Muslim Piety And Militancy At Odds

by Zoe Pollock

Malise Ruthven looks at why cartoons of Muhammad are still inciting violence, but takes it with a grain of salt:

While it may be true that traditional notions of free speech or expression, as displayed in material media such as paint, ink, canvas, and paper are under threat from militants insistent on denying the variegated richness of the Islamic artistic heritage, the dangers should not be exaggerated. The electronic word and image are not easily suppressedespecially if authors and artists choose to remain anonymous. The liveliest depictions of Muhammad currently available are on the “Jesus and Mo” website, an online comic strip about religion that has until now attracted little criticism or vitriol: no artist signature, no terrorist target.