Don’t lie to yourself

There is a belief among a large number of Muslim organizations that they are very successful and are on the path to change the world. From my perspective of having been in the area of global leadership development and my experience of working with major name international corporate leadership universities, I thought it would be a good idea to share a checklist that the top leadership of Muslim organizations can use to check how their perception syncs with reality. 

Leadership is like physics – it operates on the basis of universal laws which work for everyone irrespective of their religious affiliation. Like gravity it operates on everyone who is in free fall within its range. The difference between free fall and flight is in the landing. So it is good to see if you are flying or falling, before you meet Mother Earth.

I want to begin with a quote from Paulo Coelho which says it all:

If you want to be successful you must respect one rule: Never lie to yourself.


Keeping that in mind always let’s go forward:

1. What’s the vision of your organization?

2. What’s the strategy to achieve the vision?

3. What’s the proof of concept that the strategy works?

4. What does your experience since inception show? Give data, not opinion.

5. What are the qualifications of your role holders?

6. How do they compare with role holders in benchmark organizations?

7. Who do you benchmark against and why?

8. What are your organizational values?

9. What are the operative definitions of these values?

10. What are the metrics to show that your values are operating and at what efficiency?

11. What happens to those role holders who don’t practice those values?

Shortest way to extinction: Have values without metrics. 
You’ll even feel noble as you expire.


12. How do you place yourself in terms of your influence nationally and globally? Give evidence, not opinion.

13. Which national and international bodies seek your opinion or consult with you about Muslim matters? Give names and dates.

14. Do you have a Think Tank? Who are its members and what are their qualifications?

15. Who is your media representative and what’re his/her qualifications?

16. What’s the role of women in your organization?

17. How many women are members of your national and regional management?

18. What are their roles and qualifications?

19. Can a woman become the head of your organization? If not, why not?

20. What is your relationship on a daily basis (not token participation in public meetings) with other Muslim organizations, especially those who differ from you in dogma?

21. What are your metrics to support your claim?

22. What differentiates your organization from the others?

23. What is your strategy with regards to collaboration with other Muslims Organizations?Differentiate between actual grass root implementation and tokenism.



24. What percentage of your activities translate to your goal? What are the metrics?  

25. How do you know that the organization is not in an activity trap? What is the year wise data?

Bad decisions made with good intentions are still bad decisions.

James C. Collins, Good to Great:

All hands on deck – it’s time to stand together

There is a tendency in reporting and speaking about things like the deplorable so-called cartoons of Charile Hebdo and other similar things and say that they are offensive to a certain group of people. I consider this an insult to my humanity and my sensibilities as a civilised, global citizen. Thankfully there are others who agree and I believe it is time for us all to raise our voices and say, ‘Violence to one is violence to all. Insult to one is insult to all. Injustice to one is injustice to all.’

This is what a dear Hindu friend wrote to me about this affair:

It’s pathetic that they were so impoverished that they had to find sources of wit through perverted thoughts on people’s religious beliefs. 
Vinasha kaale vipareetha buddhi…
Holocaust denial for example is said to be hurtful to Jews. I ask you why it is not supposed to be hurtful to Christians (the Nazis were Christians after all), Muslims (the Ottomans helped the Jews), Hindus, Sikhs and others? Why is it not hurtful and offensive to all thinking people, no matter what their religion of lack of it? The Holocaust (Jewish only in name) was the holocaust of humanity. It was pure evil and Satanic. It was an affront and insult to all human beings irrespective of their religion. 

It is amazing that notwithstanding all the European noise against it, it was Europeans who did it and allowed it to happen. Not Palestinians, Arabs, Indians, Eskimos or Aboriginal Australians – Europeans who like to trumpet about their culture, civilisation and commitment to freedom and human rights committed the Holocaust.  So it is a disservice to us all as human beings as well as to the Jews, to claim that to deny the Holocaust is hurtful only to Jews. It is only when we take such stands based on principle that we can hope to end oppression. Shit stinks equally for all people.

Take the case of a lesbian feminist woman in the US who designed toilet seats with Hindu gods and goddesses on them. 

Why would any normal human being want to do such a thing? And is this to be considered freedom of expression and are we supposed to applaud her creativity? Are we supposed to say, ‘This is hurtful to Hindus.’ I say as a practicing Muslim that I find this extremely offensive, abhorrent and disgusting. This is tantamount to lighting a camp fire in a gasoline station and can’t be classified as freedom of any kind. The law of the land must stop such things without question. 

