On the other hand, Americans live in a society where freedom of expression is Constitutionally guaranteed and stops at the point of physical violence. That noted, it is operative and oft stated that "one's freedom ends where another's nose begins." So, when insults are hurled, it is freedom of expression; when offensive paintings are publicly displayed; it's freedom of expression; when people march in protest against something or someone; when the media makes fun of politicians; when political parties lie about one another; when one stands up and shakes a fist at a speaker; when one curses the government for some perceived or actual wrong; or, when the media, entertainment industry and even education maligns the predominant religious faith and the symbols or representatives of that faith, i.e. Christianity, it is freedom of expression.
Yet, freedom of expression has its limits, such as falsely shouting, "fire" in a situation such as a packed theater, that could cause panic and casualties; or, inciting a riot as in shouting to a restive crowd, "burn this f___ker down." Yet, for the most part, people are free to say, write, paint, or otherwise express themselves freely in the US of A. It's something that is understood by most and which some abuse with the full knowledge that they can do it without fear of government intervention or retribution.
But, in many countries freedom of expression does not exist. For example: Islamic countries or places where any form of Islamic law prevails. Nor, as a matter of religious practice do Muslims want freedom of expression when it is applied negatively or derisively toward their prophet and other aspects of their religion. Should one respect Muslims' right to worship as they choose? Yes. But, to the extent that any part of that worship or belief system involves forcibly or through intimidation foisting their beliefs on others such as is on display for the world to see in Syria and Iraq, it would cross the line and be quashed if the Constitution, unique to and that makes us Americans is to survive; and we with it. Unfortunately, it is the very religious freedom, and freedom of expression provisions of the Constitution that give Muslims cover to advance Islam's inherent totalitarian nature in the US notwithstanding that it is inherently counter-intuitive to both. I've written it before and will again here, "the US Constitution is tolerant of Islam, but Islam is not tolerant of the US Constitution." Why else would some be so derisive of the Constitution? Has anyone but me heard Obama openly express disdain for it?
One assertion by many Muslims is that Islam is a religion of peace and go on to construe the word Islam to mean it. In fact, the Arabic word salaam, or "peace" shares the same consonantal root with the words Islam and Muslim. However, "Islam" does not mean "peace" as is regularly asserted but rather, "submission"...specifically, submission to the will of Allah, Islam's God...which incidentally is not Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Jews and Christians, but "the God," and more specifically "The Moon God."
It is notable that unlike Roman Catholicism there is no central leader of Islam. However, the present leader of ISIS/L seeks to correct that "deficiency" by establishing a Caliphate otherwise known as a Muslim Empire over which he would be the head merging religious and secular Islam into a totalitarian dictatorship.
There are some parallels between the beliefs of Islam and those of other major religions of the world. But Islam is singular in the advancement of its beliefs through Jihad. It is defined variously in the 1983 unabridged Webster's Dictionary as: "Moslem Holy War to advance its goals;" and in the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty;" On the other hand is an extensive explanation offered by The Islamic Supreme Council of America which states: "The Arabic word "jihad" is often translated as "holy war," but in a purely linguistic sense, the word " jihad" means struggling or striving. The Council also states: "the Arabic word for war is: 'al-harb.'" If Islam did not embrace lying as both a strategy and tactic to advance its religion, one might fall for its explanation...not so here.
In the United States people put on a thick skin when it comes to religious beliefs because even within Christian circles it can get testy. I know, I am denominationally a Methodist and my wife Catholic and we have an excellent understanding of and respect for one another's Christian beliefs. And whereas it has worked well for us, we regularly observe theological bickering to be an inherent feature among and between Christian communities. Islam on the other hand is intrinsically intolerant of the beliefs of others notwithstanding some of its contemporary apologists' claims.
For the past six years the Administration has worked with religious fervor to remove any vestiges of unsavory connections between Islam in general and Islamic zealots, jihadists, Islamists, radical Islamists and the War on Terror, and etc. from any and all US Government publications. The Administration goes so far as to brand contemporary ISIS/L as not being Islamic, which incidentally is insightful as to Obama's understanding of and behavior toward Islam and the Ummah, this last being roughly comparable to Christian understanding of the "The Church" as "the body of believers."
Succinctly put, the distinctions between Islam and Judeo-Christianity are: Allah is the Moon God, the worship of which predates Islam by thousands of years. On the other hand the founder of Judaism, Abraham, worshiped Yahweh the God of the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible does the word "Allah" appear. Likewise, nowhere in the Bible does the crescent moon appear as a symbol of Jewish or Christian faith. Therefore, to assert that "Allah" and Yahweh are one and the same is to be ignorant or naïve, or both. Like oil and water, they are not the same despite all politically correct efforts to make them so.
Whereas Islam is based on submission to Allah, Christianity is founded on Yahweh's infinite love for His Creation. And, whereas Islam is compulsory in its practices under pain of death, Christianity is voluntary made so by God's forbearance, love, mercy, grace and the gift of his only begotten Son, Jesus, to live among us, teach us how to live and to become a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world...including enlightened Muslims. Sadly, Muslim's can never truthfully utter the words: "Free at last, free at last, praise God Almighty, I'm free at last" from the burdens and chains of compulsory submission to Islam. In fact, Islam legitimizes hatred and malice and those, like Louis Farrakhan who use it as license to express vitriol and hatred for Jews and Christians. One must choose wisely.
Christians must guard against Muslim wolves dressed in sheep's clothing which like Barack Hussein Obama uses smooth, high sounding and duplicitous language to subvert, deceive and destroy. In the finite sense if there is to be any hope for peace, Christians must unite in prayer for the conversion of Muslims from Islam's totalitarian grip to freedom that flows freely from the love and light of God through Jesus the Christ.