Should U.S. Media Reprint the Cartoons?

Jumping head first into the Mohammed cartoon controversy:

First, for a good summary of how the whole cartoon mess started, read this story by Kevin Sullivan.

It seems the big debate in the United States at the moment is over whether American newspapers should reprint the cartoons. But does it really matter, since you can easily find the cartoons on the Internet? (The Face of Muhammed blog has an image of the original newspaper page, and at cryptome.org, you'll find each of the cartoons at a readable size.)

Some papers, including the Post, have covered controversial artwork in the past without actually showing the artwork itself. Remember the crucifix-in-urine uproar a decade and a half ago? Other papers have printed photos of art that could be deemed offensive by Christians while not publishing the controversial drawings of Mohammed. The New York Times today published a photo (page B8) of the Virgin Mary surrounded by elephant manure, in a surprisingly blatant display of what Anne Applebaum calls the "hypocrisy of the cultural left."

(13:59, 2/8/6) Update: Australia's The Age newspaper reports that "the Danish newspaper which first published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that have angered Muslims worldwide had previously turned down cartoons of Jesus as too offensive, the artist said yesterday."

The Petty Larseny blog says that "American and western media outlets that cover the cartoon controversy without showing the cartoons are cowardly, hypocritical, un-American and sometimes all three. The notion that they might cause offense is, itself, offensive."

I hope the Petty Larseny blog and others who take that position would also defend other cartoons that some people find offensive, such as the widely-misinterpreted Tom Toles cartoon depicting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as stretching the military too thin and not being concerned enough with the number of war wounded and the severity of their injuries. (Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt addressed both the Toles and the Prophet Mohammed issues in a column earlier this week.)

It's not just the mainstream media, though -- there's been a fair bit of hypocrisy in the blogosphere as well. Anne Applebaum contrasts the treatment of the Mohammed cartoons by right-wing blogs with their response to the Newsweek report of Koran defilement at Guantanamo -- reports that also gave rise to rioting and violence in some Muslim countries. Applebaum writes that in the case of Newsweek,

self-styled U.S. "conservatives" blamed not cynical politicians and clerics but Newsweek for (accidentally) inciting violence in the Muslim world: "Newsweek lied, people died." Worse, much of the commentary implied that Newsweek was not only wrong to make a mistake (which it was) but also that the magazine was wrong to investigate the alleged misconduct of U.S. soldiers. Logically, the bloggers should now be attacking the Danish newspaper for (less accidentally) inciting violence in the Muslim world. Oddly enough, though, I've heard no cries of "Jyllands-Posten insulted, people died." The moral is: We defend press freedom if it means Danish cartoonists' right to caricature Muhammad; we don't defend press freedom if it means the mainstream media's right to investigate the U.S. government.

Via Jefferson Morley, The Khaleej Times quotes a senior government official as offering this troubling response to those who cite freedom of speech as a basis for publishing the cartoons. "Freedom of expression means freedom to express one's views in ways that will not affect social harmony. Otherwise, you face consequences."

So what, if any, are the limits of free speech? Martin Wolf, writing in the Financial Times, says "Those limits lie in incitements to violence or the threat of violence aimed at suppressing the opinions of others." However, he notes, "Expressions of opinion that some groups regard as intensely offensive are quite a different matter. These may be impolite, even disgracefully so, but that is not sufficient reason to make them illegal."

Are these cartoons the equivalent of shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, as some have claimed? That seems a stretch. In the "Fire!" scenario, those who hear the scream have no logical option but to run for their lives, potentially trampling fellow theater-goers in the process. With the printing of cartoons, there are several logical options, including peaceful protest. One cannot blame the speech itself for the violence; after all, it is the rioters who've made the choice to go out and burn buildings.

At the satirical Saddam's Palace blog is this too-true statement: "religious wackos come in all denominations." The Cynic Librarian posts some philosophical context for the lampooning of religion.

Mad as Hell blogger Fred W argues that the seeds of discontent in the Middle East were sewn by the West. "Perhaps if we spent less time and money on blowing up their homes and families and more on rebuilding what we've blown up, there'd be a little less animosity," he writes. "This doesn't justify the violent response to the cartoon in question, but it does highlight the fundamental challenge the West faces in the Middle East -- mending fences in a minefield of your own creation can be hazardous work."

Debaters, I'm interested in your analysis of the situation, of the events so far and where you think we should go from here.

Be sure to check out the transcripts of today's Live Online chats on this subject. Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, the Washington bureau chief of a German newspaper, defends his paper's decision to reprint the cartoons. Dr. Mohamed Nimer provides a very different perspective.

P.S. A treasure trove of previously undiscovered wildlife has been found in a remote part of Indonesia. Awesome.

By Emily Messner |  February 8, 2006; 12:46 PM ET  | Category:  Misc.
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Each time I heard a newscaster on a major network say that "XYZ has decided not to publish the cartoons in question", my mental retort was, "Smart!"

The Washington Post shouldn't post them, either. There's no question of public access- anyone with access to a library with public internet can see these cartoons. So an exercise of good judgment would keep those cartoons out of print here in the USA.

Posted by: Marisa Stroud | February 8, 2006 03:05 PM

I sense a dangerous precedent emerging when we even begin to think of this as a comparison with "Fire!" in a movie theatre. The litmus test for what is "in poor taste" to publish is becoming more determined by the reaction to those cartoons than by any content in the cartoons themselves.

There is no question that more offensive cartoons of Jewish or Christian figures have been posted on many websites/periodicals that now refuse to show the Mohammed cartoons. I think there is some legitimate claim that Islam is being treated differently than other religions when it comes to how far the media will push.

But who can blame the media for that? As the Danes originally found out, this censorship is voluntary. People will support their right to express their religious views freely... in-so-far as it won't get you a knife to the chest like Theo Van Gogh. I'm sure all the cartoonists are now rethinking their decision to dare and draw pictures of a religious figure, now that they are either in hiding or police protection.

If we decide that something is offensive because it necessarily incites violence from the offended, we set a dangerous and self destructive precedent. As long as a group is willing to kill others and light buildings on fire to protest its treatment, we should tread softly with our free expression rights.

But why? If Christians tomorrow started lighting buildings on fire because Jesus frequently shows up on animated television shows in less than inspiring depictions, would we then have to determine that Christian protest is off-limits? If the offended have the ability to determine whether or not certain expressions are deemed off limits, don't we empower them in a truly terrifying way? Don't we encourage them to burn buildings and kidnap people to prevent this language?

The President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Dr. Ameer Ali, presented the issue more explicitly than most Muslims: "Which is more important--to preserve the freedom of speech or to antagonize one fifth of humanity?"

Let me make clear my position. Not only is it worth it to antagonize one fifth of humanity, it is worth dieing for. More importantly to some pioneering Americans, that right was worth killing for. The Islamic world should be very careful how they frame this issue. If the West determines this to be an irreconcilable difference between Islam and the Post-Christian West, this thing really could snowball into a culture war.

If ever there were a Faustian deal this is it. If the West decides to sacrifice its freedom of expression to avoid the resulting unrest, then we invite --demand-- further unrest. If the Muslim world realizes that a few burned embassies is enough to ellicit an apology for cartoons, we should hardly be surprised when they decide that maybe a few innocents killed might encourage American women to wear a hijab or cut their driver's license.

There is no substantive difference between voluntary self-censorship encouraged by self-preservation and explicitly following Sharia law. It comes as no surprise that women voluntarily wear hijabs despite a lack of official law requiring it in Iraq... otherwise they might get acid thrown in their face.

Maybe that is the message the West wants to send. I hope not. We are all victimized by it.

Posted by: Will | February 8, 2006 03:22 PM

In a word, YES.

The West should reprint these cartoon images. It is time-cherished right held by the Western press to print material others may find offensive. (Any paper that reports the news with the expressed intent of not offending anyone will soon be out of business.)

Admittedly, it is less politcally correct to offend Muslims than Catholics, Protestants, or Jews. The image of Christ submerged in urine was offensive to Chistians. Perhaps Christians should have reacted with death-threats and violence to assure that other media outlets would know the repurcussions of offending the proph, ur, Christ.

In civil society we must consent to be occassionally offended by others who exercise their free right to have and voice an opinion. A cartoon depicting Muhammed as a bomber does not make him so. (Ironically, the response to the cartoons has effectively demonstrated the motif of the cartoons far more successfully than the cartoons themselves.)

If the West is cowed into self-imposed censureship by the mere whiff of retalliation, it is only encouraging future violence by demonstrating that violence is an effective method protest.

Posted by: Jon M | February 8, 2006 03:31 PM


It is interesting to see that the first debate on the publication of controversial communications is that those communications (i.e., the cartoons (of all things a cartoon)) should not have been communicated or should have been edited.

Very interesting. Next, the debate seems to discuss areas of balancing those practicing religious vs. point of view speech (i.e., muslims vs. Denmark newspaper).
2006-02-08 POST TO ANDERSON COOPER'S 360


As I read the First Amendement:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I do not see a sentence in there that distinguishes religious, or other forms of speech, that being both are therefore forms of speech which are both equally represented in the First Amendement.

Now, it has also been suggested that a "balancing" process be used to determine which form of speech between the two speeches relevant to this controversy (where where form 1) Muslim's speech against Denmarks publication of the Prophet Muhammed's image and form 2) Denmark's speech expressing a point of view regarding muslims and terrorism.

The idea that a "balancing test" be applied is more acurately to mean a "comprimise" or modification of either the Muslim's or Denmark Publishers speech.

I disagree with any imposed balancing test as what has been publicly suggested by leaders within the U.S. Administration. The idea that leaders in the U.S. Government are quick to impose a negotiation of the freedoms implied by our First Amendment in the face of this controversy is reprehensible.

The First Amendment does not say we are to freely exercise religion or speech just as long as the speaker first takes a moment of pause to "consider" or censure their speech.

In fact, the U.S. Officials suggestion to "balance" speech imposes an abridgment as prohibited by the First Amendment. The truth being, U.S. Officials, by suggesting a "balancing" test vs. standing up for the First Amendment, are playing politics with the constitution (given the current hostile relations between the U.S. and the muslim communities locally, and Int'ly spawned from the war in Iraq).

No No No. Bottom line, both speakers (Muslims and Denmark Press) may continue their speaking (one advocating a concieved religion the other advocates another belief as depicted in the cartoon.)

Lastly, the violence is the crucial difference between the two forms of communciations. Denmark's being non-violent, and the muslims being violent (burning flags, embassy's, etc.).

So, there is no issue on freedom of speech, or religion, its matter of enforcing the rule of law upon those who would impose their will by force (in this case the muslims demanding submission of Denmark or others who would express themselves in similar cartoonistic ways) by way of violence.

So, yes, in light of the violence, the first amendment does apply where it indicates that:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
for the very reason we see today, with the violent, oppressive, finatical, practices stemming from religious followers (any) seeking to control thoe who have alternative belief structures.

An additional question would ask: Has the U.S. Government submitted to the demands of any religious beliefs, in its implementation of any public policies?

Posted by: ArtofTerrorism.com | February 8, 2006 03:48 PM

I think each newspaper should decide for themselves whether they should or should not reprint those cartoons. If a newspaper decides it should print the cartoons, that's freedom of the press in action. If a newspaper decides it shouldn't print the cartoons, that too is freedom of the press in action. Personally, I think the cartoons should be printed merely for the sake of thoroughness, but I completely understand if a newspaper editor or owner would like to take a pass on reprinting cartoons that are antagonistic and disrespectful.
Having seen the cartoons myself, I don't find them to be very clever at all and think it is unfair to portray the Muslim prophet Mohammed like that just because his words have been exploited by the worst elements within the worshippers of Islam. Using that logic, we might as well start portraying Jesus as crazy Pat Robertson: All religions have their extremist elements, and it is unfair to focus on the bad and ignore the good. The majority of Muslims have made the world a better place by following the positive teachings of Mohammed WITHOUT resorting to jihad and suicide murders. The same newspaper that originally printed those negative cartoons of Mohammed could do the right thing and print cartoons that focus on the Islamic prophet in a positive light, not in response to the violent protests, but in the name of fairness. I doubt if the Danish newspaper will do such, as they seem more interested in spreading Islamophobia than giving a balanced view of Mohammed. Still, it would be nice if they challenged their cartoonists to draw positive cartoons instead of negative ones, Mohammed or otherwise.
One of the recent developments in this story is that Iran has decided to commission their own Iranian press to draw similarly offensive cartoons, but the subject matter will be the Holocaust instead Mohammed. Such a response shows a clear disregard for the real issues at hand, and is merely an attempt to spread anti-Semitism. It removes any valid criticism of the Mohammed cartoons... how can you denounce antagonistic cartoons as wrong, than go print antagonistic cartoons in response? To print cartoons mocking the Holocaust is to say that everything is fair game for negative cartoons... including Mohammed. Also, isn't the matter at hand the supposed blasphemy of ridiculing a religious prophet? If Iran wants to start a 'cartoon war', shouldn't they be going after Moses instead of the Holocaust? And what leg to stand on would Iran have if Israeli newspapers started printing cartoons mocking the genocide of Muslims, such as what went on in Bosnia a decade ago?
This entire affair is a study of extremism and the exploitation of such, whether it be by the press or religious/political leaders. It's a sad statement on humanity that so many people are so easily manipulated into hate and violence. Just the nature of the beast, unfortunately; Any excuse will do for certain types to vent their hatred, even something as harmless as a cartoon.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 8, 2006 03:49 PM

We are damned if we do, and damned if we don't. Google the words "Koran" and "Jews", "Christians", or "Pagan" and see what you find. As I understand it, if you do not accept Mohammed as the Prophet, you are not worthy of life. It's in the suras. If I'm wrong, somebody please tell me.

Posted by: wiccan | February 8, 2006 03:51 PM

the other thing to realize is that tell muslims the truth...

Mohammed was a general, he interpreted his dream....


talk to the truth...not the myth

Posted by: that's sutras.... | February 8, 2006 04:02 PM

in fact I don't think judaism is a religion I think it's an ethnic thing that explains "life as persecution," sort of like a Kurt Vonnegut story.

Posted by: there are dumb as a post muslims just like there are dumb as a post jews and christians.... | February 8, 2006 04:03 PM

It's astounding that the primary debate is framed on free speech instead of measured response. If the measured response for publishing a cartoon is rioting and destruction of property, then the measured response for flying planes into buildings or cutting of heads should be ??? Not much complaining about "double standards" in that context. Curious.

Posted by: dc | February 8, 2006 04:13 PM

The posts here responding with a definite 'yes' or a definite 'no' to whether the cartoons should be reprinted seem to ignore a basic tenet of a free press: Each newspaper or press outlet gets to decide on their own what the content matter of their publications will be. To dictate to them that they must print the cartoons or must not print the cartoons is to impede on their right to free speech and expression. An editor or owner of a newspaper gets to decide whether the cartoons are appropriate for their newspaper. There is no impetus to print the cartoons if they feel it isn't indicative of what their publication is about, and there is equal justification for printing the cartoons if they feel it would be in the editorial spirit of their publication.
Like Emily, I also question the yelling 'Fire!' analogy. The more apt analogy would be this: Do the Mohammed cartoons constitute slander or libel? If Mohammed were alive today, could he sue over such?

Posted by: ErrinF | February 8, 2006 04:14 PM

Whether to re-print/link to the the cartoons is a question of journalistic integrity. It is embarrasing for major on-line media sources like the Washington Post to write lengthy articles on the controversy, complete with a dozen images of people rioting without letting people see for themselves what they are rioting about.

In this case, the cartoons ARE the story. It is no answer to say that people can find the cartoons for themselves on-line if they're willing to search for a while. The Washington Post is writing the article, it is up to the Washington Post to provide both balance and context. True, I could do the necessary research for myself, but then, what is the point of The Post? (In the early days of the controversy it was, in fact, quite difficult to track down the actual images.)

The real reason more on-line news outlets have not linked to the images is simple cowardice. No one wants to draw the attention of radical Muslim protesters. But there's safety in numbers. If all the news outlets did their jobs and reported this story without fear or favor, everyone would be pretty safe from retribution.

Posted by: Anon | February 8, 2006 04:17 PM

universal...


it's all about becoming more mature.


dogma is dogma, and that is what "religion" is made up of, not truth.


sufis are the muslim equivalent of mystical christians....how would rumi have responded to the cartoon...probably with laughter...

he used jesus as an example of an "enlightened one" in his poetry as easily as he used mohammed...

don't confuse the rustics with the "friend"

Posted by: measured response presumes some external ethics that are | February 8, 2006 04:18 PM

unmitigated gall is divided into three parts:
greed, stupidity and cruelty.

See: www.coolstretchofhighway.com

Posted by: stingo | February 8, 2006 04:18 PM

Christianity does not forbid images of Jesus. Islam forbids images of the Prophet.

Ergo, in publishing images of the Prophet we would be knowingly offending Muslims. Perhaps the Danish paper didn't know this. Perhaps they didn't care.

Now we know. Why should we care?

Hmm, that old Golden Rule the nuns taught keeps popping up. Do unto others.....

I say publish them. And celebrate by inviting our Orthodox Jewish neighbors over for pork chops. And then have the Baptists over for the saltiest food we can find and serve no beverage except wine. Then it would be really fun to bring the Pope to Texas to witness the next execution - let's make it a minor to double the fun. And then we'll have the Quakers over for a shooting party.

Why should we care? Its still a free country (at least for the time being). Who are they to tell us we can't do these things?

Posted by: | February 8, 2006 04:24 PM

You can make the argument that the cartoons shouldn't have been printed in the first place, but then again why do we have the first amendment? The cartoons should definitely not be reprinted in any form or fashion. I can't believe people are talking about it like this just because a bunch of uncivilized morons don't know the proper way to convey grievances. That's the reason that whole part of the world is shit in the first place. How long have they been killing each other? They're religion teaches and condones violent behavior. Those countries will never aspire to the greatness of the Western World because the people are too stupid to recognize their own mistakes.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 8, 2006 04:25 PM

"Strange Fruit"


yeah, they are primitive....and judging from the "moron vote" winning a presidential election on homophobia would put the majority of the united states at not much better...


wouldn't you say, or are you too afraid to speak the truth?

huh, broken english?

Posted by: that's why the Billy Holiday song... | February 8, 2006 04:28 PM

Mohamet looks like a cartoon?

Posted by: so in the spirit of peace.... | February 8, 2006 04:30 PM

To ErrinF:

Of course it the decision 'to print or not to print' is up to media outlet. That goes without saying, it is implicitly redundant.

Emily asks for "analysis of the situation" and "where we should go from here."

My OPINION (meaning if I was an editor) is that newspapers should print to demonstrate we will not be cowed by threats of retaliation. As ANON intelligently stated:

"Whether to re-print/link to the the cartoons is a question of journalistic integrity. It is embarrasing for major on-line media sources like the Washington Post to write lengthy articles on the controversy, complete with a dozen images of people rioting without letting people see for themselves what they are rioting about."

Posted by: Jon M | February 8, 2006 04:35 PM

inqusitions...

sexual abstinence as the answer to aids in Africa where they are recruiting "new" Catholics at light speed to refill the diminishing coffers of the Holy Roman Empires'Church of the ragged tool?


and who started those crusades that make the muslims feel _unloved_ when they hear the word christian?

Posted by: The Pope...don't get me started... | February 8, 2006 04:36 PM

make them innocent or evil...


the muslims are to a great extent a dogmatic society......they interpret scripture literally and ignore their mystics, people who have moved beyond dogma.


the united states is a young nation making the same mistakes that were made by older ones, because it's only a couple of hundred years olde...

Posted by: just because someone's a little behind the curve doesn't | February 8, 2006 04:43 PM

To The Pope...don't get me started:

Who started the Crusades? Well, if you recall, the regions that today make up Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and most of the Western Middle East were Christian settlements well before Islam was even a religion.

The Crusades, right or wrong, were an attempt to reclaim former Christian lands that had been swallowed by "the Prophet" and his followers.

Your premise is innane, but that is aside from the point. This is not a question of the merits oo lack-there-of the respective religions. It is about freedom of speech and press.

If you want to debate the merit of religion, I think this is the wrong place.

Posted by: Jon M | February 8, 2006 04:52 PM

major media had no compunction about publishing (repeatedly) stories and pictures about Abu-Ghraib, or about "flushing korans down the loo" at Gitmo, both of which led to riots and death. They hesitate in publishing these cartoons now because this time, the violence is directed at them. They should be published, if only to show that we will not be cowed into giving up one of our most precious rights by a display of thuggery and violence.

One question though, does anyone find it odd that protestors from Gaza to Bangladesh suddenly had all these Danish flags available for torching? I think this whole "uproar" has been stage-managed.

Posted by: D. | February 8, 2006 05:04 PM

Here's what I say.

The hell with the jihadists and their propaganda arms.

Publish them.

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say offensive things. These jihadists and their ilk want freedom of speech when they preach hate and violence and anti-Western rhetoric in the mosques they've set up in much of Europe.

But then they say, oh, you offended us when we do the same.

Well, the hell with them.

If they want to take their 1200s thinking and try to impose it on us, screw them. Let's deport every single one of those hate spewing, advocating the violent overthrow of the governments where they reside butts back to a place where their sharia law theocratic propaganda is welcome.

However, if they want to embrace free speech and the freedom of others to say offensive things, then let's see them do it.

Posted by: | February 8, 2006 05:05 PM

To ErrinF:
Of course it the decision 'to print or not to print' is up to media outlet. That goes without saying, it is implicitly redundant.
Emily asks for "analysis of the situation" and "where we should go from here."
My OPINION (meaning if I was an editor) is that newspapers should print to demonstrate we will not be cowed by threats of retaliation.
Posted by: Jon M | Feb 8, 2006 4:35:09 PM

First off, it does not go without saying. There is nothing implicit about your assumption that anybody who posts that newspapers should or should not definitely print the cartoons is doing so in the spirit of 'if the editor so chooses'. I was fully in the right to make the point I did about not dictating to newspapers what they should or should not print.
Secondly, this matter has little to do with 'not being cowed by threats of retaliation'. This notion of yours that the press must portray strength and defiance by printing antagonistic, religiously offensive cartoons is ridiculous; Editors behaving like a bunch of 'newspaper tigers' solves nothing. The proper response to intimidation is to make decisions completely free of that intimidation. To let that intimidation effect your judgement, either by cowering or chest-thumping, is to empower your intimidators. Still, if you were editor of your own newspaper, I would support your right to specifically print those cartoons in defiance of 'threats of retaliation' (imagined or otherwise), although I'd probably send in a letter to the editor questioning if he was using his publication to fight windmills.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 8, 2006 05:10 PM

The terrorists have won.

I can only assume the White House or the State Department asked the Post not to reprint the cartoons in question. The State Department's servile and embarrassing statement is what one expects from politicians trying to curry favor with little regard for principle. I can only asssume the Post editorial board is also afraid. Because if they are not afraid of facing death, and truly believe there is no threat to free speech in Europe from fanatics (have y'all even bothered to watch BBC?), what is stopping you?

The Post editorial says "The cartoons, whose vulgarity and offensiveness are beyond question..." How would we know, since the Post refuses to publish them? having seen them elsewhere, I do not think they are particularly vulgar--just not that well drawn. The prophet with a bomb in his turban could be offensive, but it could also (and is to me) be a pretty simple political statement, one that takes on even more weight as we watch more islamofascists burn down Embassies and threaten more beheadings.

Political cartoons are often offensive--it can help makes them effective. Hiatt says the Post tries to "provoke debate" without offending. Hmmmm. The Post offends christians, wing-nuts, the joint chiefs, and moderates who believe in controlling illegal immigration all the time. Why should Islam be off limits? And remember that the koran does not forbid pictures of the prophet, and there have been plenty throughout history.

I am offended the Post does not publish the cartoons. I am also offended that the Post and Mark Fisher often fail to differentiate between illegal and legal immigrants when denigrating peoople who believe in changing the current immigration fiasco. Do you care? Probably not. if I threatened (and this is just making a hypothetical point, i am not an Islamic fascist, no threat even implied) to cut off your head, kill your family, and burn down the Post (see pictures from your buddies in London et al) unless you printed the cartoons, would you care? Would that make the offense you were causing me any more serious?

CNN, the Post, and anyone else in bed with the Administration on this issue should be ashamed of themselves. I am saddened so many in the media fail to see the incredible double standard--it's ok to offend Christians, Jews, and many Americans on a regular basis, but Muslims...well, they are special and allowed to dictate how they are covered. Even when it is nowhere to be found in the Koran.

Posted by: random annoyed diplomat | February 8, 2006 05:15 PM

During the Rodney King verdict riots, did you all think we should send more police out to beat up black people and videotape it to prove to the rioters that we would not hear their protests of disrespect and marginalization?

Posted by: | February 8, 2006 05:15 PM

I can't believe people are talking about it like this just because a bunch of uncivilized morons don't know the proper way to convey grievances. That's the reason that whole part of the world is shit in the first place. How long have they been killing each other? They're religion teaches and condones violent behavior. Those countries will never aspire to the greatness of the Western World because the people are too stupid to recognize their own mistakes.
Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | Feb 8, 2006 4:25:23PM

And you're what? A civilized moron? Way to write off an entire culture. Your portrayal of Islam is nothing but small-mindedness on your part. Then again, you're probably too stupid to recognize your own mistaken view of Muslims.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 8, 2006 05:17 PM

During the Rodney King verdict riots, did you all think we should send more police out to beat up black people and videotape it to prove to the rioters that we would not hear their protests of disrespect and marginalization?
Posted by: | Feb 8, 2006 5:15:34 PM

Well put. People need to get over this notion of drafting the newspapers into a cartoon jihad. Drop the assumption that those cartoons are only offensive to the rioting, violent Muslim extremists. They are also offensive to moderate Muslims that have not made any threats against the press, and plenty of non-Muslims find them offensive too. Doesn't a newspaper have a right not to be offensive irregardless of how the offended will react? Should a newspaper offend a large number of moderate Muslims just to teach the extremist Muslims a lesson in defiance? It seems to me that a lot of you are simply barking up the wrong tree when it comes to this one.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 8, 2006 05:28 PM

The printing of the cartoons graphically represented the truth of what conservative right wing radical Muslims are doing to Islam. They should have been printed. However reprinting just to say I have the right and further fueling the conservative right wing radical Muslims is not responsible, but papers have the right to re-publish. The instigators of the protests have been handed a golden goose and it seems to be laying more and more golden eggs to rally more Muslims to the cause. Newspapers are allowing the conservative right wing radical Muslims to dictate too them to re-print the cartoons and despite the protests the conservative right wing radical Muslims may want the cartoons to be printed.

Posted by: David F. | February 8, 2006 05:30 PM

And how about Hindu gods that are lampooned and caricatured all the time in western media in such programmes as the Simpsons. And how about a company in California that put hindu god and goddesses on toilet seat and toilet paper?
Or how about sacred hindu verses being played as background music during sexual orgy in "Eyes wide shut"?
I did not any outrage, becuase hindus did threaten anybody with blinding violence so we did not even bother to notice. You guys deserve each other.

Posted by: Sager | February 8, 2006 05:38 PM

Editorial cartoons are designed to provide commentary on current events and issues facing the readership. They're a humorous visual version of a written editorial, getting their point across through caricatures rather than words. Those cartoons of Muhammad weren't designed solely to be offensive, they were designed to provide commentary on the sad state of affairs we see today in the Islamic world. I mean, if the goal was solely to offend Muslims we could have done a hell of a lot better job of it: Allah being humped by a pig with a Star of David on it or something.

Everyone is fair game. I'd be fascinated to see some of the editorial cartoons in this country that dealt with the Israel/Palestinian issue, or with the Catholic pedophile scandal, or some of Pat Robertson's bloviations, or any other contentious issue that involves religious themes. You'll find editorial cartoons covering the full spectrum of opinion, and I imagine this is the deal in Denmark.

Freedom of speech means the right to refuse to print something as well. If you have a cartoon about the holocaust that you want printed, the first thing to do is draw it, then you have to find someone to publish it. Good luck.

Posted by: skip-di-doo | February 8, 2006 05:39 PM

To ErrinF:

Fair enough. To me, it seemed obvious that the decision to reprint or not reprint was a perogitive solely of the editors.

I also did not inted to infer that these should be reprinted solely as a means of "chest-thumping". The primary reason is, of course, an obligation of ethical journalism. Outlets have a duty to report relevant news, even if they do not endorse the controversial material or message they are reporting.

We must also remember, politcal cartoons are satire intended be edgey, even offensive. Papers should be, MUST be, able to exercise free speech without fear of retaliation. So I do believe a unified demonstration which expresses this point is justifiable.

Posted by: Jon M | February 8, 2006 05:41 PM

I can't believe what I'm reading.

Yes, in America we have freedom. But in fact our freedoms are already tempered by religious sensibilities. We have freedom to sell and consume things some religions consider evil, like, say liquor. But in my town one cannot sell alcohol within 1000 feet of a church, or sell it on Sunday before noon, simply because this offends religious sensibilities. Should I expect Will or Alex to be moving here to open a liquor store next to my church just to prove he can?

This business that we must publish material we know deeply offends Muslims and deliberatly flouts their religious law, just to stick it to them that we still have more shock and awe than they do, is adolescent at best. They don't already know we have bigger and lots more bombs than they do? WWJD in this situation? We should be holding the toes of the supposedly civilized leaders to the fire for their silence, not fanning the flames just to show how tough we are.

The terrorists don't win when we make a thoughtful editorial decision not to publish cartoons that we know will deeply offend the religious sensibilities of one fifth of the world. The terrorists win when they take away our way of life. When we become like them, and are no longer bound to decency and Christian principles, resorting instead to spite and our own brand of fundametalism. They are indeed winning.

Where are the moderates in the ME? Waiting to see which side serves their best interests. I don't think that's entirely clear yet to them from their bird's eye view under the falling bombs.

