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Neal Asher
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 01:25 am:   

So here's the cartoons all the ranting is about: http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/008395.html funny there's been cartoons of a beardy christian god appearing in papers for years, with no comment, and strangely there was no furore when a cartoon of of Jesus appeared, smiling on his cross, combined with an advert for the glue 'No More Nails!'. What do you all think?
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Thomas R.
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 05:26 am:   

I've heard Muslims say that just seeing an image of Muhammad is a sin to them. Therefore seeing the cartoons forces them to sin and you aren't allowed to force people to go against their religion. I have several problems with that. For one if this is so then they should have done everything possible to ignore them rather than make them an international issue and thereby risking more Muslims be brought into the sin of seeing them. For another just a general huh? I don't get how just seeing something by accident could be a sin in any ethical system.

That said the bomb and the devil horned one are maybe a bit cruel in that I don't think many would do an image of John the Baptist or Calvin that way. (To pick figures in Christianity generally deemed a bit more zealous than Jesus) Not that they should in anyway be censored, but I could see critical letters or boycotts of magazines with those.

Boycotting the entire country of Denmark or killing people, however, is totally out of line and nutty. Also the rest of them strike me as fairly harmless. They have rules against doing any images of Muhammad, but they have rules like that on all the Prophets. That doesn't mean we should go ban films about Biblical prophets or Jesus to avoid offending them.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 06:16 am:   

yeah agree with Thomas, also don't see these same Muslims burning Danish embassies and threatening jihad from London to Gaza to Damascus, protesting against the most virulent anti-Semitic cartoons lifted straight out of Nazi Europe that are a regular feature in the Arab press, au contraire the same people burning Danish flags and threatening death to cartoonists endorse the most bigoted cartoons directed at others. And btw it is a false analogy to compare a Jew-baiting or say a gay-hating Nazi cartoon to one mocking religion and its abuses, the latter unlike the former tells us disturbing truths about society's evils and hypocrisies, the former is an espousal and promotion of self-same evils. Predictable hypocrisy from the Muslim world here.

They also fail to realise that we don't have to live by their rules, just because they do not permit criticism of their religion and authority in general, doesn't mean we are bound by their rules. We criticise and satirize our own religions all the time, thankfully, so we can also mock other's. We do not have to live by their taboos, even though they seem to think we do, even in lands not yet conquered by Dar Al Islam.

Also Danes seem to have more backbone than the whole of North America and the UK put together, who are way too chickenshit to show any spine out of the whole brouhaha. Where in N America and UK did they publish the cartoons?, in France and Germany and Holland they reprinted them. The US State Dept's and Jack Straw's pathetic appeasement entirely predictable. It's Europe, not the UK and US who have shown some surprising backbone here. I say buy Denmark.

Another point that many miss, the violent, irrational responses, the burning of embassies, the threats of jihad - who here saw the placards at the London rally? - only proves the truth of the point that the cartoonists were making. And thus makes the publications of the cartoons all the more vital. The point that the cartoons make - the use and threats of muderous violence, of holy war, in the name of Allah, Muhammed and religion against the infidel - is proven by the responses to the cartoons themselves, namely the use and threats of murderous violence, of jihad in the name of Allah, Muhammed and religion against all infidels.
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 11:14 am:   

The offended Muslims might get a little sympathy from me, just a shred -- in a "Somebody was mean to widdle snookums? Aw, dat's soooo nasty of dem." -- if the people complaining weren't, well, self-deluding cretins just like every other brainwashed spiritual-self-flagellant whichever Grand High Poobah they happen to believe in, whether it be Allah the Not So Merciful, YHVH whose Name cannot be spoken cause you really don't want to invoke that genocidal bastard, or the Little Baby Jesus who died on the cross so we could roll on the ground, revelling in the entrails of our sacrificial victim, and thereby be "washed clean in the blood of the Lamb" (or something like that; I've never been quite sure how exactly celebrating the murder of some poor fucker magically absolves us of all sin).