It is time to name the beast.

All violence of any kind must be offensive to all people and we must all stand against it together. Violence is not only physical. It is mental, psychological, moral and anything that in any way hurts others. Only when we announce zero tolerance for violence of all kinds, can we hope to end violence. 

Today we have created an insane society where someone does something deliberately to offend others. Then some insane characters kill them in the name of this or that religion or ideology. Then there is a backlash against some more innocent people in ‘retaliation’ for what the madcaps did. How can I retaliate against someone for something that another who has no connection with him does? But in an insane society who is to ask these questions? 

That is why I believe that all of us; moral, ethical, compassionate and sensible people must stand together in opposition to all oppression, no matter who does it.

The proverb: The pot can only spill out what it contains – was never more true than in the Charlie Hebdo affair. And the subsequent wave of sympathy for the dead – highly applaudable and understandable – expressed by even more proliferating of offensive material – highly condemnable and impossible to understand indicates mental, ethical and value paralysis on the part of our society. If two wrongs don’t make a right – and I don’t believe they do – then the murder of people can’t or shouldn’t be countered by publishing once again offensive material on a larger than ever scale. The message is clear. Atheists in Europe have the right to abuse people of faith and what they have faith in while the latter have no right even to be offended. So there. 

What is amazing is why nobody wants to name the beast.

This is what I wrote a few days after that tragic incident in Paris.
And something I wrote in 2012 when similar things were done elsewhere in Europe:
I was interviewed on Cii about the cartoon affair and here’s the podcast link to that.
What should be our response to this vomit of filth and pornography in the name of freedom? The response not just of Muslims but of all normal, civilised people who must necessarily be offended by this garbage – the cartoons? Well we simply don’t recognize them. They are some ridiculous and frankly repulsive diagrams drawn by people with sick minds which are spilling out what their minds contain. We laugh at them. We recognize the fact that they are so starved for real data that they have to resort to fabricating lies and indulging in sick fantasy to express their hatred. The diagrams are not a symbol of freedom but of slavery to hatred and lies. How horrible to have a heart so full of venom for someone you didn’t know, who did you no harm, who you have no connection with; yet you are able to hate him and spend your life deliberately provoking, those who love him by fabricating lies against him. We feel sorry for them. We don’t consider them worthy of responding to. What is there to respond? One responds to a counter argument, to a question, to something of a scholarly nature. How can one respond to abuse based on the hallucinations of a sick mind? To respond would be highly ridiculous. So no response is necessary.
There is a strong push in Europe towards atheism which seeks to oppress all religions. In the name of freedom of expression atheists are seeking to oppress all religions by maligning and abusing all that they hold dear and sacred. Religious symbols and religious clothing are banned. Women are oppressed by forcing them to take off their clothes while talking about women’s rights. Yet women in France don’t have the rights that any woman anywhere should, to dress the way she wants to. It is not a case of freedom of expression but of oppression of free people.
See what Stephen Glover of the Daily Mail said about Charlie Hebdo in the article published on January 15, 2015:
I quote from this article: What is perhaps less well-known is that Charlie Hebdo is at least as hostile — if not even more so — towards Christianity. The last Pope, Benedict XVI, was regularly lampooned. One cover showed him holding a condom above his head, and intoning the words from the Eucharist, ‘This is my body’.
A recent cartoon showed the Virgin Mary (especially venerated in the Roman Catholic world) giving birth to Christ. More shocking still, another recent cover story about gay marriage was illustrated with a cartoon of a naked Jesus sodomising a bearded God while, in turn, being sodomised by a representation of the Holy Ghost. Like most of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, it’s not even clever.
I am sorry to have to describe these obscenities in such minute detail, but there is no other way of conveying just how unbelievably awful these cartoons are. By the way, it’s worth pointing out that sodomy and bare bottoms are a constant obsession in many of them.
Whether in the case of Islam or Christianity — and the magazine sometimes also extends its animus towards the Jewish faith — the purpose is to shock and dishearten those of religious persuasion. There is no pity or respect or kindness. Charlie Hebdo hates all religion, and mocks all its adherents.
I would like someone to explain to me how this is freedom of expression and if so why it is allowed when it is not allowed for a person to shout, ‘FIRE!’ is a dark cinema hall in the name of freedom of expression. Why is it allowed to draw pictures of the holy icons of Christianity in sick pornographic positions when it is not allowed to do that with politicians in France? 