And if you think the Muslim moderates have easy road to travel, just look at the reaction to Bill Cosby when he tried to take on cultural elements that he didn't think were serving the best interests of black Americans. And there wasn't even any religion involved there.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 8, 2006 05:53 PM

To Jon M:

In your own words, 'fair enough'. One can indeed use freedom of the press to express a desire to stand up against those trying to quell such freedom with threats of retaliation. I personally don't think there's any emphasis to do so within this whole cartoon calamity, but I would have to agree that it would be thoroughly American to print the cartoons as some sort of publisher's Boston Tea Party. Still, it seems like needless escalation and provocation, bravado in the face of adversity. I think the cartoons should be published for the sake of thoroughness, not for the sake of 'double daring' those who threaten retaliation. Besides, isn't there enough nuance within this debate for a newspaper to print the cartoons without it having anything to do with defying threats of retaliation? Even better, couldn't a newspaper decide to not print the cartoons, and yet still be defiant of violent protestors and retaliation (perhaps in an editorial)? I think there is a lot more gray to this issue than black and white.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 8, 2006 06:12 PM

I was saddened by our govt`s response to the reprinting of the cartoons in Europe and by our privately owned newspapers` lack of solidarity with their counterparts across the pond. Some columnists have been coming unhinged over the potential infringement of right to privacy that controversial wiretapping has wrought, but are willing to compromise their freedom of speech as when islamic radicals whip their violent denizens into a homicidal frenzy over a cartoon. As Germanic Nazism in 1938 didn`t stop with the invasion of a single country in its expansionist plan, radical Islamism will not be content with this one victory.

Posted by: bender | February 8, 2006 06:15 PM

Nicely said, patriot. I might differ slightly from your view in that there is a healthy element of "don't tread on me" within the crowd that is advocating printing the cartoons in defiance of those that would threaten retaliation for free expression. However, I think it is misdirected patriotism, and freedom of the press doesn't need to be proven by deliberately offending one religion or another. I also think it would be valid for a paper to print the cartoons merely so that the cartoons can be objectively and individually judged by the readers, without the paper actually endorsing the content of said cartoons.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 8, 2006 06:26 PM

Errinnf "I think the cartoons should be published for the sake of thoroughness"

Last week the national news media showed video of the graveside anguish of the family burying the mother and infant in Connecticut. Close ups of the faces of the agonized parents and siblings and friends and family clinging to each other for support, obviously through a telephoto lens.

It was not "thoroughness". It was a violation of a grieving family's privacy. No one's freedom of speech would have been violated with pictures of the casket or hearse instead, or the flowers tossed on the grave. Respect for sensibilities is not an abridgement of freedom of the press. It is a miracle that we still have the right of judgement.

Where was this outcry when freedom of the press was abused by Armstrong Williams? Or Karen Ryan? When Bush dissed our fallen soldiers by hiding their caskets?

Someone said "Those cartoons of Muhammad weren't designed solely to be offensive, they were designed to provide commentary on the sad state of affairs we see today in the Islamic world"

I agree. But once we found out they were offensive, should we keep hawking them just to prove we are tough guys and have the right to offend anyone we want? Sometimes we inadvertently offend someone. Civilized people usually apologize, even if we don't exacty understand why they got so offended. Sometimes the person we offended becomes inappropriately angry and behaves childishly or even dangerously. Which is the position of strength - to rage right back at them and escalating into full scale conflict, or to let them rage and look stupid, and come back to the topic like an adult when cooler heads prevail?

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 8, 2006 06:42 PM

ERrinf - that all wasn't directed at you, by the way. Even though I think respect should stay the editorial hand in this nation, I don't expect it will. Unless the prez has put the clamp down, I fully expect the Post or Washington Times or some similar paper or Fox to print the cartoons. I just think its not good judgement to do so and I hope they won't.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 8, 2006 06:46 PM

The Washington Post Editorial on this subject is very hypocritical. As is the US government response. It deeply saddens me to read them both. Especially when the US goverment is fighting a war sold to the US public to 'promote freedom'. What both organizations should be saying is that a fundamental principal in a free society is freedom of expression in a free press, the ability to use satire to examine complex social issues, etc. Instead we get 'how horrible that someone satires the islamic prophet'. The whole point of the initial commision of the cartoons was to examine the very real reality of artist's being afraid to express themselves concerning any critisim or even examination of Islam because of fear of death threats and actual execution from Islamic extremists if they do. Should we ban the TV show South Park because it portrays Jesus as a vapid cable tv talk host. The reality is that satirical cartoons like this aimed at religion point out the very real hypocracy of the religious organizations they are targeted at. Thank you European newspapers for defending freedom of speach in a free society. Shame on the Washington Post and the US government for lame apologies to Islamic radicals who think nothing of murdering anyone who doesn't believe in their rather limited world views.

Posted by: johnD | February 8, 2006 06:46 PM

Sorry, I meant the NY Post, not the Washington Post

Posted by: | February 8, 2006 06:48 PM

Oh, my correction got split by someone elses post that mentions the Wash Post!

When I said I fully expected the Post to publish the cartoons, I meant hte NY Post

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 8, 2006 06:50 PM

Lets face it. This is not about cartoons.

It is about the state of (radical) Islam and its relationship and integration with the West and its principles.

Today it is about cartoons. Tomorrow it is women who do not cover their faces in public having acid thrown in their faces. (Oh wait...)

My point is that there is a deeper cultural divide between the civilizations of the West and the Middle East than people are willing to admit.

There is a rub between the Western values of multi-culturalism and freedom of expression that is beginning to manifest. The intent of the press should never be to offend, but to express truth and perspective. When truth (even in exaggerated or embellished forms) is not allowed to be expressed out of fear of retalliation or self-imposed fear of violating PC taboos, it is troubling.

Respect to others is important, but the primary role of the press is truth through the expression of ideas. We will not all agree on what the truth is, but the free expression of ideas is what allows us to pursue it.

To paraphrase Voltaire, "I completely disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Posted by: Jon M | February 8, 2006 07:05 PM

"There is a rub between the Western values of multi-culturalism "

Have you and I been reading the same blog? The predominant Western value on this page is xenophobia. In fact to express anything else gets one branded an unpatriotic wacky way out left liberal who hates America.

We preach monogamy but practice serial monogamy in this country. And we preach "multiculturalism" but practice an astounding degree of xenophobia.

Do you believe Americans are represented by the millions of decent law abiding citizens you find at work, at school, at church, at the grocery store, at the park? Or do you believe Americans are best represented by the Rodney King rioters, Tim McVeigh, or Pat Robertson? Do you believe Muslims are best represented by the millions of decent law abiding people who go to work, and school, and worship, and shops, or do you believe they are best represented by the cartoon rioters and OBL.

We might give some thought to how we can encourage the voices of the moderates to come out. Poking them in the eye isn't a propitious start.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 8, 2006 07:19 PM

Patriot1957:

You preach of the dangers of branding. Labeling one a 'xenophobe' for opining on the inherent friction between cultures with radically dissimilar systems of values, beliefs, and traditions is slightly hypocritical; not a 'propitious' beginning to reaching a mutual understanding.

I also think your analogy has some real problems. I do not claim that Western culture or civilization is a picturesque utopia. This is not about comparing the elements or virtues of one culture/civilization to another. It is understanding how (if) the two can coexist in their present form. I do not believe this is impossible, but it is certainly a challenge. And we should recognize it as such.

To discard the current radicalism of Islam because other culture/religions have experienced numerous examples of vice is irresponsible. Fascism/fanaticism have existed in the past and will exist again. The question is, will we be able to recognize it as such?

I agree we must encourage the voice of the moderates. The difficulty is, at the present time their voices are being drowned out by the radicals who ELECT terrorists organizations as their leaders.

Posted by: Jon M | February 8, 2006 07:51 PM

"Have you and I been reading the same blog? The predominant Western value on this page is xenophobia. In fact to express anything else gets one branded an unpatriotic wacky way out left liberal who hates America."

I don't think Jon M was claiming that all Americans or Westerners are open minded, I think he was making a claim about Western Society vs. Islamic Society.

Case in point, though many posters on this board are racist/xenophobic (according to you), they are free to express their views about others just as others are free to express their dissenting views as well.

In Saudi Arabia, an Islamic theocratic Monarchy, the Mutawwa'in might not appreciate a cruicifix around your neck. Seeing as their official job is to enforce th Islamic mores on the public, this is not surprising.

So when we are comparing the "multi-cultural" elements of the West vs. Islam, it's not exactly a fair fight. The fact that xenophobes can post on this website at all is something that probably wouldn't be allowed in Iran, unless of course they were xenophobic towards Jews.

This blog is not a microcosm of Western values. We respect differnet cultures and welcome them with open arms. We'd invite more Saudi women, but they cannot leave the country without written permission from their closest male relative.

"We preach monogamy but practice serial monogamy in this country. And we preach "multiculturalism" but practice an astounding degree of xenophobia."

Only surpassed in the Middle East. This "xenophobia" is a relative term that you dish out at your own intellectual peril. When comparing the openness of societies, it really will not be a fair fight between Islam and the West.

We do not "preach" monogamy as a country, Christians preach monogamy as a religion. In Saudi Arabia, polygomy is legal, at least if you are a man.

"Do you believe Muslims are best represented by the millions of decent law abiding people who go to work, and school, and worship, and shops, or do you believe they are best represented by the cartoon rioters and OBL."

Do you believe Muslims might have religious beliefs that happen to clash with Western values like Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Equality of Men and Women, and others? The view you seem to ascribe to Muslims would probably offend them.

The first Danish newspaper did not post the cartoons just to offend, it posted to show that there were some in Denmark who would not be intimidated by a violent society that would kill people for not obeying Sharia law. Newspapers consequently reprinted, and you can find an excellent intellectual defense of the reprinting at the bottom of Emily's article, to show solidarity with Denmark and support for Freedom of the Press.

Really what is at stake is our ability to practice our free religious expressoin. Newspapers will make that decision for us by tacitly deferring to Sharia law by voluntarily abandoning the 1st amendment. Once they've done that, there really isn't a substantive difference between living in America and living in Saudi Arabia.

I'm boning up on my Qu'ran right now!

Posted by: Will | February 8, 2006 07:53 PM

I do not mean to dismiss the problems of radical Islam simply because other cultures also have this and other vices.

But people on this post are near hysterical about the cartoon riots, as if its something the world has never seen before - people pissed off to the point of violence when they feel dissed and otherwise powerless. And you have to confess comments like Alex Hams are the majority today - the gist of which is Muslims are animals with no other purpose in life than to reign violence on us and who must be crushed by the mighty hand of Uncle Sam. But I've seen the edge of the Muslim "empire" in Toledo, Spain, where Jews, Christians and Moors coexisted to the betterment of all before the inquisition.

In fact, we have seen riots just like this. Right here at home. Watts. Rodney King. People living in a tinderbox of injustice waiting only for a spark. And we've seen lesser forms of OBL at home too, only with less brains and shallower pockets - Waco comes to mind, so does Tim McVeigh.

These cartoon riots did not arise in a vacuum. The problems of the ME are complicated by religion but I don't think religion per se is the sole cause. And its not an accident that the voices of the moderates are not heard in the ME except when al Qaeda overplays their hand.

The progression from angry young fighter to wiser (but still tough) diplomat has been quite visible just watching the leaders of Israel. It may or may not happen to Hamas - time will tell. But until justice and prosperity come to Palestine there will just be another group of younger fighters to replace Hamas no matter how tight a grip Hamas has on the population. Didn't Hamas come because the PLO started to "sell out"?

Right now the ME is teeming with an almost endless supply of angry young fighters with nothing else to do and nothing else to look forward to just waiting for a chance to avenge.....something...anything.

There will always be terrorism. But in the presence of jobs, respect, and economic prosperity there will be a much smaller pool of young men with time on their hands and a BIG chip on their shoulder.

I think a lot of what we're seeing in the ME is "displacement biting" - the analogy being a dog in a fight who bites at the hand pulling it from the fight, or who bites whatever is next to it in frustration when it can't get the bone it pushed under the couch.

Until the US is willing to stop supporting repressive governments, and those governments stop openly encouraging displacement biting, and angry young men have something more gainful to do than riot, and the moderate center do not feel confident that the US has their best interests at heart, it will only get worse.

This is best stopped from within, from the Muslim center. So, what will it take to make them stand up and do it? Somehow I don't think poking them in the eye is helping.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 8, 2006 08:28 PM

Talk about being on the horns of a dilemma:

If you publish the cartoons you're either bravely defending your right to free speech or intentionally insulting the deeply held beliefs of millions of devout Muslims.

If you don't publish the cartoons you're chickening out in the face of bullies or respecting the sensibilities of those who have different beliefs than you.

I believe that offensive speech must be countered with speaking the truth, not with voilence. But I was raised that way. It's my culture. Freedom of speech is an alien concept to many Muslims. They cannot balance free speech against their religious beliefs because they have never experienced it.

The Danish paper shouldn't have printed the cartoons in the first place. There was no compelling "First Amendment" reason to do so. You wouldn't spit in the communion cup, even if you weren't religious. Same thing. But I think this rioting was stirred up by radical imans who want to keep the masses worked up so they won't ask why things are so bad at home. And they know the best way to get the West worked up is to challenge their right to free speech.

We are all commanded to love one another. Not doing a very good job of it.

Posted by: Average American | February 8, 2006 08:31 PM

I saw it. The artwork wasn't that bad. It would look real cool painted on each of our bombs, like during WWII.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 8, 2006 09:23 PM

Average American,
I like the way you have framed the two choices here.

In the USA every publisher, private or commercial is free to make whatever choice, as you have framed them, which suits him/her/it.

Each of us as individuals are free to praise or condemn any particular choice made in that regard.

When in Rome do as the Romans do, i.e. you probably wouldn't want to publish them or have them on your person if you are in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran,...you get the idea.

Should we care if anyone is offended?

Hell no; I can't hardly read a single thread on this blog without being offended, and I certainly can't talk about any religion without offense being taken by someone since they are all of them absurd ideas, every single one of those I have come in contact with in any way, any form. The real mystery is why such an overwhelming mumber of people actually believe this silly stuff, but they do, or claim to since they rarely practice what they preach so one really must wonder about the real depth of the belief.

Finally, the government can yammer all it wants, but it has no power whatsoever to stop anyone from publishing or not publishing these images.

As Emily frames it:
"Should U.S. Media Reprint the Cartoons?"
Debate all you want, it is up to each publisher to decide for themselves for whatever reason they choose.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 8, 2006 09:41 PM

As the news was breaking over the Mohammed Cartoons, this ws taking place here:

RE: NBC Mocks Christians Once More
By: Ivy J. Sellers


In a blog last week I mentioned that NBC had decided it's "Will and Grace" finale would make fun of Christianity by having pop star Britney Spears host a cooking show in which she made some "Cruci-fixins'."

CNSNews.Com reported today that the show has been cancelled due to Christian protests.

The American Family Association, the primary organization to confront NBC for its decision to air the episode, had placed a "special alert" at the top of its website to encourage its supporters to take action against the offense.

Way to take a stand and make a difference.

Posted 02/06/06 02:47 PM

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/blog-detail.php?id=12235

Posted by: John | February 8, 2006 09:42 PM

Hey,

I don't get it. The Washington Post publishes this stinkin Blog and there aren't any riots.

Tell what can be any more offensive than this pile of journalistic human waste?

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 8, 2006 09:46 PM

Oh Emily,

Have you tried Senokot (liquid or tablets)? Works wonders!!!! You'll be ready for a new photo in no time!!

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 8, 2006 09:49 PM

that christian development, the same one that swallowed the british isles, france and most of germany?

so if england came over here and stole your house, you're okay with that?


actually the "crusades" IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY were a device to get the armies of the king of England out of the country as he didn't feel that they were loyal to him.....


as far as debating religion...oh encultured one....


you're knee deep in the enculturation of christianity and don't understand that...


dogma, is what religion is.

judaism/christianity/muslimism if practiced unquestioningly


which is the norm, empty form are dogmatic....


it is the dogmatics that are the problem.


simply because you don't know your viewpoint has emerged within a framing called enculturation doesn't make you immune.


I had kurdish, iranian, turkish acquaintances when I lived in DC.....the ones that I knew varied in viewpoint about things in general....


the more "primitive" ones saw things as they were framed by their culture....they didn't have an "opinion" that women were inferior, they knew it, they had been raised that way....


it is startling to come to the understanding that sexism, isn't that when it's an encultured belief system....it's like hearing the same song all of the time, it's part of the language, body language and system of mores...


homosexual liasions in islam isn't taken seriously because having sex with a woman that you're not married to can get you killed.

a traffic offense in Saudi can get you run over with a bulldozer if you are an american, kill someone and aggravate the jury or judge...

eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth takes on a very real meaning if you screw someone over that practices tribal genocide over infractions.


rural america wasn't much different 55 years ago if you were black.....

Posted by: excuse me, you mean the holy roman empire? | February 8, 2006 10:09 PM

Cayambe "Debate all you want, it is up to each publisher to decide for themselves for whatever reason they choose."

No matter how much I disagree with you, it seems I almost always end up agreeing with you. You are entirely correct. But given the appalling lack of taste in today's journalism, it seems odd we haven't seen it in print yet. I'm glad we haven't seen it in our papers, but it is most definitely odd.

Actually, given tonights big news story, I think I want to hear from that conspiracy theorist guy who posts here. He may have a convert here. This thing at the Capitol stinketh. Three hours of high drama just when the Rove story broke about the blacklist, in the middle of the wiretapping hearings. Anybody think the security footage near that sensor will turn missing?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 8, 2006 10:27 PM

I mean, like what if...the entire root of christianity, the RCC, at least accepted christianity is false.

a simple take over of a thriving group of people by the emporer of Rome as a way of eliminating competition for the hearts and souls of the conquered....


wouldn't that be freakie?


no, it's more than likely....grow up...the church was a tool and so are you.

Posted by: do you ever wonder what is in the vatican? | February 8, 2006 10:27 PM

"This thing at the Capitol stinketh. Three hours of high drama just when the Rove story broke about the blacklist, in the middle of the wiretapping hearings. Anybody think the security footage near that sensor will turn missing?"

That would be hilarious. But what would it buy them, a day? Sounds too juvinile.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 8, 2006 10:41 PM

Rove story broke about the blacklist, in the middle of the wiretapping hearings

Posted by: what are you talking about? | February 8, 2006 10:43 PM

It must have worked!

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 8, 2006 10:51 PM

print them- also print ones that make fun of all the nonsense in all the world's religions- maybe we can then have a global conversation on the folly of religion

Posted by: j.s. | February 8, 2006 10:52 PM

John Adams said it was the duty of every Citizen to worship the Creator but to do so without breaching the peace.

Breaching the peace would no doubt include going to crowded disco and blowing yourself up as part of your worship.

Similarly blowing up abortion clinics as part of your worship would be breaching the peace.

Now I like the Danes. I see their point. There must be some way to make this point without causing a riot.

A big get-together of all the religious leaders in the muslim, hebrew and christian worlds. Why Mr. Bush is a religion man, he could call for it, but the Europeans, have the Pope and he would be a better choice. The Europeans have the most immediate problem here.

The religious leaders form their own "UN of Religion" and establish Univeral Ethics for the practice of religion, which prohibits all killing in the name of the Creator and tolerance for those that do not believe the same as you, i.e., I don't go to hell just because I don't believe your brand of religion.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 8, 2006 11:02 PM

I saw End of the Spear.
I thought it was going down the right path.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 8, 2006 11:14 PM

Impeach Bush-

We'd have to wait for the Iranian delegate, as they will be busy preparing for their Holocaust Denial Conference.

Posted by: Will | February 8, 2006 11:15 PM

"Patriot1957" - But I've seen the edge of the Muslim "empire" in Toledo, Spain, where Jews, Christians and Moors coexisted to the betterment of all before the inquisition.

Bullshit.

You know nothing of the history of Andalusia

The conquest of Spain by the Moors was bloody with relentless massacres of Christians and didn't stop at Spain...they were turned back at Tours, in France. During the period of "good" Muslim rule, certain Christian principalities were granted favor by the Moors in return for tribute. Christians outside that lived under Dhimmitude, a modified form of inferior status granted in return for not challenging the Muslim overlords and agreement not to openly worship, do things that "offended" any Muslim, inferior status in the courts, bowing for Muslim passerbyes, and their own form of tribute taxes. The Jews were brought in as Dhimmis from other areas subjugated by the Religion of Peace and served as the Moor's tax collectors, landlords, bureaucrats, and merchants. They were hated by the Christians as collaborators, enforcers, and agents of the Muslim ruler .

Nor was this period of Muslim rule a pleasant stasis until Reconquista. As Moorish rulers changed, Jihad was customary against the infidel. 100's of thousands of Christians were massacred between periods of peace, and the Muslims periodically butchered Jews when they suspected Jews were skimming the take or simply for the hell of it, since they hated the Jewish middlemen, too.

This was no happy multi-culti lovefest where all lived together and sweetness and betterment of all prevailed. In certain places, in certain times and cities there was indeed harmony or at least a stable order where everyone knew and accepted their place and worked onstructively, but that never, ever applied to the whole of Spain and Portugal, nor in any place for the duration of Moorish rule. The Muslims treated them a little better than they treated Egyptian Christians, Persian Zorastrans, Indian Buddhists - but not much.

The Reconquista was touch and go. It was a long, bloody campaign. Christian villages were found burned and a with lifeless piles of corpses of every man, woman and child when El Cid retook them - and Muslim civilians suffered Christian wrath in return.

The Jews were also expelled as the tools of the Moorish occupation that they were - despite their pleas that they had no loyalty to the Moors and would be happy to stay and be middlemen for the Christians. Wartime or occupation collaborators always have it tough. Despite the present day accusations of anti-Semitism, their position was as untenable as that of French fascists or Baltic, Romanian fascists that fought alongside the Germans as inferior auxilliaries or served as the Nazi's middlemen agents in Occupied Europe.

Adalusia was a rich agricultural land, with superb strategic location on continental and sea trade routes, mines full of mineral treasure (particularly silver and mercury). The profits were enormous, and taxes and loan interest collected by the Jews for the Moorish rulers allowed many fancy buildings to be erected.

And it was Christians learning to fight like Muslims, proselytize like Muslims, that led to the auto de fe and Spanish conversion by the sword in the New World.

But liberals are conditioned to believe the 700-year long struggle to retake Iberia for the West is someting to mourn as too high a cost for the "Golden Civilization of Multi-Culti LOve&Harmony" lost.

Again, Lefty bullshit.

A major part of Europe was freed of fear of massacre by Jihad, free of Dhimmitude, infidel people's rights vastly improved under Christendom. On top of Dhimmitude, Muslims were history's great slavers, and 100's of thousands of Christians living as slaves in Iberia or N Africa were freed in swaps for Moors captured in war. The Moors and their powerful Jewish agents were given a choice of converting or leaving, as he 3rd option, Dhimmitude-style submission or outright slavery was not favored by the Church.

The Reconquista was one of Wstern Civilization's greatest moments, and El Cid one of it's greatest heroes.

And today, free Westerners including what Islamoids consider infidel sluts and temptresses in shorts alongside Japanese tourists and rich Saudis can all admire the Alhamra, rich Mosque architecture, Moorish influenced cuisine and other more benign elements of Moorish rule as free people and total equals in the eyes of Christian law...something they can't do in Saudi Arabia. And they can ignore the fruits of "Muslim Civilization" in Iberia were constructed from the sweat of Christian slaves working the mercury and silver mines or ruinous taxes collected by agents of the Moors...and pretend that once upon a time, in a land far, far away - Christians, Jews, and noble Muslims lived in peaceful bliss together.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 8, 2006 11:19 PM

patriot 1957

Am I the conspiracy theorist guy you refer to? If so, seems I am not a theorist anymore.

http://www.insightmag.com/Media/MediaManager/Rove2.htm

Posted by: Jamal | February 8, 2006 11:25 PM

Seems like they are open about their shitlist. Everyone has one of those. No big conspiracy, just politics as usual.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 8, 2006 11:33 PM


I think the issue of Israel should be discussed at this meeting and it should be hosted by the UN.

I think Europe has the opportunity to explain why.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 8, 2006 11:35 PM

disappears along with the shit...

and perhaps some other connections that will take them down the drain too.

Posted by: Actually if you impeach the president the shitlist | February 8, 2006 11:40 PM

and selling them to pay the americans back that gave thier lives defending the lies...

Posted by: I vote for arrest and imprisonment as well as confiscating the estates... | February 8, 2006 11:42 PM

I doubt Iran would allow that.

Posted by: Will | February 8, 2006 11:43 PM

It's a can of worms but one that has been sitting their stinking for a while. Iran gets to say its piece and then they can listen to the Europeans. Do you think they will all go to the discos afterwards? Probably not at first.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 9, 2006 12:07 AM

Somebody help me with this. A Christian (which I am not) cannot accept Mohammed as the last messenger from God. Therefore, a Christian must believe that Mohammed either lied or was deranged when he presented himself as the last prophet. By implication, the Christian's religious convictions state a fundamental disrepect for the Prophet, much more profound than the superficial sophomoricism of most of the Danish cartoons.

Why is the mockery of satire so much more upsetting than the than the denial of the fundamental tenents of the whole religion?

Posted by: Neal J | February 9, 2006 12:21 AM

johnnyg - politics as usual? Oh come on. Holding votes open to twist arms, tossing in pork to sweeten a vote, demanding quid pro quo - even these 'politics as usual' have been carried to a new low in the last 5 years. but overt blacklisting for opposing the president is crosses the line. Such things were in the past reserved for "communists", ethics violaters, and the like.

All we can hope is that he'll overplay his hand and Hagel et al will run on an independent ticket.

ANd Neal J - Modern Christianity is a fractured religion. Christians would live in a constant state of chaos and violence if we took literally the proscription that there was only one way to view each passage of scripture or each tenet of faith. We mostly respect free will - my "born again" neighbor respects my right to fry in Hell for being an Episcopalian and not "saved" in the way he deems necessary. I don't think I am any higher in his eyes for being an unsaved "Christian" than would be an infidel Muslim - as far as he's concerned he's going up in the rapture to watch us all burn in hell.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 9, 2006 01:03 AM


Hi Emily,

You want my take on all the hubub? You got it....and it's quite simple.

If the cartoons had depicted Ussama bin Laden or the mullahs of Iran instead of Mohammed, not only would they have been factually correct, but no one would be pissed off about it, except his not-so-merry band of fury freek brothers, and a few mullahs who are pissed off preachers to begin with.

but folks are dying over some cartoons...man, what a dysfunctional world!...let's all get a grip now please..freekin'....

"DESSSSPICKIBLE!" as Sylvester would say.


And now this message from one more eloquent than I....

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
February 8, 2006

MODERATOR: Next question is Charlie Wolfson from CBS.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, in the aftermath of the printing of the cartoons of
the Prophet Mohammed, there has been outrage around the world that we've all
seen. The question is: Do you think this is spontaneous as it continues? If
not, who is behind it? What group or what governments might be behind it?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, let me first say that this has been a difficult period.
We are strong proponents of the freedom of the press. It is one of the most
fundamental freedoms of democratic development. We also believe that with press
freedom comes a certain responsibility. And the United States has been a place
where there has been also freedom of religion and that means that people have
to exist in the same body and to respect each other's religious traditions and
respect each other's religious sensibilities and that is also very important.

Now, nothing justifies the violence that has broken out in which many innocent
people have been injured. Nothing justifies the burning of diplomatic
facilities or threats to diplomatic facilities around the world. This is a time
when everyone should urge calm and should urge that there is an atmosphere of
respect and understanding.

I think that there have been a lot of governments that have spoken out about
this. Note, for instance, Afghanistan and Lebanon, very important comments even
by the Ayatollah Sistani about this.

But yes, there are governments that have also used this opportunity to incite
violence. I don't have any doubt that given the control of the Syrian
Government in Syria, given the control of the Iranian Government, which, by the
way, hasn't even hidden its hand in this, that Iran and Syria have gone out of
their way to inflame sentiments and to use this to their own purposes. And the
world ought to call them on it. All responsible people ought to say that there
is no excuse for violence. We all need to respect each other's religions. We
need to respect freedom of the press. But you know, again, with freedom of the
press comes responsibility as well.

(end excerpt)

************************************************************
See http://www.state.gov/secretary/ for all remarks by the Secretary of State.
************************************************************

Posted by: Eric Jette | February 9, 2006 01:26 AM

The images are the news, not descriptions of them.

Posted by: Mubombad | February 9, 2006 01:41 AM

Will -

Very good 2nd Post on this thread. It is indeed a major problem for our civilization if we agree to submission to the whims and dictates of Islamic civilization in our speech and conduct. Liberal media and academia are quite fond of the notion that they "Speak Truth to Power" - but that supposed courage is illusory because the "risk" incurred by a tenured or PC-compliant professor is nearly non-existent, same with a journalist "bravely" confronting government while wrapped in the 1st Amendment. It will be telling to see how these paragons of liberal virtue speak truth to power when there is a real risk. Same with some saber-rattling Right wingers here. Right now the cowardace and knucking under in the face of intimidation is quite obvious to the public.

Much of the Leftist/Jewish Progressive MSM majority is not only rabidly partisan Democrat, they are becoming exposed as craven cowards in their bullying.

The NYTimes/CBS claim that publishing the cartoons is "needlessly inflammatory" - those same media people are suing to get and show "the remaining Abu Ghraib pictures hidden from the American public by the Pentagon".

The cocksuckers don't care if they paste "Piss Christ" pictures up, or are directly tied to American soldier deaths or foreign deaths with publication of Abu Ghraib pictures, Marine atrocity stories, false Koran abuse stories. That Christians don't fight back as a rule means they are a safe target for crusading journalists, same with the US Gov't.

But they prove themselves to be craven dogs when media are threatened by Islamoids, or reporters are jailed for obstructing Justice.

The Mohammed cartoons are the tip of the iceberg.

Islamic intimidation and liquidation wars can be launched "for offense" on a host of subjects that "promote a racist view of Islam" or any views that challenge any Islamoid practice sanctioned by the Koran or the Hadiths. Lampooning Mohammed is actually just one of many things considered blasphemous and worthy of death. Trying to date a Muslim woman is an honor offense worth her life and yours - but Muslim males trying to get and impregnate infidel women is strongly encouraged as adding more future warriors for Islam. Leaving Islam for another is a capital offense for apostasy. But don't worry about such Religion of Peace nuances. Just being an infidel is deemed a death-worthy crime if a religious authority sanctions your killing as necessary for the "promulgation and propagation of the Faith of Allah.

