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  • That anti Islam cartoon in that Dutch newspaper

    Has anyone seen the cartoon?
    My understanding of the situation is that the cartoons were offensive on two levels.

    1. They featured pictures of Mohammed which is in direct contradiciton with the laws of Islam. Muslims do not allow pictures of Mohammed because they fear it may lead to idolitary (or so I am led to believe).

    2. The cartoon pictured Mohammed as a violent and evil person and implied that such a description could be applied to all Muslims.

    This raises three issues that I believe to be significant.

    1. Should the laws of Islam apply to non believers? If pictures of Mohammed are not allowed by Islamic law then should everyone be refused the right to create such pictures in fear of offending a minority of fundamentalist Muslims? If so, should homosexuals not be allowed to be homosexual because such practices contravien the beliefs of and offend a minority of fundamentalist Christians?

    2. If it is decided that the production of pictures of Muhammed is not an offense for non Muslims, what restraints should be put upon the media who are responsible for the publication of such pictures, if any?

    3. How has the reaction of the fundamentalist minority who have burned Danish flags, scrawled graffiti across the Danish Embassy and protested across Europe waving banners about how non Muslims should be physically harmed affect some peoples' opinions, and have such events had a greater negative impact on peoples' opinions of Muslims than the cartoons themselves?

    I am upset that some fundamentalists have gone on such a war path. Islam needs positive press at the moment if we are to reach a state of peace and tollerance throughout the world and to eradicate the dangerous factions that all religions are burdened with, and yet those who so vehemently believe in the teachings of Mohammed are doing their faith no favours.
    I am also concerned that such a cartoon, as stupid and irresponsible as it was, has insighted such reaction when published in the west when similar cartoons ridiculing the Christian and Jewish faiths and their figureheads published in Muslim countries have not aroused such reaction here in the UK or other "Chrisitan" states of the west, with the USA being the probable exception, the reports of which would have been limited because of the desire for America not to offer such bad press, either because they better understand the need for tollerance or because they want to appear squeeky clean.


    I'd like to make it clear that I think it was stupid to think that there would not be a massive backlash to such ill conceived cartoons being produced and published, especially in the current political climate and that I think that those people responsible for producing and publishing them should be subject to investigation.

  • #2
    I am relishing the embarrassment of Muslims on the world stage. When even a newspaper called 'Jihad' in the Middle East is calling on Muslims to screw the heid and 'be reasonable' then you know they're making fools of themselves.

    We cannot reform Islam by kowtowing to it. We can reform it by holding certain issues to the light and, where necessary, ridicule. More power to the cartoonists.
    I did that joke in Alabama, and these three rednecks met me after the show. "Mister Funnyman, c'mere. Hey buddy, we're Christians and we don't like what you said." I said, 'Then forgive me.' - Bill Hicks

    Comment


    • #3
      The key point for me is that there is no ambiguity as to whether Muslims find the pictures offensive-for them any portrayal of their prophet causes offence so the press made a deliberate choice to knowingly offend them. Would a protestant knowingly do something that would offend a catholic or vice versa and in doing so would anyone justify their actions or would they be condemned as being the result of bigotry and intolerance? Do we make a different set of rules for Muslims? Furthermore this furore didn't occur in the past week-these cartoons were originally published last September. They've been in the public domain for several months and all of a sudden the European press has decided to create an international incident supposedly because they're concerned about freedom of speech. I think they're more concerned about selling newspapers. I think if it's known that such pictures will definitely cause offence then discretion is a more sensible option-it isn't kow towing to Islam,it's exhibiting a bit of common sense and respect for Islamic culture and values. At some point the west and the Islamic world have to learn to get along and needless incidents like this don't help matters.
      "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

      - Martin Luther King Jr.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, seeing as pictures tell a thousand words and all that.




        Here are the cartoons in question. In a small format, yes, but my computer goes at the speed of a glacier and they *can* be quickly found on the net. Click the link of the Mohammed Image Archive given below. I love the one about the identity parade ("sorry, I can't recognise him") , and the one with the scared-looking cartoonist. And the one about running out of virgins. I don't like the turban-and-bomb one, as it seems lacking in wit and sense. And a few of them I just don't understand



        Now, there has NOT always been a complete prohibition on depicting the face of Mohammed: there are plenty of Persian and Turkish miniatures, especially, that do just that, many in museums or galleries in Islamic countries.


        Oh, here's one that is in Edinburgh. Oh, the horror.

        "Miniature of Mohammed re-dedicating the Black Stone at the Kaaba. From Jami Al-Tawarikh, by Rashid Al-Din, 1324. Edinburgh University Library, ms. 20, fol. 55. Date: 1324-1585. Arabian (Mecca). Notice how Mohammed's face and body are shown completely, despite this painting being by a Muslim artist in Mecca itself. "

        from: http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/





        People can get as offended as much they want, and boycott newspapers, Danish bacon and Lego, but death threats? No, we can't have this or that religion presuming to give orders to all the newspapers in the world.

