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Ok, so let me get this straight...

... cartoonists draw cartoons that portray Mohammad in unflattering ways (including wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse).

...and militant Islamic groups protest by firing guns into the air, and threatening to kidnap European workers if the EU doesn't apologize for the sacrilege....

So.... these people have transformed the age-old schoolyard principle of "I don't like what you said so I'm going to take my ball and go home" into "I don't like what you said so I'm going to brutally hurt and kill you." (since, historically, being kidnapped by those folks tends to dramatically shorten people's lifespans)

What.

The.

Fuck?

Now, normally, I loathe people who try to mitigate their cruel/crude behaviour by saying "oh it's just a joke" or "you need to lighten up" etc.. but you know, in this case, yeah, lighten up you over-important, self-righteous, religious nutjobs. We have enough trouble trying to keep our own religious fanatics in line without you guys showing up and making them look like moderates. I mean really, it's a freaking cartoon. If your view of the world is so fragile that it can't stand up to some random guy with a pencil and paper drawing a silly picture, then maybe you need to re-evaluate what you believe and how you look at the world.

If your reaction to someone using political satire to criticize your actions is to do the very things they're criticizing you of, then maybe, just maybe their sacrilegious cartoons aren't the problem.

Gah, and I thought our religious right was scary. Let's hope they never get any ideas from those psychos.





Obligatory Editorial Note: I'm not talking about all Muslims, or all Christians. I'm talking about "Militant Muslims" and "Christian Conservatives", basically people who use the memory of two very peaceful men to justify murder, destruction, and host of other evil behaviour. If you get your rocks off by finding ways to feel superior to other people based on what you believe then so be it, but don't be a punk by hiding behind Mohamed or Christ. Own your psychosis.

Comments

art history major, coming through

Not that I'm sticking up for the behavoir of the offended, but what happened was a huge slap to the face of Muslims. In Islam, pictures of Mohammed are strictly forbidden. To see images of Mohammed in a satire format is overkill. I don't know what the Danish paper was thinking when they ran this contest, I really don't.

Re: art history major, coming through

Eh, I'm pretty sure that the kidnapping, torture, and murder of innocent people is also strictly forbidden in Islam.

I think what boggles my mind is that instead of stopping and going "these people are doing this to criticize the barbaric actions of some truly misguided individuals" the prevailing thought seems to be to take offense at the cartoons without once stopping to condem the actions that lead to them. If someone came out and said something like "We do not condone terror or the taking of innocent lives to further the cause of Islam but we take offense that the image of Mohamed is being perverted in this way, just as the terrorist pervert his message...." then I could accept their position a little more readily.

Unfortunately all you hear about are people reacting somewhat excessively and negatively in a way that does make me wonder what makes them think their way of doing things is so much better than the West's. It almost seems like the popular approach is to condemn the cartoons and leave the terrorists alone because the terrorists have guns and guns are more immediately frightening than the cartoonist's pencils. I'm wondering if the general reactions aren't in a way showing us how effective the terrorists have been since few people really seem to be condeming them.

Re: art history major, coming through

MOST Muslims aren't threatening lives. They are boycotting Scandinavia. And I'm sorry but the acts of a few ("terrorists") doesn't mean the Danish paper had the right to offend the religion of many. NO IMAGES of Mohammed are ok. The contest ended with a lot of drawings, not just the bomb one. The Muslims are pissed at the entire event, not just the picture of Mohammed with a bomb on his head.

Re: art history major, coming through

Ok, my point is that stuff like this

Afghan troops opened fire on demonstrators Monday, leaving at least four people dead, while Iranian police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters hurling stones and firebombs at the Danish Embassy in Tehran as anger mounted over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Police had encircled the walled brick villa housing the Danish mission in the Iranian capital, but the crowd of about 400 protesters ignored orders to break up, only running into a nearby park after tear gas was fired. Earlier in the day, 200 student demonstrators threw stones at the Austrian Embassy, breaking some windows and starting small fires.