Check out the Cox and Forkum Feb 7th cartoon on the "Western Dhimmitude" of gutless journalists:

http://www.coxandforkum.com/

Which only leads many to wonder if a soldier had walked in to the NYTimes and whacked a few reporters for running Abu Ghraib stories if the Times might have gone with 6 front page stories emperiling our soldiers instead of 154 from 2004-2006. Or if the Jewish owners had been told they would be bombed by Christians if they ran "excrement Mary" or "Piss Christ". I know it would be in total disrespect for our Constitution and law for us to threaten the free speech of others, but if Islamoids prove to other groups those threats work and only wimps may be pounded by the Leftie/Jewish progressive MSM - it will make many others at least think of the successful Islamoid method of stifling opposition.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 9, 2006 01:57 AM

asdfasdf

Posted by: ASDfasdf | February 9, 2006 02:20 AM

I just love the moral equivalence arguments we get from the oh-so-desperate-to-get- invited to the right cocktail party left. Bush is a dictator, but they love Castro. The religious right is being repressive when they protest talent-free photographers immersing their religious icons in urine, but we must seek to understand and emphasize with a bunch of medieval cooks who throw a temper tantrum because somebody drew a goofy cartoon.

I do not believe all (or even most) Muslims are represented by what we have seen on TV for the last week. But to try to pass these matters off with bromides about "all religions having their share of kooks" is a childish clap trap at its worst.

There is obviously something very wrong with a large minority of Muslim clerics and scholars, and hence the faith as practiced. These theological leaders set the tone in any religion. But while the last pope said a lot of stupid things about the evils of birth control to 3rd world peasants, these Muslim clowns tell their children to strap on explosives and kill other children.

Please spare me the decades, centuries, and age old examples of excesses in other religions... Even the most idiotic Christians (I am an atheist) don't commit mass and frequent acts of violence the way Arab Muslims do today.

The fact is as a group, Arab Muslims can't get along with Hindus, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, or even each other. They always have a sane reason for an insane response.

I wonder how many of the apologists in this thread have troubled kids they transfer from class to class and school to school, always believing it's the other children who are the problem.

Posted by: Rod | February 9, 2006 02:42 AM

Patriot; "But I've seen the edge of the Muslim "empire" in Toledo, Spain, where Jews, Christians and Moors coexisted to the betterment of all before the inquisition"

Thanks for this one, I needed a laugh.

But really -- what?

Posted by: Niemand wichtiges | February 9, 2006 06:49 AM

Successful intimidation of major press outlets is the first step to having a Muslim editor put on permanent staff. Thinking of it, they could sit next to a Baptist editor, and a government editor. The only good thing is it would eventually cut down on consumption of trees quite a bit.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 9, 2006 06:55 AM

Hi Eric,
Sorry, I've got to disagree with you once again. You are actually far more eloquent than someone.

To illustrate:
Someone..... "And the United States has been a place
where there has been also freedom of religion and that means that people have
to exist in the same body and to respect each other's religious traditions and
respect each other's religious sensibilities and that is also very important."

Edited by me for truth and clarity..... "And the United States is a place where there is also freedom of religion and that means that people have to exist in the same body. They should respect each other's religious traditions and sensibilities.

As usual, this is an administration which just can't help but arbitrarily usurp more authority for itself. Condi may tell me what I "should" do, in her opinion, but she sure can't tell me what I "have" to do in this respect.

Someone...... "But yes, there are governments that have also used this opportunity to incite violence. I don't have any doubt that given the control of the Syrian
Government in Syria, given the control of the Iranian Government, which, by the
way, hasn't even hidden its hand in this, that Iran and Syria have gone out of
their way to inflame sentiments and to use this to their own purposes. And the
world ought to call them on it. All responsible people ought to say that there
is no excuse for violence. We all need to respect each other's religions. We
need to respect freedom of the press. But you know, again, with freedom of the
press comes responsibility as well."

The first thing we have in this paragraph is a little boom boom boom for the next war, a little threat message to Syria and Iran, a little preparation of the public here for where we are going next, a little preparation of the battlefield for the coming propaganda war. Now who did she accuse of using "this to their own purposes"? My Heaven, we would never do that now, would we? "And the world ought to call them on it." Sure, but lets look at reality. Some of the worst actual violence and rioting has been in Afghanistan. Karzai has spoken out for Muslims (rather more eloquently than Condi has for us, I might add). So why doesn't she include Afghanistan in her little enumerated group? Finally, take a look at the last three sentences in the paragraph. This is what an honest framing would look like. "We all need to respect freedom of religion, but with that freedom comes responsibility as well. We all need to respect freedom of speech, but with that freedom comes responsibility as well."

In putting it that particular way, there is some real underlying truth. We are born into this world with nothing but our wits and the circumstances around us, just like any other creature. We have no rights whatsoever beyond those that have been created by general and voluntary accord within the society we are born into and are enforceable. So called "Human Rights" are only meaningful to the extent that they can be defined and understood in common by all humans and an accord on that basis can be reached and there is an enforcement mechanism that works. We are clearly a long way from that when even the administration itself can't agree what torture is, much less the legislature or the nation at large or the world. So if freedom of religion leads to more trouble than we can deal with, trust me, the accord that provides for it is going to change. Just ask the Mormon's. Just ask Eric Rudolf. If freedom of speech leads to more trouble that we can deal with, trust me, the accord that provides for it is going to change. Just ask pornographers who specialize in children. So yes, our freedoms are absolute, until we decide they are not. Responsibility becomes a necessity for preserving the status quo and enjoying the freedoms we have and making it unnecessary for people to sacrifice their lives to defend them.

I could sort of call this a defense of isolationism, Eric. :o) At least to the extent that the smaller body politic you are working with, the better your chances of forming an accord within it. There are virtues in having structure in body politics, and narrowing the scope and nature of accords one seeks as we go from smaller to larger, from uniformity towards diversity.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 9, 2006 07:37 AM

Chris,
Thanks for another outline of history. It's going to be interesting when and if the focus turns toward the Saladin era, the Crusades, and behaviors in that era, where moral equivalence is differntly balanced. Until then......

Patriot,
Thanks for the kind words. I learn from you all too. Whether we agree or not.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 9, 2006 07:54 AM

It's newsworthy so it should be reprinted. The cartoons are a pre-text for fanning the flames of violence not the cause. What the Danish newspaper published was tasteless. But that is part of the price for freedom of the press. Another price is ombusmen such as the Washington Post's who distort the truth.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | February 9, 2006 08:24 AM

If you read the press reports carefully, there are TWO sets of cartoons. The first set was published by the Danes and is fairly tame. The second set is down right obscene. How that happened is another thing but the Muslim world believes both sets of cartoons were published which was not the case.

What we got here is a failure to communicate.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 9, 2006 08:30 AM

there is no excuse for violence

the media outlets could choose to reprint it or not

for some governments and people, that is somewhat an opportunity to incite
violence

Posted by: kamason | February 9, 2006 08:47 AM

kamason sums it up nicely, that is all that needs to be said.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 9, 2006 09:42 AM

We are the people too! We are fighting to be free! We only want justice for the Third World War!

"there is no excuse for violence"

No Shit!

About 100,000 Iraqi civilians - half of them women and children - have died in Iraq since the invasion, mostly as a result of airstrikes by coalition forces.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1338749,00.html
"there is no excuse for violence"

Bias is clearly evident, as is intention to provoke.

Danish paper rejected Jesus cartoons
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1703501,00.html
This ends the claim that this is a free-speech issue.

Danish Paper won't run Holocaust cartoons
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1139395370665&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
A prominent Iranian newspaper has said it would hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust to test whether the West extends the principle of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide as it did to the Muhammad caricatures.

"Death to America, Death to Israel."

Posted by: Boom Goes The Dynamite | February 9, 2006 10:19 AM

In the Western world "artists" "provoke" with the same numbing regularity as young Muslim men light up other countries' flags. When Tony-winning author Terence McNally writes a Broadway play in which Jesus has gay sex with Judas, the New York Times and Co. rush to garland him with praise for how "brave" and "challenging" he is. The rule for "brave" "transgressive" "artists" is a simple one: If you're going to be provocative, it's best to do it with people who can't be provoked.

Posted by: MS | February 9, 2006 10:21 AM

Posted by: | February 9, 2006 10:23 AM

I applaued the US press for not printing those insulting cartoons whose only purpose was to cause emotional injury to Muslims. The toons have no journalistic value and describing them will do the job. Free speech fanatics need to learn to respect the basic values of others and not launch unprovoked assaults.

Posted by: Aamir Ali | February 9, 2006 10:29 AM

And the journalistic value of anti-semetic cartoons that are a staple of ME press is???.....

Posted by: D. | February 9, 2006 10:41 AM

Religion of Peace(TM) my arse.

Posted by: PeterZ | February 9, 2006 10:43 AM

This is going to sound terribly xenophobic, I'm sure. But the more I think about this issue the less avoidable the conclusion.

A danish publisher was trying to find an illustrator for a children's book about Mohammed. In a community of illustrators he found many/most reluctant to post any images of Mohammed for fear of violent retribution.

This is precisely the environment that Freedom of Speech is supposed to prevent. A Danish publisher recognized this and made a decision many of you have freely chastized as gatuitous and offensive.

As to the first charge I absolutely disagree. It would have been gratuitous if they had posted a bunch of blatantly racist, offensive pictures of Chileans because it would serve no purpose. There is no voluntary ban on Chilean cartoons for fear of physical reprisals. (Interestingly enough, the Chilean embassy was burned down in Syria because it was on the first floor of the Danish embassy)

As for offensive? It sure was and good riddance. These cartoons were not targeted at Moderate Muslims, to whom we all owe an apology. It was targeted at those that would threaten physical violence on others for freely excercising their right to express themselves religiously and satirically. This is a message we refuse to send at our own social peril.

This is an opportunity to tell radical Islam that their brand of violent intimidation will not stand in the Western world. This is an opportunity to demonstrate that Shari'ah Law does not determine the content of Western newspapers either explicitly or through intimidation.

Will we offend some people? Sure, that's unfortunate. Will it incite people? I hope so. The sooner we confront them with unshakable Western Principles the better. Individuals willing to kill over a cartoon are only emboldened by timid responses and as a matter of fact there are many individuals who are willing to kill over a cartoon.

Let's just hope they don't notice that a depiction of Mohammed exists on top of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

It's unfortunate that so many have decided that religious sensibilities are more important than our 1st amendment rights. I believe that will change if the American Media starts losing lives. I have to think this is a country that responds strongly to violent intimidation.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 11:08 AM

Every right we have memorialized in our Constitutional Bill Of Rights comes with an implied responsibility. There is no such thing as an absolute right. The exercise of any right should be qualified by a necessary modicum of rational thought beforehand.

I remember a line from an old movie where a fictional future President says that:
"Just because we can do a thing does not mean that we must." Why is it so difficult for this generation to apply a simple calm reason in the exercise of our rights. Just because we have freedom of speech does not give us license to debauch our language. Just because we have the right of free political expression does not confer upon us some freedom to unbridled incivility. Freedom of the Press should not be constued to mean that we can print even stuff that most people would consider unfit to print.

These rights and freedoms become more of a hindrance to the purpose of living a good life if we reduce them to mean that we have license to engage in the most base use of those freedoms.

Posted by: Jaxas | February 9, 2006 11:19 AM

I've been a fan of Ms. Messner's blog here for awhile, but this statement in her post has had me thinking for a day:

"The New York Times today published a photo (page B8) of the Virgin Mary surrounded by elephant manure, in a surprisingly blatant display of what Anne Applebaum calls the "hypocrisy of the cultural left." "

Emily, are you defending Anne A.'s characterization of this as "hypocrisy of the cultural left"? You addition of the words "surprisingly blatant display" makes me wonder.

Seems like a loaded statement to add to the quote.

It's one thing to say "It's sort of hypocritical to do this but not that", another to agree with some partisan hack saying "see? This is all the hypocrisy of the left/right/up/down/strange/charm"

Posted by: Curious T | February 9, 2006 11:27 AM

"Let's just hope they don't notice that a depiction of Mohammed exists on top of the Supreme Court of the United States of America."

Too late Will, apparently CAIR petitioned the government to remove the depiction back in 1997.

The feds rightly told them to sod off.

Posted by: D. | February 9, 2006 11:30 AM

Absolutely they should be published. This is a no-brainer. We need to show solidarity with the Danish press and demonstrate that the freedom of the press will prevail. We shouldn't be cowed by these thugs.

Also, before anyone comments on this topic, you need to realize three things.

1. The Danish newspaper did not publish the images just to offend people. It was prompted because of a children's book artist who complained that he could find no one to illustrate his book on Mohammed because they would inevitably be threatened.

2. Images of Mohammed have been made before by Muslims themselves.

www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive

Indeed, the Koran has no explicit prohibition on images of the prophet. It only prohibits the practise of idoltry.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4674864.stm

The prohibition on his image is only one interpretation of the Koran.

3. Pictures of these Danish cartoons were published in an Egyptian newspaper last year! But where were the protests over that?

http://pajamasmedia.com/2006/02/mohammed_cartoons_published_in.php

Anyone who thinks this brouhaha is really about cartoons is sadly mistaken. This is about fanning a hatred of the West. And people who favor kowtowing to these hate-mongers make me sick.

Posted by: Colin | February 9, 2006 11:35 AM

From Andrew Sullivan:

If Chinese radicals were ransacking Western embassies because of a cartoon, and were backed by the Chinese government, we would be outraged, demanding apologies, severing relations, and so on. But when Muslims do it, backed by Islamist governments, we are supposed to take it on the chin, to "respect" their religious traditions, issue mealy-mouthed statements, etc. In many ways, this is the real offense: treating Muslims as if their violation of global norms, and thralldom to medieval conceptions of politics and religion, were somehow acceptable. They are not acceptable.

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/

Posted by: | February 9, 2006 11:36 AM

Where the hell are some of you coming up with your notions about the Islamic religion: highly encouraged impregnation of infidel women. Seriously?! It's amazing to me how many ostensibly intelligent, well spoken people can be so stupid, obtuse, myopic. Keeping scorecards on atrocities committed in the name of religion throughout history? Does that make people feel better? At the very least, when you speak, get your facts straight.

This is not a debate of religions, people. If anything, it's a symptom of a greater problem that we haven't been able to figure out despite our money, our technology, our education. It deals with politics, political ideologies, consumerism, capitalism.

All of the things that the US administration ostensibly espouses: freedom, democracy, equality, etc... It's all fine and good over here for all of us relatively spoiled Western kids. But, we have and continue to fund regimes around the world who betray those fundamental priniciples (that's not religion, folks! That's political avarice and egoism). You've got a bunch of Muslims in a third world country, abandoned and abused by a tyrannical leader, funded by US money. Don't need to look to far to find the hypocrisy in that. They're pissed off! Doesn't excuse their insanely stupid violent reaction. How can you protest depictions of your Prophet's propensity for violence, with violence!!!???

People are talking about how Muslims are trying to impose their values and their religion on the West. I call the kettle black on that one. How many times have we heard Dubya talk about spreading democracy across the Middle East? If that was really his goal, he'd have severed all of those mutually beneficial ties to the tyrranical governments of the Saudis, the Egyptians, etc. But, that 500 million from Oman and Kuwait, 300 million from Saudi sure came in handy during the Katrina debacle. Put the Muslim's perspective into play. During the earthquake in Pakistan where thousands of predominately Muslims died and continue to die, Oman and Kuwait gave nothing. Saudi gave something like 20 million. So this isn't about religion, folks. It's about the machinations of politics. We little people, the regular laymen of society, just keep getting in the way of our governments' agendas...

To answer the original question: individual presses will have to make that decision, and it should really be based on precedent that has been set for that particular paper. I know the editor of the Boston Globe said he would choose not to in keeping with the publisher's policy regarding news images that are offensive to a particular group. Okay, it's a consistent policy--- respectable. At this point, they're so easy to see if you wanted to, it's almost irrelevant to be having a debate on whether US papers should print them.

There didn't appear to be any reason why the Danish paper commissioned the cartoons. If it was to test if artists would censor themselves around an Islamic theme, they didn't have to use Muhammad as the focal point. It seemed a quite pointed attack at a central figure in the Islamic religion. The paper's point could have effectively been made using a simple Muslim man or woman, if the point just HAD to be made.

And, someone wrote that Muslims believe you're not worthy of life if you don't believe in Muhammad. I really WOULD like to know where these preposterous proclamations about Islam are coming from.

Posted by: gkc | February 9, 2006 11:56 AM

BTW, calling someone a hate-monger is inherently proliferating hate. You have to make a distinction between really pissed off ppl who feel slighted, and those who have an agenda to harm others for no apparent reason. If you punched someone who called you an asshole, would that make you a hate-monger. If that's the criteria, we're living with a whole load of hate-mongers walking around in society.

Posted by: gkc | February 9, 2006 12:06 PM

Suggestion: Instead of printing a cartoon that just reinforces a moronic stereotype, create cartoons mocking two wars and a decade of sanctions against the nation of Iraq, based on avarice and outright lies, that have cost the lives of tens even hundreds of thousands Iraqis, including many, many children, and of thousands of young Americans.

Posted by: JF | February 9, 2006 12:20 PM

Jaxas-

While I agree with your premise, that with freedom of expression comes responsibility, I disagree with your conclusion, that we should think twice before publishing images that may offend people.

As has been mentioned by others, these cartoons were not published gratuitously. They were published in a context; in an environment where physical threats against artists of Mohammed prevented a children's book author from finding an illustrator.

There are some environments that do not merely encourage civil disobedience, they demand it. For example, some brave women in Iraq refuse to be intimidated by conservative religious elements who protest their refusal to wear the traditional abaya coverings.

As many Iraqi women learned the hard way, and as Danish cartoonists now in hiding or police protection are learning, the conservative Islamic elements do not protest their behavior in print or through demonstration, they do so violently. In Iraq a woman refusing to wear her abaya risks having acid thrown in her face. This might explain why many women choose to wear the abaya (which, incidentally, was not enforced under Saddam)

It is this disrespectful attitude for the values of Conservative Islam that would drive a person say, like Theo Van Gogh, to make an offensive movie about Islamic treatment of women.

The not-so-subtle response to this movie, for Theo, was 8 bullets to the chest by Mohammed Bouyeri. Because Mr. Bouyeri was thourough, he sliced Theo Van Gogh's neck and stabbed him in the chest. He left that knife, but also added an aditional one implanted into Theo Van Gogh (how else would leave this note http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/312 with the body?).

It was in this context of fear for one's life that many woman voluntarily don burqas just to prevent getting acid dripped on their face. By protesting this type of cultural treatment of woman, Theo Van Gogh (who was also blatantly anti-semitic at times though no Jew ever shot him 8 times, slit his throat, and stabbed him twice) was murdered.

It was the murder of Theo Van Gogh, and the eery letter left stabbed into his body by his assailant, that tempered the attitude of Danish illustrators who voluntarily refused to draw images of Mohammed.

As many women in Iraq have learned, there is no substantive difference between wearing an Abaya because Islamic Law demands it (like it does in Saudi Arabia, for instance) or wearing an Abaya because someone might throw acid in your face if you do not.

As the West could learn, there is no substantive difference between refusing to draw pictures of Mohammed because it is against Shari'ah law, and refusing to do so because you don't want to get shot 8 times, your throat slit, and stabbed twice.

This is the context that a Danish newspaper protested voluntarily adoption of Shari'ah Law.

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 12:23 PM

Western media have the right to post the cartoons. They also have the right to post racist and anti-Semitic cartoons or articles. They should make the decision based on their values, and they'll be judged accordingly. People can protest if they feel the material is out of line, and sometimes editors get fired as a result. A good judgment would be whether the material has intrinsic worth--what's the point of the satire? Our political cartoons can be pretty rough, and sometimes newspapers will pull one...all this is fair enough. While showing you're not being intimidated isn't a good reason to run the images, if the cartoons make a real political point, and don't trade in ethinic slurs or stereotypes, most editors would run them, regardless of the religious sensibilities of those who might be offended. But the reaction in Muslim communities tells us that they are not used to living in freedom, that they don't understand their right to protest (they don't have it, in most Muslim countries), and they feel attacked and scorned by the West. The reaction feels like a variant of the old joke "support mental health or I'll kill you"--i this case, it's "respect me and my customs or I'll turn into a crazed rioter." While we need to understand how they feel--and I believe that the cartoons just touched an already bloody raw nerve--they need to understand that their violent reaction won't gain any respect or undertanding.

Posted by: Mike B | February 9, 2006 12:26 PM

I have no problem with being called a hate-mongerer with respect to those who intend to harm me here in the US. I hate them and want them eliminated. I'd rather take care of business than debate about it because, from my perspective, there is nothing to discuss. There cannot be any middle ground to these vague demands coming from terrorists in ME.

So we support ruthless monarchies because we buy and want to continue to buy oil from them. This is business, and they are in power and want to sell it.

I had friends who worked on rigs in SA back in the 70's and 80's. From time to time, the Saudis would gather the Westerners up and force them to go to "chop-head square" to witness executions of foreigners. Apparently, their message was "don't f*** up here, or this will happen to you." My friends had the attitude, "Okay, thanks for the warning. This is your shithole and I'll do what I am told while here. By the way, thanks for your business."

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 9, 2006 12:29 PM

Mohammed was a general, he interpreted his dream... I had a professor in Seminary say that the prophet had ate to much bologna and had a bad dream...I agree with him.

The claim is that they are to be the sword and Jesus was to bring peace...Read here; http://bibleperversion.com/
The goal of islam to to make war on all of Christianity and jews...and as we all Americans know Christianity works for Peace...that is the basic difference in the two religions.

Should the Media Print the cartoons...NOT if they want to apease the Islamic belivers over the Truth.

They should be printed...let the chips fall where they will...Thoese who don't like it here in America...are allowed by our Nation to have Freedom...Hence they are Free to pick up their mess and move to a country that practice their Islamic religon and don't print the cartoons because there is No Freedom!

America...Love it or Leave it!

Posted by: chiefh | February 9, 2006 12:34 PM

"Suggestion: Instead of printing a cartoon that just reinforces a moronic stereotype, create cartoons mocking two wars and a decade of sanctions against the nation of Iraq, based on avarice and outright lies, that have cost the lives of tens even hundreds of thousands Iraqis, including many, many children, and of thousands of young Americans."

Yeah, because anti-Iraq War cartoons would be something new and different.

Posted by: Colin | February 9, 2006 12:35 PM

I don't think it will do any good to anybody to reprint the cartoons. And it will be the radicals who will be the bole benefactors of such a move.
Sincerely,

Posted by: Sedat Sertoglu | February 9, 2006 12:36 PM

Pat Robertson praying for a Chief Justice to die....you mean that kind of Antichrist-ianity?


Or like the Inquisitions? Or like the Pope advising primitive Africans to use abstinence instead of condoms to stop the spread of Aids....that kind of peace full AntiChrist-inane-ity?

Posted by: Peace, like.... | February 9, 2006 12:39 PM

There is tension among the Muslim community regarding the fact that two Muslim countries are in the hands of the US and that 1,000,000 Muslims have died in the last 10 years. That is no small number and must create anger and frustration that has been redirected through the issue of cartoons.
The 1991-2003 sanctions on Iraq killed nearly 1 million Iraqi's, half of them children. The war with Iraq has taken 100,000 lives and then there is Afghanistan where the numbers are harder to find.
One Muslim writer says he feels this issue is one of a discussion between Muslims of all faiths, whether fundamentalist or moderate. It will be a growing experience and a dialogue that has needed to happen. "We ought to conduct ourselves by our own democratic standards. Otherwise it will be open season on the belief systems of others. Today it is Islam, tomorrow it may be another faith."
I think this will begin a needed dialogue and discussion with Muslims and non Muslims.

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | February 9, 2006 12:50 PM

"Let's hope it doesn't come to that."

Nice piece Will. Quite persuasive. At first I was a bit puzzled at your selection of Chile, but a bit more reading and it became clear. I have a Chilena kissing cousin in Santiago, of whom I am inordinately fond. They just elected Ms. Bachelet as president, someone with real experience of actual torture under Pinochet. Her cabinet is half female. They did that without the benefit of NOW. They did not support our invasion of Iraq. It puzzles me a bit why we should feel we are the most "advanced" nation in this world.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 9, 2006 12:55 PM

Emily,

How are things working out with the prune danish every morning?

Feeling any movement?

Posted by: The Lonemule | February 9, 2006 12:55 PM

As has been mentioned by others, these cartoons were not published gratuitously. They were published in a context; in an environment where physical threats against artists of Mohammed prevented a children's book author from finding an illustrator.
Posted by: Will | Feb 9, 2006 12:23:53 PM

Have you seen the cartoons? Can you explain to me how they are in the context of a children's book? It seems to me that if the challenge was to find illustrators for a kid's book, then the cartoons commissioned should have been ones befitting of children. Instead we get pictures of Mohammed with a bomb on his head or Mohammed telling jihadis newly arriving to paradise that they have ran out of virgins... hardly the stuff of children's literature. It may be factual that that was the origin of what lead to the cartoons, but it seems like a leap on the part of the Danish editors to go from children's illustrations to satire of Mohammed as an Islamic terrorist. If anything, these cartoons were published out of context, at least when it comes to children's books.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 01:05 PM

"The sooner we confront them with unshakable Western Principles the better."

Ok Will, been there done that. Remember shock and awe? We really got the upper hand there, didn't we?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 9, 2006 01:16 PM

ErrinF -
You're always talking about how the right never debates only degrades the left, but you're always the first one to attack someone personally instead of debating.
I have written off the entire Muslim religion. It's the opposite of mine and it wants me dead. If we did the "right" thing, we'd just take whatever we wanted from those countries and leave them all to die. Instead our "horrible, war-mongering, right-wing extremist" government actually gives a shit about these worthless people. The entire left side of this debate is nothing but hypocrisy.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 9, 2006 01:25 PM

I have no problem with being called a hate-mongerer with respect to those who intend to harm me here in the US. I hate them and want them eliminated.
Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | Feb 9, 2006 12:29:07 PM

Thanks for sharing. What a shocker that your views here are fueled by hate. Like I said before, the War On Terror is not about your anger issues, johnnyg. Only a jerk like you could be so easily jerked around by the terrorists; The psychological warfare they conduct counts on people like you reacting with hate, fear, and irrationality. They want to instill hatred in us; Now you want to instill hatred in all of Islam, not just the terrorists. Apparently, you think a destructive cycle of violence is the solution to all our problems. It isn't; Hatred begets hatred, violence begets violence, and stupid is as stupid does.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 01:47 PM

Saudi religious police block rescue efforts and leave victims to perish in a blazing school because the girls were not adequately "covered", 15 girls die. No Muslim outrage.

Ethnic cleansing being conducted on black muslim and christians in the Sudan. Hundreds of thousands dead and counting. No Muslim outrage.

Car bombers kill innnocent Muslim women and children in insurgent attacks in Iraq. No Muslim outrage.

Three Christian school girls beheaded by fanatics on their way to school in Indonesia. No Muslim outrage.

Teachers routinely targeted in Afganistan, killed in front of children as "collaborators. No Muslim outrage.

etc., etc.,

Publish 12 cartoons (cartoons, people) in questionable taste? All hell breaks loose.

Is it just me or does Islam have its priorities a bit screwed up? I'm beginning to get less and less hopeful about peaceful coexistence.

Posted by: D. | February 9, 2006 01:54 PM

Alex Ham, you're always talking about how great George Bush is and how much you love him. And yet, your views are the opposite of his when it comes to the Muslim religion.
Is George Bush wrong when he talks of tolerance for Islam and that the majority of Muslims are peaceful people? Is George Bush wrong when he attends religious functions with leaders of the Islamic faith? Is George Bush wrong when he walks hand in hand with Muslim Saudi princes?
President Bush has hardly written off the entire Muslim religion as you have, Alex Ham. Shouldn't you follow your own advice and follow the president's lead?

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 01:56 PM

ErrinF-

"Have you seen the cartoons? Can you explain to me how they are in the context of a children's book?"

I have, no thanks to the cowardly Washington Post. That I should have to read a Danish newspaper to find out what people are dieing over in the middle east is a stain on this website.

They are not in the context of a Children's Book, nor did I ever say they were. I said a Danish Children's book writer could not find illustrators. Frustrated that there was a voluntary ban on Mohammed depictions for fear of physical violence, the publisher of the most popular Danish newspaper challenged this taboo. He asked 12 (or 13?) artists to draw cartoons of Mohammed. They were not told "Offend as much as you can" (as evidenced by the cartoons that aren't even offensive, just depictions). They weren't told anything, really. The newspaper just said "Draw and we shall print."

Those artists are now in hiding and/or under police protection, thus vindicating the voluntary ban Mohammed depictions. Keep in mind, artists were reluctant to draw Mohammed not because they were exceedingly respectful of Islam, but because they were terrified of Muslims who might kill them for it. This is an environment that Freedom of Speech is supposed to prevent. No one in a free country should ever fear for their lives for something they say. This is a cause worth fighting for, and if it means inciting and/or offending people, so be it.

"It seems to me that if the challenge was to find illustrators for a kid's book, then the cartoons commissioned should have been ones befitting of children."

The challenge was not to find cartoons for a kid's book. They already tried that.

"Instead we get pictures of Mohammed with a bomb on his head or Mohammed telling jihadis newly arriving to paradise that they have ran out of virgins... hardly the stuff of children's literature."

In response, Muslims threw petro-bombs at the Danish embassy in Syria, Iran, Afghanistan in the name of Mohammed. So are you upset that the artist was so offensive or that his cartoon was eerily accurate?

I am not going to continue drilling into your head that this was not about a children's book anymore. It was about a children's book before the Danes realized that no one would even draw POSITIVE images of Mohammed for fear of reprisal. The plucky Danes, recognizing that Free Expression was at risk, took a stand against Religious Speech Supression. I am glad that were willing to do so, even if my own American newspapers are not.

Let go about the children's book. I'm sorry I ever mentioned it.

Patriot-

"Ok Will, been there done that. Remember shock and awe? We really got the upper hand there, didn't we?"

I do not think "shock and awe" represents fundamental Western Principles. I did not support this President in war, nor did I name our offensive in Iraq. I will not be married to what the President does/says.

As a matter of fact, this conflict will create a lot of heros in the Middle East. We are given a unique opportunity to view decisively who the radicals of Islam are and who the moderates are. People who throw bombs at embassies are radicals. People who condemn violent protest are Moderates. The West needs to identify these individuals/groups, like CAIR, Lebanonease (I think) leaders, and others and reach out to them. We need to tell these people that we do not hate Islam, we just will not be swayed by Violence.