OK, I'll make an exception for Judaism because that makes no claim to universality in its prescriptions, so while it's chock-full of the rabid misogyny and homophobia of prophets like Isaiah, railing against all those whores and faggots of Babylon (or Sidon, or Tyre, or Byblos, or whichever liberal mercantile multicultural city happened to be the den-of-iniquity-of-the-day) Judaism, at least, isn't out to convert the world to that froth-mouthed hatred of pro-nature, pro-sex, pro-fucking-gressive belief-systems. But Christianity and Islam alike... sorry, but I find them both ethically abhorrent. What's their oh so fucking holy message? Nature is sinful. The flesh is sinful. Sex is sinful. Whores and homos are especially sinful because, well, us repressed neurotic fuckwits are so freaked out by sex we can't deal with anything that might remind us it can be more than just procreation. So we will rejoice in the death of whores and faggots. We will celebrate the destruction of your decadent cities rife with these iniquities.

I don't give a fuck whether they're Muslim, Christian or whatever. Anyone who wants to hold up a book that, just for example, celebrates the destruction of Sodom as God's justice, as the righteous punishment of a city of queers, anyone who seriously, honestly and openly touts this vile and pernicious simulacrum of "morality" -- they can read my upturned middle finger, the arrogant, ignorant, self-righteous cunts. They're the fucking heathens. They're the fucking infidels. I often wonder how these pious men will react when the Big One hits San Francisco. Will that be God's punishment on the homos too?

And so, what? We're supposed to shut the fuck up? We're not supposed to stand our ground, challenge the Nazis -- in whatever repugnantly sanctimonious mask they happen to be wearing this time round -- with even the mildest of jibes... a satirical cartoon... a play... a comic opera... whatever... in case we offend their delicate sensibilities?

Fuck that shit.
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Neal Asher
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 11:55 am:   

You have my applause, Hal. But I guess that when you look at their rabid antisemitism, their go-aheads to rape any female not draped in cloth etc etc, they become far too easy a target. What is really troubling is to read through the replies on that link above at some of the posts by some muslims (not all). They seem to fail to understand the secular state, fail to understand that in our society some things are just not in the government remit, fail to understand that their theocratic laws don't apply to us, fail to understand the distinction betweem verbal violence and physical violence. And I mean really fail - they just don't get it. Frightening ignorance.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 12:14 pm:   

It's an understandable ignorance. In most Muslim countries, secular or theocratic, the press and the government are intimately connected. The idea that a newspaper could publish something that is not also the government's view probably doesn't occur to most Syrians or Saudis.

But I have no sympathy for the British-born protestors in London who called for the beheading and massacre of citizens of other countries who offend Islam. Incitement to violence is not protected free speech. They should be arrested and charged.

Matt Hughes
Black Brillion now in paperback
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories now in stores
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Neal Asher
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 12:46 pm:   

But it probably won't happen, Matt. Tonight we had the spectacle of one guy, who dressed up as a suicide bomber, apologising because he didn't mean to offend anyone. Okay, that's all right then.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 01:55 pm:   

Well, It seems like Al Queda is getting the War of cultures that it wanted. Which is sad. It seems like every step since 9/11 has taken us further down this path, and further radicalized, inflamed, and divided people. This was my main concern with the Iraqi invasion/occupation -- it was just plain bad policy that played right into the hands of people who wanted a clash of civilizations.

I find the furor over the cartoons disturbing, but hardly surprising, given the tensions in the world, and the people hell-bent on exploiting them.


And let me add a harty “hell yeah” to Al’s post.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 05:41 am:   

The Iraq campaign was bound to incite further violence, true. But such could be said for any action in any war - the enemy will react.

One has to wonder about the violence by European Muslims and their lack of assimilation. People have long excused such behavior in the Middle East as the only way desperate people could express frustration in the face of their autocratic governments. But if Muslims in England and Denmark (!) don't get it, it doesn't bode well for the "give 'em democracy and they won't be so radical" idea.