Should be condemned before a cartoon. If the powers that be in the muslim countries can't get through to their followers that actions like that are wrong, then they can shut-up and stop whining about the cartoons. I may be wrong, but what I see (possibly as a stupid American) is that there are a lot of muslim people out there who don't understand that they don't have a right to start killing and attacking people just because someone says/draws/writes something that they don't like.

I never once said that ALL Muslims act that way, but I think at some point MORE Muslims have to stand up and put a stop to some of the crap that Al-Jazeera broadcasts and things that various millitant groups put forth. I don't mean fight with them openly, but come out and at least say that true Muslims aren't violent terrorists, they're peace-loving etc... So long as the majority of Muslims seem to stand quietly by and let things like this get out of hand I'm going to have an increasingly hard time not being wary of people of that faith. Not because the faith itself is wrong or has anything wrong with it, but because I see way too many people hiding behind it in order to justify their violent actions or those of other people.

Not that Christianity is much better, but at least it seems like there is more of an effort to at least follow the teachings etc... Look at anti-abortion protests. While there hase been violence at some and I may not agree with their position or all of their tactics, I do have to admit that on average they do tend to be relatively peaceful (I'm referring to what I see most often, i.e. people kneeling reading the bible/praying etc... not a firebomb in sight, usually). Week after week these people come out and protest relatively peacefully in an effort to get their message out. Compare that to Muslims and even though I don't agree with either group, it does seem like TOO MANY (not most, but too many) Muslims are wandering down the path of scary extremism.

Re: art history major, coming through

If the powers that be in the muslim countries can't get through to their followers that actions like that are wrong, then they can shut-up and stop whining about the cartoons.

May I ask, who are these "powers-that-be"? Are we talking politicians, religious leaders...? And why are we assuming that "their followers" are under their implicit control?

I may be wrong, but what I see (possibly as a stupid American) is that there are a lot of muslim people out there who don't understand that they don't have a right to start killing and attacking people just because someone says/draws/writes something that they don't like.

Yes. I think you are wrong. Out of all of the "muslim people out there" (and Islam is a religion with a BIG following), only a tiny fraction are actually violently rioting. (And there are a lot of people of a lot of religions out there who don't understand that they don't have a right to start killing and attacking people. I don't think that Islam has a monopoly on sociopaths.)

And ike I said below, those that have been rioting are not rioting because someone has said something they don't like - they're rioting because of a pile of pent-up frustration about what they see as a degradation of their culture, and their God, by a more powerful culture.

What you have to understand here is that Muslims are taught to love Mohammed over even themselves. By blaspheming against Mohammed it's not like taking the piss out of George Bush, as you seem to believe - it's like undermining their entire religion. Add to that the fact that the undermining is being done by a culture which has supposedly wronged them in so many other ways (without going into whether that is correct or not) and you've got some serious offense being done here. I'm not saying they're justified - I'm saying that the provocation is a lot bigger than you think it is.

So long as the majority of Muslims seem to stand quietly by and let things like this get out of hand I'm going to have an increasingly hard time not being wary of people of that faith.

Oh, look, I think that's a pile of complete codswallop. I'd like to see you, as a peaceful citizen, stand up in front of a gang of youths with flamethrowers and stop the situation getting "out of hand".

Look at anti-abortion protests... Week after week these people come out and protest relatively peacefully in an effort to get their message out.

And you don't think the fact that the protests of these easily-identified people are occurring in front of the infamous American police in front of the American media's scrutiny, and the fact that there are about 100 parents and children involved, rather than 5,000 angry young men, makes any difference to the outcome?

Re: art history major, coming through

May I ask, who are these "powers-that-be"? Are we talking politicians, religious leaders...? And why are we assuming that "their followers" are under their implicit control?

Hmmm... which "powers-that-be"? How about these (from this article)

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has issued a statement condemning the publication of the cartoons and expressing concern about controversy.

Malaysia's prime minister slammed the foreign media and a local daily on Tuesday for running the drawings, one of which shows Mohammed wearing a turban shaped as a bomb.

Iran said it was cutting off all trade with Denmark, and Tehran withdrew its ambassador to Denmark in response.

