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For the sake of full disclosure, I am a former muslim turned atheist and am asking this because I genuinely would like to see how muslims justify what is happening at the moment. As a former muslim whose family is still such, there is no need to explain to me the difference in culture and religious sentiments between western and muslim countries and why muslims find current events offensive and are reacting the way they are. My question is regarding the muslims in countries such as U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia who are demanding islam and their prophet be immune to critique, satire or even downright insult even though no other religion, culture, political party and whatever else gets no such privilege. And since all this is protected under the freedom of speech as observed by these nations.

Christianity, judism, buddhism, hinduism, scientology and any other religion or cult you can name, are constantly made fun of (in many cases far worse than what's happening with the mohammed fiasco) and yet people from those faiths don't riot, engage in random acts of violence and even kill.

So the question is, as a guest in a country how can these muslims justify their demands?

If they do not like the culture and respect the laws, of the country where they knowingly immigrated, why don't they just go back to their muslim countries where their sentiments are respected and even enforced by law.

And before someone brings up the principle of "freedom of region" which is equally observed by these western nations, you cannot use that as an excuse by saying it is against my religion to stand by and not get violent while it or it's founder is insulted. For the same reason that a grade school teacher doesn't accept the "It is against my religion to do homework" excuse. That is a slick but unacceptable attempt at making your region exempt from any and all critique. If tomorrow someone claimed it was part of their religion to sacrifice babies that wouldn't fly for obvious reasons and neither should this. Freedom of religion can be invoked to argue the practice of one's religion in one's private residence or public place of worship freely and doesn't really extend far beyond that.

So please explain if you are a practicing muslim living in a western nation who believe islam should be immune to the same things that no other region is immune to, your reasoning...

And of course it goes without saying, I will like to hear reasons based on reason and logic (of the terrestrial kind) as it is pointless to quote verses from a book to an atheist who doesn't see it as anything more that just that, a book.

closed as not constructive by Anwar, مجاهد, oshirowanen, NesreenA, goldPseudo Oct 18 '12 at 0:09

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    -1: i feel the question is phrased disrespectfully, especially with the fourth and fifth paragraphs. – goldPseudo Sep 18 '12 at 3:31
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    @goldPseudo that wasn't my intention, I usually don't have to worry so much about my tone when posting on any of the other stack exchange sites so it's not something I'm used to. I was merely trying to cover all bases in regards to the usual reasons I see muslims using to justify these things. I would hate for this question (which both I and many other non-muslims are eager to hear a western muslim view on) to go unanswered just due to something like wrongful phrasing. – JakeRow123 Sep 18 '12 at 3:37
  • Quran is not just a book. For your information only, There are multiple events in the history (even in recent history) regarding Quran, which indicates it's not just a book. – Anwar Sep 18 '12 at 4:44
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    Be Nice. It's part of our site. This includes asking in a polite, non-offensive manner, and responding/commenting likewise. – ashes999 Sep 18 '12 at 13:43
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First, I don't know of any serious community leader "demanding" this privilege in the West. By and large this is something Western Muslims take in their stride as a necessary consequence of living here. In fact all the scholars that I know in the West counsel patience and information, not demands for privilege.

Secondly, you frame your question about Muslims in the West and then disingenuously include the actions of Muslims in the East. Decide what it is you want to ask about. Also Muslims are not a monolith and anyone who generalizes to say "Muslims do X" when the only evidence supporting that statement is the action of some Muslims in some place needs a lesson in sociology.

Thirdly, it is juvenile to reduce this to an overly simple "Someone offended Islam, Muslims get enraged" scenario. That is ignoring a lot of complexity, the most serious component of which is the power dynamic. If some random person insults me or something dear to me, I wouldn't really care. But in the context of an unequal power relationship, where the other person has been treating me like crap for the past decade and longer and I wasn't in a position to be able to do anything about it, the perceived insult becomes much more potent. So it's really not just about being "unable to understand" the concept of free speech. It's about a lot of pent-up feelings of resentment and frustration at international meddling in domestic affairs and bombings and occupation and so forth that adds context to this whole mess. Why is it more socially unacceptable to insult a black person's skin color than a white person's? It's the history.

