Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Of cartoons and freedom of speech

You don’t read/watch the news for a couple of days because you have other more important things to take care of and when you come back to the world what do you find ?

The Muslim world and specifically the ME and NA in arms about the Danes, and the Western world in arms about Hamas’s democratic election, while the Iran -nuclear cliffhanger still has us holding our breath ‘will the US go to war (which is what it looks like 99%) or will the Iranians be cunning enough to avert the US wrath once again and deflect it on someone else? Or what is going to happen to Syria?’.

Please dear world give me a respite, I need to write the other posts I promised my readers, and not strive to catch up with current hot topics!!!!!!!

So for today since the Danish cartoons seems to have the blogging world abuzz, I’ve chosen to put in my 2 cents. I’m not going to take space on someone else’s blog and increase the confusion; I have my own blog for my own rants :)

I’ve decided to get involved because primo I can see from your IP addresses that many of you dear European friends especiallly are expecting me to say something on this topic ( I can see you ) . Segundo, I got one of those forwarded chain emails to my work email from a friend urging me to boycott Danish goods and tertio I find out yesterday that Libya has closed its embassy in Denmark over this issue.

Now when actions start to be taken at state level, things have definitely become serious and need time out for reconsideration. The silver lining in all this is that I don’t think we shall get carpet bombed by the Danes for that…. on second thought we might ..oh what the hell , we will all have to die one way or another. But this is out of topic let’s get back to what I was trying to say.

So what did I do with the email? well you know there is a preview option (without having to open the email) I clicked on it and found out that this was originally forwarded by someone from the UAE, ok I did not need to see more, I deleted the stuff on the spot. I don’t think that work areas should be sites for political debate or campaigning. I also phoned that so called friend and asked her to refrain from sending me inflammatory material especially at work. I don’t want to get arrested either for her stupidity, people sometimes just don’t think! I won’t repeat Sandmonkey’s words that they are ‘retarded’ .

As for Libya closing its embassy, well I was not surprised about that, we have always been the ones to try and ‘top’ other Arab countries in what I can only term ‘ a challenging, defiant stance’, almost like saying ‘ok you guys, who can do more than that now ?’

So what seems to be the problem and why has it gotten out of hand? With threats and deaths by extremists Muslim groups as well ? Why is everybody hell bent on proving Huntington’s Clash of civilization right?

The problem is compound, complex, and multifaceted, this is not good to start with, despite the way it is portrayed as an attack against ‘free speech ‘ on one side and a deliberate attack on sacred personae on the other, with the truth being lost. I’ve spent some time reading bloggers and readers, and have witnessed the wide spectrum of opinions and counter-opinions and almost lost sight of the original issues, because this has turned into another Islamophobia.

Let me try to dissect the problem for you (maybe I will make sense of it finally too).


A Danish paper decides to test the boundaries of ‘tolerance’ and exercise its ‘right’ at free speech by insulting ( thanks Michael) the most highly regarded and cherished figure in the Muslim and Arab world. Now with all due respect to Danes, I’m wondering is this a publicity stunt, a carefully planned agenda, or pure venom. I’m ruling out stupidity, because stupidity affects human relations but not in this deliberate way. Did the cartoonist really expect that their work will be glanced over? Why do it in the first place if you’re going to put your government in a tight spot, enflame the feelings of millions and issue an apology or apologies ( thank Sandmonkey) later?

This kind of action could have been expected from us Middle Easterners and North Africans renowned for our hotheadedness and boiling blood ; but in the cool Nordic spaces? no way. I find it surprising. With a Europe that is reeling and buckling under ethnic, racial , cultural and belief tensions as a large number of its population originates from immigrant stock ( i.e. non-white) this is begging for trouble. I mean if you don’t care about the Muslims in the rest of the world then supposedly you should care about the feelings of your own population since they carry your passport/nationality too. Otherwise in my book you are using double standards and those who do not ‘conform’ to a certain pattern don’t count ( I can already see some smartass trying to put me in my place and accusing me of being intolerant ;) well be my guest that’s why there is a comment section, just keep the profanities out please). Isn’t the paper’s action tantamount to incitement to hatred, when you bear in mind all that is going on in this world, including the heightened sensitivity of Muslims who only perceive persecution after 9/11 ( even if they could be wrong ?!?).

I believe that the right of freedom of expression does not exclude the right and necessity to be responsible. Plus let’s not forget the law of physics, ‘for every action there is an equal reaction’. That goes both ways by the way to the Muslims hotheads and to the Western hotheads (I’m not going to say Christians because that is simply not true ..in my humble opinion this is not a clash between Christianity and Islam no matter how much people like to say so and are mixing the deck of cards).

So those Danish cartoonist should have put their talent for a worthier cause of which there are so many in this world.

Now for the reaction from the Muslim world and particularly the ME and NA, I can understand it , I am very offended myself so are all those in my entourage. But as much as you have been offended some actions are simply out of place. Death threats in Gaza ? what are we terrorist bigots now ? This does not help our image as Muslims.

Yes, we should definitely mount a suitable campaign and civil action to prevent this kind of offense from ever recurring again but we have to play the game the Western way.
Our mistake as Arabs has been and will always be bombastic pride and arrogance (that’s probably a sin too ;) ). Please be reminded that most Arabs are not your cosmopolitan bloggers , but they are the ordinary people. We cannot assimilate that the rest of the world does not share our way of thinking and no matter to claims to the contrary most are not interested in reaching out to our way of thinking, you don’t do that when you are a dominating civilization .. While we Arabs have not accepted that our civilization though once great (emphasis on once) has waned. So we need to add another tool to our arsenal, think like ‘them’ and emulate their methods of problem solving. It will not diminish our personality, and it will reap us a lot of rewards in winning hearts and minds ™ in the West plus actually winning media wars followed by victory for the causes we are passionate about. We can keep our method of dealing as Arabs for each other, sort of like an internal memo and a circular memo.
Until the day we learn to do that, we will keep piling mistake upon mistake, whereby the truth and the right on our side will be turned against us!

Us acting stupidly, even though rightfully indignant, does not exonerate the Danish cartoonists and the paper from their grave miscalculations which may carry consequences we know nothing yet of. I don’t wish to be in their shoes with the dead people who are going to be on their conscience.

Some of you ask why are Muslims so angry?, ‘we don’t get angry when someone offends Jesus or Moses ( Peace be upon them ), or touches symbols of the church, that’s silly’. My reply is suit yourself if you don’t feel like redressing a wrong, but most offensive material about Jesus is usually by a Westerner. Muslims (especially ME and NA) revere Jesus and Moses just as they do Muhammad, they are certainly not going to ridicule them because that invalidates their Qu’ran and you cannot have that without the other.

Some westerners mention that they are called infidels (or kafirs) by bin Ladin types and wannabes and that they [the westerners] did not make a fuss about it? First of all bin Ladin and his ilk do not represent Islam but their own ideology and secondly if we look at it this way does beign called Kafir equate with Jesus being pictured as a killer and terrorist ? infidel or kafir is strictly reserved for non-believers those who have rejected Islam, and obviously Jews and Christians do have a book and are ‘people of the book and believers’ . So no affront has been done here since the persona of Christ has not been dirtied.

I’ve read a comment ( on Sandmonkey but can't find the specific link ) where some imam was preaching in Egyptian mosques and calling Christians and Jews pigs and cows, well this guy has absolutely no right to act this way and should be arrested for public insult, he definitely is not talking in the name of Muslims and should be incarcerated or sued, and is a bad believer, using ‘free speech’ wrongly. But mind you this imam has not denigrated our Jesus if you notice. This imam would not be in this world if he did because he would be thorn to shreds by the Muslim masses.

The qu’ran says ‘you have your religion and I have mine’.

RE. the cartoons again, I’ve seen this issue being explained as the fact that the Muslim should not make representations or statues of the prophet lest they fall into idolatry and that is why those cartoons are offensive. My response yes Muslims are not supposed to draw the prophet and his companions but those cartoons will certainly not encourage them towards idolatry, they are rather repugnant. To idolize and adore someone godlike you have to make him/her beautiful and attractive ( even on the cross) , look at the Virgin Mary and child statues and paintings, that is beautiful not repulsive and God loves beauty. If the cartoonist had tried to draw Muhammad in a ‘normal’ non satirical way they may have committed a faux pas but NOT an offense. There is a canyon between these two actions. On this same vein I’ve seen some bloggers justify the cartoonists' actions and refute this unspoken law about not representing the prophet by posting some calligraphies and illuminations and portraits ( hattip Roba) which represent the prophet and which were done during the Islamic age. I say again yes, but look at them closely again…. Is there anything offensive about them apart from the fact that they should not have been made in the first place ? They clearly depict passages from his life, and if you look closely you will see they are heavily Asian/East Asian influenced. No Arab would dare to do that. And I forgive them for this error because they Muslims applying their own cultural methodolgy to Islam.They have not portrayed the prophet in a threatening, evil, or blasphemous way. So using this as an excuse does not stand, it does not create a precedent to exonerate the cartoonists. Those were Chinese, Indian, Iranian or Turkish Muslims, but they have not insulted the prophet of Islam.


Arabs/Muslims have been stereotyped greatly in western media in far worse cartoons ( political and others ) and portrayals for the last 50 years or so and they never complained about that because, that is not offending the sacred religion. Westerners have also been satirically illustrated in Arab media yet never touching sacred beliefs so that is not an excuse to say ‘look at them they ridicule us’. Satire and offending the sacred are different things.
As for the so called boycott, well it may and may not work, me thinks it already did since the paper apologized.
Libya imports a lot of Danish products so I will miss the cheese and other dairy stuff, but thank God for other choices, I’ll go check today the state of the supermarkets.

When in the name of democracy and freedom of expression a state cannot interfere to clear the good name of a religious community by asking the offender to apologise, that opens the doors to attacking the human rights of others as stated in articles 18 and 19 of the Universal declaration of human rights .
Because the other party which feels wronged must not be begrudged also its ‘human rights ‘ and ‘freedom of expression’ to seriously contend the cartoonists action for example. My criticism is however leveled at the way used to respond to this onslaught of hate on Islam, not at the fact that it took place as everyone is free with their opinions.

