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Monday, February 06, 2006

Back in September, a Danish newspaper commissioned 12 drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad from their cartoonists. The New York Times reported that "[t]he Danish paper said it had asked cartoonists to draw the pictures because the media were practicing self-censorship when it came to Muslim issues." The Washington Post reported that the paper printed them "to directly challenge Islam's ban on depicting the prophet."

I'm no media expert, but this seems like a pretty stupid idea.

To make things even stupider, the pictures were "recently reprinted in European media and elsewhere in what the newspapers say is a statement of free speech."

"The drawings have touched a raw nerve in part because Islamic law is interpreted to forbid any depictions of the Prophet Muhammad for fear they could lead to idolatry."

Luckily, it didn't lead to a whole lot of idol-worship, but it did lead to worldwide protests (mostly peaceful), a huge boycott of Danish goods, the torching of a Danish embassy, and a bunch of people getting killed in Afghanistan.

""Long live Islam! We are Muslims! We don't let anyone insult our prophet!" chanted the demonstrators, many of whom appeared to be teenagers. They also chanted, ''Down with America!'' and slogans against the Afghan and U.S. presidents," the Times article reported.

Some protesters, in an effort to prove stereotypes about the extremism of Muslims, showed their disapproval in other ways:

I certainly don't defend the actions of the violent protesters--I think it's pretty ridiculous--but how could anyone expect anything different? Radical Muslims are a group of people who are characterized by their fanaticism and violence in the name of their religion. If you're the editor of Jyllands-Posten, and you want to make a statement--do it through the editorial pages, not through the publication of images that only serve to instigate division and violence.


Blogger Cibbuano said...

I don't know what to say. Basically, I think everyone is retarded in this equation. Fanatics are insane, and there's no point arguing with them.

The newspaper editors should have known better. Why did they feel like exercising free speech towards Muslims, who are already marginalized in Europe? Why didn't they post 'hilarious' cartoons about God?

6:55 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

They felt like excercising their free speech against Muslims because of the recent murder of documentarian Theo Van Gogh.

"Should have known better"??

The Islamist world has been saying to journalists, "If you do this, this, or this, we will cold murder your asses." The Danish paper picked what they thought would be the most innocuous way of thumbing their nose at the thugs.

It was a middle finger to all those who provide a support community for the effort to silence all negative opinion about Islam.

It obviously had more of an effect than they intended. And in offending the thugs, they also offended the everyday non-as-violent Muslim.

I agree with Chris, as long as you are going to provocate someone, do it with facts and ideas, not funny cartoons. They chose the adolecent way, when they could have really made a statement.

But to say that "everyone is retarded in this equation" is stinky equivocation: One side drew a few cartoons, and the other has been destroying property and killing people in response. A Catholic priest was shot twice in the back inside a church by a youth shouting "Allahu Akbar" in Turkey today.

But maybe the priest had some kinda unpaid gambling debts to the gunman. Or maybe it had to do with fucking radical Islam.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Cibbuano said...

But what are you going to do? Did they think that by publishing the cartoons, all the fundamentalists would stop and go 'Gee, they're right. We ARE crazy.' and put down their AK-47s?

Just because you have the right, does that mean you should exercise it?

Yes, those fundamentalists are nuts. But printing those cartoons is like a young woman walking through Parc Angrignon at night(it's in Montreal, and several women have been raped then brutally murdered there), shouting 'Rape and murder are illegal!'

9:50 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Sooo... she's askin' for it?

It really doesn't matter how stupid her actions are.

Fuck rapists, and fuck the violent deathcultists.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Cibbuano said...

No one deserves to get raped, but most people don't put themselves in explosive situations.

When you say 'fuck rapists' what does that mean? We should go out and kill them all before they do something?

And extending it, should we go out an firebomb radical Muslims? That would be insane...

10:54 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

By "fuck rapists" I mean that we shouldn't stand around asking exactly how slutty the girl was dressed. We should find and arrest the rapist.

And by "fuck violent deathcultists" I mean that we shouldn't stand around pretending that the cartoonists were somehow even CLOSE to deserving the reaction they've gotten. They're hiding, terrified for their lives.

"Well, they were askin' for it!"

And why shouldn't we fight violent criminals? I'm not saying round-up time for all the Muslims. You're right, that would be insane and unjust.

I'm saying that the people actively firebombing embassies etc should be resisted with force if necessary, without pausing to reflect, "Well, the cartoonists were pretty offensive."

12:43 AM  
Blogger Christopher Zane said...

What I really wanted to say with this post was that 'If you're going to provoke someone, it better be for a damned good reason, and you better be able to see some positive results from it.'

The moral issue here seems less relevant than the pragmatic one: If you know that the equation is "If X, then Y," and you're not ready for Y, then don't fucking do X.

Yeah, the fanatics and violent protesters are wrong. But if Jyllands-Posten hadn't commissioned these cartoons, a bunch of people in Afghanistan and a Catholic priest would probably still be alive.

(And there's no way I believe they could think that way of handling it was innocuous--unless they were completely clueless about Islam, which they aren't.)

4:52 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

"But if Jyllands-Posten hadn't commissioned these cartoons, a bunch of people in Afghanistan and a Catholic priest would probably still be alive."

X=dressing slutty
Y=getting raped.
If X then Y.

If the girl hadn't dressed all slutty, then she wouldn't have been raped.

The missing part of that equation is the rapist, the one actually responsible for the crime.

There is a middle man whose culpability you are downplaying: The murderous fucktards of radical Islam.

On a related note:

The newspapers in Iran are sponsoring a contest for cartoons about the Holocaust.

Three things about that:

1. If you pay attention to Arab and Iranian media, you would know that Jew hating cartoons are daily fare.

2. Caracature of Mohammed. Caracature of genocide. Not exactly the same.

3. I don't know how the Jews will react, but I seriously doubt it will involve the murder of any Muslim clergy.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Christopher Zane said...

Just because X=Y doesn't mean that the result is deserved or that it's right. And I'm certainly not saying that those people are right. I'm just saying that X=Y, and everyone was pretty clear on that.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Cibbuano said...

So, because the Muslim newspapers publishes offensive materials justifies our newspapers doing the same?

Yes, we should fight violent criminals. And we should punish those fanatics that are causing violence now. But it's too late. The damage has been done... sure you can punish these punk-ass kids, but nothing was being done to prevent their actions..

6:31 PM  
Blogger D to tha L I C T said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

"The cartoons are unfortunate. Why fan the flames?"

No, the unreal response of arson and murder are unfortunate, and tragic.

The cartoons themselves are merely rude and tasteless.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Christopher Zane said...

Man, if this keeps up, this post is going to be number one in comments.

An awards ceremony will take place on February 22nd, where a crown will be presented.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Christopher Zane said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Christopher Zane said...

Anyway, I don't think that's supposed to be Mohammed. It looks more like Pavoratti.

7:52 PM  
Blogger D to tha L I C T said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

"hopefully the non-radical Islamic leaders are speaking out against the violence."

Clearly, attacks on true Islam bring the true Muslims out to the streets.

The bad name being given to the peaceful Muslims by the radical "false" Muslims is surely the most damaging attack on true Islam.

So, perhaps the Imams could organize marches of thousands and thousands of non-violent Muslims, to counter the marches of the thousands and thousands of embassy burners.

I mean, sort of like how they've had all those marches with all those peaceful Muslims over the past few years to protest terrorism.

8:55 PM  
Blogger D to tha L I C T said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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