Posturing over cartoons continues


by Sunny
18th February, 2006 at 10:11 pm    

The Muslim Action Committee (MAC) held a protest over the prophet Mohammed cartoons in London today, with around 10,000 people attending. StrangelyPsychedelic has pictures. Behind the scenes political posturing seems to be taking place.

Today’s rally was not supported or given a mention by the usual suspects of Muslim groups because the new kid on the block is vying for influence. This one is led by imams and my feeling is that last week’s rally was poorly attended because they told congregations to come today instead.

Controversies are perfect opportunities for religious groups to organise protests and demand attention. It’ll be interesting to see how MAC proceeds from here. Will it try to usurp the MCB’s position?

JP’s culture editor Flemming Rose meanwhile explains ‘Why I Published Those Cartoons‘ in tomorrow’s WaPo [hat tip: Peter Pedersen]. Worth reading and discussing.

Around the world, ten died in Libya when police opened fire on protestors, angry over an Italian MP printing and wearing a t-shirt bearing those cartoons. The MP has since been forced to resign. In India, a minister put up a huge reward to behead the cartoonists and was then slammed by the leading Muslim body. [hat tip: Vikrant]


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    Civilised Muslim demo in London

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  1. j0nz — on 18th February, 2006 at 10:19 pm  

    Haji Yaqoob Qureishi, has announced a cash reward of Rs 51 crore for anyone who beheads the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Prophet Mohammad. The Indian Express

    How much is that in squids? I kinda get the impression that beheading the cartoonists might possibly just prove them right in the first place. Surely threatening beheading is the actions of a terrorist? How backwards can you get….

  2. j0nz — on 18th February, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

    Well Quereishi is a terrorist under this definition:

    the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear

    http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=terrorism

  3. Bijna — on 18th February, 2006 at 10:37 pm  

    It seems the less cartoons are printed,
    the more protesters show up.

  4. Sunny — on 18th February, 2006 at 10:49 pm  

    The problem with decentralised religions like Islam and Hinduism is that any crackpot can make a statement.. this guy was a minister anyway, not even a religious leader, so its once again a posturing exercise to bring publicity…. like everything else really.

    51 crore = 510,000,000 rupees or 6,375,000 pounds at 80 rupees a pound. Blatantly, this guy doesn’t have that kind of money, hence the publicity grabbing announcements.

  5. BevanKieran — on 18th February, 2006 at 11:09 pm  

    In one of the photos Dr Imran Waheed, head of the hizbies U.K , is shown giving interviews. The march is also advertised on their website. Muslim Action Commitee may just be another hizbie front organisation analogous to the “Stop Islamophobia” societies seen last year in student campuses.

  6. Bikhair — on 18th February, 2006 at 11:30 pm  

    BevanKieran,

    Yes. Unfortunately they are all hizbees. The most insulting and destructive of them all was the Sunni and Shia unity. Terrible! How does a Sunni unite with one who insults the Companions of the Prophet everyday? Forget a cartoon they their result is one big insult to our beloved Salaf. The Shites are worse than any other group of people in defaming Islam.

    Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah… I know…. I am a Saudi funded Wahhabi. But what I say is true, ask any Shite. They believe Aisha (radiyallahu anhu) will be flogged for commiting adultery when their Mahdi comes. Disgusting!

  7. El Cid — on 18th February, 2006 at 11:34 pm  

    Having criticised the media incessantly for their tendency to empower religious moslem opinion by giving them too much exposure and continually giving the impression that they speak for the wider moslem community, I am obliged to big up’ the BBC’s news coverage of the march this everning.
    Well done to them for at least questioning just who the marchers represented and pointing out that 99.5 percent of Britain’s 2 million “moslems” were deaf to the imams’ pleas and had opted to stay at home.

  8. Sunny — on 18th February, 2006 at 11:39 pm  

    Bikhair – Have I not already warned you about being insulting to Shias? If not, then take this as a warning from now :)

  9. Jay Singh — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:03 am  

    It’s another People’s Front of Judea situation, isn’t it?

  10. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:20 am  

    I just read the Fleming Rose gobshite on the Washington Post. What a mendacious snivelling toe rag he is.

    But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible with a secular democracy.

    Well thats just the same excuse the BNP and other Far-Right bastards can and will use as pretext when they publish anti-semitic material. They can say we don’t want to submit to your taboos and the problem is yours if you can’t reconcile your grievances with the right to Freedom of Speech.

    Each and every point the man used to his actions was his need to regain rights lost to the “Liberal West” to the encroachment of Muslims’ desire to have their religion kept out of schlock-art.

    At the end of September, a Danish standup comedian said in an interview with Jyllands-Posten that he had no problem urinating on the Bible in front of a camera, but he dared not do the same thing with the Koran.

    Well, yeah. But why just the Koran? What do you think would happen to the artist if he tried urinating on the Sikh’s Guru Granth in front of a camera? I’m pretty sure he would have a bit of a job on his hands extracting his prick from the inside of his throat after Sikhs had finished with him.

    What an utter cunt he is.

  11. BevanKieran — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:37 am  

    List of affiliates of MAC

    http://www.globalcivility.com/affiliates.htm

    One of the group’s demands, mentioned on the BBC news report, is the handover of the copyright for the cartoon’s publication.

    Anybody familiar with copyright laws? Does the following reproduction of Adrian Hamilton’s article on the same website (referred to as a Telegraph article rather than Independant) break any?

    http://www.globalcivility.com/dailytelegraph007.jpg

  12. Jay Singh — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:43 am  

    Sid

    Think what Amartya Sen would write and say and how he would say it before posting dude.

  13. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:48 am  

    @ Siddh James:

    It sounds like you are running out of arguments…

    Pete

  14. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:49 am  

    Bikhair

    Sheeeeeeiyit, Wahhabism vs Shia?

    Don’t ever compare the glorious Shi’i to the the actions of some pisspot Najdi goatherd who reduced the Quran to his literalist mumbo jumbo. Reformer my ass.

  15. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:52 am  

    Jay Singh:

    Amartya-da would spit in the man Rose’s eye and call him for what he is – a sensationlist yellow-rag two-bit journo with a Arab-hating fixation.

  16. Jay Singh — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:57 am  

    I doubt it Sid.

  17. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:04 am  

    @ Siddh James:

    I still dont see any sane arguments from you Siddh.

    You reduce it to “spit- and cunt-talk”.

    Pete

  18. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:05 am  

    If the Washington Post article by Rose was his de Profundis, his plea from the wilderness for people to see it from his point of view, well he’s failed miserably. I’ve read a lot of stuff other posters have written (esp Francis Sedgemore) on the dubious intentions of Rose and crew but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    But not after this. All he’s produced are the same cack-handed justifications for publishing offensive material that can be found in any of the voices that spoke in his defence on the blogs during the furore – and the worst, shrillest, most offensive of the voices at that.

    I was expecting intelligent and reasoned ideas, even the professional account of an embattled hard-nosed journalist. Instead, it reads like the petulant prose of prissy sixth form wanker who’s seems offended that the offence he’s caused to the sand niggers is being used against him by the same people who he wanted to impress.

    This is the voice HP defends? Ha!

  19. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:10 am  

    and if I may add:

    The reason why Kaare Bluitgen couldnt find an illustrator for his childrens book on Islam was, that the cartoonist were scared of even drawing Muhammad:

    One [artist declined], with reference to the murder in Amsterdam of the film director Theo van Gogh, while another [declined, citing the attack on] the lecturer at the Carsten Niebuhr Institute in Copenhagen who read the Quaran to non-muslims as part of his lecture.

    Pete

  20. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:32 am  

    More background about it here:

    Jyllands-Posten Editor-in-chief Carsten Juste talks openly about the 12 Mohammed cartoons, revealing for the first time how the idea originally came about, and how his newspaper is now dealing with an avalanche of death threats against its staff. Whilst tender some sort of regret to the offended – he remains adamant in affirming the unconditional right to freedom of expression

    How did the 12 cartoons of Mohammed wind up in Jyllands-Posten on 30 September of this year?
    ‘The public image painted by some observers of sinister Jyllands-Posten editors scheming together to offend as many Muslims as possible – or the claim that we intended to interfere in the national integration debate – both are very far off the mark.

    ‘What the general public doesn’t know: it was a ‘rank-and-file’ reporter who came up with the idea. It circulated, it was discussed by the relevant editors. They all liked it, so we got started.

    ‘The reporter’s original concept was to investigate to what extent self-censorship exists in Denmark. Starting out with Kaare Bluitgen’s children’s book about Mohammed, to which apparently no illustrator dared openly contribute. There were other, similar, examples. That was how we started out. The idea was to write to 40 illustrators and ask if they would draw Mohammed for publication in Jyllands-Posten.

    ‘That’s why I can categorically reject any suggestion that the point was to provoke Muslims. If we want to talk about provocation – which in any circumstances I don’t feel it was – then we were provoking the illustrators who didn’t dare use their freedom of expression, out of fear of reprisals from extremist Muslims.

    ‘That was the goal: to find out whether self-censorship exists in Denmark to a greater degree than generally acknowledged. Which in my opinion is a perfectly legitimate journalistic project. We wanted to find out whether or not Danish newspaper illustrators dared to draw Mohammed.’

    Twelve of the 40 illustrators agreed. Some declined. Some didn’t even answer your challenge –

    ‘I thought the results we got were a little thin. The material wasn’t broad enough. Three of the 12 who agreed were our own illustrators, who maybe felt that they had to! That meant that we really only had nine, and some of them hadn’t even drawn Mohammed. And the ones who didn’t answer, we had no way of knowing what their real reasons were. At that point, I was had serious doubts whether we ought to proceed. There was no clear answer to the original question: ‘Do illustrators practice self-censorship, or don’t they?’

    ‘But then our journalists did some research, got some more answers, and it ended with a decision to publish the drawings.’

    Did you consider in advance that the cartoons might offend or insult people?

    ‘Yes. There were some journalists here at the paper, including some who write regularly about Muslims, immigration, and integration, who strongly advised us not to do it. It was quite a discussion. Personally I thought the cartoons were harmless – very much in fitting with our Danish tradition for caricature. If some of the cartoons had been cruder – if an illustrator had given us Mohammed pissing on the Koran, for example – then it would have been pulled. The same way I’ve pulled a lot of cartoons over the years that devout Christians might have found insulting. Or others because they were too vulgar or too crude. I didn’t feel that these were, and so we went ahead.’

    You calculated the possibility that someone might be offended according to normal Danish standards?

    ‘Yes.’

    You discussed it with staff who are familiar with Islam, and who could tell you that this means something else for Muslims – that any pictorial representation of their prophet is forbidden?

    ‘Yes. The fact that no one would openly illustrate Bluitgen’s book gave an indication. But it wasn’t definitive. Some Muslim denominations permit drawings of Mohammed. In some places, like Iran, you can even buy pictures of Mohammed. And then there was the question: “Muslims can’t, but what about non-Muslims?” There was no clear answer.

    ‘In the ensuing public debate, I’ve noticed that even Bertel Haarder, who was integration minister for four years, wasn’t prepared for the reaction we got.’

    So, it wasn’t because you believe there are no limits to what Jyllands-Posten can do in the name of freedom of speech?

    ‘Absolutely not. That’s not our newspaper’s attitude. It’s not any newspaper’s attitude. We have a set of ethical guidelines that require us to be considerate of people, of minorities, etc, and we viewed these drawings in that light. Even now, when I look at those drawings I still ask myself: ‘How in the world could anybody react so dramatically to what for me are simple, commonplace, and harmless cartoons?

    ‘The cartoon in which Mohammed has a bomb in his turban has been singled out for particular criticism. But for me, the association is obvious. It’s a way of portraying the problem of fanatical, Islam terrorists, who themselves make the connection – between their attacks and the religion itself and its content. That’s what our cartoonist wanted to show. It’s a common topic of discussion: “To what extent does Islam in and of itself contribute to the creation of terrorists? Does Islam create its own terrorists?” I think it’s a fair question. I never imagined that we would experience the reaction we got.’

    Were the cartoons intended as a provocation?

    ‘No, that never occurred to us. In a debate on national radio this week, I heard the otherwise enlightened Tøger Seinenfaden (editor-in-chief of Danish daily newspaper Politiken) continue to make this claim: that we wanted to provoke just for the sake of provoking. He even alleged that we wanted to test where Muslims draw the line. I can only say that Tøger Seidenfaden doesn’t attend Jyllands-Posten’s editorial meetings. I’m puzzled as to where he gets his information from.

