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The dilemma that ‘free speech’ presents us


by Sunny on 4th February, 2006 at 1:31 am    

If all religions were companies, Islam would be the one with the worst public relations department.

The original moral high-ground has been lost to the noise made by the gunmen, rampaging mobs and hysterical nutters.

Exhibit A: The Usual Suspects.
Yahoo has pictures on the protest in London yesterday, with placards stating stuff like: “Kill / slay / butcher those who insult Islam”, “Freedom go to hell” (how ironic), “Be prepared for the real holocaust” etc. Again: why can’t these inbreds be locked up? That’s what I want to know. I’d like to see Martin Sullivan comment on that.

Yusuf Smith did go to the march and has a more measured account:

There, I set about telling various journalists, and some who were not journalists, that the core of the people across the road were in fact “serial demonstrators” who have a history of attending other people’s demonstrations, shouting slogans largely unrelated to the issue at hand, and casting a bad light over both Islam itself and the demonstration.

I sympathise but the only people who can really deal with these extremists are Muslims themselves, yet most of the time they’re too busy defending these idiots. You can’t blame anyone else for bad PR.

Exhibit B: The Build-up.
Germany’s Der Spiegel has an article detailing how the Danish Muslim contingent tried to inflame the situation by including even worse cartoons of the prophet Muhammed and exaggerating the extent of racism they faced in Denmark.

The Muslim group blog Aqoul has excellent commentary on the above article and the issue in general. First, they clear up a few mis-conceptions:

Well, “Islam” is a concept, not a agent. Thus it’s not “Islam” that forbids anything, but the (human) authorities on Islamic law. And, it’s not the “depiction of the religion’s founder Muhammad” that is forbidden, but either the depiction of any of God’s creatures (but particularly humans) OR the slander of a prophet - be it Muhammad or Moses or Jesus or Abraham, etc.

Slandering a prophet would, however not fall under something like “slander” or “hate crime”, but actually be seen as “kufr”, i.e. unbelief/apostasy, as the assertion that a prophet was anything but a noble man . Of course, that only applies to Muslims. There is no provisio in Islamic law how to deal with non-Muslims who disparage a prophet, as they already are unbelievers. Also, the legal authorities in the Muslim world are quite unanimous in their verdict(s) that Muslims living in non-Muslim polities (i.e., states) should adhere to the law of the one in which they reside or travel.

They also make some good points about the “Danish boycott”.

The whole “boycotting Danish companies” thing has, in my opinion, a lot to do with inability to differentiate between a newspaper in Denmark, and/or a company that is headquartered in Denmark, and the Danish government. In a country where the government either owns all media or, at least, heavily controls and censors all media, it is hard for the population to imagine a newspaper, or a radio/television station, that is independent from government influence and control.
Similar, in a place where national identity and pride is pushed to the forefront of public life, and where the differences between political establishment and private enterprise are blurred, at best, it is hard to see a company that is headquartered in Denmark NOT as a “Danish company”.

I’m still waiting for Jamal to come around to that point.

Exhibit C: Brothers on a Mission
The best point made on the issue, in another post on Aqoul, is this:

First, sadly the proliferation of idiocy about this shows no signs of abating. The prime reason here, in my opinion, is that it plays into the hands of the Salafi types who generally disapprove of relations with non-Muslims on principle, and are, in my experience, always seeking levers to blow up stories of how awful ‘infidel’ X are to the Muslims, etc.

In other words, typical ethnic seperatist style pot stirring, any excuse. Builds their agenda for return to their mythical purified paste, with the story of how awfully ‘opressed’ their religious confreres are at the hands of the infidel, etc. A pack of exagerations, and often lies, but typical.

From them, we also learn that the most instructive official response from a Muslim organisation came from Canada:

“The protests in the Middle East have proven that the cartoonist was right,” said Tarek Fatah, a director of the Muslim Canadian Congress. “It’s falling straight into that trap of being depicted as a violent people and proving the point that, yes, we are.”

As I have said before, sometimes the worst enemies of Muslims are Muslims themselves.

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193 Comments   |  


  1. j0nz — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:45 am  

    Sunny, fantastic post, why can you not publish such balanced views on HP?

  2. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:52 am  

    Perhaps the same reason you say you prefer being here to HP j0nz - some people just like being contrary!

  3. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:54 am  

    jOnz says he prefers being here because he likes being contrary but I think he comes here because he likes us too - and is lonely.

  4. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:59 am  

    I will hold your hand j0nz.

  5. Sunny — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:12 am  

    j0nz - I love reading the blog, but the comment posters on HP are like a mob. It’s a full on slagging match with each side forced to produce tons of hyperbole, with only a few sane voices that either get ridiculed or ignored. Being on the liberal side I refer of course to the likes of Logan, Tomahawk, Joshua Scholar etc.

    Those guys take such extreme and mad positions that you’re dragged into rebutting them, and the conversation just gets silly. Here, I’d like to hope, the atmosphere is more chilled out so people can say what they want without having their heads bitten off for no reason. I like OP though, there is a vague method to her madness.

    Anyway, I’m a bit worried you think this is “balanced”! I’m still very much with the liberal Muslims on this issue, who are for free speech but don’t understand whats the point of this particular pointless offence. If there was a point to make I’d be publishing the posters here and asking the British press to do the same. But I don’t think there is.

  6. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:16 am  

    Isn’t it funny that Tomahawk has an Indian name?

  7. scott goodwin — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:38 am  

    More moderates in the Muslim community need to make their voices heard.

  8. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:46 am  

    Sunny, I may not say this often but I really appreciate that you take the trouble to go out there and get the reasonable muslim views, of which there are many more than some of us are aware. Neither the commenters on HP nor its bloggers take the trouble nor have the ability to do this and this is telling.

  9. jamal — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:07 am  

    Ive already come around to that point. the way I see it, when it comes to free speech, in an ideal world, discretion should be excercised, particularly when the impact of publications can by such that it causes disunity within society.

    However, we are not in an ideal world. As the govt has the ability to step in as we have seen with previous images here and here

    However, I would say that the difference should be recognised in “desiring” the govt to do so and “expecting” the govt to do so. Instead, these protesters are angry towards the govt for not condemning the cartoons, but then protest to these very same people/places for assistence, support and action to be taken.

  10. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:41 am  

    Required reading: http://muttawa.blogspot.com/2006/02/memo.html

  11. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 4:14 am  

    That memo is hilarious Rohin! Poor Belgians, do they know that they are next on the hitlist?

  12. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 4:16 am  

    I thought I was the only one who kept weird hours. That reminds me - dinner time.

  13. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 4:32 am  

    Lunchtime here Rohin! But I do keep very strange hours- went to bed at 7, this morning.

  14. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:01 am  

    Oh yeah, you’re in Singapore (right?). Whoops.

  15. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:10 am  

    Rohin you aint only PP’er keeping up at weird hours. But i just woke up. Man i’m addicted to PP.

  16. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:22 am  

    That’s worrying, seeing as you called us Pinko Politics. Perhaps your inner leftie is struggling to get out.

    Sunny just showed me this: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2022928,00.html

    Look who’s there saying “piss” when everyone else is rather scholastic and eloquent.

  17. Francis Sedgemore — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:25 am  

    Isn’t it funny that Tomahawk has an Indian name?

    Hatchet job - noun - informal - a fierce attack on someone or their work, esp. in print: the author’s attempted hatchet job on the judge was totally unjustified and irresponsible.

    The oh-so-unfortunately-real “Tomahawk” rants and rants and rants,… and then rants some more!

  18. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:39 am  

    That’s worrying, seeing as you called us Pinko Politics. Perhaps your inner leftie is struggling to get out.

    Naah.. i just doing a piece on our Prakash Karat. Guess what, he wont like it.

  19. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:40 am  

    Oh shit! I looked through the pictures on the Infidel Bloggers’ Alliance (link via j0nz, who else?) and realised I recognise one of the braying morons. Yes, he’s a future doctor. He’s in my frikking medical school! If you find yourself at the GP in a few years’ time and he starts telling you that Judaism is bad for your health, run!

  20. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:43 am  

    Rohin i’m also indirectly a part of IBA via Gates of Vienna. So watchout.

  21. Rohin — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:56 am  

    Watch out?

  22. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:57 am  

    Hey Francis, when I lurk on HP, I particularly enjoy reading your posts as well as SO Muffin, Venichka, Alex the-atheist- with-the-scottish-surname and working class warrior, Graham.
    I hardly post there as i haven’t the stomach for how personalised the ‘debate’ becomes. Sid, Sunny, I (and now you) are all ‘appeasers’ and ‘mealy-mouthed apologists’ for terrorists - really laughable when we all have strongly divergent opinions- nuance and subtlety are bad words to quite a few on HP.

    The worst ranters (apart from OP, seanT) such as the tomahawks, logans,joshua scholar type tend to be American no?

  23. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:58 am  

    Hmm.. o well i thought you were gonna diss IBA. They are fairly balanced people ya know.

  24. Bikhair — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:28 am  

    Sunny,

    “First, sadly the proliferation of idiocy about this shows no signs of abating. The prime reason here, in my opinion, is that it plays into the hands of the Salafi types…”

    Crap Crap Crap Crap Crap Crap Crap… Always blame the Saudis or the Salafis. As if the Salafis would be concerned with anything other than what the Salaf would do in these situations. They dont refer to themselves as SALAFis for no good reason. Does anyone even know who the Salaf are? Ofcourse not. jOnz isnt here to englighten us. Not!

  25. Bikhair — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:39 am  

    Scott Goodwin,

    “More moderates in the Muslim community need to make their voices heard.”

    And then what be accused of taqiyyah or more appropriately tuqyah? No thanks. In reference to that issue its more of a figment of kafir imagination than anything else. If anyone can sufficiently explain that concept to me I would appreciate it. Bring evidence from the Quran and Sunnah please.

  26. Kulvinder — on 4th February, 2006 at 7:43 am  

    I hope the MCB and their ilk are sensible about how they go about dealing with this and acknowledge the british media’s far more measured approach to the whole affair.

  27. Harry Noble — on 4th February, 2006 at 8:44 am  

    Just been to Tesco. Filed my trolley with nearly ALL Danish products.There seems to be a Buzz about, everyone is doing the same. Made sure i purchased NOTHING from Islamic countries. Well done you Danish Vikings !

  28. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 8:57 am  

    Isn’t it funny that Tomahawk has an Indian name?
    Native American Rohin, Native American, or Indigenous. Indians come from Mumbai, Chennai, Jaidapur, etc. Mr Chavez, Morales, Gambles in Tax-Free Casino, isn’t gonna be too happy with that.

    As for that Secret Policeman article: that was absolutely superb. I prostrate myself before a superior blogger. Sunny, Rohin, how about putting his piece up as a sepcial guest feature? This is what progressive intelligent politics is all about

  29. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 9:09 am  

    My beef is with my industry, the media.
    Why give these publicity-seeking cunts oxygen when they a) not representative b) polarising society dangerously c) did I say cunts?
    If I see another flag-burning scene I will scream. It’s so lazy and so cliched.
    E.g. “Anger against the Danish cartoons spread to Indonesia” (cue some jackasses burning a Danish flag in Jakarta). But how representative are these few of a country with hundreds of millions?
    Indeed, to what extent are those calling for “beheadings” and “massacres” in London representative of British moslems. The answer is they are not. And yet, they get all the column inches, all the TV time, and all the while that’s all the rest of the country is seeing, so they become more and more radicalised and we become more and more polarised? It gets right on my tits.

  30. Bijna — on 4th February, 2006 at 10:11 am  

    Dont make cartoons because Muslims may get upset and slit your throat.

    Dont have a piglet lunch box because Muslims may get upset.

    Dont look at a Muslim as he may get upset and beat you (personal experience).

    Dont wear a skirt because a Muslims may get upset and rape you (rapes +30% rapees in Sweden, all by Muslims).

    Dont have a small national flag on your bag as Muslims may get upset (but Muslims can wear a flag of their orignal country).

