Sunday, October 7, 2012

Muslims Actually Take Their Faith Seriously

A Christian friend of mine was criticizing Islam due to the recent violence in response to that video that depicted Mohammed unfavorably.  Islam is obviously wicked, violent, backward, horrible, etc.  I replied to him in a way I often do.  Sure, their violence is deplorable.  But why are we talking about it?  If you want to do some good in the world you should talk about yourself first.  Are we doing anything that contributes to this behavior in the Muslim world?  Yeah, quite a lot.  We prop up theocrats in the Muslim world.  Our actions led to the theocratic regime that exists in Iran.  We prop up the Saudi dictatorship.  We essentially created Hamas and Hezbollah.  We install other dictators which cause people to become more fundamentalist and extreme.  We invade them, which provokes more religious extremism.  Yeah, what they do is worthy of criticism, but it's not our place to offer it. That's for their fellow country men.  Let's focus on what we can do to improve the situation.

I stand by that position.  But I have to admit that my friend still did have a valid point.  You don't see this kind of thing among Christians.  You can have art that shows someone urinating on a crucifix and you don't get people storming the museum and killing people.  Christians are plenty violent.  But they aren't violent for their faith so much.  Obviously the US military has a lot of Christians, and they perpetuate a lot of violence.  They are being violent for other reasons.  What is it with Muslims?  I can understand getting violent to repel a foreign invader.  But a movie about Mohammed?  Who cares?  Christians may not like movies that portray Jesus unfavorably.  They may protest.  But they don't kill for it.  What is the deal?

I have a Muslim friend from Pakistan, so I put this question to him.  What's your deal, man?  That's pretty pathetic.

His reply really opened my eyes.  He first said that you stand outside of a culture and you judge it from your own perspective.  You have no clue and yet you judge.  You're in no position to judge.  But let's see if I can help you understand.  Let's suppose you walked in here today and told me you were going to kill your own family.  I'd be alarmed, but I wouldn't become violent towards you.  Now, let's take it up a notch.  Suppose you tell me you are going to kill my family.  I'll panic, but I'm not going to get violent.  Now, let's suppose you actually go and kill my family.  I'd be crushed.  But I'd call the police.  None of that would provoke actual violence from me.

But if you walked in here and insulted Mohammed I'd kill you.

Seriously, that's what he told me.  The regard he has for Mohammed is much greater than what he would have for his own mother.  He said anyone can understand if I'm standing next to my mother and you walk in, insult her, slap her, anyone can understand how that would provoke a violent reaction.  But even the regard I have for my own mother is nothing next to the regard I have for Mohammed, and I am much more outraged at insults towards him.

I said "But Christians don't react to the crucifix with urination."  He said if Christians don't genuinely care about Jesus the way we care about Mohammed and also the way we care about Jesus that's not my problem.

He says he's told many Christian people that they don't really love Jesus.  Not like he does.  He acts like Jesus is real.  If Jesus were insulted or even if Moses were insulted Muslims will become outraged.  Sure, Mohammed is another level of outrage, but it's similar for Jesus and Moses.  Much more of a big deal than insulting family or even harming his family.

Like I say, it's not as if Christians are unwilling to be violent.  Many Christians in the military are violent all over the world.  But they aren't being violent for Jesus.  They are violent perhaps for their own safety.  Maybe they think Americans are at risk from foreign terrorists.  It's a miniscule threat, but they'll be violent for that.  My friend says he's unlikely to react to a threat, but will react to defend the honor of Mohammed.

It's easy to stand back and just say that violence is wrong.  But when we hear of typical violence we understand the underlying causes.  If someone insults your mother to your face it's easy to say you should ignore it.  But we can understand that one person in 100 may not be able to ignore it and they may react with violence.  It's not right, but it happens.  But when it comes to insulting Jesus it never happens.  Christians, at least in the US, don't seem to have that 1 in hundred case of a person that reacts with violence.  The mother is real though.  We all have or had a mother.  She was/is real.  Do Christians really act like Jesus is real?  Because Muslims are acting like Mohammed is real.

I'm not knocking acting like Jesus isn't real.  I don't think he was real.  But we need to at least understand where Muslims are coming from if we want to comprehend and address whatever violence they engage in.  They just act like they believe what they say and Christians in the US kind of don't.


Luke said...

