at the event, though not present at the time of the shooting. He is generally disliked by Muslims, and others, due to his anti Islam stance.

    Greetings, …O.

    • gpicone May 7, 2015 at 3:54 am #

      So when it comes to those who object to our right and freedom to draw cartoons of Mohammed, we must remain intolerant, else we lose that right? I do think the extremists would agree with you and not me on that point.

      • onnovocks May 8, 2015 at 10:50 am #

        No, I said it’s not OK to use violence to get your way, and yes, the extremist would agree with you and not me. As stated, freedom of speech/expression is secondary to me in this matter, it’s the extortion, and giving in to that extortion, that I object to.

  6. sheenmeem May 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    How can making fun of people’s religious beliefs be called freedom of expression?

  7. Snowbird of Paradise May 7, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

    I absolutely agree. It is one thing to inadvertently offend someone and quite a different thing when you do it deliberately. It’s like inviting someone over for dinner and feeding shellfish to them after you find out they are allergic.

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