We choose to
challenge criticism by giving our own point of view, not by trying to silence it by the
use of force. Religion should encourage broad-mindedness and open-heartedness that can
accommodate any number of points of view and remain unshaken before any amount of
criticism, however unfair. If we all learn to do this, including in the Islamic world,
there will certainly be more peace and understanding between all people.
Banning of books and persecution of authors is a hold over from the dark Middle Ages that
is out of place in the modern world or in any humane society. It is not part of any truly
religious view which requires not only devotion to God but love of one's fellow human
That an author has to live in fear for his or her life for criticizing religion-which
after all is supposed to bring us peace and show us a higher way of living than anger,
revenge and violence-is a sad thing for everybody, particularly for truly religious people
regardless of their belief.