140 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jay Singh  |  February 6th, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    Hat tip to me!

  • 2. El Cid  |  February 6th, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    This doesn’t PROVE anything Sunny. All it does is hint that this particular newspaper has double standards, although the editor has a defence ready.
    We all know Christianity gets a habitual kick-in in secular society. Let’s not pretend otherwise.
    Freedom of speech means ideas/beliefs are fare game. It means the head of state is fare game, it means one’s country is fare game, etc. Not even gods are immune.
    Have your views towards the recently defeated religious hatred bill changed in recent days?

  • 3. Dynesh  |  February 6th, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Bah! Hypocrites! Surely they don’t have a leg to stand on now?

  • 4. Col. Mustafa  |  February 6th, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    I never knew Jyllands posten before this whole escalation of the cartoon business.

    Its amazing, they drew a couple of cartoons and hey presto; they’re famous.

    Gives me ideas.

  • 5. Old Pickler  |  February 6th, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    So what? It can publish what it likes and it can refuse to publish what it likes.

    In any case there is no shortage of anti-Christian material out there. And it can safely be said that at least it wasn’t out of fear that they refused to publish the cartoons about Jesus.

    Maybe they didn’t want to have a go at Jesus but wanted to have a go at Mo, who, after all, was a bit of a bastard.

  • 6. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery  |  February 6th, 2006 at 4:01 pm

    Ouch!

  • 7. j0nz  |  February 6th, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    Well you see what you want to see.

    on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.

    Presumably if they were funny then would have been published.

  • 8. Cinnamon  |  February 6th, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    It is possible to be wrong about something one week, and then to be correct about something else a little later.

    One is not connected to the other, let me remind you of a basic logic rule:

    A implies B does NOT mean that B implies A.

    Or,

    If the sun shines, Sunny eats humble pie.

    but,

    If Sunny eats humble pie, the sun does not neccesarily shine.

    :)

    And that is good so, otherwise, we all be forcefeeding you to get rid of the cold weather.

  • 9. Old Pickler  |  February 6th, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    If Sunny eats humble pie, the sun does not neccesarily shine.

    But it does. Out of his backside.

  • 10. Sunny  |  February 6th, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    It doesn’t prove anything…. apart from the fact that JP are hypocrites. they took the line that this was all about FoS, but it shows they’re more readily to insult others than what their readers would find offensive. So much for a principled stance.

    That doesn’t detract from the central FoS issue, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be preached to by JP on FoS.

  • 11. Sunny  |  February 6th, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    Now now, OP honey, I thought you were going to behave ;)

  • 12. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    “That doesn’t detract from the central FoS issue…”

    Er…that’s the point isn’t it?

    Strikes me that you’ve lost the main argument so are having a final kick at JP.

    Fair enough….that’s free speech!

  • 13. Sunny  |  February 6th, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    The central FoS issue is that people should have the right to say what they want… I’ve never denied that, and neither have that many people on here.

    My point has always been (for the millionth time) that everyone is preaching on about how this issue is about standing up for Freedom of Speech, when I think its a hypocritical and agenda-fulled stance taken JP… a publicity stunt if you like.

    JP’s stance on the same issue previously shows that actually they’re only concerned about Freedom of Speech when their readers are not offended. Therefore I refuse to make a martyr out of them or have any respect for them.

  • 14. seanT  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    A publicity stunt?

    12 cartoonists in hiding, five people dead, three embassies torched, 1.3 billion people really angry, £500m of Danish business tanked, and 1m more voters for a far right Danish party. Hasn’t got very good figures, their publicity stunt.

    I’m just wondering if anybody or anything has come out of this insane kerfuffle looking good.

    Buddhism?

  • 15. Cinnamon  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    The original issue has moved away from the JP, and FoS is being defended by people who do have the intellectual integrity and standing for this.

    Think of it that way — the JP is like the kid who merely pointed out that the emperor is nekkid.

    Perhaps it took a simple mind to be unafraid.

    Ps.: Old Pickler… the bottom of the barrel is a grim place. One could even fall into it if not careful.

  • 16. Sunny  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    Before all the violence and general stupidity of people in the Middle East etc, I’m talking about the stance taken by people on the issue. You can scroll down to see the arguments people were bandying about on this site and HP. That is what I was referring to.

    SeanT - Buddhists always come out looking good :D

  • 17. Indigo Jo Blogs…  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    JP wouldn’t lampoon another prophet …

    It appears that Jyllands-Posten were selective about whose taboos they’d risk offending; not that we want to see another of our prophets (’alaihim as-salaam) defamed, but the hypocrisy is obvious.

  • 18. inders  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    As far as I know in spite of our secular society there has been no lampooning of Jesus at all. Even life of Brian it was made clear that Brian was not jesus merely a contemporary of Jesus.

    For an equvialent to be made, someone would draw jesus portrayed as a child molestor. Why ? Because the catholic church has a history of child abuse. I wonder if anyone could get away with that one without being prosecuted under blaspehmy laws?

  • 19. David T  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    Oh, I reckon they could.

    What do you think?

  • 20. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    Crikey - we are confusing FoS with “balance”.

    FoS is the freedom to say what others don’t want to hear.

    No lampooning of Jesus at all?
    Well I don’t know if the immersion of a crucifix in urine counts as “lampooning” but something tells me that a “Piss Mohammed” wouldn’t go down too well…

  • 21. inders  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:31 pm

    Has anyone slurred jesus’s character ?

  • 22. David T  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    I don’t think I’d want to offend anybody’s faith - or their hobbies, or family or anything - gratutiously.

    What makes the publication of the Mo cartoons imperative is that people have been threatened with death for publishing them. That makes all the difference. The threats make the story: the story requires publication of the material. Plus it provides a separate, and more powerful, rationale for publication: resistance and defiance.

  • 23. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    Jesus was the bastard son of a whore - responsible for more pain, death and destruction than anyone before or since.

    OK?

    What has that to do with anything?

  • 24. David T  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:36 pm

    Well, the following poem was certainly *taken* as a slur - and resulted in a conviction for blasphemy 30 years ago. Kirkup got a small fine. I doubt whether it would be prosecuted again:

    The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name
    By James Kirkup

    As they took him from the cross
    I, the centurion, took him in my arms-
    the tough lean body
    of a man no longer young,
    beardless, breathless,
    but well hung.

    He was still warm.
    While they prepared the tomb
    I kept guard over him.
    His mother and the Magdalen
    had gone to fetch clean linen
    to shroud his nakedness.

    I was alone with him.
    For the last time
    I kissed his mouth. My tongue
    found his, bitter with death.
    I licked his wound-
    the blood was harsh
    For the last time
    I laid my lips around the tip
    of that great cock, the instrument
    of our salvation, our eternal joy.
    The shaft, still throbbed, anointed
    with death’s final ejaculation

    I knew he’d had it off with other men-
    with Herod’s guards, with Pontius Pilate,
    With John the Baptist, with Paul of Tarsus
    with foxy Judas, a great kisser, with
    the rest of the Twelve, together and apart.
    He loved all men, body, soul and spirit. - even me.

    So now I took off my uniform, and, naked,
    lay together with him in his desolation,
    caressing every shadow of his cooling flesh,
    hugging him and trying to warm him back to life.
    Slowly the fire in his thighs went out,
    while I grew hotter with unearthly love.

    It was the only way I knew to speak our love’s proud name,
    to tell him of my long devotion, my desire, my dread-
    something we had never talked about. My spear, wet with blood,
    his dear, broken body all open wounds,
    and in each wound his side, his back,
    his mouth - I came and came and came

    as if each coming was my last.
    And then the miracle possessed us.
    I felt him enter into me, and fiercely spend
    his spirit’s finbal seed within my hole, my soul,
    pulse upon pulse, unto the ends of the earth-
    he crucified me with him into kingdom come.

    -This is the passionate and blissful crucifixion
    same-sex lovers suffer, patiently and gladly.
    They inflict these loving injuries of joy and grace
    one upon the other, till they dies of lust and pain
    within the horny paradise of one another’s limbs,
    with one voice cry to heaven in a last divine release.

    Then lie long together, peacefully entwined, with hope
    of resurrection, as we did, on that green hill far away.
    But before we rose again, they came and took him from me.
    They knew no what we had done, but felt
    no shame or anger. Rather they were gald for us,
    and blessed us, as would he, who loved all men.

    And after three long, lonely days, like years,
    in which I roamed the gardens of my grief
    seeking for him, my one friend who had gone from me,
    he rose from sleep, at dawn, and showed himself to me before
    all others. And took me to him with
    the love that now forever dares to speak its name.

  • 25. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Quite a nice poem…if I read it at the time I had forgotten…

  • 26. Peter Pedersen  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    @ Sunny:

    If you look at the cartoons in fact both Buddah and Jesus are in one of them (the police line up). That is 1 example !.

    Jyllands-Posten as well as virtually all danish newspapers have previously slurred Jesus Character.
    Denmark is a sekularised society and even religious icons can be portrayed negatively.

    The fact that you can find one occassion where they chose not to do this doesnt mean they never do or never did.

    The other way around - namely with regards to Mohammed - they have also turned down numerous depictions etc.

    Get with the programme guys !.

    Pete

  • 27. inders  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    Chris lets see if you can get that published in a national paper ?

    David, the best you could do was something that was already deemed ileagal ?