Thanks to these cartoonists and hot headed Muslim counterparts the wick has been kindled, and the fire may run unchecked and engulf everything in its way… if we don’t do something to stop this there will soon be no humanity; especially if other nations decide to jump in to champion this cause.
Dear Muslims and dear people of the ME and NA, please don’t give the chance to your enemies (wherever they be) to laugh silently at you shooting yourself in the foot, you HAVE THE RIGHT to do something, take your time but do it with grace and brains. Your ancestors have done it before, I’m sure you can do it again. Amin .

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Highlander.

I am danish, and will try to explain my view.

Obviously muslims will not be offending Jesus, since to you he is a revered prophet. Your tolerance cannot be proven by your veneration for someone your religion tells you to revere. However to christians Mohammed is a false prophet and a heretic. How do your imams talk of false prophets ? Would their talk be offending to believers in these prophets ?

You write that offending people and offending the sacred is two different things, however you must understand in western culture it is not different - or to some (atheists) offending people would be counted as much worse than offending nonexistent (to them) gods.

You are applying your own standards to measure what is offensive.

Check out this selection of recent cartoons from middle eastern media, remembering that to most europeans any cartoon that equates jews with the swastika is deeply, deeply offensive. Think how offensive this must be to jews.

http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/ArabCartoons.htm

Check out this recent assault on christians in Egypt:

http://www.copts.net/detail.asp?id=875

Egypt being a country in which the parliament works to sustain this boycott against danish offences against muslims. What seems worst ?

In Palestine they are burning danish flags, a very revered symbol to us (and which btw. has a cross on it). They are burning pictures of the danish prime minister, which can hardly be seen as anything but threats, yet no official reaction.

In Denmark muslims are free to practice their religion. How about the general conditions for practicing christians in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya ? Practicing jews in these countries ?

The danish government has repeatedly been arguing that danes should not take their anger out on danish muslims, in spite of the fact that the large middle eastern reaction has largely been provoced by danish imams traveling in the Middle East to protest the cartoons, bringing with them also a number of extra, far more offensive cartoons that had not been in the paper, but which they falsely pretended had been printed. - These are people that have been granted asylum in Denmark because of prosecution in their home countries, mind you.

Where is the Middle Eastern government that similarly argues for restraint ? Abbas from Palestine and Hamid Karzai are as yet, I think, the only voices.

And based on recent history, who are more likely to cause violence. Danes or muslims ? So where would voices for restraint be more needed ?

The muslim hypocrisy seems endless to me.


To me this seems to be a case not of our lack respect for muslims, but of muslim countries trying to force their way of life on us, and I wonder, if we back down, what will be the next thing in our newspapers that the saudis will take offense at ? In our way of life ?

This public anger is being fanned by middle eastern governments and behind is always the barely hidden threat of violence, hidden behind the idea that if you do something offending and the offended party responds with violence, then you have largely brought the violence on yourself.


While I agree that the drawings were a provocation – many danes, though not me, also thought an unwarranted provocation. I can assure you that no one envisioned this kind of crazy uproar. They were certainly by the newspaper seen as rather mildly irreverent cartoons, which there is a long tradition for in Denmark – and indeed in many western countries. The newspaper has expressed its regret at the offense, however I don’t think a guarantee that no blasphemic drawings will ever again be published is forthcoming, neither from the newspaper nor the government. Punishment of the drawers is utterly unthinkable. The case has already been to court, where it was ruled as not justified.



Whew, this grew very long, maybe I should get my own blog instead of filling yours with my ramblings...

I hope my words have not been offending. I have tried as well as I can to lay out my view clearly.

Thanks,

Kjartan

eeore said...

Your argument is flawed.

You cannot complain about being stereotyped and then react as that stereotype.

eeore said...

oh, and btw....

These cartoons are not an incitement to hate muslims or Allah.... but an invite to laugh or to ridicule. Since cartoons are an invitation to face your fears or to see reality in a different way.

That muslims should react with boycotts and threats is a sign that they have not understood the reality of multi-culturalism.

So I ask you?

Why are you so frightened to face your fears?

programmer craig said...

Excellent post, Highlnader... that is the most cool headed presentation I've seen on this issue yet.

Excellent comment from you also, Kjartan! I was planning on putting together a long comment when I have time, but maybe it'd be better just to let you two hash it out :)

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Personally, I would never publish disrespectful cartoons, but I would still have the right to do. The cartoons are disrespectful to Islam, but so what? That's freedom of expression my friends. If no opinion was controversial, we wouldn't need freedom of opinion, would we?

The last thing Islam needs right now, is the imposition of a de facto censorphip that will freeze the debate and block any evolution. And that's what the Islamists are trying to do.

Islam is the last religion that can pretend to be above the public's scrutiny these days.

The whole crisis is about governments wanting to build up their Islamic credentials and Islamists wanting to prevent a debate on religion. Some Islamists like Hezbollah in Lebanon are also trying to instrumentalize the crisis to mount the opinion against the West. And dumb people are already falling into that trap.

Some people here are saying that freedom of expression is submited to limitations. They say that libel is not part of the freedom of expression.

Well those people clearly don't know what libel is. Libel is only applicable to cases where a media deliberately spread lies and present them as facts to harm a person or an organization. Libel is never applied to cartoons, carictures and satires because in these cases the viewer is clearly aware that those representations are distorting by nature. Satires do not pretend to represent the truth but are meant to make people laugh.

There isn't a single democratical countries where you could sue a cartoonist for libel.

To those who thinks that religions should be respected I say that it's only YOUR point of view. Religion is no better than science. Religion is no more moral than atheism. Religion is not more respectable than pornography. And if you think otherwise, well be aware that your beliefs are only yours, and not better than those of the rest of humanity.


After all, pornography, unlike religion has never killed anybody.

The only shameful thing in this whole affair is the apology that was presented by the Norwegian government in the name of the Norwegian people. If anybody had to apologize in this whole affair it would be the terrorists who have sent death threats to the newspapers to try to prevent them from exercising their right to freedom of speech. Danish goods should only be boycotted if the Danish PM apologizes.

The Sandmonkey said...

wolfie, I will say what I've always said: they should've sued, plain and simple. It's civilized, nonviolent and hits where it hurts. That's being smart. Boycotting a whole country for what a newspaper that resides in it published, on the other hand, isn't. Neither is the attacking of danes in saudi, or the flag burning in the westband, or the bombings in iraq or the declarition of Jihad by the Mujahedeen army. In fact, it is so away from smart that it is practically retarded and moronic.

Now a french newspaper published the cartoons, will the boycott start against french cars and cheese? Next thing you know, an italian, or a spanish newspaper will print those cartoons and who knows, maybe a single newspaper in all 30 european countries will issues those cartoons. We gonna boycott them all? What if a newspaper in the states publishes them. Will we boycott the states as well? Are you getting the pciture? Are you seeing why it is retarded? That eventually we would have to boycott the whole world to be happy?

Suing is easier. It's simpler and it's more specific. This boycott business and its aftermath is nothing but utter foolishness, and it proves the points made by every single anti-Islamic person in the world. Oh well!

Anonymous said...

What you should remember is that the cartoons where made because the paper was reporting about censorship enforced by muslims in Denmark. In this case that cartoonist did not dare to draw cartoons for a left wing muslim childrenbook. The first thing that happens is that islamists start demanding censorship.

The result is predictable, possibly some Danes will die in some attack by terrorists, certainly racial hatred, already high in many areas of the world will increase ans in the long term it will be mostly muslims who suffer because of that.

In my country there was a case before the supreme court about a writer who wrote that Jezus had fucked a donkey. Highly offensive, but it was rules that it was allowed. The reason being that 1. it was not threatening anyones freedom of religion and 2. those who did not wish to read this stuff, should not buy the book.

The same goes for these cartoons. They where part of a danish discussion, in a newspaper not ment for non-Danish. Probably the best thing Muslims around the world can do for Danish-Muslims is to let the Danes, Muslim and non-Muslim fight it out between themself. This way, you will only increase rascism in Denmark.

k said...

I don’t know about anyone else, but watching the film The War Within has given me a new perspective on terrorism against the United States, especially from a possible terrorist’s point of view. Whether the subject in the film is forced into it through brutal imprisonment or through conscience decisions the film gives a point of view rarely seen in the United States.

Twosret said...

"Now a french newspaper published the cartoons, will the boycott start against french cars and cheese?"

The French and Germans have asked for it and I will have no sympathy for them for provoking this subject.

Americans did Boycott the french wine, french fries, and even french manicure (I wonder what we should call them) they poured the french wine in the streets across country when France was against the Iraq war.

It is a free world and Americans, Europeans and ARAB MUSLIMS have equal rights. The French and Germans can't come and cry terrorism after pushing it too far.

More to come later.

Anonymous said...

Kjartan, you practically stole my words. What you wrote is more or less what this whole mess is all about. What I hope now is only that your government and the paper in question don't bow anymore and start yet another ring of endless apologies.

As for your question, I can only reply to the Saudi part. All religions except for Islam are completely banned in Saudi Arabia, including the ban on literature of other religions (for example, The Bible is banned) as well as symbols (no crosses, stars of David, nothing such can be visible), needless to add that there are no churches, synagogues or temples of other faiths which were legal in the entire country.

Yes, Kjartan, that's the country which is now most vocally demanding respect and tolerance from others. Should I say more?

Twosret, have you seen the pictures yourself? If so, where? I have seen the pictures repeatedly but never in the disputed Danish and Norwegian papers. Which means that I have practically seen the pics mostly on the Internet, first and foremost Blogger. The small minority (I suspect) of all these hatred mongers who actually have seen the authentic cartoons, I believe, have also seen the pics on Blogger. Blogger is American-owned. Blogger published these pics you hate. Logically, you should then start boycotting American products as now you want boycott of Danish, French and German (why did you forget Norwegian and Icelandic, as the pics have also been produced there, HAIL THEM!?) products because of media of these countries publishing the pics.

WHY DON'T YOU CRY FOR THE BOYCOTT OF AMERICAN PRODUCTS NOW? Do you think it's better to threaten smallish and weakish countries only or would boycotting American products, such as this Blogger itself, simply make your life a little bit too hard and boring?