I think your Pakistani friend is being a bit uncharitable towards Christians here. The 1 in 100 cases would surely exist if there were not a huge pile of social punishment and ridicule waiting to be heaped on Christianity if it were to happen. It's not that they don't believe as strongly, it is that they are aware of the consequences of violence towards their religion whereas Muslims in Pakistan are apparently more oblivious (and perhaps have less actual consequences since they hold more power over the state). Belief isn't the issue here, it's a question of anticipated consequences for behavior. Muslims who believe that violence will only be the cause of more insults to Mohammad and Allah are going to be more strongly opposed to violence than those who think their intimidation strategy will work.

Miles Rind said...

"But if you walked in here and insulted Mohammed I'd kill you." You cite this utterance of your Pakistani acquaintance as if it explained something. Surely it is precisely the sort of thing that needs to be explained.

If it is an inherent and inseparable part of the Muslim religion that anyone offering insult to Mohammed must be killed--which is what you seem to be suggesting--then all those who hold that Islam is an incurably violent religion are quite right.

Jon said...

The 1 in 100 cases would surely exist if there were not a huge pile of social punishment and ridicule waiting to be heaped on Christianity if it were to happen.

Different societies have different social stigmas associated with violence. So for instance if you are part of an invading army that kills hundreds of thousands of people, mostly civilians, the stigma maybe isn't that bad. The same could be true if you are Muslim and you react to insults towards Mohammed.

But what kind of strikes me is this. If someone slapped my Mom or called her some awful names in front of me I might get violent. Even if I wouldn't I can understand why someone would. Now if I was Muslim and believed Mohammed to be this great person that did great things in various ways, sacrificed himself so we could know God's message, etc, why wouldn't I be MORE offended at disrespect towards him as opposed to disrespect toward me or my Mom? I think I should be.

If I'm a Christian and I believe Jesus to be so much greater than any man, sacrificing his own body because he wanted to personally save me, then I would get pretty fired up if people disrespected him. Social stigma or not, if someone treated me as Jesus is believed to have treated others I would be really ticked at people being rude towards him.

Imagine you were a peasant. Imagine you were sick with a really difficult to defeat cancer. A super wealthy man that had sacrificed extremely hard for his wealth gives all that up to save you. And he does save you, but in the process he starves himself to death because of his love for you. And then you are walking around and you see people obnoxiously disrespecting the man that gave you life. If you really believed that, and Jesus sacrifice is even greater than that, it would be very hard for you to take that lying down. And yet Christians take that lying down like it is nothing. All the time. And they ridicule Muslims for not similarly just ignoring disrespect to someone that acted similarly.

In the eyes of Muslims the fact that our society attaches stigma to reactions like that is further condemnation of our society.

I'm not defending what these violent Muslims have done and I'm not defending my friend's attitude. What I am saying is it's worth looking at the underlying thinking.

Jon said...

If it is an inherent and inseparable part of the Muslim religion that anyone offering insult to Mohammed must be killed

I think it's inseparable in the sense that condemnation of homosexuality is inseparable from Christianity. In other words it's not inseparable. However, when I hear evangelicals condemn Fred Phelps I tell them to think about what they are saying. He's taking the bible seriously and you are condemning him for it. I condemn it, but on the other hand I want to understand it. I look at these Christians that push how the Bible is the perfect inerrant word of God and then turn around and act like Fred Phelps is some sort of aberration and say no, he's a product of your kind of thinking. Condemn him if you like, but check where the 4 fingers are pointing.

Sheldon said...

I think generally that religion is a serious impediment to critical thinking. And this just illustrates the fact. So they take their religion seriously?

I take Marxist theory seriously, or Darwinian theory seriously. Serious criticism are thought about, and insults are dismissed as idiocy. end of story.

Examinator said...

I'd like to hear your justification for US world wide hegemony at the barrel of a gun or drone?
Keep in mind the average rural peasant Muslim has far less education and access to facts than the equivalent social peg in the USA.

Para phrasing Marx 'religion was the opium (salve to give purpose to their lives a reason to go on. Its like religion to the Slaves. This life sucks but the future for the devout is .....) of the masses (poor/uneducated).

Chad said...

I didn't realize your such an advocate of war and violence Jon. If I were to uphold my Christian believes as strongly and with as much violence as many Muslims then we would be natural enemies and must kill each other on sight right?

