'Everybody draws Mohammed' an article that appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 28 June 2010, on page 1.
‘Everybody draws Mohammed’ is the article that does not only bring a truth what length the fanatics can go in the name of religion out but also shows that the vandalism is the business of some people who gain on it. However I think two aspects are important to make clear here. One that liberty is often wrongly understood by us, particularly by those who think themselves super-intellectuals or super-liberals. Liberty is the freedom to speech and we have to fight, as people have always fought throughout historical records, to speak freely against all the odds that hold humanity back. We must speak against all those things that are atrocious, that go in the name of the religion.
But cartooning a religious person is not liberty; rather it is against the liberty of the person who is subject in the competition between the super-liberals and the fanatics. (However, please note cartooning a non-religious person is different). Likewise tearing or burning holy books or destroying religious places cannot be the example-act of liberty. The destruction of the Buddha images at Bamayan (Afghanistan) by Taliban in 2001 cannot be said the act of liberty. Liberty holds a positive perspective and should not encroach on the sentiments and liberty of the people at large. For example we do not have the freedom of abusing any person, it is derogative. At the same time we must not be silent against raising questions that religious trite forces us to do without acquiesce.
Second, any person committing blasphemy is subject to public condemnation and can even be trialed, but to the civic laws and not to the religious or personal laws. Such a person cannot be killed just because what he said or did is blasphemous. We must be tolerant of that level so as we can understand what those who oppose a thing have in their mind. Tolerance of the highest level also promotes liberty in the long run.
Moreover the liberty of derogatory representation of a belief is the destruction of virtual entity, while fanatic treatment of killing a blasphemous is the destruction of physical entity. Both ideologies are destructive and not good for the society, whereas the very purpose of liberty is the betterment of the society. Importantly, I would ask, why anyone insists in representing a religious person in a derogatory way.