Friday, February 03, 2006

Cartoons and Hypocrisy

Fury Continues in Muslim World Over Cartoons

03 February 2006

Angry Muslims are stepping up demonstrations against the publication of cartoons in European newspapers depicting the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.

In Islamabad Friday, Pakistani lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution condemning the caricatures, saying they "hurt the faith and feeling of Muslims all over the world."

In Indonesia, at least 70 members of the Islamic Defenders' Front forced their way into the lobby of a building housing the Danish Embassy and threw eggs at the embassy's symbol. The group left without incident a short time later.

Protests are also reported Friday in several other regions, including the Palestinian territories, Iran and Malaysia.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has summoned foreign envoys to Copenhagen for a meeting to discuss the protests. The drawings of Mohammed originally appeared in a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September.

Protests ignited Wednesday after several European newspapers including papers in Spain, France and Germany reprinted the drawings in a show of solidarity for press freedom.


Danes Finally Apologize to Muslims (But for the Wrong Reasons)

By RACHARD ITANI
02 February 2006

In many European countries, there are laws that will land in jail any person who has the chutzpah to deny not only the historicity of the Jewish holocaust, but also the method by which Jews were put to death by the Nazis. In some of these countries, this prohibition goes as far as prosecuting those who would claim or attempt to prove that less than 6 million jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. In none of these countries are there similar laws that threaten people with loss of freedom and wealth for denying that large percentages of gypsies, gays, mentally retarded, and other miscellaneous "debris of humanity" were also eliminated by the Jew-slaughtering Nazis.

Quickly now: what defines a hypocrite? Answer: a person who follows the letter of the law, but not its spirit. The laws against anti-semitism are just that: laws against anti-semitism enacted by hypocritical Europeans with blood on their hands from the genocides in their recent and distant past, and much guilt to atone for in their hearts and minds.

The spirit of the law, which would extend this protection to Muslims as well, if not indeed other religious groups, is nowhere to be found in the Western legal code. You can curse the Prophet of the Muslims at will and with total impunity. However, approach the holocaust at your own risks and perils if you do not include in your discussion the standard, ritualistic incantations about the six million Jewish victims of the European Nazis. There is a word for this in the English language: hypocrisy.

I used to have a lot of respect for the Dutch, the Danes, and the Norwegians, and still do. However, I cannot claim that this respect is not more nuanced today. The coloring started when the Dutch, who are invariably and automatically described as being amongst the most "tolerant" people in the West, if not the world, proved that their tolerance was little more than skin deep. Their reaction to the murder of Theo Van Gogh was anything but driven by tolerance. They behaved as a mob in reaction to the criminal, despicable action of an extremist and murderer, by painting the whole Dutch muslim community with the same broad brush that Vincent Van Gogh would have eschewed. They burnt Muslim schools and mosques. They directed opprobrium at Muslims in their midst, calling on them "to go home" though many had been born in the Netherlands. No subtlety in the Dutch reaction. Just collective anti-semitism which they directed not at the Jews, but at the Jews' cousins, the Muslims.

Then the Danes, who must have felt left out, decided to go the Dutch one better: a Danish paper published cartoons that are no less offensive to Muslims than anti-semitism is to Jews. The cartoons were described by Danish politicians and the press as not provocation, but a principled case of free speech, although many Danish and Scandinavian newspaper editors are on record stating that they published the cartoons as an act of defiance against "radical Islam." This is akin to these ignorant morons recommending that the U.S. ought to nuke Tehran because that would teach Iranian President Ahmadinejad a lesson.