Why is it that Charlie Hebdo was allowed to draw this picture with the tagline: The Qur’an is shit because it doesn’t stop bullets:

But when a 17 year old boy drew this cartoon in response to that which simply substitutes the name Charlie Hebdo in the place of the Qur’an – he was arrested by French police. 

http://www.loonwatch.com/2015/01/france-begins-jailing-people-for-ironic-comments/

So what freedom and for whom? Why civil society and the church are silent – with the single exception of the Pope – is anyone’s guess. Why they don’t ask the real question – How is it that atheists are allowed to oppress everyone else while even to speak against them is a crime? What freedom is that?
Freedom of expression is not freedom to abuse, malign, blaspheme, hurt, injure, kill or destroy other’s peace of mind. That is my position.

As I wrote this one of our greatest cartoonists R. K. Laxman died. He is famous for the creation of his central character – The Common Man – representing the Indian on the street. His style  was incisive, sparing no one humour and yet he always drew with compassion and respect. 

Much for Europe and the ilk of Charlie Hebdo to learn. So much for the much trumpeted European civilization. That’s why when Gandhiji was asked by a reporter, this is what he said:

Reporter: Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western Civilization?
Mr. Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea!

Do spread the word for the need for civility, good manners, mutual respect and to differentiate between critique which is always welcome and insulting which is always unwelcome. The two are not the same so let us stop being hypocritical and say it like it is – Charlie Hebdo type of insulting cartoons are offensive, abhorrent and most unwelcome.

The tragic and the heroic

The icons of heroism are always the weak who have the courage to stand up against the oppression of the powerful. There’s nobody who exemplifies that more than the Palestinian Muslim child with a rock facing a Zionist battle tank.

The nightmare of the Zionist soldier is the Palestinian child with a rock his hand. That’s why he hides behind armour and heavy weapons. While the child laughs in his face as he smells his fear and looks at him straight in the eye and throws his rock. He takes the Zionist bullet in his chest laughing in the face of cowardice. Not in his back running in fear. That’s heroic. Not tragic.

What’s tragic is the image of the rulers of countries which call themselves Muslim, cowering in terror behind the walls of their gilded cages, awaiting their turn. For as surely as the sun rises every day, their turn will also come.

Where are the Ayatollahs of Iran, the servants of the Haramain, the successor to the Throne of Pharoah, the builders of towers and malls, the sponsors of football? Where is the new self-declared Khalifa of the Muslims?

The death of a hero is a time for celebration for he underlines the indomitable human spirit which can’t be forced to bow before the tyrant. The hero dies so that humanity can live. The hero dies once, gloriously, happily, fulfilled  knowing that what he died for was worth every breath in his body. He leaves behind a legacy of courage and hope for all those who come after him, proving to them that it doesn’t matter if you live or die. What matters is how you live and how you die.

The coward however dies every day, breathing the stink of his own terror as he tries to hide behind every excuse that he can concoct. Excuses that don’t even convince him, let alone anyone else. His own heart mocks him and calls him a liar. And when he eventually leaves this world, as we all must, he leaves like all garbage. Noticed only because the air, freed from his stench, smells sweeter.

In the words Sultan Tipu Shaheed of Mysore, India; another great hero who died fighting British oppression, refusing to accept a gilded cage in exchange for his freedom ; “One day in the life of a tiger is better than a hundred years in the life of a jackal.”

There will always be tigers and there will always be jackals. We need to choose who we want to stand with.

We thank Allah that He chose the Muslims to be those heroes who will be remembered with honor because they stood up to tyranny. The light of their memory will illuminate the dark pathway of the struggle for freedom for generations unborn.

Allah honored us and we thank Him. And we ask Him to include all those who are with these heroes in spirit by their dua, when He counts them on the Day of Judgment.

We ask Allah to free the world from tyranny and from the burden of carrying tyrants on it’s back; a burden that it groans under and begs to be relieved from.

Let’s differentiate between the tragic and the heroic and not give in to sadness and despair. This is the time to rejoice that the heroes in Palestine have not allowed the flame of justice to be extinguished. It’s time to raise our voices in support of the heroic struggle of the people of Palestine and against the invaders and oppressors who’ve occupied their land and violated their homes.

And it’s time to raise our voices in dua, asking the One who knows to help them in their struggle and count us among those who stood for justice in whatever way we could.

