I was pleased to read the letter by Rahaf Kalaaji regarding the Danish Cartoons of Muhammad. He is a voice of reason on this overly emotional issue.
Newspapers and politicians in this country would not be touting freedom of expression if we were talking about something put out by the American Nazi Party or the Ku Klux Klan. We would be denouncing them as hate-filled and racist. Publishing these cartoons does not promote freedom; it promotes prejudice and fans the flames of violence. We already look bad enough in Islamic eyes without such actions making us seem to contradict our so-called moral superiority even more.
The Muslims who have been engaging in violent responses to these cartoons do no better. They make the cartoon with a bomb on Muhammad's head seem accurate. They unwittingly play right into the hands of those who want to portray all Muslims as being terrorists. I must say that the only voices I hear speaking real reason on this issue is Mr. Kalaaji and the Muslim clerics who are denouncing the violence as well as the cartoons.
The bottom line is that the cartoons are tasteless and rude. The fact that in a free society an individual or a newspaper may be free to publish such things does not make it wise or in good taste. Freedom is not an excuse for bad manners nor does it promote peace and understanding.