What free speech are we talking about here? The law says thou shalt not utilize or publish anti-semitic language or imagery. Consequently, Danish (and other European) papers will refrain from doing so, lest they fall foul of the law and offend Jewish sensitivities. The law does not say: thou shalt not offend muslims or use imagery that may be deeply offensive to them. So Danish papers will not refrain from doing so, in fact they will go out of their way to offend Muslims both in Denmark and around the world, in the name of "free speech." And the Norwegians? Well, they just decided to follow the Danes down perdition lane, all in the name of holy hypocrisy, so a Norwegian paper also published the offending cartoons. The statement about "confronting radical Islam" was in fact made by the Norwegian editor of a newspaper that is described as a "Norwegian Christian Paper." And now that other European papers and Magazines have also followed suit, if there was any doubt that this affair is one of anti-Muslim bias, it was swept away by the statements of the Editor in Chief of Die Welt, the German magazine, who declared that the right to publish the cartoons was "at the very core of our culture" and that Europeans cannot "stop using our journalistic right of freedom of expression within legal boundaries." It's the "legal boundaries" qualifier that gives the game away: there are no legal boundaries in Europe protecting Muslims from the same ignominies that the law protects Jews from.

And what further argument does Die Welt put forward to justify its "legal" action? " It pointed out that "Syrian TV had depicted Jewish rabbis as cannibals." You can imagine how helpful a similar argument would hold up in a court of law: "But your honor, I only killed one guy and raped two women: the other guy killed four and raped 10!" That a German editor-in-chief of a major German paper should use the "legal" argument to justify offending the religious sensitivities of Muslims, when that same "legal" framework would see him thrown in jail faster than he could spell the word legal if he offended the sensitivities of Jews, may be a testament at least of his own deep-seated contempt for Muslims. That so many European papers have now reprinted the offensive cartoons is an indication that the contempt for Muslims does not stop with the editor-in-chief of Die Welt.

This whole affair is nothing but an over-reaction to a simple cartoon, you say? Not if you remember a certain other cartoon that appeared in the British newspaper, The Independent, on 27 January 2003. It depicted Prime Minister Sharon of Israel eating the head of a Palestinian child while saying: "What's wrong? You've never seen a politician kissing babies before?" Jews in Britain and around the world erupted with indignation, arguably because the depiction reminded them of millennial charges levied against them by Christians who accused them of using the blood of babies in ritualistic killings. You see, Sharon can actually kill, maim and spill the real, actual blood of Palestinian babies: that is not offensive to Zionist Jews and their apologists in the West. But let Sharon be depicted in a cartoon metaphorically as the ogre that he has proved to be in his real life, symbolically eating a Palestinian child, and the world will erupt in offended indignation. A cartoon that is offensive to Muslims, on the other hand, is depicted as nothing but an expression of "free speech." There is a word for this in any language: hypocrisy.

Before the Danish cartoon incident started to evolve into a growing international crisis, the Danish Prime Minister and the publisher of the Danish newspaper that first published the offending cartoons both declared that they would never apologize on grounds of free speech and because publishing the cartoons had not broken any Danish laws. (Yes, the "no law broken" argument again.) Yesterday, however, they both ended up apologizing in the face of a growing tsunami of protests on the part of Arab and Muslim governments, some of whom withdrew their Ambassadors from Copenhagen. The Danish prime minister did not apologize because his moral compas suddenly found True North again. The real reason, of course, is that he understood, though a tad too late, the potential economic consequences of a widespread boycott of Danish goods on the part of one billion people. There is a word for this in the Danish language: realpolitik.

Muslims and other reasoning people around the world understand well that European laws against anti-Semitic speech, writing, and behavior, were enacted for two reasons. The stated reason was to protect the Jews from the continued onslaught of anti-Semitic attacks, both verbal and physical, which culminated historically in the repeated pogroms that Christian Europeans launched against Jews repeatedly through the centuries. (Historically, it was the Arabs who protected the Jews and took them in whenever they fled Christian barbarity, especially in the Middle Ages.) The real reason, of course, is to protect the Europeans from the pangs of their own conscience, which has very good reason to feel guilty indeed, given what Europeans did to Jews in the last millennium, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, not to mention what they did to the indiginous people of the Carribean and the Americas since the 1600s, and to the people of Asia, Africa and Oceania as well. I have long thought that it's European Christians, more so than Jews, who ought to observe Yom Kippur, or adopt a similar atonement observance of their own.