Fourthly, it is the hypocrisy of the application and non-application of free speech by Western governments that totally delegitimizes it in the eyes of many people and makes them feel it is fungible and open to influence. When the Ground Zero mosque controversy happened 2 summers ago, many many mainstream commentators had the following line of argument: "Well, sure it's their right to build it I guess, but they should be sensitive to the feelings of those who will be offended by this." And you know what? I actually sympathize with that sentiment. Free speech is meant to facilitate democracy and social harmony, not merely to hurl insults (not that building a mosque is hurling insults at anyone).

Fifthly, why should Muslims consider themselves "guests" in this country? There are millions of Muslims who are as American as the next person. It is their country too. Maybe you feel like you have to tiptoe around, but many Muslims don't. As for the "if you don't like it, go home" trope, that's just insulting.

Finally, I don't think it's un-American to demand that the community be allowed to live with dignity and not be the subject of hate speech that paints the ideology that binds them in a grossly inaccurate manner and renders its members, as a whole, liable to suspicion of criminality and terrorism and even liable to personal attacks. Seriously, if this was done to African-Americans or Jews, the debate would not revolve around free speech, it would be around hate speech. Having said that, I think most American Muslims accept that as currently defined and enforced, this is covered under freedom of speech, no matter how disgusting or blatantly false. There is no contradiction between (legally) making your displeasure known and at the same time accepting free speech. KKK material is allowed, but are you going to expect African-Americans to remain quiet about it? (Don't tell me that "Muslims" get violent and other people don't - we're talking about Muslims in the West and we're ignoring all the complexity in some of the Muslim lands).

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    +1 for the fifth point. "why should Muslims consider themselves "guests" in this country?" – Anwar Sep 18 '12 at 5:10
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    +1 for exposing the bigotry in the question. – Abdullah Sep 18 '12 at 5:47
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    +1 from an agnostic. I don't agree with all your points however I find it to be an excellent response – derio Sep 18 '12 at 11:33
  • -1 for the lack of commitment to free speech and open discourse. Also for "(Don't tell me that "Muslims" get violent and other people don't - we're talking about Muslims in the West and we're ignoring all the complexity in some of the Muslim lands)." - Muslims in the West have had a disproportionately large share of perpetrating murderous terrorism. – G. Bach Feb 21 '17 at 18:17
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I'm trying to answer your question phrase to phrase. Also the question is too long to be clearly grasped.

You asked,

So the question is, as a guest in a country how can these muslims justify their demands?

Nobody is demanding anything. If I call the police for you insulting my mother/father, it is not like I'm demanding something. It is my right to live in a country with respect. For your information, a Muslim loves the prophet more than their father, mother and all worldly things

Narrated Anas: The prophet said "None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind." (Sahih al-Bukhari #14)

I have a question, Can you say the same thing in a Christian country about Jesus or Mary (Muslim can't say bad things about them)? Can you ask critical questions about the details of the Holocaust in an European country?

You said,

So please explain if you are a practicing muslim living in a western nation who believe islam should be immune to the same things that no other region is immune to, your reasoning...

My above paragraph has the answer. Every other religion is immune to such things, I mean every other religion.

You said,

Freedom of religion can be invoked to argue the practice of one's religion in one's private residence or public place of worship freely and doesn't really extend far beyond that.

It really depends on the religion. And practically of course, it extends far far beyond that. A Muslim should be Muslim in Mosque, in home, in shop, in private, in public, in front of TV, in front of Computer monitor screen, in thought, in ...... everywhere, all the time. There is nothing being Muslim in mosque and become atheist in a shop. (This is the beauty and power of Islam, Islam inspires the whole life of its followers).

And thus, as a Muslim, I can't say, hi, hello to those of my friends who offended the Prophet for the sake of some notion of freedom of speech.

By saying this, I'm not justifying the killing of innocent people, I'm just saying, you can't expect my respect, love, and honor after doing things like that. As a Muslim, I must raise my voice to the government of the country to stop/prevent such things.

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