Everyone has the right to their opinions.
The right to freely those opinions (no matter how stupid or revolting) must be respected and protected. That does not mean we are obligated to respect those opinions or the people that make them.
Simply walking on two legs does not mean we are all equal. Living in a different culture and society does not mean that society is equal to our own.
The recent Pew survey highlights (we would say exposes) the deteriorating relationship between the Muslim and non Muslim communities in the west.
The survey released on Thursday by the independent Pew Global Attitudes Project showed that each side blamed the other for deteriorating relations, a tendency highlighted by the uproar over cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammad.
"Muslim opinions about the West and its people have worsened over the past year and by overwhelming margins, Muslims blame Westerners for the strained relationship between the two sides."
The fact that each side 'blamed the other,' is irrelevant. The fact that some Muslims blamed the west for 'straind relationships' is also irrelevant. Hitler blamed the Jews, Americans, Russians and bad weather for his problems. That did not make his position or that of the Axis, equal to the position of the Allies.
One Muslim said,
"We see them coming here occupying our countries, taking the oil. Muslim countries are rich in natural resources, enjoy the best weather. That is why Western governments want to control us and take over our wealth," Abeer Ali Muhammad, a 38-year-old fitness trainer in Egypt, was quoted as saying.
Let's see. It's time to blame the democracies. Many Muslims resent western 'support' of current regimes. Well, where are the alternatives? When western countries remove a hated tyrant, why is that resented? Why is are the efforts to instill democracy resented and hated?
The report goes on to note
The survey found Western attitudes toward Muslims were more diverse. Some 83 percent of Spaniards and 78 percent of Germans associated Muslims with fanaticism, but only half of French respondents and 43 percent of Americans shared that view.
Highlighting the lack of common ground, most people in Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia and Turkey blamed the Mohammad cartoon controversy on Western nations' disrespect for Islam. But majorities of Americans and Western Europeans who had heard of the controversy saw it as a result of Muslim intolerance.
If western Muslims choose to live in fantasyland, that is of course, their business. The are free to express their opinions. As we noted, that "does not mean we are obligated to respect those opinions or the people that make them."
The Pew survey only highlights the disconnect from reality many in the Muslim community share.