While the spirit of the law is that Europeans shalt not offend any ethnic or religious groups including Muslims, this seems to be lost only on the Europeans themselves, or at least the Danes, the Germans and their ilk amongst them, who only care about, or fear, the letter of the law. Why should we therefore be shocked when Muslims depict Europeans as nothing but a bunch of hypocrites? Why shouldn't Governments of Muslim countries recall their Ambassadors to Denmark in protest, as some did? The only disappointment is that no Western or non-Muslim government, the meek complaints to a French newspaper by the French Foreign Office excepted, had the moral and ethical courage to publicly, unequivocally and forcefully condemn an act that is as deeply offensive to Muslims as the desecration of a Torah scroll, or of a Jewish cemetery, is offensive to all civilized people in the world, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Animist, or Atheist.

There are two ways for Europeans to redeem themselves: the immediate temptation would be to call on their national parliaments to extend the protections of the laws against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denying to Islam and Muslims, as well as any other religious group . That would be the wrong recommendation however. The right recommendation would be to repeal the laws that govern holocaust denying and other laws that favor one group over another, so that the issue truly becomes one of free speech. And if Europeans are the civilized people they claim to be, then their politicians and newspaper publishers ought to find it easy to immediately apologize when they have unwittingly offended the taboos of any human community, be it religious or otherwise.

Muslims and Arabs have suffered enough hypocrisy on the hands of European Christians, just as Jews suffered in the past on the hands of these same Europeans, and as Palestinian Muslims and Christians alike are suffering today on the hands of Americans, Europeans and, of course, Zionist Jews, both Sephardim and Ashkenazi. If Europe thinks of itself as a civilized society, then it ought to do its utmost to redress the wrongs that too many people around the world have suffered as a result of European misbehavior and often outright criminal actions, most especially since the 1400s.

Muslims deserve nothing more nor less than for Christians in the U.S. and Europe, and Zionist Jews in Israel, to simply abide by the golden rule: treat others as you would have others treat you. So far, Christians and Zionist Jews have proven that they only abide by the alternative definition of this rule: "They who have the gold, make the rule." The gold in this case is a combination of economic and military might. Of this, Europeans, Zionist Jews and their American overlords have aplenty in reserve. Were it that they also had an equal reserve of un-hypocritical, civilized morality and ethical behavior to underpin their feelings of sanctimonious superiority.

And the other measure that Europeans can adopt to redeem themselves? The European people can start by throwing out of office, and initiating criminal proceedings against, any politician responsible for sending a single soldier to invade, occupy, and initiate pogroms against the people of Iraq: these politicians have been guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which makes them unfit for the honors that continued office holding bestows upon them. Europeans can also give the boot to any politician who has approved or turned a blind eye to a single rendition flight that sent any person to the torture chambers of the Americans or their surrogate torturers in some Arab or Muslim countries. These are the same countries whose religious sensitivities we should all respect as strongly as we respect Jewish sensitivities when it comes to the Jewish holocaust, not because the law says so, but because it's the right thing to do. These are also the same countries whose human rights trespasses Europeans ought to condemn as equally and vehemently as they should condemn the continued human rights abuses and state terrorism perpetrated by the Israeli government in Palestine/Israel, and by some European governments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other out-of-sight/out-of-mind places like Haiti, Africa, and elsewhere.

In other words, Europeans can start by applying the simple rule of one weight and one measure to both friends and foes, equally to themselves and to the rest of the world, because policy and politics, both domestic and foreign, ought to be based upon and subject to principled moral considerations, not expediency of the economic, financial or religious kind.

Is that such an unreasonable moral proposition to consider?

Rachard Itani can be reached at: racharitani@yahoo.com

21 comments:

Indigo said...

The people who drew and published these cartoons did a very bad thing. Nothing can excuse this. To those who assert that they should be able to lampoon the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), because Jesus Christ is often ridiculed, are mistaken: there are limits there too - if Christ were portrayed wearing the uniform of a German Nazi to, say, make a point about the Roman Catholic church's collusion with Nazism, that would offend a huge number of people.)

