Peaceful free speech

February 17, 2006

Irshad Manji's "Islam's no joking matter - and that's the problem" (February 10) misrepresents tolerant Islam.

Islam, Judaism and Christianity co-existed peacefully for generations. Islam calls on followers to promote peace, democracy, sanctity of human life, harmonious coexistence and the endorsement of cultural and religious diversification. I am sickened by the conflating of a tiny number of Islamistterrorists with peaceful, law-abiding Muslims.

Free speech fosters understanding among nations. It has an obligation not to fan flames of prejudice. Muslims cannot accept a gruesome and untrue portrayal of our noble messenger, just as Christians cannot accept Jesus being prosecuted for the Holocaust, or Jews being asked to admit Moses was a bloodthirsty prophet responsible for the nefarious occupation of Palestine. Our leaders must exhibit sagacity to prevent us sliding into a confrontation of civilisations.

Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London

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