  • 28. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    Oh Pete - haven’t you spotted that there are people who simply will never get with the secular programme!

  • 29. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    Inders

    (1) so it was the “slur” on Mo’s “character” that did it, was it? Yeah, right … so no objection to a putative “Piss Mohammed” then … that would go unnoticed…

    (2) Let’s take the Gilbert & George (rather sad) exhibit at White Cube entitled I believe “Was Jesus Heterosexual” and containg the phrase “God loves fucking” under a crucifix. Change the names…that would be OK too would it?

  • 30. inders  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1690596,00.html

  • 31. Jay Singh  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    Inders

    The point is - that exhibition has not led to protests and pickets and demands for it to be closed down.

  • 32. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    What is the point of your link?

    Er, are you comparing Anne Widdecombe’s “fury” to what we have seen over the past few days?

    Meanwhile the Bishop of Stepney appears to take it in his stride…very sensible man.

  • 33. inders  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    That is because its not common knowledge, just like there were no pickets, protests or demands in november/december when these cartoons were first published.

  • 34. Jay Singh  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    Inders

    Let’s face facts - even if there was common knowledge about that exhibition, you are not going to see death threats, people holding placards calling for beheadings, and embassies being burned down, are we? The comparison does not really stand.

  • 35. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Ah, so you await the storming of British embassies around the world by mobs of enraged Christians do you?

    Don’t hold your breath…

  • 36. inders  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:00 pm

    http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=18582

  • 37. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    Meanwhile the Tate refuses to exhibit a sculpture containing the Koran embedded in glass (along with Bible and Talmud) out of sheer cowardice…anyone going to make the case for that??

  • 38. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    Inders - I’m struggling to understand the point of your links.

    “The cardinal said Christianity has similar sensitivities.”

    Fair enough.

    Meanwhile I’ll keep an eye out for the baying Christian mob in Hoxton Square…

  • 39. David T  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    Inders

    Nobody really cares - apart from some bishops and rent-a-quotes like Widdecombe, who are figures of fun.

    Piss takes involving Christian themes are par for the course. Pick up a copy of Viz, or Private Eye - you’ll find one. They’re so commonplace, they’re boring. People don’t even notice them.

    Anti-clericalism isn’t as strong in the UK as it in in places like Italy, where it is pretty vehement. It is weak in the UK because it has very little political authority here.

  • 40. Jay Singh  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    Inders

    What is your posting of links adding to the debate? That religious people are offended? That Catholics sympathise with the Muslim hurt? We know that - but it does not prove anything much other than that people get offended and hurt.

  • 41. Bijna  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:07 pm

    The problem is that the Muslims are in denial.
    On the one hand they memorize the Quaran in
    madrassas but on the other hand they refuse
    to discuss what is written in it,
    which is that Mohammed was a murderer etc
    due to the raiding of caravans etc.
    The truth is so tough they would rather burn
    embassies than admit it.

  • 42. Jai  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    The discrepancy isn’t very complicated.

    As far as I know (and please correct me if I’m wrong), Christianity does not have any official religious injunctions commanding devout followers to kill anyone who says something to ridicule or deliberately disrespectful about Jesus.

    However, according to some interpretations, orthodox Islam does command its followers to kill anyone who is similarly disrespectful towards Mohammad (and again, please correct me if I’m wrong here).

    Hence the difference between the behaviour of devout members of the two respective faiths.

  • 43. Rolled-up Trousers…  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    Hypocrisy of Jyllands Posten

    The Guardian reports that the Danish newspaper at the centre of the cartoon row actually rejected a cartoon about Jesus three years ago because it would provoke an outcry. Hat tip to Pickled Politics via Yusuf Smith.

  • 44. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    Jai

    Indeed.

    It’s the discrepancy (masterful understatement) as you call it which we are struggling to know what to do about!

  • 45. Sunny  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    Before the violence started, the stance everyone took was “this is all about Freedom of Speech” and that just because Jesus was lampooned, therefore Mohammed would be too. Fair enough.

    But I’ve always maintained, and this is the feeling with the Muslim world, that:
    1) It ignores the racial context in Denmark (as Hari Kunzru touches upon and many others have pointed out)
    2) The lampooning is done carefully and selectively, and not consistently.

    Now, providing the example of piss-christ isn’t good enough because not all the press was for it and hailing it as a point about FoS. The same goes for JS:TO. Much of the press had hysteria about how many swear words were in it, rather than making it into a fight about FoS.

    So, prior to the violence and the silly march in London, all the arguments put forward for these cartoons, and the subsequent re-publishing, were based on double standards IMO.

    Since the violence, all the attention has shifted there, as if it justifies everything. I’m sorry but it doesn’t My concern here is the actions of the European press, not the religious zealots in the Middle East. The two have to be seperated.

    Not only that, this focus on the violence forgets the fact that most of the violent protests were tightly orchestrated (in the case of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon), and have been condmned by everyone, including, horror or horrors, Al-Qaradawi.

    The vast majority of Muslim bloggers on the net are disgusted by the violence and all the emails I’ve received on the issue reflect that.

    But in a sad attempt to try and still pull together an argument, certain people keep focusing on that.

  • 46. inders  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    My points

    > its not just the muslims who would be offended.

    > Freedom of speech rests on freedom of protest, you can'’t have freedom of speech without freedom of protest.

    > A paper which self censors itself in many other ways (sex, violence, national security) to avoid hurting public sentiment or outraging public sentiment should not only make those judgements upon majority sentiment. Democracy is not rule of the mob.

  • 47. Chris  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    No - Piss Christ is a good example.

    The press weren’t “for it” as an FoS “issue” because the artist’s FoS was taken for granted.

    On the other side, did the BBC refuse to show it - I can’t remember, but would eat my hat if it did!

  • 48. Sunny  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    From Clive Davis:
    http://clivedavis.blogs.com/clive/2006/02/the_temperature.html

    ———————
    Appalling, if true. As for whether or not it was right to publish the cartoons in the first place, Roger Scruton is worth listening to:

    You must respect other people’s pieties and that means respecting the icons of their faith and the rituals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t criticise the content of the faith.

    What we need is more discussion and less mockery. We Christians have had to put up with the most appalling satire of our symbols — it’s the way the world works. I don’t think the Danish cartoons are anything to get as worked up about as all that but I think it’s wrong to publish them.

    Similar sentiments from Cambridge don, John Casey:

    Have we in the West become so historically ignorant that we forget how closely, within living memory, Christian attitudes to the sacred resembled those of Muslims? The face of Christ was rarely shown by Hollywood until at least the 1960s, because to do that on film seemed disrespectful compared with a stylised representation in painting. There is little doubt that only a generation ago the blasphemy laws would have been used against “Jerry Springer: The Opera”.

    ————————-

    At the basic level, this comes down to: “let’s see if we can get a reaction out of this Muslims because they value their Prophet so much and we just want them to scream in rage so we can show they’re uncivilised dogs who should not be living in Europe”.

    If JP wasn’t so hypocritical, along with some of the European press, and had an actual point to make rather than mechanical confrontation, I’d have respect for it.

  • 49. Jai  |  February 6th, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    There’s another simple point which people seem to be forgetting.

    The ridicule of Jesus in the West has indeed been going on for some time — but this has been occuring in ostensibly Christian countries, and undertaken by people of nationalities which were predominantly Christian until relatively recently (I’m referring to the actual day-to-day practice of the faith, even if this underwent some modifications post-Enlightenment). So, the way the rest of the world (especially Muslims) will see it, is that these were “lapsed” Christians ridiculing various aspects of their own religion.

    The problem arises when you subsequently start lampooning aspects (esp. founding members, Mohammad in this case) of OTHER people’s religions.

    An analogy would be “I don’t care what you say about your own parents or siblings, but if you say something similarly disparaging about members of my own immediate family, we’ll have a major problem.”

    People in many parts of the West (obviously I’m not referring to very strictly-Christian “Bible Belt” areas of the US here) are not necessarily very devout these days. However, proportionately, Muslims worldwide are a lot stricter in religious matters. Which is why this whole issue has touched such a major nerve.

    Plus, as has already been mentioned repeatedly, Islam has some different rules regarding the pictoral depiction of its prophets (esp. Mohammad) — or, at least, these restrictions are enforced much more stringently compared to modern-day Christianity.

    So just because Christians and “ex-Christians” may have different standards with regards to how to practice their religion, it is neither logical nor appropriate to necessarily apply those standards to the treatment of religious figures in other faiths — or to expect the adherents of those faiths to react the same way as Christians/ex-Christains would if there was any perceived insult towards their religion or its founder.

  • 50. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    “The problem is that the Muslims are in denial.
    On the one hand they memorize the Quaran in
    madrassas but on the other hand they refuse
    to discuss what is written in it,
    which is that Mohammed was a murderer etc
    due to the raiding of caravans etc.
    The truth is so tough they would rather burn
    embassies than admit it”.

    So the way to start a dialogue is put a bomb in Muhammad’s turban?

  • 51. Bijna  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    Thats what cartoons are for:
    to make you think.

    It’s like the jester of a medieval court.

  • 52. Kulvinder  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    Debating the offence caused by religious iconography in a largely secular or pseudo-practising society is to all intents and purposes a futile excersice.