Just curious.

Twosret said...

Mr. Danish,

However to christians Mohammed is a false prophet and a heretic. How do your imams talk of false prophets ? Would their talk be offending to believers in these prophets ?

Can you please provide us with a biblical verse where it says that Prophet Mohamed is a false prophet? As far as I remember from Sunday School, Prophet Mohamed era was after Jesus Christ era.

however you must understand in western culture it is not different - or to some (atheists) offending people would be counted as much worse than offending nonexistent (to them) gods.

I'm sorry that you believe that European journalism has deteriorated to such level where it shows no respect to others prophet, I hate to hash the European past but, the history of Europeans have showed us many examples of what you are referring to today. i.e. I'm not surprised :)

Check out this selection of recent cartoons from middle eastern media

Why you didn't protest against those cartoons? Is it the muslim world fault that you didn't? I mean seriously the Jews have left no opportunity to defend Judism and their cry baby attitude didn't give the whole world a break from feeling guilty for the holacaust (zillion years later), I think if my brain puke it will puke Judism guilt. Comm'on man for muslims to cry out their disappointment once is not so bad after all.

The muslim hypocrisy seems endless to me.

Now that is a very ignorant statement.

I wonder, if we back down, what will be the next thing in our newspapers that the saudis will take offense at ? In our way of life ?.

I have been to your country several times and I don't think anyone can change your way of life. Stop your exaggeration. As a Danish you just need to know that your cheese and milk will not sell to the arab world. What is the big deal?

Twosret said...

In my country there was a case before the supreme court about a writer who wrote that Jezus had fucked a donkey. Highly offensive, but it was rules that it was allowed. The reason being that 1. it was not threatening anyones freedom of religion and 2. those who did not wish to read this stuff, should not buy the book.


It is time for a change in your country. America is teaching the world democracy and may be it is time for the muslim world to teach the world respect for prophets.

What you posted above is a proof of the lowest level of humanity (I refuse to call it freedom of speech).

Enjoy the ride

Twosret said...

eeore said,

These cartoons are not an incitement to hate muslims or Allah.... but an invite to laugh or to ridicule. Since cartoons are an invitation to face your fears or to see reality in a different way.

Amazing how a Brit invader with a bloody history can take a cheap shot about Islamic fear. Ignorance is a bliss but not in your case indeed!

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"However to christians Mohammed is a false prophet and a heretic. How do your imams talk of false prophets ? Would their talk be offending to believers in these prophets ?

Can you please provide us with a biblical verse where it says that Prophet Mohamed is a false prophet? As far as I remember from Sunday School, Prophet Mohamed era was after Jesus Christ era.
"

What a fucking stupid argument! Are Christians supposed to believe in the Zen, in Shiva and in Buddha as well (three highly respectable religions by the way) because the bible didn't say it's false?

Sorry guys but I have to leave and eat my Danish blue cheese.

Anonymous said...

So nice to see Twosret going on with his racist hatred-filled accusations here. If this was not a serious issues, he should be laughed at. Now people like him are really threatening others with death and other nasty things.

Of course he didn't answer my question on boycotting American products, instead he's spreading hatred using American technology again. Just because my question shows his lack of logic.

His other claims are not worth an answer but one needs to be answered. Of course the Bible can't call Mohammad a false prophet, how could it?!? Twosret could then explain for example why the Baha'i faith is persecuted all over the Muslim world because it claims their leader is a prophet that came after Mohammad, thus making Mohammad no more the seal of the prophets. Can you tell me where I can find a quote in the Quran telling Baha'i is based on a false prophecy?

Would like to add that I don't claim anyone is a false prophet but hatemongers such as Twosret probably see no difference in that anyway.

My question makes exactly as much sense as yours did. Yet there is a difference here as well - Christian countries accept, don't ban religions that were founded after Christianity. Unlike many of the countries now boycotting Danish products.

programmer craig said...

Highlander,

I supported the rights of Arabs or anyone else to boycott over these cartoons if they found them offensive. I feel that such a boycott is foolish (because it should be obvious that Islamists and terrorists will capitalize on the scandal) but that's not my call. A boycott is the ppropriate response.

BUT :D

The whole thing became an international incident, when it became a matter of state actions against other states.

It is, literally, now an international incident. It has put a strain on international diplomacy - in fact, it's breached the relationship between several nations already, and it will no doubt continue to harm international relations.

I'm somewhat surprised that nobody has referenced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that you linked in your post.

I will do that later I think, in order to illustarte my points about Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion, because I personally think the moslem worl is on the wrong side of this, on human rights grounds. What a shocker, eh?

Sandmonkey, do you have a link for the Ranes attacked in KSA? There seems to be some censorship going on... I saw a breaking news story several days ago that said something to the effect that masked gunmen had seized the EU offices in Gaza and were demanding an apology.... but now I cannot find any info on that story! Very frustrating!

Twosret,

"It is time for a change in your country. America is teaching the world democracy and may be it is time for the muslim world to teach the world respect for prophets."

Isn't that what the Islamists have been trying to do for several decades?

It's caused a lot of death and destruction, and a lot of DIS-respect for Islam. In my opinion.

"The French and Germans have asked for it and I will have no sympathy for them for provoking this subject."

The Americans will soon be "asking for it" too, I have no doubt. Middle Eastern countries are trying to impose their own hateful and repressive systems of governance on the western world, and the western world is not going to stand by while every advance in the areas of human and civil rights in the last 300 years is destroyed.

This "crises" has been provoked my moslem countries. I don't think it is going to end well for Islam. In fact, I think it's already done irreperable damage to the reputation of muslims. The Europeans have been opposed to US foreign policy all these years, on the War on Terror. It looks to me like moslems are attacking their best allies. Who will oppose the US, if not Europe? China? Russia? If they did, would anybody (in America) care? China and Russia have always opposed the US, what would be new in that?

No, it's been the Europeans who have isolated America - because they've been our traditional allies and friends. A shift in that balance towards the US is going be a huge change.

Do you remember, Twosret, the much ridiculed statements by George Bush right after 9/11? Something to the effect of "They hate us because of who we are" - and everyone said no, that's nonsense... they hate us because of this and that and this, so on and so forth.

Well, maybe it really is "who we are" - look atwhat you've done, you've attacked western values on some key issues that WE think are what make us great. Namely, Freedom... in ALL it's forms.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
programmer craig said...

Vox,

"Sorry guys but I have to leave and eat my Danish blue cheese."

Please please PLEASE don't tell me I'm going to have to start buying French products again, now :o

Anon 10:51, Twosret is female. And one of my favorite blog commenters, though I usually disagree with her. Yry sparring with her instead of insulting her, she makes interesting arguments :)

Twosret said...

Vox,

When your argument doesn't include foul language and you rinse your mouth with clorox I can reply to your comments, until then, Adieu and good riddance!

Twosret said...

Anonymous,

Please pick yourself a nickname to avoid confusion.

So nice to see Twosret going on with his racist hatred-filled accusations here. Now people like him are really threatening others with death and other nasty things.

Quote me please where did I threaten anyone or acted racist.

Of course the Bible can't call Mohammad a false prophet, how could it?!?

Read Kjartan comment scroll up and read carefully and you will know why I wrote this to Kjartan. 101 reading skills is needed on discussion boards.

Would like to add that I don't claim anyone is a false prophet but hatemongers such as Twosret probably see no difference in that anyway.

Where did I acuse you of claiming that anyone is a false prophet Please quote me.

I think you need to think a bit and understand what people are trying to say before jumping your guns with insults. Insults are usually used by weak arguments and it doesn't serve any purpose.

I'm waiting to see the cartoons in the US papers and I will take an action through my congressman/congresswoman, Senator and the President of the United States to protest.

Twosret said...

Craig,

Isn't that what the Islamists have been trying to do for several decades?
It's caused a lot of death and destruction, and a lot of DIS-respect for Islam. In my opinion.


What I meant by "teaching" is to display good example of respect not to display extremism or violence. i.e. bycott products, cut diplomatic relations etc...

I have to add though that a lot of wars were called by the name of God and caused as much destruction and disrespect for Christianity as Islamic extremism did if not more.

The Americans will soon be "asking for it" too, I have no doubt. Middle Eastern countries are trying to impose their own hateful and repressive systems of governance on the western world....

When I said asking for it I meant the following:- Knowingly how offended the muslim world is by this cartoons, they Christian Egyptian owned french magazine of Ramy Lakah the previous business man who fled the country after stealing loans from banks, is asking for trouble and provoking the muslim world and they should be responsible for their actions.

Craig, please next time you bring up President Bush I would like you to give me a map of the location of WMD found by the American Gov. in Iraq:)

Well, maybe it really is "who we are" - look atwhat you've done, you've attacked western values on some key issues that WE think are what make us great. Namely, Freedom... in ALL it's forms.

I have attacked one western value that was displayed by some comments here which is the defamation of Prophets. Where do you see me attacking ALL western values. Or do you mean that Britain doesn't have a bloody history in colonization?

programmer craig said...

Hi Twosret,

"Where do you see me attacking ALL western values."

Liberty and Freedom are probably at the very core of all modern western democracies. Those are loose terms, but they generally encompass at the *least* a strong belief in human and civil rights, and strict limitations on governments when it comes to respecting these things.

An attack on freedom of expression is an attack on western societie. It's just that simple. Weh the governments of Saudi Arabia, Libya and jordan are all trying to restrict freedoms in OTHER countries, that crosses a red line.

We've fought wars, and died by the millions, for these freedoms. They will not be taken away by some oil rich dictators in the middle east.

"Or do you mean that Britain doesn't have a bloody history in colonization?"

That was then. This is now. Do you want Britain (or the rest of Europe) to be what they were 300 years ago? It seems to me, that's exactly the direction the ME is trying to push them.

By the way! France, Germany, Italy and Spain have all published these cartoons in their papers today!

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Highlander said...

Dear Readers,

I don't censor and delete comments usually. I specifically asked for no profanity. That means not insulting other readers as well, because it means you are insulting them in my home. I'm sure you never do insult guests in your own house. So I appreciate no one does it in mine.
I will only say this once more. I've kept this blog 'clean' , do not dirty it otherwise I will just remove my comment section and you can keep emailing each other.