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 01:57 PM

Errinf, you always crack me up. So, turning the other cheek is the way to handle this? Sactions? You seem to agree that there should be a WOT, but can't seem to come to terms with the fact that each waring entity is an ENEMY of another. Otherwise, there would be no war. How can you even entertain the thought that you should try to "understand" your ememy, unless of course it is to better kill him. If war is happening, all parties involved already are way passed the point of trying to understand one another.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 9, 2006 01:59 PM

The proper response to Islamic-fascism is tolerance. After all, here in the U.S. we had the Watts and R. King riots. Plus, Christians aren't perfect either. Remember, 700 years ago Christians had the Inquisition. Pat Robertson says mean things sometimes.

Tolerance is the answer. One or two bad apples can't spoil a barrel, right? It is only a matter of perspective. Who are we to judge?

These are the only responses liberals can offer....

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 02:04 PM

Where in the U.S. military code does it say 'hate the enemy', johnnyg? You can't seem to fathom that what I'm saying is that your hate is counterproductive to the War On Terror. It's not some hate-filled vengeful vendetta, jerkass; It's an effort to rid the planet of violent terrorist organizations (namely Al Qaeda) so that the world and our country will be a better, safer place. Also, the War On Terror is not a war on Mohammed. For you to have suggested that the Mohammed cartoons should be painted on the bombs of the U.S. military just goes to show that your bloodthirst blinds you from any rational discourse when it comes to properly conducting the War On Terror.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 02:14 PM

OK Jon. Islam is an evil violent religion and we need to wipe it off the face of the earth.

Where shall we start? You round up a posse from your town and lead them into battle. I'd love to hear your battle plan.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 9, 2006 02:14 PM

Ha ha ha! You're the best ErrinF!
I suppose I do disagree with Bush when it comes to his tolerance for the Muslim religion. I'm not the President so it doesn't matter what I think. I've just lost all hope that the region will one day enjoy peace. I haven't lost hope that one day Americans will enjoy peace and not have to look over our shoulders at Muslim extremists. Their society is not civilized like ours ErrinF, and chances are it never will be. We just need to make sure that they don't have the ability to hurt us physically or financially. Long-term goals require long-term solutions. We'll get there.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 9, 2006 02:17 PM

"It was not "thoroughness". It was a violation of a grieving family's privacy."

"Respect for sensibilities is not an abridgement of freedom of the press."
Posted by: patriot1957 | Feb 8, 2006 6:42:12 PM

Patriot,
Sensibilities are one thing, right to privacy is quite another, free speech is yet another.

The license to invade someone's privacy is not dependent on their sensibilities but on their consent, or a warrant. A fellow by the name of Michael Jackson found that his sensibilities didn't matter one whit in the face of a warrant.

Respect for sensibilities is a personal social trait having social value. Its the difference between being polite and being rude. These vary a lot from society to society. Embedded in our right to free speech is the right to be either rude or polite in our speech, as we choose. Their can be social consequences to rudeness, but not legal ones, not physical harm.

Jews are as sensitive about the Holocost as Muslims are about images of Mohammed. Its not accidental that Iran chooses to have a cartoon contest about the Holocost or the Danes about Mohammed. This is precisely the proper response to speech, i.e. more speech. This is all about testing our right to rude speech. In Austria it is illegal to deny the Holocost. In France there are laws against Nazi symbols. Here I see all kinds of offense taken at flag burning, something we do fairly regularly, not to mention putting the flag on female butts or decorating articles of clothing to hold breasts in place. Personally, whether I agree with any of these expressions or not, I am unalterably opposed to their prohibition by law, or threat of physical harm. Similarly for the latest fad of targeting hate. Free speech includes hate speech. If you hate, you hate. I've experienced it. I don't know too many people who haven't in one form or another. Hating should not become a crime, or most of us will go to jail. It is what you do that can become a crime, and simply speaking it cannot become that. As I said, I am no mere conservative, I am truely an archconservative.

You can imagine how I feel about Politica Correctness :o)

Posted by: | February 9, 2006 02:18 PM

Patriot-

Why do you insist on drawing the essentially identical false dichotomy that you accuse others of making?

Jon M not once mentioned killing or violence in his most recent post. He disagreed that Islamic-Fascism should be treated with "tolerance" (which seems fairly uncontroversial... I don't tolerate acid in women's faces or Shari'ah law that dictates a man's testimony is worth two women's in Islamic courts).

And somehow from that you extrapolate that he thinks all of Islam is evil and violent and should be wiped off the face of the earth? If ever there was a false dichotomy!

How about we need to recognize that there are some fundamental differences between Western values and Islamic ones just like, once upon a time, there were fundamental differences between Christian values and Post-Christian Western ones.

This is an EITHER/OR debacle, but not towards Islam. It's towards Islamic radicalism. We need to determine just how out-of-the-mainstream burning down embassies is. We shouldn't just take for granted that this is a few bad apples, as Jon has pointed out. It's a lot of bad apples in a lot of different countries being encouraged by a lot of democratically elected leaders and religious spokespersons.

Quit trying to paint dissent as "Oh you just want to kill Muslims..." I don't think that view represents Jon nor me. I will not speak for others.

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 02:22 PM

Patriot57:

I am merely repeating your sentiments. And I never suggested wiping Islam off the map.

Just once I would like to see a lib-lab condemn the actual atrocity and violence of perpetrators instead of the insensitivity of the West.

Just once I would like to hear an ACLU liberal say "hell no, free speech, not feelings, is what the First Amendment protects."

Just once I would like to here a liberal say "fairness" would imply that if a cross sumberged in urine is "free game," so is a political cartoon of Muhammed. And just because Christians did not resort to death threat and violence, this does not mean they were not just as deeply offended.

Just once....but I won't.

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 02:34 PM

How can you support the Iraq war and yet give up on the Middle East region, Alex Ham? If they are a lost cause, then what are we doing over there trying to install democracy? Democracy cannot occur where there is no civilization. If you honestly feel the way you do, then you should start calling for the return of the troops right now.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 02:39 PM

We're over there setting up a future for ourselves. That's the "big" picture ErrinF, but easily missed by you I see.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 9, 2006 02:42 PM

Just once I'd like to see an argument from a conservative about liberals that ISN'T a straw man argument. Just once... but I won't.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 02:42 PM

http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn05.html

One day, years from now, as archaeologists sift through the ruins of an ancient civilization for clues to its downfall, they'll marvel at how easy it all was. You don't need to fly jets into skyscrapers and kill thousands of people. As a matter of fact, that's a bad strategy, because even the wimpiest state will feel obliged to respond. But if you frame the issue in terms of multicultural "sensitivity," the wimp state will bend over backward to give you everything you want -- including, eventually, the keys to those skyscrapers. Thus, Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, hailed the "sensitivity" of Fleet Street in not reprinting the offending cartoons.

No doubt he's similarly impressed by the "sensitivity" of Anne Owers, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, for prohibiting the flying of the English national flag in English prisons on the grounds that it shows the cross of St. George, which was used by the Crusaders and thus is offensive to Muslims. And no doubt he's impressed by the "sensitivity" of Burger King, which withdrew its ice cream cones from its British menus because Rashad Akhtar of High Wycombe complained that the creamy swirl shown on the lid looked like the word "Allah" in Arabic script. I don't know which sura in the Koran says don't forget, folks, it's not just physical representations of God or the Prophet but also chocolate ice cream squiggly representations of the name, but ixnay on both just to be "sensitive."

And doubtless the British foreign secretary also appreciates the "sensitivity" of the owner of France-Soir, who fired his editor for republishing the Danish cartoons. And the "sensitivity" of the Dutch film director Albert Ter Heerdt, who canceled the sequel to his hit multicultural comedy ''Shouf Shouf Habibi!'' on the grounds that "I don't want a knife in my chest" -- which is what happened to the last Dutch film director to make a movie about Islam: Theo van Gogh, on whose ''right to dissent'' all those Hollywood blowhards are strangely silent. Perhaps they're just being "sensitive,'' too.

And perhaps the British foreign secretary also admires the "sensitivity" of those Dutch public figures who once spoke out against the intimidatory aspects of Islam and have now opted for diplomatic silence and life under 24-hour armed guard. And maybe he even admires the "sensitivity" of the increasing numbers of Dutch people who dislike the pervasive fear and tension in certain parts of the Netherlands and so have emigrated to Canada and New Zealand.

Very few societies are genuinely multicultural. Most are bicultural: On the one hand, there are folks who are black, white, gay, straight, pre-op transsexual, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, worshippers of global-warming doom-mongers, and they rub along as best they can. And on the other hand are folks who do not accept the give-and-take, the rough-and-tumble of a "diverse" "tolerant" society, and, when one gently raises the matter of their intolerance, they threaten to kill you, which makes the question somewhat moot.

Posted by: MS | February 9, 2006 02:45 PM

Yes Will, you're quite right. We need to recognize that fundamental differences exist regarding the values and belief systems of the Middle East and the West.

This does not mean that peaceful solutions do not exist. But we cannot simply ignore our salient differences. That is what CAUSES the meltdown in understanding and communication.

I believe there is a sensible voice of moderation in the Muslim world, but it is being drowned out. That voice needs to be aided and cultivated.

But blithely spatting platitudes of tolerance and pointing to the warts (imagined or otherwise) of the West is, to me, asinine.

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 02:47 PM

Alex Ham, how are we to accomplish this 'big picture' if Muslims are the uncivilized barbarians you paint them out to be? What have our soldiers died for if that entire region is the lost cause you claim it is? If I've lost sight of the 'big picture', than so has George Bush, as he, unlike you, has not written off the entire Middle East just because of the actions of an extreme minority.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 02:49 PM

pull your pens out of other peoples butts...


you're what you're talking about, primitive....the gene pool all ready has enough chimp blood in it...

why do africans and carribean dislike american blacks....they've been dehumanized?


sounds like some people like you, "helpin out."

Posted by: primitive is what the response has been, and boyz.... | February 9, 2006 02:55 PM

All I can say to the Muslims of the world is: Free speach is a bitch, get over it.

Trying to rob the West of its hard earned freedoms is going to draw as hostile and violent a response as you wish to inflict on us.

I'll use the Koran as toilet paper and scream "Mohammed is a whore" before I give up the First Ammendment.

Posted by: James Buchanan | February 9, 2006 03:01 PM

"Extreme" minority? Think again sister. How do you know what George Bush has or hasn't done? I thought he was a liar.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 9, 2006 03:02 PM

ErrinF:

In all seriousness, ideology aside, I have a question. It may explain why we don't see eye to eye.

On what basis do you regard the radical element of Islam a "extreme minority."

Recently we have seen Hamas elected by the ballot box as well as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran. Both won in landslides. Both openly call for the extermination of Israel. Hitler, if you recall, did the same in Mein Kampf. Nobody took him seriously.

Is your claim that this is an "extreme minority" based on evidence? Or is this just a knee-jerk reaction to your ideological sensibilities that it MUST only be a few bad apples?

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 03:02 PM

It's become painfully obvious to me that the reason this whole cartoon circus has been so popular in America is because one of it's chief elements is portraying Muslims as violent extremists. We get shots of crowds of Muslim extremists reacting violently to the cartoons, and those shots are used to portray the entire nation of Islam as one that is violent and intolerant. I see nothing but comment after comment here about how every Muslim on the planet is guilty of the murderous sins of a small minority within the Islamic faith. Let's face it; All this focus on something as trivial as cartoons is because of the 'Islamic boogeyman' element it has to it, the press doing it's usual fare of promoting hype and hysteria by exploiting the actions of a handful of extremists. Once again, the media is preying upon the fear and hate that's existed towards Muslims ever since 9/11 .

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 03:07 PM

I am merely repeating your sentiments.

No Jon, you were interpreting my sentiments to mean other than I did. So, I returned the favor by sending my interpretation of your words.

You tried to give me a little "lesson" that I shouldn't be assuming that you mean wiping all Muslims off the map simply because you have a hard line. But you shouldn't assume I think terrorists "just need therapy" and that I think we shouldn't worry about terrorism becasue of Rodney King. This knife cuts both ways.

My interpretation is that the "feel good" response is not "ah gee, terrorists have feelings too", but quite the opposite. I think most of the "feel good" responses have been "bomb the hell out of em, that'll show em". Neither is helpful.

This is a complex problem that requires adult solutions. Print the cartoons just to teach them a lesson and show them we can is not an adult solution.

We need for imams to speak up and say terrorism is wrong. We need for moderate Muslims to stand up and say terrorism is wrong. That is the only thing that will hold terrorism in check. We need to be willing to examine the barriers that are preventing that from happening, even if our actions are one of those barriers. Blood is thicker than water, and they won't turn against the terrorists if they feel those terrorists are protecting them from us.

And we need to be willing to see the riots as not simply "my God's better than your God". A good percentage of the problems that festered until sparked off by the cartoons is about injustice and economics, just like most riots.

And D nailed it - these riots were masterminded and orchestrated. One more example of how seething resentment was expertly directed against the West instead of at home. Better to riot outward at cartoons than inward at the injustice of their own lives. And that is our challenge. How to change that.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 9, 2006 03:10 PM

ErrinF:

Let me get this straight.

Radical Muslims storm international embassies over cartoons. The media reports it. It is the media's fault. The MEDIA is over-reacting.

That is some sick logic.

And, again, can you demonstrate why you are so adamantly convinced that this is a "small minority"?

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 03:14 PM

patriot1957 said - :We need for imams to speak up and say terrorism is wrong. We need for moderate Muslims to stand up and say terrorism is wrong."

So true, so true. But the silence has been defeaning, hasn't it? Perhaps it could be that the moderates trully are under the grip and in fear of the more extremist elements of their religion. Or perhaps it is because they implicitly endorse the actions of the "minority", if not in tactics than at least in objective.

If the case is the former, than we may have a chance. If its the latter, then I fear we are up sh*ts creek.

Posted by: D. | February 9, 2006 03:17 PM

The fear and hate was there long before 9/11. We're "infidels" and they want us dead. If it was just an "extreme" minority there wouldn't even be a War on Terror and thousands of American lives wouldn't have been lost. If it was up to people like ErrinF we'd just lay on our backs and continue to let them fuck us. Fortunate for us, our great nation is led by a man with some backbone. A man who refuses to back down in the face of terrorist violence simply because it's the easier thing to do.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 9, 2006 03:17 PM

Jon M, the majority of Muslims don't blow themselves up in a jihad against the West. Hamas was elected because Fatah was corrupt. Ahmadinejad was in the pocket of the real leaders of Iran, the clerics. Radical majorities are rare in human history, whereas radical minorities are more akin to human nature. It's not an ideological thing; It's common sense.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 03:18 PM

Jon M, you are not trying to 'get things straight' when all you're doing is making straw man arguments instead of addressing what I really said. The American media is unduly hyping this cartoon controversy because there is an element to it wherein Muslims get to be portrayed as violent, intolerant extremists. Are you really trying to deny that?

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 03:23 PM

Patriot1957:

Points taken. Again, the argument sometimes get convoluted in that it goes from cartoons to the over-arching war on terror.

As far as the cartoons, your reasoning is reasonable and pragmatic. Yet, don't you see a problem in self-imposed censorship of newspapers, film, literature, etc. based on of fear of retaliation? From Rushdie to Van gough to cartoonists we are seeing free expression overtly threatened.

Furthermore, is it not hypocritical, even cowardly, to defame one religion (piss-christ) but refrain from defaming another because extremists may over-react?

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 03:26 PM

The question as I understand it is , "Should a US Newspaper print the Cartoons found in a Danish Newspaper?"

For my two cents I would like to step back and take a deep breath.

The issue here seems to have been framed around "Freedom of the Press".

To me the issue should be framed around the Cool Hand Luke line, "What we have here is a failure to commnuicate". Which is pretty funny in its own ironic way . Because my answer to the question above is, "If the paper were to reprint the cartoons, how would it improve my understanding of what is happening in Denmark"

So as I re-read Ken Sullivans background story, I tried to figure out what was the motivation of each of actors in this Greek Tragedy.

The editor, Rose, wanted to expose self censorship in the arts His technique was in using cartoon humor. He apparently asked 25 Danish Editorial cartoonists for their interpretation. Twelve decided it was important enough to take up their pen.

The Danish Government is led by Rasmussen who got elected by enflaming anti-muslim/immigrant sentiment.

The Imans led by Laban were, "Surprise", offended by the cartoons. I do not know why Iman Laban and his allies took the road of extremism. There is no doubt their actions fed the flames that have resulted in threats, riots, and death. But did they have an alternative?

Oddly enough the article did answer this. It cites the actions of Naser Khader, a Syrian-born member of Parliament. He seems to understand in a democracy, the people are the true power. I think he is trying to help incease communications between the Muslim Dane and the Christian Dane. I also wonder why Iman Laban did not get the local muslim commnuity involved in lookeing for a measured response to improve the understanding of the muslim culture in Denmark.
By reprinting the cartoons the US press is focusing on the hatred and fear used by both Iman Laban and Fogh Rasmussen to bring out the extremes of society.
I think the Cartoon response from the US should be based on the peacekeepers Naser Khader and his cross cultural organization. Cartoons should make light of the tactic fanning fear. It has short term gains but is a longer term loser. It should be exposed as such.

Posted by: Hal | February 9, 2006 03:35 PM

D. the silence has been deafening. And very worrisome.

I think they're biding their time to see who is a bigger threat to them, their fundamentalist elements or us.

So far its been a close race.

Jon - its not self imposed censorship on free speech any more than your would be censoring yourself when you boss asks how you like her new dress or his new car and you think its positively dreadful. You can say it if you want, but, to quote old George HW - "wouldn't be prudent".

We are at a delicate point of trying to sort through the problems in the ME and change the direction of nations. We have the freedom to fan the flames and poke the people we think will be our biggest ally, the moderates, in the eye. Under those circumstances its not prudent to deliberately offend them. Irrespective of religion, or pissing on Jesus. Or whatever. If we were in a delicate situation that could affect the lives of millions of people wrt the pope, we might want to consider how prudent it was to rub the priest scandal in his face. Its not about freedom here.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 9, 2006 03:39 PM

ErrinF:

Yes! I deny that. Reporting the storming of embassies is the media's JOB. You would have them ignore it? That is the most inane argument I have ever heard.

Radical majorities may be rare (relatively speaking) in history, but we have seen plenty of them: Revolutionary France, Nazi Germany, Spanish and Italian fascists, Imperial Japan, Athens late in the Pelleponisian War, much of Europe in the Reformation...you can go on and on.

Guess what, we will see plenty more.

Cartoons aside, electing leaders that advocate wiping Israel of the map and swear they will not rest until "the last zionist is exterminated" is, to me, a sign of widespread radicalism.

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 03:42 PM

Pathetic, Alex. You argue against straw men because you're not man enough to argue against the real thing. The fear and hate I mentioned being exploited was that held by Americans for Muslims, as you have so aptly demonstrated, not the other way around. 9/11 was perpetuated by an extreme minority known as Al Qaeda; The majority of Muslims condemned the attacks after they occurred. If it was up to people like me, Osama bin Laden would be caught already and the War On Terror wouldn't be as out of control as it currently is. Backbone is no good when it doesn't have brains attached. Your fearless leader you so blindly follow (except when he actually does the right thing and preaches tolerance towards Muslims) has accomplished little when it comes to actually winning the War On Terror.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 03:44 PM

patriot-

You say: "Jon - its not self imposed censorship on free speech any more than your would be censoring yourself when you boss asks how you like her new dress or his new car and you think its positively dreadful. You can say it if you want, but, to quote old George HW - "wouldn't be prudent"."

Wrong. Your analogy is imperfect. I fear from my boss because he might interpret my actions as socially discurteous and fire me. A danish cartoonist fears printing a depiction of Mohammed, not because it is discurteous, but because he/she might be executed as a result.

There is an exceptional difference between self-censorship for civility and self-censorship for fear of reprisal. The former is practiced by polite members of a society, the latter is practiced by repressed members of a society.

Do woman in Iraq where their Abaya out of politeness for the social values and norms of their largely Islamic society? Or do they wear them for fear that Conservative Islamic religious leaders will coax children into throwing acid in their face? These women suffer in silence, because we would place the gentile sensibilities of Muslim radicals ahead of their right-not-to-have-acid-thrown-in-the-face-for-showing-skin.

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 03:48 PM

WashingtonPost, the "so-called" media giant, has become a censorship loving, terrorists accepting, 9/11 & 7/7 apologists, fundamentalist FEARING, Political Correctness Slave, Islamic Dance Monkey.

==========================================================

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48736

GLOBAL JIHAD
U.N., EU to apologize
to Islam for cartoons
Joint statement to condemn Danish paper, renounce all forms of violence, says report

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: February 8, 2006
5:26 p.m. Eastern


The United Nations and European Union have reached agreement to issue a joint statement condemning cartoon "insults to Islam" that were first published in a Danish newspaper and have been widely reprinted recently, resulting in a rash of violence throughout the Muslim world.

According to a report in WAM, the United Arab Emirates news agency, the agreement is the work of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Conference.


The agreement, according to Ihsanoglu, will mean a formal rebuke by the U.N. and EU of the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten for publishing the offensive cartoons.


The statement, he added, stresses that divine religions and religious symbols must be respected, and that freedom of speech must not be taken so far as to desecrate religions.

"The statement also calls for renouncing all forms of violence," he said, according to WAM.

The controversy began just over a week ago, though the cartoons were first published by the Danish newspaper in September. More recently, other papers and news agencies picked up and published the cartoons, and the result has been unprecedented rioting throughout the Islamic world.


In Afghanistan, the death toll reached at least nine when four more demonstrators were killed in the southern city of Qalat. Army Gen. Abdul Razaq said four people were killed in the latest unrest.

In the Palestinian Authority, the international observer presence in the southern West Bank city of Hebron evacuated all its 71 staff members to Israel after hundreds of Palestinian youths attacked its offices, throwing stones, breaking windows and damaging cars.


Several youths managed to enter the headquarters, causing some damage. Palestinian security forces guarding the headquarters had to call in reinforcements before they were able to disperse the crowd.

In Iran, Muslim demonstrators gathered in front of the British embassy in downtown Tehran. Demonstrators hurled stones at the embassy building, but a large number of police and anti-riot forces appeared to have the situation under control.


============================================================================================

http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2006-02/09/article01.shtml

EU Considers Media Code of Conduct Over Cartoon Crisis


"We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right," Frattini said.

CAIRO, February 9, 2006 (IslamOnline.net) - The European Union will consider a media code of conduct in an effort to avoid a repeat of violent protests over the publication of insulting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) by many European newspapers.

"The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression," EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini told Daily Telegraph on Thursday, February 9.

"We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right."

Frattini said the charter would be drawn up by the European Commission and the European media outlets to help encourage the media to show "prudence" when covering religions.

Twelve cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, first published last September by Denmark's mass-circulation Jyllands-Posten and then reprinted by several European dailies, have caused an uproar in the Muslim world.

The drawings included portrayals of the Prophet wearing a time-bomb shaped turban and showed him as a knife-wielding nomad flanked by shrouded women.

Newspapers in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland, the United States, Japan, Norway, Malaysia, Australia, Jordan, Yemen, Ukraine and Fiji have so far reprinted some of the cartoons.

Newspapers which have published the cartoons claim they were exercising their right to freedom of speech.

Voluntary Code

Frattini said that the voluntary media code is meant to urge the media to respect all religious sanctities but would not offer privileged status to any specific faith.

He added that the code, however, would not have legal status.

The head of the EU executive body stressed that millions of Muslim in Europe felt humiliated by the Prophet cartoons.

A cohort of Muslim dignitaries and organizations are calling for the enactment of an international law banning the publication of any insults to religious symbols and values.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab League, the Muslim world's two main political bodies, are seeking a UN resolution, backed by possible sanctions, to protect religions following the publication of provocative cartoons.

===========================================================================
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001993331


Muhammad Cartoon Issues Still Vexing Editors

By E&P Staff

Published: February 08, 2006 10:15 AM ET

NEW YORK Editors across the country continue to face difficult decisions surrounding the cartoons featuring the prophet Muhammad which have set off rioting abroad. Few American papers have published the cartoon so far, although several have shown them on their Web sites or provided Web links.

Here is a look-around:

* Four top editors at the New York Press, a weekly in New York City, resigned Tuesday after being ordered, they claim, to pull the Danish cartoons -- from an issue that centers on the dispute. Editor in chief Harry Siegel charged that the Press leadership "has suborned its own
professed principles. For all the talk of freedom of speech, only the
New York Sun locally and two other papers nationally have mustered the
minimal courage needed to print simple and not especially offensive
editorial cartoons that have been used as a pretext for great and
greatly menacing violence directed against journalists, cartoonists,
humanitarian aid workers, diplomats and others who represent the basic
values and obligations of Western civilization."

* National Public Radio decided not to even post a Web link to the cartoons. "The bottom line for me is that the cartoon is so highly offensive to millions of Muslims that it's preferable to describe it in words rather than posting it on the web," said NPR News executive Bill Marimow, the former editor of The Sun in Baltimore. "In this case, I believe that our audience can, through our reports -- on radio and the web -- get a very detailed sense of what's depicted in the cartoon. By not posting it on the web, we demonstrate a respect for deeply held religious beliefs."

* At USA Today, "we concluded that we could cover the issue comprehensively without republishing the cartoon, something clearly offensive to many Muslims. It's not censorship, self or otherwise," said Deputy World Editor Jim Michaels.

* According to an article in today's USA Today, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said that he and his staff concluded after a "long and vigorous debate" that publishing the cartoon would be "perceived as a particularly deliberate insult" by Muslims. "Like any decision to withhold elements of a story, this was neither easy nor entirely satisfying, but it feels like the right thing to do."
==========================================================================================

http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001993363

California Editor Publishes Muhammad Cartoon--and Slams the A.P.

By E&P Staff

Published: February 08, 2006 11:05 AM ET

NEW YORK A relatively small daily newspaper in Victorville, Ca., is one of the few in the U.S. to run one of the Muhammad cartoons sparking riots and killings abroad.

Don Holland, the editor of the Freedom Communications Inc. paper, the Daily Press, explains in a column today, "I'm sure most Americans are curious about this controversial cartoon, which depicts the Muslim prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban.

"The mindless violence by Islamic radicals is par for the course. But what is incredible is that the Associated Press, which distributes news stories and photos from across the globe, has decided that you shouldn't see it."

The Daily Press has a daily circulation just under 31,000.

The point is not whether the cartoon is offensive or not, " Holland writes. "The point is that it is part of a worldwide news story....

"What is offensive is that AP fancies itself to be the guardian of good taste for thousands of American newspapers rather than letting individual newspapers make that decision.

"AP's philosophy also strikes at the heart of a free press and the elementary principles of libertarian thought -- that individuals have the God-given right to read what they please and decide for themselves what is and isn't offensive....

"Years ago, the Daily Press received numerous calls when we published a photo of victims of the Rawandan genocide. Certainly that was a newsworthy, albeit disturbing, image.

"The source of the riots and mayhem is not a cartoon. It is growing friction in a clash of cultures."

===========================================================================

http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/mediamix/2006-02-07-media-mix_x.htm


Media draw the line on running cartoons
By Peter Johnson, USA TODAY
Controversial Danish cartoons lampooning the Muslim prophet Mohammed, which have led to riots abroad, also have set off intense debates in U.S. newsrooms.

Pakistani Islamists from the Tanzeem-e-Islami group rally Tuesday to protest cartoons originally published in Denmark.
By Adnan Adil, AP

Editorial calls to not run the cartoons are raising questions about whether mainstream media are practicing self-censorship out of fear of reprisals from a vocal religious group.

National TV networks such as NBC, CBS and CNN have not run the cartoons, nor did the Associated Press and most newspapers, including USA TODAY, The Washington Post or The New York Times.

But Fox News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, AustinAmerican-Statesman and New York Sun ran some of the 12 cartoons that were published in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September. The cartoons are widely available online.

Fox News Sunday aired one of the controversial cartoons, depicting the prophet Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb. "My feeling was, if we're going to tell the story about people rioting and burning down embassies, it's part of the story to know what it is that has caused such outrage," anchor Chris Wallace said.

He likened the decision to news outlets running Andres Serrano's controversial photograph in the late '80s of a crucifix floating in urine, even though the image offended Christians. "It doesn't mean that you endorse it," Wallace said. "It doesn't mean you're being insensitive. It means you're a journalist and you're telling the story."

Violence erupted across the Middle East, Asia and Africa Tuesday over the drawings. Reuters reported that four Afghan protesters were shot dead by police and six Norwegian soldiers were hurt in Afghanistan when rioters broke into a Norwegian compound. Embassies of Norway and Denmark in the Middle East have been attacked by demonstrators.

Amanda Bennett, editor of the Inquirer, which ran a cartoon Saturday, told protesters outside the newspaper's offices Monday that although she respected their right to protest, publishing controversial material "is what newspapers are in the business to do. We educate people, we inform them, we spark discussion. It is not only our profession, it is our obligation."

ABC News ran an image of a cartoon on various broadcasts last week but stopped in follow-ups. "We understand the sensitivity of this issue, particularly among our Muslim viewers," ABC News spokeswoman Cathy Levine said. "We feel we can report this story now without needing to continually show the offending image."

At USA TODAY, "we concluded that we could cover the issue comprehensively without republishing the cartoon, something clearly offensive to many Muslims. It's not censorship, self or otherwise," said deputy world editor Jim Michaels.

New York Times editor Bill Keller said that he and his staff concluded after a "long and vigorous debate" that publishing the cartoon would be "perceived as a particularly deliberate insult" by Muslims. "Like any decision to withhold elements of a story, this was neither easy nor entirely satisfying, but it feels like the right thing to do."

Bob Steele, who teaches ethics at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists, said, "This is one of those case where there can be multiple, justifiable ethical right answers. In the post-9/11 era, these matters take on a whole different level of urgency. The ethical decisions editors and broadcast executives face are tougher than ever."

Gene Policinski, executive director of the First Amendment Center, said, "A lot of editors are making the decision to say, 'In this case I can fully inform my readers without having to show an image that I know will offend a number of others.' And I think that the descriptions I've seen (of the cartoon) fully tell me what was in those images."

That's the call that Rome Hartman, producer of The CBS Evening News, made last week when violence erupted over the cartoons -- a call that he said prompted plenty of debate within CBS.

