Cartoons of the Islamic founder and “prophet”, Mohammed, one of which depicted him with a bomb, were published in various European newspapers – and Muslims worldwide went wild with (albeit carefully choreographed) anger. Depicting Mohammed is prohibited by Islam. The cartoons were first published in a daily newspaper in Denmark. Later, other newspapers published them as well, insisting on the western tradition of freedom of the press.
In early February 2006, Syrian Muslim demonstrators set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus, damaged the Swedish embassy, and attempted to storm the French mission; and Muslim demonstrators set fire to the Danish consulate in Beirut. Police fired tear gas to disperse the thousands of angry Muslims, and 60 people were arrested. The Danish Foreign Ministry urged Danes to leave Lebanon and advised its citizens not to travel there.
In Indonesia, protesters in four cities demanded an apology from Denmark. In Iraq, Muslims called for attacks on Danish troops, and the seizing and killing of Danish hostages. In Tehran, Iran, the Austrian embassy was pelted with fire bombs and stones. In the Gaza strip, Palestinian demonstrators threw stones at the EU offices, and pulled down the EU flag. In Afghanistan, protests occurred in several places, with at least one person being killed when shooting erupted in one town. And in Britain, Muslims protesting in London held up placards which read: “Europe you will pay, your 9/11 will come”, and, “Butcher those who mock Islam.”
In late February, about 1000 demonstrators torched the Italian consulate in Benghazi, Libya, with police firing on the demonstrators, killing and injuring many. In Chaniot, Pakistan, police fired on a crowd trying to burn shops in protest. Hundreds blocked roads, burned tyres and pelted police with stones. Various protests across Pakistan left a number of people dead, as demonstrators targeted western businesses. A Pakistani Muslim religious leader announced a U.S. $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who depicted Mohammed.
These Islamic fanatics can dish it out, but they can’t take it. Ever quick to commit horrifying terror attacks against non-Muslims the world over, they demand that the rest of the world treats their violent, bloodthirsty founder, Mohammed, with “respect.” Mohammed may be the prophet of all Muslims worldwide, and they may respect him; but we have news for these Islamic mobsters – the rest of the world doesn’t revere him as a prophet. In fact, all peace-loving people do not revere him in any way at all. If Muslims want to revere this man, they are free to do so, but their arrogant assertion that the whole world must hold him in high esteem is absolutely ridiculous. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is reviled in Hollywood movies, His name is used as a curse-word by millions, He is rejected as the Son of God by Muslims and others – but Christians do not go on the rampage, burning and bombing and killing those who revile Him in this way. They know that such people will answer to God one day, who will pour out His eternal wrath upon them. Psalm 2 says that when even the kings of the earth and the rulers combine against the Lord and against His Christ, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure” (Psa. 2:4,5). Christians know that the Bible says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). They do not take up swords and guns and bombs, and kill and maim those who differ with them. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6); Mohammed was a man of war and violence. True Christians go out as sheep in the midst of wolves (Matt. 10:16); Muslims go out to burn and pillage and plunder.
The undeniable fact is that Islam, in the name of Mohammed, is engaged in terrorist atrocities around the world. Given this fact, then, a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb is very appropriate. Islam is a religion of swords, guns, and bombs. The Koran itself teaches that Muslims can rise up and kill “infidels” (non-Muslims). It has always been a bloodthirsty religion, and nothing has changed. Every day the newspapers provide details of the grim reality: Muslim suicide bombers, Muslim terrorist atrocities, Muslim riots, Muslim death threats.
And let’s never forget 9/11.
For the past few decades, vast numbers of Muslims have emigrated to European countries. In some of these countries, Islam is now the second religion after Roman Catholicism. And as their numbers have grown and their influence has increased, and as religious freedom is, on paper at least, guaranteed in much of Europe and the rest of the west (of course this is rapidly being eroded and ignored by European governments today), Muslims living in Europe and other western nations have become ever more aggressive, and are demanding “respect” for Islam. It is a deliberate agenda on the part of the Muslim world: to flood Europe with emigrants, the plan being to turn Europe into an Islamic continent. And so they take advantage of the laws concerning religious freedom in these countries.