    ‘It was never our wish to insult the Muslims faith. Again: If cruder cartoons had been submitted, they would have been pulled. As we have said, it is regrettable if people felt insulted, because that wasn’t our intention.’

    If the intention wasn’t to insult, yet some people still feel insulted, why hasn’t Jyllands-Posten said ‘Sorry, that wasn’t our intention’?

    ‘We won’t apologise for publishing the cartoons, because we have the right to do so. That’s why we’ve said that if people feel insulted, we regret it. Insulting people was never on our agenda. But there’s absolutely no way we will apologise for publishing the cartoons. If we apologise, then we let down the many generations who have fought for freedom of expression and other civil rights.’

    ‘If we said: “Sorry, we shouldn’t have published the cartoons”, then we would also be letting down moderate Muslims – and fortunately there are many of them – and those Muslims, like Hirsi Ali, who fight against repression in the Islamic world. We won’t do that. We can’t.

    ‘The reactions have come in several layers. In Copenhagen, 3000 people demonstrated. That’s fine, demonstration is as much a part of the idea of freedom of speech as the cartoons. But then we started getting death threats. Social Liberal MP Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen has publicly trivialized these threats, more or less made a joke out of them, and the fact that two17-year-olds were arrested for making them. Gerner Nielsen should know that there have been many, many more death threats than the two that were made public. Threats the police probably consider far more serious, and that we haven’t made public.’

    Why not?

    ‘The Security Intelligence Service (PET) has told us not to. Threats from Pakistan, offers of bounties on the heads of our illustrators, these are an example of how this had gotten out of control. Information about the threats and the bounties was available on a website for two weeks, and I knew about it for two weeks. PET maintained there was no need to be afraid. That’s why PET didn’t contact the illustrators about it.’

    Jyllands-Posten didn’t contact them about it either?

    ‘No, because PET told us not to. There’s a division of labour. PET takes care of the illustrator’s security and well-being, not us. It would have been wrong of us to contact the illustrators.’

    You mention that there have been a large number of death threats that Jyllands-Posten hasn’t informed the public about. That means that you’ve been selective about what the public should know.

    ‘The two 17-year-olds were arrested, which is a story that needs to be told. But you don’t need to report getting an e-mail with a very serious death threat. That gets passed on to PET, and they come back with whether they consider it serious or not.’

    So the information Jyllands-Posten releases about reactions and threats depends on what the police and PET say?

    ‘No matter how you look at it, when your company is in this kind of situation, you need to cooperate with the people who are there to protect the company and its employees. That’s the police’s job. They advise, you listen to their advice. Of course you do, so that you can give your employees maximal protection. That also involves surveillance procedures that you need to be discreet about. For a newspaperman it is a peculiar situation. That’s something you need to accept, because employees’ lives and well-being have to come first.’

    What do you read in the different types of reactions to the cartoons?

    ‘I actually saw the protests made by the 11 ambassadors’ as a plus for us. They helped to release some of the pressure that built up. The more rabid elements, who you could imagine would try to take action against Jyllands-Posten, might have been cooled off a little when they saw that protests were being made through official channels.

    ‘The 11 ambassadors demonstrated that there are deeper layers in this affair, where it turns into a clash of cultures. The countries the ambassadors represent quite clearly have a different conception of freedom of expression and what it means, than we do.

    ‘That’s the next level. An issue begins trivially, but just like so much else in the newspaper business, it then has a life of its own: You make one decision, when in reality you could just as well have made another decision. In reality, I could just as easily have stopped the cartoon project based on the journalistic reservations I mentioned before. That’s how we more or less coincidentally create this kind of situation.

    ‘Then suddenly it becomes more meaningful, because it starts to be about some more important principles – freedom of expression versus religion. In the countries that are protesting, they feel religion comes before freedom of expression. We certainly don’t think like this in Denmark.

    ‘The fact that ambassadors become involved in Danish affairs is also totally unheard of. That they want a Danish prime minister to take action against a newspaper, is an illustration to a lot of different people – excluding Tøger Seidenfaden and certain others – that a greater issue is at stake.

    ‘When the debate becomes a matter of principles, points of view get honed, they get sharper, and we say: “There is absolutely no doubt that our newspaper has the right to publish the cartoons.” Now it’s no longer just the 12 cartoons, now it is being taken to another level and elaborated into a conflict over principles. Regardless of the original reason for publishing the cartoons, you can say the reactions to them have been a
    justification in hindsight.’

    Is this going to mean more or less Mohammed cartoons in Danish media?

    ‘I don’t think that Mohammed will be drawn in a Danish newspaper for the next 50 years. The self-righteous cartoonists at Politiken – Roald Als and Mette Dreyer – have already said they would draw Mohammed if it were relevant. I’m looking forward to seeing them do it – there are a lot of relevant situations.’

    Is Jyllands-Posten going to publish more Mohammed cartoons?

    ‘I think we ought to take a little break. Actually, today we printed one – an American drawing – that might or might not represent Mohammed.’

    How do you feel about the situation today?

    ‘I feel good about it. I’m taking it easy. Fortunately, our staff remains united, even though there is still a lot of disagreement about the cartoons. But I’m also a little worried because the situation is developing so slowly. You saw the same thing in the Salman Rushdie case. Six months passed from the publishing of “The Satanic Verses” until the fatwa was issued. Maybe we are seeing the same thing here – the same slow penetration into Islamic cultures and systems. Unfortunately I don’t think the matter is over. I must admit that I go around the whole time waiting for what will happen next.’

  21. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:42 am  

    Pete Pedersen

    You can evangalise about the heroic qualities of Rose and Juste til the cows come home. I think its clear what sort of people they are. Targets remain moving, but hatred is a constant. Transpose them to a different time and space, and you can see that seventy years ago, Rose and Juste would be publishing antisemitic op-eds in some Frankfurter-Zeitung. Move them to USA in the fifties and they would be calling for the segregation of Blacks. And push them forward to England, they’d be card carrying members of the BNP. Shame.

  22. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:52 am  

    I guess we have a different understanding of hate.

    Its funny that you bring up nazism.

    These girls then, are the “Dhimmis” of Juste & Rose ?:

    http://www.n-tv.de/634520.html

    I think Mein Kampf is a bestseller in Palestine.

    oh wait.. Holocaust never happend – right ?.

    Pete

  23. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:01 am  

    Yes our ideas of hate are different indeed. But it seems Rose’s hatred is a reflection of a particular kind that is gaining foothold in Denmark.

    As for the picture of the Muslim women holding a pro-Nazi banner. Yes, they exist amongst all sections and all races of society. They’re found in Denmark, in the UK and in the East.

    But does that justify that the editor of an establishment newspaper carry on in the same manner? And what should we call a newspaper editor with the same tendencies as the banner carrying woman.

  24. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:09 am  

    The fact that you compare the two baffles me.

    If you raise factual issues with regards to the Islamic faith, the alleged ban on depicting Muhammed and terrorism etc. (hence the cartoons) – it doesnt make you a Nazi.

    If you even bothered looking at the cartoons and try to interpret their meaning I think you would be better off for a start.

    Fx: What does it say on the blackboard with the schoolboy, and what football clubs jersey is he carrying – and what does “fremtiden” mean ?.

    Pete

  25. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:15 am  

    “As for the picture of the Muslim women holding a pro-Nazi banner. Yes, they exist amongst all sections and all races of society. They’re found in Denmark, in the UK and in the East.”

    Well i can inform you that they dont exist in Denmark to the extend that you see in, say London. There are nazis/extremists in Denmark, but they are so few you wont believe it !. Genereally we dont like those totalitarian ideas.

    Nazism or Hitz Bu tahrir.

    In Denmark the latter is by far the most popular of the two…

    Pete

  26. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:17 am  

    A bit of fisking of Flemming Rose’s arguments… TBH, like Sidd, I don’t buy his arguments much. They are a rehash of what we’ve discussed already on here.

    By contrast, I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam.

    There is constant self-censorship over plenty of issues, all over Europe… I don’t see people making a big deal out of that all the time. All the incidents listed by Rose did not come out of violence. Apart from Van Gogh’s murder by some psycho, all violence is related to the Middle East, where getting some chimpanzees to burn a flag in front of a TV camera is standard fare.

    Off the top of my head, take the example of the CIA flying suspects from European countries to secret locations in Eastern Europe, illegally. There has been some noise (mostly in the Guardian), but where’s the outrage of a breakdown in democracy? Where is the outrage over civilians being kidnapped by other countries (in the case of Germany), without evidence, and then being tortured? Self-censorship over Islam takes place, but the idea that it takes place only over Islam is rubbish.

    The world’s superpower running a massive illegal torture camp, you would think, is a slight cause for the supporters of liberal democracy. Not to the European press clearly.

    Last September, a Danish children’s writer had trouble finding an illustrator for a book about the life of Muhammad.

    See, here is the misunderstanding. Jesus is idolised. People end up worshipping his statue in a church… Muslims prefer not to have his image displayed in a sign of idolatory. That’s the way they most of them like it (yes I know there have been representations before – it doesn’t detract from my point)… how the fuck is that self-censorship? It’s common sense why people would refuse to offend Muslim by caricaturing Mohammed. Is it self-censorship if I don’t publish cartoons of the Holocaust? Of course. Is it out of respect? Yes. Is making that link so difficult?

    Finally, at the end of September, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with a group of imams, one of whom called on the prime minister to interfere with the press in order to get more positive coverage of Islam.

    And he conveniently forgets to mention the Danish MP ignoring Danish imams and heads of other countries before.

    In fact, JP was pointed out as having consistently negative stories of Muslims and immigrants in general. Nothing positive… talking about them raping or murdering etc, as if thats all they did. Funny Rose does not mention his own paper’s record.

    We have a tradition of satire when dealing with the royal family and other public figures, and that was reflected in the cartoons.

    Though they ignored Jesus cartoons before saying that they would offend readers. How convenient.

    The cartoons do not in any way demonize or stereotype Muslims.
    Hah!! Do I need to even say anything?

    One cartoon — depicting the prophet with a bomb in his turban — has drawn the harshest criticism. Angry voices claim the cartoon is saying that the prophet is a terrorist or that every Muslim is a terrorist. I read it differently:
    Just because he doesn’t mean everyone else will to. He should have the brains to accept that and recognise that.

  27. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:21 am  

    If you raise factual issues with regards to the Islamic faith, the alleged ban on depicting Muhammed and terrorism etc. (hence the cartoons) – it doesnt make you a Nazi.

    I never said it did, but if you trace the history of the advent of Nazism in Germany, you will find the steady proliferation of antisemitic imagery, caricature into the German press. And all done with the intention to demonise that particular segment of the population.

    You can raise factual correlations between Islam and Terrorism, of that there is no doubt. And you can publish racist cartoons with the sole intention to cause offence. The two actions are not compliant – as the fool Rose has discovered.

  28. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:39 am  

    On occasion, Jyllands-Posten has refused to print satirical cartoons of Jesus, but not because it applies a double standard. In fact, the same cartoonist who drew the image of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban drew a cartoon with Jesus on the cross having dollar notes in his eyes and another with the star of David attached to a bomb fuse. There were, however, no embassy burnings or death threats when we published those.

    Jesus with a dollar sign in his eyes is not that derogatory. I see a double standard here because he seems to be pre-empting the embassy burnings. Did he print the cartoons because he expected there to be embassy burnings?

    Has Jyllands-Posten insulted and disrespected Islam? It certainly didn’t intend to. But what does respect mean? When I visit a mosque, I show my respect by taking off my shoes. I follow the customs, just as I do in a church, synagogue or other holy place. But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible with a secular democracy.

    This is contradictory. Following taboos does not imply submission…. otherwise there wouldn’t an issue over printing porn in a newspaper. Porn is seen as derogatory and is a taboo, which is why “quality” newspapers supposedly don’t stoop to that level. It means having respect for women, not being submissive towards them. One is not required to observe all external taboos of other people, but flagrantly disregarding them in a derogatory manner does mean that you don’t have a certain degree of respect.

    I would not apply the same reasoning to a play, for example, examining the life of the prophet, because the intention may be a genuine sense of exploration and communicating something with the audience. Having a play with MOhammed being gratitously shown as a camel-fucking Arab would be grossly offensive.

