- Nov 14, 2009
- Medford, Oregon, USA
- 2011 Civic Si, 2002 SV650
Again, I would prefer not to see "Paintings of the Prophet" stores open across from mosques, etc. I wouldn't consider it "right." But it would certainly be legal. And if there's some backward law anywhere in the country that prohibits that, it should be repealed. There's nothing fundamentally offensive about pictures of the Prophet or Allah unless you hold that religious belief -- and as you've pointed out, free speech should triumph.
From a "moral rightness" perspective, your analogy falls apart because the primary reason, perhaps the only reason, for a "paintings of Muhammad" store is to offend Muslims. It's not like there's a widespread desire in the community for people to own portraits of Muhammad. But the purpose of a mosque isn't to offend victims of terrorism. The purpose of a mosque is to give Muslims a place to pray. Christians and Jews who work in downtown Manhattan have a local place to pray so that they don't have to travel an hour to attend religious services; why shouldn't Muslims as well?
What you're doing is equating (1) deliberately offending someone by doing something that serves no purpose besides offending people, and (2) inadvertently offending someone because that person finds your very identity (basic identity traits such as religion) inherently offensive. And those are not remotely equivalent.
EDIT: A closer analogy would be "some Catholics are offended by homosexuality, is it morally right for an LGBT community center to be built within two blocks of a major cathedral?" And I would be shocked if anyone here said "no."