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When I say that. I mean it.

God, Allah, The Lord and Lady, whatever... 1 - they are all the same 2 - they all have a sense of humor!

So, why on this green earth, do people not? Why do people get so up in arms over humor? Why do we have to stop and think whenever we create something... 'Oh, but will this offend anyone?' That is CRAP. Everything, every thought, every passing moment is open to ridicule, speculation, experimentation and jesting! EVERYTHING.

Nothing in this world or beyond it is so sacred that people should not question it, joke about it, or complain about it. NOTHING.

I read an article about a comic that was published in news papers in Europe. It depicted Mohammad "the prophet in a bomb-shaped turban and another of him telling suicide bombers at the gates of heaven that there were no more virgins." -(http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060203/ts_afp/europemediaislam)

Is this a true depiction of Mohammad? Hell no. But, do the news papers have to publish cartoon with only accurate depictions of people or situations? -In my experience they NEVER do. These comics are what is called SATIRE. Satire was designed to make people unravel and get angry about topics to bring them to light. This was not meant as an exact vision of the Muslim world from a western standpoint!

Yet, this caused riots. "In Indonesia a crowd of around 100 men stormed the building housing the Danish embassy, chanting "Let's go jihad (holy war), we're ready for jihad", before being ejected by security forces." - "In the West Bank city of Nablus some 20,000 Palestinians burned Danish, Norwegian and French flags, and in Gaza crowds chanted anti-Western slogans before the parliament building.

'Those who have published these caricatures must have their heads cut,' exhorted the preacher at Gaza's main mosque.
" - not to mention others. (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060203/ts_afp/europemediaislam)

Jihad is becoming the new 'cry wolf'. Seriously. How many times do we have to hear people yelling and calling for a Jihad at the drop of a hat? Pretty soon people will blow you off when you use it. This was a powerful word, but its not so powerful anymore. Over-used.

I was glad to see the writer of the article added - "Influential Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan, who has a large following among young European Muslims, said the reaction in the Islamic world was "excessive" and that Muslims should take a more detached view.

"Muslims must absolutely learn to keep a critical distance. They have to get used to living in a global world. Their consciousness must be sufficiently robust to master their hurt feelings," he told AFP.
"

That is great. I hope a lot of people listen to him, because he is right. Everyone, not just Muslims, have to know that violence only begets more violence. Riots will not solve issues, and sometimes diplomacy doesn't either... but that is another long post.

Does the whole world have to agree with each other and live in a perfect society? No. But, we can all at least try and understand each other and work toward something useful, instead of squabbling over power and money. Yes.

I'm out.

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Joe Black

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