"Freedom of speech" has its responsibilities, and even this "right" has a limit. I believe that this is one time when people have to "stand up and be counted", and I have done this today on my blog.

Indigo (hitherto Rachel, a Brit in London)

Anonymous said...

So, is it your position that those European nations which ban the expression of opinion contradicting the historical facts of the holocaust should remove such restrictions? They do seem to have outlived their usefullness.

Should the expression of all ideas and opinions be protected and open to consideration by those open to it? Seems the most logical solution and the only one that can be evenly enforced. For some reason, the practioners of some religions and nation states based upon religion find that dangerous. It seems to me that indicates a backwardness borne of lack of maturity and confidence.

Anonymous said...

Rachel--of course people have the right to be outraged. But if we are talking hypocrisy and outrage, what is more objectionable, the cartoons or the most extreme reaction among some Muslims? Who insults Islam more, the Danish cartoonist or Bin Laden and his like? Which picture is more heinous, a picture of people jumping to their deaths after the jihadists flew two planes into the WTC, or the cartoon of what may be interpreted as Muhammed with a bomb on his head?

This incident only brings into focus what so many wish to ignore. We are in the midst of a clash of cultures with people whose 7th century sensibilites are threatened by the free expression of ideas. Ideas which cannot be easily suppressed because of this thing called the internet. We cannot soothe their offended sensibilities without surrendering to them. "Them" being the more extreme elements of Islam which the majority seem willing to let speak for them. They will learn to engage and compete in the marketplace of ideas or continue the practice of blowing themselves up in the midst of it.

Indigo said...

To "anonymous", 2/03/2006 06:16:41 PM

In the UK, "holocaust denial" is not a criminal offence but only rather silly, small-minded people would try to deny that Nazi Germany tried to exterminate the Jews in the 1940s. The evidence for this is everywhere. Not just the experiences of people who fled the pogroms but also documentary evidence of every kind: for instance, the design and manufacture of the gas ovens.

Your second paragraph betrays such bigotry and ignorance that I don't know where to start to answer you.

Indigo said...

To anonymous, 2/03/2006 08:18:17 PM.

You are being highly selective with your examples of what is objectionable or insulting. Anyone can play that game.

Were I brought up to revere someone as much as Muslims revere the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), then yes I would be unspeakably shocked by a cartoon that conflated terrorism with Islam and, thus, mocked the Koran. As a Christian, I think that that cartoon is a horrible and offensive misrepresentation.

Muslims don't have "7th century sensibilities" - it is more accurate to say that they have sensibilities that have not been degraded by the worst of "Western" decadence and corruption.

You are just betraying your inability to see how corrupt Western society has become: in particular, the USA is belligerent, exploitative, trashy, horribly racist, greedy with finite resources, zenophobic, with an incredibly dangerous attitude to international law and order.

Truth About Iraqis said...

I am almost always amused by people who claim to understand what freedom of expression means.

Fortunately, many in Europe already are beginning to see that freedom of expression was a pathetic guise for intolerance and Islamophobia.

Quoth Reuters:

“European media have leapt to defend a Danish paper’s right to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, but some commentators are also asking if press freedom has become an excuse for intolerance.”

“Newspapers are not obliged to republish offensive material merely because it is controversial,” wrote Britain’s Guardian.

“The provocation became a violation of a people’s values, not a defense of one’s own important values,” said Finland’s Hufvudstadsbladet. “Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy, but that should not be taken as an obligation to needlessly blaspheme others’ basic values,” said Ilta-Sanomat.

I suggest people read up on the theory of social responsibility. Why was there no uproar when CSM held back for two days on writing about Carroll?

Why is it when an Egyptin newspaper publishes a cartoon demeaning Sharon, the US Congress threatens sanctions? Or when a popular Arab serial looks at the protocols of Zion, there is an uproar in the west? Why are Muslims who protest called extremists and congressmen and women called patriots?