        If I were Moslem and living here, I'd be less worried about cartoons than about the possibility of the actions of certain self-proclaimed "defenders" of Islam having the effect of provoking a view of all Moslems as bomb-wielding terrorists. And I reckon I'd be a bit nervous about how that might affect the everday lives of ordinary Moslems.

        Here's a site I like. It's “The Religious Policeman”, by a Saudi bloke living in Britain. He found some of the cartons definitely unfunny too, but also thinks all the “outrage” is definitely unfunny. And anti-Semitic cartoons in Saudi newspapers? Also very unfunny. Hypocrisy and violence? Guess what – he doesn't like that at all either. Good guy, and his blog IS funny and perceptive. http://muttawa.blogspot.com/

        Must dash: I want to be go and check that no-one is daring to show a lack of total respect to the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

        Comment


        • #5
          Makes one laugh,
          Last edited by rosslyntemplar; 16th February 2008, 18:23.

          Comment


          • #6
            The good news is that the Police are examining photographs of demonstrators with a view to bringing prosecutions for incitement to cause terrorism. A line has to be drawn if only for the safety of the Muslim community because it's only a matter of time before the public take the law into their own hands and someone gets lynched.
            "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

            - Martin Luther King Jr.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, if someone is a U.K. citizen, I don't think there can be any legal mechanism to chuck them back to "the birthplace of their parents". That is just not on.

              However, if any of those threatening violence, oops, sorry, Holy Smiting, turn out to be here on a temporary basis, I hope they will be invited to bugger off sharpish whence they came, which will, no doubt, be a country in which no cartoons, no “disrespect”, is EVER shown to ANY religion on the face of the planet. For any who are British, well, we do have a couple of laws about being disorderly, breach of peace ................ being a bloody pain in the neck, and a violent dangerous one at that ..... ....................

              All right, maybe not that last one, but that's only for now: just you wait till I start the “everybody must worship and adore Celyn” religion, then you'll be sorry! It will, of course, be a religion of peace and love, and I shall require that all my sheep, ahem, followers, always be prepared to prove their adoration of my wonderful and holy self by being quite willing, nay, overjoyed, to murder in the name of peace. Yes, yes, do cease thine tiresome logical objections. I do quite see that it might involve turning any kind of thinking into a Möbius strip of mush, but nothing new there, really, in the religion business.


              I bet there's a whole load of ordinary Moslems in Britain and other European countries, who, while perhaps feeling somewhat aggrieved, will be thinking "oh, no, what an embarrassment - that is not the way to go about things. Protest peacefully, yes. Incite violence, no, not awfully good, really".


              I'm worried that this nasty violent reaction from some lot who are bent on inciting violence might have the effect of letting a small lot of idiots in the country start looking askance at any vaguely brown person on the street or on the bus. I think somebody is making the snowballs, and making sure other people throw them.

              Actually, I don't know which, if any, U.K. papers have published the cartoons. Which ones have, does anyone know? And I don't watch television, so I don't know how the thing is playing out in terms of telly coverage. Hmmm. Is it time to bother with the telly?

              Oh, telly be damned. What I want is a time machine to see other stuff about supposed “blasphemy”.

              .............................................

              Mathias Look, I don't think it ought to be blasphemy, just saying Jehovah.
              Crowd [Shocked] He said it again!
              Elder You're only making it worse for yourself.
              Mathias Making it worse? How could it be worse? Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah.
              Crowd Ooooooh!
              Elder I'm warning you... If you say Jehovah once more...
              [A stone flys by and hits the elder.]
              Right. Who threw that? Come on. Who threw that?
              Crowd She did she did, he, him, him, him, him, him, him.
              Elder Was it you?
              Woman2 Yes.
              Elder Right...
              Woman2 Well you did say Jehovah.
              [She gets stoned {the blasphemer}]
              Elder Stop, stop. Will you stop that... stop it. Now look. No-one is to
              stone anyone until I blow this whistle. Do you understand? Even, and
              I want to make this absolutely clear; even if they do say Jehovah.
              --------[The shocked women stone the elder to death, ending in the dropping
              of a huge bolder on his fallen body.]
              Woman3 Good shot.
              ..............

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ANDY-J3
                The key point for me is that there is no ambiguity as to whether Muslims find the pictures offensive-for them any portrayal of their prophet causes offence so the press made a deliberate choice to knowingly offend them.
                The key point is not whether or not Muslims are offended. They key point is whether mockery of a religious figure is legitimate in a secular society. It is. And that right to free expression trumps any rights you have about your beliefs being protected from criticism or ridicule. End of.

