John Esposito writes on the cartoons controversy:
“One of the first questions I have been asked about this conflict by media from Europe, the US, and Latin America has been ‘Is Islam incompatible with Western values?’ Are we seeing a culture war?
“Before jumping to that conclusion, we should ask, whose Western democratic and secular values are we talking about? Is it a Western secularism that privileges no religion in order to provide space for all religions and to protect belief and unbelief alike? Or is it a Western ‘secular fundamentalism’ that is anti-religious and increasingly, post 9/11, anti-Islam?
“What we are witnessing today has little to do with Western democratic values and everything to do with a European media that reflects and plays to an increasingly xenophobic and Islamaphobic society.”