Last year, in response to Islamist threats against Trey Parker and Matt Stone's making fun of the prohibition against portraying Mohammed on "South Park", Molly Norris, in the Seattle Weekly, published a cartoon proposing an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." Mohammed was not portrayed in the cartoon and in a short time she apologized. However, it did not save her. Anwar al-Awlaki issued a fatwa calling for her death, noting that her proper place was in hellfire. The FBI recommended that Ms. Norris change her identity and go underground which she has done with her editor, Mark D. Fefer, wishing her "the best of luck." This is a typical Islamic response to that which displeases them (many more examples can be cited such as the Salman Rushdie incident in 1988). Islam calls on believers to threaten and coerce those it opposes (Koran 8:38-41; 9:29; 61:4) and it can be seen in the Islamic world when the West behaves or allows a circumstance that is believed to be disrespectful to the Koran or Mohammed. For those Muslims who do not believe that the Koran requires this type of response, I refer you to a recent panel discussion hosted by Christianne Amanpour meant to explore the misunderstood position between moderate and extremist Islam. On the panel was the Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary who argued that the notions of moderate Islam or extremist Islam were nonsense. There is only Islam, whose followers "submit to the creator." When a Muslim woman on this panel took the position that Islam is a faith of pluralism and provides for other faiths to coexist in a state of equal importance, he responded by suggesting that she knew nothing of what Islam desires or requires since she did not even have the good sense to cover herself. True Muslims are not granted the liberty to go through Islamic doctrine and pick and choose their preferred methods of religious practice (I might add that neither do Christians have the option to pick and choose through the New Testament what they will practice). Choudary even made the comparison that she was a Muslim in the same way that a person who occasionally eats beef burgers is a vegetarian. Those Muslims that believe in religious autonomy and peace only do so because Western concepts have influenced contemporary practice of a religion that requires universal submission. For those Muslims who read the Koran literally, such reasoning of Koranic instruction is a sin.
On the other hand, how will a Christian respond to a situation such as "The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals", a lithograph showing the Son of God engaged in a sexual act and is currently featured in an art museum in Loveland, Colorado? Christians will and are condemning the artwork but will not put out a bounty on the head of the artist. Christians are called on to appeal and persuade, not threaten and coerce as Islam does. Islam's kingdom is of this earth so they take up the sword. The kingdom of God is not of this earth as it states in John 18:36, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." Islam commands retaliation (Koran 3:140; 9:130) while Christians are not to seek vengeance. In Romans 12:19 we are told "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'" Christians are to rebuke as directed in Titus 1:13, "This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith." When all else fails, in 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Christians are told "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." As Christians we should pray that God be merciful to them and bring them to repentance. As can easily be seen, the god of the Koran is not the God who sent His Son to die for us that we might inherit eternal life.

Charles Royal
Decatur AL