Australian Muslim Group Warns of "Worrying" Response to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Forthcoming Visit:

The Australian (a newspaper) reports:

Nada Roude, of the NSW Islamic Council, said Hirsi Ali's comments on the prophet Mohammed were a "no-go zone".

"They (prophets) are not just like you and me, they have special status — you're supposed to show respect," Ms Roude said.

"There have to be boundaries in how far you go in respecting other's beliefs. The reaction from the community is likely to be quite worrying." ...

Ms Roude said there seemed to be a double standard about who was allowed to visit Australia, particularly as Hirsi Ali's visit appeared to have the potential to incite hatred.

"Muslims are not treated the same," she said. "There are a set of rules for one community and another for the rest of the community. Anyone who causes harm to our society because they have the right to express their opinion is not welcome." ...

A tip: When you warn that your religious community will respond to critical speech in a "worrying" way, it is that response — and your use of that response as an attempt to deter such speech — that has the most potential to incite hostility. Oddly enough, citizens of a free country are often hostile (sometimes even to the point of hatred) to ideologies that demand suppression of critical religious views. And if your view is that Islam is a religion of peace, and that the overwhelming majority of Muslims don't support religious violence, then condemn the (by hypothesis) small and unrepresentative segment of the community that is likely to act violently rather than using the "reaction from the community" as a threat in your political advocacy.

As to one set of rules for one community and another for the rest of the community, does Australia really try to exclude people who harshly criticize Christianity, or depict Jesus in a blasphemous light? Coercive government actions to restrict blasphemy of Christianity are not completely unheard of in recent decades in Western democracies — see Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria, in which the European Court of Human Rights upheld such an action (in 1994) — but I've heard of none in Australia, nor any attempts to exclude visitors to Australia based on their blasphemous religious speech. And if Australia does allow free speech on religious matters, then who is the one who's seeking "a set of rules for one community and another for the rest of the community"?

Thanks to InstaPundit and to Andrew Bolt's blog at the Herald Sun for the pointer.