    The freedom of speech and expression that everyone values means at its core the freedom to offend. A more relevant example for contempory society would be the reaction to the gentleman dressed as a suicide bomber, or holocaust denial in certain continental european countries.

  • 53. Bijna  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    The jester is funny and witty.
    So is a good cartoon.

    These were lousy cartoons and should have been ignored,
    like lousy jesters are.

  • 54. Analytical  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Sunny sums up the conscious intent of the publishers of the cartoons thus: “let’s see if we can get a reaction out of this Muslims because they value their Prophet so much and we just want them to scream in rage so we can show they’re uncivilised dogs who should not be living in Europe”

    What is wrong with you Sunny? Why are you so mired in moral confusion that your reaction to this whole episode is an exercise in difference splitting?

    Flemming Rose, the Danish journalist who had the original idea, has been interviewed extensively. He’s self-evidently a thoughtful and reasonable guy. There is a case for saying he made an error of judgement in publishing (and a very strong case for saying he was right to do so). There’s even a case for saying (as you and Hari do) that there may have been some mildly racist element to the motivation (although there is zero evidence for that - apart from Hari’s ‘I went to Copenhagen and it seemed quite a racist atmosphere’).

    However, this is all so fucking beside the point when you look at the utterly demented reaction - violence, threats of violence, exhortations to violence, etc. To blame the Danes (or France Soir, etc) is as sick as blaming America for 9/11.

    The Danes put a canary in the mineshaft and exposed a level of poison that few would have believed existed. Now we know - and you trying to blame the Danes and other upholders of freedom of expression is as irrational as it is unfair.

  • 55. El Cid  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    Inders,
    “Demos” from which the word “democracy” derives does mean mob, funny enough, but that aside, the only mobs I see are the ones torching embassies, etc.
    As for the “you wouldn’t do it to Jesus” line — that’s pathetic and so wide of the mark as to suggest you have little knowledge of Western secular society.
    You are directing your ire at the wrong people. As your link shows, the Catholic hierachy and imams have a common interest to keep up respect for religious symbols.
    Here are a few further examples of Christianity being dissed in the west Check out track No.5 on this album by a German metallica band.
    Or what about the Jerry Springer opera — remember that?
    Or how about this?

    Jai, if people believe religion to be bunkum then it would be cowardly and inconsistent to diss only those religions least likely to react adversely, would it not?

  • 56. David T  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    Another point about the Kirkup prosecution is this. It was brought by Mary Whitehouse: as a private prosecution. Other, subsequent, private prosecutions for blasphemy have failed. And, more to the point, the UK has since incorporated Article 10 of the European Convention into UK law, which may well have rendered Blasphemy a dead letter.

  • 57. Don  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:46 pm

    Jai,

    You are right about there being no specific injunction in the NT about killing blasphemers, but it didn’t stop christians doing it with enthusiasm and ingenuity for centuries. The authority of the OT was enough. Leviticus is such a fascinating read; ‘ “He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.”

    What eventually stopped them was a long bitter and frequently bloody struggle with secular, rational thinkers. Which is not over yet. There is nothing inherently less coercive or violent about Christianity or Judaism, they have just been put in their box, as it were.

    Having said that, anti-clericalist though I am, I have to say that the malign portrayal of Jesus is rather difficult as there’s not a lot that we can nail him on. Mohammed, however was a warrior, among other things, and that violent, death-dealing attribute is one which cannot be excised. I have no problem with that, a vengeful god makes exactly as much sense as a loving god. More, actually, based on the available evidence.

    Moses, on the other hand was a war criminal who ordered the slaughter and child-rape of captives. (Numbers 31)

    The trouble for me, and I appreciate this won’t hold true for everyone, is that we are dealing with two different concepts of reality. I remember a perfectly nice young christian woman responding to one of my slightly pissed blasphemies by saying that every word was another nail in Jesus’ body. And she meant it. To her a real, divine being was in anguish beyond human understanding because certain sounds had come out of my mouth. That was her reality. It was as real to her as the laws of thermodynamics were to me. I admit I toned it down a little. (Waste of time, still didn’t pull.) But that is a card you can only play so often. For me to respect it, I need to feel a measure of repect for the human being, not the distant historical figure or mythical Nobodaddy.

    And I do. I will respect my friend’s father, a Quaker who served as a medic in Burma in WW2 and devoted his life, until Alzheimers took him, to humanitarian causes. But not some wanker in a big hat in Rome who tells Africans that condoms are verbotten. I accept that both are equally convinced of their god. Only one gets respect.

    I’ll respect the dignity and hospitality of the Sudanese people, without whose kindness and decency I would have likely have perished like the over-confident pup I was. Or the young dudes in Nazareth and Jericho who spent hours talking intensely and passionately and courteously with a European in the distinctive blue workshirt of the kibbutz. That was thirty years ago, could I do that now? But I won’t give respect to some tosser who demands it at gun-point.

    (Well, if it were actually at gun-point, I could probably fake some respect.)

    Is that hypocrisy? I will moderate my tone, bite my tongue and change the subject if I respect the believer. But I do enjoy finding one that I don’t. When deciding to publish or not publish, you don’t have that luxury.

    Simply setting out to offend decent people is adolescent behaviour. Refraining from condemning - as vigorously and as scabrously as you like, beliefs you find abhorrent is cowardly.

    sorry for the rant. very conflicted on this one. But ultimately free speech trumps superstition.

  • 58. Sunny  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    Analytical:

    Why are you so mired in moral confusion that your reaction to this whole episode is an exercise in difference splitting?
    I have a nuanced approach because I know what I’ll defend and I know what I find abbhorent. You said yesterday you’d boycott a paper that published anti-semitic cartoons but now you seem to have found your moral high-horse again.

    This isn’t about whether you’re dissing race or religion. this is about whether people can really stomach FoS, or just the kind of FoS they will tolerate.

    He’s self-evidently a thoughtful and reasonable guy.
    I don’t see any evidence of that. He’s just trying to weasel out of blame.

    t there may have been some mildly racist element to the motivation (although there is zero evidence for that - apart from Hari’s ‘I went to Copenhagen and it seemed quite a racist atmosphere’).
    There are plenty of Muslim blogs who have said the same, and if you do some research you can find more on this…. but clearly you don’t want to accept that argument.

    However, this is all so fucking beside the point when you look at the utterly demented reaction -
    The violence I’ve never supported, but you now seemed to have moved on to talking only about the violence rather than the incident that kicked it all off and the reasoning beind that.

    Concentrating on the violence is a suitable distraction for you because its a safe zone where your assumptions are not open to hypocrisy (for example, the point you made about anti-semitism).

    I’m writing a piece on the violence itself, but the actions of the middle eastern rioters is less an issue for me because much of that is orchestrated and planned by some. Comparing yourself to them is futile, I’m more interested in the European reasoning and assumptions made there.

  • 59. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 7:50 pm

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

    Ive not read the comments. But why did they then feel it ok to go with the Prophet Muhammad cartoons?

  • 60. Opinionated Voice…  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    […] I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. The cartons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were intentionally offensive, but justified and supported by non-Muslims as ‘freedom of speech’. The placards and slogans above were also intentionally offensive, but I don’t seem to hear the same non-Muslims accepting them as ‘freedom of speech’. Whatever side of the fence you are on, freedom of speech cannot be unliimited and unstricted unless one lives alone on top of a mountain. Even the Muslim Council of Britain accepts this and apparantly so does Jyllands-Posten. […]

  • 61. Hari Kunzru  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:05 pm

    Just caught up with this, Analytical.

    In Feb 2005 elections DPP (Danish People’s Party) remained third largest party in Denmark (same result in 2001) with a platform including the following, from their website ” Denmark is not an immigrant-country and has never been so. Therefore, we will not accept a transformation to a multiethnic society.

    Denmark belongs to the Danes and its citizens must be able to live in a secure community founded on the rule of law, developing only along the lines of Danish culture.

    It ought to be possible to absorb foreigners into Danish society provided however, that this does not put security and democratic government at risk. To a limited extent and according to special rules and in conformity with the stipulations of the Constitution, foreign nationals should be able to obtain Danish citizenship.”

    This is a mainstream right wing party with support of 13% of the population. This is a position on immigration and minority rights *way* to the right of any maintstream party in the UK. My original post on the cartoons was couched in a personal anecdote, but it was meant to illustrate a context that is not simply my imagination.

    btw in answer to yr thing about the moral equivalence of Bush/Al Muj, naturally I’ll take Bush over Al Muj because someone (albeit not me) can vote him out. However his worldview freaks me out only marginally less than Al Muj, and that (I suspect) is because I have the kind of citizenship that gives you some sort of status in a US dominated world.

  • 62. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    I read the article from the mediaguardian, and I think its quite bad that the paper chose to offend one religion over another. I think it is actually worse that the paper had already considered similar cartoons as offensive and unfunny, and then still chose to publish some with reference to Islam. To me, this in fact shows that the paper knew exactly what it was doing and the effect/impact this would have.

    Based on the above, the paper shouldnt have published the cartoons. Since it did publish the cartoons and the outcry must have anticipated did occur, it should have issued an apology immediatly. The fact that it did not employ these strategies suggest that the papers opinion was that it was “open season” on islam, and the feelings of Muslims were irrelevant.

    I think it would now be appropriate for the relevant person to be sacked, a proper apology to be issued, and for the papers that supported/followed Jyllands-Posten to realise their mis-judgement and also issue an apology.

