Lifestyle & Belief

When two ideals collide

(Remind us briefly what ignited Muslim anger over a cartoon.) This was in September 2005 and this Danish publication published 12 cartoons depicted the Prophet Mohammed. It did this explicitly to provoke debate over criticizing Islam and self-censorship, however it did spiral out of control with riots and embassy burnings and it caused more than 100 deaths in the end. (So what does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights say about defaming a religion? And does defamation on its own really impact somebody's freedom of worship?) Well the declaration is about individual rights, so everyone has the right to freedom of religion and thought, so there's nothing about defaming a religion. So there's a constant negotiation that goes on and where the two clash and which trumps which. Look at Proposition 8 in California which pits traditional religious groups against homosexuals and liberal religious groups. The traditional groups said we want to defend our religious beliefs, which say that homosexuality is wrong. (What about the freedom to change one's religion as its guaranteed in the Declaration and how does that jibe with Islam which forbids changing one's religion?) Some would argue this is a very Western document. (So is this simply a case by case basis then?) Yes and it's a very complicated manner.

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