Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Prophetic cartoons

Riots have broken out because some Muslims are upset that the prophet Mohammed was depicted in cartoon format. What do you make of the situation?

They need to get a life. How could any rational mind think that a creator of a universe could take offense to anything that humans could possibly think of. Actualy what they are doing is a greater insult to God. I mean, come on man, I set there and watched on the news some idiot slaping himself in the head with a stick. What does that tell you?
I've read too many opinion about it to make a fresh statement about it. Some say it was more of a political move on some of the more radical Muslim organizations rather than stated sacrilege within Islamic texts. Others have counter-responded with upholding the cartoons as free speech. I think that some of these Muslims are unfounded in their riots (and that fellow Muslims would probably agree with me), and that sensitivity, not free speech should be exercised. The fact that neither wants to stand down has elevated this conflict to a point that shouldn't even have been reached in the first place.
In the Muslim countries involved there is no clear separation between what the newspapers say and what their respective governments say. Freedom of the press is not a given as it is in Western society. Therefore, Muslim populations must assume that the statements of a European paper are the statements of that country. It is for that reason that their hostility is directed at an embassy rather than an editor. As far as the whole violence thing goes. What can I say? These people don't take any shit when it comes to their prophet.
It appears to have been a U.S.- Great Britain psy-ops venture to get enough European support for the coming March bombing of Iran and Syria.
News You are Not Supposed to Know Department –

But Reported in the Israeli Press!

When the Jyllands-Posten in Denmark ran the cartoons mocking Muhammed the publisher maintained that their purpose was to promote freedom of speech rather than to antagonize the Muslim world. When the Iranian President and press argued that the Denmark paper is not really concerned with freedom of speech he cited the fact that major dailies across the western world would never allow cartoons that question even the smallest detail of what is today called “The Holocaust.” He also insisted that Jewish extremism would never be satirized in the paper. Immediately, the editor responded that he would prove it was truly a free speech issue by publishing some Holocaust cartoons in conjunction with the Iranian paper Hamshahrari. Now it turns out that the Iranians were completely correct about Western free speech hypocrisy. Not only did the paper issue a statement that on no account would the paper print any cartoons questioning the Holocaust, but also canceled planned cartoons simply critical of Israel. It turns out that in Denmark someone is free to print a cartoon showing the turban of Muhammed to a bomb, but if one displays the symbol of the Jewish state, the Star of David with a fuse attached, one will be censored. Freedom of thought and speech is a cornerstone of Western values. What the cartoon controversy has really proven is that there is no true freedom of speech in the West. One can criticize the enemies of Israel, but one dare not criticize Jewish extremism or the state that was literally founded on terror, the State of Israel. In some nations of Europe scholars face years of imprisonment simply for daring to criticize elements of Jewish supremacism and extremism.

Danish paper cancels plans to republish cartoons about Israel

Fromm 08:22 09/02/2006 From the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

By Asaf Uni, Haaretz Correspondent

The Danish newspaper that created a storm in the Arab world by publishing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed has canceled plans to reprint several cartoons dealing with Israel, a senior editor told Haaretz yesterday.

“We wanted to show that we make fun of everyone, not only Muslims,” said Pierre Collignon of Jyllands-Posten. “But for fear of being misunderstood, we canceled the plan at the last moment.”

One cartoon that was to be published on Sunday depicted a Star of David, to which a bomb with a burning fuse had been attached. This cartoon, which has been published in the newspaper in the past, was drawn by the same artist who drew the cartoon of the prophet Mohammed with a “ticking bomb” on his head.

“We wanted to show that even the Jews, with all the historic sensitivity, accepted satire aimed at their sacred symbols without staging angry demonstrations.”

Meanwhile, a Jyllands-Posten’s editor said on CNN yesterday that he would cooperate with the Iranian daily Hamshahri, which announced a competition of cartoons on the Holocaust. However, the newspaper hastened to issue a denial.

Editor-in-chief Carsten Juste said the editor had been misunderstood. “On no account would we publish Holocaust caricatures together with the Iranian daily,” he said
No one can cause anyone to take offense. Offense rises from a decision in the individual to allow a certain reaction to take place. The growing culture of victimhood would have us believe we are not in control.

Many people look for ways to be offended these days. I wonder if feeling offended creates a secret sense of righteousness that feels good and reinforces the ego. If so, I doubt the offended would ever admit it.

Still, deaths resulting from the protests will be blamed on a cartoon.
IMHO, I think it showed a great deal of insensitivity on the part of the newspaper. However, the riots have done nothing but encourage the West's views of Muslims being violently radical, which is an enormous overgeneralization.