    But we cannot apologize for our right to publish material, even offensive material. You cannot edit a newspaper if you are paralyzed by worries about every possible insult.
    Lol! Newspaper say sorry all the time. It part and parcel fo the business.

    he radical imams who misinformed their counterparts in the Middle East about the situation for Muslims in Denmark have been marginalized. They no longer speak for the Muslim community in Denmark because moderate Muslims have had the courage to speak out against them.

    Or that you’ve made all Muslims in Denmark think that the Danish press hates them, and only ordinary Danish people (many of whom have recoiled at JP’s actions) are actually quite nice.

    Still, I think the cartoons now have a place in two separate narratives, one in Europe and one in the Middle East. In the words of the Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the integration of Muslims into European societies has been sped up by 300 years due to the cartoons; perhaps we do not need to fight the battle for the Enlightenment all over again in Europe. The narrative in the Middle East is more complex, but that has very little to do with the cartoons.

    There are two narratives indeed, but thinking that European Muslims will embrace European society if you insult their religious leader is obscenely stupid.

    I’m not fussed by the Middle Eastern reaction, the mullahs there are mostly fuckwits anyway.

  29. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:48 am  

    @ Sunny:

    I can only speak for the danish press, but those cases you talk about certainly have been and are being handled by the press here.

    ..

    “Muslims prefer not to have his image displayed in a sign of idolatory”

    Factually wrong. Not all muslims do. Fx. i saw a demonstration from Iraq where they had a pict. of Muhammad. So speak for yourself then !.

    ..

    “Though they ignored Jesus cartoons before saying that they would offend readers. How convenient.”

    They have previously published Jesus-caricatures – even by one of the cartoonists !.
    Here is an example where Mary and Joseph are rediculed (Drawn by one of the artists): http://www.filtrat.dk/sandbox/images/uploads/Hvem20sagde20hvad.jpg
    And there are other examples where their cartoonists have rediculed Jesus in JP.

    “In fact, JP was pointed out as having consistently negative stories of Muslims and immigrants in general.”

    I suggest you read this: 2nd price winner in the EU 2004 award “For diversity and against discrimination”.
    A series of articles published in ahem.. Jyllands-Posten.

    “It’s common sense why people would refuse to offend Muslim by caricaturing Mohammed”

    That has nothing to do with the case about depicting the childrens book.

    The selfcensorship on the childrens book did in fact come out of violence: The reasons stated from the cartoonists being :

    a. the killing of Van Gogh, and
    b. the attack on the lecturer at Carsten Niebuhr Institute who read from the Quaran to the “infidels”.

    So i think you can leave your remarks about “All the incidents listed by Rose did not come out of violence” for an audience who wont admit facts !

    Pete

  30. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:52 am  

    @ Sunny:

    He is speaking about religious taboos !.

    Rose is right when claiming : Denmark would be a NASTY place to live if all religions taboos were imposed in the public space:

    - No beers
    - No topless women at the beach and
    - No sausages !

    Pete

  31. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:01 am  

    Peter:
    I can only speak for the danish press, but those cases you talk about certainly have been and are being handled by the press here.

    It’s been talked about here too, but there is a distinct lack of outrage and deeper digging into what’s actually going on. The Danish press doesn’t even feature on the radar with investigations on this front, even if it has done any. Just rehashing Guardian articles isn’t what I’m talking about.

    Not all muslims do. Fx. i saw a demonstration from Iraq where they had a pict. of Muhammad

    I did point out that not all Muslims do, but overwhelmingly they do. Just ask some if you know any.

    That has nothing to do with the case about depicting the childrens book.

    Yes it does because its still caricatures he wanted.

    I suggest you read this: 2nd price winner in the EU 2004 award “For diversity and against discrimination”.

    Peter – I’m sorry but awards mean squat. JP looks like the equivalent of the British Daily Mail – which does its best to sponsor middle class Asian events etc but everyone knows its hostile towards immigrants and Muslims.

    I already admitted the Van gogh killing was a serious issue. Let me put it this way. A few years ago, this guy blew up a few gay pups in London with nail bombs…. killed people, injured more. But there wasn’t a mass hysteria about “nazis living amongst us”, in the way that Van Gogh’s despicable murder is paraded around as “now we should all be scared of Muslims because they’re potential killers”.

  32. Siddhartha — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:09 am  

    Peter

    As the only Danish person who is willing to represent Rose and Co actions at JP, it is rather unfortutate to see that the only language you have to defend the bastion of Danish values goes hand in hand with a denigration of the immigrant segment of your population. And in particular, and most pointedly, Muslim immigrants.

    This vindicates a view made by some that the European countries that jostled to reprint the cartoons, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Germany and France are those which are currently those which have the most ill-feeling towards immigration. So lets face it, its a tawdry immigration issue to do with race and race politics and not hing to do with Voltarian issues of Freedom of Speech.

    Pickled Politics has known that all along.

  33. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:12 am  

    Denmark would be a NASTY place to live if all religions taboos were imposed in the public space:

    I agree, and I would not support that. But banning beer is different to caricaturing prophet mohammed, because in the latter you’re passing commentary on a religion.

    I’ve never said Danish society should change to help immigrants, and I don’t support calls for restrictions on the freedom of the press. But banning beer and not publishing racist images of a religious figure are two different things.

  34. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:14 am  

    No he didnt want caricatures. You are messing up the 2 stories. Kaare Bluitgen DIDNT want carricatures. Who told you this ?.

    Anyway. Here are examples from his book:

    WARNING IF YOU ARE PRO-DEPICTION BAN!:

    Image 1

    Image 2

    Image 3

    Image 4

    Image 5

    ..

    Sunny I do get your last point, and what you refer with the “exaggerated” fear i can also follow 100%.

    However isnt it just these kinds of Taboos, that Jyllands-Posten also challenge by publishing those cartoons ?. They get a debate about Islam which has been missing for a long time in the West, because there seems to be an anxiety towards the religion and the prophet due to these terror-attacks. Alot of people litteraly do see muslims as potential terrorists !. You can also ask the Q: What has the muslim communities, especially in the West, done to eliminate this development ?. Very rarely you saw or heard moderate muslims critizise suicide bombers !.

    Pete

    In Denmark now, alot of different muslims organisations gather and arise, and thereby get a bigger say in the public debate. You have to involve yourself in a public debate ANYWHERE if you want any kind of influence. This JP case has done just that in Denmark, where all sorts of muslims groups now pop up.

    To me that is a positive sideeffect of this whole thing !

    Pete

  35. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:27 am  

    And Jesus with dollar-signs in his eyes on the cross isnt that derogatory ?.

    Oh please !

    For a christian dane, that is like the biggest insult, just like the Joseph-joke where the holy spirit is battered/challenged and even compared to Bill Clinton…

    But we are used to those things here in Denmark. The double-standard arguements certainly dont come from people have the slightest knowledge about Christian-bashing in Denmark !. It comes from people who – fundamentally dont understand the danish society.

    Like that egyptian (ex)ambassador to Denmark who went on national egyptian TV telling that Islam is not recognized and acknowledges as a religion in Denmark. There are 19 different branches/directions of Islam acknowledged !.

    Pete

  36. Siddhartha — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:31 am  

    However isnt it just these kinds of Taboos, that Jyllands-Posten also challenge by publishing those cartoons ?. They get a debate about Islam which has been missing for a long time in the West, because there seems to be an anxiety towards the religion and the prophet due to these terror-attacks. Alot of people litteraly do see muslims as potential terrorists !.

    And the publishing of cartoons caricaturing the Mohammed as a hook-nosed Arab and a terrorist with the intention of causing racist offence is really going to open up sympathetic debate about the role of Iconic Imagery in Islamic Art and allay hysterical stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists!?! Come on, neither you nor Rose in that disgracefully shoddy Washington Post article are convincing anyone.

  37. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:37 am  

    You keep writing about the intention.

    If you read the whole story behind the publishing, including the facts that:

    - no derogatory cartoons were ordered
    - the way the idea came up
    - Juste and Rose both have denied the intentions
    - the variety of the cartoons which is indisputable
    as well as
    - the context (article attached, debate about selfcensorship, debate about violence/terror in the name of Muhammad etc etc ).

    Its hard to state what you do about intend !

    With regards to the whole emmigration debate etc. we have had that in Denmark ever since. The drawings were no way NEAR a part of that !

    It is commonly accepted that the danish emmigration laws are as tight as possible under intl. treaties.

    In fact the latest changes are easening up of the immigration laws.

    And the latest figures of immigration show a 5-year high !.

    So come again !

    Pete

  38. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:43 am  

    …but i want to add, that the influx of people form poor countries – including muslims – has been minimized to cope with the growing social problems, problems with unemployment, integration problems etc. for this particular group.

    Remember Denmark doesnt function like Britain where you basically are left to your own devices.

    I am happy to say that Denmark is one of the best countries in Europe to ensure that immigrants including muslims get jobs and/or educations.

    Pete

  39. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:48 am  

    They get a debate about Islam which has been missing for a long time in the West, because there seems to be an anxiety towards the religion and the prophet due to these terror-attacks

    Peter – you must accept that if I spit in your face, it is hardly the best way to talk about building bridges. HEre in the UK we have constant debate about Islam and Muslims etc etc… I mean since 9/11 there has been little else. If JP wanted to start talking, there could have been a million better ways.

    You can also ask the Q: What has the muslim communities, especially in the West, done to eliminate this development ?. Very rarely you saw or heard moderate muslims critizise suicide bombers !.

    I don’t know why people keep bringing up this fallacy. Have you not been following the press releases by Muslim orgs? Muslims criticise suicide bombers, but they also criticise the killing o Palestinian kids by Israeli soldiers. But everyone focuses on the latter part, and not the first.

    To be clear, I don’t want restrictions on the press and still support JP’s right to publish those caricatures. What I’m saying though is that just I don’t support what actually happened, and how its made into a debate around FoS. Freedom of expression does not need to be explored by jumping into the deep end and coming out with the biggest insult you can think of.

  40. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:06 am  

    Well at the end of the day we are not that far apart then !

    However i think your debate in UK is a pseudo-debate, not adressing the issues. I mean just look at the media: none in UK have publicised the cartoons, yet your media dont mind publising people being tortured, or people making clear death-threats like in that london demo. The fact is that the cartoons are available in UK through the internet anyway…

    I still claim, if you look at the cartoons, they are not a spit in the face of anyone. They have very different messages, and some even critize the very project of Jyllands-Posten. Jesus is also in the crime line up (which deflates the hyprocricy-argument yet again).
    The bomb in the turban is clearly a critique of militant Islam.

    With regards to the so-called fallacy: there was hardly an outcry (at least not as loud as this one!) in the muslim world when those Buddah-statutes were demolished.

    It seems to me that there is an internal code, saying that no muslim can critisize/question another muslim.
    Maybe out of fear – who knows ?.

    I still claim that those cartoons werent nearly the biggest insult you can think of.

    For danish – and even middleeastern standards – they were pretty innocent !.

    Did i mention that there was a guy here who made a movie depicting Jesus having a gang-bang in a tub with a set of prostitutes, and that the movie got state-funding for its “artistic” impression ?.

    Pete

  41. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:18 am  

    However i think your debate in UK is a pseudo-debate, not adressing the issues.

    What issues would you like addressed? Just because they didn’t publish the cartoons doesn’t mean there isn’t a big debate. It’s more open than most of the world I’d say. Just tell me what issues aren’t being addressed.

    there was hardly an outcry (at least not as loud as this one!) in the muslim world when those Buddah-statutes were demolished.
    There are double standards – I will agree. But you asked about the terrorist bombings. In fact major clerics in Pakistan and Iran (I think) condemned the Taliban for the destruction, but nothing could be done. Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and I think UAE recognised the Taliban govt, most Muslim govts did not have diplomatic contact.

    The bomb in the turban is clearly a critique of militant Islam.
    That is your interpretation, you have to accept not everyone will look at it that way.

    Did i mention that there was a guy here who made a movie depicting Jesus having a gang-bang in a tub with a set of prostitutes, and that the movie got state-funding for its “artistic” impression ?.

    Hey – no one ever denied that Europeans are blase about Christianity. Unfortunately the rest of the world isn’t so blase. :)

  42. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:40 am  

    “What issues would you like addressed? Just because they didn’t publish the cartoons doesn’t mean there isn’t a big debate. It’s more open than most of the world I’d say. Just tell me what issues aren’t being addressed.”

