Opinions On The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad Cartoons Controversy - Opinions of Muslims - "Muslims Not Blameless"

"Muslims Not Blameless"

However, not all Muslims placed blame entirely on the West.

In Iraq, the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, decried the drawings but did not call for protests. Al-Sistani suggested that militant Muslims were partly to blame for distorting Islam's image.

In the United Arab Emirates, the periodical Al-Ittihad published an opinion piece which argued that,

"The world has come to believe that Islam is what is practiced by Bin Laden, Zawahiri, Zarqawi, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis, and others who have presented a distorted image of Islam. We must be honest with ourselves and admit that we are the reason for these drawings."

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, who is also the theorist of Dialogue Among Civilizations, strongly criticized the Danish cartoons for "spreading hatred", but added that the Muslim world is not entirely blameless either:

"Offending and insulting, is different from expressing an opinion that can be analyzed, argued on, and can eventually be accepted or rejected ... But in addition to the west, we ourselves also have problems in this regard. Instead of logical criticism or debate, we only keep saying offensive things about liberalism, democracy and modernism. I had told some of our elders before, that the religion of the today's world is 'liberalism' and we have no right to make insults about it. We should not keep using phrases such as "the corrupt culture of the west" etc. in our words. As it's also said in the Holy Koran, "Do not insult the gods of others, otherwise you are indirectly insulting your God". " February 15, 2006.

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