Islam and the West – Who Hates Whom?
1/24/2006 – Political – Article Ref: AN0601-2885

By: Fahmi Howaidi

The Danish Case

The Danish government’s attitude toward the blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by a newspaper in the country should not be dismissed lightly as it is typical of the manner in which Western governments and intellectuals treat topics related to Islam. The lethargic reaction of the Muslim governments to the European newspaper’s outrageous treatment of the Prophet too deserves censure .

Are we to understand that abusing the Prophet is a less serious offense than an insult to an Arab head of state that would have triggered angry reactions accompanied by withdrawal of ambassadors and threat of severing diplomatic and economic relations. Should it not be feared that official silence over such issues in the Muslim and Arab world would play into the hands of extremists in the Muslim communities who are waiting for an opportunity to choose the path of violence .

The Danish drawings also reopen the question that is often raised whenever the topic of the relations between Islam and the West comes up: Really who hates whom?