I can respect the fact that an image of Muhammad -- even a favorable or neutral image -- offends Muslim sensibilities because it smacks of idolatry. It makes sense on its own level. What doesn't make sense is some Muslims' reaction. It's all out of proportion to the offense. In fact, it's crazy. The question is whether it's crazy enough to begin reawakening Americans to the threat they briefly understood after a different gaggle of insulted Muslims turned the World Trade Center and a piece of the Pentagon to rubble, killing 3,000 innocents. Which brings us to our own little dust-up over President Bush allowing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on overseas calls with suspected terrorist connections. The president is trying to defeat people whose zeal to obliterate your civilization has been redoubled by a newspaper cartoon. Who really scares you more?
(Kevin O'Brien is deputy editorial director for The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.)
I live next to a Muslim family here in Dingwall, who are very friendly and amiable, and I get on well with them. I imagine that they, like most Muslims living in the West or in the East, simply want to live and enjoy a happy life and feel free to practice their religion in peace with people of other religions. But how is the West to respond to Islamic extremists, institutions and governments who believe that the West must either convert to Islam or be annihilated? I'm not afraid of an American President, however inept, who can launch 1000 ICBM nuclear warheads - but I am afraid of a extremist who wants only one nuclear device! Will it come to this, who nukes who first? Let us pray that it is not!!!