Refusing to run the cartoons "should not be seen as somehow sanctioning or kowtowing to a violent minority, since the vast majority of Muslims would find the depictions of Mohammed inherently offensive," Hartman said.

The American-Statesman published the cartoon Friday, and 17 out of 18 readers responding on the paper's website supported the call.

"It is one thing to respect other people's faiths and religion, but it goes beyond where I would go to accept their taboos in the context of our freedoms and our society," American Statesman editor Rich Oppell told Editor & Publisher. "I think we have struck a good median on this."

Contributing: E-mail pjohnson@usatoday.com

======================================================================================================

http://www.aina.org/news/2006029110812.htm

Associated Press Thrashed for Suppressing Cartoons
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted GMT 2-9-2006 17:8:12 Send to Printer Printer Friendly Email This Link Reader Comments
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The Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organization in the world, is being attacked by a California newspaper editor over the wire service's refusal to distribute cartoons of Muhammad, images which have ignited Islamic fury across the globe.

Don Holland, editor of the Daily Press in Victorville, Calif., holds nothing back in a scathing editorial against the news cooperative.

"The mindless violence by Islamic radicals is par for the course. But what is incredible is that the Associated Press, which distributes news stories and photos from across the globe, has decided that you shouldn't see it," Holland writes. "The point is not whether it is offensive or not. The point is that it is part of a worldwide news story. The fact that radical Muslims are going berserk over a cartoon says more about their mindset than it does about a cartoon."

The Daily Press is one of the few print publications in the U.S. that have published at least one of several controversial cartoons featuring the Muslim prophet wearing an explosive turban. Others include the Philadelphia Inquirer, Austin American-Statesman and New York Sun. With the exception of Fox News, broadcast networks including CBS and NBC have not aired the cartoons, joining national newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today in the AP blackout. WorldNetDaily has been displaying the images since the controversy erupted.

Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the Associated Press, issued a statement to say the images don't meet the AP's long-held standards.

"We don't distribute content that is known to be offensive, with rare exceptions," Carroll said. "This is not one of those exceptions. We made the decision in December and have looked at the issue again this week and reaffirmed that decision not to distribute."

Holland of the Daily Press responds by stating, "What is offensive is that AP fancies itself to be the guardian of good taste for thousands of American newspapers rather than letting individual newspapers make that decision. AP's philosophy also strikes at the heart of a free press and the elementary principles of libertarian thought -- that individuals have the God-given right to read what they please and decide for themselves what is and isn't offensive."

The editorial department of the New York Press, an alternative weekly publication, walked out en masse over its own publisher's decision to not print any of the cartoons.

"We have no desire to be free speech martyrs, but it would have been nakedly hypocritical to avoid the same cartoons we'd criticized others for not running, cartoons that however absurdly have inspired arson, kidnapping and murder and forced cartoonists in at least two continents to go into hiding," editor-in-chief Harry Siegel wrote in an e-mail.

When asked by Fox News host John Gibson if he took into account the fact that Muslims may be grievously offended by the images, Tim Marchman, who resigned his position of managing editor of the Press, said:

"I think the press has an obligation not to gratuitously offend, but I also think that the press has the right and occasionally the obligation to blaspheme. These images aren't shown. We're extending the supposedly spontaneous -- but in fact politically organized and politically motivated -- rioters veto power over what runs in American newspapers. It's ridiculous and indefensible."

In America's heartland, the Des Moines Register has chosen not to publish the cartoons, as its editor Carolyn Washburn explains the intent is not to spread any perceived insults or stereotypes.

"The point is that some Muslims are offended by them," Washburn said. "I think that people need to apply their own faith tradition to this debate and ask themselves how they would feel if hurtful, stereotypical images of someone important in their faith tradition -- Jesus Christ or Buddha -- were also shown in an offensive way."

Leonard Downie, Jr., executive editor of the Washington Post, said, "We have standards about language, religious sensitivity, racial sensitivity and general good taste."

Jim Michaels, deputy foreign editor of USA Today, noted, "At this point, I'm not sure there would be a point to it. ... We have described them, but I am not sure running it would advance the story."

But Amanda Bennett, editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, took a strong stand in favor of publication.

"This is the kind of work that newspapers are in business to do," Bennett told the AP. "We're running this in order to give people a perspective of what the controversy's about, not to titillate, and we have done that with a whole wide range of images throughout our history. ... You run it because there's a news reason to run it."

WorldNetDaily columnist Michelle Malkin observed a seeming double-standard with the Muhammad cartoons compared to the photos of U.S. soldiers harshly handling prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"Over the weekend, the Dallas Morning News also ran one of the cartoons -- but, like CNN, pixelated the image (as if it were porn) to protect readers' delicate eyes," Malkin writes. "Funny, I can't recall any newspapers that pixelated the Abu Ghraib photos. Can you?"

WorldNetDaily.com

Posted by: Jeff | February 9, 2006 03:58 PM

"Freedom of speech is an alien concept to most Muslims"? Hell, freedom of speech is an alien concept to many Americans, particularly among those who call themselves Christians. Where are all the free-speechers when the media are intimidated by those espousing "Christian" or "family values" to remove programs supposedly attacking Christianity or advocating the gay life-style-to name just a couple of current phobias. Intimidation is intimidation whether it is a mob in the Middle-east or some nut on "Christian radio" threatening a boycott. America rants on about liberty and freedom of speech when its media is the most conformist and politically correct of any modern western democracy. You don't think so? Think about how gingerly the distributors handled Brokeback Mountain until it started gaining major awards and could no longer be ignored (i.e. was going to make them lots of money). Think about how the media handles any criticism of Israeli policy.

Posted by: Eric Yendall | February 9, 2006 04:01 PM

I can't help but feel that you are just arguing for argument's sake at this point, Jon M. There's a difference between reporting a story and hyping a story. Also, there's a difference between a country and an entire religion. You can't use Iran to indite the entire nation of Islam.
This whole concept of radicals being the majority in Islam is exactly what is being portrayed in this whole cartoon affair. It is exactly what you and people like you buy into hook, line, and sinker. It is a 'big lie' perpetuated by handpicked clips of radical mobs; Equal time IS NOT being given to moderate muslims protesting the cartoons moderately and peacefully. Casting the majority of Muslims as the same as the extreme minority among them is guilt by association. Show me some REAL data to support your stance that the majority of Muslims approve of suicide-murders and other extreme, radical measures before I start to believe that they are somehow defying human nature in that radicalism becomes the norm and moderation the rarity. You have plenty of suspicions and emotions on the matter, but little real facts. There is no great emphasis for me to explain that extremism is not common; It occurs at the fringe of a culture, not at it's core.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 04:02 PM

Email me please, and I'll gladly make a rebuttal to any moderate who preaches "acceptance", "tolerance", and "political correctness".

Moderates think they are helping the sitation, but all there doing is turning a blind eye to the destruction that the MAINSTREAM Islamic Nation wishes to bring upon the secular world.

In a word, they FEAR change. I've seen it written many times, that after the meeting in MECCA in December, the islamic leaders thought violence would be the ONLY to make sure the people reject the west, and hence insuring their medival ways of life are allowed to endure, and edure and edure. Their ways should be quickly going the way of the inquisitions, the crusades, and the witch trials, but our pathetic leaders and the corporate eltists keep them afloat. This will result in the start of the next world war.

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http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=12312

Cartoon Riots: Colossal Muslim Mistake
by Jack Wheeler
Posted Feb 09, 2006

When Justice Samuel Alito donned his black robe and took his seat with his fellow justices in the court chamber of the Supreme Court, he probably saw on the wall to his right a magnificent frieze of ivory vein Spanish marble, forty feet long and over seven feet high, sculpted by Adolph Weinman in 1932.

This is the north frieze of the Supreme Court. There is a south frieze, which Justice Alito will see on the wall to his left. The friezes depict "Great Lawgivers of History." Among others, the south frieze depicts Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon, Solon, Confucius, and Augustus Caesar.

Among the nine "lawgivers" carved by Weinman on the north frieze are Charlemagne and Justinian. Between them is the carved figure of a bearded man holding a book and a sword. The book is the Koran, the sword is the Sword of Islam. The man is Mohammed.

Since any physical depiction of "The Prophet" as the Muslims call their founder is blasphemous, will this disclosure result in threats to blow up the Supreme Court or demonstrations by crazed fanatics carrying posters saying "Behead the Justices?"

The cartoon riots are a colossal Muslim mistake. They have exposed Islam's mortal weakness to the world: that it is so insecure it can't take the heat of ridicule.

Instead of being confident, assured, and fearless, Muslims through their pathological outrage over some cartoons in an obscure Danish-language newspaper, are proclaiming to the world their lack of confidence, lack of assurance, and fear. As my father said:

"Show me a bully and I'll show you a coward."

It's taken these cartoons for folks to figure this out about Muslims. While it's easy to be scared of people when they're terrorists, it's hard to be scared of them when they're a joke. By their frightened protests and threats, Muslims have turned Islam into a cartoon religion.

If they had shown the slightest bit of maturity and genuine confidence by ignoring the cartoons' affront, the world in turn would have ignored the cartoons. By making such a globally stupid stink, when the world thinks of Muhammad now, it will think of a drawing of him with a lit bomb in his turban.

Smart work, guys. Further evidence that Islam is a doomed religion. Contrary to those who think Islam is taking over the planet, I think any religion preaching intolerance and violence has no future in today's world.

"Islam" is the Arabic word for submission. Supposedly it means submission to Allah. But there's now a new meaning. Muslims are going to submit to our values, for we are not going to submit to theirs.

Muslims are going to submit to our values of religious tolerance, human rights, and political freedom. It is we of the West who need an apology from them, not them from us, an apology for their terrorism and medieval fanaticism.

Remember when you were a kid in grade school, and if you really want to show contempt for someone you'd say, "He can dish it out but he can't take it?" Muslims are like that.

They can dish out insults to infidels, arrest Christians for praying in Saudi Arabia, confiscate their Bibles and throw them in the trash, call Jews pigs and monkeys, and spit on the whole human race that isn't Muslim. But they go into frenzies of righteous outrage at the slightest criticism of their history and beliefs.

The question we need to ask Muslims is: Until you start showing respect and tolerance for our values, religion, and civilization, why should we show any respect and tolerance for yours?

No more tolerance for Muslim bullies and their cartoon religion. Don't dish it out if you can't take it. It's a message Muslims are going to hear more and more from now on.

Dr. Wheeler is editor of ToThePointNews.com.


===============================================================================================================

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060207_reality_islam/

Sam Harris on the Reality of Islam
Email Print


Posted on Feb. 7, 2006


From Wikipedia.org
This fragment of the Koran (Sura 33,
Verse 73-74) translates in part as
"...That God may chastise the
hypocrites, men and women alike,
and the idolaters, men and
women alike..." (A.J. Arberry
translation). Idolatry is at the
center of the Muslim outrage over
the satirical Muhammad cartoons.
(Hat tip in the translation: Truthdig's
resident Arabic scholar Tyler Golson.)

By Sam Harris

Verses from the Koran

Pop Up: Quotations instructing observant Muslims to despise nonbelievers.

In recent days, crowds of thousands have gathered throughout the Muslim world--burning European embassies, issuing threats, and even taking hostages--in protest over 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that were first published in a Danish newspaper last September. The problem is not merely that the cartoons were mildly derogatory. The furor primarily erupted over the fact that the Prophet had been depicted at all. Muslims consider any physical rendering of Muhammad to be an act of idolatry. And idolatry is punishable by death. Criticism of Muhammad or his teaching--which was also implicit in the cartoons--is considered blasphemy. As it turns out, blasphemy is also punishable by death. So pious Muslims have two reasons to "not accept less than a severing of the heads of those responsible," as was recently elucidated by a preacher at the Al Omari mosque in Gaza.

The religious hysteria has not been confined to the "extremists" of the Muslim world. Seventeen Arab governments issued a joint statement of protest, calling for the punishment of those responsible. Pakistan's parliament unanimously condemned the drawings as a "vicious, outrageous and provocative campaign" that has "hurt the faith and feelings of Muslims all over the world." Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while still seeking his nation's entry into the European Union, nevertheless declared that the cartoons were an attack upon the "spiritual values" of Muslims everywhere. The leader of Lebanon's governing Hezbollah faction observed that the whole episode could have been avoided if only the novelist Salman Rushdie had been properly slaughtered for writing "The Satanic Verses."

Let us take stock of the moral intuitions now on display in the House of Islam: On Aug. 17, 2005, an Iraqi insurgent helped collect the injured survivors of a car bombing, rushed them to a hospital and then detonated his own bomb, murdering those who were already mortally wounded as well as the doctors and nurses struggling to save their lives. Where were the cries of outrage from the Muslim world? Religious sociopaths kill innocents by the hundreds in the capitols of Europe, blow up the offices of the U.N. and the Red Cross, purposefully annihilate crowds of children gathered to collect candy from U.S. soldiers on the streets of Baghdad, kidnap journalists, behead them, and the videos of their butchery become the most popular form of pornography in the Muslim world, and no one utters a word of protest because these atrocities have been perpetrated "in defense of Islam." But draw a picture of the Prophet, and pious mobs convulse with pious rage. One could hardly ask for a better example of religious dogmatism and its pseudo-morality eclipsing basic, human goodness.

It is time we recognized--and obliged the Muslim world to recognize--that "Muslim extremism" is not extreme among Muslims. Mainstream Islam itself represents an extremist rejection of intellectual honesty, gender equality, secular politics and genuine pluralism. The truth about Islam is as politically incorrect as it is terrifying: Islam is all fringe and no center. In Islam, we confront a civilization with an arrested history. It is as though a portal in time has opened, and the Christians of the 14th century are pouring into our world.

Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe. The demographic trends are ominous: Given current birthrates, France could be a majority Muslim country in 25 years, and that is if immigration were to stop tomorrow. Throughout Western Europe, Muslim immigrants show little inclination to acquire the secular and civil values of their host countries, and yet exploit these values to the utmost--demanding tolerance for their backwardness, their misogyny, their anti-Semitism, and the genocidal hatred that is regularly preached in their mosques. Political correctness and fears of racism have rendered many secular Europeans incapable of opposing the terrifying religious commitments of the extremists in their midst. In an effort to appease the lunatic furor arising in the Muslim world in response to the publication of the Danish cartoons, many Western leaders have offered apologies for exercising the very freedoms that are constitutive of civil society in the 21st century. The U.S. and British governments have chastised Denmark and the other countries that published the cartoons for privileging freedom of speech over religious sensitivity. It is not often that one sees the most powerful countries on Earth achieve new depths of weakness, moral exhaustion and geopolitical stupidity with a single gesture. This was appeasement at its most abject.

The idea that Islam is a "peaceful religion hijacked by extremists" is a dangerous fantasy--and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge. It is not at all clear how we should proceed in our dialogue with the Muslim world, but deluding ourselves with euphemisms is not the answer. It now appears to be a truism in foreign policy circles that real reform in the Muslim world cannot be imposed from the outside. But it is important to recognize why this is so--it is so because the Muslim world is utterly deranged by its religious tribalism. In confronting the religious literalism and ignorance of the Muslim world, we must appreciate how terrifyingly isolated Muslims have become in intellectual terms. The problem is especially acute in the Arab world. Consider: According to the United Nations' Arab Human Development Reports, less than 2% of Arabs have access to the Internet. Arabs represent 5% of the world's population and yet produce only 1% of the world's books, most of them religious. In fact, Spain translates more books into Spanish each year than the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic since the ninth century.

Our press should report on the terrifying state of discourse in the Arab press, exposing the degree to which it is a tissue of lies, conspiracy theories and exhortations to recapture the glories of the seventh century. All civilized nations must unite in condemnation of a theology that now threatens to destabilize much of the Earth. Muslim moderates, wherever they are, must be given every tool necessary to win a war of ideas with their coreligionists. Otherwise, we will have to win some very terrible wars in the future. It is time we realized that the endgame for civilization is not political correctness. It is not respect for the abject religious certainties of the mob. It is reason.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/09/international/middleeast/09cartoon.html?_r=1&hp&ex=1139461200&en=7b817f315d7c38d5&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin

The Protests
At Mecca Meeting, Cartoon Outrage Crystallized
Hassan Ammar/Agence France-PressePresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, second from left, was among the Middle East leaders at a meeting in December in Mecca, where Danish cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad were discussed.


By HASSAN M. FATTAH
Published: February 9, 2006
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 8 ? As leaders of the world's 57 Muslim nations gathered for a summit meeting in Mecca in December, issues like religious extremism dominated the official agenda. But much of the talk in the hallways was of a wholly different issue: Danish cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad.

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Tracking the Protests

Forum: The Middle East
The closing communiquîeook note of the issue when it expressed "concern at rising hatred against Islam and Muslims and condemned the recent incident of desecration of the image of the Holy Prophet Muhammad in the media of certain countries" as well as over "using the freedom of expression as a pretext to defame religions."

The meeting in Mecca, a Saudi city from which non-Muslims are barred, drew minimal international press coverage even though such leaders as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran were in attendance. But on the road from quiet outrage in a small Muslim community in northern Europe to a set of international brush fires, the summit meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference ? and the role its member governments played in the outrage ? was something of a turning point.

After that meeting, anger at the Danish caricatures, especially at an official government level, became more public. In some countries, like Syria and Iran, that meant heavy press coverage in official news media and virtual government approval of demonstrations that ended with Danish embassies in flames.

In recent days, some governments in Muslim countries have tried to calm the rage, worried by the increasing level of violence and deaths in some cases.

But the pressure began building as early as October, when Danish Islamists were lobbying Arab ambassadors and Arab ambassadors lobbied Arab governments.

"It was no big deal until the Islamic conference when the O.I.C. took a stance against it," said Muhammad el-Sayed Said, deputy director of the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo.

Sari Hanafi, an associate professor at the American University in Beirut, said that for Arab governments resentful of the Western push for democracy, the protests presented an opportunity to undercut the appeal of the West to Arab citizens. The freedom pushed by the West, they seemed to say, brought with it disrespect for Islam.

He said the demonstrations "started as a visceral reaction ? of course they were offended ? and then you had regimes taking advantage saying, 'Look, this is the democracy they're talking about.' "

The protests also allowed governments to outflank a growing challenge from Islamic opposition movements by defending Islam.

At first, the agitation was limited to Denmark. Ahmed Akkari, 28, a Lebanese-born Dane, acts as spokesman for the European Committee for Honoring the Prophet, an umbrella group of 27 Danish Muslim organizations to press the Danish government into action over the cartoons.

Mr. Akkari said the group had worked for more than two months in Denmark without eliciting any response. "We collected 17,000 signatures and delivered them to the office of the prime minister, we saw the minister of culture, we talked to the editor of the Jyllands-Posten, we took many steps within Denmark, but could get no action," Mr. Akkari said, referring to the newspaper that published the cartoons. He added that the prime minister's office had not even responded to the petition.

Frustrated, he said, the group turned to the ambassadors of Muslim countries in Denmark and asked them to speak to the prime minister on their behalf. He refused them too.

"Then the case moved to a new stage," Mr. Akkari recalled. "We decided then that to be heard, it must come from influential people in the Muslim world."

The group put together a 43-page dossier, including the offending cartoons and three more shocking images that had been sent to Danish Muslims who had spoken out against the Jyllands-Posten cartoons.

Mr. Akkari denied that the three other offending images had contributed to the violent reaction, saying the images, received in the mail by Muslims who had complained about the cartoons, were included to show the response that Muslims got when they spoke out in Denmark.

At Mecca Meeting, Cartoon Outrage Crystallized


Published: February 9, 2006
(Page 2 of 2)

In early December, the group's first delegation of Danish Muslims flew to Cairo, where they met with the grand mufti, Muhammad Sayid Tantawy, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League.

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Tracking the Protests

Forum: The Middle East
"After that, there was a certain response," Mr. Akkari said, adding that the Cairo government and the Arab League both summoned the Danish ambassador to Egypt for talks.

Mr. Akkari denies that the group had meant to misinform, but concedes that there were misunderstandings along the way.

In Cairo, for example, the group also met with journalists from Egypt's media. During a news conference, they spoke about a proposal from the far-right Danish People's Party to ban the Koran in Denmark because of some 200 verses that are alleged to encourage violence.

Several newspapers then ran articles claiming that Denmark planned to issue a censored version of the Koran. The delegation returned to Denmark, but the dossier continued to make waves in the Middle East. Egypt's foreign minister had taken the dossier with him to the Mecca meeting, where he showed it around. The Danish group also sent a second delegation to Lebanon to meet religious and political leaders there.

Mr. Akkari went on that trip. The delegation met with the grand mufti in Lebanon, Muhammad Rashid Kabbani, and the spiritual head of Lebanon's Shiite Muslims, Sheik Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, as well as the patriarch of the Maronite Church, Nasrallah Sfeir. The group also appeared on Hezbollah's satellite station Al Manar TV, which is seen throughout the Arab world.

Mr. Akkari also made a side trip to Damascus, Syria, to deliver a copy of the dossier to that country's grand mufti, Sheik Ahmed Badr-Eddine Hassoun.

Lebanon's foreign minister, Fawzi Salloukh, says he agreed to meet in mid-December with Egypt's ambassador to Lebanon, who presented him with a letter from his foreign minister, Aboul Gheit, urging him to get involved in the issue. Attached to the letter were copies of some of the drawings.

At the end of December, the pace picked up as talk of a boycott became more prominent. The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, comprising more than 50 states, published on its Web site a statement condemning "the aggressive campaign waged against Islam and its Prophet" by Jyllands-Posten, and officials of the organization said member nations should impose a boycott on Denmark until an apology was offered for the drawings.

"We encourage the organization's members to boycott Denmark both economically and politically until Denmark presents an official apology for the drawings that have offended the world's Muslims," said Abdulaziz Othman al-Twaijri, the organization's secretary general.

In a few weeks, the Jordanian Parliament condemned the cartoons, as had several other Arab governments.

On Jan. 10, as anti-Danish pressure built, a Norwegian newspaper republished the caricatures in an act of solidarity with the Danes, leading many Muslims to believe that a real campaign against them had begun.

On Jan. 26, in a key move, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Denmark, and Libya followed suit. Saudi clerics began sounding the call for a boycott, and within a day, most Danish products were pulled off supermarket shelves.

"The Saudis did this because they have to score against Islamic fundamentalists," said Mr. Said, the Cairo political scientist. "Syria made an even worse miscalculation," he added, alluding to the sense that the protest had gotten out of hand. The issue of the cartoons came at a critical time in the Muslim world because of Muslim anger over the occupation of Iraq and a sense that Muslims were under siege. Strong showings by Islamists in elections in Egypt and the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections had given new momentum to Islamic movements in the region, and many economies, especially those in the Persian Gulf, realized their economic power as it pertained to Denmark.

"The cartoons were a fuse that lit a bigger fire," said Rami Khouri, editor at large at the English-language Daily Star of Beirut. "It is this deepening sense of vulnerability combines with a sense that the Islamists were on a roll that made it happen."

The wave swept many in the region. Sheik Muhammad Abu Zaid, an imam from the Lebanese town of Saida, said he began hearing of the caricatures from several Palestinian friends visiting from Denmark in December but made little of it.

"For me, honestly, this didn't seem so important," Sheik Abu Zaid said, comparing the drawings to those made of Jesus in Christian countries. "I thought, I know that this is something typical in such countries."

Then, he started to hear that ambassadors of Arab countries had tried to meet with the prime minister of Denmark and had been snubbed, and he began to feel differently.

"It started to seem that this way of thinking was an insult to us," he said. "It is fine to say, 'This is our freedom, this is our way of thinking.' But we began to believe that their freedom was something that hurts us."

Last week, Sheik Abu Zaid heard about a march being planned on the Danish Consulate in Beirut, and he decided to join. He and 600 others boarded buses bound for Beirut. Within an hour of arriving, some of the demonstrators ¡ª none of his people, he insisted ¡ª became violent, and began attacking the building that housed the embassy. It was just two days after a similar attack against the Danish and Norwegian Embassies in Damascus.

"In the demonstration, I believe 99 percent of the people were good and peaceful, but I could hear people saying, 'We don't want to demonstrate peacefully; we want to burn,' " the sheik said.

He tried in vain to calm people down, he said. "I was calling to the people, 'Please, please follow us and go back.' " he said. "We were hoping to calm people down, and we were hoping to help the peaceful people who were caught in the middle of the fight."

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http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/02/09/111316.php

Cartoon Controversy: Are Those Most Offended Least Familiar With Islamic History?
February 09, 2006
Eric Olsen
Satire is the very essence of free speech. "Free speech," as a term and as a concept, is devoid of meaning if it does not apply to speech that makes any number of us uncomfortable for any number of reasons. No one challenges speech with which they agree; that's why the ACLU defends the right of Nazis to march, why Voltaire's "I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it" resonates so strongly.

Satire -- "a literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit" -- is sacred because it is often the only way to shock people out of their habitual frames of reference, perhaps allowing them to see previously unrecognized "human vice or folly." Vice and folly must never be shielded from derision under the cloak of religious sensitivities, or all vice and folly will be drawn under that cloak.

Cartoons of which we disapprove should be fought with more cartoons, not with violence, boycotts, and legal action, which is why the call by the Muslim Action Committee for changes to the U.K. Race Relations Act and the Press Complaints Commission code in response to the Danish cartoon controversy is dangerous.

MAC is also staging a protest march in London on February 18, expected to attract 20,000 to 50,000 people.

Shaikh Faiz Saddiqi, who chaired the MAC meeting this week in Birmingham of over 300 Islamic religious leaders from throughout England and Scotland, said the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct should be tightened to prevent publication of any images of Muhammad. Saddiqi said, "That act in itself is deeply offensive, it's akin to someone standing up in your face and abusing your mum, your sister, your dad, and it's akin to a deliberate act of provocation."

"What is being called for is a change of culture, he continued. "In any civilized society, if someone says, 'don't insult me', you do not, out of respect for them. Europe has a history of not treating minorities properly. The Holocaust is an example of that. The imagery being used today is the same kind that Hitler used against the Jews. Look where that ended up: in world war."

Clever, that, though it wasn't the Jews reacting to offensive depictions that caused world war, if we are to attempt to follow the analogy.

Saddiqi also praised the U.K. media for not publishing the cartoons. Of the major print media in the U.S., only the Philadelphia Inquirer has directly shown any of the cartoons, but this has been a matter of voluntary restraint, not law or even a code. Ready access to the cartoons via the Internet has made that politic restraint a lot easier to justify since the public is no longer dependent upon the mainstream press for presentation of the cartoons-as-information.

Ironic, isn't it, that the wild west of the Internet has allowed the traditional press to be more timid in some cases?

But apart from the prime directive of keeping satire sacrosanct, what of the substance of Islamic outrage over the unflattering depiction of Muhammad in the Danish cartoons? Muslims are claiming any pictures of Muhammad are considered sacrilegious; but Jonathan Bloom, a historian of Islamic art at Boston College, told the Christian Science Monitor it wasn't always so. "There were times when images of Muhammad were not forbidden," he said. "In Iran in the 14th century and during the time of the Ottoman Empire, manuscripts often contained illustrations of him."

The modern prohibition probably derive from the strict teachings of Wahabi Islam, Bloom indicated.

Amir Taheri agrees, compiling a representative list of said images in the Wall Street Journal: "A miniature by Sultan Muhammad-Nur Bokharai, showing Muhammad riding Buraq, a horse with the face of a beautiful woman, on his way to Jerusalem for his M'eraj or nocturnal journey to Heavens (16th century); a painting showing Archangel Gabriel guiding Muhammad into Medina, the prophet's capital after he fled from Mecca (16th century); a portrait of Muhammad, his face covered with a mask, on a pulpit in Medina (16th century); an Isfahan miniature depicting the prophet with his favorite kitten, Hurairah (17th century); Kamaleddin Behzad's miniature showing Muhammad contemplating a rose produced by a drop of sweat that fell from his face (19th century); a painting, "Massacre of the Family of the Prophet," showing Muhammad watching as his grandson Hussain is put to death by the Umayyads in Karbala (19th century); a painting showing Muhammad and seven of his first followers (18th century); and Kamal ul-Mulk's portrait of Muhammad showing the prophet holding the Quran in one hand while with the index finger of the other hand he points to the Oneness of God (19th century)."

Taheri also addresses the claim that Islam knoweth not satirical humor. "Muhammad himself pardoned a famous Meccan poet who had lampooned him for more than a decade. Both Arabic and Persian literature, the two great literatures of Islam, are full of examples of 'laughing at religion' ... those familiar with Islam's literature know of Ubaid Zakani's 'Mush va Gorbeh' (Mouse and Cat), a match for Rabelais when it comes to mocking religion. Sa'adi's eloquent soliloquy on behalf of Satan mocks the 'dry pious ones.' And Attar portrays a hypocritical sheikh who, having fallen into the Tigris, is choked by his enormous beard. Islamic satire reaches its heights in Rumi, where a shepherd conspires with God to pull a stunt on Moses; all three end up having a good laugh."

Perhaps those Muslims taking greatest offense at the satirical cartoons are those least knowledgeable of Islamic history.

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http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-momand9feb09,0,2686213.story

What would Muhammad do?
History suggests the prophet was more pragmatic than followers rioting in his name.

By Jamil Momand, JAMIL MOMAND is a professor of biochemistry at Cal State Los Angeles.


ON FRIDAY, I sat on the carpet listening to the sermon at an L.A. mosque. The topic was expected and familiar: a denunciation of the publication of the offensive cartoons that have had the Muslim world up in arms. I directed my eyes to the carpet so no one could see the disgusted look on my face. "Not again," I thought. "Don't we Muslims ever get tired of complaining?"

The khateeb (the person delivering the sermon) stated that it was not right that Islam was the target of abuse. He said some will go out of their way to disrespect Islam. He said the Muslim community demands an apology, and (thankfully) he called on Muslims to be peaceful and forgiving.

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I left the mosque thinking about how non-Muslims must be viewing the situation. Based on the pictures and stories in the media, on escalating demands and violence around the world, they are getting a false picture of Islam.

Can they help but think that Muslims are violent? Several newspapers have reported that some Muslim leaders have called for the deaths of those who published the cartoons. Muslims have burned Danish flags and destroyed Danish embassies in Muslim countries; people have died in the protests.