It's funny, you apparently have no issue with your friend/the very religious killing someone who called his God a fraud, but you are appalled when people (like me) feel that the radical Muslim religion is a cancer and a threat to this great county we live in. That makes me ignorant, a racist or whatever the commonly used spin phrase thats out there. I am sure your going to tell me that the great majority of Muslims are good people not interested in violence. Yet I see the good Muslim version of their religion daily and find it appalling. 3 doors down is a Muslim family, the wife must remain covered when outdoors, she always walks behind her husband like a freaking slave, when people try to talk to her - she doesn't speak as if she is not allowed to. She is not allowed to come to neighborhood parties, but he is. She never makes eye contact and when the husband looks at her she cowers like a beaten dog - ask your friend about that. Your getting sucked in hook, line and sinker. They want you to sympathize and accept so Shria can be law and so they can commit murder hiding behind their God's name.

Too me your friend even mentioning the fact that he (maybe just justifying his fellow Muslims - not him of course) could kill a human being due to a belief should have made the hairs on our neck stand straight up and I doubt he'll be invited over to your house any time soon. What if you accidentially disrespect his God (if he is a serious practicing Muslim that is) - you going to be okay with him chopping one of your family members up if you cross a line?

Any person or group (especially in this country) who attempts to justify violence against those who have an opposing view is the root of the problem - period.

Jon said...

It's funny, you apparently have no issue with your friend/the very religious killing someone who called his God a fraud

Are you serious? You think I have no problem with violence like this in response to a movie? For crying out loud man. That's some outrageously poor reading comprehension.

How many times to I have to say it? The violence is deplorable. But UNDERSTANDING the causes is worth doing. If you come home and find your wife in bed with another man and you shoot them both your violence is DEPLORABLE. But if I stand back and say the reason you did it is because your wife cheated THIS DOES NOT MEAN I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH YOU MURDERING THEM!!!

could kill a human being due to a belief should have made the hairs on our neck stand straight up

Yeah, that's what it did. Yeah, his attitude is awful. The point of this post is not to say he's not awful. It's to say that if you step inside his shoes and try to UNDERSTAND the causes that produce this awful attitude, that is worth doing, and particularly worth doing for Christians that would do the same if they were logical. Fortunately they are not. I'm not advocating consistency. I'll take peace over consistency.

Any person or group (especially in this country) who attempts to justify violence against those who have an opposing view is the root of the problem - period.

I remember in high school American history how our teacher explained the causes of WWII. He talked about the suffering in Germany following WWI, how workers would demand payment before the day was done because they knew by the end of the day their wages would be worth less due to inflation. Lots of poverty ensued and gave rise to a radical, violent regime. Was our teacher part of the problem because he talked about the causes? Is he saying that he has no problem gassing Jews and invading various countries, leading to the death of tens of millions? Is that what you would conclude?

Jonathan said...


So you’re saying it’s logical that if anyone holds enough reverence for someone you will murder someone who insults them? I don’t think that follows. You can say that if one holds certain beliefs that they can find it logically coherent to kill someone in this circumstance based on their presuppositions, but what does that really bring to the table? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for understanding on all sides, and the more you understand about someone and their thinking the better, but at the end of the day you seem to be putting more blame on the guys who do not understanding the logical syllogism of those doing the killing but just think it’s wrong, as compared to those doing the killing themselves!

I think we use the word “logical” poorly in our language. Because with it often times comes an implicit moral implications. Hey, I was just thinking logically, it’s not my fault that I believed these presuppositions. If person A kills you for insulting their prophet because they were angry, and person B does it because they were thinking logically, it doesn’t change the fact that you were still murdered, and you’re still dead. Whose to say person B just used logic to support their anger and hate? I don't think you can parse that out...

But more to the point, I think you’re assuming that people are just purely rational agents, and that you can parse out our beliefs and thoughts derived from logic, from those from emotion, and in so doing, you can say “this person acted in anger and hate, while this person had good intentions, they were acting rationally and cooly, they were just misinformed, or had a different set of operating principals than you and I, we must understand this person”. I don’t think things are that clear cut, or can be easily separated.

If I were to grow up believing that black people were less than human, and were truly talking animals, and so I could kill, rape, or mistreat them as I saw fit, I could claim that I was just acting purely rationally and logically, or at the very least, simply was unaware they were human, so shouldn't be held to the same standard as someone else, maybe get my for animal abuse or something. It’s just my starting presupposition which is false – don’t blame me, I was just taught wrong, maybe even deceived. But I think you and I would both agree there is a germ of hatred and self deception which requires a view like this to be perpetuated. I think looking at situations strictly through the eyes of logic in an effort to gain understanding can be rather myopic if you do not bring with it a measure of morality as well.