  • 63. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    ..and after reading Han Kunzru’s article, I’m not surprised Jyllands-Posten thought it was ok to slander Islamand offend Muslims.

    The papers and people that supported Jyllands-Posten with their weak arguements of free speech must be kicking themselves now. I reckon Jack Straw is sitting back with a big smile on his face, for his recent condemnation the cartoons. Youve got to give him and the British media a round of applause on this one.

  • 64. Don  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    Jamal,

    ‘Since it did publish the cartoons and the outcry must have anticipated did occur, it should have issued an apology immediatly. ‘

    See that faint, distant light? That’s a train that left the station long since.

    ‘the papers that supported/followed Jyllands-Posten to realise their mis-judgement and also issue an apology. ‘

    Same thing. Once the ‘apologise or else’ card is played doors are closed. It’s gone way beyond that.

  • 65. j0nz  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    Jamal your sites is out there with the moonbats recently. You can’t tell the difference between telling people to behead other people, and taking the piss out of one’s religion.

  • 66. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    Yes I agree. I still cant believe im even reading this article. It now refutes all the “free speech” arguements the paper and its supporters were spouting, and places blame right in their lap. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

  • 67. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    no Jonz. Freedom of speech cannot be unrestriced and unlimited. We must take account for our actions and the impact of our words. There are different levels of effect between slandering religion/stereotyping a people and inciting murder by way of slogans. However, both are offensive and both cannot be justified by freedom of speech. However, we cannot have a double standard on this, as current events show.

    Since you supported Jyllands-Posten as “free speech” and was the one who actually first directed me to the pictures, I hope you are now kicking yourself in the arse.

  • 68. Analytical  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    If the Danes had thought that militant Christians (having already publicly beheaded a man in Holland) might threaten to blow people up and threaten to massacre them if offended, I bet they would have published the Jesus cartoons. That’s why the glee with which Sunny ‘exposed’ Jyllands Posten’s refusal to do so is misplaced and wrongheaded. There is NO hypocrisy.

    BTW - Sunny - if a newspaper printed racist cartoons defaming Arabs or Malays I’d boycott it too. If a newspaper printed cartoons saying Moses was a wanker and the Talmud was a ridiculous fairytale I’d think it was legit. if rude. I can make a distinction between religion and race. So, I believe, can most Danes.

  • 69. j0nz  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:50 pm

    lol

    Not at all Jamal. You cannot justify a picture of Mohammed with a bomb on his head?

    Not heard of 9/11, Bali, or 7th July or the thousands of Jihadi terror attacks in the middle east.? All inspired by the words of Allah’s apostle?

    Did Mohammed not say

    “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.”?

    Bukhhari 4:52:220. ?

    What world do we live in when people lie and cheat to propogate such a delusional selfish ego-centric utopia, at the expense of the lives of others?

    I state these facts, and what, you say I have insulted Islam, and that you should behead me, by rights?!! As though they are the same thing?!!

  • 70. El Cid  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:55 pm

    Kulvinder,
    Debating the offence caused by religious iconography in a largely secular or pseudo-practising society is to all intents and purposes a futile excersice. Yep.

    The freedom of speech and expression that everyone values means at its core the freedom to offend. A more relevant example for contempory society would be the reaction to the gentleman dressed as a suicide bomber, or holocaust denial in certain continental european countries.
    Yep, again. But that is because these examples involve real people, real examples of human sufffering, not a mere ideology/belief system. Were someone to take the piss out of Pakistanis suffering in Kashmir as a result of the earthquake or the mainly muslim victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, then that would be totally unacceptable. Can you grasp the difference?

  • 71. Siddharth  |  February 6th, 2006 at 8:58 pm

    Sunny!
    Nice one bro.

    If the publishing of the cartoon 4 times in a row prior to the internationalisation of the episode hasb’t done so already, this story goes all the way to bury all attempts by Jyllands-Posten to justify its racist provocation in the name of “Freedom of Speech”.

  • 72. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 9:07 pm

    “If the Danes had thought that militant Christians (having already publicly beheaded a man in Holland) might threaten to blow people up and threaten to massacre them if offended, I bet they would have published the Jesus cartoons”

    ..and this would still not justify it as freedom of speech. Nevertheless, we have heard of a well known bomber called Tim McVeigh, priests guilty of genocide, christians killing doctors that practice abortion, even Bush has linked his invasion of countries to his christians beliefs.

  • 73. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    “Not at all Jamal. You cannot justify a picture of Mohammed with a bomb on his head?”

    Correct Jonz. And no matter what arguement you use to refer to 9/11, 7/7, or global terrorism, this does not justify reffering/depicting to a Prophet of the mainstream religion of Islam as a terrorist, or implying that he was, particularly at a time when Muslims are generalised and stereotypes as terrorists due to the moral panic and media propaganda regarding Muslims.

  • 74. j0nz  |  February 6th, 2006 at 9:21 pm

    Well Jamal if you’d prefer not to be offended by freedom of speech then perhaps you should move to somewhere less tolerant of such things, where blasphemy laws exist and are enforced.

    “Moral Panic & Media Propoganda regarding Muslims” - the fault of the West no doubt! Nothing to do with the actions of Islamists commiting acts of terror, oh no!

    5 Afghans are dead , regarding “moral panic & media propganda”. Except that was the in Muslim media.

  • 75. Siddharth  |  February 6th, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    It wasn’t Freedom Of Speech though.

    And if you want to support and justify an act of racist journalism, go right ahead. Remember though that that opinion lands you squarely in BNP territory, which you seem to be increasingly comfortable with.

  • 76. Analytical  |  February 6th, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    One of the reason I’m very comfortable in this argument is that it’s clear that the Islamists have an insatiable sense of entitlement. Sadly, they will commit other outrages, make other threats and intimidate other people. And, as this happens, the attempts by some of the people on this site (including its moderator) to claim that the West is partly to blame (eg - ‘Danes are racist’) and to engage in moral equivalence (eg - ‘Extremists on both sides need to back off’) will look more and more tawdry.

    Sometimes things are really quite simple. Hitler was an aggressor. He attacked the Czechs and his claim to be protecting Sudeten Germans was spurious crap. People who oversimplify morally complex situations are to be condemned - but so are people who muddy the water when what is required is moral clarity.

    Sunny - I believe that your convoluted stance on this episode is the rationalisation of your feeling of emotional discomfort at being on the side of the rich white guys against the poor brown ones. That’s why you’ve called this so wrong.

  • 77. Bikhair  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    jOnz,

    “Not heard of 9/11, Bali, or 7th July or the thousands of Jihadi terror attacks in the middle east.? All inspired by the words of Allah’s apostle?”

    Nice hadith that you reported above but that doesnt quite cut it. Please provide the texts that justify the above. I mean in all its facets. I need to know when the act of jihad became the responsibily of the people instead of the Emirul Mumineen. If these people are inspired by Prophet Muhammed words and actions when he went for jihad wasnt he the ruler? Did he specifically attack those who traditionally dont fight in wars, i.e. women, children, and other non combatants. What is the point of jihad according to Allahs Apostle? Since Jihad is an act of worship and all acts of worship has its conditions, what are the conditions for jihad for the people and those placed in leadership position.

    jOnz, I imagine those ignorant takfiris learn Islam as pathetically as you do. They read a hadith and go on their way. Muslims are to enter Islam, not in parts but as a whole.

  • 78. Don  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    It finally happened. I understood Bikhair and actually agree. I need alcohol.

    Sid, a little quick on the trigger with the BNP stuff, no?

  • 79. seanT  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    Unsurprisingly, perhaps, I’m with Analytical on this one. The fact is, the horrifyingly violent reaction by so many Muslims to these cartoons has - post hoc - justified the cartoons’ publication.

    Yes we can argue about the possible - possible - crypto-racist provenance of the Danish cartoons, but that is now irrelvant. (and Hari the mere existence of a robustly anti-immigration party in Denmark proves nothing; every society is entitled to order itself as it sees fit, in terms of migration, surely?).

    No, the cartoons - go check them, check them all - were aiming to prove that there is a streak of homicidal violence in Islam, a sense that Islam cannot take criticism without resorting to bloodshed. And what have we seen? Embassies burnt to the ground, people killed,
    vicars stabbed, its fucking insane and its fucking disgusting. We have to step back here and look: and see: this is what is happening: because an obscure Danish newspaper published some cartoons abut Muslim violence, Muslims are slaughtering each other and threatening the world with terrible violence. And strutting the streets of London promising to ‘behead’ the people it recently bombed.

    And the rest of the world looks on: puzzled, contemptuous, appalled.

    That is what Islam needs to realise - the reaction of fear, disgust and repulsion that it is breeding in everyone else. Are Muslims proud of that? Do they think that’s good? They may get a strange adolescent buzz from instilling fear in people, but every ageing bully knows that in the end he pays for his rush.

    And yeah, i think Sunny has a classic case of cognitive dissonance - hence his confused and confusing posts.