On Tuesday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the West's publication of the cartoons was an Israeli conspiracy motivated by anger over Hamas' win in the Palestinian elections

Meanwhile, a prominent Iranian newspaper said it was going to hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust in response to the publications in the West of the Mohammed caricatures

I never once said that anyone has control over the psychopaths who think it's ok to murder, torture, and kidnap innocent people, but they do have control over whether or not they tolerate that behaviour or whether or not they allow people to think it's ok in their culture.

My overall allegation is that the silence from too many Muslim people is contributing to the problem and for whatever reason it exists, it's wrong.

Furthermore, if all these prime ministers, UN groups (like the one with the resolution to make it wrong to criticize/insult someone's religion), newspapers, and leaders can come out of the woodwork to condemn Denmark, shut down their embassies, cut off all trade with them etc... then how the hell can they not do the same to countries that support terrorists? The Ayatollah mentions Hamas winning the palestinian elections without any sense of irony that they have historically been a major terrorist group?



Oh, look, I think that's a pile of complete codswallop. I'd like to see you, as a peaceful citizen, stand up in front of a gang of youths with flamethrowers and stop the situation getting "out of hand".

I didn't mean it literally. I did specifically say I don't mean fight with them openly. Just like none of this current controversy is being carried out openly by the governments and newspapers involved. Sure you have the crazy kids who are out being nuts about stuff, but the Ayatollah's and the Prime Ministers and the newspaper editors aren't out there. They're doing their thing making statements and those statements are completely missing the point.

While you may think that my position is a pile of complete codswallop I think that if Muslims are taught so effectively that they have to love Mohammed over even themselves then someone is doing a piss poor job of teaching them if that's all the can get out of their religious education. What about exposing them to some of his teachings (you know like the ones covering peace). Not to mention that loving Mohammed should extend to loving their fellow man and therefore not torturing, kidnapping, and killing innocent people. If all this chaos and destruction is how some people are showing their "love" of Mohammed then these people are seriously fucked up and whoever handled their religious education did a horrible job of it.

What I'm seeing right now is a disgusting level of hypocracy where many many people are happy to come out and protest cartoons with such ferocity and passion and in all of my life I haven't seen that level of protest against terrorists and terrorist acts. No, in my life what I've seen is various political leaders hemming and hawing over terrorism and only taking steps against it when their back are against the wall and a powerful country has a gun to their head.

continued...

Re: art history major, coming through

And you don't think the fact that the protests of these easily-identified people are occurring in front of the infamous American police in front of the American media's scrutiny, and the fact that there are about 100 parents and children involved, rather than 5,000 angry young men, makes any difference to the outcome?

Hmmm what a concept. They happen in front of American media scrutiny and the infamous American police and somehow that affects the outcome. Now there is an interesting concept. The leadership makes it clear that violence is not to be tolerated, the newspapers cover any violence that does happen in a negative light and curiously enough violence is less likely to happen.

As to the 5000 angry young men, if you look at the numbers of protestors in a lot of the areas they are on par with what you see at some anti-abortion clinics, and I would imagine that a grieving mother or a mother who thinks that people are killing babies inside a certain building would be a lot more dangerous than an angry young man. That was why I brought up the anti-abortion thing in the first place. Think about it, the anti-abortion people believe that murders are taking place at those clinics and yet somehow the violence generally doesn't escalate to firebombing and the like. Sometimes it does, but when it does you're right, the media paints it as the work of a few crazies and they promptly trot out some upset looking anti-abortion leaders to condemn that acts etc.. etc...

What I'm seeing wordlwide is that the Muslim leadership is more concerned with saving face in front of it's followers than with setting an example worthy of Mohammed. They're so busy protecting his image that they're blaspheming and destroying his message. Don't you thinkt hat's messed up? All these people spend all this time and energy fighting over political commentary and all they accomplish is a) prove the point of the people who drew the cartoons in the first place and b) lost sight of what their religion really means. Literally fighting to "defend" their religion is against the very beliefs of the religion and to me it speaks of a profound loss of direction in a lot of leaders and people who claim to be Muslim.

Oh, and for the record, I do know some Muslim people and I've even had the fortune to talk to people who passionately study the religion because it rings true to them and without exception they have been some of the most thoughtful and peaceful people I've known. I'm constantly amazed and disgusted at the things that other Muslims do to pervert the faith and the message.