Jon said...

Logical just means that the conclusion follows from the premises. Even if the premises are not right. So for example:

1-Killing a spouse is justified if they cheat.
2-Person A cheated on person B.
3-Person B is justified in killing person A.

It's logical, but premise 1 is wrong. In the same way Muslim reasoning is wrong, but logical.

On the other hand to act incredulous when one spouse kills another cheating spouse to me doesn't make sense. If you don't understand why someone could become angry if their spouse cheated I'm saying think about it.

I do agree with you on the difficulty of parsing "This person did evil but with good intentions, this other person is just pure evil." I think if all you can say is "This person is just pure evil" then you aren't trying to get inside their head and understand them. Are you looking at it from their perspective?

I try to do that. Even for Obama as he drones innocent people. I know the pressures he is under. I understand that he might just think he needs to do a small amount of evil to prevent a greater evil (Republican policies). Or even Romney. When Romney goes in and destroys people's pensions to enrich himself he thinks it's for the good. Rewarding the wealthy means more entrepreurial drive (you're motivated to work hard when you're hungry) and it's for the best. I try to get inside their heads. I just see Islam's critics as not trying to do the same. I think Romney is a deplorable human being, but I still want to understnd where he's coming from.

It’s just my starting presupposition which is false – don’t blame me, I was just taught wrong, maybe even deceived.

That's where you get me wrong. Don't blame me. That's not what I said. I do want to understand the root cause for the person that thinks black humans are animals. I want to talk about it. Understanding the root cause is the best way to address the problem.

For Islam the problem is that they really believe Mohammed did the things attributed to him. They really believe he's like the rich man that sacrificed all to save your life. It is logical and understandable that they would become violent. And Islam's greatest critics (fundamentalist Christians) should understand that better than anyone. I find that a bit remarkable. Ironic.

None of this changes the fact that the VIOLENCE THEY PERPETUATED WAS WRONG. In America everyone understands that, so I think it's kind of pathetic to see all these moralizers talking about it, as if it required bravery to criticize a people that are already so scorned and unfairly punished. I've posted videos before of groups gathering at mosques screaming at people. Glenn Greenwald recently talked about a Muslim recently imprisoned for literally sending food to starving family members in Iraq, whereas other white people that did the same have not been punished. So yeah, I am inclined to tell people to just shut up about it and look in the mirror first. But that's not to say it wasn't wrong. It was wrong, but it's not something you and I are responsible for. It's about as wrong as the crimes of Genghis Khan, and our talking about it does about as much good.

Jonathan said...


I completely disagree - it is *NOT* logical a priori that one would become violent to the point of killing someone for an insult if one were only to have enough reverence or appreciation for a person. If that were the case, then what you’re saying is that every Christian you have ever known or heard about living in the US or abroad just didn’t have nearly the same level of respect for Jesus as our one Muslim friend, or else there would be a whole lot more killin’ going on. Thank goodness Hitchens never ran across any true devout Christ followers, lest he would have met a much more untimely death.

Also, regarding your point regarding the Kahn, things seems to get much less theoretical when you tell me that one of the nicest guys I know, a Muslim from Pakistan, speaking with his friend, someone who devotes his time to the defending and understanding Islam better (you), was told that you would be killed for insulting Muhammad.

We’re not talking about an angry mob of marginalized and uneducated folks who are victims of US policy in some far off corner of the world in a culture we simply do not understand, we’re talking about the guy in the next cube. Perhaps you should take him to lunch and explain to him how he’s obviously misinterpreting the Koran? I’d love to be a fly on wall with a discussion between you, our friend, and Bob Dutko. ;-)

Jon said...

Jonathan, I think we really don't disagree on this point. I think we just mean different things when we say a statement is logical. What I mean is illustrated with the syllogism below.

1-All animals with wings can fly.
2-Pigs have wings.
3-Therefore pigs can fly.

Premise 1 is false (ostrich). Premise 2 is false (pigs don't have wings). And yet the conclusion does follow from the (false) premises, so the reasoning is logically valid. That's what I mean when I say the Muslim reasoning is logical. The premises are false, so the reasoning is unsound, but it is logical.

The key is we both agree that the conclusion is mistaken. Still, I want to evaluate it because I want to get inside their heads. I think anybody that is truly interested in ending violence would do this.

I think detectives that try to find serial killers do the same. They do their best to identify with the murderer. Understand his starting point, his logic. That's the best way to address him and bring the violence to an end.