                There is a yawning gap between the understanding of a free society by most in the West and those in the Islamic world. I have been dumbfounded by the number of letters I've read in newspapers from outraged Muslim readers whose initial attempt at being reasonable begins: 'Freedom of speech is not freedom to offend.' Well, yes, actually it is! It's as if they have no concept of what a free, secular society is all about.

                The religious, or political or any other, sensibilities of an individual are not the matter of public policy.
                I did that joke in Alabama, and these three rednecks met me after the show. "Mister Funnyman, c'mere. Hey buddy, we're Christians and we don't like what you said." I said, 'Then forgive me.' - Bill Hicks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gypsum_Fantastic

                  The key point is not whether or not Muslims are offended. They key point is whether mockery of a religious figure is legitimate in a secular society. It is. And that right to free expression trumps any rights you have about your beliefs being protected from criticism or ridicule. End of.


                  The key point is whether Muslims are offended because if we are aware of that and publish the cartoons nevertheless then we are making a statement that we don't really have any interest in respecting their beliefs,although I have to say I think there is a great deal of ignorance amongst Muslims regarding their own faith. Having studied European history I know it is in fact quite common to find historical texts with a likeness of the prophet and I was never aware of them being offensive. I accept that free speech is something that should be protected but I also take the pragmatic view that there are consequences for every action and we can either stir up a hornet's nest by quite deliberately provoking a response from the extremists or we can use some discretion and respect the wishes of the vast majority of law abiding decent Muslims who clearly were offended by these cartoons. That is why I believe the British press made the right decision not to publish them.





                  There is a yawning gap between the understanding of a free society by most in the West and those in the Islamic world. I have been dumbfounded by the number of letters I've read in newspapers from outraged Muslim readers whose initial attempt at being reasonable begins: 'Freedom of speech is not freedom to offend.' Well, yes, actually it is! It's as if they have no concept of what a free, secular society is all about.

                  The religious, or political or any other, sensibilities of an individual are not the matter of public policy.



                  I agree with the sentiments but regrettably there are 1 Billion Muslims in the world and as much as I disagree with their religious doctrines,we need to learn to co-exist.I don't see that deliberately ridiculing their faith and provoking confrontation is in our interests. Particularly as one of the main cornerstones of the "war on terror" is that the enemy is only radical Islam not Islam as a whole. If we are to defeat the extremists then we need to have the moderate Muslims who are the majority on our side yet publishing these cartoons has only helped provoke antipathy to the west.
                  "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

                  - Martin Luther King Jr.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    'Co-existing' is one thing, AndyJ3.... constantly allowing ourselves to be bullied into making only Islam secure from honest debate is not co-existing, it's called appeasement....

                    As I've said before, respect is a two-way street. I am perfectly happy to treat their religion and/or religious laws with respect - as long as they treat the laws of their 'host' country (irrespective of whether they are visitors or born here) with the same amount of respect.

                    The papers this morning had photographs of a British born (Pakistani parents) Muslim who was dressed up as a suicide bomber at the march on Saturday. That is deliberately stirring up bad feeling. A little girl wearing a woolly hat with 'I love Al Quaeda' on the front? Banners saying 'Kill all non-believers'? Now who's inciting to violence?

                    If these Muslims feel so bad about having to live amongst us non-believers or un-believers and think we are disgusting people (and many have STATED that this is their belief)... there are plenty of Islamic states where they could live - even those of British nationality. Oh yes, that's right, many of them actually FLED those countries.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ANDY-J3
                      The key point is whether Muslims are offended because if we are aware of that and publish the cartoons nevertheless then we are making a statement that we don't really have any interest in respecting their beliefs,
                      We don't. Our respect of Islam extends to the freedom of Muslims to practice their religion in the West without fear of State persecution - a freedom that is not extended to the likes of Christianity in Islamic countries. So we have more than met any obligation to religious freedom and respect towards Islam.

                      Respecting beliefs and ideologies does not mean, in a free society, that certain figures are in a bubble. I may like George Bush, and respect him, but I find nothing objectionable about British satirists portraying him as some crazed, gun-totin' simpleton. Christianity is a regular butt of jokes in the West.

                      Originally posted by ANDY-J3
                      although I have to say I think there is a great deal of ignorance amongst Muslims regarding their own faith.
                      There is. It depends on who you speak to as to whether it is offensive in Islam or not. How can a religion that spawned a culture of education and enlightenment in its early days regressed to the religion of barbarism and technological, scientific, economic and philosophical isolationism?

                      Originally posted by ANDY-J3
                      I also take the pragmatic view that there are consequences for every action and we can either stir up a hornet's nest by quite deliberately provoking a response from the extremists or we can use some discretion and respect the wishes of the vast majority of law abiding decent Muslims who clearly were offended by these cartoons.
                      I cannot accept that free speech exists insomuch as no-one is offended by what is being said. That's not free speech at all. That's limited speech and the limit is the avoidance of offence. Limited free speech is a contradiction in terms.