Aha…racism, but of course.

For years Muslims have been forced to swallow lies (WMD’s anyone?) and other wicked stereotypes. Look at what the exmaples Anon (8:18) lists as if to show us that the west has the moral high ground.

You really want to compare?

I will indulge your pathetic ethnocentric whine as follows:

Who insults humanity more? The criminals who killed 2,700 on Sept. 11, or the American criminals who wasted 1.7 million Iraqis during 13 years of the most punitive sanctions ever imposed?

Who insults humanity more? The Palestinians who seek to take Sharon to court for his DIRECT role in the butchery of more than 2000 in Sabra and Shatila or the American President who hails Sharon as a man of peace.

If we are safeguarding freedom of speech then why are websites by neo-nazis banned in France and Germany? Why are Holocaust deniers jailed? Surely, they have a right to voice their opinions.

Ah, once again hypocrisy rears its ugly head.

Thankfully, the Jewish World Congress has condemned the publications and re-publications of the cartoons.

Maybe people here should read Merchant of Venice.

We are in a clash against racism and racists - the kind exemplified by Anon 8:18 who believes the west should dictate terms.

We are in a clash with a pompous self-righteous, holier-than-thou, gung-ho, ra ra ra pound of hounds who believe that the life of an Arab or Muslim is worth less than the life of a White American.

The media was in an uproar over the kidnapping of Carrol but nary a mention of two Iraqi journalists kidnapped yesterday.

Why?

You seek to insult people and cow down in approval.

Reminds one of the slavery American history is so tainted by.

Or the purging of the indigenous populations of North America...

Still want to compare?

Daktoor Truth Teller - ani ham mislawi.

Ogilvie said...

Re: Indigo's comments above:

Sadly, Christ and Christians have been ridiculed much more by the media in so-called Christian countries than Muslims ever have. In fact, anti-Catholicism is almost the bread and butter of some Western media commentators, so much so that anti-Catholicism is sometimes referred to as 'the last acceptable prejudice."

Anonymous said...

What I am wondering about cartoons and freedom of speech is this: would any of these european newspapers publish cartoons of jews that depicts them with big noses and money hungry? Would they publish cartoons that deny holocaust? It's crime in these countries. The editor or cartoonist would go to jail. Hypocrisy? Apparently freedom of speech has limits to them.

When I first made this point, I got a reply from another person: "But there is a difference between cartoons which ridicule a people as a whole, and those which ridicule their leaders - religious, political, or otherwise."

Let me see then any major European (or even US) magazine print a cartoon of Moses with big nose and money in his hand. If there is no such cartoon, my point still stands: Freedom of speech? What freedom of speech? The newspaper would not print anything if they don't think they can get away with it.

Indigo said...

To ogilvie. Well, thank goodness for Google: put "the last acceptable prejudice", and you find that this is the title of a book! Which does not make it a phrase in common parlance - in fact I have *never* heard anti-Catholicism so described - it is just fulfilling a publisher's need for an eye-catching title. Anyway, it is talking about America: this book has chapters entitled "The Church Hates Women" and "The Church Kills Gays": that definitely does not describe the Church of England. Under the current US administration, something really terrifying is happening in American society at all levels; but nothing similar is happening in the UK.

In the UK, there are a lot of Anglican churches who share their facilities with the local Roman Catholic community. At the church I attend, we have at least one service a year that is attended by Roman Catholics and Anglicans together; and Roman Catholics can, at my church (liberal Anglican tradition), take communion - but most would choose not to because Anglicans don't believe in trans-substantiation, whereas for Catholics it is an article of faith. In the UK there is nothing like the prejudice described in these editorial reviews of the book. Looking at the titles of the other books by the same author, listed on that page at Amazon, I begin to detect that he pursuing an "agenda" to do with what he calls "global Christianity".