    I dont want to sound like a brat, though i might come off as one…

    Let me give a few examples:

    With regards to cartoon there is a big debate yeah, but alot of people participating have never seen the cartoons. How normal is it to debate something that you dont show ?. Especially when it is a series of cartoons of different variety ?.
    BBC + alot of others dont show the cartoons people are talking about, but they have people in there commenting on them constantly. Not all protesters have seen them at ALL.
    I bet you it is the same in the outskirts of Nigeria or parts of Pakistan. Ive seen interviews of outraged palestinians who hadnt seen the images either…

    If you see a map of where the cartoons have been published you will see that britain is one of the only places that havent done it. I doubt that all the other 60something countries are Xenophobic or immigrant unfriendly.

    And your government. How is IT participating in the debate ?. All we have seen/heard is some very brief remark by Jack Straw. What have we heard from Blair, Tony ?. Or even the Tories leader ?.
    Show me their contributions to the debate. They are leaders, they must have an opinion no ?.
    (Mind you it is almost the same in USA)

    Another example :

    In London – where i have lived before – you have this fine new Tate Art Gallery. You ban a certain exhibit because you are scared of peoples religious feelings about it.

    Is this fruitfull for a debate about the role of religion in a secular society ?. Is this fruitfull for a debate about the borders of artistic freedom ?. To let fear of insulting someones faith obstruct a debate or an exhibit than can create a debate ?. No… “censurship is better” seems to be the norm. Have you had a debate about blasphemy since Piss-Jesus ?.

    And what about Hitz B Utahrir ?. What debate have you had about this organisation ?. I have only heard them mentioned 1-2 times in all. Does your media expose their propaganda ?. I have never seen footages from anywhere NEAR their meetings, or in dept reports about how the organisation works.

    Or have you had a debate about the womans role in Islam in the UK ?. Fx today there was segregation at the demonstration. Was it mentioned in any news media ?. No.

    Generally i dont see a big interaction in your society between muslims and non-muslims. For whatever reasons !. That is sad to me, and not positive for a debate !.

    Pete

  43. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 6:53 am  

    Sunny,

    You know, people say horrible things about me on this blog and you dont censor them. In fact you encourage them. I never said anything offensive about the Shia, except for that fact that their religion may be one big offense to Muslims all over. If I didnt believe in Islamic values I would be for this free of speech thing because what kind of world could I live in where I couldnt point out of obvious about the Shia?

  44. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 7:01 am  

    Siddh James,

    “Sheeeeeeiyit, Wahhabism vs Shia?”

    Sorry dude, its haqq vs. batil. Get with it.

    “Don’t ever compare the glorious Shi’i to the the actions of some pisspot Najdi goatherd who reduced the Quran to his literalist mumbo jumbo. Reformer my ass.”

    Lol, you lucky you are protected by these hypocrites on Pickled Politics, like Sunny, whose beliefs in Freedom of Speech doesnt extend to us Saudi loving Salafis.

    I tell you what, in the event that another Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab should walk among the Muslims, I will pay for his ticket to Southern Iraq to clean up house there, and any other Shite hideout, and eventually to Pakistan where he will meet up with his biggest and most ghastly foe: the Sub-continent Muslim; atleast someone there will be able to tell the difference between Islam and Pakistani jahiliyah/Hinduism.

    Too bad this post will not see the light of day.

  45. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 7:09 am  

    Peter Pederson,

    I didnt know it was haram to read the English meaning of the Quran to kafirs.

    Please stop using the world infidel as it reminds me too much of a Christian slurs against non-Christians. Islam and the Sharia prefers kafir because the word infidel doesnt quite capture the disbelievers’ state of being and disbelieveing. Besides infidel comes from your religion not the Islamic one. Best preserve your beliefs while you still can. Ha Ha, I kid but Tawheed is superior and not to mention the truth.

  46. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 7:11 am  

    Peter Pederson,

    Oh, and another thing, whats up with these long posts? Do you not have friends you can edit your thoughts with, this is cruel.

  47. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 8:48 am  

    I already admitted the Van gogh killing was a serious issue. Let me put it this way. A few years ago, this guy blew up a few gay pups in London with nail bombs…. killed people, injured more. But there wasn’t a mass hysteria about “nazis living amongst us”, in the way that Van Gogh’s despicable murder is paraded around as “now we should all be scared of Muslims because they’re potential killers”.

    By contrast, after Copeland’s nailbombings, there weren’t scores of articles by well meaning types sympathetically considering the objection of white nationalists to a pluralist and diverse society.

    Similarly, when he was arrested, members of white chauvenist organisations, from UKIP to the BNP didn’t hold enormous solidarity rallies for him.

    800,000 people voted for the BNP’s fascism-lite in 2004. That is about 5% of the vote. This is, and should be, a matter of enormous concern.

    However 7% of Muslims consistently poll in favour of support for suicide bombings in the United Kingdom, while something like 30% regard attacks on jews as justified. If similar percentages of white people supported attacks on ethnic minorities we’d rightly regard that as an enormous fucking crisis.

  48. Bijna — on 19th February, 2006 at 10:32 am  

    Is the raiding of caravans terrorism?

  49. Bijna — on 19th February, 2006 at 10:37 am  

    > Muslims criticise suicide bombers

    No they dont. 40% likes them and want Sharia

    > but they also criticise the killing o Palestinian kids by
    > Israeli soldiers.

    Omg Israelis blowing up city busses. Oh no they dont. Its brainwashed Palestinian kids attacking Israelis with stones.

  50. raz — on 19th February, 2006 at 10:44 am  

    “800,000 people voted for the BNP’s fascism-lite in 2004. That is about 5% of the vote. This is, and should be, a matter of enormous concern.

    However 7% of Muslims consistently poll in favour of support for suicide bombings in the United Kingdom, while something like 30% regard attacks on jews as justified”

    Disingenous. You’re comparing the number of people who voted for a political party with opinion polls which can be twisted to represent anything. If Al-Mahajourn stood for election, how many votes would they get from the Muslim community? (bear in mind the tiny numbers they get for their ‘protest marches’)

  51. Tilling — on 19th February, 2006 at 11:06 am  

    Hmm – I like the placards which say “Learn how to apologise properly”.

    Or what?

    And who gets to decide what a “proper” apology is?

    And what’s to apologise for?

  52. Steve M — on 19th February, 2006 at 11:50 am  

    How about “The War on Terror is a War on Islam”?

  53. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 11:55 am  

    Disingenous. You’re comparing the number of people who voted for a political party with opinion polls which can be twisted to represent anything. If Al-Mahajourn stood for election, how many votes would they get from the Muslim community? (bear in mind the tiny numbers they get for their ‘protest marches’)

    Al Muhaj are the equivalent of something like Combat 18.

    The BNP has a fascist ideology but presents itself as an anti-immigration, ‘whites first” political party. It does not even call for compulsory repatriation presently: although that is certainly what it has called for historically. It moderates its message in order to gain the maximum political support.

    By way of contrast, 17% of those asked in a recent poll stated that they agreed with the teachings of Omar Bakri Mohammed. Omar Bakri Mohammed is absolutely candid in his support of political violence and extreme chauvinistic political views.

    Do you not think this remarkable, and very depressing?

  54. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:15 pm  

    As a footnote: those who support Al Muhaj and its aims must know that to admit their support means that they’ll be treated as potential terrorists, and subjected to police scrutiny. I’m amazed at the courage of those who actually turn up on Al Muhaj demos .

  55. Bijna — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:18 pm  

    > Having a play with MOhammed being gratitously shown > as a camel-fucking Arab would be grossly offensive

    And it would be incorrect. There are no verses that describe this.

    But if there were bombs in the year 700 Mohammed would have used them to fight the Meccans, pagans or Jews.

    Mohammed was not a peaceful man and as long a the so called moderates dont acknowledge that, they are just as wrong as the hardcore.

  56. Steve M — on 19th February, 2006 at 12:58 pm  

    By way of contrast, 17% of those asked in a recent poll stated that they agreed with the teachings of Omar Bakri Mohammed. Omar Bakri Mohammed is absolutely candid in his support of political violence and extreme chauvinistic political views.

    Do you not think this remarkable, and very depressing?

    Yes, both remarkable and very depressing. More than that, I believe that it’s intolerable.

    So my questions are:

    1. What is the trend in Muslims holding such violent and radical views? Is it on the increase or on the wane?

    2. What can/should be done?

  57. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

    800,000 people voted for the BNP’s fascism-lite in 2004. That is about 5% of the vote. This is, and should be, a matter of enormous concern.

    But by contrast there hasn’t been a concerted campaign by sections of the media to stereotype BNP voters as terrorists because there was a nailbomb campaign in its name and certainly no Europ-wide media offensive to caricature BNP voters in some racist manner.

    By way of contrast, 17% of those asked in a recent poll stated that they agreed with the teachings of Omar Bakri Mohammed. Omar Bakri Mohammed is absolutely candid in his support of political violence and extreme chauvinistic political views.

    17% is depressingly high indeed, but I would prefer to see a link to an online resource that makes that claim first before I vent some gratuitious anti-Muslim venom on HP to get it off my chest, if thats OK with you.

  58. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

    But by contrast there hasn’t been a concerted campaign by sections of the media to stereotype BNP voters as terrorists because there was a nailbomb campaign in its name and certainly no Europ-wide media offensive to caricature BNP voters in some racist manner.

    There has been, quite properly, an alertness to identify fascist parties as such and to isolate them from the political mainstream. BNP supporters are routinely portrayed as venomous racists, and BNP victories – in court or electorally – are treated an enormous catastrophes: even by right wing newspapers.

    By contrast, sections the left in Europe treats fascist Islamist parties as noble anti-imperialist movements – sometimes partnering with them in electoral coalitions.

    Meanwhile, while Islamist groups explain clearly and unambigously that their objection to the MoToons is that they fail to treat the beloved Prophet Mohammed with sufficient honour and respect, nice hand wringing liberal types explain that what they really mean is that they’re objecting to a “Europe wide” attempt to stereotype Muslims in a racist manner.

    Read the slogans at yesterdays protest, Sidh! They don’t say “we object to being stereotyped as terrorists”. They say “We love the Prophet Mohammed more than our lives”, “Learn how to apologise properly” and “The Prophet is the Greatest Man who ever lived”.

    Which part of that don’t you understand?

  59. Steve M — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

    Siddh James, To say that the number of Muslims holding such views is unacceptably high and to ask what should be done about it is not to vent gratuitious anti-Muslim venom.

    Certainly more and scientifically based polls are required to determine the extent and trends in these beliefs. However, it’s
    Muslims in general that are the group likely to suffer the most from the consequences of these views.

    Polls such as this one should be equally a cause for concern.

  60. Jai — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:51 pm  

    =>”Meanwhile, while Islamist groups explain clearly and unambigously that their objection to the MoToons is that they fail to treat the beloved Prophet Mohammed with sufficient honour and respect,”

    As I’ve mentioned before on PP, I completely disagree with the idea of gratuitously insulting people’s religious beliefs. Of course, this doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t question or criticise any aspect of their religion or its founder(s) if one has a genuine reason to do so; however, if your motives are sincere and you want to create a constructive two-way dialogue — even argument — then you have to choose your words carefully, or at least the manner in which you say them. Religion offers a huge amount of comfort, support, and guidance to people, and it can therefore be an extremely sensitive matter. So you have to take this into consideration.

    However, this doesn’t mean that Islamist groups (or Muslims in general) should necessarily expect non-Muslims to treat Mohammad with kid-gloves or to hold him in as much esteem as they may do. Not automatically, anyway; any individual with a sufficient amount of intelligence and common sense would try to analyse the facts objectively (with regards to both historical events, Mohammad’s own behaviour, and the teachings he promoted), and then make a decision based on their conclusions.

    The problems arise when non-Muslims are expected to regard Mohammad as a sacred, revered figure even if they don’t believe in Islam or, more pertinently, if they object to some aspect(s) of his behaviour or his teachings. This is the fundamental issue; as I said before, one certainly shouldn’t go out of one’s way to be deliberately insensitive or insulting — but at the same time, one also shouldn’t be expected to unquestioningly regard Mohammad with the same level of respect and “faith” that a genuine believer in Islam would (especially if they’re an explicit or implicit suffix stating “….Or face the consequences”).

    You cannot create religious respect or belief at gunpoint. As the cliche goes, respect is earned, not belligerently demanded (especially if the latter is supplemented with threats, intimidation, and an expectation of unquestioning obedience).

  61. Jai — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

    =>”(especially if they’re an explicit or implicit suffix stating “….Or face the consequences”).”

    should say: “especially if THERE’S an explicit….”