Vox populi , so far you are the only one who has been 'rude' to a reader. I have no idea how to edit your post , because I really do not want to delete it as I believe you add a valuable argument to the discussion so I will repost it again under your name minus the offensive part. Saying it in Arabic ya Vox makes it even worse.

Twosret, I'm sorry you got called such names in my house.Please accept my humblest apologies.

Anonymous said...

Twosret,


As has been pointed out, and which I guess was your rhetorical point as well there is obviously nowhere in the Bible where it says that Mohamed is a false prophet, since he lived after the bible was written. However a core christian belief is that Jesus is the son of God and divine. Hence a prophet that denies the divinity of Christ would be a false prophet. I am not a theologist, but I am sure there exists quotes a-plenty from later popes and other christian thinkers denouncing the teachings of Mohamed.

My point here is not to get on a christian high horse, but to say that, really, you cannot BE a christian and not believe that Mohamed is a false prophet, just as you cannot BE an atheist without thinking that God does not exist and Mohamed and Christ must therefore have been deluded. This is just to say that westerners have their beliefs and muslims have their's, and the muslim statement that they respect Christ as a prophet is really not a sign of tolerance of other religions, since it is merely doing what their holy book tells them to do - it is tolerance for free so to speak.


As for why we haven't protested those antisemitic cartoons - well somebody probably has, but the point I am trying to make is live and let live. We print what danish law and traditions allows us in our newspapers, you print whatever you want in yours.

I think the boycott is foolish and unwarranted (which I thought also of the US boycott of French goods btw.), but you're right, people can buy whatever they like. What I object to is the pulling home of ambassadors, the burning of flags, the threats, and the involvements on a government level. Danes feel threatened and attacked. Paranoid ? Maybe...

If we (muslims or westerners) had to react this way every time the other part did something we found offending, we would never be able to talk at all.


And I am afraid, twosret, that 'defamation of prophets' in the form of constant questioning and ridicule of authority really IS a core western value, that we are willing to compromise very little about. This seems distasteful to you, but that is how it is, and we will probably not come to an agreement anytime soon.

The problem with laws that prohibit defamation of prophets, you know, is who gets to choose who is a prophet and who is not ? Aren't muslims sort of keeping that privilege for themselves ?


If I was a visitor in a muslim country, or in a muslim home in Denmark, I would certainly think it impolite and improper to stick this disrespect in peoples faces. But in my own country's newspapers, in my own home I will insist on pretty wide limits - and these cartoons were certainly within those.

Kjartan


P.S.

As for motives, it seems to me that the Saudi Government was among the very active instigators of this and I can't help thinking that this must have seemed a pretty safe and costless way for them to demonstrate their islamic credentials to the arab street, without endangering their relationship to the US.

Highlander said...

Based on my above comment, please be advised that
VOX POPULI wrote on Wed Feb 01, 11:14:46 PM and at 12:36:53 AM on Thursday 2 of February 2006, messages to Twosret which I have removed because they do not add anything to the conversation.
Please Vox you really have some nice ideas don't ruin them with bad language on my blog at least.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Sorry HL, I apologize to you (not to Tsworet). I would have done the same on my blog BTW, so I don't blame you.

The guy is simply irritating, I couldn't help it.

highlander said...

Dear All,

I would like to welcome the new faces and the recurring ones and thank you for your participation.
I will reply soon just experiencing technical troubles as we have rain storm in Libya.
One remark though I have the impression that some of you have not read the post in full and so missed my point, unless my prose is so bad I could not get it accross;).

Dear Sandmonkey, eh ya basha do I need controversy to get you here ? welcome back , North Africa missed you.

Dear C (you know who you are pls ;) ) , you were right last night about this : ">H<" . lol

Twosret said...

Kjartan,

I agree with few of your points and even though we disagree on the cartoon issue (freedom of speech) as you rightly said, I appreciate the clean discussion and the mature exchange of views.

I have never encouraged violence or extremism in anyway. I believe that if the everyday citizen of many western countries has the law on his/her side to protect them from defamation of character then the prophets share the same right too.

BTW I'm not a Muslim and I think it is perfectly fine to be a Christian and co-exist with Muslims and give them the freedom to believe in what they want. It doesn’t make me less of a Christian for them to believe in the Prophet Mohamed. I don't live in the M.E. but I lived among wonderful Muslims that showed me respect and tolerance and have many good friends that showed me how Islam is a peaceful religion. Extremists have hijacked Islam as a religion and many people fall into the mistake of stereotyping simply because they are ignorant about the true essence of Islam.

Cheers and let us hope the world will become a better place to live.

Twosret said...

Highlander,

Thanks for cleaning up :) you don't need to apologize for someone's else mistake.

Thanks again,
T.

Twosret said...

Craig,

An attack on freedom of expression is an attack on western societie. It's just that simple. Weh the governments of Saudi Arabia, Libya and jordan are all trying to restrict freedoms in OTHER countries, that crosses a red line.

You are very wrong Craig, the muslim world have not attempted to restrict the freedom of the western nations and tolerated abuse to arab-americans since 9/11. Read the following report from the human rights watch.xxxxx

So many prosecution to arabs and violence against arabs in the US and I haven't seen the Saudi, Jordanian or the Libyan Gov. trying to control newspapers or T.V. stations in the US of raising the campaign of hate against arabs.

We've fought wars, and died by the millions, for these freedoms. They will not be taken away by some oil rich dictators in the middle east.

Please provide me with specific incidents when the Oil rich dictators in the middle east taken away your freedom?. Aren't the oil rich dictators are the Saudi's the best friends of Bush and Cheney?

AlanK said...

Highlander

You have an interesting perspective on this issue, persuaded me to post on my own blog about this issue

one thing that has come out of this issue is the bad publicity it has generated for muslims in general, as many people are just lumping all the countries together and saying muslims are fanatical and unable to tolerate criticism, especially with the death threats and threats of terror attacks being made now

also highlander, a minor point is it all the cartoons that are considered offensive or only the one with mohammed and the bomb, I have not been able to find all the cartoons, if able to describe them would be helpful

Twosret said...

France Soir originally said it had published the images in full to show "religious dogma" had no place in a secular society. But late on Wednesday its owner, Raymond Lakah, said he had removed managing editor Jacques Lefranc "as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual".
Mr Lakah said: "We express our regrets to the Muslim community and all people who were shocked by the publication."


Quoted from the BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4670370.stm

programmer craig said...

Hi Twosret,

"You are very wrong Craig, the muslim world have not attempted to restrict the freedom of the western nations"

Twosret, what do you call breaking off diplomatic relations with another nation about a newspaper story? That's not only government trying to restrict freedom of the press, it's foreign governments trying to interfere with another COUNTRY'S free press!

Can you come up with some precedent for this?

"and tolerated abuse to Arab-americans since 9/11."

Arab-Americans have the same civil rights and human rights that any other Americans have, Twosret. I'm not sure what parallel you are trying to draw with Danish newspaper publishing cartoons, but Americans actually HAVE civil and human rights, which they would not have in any Arab moslem country. Are you really telling me you expect a country like Egypt to express concern over the way America treats US citizens!? Twosret, I can't believe we are having this discussion.

"So many prosecution to arabs and violence against arabs in the US and I haven't seen the Saudi, Jordanian or the Libyan Gov. trying to control newspapers or T.V. stations in the US of raising the campaign of hate against arabs."

I don't even know what to say about this, Twosret. Do you really believe taht there's a campaign of hate against Arabs in the US?

"Please provide me with specific incidents when the Oil rich dictators in the middle east taken away your freedom?"

I just did, Twosret. Libya and Saudi Arabia have broken off diplomatic realtions with Denmark over these cartoons. Jordan is calling for the punishment of the artists and the publsiher. That's an aggressive attack on Denmark's freedom of the press, and it's also an attack on Denmark's sovereignity.

Civilized nations break off diplomatic realations over serious crimes by another state, comitted against their nationals. Crimes such as murder.

Eample: Last year Canada broke off relations with Iran when a Canadian journalist was raped and beaten to death while being tortured in prison.

Compare: Saudi Arabia takes the same action because they don't like the Danes publishing insulting comics.

"Aren't the oil rich dictators are the Saudi's the best friends of Bush and Cheney?"

I think the current and all past administrations believe Saudi society cannot be salvaged, Twosret. There's no short-term soultion to the problems KSA presents to the world. But we're off topic now.

programmer craig said...

I recieved this article from a dear friend of mine, who wanted to emphasize the capitulation of the French and Danish press (as a victory for moslems! successfully suppressing free speech is victory now!?) but I found many other useful tidbits in this article that I wanted to share.

From the BBC:

French editor fired over cartoons

START QUOTE

30 Sept: Danish paper Jyllands-Posten publishes cartoons
20 Oct: Muslim ambassadors in Denmark complain to Danish PM
10 Jan: Norwegian publication reprints cartoons
26 Jan: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador
30 Jan: Gunmen raid EU's Gaza office
31 Jan: Danish paper apologises
1 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons

END QUOTE

I saw that raid by masked gunmen on the EU offices in Gaza on the news here in the US, but I haven't been able to find the story. Interesting, that the apology came the day after, isn't it?

From the same article:

"Syria and Saudi Arabia have recalled their ambassadors to Denmark"

And Libya closed down it's embassy entirely (as Highlander pointed out here) plus the Jordanian Parliament has demanded an official apology from the Danish Government.

"There have also been demonstrations and death threats in some Arab nations."

"The offices of Jyllands-Posten had to be evacuated on Tuesday because of a bomb threat."

On the printing of the pictures in a French paper:

"Jacques Lefranc was dismissed by the owner of France Soir, as his paper became embroiled in a developing row between Muslims and European press."

However,

"Publications in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain re-ran the Danish cartoons."

If the American press ever discovers this story, I expect we'll see these cartoons in the NY Times and the Washington Post. However, the only thing I've seen in the US television news on this so far is the Libyan embassy closing and the Gunmen holding EU representatives hostage in Gaza.