  • 80. BevanKieran  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    As acts of racial journalism go, the splashing of photos of the 200 imbeciles outside the Danish Embassy may be the most irresponsible thing the media has done in a while. While the debate within the blogosphere has been about FoS vs sensitivity of religous minorities, little of this will matter outside. People who have not seen the images (did anyone do a straw poll in their office?. Of a meagre sample of two it was around one in ten) will be indifferent to to the points of Danish racism, religous tolerance etc. The talk of the office has been more concerned about the calls for terrorism witnessed outside the embassy. Any guesses what the campaign material for the B.N.P will be in the upcoming elections? Curiously enough, I doubt it will be those incendiary cartoons.

  • 81. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    Jonz, as I keep saying, ‘freedom of speech’, whatever side of the fence you are on, freedom of speech cannot be unliimited and unstricted unless one lives alone on top of a mountain. Freedom of speech does not give one a permit to offend as they please. If you are to argue for ‘freedom of speech’ and the other benefits of democracy, then you must also argue for the other benefits of democracy such as protection from persecution and right to respect for private and family life.

    Some like to forget that the exercise of the freedom of speech and expression carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

    Therefore Jonz, as I am one of 15 million muslims in Europe, why should I go elsewhere. I should not have to put up with ignorance, insult and even persecution which has been willfully spouted by Jyllands-Posten and the papers that supported it by reprinting the pictures. The same as non-muslims should not have to put up with slogans by extremists.

  • 82. David T  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    Sunny - I believe that your convoluted stance on this episode is the rationalisation of your feeling of emotional discomfort at being on the side of the rich white guys against the poor brown ones. That’s why you’ve called this so wrong.

    I think it is a bit more than that. Sunny’s position is that pious people will inevitably react violently to perceived insults to religious figures, and that therefore it is Quixotic in the extreme to act as if it were otherwise. In fact, any attempt to do so will inevitably be perceived as hypocrisy and racism.

    That’s a fair description of the situation, in many ways. I disagree, because I think to allow outrage to trump expression is to double count the external preferences of some members of groups. In any case, I’m dubious of treating offence as harm, paricularly when to do so becomes a binding rule. It is also futile - as it is never certain how and when something will enrage a group. The Satanic Verses was a fluke, in many ways. In addition, because such an approach works only for those who shout the loudest, it encourages a kind of hysterical, aggressive politics more generally.

    I’m in favour, however, of civility: that is voluntary self restraint from giving offence, where appropriate. When civility is not appropriate, however, is where a demand, backed by threats, is made for respect. At the moment that happens, it is imperative that we don’t give in.

    It also, more trivially, creates a news story with an independent life, which needs to be reported. And to report it means that it must be fully explained: so the repetition of the offensive statement is inevitable at that point.

  • 83. Siddharth  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    BevanKieran
    You are so right. But lets not forget that this simply part of the pattern, if a pattern it can be called.

    Analytical: your post is illogical since there were was no sense of entitlement, no outrages, no threats and no intimidation prior to the Jyllands Posten publications. Four times they were published.

    Four times:
    Once may be Freedom of Speech.
    Twice might be considered cheeky irreverence.
    Three times could well be cynical and irresponsible provocation.
    Four times is racist journalism, plain and simple.

  • 84. Siddharth  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    Sunny - I believe that your convoluted stance on this episode is the rationalisation of your feeling of emotional discomfort at being on the side of the rich white guys against the poor brown ones. That’s why you’ve called this so wrong.

    [groan]
    Welcome to Pickled Politics. Reaches the parts other Channel 4 programmes cannot reach.

  • 85. Siddharth  |  February 6th, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Sid, a little quick on the trigger with the BNP stuff, no?

    You think? Get yourself a BNP bulletin board registration and trawl through the posts. You’ll soon be disabused of your doubts. Also check out Usenet newsgroups. That stuff makes seanT look like a liberal lefty, if that were possible. ;-)

  • 86. Peter Pedersen  |  February 6th, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    @ Sunny and others:

    Let me tell you of the background for the cartoons Alot in here seem to think the intend was to provoce and hurt, even though JP has said the complete opposite:

    A danish childrens book author, who wanted to write a positive childrens book about the Prophet Muhammad, had difficulties finding illustrators for this book.

    This was an upsetting fact in the danish art community, since Denmark has a history of being very openminden and dialogue-engaging when it comes to any issues that are debatable - including religion, and art.

    As an example there has prior - in danish art circles - been numerous diplays of Jesus in less flattering manner than the Muhammad-drawings portray the prophet in.

    ..Now in the light of the murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by radical muslims, death threats to the muslim dutch woman who made the movie “submission”, as well as the cancelled art-exhibitions in Sweden and London, there was a growing fear that artist were now subject to censorship due to pressure from the surroundings, especially radical muslims groups.

    Jyllands-Posten therefore contacted the members of the national association of illustrators and gave them the task to draw muhammad as THEY see him. In other words they did not a task to draw Muhammad in a little flattering way or any such thing!. They didnt tell the artists to draw Muhammad a certain way, only to draw him “as they saw him”. Some of them didnt draw anything, other refused with reference to contractual obligations, while the rest of the cartoons were published in Jyllands-Posten as a part of the whole debate described above, in connexion with an article clearly stating that the objection was not to offend anyone, and explaining the full background for the drawings.

    Now if you look closer at the 12 cartoons, you will in fact find a big diversity in the portraying of “Mohammad” as the illustrators saw him. In the “crime-line-up” a danish politician from a right wing party is in fact also portrayed - alongside Jesus, Buddah, a journalist etc. In another of the drawings a schoolboy wearing a football top of a copenhagen club, points to a blackboard stating something like: “Jylland-Postens cultural editor is a reactionary provocateur” .
    Another drawing depicts Muhammad as an old man in the desert. Then there is the bomb-shaped turban, which first of all has to be seen in its context namely : How the illustrator sees Muhammad, secondly can be seen as a depiction of how some people in the west see Muhammad.

    As you see the issue is in no way one-sided, let-alone xenophonbically treated. In fact there is a diversity of view-points coming through not just via the article that followed the drawings or the public debate ( I assume that you havent even read the article, in danish or english ?), but also in the actual drawings themselves.

    This is underlined by the fact that Muslims in Denmark have participated in the debate about the drawings, without going to extremes, threats, or acts of violence.

    Therefore the ongoing story about the drawings intending to offend and hurt muslems, especially the story in arab-media, is in best case wrong, and in worst case extremely biased and Xenophobic.

    In fact the images were only spreaded when a group of radical danish Imams went to the middle east with the pictures in a portfolio alongside other pictures that had never been published anywhere, and were portraying Muhammad in even less flattering manners. Furthermore this “campaign” was backed up by false statements on Al Jazeerah TV by European Imams, about public Quaran-burning ceremonies and fireatttacks on Mosques in Denmark. All lies, which i thought the Quaran is against , especially if you are an IMAM?. (correct me if I am wrong here).

    In Denmark there has been a positive debate among danes and muslims, as mentioned, about the drawing that were posted in september last year (!).

    With regards to the “double standard issue” it is very far fetched. First of all Flemming Rose wasnt even working on the paper then. Secondly it was in the case 3 years ago an initiative solemly by the illustrator, who wanted his “works” portrayed in JP.

    Should a newspaper publish everything that is sent to it ?

    Thirdly JP and all other danish newpapers on numerous occasions have printed cartoons of Jesus, Buddha and all other prophets - so there is no conspiracy. As mentioned Jesus is even in one of the drawings this time (the police line up).
    Forthly there was no story of “censorship” 3 years ago which was the fact that triggered the ongoing story this time. Van-gogh murder, “submission” the movie, and cancelled art exhibits in London and Sweden all have happend since then. Finally the author of JP then didnt find the cartoons sent to him funny.

    You seem to have the FoS all wrong. It doesnt mean that you must publish everything, only that you can publish what you want, as long as it isnt against the law of your country. The Muhammad-drawings so obviously werent illegal - they were part of an ongoing debate - and the danish blasphemy rule havent been used for 70 years. I can fx mention that there was a movie in Denmark in 1973 about Jesus´sexlife where Jesus had a gang-bang in a tub with a set of prostitutes. An artsy movie, which got funding from the state !!!.

    ..

    I think there will come something good out of this whole issue, because the more moderate muslims - especially in Europe - finally come out in the public space for debate, and that the radicals (as seen in a recent london-demo) hopefully will be confronted by fellow muslems who have and display a more peacefull understanding of the holy book, and Islam.

    Goodnite.

    Pete

  • 87. Sunny  |  February 6th, 2006 at 11:17 pm

    Lol, I agree Don - I need a drink too! I agreed with Bikhair for once when she made sense! Isn’t it funny to see Analytical and OP on the same side as the terrorists.

    Anyway, enough of that.

    Analytical, you say:
    BTW - Sunny - if a newspaper printed racist cartoons defaming Arabs or Malays I’d boycott it too. If a newspaper printed cartoons saying Moses was a wanker and the Talmud was a ridiculous fairytale I’d think it was legit. if rude. I can make a distinction between religion and race. So, I believe, can most Danes.

    Funny you should say that in a thread were the newspaper in question actually refused to publish cartoons offensive to Jesus because it thought readers might take offence. There goes your argument out of the window eh?
    The question you should answer is, why did JP pass on the Jesus cartoons but not the Mohammed cartoons? The offence that Muslims feel was going to happen regardless. That is not my reason for taking the stance. My reason is merely that attitudes towards what is printed in mainland Europe is hypocitical because they have their taboos (holocaust for example) but keep telling us there are no taboos.