  31. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 11:08 am  

    I think Tomahawk thinks he is ’scalping the heads’ of terrorist and IslamoNaziFacistsFalangist’s apologists like Pickled Politics who are apparentlythe vinegary gherkin of the blogosphere! He’s really angry! And hard!

    At least the one called Old Peculiar has a sense of humour. Some of them just need cream applying to their haemmoroids.

  32. Kulvinder — on 4th February, 2006 at 11:45 am  

    Just been to Tesco. Filed my trolley with nearly ALL Danish products.There seems to be a Buzz about, everyone is doing the same. Made sure i purchased NOTHING from Islamic countries. Well done you Danish Vikings !

    I assume you drove there.

  33. Don — on 4th February, 2006 at 11:48 am  

    Tomahawk’s probably thinking of the missile. It’s a penis envy thing.

  34. Joe — on 4th February, 2006 at 12:25 pm  

    By the way… is it just me or were all those signs very obviously written by the same person?

  35. Neil W — on 4th February, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

    Muslim high ground -

    Possibly that was lost over time as the media in the Islamic World prints and broadcasts some incredibly racist, anti semtic rubbish.

    And possibly when a few cartoons illicits this response and a suicide bomb murderer barley a peep…..

    And possibly when it does appear the many Muslims first or second response is one of threats, intimidation and violence? I would think that the people reacting in such a way are the Islamist Wingnuts but it does seem to be a very common response.

  36. Amir Butler — on 4th February, 2006 at 12:44 pm  

    So, neofashists get to have cartoon’s that make fun of the Mislam’s. there religoin.

    There religoin. Make fun of someone’s religoin.

    Than these neo-Nazis the very same one’s can turn around but if another guy draw’s a cartoon making fun of how Rumselfd make’s fun of are toop’s when they get in the hostpal, than that’s not okay you can’t do that.

    So let, this strate. They can make fun of someone’s religoin, but they get to squish your dissent when there’s a more pergersive cartoon for peace and how the IRaq war was wrong.

    Just because he says the Iraq war is wrong. Than he does’nt get to draw a cartton about it.

    But you get to draw cartoon’s saying Mislam’s bomb poeple, which the don’t and how Islam has bomb’s, vilence, ect, which it doesn’t.

    Got to hang it do you, dhinger’s, ya’ll of reached a new low. When I saw it (are prof explained it in poli sci) you could of knock me over with a feather. So let me get this stra

    O I get it. Because it’s Rumfseld. Dhinger/reputzi. So you don’t get to make fun of him getting are toop’s blowed up. Because Rove, Bush ect. Like a Nazi regine. I get it.

    Basecly, we’re going to HAND TOUGH with agains’t the cartoon’s (the one’s where they make fun of Mislam’s). We won’t buy English food. We support the Mislams. There appretnely bombing there office in Palestinian to get back at the cartoon’s. I’m not saying that’s right but, well, they will do that. (not condoneing it, but)

  37. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 12:50 pm  

    Arent you the same Amir Butler who went around posting links to articles on his blog supporting LeT?

  38. kismet hardy — on 4th February, 2006 at 12:50 pm  

    Is it possible to get a cartoon to help us decipher what the above thread means?

  39. kismet hardy — on 4th February, 2006 at 12:51 pm  

    Mislam? Isn’t that when large basketball players rise up above the net but fail to dunk their ball?

  40. kismet hardy — on 4th February, 2006 at 12:53 pm  

    Or is it Mary, after her lamb deserted her, and is now called Ms Lamb?

  41. Proud Brit — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:00 pm  

    Shouldn’t that post be on the dyslexics blog.
    At least if you are going to make a point try and let other people understand it.
    Then again Muslims do not understand cartoons. They are make believe, not real and only express that cartoonists artistic view, not whole countries views.

  42. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:00 pm  

    Hah! So this where you all lurk! When the subtle cut and thrust of HP (or possibly the hysterical gainsaying) gets to much for you!

    I am of course one of the ranters from HP.

    But I’m not going to rant here. Hear I sense a different ambience, the chiming of a liberal wind charm, a hint of consensual birdsong, the dulcet strumming of the harp of concord as..

    Fuck it. Can’t keep it up.

    Sunny in your actualy well balanced and interesting post, which is oddly unlike your ravings on hP, you make one claim which is deeply questionable.

    That Islam has recently had the ‘moral high ground.’

    Hm. If you stretch recently back to the 14th century, perhaps. It is arguable that Muslim treatment of Jews and minorities was as good if not better than Christendom, in the time of al-Andalus, maybe.

    But ever since Islam failed to have a reformatation, and an Enlightenment, and female liberation, I rather think Islam has fallen down from the moral high ground. Unless that’s the moral high ground from which they like to hurl gay people.

    Anyway, tho. Good balanced post otherwise. And I’m sure my approbation worries you…

  43. Don — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:02 pm  

    Kismet

    Yu dur to mick dyslexia? yu poeple mak me stick.

  44. j0nz — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:08 pm  

    What does an philosophical insomniac dyslexic do? …Well they lie awake all night, pondering if there really is a Dog.

  45. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:23 pm  

    Amir, i mean are the same guy who owns http://www.amirbutler.com

  46. Proud Brit — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

    Don,
    And your point is?

  47. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:51 pm  

    “Amir, i mean are the same guy who owns ”

    Think not Vik. That Amir, an aussie, is at the very least, able to string a few words together.

  48. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

    Vik, if it is, he must have a good sub

  49. Umar — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

    The person posting above under ‘Amir Butler’ isn’t the real Amir Butler.

  50. Sunny — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

    SeanT - You do realise of course that if were to do a historical analysis, Christians have killed far more (of each other and others) than Muslims have?

    What I meant was that at the beginning of this controversy Muslims had the moral high-ground because they were faced with a bunch of badly drawn and not that intelligent cartoons that were designed mostly purely to offend them and played on stereotypes. You might see them as a good reflection but I don’t.

  51. raz — on 4th February, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

    “If you stretch recently back to the 14th century, perhaps. It is arguable that Muslim treatment of Jews and minorities was as good if not better than Christendom”

    Hmmm. When did the holocaust take place? How many Jews were killed? And which religous group was responsible?

  52. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

    50. Historically speaking, you’re probably right. Tho I suspect the difference is mainly that the West has just had bigger and better guns and weapons with which to kill people, than Islam, in the last few centuries. Both creeds have their horribly bloodthirsty histories.

    My point was more that the moral high ground really is a very difficult place for modern Islam to ever reach, given the terrible human rights situations in so many Islamic countries, the oppression of women, execution of gays, stonings, beheadings, torture, cultural repression, etc.

    But I also see that you were referring strictly to the cartoons. You think the original offence was made by the Danes. Well, I think the original offence occurred when a bunch of Danish publishers couldn’t find any illustrators to help with a book about Mohammad, because they were all too scared of being beheaded by Muslims, so a brave Danish editor decided to see if it was still possible for anyone to satirise religion, as it has been possible in the West since the Enlightenment.
    And is it possible? Only if you want to kick up a worldwide culture war, it seems.

    I find this very sad. You’re an intelligent bloke Sunny. Surely you can see the reasoning behind the original cartoons (however crap they were, and they were). If we let this one pass, if the West backs down, then the freedom to satirise and abuse religion (which may seem trivial or worthless to you, but means a lot to westerners who know the history of their own struggle against religious dogma and persecution) will be lost. And the world will be a worse place.

    I think Muslims should take a step back. Why can’t they say - OK, we will understand (if not approve) if non-Muslims want to do this in non-Muslim countries. But the non Muslims must promise never to broadcast or publish such things in Muslim countries.

    That seems fair to me. Why do Muslims want to impose their values across the world, in places and on people who fiercely reject those values? It is a recipe for war.

  53. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:09 pm  

    You do realise of course that if were to do a historical analysis, Christians have killed far more (of each other and others) than Muslims have?

    Sunny, claims like this are clearly outlandish -as you may realise when you are challenged to actually substantiate them- and it does nothing for your argument at all.

    “Hmmm. When did the holocaust take place? How many Jews were killed? And which religous group was responsible?”

    Raz you too. Like a ‘religious’ group was responsible?

    a pissing contest over the ‘moral high ground’ is damn tedious…and pointless.

  54. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:12 pm  

    Then there’s the Atlantic Slave Trade and the violent conquest of South America.
    Then again, that’s a measure of the extent to which Europe has dominated the last 500 years.
    I don’t see the point of making moral distinctions. Who is to say that the Islamic world or China or Hawaii would have been much better if they had the same spectacular success. You saw how the Japanese were, after all, when they became a great power.
    We can only speculate, which I’m quite happy too, but only as long as people appreciate that it is academic and ultimately futile.
    My conclusion would be rather Hobbesian, i.e. human beings = not very nice.
    But at least one thing Europe has given us is the concept of freedom of speech, which is why Lurpak is now my butter of choice.

  55. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:12 pm  

    fuck, dunno how to turn the bold off. sorry.

  56. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

    Why does Sean T keep telling Sunny that he is an intelligent bloke?

  57. raz — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    Mirax,

    German’s are predominantly Christian. Given that Muslims are blamed for whatever crime they committ, regardless of the motivation, I see no reason to treat Christians differently.

  58. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:27 pm  

    Why does Sean T keep telling Sunny that he is an intelligent bloke?

    Probably guilt for an earlier taunt that those from Chandigarh, Chennai and (definitely Casablanca) are genetically incapable of understaning the EN.LIGHT.EN.MENT project.

  59. Proud Brit — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

    Why should the muslims tells us what we can and cannot print but won’t let us tell them what we can print in the islamic countries. (ie the Bible).
    Freedom of speech is not freedom to speak what I agree with but shut up when I don’t agree.
    Is not what we are seeing exactly what NIck Griffin said.? ‘Islam is a wicked viscous faith’
    Muslims will not be happy until the have suppressed any speech that they are not in agreement with. We need to wake up to that fact.
    Why is the muslim council of britain not saying that what we saw in the march yesterday is totally unacceptable. Yes demonstrate if you feel the need. But terroist threats, praising previous terroists is incredibly disrespectful to majority of true British people not the mention the victims and totally unacceptable. Why were these people not arrested.
    The problem is there are no moderate Muslims as we are told. They are brainwashed into intolerance of loads of things. Occasionally a puppet muslim is wheeled out to show the ‘moderate’ side of Islam, someone maybe out of the MCB. And look at most of those peoples past!
    Come on Infidels
    WAKE UP!!!!!!

  60. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

    57. Actually, if you wanna argue the point, the Nazi crimes in World War 2 can definitely not be filed under ‘Christian’.

    Hitler abjured Christianity. He saw it as a threat to the ideology of racial nationalism he wanted to propagate. He also despised Christianity, in the Nietszchean way - as a religion for slaves. He saw the religion as at best a tiresome hindrance and at worst a philsophy to be destroyed, which he fully aimed to do once he’d won the war

    That’s why so many of his worst enemies were priests, nuns, bishops, theologians. And that’s why so many priests, nuns, etc, died in the camps.

    So no, that one not Christian.

    First World War, sure!

  61. Proud Brit — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:35 pm  

    Why are we having this running total of how many people each religion has killed. Perhaps we could have an online scoreboard. It doesn’t matter anymore, what matters is the present and the future and threatening to kill people,actually anypeople because they have drawn a cartoon is in my book unacceptable behaviour whatever the religion or present ’score’

  62. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:37 pm  

    58. Heh. Nope. I’m probably calling him an intelligent bloke because I fancied being polite, and chatting in a less rancorous way than is common on HP (though
    I do get a buzz from the fisticuffs there).

    Talking of which, I see some barbs of mine stung back in HPland. When I patronised Sunny about the Enlightenment, it was because I felt he he made some arsey and juvenile remarks (and I wasn’t entirely wrong). But then again I realised that being patronising was also fucking annoying and a cheap shot - so I extended the laurel branch of a mild apology, as I recall.

    K?

  63. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

    seanT

    Please anoint me with the balm of your designation ‘intelligent bloke’, too! Ooh please do.