Anyway! I expect all those governments who are attempting to interfere in free societies to:

1) issue formal apologies to Denmark, and to every other nation they have harmed with their irresponsible pressure tactics and their attacks on the internal affairs of another sovereign state.

2) stop trying to impose their repressive forms of government on the free world

and there needs to be am "or else" of some kind. The cultural (and financial) backlash if this continues is going to be staggering.

Most arab moslem countries do not HAVE any oil to use as a weapon against the west, and they will pay a heavy price indeed if they alienate the western world.

Non-Blogging Anonymous said...

Twosret,

I'm the anonymous who accused you of racism and so on. Read your comments on Jews, Brit invaders and so on. Quite racist stuff to me. And I've never told you yourself threaten anyone, just that it's people like you, with arguments like yours, who sometimes have it boiled over and resort to violence.

BTW, you keep on asking me questions before you've answered those I asked you. So, for the third time, I'm now asking you: if you want to boycott a Danish newspaper because of the cartoons it published, how on Earth can you use the American Blogger where the cartoons have also been published? If you were logical, you would boycott Blogger, all other American products plus now those of various European countries as well.

To me, this mess reminds of another one. You Europeans here, Kjartan and others, surely remember the EU boycott against Austria... when was it, 2000? Due to a politician's supposedly anti-semitic, anti-immigrant statements, Israel withdrawing their ambassador from Vienna and and other things such as EU politicians not posing with Austrians in photos etc. I hated that hypocrisy then myself. Haider's comments were really innocent compared with the mess which then was mostly caused by French domestic politics. After some weeks, the Austrians still didn't bow to the hypocrites and the things calmed down. After some months, EU also accepted they made a mistake and there really wasn't anything rotten in the Austrain government either. Isn't that party still in the Austrian government? Anyway, haven't heard of any accusations of their racism since things calmed down.

But Austria, a small country like Denmark, really was put under tremendous international pressure for reasons as innocent as the current hypocrisy. And it really boiled over, I remember people outside Austria really believing now they're building gas chambers in Austria again and stuff like that. Reminds me of the current accusations of the Danish government rewriting the Quran, the fake photos and so on and on...

The Sandmonkey said...

Twosret,

you said : "The French and Germans can't come and cry terrorism after pushing it too far."

So, in your opinion, if terrorist acts are committed against the french and the germans by muslims, in which innocent people die, it's ok because a french and a german newspaper published those cartoons?

What kind of christianity do you subscribe to again? It doesn't seem like the "Love thy enemy, turn the other cheek" kind to me. No offense meant. I am just saying.

I also hope I am understanding you wrong and that you surely don't mean that it's ok or excusable or understandable for innocent people to die because of a cartoon. I know you can't possibly mean that, right?

Highlander said...

To Kjartan, first of all thanks for coming here , I’m not sure how you got to my blog , though you are not the first Dane, you are the first one to leave a comment. Anyway, you say at the end of your post that you hoped ‘your words would not be offending’, yet you have managed to offend inadvertently perhaps several times which I will point out here. I’m sure you did not mean it, because you have been used to this line of thought.

For us all the prophets prior to Muhammad are real, revered loved and respected immensely. There are therefore no false prophets to talk about. As far as I know there shall be one false prophet at the end of times, just before the Messiah returns on earth, please check your Christian theology, he is mentioned there too.

When you say that I am applying my own standards to measure what is offensive you imply that I should not do so but that I should rather apply your standards because that is what Europe is used to, right? In the same breath you have managed to say that only your standards are valid as a measurement tool for degrees of offense, which means that the Muslims have to apply them without any choice, isn’t that slightly monopolizing perhaps even insulting ? Why should I apply your standards and you should not apply ours?

As for the cartoons regarding to Jews, why is that a matter of interest? Why do you elevate ordinary Jews to the status of prophets? Why does every conversation have to turn about the Jews? Why are they the standard that we have to measure everything with? Does Europe feel so guilty 50 years on that the rest of the world has to bear this too? They were your problems and you made them ours .But I’ll talk about them later.

With regards to the assault on Copts in Egypt, it has been excellently covered and duly condemned by the Egyptian bloggers including our very own Sandmonkey. This is an internal Egyptian matter, not a West vs Arabs problem, I’m sure the Europeans are not going to love the Egyptian Christians more than the European Christians right? So let the Copts out of it and leave the Egyptians to solve their problems between themselves. My best friend is Copt and I would defend her with my life.

A flag is not sacred liked a prophet, the Palestinians like you are applying their own standards to measure what is offensive. Do you see the dilemma? That is why there is no official reaction.

The Danish Muslims are free to practice in Denmark , specifically because they are Danish ( if not by birth then simply by nationality) which I guess guarantees them their civil rights in Denmark Do you want to begrudge them that too ? Where would be the freedom you are talking about then?

In Egypt Christians are free to practice too, after all they form part of the population (the Copts remember) . Libyans are hundred % Muslims, there are no Christians and the remaining Jews left sometime in the 1970s for more prosperous conditions ( more on that in another post). The Christians we have and which are of course free to practice their faith are made up of all the nationalities that work and live in Libya. i.e the foreign expatriates and they have their churches and we have had the Italian nuns since WWI here. In other Arab countries Jews and Christians and Muslims are free to practice as well, KSA or Saudi Arabia is the only exception. KSA is in my opinion a special case it has more to do with state sovereignty that Islam. I think it is a shame about the non-Muslim expats, but if this is the Saudi rulers’ decision then it’s theirs. Plus it’s not like KSA is a beacon of freedom for its own people. But I’m not getting into that, the Saudi population will have to figure out what they need to do on their own. You think KSA was behind all this instigated by your Danish imams and that it is a political set up . Well if the West is having a problem with KSA I suggest they tell her so to her face, rather than put on the supersoft gloves they use with her ( that’s double standards and shameful in my opinion that you are not complaining about KSA) – oil comes to mind.

[The muslim hypocrisy seems endless to me.] You say, but don’t you see the European and Western hypocrisy as well ? Always complainign about KSA for example and Islamists and how they are the root of all problems and the mother of all dangers but nevertheless still shake their hands , accept them , sell weapons to them , buy their oil etc .. and even kiss their king ? what/who should I believe ?

[I wonder, if we back down, what will be the next thing in our newspapers that the saudis will take offense at ? In our way of life] do you hear what you are saying Kjatran?


[Where is the Middle Eastern government that similarly argues for restraint ? Abbas from Palestine and Hamid Karzai are as yet, I think, the only voices]

What restraint Kjatran, I think that the Arab coutnries have been remarkably restrained in this whole affair no ? The population has decided to act civilly and boycott , this could be a ‘stupid’ move but it is peaceful no ? So calls for restraint from ME government are not needed I guess , since the ME people have not gone on a rampage killing Danes. The only threats we have heard of so far were in Palestine, and I condemn that strongly, plus you just said that Abbas called for restraint there. I don’t see any problems.

[While I agree that the drawings were a provocation – many danes, though not me, also thought an unwarranted provocation.]

So you think that the cartoons were not unwarranted ? Instead of reaching out for a dialogue you believe it is better to insult others?


From your comment to Twosret I quote this [the point I am trying to make is live and let live. We print what danish law and traditions allows us in our newspapers, you print whatever you want in yours.] So you think it is good to deny us our traditions because you don’t like them or accept them ?

[Danes feel threatened and attacked. Paranoid ? Maybe...] Arabs /Muslim have felt this way for decades if not centuries through no fault of their own ( i.e before 9/11) . I don’t think you have any reason to fear , because you cannot be threatened militarily really , but perhaps only economically . Are you able to put yourself in other people’s shoes now at least for a little ? ( I know that’s out of the current topic ).

['defamation of prophets' in the form of constant questioning and ridicule of authority really IS a core western value, that we are willing to compromise very little about.] we have different values then, as you probably found out , please refer back above to my reply about standards for measurements. Whose standards whould be used yours or ours ? Should not this be an opportunity to call for more dialogue, but I’m wondering is there someoene actually listening in the West or is Europe only interested for us to listen ? Aren’t there bloggers and writers and ordinary Arabs trying to reach out daily or is it all falling on deadf ears ?

[But in my own country's newspapers, in my own home I will insist on pretty wide limits - and these cartoons were certainly within those] . that’s the whole point you want to keep this prerogative and deny it to the Arabs and Muslims in their own countries , or the Danish Muslims in Denmark ( unless you think of them still as children of immigrants and not really Danish people and that is racism).

Maybe you should start a blog , you do write well by the way:) .

I have tried to the best of my ability to understand your words, English only being my 3rd language , I hope I have not misunderstood some points.

Once again it was a pleasure exchanging these words with you. I hope you will not disapear after this problem is resolved. I frankly wish you would stick around to learn something about Libya, another African, Arab and Muslim country .

Twosret said...

Anonymous,

Read your comments on Jews, Brit invaders and so on. Quite racist stuff to me.

Please don't get me started on the Jewish or British history topics....one thing I found interesting though that you found my comments racist when I brought up historical facts and when I object the cartoons you attack me for being hatred :) catch 22!

just that it's people like you, with arguments like yours, who sometimes have it boiled over and resort to violence.

I have to disagree with you because I never promoted violence in any of my posts. My arguments were based on respect to Prophets and the fact that freedom of speech comes with a responsibility. Journalists should have much better profession than drawing offensive, racist, cartoons to ridicule religious icons (those are the ones in my opinion that provoke outrage and not smart enough to realize that extremists take advantage of such events to start violence.
Looking at the decision of the French, Italian, Swiss, and German newspapers I find them a DELIBERATE PROVOCATION, racist and discriminatory simply because they KNEW that it is offensive in the Islamic religion and they insisted on reprinting those cartoons under the logo of "cheap freedom of speech"

if you want to boycott a Danish newspaper because of the cartoons it published, how on Earth can you use the American Blogger where the cartoons have also been published? If you were logical, you would boycott Blogger, all other American products plus now those of various European countries as well.

Blogger is owned by Google an American company, Blogger is individually owned though and the fact that some bloggers posted topics on the cartoons is not enough reason for me to boycott blogger. I did stop posting on some blogs that have encouraged the defamation of a prophet which I thought was reasonable enough. Hope this answers your question.