  62. Siddh James — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

    Steve M

    Excuse me, the link you sent is an article about the polls regrding attitudes to Muslims in Britian, which we all know is at all time low, but I didn’t find any indication of the poll that shows:
    “17% of those asked in a recent poll stated that they agreed with the teachings of Omar Bakri Mohammed.”

  63. Sidh — on 19th February, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

    David T

    I would like to see where you the 17% support Omar Bakri Mohammed stat from. I firmly believe that that that figureis way too high. Most Muslims don’t give two hoots about Omar Bakri Mohammed – he’s at best a fringe figure. I do see a the invariable Hizbi pamphlet distributors around my local mosque on the rare occassion that I go, but the e attendees simply tolerate these lads and at worst tell them to move on.

    But to suggest that they form 17% of the opinion of the mosque attendees is hysteria-mongering mate, and you know it.

  64. Jay Singh — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:03 pm  

    Sid

    I tend to agree with you about the Omar Bakri Mohammad figure. I really don’t think it is that high. But I am a little perplexed with the figure in the poll that says 40% of Muslims believe a form of sharia law should be allowed in Muslim majority areas of British cities.

    I know it was published in the Daily Telegraph. But even so, this is quite a depressing intimation.

  65. Sidh Viscose — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:04 pm  

    I have an unnatural fear of monsters under my bed but I’m not bandying stats of BNP fascists coming to kill me in my sleep. Although I agree that setting up a blog to invite others to allay their fears of the BNP in the form of racist caricature and hyserical hate mongering would be cathartic.

  66. Steve M — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

    Yes Siddh, I was trying to make the point that the deterioration in British attitudes to Muslims must be of serious concern to most UK Muslims.

    The poll referring to the Muslim attitudes to Omar Bakri Mohammed can be found here.

  67. BevanKieran — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

    http://www.ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/?p=137

    From the Populus poll

    The two radical Muslim clerics Omar Bakri Mohammed and Abu Hamza were viewed more negatively – 30% disagreed with Abu Hamza’s statements while only 13% agreed, the figures for Omar Bakri Mohammed were 27% disagree and 17% agree.

  68. BevanKieran — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

    Doh!

  69. Jay Singh — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:11 pm  

    Sid

    The worrying thing about this extremism amongst Muslims is that it presents a clear and demonstrable danger to lives in its purest form. It is a social menace. It is exacerbated because of the disastrous and nasty ripple effects in terms of race relations and other things like freedom of speech issues.

  70. Sidh Viscose — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

    Jay

    I agree with you.

  71. Jay Singh — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

    Sid

    It also undermines every assumption made in the liberal prayer book – that integration would work in such a way to harmonise all points of difference. It also presents salivating racists, rednecks, Paki bashers and their kind with every fantasy come true – the image of violent, atavistic, crazed fanatics and fifth columnists within for them to point to and feed off – it is real, they say. In short, they push us to the edge of the precipice. And we are all in this together, not only because we are all at risk of being blown apart by their bombs, but the after effect, the backlash, the bad vibes and coarsening of life is going to make existence tough for all of us.

  72. El Cid — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:24 pm  

    Thanks Peter for your posts.
    Very interesting and I mostly sympathise with your views.
    I might be wrong, but I sense that people feel obliged to take sides, when usually they would look for the middle ground where there’s greater room for intellectual give and take.
    Someone mentioned that there was a steady proliferation of antisemitic imagery and caricatures in the German press that helped to demonise a particular segment of the population before the advent of Nazism. I think that’s true and we should guard against that. Question is, are we anywhere near such a situation?

  73. Stephen — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

    I strongly agree with Jai.

    Its bizarre that some here think that non-muslims should be held to follow the taboos of muslims.

  74. Sidh Viscose — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

    Jay

    Am I the only person on here who thinks that the manifest reaction towards the BNP and extremist Muslim nutters is way out of proportion. And that the reaction towards Islamic nutjobs is largely based on racist and reactionary feelings against “the immigrant” as such?

  75. El Cid — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

    Is Siddh James, Siddh Viscose, and Siddharth the same person?

  76. El Cid — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    And that the reaction towards Islamic nutjobs is largely based on racist and reactionary feelings against “the immigrant” as such?
    It may be in part, but to claim it is mostly, regardless of the arguments, is paranoia and a debate killer.

  77. Jay Singh — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    Sid

    I definitely think there is an element of that somewhere in there, no doubt. There is an element of Muslim baiting and goading. But it’s up to us to separate them from the legitimate. The fact is, there is a problem, and there are people alarmed by it and wanting to examne it and counter it precisely because they are worried about the meat this gives to the racist carnivores to chew on.

  78. Stephen — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:39 pm  

    Am I the only person on here who thinks that the manifest reaction towards the BNP and extremist Muslim nutters is way out of proportion. And that the reaction towards Islamic nutjobs is largely based on racist and reactionary feelings against “the immigrant” as such?

    No I think seeing as 50 people were murdered on the underground last summer we’ve put Islamic nutjobs in just about the right perspective. As I use the tube most every day I know I certainly do– and I resent you implying that Im subconsciously racist for being vexed by Islamic estremism.

  79. Tilling — on 19th February, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

    And that the reaction towards Islamic nutjobs is largely based on racist and reactionary feelings against “the immigrant” as such?

    Well, no, actually – my reaction to Islamist nutjobs is based on the evidence of my own eyes as to the horror and destruction they cause in the world. Stick your racist insinuations where the sun don’t shine.

  80. Vikrant — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:24 pm  

    Sunny where the heck are you? Check yer mail… reel quick.

  81. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

    David T – See, I’m not a fan of these silly polls put together by The Telegraph, Times or Jewish groups, because they reduce major dynamics to a silly and loaded question, with the intention of making a big headline figure for next week’s papers.

    Let me put it like this. People like Omar Bakri are quite clever. Most of the time they couch their language in explicitly Qu’ranic terminology to give the impression that they are the ones standing up for opression against Muslims. It’s their methods that people disagree with, but most people Muslims only hear of this guy when he is invited on Newsnight for example where he makes sure he says things in ways that will make some people nod their heads in agreement.

    Osama Bin Laden is another case. Bin Laden in his speeched doesn’t explicitly state that if people don’t do what he wants he will kill innocent people and murder kids. No. He says stuff like “you have invaded our lands and are killing our people, and it is a Muslim’s right to fight for their honour and repel the imperialists” yada yada.

    Ordinary Muslim thicko, sitting there, will nod their head in agreement because they haven’t worked out that Bin Laden’s methods are vastly different to what they might imagine, but at least they agree with the sentiments.

    I’ve seen the same happen with Hindu fundamentalists (“these Islamic invaders have been trampling on us for centuries”) and Sikhs (“the Hindus/Brahmins want to destroy Sikhism”) yada yada – that people fall for the rhetoric if not the means of how this would be done.

    Yes, they’re stupid. What can I say… but people fall for rhetoric when they’re feeling victimised. Muslims here read about Israeli sonic boombs over Palestinian villages – they read about some Palestinian girl being shot in the head by the IDF – they read about people being locked up willy-nilly (remember they have their own media): then they will sympathise with those who come out with a rhetoric that its their Muslim duty to help the poor Palestinians.

    I’m not saying they have a balanced view of things, or that they don’t have double standards – they care just about their own, pretty much like most of the world.

    So these polls really mean fuck all to me. 40% want Sharia? That 40% don’t even know what Sharia means or what it will entail. They just know that as Muslims they should in theory want Sharia so they’ll tick the box. You think they’re in a hurry to leave and stay in the Saudi Arabia? Hell no!

    The fact that 40% of Muslims know enough about what it would entail and explicitly rejected Sharia is more interesting to me because I thought that figure would be lower. Some would say that rejecting Sharia is like rejecting Islam, and certainly Hizb, MCB people will paint it as such, which is why I think that figure is surprisingly high.

  82. Steve M — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

    I also think that to the extent that the cartoon publishing was ‘Muslim baiting’, it reflected a deeply felt European resentment of the Salman Rushdie fatwah that was not handled correctly at that time and has never gone away.

    As the non-Muslim Europeans perceive a connection between freedom of speech and terrorism they are likely to increasingly react with anger.

    For this reason, demonstrations against violence would far better suit the interests of the majority Muslim community in the UK (and indeed the UK as a whole) than further demonstrations against the publication of cartoons, no matter how unnecessarily provocative that may have been.

  83. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

    Sure sure. But what is your point?

    Certainly, when the politics of the far right triumphs, there’s always an explanation. Volkishness and bigotry. A profound sense of injustice, misplaced or not. Economic hardship. Persuasive propaganda.

    I’m not making any judgement on the moral character of people who support the politics of the extreme right. I do think, however, that where either:

    - extreme right wing politicians get into positions of power or influence; or

    - where political violence associated with extreme right wing politics enjoys a significant level of support

    then there really is something to be worried about.

  84. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 3:54 pm  

    Peter – to answer your point in the end. You seem to want a debate about the cartoons themselves rather than what they represent. That to me isn’t the point. You said the cartoons reflect something and that those issues should be the ones that need to come out and discussed openly. I’m saying they already do, and the cartoons don’t need to be published to have that debate. There is no real debate to be had ON the cartoons THEMSELVES. You see my point? The other points you mentioned… the UK media and everywhere else have endlessly debated those issues, you should watch the UK media more carefullly…

    Steve – agreed, but remember that a legitimate authority has to organise that protest, but they won’t because it makes more sense for them to organanise something against the cartoons – far better turnout, seen as being for the community… yadayada.

  85. Don — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:15 pm  

    ‘Am I the only person on here who thinks…the reaction towards Islamic nutjobs is largely based on racist and reactionary feelings against “the immigrant” as such?’

    Not the only one, Sid, but probably the quickest to point the finger. Of course the BNP and associated pond life are loving this, and why wouldn’t they? In just a couple of weeks a few slavering nuts have done more to raise suspicion and hostility between communities than the BNP could have managed in five years of hard slog.

    But ‘largely’ racist? Whether by ‘Islamic nutjobs’ you mean those who bombed London transport or those who gloat about it, there will be a reaction.

  86. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:16 pm  

    My point is that although the pools look alarming, the only thing that would really worry me is how many British Muslims are willing to blow themselves up here to make a point. All the rest is based on different dynamics and depends on how the question is phrased and who it relates to.

    where political violence associated with extreme right wing politics enjoys a significant level of support

    Same here, but religion is a bit different. You can use it to justify violence, but you can also use it to justify peace. Fascism and extreme right wing ideology gleefully embraces violence as a means to an end. My point is that if you ask people – “Do you sympathise with the aims of the suicide bombers in Israel”, a good percentage is going to focus on the word ‘aim’, and think that the aim was to liberate Palestinians or to bring attention to their plight. They will sympathise with that. The headline figure from that is – Big Percentage of British Muslims sympathise with Suicide Bombers’, which is not necessarily the same thing.

    If you ask a Jewish person – Do you sympathise with the aim of the Israeli govt to maintain a Jewish state and repel anyone who wishes to destroy that – 90% would say yes. Right?
    A Muslim can see that as “90% of Jewish Zionists support IDF killing innocent Palestinians kids in order to keep Arabs out.”

    I like polls as much as the next person, when they’re about “which is the best track ever”. but you start doing polls on complicated issues, and there is clearly an agenda at work.

  87. El Cid — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:19 pm  

    for real

  88. Bijna — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:30 pm  

    > the reaction towards Islamic nutjobs is largely based
    > on racist and reactionary feelings against “the
    > immigrant” as such?’

    70% of the French inmates/prisoners is Muslim.
    Same story in the Netherlands.
    That is the real problem.

  89. Peter Pedersen — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:40 pm  

    @ Sunny:

    I dont want a debate about the cartoons themselves, though that is of course a part of it since that is also what we are discussing.

    I surely want a debate about what they represent, and more importantly : Why they were published, the background for them.

    I thought that was very clear. It seems people dont really debate the issues:

    The depiction ban in a secularised society
    and
    The right to question any kind of authority, including the muslim authority Muhammad.

    Remember the cartoons were published in the seperate “culture section” of Jylland Posten. Rose is the cultural editor.

    To “ignore” all the problems with reference to the medias misuse of Polls is at best naive. However i feel you have some sort of point, about the medias role in all of this.

    But in my opinion the british and american media, including most of the politicians in these countries, are acting with an “ostrich-like-attitude”.

    Because you question radical Islams motives, (hence the bomb in Turban cartoon) or dont agree with the depiction ban (hence the other cartoons) it doesnt mean you are a Nazi or BNP-follower.