    ++++

    Nazi Germany liquidated six million Jews in the heart of the land of Goethe and in the cultural extension of Mozart. Enlightenment values do not preclude the black liquidation crimes of European civilisation, King Leopold, and all the rest of it, blah blah blah. Perhaps not strictly Christian, but part of ‘Enlightenment’, indeed, post-enlightenment civilisation, which after all, is what seanT the benificent anointer of uppity Pakis, is talking about - he is not, after all, comparing shariaist Iran with Augustan Rome and the first Christian Empire.

  64. raz — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

    Great post Jay.

  65. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

    If only siddarth were here too!

    Anyhoo, so glad I got a ringside seat for this.(Runs to grab a beer).

  66. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    Jay, you seem an intelligent bloke. but also slightly confused, nay angry. I thought only HP had strange and splenetic outbursts. ‘Beneficent anointer of uppity Pakis?’

    Sigh. If you say so mate. Your words not mine.

    But shall we draw a line? Saying my atrocities aren’t as bad as your genocides doesn’t get us very far. The thread, IIRC, was more to do with which religion is giving everyone grief at the moment. To which I think we all know the answer.

  67. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    Siddarth surely is not on HO. He had to leave in disgrace.

  68. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    HP, that is. My bad.

  69. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

    er, that vinegary gherkin remark (tomahawk, not you Sean) left a sour taste in the mouth, methinks…

  70. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

    One more thing - post enlightenment Europe liquidated six million Jews within touching distance - my elderly grand uncle who served in WW2 still tells his war stories ———> 86 year old Sikh man, raghead, enemy of free speech, Paki Bastard, collective guilt, maybe intelligent bloke, maybe not, I would need seanT to certify him in that respect. This is not ancient history

    As well as just ten years since post-enlightenment Yugoslavia was carving itself up, carving babies up, carving raped women up, etc etc etc

    +++++

    So - the enlightenment did not in and of itself halt European bestiality - the struggle is to placate bestialiy using tools of the enlightenment - a continuous struggle, even when the enlightenment catalyses bestiality - the African slave trade orgy of beastial cruelty was the pride of European and American civilisation and was also brought to an end by the fruits of elightenment values and thinkers - but this is the complexity, contradiction, violence and struggle of HUMANITY - except if you are descendants of ragheads or Pakis, in which it is only a struggle in which you can be submitted if you are an intelligent bloke pace (c) seanT etc etc etc

  71. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

    Actually, SeanT is right with regards the Nazis. It’s a very important point.
    Nietsche was the ultimate atheist, for it is he who declared that God was dead. He despised Christianty as a religion of pity for weak people. Although I might see it as a plus, he saw it as an obstacle to be overcome by Supermen with a master morality. It’s not necessarily as sinister as it sounds but you can see how it might have influenced Nazism.
    When people say Christendom, they actually mean Europe, or more specifically white people.

  72. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    Mirax just cut it out. I dont want to get into flame wars with a cocky and uppity Singpore gal with a bloated ego. Just bear in mind typos donot necessarily reflect language skills.

    BTW Your English is pretty good for a Singaporean.

  73. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

    And wouldn’t it be better to find (or at least seek) consensus than to have constant argy-bargy. I know that might sound hypocritical, given that I also can occasionally flare up, but it does begin to wear, na’ata meen?

  74. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

    seanT

    Sorry dude, I really am not in the slightest bit angry - and as it happens, I reckon you are angry - and proud of it too, with all your exciting posts and ‘fucking this’ and ‘fucking that’ and we-are-on-the-cusp-of-war rhetoric.

    I think you are an intelligent bloke too, seanT! I bet you are fun too - we would probably enjoy having a pint together. I would take you to the Glassy Junction in Southall - biggest Indian pub in London - and you could test yourself against the local Sikhs - every type of whisky known to man is consumed there and we could talk about the enlightenment and how England is going to hell in a handcart in between pints of Indian beer and Punjabi snacks.

  75. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    Er, Jay. Was that stream of consciousness? Interesting. You seem to have a thing about pakis, or ragheads, and the perceived condescending attitudes of white men to pakis and ragheads. From your name I might guess this might be related to your ethnicity. But you could be a white lorrydriver in North Wales for all I know.

    Anyway. Piercing through the Joycean prose of your stream-of-consciousness monologue, from what I understand of it I think I agree with you. Man is a spiritual work in progress. An angel with a dirty face. An animal with hope.

    For me the surest route to further spiritual progress for mankind (pace Bosnia et al), is greater and greater freedom. Which is why I resent religions - politicians - that seek to limit my freedom.

    Hm. Dunno what else to say really. Very different quality of debate you get on Sunny’s Site. Kinda mystical and Sufi-ish. Must be the Asian element.

    Fills in the time nicely before the rugger tho.

  76. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:09 pm  

    seanT

    I think you have a thing about Pakis and Ragheads dude ;-)

    Did you really think it was Joycean? I don’t think so. Can’t stand the guy’s writing. Never read more than two pages of the guy’s work. Although Finnegans Wake is good for a laugh - Ffffffffewhajh goes the Lifffey farto ppoo bo climb the - and all that malarkey - hilarious.

  77. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:09 pm  

    Heh. I know the Glassy Junction. Cool pub!

    Are most of the guys on here Sikhs? Indian? Or what? That’s a serious question…. not trying to provoke….

  78. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:10 pm  

    Well, it is a good mixture of Sikhs, atheist Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and seanT type of people.

  79. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:11 pm  

    Ah no you gotta give Joyce a go!
    ‘the snotgreen scrotumtightening sea’
    And sexy too! - Molly Bloom’s soliloquy…

    Finnegan’s Wake to me was incompehensible drivel, tho.

  80. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

    seanT

    Get out in London and make friends with some brown folk will ya?

  81. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    I have quite a lot of Jewish friends, weirdly enough. Most of my best mates are Jewish. Some French and German friends. Yanks. And a Madagascan! But no… not enough - if any - Asian/Muslim. Though I have had Asian/Muslim girlfriends and a close friend of mine has a Pakistani wife.

    So i’m not totally locked into a monoracial hellhole! Indeed its hard to be so, if you live in central London like me.

    And that’s a good thing. i may have robust views on certain issues… ! …. but I think the multiculturalism of London is a genuine glory. Just wished it worked as well elsewhere in England… and Europe,

    End of sermon.

  82. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

    Darn so i’m the only non-Londoner in this place.

  83. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

    See seanT if the enlightenment is a CONSTANT PROJECT then it does not help much if you ascribe to a sole civilisation the sole resources to aspire to dampen down the fundamentalism, belligerent nationalism, inequalities and excessive religiosity that enlightenment values seek to tame.

    What is for sure is that Islamic civilisation is at this moment going through the throes of a reaction against modernity and rationalism and all that kind of clever-clogs thing. It happens in other religious cultures too - Indian, Chinese etc - but Islam is in the limelight and is having a particularly violent time of it at the moment.

    No doubt about that - you and I agree - we can clink our glasses together and drink to Charles Martel on that ————> but my perspective differs with you in as much as I am not prepared to wholesale and wholescale piss on Muslims without discrimination because of the difficulties some of them face reconciling themselves between what we aspire for them in secular democractic society and what the psychos and extremists want to do.

  84. Col. Mustafa — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

    hehehehe.

    The dude spelt Butcher as Butchar those who mock islam first.
    Im sure ive seen a couple of those idiots somewhere; most of them don’t even know what theyr’e doing there.
    Probably too stoned or drunk and just went along for the shouting.

    What is bollox about FOS. Isn’t it slightly obvious from the outset that Islam has never been about FOS.
    The muslim world does not like FOS; it means people will be able to say anything about islam.

    Weve seen this before with the other Abrahamic religions; but the difference here is that they have moved on in parts of the world and on the whole look at the concept of religion in a different way.
    Whereas islam’s majority still look at religion as an integral part of life.

    Ive said this before, this has nothing to do with the cartoons.

    The definition of FOS has to be adapted to suit different people or religions or races or cultures.
    Not everyone thinks the same, but also noone should be attacked for thinking one way either.

  85. Sunny — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

    SeanT, I only bring up historical references because I’m trying to explain the futility in constantly trying to find justification for bigotry by delving into the past.

    Historically of course Jews have had a much better time under Muslims than Christians, but people have a short memory :)

    The Islamists you hate also use historical references to explain their hatred and justify their actions. Indians and Pakistanis do the same to keep up the charade of hating each other (when they’re more like each other than any countries).

    By the same historical yardstick of course, all us Asians should be very angry at the British history in the sub-continent, which the country prefers to gloss over.

    But living in the past is for losers. I prefer to judge people as they are now. Islam isn’t one monolithic entity that everyone behaves the same. Muslims in Malayasia are diff to those in Pakistan/Afghanistan and to those in Lebanon. Same goes for Sikhs, Christians etc.

    So by putting out those orientalist cartoons which disparaged all Muslims as terrorists, I don’t see how that is supposed to be a good judge of protecting freedom of speech. Anyone will get angry if you push the right buttons. But not everyone is going around with guns etc, its the usual suspects, which you use to justify your stance.

  86. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

    I dozed off.Was THAT it? You guys are discussing Joycean prose now?

    Jay Singh watch out though, SeanT is the author of some stinkin stuff!

    Aiwa! Aiwa! Aiwa!

  87. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:31 pm  

    Jay….. interesting. In fact might need some thinking on (I don’t often say that on HP).

    However, the rugby’s started.

    But…. in the interim. Yeah I take yr point. It is easy for excitable patriotic Anglotypes like me, when I see those images of Muslims carrying banners saying ‘kill everyone’ - its easy for people like me to get too angry and assume that all Muslims are out to get us.

    But God I wish Muslims would themselves rein in the spastics with the placards, cause it makes it so hard for people who - really - would like to try and think the best of Islam!

    Gotta go though. Kick off! Probabky I’ll be back. I’ll be back soon if we start losing to the Taffs.

    Interesting exchange of views…

  88. Vikrant — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

    Islam isn’t one monolithic entity that everyone behaves the same.

    But the concept of Ummah sure makes it look like a monolithic entity. Why is it whenever Israel does something, Muslims from Indonesia to India are up in arms.

  89. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

    I am not prepared to wholesale and wholescale piss on Muslims without discrimination because of the difficulties some of them face reconciling themselves between what we aspire for them in secular democractic society and what the psychos and extremists want to do.
    I couldn’t agree with you more Jay. Very well put.
    However, it is no wonder that non-Moslems don’t discriminate more when you look at the way things are reported and the way the jihadist chavs get most of the airtime/column inches (although intelligent non-Moslems should really know better).

  90. Col. Mustafa — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

    “But God I wish Muslims would themselves rein in the spastics with the placards, cause it makes it so hard for people who - really - would like to try and think the best of Islam!”

    Those sorts of muslims go around in big groups and are usually quite confrontational.
    The average muslim that doesn’t really care too much about these issues might not see eye to eye with those fools but still will get offended by the cartoons and want something to be done about it.
    Then theres other muslims that don’t give a toss about the religion or the those extremist fools. But they won’t stop them nor will they even try as they don’t care.
    They just distance themselves from the whole thing.

    Then you have muslims that do care and want to change things; but they’re in a very small minority, and are most likely to get the same medicine as Theo van gogh if they spoke out.

  91. Col. Mustafa — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

    All this attention from the worlds media for these cartoons has really made it so much worse.

    I suppose Danish muslims couldn’t of just sat around and accepted these cartoons being published and not say anything.
    What would of been better would of been having a sort of Q&A thing.
    A bunch of liberal, calm minded muslims should of asked the cartoonists for a Q&A whereby they can express thier feelings asto why they are offended and also ask the cartoonists face to face whats the point of these cartoons?

    Im muslim, and i don’t have a bomb in my tuban; infact i dont have a turban.
    A nice and civilised debate over it would of been good to see.
    I can guarantee much better relations between the muslims and non-muslims if they could just talk about it.

  92. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

    seanT

    A couple of things….