Non-Blogging Anonymous said...

Twosret,

I don't have the time now to comment on other things you write, just this one. You simply are illogical with the Blogger comment. Yes, Blogger is a private American company and you don't want to boycott it because of some stuff there you don't like. Then, Jyllands-Posten is a private Danish company and you want to boycott all Danish products because Jyllands-Posten publishes some stuff you don't like.

It's very very hard for me to see any logic here. Be brave and admit you prefer boycotting Danish butter because you probably don't eat it anyway than American products because you can't live and spread your intolerant views without them.

And then, Twosret, can you please tell me if ANY American paper now published the cartoons, would you start boycotting ALL American products then? You should if you are logical! Hope a US paper is brave enough to put you into a moral dilemma.

By the way, some of the pictures have now been published in a Jordanian paper as well. A new country for you to boycott.

Highlander, will be back to you as well with my viewpoints. When you argue with Kjartan, sorry to say, I simply have to support the Dane's very logical reasonings... and am disappointed to find that what you write I can't buy. A pity as some stuff in your original post made sense to me.

Highlander said...

Eeore, you are a first time commenter as well, I guess I have to thank the Danish cartoons for this honour .

Actually I was not complaining about being stereotyped, please re-read my post & show me where I complained. I simply said that the cartoons where offensive, that the Muslim have the right to complain and respond , but that they should do so by copying western methods because this would ensure they succeed.

These cartoons do not represent the terrorists (ex: bin Ladin, Zarqawi, etc..) , they represent a beloved Muslim prophet and the founder of Islam, which I’m sure the cartoonist, the Danes , the Gov, and the Europeans know very well, hence putting him in this position of ridicule or worse means only one thing , that all Muslims are terrorists and killers and NOT that there are some Muslim terrorists, big difference here. This is the racism equal to that handed to the Jews (since we keep using the Jews as a method of comparison) by the Europeans. Therefore, this demonstrates hatred and fear under the guise of ridicule. These cartoons are not an invitation for us to face our fears as you say, I view it the other way round maybe be they are an indication of the European fear of Islam as the bogeyman now.

I do not believe that Muslims could be accused of not being multicultural , Eeore, I thought they are some of the most multicultural in this world , they are such varied peoples under the banner of Islam that you can’t possibly be serious with that statement.

programmer craig said...

Highlander,

I'll add some comments about the "false prophet" thing later when I can actually look at "Revelations" instead of trying to go from memory.

"This is an internal Egyptian matter, not a West vs Arabs problem, I’m sure the Europeans are not going to love the Egyptian Christians more than the European Christians right?"

This statement really concerns me, Highlander. You describe the treatment of Christians in Egypt as an "internal matter" - but you don't consider what Danish people publish in a Danish newspaper to be an internal matter!?

Why, may I ask, do you make this distinction?

one more point:

"Whose standards whould be used yours or ours ?"

Obviously, Danish standards should be used, in Denmark. I'm really not understanding why you feel this is a topci for debate? Denmark is a sovereign nation.

Hi Twosret,

"Looking at the decision of the French, Italian, Swiss, and German newspapers I find them a DELIBERATE PROVOCATION, racist and discriminatory simply because they KNEW that it is offensive in the Islamic religion and they insisted on reprinting those cartoons under the logo of "cheap freedom of speech""

I believe they re-printed the cartoons as a conscious protest against attacks on the free speech of european nations. An escalation, so to speak. Defiance. Not racism.

Some more snippets from an Associated Press article:

Rage at Drawings Spreads in Muslim World

"Armed militants angered by a cartoon drawing of the Prophet Muhammad published in European newspapers surrounded EU offices in Gaza on Thursday and threatened to kidnap foreigners as outrage over the caricatures spread across the Islamic world."

"Foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers began leaving Gaza as gunmen there threatened to kidnap citizens of France, Norway, Denmark and Germany unless those governments apologize for the cartoon."

"Gunmen in the West Bank city of Nablus entered four hotels to search for foreigners to abduct and warned their owners not to host guests from several European countries. Gunmen said they were also searching apartments in Nablus for Europeans."

And Nasrallah (of Hezbollah fame) is recommending moslems set off bombs in Denmark, in protest.

I've been asked seevral times the last few days to prove that the death threats were not just a few random internet lunatics. I consider this pretty good proof. Especially Nasrallah, he's the leader of one of the largest (and most notorious) international terror groups in the world. Hezbollah has mass murdered international peacekeepers, has hijacked internatioanl flights, has committed murders on at least 5 continents, has committed suicide bombings against innocents, has kidnapped and murdered westerners, has assassinated political opponenst and journalists, both at home in Lebanon and abroad, and the list goes on.

It's impossible to believe Nasrallah is just making empty threats. People are going to die over these cartroons.

programmer craig said...

Hi Again, Highlander! You must be online :P

I have more complaints!

Actually I agree 100% with your original post, moslems do have the right to protest, boycott, write letters of complain, file petitions and do any of the other things people do when they are offended. I have no difference of opinion with you there... but, unfortunately, that's not how this has played out.

Anyway...

"I do not believe that Muslims could be accused of not being multicultural"

There's a lot more to being "muliticultural" than having people of different nationalities in a religion. A better term would be "ethnically diverse" in my opinion. Religion is a very large part of culture, and I don't think any religion can be called multi-cultural.

Semantics, maybe.

Twosret said...

Be brave and admit you prefer boycotting Danish butter because you probably don't eat it anyway than American products because you can't live and spread your intolerant views without them.

What intolerant views are you talking about? objection of defamation of Character of a prophet is intolerance?. A strong believe that Prophets should not be rediculed and bashed in newspapers became intolerant?

I will not boycott blogger because a Danish,European, or even an Egyptian blogger reporting an event is not a statement issued by Google CO.

I repeat I have stopped posting at some blogs I used to read for over a year because of their support to this kind of cheap freedom of speech

Now before you start your accusations again let us see how intolerant you were to others. Here are the terms you used against me and I replied to you respectfuly despite your vicious accusations.

So nice to see Twosret going on with his racist hatred-filled accusations here......he should be laughed at. Now people like him are really threatening others with death and other nasty things......instead he's spreading hatred........but hatemongers such as Twosret.

Obviously your cultrue is different than mine and that is why we disagree about the cartoon issues.

You are welcome to discuss further any points respectfully otherwise you can save yourself the trouble because I won't reply to you.

i.e. I will boycott your insults :)you see how consistent I am :)

Twosret said...

Craig and Highlander,

I am trying to keep up with replies. Please give me sometime to reply to your post. Today is a hectic day :)

Highlander said...

Vox Populi, I believe I may agree with you that the Islamists may be trying to prevent a dialogue. But we have to differentiate between the Islamists and the Muslims, don’t we?

It is up to people to be dumb or not that is their free choice, in my opinion that still does not mean that those who chose to voice their discontent about the cartoons and that we should dismiss this altoghether and let it pass because we had better to this or else it is bad for us is correct either simply because the Islamists have an agenda. There are civil means to voice discontent which is what I have advocated in my post reiterated below :

[Yes, we should definitely mount a suitable campaign and civil action to prevent this kind of offense from ever recurring again but we have to play the game the Western way.]


To those who thinks that religions should be respected I say that it's only YOUR point of view. Religion is no better than science. Religion is no more moral than atheism. Religion is not more respectable than pornography. And if you think otherwise, well be aware that your beliefs are only yours, and not better than those of the rest of humanity.

Again that is also only your point of view and other people are entitled to theirs and chose to show it.


If you read the post in totality and carefully you would have noticed the following:
[But as much as you have been offended some actions are simply out of place. Death threats in Gaza ? what are we terrorist bigots now ? This does not help our image as Muslims.]
and this

[My criticism is however leveled at the way used to respond to this onslaught of hate on Islam, not at the fact that it took place as everyone is free with their opinions.]

I’m having a feeling as I said in an earlier comment that you have not all read the whole post nor the links and I don’t blame as it is long ;)

The Sandmonkey said...

I love the bold subliminal message. I simply love it!

Highlander said...

The Sandmonkey: I hear you man and I’ve read all your posts and know your point of view , but why the muzayada ? 3ala min ? Please go back and read the post if you have not read it not just the first few sentences. You will be surprised I’m sure as the only 2 thing we are disagreeing on here is (1) the right of the Muslims to find this offensive , (2) that it does not make them retarded to find this offensive. The people get to choose if they want to boycott or write a letter. It is more effective in the long run to write a letter or sue, but as I keep saying not all the Muslims in the Arab street are bloggers , writers, public relations people or lawyers. I’m sure many wrote letters of complaint, but others preferred a different method why are you upset as long as it within th limits of law and does not kill or maim anyone? Who said about boycotting everybody and all .

Anonymous said...

QUOTE: Highlander
Why should I apply your standards and you should not apply ours?
END QUOTE
On first sight, it seems that Danish standards are relevant here, because those were Danish pictures in a Danish newspaper. On second sight, however, it seems that the rules of the Quran don't care for national boundaries and don't allow for the prophet Muhammad to be insulted anywhere in this world. This is a problem, because it really means that Muslim Standards have to be applied globally, overruling all other standards where they overlap. And this would be pure domination.

QUOTE: HIGHLANDER
As for the cartoons regarding to Jews, why is that a matter of interest? Why do you elevate ordinary Jews to the status of prophets?
END QOUTE
There seems to be a serious misunderstanding here. Many people in Europe, like me, are atheists. As such, we are not attached to any prophet, and don't regard the Jews as such. The reason I was shocked when I discovered some Arab "cartoons" about Jews is because I know too well what happened to them 60 years ago (I live in Austria, birthplace of Adolf Hitler...and yes, the Iranian President is a fucking idiot for denying holocaust). So, a commentary like this
QUOTE: Twosret
I mean seriously the Jews have left no opportunity to defend Judism and their cry baby attitude didn't give the whole world a break from feeling guilty for the holacaust
END QUOTE
is just so...hateful. About six million Jews were killed - mind you, the Fascists were very busy managing the industrial-size genocide - but you comment on it like it were nothing. Unbelievable.