    I think your politiicians are VERY far away from the feelings and concerns of their voters. Both in handling the muslim communituy nationally, but certainly also in handling the issue of Iraq.

    Maybe this is why we dont hear a BIIP from Tony Blair about this ?.

    Pete

  90. Steve M — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

    Sunny, We all deplore the killing of Palestinian children by Israeli troops. The death of any child is a tragedy. You give the impression by your frequent raising of the issue that you believe this to be both frequent and a deliberate government policy. It’s neither.

    It’s also important that the issue is dealt with honestly. The evidence is that in a number of reported incidents, such as the notorious case of the shooting of Muhamed al Durah (“In killing this boy the Israelis killed every child in the world” – Osama bin Laden) things were not as they have been portrayed.

    Five possible scenarios with arguments for and against

    I agree with the points that you made in your post of 4.16pm but feel that you have made the ‘Israeli killing of Palestinian children’ point one time too many for me not to raise the issue.

  91. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

    If you ask a Jewish person – Do you sympathise with the aim of the Israeli govt to maintain a Jewish state and repel anyone who wishes to destroy that – 90% would say yes. Right?
    A Muslim can see that as “90% of Jewish Zionists support IDF killing innocent Palestinians kids in order to keep Arabs out.”

    Yes, but the parallel of that question is something like “Do you support the right of Palestinians in the West Bank to resist occupation”, or something equally anodine like that.

    The questions in the Populus poll are much more specific than that. 37% of those surveyed apparently believed that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target “as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”.

    The equivalent of that statement would be 2/5th of jews supporting attacks on mosques in Britain as part of the ongoing struggle to prevent the destruction of Israel.

    If 37% of white british people in a survey expressed support for attacks on non white british people as part of the ongoing struggle to deter immigration, you’d be quite properly worried. And I don’t think you’d be saying “oh well, they’re probably all the victims of propaganda, and its probably because they think of non-white people as criminals, which some are, and polls can be deceptive you know, and people are stupid…”

  92. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

    Bijna,

    “Is the raiding of caravans terrorism?”

    Not if you are Robin Hood. Ha Ha Ha!!!

  93. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 4:55 pm  

    Bijna,

    “Muslims criticise suicide bombers

    No they dont. 40% likes them and want Sharia.”

    You want to talk about ayats from the Quran, please tell me what precedent made in the Quran, the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed and the understanding of his companions and that generation that came after that anything similar to a “suicide” bombing would be deemed permissible and within the confines of the Sharia. Please when you give me your answer dont offer any of your kalam (speech) I want the Islamic perspective.

  94. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 5:03 pm  

    Bijna,

    “And it would be incorrect. There are no verses that describe this.

    But if there were bombs in the year 700 Mohammed would have used them to fight the Meccans, pagans or Jews.”

    I doubt that, as Prophet Muhammed frowned on indiscriminate killing of women and children. I mean who would there be to enslave afterwards. Ha Ha Ha, I kid but I can give you a hadith in that regard and this is an opinion held by the scholars of the past.

    “Mohammed was not a peaceful man and as long a the so called moderates dont acknowledge that, they are just as wrong as the hardcore. ”

    Prophet Muhammed understood and was instructed by Allah (azawajal) to fight those who faught him and to spread the deen of Islam. He would have been a fool to be a peaceful man at any cost as that would have been immoral and completely inappropriate to the times that he lived in. The fact remains that Islam provides for the Muslims a path towards what would be pleasing to Allah (azwajal) and what would be in accordance to the Prophets sunnah and the understanding of his companions and theirs.

  95. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 5:07 pm  

    Bijna,

    “70% of the French inmates/prisoners is Muslim.
    Same story in the Netherlands.
    That is the real problem.”

    I am sure 99% of the people in prison in Saudi Arabia are Muslim. The real problem is that they are in prison not because they are Muslims acting according to the Quran and the Sunnah, in both countries, but because they act like the kufar. I am not suggesting that kafirs are criminals but apart of disbelief is that you have the space to not be obliged to defer to authority and fear of judgement.

  96. Tilling — on 19th February, 2006 at 6:44 pm  

    but because they act like the kufar

    Er – isn’t this kind of shit kind of racist?

  97. Don — on 19th February, 2006 at 7:03 pm  

    ‘but because they act like the kufar’

    Offensive, at least, but probably not technically racist. Also inaccurate. Bikhair likes to throw kufar/kafir around, but it is a term which should not be applied to christians or jews, who are Ahl-al-Kitab. As an atheist I am definitely kufar, which bothers me not at all.

    No doubt Bikki will dig up some foam speckled extremist to explain that everyone except him and his mates are kufar, but the general concensus is that it does not apply to followers of the Ambrahamic faiths.

    Certainly rude, smug, insensitive and juvenile. But we’re kind of used to her.

  98. Garry Glitter — on 19th February, 2006 at 7:24 pm  

    Deportation for ALL Muslims is the only solution.Hope you all realise we are fightng the third world war.You can debate all you like but it won’t change a thing.The White population are very angry and it’s time you non Muslims decide which side of the fence you are sitting on. You will call me a Facist and a BNP idiot,but the truth is the truth.We are still the majority and you will soon find out we have had enough!

  99. Fe'reeha — on 19th February, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

    BIKHAIR!!!!

    You know in the earlier days of PP, I thought you were actually being funny, and were probably talking tongue in cheek. Surely, with you appallingly incorrect facts, it was hard to take you seriously!!!
    But you in Sunny’s words are:
    People like Omar Bakri are quite clever. Most of the time they couch their language in explicitly Qu’ranic terminology to give the impression that they are the ones standing up for oppression against Muslims

    You surely seem to be matching the description.

    I have read only two of your views today. Both mind bogglingly wrong and inaccurate!
    In the first one you bombard poor shia’s and in doing so you do not even have the audacity to give a “real reason”.
    For you information, there is no such sect who actually believes in this nonsense about Hazrat Ayesha (at least not in the vast majority I have met).
    I am fully aware of the differences btw the shaia and sunni sect, but who are you to label one is superior to the other?

    Check Sahee Bukhari (you must believe in this being Wahabi and all), it says quite clearly: “My friends are like stars on the sky, follow all or one, and you will be on the right path.”

    So if Shias follow what Hazrat Ali, one of the most revered of the Prophet’s friend and his son in law, then you certainly cannot disregard the whole sect with one raised eye-brow.

    OK!maybe you will not believe in Hadees, then let’s quote Quran…..I hope you have read it WITH MEANING! AND NOT LITERAL MEANING ALONE!

    You have very diligently quoted something about Hazrat Ayesha (for those who might not know, she was prophet’s most beloved wife and daughter of Abu Bakr, his best friend) and the event from Sura Noor, right?
    Some people foul mouthed her and labelled her wrongly of adultery, and hence the first eleven verses of Quran came in Ayesha’s defence.

    But the surah, also had this verse:
    “And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give any sort of help to their kinsmen. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that allah should forgive you? and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful!”

    These verses, were addressed in particular to Abu Bakr. On hearing that one of the people he used to support financially was actually involved actively in slandering his beloved daughter, Abu Bakr announced, he would stop giving financial aid to the slanderer. Allah said clearly to Abu Bakr, he better take his command back. For it’s Allah who decides who is right and wrong!
    So who are you to discard a whole sect, in which there might be people hundred times pious than you, on one loosely built basis?

  100. Fe'reeha — on 19th February, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

    And Bikhair!

    Your other argument, Prophet Muhammed was not a peaceful man?
    Will I really have to relate whole Muhammed’s his life to you?

    A man who spent years in Maccah, being pelted by eggs, trash and whose followers were tortured and killed, and he kept on smiling in return. Left his hometown to spend three years secluded in a valley with no proper food or anything, came back as a conqueror and declared “Peace” for everyone….is this not peaceful than what is? Also, Prophet Muhammed’s pregnant daughter was killed by the people of Maccah, he was called “abtar” by his enemies (meaning someone who is finite, because he had no son) and the heart of his beloved Uncle Hamza was eaten raw by wife of Abu Sufian, Hinda.
    And he forgave them all!

    If this is not being peaceful then what is? Again if you want Quranic quote, then please check Surah Fatah. It was sent to the Prophet at the time when he signed a peace deal with people of Meccah. The peace deal put Muslims in such a meagre position that the Prophet’s own friends were upset with him, so came down this surah to tell them, in peace is the best salvation, not in fights!

    I mean at least get your facts right before saying things out and loud.
    And before you jump to conclusions, I am NOT a shia.
    And then you have the audacity to bombard Sunny. Believe me it is only because Sunny is dedicated to free speech that he is letting a crack pot like you come on PP and disseminate completely wrong information in a very arrogant and unpleasant manner.
    There is a phrase in Urdu:
    “Neem Hakeem khatra jaan, neem mullah khatrah eeman!”

    It means, half a doctor will put your life in danger, and half a priest would put your faith in serious danger!

    It really implies to people like you!

  101. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 8:30 pm  

    It means, half a doctor will put your life in danger, and half a priest would put your faith in serious danger!

    It really implies to people like you!

    Hahaha!! Ace putdown. Fe’reeha I think the only people who take Bikhair seriously are herself, and those people who want to believe that all Muslims are like that, and come looking for crackpots to reinforce their prejudice.

    David T:
    Yes, but the parallel of that question is something like “Do you support the right of Palestinians in the West Bank to resist occupation”, or something equally anodine like that.

    And you think Muslims are going to answer that with – ‘yeah they should just accept whatever the Israelis feed them’? Even Gandhi proposed resisting occupation, though his methods were total opposite of Hamas’, but the point is of course people will say they should resist occupation. I don’t know why that comes as a surprise… a two-state solution is the only way forward.

    Steve M:
    You give the impression by your frequent raising of the issue that you believe this to be both frequent and a deliberate government policy. It’s neither.
    Steve, you misunderstand me. I’m imitating what the Muslim media is going to tell Muslims. People exaggerate when they come out with rhetoric. Melanie Phillips is the constant harbringer of doom. In the same way Hizb ut Tahrir – “Muslim women are being raped, the children are being shot in the head – do you not care about your Muslim brothers and sisters????” yada yada…

    To get a reaction people always exaggerate, hence my point is that given the amount of one-sided coverage that Muslim and Jewish media provide (to me anyway), the fact that a majority of Muslims accept the existence of the Israeli state is big news, and that they oppose Israeli occupation of Palestinian land should come as no surprise really.

  102. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 8:49 pm  

    Don and Fe’reeha,

    I am not in a position to say anyone is a kafir. I shun takfiri ideology, believe it or not. Thats the job of the scholars who have more knowledge than me.

    When I say they act like kafirs, I mean that they act like kafirs, one who lacks belief in Tawheed and the Messengerships of the Prophets etc. No Muslim implementing the Quran and Sunnah in his/her life would be sitting in some prison in Darul-Kufr or in a Muslim country, especially, except in those occasions where actually implementing the Quran and Sunnah gets your thrown in jail. Turkey and Tunisian anyone?

  103. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 8:53 pm  

    Don,

    No! I can refer to ahlul Kitab as kafirs because they are. I couldnt refer to them as Mushriks because they arent. A Hindu is both Kafir and Mushrik but not Ahlul Kitab. A Rafidah Shia is a kafir, but not a Mushrik or Ahlul Kitab. These things are very technical and sensitive and before I say anything wrong I will stop now.

  104. Tilling — on 19th February, 2006 at 8:54 pm  

    Deportation for ALL Muslims is the only solution

    Ah yes – we could deport them all to Islamistan, couldn’t we?

    Twat.

  105. Tilling — on 19th February, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

    I can refer to ahlul Kitab as kafirs because they are. I couldnt refer to them as Mushriks because they arent. A Hindu is both Kafir and Mushrik but not Ahlul Kitab. A Rafidah Shia is a kafir, but not a Mushrik or Ahlul Kitab

    Is this, like, a logic puzzle or something? Are you going to ask me “So whose house has the red door?”

  106. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 8:59 pm  

    Fe’reeha,

    “Some people foul mouthed her and labelled her wrongly of adultery, and hence the first eleven verses of Quran came in Ayesha’s defence.”

    And who are those people today? The Shia and when they label her as an adulterous they are rejecting those very ayat which makes them kafir.

  107. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 9:01 pm  

    I am not in a position to say anyone is a kafir.

    But you say it anyway Bikhair, with the ignorant myopia of the Hizb ut Tahrir idiots.