    The enlightenment ultimately aspires to Universality in a way - that is why Christians and Muslims - those two other doctrines with Universalist Utopian aspirations - both view it as competition - although Christianity has acceded to secular democratic elightenment values - you are right in saying that Christianity has been tamed by the enlightenment and that is the slow and violent struggle that is taking place inside Islam right now.

    The Enlightenment values are applicable everywhere - they give women and minorities, downtrodden castes and the persecuted everywhere in the world, from India to Brazil, a voice, a hope, an aspiration ——> the UNIVERSAL declaration of Human Rights is our Bible and Koran and it is the individual dignity of man and woman that brings true religious freedom and nobility - that is the UNIVERSALIST beauty of this philosophy - and it is why the other universalist creeds are frightened by it as the organising aspirational principle of human society, but ———> that does mean that at some level we have to make common cause with those who share these values inside the communities that are wrecking and fighting, and it also means that YOU TOO have to aspire to UNIVERSALITY and judge them as part of your civilisation too.

    Second point —- these Islamist fanatics have been about here for a long long time - I remember back in the early 1990’s fights between Sikhs and Islamists at colleges and Universities across the land - we have been aware of this for ages and ages and ages and we too wish that they would rein in their extremists and have been saying this for a long time too. You have to believe that dude. It is complicated and has been going on for at least sixteen or seventeen years.

    I wish I knew how we could breach this gap. Your robust views are righteous - I have even been angry like that myself - but I think that at some level, without offering our backside for the sodoms of Al Muhajiroun and the rest of them - we do have to find a way to help and bring other Muslims into our envelope - and I don’t know if the cartoons helped.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali says it was the right thing to do, to publish these cartoons - other Muslim reformers say it has not helped. Maybe I am wrong and you are right. I am prepared to admit that if I am. But I don’t want to mark the embassy placard demonstrating monsters as the true benchmark - yet.

    Although I do think that the crunch time is now.

  93. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:52 pm  

    It’s not the job of other Muslims to rein in these mentally-challenged jihadists, for fuck’s sake. Surely, that’s the job of the authorities and if the police can’t do anything about it, as most Muslims, I believe, want them to, then the media could play a role by reining in their coverage.
    This, I believe, would be a legitimate tweak to British freedom of speech because these people are morons. There is a precedent I can think of: football hooliganism.
    When the terraces were ablaze in the early 1980s and every game was an excuse for a punchup and every ‘firm’ tried to make a name for itself, there was also a change in media coverage to starve the hooligans of the oxygen of publicity. Basically, the cameras stopped focusing on any trouble in the crowd. This, I believe, together with the Heysel disaster and the expulsion of English clubs from Europe helped to turn things around. So BBC, ITV, News of the World, do your duty, stop covering these cunts more than they deserve.

  94. mirax — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:53 pm  

    #92, excellent post Jay.

  95. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:56 pm  

    seanT

    That is the other thing behind the Islamist call and criticism against ‘cultural imperialism’ - they recognise in the UNIVERSAL declaration of Human Rights and its associated culture and enlightenment values the deepest and most irrefutable challenge to its legitimacy. Hence the pain and criticism of the decadence of the West and Democracy - the fact that the world is moving towards these principles, slowly, tepidly, cautiously, and that Islam as a creed able to organise the demos, guide the world to prosperity and control, is utterly refuted, especially given the imperialist history of Islam - causes a kind of neurosis and defensiveness. To see Muslims wishing to neuter public Islam and relegate it as Christianity has been relegated to private life, to view the rise of India and the Buddhist lands of Asia, to be left behind so completely, is the fuel for this fire.

    Now the hard part to admi - sometimes I, like you, despair of ever finding the result for this in as much as negating the lunatics definitively - I really do share your frustration sometimes. Spine chilling isnt it?

    But I don’t think we can stop trying.

  96. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

    as most Muslims, I believe, want them to, then the media could play a role by reining in their coverage.

    Good point El Cid

  97. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 4:33 pm  

    Jay…. so…. what you are saying is it comes from a kind of inferiority complex, right?

    Which is something I had long suspected. On an individual basis, people who are quick to offend, prickly, aggressive, bombastic, tend to be people who are in some way insecure. socially, sexually, whatever.
    Whereas people who are secure tend to be more easygoing, able to laugh off slights and insults.

    I don’t see why it should be any different for faiths. Islam has a kind of inferiority complex because it is meant to be the worldwide faith. yet it is economically in retreat, militarily weak, even culturally fairly moribund compared to Europe, America and Japan.

    That’s kinda what you are saying, right? (bit more eloquently than me). And i think I agree.

    But what the F do you do about it? How do you put an entire religion into therapy??

    Ooops! second half…

  98. Bikhair — on 4th February, 2006 at 4:36 pm  

    seanT,

    “But God I wish Muslims would themselves rein in the spastics with the placards, cause it makes it so hard for people who - really - would like to try and think the best of Islam!”

    As mentioned by El Cid it isnt the responsibility of Muslims to rein in anyone except a husband and his family, a women and her family, and in a Muslim country a slave and what has been put under his care. I am basically paraphrasing a hadith btw. If this were going on in a Muslim country, which it is by the looks of it, it would be the responsibility of the Muslims leaders to deal with it.

    Making statements like the above really set Muslims up for some dangerous times when we have to confront each other on the streets of London, Paris, or Danish land.

    It has been my expirience that when you assign collect responsibility to Muslims you imply collective guilt. I will feel guilty about another man’s bad deeds when I can take credit for his good deeds.

  99. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

    i think the word you are grasping for Biks is Copenhagen

  100. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:24 pm  

    seanT

    But what the F do you do about it? How do you put an entire religion into therapy??

    That is the big question. I don’t have an answer which I can say much about now on Saturday afternoon beyond the rhetoric of ‘Support the moderates’, and ‘Choose your battles carefully’ - which I fear will irk you with its nebulousness.

    But - I do think that the media could do much to push reformers like the Muslim academic Munira Mirza more prominently, who was interviewed on Newsnight the other night and demolished the Hizb ut Tahrir representative. People like Yasmin Alibhai Brown who are in many ways a bit daft and batty are actually the ones who despite their left wing firebranding are asking questions of the Muslim establishment and taliban tendency - these people exist, and they need to be given priority in the debates over and above the conservatives.

    I do believe that newspapers and the media can make a concerted effort to even marginalise and choke certain factions and fuckwits by starving them of publicity.

    The other thing - choose your battles carefully. Did the publication of the cartoons help or give strength to the taliban-teletubbies? To a certain extent it is superfluous to ask, because it all was initiated in Denmark and we will always be affected by global events. But we can ask questions about this and the various battlegrounds in the UK. The Luton Jilbab case - the Muslim headmistress of the school was against the girl wearing the jilbab, every other Muslim girl in the school was happy with the dress code as it was, and yet, Cherie Blair and the high court under, ironically, Human Rights legislation, in the face of opposition from Muslim teachers, ruled in favour of that girl who was supported by Hizb ut Tahrir and other right wing Islamists.

    So, that was an example of mainstream society DEFEATING a Muslim headmistress, Muslim girls who wanted to avoid the pressure of the jilbab tendency and the freedom to wear school uniform as they please, the leader of the Muslim Parliament Ghyasuddin Siddique who opposed the girls attempt to wear the jilbab to school, and what happens? Mainstream society sells them out, abandons them, Islington chin-strokers betray those Muslims who battled the slow creep and imposition by stealth of Islamist pressure via dress codes in a school for girls in Luton - and they did this by subtle and clever exploitation of the rhetoric of individual rights and ‘freedom’.

    The Muslim headmistress who battled that girl was betrayed. I know one thing. We need to support people like her. And we need to do so in a way that doesnt include her in the remit of the Islamists - and this can very simply be achieved for example by marking our language and not assuming or implying a unanimity within Muslims in Britain, you know, along the lines of ‘they are all the bloody same’. I think it is difficult because of the screams of Islamophope that come out as knee jerk responses - but as the Panorama programme shows - there are people out there who are not like that, and we need to strengthen ourselves - be generous and firm at the same time.

    In short, everyone needs to sharpen up, get subtle, especially some of those on the Left.

  101. Bijna — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:27 pm  

    Maybe Muslim countries need more libraries,
    with books other than the Quaran and Mein Kampf.

    Maybe Iran should try to put a man on the moon
    instead of a nuke in Haifa.

  102. Siddharth — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:44 pm  

    Hello all

    Fucks sake what a week! One of the few times when large sections of my real life space seamlessley merged with my blogland space.

    Looks like the intellectual masturbating is going on unabted here on PP as I expected.
    The BNP and HP trolls in look like they’re out in force tonight. Anyone’d think there’s been another ‘Oh No Those Fucking Muslims Again’ Media FuckFest again!

    But different again.

  103. matt_c — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:50 pm  

    >>>In short, everyone needs to sharpen up, get subtle, especially some of those on the Left.

    I’d just like to say that after the Harry’s Place schoolyard scrap, this comments box is a breath of fresh air. You are all, after all, very intelligent people.

    And excuse me if I’m repeating what’s been said before - it’s a long thread and I scanned it - but it feels like the Western secular reaction to the ‘Muslim’ reaction has operated on a similar structural level.
    I mean that those Muslims who have protested have done so in a way that is provocative and unhelpful. And the reaction of the secular West? Also provocative and unhelpful.
    Ok - one side offers violence, the other simply offers a taboo-breaking ‘up yours’, so ethically I feel there is a distinction - but we should be talking about politics and social relationships rather than cold abstracts. Graham at HP offered the most cogent reason as to why the cartoons shouldn’t punished; if I understand him right he said that the Muslim kids he was trying to teach about the values of democracy, etc. (I assume he’s a teacher) would be polarised by both sets of reactions.

    And at the end of the day we should be worrying about the way people will live together in a year, ten years, fifty years, instead of wanking on that we have to be able to offend Muslims if we want to. I think mutual respect is a useful goal - and both vocal parties have shown little.

  104. j0nz — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:53 pm  

    I’m glad Siddarth has focussed his wrath on the HP commentors (again!!!), because that’s exactly what Sunny’s post was about.

    I really do appreciate your strong condemnation of HP commentors, who, are, after all, the real crux of the problem here, and not those who want to behead and massacre others.

    /sarcasm

  105. matt_c — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:53 pm  

    The first paragraph sounds like I’m being sarcastic when I re-read it - not the intended outcome…

  106. Siddharth — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:54 pm  

    oops. writing on blogs under the influence is certainly not advised.

    But I do want to say a Big Up to the Press in the UK who in the past and very often have forced me to regard as highly as freshly expectorated phlegm. But not this time baby. They made me proud this week in a way that only someone who usually fanatised about the shape and form of an ‘Aunty’ Beeb can ever be.

    They said no to re-printing this shite because they realised in time that it represents the worst kind of shooting self in foot that you can imagine, bwai!

    And anyone in the last week who found themselves supporting a purely provocational act of Media cuntery should be re-evaluating not their ethical sense, but their common sense.

  107. Bikhair — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:55 pm  

    Bijna,

    “Maybe Muslim countries need more libraries,
    with books other than the Quaran and Mein Kampf.”

    With the Quran and the Sunnah being very explicit about Muslims not imitating the disbelievers, I would think that there wouldnt be any Mein Kampf in any library in Muslim countries.

  108. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:56 pm  

    Jay.. hmmm… food for thought…

    I agree with yr remarks about the academic, Munira Mirza, not only is she notably HOT, she makes a lot of sense, refreshing, articulate, not craven or bellicose… her and Irsan Ali (sp.?).. maybe there is hope… funny how it’s coming from Muslim women.

    Maybe it’s not funny; seeing as Muslim women have most to gain from Muslim Reform.

    Re extremism. Trouble is, it’s hard for non-Muslims like me to diffrentiate between the militants and the moderates when even a moderate Muslim position is extreme in certain cases.

    Take these cartoons. For me - and many many millions of westerners - the freedom they represent is non negotiable. We won the freedom to ridicule religion over hundreds of years, struggling against religious repression. The idea that we should hand it back, simply to soothe the insecurities of a relatively small ethnic minority, appears therefore absurd.