The violent response also makes it seem that the cartoons are worth viewing, that they are important. If the intent is to prevent people from seeing offensive images about Islam, the tactic has backfired. Everyone (including me) now wants to view the cartoons.

And Muslims appear to have a double standard. We cry out that Islam should not be desecrated, but in several countries where the majority is Muslim, it is illegal or incredibly difficult for minority religions to build churches, synagogues or temples. Moreover, in some parts of the Muslim world, cartoons that could be considered anti-Christian or anti-Jewish are common.

Finally, it seems as if Muslims do not believe in freedom. Those of us living in the West say that we cherish the liberty to practice our religion and express our views, even if our actions may offend the sensitivities of our non-Muslim neighbors. Yet when others express views that are offensive to Muslims, there is no tolerance.

Do Muslims hold a defensible position in this affair? I know the intellectual, religious and legal arguments used to defend the position that such cartoons should never be published: Muslims respect the figures from the Abrahamic faiths, including Moses, Jesus and Mary. Why can't others reciprocate?

Yet to ask 5 billion non-Muslims to respect a particular code of ethics is unrealistic. And even if most non-Muslims exercise restraint, there are always individuals willing to exceed the boundaries.

Another complaint made by my fellow Muslims is that we alone are the victims. This argument is flatly false. Christians have felt victimized by the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ," and there are many who object to the soon-to-be-made film based on the bestseller, "The Da Vinci Code." Judaism is the basis of jokes, cartoons and films considered to be anti-Jewish -- the most recent film being "The Passion of the Christ."

Muslims only enlarge the supposed bull's-eye on Islam when we go overboard in our reactions to anti-Muslim actions. The honor of Islam will survive petty mudslinging without rioting.

Where do we go from here? Unfortunately, the damage on all sides has been done. If the Danish government offers an apology, Muslims will be viewed as bullies capable, through their use of violence, of squashing free speech. If the Danes refuse to apologize, the West will be viewed as the victor over a fanatic religion that must be put in its place. Either outcome spells disaster for Muslims in non-Muslim public opinion.

Some Muslims may say that public opinion does not matter when it comes to Islam. Yet if one examines the life of the prophet Muhammad, one would conclude that he carefully considered public opinion. When he negotiated a treaty with Arabs who were at war with him, he did not insist that his title as "prophet" be placed in the document (this act horrified his companions, to the point where they thought it was sacrilege). Instead, he had his name written as simply Muhammad, the son of Abdulla. This placated his enemy and was essential to successfully concluding the treaty, which gave the Muslims an extended period of peace that allowed them to publicize Islam. In fact, the opportunity the treaty created may be responsible for Islam's existence.

Yes, the prophet cared deeply about public opinion. Now if only Muslims would follow his lead. We need to learn to ignore these insignificant attacks and focus Muslims' attention on immensely more important issues: homelessness, world hunger, the widening gulf that separates rich and poor, and freedom.

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http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/2/prweb344155.htm

Universist Movement Statement on Muhammad Cartoon Conflict; Universists Hold Ground Under Threats of Violence

The global conflict of ideas fomented by millions of Muslims threatens to change the course of history for the worse. The Universist Movement, an international body of over ten thousand faithless people, takes a strong stand for individualism as the secular world questions its core values.

New York, NY (PRWEB) February 9, 2006 -- In light of the recent developments overseas regarding the publication of cartoons of Muhammad and the ensuing violent reaction by Muslim extremists, the Universist Movement today issued the following statement:

The Universist Movement does not respect any "sacred cows." Every religion and philosophy should be open to criticism and skeptical examination. Ideas must stand or fall on their own merits in an open marketplace. We are all free to choose among them.

As Universism moves out into the rest of the world, we are now fully encountering the challenge of breaking down the very thick wall that the religions have erected. Behind that wall are people who need what we have to offer; the opportunity to think for themselves, choose for themselves and to be respected for it. A primary challenge in this process is dealing with the moderate and progressive membership of faiths with fanatical elements. What does it mean to be of moderate faith? It comes down to increasing utilization of critical thought, reducing the religious experience to community and group identification. But moderate Muslims are often as offended and outraged by the thoughts of others as are the fundamentalists who react with violence. The entire culture of faith is an ecosystem of thought where an ocean of moderate fish feed the fundamentalist sharks.

So, millions of Muslims are outraged by cartoons. Seventeen governments in the Middle East asked Denmark for "firm sanctions" on the cartoonists. As people who share a common worldview wherein individual self-determination is our preeminent value, we also have something to be outraged about. Muslims are shifting global thought about religion as you read this. We face the real possibility of seeing religious criticism become unacceptable in public. Recently, a law limiting speech in this manner was narrowly defeated in Britain. Now prominent politicians in western countries are kowtowing to the Muslim world, agreeing that their great religion must not be disrespected, even by nonbelievers. This is how history changes. Millions of enraged people are making their will known to the world in a highly visible manner. The world will not be the same after these past few weeks. In which direction it moves has yet to be determined.

Universism stands against intolerance, even when accompanied by violence. The Universist Movement stands for and fights for equality. Equality in the most fundamental sense of the concept: none of us have a universal claim on religious truth. The Universist Movement endeavors to dialogue with those of faith, but we will not compromise our values. We will not allow Islam to determine for us what is right, respectable and decent behavior. Millions of Muslims believe they have the truth, the way, and that the rest of us are infidels. We believe in equality of the individual, not in the equality of ideas. As a group ideology blind faith is wrong, and it is dangerous.

We must advocate equality, and have a fighting chance, or keep our values to ourselves and see our world absorbed by people with more passion for the opposing view. One of the best ways you can advocate is by supporting the Universist Movement with your membership. As our numbers grow, so does our power to communicate our worldview in new and more effective ways. We are an organization of thousands of individuals with many talents and resources. If we are motivated by these events to successfully tap into the energy we have amassed thus far, the change that is occurring in the world right now may be for the better.

About the Universist Movement:

The Universist Movement is an international nonprofit organization focused on individual wellbeing, social progress, personal responsibility and the promotion of existential questioning. The Movement's mission is to evolve religion in a safe direction in light of the events of September 11. It advocates Universism, a rational religious philosophy elevating relative truth at the expense of group authority in metaphysical questions. In Universism truth is nontransferable, and the group collectively celebrates existential mystery, rather than absolute truth.

More information: http://www.universist.org

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 04:07 PM

The United States of America, the European Union, and the United Nations, are making matters worse by trying to condemn these cartoons. I smell a conspiracy by Global Corporations to put pressure on Politicians.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 04:11 PM

If it has not been said before now is the time!
We need to gratuitously rub Islams nose in freedom! It is time to publish the cartoons in every free societies media outlets. It is time to desensitize(sp) muslims of the fact that their religion is NOT special. Certainly not more than any other religion. Like a quote I heard regarding our former presidents remarks "are we to tolerate intolerance with intolerance?" Nonsense, a little gratuitous baiting is just what islam needs; before Iran gets the bomb. islam is not the one "true" religion, and it displays ZERO tolerance(note the tourist industry in arabia)
The jews, born-agains, and catholics all think they have the one true religion, but they share society and in some instances families. I have never heard of (in my lifetime anyway) a jew killing his daughter for marrying a catholic! in america.
The examples go on and on, how much more do we need to see before the obvious will be stated by any of the big three networks?
Islam reminds me of george wallace in the 1960's defending the actions of white bigots!

If you are a member of a group of 10 and two begin to beat on someone, if you stand by and do nothing, the net result is all 10 of you are guilty and participating. Saying nothing, and making no decision; is your decision. The silence of the rest of islam (especially in the US)is deafening!!

Posted by: 11BRAVO | February 9, 2006 04:11 PM

Furthermore, I would suggest that anyone defending Islam in this debate, is either ignorant on their knowledge of Islam, or they work for Exxon or Shell.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 04:13 PM

So lets just toss aside the whole reaction to the cartoons in the ME for a moment and just consider Europe and the US. If the media here in the US decided to display these images on TV or in the papers (which really doesn't matter since anyone with an internet connection can get at them) do you think we'd see the types of demonstrations here that we are seeing in Denmark and in England, etc.?

Don't think so. Why? Because the Muslim community in Europe there has been no real efffort (either by design - France, or choice - England)to assimilate these populations into the general culture. Rather, european governments bend over backwards to cater to their "otherness" with almost a suicidal fetish for celebrating "diversity" or just benignly neglect them and leave them up to their own devices.

So, combine a marginalized and unassimilated Muslim poplution, a couple of wily Imams looking to foment a little unrest and a religion that doesn't necessarily shy away from the use of physical intimidation, throw in a couple of "offensive" cartoons and you're all good to go.

The US, however, has done a much better job at assimilating other peoples and cultures (albeit, haphazardly at times) so we don't really have these huge marginalized populations that will go off at the drop of a hat. I would surmise that your typically Muslim in the US would be more concerned with getting little fatima to ballerina lessons or little Farouk to his baseball game on time than taking to the streets and shouting "Your 9/11 will come", etc. as they recently did in London.

No, the Europeans are the ones who find themselves in a predicament, one of their own making.

Well, that was kinda long-winded.

Posted by: D. | February 9, 2006 04:18 PM

I challenge ANYONE, white, black, blue, green, orange, to look someone who lost a loved one as a result of terrorism from an Islamic extremist and say to their face "We have to, HAVE TO, intergrate Islmaic fundamentalism into the 21st Century". B/c they won't bend, and they're expecting us to bend over backwards for them...now you tell me, does that make any sense?

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Islamic bullies, so the world has said this kind of behavior is acceptable and we should just cater to them whenever they intimidate those who would illustrate or propagate or literate the problems inherent in the religion of Islam. The same problems are inherent in Christianity as well, and many, many illustrations, books, and propaganda have been negatively geared towards Christianity. If religious leaders can't see that their religiosity is inherently problematic b/c they rely on superstition and myth than that is their shortcomings and not the secular world at large. If Islam really is about peace then they're doing a terrible job of relaying that message to the world. That sound you hear is of the silence of Islamic leaders who should speak out against violent reaction and militant protest, but they don't. I wonder why that is? Could it be b/c they are all fundamentalists who believe that infidels should be destroyed?

Sending planes into a couple buildings doesn't mean that Islamic groups have incredible leeway when it comes to acts of revenge when they feel they've been wronged nor does it give them the right to say or do whatever they want. There are a lot of people that have been wronged in this world, the most of all Native American Indians, and I don't see them flying any planes into buildings or holding up guns while taking over an embassy. Soon the citizens of the world will stop babying these ultra-religious fanatics, and the moderate message of acceptance will be replaced by, "your way of thinking is unacceptable and doesn't belong in the mainstream, go back to the shadows of your private praying mosques and leave the rest of the world alone." The only reason the world hasn't reacted with more outrage is b/c their in fear of dieing from a terrorist act, but that won't last forever.
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Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not "Disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of
(other) countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country In the world. But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam
wants to conquer the whole world. Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam
says Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the
unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims]
overcome us?

Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender to the enemy? Islam says: Whatever
good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key
to Paradise, which can be opened only for Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other (Koranic) psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging
Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls
who make such a claim."

Ayatollah Khomeini

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 04:20 PM

No ErrinF I interpreted you correctly. I know you meant Americans hating Muslims and I meant it when I said that hatred existed before 9/11. I don't blindly follow anything. That's you.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 9, 2006 04:20 PM

Perhaps the 'silence of moderate Islam' is due to deaf Americans that are unaware of anything that isn't spoonfed to them by the media.
I can't help but feel that for every American debater here unfairly casting ALL of Islam as something it isn't (i.e. it's radical terrorist minority), there is an equal amount of Muslims over in the Middle East unfairly stereotyping us the same way. That would totally be apropos of the human comedy, both sides acting in the exact same way while accusing the other of being alien and opposite. Makes sense this all revolves around cartoons; The live action cartoon that's currently playing out in the real world is indicative of just how comical people can be.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 04:27 PM

To ErrinF:

"Can't we all just get along"

NO we can't, I can't live with a DOGMATIC Islamic Religion that chooses to use Medival practices. Did you know that Spain has translated more books in one year than the entire region in the Middle East has since the 9th century?

The same group of people that brought us such great things as algebra, has chosen to stick its head in the sand for the last 10,000 years. You wonder why Oil Companies can do whatever they want to in that region? B/c they know they can get away with it.

Did you know that the President of Saudi Arabia tried to pass a law allowing women the right to drive. The very notion of progress incited riots. This is not racism, but a realization that some dogmas can't be intergrated into modern society.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 04:29 PM

I know you meant Americans hating Muslims and I meant it when I said that hatred existed before 9/11.
Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | Feb 9, 2006 4:20:54PM

Thanks for the clarification, Alex. I didn't realize you hated Muslims prior to 9/11. No wonder you've written off the entire religion and region. Thanks for putting down your pom poms for a second to explain that; You can go back to being a cheerleader for Dubya U now. : )

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 04:34 PM

To ErinnF:

You're Wrong, you must be a Idealist college student who has yet to experience the world. I'm positive that you can't be this ignorant and naive b/c of choice.

The Islamic leaders want you to believe that the majority of Muslims are being held "hostage" and "incorrectly portrayed" b/c of a small minority of muslims, but in FACT the MAINSTREAM propagates a FEAR of change, and if you see modern TV specials on the youth of IRAN, IRAQ, and Saudi Arabia, you'll see that the youth is tired of mainstream Islam telling them how to think, act, and dress. The fundamentalists leaders use mainstream media out of desperation b/c they FEAR a loss of CONTROL, if their medival ways are slowly but surely being swept away by democracy, and secularization in the 21st century.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 04:34 PM

To ErrinF:

Just what I thought, an young Idealists, who has been taken in by the moderates who preach "acceptance" and "tolerance" and "political correctness".

This debate is not about liberal vs. conservative, or democrat vs. republican.

I myself am a Liberal, and if I had to choose between the lesser of two evils, I would choose democrat.

No ErrinnF, this debate is about an ISLAMIC movement to eliminate freedoms that they FEAR.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 04:37 PM

So hurtful ErrinF, so hurtful. Sorry for being one of the few people in this country who believes you rally behind your government during times of crisis rather than undercut it. I have my reasons for the disgust I possess for Islam and yes it existed long before 9/11. It might just have been because I studied it and found how violent, racist, and ignorant it is. It explains why that region of the world is the way it is. Why you can't see that should be a blog topic of its own.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 9, 2006 04:40 PM

Unfortunately it appears to be working, b/c the AP hasn't printed them, many major publications like the Washington Post hasn't either, and the USA, European Union, and United Nations, are about to enact a new law that states "the press can't make fun of religions" Over fear that this will continue to escalate. So it appears as of right now, that the Islamic fundamenalists have scored a major victory, and have rallied their fundamental base into the mainstream.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 04:42 PM


Just payback for the Crusades of the 11th and 12th century. Just think, a Christian nation invading an Islamic stronghold in the mid-east. No one in this era would ever do any such a thing!


duke

Posted by: duke | February 9, 2006 04:43 PM

D.:
"So true, so true. But the silence has been defeaning, hasn't it? Perhaps it could be that the moderates trully are under the grip and in fear of the more extremist elements of their religion. Or perhaps it is because they implicitly endorse the actions of the "minority", if not in tactics than at least in objective.

If the case is the former, than we may have a chance. If its the latter, then I fear we are up sh*ts creek."

I have been slowly moving to that side, the latter, because of that deafening silence. They are screwing themselves.

Posted by: Johnnyg in NE DC | February 9, 2006 04:48 PM

payback for the Crusades? Well, then, onward Christian-Porcine Soldiers!!!

http://www.thepoosh.com/2005/10/i_love_it.html

heh.

Posted by: D. | February 9, 2006 04:48 PM

Wow. Who knew this debate would turn into a bunch of Islamophobic cowards bashing the entire nation of Islam? You bunch of clowns are Al Qaeda's wet dream; It is pure nonsense fueled by hysteria to throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to moderate Muslims that make up the majority of Islam. Whether you want to accept it or not, the majority of Muslims are just like us... they want to live their lives and raise their families just like we do, without committing suicide-murders or other extreme measures. It is sheer ignorance tinged with hate and fear to suggest otherwise.
Again, this entire cartoon fracas has been an exercise in the exploitation of Islamophobia within America by our media. It is almost a moot point whether the cartoons should be published here; The cartoons have never been the real focus of all this... showing rioting crowds of violent, intolerant Muslims has. It's the Islamic boogeyman right before our eyes, the barbarian at the gate live on television. Only it's a farce; It's show biz. What we are being shown portrayed as the norm is not reality, but a selectively edited version thereof. Don't believe the hype; Don't buy into the hysteria.
To think, the apocalypse was brought about by 12 cartoons... GMAFB!

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 04:48 PM

You've been hitting Chomsky again I see.

No, I don't think a majority of muslims are all wanna be suicide bombers, ready to go ape sh*t at the drop of a hat.

But a majority of those 1 billion or so Muslims don't exactly put their necks out and condemn the violence either now, do they?

Posted by: | February 9, 2006 04:55 PM

ErinnF-

You said: "There's a difference between reporting a story and hyping a story."

And what exactly is that difference? Do you have evidence that an American newspaper has hyped the story? If so, I would be happy to see such evidence. From what I can tell, American newspaper's reluctance to actually print the cartoons suggests exactly opposite what you are intimating.

Are you denying that people have protested violently? Are you denying that Danish embassies in the Middle East are now burning? Do you think the Media has a responsibility to report on these instances? If you were the owner of a newspaper, indulge us how you would balance this issue. Can you name a high profile Muslim who denigrated the violence but went unreported by the Washington Post?

"Also, there's a difference between a country and an entire religion. You can't use Iran to indite the entire nation of Islam."

Are we helpless, then, to draw any conclusions about middle east countries lest we stereotype? Is there any question that Saudi Arabians (barring the ones that get acid thrown in their face or refused driver's license) agree that publicly practicing religions other than Islam is fobidden? Doesn't Saudi Arabia proudly base its legal system on the the Koran?

"This whole concept of radicals being the majority in Islam is exactly what is being portrayed in this whole cartoon affair."

By whom exactly? Why are you a minority of one claiming that the Western Media has dishonestly portrayed the event? If you want to theorize, at least indulge us with one example. Just one, I beg you. What is being portrayed in this whole cartoon affair, from where I'm sitting, is exactly what is happening. Embassies are burning. People are dieing. A few denunciations from Lebanon and Saudi Arabia of violence (which were both reported) and what? Who is ignoring the moderate voice Erin? WHO?

"It is exactly what you and people like you buy into hook, line, and sinker. It is a 'big lie' perpetuated by handpicked clips of radical mobs; Equal time IS NOT being given to moderate muslims protesting the cartoons moderately and peacefully."

Isn't it possible that the equal time is not being given because there isn't equal time to report? Again, whose voice has gone unnoticed or unreported?

"Casting the majority of Muslims as the same as the extreme minority among them is guilt by association. Show me some REAL data to support your stance that the majority of Muslims approve of suicide-murders and other extreme..."

None of us are claiming that the majority of muslims are suicide bombers. Nor are any of us suggesting that the majority of Muslims want to blow up embassies. We are suggesting that it is not some miniscule minority of Muslims who think, like the Qu'ran teaches, that non-Muslims are infidels. If you want to get a sense for what the Qu'ran says, just look at the Saudi Legal system which proudly determined, via Shari'ah law, that 1 man's testimony is equivalent to that of 2 women. Or that the public practice of any non-Islamic religion is enough to be jailed/deported.

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 04:58 PM

ErrinF -
Boogeymen don't destroy planes carrying hundreds of American people. Boogeymen don't destroy buildings on American soil killing thousands more. Boogeyman don't kill Soldiers trying to free an entire nation or thousands of their own people who happen to be nearby. Boogeymen don't plot attacks to kill innocent people and boogeymen don't call for the extermination of entire civilizations because they believe in something more profound. All these acts are carried out by real people. Wake up, you're an idiot. I've read so many of your blogs where you call me names and say what you will, and I never attack you personally. I'm pulling off the gloves.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | February 9, 2006 05:00 PM

I knew my post would bring out the Neville Chamberlin's.

I wonder if they called them Naziphobes, or fasciphobes?

Mission accomplished

Posted by: 11bravo | February 9, 2006 05:03 PM

To publish reprints of the Danish cartoons is absolutely the right of anyone or any organization in any society that ever imagines itself 'free.'
To publish all of them in a sensionalistic tableau is the epitome of bad taste, to say the least.
But to publish an otherwise informative article or opinion piece without ever showing even one of them is moral cowardice and a gross disservice to journalism.
Besides, the most infamous of them (the 'bomb in the turban') bears no identifying features; I wonder how many readers (Muslim or other) would have interpreted it as Mohammed were it not for the context of the source.

Posted by: JUDGITO | February 9, 2006 05:04 PM

To ErrinF:

I might assume that you're woman from your name, if that being the case...if you had/have children, and you knew there was a sex offender living on your street..does that bother you? Would you be concerned? Wouldn't you want to know what measures were being made to insure your children were safe?

Would you go burn down the house where the sex offender lived? No.

Would you demand that the sex offender leave? Maybe.

Would you do whatever it takes to make sure that your children weren't hurt by the sex offender? Yes.

Do you see where I'm getting at? It has nothing to do with Islamophobia, BUT EVERYTHING to do with recognizing that there is a problem (or Islamic fundamentalism) that we have to become more aware of.

Think about it.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 9, 2006 05:04 PM

Jeff, you appear to be having a one-sided conversation with yourself that includes my name. Though it is a welcome change from your mile long posts, it's still the same thing: the nonsensical ramblings of a halfwitted Islamophobe. If you want to assume you are dealing with an idealist collegiate, by all means continue to fool yourself with your incorrect assumptions. Something tells me you do that A LOT.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 05:05 PM

And, Will, all the proof I need that the American media has hyped up this cartoon controversy is the very posts that make up this blog right now, rife with Islamophobia and hysteria. I suppose you are going to start claiming that the media coverage of the OJ trial had nothing to do with hype and white America's fear of the black male boogeyman.
And I'd rather be an army of one than a bunch of hysterical, spoonfed ignoramuses. Where there's smoke there's fire, and the overreaction of many of you to my post pointing out how the press has played this up only reinforces the notion that this cartoon affair is a hyped-up farce at this point.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 05:26 PM

ErrinF-

"And, Will, all the proof I need that the American media has hyped up this cartoon controversy is the very posts that make up this blog right now, rife with Islamophobia and hysteria."

Because the grumblings of 4-7 people who you singled out as "hysterical" represents what the media has or hasn't emphasized in this story? I asked you for ONE instance of the media mistelling this story. You offered me the one piece of evidence that you knew I could demonstrably show was not actually evidence, because you mentioned an online internet discussion to which I was a party.

Some of us determine what the Media is mischaracterizing or overhyping by actually reading *gasp* the Media. I have not seen what you profess is so readily available (yet you are reluctant to offer)

"I suppose you are going to start claiming that the media coverage of the OJ trial had nothing to do with hype and white America's fear of the black male boogeyman."

I suppose that if we were going to have an honest, frank discussion about the Media's coverage of the OJ Simpson trial it would have to involve *gasp* actual portrayals of events from the Media. Not some churched up portrayal of the grand media scheme extrapolated from one Internet Political Discussion.

And this is your "evidence"?

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 05:39 PM

jeff wismer:
"To ErrinF:

I might assume that you're woman from your name, if that being the case...if you had/have children, and you knew there was a sex offender living on your street..does that bother you? Would you be concerned? Wouldn't you want to know what measures were being made to insure your children were safe?"

LOLOLOLOLOL!

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | February 9, 2006 05:46 PM

ErinnF:

I'm going to continue to assume you're nothing more than an idealistic college student until you prove otherwise.

I think I'm coming down with a case of ErinnFphobia, b/c I can't seem to "get" what she's trying to say, other than the party-line "conspiracy theory" of "US (Islam) against the world"

You must be a moderate muslim.

Posted by: jdwismer922@gmail.com | February 9, 2006 05:49 PM

ErrinF:

First, the "straw man" references have to stop. Come up with something new material, geez.

Question One: Do you doubt that a majority of Muslims support the eradication of Israel?

Question Two: Is the eradication of Israel a "radical" sentiment?

I cannot understand your logic. Tens of thousands of Muslims are engaging in arson, mob-savagery, muder, and mayhem to demonstrate that, contrary to the suggestions of political cartoons, Islam is a peaceful religion.

On this blog we peacefully discuss these events and their implications and are labeled "hysterical Islamophobes." You state WE are over-reacting.

I must say, I don't understand your logical progressions.

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 05:53 PM

Honestly, Will, you think this cartoon story has been hype free? You think it would have gotten all this focus if it didn't have the Islamophobic element? Since when do Americans care so much about cartoons from Denmark? They only do if it's tied in with video footage of rioting, intolerant Muslims.
And this blog is ample proof to use in a debate. It's a public forum and a sampling of how people are reacting to this cartoon affair. If we're seeing a bunch of hysterical overreactions to this all (and we are, with all of Islam being condemned for the actions of a few), it's a logical conclusion to make that this issue is being manipulated by all sides involved, especially the press. Hype leads to hysteria, and that seems to be the point we are currently at in this debate. When the smoke clears, people will look back at the Mohammed cartoon incident and see it as an exercise in hype and manipulation from start to finish. You all need to stop behaving like cartoon characters.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 05:54 PM

Ah yes, childish name calling, I apologize to the group, I overestimated ErinnF, I would now say she is an idealistic highschool moderate muslim.

Posted by: jdwismer922@gmail.com | February 9, 2006 06:02 PM

ErrinF-

"Honestly, Will, you think this cartoon story has been hype free?"

I don't know Errin, I certainly think it is possible. I read most of my strict news articles from the Associated Press and the Washington Post (though I access the latter more for their columns and blogs). I have not witnessed the hype. When you say something is "hype" I presume you mean something substantive, such as, too much emphasis has been placed on one aspect, or not enough on another. Would you care to entreat me to one example of the media downplaying the moderate response? Or the media irresponsibly reporting burning Danish embassies (which actually did, in fact, burn)?

"You think it would have gotten all this focus if it didn't have the Islamophobic element? Since when do Americans care so much about cartoons from Denmark? They only do if it's tied in with video footage of rioting, intolerant Muslims."

Of course it didn't get attention because of a cartoon. The cartoons got attention because Embassies were burned down and people died as a result of this. Are those note newsworthy events? Do you think people dieing in worldwide violent protest is a fluff story?

Would it have made sense for the media to play video of the Danish embassy burning without showing the people who burned it? What the hell would be responsible about that?

All I've challenged you with is to provide one instance of a major media source misinterpreting or overhyping some element of this story. You have refused to do so. I read the news, sir, and I have yet to see it.

"And this blog is ample proof to use in a debate. It's a public forum and a sampling of how people are reacting to this cartoon affair. If we're seeing a bunch of hysterical overreactions to this all (and we are, with all of Islam being condemned for the actions of a few), it's a logical conclusion to make that this issue is being manipulated by all sides involved, especially the press."

This blog is not a representation of what the media has portrayed, it's a representation of what the 20-40 people who post here think. And, for all you know due to the anonymity of the internet, they all might be ME! So no, I do not buy the "this blog is evidence" malarchy.

When you say that the "hysterical overreactions" are evidence of a media conspiracy, bear in mind that you are referring to me, sir, and I don't think my reaction to this story is hysterical or overreactive. Are there any specific hysterical comments I've made that you want to debate with me? Which issue have I overreacted? Or do I overreact because I'm hysterical and I'm hysterical because I overreact, sir?

And why should my personal reaction matter one iota when your claim isn't "Will hysterically overhyped the Islamic response" but "The Media hysterically overhyped the Islamic response." Still waiting on one example of that, sir.

"Hype leads to hysteria, and that seems to be the point we are currently at in this debate. When the smoke clears, people will look back at the Mohammed cartoon incident and see it as an exercise in hype and manipulation from start to finish. You all need to stop behaving like cartoon characters."

What a ridiculous argument. We are all hysterical because the story was hyped. But when I ask you for evidence that the story was hyped you say "Because look at how hysterical you all are". QED I guess...

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 06:11 PM

Jon M, I'll stop making the straw man comparison if you'll stop making the straw man arguments. Again and again and again, you don't know how to address my points beyond miscasting them and misrepresenting them in a twisted version of what I really said. If you have any real debating merit, you can drop the constant need to straw man any argument you are faced with. Really, take on the arguments made by others rather than creating ones made of straw that are easier for you to debate against. Do you even realize you're doing that on a constant basis? just because Rush and O'Reilly heavily depend on such tactics doesn't mean you have to.
Yes, I doubt that the majority of Muslims want Israel eradicated, as it is indeed a radical sentiment. Human nature (and you Islamophobes don't want to face facts that Muslims are indeed humans) is not radical, though it contains a radical element. The vast majority of all humans just want to live their day to day lives without committing suicide-murders or destroying Israel. 10,000 rioters (if it even is that much) do not represent 1 billion Muslims. A peaceful demonstration against the cartoons gets nowhere near the same airtime as a violent riot. And now that riot footage is being used to condemn all of Islam. Only weaklings give into hate and fear; There is nothing American or patriotic about the Islamophobia being currently demonstrated by some of the debaters here.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 06:11 PM

Okay, Will. I think the problem lies in your take of what I mean by 'hysteria'.
I don't mean hysterical laughter, or hysterectomy, or that people here have lost their minds. I simply mean hysteria as a way to objectively describe the result of hype, i.e. reacting to a situation in an overblown way. Yes, Will, you and others have overblown this situation. Embassies have been rioted before but without so much focus on them. The media wouldn't be playing this all up if it didn't have the Islamic extremist element to it, if it didn't have the barabarian at the gate element to it for us Americans to emotionally react to.
We are not debating here, Will. You are playing an ostrich act around the point I'm actually making. If you want to believe that hype does not exist in the media world, you are choosing to be ignorant. Face the truth; Many of you desperately WANT to believe that the Muslims are horrible, vicious animals, so you have bought into this hyped up cartoon farce because it is portraying exactly what you want to see. From day one, the American media has fanned the flames of this story and have hyped it up, begging the issue from the get go, hoping for it to get to this point of riotous mayhem. Turn a blind eye to that if you wish, but one is better off seeing the situation for what it is: media hype preying upon Islamophobia among Americans.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 06:27 PM

When you're done playing guessing games, Jeff, maybe you'll actually start debating. Only, maybe you'll debate me instead of this imaginary moderate muslim high school collegiate idealist woman with a sex offender down the street that you seem to be obsessing on. Oh well, I suppose it's easier for you to play guessing games and debate imaginary people rather than dealing with the real thing. Again, as long as it keeps you from posting those ridiculously long posts like you did before, I'm happy to play along. By the way, how is name-calling any different than you focussing so heavily on a debater rather than the arguments being made by that debater? If you think I'm a high school girl and I think you are an Islamophobic crackpot, isn't that pretty much the same approach we're taking?