On the whole issue, just a comment from the European perspective why Europeans are "overreacting": Individual freedom is loved very much here, maybe as much as some of you love your religion. And we see it threatened because...

1. Europe has its own bloody past, where religion had total control over people's lifes (Rome to the Middle Ages, but still going on). Europe had the Inquisition, Crusades, and so on. There were many fights to wrestle power from the church, and so ANY attempt of religious people to control the behavior of others triggers hostile sentiments in me and others.

2. Europeans are looking at the Muslim world (which is distorted by the media, especially in Austria) and seeing that in most Arab Muslim countries, even Atheists or Christians have to follow Muslim rules, and civil liberties are pretty restricted in most countries.

3. Demographic and political issues make it likely that the Muslim population in Europe will grow over the next decades, which implies more voting power for them. So you might see crises like this one as "testing the waters" and seeing what, in the living together of our cultures, would still be possible to do, what would not be possible, and what we would have to fight over.

Highlander said...

Non anonymous blogger, I almost feel like turning off the anonymous option so that you all have to choose an identity as it it makes things so much simpler, but I know how so many of you are lazy… Still I may consider it again.


The Islamists are demanding censorships but the Muslim peoples are only asking to redress what in their eyes is a terrible wrong. I think that is within their right.

Killing Danes is unacceptable for sure.

Re. the example of the donkey that was ‘molested’ by Jesus it is in very bad taste, I am sorry this happened in your country, but it seems someone did sue/object and lost the case.Correct ? Did anyone lambast the person who sued that they cannot do so and this was freedom of opinion ? no they let the person got to court and find out for himself. While you are objecting even to the thought that a Muslim or Arab should dare oppose these cartoons, and that this was ridiculous and intolerable. That is applying a double standard isn’t ? what do you think . Am I making sense here ?

For whatever cause this picture was commissioned , its owners are the ones who have shown racism and are increasing it in Denmark and probably the world.

You say they were in a paper probably not meant for non-Danes, in the age of globalization and internet there is nothing that stays private anymore , we are all connected , and for sure at least one Arab and one Muslim person speak Danish and are interest in reading some of the Danish papers. The Danes were fighting it out between themsleves but it seems according to Kjatran in his first post that some Muslim Danes went on a visit to the ME and ‘dutifully’ spread the word faning this situation .So what’s a Muslim to do ? some ignored, some chose to act and others escalated it diplomatically , while the extremists tried to manipulate emotions. You make it sound like all the Arab and Muslim world are pounding at the doorstep of Europe demanding the cartoonist scalp.


I can see that you have replied re. KSA to Kjartan’s question , good , thank you. I think I have covered also a good part of that in my reply to him/her.

I’m not sure I get your point to Twosret re. boycotting American products, I don’t read anywhwere that she has advocated boycott of any body, she has merely said that it is a free world and everyone should suffer the consequences of their action, and pointed that Americans boycotted the French during their invasion of Iraq, and hence conluded that other people should enjoy the same right if they want so.

The only persons to actively advocate and seek a boycott are the Sandmokey with inflammatory comments about other EU countries and you about Blogger and America, at least that was my understanding.

RE. your reference to Bahai sects ( although you asked Twosret about this), well I believe it is wrong that they are persecuted as you say, I think they are mostly so in Iran but I’m not sure really and I refuse to just go google to answer you as I’d rather go read about it in depth. However, if you are asking me that there should be freedom of religion? My answer is yes of course , and I believe I quoted the Qu’ran as well on that. Now no one is saying that Arabs are perfect and that is not what we are trying to prove here. There are bad elements in every culture and every society. The point I’m trying to make is that if they mostly feel they should complaint then it is their right to do so . Simple. If you have links about the Bahai sect which you trust and wish to share I’d love to read them.

Also I liked your example about Austria, but as you said she was boycotted and those who boycotted her have exercised their freedom to disagree and do so. That was the gist of your message was it not ?

Highlander, will be back to you as well with my viewpoints. When you argue with Kjartan, sorry to say, I simply have to support the Dane's very logical reasonings... and am disappointed to find that what you write I can't buy. A pity as some stuff in your original post made sense to me.

That is all right, I surely hope I did not sound like I was arguing, but only having a polite conversation with someone, trying to learn from them and perhaps share some of my ideas respectfully. I’m not trying to impose my will or convince anyone, or get any favours. My original message has not changed. But feel free to reply with your viewpoints whenever you wish. I will look forward to that.


I don’t think I’ve seen you here before either but anyway welcome to my blog and thank you for your opinion.

Highlander said...

SM , I’m not sure what you are trying to imply with regards to Twosret, of course it is not my job to defend as I’m sure she is much capable of doing it , but I’m sensing also some ‘subliminal’ message here. That post was uncalled for, by now I’m sure you know what and who Twosret is as she is a constant commenter / reader on your blog for over a year and one of your most ardent fans. Basically saying that she condones the death of innocents over a cartoon is not fair, and you have just been guilty of offending her as a Christian, by questioning her Christian beliefs, while she has not offended one single Muslim. I hope I understood you wrong because it seemed a tad bit too personal and exagerated.. I don’t get the objective ….but it sounds wrong to me I’m not sure why my friend.

Highlander said...

K , I’ll make sure to watch ‘the war within’ thanks .

Highlander said...

Alank thanks I’ll check your blog as I’m sure you’ll have your personal touch as usual.
To answer your questions, only the cartoons depicting the prophet are the most offensive, those that depict just muslims are simply racists and stereotypical .

Anonymous said...

Twosret,

I appreciate mature discussion as well. My mistake thinking you were muslim, I am sure no offense was meant, nor taken.

I don’t personally know a lot of muslims but I certainly believe that most muslims, like most people everywhere, are sensible people. I am trying to write against the extremists that you also denounce, since these people have a lot of power in certain muslim states states and organisations, and their power seems to be on the rise. If now and then I get to sound like I am painting all muslims with the same black brush, forgive me.


Highlander,

Thanks for the welcome, I came via the link on Sandmonkeys blog.


First about false prophets: Surely if somebody tomorrow stood up and said he was a prophet and that he brought you a new Holy Book to supercede the Quran, he would be regarded as a false prophet, no ? I mean regarded as not inspired by God.

I am sorry if i sound frivolous, my point is; that is essentially what Mohamed is according to christian tradition, somebody who falsely claimed to be inspired by God.

Our tolerance of each other’s religion should be based on respect for each others humanity, not on whether or not, and in what form, our religion teaches such respect.


let me take a step back and state that to me this issue is really about national sovereignity more than anything else.

The cartoons were printed in a Danish language newspaper, which is circulated in Denmark. They were part of a Danish (or European, if you will) discussion about the limits of freedom of speech in the wake of the Theo van Gogh murder. They did cause quite a lot of discussion in Denmark, some people thinking that it was an unneccessary and childish provocation, some others, as me, thinking that we should mock Mohamed the way we mock Jesus or God or our leaders, and not make a special case – especially in a situation were a person had recently been killed for ’offending islam’. Some danish muslims were offended, some were not.
None of these cartoons were intended to be degrading to muslims as a whole, or they would not have been printed. Obviously there ARE limits to freedom of speech also in Denmark. It is however a matter for the independent courts, not the government, to decide what goes and what doesn’t . There was a court case and they were ruled to be allowable. In particular I am sure that the ’bomb in the turban’ cartoon was intended and also by danes read as a sarcastic commentary on the terrorists that kill people in Mohammed’s name, it was not intended to say all muslims = terrorists.

Well obviously the interpretation by the muslim world was very different, and no question people have evidently been angry. To what extent this anger has been fanned by the Saudi and other governments and organisations can be discussed. I can assure you, however, that this worldwide explosion was unexpected in Denmark.


As for the entire ’whose standards’ part: I am perfectly prepared to leave the antisemitic cartoons and the burning koptic churches and the burning flags and the repressed christians in KSA as the internal affairs of said countries if they will leave our newspaper cartoons as our internal affair. You can practice your traditions in Libya all you want, but I don’t accept that Arab traditions can be applied to danish newspapers. And no, I am not out to prevent danish muslims from practicing their religion at all, however if they want to live in Denmark they have to accept some ridicule against their religion now and then, just as danes do. They are free to vote for parties that work to change the blasphemy laws. This seems like a pretty consistent position to me.


On the other hand I do think it strange and, yes hypocritical, that Saudi government officials should protest conditions for muslims in Denmark or that Egyptian officials should, given the situation for christians there.


As for western hypocrisy re. Saudi Arabia and other states, I couldn’t agree more. However that only makes me feel even more defiant on this issue.


You say we cannot be threatened militarily, however we do clearly live in times when there are islamic terrorist networks that have the capacity to strike in Europe on a large scale, and these networks might well take inspiration from the very strong denounciations of Denmark. (if they don’t actually take orders from various ME governments, such as Syria or Iran to name two).


Its pretty clear that you (i.e., many muslims) feel the subject of an ’onslaught of hate’ as you write, whereas danes certainly feel the subjects of an utterly irrational and disproportional onslaught of hate, what a mess...

Whew, that grew pretty long again, I better start that blog...

Kjartan



P.S. Your english is fine, certainly better than my german, which is my 3rd language - I live in the US right now so I should better have decent english.

Highlander said...

I only have Twosret and Craig to reply to but hey guys I'm really exhausted by now ..hope you can find your answers in my updated post :)

Kjartan said...

Btw, I am a he

Twosret said...

Kjartan,

And I'm a she ;) and will reply to he shortly :) life is happening while I'm blogging.

Twosret said...

Twosret, what do you call breaking off diplomatic relations with another nation about a newspaper story? That's not only government trying to restrict freedom of the press, it's foreign governments trying to interfere with another COUNTRY'S free press!

Let us correct the terms used by you Craig, it is not a newspaper story, it is a racist, blasphemy cartoons that draws the prophet as a terrorist. From my readings, I understand that Denmark, as most European countries, have laws to prosecute and punish those who question the holocaust. The holocaust was a historical event, and yet questioning this event is not allowed under freedom of speech.

In Austria A British 'historian' David Irving has been sent to Jail for "holocaust denial". He does not believe the 'official' holocaust history - that is his "crime".