“Europeans, and European governments, must show respect for Islam!” they scream. Respect? They want us to respect their religion? We may respect a person’s right to freedom of religion. This is one thing. Even this, however, should not be absolute: freedom of religion should only be granted to religions which do not advocate violence against others! This of course disqualifies Islam! What President Abraham Lincoln said concerning Roman Catholicism in general, and Jesuitism in particular, is equally applicable to Islam: “Is it not an act of folly to give absolute liberty of conscience to a set of men who are publicly sworn to cut our throats the very day they have their opportunity for doing it? Is it right to give the privilege of citizenship to men who are the sworn and public enemies of our constitution, our laws, our liberties, and our lives?” (50 Years in the “Church” of Rome, by Charles Chiniquy, pg.503. The Protestant Literature Depository, London, 1886).
It is one thing to respect a man’s right to freedom of religion, provided that religion is not a danger to society (Islam fails on this count). But it is quite another thing to respect the religion itself. We may respect a man’s right to believe as he pleases, but we cannot be bound to respect what he believes. Despite what the “politically correct” crowd would have the world believe, all religions are not equal. Even decent, law-abiding citizens cannot be expected to respect Islam, so bloodthirsty and degraded, let alone true Christians who know that outside of Christ there is no salvation, and that all the religions of the world are of the prince of darkness.
No one should be physically harmed because of his religion, and therefore we must condemn, in the strongest possible terms, any violence directed at the persons or properties of Muslims or any other religious group. We are to respect their persons and property. But respecting their religion, as if it is something worthy of being held in esteem – that is impossible.
And the sheer hypocrisy of these Islamic fanatics! Muslims shout and scream that Islam should be respected in western countries. But do Muslim countries respect Christianity, and Christians? They demand “tolerance” in non-Muslim countries – yet Islam is utterly intolerant of Christianity in almost all Muslim countries! They show absolutely no respect for, or tolerance of, professing Christians living in Muslim-dominated countries! They grant them few, if any, “rights”! In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and various other Muslim countries, professing Christians are forbidden from evangelising publicly – a privilege granted to Muslims in a number of western countries; and they are persecuted in all kinds of shocking ways. Their church buildings are attacked and burnt to the ground, their women are raped, their men are murdered in hideous ways. It is happening every week, all over the Muslim world. “Respect” and “tolerance”? Islam doesn’t know the meaning of the words. It is a religion that has been spread by the point of the sword ever since its foundation, utterly intolerant of all others: intolerant of life, property, or religious freedom. And yet these are the very things it demands in all other countries – and its fanatical followers riot and rampage when they don’t get their way. Hypocrites!
Muslims express all this outrage over a few cartoons. But where was their outrage when Muslim terrorists flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City? There was none. In fact, they rejoiced the world over, dancing in the streets. Thousands died, but this did not fill Muslims with outrage. A few cartoons of their “prophet”, however, are enough to get them so mad that they go on the rampage. What kind of twisted, distorted “morality” is this?
In Indonesia recently, when Muslim madmen beheaded three teenaged girls on their way to school, there was no widespread Muslim outrage. No – they reserved their anger for those who drew a few cartoons of Mohammed.
When a children’s school in India was attacked by Muslims and six were killed, did we see Muslims taking to the streets, demanding the punishment of those responsible? Oh no. What about when rocket-propelled grenades were fired into schools in Israel? Such deaths do not move them to anger. Cartoons of their “prophet” do.
Perhaps, when Muslim killers murder tourists in Egypt, or when commuters are murdered on London subways, there is outrage then? No, not then either. Death and destruction do not make them angry. A cartoon of their bloodthirsty founder is what gets them in a froth.
The fear generated by this supposedly “spontaneous” outburst of Muslim anger worldwide (it was anything but) will in all likelihood cause governments to clamp down on religious freedom, and press freedom, even more than they have already. It has already happened in South Africa: a gag order was granted to a Muslim leadership group, preventing South African Sunday newspapers from publishing the cartoons. SA National Editors Forum chairman, Joe Thloloe, described the interdict as alarming and as amounting to pre-publication censorship.
I suspect that the European governments will eventually back down, and strike a blow against press freedom as well. And again it will be a case of: Muslims 1, European governments 0. Cowardly, spineless western leaders, instead of standing up to this Islamic terror campaign, will cave. And not only will western countries suffer the consequences of weak and timid leadership, but true Christians also will suffer, for restrictions will increasingly be imposed upon them as to what they will be permitted by law to preach and write and publish about other religions. In many places it is already a criminal offence to criticise other religions. Instead of imprisoning or even expelling these Islamic madmen from their shores, western leaders will use this latest Islamic outrage as an excuse to push through their own agenda regarding the further curtailing of religious freedom.
We do indeed live in dangerous times.
23 February 2006
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which can be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, tapes, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email mailing list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
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