It was understandable that many Catholics were offended by the “chocolate Jesus,” just as it is understandable that many Muslims were offended that their Prophet was deliberately and gratuitously mocked in Danish cartoons. All people of faith reject seeing their beliefs defamed so hatefully.

However, death threats and violence on the part of either side is unacceptable. And, yes, newspapers were right in not reprinting the hateful cartoons, not out of fear, but out of journalistic ethics and the true meaning of free speech as opposed to hate speech.

Yet, why does Kathleen Parker apply double standards when she tries to say that violent threats from one side aren’t as serious as when they come from another side? Is Parker blinded by a hatred of Islam and Muslims that becomes apparent when she makes stereotypical generalizations?

Parker doesn’t mention that the vast majority of the 1.3 billion Muslims condemned violence committed by a few people. Nor did she mention the peaceful protests by Muslims across the world or the boycotting of Danish goods, knowing that “money trumps everything.” For Parker, Muslims — broadly — are people who are reactionary, unintelligent and animalistic, contrary to people of other faiths.

More than ever, we need unprejudiced writers on our op-ed pages who are able to present fair arguments on issues affecting religious people so that we, readers from various religious backgrounds, can examine the root causes and offer solutions that are beneficial to our community and the world.

Sabiha Khan, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations-Florida/Orlando


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