So yet again we have some Wahhbist Islamic nut jobs attacking a European cartoonist - this time in Denmark - oh and then they went off and killed some Jews, you know, just on principle.
There is this mindless debate about whether free speech allows people to insult the prophet Mohammed - many people seem to think that it was the victim's fault for deliberately inflaming religious tensions. But this is missing the point entirely.
There are currently about 7 billion people in the world. They say all kinds of things. Suppose I demanded that, if any single one of these people say or write anything that I find offensive - for example, that they dislike the color orange - that I will run amok and and blow things up and shoot some Jews. Would you:
A. Say of course free speech is not an unlimited license to defame people's deeply held beliefs, and we must censor the internet and the newspapers across the entire planet to make sure that nothing anywhere is ever said that might upset me. Nobody will ever be allowed to say anything bad about the color orange ever again. And if they do, and I kill a bunch of random people, well it was not my fault because I was provoked.
B. Say that is it good and noble to write insulting and disgusting things about anything and that this must be celebrated with mass public exhibits of insulting and disgusting things.
C. Say that I am clearly an unstable nut job and this has nothing at all to do with free speech and that people like me should be locked up or at least exiled to some godforsaken place with others of my mindset where we can vent our rage on each other without endangering decent people.
If you answered C, congratulations, you are sane. And, for now, very much in the minority.
The world is a big and messy place. If you look carefully, you can certainly find all kinds of things here and there that will offend you. If that sets you into a murderous rage, well, then you have serious issues dealing with reality.
I could see getting unhappy if, for example, a government or media conglomerate pushed something offensive as an official policy - like Jews are subhuman and must be exterminated - but to fly off the handle because of an individual comment? Really?
Wahhabist Islam is the religion of perpetual outrage. Someone draws a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban - and of course they go and blow things up (!!!). They see women not treated like animals, or a Jew, or a Christian church, or a bible, or a Hindu - there is a very long list here - and they get offended, and when Wahhabists get offended people die.
If the extremist Islamics are so readily offended by the world, perhaps Islam and the world should have an amicable divorce. The Wahhabists should retreat to their own lands, break off all communications with the infidels, and seal themselves into a bubble of piety. I think that the Wahhabists would be much happier that way. I know that the rest of the world would be.