    Anyone who believes in Allah, or God, is technically a Muslim, and that includes people of other religions. Whether they do not believe in Mohammed as their final messenger is another thing ;)

  108. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 9:16 pm  

    David T:
    Yes, but the parallel of that question is something like “Do you support the right of Palestinians in the West Bank to resist occupation”, or something equally anodine like that.

    And you think Muslims are going to answer that with – ‘yeah they should just accept whatever the Israelis feed them’? Even Gandhi proposed resisting occupation, though his methods were total opposite of Hamas’, but the point is of course people will say they should resist occupation. I don’t know why that comes as a surprise… a two-state solution is the only way forward.

    Sure, yes, but – again – this is my point. I agree that pretty much 100% of Muslims – and a good percentage of non-Muslims – would agree with that statement. Similarly, I’d expect that a high (but probably smaller) percentage of jews would agree with the statement:

    If you ask a Jewish person – Do you sympathise with the aim of the Israeli govt to maintain a Jewish state and repel anyone who wishes to destroy that – 90% would say yes.

    The point I’m making is that 37% of those British Muslims surveyed agreed that

    “The Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target “as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”.

    That is 2/5th of those polled. Don’t you think that’s remarkable. Do you think that 37% of Jews would agree that it was appropriate to target Jews living in England as a response to the policies of the Israeli government?

  109. Bijna — on 19th February, 2006 at 9:23 pm  

    > Prophet Muhammed was not a peaceful man?

    Killing a poet is pretty low.
    Its like killing a film director :o .

    http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/mohwar1.html

  110. Garry Glitter — on 19th February, 2006 at 9:23 pm  

    Tilling…..God preserve us from liberal idiots. Non Muslims take heed or you’ll all be all tarred with the same brush.After THOSE placards and the NON arrests, the British people are seething.Wait till the may elections half our village will be voting BNP, more if Griffin is Jailed!

  111. Bijna — on 19th February, 2006 at 9:33 pm  

    I am sure that Mohammed did a few good things,
    but saying that he was a man of peace is doing 2 things.

    1) You are ignoring part of the text, which is sort of lying.

    2) You are shutting violent Muslims out, which means you can not end the terrorism.

  112. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 9:34 pm  

    Er…

    That is 2/5th of those polled. Don’t you think that’s remarkable. Do you think that 37% of Jews would agree that it was appropriate to target Jews living in England as a response to the policies of the Israeli government?

    That is 2/5th of those polled. Don’t you think that’s remarkable. Do you think that 37% of Jews would agree that it was appropriate to carry out reprisals on Muslims living in England as a response to the policies of an arab government?

  113. Fe'reeha — on 19th February, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

    Sunny:
    40% want Sharia? That 40% don’t even know what Sharia means or what it will entail. They just know that as Muslims they should in theory want Sharia so they’ll tick the box.

    Couldn’t agree more…!!!

  114. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 10:15 pm  

    Fe’reeha,

    When can agree on one thing: Most British Muslims dont know what the Sharia is. Most Muslims in fact dont know what the SHaria is. Their understanding is very limited. This isnt a big deal considering that the Sharia is always growing as our world changes. The only thing a kafir knows about Sharia is stoning, chopping, jihad, i.e. and not even sufficiently I might add.

    Let the Muslims in Britain say that they want Sharia as a matter of emaan. My concern is that their notion of Sharia is based on the Jahiliyah and secular impluses of their respective home nation and not based on the Quran, the authentic Hadith, and the understanding of the Prophet’s companions and their companions. You will never get many Pakistanis, Bangali, Somali, Muslims say the latter.

    They need to establish the Sharia in their hearts first by understanging the Shahadah, eliminating shirk and kufr from their ibadah, emaan, manhaj etc. Establishing their daily salat, giving their zakat, going on hajj, fasting during Ramadan, etc. Then we can start from there.

  115. Bikhair — on 19th February, 2006 at 10:20 pm  

    Tilling,

    If you dont understand what I am saying you can read tons and tons and tons of Sheikul Islam Ibn Taymiyah since he is one of those extremely prolific scholars of Islam that wrote about the deviants and what contributed to their deviance. I gotta warn you that Ibn Taymiyah is heavy, and I dont know how many of his works have been translated. I do have one of his books that talks about emaan/faith. If you want it I can send it to you or I will give you a website that may sell them.

  116. Steve M — on 19th February, 2006 at 10:25 pm  

    Are you THE Gary Glitter?

  117. David T — on 19th February, 2006 at 10:26 pm  

    Gazza

    I don’t think you’re going to get the rise you’re looking for here, mate.

    Off you go, now.

  118. Sunny — on 19th February, 2006 at 10:49 pm  

    I don’t agree of course that they are a legitimate target…. but seeing as the incidents of Muslims going out in gangs and hunting down Jews as ‘legitimate targets’ is quite low (apart from the odd grave desecration by young twats, I think we have to ask what they mean by targets.

    Muslims know any bomb in London will also affect them. They know it will increase hatred, so any targetting of Jews through violence is not only stupid, there is very little evidence for it.

    Sure you have the likes of Sacranie etc going on about HMD… but how many incidents do you guys know of, of Muslims attacking Jews in the UK over Palestine? I’d like to see the question they asked… maybe it implied as a target of ire or as a target of boycotting. I’m not making excuses… and I know there is anti-Jewish sentiments amongst Muslims over Palestine… I’m just saying its not really translated into anything over here. Or maybe someone has stats to prove me wrong.

  119. j0nz — on 19th February, 2006 at 11:43 pm  

    Sunny:
    40% want Sharia? That 40% don’t even know what Sharia means or what it will entail. They just know that as Muslims they should in theory want Sharia so they’ll tick the box.

    Translation: Those silly Muslims! They don’t even know what they want.

    What about if 40% of this country voted for BNP. Would you be so dismissive then?

  120. j0nz — on 19th February, 2006 at 11:48 pm  

    Of course Sunny, it’s never really translated into anything over here.

    All in one’s imagination

    No basis in reality

  121. j0nz — on 19th February, 2006 at 11:49 pm  
  122. j0nz — on 19th February, 2006 at 11:57 pm  

    More white neo-nazi attacks on Jews

    Though of course that link is far too PC too attempt an accurate account. They must be Black & Asian neo-nazis….

    Police said the group involved are black and Asian men

    I won’t bother with a translation there…

  123. Sunny — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:12 am  

    What about if 40% of this country voted for BNP. Would you be so dismissive then?

    I think we’ve had this discussion already. 800,000 people voted for the BNP, I’m sure many more sympathise with them. Do you see me paranoid about neo-nazis taking over the UK? And just to clarify – no…. I don’t really care for the BNP and their supporters nor am I overtly worried about them. At university we had some gangs who came over looking for Asians they could beat up… the next time some boys got together and made sure they never came back to harass us. End of story.
    Hey, I’ve been attacked for being Asian not 10 min away from where I live. Do you see me live in fear of white people? I think not pal.

    The rise in anti-semitic attacks against Jews is despicable and I’m not going to make excuses for that. There will always be fuckwits messed up in the head who will go around terrorising others.

    It may interest you to know that in the same period you have linked, race related crimes against minorities have also gone up… Muslims are not counted in a seperate group as Jews and Sikhs are (also being counted as minorities), while most crimes go unreported.

    We can all throw articles at each other until the end of time. MPAC and MCB etc go on about Islamophobia as if Muslims are being openly killed in the streets of London etc etc. The fact of the matter is, all this is the work of small minorities, just like those soliders in Abu Ghraib and in the recent video unearthed. Remember that? Work of a very small number and all that. Funny how it only applies to your own side j0nz.

  124. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:24 am  

    As a matter of fact, I think that Sunny has made a good point. I’ve hesitated for some time before replying as generations of Eastern European superstition have made me naturally cautious of tempting fate. Nevertheless I do find it strange that there haven’t been worse terrorist atrocities against Jews.

    I have no idea what makes these people bomb an underground train rather than a synagogue or Jewish school, despite the preachings of Abu Hamza and his associates. Perhaps it’s a Zionist plot.

  125. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:25 am  

    (That was a joke. In bad taste but a joke.)

  126. Fe'reeha — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:26 am  

    Bikhair:
    The only thing a kafir knows about Sharia is stoning, chopping, jihad, i.e. and not even sufficiently I might add.

    I am not sure the reason I would probably not optfor sharia is that I do not know it.
    Sorry but I am a bit sceptical about it. The reason being, noone has ever been able to give me an example of a time when sharia system did work.

    Please do not go on telling me Taliban or Saudi governments are sharia law, for they are far far from it…..The closest I can see a country to ahving a sharia law is probably Iran….and er, should I even say more?

    I think the sharia at the time of the Prophet worked well for Islam and Muslims but this is where the diea of “ijtehad” comes in. You need progression, in everything with time.

  127. Don — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:26 am  

    Sunny,

    You seem to be rather defensive over this. You specifically asked for stats on increased anti-semitic actions and J0nz provided them. Then Abu Ghraib gets in. How is that relevant?

  128. j0nz — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:31 am  

    Funny how it only applies to your own side j0nz.

    Eh?! I was just pointing out your incorrect opinion about there being not Muslim oriented anti-semitic attacks in the UK.

    I’m sorry do you have any figures for the ‘Islamphobic’ attacks? Because I’ll tell you what Sunny Jim, there are more and very well documented anti-semitic attacks in this country than ‘Islamophobic’ attacks. Try google ;)

    Considering that self-declared Muslims blew up 53 people in July, I consider the non-muslim population in this country to be very tolerant. I would expect more Islamophobic attacks than anti-semitic attacks. But I the evidence points otherwise…

    Muslims, really aren’t the victims here, however much they want to be. Not really. Hurt feelings are nought compared to mass slaugher. Can’t help but feel sorry for the infidel. Racist me.

  129. j0nz — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:34 am  

    You seem to be rather defensive over this. You specifically asked for stats on increased anti-semitic actions and J0nz provided them. Then Abu Ghraib gets in. How is that relevant?

    I was going to ask if Sunny wanted to mention Bush and Blair for good measure, though I thought that would be blatant Sunny baiting…

  130. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:39 am  

    Hold up there jOnz. Firstly, the Islamic terrorists blew up Muslims along with everyone else, indiscriminantly. Secondly, ‘Muslims’ were not responsible for mass slaughter, although the terrorists were Muslim.

    Racist you? I hope not jOnz but I do find that post ill-considered and offensive.

  131. Sunny — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:44 am  

    You seem to be rather defensive over this. You specifically asked for stats on increased anti-semitic actions and J0nz provided them. Then Abu Ghraib gets in. How is that relevant?

    And I never justified those attacks. I think the people who did that were despicable. My point is that there are a minority of nazis in every community, and the Muslim community is far from perfect :)

    So while I accept the stats of which I wasn’t aware, I think people like j0nz equate that to all Muslims.

    So a Muslim blows himself up in the London tube, all Muslims are responsible. But a soldier does something in Abu Ghraib, and it’s only a small minority.

    Either we have a policy of blaming everyone for the actions of a few, or we accept there are a few messed up people in every community and try to deal with that. What’s it going to be j0nz?

  132. Jay Singh — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:46 am  

    It is really sad that peple want to get into a pissing match over racist attacks. As if a Jew being persecuted on the street is to be used as a kind of badge against a Muslim being attacked on the street indiscriminately. How base and partisan and truly sad and tasteless.

    Racist attacks are a reality for Asians, Muslim Hindu and Sikh across the country – every single day. It is a time when everyone feels vulnerable. Diminishing these traumas to inconsequentiality leaves a really nasty nasty taste. I consider an attack against a Jew as an affront to me personally. Anyone who wants to set this up as a grotesque pissing match is a mischief maker.

  133. Sunny — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:47 am  

    Because I’ll tell you what Sunny Jim, there are more and very well documented anti-semitic attacks in this country than ‘Islamophobic’ attacks.

    I’ve already explained j0nz – crimes specifically against Muslims because of their religion (a woman wearing a hijab e.g.) is documented as race-hate crime, and goes in a big pile of stats that includes Christians, Hindus and Muslims. Hence why many groups wanted religious hatred law to count that.

  134. j0nz — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:47 am  

    I didn’t say ‘Muslims’ were responsible for mass slaugher.

    I do find that post ill-considered and offensive.

    Well thank fuck we have freedom of speech. Any reason for your attack on my rant?

    And I really havent got a clue what you mean by

    ‘Muslims’ were not responsible for mass slaughter, although the terrorists were Muslim.

