In case you can't read the sign in this photo: it's a small child holding up a sign that reads, "Behead all those who insult the prophet." This was seen at the anti-American protest in Sydney yesterday. [Source]
I like being in a diverse multi-ethnic society where a variety of cultures are allowed to be expressed. But the multicultural ideal only works when the cultures it contains share the same basic values. While the majority of Australian Muslims have integrated well and become "Australian", there are certain minority elements, particularly in Sydney, that maintain views that are simply anathema to the values that are fundamental to the society we want to be in 2012. It would be slightly more understandable if these 300 protesters had just arrived in Australia from somewhere less genteel, and we could say that they have not yet got accustomed to the Australian way of life. But most of those men were either born here or grew up here. When people can grow up in Australia and yet grow to adulthood with a mentality that is unrecognisable as Australian, then perhaps there is something wrong with the way our society indulges these idiots.
We should celebrate diverse cultures. No doubt. But somewhere along the line, some people have taken that to mean that it's okay to think like a barbarian.
I have no axe to grind with the majority of Australian Muslims who are by and large pretty good folks. I am the child of a Muslim, in fact. I have numerous friends who are of Muslim background, and I can say unreservedly that Australia is a better place for their presence.
But we need to do something to ensure we don't add to the minority of Muslims who are just f*cking idiots. There are plenty of non-Muslims in Australia who are also f*cking idiots of course, but for all their faults, they generally don't advocate murdering people who insult their religion.
You know what Christians in Australia do when someone insults Jesus? Pretty much nothing. Sometimes they might write a stern letter to a newspaper. When people can insult Muhammad as frequently as they insult Jesus, and nothing happens aside from an increased volume of letters to the editor, that's when I'll feel affirmed that everything is okay with multiculturalism.