The Islamic world, which feels free to disparage other religions, and whose holist book denigrates Jews as apes, demands no criticism of its prophet by nonbelievers. This profoundly selfish and unfair standard should not be tolerated by the rest of the world. Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and all the other major faiths survive criticism from nonbelievers. It is now time for Islam to mature, and for Muslims worldwide to announce that their faith is strong enough to withstand criticism. It is a sign of weak faith to attack critics.Death threats are commonplace. But a recent phenomenon has emerged: Western institutions (government, judiciary, publishers, universities) just seem to accept and impose Sharia-like norms to silence those who criticize Islam. It is like saying: "don't kill us; we will shut them up for you." It is like a civilizational self-censorship.
Who does not remember the Danish Cartoons? Muslims want to kill the cartonist Kurt Westergaard. The latest happened Police in Denmark shot a Somali man attempting to assassinate Danish cartoonist , the man whose 12 cartoons in Jyllands-Posten set off worldwide unrest, including fatal riots in 2005. The 27 year old Somalian, armed with an axe, broke through a window, and was was shot in the leg, after police answered an alarm call from Westergaard's home in Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city. The cartoonist's grand daughter was present in the house, in a "safe room" that had been constructed because of the vicious attacks threatened against the brave cartoonist.
Another point related to "silencing those who criticize Islam, Mohammed or Sharia" is that blasphemy laws are sometimes used in order to settle grudges, persecute minorities and fan religious extremism (e.g., in Pakistan).
- From BBC: Muslim row cartoon timeline.
- France. Nov/2-11: The offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris have been destroyed in a petrol bomb attack. The attack followed after the magazine announced an issue in which the "guest editor" was the prophet Mohammed (BBC).
- West Bank, Dec/2010: 26-year-old blogger, Walid Husayin — who had called the Muslim God a “primitive Bedouin” and Islam a religion of “irrationality and ignorance” — was forced to apologize in a letter to his family and to all Palestinians after being arrested by Palestinian military police on Oct. 31. His comments were deemed offensive to Islam. Defaming Islam is a crime in the West Bank (YahooNews).
- Pakistan, Dec/2010: Pakistani authorities have arrested a doctor on suspicion of violating the country’s contentious blasphemy law by throwing away a business card of a man who shared the name of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, police said Sunday (SFC). (Pakistani Blasphemy Law)
- Pakistan, Nov/2010: Bibi — a Christian mother of five —was sentenced to death by a municipal court for blasphemy against Islam. She insists she was falsely accused over a personal dispute. Ms. Bibi has been in jail for more than a year (Telegraph). (Pakistani Blasphemy Law)
- Sweden Dec 2010: Two explosions rocked the downtown shopping district in Stockholm this evening as holiday shoppers crowded the chainstore-clogged area around Drottninggatan. In a letter and audiotape, the bomber wrote that: "Our actions speak for themselves. As long as you don't stop your war against Islam, and you degrade the Prophet, and your support for that stupid pig [cartoonist Lars] Vilks." (Reason)
- Sweden Oct 2010: The Norwegian historian and journalist Halvor Tjønn has written a biography of the founder of Islam, Muhammed. The book was announced by the Oslo publisher Kagge in last year’s fall catalog. But now the publisher has suddenly pulled out — and refuses to provide any explanation of why it no longer wishes to publish the book (PJM, Aftenposten).
- US Sep/2010: Molly Norris goes hiding. She was a staff cartoonist for the Seattle Weekly. Last spring, in response to Islamist threats against Trey Parker and Matt Stone's lampooning the prohibition against portraying Mohammed on "South Park," Molly Norris published a cartoon proposing an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." The cartoon didn't actually portrayed Mohammed. American-Jihadi cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the same who triggered both the attempted Detroit airliner attack and the Fort Hood massacre, issued a fatwa calling for her assassination. Norris consulted with the FBI, who recommended that she go underground and change her name. Apparently the Feds failed to make any serious offer of protection (WSJ, Global Jihad).
- USA Sep/2009: Professor Jytte Klausen wrote a book called "The cartoons that shook the world" to be published by Yale University Press (YUP). In an act of self-censorship YUP removed the cartoons and any other portrait of Mohammed fearing the images would cause another outbreak of violence. The book was eventually published and can be found on Amazon with customer tags "cowardly", "censored" and "Yale Shame" (FOX, IH)
- Australia Sep/2010: An Australian Iman, Feiz Muhammad, has issued a fatwa (an Islamic religious decree) calling for the beheading of Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician. Mr Wilders is an outspoken critic of Islam and leader of the Dutch PVV Party. Imam Feiz Muhammad is an Australian Muslim preacher, head of the Global Islamic Youth Centre in Liverpool, a suburb of Sydney (BIG PEACE).
- Russia Nov/2009: A militant Islamist group based in Russia has admitted that they are responsible for the killing of 35 years old Orthodox priest Daniil Sysoyev. He was killed in his own church in Moscow by masked gunmen. The website warned that “those in the future who defame Islam and insult the religion of Allah will suffer the fate as Sysoyev.” Father Sysoyev contacted Russian security services several times over the threats, but in vain (AFP).