    To put it bluntly, the Asians came here, they should respect our basic values(and yes I know many are now 2nd and 3rd generation, I am speaking metaphorically).

    But it should be explained to Muslims why WE feel like this, and why it is to their advantage TO respect these values.

    Presumably, one of the reasons Muslims have migrated to the west is because western countries are more advanced, richer, offer nicer lifestyles, better paid jobs, etc. Well, the reason the West is the way it is, is not an accident - it’s because of the values we have, like freedom of speech. Take those away, and you have a less go-ahead society, less freedom to inquire, a slower, less dynamic, a more rigidified stultified society - a society more like a Muslim society.

    Which is why Muslim attitudes on these cartoons, even from moderates like Sunny, seem extreme to me. Can’t they see that this is a fundamental part of what the West is? What they came here for? Or their parents?

    We will not easily give up these freedoms. We will not give them up. And if people don’t like it - go live somewhere else, or learn to deal with it.

    That’s why, to me, it was worthwhile not just publishing the toons but republishing them. If we are to have a multicultural society, we need ground rules, and one of those ground rules is what is negotiable.

    I agree that a lot of the problem in sorting all this comes from the Left. They give off confused signals. Trying to get relicious hatred bills through was just stupid. Nobody white wanted them. It would have been spurious protection anyway, even for Muslims. The law would have been repealed by the next Tory government.

    So, fuck stupid laws. But I don’t know what else to do. I guess us lot just talking like this is a start!

    And now I really do have to stop commenting. There’s a medoc with my name on it in Tescos.

  109. j0nz — on 4th February, 2006 at 5:59 pm  

    Media cuntery

    There’s a hell of a lot of that going around at the moment. Newsnight always manages to find the most Islamic fundementalist types, and asks them what their opinion is.

    Who gives a fuck?! Even MPACUK are condemning yesterdays chirade! (Siddarth, take note!)

  110. Sunny — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:01 pm  

    As mentioned by El Cid it isnt the responsibility of Muslims to rein in anyone except a husband and his family, a women and her family, and in a Muslim country a slave and what has been put under his care.

    For a start, thank god we don’t have legal slavery anymore Bikhair, and going by what you write, I think we can all assume you still live in the Middle Ages and people have gradually started to ignore your mad writings.

    Secondly, the responsibility cannot be pushed entirely on to the police.

    1) Every single Muslim organisation in this country tries to be as politically active by trying to say what should be done in foreign policy and what not, but they don’t have the balls to condemn their own fanatics. Unless Muslim communities themselves empower their own people so voices are not dominated by who can scream the loudest, then neither will the community move forward, neither will anyone know who is representative.

    2) The level of cooperation between the police and Muslims is pitiful. So how exactly are the police to infiltrate these people, find out their activities and fight them? Magic?

    On the one hand you have people complaining that nothing is done about these nutters. But are they helping to do something? Of course not. They don’t want to be seen as helping the state. They’re too busy cursing the state all the time.

    3) When there is some move to contain them, for example the recent moves to outlaw glorifying of terrorism, the MCB and their cronies (at Islamophobia Watch etc) are screaming and shouting about freedom of speech. MCB / MPAC and HuT have become such great friends lately that you wonder if they weren’t in league before when complaining about HuT’s strong-arm tactics.

    So while the police has to come down hard on these nutters, the Muslim community also has to deal with them.

  111. Sunny — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:06 pm  

    mattc - agree entirely. SeanT - c’mon mate, how many times do I have to explain my stance! Read the thread before also about the English viewpoint, and you’ll see some messages near the end by Kulvinder - who I also agree with.

  112. j0nz — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:09 pm  

    Sunny #110 absolutely right there.

    Meanwhile some Syrians proove that the cartoon depiction is inaccurate, and infact, all sorts of methods of intimidation can be harnessed, not just bombs, including arson.

  113. j0nz — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:16 pm  

    It’s only a matter of time before some delusional person kills somebody in protest of the depiction of Mohammed as violent.

  114. matt_c — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:19 pm  

    >>>the Asians came here, they should respect our basic values

    I wonder if SeanT talks like he writes.
    Pootergeek thinks he’s funny too.

  115. Bikhair — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:32 pm  

    Sunny,

    I was just trying to explain what responsibility meant in Islam. You dont have to take it to the head.

    “Secondly, the responsibility cannot be pushed entirely on to the police. ”

    Oh yes it can. Dont you understand what is being done? When people talk about Muslims “reigning” in extremist, that is their ambigious way of making this, not about Muslims who kill, who plan to kill, who have killed, or who have a serious potential to kill, this is about all Muslims. They cant say, Bikhair is responsible for every murder but they can say that I am not doing enough to stop the murders. I guess you would call it guilt by association.

    “Every single Muslim organisation in this country tries to be as politically active by trying to say what should be done in foreign policy and what not, but they don’t have the balls to condemn their own fanatics.”

    That isnt true and you know it.

    “Unless Muslim communities themselves empower their own people so voices are not dominated by who can scream the loudest, then neither will the community move forward, neither will anyone know who is representative.”

    Well according to the above they are quite empowered.

    “The level of cooperation between the police and Muslims is pitiful. So how exactly are the police to infiltrate these people, find out their activities and fight them? Magic?”

    I dont remember the last time a Muslim woman came inside the womens’ section of the Mosque and spoke so explicitly about what her husband, brother, or son will be blowing up in a few weeks. Get off it Sunny. The FBI, the CIA and the MI5 (in the case of your country) will know far more terrorist than even Abu Hamza himself. They have dam near everything at their disposal which is why my husbands friend in Britian was so diplomatically paid a visit by the MI5 when he was in the process of buying a commercial oven for his kebab place.

    “They’re too busy cursing the state all the time.”

    Who is they?

    ” MCB / MPAC and HuT have become such great friends lately that you wonder if they weren’t in league before when complaining about HuT’s strong-arm tactics.”

    I didnt know the MCB/MPAC or HuT were the whole community. I could be wrong considering us Muslims are one in the same just waiting for a chance to attack or complain—which ever suits your argument.

    “So while the police has to come down hard on these nutters, the Muslim community also has to deal with them.”

    When the oppurtunity presents itself. Unfortunately I doubt that terrorist have become so incompetent that they let everyone know what they are up to. My country issued a 9/11 report about the terrorist attacks of that day and though I didnt read it, I doubt it concluded that there was a kabel of Muslims in AMerica who knew exactly what was going on but hated Bush and Zionist so much they remained silent. Jihadis dont run with the Muslims, they make tafkir of us.

  116. Jai — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

    SeanT,

    =>”>>>the Asians came here, they should respect our basic values”

    For the record, the current controversy is not to do with “Asians”, it is to do with members of a certain religion. The terms “Asian” and “Muslim” are not interchangeable. Hundreds of thousands of Asians living in the UK are of Sikh and Hindu affiliation. Please note the number: Not a small minority, or a couple of thousand here and there, but hundreds of thousands. I am assuming you are knowledgeable enough to be aware of the fact that, on a global scale, the vast majority of Asians (both currently residing in the Indian subcontinent and immigrant populations overseas) are actually not Muslim.

    You are also assuming that the primary Islamist troublemakers in this country are solely of Asian ethnic origin — which is not necessarily the case. There are significant numbers of Muslims from the Middle East and Africa here too, along with both black and white converts. This includes people involved in whipping up anti-Western sentiments (eg. ex-Al Muhajiroun, HuT etc), along with a number of the most radical Muslim clerics.

    Being “Asian” has very little to do with it — as the current protests worldwide demonstrate.

  117. Kulvinder — on 4th February, 2006 at 6:51 pm  

    It’s only a matter of time before some delusional person kills somebody in protest of the depiction of Mohammed as violent.

    I fear you’re probably right, still it isnt all fire and brimstone Grand Ayatollah ali al-sistani isn’t exactly taking the hardline stance.

    http://www.forbes.com/business/manufacturing/feeds/ap/2006/02/03/ap2498039.html

  118. Siddharth — on 4th February, 2006 at 7:04 pm  

    It’s only a matter of time before some delusional person kills somebody in protest of the depiction of Mohammed as violent.

    Actually, given how close things went towards tipping point, AND all other things considered such as the BNP trial decision etc, I think you should also consider the effect the stoking of communal fires has on the extremists on all sides. And by that I mean an increase in low-level racist attacks. The only people who pay the price of that are people on the street.

  119. Don — on 4th February, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

    Damn, this thread is so good even Bikki is making sense and actually responding to real points.

    Jay, you are in the zone, Grade A blogging.

  120. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 7:22 pm  

    seanT

    A couple of people, like Jai, have pointed out a couple of mistakes you made.

    But the truth is, I really think we are closer together on a range of issues here than our gut instincts might suggest to one another. Which is a good thing, and something I feel happy about.

  121. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 7:31 pm  

    seanT

    Two things from your last post:

    Re extremism. Trouble is, it’s hard for non-Muslims like me to diffrentiate between the militants and the moderates when even a moderate Muslim position is extreme in certain cases

    I think that this is a very important point. How do we do it? By sensitising you to the range of opinions, getting the other voices out there so you can begin to recognise them. I agree with you - the MCB and others like that do Muslims no favours on this. In some ways, Muslim organisations have made a Devils Pact - they have decided to represent themselves in British society on a level of Islamic politics - to make issues of global Islamic concern part of the political landscape of Britain. But with this comes the responsibility of differentiating and taking care in the public sphere to take matters by the scruff of the neck when they get out of hand.

    Situations like the embassy protest can potentially offer opportunities for them to do this.

    But it should be explained to Muslims why WE feel like this, and why it is to their advantage TO respect these values.

    I agree. This is a very important point you make. But I just wonder, if we pull the carpet from under the feet of our allies amongst Muslims, how can we explain that? You don’t have to respect the fact that depicting the Prophet in this way is something that can offend Muslims greatly, in fact you can disrespect this. But in pragmatic terms, imagine, for a moment, that we put the very people we need to strengthen with our hand amongst Muslims, when we do that. We put them in a double bind.

    This is just food for thought - I am not Muslim, and Munira Mirza made the point eloquently about why the cartoons should be acceptable and argued for, and so I am not advocating churlishly or Robert Fisk-ishly. Just suggesting.

  122. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 7:37 pm  

    Correction:

    But in pragmatic terms, imagine, for a moment, that we put the very people we need to strengthen with our hand amongst Muslims in a compromised position, when we do that.

  123. Jay Singh — on 4th February, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

    seanT

    Regarding your point about how difficult it is for you to differentiate when all you see is pictures of lunatics like the embassy protestors with their placards. I do think that the point that Jai makes regarding this is important to a certain extent. In order to understand the dynamics of the situation you have to grasp the distinction between race and religion - it is not primarily about being Asian, although racial issues come into play subsequently. If you appreciate things like this incrementally, things will become clearer to you, trust me.

    I agree with large parts of that post by the way. Even though some of it was a little off target. The sentiments were honest and not to be dismissed - in fact this is how dialogue begins.

  124. seanT — on 4th February, 2006 at 8:27 pm  

    Jai, Jay, actually I do understand the difference between Asian and Muslim… my use of ‘Asian’ was just lazy shorthand. I should have been more precise. Apologies!

    I’m gonna have a think about all this. It’s good to hear different opinions from different backgrounds.

    Yes I am being pretty blunt - or at least honest. I think that’s the only way we can make progress as a society and a nation, together. Cut the crap and explain how we feel.

    I’ve never really been one for nice leftwing soft soaping, of the issues, as may be obvious!

    BTW it was good to hear the MPACUK, of all people, condemnding those vile nutters with the ‘exterminate’ placards. Maybe there is hope…

    Gnight, and anon

  125. Siddharth — on 4th February, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

    Harry’s Place. Shit.

    So this is the voice of the Liberal Left…

    For the Cartoons issue HP took a Communalist and Anti-Islamic editorial policy with no checks at all for differentiating between fundamentalists and entire communities.

