"How dare Islamic fundamentalists kill to protect their religion from such a small and meaningless movie. And though I oppose the hate-filled and misguided film, I would die fighting to protect the studio's right to release it." - The irony of fundamentalism.The recent violence in the Middle East over the release of an anti-Islam movie does not show us how different our cultures are, instead through the conflict of rights and religion, it shows us what our cultures have in common, fundamentalism.
The question of whether the right of free speech is more important than a religion is just as arbitrary as the terms themselves. Rights and religion were both created by people, both are imperfect, and both are arbitrary; yet people on both sides, from religious fanatics to patriotic constitutionalists, are all willing to die to protect them.
The problem with this recent turmoil in the Middle East is not that our two cultures don't have enough in common, it's that what we have in common needs to change. Instead of one kind of fundamentalism fighting against another, we should begin to address how all fundamentalism is dangerous.
But that idea is unlikely to gain popularity, as it's not a cause people are willing to die for.