Reports (1, 2, 3) say over ten thousand muslims turned up to pressure google into taking down an anti islamic video called "The Innocence of Muslims" from YouTube, and organisers say the protests will continue around the globe until they get what they want.
The protestors carried placards with phrases like: - "This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed", "Prophet Muhammad is the father of civil liberties", "Google supports terrorism", "How dare you insult the blessed prophet", "Freedom of Speech = Hatred of Muslims?" and "Muslims campaign for global civility".
A lawyer called Sheikh Siddiqui, wants christian, catholic, jewish, trade unions, and even conservatives groups to encourage their ranks to join his "campaign for civility".
This protect group is trying to co-opt the term "civility", claiming that it is not civil to attack actions and quotes attributed to the prophet Mohammed. They say the video is so insulting that it is "emotional terrorism".
No-one, NO-ONE, whose personal belief system includes eternal hell for rejecting the claims of that faith can EVER claim the moral high ground on emotional coercion.
They claim it is not civil to attack the character of Muhammad (whose very existence is still a matter of historical debate), but somehow, it is acceptable to hold the view that people who disagree, people who disbelief are of such low character that they are destined to spend eternity in Jahannam (hell)? And to publish that view in a book they claim to be the true and beautiful word of god?
The islamic apologetic argument that Christians, Catholics, and Jews might be saved because they seek god only through the wrong path does little to hide the fact that all sects of Islam agree the Qur'an says those who reject the islamic faith are irredeemable and damned.
And among them there is he who says: Allow me and do not try me. Surely into trial have they already tumbled down, and most surely hell encompasses the unbelievers. Qur'an 9:49
Do they not know that whoever acts in opposition to Allah and His Messenger, he shall surely have the fire of hell to abide in it? Qur'an 9:63
Allah has promised the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women and the unbelievers the fire of hell to abide therein; it is enough for them; and Allah has cursed them and they shall have lasting punishment. Qur'an 9:68That is not civil.
That is not polite.
That cannot be considered good "manners" as they should be taught.
It IS insulting
It IS threatening.
... and I'm only talking about hell here, I'm ignoring the verses on the reduced value of women, and the calls to actually harm or even kill unbelievers.
Putting the more "flexible" interpretations of moderate muslims, claims of historical context, etc, all aside for a moment: These claims remain part of their core religious dogma, written in their holy book. The insult is not only allowed but enshrined as the most beautiful of all "poetry".
For ANY group to pressure a company or government to provide special dispensation to that group and censor someones freedom of expression (no matter what you think of the quality or appropriateness of the video) while maintaining a core belief that insulting should be seen for the intolerable double standard it represents.
I reject Islam and Muhammad.
I ALSO reject the "The Innocence of Muslims" as crude and unworthy biased collection of misquotes and mixed contexts.
However, if I am to support the right of people of faith to hold views about myself and others who reject faith as deserving of infinite suffering I MUST reject utterly any attempt by those people of faith to stifle the expression of views that challenge contradict or even insult faith, it's articles, characters, and dogma.
People of Islam, please... Use the same freedom those protestors are attacking... Counter the video, refute the message, correct the perception, but dont, just please dont, try to bury it under a claim of "civility" that you simply cannot defend.
There are several reasons why that video might be banned not least of which is that the actors were lied to about what they were making, but "civility" is not one if them.