For, oh, decades before the neocons came along, various critics on the Left complained that Western policies toward the Muslim world were based in ignorance and that we needed to work on the "underlying issues of poverty and autocracy" if we were ever to see a change in the Middle East. God help us if they were wrong and there isn't anything there more complicated than a bloody-minded religious fanaticism.
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 07:25 am:   

Assumptions are never a good basis for an argument, Trasshauler, so give it up. This europe you're referring to is not the same one I live in.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 07:30 am:   

Alistair, so far I haven't made any assumptions, about Europe or anything else. I can't give up an argument I haven't engaged in, yet. But thanks for the...caution, I guess.
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Alistair
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 08:28 am:   

You're welcome.
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jim
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 09:11 am:   

Ah, yes, all those Iraqi terrorists who were attacking Americans...oh wait, that's right. There WERE NO IRAQI terrorists, until Bush created an environment to foster them. Thanks for reminding me about how "the enemy will react." Always helps when your own leaders follow the exact script of your actual enemy's fondest wish list in order to swell the ranks of their shadow army of terrorists.
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AliceB
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 10:37 am:   

The cartoons were published in September, 2005. These protests are some six months after publication. Someone is orchestrating the protests, and from what I've been reading, the protests seem to be coming from governments who have the most to gripe about the West, most notably Syria's--who is under a great deal of pressure because of what's happened in Lebanon. Tellingly, in Iran, the first cry of protest during the attack on the Danish embassy was "Death to Israel".
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AliceB
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 10:39 am:   

Can't count. Make that between 4 1/2 and 5 months. Same point, however.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 10:57 am:   

Jim wrote:
___________

Ah, yes, all those Iraqi terrorists who were attacking Americans...oh wait, that's right. There WERE NO IRAQI terrorists, until Bush created an environment to foster them. Thanks for reminding me about how "the enemy will react." Always helps when your own leaders follow the exact script of your actual enemy's fondest wish list in order to swell the ranks of their shadow army of terrorists.
____________

Such calculations are made before every war and are wrong, as often as not. Most wars have terrible surprises and the enemy always gets a vote.

It's true that the Iraqi ties to terrorism were relatively thin (but not nonexistent) before the campaign and they had nothing to do with the planning and execution of 9/11. And though the Baathists were already our enemies, we were certainly caught wrongfooted at their apparently planned shift to insurgency. It's cost us. Such is war.

But it's logical to say that neither we nor our Islamic radical enemies know how things going to turn out. Getting their "fondest wish," if that's what it was, might not do them much good in the end. The Baathists are already learning that.

These enemies were out there already, though not very noticeable to most people.

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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 11:08 am:   

I think Alice makes a good point. In addition to the time delay, there have been fake cartoons circulating in Syria, and other places...Cartoons forgeries falsely attributed to the Dutch newspaper… cartoons clearly made in order to enflame and manipulate people. There seems to be a small group of people orchestrating and taking advantage of people's ignorance, fear and biases. Obviously that never happens in the west, so white/Christian American’s and Europeans should feel free to feel smugly superior to those easily led infidels...

And before anybody gets a hair up their ass… no. I am not excusing people’s ignorance, and violent actions. I’m simply trying to find a context for it, so that it can be understood, and addressed efficiently in the future.


And on a slightly related note, I thought this website was very poignant.
http://www.sorrynorwaydenmark.com/
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 11:16 am:   

Trashhauler says :"These enemies were out there already, though not very noticeable to most people. "

Trashhauler seems content to play into Al Queda's hands, and embrace a war of civilizations. The sad fact is, after 9/11, public opinion polls throughout the Arab world showed overwhelming support for the United States, and condemnation for Al Queda and its actions.

After the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, this public sympathy has completely reversed itself. As I said before, the Invasion of Iraq radicalized otherwise moderate people, and turned them against the US, and the west.

Also, I since I was the one who brought up the war, I will ask Trashhauler to take any specific response to this post off thread, and into the new thread I have set up, entitled "radicalizing moderates". I didn't mean to hijack this discussion into yet another he-said/she-said Iraqi war debate.

Peace
-jl

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