Examinator said...

my point to Miles and other is that patriotism is an act of faith ...a belief. OBJECTIVELY where's the difference Both Muslims and Americans only the belief is different not the end result American's will kill and die for that belief.i.e. the 'American way.'

Miles Rind said...

Replying to Examinator:

I'd like to hear your justification for US world wide hegemony at the barrel of a gun or drone?

Examinator, I would like to hear your justification for using koalas to beat baby seals to death. If you find my request to be fatuous and irrelevant, then you will understand how I felt upon reading your comment.

Replying to Jon (in his reply to me):

I think it's inseparable in the sense that condemnation of homosexuality is inseparable from Christianity. In other words it's not inseparable. However, when I hear evangelicals condemn Fred Phelps I tell them to think about what they are saying. He's taking the bible seriously and you are condemning him for it.

I understand this much: you are saying, contrary to my interpretation of your post, that killing those who insult Mohammed is not an inherent part of Islam. But then you go on to say--well, I can't restate the rest, because I don't understand the point of the analogy that follows. I also can't see that anyone who condemns Fred Phelps is condemning him for "taking the Bible seriously." Christians who derive a condemnation of homosexuality from the Bible do so not by taking the Bible seriously but by reading their own opinions into it so that they can justify how serious they are about those opinions. (Perhaps you recognize this and think that Muslims who believe that all blasphemers must be killed commit a similar misreading of the Koran? I don't know.) The Bible contains passages in which YHVH commands the Israelite male not to have sexual relations with another male, and imposes the death penalty for doing so--just as it does for doing work on the sabbath and other transgressions. The command is one of many by which the Israelites are to keep themselves separate and distinct from other nations. The only way that Christians can imagine that this particular rule applies to non-Israelites while the rules of diet, clothing, etc., do not, is by approaching the Bible with an entirely Bible-independent moral conception and selecting those passages that seem to confirm that conception, regardless of context.

Examinator said...

Thank you for your view
My question regarding Nationalism, the American way at the point of a gun, drone is fatuous why? Because you are an American, inculcated with the American culture (what ever that means?)
and therefore it's the only view or best...why? Good luck with an objective definition.
However you are right there are over 20 recognised denominations of Islam each is very different from the other. (like the white supremacist Church to Quakers)
If one wants to look at the bible there are many different interpretations there of based different focus to specific verses etc.
i.e. the Adventists worship on the 'Sabbath' i.e. Saturday and take the bible Literally.
As for koalas being used in the way you suggest well the Aussies are doing a great job by cutting down their habitats to make money and running them over in their SUV and ute's . :-(

Chad said...

JC - I thought my comprehension was right on par sir, but apparently not in your mind.

Understanding the cause I believe was your point and although you reject violence it seemed to me that you were certainly justifying it to some degree.

How about your view "yeah, what they do is worthy of criticism, but it's not our place to offer it."

Wow - you had a man tell you that if you insult Mohammed that he would kill you on American soil. Yes, it disturbed you, but your willing to engage this person to 'satisfy his needs' by eliminating free speech? How about Shria - you going to allow that to be implemented in America?

You consitently stand up on your blog mountain and shout down about all the terrible injustices happening around this world. Whether I am for or against your views it seems your heart is in the right place, but I am curious to read why you have not turned your critical eye on this religion? Even the modest believers in Islam carry with them some pretty radical views including how they look at women. Dare I say (I know that I am offering a target on my back, but oh well) dare I say that many of their views are anti-American as well?

For goodness sakes - if a damn poorly made video about Mohammed has the ability to insight rage to a point of murder for any group of people then what is there to discuss and understand anyway?

Ex - I think you know that I am not much on wars and death, but I find it somewhat amusing about your drone strike stance. Do they kill innocent people - you bet, but I suspect that the number of accidental deaths are a very low percentage. Also - if someone is on the 'hit list' don't you think they not only know it, but those around that person know that? Further more, don't you think that one reason a target person surrounds himself with 'innocents' is to make sure their death comes at the price of having folks like yourself tear down the action? For me personally, I don't like war like I have said before, but we have enemies that want to kill Americans so there is war. I would rather a precision drone strike happen 100 times over putting US Service men/women on the ground in harms way. Rather a strike that takes out a select few versus tanks and bombs that take out a city block. As technology progresses I suspect that somewhere in the near future these strikes will become more and more precise to a point where a single person in a room full of people will be eliminated. To discuss how and why someone gets choosen as a target should be discussed for sure. I can actually forsee a time in our future where drone strikes will be globally outlawed/regulated similar to nuclear warheads - I think they are that dangerous.