    What infuriated me more was the rest of Europe printing those cartoons under the pretense that they cared for FoS when they’re so hypocritical. I’d like to see the same happen if there are under threats to FoS over Jesus for example.

    But this point I made above still stands:
    Concentrating on the violence is a suitable distraction for you because its a safe zone where your assumptions are not open to hypocrisy (for example, the point you made about anti-semitism).

    I’m writing a piece on the violence itself, but the actions of the middle eastern rioters is less an issue for me because much of that is orchestrated and planned by some. Comparing yourself to them is futile, I’m more interested in the European reasoning and assumptions made there.

    Trying to make this an issue about race is futile and won’t get you far :)

  • 88. Kulvinder  |  February 6th, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    Yep, again. But that is because these examples involve real people, real examples of human sufffering, not a mere ideology/belief system.

    Your concept of ‘reality’ is subjective, the entire point of faith is you believe it to be ‘real’.

    you should be allowed to discuss anything that is the point of freedom of speech.

    Were someone to take the piss out of Pakistanis suffering in Kashmir as a result of the earthquake or the mainly muslim victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, then that would be totally unacceptable.

    Why would it be unacceptable? You mean any critism of quake survivors is bad?

    oh noes!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4459528.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4599540.stm

    Can you grasp the difference?

    No. I support the proposition that anyone should be allowed to say and express themselves however they damn well like.

    Whether that be walking naked down the street or wearing a t-shirt with ‘osama’s my hero’ blazoned across it.

    I thought JP should have refrained from printing those pictures because they were shit not because i advocated censorship. I think ‘western newspapers’ should uphold themselves to higher standards of journalism than the state-controlled media of totalitarian regimes which regularly spew out hatred. The french and germans taking up the ‘great european cause’ was so laughable it was almost untrue, terrible event thought it may have been you’re not allowed to deny the fucking holocaust in those nations.

    It was at times also a terrible fucking period but i would be up in arms if anyone advocated outlawing any support for the British empire or imperialism in general.

    Those who screech most vociferously for the cartoons to be printed everywhere are usually the ones that are the most reactionary when dealing with something that offends them.

    Have the courage of your convictions to stand firm with your principles.

    You’re offended over the offence they’re causing because they’re offended over the offence you’re advocating.

    Aces \o/

  • 89. jamal  |  February 6th, 2006 at 11:38 pm

    “In Denmark there has been a positive debate among danes and muslims, as mentioned, about the drawing that were posted in september last year (!).”

    Peter Pedersen, a very selective account there. There are about 15 million Muslims in the EU. They face ignorance, insult and even persecution. To impose “freedom of speech” on Denmarks minority muslims population according to your rules is innappropriate. What you are disguising as “positive debate” is in fact an infringment of their human rights.

    The papaer did not want to offend christians, but happilly offended Muslims, and at a time when islamophobia and persecution of muslims are some of the biggest talking points today. Furthermore, before the paper [ublished these picture, there was a similar probelm in canada, so obviusly the papaer knew what the impact would be. This IS a double standard.

    Before you even consider posting any further commenct here, I suggest you read this, this, this and this.

  • 90. Kulvinder  |  February 6th, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    Incidently id also oppose any british newspaper publishing the pictures of those protestors just for the hell of it, or comissioning and printing cartoons depicting white people as being universally racist/evil etc etc.

  • 91. Kulvinder  |  February 6th, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    oh and thats oppose in the sense of ‘wtf?!’ rather than ‘go to jail’

  • 92. Pounce  |  February 6th, 2006 at 11:59 pm

    Peter thank you for taking the time to expose the double standards that a certain peaceful religion has.

  • 93. Cinnamon  |  February 6th, 2006 at 11:59 pm

    Kulvinder,

    As for you bringing in the holocaust *bzzt* you’re uninformed and politcally naive to the bone. *slap*

    To inform you: the holocaust was a historic event and what made it ’special’ amongst all the genocide that had taken place before (of which there were many in human history) is that it was planned and executed on an industrial basis, where humans were used like raw materials, and nothing, down to hair, skin and gold teeth was wasted, but worked into consumer products. (soap and lampshades anyone? Or, those nice human hair dolls?)

    People were used in medical experiements like lab rats (crash dummies, checking how long death by freezing takes and other things, such as experiemental surgeries etc… you get the idea I guess!)

    This is a different dimension as to simply marching the local enemy to a hole in the ground and killing them there and then or your run-of-the-mill local ethnic cleansing frenzy.

    In other words, it was not the enormity of the murder that took place which was the shocking part, but, how the murderers murdered. So far, this has never been repeated anywhere, something we should treasure and keep this way.

    So why is it forbidden to deny it?

    It really happened, and to deny it is plainly a lie and cannot be covered by free speech as such.

    I hope this clears things up for you and you now understand why fascists are so deeply hated, and why anyone who messes with the Holocaust memory is an instant asshole in so many European’s eyes.

  • 94. jamal  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:03 am

    “Peter thank you for taking the time to expose the double standards that a certain peaceful religion has.”

    Pounce, you definatly read something that I didnt.

  • 95. Sunny  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:06 am

    Those who screech most vociferously for the cartoons to be printed everywhere are usually the ones that are the most reactionary when dealing with something that offends them.

    Ha ha! That is the most truest statement yet.

  • 96. Peter Pedersen  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:07 am

    @ Jamal:

    The 15 mio. muslems in the EU do not all share your attitude towards this subject. To even talk about them as a homogenous group is crazy. And to write that they all face “ignorance, insult and even persecution” is based on what FACTS?.

    Why dont you relate your answer to the issues i am raising about the background of the drawings ?.
    How is a positive debate an infringment of their human rights ?.

    The spreading of the cartoons to the rest of the world was in fact done by muslems thenmselves.
    The paper had no idea what the impact would be. The managing editor has even stated, that - had he known the impact - he wouldnt have printed them.

    The whole case has been stirred further up by lies from the Imams who launched the campaign with false images and exaggerated numbers of supports for their “cause”. As well as Al Jazeerah and Al Arabia, who spread even further lies from danish IMAMS. To mention a few: Public Quaran-burnings in Denmark, and fire-attacks on danish mosques. Why the lies if you are an IMAM ?. Does the Quaran allow this or what ?. Herin lies the whole irony of the matter.

    With regards to DS:
    Your sense of logic is illogical. Please read the 8th posting by Cinnamon, or the points 1-5 in my last posting about this.

    Pete
    - Im off to bed.

  • 97. Siddharth  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:09 am

    I think there will come something good out of this whole issue, because the more moderate muslims - especially in Europe - finally come out in the public space for debate, and that the radicals (as seen in a recent london-demo) hopefully will be confronted by fellow muslems who have and display a more peacefull understanding of the holy book, and Islam.

    Peter, I hope you’re right. But it might just go the other way too - and that will be the fault of both sides and not just one. The poblem with Arab Muslims and to an extent, Muslims in general, is that the an Eastern truism which narrates “If you call them a mad dog, they’ll oblige you by coming at you to bite you” is very often true.

    **sigh**

  • 98. Sunny  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:10 am

    It really happened, and to deny it is plainly a lie and cannot be covered by free speech as such.

    Cinnamon - clearly your brain cannot comprehend metaphorical analogies.

  • 99. Old Pickler  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:11 am

    Isn’t it funny to see Analytical and OP on the same side as the terrorists.

    Eh?

  • 100. Peter Pedersen  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:12 am

    Do you guys even know the context of the drawings, and the accompaning text from the newspaper JP?.

    How many in here have read the articles accompaning the drawings in the danish newspaper ?. In English - maybe?.

    I suggest u read that before i read this, this, this and this.

    ZZZzzzZZZZzzzZZZ

  • 101. Sunny  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Peter - I know the background and have discussed it here extensively before. I’ve also covered the lies of the Danish Muslim contigent and other factors (Saudi imams trying to deflect attention from Hajj killings etc).

    But my point isn’t to compare to Middle East. If that is your point of comparison, then you’re surely dragging yourself into the gutter. I have no desire to live in totalitarian regimes. But I do expect better standards from my own country and the press. The European press, as Kulvinder points out, is hypocritical on FoS.

  • 102. Don  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:22 am

    Not only is anyone who messes with the Holocaust an instant asshole, however plausible they might be on Newsnight, but getting back at the Danes by having a go at the jews is a pretty unequivocal statement, basic European taboo my arse. As Sid would say ‘Get yourself a BNP bulletin board registration ‘ Can we just stay away from that?

    I thought David T nailed it in a very prosaic appeal to courtesy. After all, it’s the meme we’ve evolved to stop society eating itself.

  • 103. Cinnamon  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:23 am

    Erm, Sunny, lying is not free speech, it simply is a lie.

    Free speech is the right to state an opinion.

    The difference is that I can prove a lie to be just that, but, an opinion is simple an opinion, it cannot be a lie — it can be a fallacy at worst.

  • 104. j0nz  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:25 am

    Basically, Peter, Sunny is a ‘liberal lefty’ and thus is pathologically compelled to critiscise perceieved imperialist hegemony, even when it is in the righteous path of abrasive freedom of expression.

    He knows full well that the uncivilised & aggressive reactions of hundreds of Muslims around the world pail into comparison of some insulting images of Pro. Mo. Perhaps he thinks the West should know better. And … I think they do.

  • 105. Clive Davis…  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:29 am

    THE MUSLIMS IN THE MIDDLE?