    This is a blog that co-contributors/editors pressed all the right buttons to get a group of regular and prolific commenters going with of hundreds of comments which were as bigoted as anything you’ll read on extremist websites of any hue and stripe.

    It was only when the fit began to hit the shan (European Mexican wave of re-publishiing and the Syrian embassy insanity) HP was still postal. It finally took the high priests ideologues of ProWar Left (Norman Geras and Aaranovitch) for a semblance of sanity to finally kick in. That left HP looking like a bunch reactionary dicksheads and they had to grudgingly call for calm.

    There were plenty of voices who consistently made the call for calm in their comments box, for balance and common sense. They were easily out-shouted by the cross section of commenters that drives the tone and content of threads towards a distintcly anti-Muslim direction on any given HP post. One of these voices was that of Francis Sedgemore who displayed some serious liberal muscle in taking on the ignorant Muslim bashers, often taking the full force of the angry frothers. Big up Mr Sedgemore!

  126. Matt McHugh — on 4th February, 2006 at 8:32 pm  

    Yeah, that is a great little article. Reasonable explanations like this need to get more attention, but I guess threats of violence and general vitriol are more likely to make the front page - or the “comments” section of a website, as shown above at various points.

  127. El Cid — on 4th February, 2006 at 8:54 pm  

    Secondly, the responsibility cannot be pushed entirely on to the police.

    For the record, I didn’t actually say this in #93. You make some good points Sunny on the Muslim community’s duties, but it is the media angle that could be fixed most easily and most quickly through moral suasion.

    And at the end of the day we should be worrying about the way people will live together in a year, ten years, fifty years, instead of wanking on that we have to be able to offend Muslims if we want to. I think mutual respect is a useful goal - and both vocal parties have shown little.

    Matt, that’s the best argument I’ve heard so far to make me back down on my publish-and-be-damned gut instincts (Or as Sid might want to say: “Hush na!?”). The point’s already been made anyway. I’m still buying Lurpack butter for life, mind. Well I do like their slightly salted variety.

  128. matt_c — on 4th February, 2006 at 9:19 pm  

    I’m still buying Lurpack butter for life, mind.

    As a former trombonist, I like the little man that plays the trombone. That was Lurpack, wasn’t it?

    Anyway, while I’ve been trying to do other work and been failing and just reading more blogs and changing my mind over and over again, I thought of a crappy little homily that maybe someone could put inside a cracker or a fortune cookie.

    What good is free speech if no-one’s talking to each other?

    Cheesy, I know. Lack the sophistication of Mill or the obtuse prose of Hegel and is essentially ‘why can’t we just all get along’ but there we go. We live in the real world and that means two things:
    i) we should sometimes make compromises
    ii) we should sometimes not make compromises

    As Wardytron (an eminently sensible HPer) said:

    I think that [Graham’s] sceptical about the worth of this fight right now, and whether it needs escalating, and whether actually it might do us good to calm down, even if the zealots on the other side aren’t capable of doing that. I think he might be right, but I’m worried that any concession we make won’t go unforgotten, and that the next bout of outrage will be over something even more innocuous than these cartoons, and where will it end. But I don’t think that necessarily means we want this stupid row to go on and on.

    I don’t know either. I do know that the people who are protesting are a minority and they should be undermined through argument and education. That’s the mission. Not gesture politics. I think we’ve all got a bit wrapped up in symbolic poltics (normally the preserve of Stoppers) and forgotten that we’re talking about people.

  129. Arvin — on 4th February, 2006 at 10:13 pm  

    I am extremely angered by the muslim response to these stupid drawings. As a middle-eastern i can only see this escalating and causing more racial-prejudice and generalisation amongst wester countries.

    So I am wondering if i am alone in thinking a demonstration is needed from freethinking muslims, kristians, jews, ateists, democrats etc in defence of freedom of speech and against narrowmindedness and extremism in any form?

    Cause if we allow things proceed this way, ALL people of ethinc minority will be branded as extremists and threats to western society… And some of us actually value the freedom we are given here as opposed to our home countries!

    Peace!

    Arvin

  130. Francis Sedgemore — on 4th February, 2006 at 10:30 pm  

    For the Cartoons issue HP took a Communalist and Anti-Islamic editorial policy with no checks at all for differentiating between fundamentalists and entire communities. [Siddharth]

    Sid (may I call you Sid?), thank you for your kind words, but please don’t lump the HP bloggers in with the frothing mob in the comments box. Their editorial policy, if they have one, is far from communalist and anti-Islamic. HP is an excellent blog, and the bloggers themselves are all decent chaps, judging by their own words. There are also a number of commenters whose intelligence, wisdom and eloquence I cannot hope to match.

    In the ‘debate’ on the cartoons, they have done their best, without being lured into a futile and repeated response to the “fisking” (what a dreadful term that is!) and defamation coming from the mob. I expect that normal service will be restored before long.

  131. Ash — on 5th February, 2006 at 12:09 am  

    re: the cartoon thing, i’m a pakistani, not religous at all…i couldn’t give a crap about cartoons showing a prophet with a bomb or something in his hand/on his head, but u have to understand something, those who are protesting seriously consider themselves too be religous and some have extreme views like those holding placards with ‘kill those who insult islam’ etc written on them, now with whats happening in the world today, muslims feel under attack by the media as too many white people get they’re views about other cultures from the media, their educated on the sofa infront of their tv’s, and when they see a person with a beard/asian clothes they make presumptions……stop/search by police or descrimination by public etc. so when these cartoons are shown to the public and muslims react, even though some of the stuff they were saying was rediculous, most muslims understand that in a free society jokes should be able to be made but realise that the way the media portrays muslims, publishing such cartoons only adds to the negativity portrayed towards Islam.
    Most people in the western countries are very ignorant to the situation the world is in, thats why they’re always saying ‘why did this happen’ and ‘why don’t they do this or that’, ‘what did we do for them to do this to us’, they don’t understand that people in the west have thing’s good because people elsewhere in the world are a lot worse off, and the hand western governments have in keeping this balance between rich and poor countries. People here in the west are always looking at other countries and saying ‘why can’t they live in peace like we do in england/US’ without thinking about who’s pulling the string’s behind the scenes.
    Remember, theres only a limited amount of money in the world, and if western countries are getting richer, then the rest of the world is paying for it, and this corruption causes most of the worlds problems today, and then the poor people of the west ask WHY???…….sheer ignorance.
    and its this ignorance that is causing the rift between muslims and the western western world, not extreme views, i mean come on, even if Britain’s population became majority muslim…do u think the muslim youth would allow shariah law to be implemented, if they really agreed with it they’d be living in Iran, you’ll alway’s get extremists but then look at the christian extremists in the US, u don’t see them running the country…………..

  132. Arvin — on 5th February, 2006 at 12:13 am  

    1) Muslim extremists and Far Right activists are taking this opportunity to fuel a burning fire.

    2) This burning fire can and will become the conflict of the twentyfirst century

    So I am once againg wondering what the sentiment is amongst you freethinkers on organizing a rally against extremism? We cannot allow the slogan “slay those who oppose islam” be on the frontpage of the UK press…

    I dont know if im the only one feeling very uncomfortable about what is going on at the moment…we need to do something!

    Peace

  133. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 12:44 am  

    Remember, theres only a limited amount of money in the world, and if western countries are getting richer, then the rest of the world is paying for it, and this corruption causes most of the worlds problems today, and then the poor people of the west ask WHY???…….sheer ignorance.and its this ignorance that is causing the rift between muslims and the western western world, not extreme views

    So why are the poor Hindus and Buddhists and Catholics in Asia, Africa and Latin America getting on with life, trying to work hard to drag themselves out of poverty, without thriving off anti-Western views and antagonism? This has got nothing to do with poverty.

  134. Opinionated Voice — on 5th February, 2006 at 12:45 am  

    […] We were right to disagree with the cartoons, we were right to protest our disdain towards them. Although it is now time to move on, if the media did not start this row and then perpetuate it by reprinting the cartoons, things would not be as they are. But due to the actions of the extremist minority, this controversy has shifted to turn the focus of negativity back onto all Muslims, enabling even comparisons with Nazi’s to be made. Sunny at Pickled Politics makes suggests; “If all religions were companies, Islam would be the one with the worst public relations department”. However, if it was a company, Jyllands-Posten and the newspapers that followed it would have been sued for libel or defamation. Secondly, it is not the fault of Islam that the media generally tends to exclusively focus on the actions of the minority, without differentiating their representations from the majority, or proportionatly reporting on positive aspects of Islam and Muslims. […]

  135. Luka — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:14 am  

    I was so relieved reading this blog.
    I was highly troubled at the news on the violence of the Muslim response to the Danish cartoons, and the apparent lack of condemnation of these barbaric demolitions from Muslim religious authorities.

    Reading the comments from Sunni, and other Muslims here brings hope.

    Also, as a Croatian national, I have to comment on a misconception of the latest Balkan war that was addressed here:

    In former Yugoslavia the war in the 1990s did not start as a war against Muslims. Originally it was fueled by a communist dictator, who in the face of the downfall of the communism re-invented himself as a Serbian nationalist. He started wars against most of the neighbours (Albanians, Slovenians, Croatians, Bosnians) and some of these were Muslim, but others were not.

    I would also like to point out that Serbians have been integrated in the Ottoman empire for centuries and separated themselves from it only in the 19th century. Therefore, Serbians, although Christian, have less of an enlightenment tradition than most of the western or central European nations, and can hardly be portrayed as representatives of it.

    Finally, as we are witnessing in the Haag tribunal trials that are currently taking place, atrocities have been committed by all ethnical groups (including to my shame and embarassment - Croatians). And, as common sense would predict, the major difference in the extent of these atrocities was the ability to commit them, not the morality of a given ethnical or religious group.

  136. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:20 am  

    There was a very interesting article in the Times that confirmed what I have heard on the ground. Why have there been no protests against the cartoons in Bradford, focus for street demonstrations (inc. book burning) against Salman Rushdie and home of the Ray Honeyford controversy? The answer comes in three simple letters: BNP. The rise of the BNP in the north has brought many previously radical Muslims to their senses. Unlike in London, where there is a genuinely multicultural society, places like Bradford, Burnley and Oldham are utterly divided with Muslims ultimately in the minority. All but the craziest radicals realise that the more they engage in immature forms of insulting behaviour the bigger the while backlash. They are now keener to fit in.

    There’s a clear lesson for British society: keep showing weakness and endless tolerance of people who abuse you and - like the craven teacher - you’ll get more and more shit. But make it clear that misbehaviour will engender a very nasty response and - hey, presto - the kids are good as gold.

    Sad but true.

  137. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:22 am  

    Reading the comments from Sunni, and other Muslims here brings hope

    Sunny is not a Muslim.

  138. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:27 am  

    Muslims tell Yard to charge protesters

    BRITAIN’s leading Islamic body yesterday called on Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, to press charges against the extremists behind last week’s inflammatory protests in London over the “blasphemous” cartoons of the prophet Muhammad

    In London, Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said the extremists should be prosecuted. “The Metropolitan police should now consider all the evidence they have gathered from the protests to see if they can prosecute the extremists,” he said.

    “It is time the police acted, but in a way so as not to make them martyrs of the Prophet’s cause, which is what they want, but as criminals. Ordinary Muslims are fed up with them.”

  139. jamal — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:35 am  

    Sunny is not a Muslim.

    He may have converted since his last post!

  140. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:56 am  

    I can’t believe Inayat has said something sensible.

  141. eerie — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:38 am  

    Hi,

    Followed you here from ‘Aqoul, thank you for the kind words. As many of our authors are commenting on this issue from various parts of the world, I’ve set up a section that summarizes each entry.

    To clarify, we are not a Muslim blog, even though we do cover MENA/Islam. Contributors are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Indifferent, etc but we all have some connection with the region and are generally immune to delusional conspiracies and ideological thinking.