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 06:37 PM

"Human nature (and you Islamophobes don't want to face facts that Muslims are indeed humans) is not radical."

Really? History disagrees you. Radical regimes have risen and fallen since the dawn of civilization. Where the fascists or nazi's radical? Where the revolutionaries in France lopping the heads of anyone who opposed them radical? The democracies of antiquity were hijacked by radicals and committed horrifying atrocities in the name of "majority rules."

Are you denying that cultures/nations/civilizations can become infected with extremism? That is ludicrous.

The fact that there were millions of peaceful, clear-thinking Germans does not change the fact that Nazi Germany became a cancer that nearly devoured the world.

You have preconceived notions of "human nature" that convolude your ability to objectively analyze events. I know there are millions of peaceful Muslims. You are likely one of them. If so, I applaud you.

But their IS a growing element of radicalism spewing from the ME that openly and agressively advocates the destruction of Israel, a non-hostile neighboor.

You blithely insist this is only a "small minority." All the empirical evidence suggests otherwise.

Posted by: | February 9, 2006 06:39 PM

ErrinF-

We're done here. There is nothing "hyped" about what happens to women in Saudi Arabia. There is nothing "hyped" about a Danish embassy or three getting burned down.

Sorry for wasting both our time. Have a great week/weekend.

Posted by: Will | February 9, 2006 06:42 PM

All the cartoon turmoil contributes to the idea that technological progress towards instant and expansive electronic communications amongst the masses was a colossal mistake.

It is amazing how responsive to manipulation either stupid or fixated people lately have been shown to be, so agreeably and passionately agitated.

Multiculturalism does not seem to have been the recipe for human peace so many had uncritically assumed. We are entering an age of building physical and cultural gates, if not walls. Easy to exit but hard to reenter.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 9, 2006 07:20 PM

That's good enough for me, Will. I never meant to downplay the treatment of Saudi women or the burning of the Danish embassies. They are valid and newsworthy. I merely feel that the American media has unduly hyped this cartoon affair to the point where it is now generating Islamophobia within our country. I realize nothing quite captures the attention of the American public right now like images of rioting Muslims, but the press has acted irresponsibly in this cartoon matter.
Have a great weekend yourself, and I apologize if implied you are reacting in an Islamophobic way. I believe I may have mistakenly done so during the course of our debate and I was wrong if I did so. My time wasn't wasted, though; There's room to disagree on the hype factor in all this, and your points have been duly noted. Thanks.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 07:46 PM

LOLOLOLOLOL!
Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | Feb 9, 2006 5:46:48 PM

: ) Laugh it up at my expense, johnnyg. The feeling's mutual, as I get just as much glee from antagonizing you. Nothing quite brings a smile to my face like these little comments of yours from the peanut gallery. Please; Keep the laughs coming. : )

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 07:54 PM

Human nature (and you Islamophobes don't want to face facts that Muslims are indeed humans) is not radical, though it contains a radical element.
Posted by: ErrinF | Feb 9, 2006 6:11:24 PM
"Human nature (and you Islamophobes don't want to face facts that Muslims are indeed humans) is not radical."
Posted by: | Feb 9, 2006 6:39:32 PM

So, what's weaker? Posting anonymously, or posting deliberately incomplete quotes from other debaters?
Despite your anonymous misrepresentation, I have recognized that radicalism is a part of human nature, but it is not a dominant one. If you want to start arguing that a radical minority has taken over the moderate majority in Islam, we can start debating that, but what I have been arguing against is the unfair charge that the majority of Muslims are the same as the minority of radical Muslim extremists. The problem seems to lie more in the moderate majority's neutrality towards the radical minority rather than the moderate majority actually being radical itself. Denounce the radical Muslims if you wish, denounce the moderate Muslims for not doing more to quell the radicals, but don't denounce all of Islam for having a radical majority when it doesn't.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 08:15 PM

ErrinF:

I am sorry I think you are the one that twists arguments. You thrust the hateful label of "Islamophobe" upon anyone who happens to believe that the burning of multiple national embassies over something as trivial as political cartoons is, in fact, newsworthy.

You repeatedly claim that those who disagree with you simply WANT to believe that all Muslims are "horrible, vicious animals." I'm sorry, but nobody has come close to suggesting this.

You are likely a peaceful, law-abiding Muslim. If so, I can't begin to imagine some of the stereo-types you must encounter. However, I think this also may affect you ability to objectively assess events and the state of the ME. But goodnight, and best wishes...

Posted by: Jon M | February 9, 2006 08:27 PM

The printing of the cartoons graphically represented the truth of what conservative right wing radical Muslims are doing to Islam. They should have been printed. However reprinting just to say I have the right and further fueling the conservative right wing radical Muslims is not responsible, but papers have the right to re-publish. The instigators of the protests have been handed a golden goose and it seems to be laying more and more golden eggs to rally more Muslims to the radical cause. Newspapers are allowing the conservative right wing radical Muslims to dictate too them to re-print the cartoons. Despite the protests the conservative right wing radical Muslims may want the cartoons to be printed. Journalists should concentrate on reporting the news, not trying to be the news.

I just happy our conservative right wing radical Christians haven't started burning TV studios over "Will and Grace". Hmmmmm, those conservatives, what would the world be without them?

Posted by: David F. | February 9, 2006 09:20 PM

Not true, Jon M. You have trouble accurately representing people's views.
I don't label everybody as Islamophobes, merely the ones claiming all of Islam is dangerous.
Nobody has claimed Muslims are all dangerous, Jon M? Explain the following:

The goal of islam to to make war on all of Christianity and jews...and as we all Americans know Christianity works for Peace...that is the basic difference in the two religions.
Posted by: chiefh | Feb 9, 2006 12:34:34 PM

The fact is as a group, Arab Muslims can't get along with Hindus, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, or even each other. They always have a sane reason for an insane response.
Posted by: Rod | Feb 9, 2006 2:42:58 AM

Is it just me or does Islam have its priorities a bit screwed up? I'm beginning to get less and less hopeful about peaceful coexistence.
Posted by: D. | Feb 9, 2006 1:54:41 PM

Moderates think they are helping the sitation, but all there doing is turning a blind eye to the destruction that the MAINSTREAM Islamic Nation wishes to bring upon the secular world.
Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | Feb 9, 2006 4:07:26 PM

I have my reasons for the disgust I possess for Islam and yes it existed long before 9/11. It might just have been because I studied it and found how violent, racist, and ignorant it is.
Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | Feb 9, 2006 4:40:46 PM

Islam reminds me of george wallace in the 1960's defending the actions of white bigots!
Posted by: 11BRAVO | Feb 9, 2006 4:11:49 PM

Ya, Jon M, nobody here is guilty of Islamophobia! GMAFB! My objectivity is fine; It is your inability to stick to facts and instead rely on misrepresentations that is the problem.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 09:21 PM

And now the U.S. Department of State is claiming that the violent protests against the cartoons have chiefly been instigated and orchestrated by the Iranian and Syrian governments. So those of you trying to use the protest riots as inditement of all of Islam are falling for deliberate manipulation. The 'evidence' you are using to indite Islam are events staged by antagonistic governments, NOT honest expressions of Muslim discontent, NOT a realistic reflection of the majority of Islam. From the Danish cartoonists to the agendas of Middle East governments to the American press hyping the entire cartoon affair, this has been one long lesson in deliberate manipulation and antagonization with a deliberate agenda. The story would have never got as much focus as it has in America if it didn't have an undercurrent of Islamophobia.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 09:40 PM

Cleansing by telling and being the truth, rather than posturing....


You've all been watching too much diehard where the criminals just spring from nowhere and are born with evil intent...

Bosnian/Serbs, Ethnic tribal cleansing in Africa.....festering hatreds...


talk about them, but right and wrong...

you're clueless

maturing requires that the muslims, jews, christians, examine their respective animal natures being passed off as religious.....


control is fundamental to "fundamentalists" of all sects....

dogma rules and dawgs talk.

Posted by: I think there needs to be some cleansing done here.... | February 9, 2006 10:03 PM

I posted this on another WP blog related to our current Debate topic. I wanted to reprint it here, if only for Emily to read. : )
Here goes:

There needs to be a new discussion involving these cartoons. Namely, this whole affair has unleashed a wave of Islamophobia within the U.S., and I would challenge members of the American press to respond to whether they are culpable in hyping the cartoon affair too much, cheifly the violent protests that have now been suspected of being orchestrated by the Iranian and Syrian regimes.
Is this the purpose of the press? To show imagery of violent, intolerant Muslims so as to prey on American fears of the radical element within Islam? To draw cartoons to deliberately offend on religious grounds, whether it be a Dane drawing Mohammed or an Iranian drawing the Holocaust? If the goal of all this cartoon coverage by our press was to depict all of Islam as the radical minority within it, then the American media has succeeded. Equal time has not been given to non-violent Muslim protests against the cartoons. Equal time has not been given to moderate Muslims that have responded to the cartoons with words, not violence. Instead, we have gotten mostly one-sided coverage that focuses almost entirely on riots that depict Muslims as the violent, dangerous stereotype we fear them to be, every bit as inaccurate and unfair as drawing a picture of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban.
Posted by: ErrinF | Feb 9, 2006 10:34:27 PM

Posted by: ErrinF | February 9, 2006 10:41 PM

another issue, another controversy! it is a question of freedom vs fear!the whole issue has arisen because in this case, a group which has the will and the capacity to strike back has been offended. the muslim world is in a continual quest for issues which can be used to make the mullahs more powerful.it is a different matter that most of their people live in abject poverty in asia and africa. what unites muslims worldwide is their response to any 'threat' to their religion. this is used by their religious and political leaders to divert their minds. rage against the real issues like lack of development, illiteracy and poverty is channelised into hatred towards the 'kafirs' or non-believers. i think unless this mindset is changed, the whole world is in trouble. it is up to the muslim leaders to inculcate a spirit of tolerance in their masses. islam itself is a very intolerant religion. history is replete with instances wherein conquering arabs have destroyed even places of worship of other religions and have forcibly converted others to their religion. muslims must wake up and accept the fact that insults to their religion, real or perceived, must be dealt with in a peaceful and democratic manner. they could have taken the newspaper to court to register their protest.
having said this, i believe that freedom of expression does not give us the license to antagonise a whole group of people. like others have said on this forum, positive aspects of their prophet and religion ought to have been highlighted as well. the west ought to deal with the sources of hatred, i.e the religious leaders. it must be stressed that muslims must be taught to respect the rights of other co-habitants on this planet. their policies of isolationalism and seclusion will not hold water anymore. the US must impress upon the govt.s in the gulf and other islamic countries that attention ought to be paid to the economic development of their people. the world must continue to try to embrace muslims , welcome them into their societies. we will be wounded time and again, but there is no other alternative. we must try to change the mindset of muslims, for there is no other choice...

Posted by: satyameva jayate | February 9, 2006 10:56 PM

keep going, ErrinF, the world needs more of your kind. keep the faith...

Posted by: satyameva jayate | February 9, 2006 10:59 PM

Is it just me or does Islam have its priorities a bit screwed up? I'm beginning to get less and less hopeful about peaceful coexistence -D.

That's the problem. These are people screwing up, making a mess of things. And, you've single handedly managed to villify a religion at the hands of a relatively small percentage of the billion Muslims in the world. So your ideas, and the ideas of others who share your viewpoint are standing in the way of peaceful coexistence. You know how many Muslims there are in the world that aren't supporting the violent protestations? Who are decrying them as betrayals of the religion and of the Prophet whom these people profess to be defending??? If peaceful coexistence was something you were hoping for, I'd think you'd be more diligent in forming an opinion.

If I blamed Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism,etc, for every one of their members' assholes, we'd be hard pressed to find any religion with its priorities straight. Don't you think. When we try people in our courts, we don't ask them what their religion is, do we?

Posted by: gkc | February 9, 2006 11:02 PM

"So, combine a marginalized and unassimilated Muslim poplution, a couple of wily Imams looking to foment a little unrest and a religion that doesn't necessarily shy away from the use of physical intimidation, throw in a couple of "offensive" cartoons and you're all good to go"

Better watch it D. Say something that "liberal" and the next thing you'll hear is Chris Ford accusing you of just wanting to give them therapy. But I believe you are correct.

The silence of the moderates must be addressed if we are to have any kind of reasonable outcome in the ME. Yet I notice almost no mention on this blog of a few really important things, like we invaded one of their countries on made up charges and in the invasion killed twice as many innocent Iraqis as innocent Amricans who died on 911. And if that invasion had gone better we'd have been in Syria long ago. If losing 3000 sent us on a tear of shock and awe in the ME and then started a rampage to remake their countries into our image, should their reaction to losing 6000 innocent Iraqis from American bombs in the invasion of Baghdad be sweetness and joy?

We told them they're either with us or against us. But I believe they wish to be neither. Would you be with a country intent on "freeing" us from the evil neocons and remaking our neighborhood in their image? But they really don't want to cast their lot with OBL and the fanatics either.

So they remain silent.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | February 9, 2006 11:17 PM

Gkc:11:56 2/9 - "And, someone wrote that Muslims believe you're not worthy of life if you don't believe in Muhammad. I really WOULD like to know where these preposterous proclamations about Islam are coming from."

Ummmm, ever read the Qu'ran or study history?

The "instructions" of the Holy Qu'ran, the literal, unmodifiable and absolute word of Allah, Blessed be His Name - is: Infidels may be killed, they may be enslaved, they may be allowed to become Dhimmis, they may be allowed to covert.

The killing part is discretionary. No sin attaches if a Muslim elects to dispatch infidels in Holy Jihad, instead of take them prisoner, and the enslavement and rape of captive women is also "halal" - clean and legitimate activity.

Christians and Jews in Muslim countries have never been allowed to live freely and equally there. There are always pogroms, and even in peace, a political 2nd class citizenship is forced on non-Muslims.

ErrinF continues her fatuous argument:

"Jon M, the majority of Muslims don't blow themselves up in a jihad against the West."

Well, duuuh, Errin! The majority of Communists had absolutely no involvement in the liquidations of 80 million people in Communism's name in the 20th Century. The average Nazi only wanted peace and a decent life for their family, plus a little lebensraum, and never had his hands firtied by physical participation in the Holocaust. The vast majority of the moderate Hutu people had no direct role in the genocide to the Tutsis.

What the majority "feels" in any war is absolutely irrelevant if they cede power to a minority of killers by their silence and acquiescence. It is only when the "moderate" Nazis, Japs, Commies, Islamoids pay a price for going along with the extremists that they are willing to mount opposition. Right now, there is little or no consequence for "the vast majority of moderates in the Religion of Peace" for refusing speak out against Islamoids, every reason not to for fear of death. They fear the terrorist enemy more than they fear those fighting terrorism.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 9, 2006 11:32 PM

Of course, most newspapers and magazines won't publish the cartoons. After all, who wants to be firebombed?

But, please, no more hypocrisy and editorials about free speech.

Just admit that the editors are too scared to publish.

Posted by: Felix | February 10, 2006 03:04 AM

Certain Buddhist practitioners may eschew the destruction of any living thing. Yet they do not protest that others may not adhere to their practices. Theirs is a belief system of acceptance and tolerance. It seems to recognize that all humans may not see their light.
This is only relevant in that it tends to emphasize the relationship of any religion to non-practitioners. None can enforce its particular values and practices on those who are not adherents.

Posted by: Jazzman | February 10, 2006 06:44 AM

Bottom line: the Islamic leaders after their December meeting in Mecca (after the Egyptian paper had run the cartoons during Ramadan with no effect) decided to turn this into a "US (Islamic fundamentalist religion) agaisnt the world" instead of what it actually was "an acceptable consequence of living in a free, open, and liberal society". They fear a free, open, and liberal society, b/c that would expose their medival ways of Controlling the masses, in this case Islamic base.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 10, 2006 09:35 AM

A man runs into a newspaper editor's office and cries "Have I got a cartoon for you!" He shows the editor a cartoon of Mohammed making sweet love to the Statue of Liberty (and possibly a camel). "That's disgusting!" cries the editor, "What is it called?"

"The Islamocrats"

Posted by: Turnabout | February 10, 2006 09:51 AM

patriot1957 said - :We need for imams to speak up and say terrorism is wrong. We need for moderate Muslims to stand up and say terrorism is wrong."

So true, so true. But the silence has been defeaning, hasn't it?

___________________________________________

FYI: In the last quarter of 2005, there was a Symposium of Muslim Scholars held in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt sponsored by Dubai-based IQRAA television. Over 30 Muslims scholars from around the world and from every Middle Eastern country and from every other continent except Australia and Antarctica. It was a 2-day long event, and ran all-day long both in English and in Arabic. It was a HUGE deal--- they not only defined terrorism, but gave a unanimous judgment on its being against the teachings of Islam. Then, they gave its symptoms and causes, including lashing out at Middle Eastern governments, which is highly taboo!

We have the DISH network so I was surprised to see it and thrilled that it was translated into English and that there was such unanimous support from Muslim leaders against terrorism and fundamentalist Islam. I looked all over for press coverage of it--- figured the US would be all over that to bridge the gap. SURPRISE--- nothing. Not a word.

So, the deafening silence isn't attributable to the lack of voices. It's clearly that there are too many socio-economic problems in some of these Muslim communities that they roll their eyes at their religious authorities.

Posted by: gkc | February 10, 2006 10:15 AM

Looks like the press is caving. Pity.

http://www.michellemalkin.com/

Posted by: D. | February 10, 2006 10:36 AM

This is only the beginning: Today the Islamic Leaders have learned a little organized violence and burning of Embassies results in Censorship.....Tomorrow they learn a nuclear attack on a major European or US city and they will be able to control the world.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 10, 2006 10:40 AM

Well, all that talk about reaching out to the Moderate Muslims is all for nought, I guess. It's always a good idea to appease Fanatics. Chamberlain taught us that. Wait...

Posted by: Will | February 10, 2006 10:47 AM

The "instructions" of the Holy Qu'ran, the literal, unmodifiable and absolute word of Allah, Blessed be His Name - is: Infidels may be killed, they may be enslaved, they may be allowed to become Dhimmis, they may be allowed to covert.

The killing part is discretionary. No sin attaches if a Muslim elects to dispatch infidels in Holy Jihad, instead of take them prisoner, and the enslavement and rape of captive women is also "halal" - clean and legitimate activity. -Chris Ford

You're kidding, right? You're the new scholar on the block regarding Islamic law? Ummm... it's obvious you've been taking opinions as fact and its leading to your own, unwitting or not, ignorance. Worse yet, you're proliferating your ignorance as though it carries some authority. As a matter of fact, I have studied and read about not only Islamic history and the Quran, and I will say that it is against Islamic law to rape anyone, "infidel" or not. Furthermore, it is within the code of Islamic law, that during battle, women, children, and elderly people are to be left alone, and the pillaging of nature just for the sake of pillaging is forbidden.

You can insult individuals-- Muslims who deny these laws with ignorance or miseducation, but don't parade around like you have an inkling of knowledge about the Islamic faith.

There is one passage in Quran that DOES instruct the Muslims to kill their enemies--- it was unsettling when I read it (just as many other verse in religious texts are unnerving- i.e. sodomy and incest in the Bible). If you stop reading right there you won't understand that that verse is in the context of a battle that was taking place between the Meccans and the Muslims. It also goes on the state that if you take captives, be having mercy is a better choice for you.

It always pisses me off when Muslim scholars come on shows like Oprah with the tagline, "Islam is only peace." No, it's not. Give me one religious text that doesn't discuss the laws of war. Give me one country that doesn't have laws of war. The difference is that within Islamic law there are CLEARLY defined laws that demand humanity. The myopic view, of which I'm seeing the large majority of on this site, is that Muslim countries today are engaging in that "Islamic law," which apparently has made all of you experts on it. That's total bullshit. Those Muslims countries are corrupting and inventing laws that are completely unislamic--- probably the single greatest source of this breed of Islamic fundamentalism.

And everyone keeps talking about the lack of Muslim moderate voices. There are plenty of them--- but loudmouth "experts" on the religion will have none of them.

Intelligence isn't what words you write with--- it's the knowledge and truth behind those words. Get it straight.

Posted by: gkc | February 10, 2006 10:49 AM

that's what he's used to...


like when drivebys were the norm in DC....


and Georgetown wasn't safe to shop in...


that norm, that's what he's used to..

Posted by: he's talking about politics as usual during the Marion Barry years... | February 10, 2006 11:21 AM

Who cares about the cartoons (the Cartoooon controversy) Is it really that important??!?! Is it going to stop my life and make me ponder the deeper aspects of the sociological and cultural divides that exist between us and different countries around the world??!? No. I don't have time to worry about that. What I would like to know however, is who is killing the poor Iraqi people and why!

Posted by: John | February 10, 2006 11:22 AM

gkc-

"It always pisses me off when Muslim scholars come on shows like Oprah with the tagline, "Islam is only peace." No, it's not. Give me one religious text that doesn't discuss the laws of war. Give me one country that doesn't have laws of war. The difference is that within Islamic law there are CLEARLY defined laws that demand humanity. The myopic view, of which I'm seeing the large majority of on this site, is that Muslim countries today are engaging in that "Islamic law," which apparently has made all of you experts on it. That's total bullshit. Those Muslims countries are corrupting and inventing laws that are completely unislamic--- probably the single greatest source of this breed of Islamic fundamentalism."

Frankly, I doubt many of the Islamic Scholars in the Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who have spent their entire lives reading and interpreting Islamic Texts would espouse your view: That *you* understand Islamic law better than them because you've "studied and read about not only Islamic history and the Quran..."

Not that it matters. You will have a hard time finding a "Christian" country that stones homosexuals, which may or may not be a literal interpretation of the bible, but you don't have to go far to find Islamic countries that do, literally, cut off people's hands in accordance with Islamic law.

So who cares what YOUR interpretation of Shari'ah law is? Are you a member of the Saudi royal family? Do you influence the Islamic Judicial system? Do they ask you for your input on what constitutes the "real" Islam?

Posted by: Will | February 10, 2006 11:27 AM

by a general...


that the "truth" came to him in a dream in which the "Angel Gabriel" spoke to him...


sounds kind of new agey to me....


and the christian religion? the new testament, most of it was penned 150 years after the passing of jesus christo....the bible created by the ROMAN Emporer Constantine to legitimize his usurping the christian movenment from being self-moderating to need ROMAN APPROVAL, sort of like the fundamentalist movements mandate....

"do you know christ?"

well, no and neither do you....you know ROME's version....why do you think he's nailed to a stick as the prevalent image?


I don't think any master would want you worshipping his image...

that's the antithesis of his teachings, although

"jesus died for your sins, send me money"

falwell, oral roberts, pat robertson, the bushes, cheyney, delay, Jim Baker

seems to work well....when you are born into sin,

and who tell you that to explain why they're taking advantage of you?

the abusive husband....ha ha ha...


your kind of leader....


challenge me and it's a national security issue.

Posted by: The muslims need to address the fact that the "faith" was conceived as a tool | February 10, 2006 11:39 AM

Will... You're getting all riled up and defending a position that I'm not disagreeing with. You just reiterated what I've said about how f**ked up the Saudis and other ME governments are. The thing is--- the Saudis don't have a leg to stand on with some of their laws--- interpetation is completely different from creation and in many cases the laws are betraying very clear dictates of Islamic law. And, really... you think the King of Saudi Arabia has spent his life reading the Quran and Islamic texts. He was busy canoodling with his oil compatriots, forbidding women from getting jobs and educations--- a clear betrayal of many of the most celebrated female figures in Islamic history. As much as old-school Arab men hate to admit.

I wasn't arguing with you about the horrors of the ME--- (I wasn't really even arguing with YOU in the first place!). What I was taking issue with is the plethora of people on this site who spout out erroneous and preposterous pronounciations about what Muslims believe. These are the same venomous interpretations that groups like Al-Qaida are forming. For those who think that Islam REALLY espouses "raping infidel women" and indiscriminate killing of those who don't believe in Islam... they're spreading the same deleterious hatred that fundamental Islamists are spreading. Gotta make a distinction between what is fact and fiction here.

So... MY interpretation of what I believe to be Islamic law is entirely relevant. I doubt I'm the only person in the world who believes that every Muslim on earth is seeking the death of a non-Muslim. That's certainly relevant, even if I can't sway the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If you think that swaying powerful people to believe what you believe is a criteria for relevance, then damn us all. We're almost certainly all screwed then!

Posted by: gkc | February 10, 2006 11:45 AM

I doubt I'm the only person in the world who believes that every Muslim on earth is seeking the death of a non-Muslim.

Obviously, I left out the word "NOT!"

I doubt I'm the only person in the world who believes that every Muslim on earth is NOT seeking the death of a non-Muslim.

Posted by: gkc | February 10, 2006 11:47 AM

that's what he's used to...

like when drivebys were the norm in DC....

and Georgetown wasn't safe to shop in...

that norm, that's what he's used to..

Posted by: he's talking about politics as usual during the Marion Barry years... | Feb 10, 2006 11:21:06 AM

Blogging as haiku?

Posted by: | February 10, 2006 11:49 AM

ErinnF:

"The problem with denying the Holocaust and portraying Muhammad is that the offended Muslims do not want a world where people are free to do both. They want a world where you may not portray the prophet but you may deny the Holocaust."

This is the PROBLEM! Read the columns of Kraut and Kinsley. They are RIGHT on.

You keep saying I twist arguments without saying how I am doing so. I merely stated you were the only person on this site to say Muslims were "viscious beasts". You are the hysterical one!

And if others approach a level of concern or hostility that you deem "islamophobic," don't infer that I do.

Muslim moderates talk of sensitivity for all religions, but as Kraut points out:

"Have any of these "moderates" ever protested the grotesque caricatures of Christians and, most especially, Jews that are broadcast throughout the Middle East on a daily basis? The sermons on Palestinian TV that refer to Jews as the sons of pigs and monkeys? The Syrian prime-time TV series that shows rabbis slaughtering a gentile boy to ritually consume his blood? The 41-part (!) series on Egyptian TV based on that anti-Semitic czarist forgery (and inspiration of the Nazis), "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," showing the Jews to be engaged in a century-old conspiracy to control the world?"

I think not.

Posted by: Jon M | February 10, 2006 12:00 PM

"Will... You're getting all riled up and defending a position that I'm not disagreeing with. You just reiterated what I've said about how f**ked up the Saudis and other ME governments are. The thing is--- the Saudis don't have a leg to stand on with some of their laws--- interpetation is completely different from creation and in many cases the laws are betraying very clear dictates of Islamic law. And, really... you think the King of Saudi Arabia has spent his life reading the Quran and Islamic texts. He was busy canoodling with his oil compatriots, forbidding women from getting jobs and educations--- a clear betrayal of many of the most celebrated female figures in Islamic history. As much as old-school Arab men hate to admit."

Right, and your reading of the Qu'ran is exemplorary? Women are not supposed to work under Islamic Law and they are inferior: [4:34] Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them.

You are welcome to disagree with the interpretation.

Posted by: Will | February 10, 2006 12:04 PM

so it doesn't get read...


people don't understand that communication is based upon evokation....


semantics, stored connections to word-events


to play the instrument of other, you must reach the strings...

condensation of relevance, drops of perfume in the mists of stagnancy...

Posted by: Most people construct their written work, | February 10, 2006 12:15 PM

maturity, is based upon unalloyed perception of "what is happening"

"clear light" tibetan buddhist

"now" tolle

"union" angelic/mystic christian

"emptiness" buddha

"in the embrace of the friend" islam, rumi

the ability to stand and percieve without a personal story that needs validation.

the "self" that needs to be eradicated is the self that interprets events from the perspective of personal history....whether encultured or experienced as a limited viewpoint...

each facet of a crystal is a face on a single truth

Posted by: primitives debating the mores of other primitives... | February 10, 2006 12:22 PM

Here is more evidence that women must sumit to men:

http://www.bible.ca/marriage/submission-in-all-things.htm

Whoops, my bad. Sorry, those are from the Bible, not the Quran

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 10, 2006 12:25 PM

"Islam is the religion of peace"
"No, it isn't!"

"The Koran says you can kill infidels"
"No it doesn't!"

Back and forth, back and forth... STOP.

I think we can all agree that this "tempest in a teapot" was orchestrated by radical imans for their own purposes. Now, as a practical matter, what can the West do to protect their civil liberties and still be courteous towards religious sensitivites?

(BTW, I find it amazing that peole are yelling about Muslims infringing on our civil liberties when the Bush Adminstration does the same damn thing every day.)

Posted by: wiccan | February 10, 2006 12:38 PM

If a dog runs up to you, growling and baring its teeth, what do you do? If you run, he will certainly give chase. If you stand your ground, you have a 50/50 chance he may backdown.

If a group of extremists threaten violence unless you do as they wish, do you acquiesce and hope that next time they'll be a little more reasonable? Or do you stand your ground and say, sorry, this is a fundamental right in my society and I refuse to relinquish it and then prepare to endure the fallout of your decision.

Ultimately, thats what we face here. At what point do you stick out your hand and say "enough"

"Civilizations are not murdered, the commit suicide" -Toynbee

Posted by: D. | February 10, 2006 12:44 PM

patriot-

What does that have to do with Islam?

Posted by: Will | February 10, 2006 12:48 PM

Will, you still haven't provided evidence that "women are not supposed to work under Islamic Law and they are inferior."

If you MUST dissect the Quran- go ahead. It seems rather senseless. Are we dissecting the Torah and the Bible for things that we disagree upon, or things that cause any religious fundamentalist from crime or terror?

As for interpretation--- the most widely circulated quran is the one translated by Yusuf Ali with commentary. It is in both English and Arabic. That "Men are in charge of women..." doesn't appear that way here. He explains that the Arabic word, "Qawwam," means "one who stands firm in another's business, protects his interests, and looks into his affairs: or it may be, standing firm in his own business, managing affairs, with a steady purpose." The verse is translated: "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, Because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other..." and I could take issue with the rest but it's not worth it.