In Britain A few years ago the play Perdition, a play by Jim Allen was pulled off a major London theatre at the last minute because a Zionist Organization didn’t approve of it while it was not anti-Semitic, Max Stafford-Clark, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre said “I am pulling the play. Not because it contains any inaccuracies, or is in any way anti-Semitic, but because it might cause distress among some members of the Jewish community (personal notes).”

Most European countries banned “The Life of Brian”, the film was also banned for eight years in Ireland and for a year in Norway, the film was not released in Italy.

So my point is, if Europe takes all the above actions to protect the right of Jews, it should be okay for the Government of Denmark to take similar actions to protect the rights of Muslims.

I don't even know what to say about this, Twosret. Do you really believe taht there's a campaign of hate against Arabs in the US?

Yes I do and if you don’t believe me check out Fox news, 24 hours series, West Wing series etc….

Civilized nations break off diplomatic realations over serious crimes by another state, comitted against their nationals. Crimes such as murder.

Yes a murder has been committed here too in the (muslim world opinion) to the image of the most loved holy icon to them and was painted as terrorist.

Civilized nations should respect all religions not just Judism.

Twosret said...

Anonymous said....

About six million Jews were killed - mind you, the Fascists were very busy managing the industrial-size genocide - but you comment on it like it were nothing. Unbelievable.

You are wrong, I have never thought that the holocaust was nothing, that is your assumption and you took my words out of context.

I think that the Holocaust was a vicious, terrible, insane, most inhuman action in the history. I don't think that any nation should be subjected to massive killings.

I'm not sure about the number you mentioned 6 million because the history books and some scientific researches are not confirming such number (2 million less or so doesn't minimize this human disaster anyway)

My objection on this matter is, I shouldn't feel guilty constantly by Jews for what other people did to them. The whole world doesn't have to be reminded 24/7 for the heinous act of Hitler. I don’t see the same passion from the world for African-American, Native Indians, Bosnians, Palestinians, slavery in Africa.

You would think that Jews learned from what happened to them and would understand more than any other nation the disaster of unjust crimes, concentration camps and massive killings. Amazingly enough, other nations are currently suffering under the hands of (Israeli Jews second and third generations) that are following similar heinous crimes and while the world is busy comforting the Jews, The same apartheid wall of shame is up again but by the Jews this time.

I better call it a night before I hijack the comment section with the double standard and unjust world we live in.

programmer craig said...

Hi Twosret,

Twosret said...

"Let us correct the terms used by you Craig, it is not a newspaper story, it is a racist, blasphemy cartoons that draws the prophet as a terrorist."

And how is that not a newspaper story?

"From my readings, I understand that Denmark, as most European countries, have laws to prosecute and punish those who question the holocaust."

My understanding is that it's illegal to DENY the holocaust - in the countries that were involved in PERPETRATING the holocaust, Twosret.

The purpose of those laws is so that they never forget what their countries did. It is NOT illegal to discuss the Holocaust.

In Germany, it has been (and I think it still is) illegal to display the swastika and other nazi symbols, as well.

I cannot really say that I agree with these laws, but I don't live in Europe so it's not my business. I'm just trying to clarify the issue for you.

Maybe Kjartan can give you more details.

"The holocaust was a historical event, and yet questioning this event is not allowed under freedom of speech."

Yes, it's an extremely well documented FACTUAL historical event.

I have already addressed the "questioning" of the holcaust - questioning something that well documented (the germans recorded the name and religion of every person they killed in the death camps) is easily considered *hate speech* in and of itself, if that denial takes place in one of the nations that was responsible for it.

Why is it that everyone brings this up as an example of faulty free speech? Hate speech is not protected under freedom of expression laws. Anyway... that will be my last comment on this topic... you'll have to talk to a lawyer if you want to find out what kinds of speech are considered hate speech, defamatory speech, libelous speech, etc...

"In Britain A few years ago the play Perdition, a play by Jim Allen was pulled off a major London theatre at the last minute because a Zionist Organization didn’t approve of it while it was not anti-Semitic, Max Stafford-Clark, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre said “I am pulling the play. Not because it contains any inaccuracies, or is in any way anti-Semitic, but because it might cause distress among some members of the Jewish community (personal notes).”

OK... that was his choice, no? He was not charged with any crime, right? Where is the infringement on free speech here?

OK, I'll continue in another comment...

programmer craig said...

cont...

"Most European countries banned “The Life of Brian”, the film was also banned for eight years in Ireland and for a year in Norway, the film was not released in Italy."

I didn't know that. It wasn't banned in the US, I saw it myuself right after it came out. Are you sure it was banned (by law) rather than theatres declining to show it?

I have to admit, either thing surprises me. Europeans are not that religious! But if it was banned by the governments in europe, that would be a clear case of censorship in my opinion.

"So my point is, if Europe takes all the above actions to protect the right of Jews"

OK, you had one example of the holocaust which you could say protects the rights of Jews. I have a different opinion on that - I think those laws are meant to remind Europeans of their shame, not to protect Jews.

The other example with the theatre, that was not government censorship, so I won't comment on that. Not a freedom of expression issue.

The Life of Brian was insulting to Christians, not Jews. And if it was banned by governments in Europe, I'd say it makes a very good counter-example to these cartoons. Is there any way you can find out?

"it should be okay for the Government of Denmark to take similar actions to protect the rights of Muslims."

Not sure how you want me to comment on this one. All people in Denmark should have the same protections and the same rights, and I assume that they do.

Me:"I don't even know what to say about this, Twosret. Do you really believe taht there's a campaign of hate against Arabs in the US?"

Twosret: "Yes I do and if you don’t believe me check out Fox news, 24 hours series, West Wing series etc…."

I didn't say I didn't believe you. I'm not an Arab so I really don't know. I asked because I genuinely wanted your opinion. I'm sorry to hear you sense racism against Arabs in the US, Twosret. Racism is an ugly thing.

"Yes a murder has been committed here too in the (muslim world opinion) to the image of the most loved holy icon to them and was painted as terrorist."

Which has no basis under the law, twosret. People are not required to show respect for other people's religious beliefs.

"Civilized nations should respect all religions not just Judism."

Should is not the same as MUST. And you've already pointed out how disrespectful Europeans can be towards their own traditional religion.... why would you think they'd be respectful to another religion?

PS-can't even post this... has anybody else notcied that blogger seems to be down an awfully lot, lately?

Anonymous said...

I am an infidel who has read the Koran. Now I want to ask Highlander and all honest Muslims here: Remember what the Koran says about us infidels? The Surra Mohammed is enough. For you, Mohammed is "the most highly regarded and cherished figure", but for us, he is just a man who said that our heads must be cut off, and managed to make too many people believe cutting our heads off is their supreme duty. Why should we respect somebody who does not respect our right to live? Honest Muslims must admit either that we infidels have the right not to respect Mohammed, or that they really think we are subhuman and have no rights. If there are dead people because of this story, they will not be on the cartoonists' conscience but on the conscience of some butcher inspired by radical Islam.
Maya Markova, Sofia, Bulgaria

Non-Blogging Anonymous said...

Highlander (and to some extent Twosret and the others as well), there's now some confusion here as what comes to identities. I'm the one who first wrote two anonymous comments here (mainly arguing with Twosret), the last of them being the one starting with So nice to see... quite at the beginning of this now lengthy commenting here. Since then I've not been anonymous anymore but adapted the identity (yes, it's an identity, not anonymous anymore and it's not in blue because I don't have a website to link to)Non-Blogging Anonymous (just because I'm bad at picking up nicknames ;-)). So, whatever has been written AFTER that by 'anonymous' is somebody else, not me! That might cause so confusion - I'm not THAT frequent a commentor it looks like now ;-).

Just a clarification so that you won't anymore take somebody's comments for mine and vice versa.

As for the substance part here, will be back with some comments after a more careful study of some issues. And I also have to pretend I'm performing my real life job as well in the meanwhile ;-).

Twosret said...

My understanding is that it's illegal to DENY the holocaust - in the countries that were involved in PERPETRATING the holocaust, Twosret.


Disagree with you, following your logic, Freedom of speech means freedom of speech, anyone can say whatever they want including insulting a prophet.

Why is it that everyone brings this up as an example of faulty free speech?

Because of the double standard used by the advocates of freedom of speech, add to it the other examples I gave you then Voila! you got your answer.

FYI, The Royal Court Theatre is Britain's leading national company.

I think we disagree about a major point which is the freedom of speech. I'm glad to see that the US have found it offensive.

I think it is time to wrap up this topic and move on despite our disagreement. What's new eh?! I appreicate all responses to my comments as I'm learning as I go.

Georg said...

By the way, I'm the guy from Austria who posted under Anonymous yesterday.

Many different arguments have already been exchanged, but some things remain unclear for me...although I really appreciate the exchange here, already having learned some interesting things about your views.

1. Which feelings exactly do the muslims protesting on the streets have about the caricatures ? Are their feelings HURT because they see the image of their loved prophet distorted - in which case one way for them not to hurt their feelings would be not to open the Jyllad Posten newspaper ? Or are they ANGRY because the rules of the Quran about not depicting Mohammed should be applied globally to every individual on earth - in which case I would feel threatened ? Or are they ANGRY because for them, Mohammed is a symbol for the whole Muslim population, and anyone who insults Mohammed insults 1,3 billion people worldwide ?

2. How would the protesting Muslims react to the following compromise: European countries make laws against insulting Islam, and in exchange for that, Muslim countries will create legal equality between their Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Atheist cizizens.

3. For the future: which other behavior from the West would be likely to cause massive protests from the Muslim world ? This is purely for information, as I would be interested in knowing which obstacles are on the way towards peace and understanding.


QUOTE: Twosret
Disagree with you, following your logic, Freedom of speech means freedom of speech, anyone can say whatever they want including insulting a prophet.

I agree with you...Freedom of speech isn't absolute anywhere. However, I think that having the right to criticise religions by satire is pretty important and useful, seeing as satire and jokes have contributed to the decline of the Catholic Church over the last decades, and knowing the harmful influence this church has had over Europe in the past.

programmer craig said...

Hey there, Georg:

Maybe you should move this comment into the newer post? Not sure who is still reading this one besides me :)