    One thing that makes me nervous about some of the people making the loudest anti-Muslim noises in the latest culture war is that they’re the same folk who were desperate to interpret last year’s riots in France as an intifada

  • 106. Siddharth  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:29 am

    I thought David T nailed it in a very prosaic appeal to courtesy. After all, it’s the meme we’ve evolved to stop society eating itself.

    Actually DavidT suggested HP to readers to get registered with the mpacUK bulletin board to get an “objective view” of what idiot Muslims were saying. So why so squeamish when I suggest people should check out the BNP BBs to get an idea of the confluence of opinion between HP and BNP? Come on Don, you were beautiful once.

  • 107. j0nz  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:29 am

    The Small Print:

    Abrasive Freedom of Expression Does Not Include The Freedom to Incite Murder.

  • 108. Peter Pedersen  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:30 am

    @ Sunny:

    Ok i see we are not as far apart as it looked.

    There are just alot of layers behind this whole issue, that can be approached in different ways. As a dane it looks absurd that the issue leads to embassy-attacks and flagburnings . Who said Double standards by the way ?: The danish flag consists of a cross so burning it isnt exaclty respect for other ppls religions !.

    With regards to the European Press (Germany/France) I can see the hypocracy, as well as from UK who didnt post the drawings, but posted the pictures from the london-demo!.

    Finally I must add, that denying the holocaust is not illegal in liberal Denmark.

    Pete

  • 109. jamal  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:37 am

    “The 15 mio. muslems in the EU do not all share your attitude towards this subject. To even talk about them as a homogenous group is crazy. And to write that they all face “ignorance, insult and even persecution” is based on what FACTS?.”

    Peter, the current protests show that many do. Even though there are many that do not support the protests and many that consider the cartoons silly, I woulds go out on a limb to say that most would not claim to like or be positivly amused by the cartoons, particularly the obe refering to the virgins which you conviniently missed out of your speech.

    Muslims do face ignorance, insult and even persecution, although this does not mean they WILL actually expericance it. You attempt to misquote me now makes me put doubt on your credibility. Nevertheless, I would argue that you yourself evidence the ignorance and offence we face by your warped opinion that we may think that there is some other context to which me may view Prophet Muhammad in a “crime line up” or wearing a “bomb-shaped turban”.

  • 110. jamal  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:40 am

    Jonz, the human rights act does not have such a small print. What it does actually say is something that covers BOTH sides of the dispute;

    “Freedom of speech and expression carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”

  • 111. Peter Pedersen  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:52 am

    @ Jamal:

    The current protests in Europe have in fact been very small even relatively. London couldnt even gather what.. 1000 ?. Paris 3000 ?. where are the rest 14.996.000 ?.

    I agree that most arent amused - even with the obe and the virgins which i myself found amusing :-) .
    It seems to me that the bomb-shaped turban has caused the greatest uproar.

    With regards to the last part - I can live with the ignorance and offence part :-) I feel the same way with you - refusing to see things in their context.

    If we can then agree not to insult, nor prosecute eachother, the world would soon be a better place.

    I still cheer for the moderate moslems in all of this.

    Pete

    Bonusinfo: Jesus and Buddah are also in the crime line up.

  • 112. Siddharth  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:54 am

    As a result they are vilified twice: once through the cartoon, and again for exercising their democratic right to protest. The inflammatory response to their protest reminds me of the quote from Steve Biko, the South African black nationalist: “Not only are whites kicking us; they are telling us how to react to being kicked.”

    Gary Young

    That quote taken from Lenin, loud and direct:

    As Edward Said wrote, the notion of the White Man that emerged in the era of colonialism and exemplified in some of Kipling’s doggerel (”Now this is the road that the White Men tread/When they go to clean a land…”), involved “a particular way of taking hold of reality, language, and thought”. As Said writes: “Underlying these categories is the rigidly binomial opposition of ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’, with the former always encroaching upon the latter (even to the point of making ‘theirs’ exclusively a function of ‘ours’). This opposition was reinforced not only by anthropology, linguistics, and history but also, of course, less decisive - by the rhetoric of high cultural humanism. What gave writers like Renan and Arnold the right to generalities about race was the official character of their formed cultural literacy. ‘Our’ values were (let us say) liberal, humane, correct: they were supported by the tradition of belles-lettres, informed scholarship, rational inquiry; as Europeans (and white men) ‘we’ shared in them every time their virtues were extolled.” (From Orientalism. Emphasis added).

  • 113. Analytical  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:56 am

    “Those who screech most vociferously for the cartoons to be printed everywhere are usually the ones that are the most reactionary when dealing with something that offends them.”

    That’s a lie. Pure and simple. The people who have been at the forefront of the free speech cause in the UK are the likes of Christopher Hitchens, Matthew Parris and Munira Mirza - all are principled supporters of the right of their opponents to offend them.

    “Ha ha! That is the most truest statement yet.”, says Sunny, whose grasp of grammar is as defective as his grasp of reality. Sunny, you’re losing the respect of many people who admire your work in setting up this site and Asians in Media. I hope that when the whole furore had died down you’ll take a step back and ask yourself a few hard questions.

    Cinnamon - sorry, mate. Free speech is more important than defending historical memory through censorship. Holocaust denial is sick, stupid and evil but it certainly shouldn’t be illegal any more than claiming that Napoleon triumphed at Waterloo should be. If someone says that there was no mass extermination of the Jews he unintentionally performs two services: 1) he identifies himself as a self-evident scumbag 2) he gives the rest of us the opportunity to remind people (particularly younger people) of what really happened within living memory in the heart of Europe.

    David Irving should be free. Nick Griffin should be free. Abu Chauhdray of Al Muj should be free. And, unless he was organising terrorist activity behind the scenes, so should Abu Hamza.

    Freedom is our glory - and our protector.

  • 114. Sunny  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:01 am

    Pete - I don’t think we are that far apart either, and I’m glad you at least understand my point.

    I think Jamal is exaggerating when he thinks that not only do all of 15 mil Muslims in Europe think the same, and that they are all pissed off. My mates in the UK themselves are busy working and just annoyed that some Muslims in the Middle East are making idiots out of themselves.

    As a dane it looks absurd that the issue leads to embassy-attacks and flagburnings
    I’ve never defended the Arabs in all this. I think the protests were orchestrated quite manipulatively, and the people sometimes behave like sheep, demonstrating at whatever. Saying that, the vast majority of the Muslim world has not started going mad… there are mad mullahs with their contingents in every country and they are making the trouble.

    In Lebanon for example, they found that a lot of people who burnt the Danish embassy were bussed in from outside or were of Syrian origin. The Lebanese themselves were shocked.

    The point is, why are we comparing to the Middle East? Those regimes are full of hypocrisy anyway.

  • 115. Siddharth  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:03 am

    Analytical: If someone says that there was no mass extermination of the Jews he unintentionally performs two services: 1) he identifies himself as a self-evident scumbag 2) he gives the rest of us the opportunity to remind people (particularly younger people) of what really happened within living memory in the heart of Europe.

    Thats funny becasue, by exactly the same logic that you’ve edified us with, anyone who publishes racist cartoons and those who defend the publication of racist cartoons is also
    1) A racist self-evident scumbag

    If you perceive a difference between the two positions, you’ll be sure to let us know, won’t you.

  • 116. Sunny  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:08 am

    Christopher Hitchen’s mad rantings aside (and you forgot to mention Michelle Malking and Melanie Phillips?), I’m gonna chat with Munira tomorrow and see what she says. Just judging her from interviews on Newsnight or the Spiked article is futile since you’re forced to take a stance (specially when you’re up against the HuT). I think she is more nuanced than that. Anyway, see Clive Davis’ round up above, he makes some good points, and see the article by Tariq Ramadan in the Guardian today. I have work to be getting on with and I’ve repeated myself so many times. I believe Kulvinder and Hari Kunzru have addressed the same issue.

  • 117. Jay Singh  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:08 am

    Sunny, you’re losing the respect of many people who admire your work in setting up this site and Asians in Media. I hope that when the whole furore had died down you’ll take a step back and ask yourself a few hard questions.

    Ooof…how pompous and patronising.

    Dude - you can accuse Sunny of many things, but one thing you cannot accuse him of is not supporting the right of the newspapers to publish what they like.

  • 118. Jay Singh  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:12 am

    Analytical speaks from the peak of Mount Olympus:

    Sunny! We have admired you and patted you on the head for setting up this website and Asians in Media! Now you must step back because you have made my arse itch with your arguments! Bow down and think about it! Or else we will not admire you! And you will shit your pants because we will not admire you! And you should be scared because do you know who we are and what our admiration is? Get on your knees and beg for our admiration! You imbecile! We no longer admire you!

  • 119. Siddharth  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:13 am

    Christopher Hitchens - what a sallow bully boy the man has become. He loses the plot, gets emotional and starts ranting - and thats just on CNN. Great spectacle. Total comedian.

    Munira Mirza: Half-hearted fence sitting is not going to do anyone any good. What does she make of the European re-printing?

  • 120. Jay Singh  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:14 am

    Sid

    Munira Mirza supports the European re-printing. And I respect her. I think Hitchens is alright too.

  • 121. Siddharth  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Jay

    The European re-printing was a crock. Even more so since it was evident that the whole issue is nothing to do with FoS and everything to do with provocational point scoring.