This is not a new argument--- the interpretation of the Quran, and the Bible, and the Torah, and on and on. It's really irrelevant. I mean, you really want to argue about whether or not the majority of men are stronger than women, or most men support their wives. And hasn't the whole "love, honor and obey" thing been argued to death.

I'm going to stop right here. This is a waste of time. I began with the intent of engaging in a conversation--- tit-for-tat arguments have no utility. Scrutinizing Muslims and their religion is about as effective as fundamentalist Muslims scrutinizing Christians and the Bible. Doesn't come to much at the end of the day.

Good luck to everyone. No ill-will on my part.

Posted by: gkc | February 10, 2006 12:49 PM

Will you are correct. The holy book of this religion portrays it as a violence and intolerance filled faith. We must be very wary and crush them before they spread their violence around the world.


Do not allow others to worship a different god. Conquer them and destroy their religious property.

If a man has sex with another man, kill them both.

Handicapped people cannot approach the altar of God. They would "profane" it.

Anyone who blasphemes or curses shall be stoned to death by the entire community.

All nations shall be terrorized by the followers of our God.

Don't associate with non-believers. Don't receive them into your house or even exchange greeting with them.

In case you wish to check these references, here are the citations.

23:24 Exodus
20:13 Leviticus
21:16-23 Leviticus
24:16 Leviticus
2:25 Deuteronomy
10 2John

New testament too:
Peter claims that Dt.18:18-19 refers to Jesus, saying that those who refuse to follow him (all non-Christians) must be killed. 3:23 Act

There's lots more there. But I think you get the gist.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 10, 2006 12:49 PM

patriot- I'm certainly no authority on either the Bible or the Koran but if understand correctly, the judeo-christian faith belives that these admonitions are spoken by God through man. Man is acknowledged by these faiths to be flawed, therefore the interpretation and application of these admonitions can vary or even be discarded as time and society progresses. Certain tenants are absolute but the faith as a whole leaves room for evolution (how ironic!). Islam, as I understand it, believes the Koran is the literal word of God, there is no "wiggle room".

Again, out of my depth here so take my comments for what they are worth.

Posted by: D. | February 10, 2006 01:08 PM

Patriot: Acts 3:23 "And every soul who does not give attention to that prophet, will be cut off from among the people." (BBE)

Yeah, this is a great comparison. Give me a break.

This is supposed to trump Christ's message of loving one's enemies and turning your cheek on violence?

But when did this become a battle of religions? The Danish paper (and the country for that matter) is secular.

Lets not forget what this debate is supposed to be about.

Tens of thousands of young me commiting atrocities and mayhem over cartoons. It would be nice to see a peaceful protest condemning the bombing of Madrid and London, or 9-11/. Why have we not seen that?

40% of BRITISH Muslims have a favorable view of Osama Bin Laden. Not radical at all....

Posted by: | February 10, 2006 01:27 PM

Thanks wiccan!

D, you were expecting critical and intelligent thought from Malkin? Its about like expecting the same thing from Chomsky. I do read George Will, one of the few conservatives who didn't sell his soul in the last election. But what scares the hell out of me is that Pat Buchannan is making sense these days - the apocalypse must be near! Terror sure makes strange bedfellows. http://www.amconmag.com/2006/2006_02_13/buchanan.html

Buchannan is asking the same questions you are, and gkc and others. Who is benefitting from riling up the fundamentalist Muslims against the west, and who is benefitting from riling up Americans against Muslims. Why was there no public acknowledgement of the moderate Islamic summit? That's a question that merits addressing.

The assertion that someone made that we'd make the moderates rise to beg for peace by slamming down our heavy fist flies in the face of logic. When the Afghans couldn't take war anymore they accepted the Taliban, not the Russians. If we continue down our current path to a legal dictatorship, if were invaded to free us from the neocons we'd call our insurgency "freedom fighters". Blood is thicker than water. If they are getting bombed by both sides, they won't pick ours to side with.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 10, 2006 01:46 PM

gkc-

"If you MUST dissect the Quran- go ahead. It seems rather senseless. Are we dissecting the Torah and the Bible for things that we disagree upon, or things that cause any religious fundamentalist from crime or terror?"

No, we are not dissecting the Bible because countries that happen to have majority Christian populations also have constitutions that prevent Biblical Law from being enacted. This is what we, in the west, call Separation of Church and State.

Because this wall does not exist in the Islamic political/religious world, "dissecting" the Qur'an is a vital means of finding out the political motivations of Islamic governments and/or Islamic people.

"This is not a new argument--- the interpretation of the Quran, and the Bible, and the Torah, and on and on. It's really irrelevant. I mean, you really want to argue about whether or not the majority of men are stronger than women, or most men support their wives. And hasn't the whole "love, honor and obey" thing been argued to death."

No, it is not irrelevant. The Bible and Torah are irrelevant, because there are not "Biblical" states anymore. The Qur'an is relevant, because there are "Islamic" states right now. Even apologistic interpretations make clear the heirarchy. There are a number of explicit distinctions between men and women in the Qur'an which are used, by Saudi lawmakers for instance, to subject women. You can complain about their misuse of scripture all you want, the interpretation is there.

"I'm going to stop right here. This is a waste of time. I began with the intent of engaging in a conversation--- tit-for-tat arguments have no utility. Scrutinizing Muslims and their religion is about as effective as fundamentalist Muslims scrutinizing Christians and the Bible."

So scrutinizing how large portions of the Islamic religion, particularly sovereign Islamic governments, interpret the Qur'an is off-limits?

I appreciate your interpretation of things, and I wish more people agreed with you. As it stands, millions suffer in silence because your interpretation does not hold popular office in Middle Eastern governments. Why do these moderate Muslims keep voting in people who "misinterpret" their own religion?

"Will you are correct. The holy book of this religion portrays it as a violence and intolerance filled faith. We must be very wary and crush them before they spread their violence around the world."

What does this have to do with Islam?

As a matter of fact the Post-Christian west DID dispose of the hateful religion of Christianity, but removing it from the public sphere all together. We now have a constitution that explicitly forbids Religious sects from excercising their religious laws over others.

In the United States, Democratic Laws like "Thou Shalt Not Kill People Just Because They are Homosexuals" supercede any/all Biblical laws.

In Islamic countries the Qur'an, which is, literally translated, just as crazy as any other religion, is the *BASIS* for their legal/political/social structure. This is an important difference between the West and Islam.

This is not about measuring the size of each other's religions. I don't care about Christianity, nor do I have to because I live in a country that protects my right not to do so. The same rights are not afforded members of Islamic societies. This is strange, no?

Posted by: Will | February 10, 2006 01:47 PM

Posted by: | February 10, 2006 01:55 PM

To anonymous -
"This is supposed to trump Christ's message of loving one's enemies and turning your cheek on violence? "

No. The message that has trumped your Christian doctrine is that we must trump up false charges against another nation so we can whomp them with shock and awe, incite fear and hatred in the masses to trump up support for further expanding that war, and slap our enemie's cheek by reprinting hurtful images just to show then Goliath is still bigger than they are. We are indeed not a Christian nation, one that wars justly in true self defense.

The more I read on this blog the more I grasp that we are being orchestrated into a hate campaign against Islam, not a fight against the fundamentalist terrorists. And the "Muslim moderates" feel it too. We tell them they are either with us or against us, and then drop bombs on their kin and go on blogs like this and call them animals. Guess what, they're not with us.

The Christian notion that the Judeo-Christian Bible was written by men "interpreting" the word of God is a relatively new one, and even the US is full of "bible" based churches that indeed believe the Bible is the literal word of God. This notion that every Muslim MUST live a literal interpretation of the Koran is bull that is being flung at you to to fan the flames of fear and hatred against Islam. There are today, on this planet, secular Muslim countries, even democracies.

The more and more I read, the more and more I come to understand the extent to which we are being manipulated by both sides. First it was fear of WMD, then fear of 9-11. Now that people are seeing through these, its milking a xenophobia against an entire religion to control us and get us to support an imperialistic foreign policy.

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 10, 2006 02:07 PM

Posted by: | February 10, 2006 02:44 PM


"And immediately, the Holy Father, in his beautiful calm but clear way, said well, there's a fundamental problem with that, because, he said, in the Islamic tradition God has given his word to Muhammad, but it's an eternal word. It's not Muhammad's word."

In contrast, the pope said, according to Fessio, there's "an inner logic to the Christian Bible, which permits it and requires it to be adapted and applied to new situations."

Posted by: D. | February 10, 2006 02:50 PM

The rise of fundamentalism is happening all over the world, not just the ME. One has only to look right here at home and the Christo-fascist world Pat Robertson would like to impose on us. The world very much has a pre-WWII feel to it. Maybe some scholar among you has some idea what the similarities are between the two time periods that would re-create such a time warp.

But in the US they're only praying for SCOTUS justices to die, not killing them (yet). Our extremists are only bombing/killing hundreds and doing so at home. Theirs are killing thousands, and exporting it.

What is life really like for a modern non-terrorist muslim? How do they perceive the West? Their own governments? Their path to the future? Are they really more powerful than the fundamentalist "evangelicals" who funded and sustained Bush in the last election (who, as wiccan above said, aren't yet holding Bush's toes to the fire yet for his "parsing" of the truth either? What do they fear more? Being dominated by a secular, often debased and immoral Western "value", or living under a fundamentalist despotic Shariah? Why do they have to choose A or B?

But we can't have this discussion, can we, becaue it would be "nuanced". And America by all appearances is allergic to "nuance". Let's just bomb them back to the stone age or topple their governments in favor of our friends and be done with it.

Posted by: | February 10, 2006 03:09 PM

you remember that a few hundred years ago,

disagreeing with the Pope, could get you drawn and quartered, burned at the stake...


and if you were Joan of Arc, used, abandoned, and burned at the stake as a heritic....


maturation is a process, not an "aha."

Posted by: AS LONG AS...... | February 10, 2006 03:13 PM

you remember that a few hundred years ago,
disagreeing with the Pope, could get you drawn and quartered, burned at the stake...
and if you were Joan of Arc, used, abandoned, and burned at the stake as a heritic....

maturation is a process, not an "aha."
==================================

Yes but did they have the internet back then? No. Modern Technology should allow us to realize how destructive a medival philosophy is, and hopefully find ways to stop it from enduring.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 10, 2006 03:20 PM

Thanks for hinting to my blog as breaking this news about the cartoons. It is me who brought this important story to the attention of the whole world. It simply shows the amount of hypocrisy in the undemocratic world as well as the magnitude of destruction that can be caused of unelected governments.

Egyptian Blogger, Freedom for Egyptians
http://freedomforegyptians.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Freedom for Egyptians | February 10, 2006 03:40 PM

Egyptian blogger - are you in Egypt of DC? I confess to an ignorance of life in Egypt. Do most average Egyptians have internet access, and can they freely access the internet and blog with impunity? Or is it controlled like China?

Posted by: patriot1957 | February 10, 2006 04:22 PM

The sheep are very good at carrying out their leaders message:

"Freedom of Expression is Western Terrorism"

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 10, 2006 04:22 PM

jeff wismer - huh?

Posted by: | February 10, 2006 04:25 PM

I got that from a Sign a muslim was carrying in Kenya

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 10, 2006 04:27 PM

I wrote: The fact is as a group, Arab Muslims can't get along with Hindus, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, or even each other. They always have a sane reason for an insane response.

Errin quoted me and wrote to Jon: Ya, Jon M, nobody here is guilty of Islamophobia! GMAFB! My objectivity is fine; It is your inability to stick to facts and instead rely on misrepresentations that is the problem.

ErrinF, since you are such a gifted intellectual and concerned only with the facts, perhaps you would like to point out factually which of the above religions the Islamic faithful have not conducted repeated, world wide, recent, and continuous acts of violence against?

Oh by the way "Islamophibia" is so clever. How did you ever think that up?

Posted by: Rod | February 10, 2006 04:49 PM

I think there may be the opportunity here for a "teaching moment." US media should have a discussion of how different societies deal with viewpoints or images or religions they don't like.

The program would point out Arab and Iranian media treatment of Christians and Jews. e.g., Muslim intolerance, as well as Holocaust denial. It would point to the incitement to hatred when images such Jews eating babies of other faiths is aired.

The discussion could show how western media on the whole (1) try to stick with facts, (2) doesn't prevent artists and cartoonists from showing very insulting imagery of Christian icons and viewpoints, and would discuss why free speech is preferable to the alternative, why the founders made freedom of speech a foundation of the Constitution. I would also get into separation of church and state.

In this context, the cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban was a political comment: what it said was, to what extent are some Islamists so intolerant of others that they will burn and kill because such an image was shown. And I would certainly point out that the behaviour after the cartoon showed that there may have been some reality in what the cartoonist was depicting.

I would recommend that perhaps the Muslim world could benefit from some free speech itself, and that the failure of the Muslim world to succeed in today's modern world may have something to do with the intolerance in their own societies.

Posted by: John | February 10, 2006 05:25 PM

Past Hypocrisy:
Pictures of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung are deemed suitable for publication, as are photos of a Catholic crucifix submerged in urine and a gangsta-rapper as a persecuted Jesus Christ. When Christians objected, they were scorned as ignorant bigots who were trying to impose their religious beliefs upon others.

Present Hypocrisy:
Political cartoons targeting Mohammed are NOT deemed suitable for publication because they offend the "delicate sensibilities" of one of the most violent and repressive religions on the fact of the earth. Instead, those who are rioting in the "Arab street," burning embassies, and issuing death threats are described as members of a "religion of peace," placated and pandered to by western media outlets cowering in fear that they might be the next target.

In particular, the once-mighty Washington Post that had the courage and temerity to confront the executive branch of the United States government, demanding that it be held accountable for its actions, now sinks on bended knees before the altar of Allah in the name of political correctness and craven cowardice: so much for the journalistic standards and principles of Katherine Graham and Bill Bradlee.

Future Hypocrisy:
When the NYT is held accountable -- and it will be -- for publishing classified documents compromising national security, the Washington Post will defend that paper's actions on the First Amendment principle of the "public's right to know." It will claim that the government is attempting to censor the press and interfering with its Constitutional mandate to provide unrestricted information to the American people. It will, undoubtedly, use this case to further its agenda for a national shield law for journalists who, as we all know because the press says so, are the primary defenders of "truth, justice, and the American way."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, Danish colleagues of the Post are being forced into hiding due to death threats from members of the "religion of peace." Danish embassies are being burned and the most vitriolic attacks are unleashed against Jews and Israel, Christians and Americans as Muslims demand the imposition of Sharia and censorship on the free societies of the West.

When they demand the stoning of adulterous women, when they demand females submit to the burka, when they demand the next "special rule for special people," will the Post and its compadres stand up and say no? Fat chance.

Posted by: Chrislynn | February 11, 2006 09:12 AM

Danish paper cancels plans to republish cartoons about Israel
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/680615.html
So much for the claim that this was purely an issue of freedom of the press.

Danish paper rejected Jesus cartoons
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1703501,00.html
This ends the claim that this is a free-speech issue.

Danish Paper won't run Holocaust cartoons
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1139395370665&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
A prominent Iranian newspaper has said it would hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust to test whether the West extends the principle of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide as it did to the Muhammad caricatures.

Bush Calls for Halt to Violent Cartoon Riots
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=a5v0RgUvjYEM&refer=us
That should do it, no? Not like George WMD Bush has the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent muslims or anything!

Posted by: "Death to America, Death to Israel." | February 11, 2006 10:34 AM

=======================================
I doubt I'm the only person in the world who believes that every Muslim on earth is NOT seeking the death of a non-Muslim.
Posted by: gkc | Feb 10, 2006 11:47:15 AM
=======================================

You are not the only person who believes that. I don't even think a majority is so seeking..

=======================================
I'm going to stop right here. This is a waste of time. I began with the intent of engaging in a conversation--- tit-for-tat arguments have no utility. Scrutinizing Muslims and their religion is about as effective as fundamentalist Muslims scrutinizing Christians and the Bible. Doesn't come to much at the end of the day.
=======================================

I hope you don't stop. I have some questions you may shed some light on.
We have some terms here that need a clearer explanation. Quran or Koran, Sharia, Islamic Law.
1. I assume the Quran/Koran is a basic religious text similar in function as the Torah is to the Jews, the bible to Christians. None were written for the purpose of establishing Law per se; although I suppose one could take the 10 Commandments as an example to the contrary.
2. What is Sharia actually? Is it a separate text defining laws based on interpretations of the Koran? Is it singular across the Muslim world, or does each nation have its own Sharia? In either case by what process are these laws developed and written? Who executes the process and under what authority structure? Is it comprehensive or does it coexist with secular national law? If the latter, how would conflicts between the two be resolved?
3. What is Islamic law? Is this yet another name for Sharia, or what? Is their a body of Islamic law for all Muslims or does each nation have its own?
4. What books would you recommend for an overview of the development of government in Islamic nations over the past 50ish years and the history of Islam and its traditions?

Posted by: Cayambe | February 11, 2006 01:01 PM

Cayambe-

"I assume the Quran/Koran is a basic religious text similar in function as the Torah is to the Jews, the bible to Christians. None were written for the purpose of establishing Law per se; although I suppose one could take the 10 Commandments as an example to the contrary."

Though I cannot speak for the Bible or the Torah, I am fairly certain that the Qur'an explicitly states that it should be the political/economic/social framework of Islamic societies. The Qur'an does not discourage Democracy in so far as that Democracy leads to an Islamic state that follows Islamic law.

This is not my interpretation of the Qur'an. I think the University of Southern California's Compendium on the Koran has been an excellent resource for me. I encourage you to check it out at http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/reference/searchhadith.html

It is extremely forgiving of Islam because it is a compendium of Muslim Scholars' interpretation of Islam. It explains a lot of the misconceptions of Islam about Jihad and killing infidels, etc. as misinterpretations of Islam. Then again, it cannot deny that the Qur'an explicitly authorizes itself as the state and that Democracies, Kings, Laws, Social Networks, are all submissive to the Qur'an and the Sunnah (life of the Prophet)

Check it out for yourself.

Posted by: Will | February 11, 2006 02:02 PM

The fast way to end this violent reaction is to have every major paper in the non-muslim world publish the cartoons on the front page. If it is too hard to do, maybe one major paper should do this. This would end the violance as muslims see that not one country's press believes what the rioters are doing has anything to do with cartoons. The riots are started by governments and muslim clerics and other's who benefit from having the world see them as in control of their people and able to incite them to riot. Riots ARE incited on the ground, not by cartoons. It is easy to get a mob together and to riot over almost enything. Let's get going Washington Post!

Posted by: GeorgeW | February 11, 2006 11:20 PM

There is a bit of hypocrisy among some of the right wing bloggers/columnists. Only 2 months ago, they were fanning the flames of controversy, over the utterly contrived "War on Christmas". How soon we forget. Then, it was Christian fundamentalists who were complaining about having THEIR religious beliefs disrespected, and who threatened boycotts of stores that did not have "Christmas Sales", and who managed to become offended when people wished them "Happy Holidays" rather than Merry Christmas.

My reaction is consistant, both then and now:

1) This demonstrates yet again how easy it is for fools and ignoramuses to be whipped up into a frenzy by religious extremists.

2) The extremists who seek to exploit "red line" issues deserve no respect. Both the opportunistic agitators and their ersatz agendae ought to be simply sloughed aside by reasoning people.

3) In this case, since the images of Muhammad involves the press, the media has a moral obligation to show some depictions of Muhammad--even if not in the form of the Danaish cartoons-- to make the point that they are at the vanguard of ensuring that freedom of expression will persist in the West.

The Wsahington Post's policy on (not) publishing images of Muhammad is both craven and wrongheaded.

Posted by: Short Term Memory Loss | February 12, 2006 06:27 AM

Short Term Memory Loss

Your position may be consistent, I find the moral equivalence you draw just a little too PC.

We should applaud the so called Christian fundamentalists for exercising their rights in a legal and civilized manner, as we should applaud and respect those Muslims who participate in peacefull demonstrations and boycotts. These are appropriate methods of political expression, and are used by all advocate groups, both left and right. That's not the point.

The point being: It is not the emotion (outrage) that is the problem. It is the behavior (violence)that is. The so called "Religious Right" may be idiots, but nobody got murdered over the "War on Xmas".

In a way, for the American press to not publish these cartoons is a gesture of respect for Christians and an Insult to Muslims. It indicates that while the press trusts Christianity to behave in a mature and civilized manner, it is not so sure about the Islam.
That being said, you are right on the money in points 1, 2, and 3. More info is coming out that supports your conclusions.

Posted by: Rod | February 12, 2006 12:52 PM


I believe Islam is a hypocrytical religion. It goes into an outrage over any one offending their religion. I just read an article over 3 woman who were given a 15 year prison sentence for teaching children about Jesus through Sunday school books in Indonesia. What about all the Bibles they confiscate in Saudia Arab and other muslim countries.
All the thousands of people who are currenty in prison for choosing not to believe in Islam. Yet, they come to countries where freedom of expession is practiced and they get offended over Cartoons?
Give me a break!

Posted by: | February 13, 2006 11:42 AM

I respect Muslims, rather the ones that are not planning to kill me. But I respect free speech also, and not letting free speech be controlled by terror. I believe the Danish people should be proud to freely speak their minds, and I hope they do not let the terrorists take that right from them. Nobody is above any other person, and that includes Muslims, so they need to accept the world will insult them just as freely as they will respect them. I made a game using one of the Danish cartoons in response to this. Although the game starts with an introduction from their Prophet, with the turban and the bomb, it continues into a shooting gallery for the ones who gave their Prophet this bad image, such as Osama Bin Laden. The game is free, and can be found at my website, http://www.obber.com. It was created in good taste, and is not intended to promote any type of disrespect or hatred, but rather, to ensure that freedom is never taken away.

Posted by: Curtis Stone | February 14, 2006 04:32 AM

The Muslim faith does not allow pictures of prophets because it may lead to hero-worship or idolatry, which Islam forbids as a monotheistic faith.

This plus the fact that many of the caricatures in question were clearly derogatory and stereotypical depictions of the Prophet of Islam has offended not just Muslims but shocked many non-Muslims too who see it as unnecessary provocation that could have been avoided with simple journalistic integrity.

The American media has taken an admiringly mature stand against publishing the provocative cartoons.

Although the Danish newspaper that initially published the cartoons issued a public apology after causing widespread hurt and indignation among Muslims and millions of dollars in losses to the Danish economy as a result of the boycott, many newspapers in the European press reprinted the cartoons on the pretext of supporting freedom of speech, further adding to the growing irritation in Muslim communities across the globe.

Sadly, as the cartoons are recycled and reprinted, what had started as peaceful condemnation by Muslims of the pictorial and negative depiction of their most revered personality through worldwide rallies and a boycott of Danish goods has taken a violent turn in the recent days.

In Syria, the buildings housing the Danish and Norwegian embassy were set ablaze by protestors on 4 February. The very next day, the Danish consulate in Lebanon was torched.

In the light of these events, all of which focus on Muhammad (peace be upon him), the revered Prophet of Islam, whose life is taken to be the best example to emulate by his followers, The Silent Muslim finds it appropriate to review his life for instances of a similar nature.

What would Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Prophet of Islam, have done if he was insulted or hurt? What were the lessons he left behind for his followers?

During the initial phase of his mission of preaching the unity of God, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers were severely persecuted and tortured by the polytheists.

When his companions asked him to put a curse on the oppressors, the Prophet replied: "I have not been sent to curse men but to be a blessing to them."

The Holy Quran calls Muhammad (peace be upon him) "Mercy for the Worlds". His life demonstrates these virtues at every turn.

On his preaching mission to the polytheists in Taif, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not just humiliated and rejected verbally but chased out of the town by street urchins who stoned him till he bled profusely.

Yet, all he had to give back to this stone-hearted community was a wish and prayer that God may guide their offspring, if not them, to the path of righteousness. His prayer was subsequently answered with many of his illustrious followers tracing their roots to the city that had once chased him away.

The Prophet Muhammad's life is filled with heart-touching examples of patience, forbearance and forgiveness. He has been known to have never sought revenge on his own behalf, even once in his lifetime.

Those who truly love the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) need to react as he would have reacted in the situation Muslims find themselves in today. Peaceful dialogue and advocacy befits the Prophet's noble mission more than angry emotional outbursts, flag-burning and thoughtless violence in the name of Islam.

Because it was the Prophet Muhammad who taught that one should either speak good or be silent. And his teaching is binding on every one who believes in him.

Source:
http://thesilentmuslim.wordpress.com

Posted by: The Silent Muslim | February 14, 2006 05:30 PM

Muslims around the world DANCED in the streets when our Twin Towers came crashing down, but want to riot when a few cartoons are published....give me a break.

Publish them, and create more and email them to me, and I'll publish them on my blog!

Pinto Bean (beltwaypintobean@aol.com)
http://www.blogcharm.com/beltwaypintobeans/

http://pintobeans.iblogs.com/

Posted by: Pinto Bean | February 15, 2006 01:24 AM

To my friend Curious T,

I did think it was surprising that the Times would choose to be so blatant about its double standard by publishing the Virgin Mary artwork right in the middle of the controversy over the Mohammed cartoons, which it would not publish. I'm sure the Times has its reasons for printing the manure-clad Virgin Mary just as it has its reasons for keeping the Mohammed cartoons out of its pages. Each of those reasons may be perfectly valid, and I can also see how the Mary and Mohammed images aren't precisely parallel. Nonetheless, I still believe the timing drew attention to that double standard in a way that was "surprisingly blatant."

Anne Applebaum's characterization of it as the "hypocrisy of the cultural left" is her own. (Note that in the same article, Anne also went after right-wing blogs for their hypocrisy.) I happen to be a great admirer of her work, even though I don't always end up agreeing with her positions. I brought up her assessment that some papers were being hypocritical by not running the cartoons because I thought it was an important aspect of the Debate.

I'm guessing you agree at least that it's important to discuss that accusation, or else it wouldn't have bothered you so much. I really appreciate that you gave it so much thought. Thanks for asking, and sorry I didn't respond sooner. I look forward to reading more from you in future debates.

em

Posted by: Emily Messner | February 15, 2006 11:43 AM

Emily,
I thought that is exactly what you meant. I'm reassured my reading skills haven't completely fallen apart.

The open question is how the Grey Lady explains its apparently different policies for different religions? Perhaps they feel Christian feelings are not so "intense" as Muslim feelings.

Posted by: Cayambe | February 16, 2006 12:43 AM

It's the hypocrisy stupid! It isn't just the cartoons. Its the torture, the violence, the airstrikes, the terror. Saddam is rightly on trial for ordering the killing 148 Iraqi Civilians after an assassination attempt, but George WMD Bush is plotting an attack on Iran after ordering the killing of 250,000 Iraqi civilians because they tried to kill his dad. The same newspapers gleefully waving around the cartoons of the holy Prophet Mohammed in the name of free speech, don't publish photos of the caskets of US Troops returning home, of Iraqi "collateral damage", the Torture, the beatings, etc. The actions of the Zionist US Corporate State Controlled Media are those of traitors to the American people. I'm all for non violence but its getting to the point where the US Government and its Corporate Media should be tarred, feathered, and strung up on light posts! I hope Islam wins.

Posted by: 1613 days since WMD said he'd catch UBL 'Dead or Alive!' | February 16, 2006 08:19 AM

It is puzzling how the western media carefully sanitizes the news so as to not offend anyone. No dead American soldiers displayed on the front page, they are quietly swept off the pavement into body bags, and no one even notices anymore... Is the media thus sheltering us from the reality and the horror? Unpatriotic to do so? Is it any wonder that most now see Iraq as some giant harmless video game.

Probably the real reason is to not offend the advertisers, and the media owners?
This Danish newspaper has now lost all its advertisers, and as a result will probably go bust (No yoghurt sales to the Middle East)!

As to the cartoons they are not really offensive in themselves, it took months before others even noticed or cared. Everyone likes a good riot, and these cartoons just provided a badly needed vent valve to blow off some steam, what with being relentlessly whacked over the head by sleazy western culture everyday and Dubya mouthing off about his version of Democracy and Freedom.

This blog was pulled when the editors blew a few caskets when they couldn't handle the Spam and the uglier side of free speech, you know when it descends into personal attacks or knocks your religion into the trash bin!

Need another unprophetic cartoon:
http://spin-doctor.us/cartoon1.html

Posted by: Spin Doctor | February 19, 2006 08:03 AM

Surely the psychotic outburst throughout the Muslim world is about more than cartoons they did not approve of. The real problem is the possibility if not the probability that Muslims will now begin to exercise their muscle concerning written material they consider offensive to their religion and to themselves. Consider what has happened- a small Muslim minority in a small country in northern Europe has managed to intimidate "the free press" in Europe and in the United States. What they have done successfully is a start on the imposition of Muslim law, sharia, on peoples who did quite well without it for centuries- and they have succeeded with the acquiesence of the target countries.

Posted by: mhr | February 21, 2006 07:27 PM

My analysis: It depends on the medium. It's not news anymore so don't print it in the newspapers. It is history, so print it in any magazine or book concentrated on the topic.

Posted by: On the plantation | February 28, 2006 02:34 PM

Has anyone advanced the theory that the CIA was the force behind the Mosque that was bombed in Baghdad about a week ago?

Has all the earmarks of a CIA job.

Benefit to U.S. is allows our troops to just sit back and let the Sunni's and Shiites off each other and then U.S. forces will move in to secure American-style government for Iraq.

Any comments?

Posted by: Dodger | February 28, 2006 05:03 PM

Of course US newspapers should print the cartoons. I expect my newspapers to give me accurate information. I cannot properly judge what is transpiring in the world if my newspapers withhold pertinant information. There were riots in numerious countries around the world. Some deaths. Protests here in my own country. If the newspapers don't print exactly why these things are happening and what the cause is how will I know the truth?

Posted by: kchses | February 28, 2006 06:30 PM

Freedom of speech is ..followed.. by freedom of religion!

While we all look at that, there are tactful presentations, and those which are obscene grafetti, or should be obscene grafetti.

And it would seem critical to point out the imiages.. the cartoons that were drawn, were not the problem.. they were not obscene or unusual.. but that there was a depiction in violation of the laws of Islam, brought the trouble.

I do not want Islam to tell my newspapers what to print, or not to print. Nor do I want my newspapers blundering around in the china shop like a mad bull.

Posted by: NoNo | February 28, 2006 08:02 PM

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