Criticizing critics -- who satirize or criticize Islamists, the man who founded their religion, and Islam itself -- is as bad as criticizing people, who satirize or criticize fascism and communism, both responsible for tens of millions of human deaths.
Some Western journalists have responded to the firebombing of the French leftwing satirical and investigative journalism magazine "Charlie Hebdo", which destroyed its offices, and forced it to move temporarily into the offices of the leftwing daily "Liberation". They criticized the magazine for depicting Muhammad as guest editor of "Charia Hebdo" issue, which "celebrated" Libya's National Transitional Council’s introduction Sharia law and the victory of an Islamist party in Tunisia's elections. This criticism of "Charlie Hebdo" amounts to attacking of people's right to satirise, or criticise Muhammad, Islamism, or Islam as a whole and is totalitarian – whether the satirist or critic is the leftwing "Charlie Hebdo", the leftwing Salman Rushdie, the rightwing Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who lives on a military base for his own protection, or the rightwing Dutch filmmaker and journalist Theo van Gogh, who was stabbed to death on an Amsterdam street after his film "Submission", depicting Islam's treatment of women, was shown on Dutch TV.
The vast majority of Westerners despise Sharia law, but if you attack people's right to satirise or criticise Muhammad, Islamism, or Islam – you are accepting Sharia, which may well have motivated the 2 men, seen by a witness firebombing "Charlie Hebdo", to try to kill members of the magazine's staff, for the following simple reasons. Sharia is based on "The Koran" and the words and deeds of Muhammad, as recorded in early biographies of him, which contain plenty of evidence that Muhammad believed that assassination was an appropriate response to people, who criticised or satirised him.
It is, therefore, not surprising that critics of Muhammad, Islamism, and Islam are murdered or face death threats. One biographical note of Muhammad in "Sunan Abu-Dawud” show him approving of murdering a woman who had criticised him.
"Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib: "A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet (peace be upon him) and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) declared that no recompense was payable for her blood."
Furthermore, to quote the noted scholar of Islam Professor Bernard Lewis's book "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" (Weidenfield and Nicolson, London, 2004):
"There is a “hadith”, that is, a saying attributed to the Prophet, accepted by Shi'ites and by a small minority of Sunnis in Central Asia, according to which the Prophet said: "If anyone insults me, then any Muslim who hears him must kill him immediately, without any need to refer to the imam or the sultan." (p.105)
On the next page of Bernard Lewis's book, he also points out that:
"The traditional Muslim way of defending any idea or action is by showing that it was the practice of the Prophet. So in the Islamic Republic of Iran, from 1989 onwards [after Ayatollah Khomeini said that ex-Muslim Salman Rushdie should be killed for being an apostate who wrote a book which satirised Mohammed, and Ayatollah Khomeini], articles from time to time appeared in the press, (e.g. *Tehran Times*, *International Weekly*, February 23, 1989, p.12) saying that on this or that occasion, according to reliable biographical traditions, the Prophet condoned or approved or instigated the murder of one or other of his opponents. A poet, for example, who composed poetry lampooning the Prophet, a singing girl whose offence was singing some of those poems, were murdered, according to those traditions, with the approval of, or even at the behest of the Prophet."
The Western critics of Charlie Hebdo's satire do not think that murder is an acceptable behaviour. So why are they so respectful of Muhammad? It is because they do not know about his murderous behaviour.
Another example of Muhammad's murderous action is recorded in Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 38, Number 4357:
"Narrated AbuzZinad: "When the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) cut off (the hands and feet of) those who had stolen his camels and he had their eyes put out by fire (heated nails), Allah reprimanded him on that (action), and Allah, the Exalted, revealed: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution or crucifixion."
Another early biographical literature on Muhammad, called "Sahih al-Bukhari", considered most reliable by Muslims, also reveals Muhammad's murderous behaviour. In Volume 8, Book 82, Number 795 you can read:
"Narrated Anas: "The Prophet cut off the hands and feet of the men belonging to the tribe of 'Uraina and did not cauterise (their bleeding limbs) till they died."
Criticising people's right to satirise or criticise Islamism or Islam also makes it harder to talk about what may be one of the biggest crimes in human history, the mass slaughters of non-Muslims that followed the Islamic invasions of India.
The Islamist invasions of India were described by Will Durant in the following way:
"The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD." (The Story of Civilisation: Our Oriental Heritage, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1935, p. 459)
Some writers like Professor K. S. Lal, V. S. Naipaul, and Koenraad Elst argue that tens of millions died as a result of Islamic invasions of India (in huge massacres, as well as in famines resulting from heavy taxes imposed upon non-Muslims had). And if they are right, criticising people who satirise or criticise Islamists, the man who founded their religion, and Islam itself, is as bad as criticising people, who satirise or criticise fascism and communism, which are of course each also responsible for tens of millions of deaths.