Muslim Americans Split on Cartoons ; Foreign Reaction to Drawings of Muhammad Is Overblown, Some US Muslims Say. Others Call for Peaceful Protests

By Ayesha Akram Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 9, 2006 | Go to article overview

Muslim Americans Split on Cartoons ; Foreign Reaction to Drawings of Muhammad Is Overblown, Some US Muslims Say. Others Call for Peaceful Protests


Ayesha Akram Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Muhammed Zahny is upset - and not about the cold wind that is keeping customers away from his store on Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue.

"If I lose money, I don't care," says Mr. Zahny, who owns "Islamic Fashions." "But if I lose respect, then I have nothing left."

Zahny, originally from Egypt, says the recent republication of Danish newspaper cartoons depicting Muhammad, the messenger of Islam, as a terrorist is a sign of great disrespect for Muslims that's caused him pain. "There is no joke to be made about prophet Muhammad," he says.

But other American Muslims say their fellow adherents are overreacting. "When can we begin a civilized conversation, instead of this undignified and sometimes violent answer to what was quite simply an insult?" a member of the Progressive Muslim Union asked on an online forum.

The two sides illustrate the diversity of American Muslim opinion about the simmering global controversy. But they also dramatize a larger divide within the community about Islam's attitude about free expression. Many of America's estimated 2 to 3 million Muslims are angry, but instead of throwing stones, they are calling for American- style protests, such as boycotts of Danish products like cheese and yogurt.

Still, some fear that the violent demonstrations against the cartoons in Arab and European countries could spread here.

In Brooklyn, Mustapha Amir's desk is piled high with Arab newspapers. One headline urged Muslims to unite against the cartoons. After reading aloud part of the article, Mr. Amir puts down the paper. Muslims' strong devotion, he says, may impel them to take action, including martyrdom, to protect Muhammad's reputation.

What would Muhammad do?

Such views concern Rabiah Ahmed, spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington.

"We are concerned that people are not responding the way the prophet Muhammed would want," says Ms. Ahmed. "He was the kind of person who would turn the other cheek if someone slapped him. He preached love and tolerance."

According to Islamic tradition, pictures of Muhammad are generally considered sacrilegious. But Jonathan Bloom, a historian of Islamic art at Boston College, says it wasn't always so. "There were times when images of Muhammad were not forbidden," he says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Muslim Americans Split on Cartoons ; Foreign Reaction to Drawings of Muhammad Is Overblown, Some US Muslims Say. Others Call for Peaceful Protests
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.