The other important difference - for the "context" of last week's controversy - is that Christianity is an iconic faith, unlike Judaism or Islam. Christianity has for centuries permitted depictions of God and the one whom we believe to be God incarnate (and Islam regards as an important, historical figure), Jesus of Nazareth.

Sorry about the long comment.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone print a cartoon to make the point that Islam, as represented by a caricature of Mohammed, is characterized by violence? Just where does this ridiculous idea originate? I mean other than the Quran, history and the actions of many Muslims in the name of that religion--where do such ideas come from? Submit and say Islam is a religion of peace or I will kill you as commanded!

I don't doubt many are insulted and outraged-nor do I blame them-I wonder why they don't use the opportunity to explain to non Muslims whose attention is drawn to this controversy why such a cartoon is such a gross misrepresentation and why they believe and support that view with reasoned facts....? Why is there not outrage among Muslims when their fellows saw off heads in the name of the prophet they revere so much that a simple cartoon depiction of him can create so much emotion? Is that not at LEAST as offensive to them? It appears not. Instead, many reinforce the view many have of Islam with their calls for jihad and issued fatwas using verses from the Quran. Why are some Islamic leaders publicly calling for a violent reaction, to 'take up the sword and slay the infidel'?..Because they can get away with it, because a majority of Muslims support such things as suicide bombers, because they believe they are commanded to Islamize the world and that those who die in that effort are exalted, and because the texts upon which they base their beliefs support such things.

That is the issue which needs addressing: Why would a newpaper think that such a depiction is acceptable among their readership? European papers printing such cartoons 'get away with it' because a very large number of us believe it is a reasonably fair representaion of the Islamic world. We don't see Islamic led relief efforts, even in Islamic dominated regions devasted by natural disasters. Instead we see IEDs, beheadings, suicide bombs and celebrations of those things.

All of the condemnation, including that of me here, only supports what I said at the beginning--we are engaged in a clash of cultures which very likely will not be resolved peacefully. I think we in the West are only now beginning to come to grips with that--thanks to Osama and his merry band of murderers, car and old woman burning thugs in France and now Iran, we are realizing we are not insulated from it any longer. Alongside this reaction, we see that Western nations are being flooded with people who have such beliefs. They have made such a mess of their own corners of the world, they can't get away fast enough to come to the West they condemn as decadent. We see where a nation run by some of these same irrational and emotional people who are calling for violence over a silly cartoon are seeking nuclear weapons and defying the Western world who will not accept it. It is undeniably an escalating clash of cultures unlikely to be settled peacefully. I, for one, take no joy in saying it.

Albatroz said...

1. It is wrong to offend other people's values or believes.

2. The cartoons at the heart of the present uproar do not seem particularly offensive, although in bad taste, and I doubt any secular muslim would feel really offended by them.

3. Certain muslim political forces are reacting not out of outrage, but to embarass their opponents in the West.

4. I would ask our host - who is a devout muslim - if he was really all that horrified with those cartoons, and if he thinks that the reaction to their publication is fully justified.

Indigo said...

Albatroz, another part of the "jigsaw" is, I would suggest,

5. Followers of Islam have never before felt so threatened by Western countries (principally the US, because of its huge defence budget and complete disregard for human rights and international law when it suits them, but also countries like Denmark which was a member of the "coalition of the willing" in the invasion - on a lie - of Iraq). These cartoons add insult to injury, rub salt in the open wounds of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the unnumbered other atrocities that go unreported in the mainstream media but which you can find illustrated on the web.

Indigo said...

In the UK this morning, the responsible media (newspapers and national radio and tv broadcasters) are trying to teach the population about the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in order to increase their understanding of how very hurt Muslims have been by the cartoons.

