Some Christians Object to Our Muhammad Cartoon Contest. Here’s Why They’re Wrong.
The peculiar calculus of what offends and doesn’t offend Muslims likewise must be considered. The Islamic jihad group in Nigeria, Boko Haram, has been targeting Christians for years, and has rendered 100,000 Christians homeless; where is the Muslim outrage against this – not just condemnation, but active efforts to teach against the understandings of Islamic texts and teachings that give rise to this persecution? Where are the Muslims actively protesting and working against their fellow Muslims who are committing murder and rape, and kidnapping non-Muslim women and pressing them into sex slavery, and explaining and justifying it all by referring to the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example? Why do these things not seem to offend them more than cartoons?
It is good to show civility and respect to all people as a matter of course. Our cartoon contest was an attempt to stand for the freedom of speech, which is the cornerstone and foundation of any free society, with the conviction that the principles of civility and respect are far less endangered by cartoonists than by those who demand civility and respect at the point of a gun. If we establish the principle that surrender is the best response to violent threats and intimidation, we will be ensuring that increasing numbers of Christians, and the Church in general, will face a future in which civility and respect will be stripped from them, and their subjugation obtained at knife- or gunpoint.
Our cartoon contest, then, as paradoxical as it may seem, was one small effort to try to ensure a future in which not just Muslims, but Christians and other non-Muslims also, can live with full dignity as human beings – not in fear, submission, and slavery. But the reaction to the contest has demonstrated that so many people are willing to submit, so eager to give the bully what he wants, so comfortable in slavery, that while the gentlemanly Franklin Graham may not live to experience it himself, his Christian descendants are likely to find living as Christians a great deal more uncomfortable, and difficult, and even life-threatening than he ever has.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His next book, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS, will be available August 17. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.