    They’re not Muslim? How patronising. They certainly felt so, they had quite a bit of , um, what’s the word? Conviction about the issue.

  135. Jay Singh — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:48 am  

    Steve M

    Yes – the true mark of bigotry is those that extrapolate to the mass culpability and guilt for the actions of individuals. Collective guilt, collective responsibility, collective punishment.

  136. j0nz — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:51 am  

    And yes all racist attacks are wrong, and Jay has a good point about not saying my racist attack is bigger than your racist attack BS. Apologies. Anyho, I just wanted to point out inaccuracy in Sunny’s opinion, that’s all.

  137. Sidh Viscose — on 20th February, 2006 at 12:56 am  

    Sunny

    Good posting mate. Read your posts in this exchange and I agreed whole heartedly.

    This is largely a PR exercise for Muslims which they are failing with flying colours. I think you hit the nail when discussing the moveable feast that is a YouGov Poll of the opinion of Muslims – because they are largely bogus. They can and will be used against a community as we have seen. I think that we’re agreed that the only way Muslims can allay the fears of the other communities in their midst is if moderate Muslims were to come forward and organise their houses both internally and externally.

    But how? Well thats got to be the 64 million dollar problem. Its propounded by the fact that Muslims are not a homogeneous community – but that need not be a hindrance. Its time representatives from each social group who identify themselves as Muslims come forward to beat this thing out.

  138. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 1:09 am  

    Saira Khan

  139. Sidh Viscose — on 20th February, 2006 at 1:16 am  

    Perhaps – but I think its got to be bigger than the sum of a single personality. Saira Khan does not represent Muslim communities but there are plenty of Saira Khans out there who can and should come forward. There is a lot the government can do to bring together mini-NGOs peopled by proto-Saira Khans, all working under the aegis of the government – to raise awareness and get people discussing these central issues amongst themselves. Shine some light in there by raising awareness. I can tell you that Omar Bakri wouldn’t have a rat’s chance in an environment such as that.

  140. Hiren — on 20th February, 2006 at 1:22 am  

    This only goes to show that freedom of speech also carries a responsibility with it. Why bother with religion when there are more other less controversial and more interesting avenues for creative expression available.

  141. Sunny — on 20th February, 2006 at 1:31 am  

    Heh, ain’t that true Hiren.

    Steve – I read that article in the Times today, the girl made some great points.

  142. Sid D H Arthur — on 20th February, 2006 at 1:40 am  

    Steve M

    having just read about Saira Khan, yes you’re right. More power to her.

    Rebrand Islam.

  143. David T — on 20th February, 2006 at 10:14 am  

    The big problem with the “let the moderates speak out” solution is that “moderates” are usually simply people who do not experience politics, art, food, love, life etc. primarily through the prism of a religious identity.

    “Moderate muslims”‘ must feel like groaning every time people wonder why they’re not organising into a super-group to campaign for the values of moderation. Moderate people tend to have better things to do than campaigning on single cultural issues.

  144. David T — on 20th February, 2006 at 10:17 am  

    That Khan thing is a good example – she’ll spend the rest of her life being expected to ‘represent’ the moderate muslim.

    Frankly, not only is that incredibly tiresome – it also takes a lot of guts. She has married somebody who is non Muslim; I bet she is getting hate mail from fundies and white racists alike. I know Muslims who, like Jews, basically have been close to disowned by their families for doing as much.

  145. David T — on 20th February, 2006 at 10:42 am  
  146. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 10:50 am  

    I saw her on ‘This Week’ and when she talked about not being represented by Muslim leaders Michael Portillo suggested that she might put herself forward. I believe she’s a ‘natural’ politician and probably knows what she’s getting into. Other than the hate mail I’m sure she’s getting messages of support. Anyway, as Sidh said, it will take more than one personality.

    Meanwhile on the cartoon theme, this simple yet touching message (“God Bless Hitler”) was displayed on the cartoon demonstrations in Pakistan. (from German TV, via LGF, through Tim Blair) and yes, I found it offensive. No, I wouldn’t advocate beheading them but I would like to have them flown to Eastern Europe with their children and given a little education on the actions of their hero. They should be deeply ashamed.

    Incidentally, the caption from German television translates to: “What these women want to say with the sign is unclear.” WTF. Perhaps it’s unclear why they’re blessing Hitler for a programme of extermination that they would deny happened.

  147. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 10:55 am  

    “I saw her” refers to Saira Khan, btw.

  148. Sunny — on 20th February, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

    I’m not sure if I trust LGF as a source, but I can’t imagine when those banners were held. The Pakistani press is quite liberal and I would have herd at least if such banners were the centre of any rally. Musharraf has banned any protests in the city and is not letting people denonstrate against the cartoons anyway. So something smells fishy, even though those stupid girls need serious head-examining.

  149. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

    LGF was linking to a German TV site. I can’t find that photo anywhere else – the German media has an ability to sniff such things out – but there were certainly violent demonstrations in Lahore on the day in question (Wednesday 15th Feb).

    The following links are to the Daily Times (Pakistan):

    EDITORIAL: A day of shame in Lahore
    Hooligans choke Lahore
    President, PM appeal for calm

  150. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

    In fact, apparently Pakistan Islamists are planning more anti-cartoon protests. According to this from Reuters:

    The protests in Pakistan, in which five people died last week, have increasingly targeted President Pervez Musharraf’s military-led government for its alliance with the West in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

    The secretary general of Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s Jamaat-i-Islami party, Syed Munawar Hussan, vowed on Sunday that the protests would continue “until General Musharraf falls.”

    Despite the crackdown, police cordons, tear-gassing and warning shots, about 1,000 protesters rallied in Islamabad on Sunday where they chanted religious and anti-government slogans.

  151. j0nz — on 20th February, 2006 at 4:07 pm  

    How many people have died so far in this ‘cartoon rage’?

  152. soru — on 20th February, 2006 at 5:01 pm  

    Someone needs to set up http://www.toonbodycount.org

    soru

  153. Sunny — on 20th February, 2006 at 5:02 pm  

    As I wrote in a recent article, these people want Musharraf to fall down, and its not really about the cartoons.

    Musharraf has banned any protests, and the recent demonstration was much smaller than predicted. It would be interesting to see what happens…

  154. j0nz — on 20th February, 2006 at 7:00 pm  

    Well about 45 are dead from ‘Cartoon Rage’

    11 in Afghanistan, 10 in Libya… If as Sunny suggests it has nothing to do with the cartoons but it’s really a protest against the government, what an odd topic to choose.

  155. Jai — on 20th February, 2006 at 7:11 pm  

    The tragedy of the situation is that, apparently, some misguided cartoons are a more valid reason to have rapidly-organised demonstrations worldwide involving tens of thousands of people, than the fact that jihadists have been committing atrocity after atrocity after 9/11 in the name of Islam and allegedly on behalf of “the global Ummah”. So it seems that the former is a greater violation of Islam than the latter.

    Some people have interesting priorities.

  156. Sunny — on 20th February, 2006 at 7:11 pm  

    j0nz, i despair at how you look at everything like a typical redneck without trying to understand what is really going on at streetlevel.
    See this:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article346493.ece

    I caught on even before the Indy.

  157. Jai — on 20th February, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

    Before I recieve any indignant “flaming” responses, let me state that I know very well which is actually a worse transgression in Islam. My point is regarding the huge discrepancy in the “ground-level” response to these two issues across the world.

  158. j0nz — on 20th February, 2006 at 8:02 pm  

    Sunny I am humouring you. Mushraff does not run Afghanistan or Libya last time I checked.

    So they blew up a KFC and chanted Death to America because they hate Mushraff? Get a grip.

  159. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 8:08 pm  

    Oh Jai, of course you were quite clear so don’t worry.

    The point is that the discepancy is so huge that the mystery and the tragedy is that the message isn’t being shouted from the roof-tops, on the internet, in town centres and by our feeble politicians and terribly weak media.

    Anger and violence are not the answer.

  160. j0nz — on 20th February, 2006 at 8:08 pm  

    Typical lefty comment, the cartoon rage isn’t really about the cartoons….

    Riiiight. Peace & Love all round mate. 45 People are dead. Angry muslims all around the world want theses catoonists dead. But it’s all about Musharaff and Pakistan now….

    I suppose the burning of Churches isn’t really about infidelaphobia , it’s a protest against Musharaff….

    Sunny I can give you countless examples that the rioters and troublemakers in Pakistan aren’t making thoughful protests against their government. They’re just lashing out on typical childish rages with anything that represents the West. And Mushraff is part of that, perhaps.

  161. Steve M — on 20th February, 2006 at 8:36 pm  

    jOnz, I think that Sunny was referring particularly to the Wednesday 15th February demonstrations in Pakistan…

    The secretary general of Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s Jamaat-i-Islami party, Syed Munawar Hussan, vowed on Sunday that the protests would continue “until General Musharraf falls.”

    Why not go back to post #152 and start again?

  162. Sid D H Arthur — on 20th February, 2006 at 9:22 pm  

    “Moderate muslims”‘ must feel like groaning every time people wonder why they’re not organising into a super-group to campaign for the values of moderation. Moderate people tend to have better things to do than campaigning on single cultural issues.

    What would you suggest instead David T?

    Continuation of the status quo? Are you suggesting we countenance more of the same? Do you think you could suggest some constructive ideas/suggestions to the two million Muslims who live here, or would you rather take pot shots from the safety of your blog? I know constructive critique doesn’t fill a comments box as much as titillating the frothers and posting the usual up-in-arms outrage but you might want to give it a chance.

    No one stepping up to the Muslim podium seems to cut it for you, so who would or what would you rather see?

  163. Don — on 20th February, 2006 at 11:06 pm  

    ‘Typical lefty comment, the cartoon rage isn’t really about the cartoons….’

    Bloody lefties, always complicating things. I’m no conspiracy nut, but there has been an element of orchestration about this, cui bono?

    In Pakistan, the concensus of informed observers seems to be that is a stick with which to beat Musharaff. Some have suggested that the Saudis bigged it up to bury the haj disaster, and authorities in corrupt dictatorships often find it expedient to let the mob have a go at the local minority. How pissed off about cartoons were the Syrian goons bussed in to beef things up?

    I’m not saying there was some master-plan, more opportunism to get a frenzy going, it could have been almost any issue.

  164. peter — on 21st February, 2006 at 9:11 am  

    message to muslims – you can piss away as many wet Saturday afternoons as you like in Trafalgar square, but you’ll never convince me to observe your silly taboos. Flemming Rose is right. We should be grateful to him for shining a light into the murk.

  165. Steve M — on 21st February, 2006 at 10:10 am  

    I don’t know whether anyone here’s still listening but I thought this article by Mac Johnson gives a good (and humourous) account of the whole Toon affair.

  166. Peter Pedersen — on 21st February, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

    Just to make it clear : I didnt make post # 166.

    I think alot of people in hear stray far from the issue with these Muhammad cartoons. Sure alot of what goes on in the arab world has very little to do with the cartoons.

    But lets focus on the west for a while.

    12 cartoonists are in hiding. Flemming Rose lives in hiding. Jyllands Posten have had several Bomb-threats.

    Where is the “peace” ?

    Anyway… the latest news is that the cartoon-case now influence the Simpsons.

    The prophet Muhammad was supposed to have visited the Homer family, in an episode called: Don´t have a pig man.

    The episode has now been cancelled according to Matt Groening.

    Peter Pedersen

  167. alan wilson — on 17th March, 2006 at 11:25 pm  

    All kudos to Mrs Saira Hyde (nee Khan, yes, the megaphone mouth of “The Apprentice”) and her courage to sabotage an arranged marriage at 16 and to marry the man of her choice, even if he is a non Muslim.
    Also kudos to her family that after initial reservations fully supported her.
    And yes, middle finger on both hands for those bigoted findamentalists who accuse her of living in harram (sin) and call her a whore (do you know that according to the Koran a Muslim woman who marries a non Muslim is regarded as a prostitute?) .
    My 2 cents that those zealots are the first ones to shag a prostitute when no one sees them.
    Remember “Hook” Hamza? Ever heard that his first marriage hit the rocks because of his passion for whores?
    Oh, for f*** sake!
    Shame that I don’t have a cloning machine, otherwise I would clone her 1 million times and release her into British society.
    In this scenario, both the BNP and the Islamist zealots would be nothing but a distant memory.

    ONE HUMANITY ONE GOD (and many irrelevant religions)

    Alan from Dublin

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