Eg Paul Vallely in The Independent, Mohamed: Flesh and blood

He is a man whose actions and ambitions are held to be worthy of the closest scrutiny and imitation by his followers. And across the world every day 1.3 billion Muslims - almost a quarter of the population of the world - seek to do just that. ... Yet where Christians had to make do with gospel portraits of an idealised numinous Christ, more concerned with meaning than biography, Muslims inherited something very different. Mohamed's four main biographers gave accounts of a man with normal fears, hopes and anxieties - who laughed, played with his children, had trouble with his wives, was bereft when a friend died and besotted when his baby son arrived. It offers detail which Muslims even today try to make the pattern of their lives and makes Mohamed a particularly vivid presence to believers.

On the BBC's most important religious current affairs radio programme this morning, two Muslim representatives had the opportunity to make sure that we hear their communities' views.

Faisal ... said...

Salaam TT

If you read description of nine of the cartoons you will find that they were more than misunderstanding, ignorance or plain jokes. They were calculated thoughts to provoke a situation - hardly an open debate to call it free speech. They were very racist (apart from the first three). Even though the UK and US press have given their support to the other press, they have not published the pictures. In these two countries inciting hatred is actually illegal and I think that was the main reason behind not printing them.

Their is a fine line between free speech and open debate. However, I should say that some of the muslims have gone way too far and this will tarnish our image more.

Faisal ... said...

You can read the description on MadCanuck 's blog

B Will Derd said...

I look forward to the day when outraged Muslims boycott and demonstrate against news organisations that show the videos of masked armed men in front of Islamic symbols and quoting verses from the Koran that they say justify and glorify the beheading of the infidels to follow. I want to believe that the headcutters and suicide bombers defame and insult Islam more than a stupid cartoon, but I'm increasingly convinced that a majority of Muslims outside of the US do not find that contrary to the teachings of Islam. Polls from the region seem to indicate that perception is true.--Therefore, we get cartoons that make that very observation equating Islam with violence. The resulting furor reinforces that perception and gives impetus to the continuation of the violent acts which lead us down a road to worldwide confrontation. Freedom to express thought and the technology which makes it worldwide and instantaneous isn't going to go away without a fight. Those who fear it, fear it for a reason.

By the way, some US newpapers an television did show some of the cartoons. I think most feared contributing to the misplaced anger and opted not to show them. Which I find cowardly. On the other hand, I remember the riots that lead to deaths of Muslims at the hands of Muslims when Newsweek published a story about the flushing of Korans down the toilet (which later proved to have been false). So maybe there is some reason to abandon principle when it comes to Islam.

Truth teller said...

Faisal

"However, I should say that some of the muslims have gone way too far and this will tarnish our image more."

I totally agree with you.
I think a secrete hands were/are behind all this.

waldschrat said...

If a person wishes to judge the sentiment of the cartoonists honestly they may wish to view the cartoons. Here is a link to a blog displaying them:

http://face-of-muhammed.blogspot.com/

I find more respect for the prophet in them than the sentiments of the mobs and the reports of newscasters would suggest.

An alternative measure of the impact of the name "Mohammed" on the western world is to do a google image search using that name as a keyword. The results of such a search are strange indeed.

Moron99 said...

"The people who drew and published these cartoons did a very bad thing. Nothing can excuse this. To those who assert that they should be able to lampoon the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), because Jesus Christ is often ridiculed, are mistaken: there are limits there too - if Christ were portrayed wearing the uniform of a German Nazi to, say, make a point about the Roman Catholic church's collusion with Nazism, that would offend a huge number of people.)

"Freedom of speech" has its responsibilities, and even this "right" has a limit. I believe that this is one time when people have to "stand up and be counted", and I have done this today on my blog."


As the facts have unfolded, it appears that the pig "cartoon" is the work of the imam himself.
What would you say to him?

As you examine the offending cartoons there are three of them which are clearly different from the others. Three of them that are clearly fraudulent. These three, it turns out, were added by this nefarious imam. I do not believe that mideast governments and mosques are so stupid that they did not realize these were fakes.
What would you say to all the other imams and governments who willing participated in the deception?

Um Haleema said...

Hypocrites all! Turns out an Egyptian newspaper printed these articles as well. http://egyptiansandmonkey.blogspot.com/

慢慢來 said...

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