I am writing in response to the editorial cartoon “Religious reactions” (May 22). Not only is it inaccurate to compare the fringe Muslim reactions to the Danish cartoons controversy and the mainstream Christian reactions to “The Da Vinci Code,” it is downright racist to do so. In his cartoon, Garry Varvel unfairly depicts the religious reactions of the Muslim world to the cartoon controversy as overwhelmingly violent while portraying the reactions of the Christian world to “The Da Vinci Code” as overly intellectual and peaceful, continuing the stereotype that Muslims are violent.
While the majority of Muslims did not like the cartoons, most protested peacefully, if at all. Many looked at the controversy as a teaching moment, taking the opportunity to educate people on the life of Prophet Muhammad. The violent protests were the exception and were unequivocally condemned by almost all Muslim groups and scholars.
Secondly, comparing the two issues is like comparing apples to oranges. The cartoons demonized a revered prophet of Islam, labeling him a terrorist, among other horrible things. The movie, while it questions the divinity of Jesus, does not demonize him, but offers a fictional story about him marrying and having children.
[SABIHA KHAN, Communications Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Southern California, Anaheim]