Sunday, December 02, 2007

Islam - the most easily offended religion?

"...Then one of my favourite students - a lovely, charming girl with a great sense of humour - said in a low, warning voice: “Teacher, we can’t joke about the Prophet Mohammed.”

This was the experience of Blake Evans-Pritchard in Khartoum. Not of Gillian Gibbons, who is now in a Sudanese jail awaiting deportation. Her students didn't warn her that Islam is easily offended, and now hundreds of Sudanese Muslims demand that she be executed for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammed, the name of one of the kids in her class.

Are other religions as easily offended as Islam? I'm sure that every religion, and every nationality, has its soft spots. I assume that if a teacher in a Catholic school would name a teddy bear "Satan" than the parents of the children would get quite emotional. I know that anything slightly reminiscent of antisemitic terminology immediately raises a very big red flag for almost every Israeli Jew. But still, such mass demonstrations and calls for execution over a mere misunderstanding? I get the feeling that Islam is a very touchy and nervous religion.

1 comment:

Hani Obaid said...

It's less an indication of the religion itself than its current state in the world. For many, the word muslim is forever associated with the word terrorist.

When Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed a building killing a 150+ people, no one emphasized they were Christians. In the same sense, no one emphasises most serial killers in America are also Christian White males. This is because this minority is not really representative of White Christian males as a whole.

Although some justifie cases like this by saying it's not the religion that decrees this, but it's followers misinterpretting it. I don't subscribe to such dellusions.

The actions of the followers of a religion define it. So, if you judge each religion based on the actions of a small group of its followers then they are all murderers.