In short, We Muslims cannot and don’t understand why questioning the holocaust or castigating Israeli crimes is anti-Semitism whereas mocking the Prophet of Islam is freedom of speech.

A voice of reason from the Pope

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

On Thursday, 15 January, the Associated Press quoted Pope Francis as saying that there are limits to freedom of expression, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith.

Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good.

However, the Pope said there were limits to freedom of speech.

By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane. “If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

The Pope’s words show that Muslims are not being unreasonable when they demand respect for their religious symbols, especially the Prophet of Islam, Muhammed (May peace and blessing be upon him).

As an American-educated journalist who is thoroughly versed in western liberal heritage, from Milton’s Areopagitica to the American First Amendment, I really fail to understand why some circles in the West are hell-bent on embracing the misleading notion that insulting Islam (but not Talmudic Judaism for example) is an indispensable aspect of freedom of speech. (I mentioned Talmudic or Orthodox Judaism because it doesn’t even ascribe mere humanity to non-Jews).

In Matthew 5:29, it is related that “if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee.” I know there is a strong metaphorical dimension in this verse. However, we all know that allegories do communicate certain messages that we are called upon to implement or live by in our life.

It is therefore hard to buy the concept that provoking people by offending their religious sensibilities is the right way to achieve peace and human fraternity.

On the contrary, provocation breeds alienation and alienation produces conflict…and conflicts do kill.

Western intellectuals, especially those exercising some rectitude, don’t lack the brain power to understand these timeless truths.

But, unfortunately, many in the West are guided not by moral honesty or even reason in their approach to Islam and Muslims. Their guiding motive is rather malice and ill-will. I also suspect that the freedom-of-speech they invoke is only a mendacious mantra used to mask their real morbid intentions.

No one is demanding to limit freedom of expression anywhere. In fact, no people under the sun are suffering the disastrous effects of the absence of human rights and civil liberties more than Muslims. In some parts of the Muslim world, such as Egypt and Syria, practicing one’s right to freedom of expression could end up with receiving the death penalty by a judge that is always at the tyrant’s beck and call.

Unfortunately, this happens, to a large extent, thanks to a malicious western interference in the Muslim world.

Muslims are not going to apologize for defending their faith and Prophet. Yes, it is wrong to have protests marred with violence and bloodshed. But we will continue to insist on mutual respect. Mutual respect is the simple yet magical tool to achieve peace amongst individuals, nations and cultures.

Finally, I don’t really believe that freedom of speech is the real issue at hand. Indeed, if it were, magazines like Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t have fired cartoonists depicting the holocaust and other “taboos” pertaining to Jews.

In short, We Muslims cannot and don’t understand why questioning the holocaust or castigating Israeli crimes is anti-Semitism whereas mocking the Prophet of Islam is freedom of speech.

We also don’t understand why writers and journalists critical of Israel’s genocidal criminality are hounded and promptly fired from their jobs whereas notorious haters of Islam, such as Steve Emerson, can make disparaging lies about Muslims without being even rebuked.

This is a plain abuse of the very concept of freedom of speech, which should be rectified.

I do believe that offending religious symbols should be regarded as acts of terror. Yes, people don’t get killed in the act itself. However, offending the religious sensibilities of 1.6 billion people can and often does lead to people getting killed.

To conclude, I urge western intellectuals, including media circles, to strike a balance between freedom of speech and expression on the one hand and sensitivity to offending people’s faiths and religious symbols.

This is not asking for the impossible. All you have to do is to exercise a modicum of respect for others. In the final analysis, just as you do have the right to freedom of speech and expression, others do have an equal right not to be offended.


The zionists don’t see the Pope’s statement the same way as we do …

click on link to see their report.

Did the Pope Justify the Charlie Hebdo Massacre?



  1. ladybat2 said,

    January 17, 2015 at 19:18

    An excellently written article here! I second it with a two thumbs up! I urge all to share it as I intend to do.

  2. joekano76 said,

    January 17, 2015 at 23:29

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  3. Gunabut said,

    January 18, 2015 at 08:17

    While I respect your freedom to have faith in some religious order, I have only contempt for all religion and I mock them all. You claim that drawing pictures of your ‘prophet’ is wrong, that is great, do not draw pictures.
    You ask in your article what the differemce is between questioning the holocaust and mocking islam, So I ask you. Is it ok to demand that islam is not mocked yet questions cconcerning the holocaust should be aired?
    You can’t have it both ways, you either allow them or ban them.

    You may think it is ok to demand that religion is not mocked, but at what point does a ‘non believer’ become someone who is mocking the religion just because he denounces it.

    I HATE all religion with a passion and if your faith is strong then my mocking of your religion sshould be inconsequential. Only people whose faith is weak will take offence, and that my friend is the real fear of the corrupt peoples that ‘run’ these religions

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