Sept. 15:  The rioting in response to a film that is said to have satirized Muhammed is as much an indictment of Islam as it may be of humanity. Why do they not understand that NO “religious” belief - or its “prophet”, is of such importance that it justifies this kind of behavior? If this is who we are, then we deserve whatever apocalyptic end awaits mankind, whether it comes in 2012 or fifty years from now.

In the words of Aldous Huxley (who was one of the great visionaries of our time) “anybody who gets eloquent about Buddha, or God, or Christ, ought to have his mouth washed out with carbolic soap”. The same applies to Muhammed, whose shit smelled as bad in his day as mine does today.

Jesus Christ had bad teeth and premature ejaculations. Gandhi slept with half the babes in India. Obama smoked weed and Gautama was a freak. We’re all just human.

You may find this post offensive, but Philip Pullman, (a writer whose books I have admittedly not read), got it right when he said that: “It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this. But if you read it, you don’t have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.”

I’d put it this way: We should never be fanatical about our belief that others should not be fanatical about theirs, except when they would impose their fanaticism on us. When that happens, we all lose.

One of my old friends argues that certain statements or behavior can be like yelling fire in the theatre, and to some extent, he is correct. But freedom is a very big deal; do we really want to live in a world where you can only say certain things (or love certain people?) That’s what the current crises is really about. That’s why it matters.

So yes - Muhammed was a sexist pig, the Dalai Lama farts, and Gandhi may have slept with all those young women in India.