                      Originally posted by ANDY-J3
                      That is why I believe the British press made the right decision not to publish them.
                      Tbh, I thought it was a cowardly decision. They published images from Abu Ghraib which presumably offended Muslims? I also find their publishing of images or footage of Western hostages being tormented by Islamist terrorists offensive but that is their right. Isn't their continual broadcasting of Osama bin Laden's propaganda messages 'offensive'? But the freedom to broadcast regardless is a right although, sadly, it's a right they've chosen to give up on this occasion.

                      Originally posted by ANDY-J3
                      I agree with the sentiments but regrettably there are 1 Billion Muslims in the world and as much as I disagree with their religious doctrines,we need to learn to co-exist.I don't see that deliberately ridiculing their faith and provoking confrontation is in our interests.
                      We cannot have a peace at all costs solution, Andy. We cannot have co-existence where one side is free to criticise or ridicule the other whilst a Stalinist authoritarianism is imposed on the other.

                      It's a sign of a fragile religion that cannot accept these cartoons. Dying dicatorships and ideologies cling to their authority by ruling with fear and intimidation against anyone who seeks to belittle them. The response of many of the proponents of Islam to the cartoon controversy suggests Islam is frail and brittle in its present state and will not survive long in the increasingly small and integrated world. Perhaps it is this fear, more than supposed theological outrage about idolatry, that is the force behind the disproportionate reaction of the Muslim world.
                      I did that joke in Alabama, and these three rednecks met me after the show. "Mister Funnyman, c'mere. Hey buddy, we're Christians and we don't like what you said." I said, 'Then forgive me.' - Bill Hicks

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Polwarth

                        'Co-existing' is one thing, AndyJ3.... constantly allowing ourselves to be bullied into making only Islam secure from honest debate is not co-existing, it's called appeasement....

                        As I've said before, respect is a two-way street. I am perfectly happy to treat their religion and/or religious laws with respect - as long as they treat the laws of their 'host' country (irrespective of whether they are visitors or born here) with the same amount of respect.

                        The papers this morning had photographs of a British born (Pakistani parents) Muslim who was dressed up as a suicide bomber at the march on Saturday. That is deliberately stirring up bad feeling. A little girl wearing a woolly hat with 'I love Al Quaeda' on the front? Banners saying 'Kill all non-believers'? Now who's inciting to violence?

                        If these Muslims feel so bad about having to live amongst us non-believers or un-believers and think we are disgusting people (and many have STATED that this is their belief)... there are plenty of Islamic states where they could live - even those of British nationality. Oh yes, that's right, many of them actually FLED those countries.


                        I don't advocate appeasement I advocate keeping things in perspective. Firstly there is no question that arrests should be made for the sentiments that some of those marchers expressed. It should be noted however that even the march organisers condemned such conduct as did Islamic clerics in the UK who urged the police to take action against some of the protesters. As long as it's a tiny minority of Muslims that are behaving like this then my attitude towards Muslims in general will be one of tolerance.There are plenty of British extremists in the BNP etc. who are salivating at the prospect of seeing a backlash against Muslims-the best way to prevent that is to bring the full force of the law down on the fanatics such as those who were demonstrating at the weekend.
                        "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

                        - Martin Luther King Jr.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ANDY-J3
                          The good news is that the Police are examining photographs of demonstrators with a view to bringing prosecutions for incitement to cause terrorism. A line has to be drawn if only for the safety of the Muslim community because it's only a matter of time before the public take the law into their own hands and someone gets lynched.
                          i agree the mad mullahs here are out of control, they would not lynch, just behead. a bigger shower of hypocrites you could ever hope to meet.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gypsum_Fantastic
                            It's a sign of a fragile religion that cannot accept these cartoons. Dying dicatorships and ideologies cling to their authority by ruling with fear and intimidation against anyone who seeks to belittle them. The response of many of the proponents of Islam to the cartoon controversy suggests Islam is frail and brittle in its present state and will not survive long in the increasingly small and integrated world. Perhaps it is this fear, more than supposed theological outrage about idolatry, that is the force behind the disproportionate reaction of the Muslim world.


                            I'm afraid you're misinformed about the facts. Islam is currently undergoing a long period of rapid and sustained growth. Its rate of growth outstrips Christianity and all of the other world religions by a wide margin and it will inevitably surpass Christianity within the coming few decades.

                            http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm



                            Whatever misgivings we in the west have about Islam we cannot escape the fact that it is a phenomenon that is here to stay.
                            "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

                            - Martin Luther King Jr.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Doesn't mean we have to appease them, though, surely?

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