The Elephant in the Glass' Shop.
Tarek Heggy.
When the masses in several Muslim societies furiously (and sometimes, violently) reacted to a film that was produced about Prophet Muhamed, several leaders of a number of Muslim societies wanted the UN to adopt an agreement that bans "humiliations" to the sacred persona and scripts, a call that many see reflects an absolute negation to the basis of western civilization.
Many also expounded that with an international agreement as such, Voltaire (1694 – 1778) will be banned for writing in 1736 his play (tragedy) " Le Fanatisme ou Mahomet Le Prophete". Also, Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) will have to be banned for writing in the third volume (Inferno ) of The Divine Comedy about Prophet Muhamed.
In parallel, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) will join the list of banned authors because of what he wrote in 1596 about the Jews in his play "Merchant of Venice".
Indeed, most of the philosophers will have to be banned! For instance, what Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) wrote about God will undeniably qualify him to head the list of banned thinkers.
In civilized environments, when offending material is published or presented in any form, every single person will have the right either to go to court or to produce what he/she thinks is the representation of reality. But the moment we start "the banning mechanism", we shall be launching an atmosphere that will return humanity to the darkness of the pre-Renaissance backward eras.
There are tens of difficult questions that need to be answered by those who want to materialize laws against any work that they believe represents humiliation to their sacred persona and/or scripts.
For instance, the ruling Muslim Brothers in Egypt proposed to stipulate in the constitution that the world "religion" only means Judaism, Christianity & Islam.
They also make clear that the word Islam means Sunni Islam only.
Accordingly, the sacred matters of half of humanity shall be ignored while preparing the sought laws! One wonders what Christians around the world would say about the mocking of many Muslims towards the Trinity, which is the core of their faith.
What would the world would say about the views expressed by many Muslims about the status of the "Cow" in a faith that has hundreds of millions of followers !
Isn't it a mess or precisely an atavistic mess that these leaders were seeking during the 67th regular session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (NY, September, 2012)? or, perhaps, they were making such an absurd request only to please the masses instead of leading them to rationality !!
Tarek Heggy.

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