Re: art history major, coming through

To clarify "defend" is in quotes because what these people are "defending" it from is not the same thing that Mohammed envisioned when he said it was ok to defend yourself and your faith. Funny how so many people think the US has gone overboard with the whole 2nd ammendment and yet A lot of Muslims around the world have latched onto the idea of defending their faith through any means possible (not any means necessary, any means possible, big difference)
I think part of their reaction is based on their culture as a whole. Though I can't be entirely sure since I didn't grow up there.

But here in America, we grow up w/ political/religious/social satire as a relative norm. In 5th grade, our class did a book of poems. My friends drew sports cars, etc, on the cover; I drew Oliver North.

Though the reaction is um...fanatic to say the least, I wasn't surprised by it. What worried me more was the reaction by the some papers who ran the comic again. Lesson to be learned here: Do not taunt the wackos with the guns. hehe
Well, I think most if not all of their reaction is based on their culture, but I think there is a painful amount of hypocracy involved (just like we have here) and that's not part of the culture.

I find it somewhat disgusting that people are getting up in arms over the sacrilege of the drawings but yet, murder, torture, and terror are kind of ok. It's almost like they've become desensitized to the ultra-violence but honest, intellectual criticism is a terrible afront to them.

I mean, come on. They're complaining about the cartoons and the militant groups immediately start talking about kidnapping (and quite possibly murder etc...) and they justify it on religious grounds without once stopping to think that they're 100% proving the cartoonists right. I suspect Mohamed would be more disgusted with the actions of the terrorists than he would be with the actions of the cartoonists.

I do agree with you to a point.

I suspect Mohamed would be more disgusted with the actions of the terrorists than he would be with the actions of the cartoonists.

Yes, but then again you're assuming that their mindset is comparing the two. If those in question are prepared to riot and kidnap then they're prepared to riot and kidnap, period. Presumably they've justified that one to themselves long ago. What they're objecting to is some dirty dog of a foreigner committing an act of blasphemy against their god. Given that (in their eyes) the start of the rioting and kidnapping was directed at / justified by the other crimes of the dirty dog foreigners, I guess this one is just another straw, and it's easy for them to leap to it again.

I seem to be going around in circles here! Don't get me wrong, I'm not implying that they are barbaric foreigners, or that they're necessarily right or justified. I think what I'm trying to say is that it's not about the cartoon per say. Their reaction to a simple cartoon seems extreme because it's not really about the cartoon - it's about power and disrespect (the Western world's). It's not about the blasphemy so much as it's about the frustration of being under the control of nations who have no respect for - and have the power to disrespect - your religion or customs.

Whether they are right or justified in feeling like that is an entirely different issue and one that I won't go into, mainly because I'd be speaking in an entirely uninformed and ignorant capacity.

And as for stopping to think - well, in a climate where a group of people will jump to rioting so easily, I'm guessing that mob rule has far earlier overridden the intelligence and reasoning capacity of the individual!

A lot of what I just said could easily be misinterpreted as a far worse slur, though. Like you said, I'm not talking about all Muslims, or all Danes. Just militant groups in general.
Oh, except that I don't think I agree with you that;

most if not all of their reaction is based on their culture

If you can understand what I said above, my disagreement with that is based along the same lines. I don't think their reaction stems from a fault with their culture - I think it stems from the fact that their culture is not the one in the position of power.

I mean this is very dependent on your definition of 'culture', but I think that if you're talking about religious and traditional teachings then that's not where the fault lies. I mean, fundamentalist Christians have had reactions of the same level of emotion to the introduction of teaching the theory of evolution in schools (which similarly attacks the basis of the Christian religion and its God), if not the actual physical rioting.

And I remember reading stories about some extreme reactions to abortion clinics, as well - !

I don't think that this is about the fault of "their" culture - I think this is the fault of the way humans react to societal pressures within and from without their traditional "groups" (whether that be religious, racial, national, whatever).
I think this ytmnd sums up this whole situation nicely

http://danishcartoons.ytmnd.com/
That was really good. Thanks for sharing that one.

We live in scary times indeed.