I will say this and Say This and SAY THIS until it sinks in:
NO ONE Has The Right Not To Be Offended ... not us, not the christers, and sure as hell not the muslims!
Sorry, but hyperbolic insults against people who are apparently sensitive to the issue is not the best way to demonstrate your freedom. I must wonder where your motivation lie: is this really atheists asserting themselves, or do you just want to rub salt in Muslim's faces and call them unsophisticated?
I Don't Want Lawsuits
I Don't Want Riots
I Deplore Violence
But I Will Not Be Censored
#WomenAreSluts <--- or enter any equally offensive phrase here that attacks any large group of people
JC, I agree that motivation matters. Opposing the hands of tyranny is a legit motivation. Islam is indeed barbaric-no hyperbole. Gratuitous hate speech is not legit. Some of the believers feeling offended is a necessary consequence of onward atheist soldiers. Lets improve civilization.
I know, one person's hate speech is another's paean. But it aint so.
Glen, tyranny? An idea (in some existential meandering, all ideas are tyrants) held closely by over a billion people that consists of parables and stories vaguely -- and confusingly -- written about an indomitable being cannot simply be neutered and thrown into a little box labeled "barbaric", for neither can an idea of this complexity be reduced to such a simple but damning sleight, nor do most of this 1.6 billion people that have varying interpretations of this idea lead barbaric lives. Barbarism, firstly, is word used by sophisticates to pejoratively describe those of lesser culture.
Calling Islam barbaric addresses no issues. It doesn't call upon the instability of Iran, the prevalence of terrorism, or any other issue of specificity. It is abusive fallacy, ad hominem -- intellectual dishonesty. But calling Islam barbaric under the pretense of freedom of speech, using the sign shown above that preemptively characterizes the opposition as rioters, murderers and violent is pure passive-aggressive cowardice.
I have two issues here:
1. Islam is no more "barbaric" than Judaism or Christianity.
2. If you want to attack Islam, do it proudly. Say that Islam is barbaric if you wish. Make an event about the barbarism of Islam. Say it because you mean it, not because you're entitled to the freedom of speech, or you have some inherent God or state given right to blaspheme. You don't throw a sucker punch and then hide behind the teacher.
JC, interesting that you point out the tyranny in all ideas. Islam has a force field around its ideas and thereiby promotes its tyrants to super status. I am not in favor of cultural relativism. I measure barbarism (originally anyone who was not Greek, a fairly universal western notion) without intellectualizing-women are subservient, servile, lesser status, beaten etc., death to apostates, intolerant in so many ways, warlike, suicide bombing. And the list goes on. What is it, what is its nature, what does it do? It is barbaric. Notwithstanding the barbarism of the religion most of its adherents are okay. This tends to be more the case where there is a greater secular influence.
Islam is the provenance of the things you cite in the second pargraph. Look at islam where government is stable. Is it less repressive, less tyrannical? Who rises to obtain power when a vacum emerges? Islam, there to impose its tyranny. Democracy in the sense we understand it cannot thrive where islamic tentacles have suctioned the culture. Free speech is indeed the marker for health of a culture or civilization. If the citizens are not free to critcize the "tyrants" tyranny will win out.
I dont think the guy holding the sign is motivated by pure sucker punchism, rather it is in response to the recent events. I dont think the sign would be there without the recent events.
It is fine to attack all religion or to attack on an individual basis. They all have cultlike indoctrination measures in place, they operate on the basis of faith, they claim to have a stranglehold on morality. I absolutely agree that christianity and islam are on a par in being a little awful. Islam has pulled away in the horse race of immorality, not because it is worse, only because christianity has long since passed its zenith. Simple power equation that is all. Judaism, no great shakes and a terible influence on Jews, does not proselytize like the former. And so its influence is not felt or imposed at the point of a sword and spread to the millions. It also is much deeper in terms of studying ethics and philosophy. There are other conceptual differences which make it a bit more sophisticated. But the messiah shit and the . . . gotta go
We must have the right to express ideas, sometimes in opposition to other peoples' ideas. Without this, ideas would be stagnant. The problem is that it seems to be enshrined in Islam, that expressing such ideas, in opposition to the religion, is offensive and blasphemous. In the minds of a minority of Muslims, this is justification for killing the blasphemers. Exactly how much of this is actually politically motivated I don't know, but at least some Muslims justify murder on these grounds.
I think that some Muslims do in fact permit criticism, if it is in an attempt to "come closer to Islam". Usually it is to permit the opponent room to change their ideas.
I've had Christians express a similar idea: that my expressing opposing ideas about the existence of "God", is my searching for "God". But it's not ~ it's just my expressing opposing ideas about the existence of "God".