After reading Mr. Kalaaji's letter on Tuesday I felt compelled to respond to him, and to any adherents of Islam who agree with him.
Mr. Kalaaji, in your first paragraph you state that the controversy is about racism and acceptance. That may be true, but Islam will not be accepted while its adherents are rioting in the streets and burning foreign embassies and to think otherwise is infantile and self-deceiving.
In your ninth paragraph you state that portraying all Muslims as terrorists is inaccurate, irresponsible and dangerous. It may be inaccurate, but it is only dangerous and irresponsible because adherents of Islam begin rioting, killing and burning when offended.
Christians and Christian icons are routinely "marginalized" in newspaper cartoons, yet there have been no riots in Rome, no embassies burned in Sao Paulo. When pictures of holy saints are displayed with feces on them, we do not call for a jihad against the perpetrator.
Mr. Kalaaji, your point seems to be that if we, as Westerners, fail to "honor" your prophets and religion then we must expect to be attacked and that we must allow Muslims to retaliate as they see fit. You state that you abhor violence but then say that you are not opposed to protests.
Are you saying that while you won't throw stones it's OK if someone else does? You are only reinforcing our fear and anger. You complain about being marginalized and disrespected. Have you experienced the way Christians are treated in Islamic countries? Have you ever heard the phrase "What's good for the goose is good for the gander?"
Sir, I submit to you that until Muslims respect the personal welfare and property rights of others you will continue to be marginalized. Muslims need to understand that they do not rule the whole world, and that until they can engage in true international discourse they will continue to be viewed as arrogant barbarians.
Mr. Kalaaji, violence is never an appropriate response to having your feelings hurt and until Islam can understand that – a fact so basic that any 5-year-old in America can voice it – you will continue to be viewed with fear and suspicion. That may be unfair, but it is the way the world works. If you truly desire to make a difference you should attempt to change the way your fellow believers behave and stop making excuses for them.