    Hitchens - I love the guy, but he’s a drunken douche-bag half the time when he’s interviewed on TV. I respect his intellect, but his position is becoming more and more untenable. The sad old contrarian’s gonna have to come back to the motherlode soon.

  • 122. Jay Singh  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:21 am

    Sid

    I like Hitchens. I like his style and his stance. I like his beard. Even when I don’t agree with him, I like him.

  • 123. Siddharth  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:23 am

    Jay

    Yeah I know what you mean. He dresses to the right too. The man’s packing a piece.

  • 124. Bikhair  |  February 7th, 2006 at 1:24 am

    seanT,

    “That is what Islam needs to realise - the reaction of fear, disgust and repulsion that it is breeding in everyone else. Are Muslims proud of that? Do they think that’s good? They may get a strange adolescent buzz from instilling fear in people, but every ageing bully knows that in the end he pays for his rush.”

    You speak of Islam as if it is a person. Once you realise that Muslims and Islam arent synonymous than you will make more sense to someone, unlike most people on this forum, that is Muslim.

    Muslims dont set precedence in Islamic law, the law sets the precedence for them. Islamic law is, to put it very simply, what is in the Quran, the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed which is his example, unless otherwise stated, i.e. marrying more than four women, and an often neglected source of the law, the understanding of the companions of the Prophet, and the generation that proceeded them. They are called the Tabieen. We know this from various hadiths that praise the actions, knowledge, and devotion to Islam these people had.

    (Ijtihad is another issue that I dont have the knowledge to discuss. I hope you dont believe that this is an oppurtunity for you to explain it to me because I am not interested.) But I will tell you, unlike ignorant people like Irshad Manji ijtihad doesnt exist to cancell the Sharia but to expand on it, when issues arent very clear according to the principles set by the former. (see above)

  • 125. Baz  |  February 7th, 2006 at 2:42 am

    And of course we won’t hear anything about this!
    http://www.haaretz.c…

    Belgian-Dutch Islamic political organization posted anti-Jewish cartoons on its Web site in response to the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that appeared in Danish papers last year and offended many
    Muslims.

    The cartoons were posted on the Arab European League’s site on Saturday. It was not working Sunday morning because of exceeded bandwidth.
    The cartoons depicting Mohammed wearing a turban-shaped bomb were first published in Denmark, and then in newspapers elsewhere in Europe in a show of solidarity with press freedoms.

    The Islamic site carried a disclaimer saying the images were being shown as part of an exercise in free speech rather than to endorse their content - just as European newspapers have reprinted the Danish cartoons.

    One of the AEL cartoons displayed an image of Dutch Holocaust victim Anne Frank in bed with Adolf Hitler, and another questioned whether the Holocaust actually occurred.

    When will the Jews riot… Oh wait…

  • 126. MuslimQueen  |  February 7th, 2006 at 3:39 am

    Does no one get it? this is not an issue of Freedome of Speech…. this is a mere matter of respect. You are portraying a man who is repected and loved by 25% of the worlds popluation as a terrorist, as a womanizer, and whatnot…. but hey he represents them in those papers…. so are the European papers saying muslism are terrorists and womanizers????? ummm, that sounds very racial to me!

  • 127. Bikhair  |  February 7th, 2006 at 5:44 am

    Jay Singh,

    “I like Hitchens. I like his style and his stance. I like his beard. Even when I don’t agree with him, I like him.”

    When I see him he looks red and intoxicated.

  • 128. Kulvinder  |  February 7th, 2006 at 7:05 am

    That’s a lie. Pure and simple. The people who have been at the forefront of the free speech cause in the UK are the likes of Christopher Hitchens, Matthew Parris and Munira Mirza - all are principled supporters of the right of their opponents to offend them.

    As far as im aware, they weren’t explicitly calling for the cartoons to be published everywhere in some half arsed display of ’solidarity’.

    My point was more greatly directed at the french and germans (who i admit aren’t present on the board), apologies for any misunderstanding.

    Cinnamon - sorry, mate. Free speech is more important than defending historical memory through censorship. Holocaust denial is sick, stupid and evil but it certainly shouldn’t be illegal any more than claiming that Napoleon triumphed at Waterloo should be. If someone says that there was no mass extermination of the Jews he unintentionally performs two services: 1) he identifies himself as a self-evident scumbag 2) he gives the rest of us the opportunity to remind people (particularly younger people) of what really happened within living memory in the heart of Europe.

    David Irving should be free. Nick Griffin should be free. Abu Chauhdray of Al Muj should be free. And, unless he was organising terrorist activity behind the scenes, so should Abu Hamza.

    Freedom is our glory - and our protector.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    The cartoons were mediocre and not worthy of any self-respecting newspaper, the protestors were attention seeking and completely misplaced their anger against ‘britain’ for no apparent reason (in speech marks since blaming an entire populous isn’t ever the soundest of logic).

    It was nice and grown up for the gentleman in question to apologise publicly. I don’t think anyone should be arrested over the incidents.

  • 129. Jay Singh  |  February 7th, 2006 at 9:33 am

    When I see him he looks red and intoxicated

    Bikhair, don’t be prejudiced against intoxicated red men.

  • 130. Cinnamon  |  February 7th, 2006 at 10:08 am

    Folks,

    I’ve fairly much given you the mainstream German position on the Holocaust denial, maybe the article and links below will help you better:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial

    Freedom of Speech is important, but, if you also protect lying and incitement, you have a problem in as that only a small percent of humanity is mentally equipped to deal with the complexities, and the number of oinks that blindly follow the crowd in direction of the cliff can quickly be overwhelming.

    Besides that, if you allow liars and inciters to weasel their way to power on free speech, free speech is the first thing they’ll ban when they can.

    And I’m holding much with Karl Popper here:

    “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them… We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

  • 131. Baz  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    An excerpt from Hamas Leader Khaled Mash’al at a Damascus Mosque: “The Nation of Islam WILL Sit at the Throne of the World and the West Will Be Full of Remorse – When it’s Too Late”

    Will? Will? The nation of Islam already sits upon a certain “throne of the World”.

    It’s a giant toilet… It is the world which the Muslims have created within the wider world… And the sewer this toilet straddles is called Islam…

  • 132. Baz  |  February 7th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    Great article from Hirsi Ali in the german magazine Spiegel

    http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,399263,00.html

  • 133. Ed w  |  February 7th, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/02/danish-imams-busted.html

    One of the 3 extra images included in Imam Ahmad Abu Laban’s bumper book of cartoons happens to be a Frenchman in a Pig-squealing competition. Now how did that happen??

  • 134. Ed w  |  February 7th, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    http://www.neandernews.com/?p=54%20.

  • 135. Bilal Mc Daniel  |  February 7th, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Ed w

    Grow up. This posting is just sick. You think this is funny?

    Stop your hate. This is not about a cartoon, it is about 100 years of oppression and mischief.

  • 136. Rich  |  February 7th, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    “…it is about 100 years of oppression and mischief.”

    I believe this is what one of those terrorists was uttering while he chopped off one of the hostages head.

    Time for a new tune cause this one is getting old, even for liberals. People are starting to wake up and the backlash can’t be too far behind.

  • 137. Siddharth  |  February 7th, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    Hey that pic Ed W posted. Am I the only one who thinks that picture looks like George Dubya with a beard, a cap and what looks like a coke-snorting device?

  • 138. Rich  |  February 7th, 2006 at 9:31 pm

    I was appalled at the islamophobic bigotry of the Danish cartoons. As I said to my friend on the Muslims Against Stereotyping Terrorists Under Bush’s Anti Terrorist Engagement Rules (MASTURBATERS), Mustapha Jihad, freedom of speech is about having the right to sell hard core porn at a school bake sale, not expressing political opinions in newspapers! Mustapha agreed saying that there was nothing he hated more than this crude racial predjudice, except perhaps Jews.

    Anyway MASTURBATERS will be taking this in hand and moving vigorously to produce a result

  • 139. Fed up Englishman  |  February 8th, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    It really comes down to this:
    We pride ourselves on our democracy and freedom of speech.
    This freedom must allow ANYTHING no matter how unpopular (except inciting to murder or any other breach of the law).
    Islam is INCOMPATIBLE with western society, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Aethiests all live and work together without any problems.
    The problem lies entirely with the expansionist polices of Islam, the Muslim is like a cuckoo, it lays its eggs in someone else’s nest and pushes their eggs out to make way for its own.
    If these Muslims really hate the west then perhaps they should F*** off back to the desert where they can live how they want amongst the camel s***
    Well done to the Danes now lets see some real sense and have our politicians expel all Muslims from the UK , then we can all get back to our lives.

  • 140. El Cid  |  February 8th, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    David Irving should be free. Nick Griffin should be free. Abu Chauhdray of Al Muj should be free. And, unless he was organising terrorist activity behind the scenes, so should Abu Hamza.

    Analytical, regarding the bit I have italicised, what precisely do you mean by this? At what point is someone indirectly responsible for other people’s actions?
    Here lies a key battleground between the simplistic rhetoric of ideology and the pragmatic needs of modern society. How do I resolve this tension? I treat each case on its merits, rely on legal process and precedent, and trust in the West’s politics of reinvention.
    Philosophically inconsistent? Who cares.
    I don’t claim to know it all.

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