Cruz’s critics threat to free society | Inquirer Opinion

Cruz’s critics threat to free society

08:25 PM August 31, 2011

When Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist, drew in December 2005 a cartoon depicting Muhammad in a “blasphemous” way, the Islamic world called for his death. (Every pious Muslim, who has the duty to protect Islam, is bound to get rid of this heathen for the glory of Allah.) There were riots all over the Muslim world and burning of embassies because someone dared to humiliate all Muslims. Up to this day, the injunction remains. In fact, in 2009, a Somali man broke into Westergaard’s home and nearly murdered him if not for the “safe room” he made. Kurt is still under police protection.

Then came Mideo Cruz. His “blasphemous” “Poleteismo” depicting pictures and images of Jesus Christ with a genital and blood dripping from the eyes drew condemnation from the religious and even politicians. Although no one called for his death, you can sense that somehow common sense has died because of the “concerns” of the Catholic Church, pro-life groups and media-hogging politicians.

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The peculiar concerns of religions over a blasphemous art work have created a society, a people that get riled easily in the face of criticism such that they will protest and demonize a minority (artists). Why the wrong priorities? Islam and Catholicism are religions of tolerance, of peace, forgiveness and love. Somehow, some people in these religions make it their priority criticizing people for “offending religious sensitivity” and sue for “acts of vandalism” and even calling for death.

When a free society gives in to this threat from the religious, it hinders free speech. The problem is made worse because too few speak about it. The more people speak out and express ideas, the better. Free expression reduces the threat.

FEATURED STORIES

—ALLAN ESPINOSA, Sydney, Australia, [email protected]

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TAGS: art, CCP, culture, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, Kulo Exhibit, mideo cruz, social issues, Society
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