Jon said...

Miles, I happen to think that just because a position is the logical outworking of a faith this doesn't mean it's an inseparable element of a faith.

So in the Bible God calls circumcision an everlasting covenant, never to be done away. Christians aren't consistent and they ignore this. Christians have separated this from Christianity despite the inconsistency.

This is just an analogy that doesn't apply perfectly to the Mohammed situation. There's nothing in the Qur'an that requires people kill when Muhammad is insulted. I just think that it's not surprising of people that take their faith seriously. They are acting like Mohammed is real. We shouldn't act surprised that they think he's real. In acting surprised we focus on the symptom, not the cause. If we care about this violence we should be doing what we can to lessen the fundamentalist influence.

The first thing you do to achieve that is stop with the invasions, which drive them to religious extremism. Next you stop propping up the theocrats. If we aren't talking about that first then we're just flapping our gums because it feels good to look down our noses at others even though we're accomplishing nothing.

Jon said...

Yes, it disturbed you, but your willing to engage this person to 'satisfy his needs' by eliminating free speech?

I wouldn't insult Jesus or Mohammed. I think doing so is obnoxious. Here's something else I wouldn't do. I wouldn't sleep with a married woman. What if a man's wife said to me "If you were to sleep with my wife I'd kill you." That's totally wrong of him. But I'm not going to go out and sleep with his wife just to assert my freedoms. Doing that is wrong. In the same way I'm not going to just insult people that are revered by others knowing it will be extremely offensive to them. I'm just not going to do it. I understand why some people do, but I say if you want to take a stand there are much more important issues. I saw a video that had a girl putting herself in front of an Israeli soldier that was just firing on Palestinian people. A group that included children. That's a good time to take a stand. Not for the right to be obnoxious.

but I am curious to read why you have not turned your critical eye on this religion?

For a very simple reason. I am not responsible for the behavior of Muslims. I am not in a position to influence what they do. I can get on my soap box and condemn their various flaws. If I were an Egyptian that's what I would do. But I am not Egyptian. I am an American.

There was a Soviet dissident by the name of Andrei Sakharov. He would always criticize Soviet crimes and when he did so the commissars would say "What about America? Look at Vietnam. Look at Latin America. Look at Iran and Saudia Arabia. America is much worse." Here's how Sakharov would reply. He'd say "I don't care." I'm not an American. I don't know much about their crimes and I don't care. I am a Russian. I will look in the mirror first. I will focus on the things I can influence. If you can't figure that one out you're just not in the moral universe. Yeah, looking down your nose at Muslims may make you feel good, but it does about zero in terms of making the world a better place. Do what Jesus told you to do. Look at the beam in your own eye first. The speck in his eye is irrelevant.

Jon said...

Also Chad, our drones are EXTREMELY inaccurate. I think I had a blog post a while back that published some accuracy information. Something like 200 kills in Pakistan only 3 were actual targets. The rest civilians. If you and I had to deal with a world like that we'd go crazy. Dare I say, we might just become extremists.

Examinator said...

Spot on.
Apart from why do something that will insult some one intentionally any way visa vie the European scandal rags and peek a boo intrusions on The prince and his wife. In my mind the 'journalist' (spit) is nothing short of a peeping tom and the mags are drinking from the legal 'poison well'.

Freedom of speech be buggered it's simply a criminal act from a criminal act. Where is the "need" to know

Likewise, where is the public need to know in firstly insulting people and simple bad manners.
I refer you to one of my favourite comedy characters one recommended to me by a Muslim .
There's been no death threats etc here. Ask your self why? Clearly they do have both a sense of humour and tolerance.
There was a program here on auntie called Salam Cafe ...a comedy panel and skit show by Muslims sending up Muslims it was very funny. They played with stereo types of themselves with great effect
The thing to note here is that a the way the jokes are told and that none of them take the forbidden (bad taste topic) i.e. if the windy character made the same jokes they would be offensive.

Also note both timing, how and who is delivering the jokes (?)....
i.e. Blacks can call each other 'nigger' but whites can't without raising offence.
In Australia Greek Aussies call them selves 'Wogs' other Australians use the term ..... and either duck or be prepared to fight. Even some jokes told by a woman about women if told by a male would unleash a tirade of biblical proportions. seethe Aussie PM socking it to the opposition leader