    May cooler heads prevail,

    eerie

  142. mirax — on 5th February, 2006 at 4:18 am  

    Ash above (and previously Siddarth) have made some statements that basically express concern about the actual harm that may befall individual European Muslims (street level racial attacks) and the entire community (negative and possibly slanderous public opinion of their religion, and hence, them) because of these cartoons.
    Sid especially makes the repeated point (on a number of threads) that muslims in europe are particularly vulnerable due to their particular poverty and widespread racism/islamophobia.

    I agree that a community that already perceives itself to be besieged and under general attack (particularly by the media) has been given little reason to believe otherwise because the cartoons do come at a sensitive time. I am genuinely sorry for that. Muslim people will suffer more prejudice as attitudes are perceptibly hardening because of this furore.
    The first offence may have been initiated by the crassness of SOME of the cartoons but a lot of the fallout is ,ironically,a direct consequence of the sheer political muscularity of Islam, the religion. Not its weakness. This is a point that is imo often missed. Islam is the only global religion that packs the punch of dozens of states and international groupings like the OIC and the Arab League which in turn can bring pressure to bear upon the UN and EU. That is precisely what a few Danish muslims were counting on when they mounted their ME road show. This muscle flexing is something that is a lot more worrying than some lunatics with placards in London. The papers that are republishing ARE taking a fully justified stand for freedom of speech and civil liberty.

  143. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 4:48 am  

    I was just about to go sleep and you’ve stopped me mirax.

    Islam is the only global religion that packs the punch of dozens of states and international groupings like the OIC and the Arab League which in turn can bring pressure to bear upon the UN and EU

    Rubbish. The ME countries may have plenty of oil, but they’re solely dependent on europe for trade and other goods and money. Apart from UAE the rest have been crap at diversification. The OIC and Arab League are ineffectual talking shops IMO, and China alone packs a bigger punch globally than all the ME countries. There is no way the ME would provoke a trade war. I believe the whole controversy is going to die down from now….

  144. mirax — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:02 am  

    Rubbish? Islam has massive political power and not inconsiderable economic power COMPARED to the other RELIGIONS, Sunny, not countries. Read my post more carefully.

    2 New zealand papers have published the cartoons to the rather intense ire of their government and business interests; the fear of economic backlash is real and genuine for a small country like NZ.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/nz-braces-for-cartoon-fallout/2006/02/05/1139074093234.html?page=2

    The torching of the two scandinavian embassies in Syria - you think that that was all people power? In Syria?

    The arrest of the two Jordanian editors- that is not reflective of political muscle?

    Come on.

  145. mirax — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:12 am  

    in turn can bring pressure to bear upon the UN and EU

    The pressure I alluded to above was not primarily economic pressure btw. I had in mind initiatives that would delegitimise and possibly, even criminalise, causing ‘offence’ to religion.

  146. Luka — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:08 am  

    post#137
    Reading the comments from Sunni, and other Muslims here brings hope

    Sunny is not a Muslim.

    ______________________________

    Oh shit! There goes my hope…
    BTW, this blog was praised on the mediawatch.org.uk as the one where moderate and enlightened Muslims offer an uplifting take on the issue of the cartoons.

  147. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:03 am  

    Jalebijar would make you feel better.

  148. Bijna — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:07 am  

    > they don’t understand that people in the west have
    > thing’s good because people elsewhere in the
    > world are a lot worse off,

    Look at Indonesia. Poor people living on garbage belts and former president Soeharto had billions of dollars on his private account.

    Look at Western Europe: by means of high taxes (like 50%) the money is redistributed.

    The people of Western Europe are better of because they share the money (and dont have 12 children).

  149. mirax — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:19 am  

    the excellent Munira Mirza :

    http://www.spiked-online.com/Printable/0000000CAF58.htm

  150. GagWatch » Violence and moderation follows the cartoon jihad — on 5th February, 2006 at 12:23 pm  

    […] Pickled Politics also has a pretty balanced take on the whole affair: If all religions were companies, Islam would be the one with the worst public relations department. […]

  151. More at wongaBlog — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    […] Pickled Politics points to the reactions of non-crazy Muslim bloggers. Pharyngula makes some very good points, and says what I’d like to say, only better. And I think the final word should go to Skuds, who points out that the cartoons weren’t even all that funny. […]

  152. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    Luka - I’m not Muslim but there are plenty of Muslims and Arabs (see eerie’s blog) that are very enlightened on the issue.

    Mirax - again I disagree. ME countries are very tightly controlled societies, and some of the protests are merely political muscle flexing. Sierra Leone can withdraw ambassadors if it wants to, that doesn’t make it powerful does it?

    The ME countries are all dependent on the west and China/Russia for their arms and defense needs, and thus can be cut off in an instant if necessary. The biggest ME countries are all therefore pally with the west (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey etc). Pakistan may be the only rebel out of this block and spends substantially on defence, but its tied very closely to China for the know-how. I don’t know what you’re basing your assertions on because I disagree with them.

  153. C L O S E R — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

    […] On Pickled Politics Sunny gives a overview of the different voices in the debate: the dilemma that ‘free speech’ presents us: If all religions were companies, Islam would be the one with the worst public relations department. […]

  154. Andy A — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:56 pm  

    You challenge Martin Sullivan of Islamophobia Watch to comment on the placard-waving ‘inbreds’. Quite! Couldn’t agree more. Well put! Sullivan and his mate Bob Pitt will grasp at any hint of a hint of just a tiny tad of something that might just suggest a hint of a hint that the writer might just - only just - be thinking that some people are a tad intolerant, and accuse them of racism (forget the fact that criticising a religion is not criticising a race - but they don’t see that). They’re wankers. And I still haven’t found a way of commenting on their blog. They wouldn’t be able to stand up to rational responses.

  155. Bikhair — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:37 pm  

    Bijna,

    You talk alot of ish…

    “The people of Western Europe are better of because they share the money (and dont have 12 children).”

    Anyway if people in Subsaharan Africa started having less kids they wouldnt be any wealthier because their children die early and they are needed as cheaper labor and a social safety net in the even that their social security checks bounce.

  156. wench — on 6th February, 2006 at 1:09 am  

    It seems to me that the riots directly violate what they attempt to protect. Isn’t rioting and killing over an image the most blatant symptom of idolatry? If an image is too sacred to exist… that seems a form of worship, and a violation of the strictures that the upset moslems are attempt to enforce.

  157. Sunny — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:52 am  

    Lol, a very good point Wench.

  158. skip — on 6th February, 2006 at 3:17 am  

    “Islam would be the one with the worst public relations department.”

    Which suggests the obverse question as to who has the BEST public relations department. Do I even need to hint? Did MEMRI ever translate Kach?

  159. Tenacious Dave — on 6th February, 2006 at 3:35 am  

    Hurrah for some perspective! As Stephen Fry is reported to have said: “So you’re insulted. So fucking what?”
    Fatty, he might have added. If an insult is true, then it is correct (apologies for the tautology stating the blatantly obvious) even though it is also cruel or rude. If it is not true, then the person who made that insult is going to look like the cretin he is. I think we should be free to SAY whatever we like whenever we like, even if it is threatening, rude, heretical, etc etc.Saying “I’m going to kill that brother of mine when I next see him” is not intent to murder.

    Some things that cloud the issue (and similar ones like the Case of the Luton Jilbab) are:
    - Distinction between Islam as a religion and a race. Yes, it is a religion, but such a life-governing one that I can see it being difficult for children of Muslims to brreak away and choose for themselves, and so it does bear some resemblance to a race - like Judaism;
    - Distinction between what is written in the Koran and Sharia. I am not a student of Islam, so I cannot claim expertise in this area, but what I hear is that eg wearing of a jilbab is not prescribed anywhere in the Koran but is only a law of many Muslim countries - so it is not an essential part of the religion, no matter how conservative a sect you might belong to. There is a lot of confusion, I believe, between custom and law.

    If you have an opinion, you must be prepared to defend it. A religion is a type of opinion, perhaps the most important type. So for anyone religious who cannot justify their beliefs with reasoned argument - you are the definition of ‘brain dead’. Unfortunately ‘brainwashed’ is probably a more accurate description and one can only feel pity for the poor souls storming embassies in Syria, thinking they are doing Allah’s will (is this where I say PBUH?), when all they are doing is advancing the political career of some power-crazed ‘cleric’.

  160. j0nz — on 6th February, 2006 at 10:18 am  

    Was it yesterday or the day before I doom-sayed that it was only a matter of time before somebody dies protesting at the depiction of a violent Mohammed.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4684652.stm

    Well 2 Afghans dead. And IMO the Danish Muslim contingent who added those 3 extra, fabricated (and highly offensve) images to whip sentiment against the West have a lot to answer for. Bastards.

  161. j0nz — on 6th February, 2006 at 10:21 am  

    From that BBC article I note that;

    “In other protests, shops and businesses across Indian-administered Kashmir were closed after a general strike was called in protest at the drawings.”

    Anyone here feel a whole infidel undercurrent to these ‘protests’. I mean what the f*** has India done regarding these cartoons ?!

  162. Old Pickler — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:38 pm  

    OP though, there is a vague method to her madness.

    That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

    XXXXXX

  163. Jay Singh — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:59 pm  

    That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

    Do you have many friends Old Pickler?

  164. Old Pickler — on 6th February, 2006 at 1:13 pm  

    No, lots of enemies.

  165. Jay Singh — on 6th February, 2006 at 1:16 pm  

    Is that a spelling mistake? Do you mean enemas?

  166. Old Pickler — on 6th February, 2006 at 1:19 pm  

    No shit!

  167. Jay Singh — on 6th February, 2006 at 1:20 pm  

    From Jihad to bowel evacuation - Pickled Politics knows no taboo.

  168. El Cid — on 6th February, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

    lol

  169. Venichka — on 6th February, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

    Although I frequently disagree with OP, I would big her up to, so to speak (as I believe the youth of today say).

    I must say the tone of debate on this topic here is notably more measured and insightful than on the comments page at HP. Even some of the HP rentagobs (you know who you are) have toned it down here.

    Good.

  170. Sunny — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

    I think she’s looking at you SeanT *points and laughs*

    j0nz - well India has the second largest Muslim population of any country. Considering Indians protest at everything (along with their Pakistani bretheren) I’m more surprised this wasn’t worse. A general stike is a breath of fresh air.

  171. Jay Singh — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

    Venichka

    It is because we are all chilled out, relaxed, friendly, erudite dudes and dudettes, and we (metaphorically) slap down rednecks so that they behave themselves and speak with manners and dignity. In short we school people by example with our wit, example, intellect and humility. Spend more time here please Venichka - Harry’s Place smells a lot these days, and we are fragrant and various shades of skin and thought.

  172. Venichka — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

    Jay Singh,
    Excellent, thanks for the welcome. Means I don’t even need to claim asylum here from HP as I was beginning to think might be necessary.

    Btw, to get off on the right foot, “Venichka” is a man’s name, short for Venedikt. It’s a pseudonym, but pretty much evry blog I’ve posted on starts off by thinking I’m a woman. Nah - in that case I might be called, for example, “Verochka”. But I’m not. So

  173. Jay Singh — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:54 pm  

    Interesting:

    Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have caused a storm of protest throughout the Islamic world, refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ, it has emerged today.

    The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.

    In April 2003, Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted a series of unsolicited cartoons dealing with the resurrection of Christ to Jyllands-Posten.

    Zieler received an email back from the paper’s Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, which said: “I don’t think Jyllands-Posten’s readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them.”

    Link

  174. Sunny — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    D’oh!

  175. Venichka — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:58 pm  

    I believe the expression “those journalists at Jyllands-posten are nothing but reactionary provocateurs” does spring to mind.

  176. Ceridwen Devi — on 6th February, 2006 at 4:58 pm  

    It is so sad that because of these stupid cartoons lives have now been lost including a 14 year old boy in Somalia. Is Jyllands Posten worth one human life. So five people are dead. Can’t we all calm down a bit. Boycott Danish goods and hit them in their wallets. But why shed blood because of a stupid Danish newspaper editor.Freedom of speech.

