Sticks and Stones: Part 2

Mustafa Akyol

pens an interesting article on blasphemy in The NYT:

WILL “moderate Muslims” finally “speak up” against their militant coreligionists? People around the world have asked (but, as in the past, have not all seriously examined) this question since last week’s horrific attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher supermarket in Paris. . . .

Mockery of Muhammad, actual or perceived, has been at the heart of nearly all of these controversies over blasphemy.

This might seem unremarkable at first, but there is something curious about it, for the Prophet Muhammad is not the only sacred figure in Islam. The Quran praises other prophets — such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus — and even tells Muslims to “make no distinction” between these messengers of God. Yet for some reason, Islamist extremists seem to obsess only about the Prophet Muhammad.

English: The Islamic Prophet Muhammad, 17th ce...

English: The Islamic Prophet Muhammad, 17th century Ottoman copy of an early 14th century (Ilkhanate period) manuscript of Northwestern Iran or northern Iraq (the “Edinburgh codex”). Illustration of Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī’s al-Âthâr al-bâqiyah ( الآثار الباقيةة ; “The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries”) Français : Le prophète de l’islam Mahomet, illustration d’un manuscript ottoman du 17e siècle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones: Part 2

  1. Rutgers has several “safe zones”.
    “The university has several designated LGBTQ “safe spaces,” and additional safe zones are being designated. The existence of “safe spaces” does not imply that other places on campus are unsafe. Far from it. Rutgers-Newark works hard to make our community a safe and welcoming place for everyone. Safe spaces simply indicate locations on campus where numerous people have received extra training in how to work with and address the special needs of LGBTIQ people.”

    Perhaps justinthecanuck [] will tell us about them?


  2. What are safe zones?
    Some info from Google:

    Our LGBT students, faculty and staff can feel nearly invisible on our campus and may sometimes find the climate uninviting or even hostile. The safe zone symbol sends a message to students and colleagues. This message is one of understanding, non-judgment and knowledge of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons’ needs and concerns. It is symbolic of a willingness and a commitment on our part to provide an atmosphere of acceptance and assistance. – James Madison University

    Brown University: Participants are expected to display the Brown Safe Zone symbol in a visible location to identify themselves as supporters of LGBTQ community members and as committed to creating an environment free of homophobia, heterosexism, and bias. Participants should be comfortable when LGBTQ community members approach them to talk about LGBTQ-related issues and with helping these individuals take advantage of other LGBTQ-related resources. Finally, participants themselves are expected to utilize other LGBTQ campus resources (e.g., LGBTQ Center) when they are unsure of how to help someone who has sought information or a referral from them.

    U of Cincinnati: Safe Zone 101 seeks to increase the visible presence of students, staff and faculty who can help to shape a campus culture that is accepting of all people regardless of sexuality, gender identification/expression, or any other difference. Training topics and exercises include: becoming comfortable discussing sexuality and gender identifications, the importance of inclusive language, creating safe spaces and how to be a supportive advocate and ally for LGBTQ social justice and equality.

    NYU: Safe Zone is a campus wide program designed to visibly identify students, staff, and faculty peers who support the LGBTQ population, understand some of the issues facing LGBTQ individuals, and are aware of the various LGBTQ resources. The mandatory three hour training session provides a foundation of knowledge needed to be an effective ally to LGBTQ students and those questioning their sexuality. Campus wide trainings are offered multiple times every semester, but training sessions can be arranged for other groups if requested.


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