If I were President of Egypt

If I were President of Egypt

 
 

This is a piece I wrote in April 2013

Having been to Egypt recently and watching recent developments I thought to myself, ‘What would I do if I were the President of Egypt?’ Sadly as I write this, there has been a coup in Egypt and the democratically elected government has been removed by the military. While the opposition is chortling about it they may like to recall the saying, ‘Throwing the baby out with the bath water.’ A democracy by definition is a government where civilian authority is supreme, not military. Soldiers who call the shots are like wolves shepherding sheep and the results are predictable. What the opposition needs to realise is that a faulty democracy is a million times preferable to a perfect military dictatorship and by sabotaging and not supporting a democratically elected government, no matter their weaknesses, they have opened the door to their own destruction and have written slavery for themselves. What they don’t realise is that by their actions all that they have done is to strengthen and legitimize anti-democracy forces. That dog always bites.

Very similar to our (Muslim) lack of foresight when the Ottoman Empire was dismembered and the Khilafa was abolished by the British-French combine. What those who gladly accepted little kingdoms for themselves failed (or refused) to recognize was that they were party to the death of the Institution of Khilafa, the Khilafatul Muslimeen. Even if one of them had declared himself Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen instead of King; King Abdul Aziz ibn Al Saud was clearly the best candidate for this as he was the ruler of Hijaz with the Haramain Shareefain in it; the Institution of Khilafa which had come down through the centuries would still have been alive. Great efforts were made in India led by Mohnammed Ali Jauhar, Sayyid Sulaiman Nadwi and others and supported by Mahatma Gandhi but to no avail. Self-interest dominated thinking and so Arab leaders accepted bits and pieces of the Ottoman Empire as their fiefdoms and the rest is history. Same logic to what the Opposition is doing in Egypt which shows that people who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it. The sheep who asks the wolf to help him against another sheep is bound to perish. Wolves eat sheep. Sheep can only forget or ignore that at their peril.

So what would I do if I were the president? Here are some thoughts.

The first thing that I would remind myself is that in politics facts mean nothing. Statistics less than nothing. Spectacle, impression, symbolism and communication mean everything. Symbolism, visibility and public eye are the platform on which politics runs.  In politics being truthful is less important than being believable. That is the basis of all mythology. Politics is at the root of mythology and most mythology arises from political realities.  Morsi’s dilemma proves that the economy supersedes ideology. Food before ideas. Hungry people are angry people, so feed them first. People who have nothing to lose are the most brave and reckless, so give them something to lose. Get people involved in development and they will see the benefit of government. Otherwise they will blame the same government no matter how unfair it seems. They may realise it is unfair but who else can they blame?

Nobody can cure Egypt’s economic problems in one year – except by magic. But I don’t think Egyptian magicians have it in them anymore. Maybe that is why the Pharaoh had so many of them in his time. The fact remains however that economic development must be seen to be happening. So Morsi needs (needed?) to concentrate on projects that will employ people. Large numbers of them. Infrastructure is a key area for this and Allah knows, Egypt needs it like a fish needs water. I was there in April and saw lots of men sitting in the tea shops. Very bad sign for the economy as well as for the government. They need to get those men off the streets. So employ them. There are any number of infrastructure companies in the world who will come with the money if you have the right scheme. That is what the government should do – create the schemes and invite investors.

Second major avenue of employment and high visibility is garbage collection – there are mountains waiting to be collected in the streets of Cairo. There are companies who collect garbage, recycle it, make compost and manure and fuel briquettes and generate electricity. All these are commercial activities and will employ people and clean the cities at the same time. High visibility and everyone will be positively affected.

Third is housing – not the fancy villas of Rehab but housing for the poor. Again a commercially viable alternative especially when combined with easy credit. Any number of ME countries will gladly fund something like that. Once again this will generate employment locally and solve a major problem.

Fourth is to encourage agriculture by handing out parcels of land to those who will farm them. Make a scheme where they will become the owners of the land if they can show that they can successfully farm it. Canada is a major success story in this respect. They did it by inviting Sikh farmers from Punjab. Egypt can do it with their own people. Seed and fertilizer companies will gladly partner with the government for this and so will various lending agencies.

