Moderate Muslims: Battle Social Issues, Not Cartoons

February 12, 2006

Source: MSNBC

On February 12, 2006 MSNBC reported, "Muslim protests across the world condemning cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad are driven by fears Islam is under attack, and by the fact that it is easier to protest than to battle tough social issues, moderate Muslims say.

From disputes over wearing headscarves to desecration of the Koran, many Muslims worry over what they they see as onslaughts of the West, but rooting out poverty in some Muslim countries is a more vital task than condemning the cartoons, analysts say.

'Why would you want to be violent about a cartoon?' said political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who felt an apology or editorial resignation would be sufficient restitution by a Danish newspaper that flouted Islam's ban on pictures of its prophets.

'Why don't you be violent and protest about your own governments, Muslim governments who have not provided basic sanitary facilities and housing?' the Malaysian analyst asked.

'These are far more important issues to Muslim communities around the world than some stupid cartoons. Cartoons are cartoons, period.'"