It seems as if - once again - Muslims are wrecking shit in another country for what seems like rather stupid reasons. It’s not for printing images of Allah this time, but the use of the actual word. And it’s not even as if those using the word are trying to be insulting; they just want to use the Arabic word for god in a non-Islamic context.
I realize every religion has adherents that are intolerant, and that a few bad apples doesn’t ruin the whole batch. Also, I live in the US, and I have a feeling that stories of violent Islamic intolerance sells better than stories of other violent religious intolerance, for pretty obvious reasons. So fight my ignorance: where are they happening? Why?
To head one line of discussion off at the pass: I am aware of the bombing of abortion clinics by Christians, but see those in a different light (which in no way means I condone them). Those responsible for bombing clinics are not responding to “religious insults” and instead see abortion as murder, so I imagine they view their terrorism in a heroic light. Though I see the actions of both the Muslims in Malaysia and the Christians in America as inappropriate, I tend to view those of the Muslims rioting for showing a picture or using a word with less sympathy, though I imagine they see themselves as heroes as well. I realize this may be a double standard I am applying. Is there a significant enough difference to consider these two cases of religious terrorism differently?
And more generally, do secular people or people of different religions have a responsibility to respect the wishes of religious people on somewhat mundane requests like these (don’t make pictures showing the face of my god or use his name in a way I don’t like)? If so, where is the line drawn between mundane request and one that should be ignored? What can be or should be done to defuse the situation?
Disclosure: I identify as an atheist.