In response to bigbodylittlebrain (I set there and watched on the news some idiot slaping himself in the head with a stick.) - Look back at Medieval Europe and you'll find examples of Christian self-flagellation and other self-torture as a means of denying the flesh. How is that different?
My initial reaction is to view the whole thing as absurd. I immediately think of "South Park" cartoons & how they are constantly making fun of Jesus Christ. These depictions certainly anger some Christians but nobody is getting attacked because of it. Muslims do, in a very real sense, make themsleves look irrational by releasing their frustrations on indirectly associated entities & people. In other words, a logical (though not acceptable) response would be to directly attack the Danish news company or to try to assasinate the cartoonist himself. Wreaking havoc & destroying the property of embassies & McDonald's restaraunts, for instance, displays a kind of ethos that one would not expect to be able to reason or come to peaceful terms with.

On the other hand, it occurs to me, the issue goes beyond merely an accusation of blasphemy or cultural insensitivity. What is realy happening, I think, is that many in the Muslim world are reacting to what they consider to be a general lack of respect for their very cultural existence in the eyes of "The West". This interpretation makes the expansive & seeminly indiscriminant violence on the part of Muslims worldwide much more logical & purportunate to the perceived crime.

So my final analysis is that is isn't at all absurd. But it is very tragic & does not bode well us.
Read Ibn Warraq's book "Why I am not a Muslim" if you doubt that Islam wants to obliterate all other forms of thought. As memes go religions in general are particularly virulent and especially any religion that dictates "death to the unbeliever." Where is faith when there is no choice?
As for visual_echo's comment: just cause ancient christian's did it too doesn't make it right.
Men of all religions seem to be perfectly okay with a multi-billion dollar industry that creates and distributes crude depictions of women's bodies and filmed images of pornography--not to mention the actual circumstances of sex slavery and sexism-enforced poverty that generate pornography. No one is rioting and burning and killing because the sacred form of Woman has been degraded beyond belief.

This little tempest over some spilled ink is really just another male head-butting contest that has nothing to do with freedom or religion or spiritual values. It's about domination--yet again.

Similarly, it is hypocritical of the US Congress to call Google on the carpet for failing to uphold democratic values when the US Govt is in the oil-bed with Saudia Arabia which does not allow women to vote, drive or exercise many other rights that are supposedly guaranteed by democracy. Why should Google not look after its own profits by self-censoring when the US Govt can so easily edit women out of the Big Picture of Democracy?

Why should men get all poopy about satirical images poking fun at their male-centered relgions yet laugh at Hustler magazine showing an image of a woman's body being lowered into a meat grinder? Hypocrisy.
That's why.
There is a long tradition within Islam
of depicting the prophet Mohammed. Because all translations of the Koran are considered corruptions one can only speculate that the ban on depictions of the prophet is a fundamentalit/literalist position extrapolated from the bans against worshipping graven images common to the Abrahamic religions as is the long tradition of vicious and barbaric warfare practised by those religions. Yahweh Allah and Jesus have never preoccupied themselves with the establishment of peace or reason. I'd say they should pull up their socks, smarten up and do something good, miraculous and perhaps even godly.
to Methexis: South Park has also depicted Mohammed in a Super Religious Friends (i think) episode along with Jesus and Moses.

a magazine, Free Inquiry (April/May issue)will be reprinting the cartoons. Walden Books and Borders have already said that they would not carry that particular issue of the magazine "for the safety and security of our customers and employees". chickens!
the fact that no newspaper will make light of the holocaust is not the same as the mohamed cartoons.Why? because the holocaust was an act of genocide, it is not a religion.
Judaism is and has been the target of cartoonists before.
The Danish newspaper cartoons made light of a religion, not a genocide, how anyone can possibly equate these two completely different subjects is beyond me
After much observance of the human condition, I have come to the conclusion that the greatest problem with radicals is that they have no sense of humor.
Riots are are what happens when a bunch of grown-ups get together and have a temper tantrum. Give in to a temper tantrum and you're asking for many more of the same, each worse than the last. If someone gets hurt, well that sucks, but you have to draw the line, and the sooner you do that, the less destruction there will be. Do the radical muslims have a point? Perhaps, but I happen to think they don't, not in any society that values free speech.

If you haven't seen South Park episodes 1003 and 1004 you've missed a brilliant and hilarious commentary on the subject.
Typical-what would you expect from a religion that puts out death contracts on people who disagrees with them
What would you expect from a religion that says "if you slaughter a school bus full of children you will go to heaven & be rewarded with 72 virgins."
What would you expect from a religion that consid3rs everyone else infidels(sub-humans)?
What else would you expect?
I see reports of this often in the U.S. where christianity is debased. And Christianity has historically had many instances where revenge was meted out in serious ways.

Although I don't condone the prophetic cartoons or the debasement of Christainity, or anyone elses religion for that matter, I do believe other peoples have become more socially advanced than Islamic states.

Tolerence is one of the main keys to social advancement. Showing discord is acceptable in a tolerant society in examples like this, but violence or worse reflects an intolerant society, missing perhaps the key ingredient to social advancement.

If I'm wrong on this, let me know where & why. I'd like to know.
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