Fifth is to concentrate on elementary and secondary schools – invite local companies to fund them and get philanthropic organizations like Qatar Foundation to help. In India, Bharati-Airtel has schools which have cumulatively more than 200,000 children. I am sure Egypt needs more than that but that alone is enough to create a buzz where it counts. Make funding of schools and housing a mandatory requirement for local and foreign companies operating in Egypt and give them tax breaks to do this. Get women involved in education and all developmental activities. They are more than 50% of the population with huge influence. No government can survive, much less sustain if it doesn’t engage its female population. So get women involved wherever they have the competence to contribute. In today’s world don’t underestimate the power of the woman in public. She will be there whether you like it or not. Your only choice is to decide if you want her with you or against you. So talk to them, involve them and leverage their presence for the good.

Market the handicrafts of Egypt. They make some really great stuff there but nobody knows about it. Having them sitting in Khan Al Khalili is not enough. They need to do exhibitions in the major cities of the West and take orders. Once again there are entrepreneurs who will do all this, provided the government provides a user friendly climate. The bureaucracy needs to go. So does the corruption.

Finally leverage tourism. Egypt has some unique monuments which like the Taj Mahal in India attract loads of foreign tourists. However Egyptian monuments are badly maintained (if at all), very difficult to get to because of extremely bad roads and riddled with touts and conmen. I was conned into sitting in a horse carriage to visit the pyramids and then the man demanded 500 Egyptian Pounds for the trip of a few hundred meters. I managed to escape from his clutches only by threatening violence. Then he followed me all the way as I walked bringing down his price until he begged me for 10 Egyptian Pounds – ‘only because you are my brother’. So clean up the act. Maintain the places, improve access and get rid of those who fleece tourists and give Egypt a bad name.

Then publicly invite the opposition to join the government and when they refuse, publicize that also. Let everyone know what you are doing, loudly and frequently. That way they can’t talk about non-inclusion. Keep the ideological agenda separate from the economic agenda. Sell the ideological agenda by communicating with people and giving them good information and allaying their fears. If not, the real and imaginary fears about the ideology will sabotage everything else. Ideology is a matter of belief; a matter of the heart. Hearts take time to change. If you link your success to that change, you will invariably fail. People must see the benefit of the ideology in action before they will believe that it is worth supporting and adopting. Talking about the ideology is pointless. Enforcing it is suicide.

Do all this very publicly so that people know what is going on. Remember that everyone has a stake in development and will support it. So involve them. Involvement means to delegate power, listen to their story, accept discord and learn to use it to build relationships. Involvement also means to accept that some things will need to be done in ways that are not necessarily what you would choose to do, but that is the real litmus test of delegation and empowerment; will you let them do it their way?

I hope lessons are learnt and democracy gets a genuine chance. Egypt is too important a country to be written off and forgotten. Or to allow once again to go back into dictatorship.

Freedom of Expression or Freedom to Blaspheme?


Freedom of expression must not be confused with freedom from the consequences of expression. Exercising freedom and abusing it are not the same. The latter forfeits the former. Just because we are free to express ourselves, it doesn’t free us from the responsibility for what we express. We are responsible for what we say and do and for the consequences thereof and so must consider carefully what we want to express. This is the basis of what we call civilized socially responsible behavior.
Once again we have an attack on the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) on whom it seems to be open season all the year round for people to take pot shots. And then cry foul when those who love him get upset. The rule seems to be, ‘I will say or do whatever I want but you must not get offended.’ Another rule, ‘Prove your maturity and culture by not being offended by insults.’
Seems strange indeed to us who are brought up in a culture where honor is not just important, it is everything. Respect for our signs and symbols is what our sense of honor is based on. And there is no symbol of our honor other than Allah Himself, that is more important than the Prophet (Peace be on him). So if someone insults him, it is very natural for a Muslim to feel sad and very mad. The claim of those who make these attacks is, ‘But we are not offended when someone blasphemes against Jesus or Moses. So how can you be offended when we insult Mohammed (Peace be on them all)?’ That is like saying, ‘I am not offended if you curse my parents and so you should also not be offended if I curse your parents.’
Our response is of course, ‘We have never cursed your parents in the first place. And secondly if you are not offended if someone curses your parents it is a sign that you are lacking in a sense of honor. That you are shameless. How can you demand that we also become shameless?’ For the record, find me a film made by a Muslim which abuses Jesus or Moses? You won’t find it because we revere them as prophets of Allah. So when Muslims have not done anything to abuse Christianity or Judaism, why should they be subjected to abuse from Christians and Jews (the people who allegedly made this ridiculous film) and be compelled to accept it?
I am not for a moment justifying or countenancing the violent protests and the unfortunate killing of innocent people. I have already spoken against that on several occasions since it happened. However I am writing this to request all responsible people to seriously wake up and start asking some pointed questions. One of which should be, ‘What was the need for this film in the first place? What is wrong with letting people believe whatever they want? What is wrong with leaving people alone with their religions – which is a basic human right?’
I was interested to read one of the comments of the learned viewers of the film who said, ‘In all their history, Muslims have contributed to the development of mankind less than a bunch of donkeys.’ What do you do with such ignorance? Another one demands that he will screen this film along with clips from other films which are insulting to Hindus, Christians and Jews and he demands that people must sit and watch all of them with equanimity. Isn’t that the strangest statement? For someone to make this insane demand is not considered insane. But when someone protests at this unprovoked attack on his honor, he is guilty of intolerance.

