Atheists in dominant religious societies are trying their best to prove that they are not evil as propagated by religious leaders. They are trying to get acceptance in their societies. By insulting their religious beliefs, we are adding to the troubles of atheists in religious societies. Such incidents also give religious leaders to spread and justify hate against atheists. I am not against the freedom of speech and expression, but concerned about the safety of atheists in hardcore religious socities. So in my opinion we must opt for peaceful discussions with theists rathar then mocking their beliefs. we must try to calmly make them realise that their beliefs are not true. Remember theists are ignorant, brainwashed and not actually foolish. Ofcourse i understand the fact that religious people mock at atheists which makes us angry but for the sake of atheists in dominantly religious countries we must control our anger.

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An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

-- Sir Winston Churchill
Perfect. I believe we need to mock and ridicule all religions. Being polite for millenia has gotten us nowhere.
Peaceful discussions are useless with those who are ideologues, who insist on their orthodoxy and and have no desire to integrate with the rest of us. Sadly, the alternative is to call them on their lack of tolerance by getting them to demonstrate their own behavior and their own foolishness. They end up ostracizing themselves by that, or at least showing off their intolerance, and (with a little bit of bloomin' luck), increase the reaction against them.

I must repeat here: most if not all attempts at dialogue with such zealots are USELESS. They aren't interested in reason or logic, but solely in their ideology. If they have the self-control to keep it to themselves, fine, but in most cases they won't. At that point, I have no problem in throwing their bigotry back in their faces and following with a right cross if necessary.

Their right to wave their religion about ends at my nose ... PERIOD.
Crying over spilt milk here.

In addition, I find drawing a picture a peaceful act. Not like it's going to explode in one's face.
Likewise. It is irrelevant how nice and fluffy we might be, they would find reasons to oppress or discriminate against us regardless
EXACTLY!! Let's not lay down, roll over and show our bellys in respect. There nothing to be gained by just sitt'n down and shutt'n the fuck up! What did somebody once say, "Those who make their swords into plowshares will be governed by those who don't", or something to that effect.
I understand your fears. You state: "By insulting their religious beliefs, we are adding to the troubles of atheists in religious societies." Unfortunately, this particular strain of religion is inherently violent towards atheists and generally any who are non Muslim anyway.

And so if we are asked to not exercise such a basic and inalienable right as free speech in order to "respect a religion" shouldn't the overall social gain outweigh the loss of the right?

The point is, Joel, it doesn't come anywhere close. In fact it is so far away that to respect this particular strain of religion in any way is to tacitly approve of its violent existence.

But if you live in a place surrounded by these people, by all means keep a low profile, lest they take glee in cutting off your freethinking head. And that's kind of the point. We must inoculate society from this type of behavior by demonstrating an overwhelming choice of freedom over fear.

You may not be in a position to do that, so don't. Allow us to fight that battle for you.

Peace.
The current 'everyone draw Mohammed' idea is a direct reaction to the proposal that an individual or small group if people can be prevented from putting pen to paper by threats of violence. The thinking is that when such threats are made they are rendered meaningless if the number of people deliberately ignoring them vastly outnumbers the original 'offenders'. So, next time a Muslim group threatens a cartoonist, they should be aware that their actions to try to prevent one drawing of Mo will facilitate thousands, possibly millions.

To abandon challenging religion in case atheists in religious countries are demonised actually turns the atheists in question into a kind of human shield. A half-intelligent government will pick up on this, and start to use in-country atheists as 'hostages' to derail criticisms if its faith.
I support the freedom of speech because of my political affiliations. My religious view (atheism) have nothing to do with my political choice. Atheism is the rejection of theism and does not hold a political agenda by itself. To address your post to atheists seems to indicate a certain view of atheism that does not hold sway in reality. Atheists are (potentially) as diverse politically as theists.

I am not against the freedom of speech and expression, but concerned about the safety of atheists in hardcore religious societies.

So we should appease to violence and aggression? How far would you go in your appeasement, where do you draw the line? Ever heard of Neville Chamberlain?

The right to feel insulted does not exist in my opinion, freedom of expression does.
I would have drawn "my Mohammed" if the campaign had not been hijacked by ugly right-wing dickheads here. I rather leave the Muslims alone than joining in with Nazis.
Muslims are much more Nazi-like than the people who are against them, and people who really ARE Nazis (not to be confused with calling everyone you don't like a Nazi) are often in league with Muslims, since they both hate the same people. I don't blame people for being "dickheaded" about Muslims after seeing the censorship, placation, jailing people who criticize, Sharia law, and not to mention the naive leftist Islamic ass-kissing and enabling.
Is this anything like saying, when only the Mullahs have moola/submissives become their slaves?

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