  177. Dupslog » Blog Archief » — on 6th February, 2006 at 7:48 pm  
  178. Ash — on 7th February, 2006 at 4:06 pm  

    “So why are the poor Hindus and Buddhists and Catholics in Asia, Africa and Latin America getting on with life, trying to work hard to drag themselves out of poverty, without thriving off anti-Western views and antagonism? This has got nothing to do with poverty.”

    oohh Jay Singh, where were u when they were giving out brains………..
    Antiwestern views in the muslim world don’t come from poverty….u idiot….u may have heard of a thick black liquidy thing called OIL…it’s something the west needs to keep running and something most muslim countries have in abundance, now the west has done anything in it’s power (ever since oil was discovered) to obtain a cheap and reliable supply, such as install and support regimes in those countries despite their stance on human rights etc…….because we getting cheap oil right!
    Also the west has used muslims in the past to achieve they’re own ends and abondoned them, knowing that those same people who they’d been ’supporting’ would face grave consequenses when the support was cut off……but then u know, they’d served their purpose, they’re expendable(Afghanistan).

    So mr Jay Singh, u see, all this meddling the west does with middle eastern politics leads to the people of the mid/east having to live with the policies made by their corrupt politicians who serve the interests of the western governments, seeing a way to make huge sums of money for themselves knowing they can’t be removed because they have western military support (Saudi Arabia).
    All these billionares living large while the majority in the country live in poverty (u talking about), who helped them get too that position? who do u think?

    Anti western views in the muslim world come from the people who have to suffer from the effects of western governments corrupting their countries, taking what they want without considering the effects it will have on the people of those countries…….and then there’s palestine, i ain’t even gonna start on that subject.

    also u talking about why Hindus/ Catholic/buddhists don’t share the same antiwestern views, well what do(or ever did) any of those groups have that the west wanted as bad as oil, they live theyre own lives, they don’t get bombed by the west to remove dictators placed in positions of power by the west, also as islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, western natives see Islam as the only threat, so theres conflict there. u ain’t gonna get some Buddhist/Hindu uprising so why would they be interferred with? they have no reason to have anti western views other than the fact that they are being commercially exploited.

    So Jay Singh, remember to get back in line for that brain, u kinda need one…..seriously!

  179. Ash — on 7th February, 2006 at 4:13 pm  

    sorry Jay Singh, it wasn’t u talking about the billionares, it was this next idiot called Bijna, he/she needs to join u in line.

  180. Ash — on 7th February, 2006 at 4:53 pm  

    So on to u mr/mrs/ms Bijna,

    “Look at Western Europe: by means of high taxes (like 50%) the money is redistributed.”

    “The people of Western Europe are better of because they share the money (and dont have 12 children).”

    lets take an example, like say petrol(fuel duty).
    Here in the UK we pay 82-85p per litre, now 65%+ of that is tax. The reason the british government can add that level of tax and still keep the cost of fuel at a level which is reasonably acceptable to the british public is because it buys the oil very cheaply, heres were the relationship between the saudi royal family and western governments pays off. U see the west protects the saudi royals, keeps them in power (all those US troops in saudi ‘protection against sadam’???) in return for dirt cheap oil.
    the saudi royals don’t spread the wealth and so become billionaires, while most ordinary saudies live in poverty.
    Now lets talk about the British standard of life….services like the NHS, schooling etc,
    these all require funding which fuel duty plays a major part in, just think 65% of tatal fuel sales.
    So u see Bijna, because the west greases the palms of middle eastern tyrants to obtain cheap oil, meaning the supplying countries inherit a fraction of the oils value, so as the buying countries can add on tax, so as to improve their own countries.
    Western countries run on oil tax revenues, imagine if Saudi Arabia lost its royal family and became a democracy, they would almost definately increase the price of their oil so as to generate more revenue to improve services, they’d become the bench mark for every country to look up to, were as all western countries revenues would decrease, unless taxes were increased causing chaos in the their economies as businesses crumble, and hence living conditions drop.
    This is why saudi is never under pressure to become a democracy, as long as it has oil.

    i hope this makes things a little clearer for u Bijna, for one party to become more better off, another party has to become more worse off, thats the rule in a world of limited resourses.

  181. El Cid — on 7th February, 2006 at 5:04 pm  

    wow, that’s a devastating critique. wow , ur grasp of economics is really good. and im sure you haven’t got a complex either

  182. Ash — on 8th February, 2006 at 3:10 pm  

    El Cid,
    explain what u meant by this:

    “and im sure you haven’t got a complex either”.

    i ain’t too good with words that i don’t use myself.

  183. Jai — on 8th February, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

    =>”oohh Jay Singh, where were u when they were giving out brains………..
    Antiwestern views in the muslim world don’t come from poverty….u idiot….

    , it was this next idiot called Bijna, he/she needs to join u in line.”

    I suspect that Ash missed the boat when they were handing out interpersonal skills too…..

  184. Bea — on 8th February, 2006 at 3:21 pm  

    hear hear Ash! Finally someone talking sense. There’s a rampant disease these days called selective amnesia. Most people only remember to point out the wickedness of the suicide bombers and the evil, the ME is exporting other along with oil.
    They somehow manage to forget where all this began. It takes two to tango and the western goverments over the decades are just as much to blame if not more. Just to add, Some countries ( I hope you are all enlightened enough to know which ones) also thrive on selling weapons. Waging wars on their past mistakes not only fills the pockets of their already rich and powerful, it also gives them a chance to practice the art of spin as we have recently witnessed firsthand.
    Thus strengthening their economy at cost of the reciepient country which always and inveitably turns out to be another oil-enriched Muslim dwelling.

  185. Kay — on 8th February, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

    Welfare economics?

    Ash, you’ve raised some good points, but unfortunetly c’est la vie!
    U can’t just minimise such inequalities that a majority of arab muslims are facing.
    Firstly, you have to examine the fact that unless arab states (Saudia Arabia) can introduce establish a strong infrastructure and have political stability, then there will ways be a loop-hole which will be explioted by superstructures i.e The states, UK etc.
    Secondly, examine the Gulfan economies, there GDP comprises primarily of oil export, they need to spread risk across several commodities inorder to defer reliance on such a rear commodity Oil.

    PS - I’m by no means a specialist on Gulfan economies, so i’m generalising.

  186. Bea — on 8th February, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

    ahem! this is to clarify, I was agreeing with Ash’s point of view not the lack of interpersonal skills. :-)

  187. Ash — on 8th February, 2006 at 4:23 pm  

    Kay, i totally agree with what u saying about these countries relying on oil for their income, my point wasn’t about western powers stopping these countries from expanding the variety of their exports, the point i was making was that the west exploits the mid/east countries by installing corruption within the political systems of those countries, and it is this western interference which causes anti western views amongst the people living muslim countries.
    my point was about anti western views not economics.

  188. raf* — on 9th February, 2006 at 1:19 pm  

    dear sunny,

    our little aqoul is not a “muslim” blog. matter of fact, i don’t even know the religious affiliation of most of the other authors. i certainly do not identify as “muslim” - i simply don’t DO ethno-religious identity.

    to classify our postings are “moderate muslim voice” would, thus, be misleading.

    we’re analyzing & commenting. we do not represent.

    but thanks for the nice words, anyway …

    -raf*

    www.aqoul.com

  189. Bea — on 10th February, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

    I’d like to know why so much attention is given to the Islamic fundamentalism when race hate crimes are on the rise in Southern USA and it’s being shoved under the carpet. Is it because the perpetrators are not Muslims? Here’s a link to the Times if anyone is interested in reading
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2031467,00.html

  190. Sunny — on 10th February, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

    Eerie and Raf* - my apologies, I’ve amended that now.

  191. Dupslog » — on 12th February, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

    […] In een democratische en moderne samenleving begrijpt en aanvaardt een respectabele godsdienstbeleving dat de publieke ruimte VRIJ moet zijn en blijven van private geloofsbelijdenissen om te vermijden dat aanhangers van verschillende goden elkaar naar het leven staan omwille van de ware, de enige, de grootste, de echte.En daar wringt voor velen het schoentje.Sommige vrijzinnigen zoals ons aller limburg-gouverneur Steve Stevaert pleitte zelfs ls ps.a voorzitter voor ‘Ander Geloof’ om mensen van alle geloven en gezindten bij elkaar te krijgen en te houden in wederzijds respect. Maar daar heb ik fundamentele twijfels bij.De vrijheid van meningsuiting in een democratische pers staat boven respect voor ieders geloof.VN secretaris generaal Koffi Annan raaskalt als hij oproept tot respect voor de dogma’s van ieder geloof.Precies die dogma’s behoren tot de private godsdienst- en geloofsbeleving en dienen dus onder geen beding respect op te eisen in de publieke ruimte.Wie toch al die dogma’s ondersteunt, krijgt vroeg of laat de godsdienstbelijdenissen over zich heen en wordt eens te meer het slachtoffer of de dader van allerlei gewelddadige manipulaties voor andere doeleinden, als daar zijn het camoufleren van het eigen falen, de binnenlandse politieke ellende of de president die eerder grote sier wil maken dan iets doen aan kapseizende ferryboten waar de kapitein de brug ontvluchtte zoals in Egypte, Libanon, Indonesie, Syrie en het hele Midden Oosten.Bush die met Blair en Straw pleit voor een wettelijk verbod op Blasfemie heeft een heel andere politieke agenda openliggen: hoe krijgen we de hele olieproducerende regio aan de leiband in de omsingeling van China.Moeten wij geen respect opbrengen voor mensen die oprecht proberen naar een geloof te leven dat hun een houvast geeft in barre en bange tijden op voorwaarde dat ze daarin een onderscheid maken tussen het dogma van de rechte leer en de dagelijkse praktijkvoering die vertroosting kan bieden doch er lang niet vanuit gaat dat de wereld maakbaar en herschepbaar en hervormbaar is naar het beeld en de eisen van de eigen god, laat staan dat ze dit soort praatjes willen opdringen aan anderen zoals missionarissen en zendelingen,moeten wij niet alleen maar verachting betonen voor mensen die via een geloof anderen manipuleren en onder druk proberen te zetten,en dat is hier alleszins op een enorme schaal aan de orde.Aan de hand van citaten uit de Koran en de overlevering wijzen veel westerse exegeten op de mogelijkheden voor moslims om zich in te passen in een moderne westerse a-dogmatische samenleving lijkt me erg zinvol voor…islamieten, en er zijn er velen die dat proberen te doen en vol te houden.Maar de resultaten halen veel te weinig de media, zeker ook in de zogenaamde moslimlanden. Daar worden journalisten per kerende ontslagen en in het beste geval blijft het daarbij.The protests in the Middle East have proven that the cartoonist was right," said Tarek Fatah, a director of the Muslim Canadian Congress. "It’s falling straight into that trap of being depicted as a violent people and proving the point that, yes, we are." Zoals je kan lezen in de uitstekende post: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/275Humor en satire kan ook binnen een islamitische benadering van de Cartoonoorlog.http://muttawa.blogspot.com/2006/02/memo.htmlHet denken mag zich nooit onderwerpen, noch aan een dogma, noch aan een partij, noch aan een hartstocht, noch aan het belang, noch aan een vooroordeel, noch aan om ‘t even wat, maar uitsluitend aan de feiten zelf, want zich onderwerpen betekent het einde van alle denken. H. Poincarézie verder in ‘Godsdienstbeleving is iets anders dan ‘’Koken met Steve’’ […]

  192. Ash — on 12th February, 2006 at 8:22 pm  

    in english now please

  193. Dinesh Patel — on 16th March, 2006 at 7:31 pm  

    Do you people actually know anything about Islam?

    Please do a bit of research about how minority groups are treated in their countries.

    Talk about cartoons. Have any of you any idea of how many people have been killed in protests against the cartoons, particulary christians. I mean what the hell has christians in Nigeria got to do with Danish cartoons?

    I can never understand that if muslims hate the west so much why they keep trying to enter the west, claiming Asylum.

    Muslims need a better understanding of word PEACE and realise that ALL lifes are valuable not just muslim lifes.

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