Why must people be forced to tolerate insults? Why must people be forced to sacrifice their honor just because those who have no honor want to exercise their fancy? Is this fair? Is anyone interested in justice anymore?
If we go by this logic then the right to safety and security must be balanced by the right to terrorize a population. The right to education must be balanced by the right to remain ignorant. The right to health must be balanced by the right to sickness. The right to marriage must be balanced by the right to rape and so on. Crazy, isn’t it? Just as crazy as the call that the right to freedom of religion must be balanced by the right to blaspheme any religion. These people want to impose the rule on us that if the followers of any religion want to practice their religion then they must be prepared to accept the fact that all that they hold holy and sacred will be blasphemed, insulted, degraded and desecrated by other people who don’t care about their feelings and they must accept this treatment without complaint.
Doesn’t that sound like a gross violation of human rights? It does, to me. Violence to human rights is not only physical violence. It is also violence that is psychological and mental. Ask any divorce lawyer who is suing on the basis of mental torture. This is an accepted principal in law. Freedom is defined as something that you are permitted to do as long as it does not violate someone else’s freedom; does not hurt someone else; does not harm anyone else. That is why the famous saying, “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.” If we define freedom as the unbridled right of someone to do whatever he or she wants irrespective of what harm this action or speech may do to someone else’s dignity, reputation, relationships or position, then we would have complete chaos and anarchy.
Defined in the way the makers of this ridiculous film and their supporters are demanding, freedom of speech must be rechristened ‘freedom to abuse’, ‘freedom to hurt’, ‘freedom to damage’, freedom to destroy’. This is a completely senseless argument and this behavior is not civilized at all. It is barbarism and oppression at its worst. So what is so different when it is done by film makers with the target being not one man or woman but an entire population? If anything it must make the crime humungous in magnitude. Like murder, which when it is perpetrated against an entire population becomes a holocaust and genocide. Ask the Jews who were the victims of this at the hands of Hitler. Of course that was before the West invented the term ‘collateral damage’. Otherwise they too, like the Iraqis and Palestinians, would have been mere statistics rather than innocent people who suffered one of the worst man-made disasters in the history of mankind. Unfortunately it seems to be by no means the last.
Yet we are asked to accept this ridiculous argument that if we are practicing Christians then we must accept films that show Jesus as a fornicating rock star or his pictures holding a beer can in one hand and a cigarette in another. If we are practicing Hindus then we must accept the pictures of the gods we worship, on toilet seats. And if we are practicing Muslims then we must accept the most obviously hatred filled images of the one person who we hold the most holy, Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be on him). And all of us, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others who have not been targeted yet are told that we have to accept someone’s ‘right’ to indulge his perversion at our expense. And if we dare to protest, then we will be labeled uncivilized, terrorists and anti-human.
In this version of civilization, it is civilized behavior to insult a religion. It is uncivilized behavior to protest against that insult. Does this make sense to you? It doesn’t to me. But it seems to make sense to a small minority (my assumption) of people who are seeking to impose their warped sense of values on the rest of the world. The question is what should be our reaction? Ideally I would love to ignore this thing entirely. But I’m afraid that it may only make such people bolder and eventually we will get to a point where we can’t ignore it anymore and then the reactions are more destructive.
In my view it is important for people of all religions to come together and stand together to ensure that freedom of worship and freedom of expression is ensured for everyone. And that this is done with an understanding of responsibility for expression. There can be no freedom of worship or expression when some people insult and abuse what someone else worships or reveres. Insulting someone personally is not accepted as a freedom in any civilized society. If someone did that they would become liable for legal action and punishment. So how can it be accepted to insult someone or something that an individual worships or considers holy?
Will someone explain this insanity to me please??