Jyllands-Posten who printed them, and many other Europeans, majority of them having not even seen the cartoons, waved the flag of "freedom of speach", saying it was a challenge directed to the Muslim world's tendency to self-censureship (i.e not animating religious figures).
Muslims all over the world, 99% having most likely not even seen the pictures, feel hurt, upset, and some ready to boycott thinking that the debate is about forbidding western media to in general print pictures of Prophet Mohammad*.
- The debate is not about freedom of speach.
- The debate is not about wether or not media is allowed to print pictures of Prophets*.
To know why the printing of those particular pictures was so distasteful and downright hateful, one will have to actually have seen the pictures, understand the context of the situation for Muslims in Denmark and Europe, but especially Denmark where Muslims truly are undergoing enormous pressures and political chastisement from certain extreme right parties in Denmark.
Muslims in the Arab world or Asia and even around Europe, and supporters of the publishing of the cartoons in the rest of the world have no idea what they are talking about and most likely majority of them like I said, have no understanding of the situation at hand, and why this debate is so important and why truly all Muslims and non-Muslims who do not want to have another Holocaust should be worried.
Part of the persecution of Jews before the Second World War consisted of similar cartoons published in newspapers. Anti-semitic, large crooked-nosed, dark eyes and hair, bushy beards depicted in a negative way, a way that we saw eventually led to a whole nation letting millions of Jews be killed infront of their noses for almost a decade.
When you look at the cartoons depicted in Jyllands-Posten, you find the same anti-semitic touch, large crooked noses, The Prophet with a turban carrying a bomb, bushy beards...
The question is, did freedom of speach, throughout history, ever become strengthened by a majority speaking out against an already kicked at, lying down, minority?
We Muslims cannot forbid any magazine in the world from drawing pictures of the Prophet* even though it is forbidden for us, even though deep inside we reject it, feel hurt and sad. No... that is not to be the basis of the debate because we can legally never defend our point. They draw Jesus* and God and so they will claim their right to draw our Prophet* as well.
The real issue is not that they drew him, it is in what way they drew him.
Did they simply draw him as a normal human being? No...
Why add the bombs, the veiled women, the violence, the prejudice, the Islamophobia, the hinting towards terrorism, extremism, why?
I won't get that answer from anyone it seems, Muslim or non-Muslim because everybody is busy discussing a totally different issue, trying to decide wether to boycott or not, wether to "let" Danish media print pictures of Prophet Mohammad* or not.
What we can demand as Muslims, Citizens of Europe, Taxpayers, Voters and contributors to our home countries in Europe, is to not be persecuted, kicked at while lying down, have the central figure of Muslims being depicted as a violent being, to collectively be named terrorist through racist, Islamophobic inciteful pictures such as those we have witnessed.
And until we all realise this, and come down from our "reactive high", Islamophobes around the world will seize this opportunity to fuel and sustain their wish to marginalize Muslims and reduce them to uncultivated beings who "don't understand our democratic way of life and cannot support our freedom of speach".
It's one large Islamophobe playing field and yet we constantly shoot the ball into our own goal...
*Peace and Blessings be upon them.