Re, your recent interview with a muslim elder, "Protest Right, Method Wrong" (September 17).
I could not fail to recall the reaction of certain Christian groups to the release of two films back in the 80s that lampooned the life of Christ and questioned his divinity.
I refer of course to Life of Brian and Last Temptation.
At that time, whatever limited Christian reaction there was took the form of peaceful pickets outside of some cinemas showing these movies and, in the case of Brian, a spirited but rational debate between Christian author Malcolm Muggeridge and the film's producers.
There were no death threats, no acts of outrage or violence.
It was all very peaceful, very restrained and, dare I say it? Very Western! In stark contrast to the recent riot in Sydney.
It needs to be stressed that, in a free society, like Australia - and virtually every other Western nation, it cannot be expected that people respect or even approve of any given religious or political idea.
What is expected is the right for people to practise their beliefs, albeit in a strictly lawful, peaceful and unintrusive manner. That is all.
Regarding hate placards and fanaticism in general, 2000 years ago a wise and good man, both an Emperor of Rome and a pagan philosopher, once remarked, "The best way to oppose one's foes (ideological and religious) is by not becoming what they are".
They don't come any better than Marcus Aurelius and his advice is still relevant.
What we must insist on is strict observance of the laws of the land and a basic respect for the culture and mores of the host country. Otherwise, find another place to live.