Friday, February 10, 2006

Let's Make New Cartoons Of The Prophet

WARNING: Read this fully before you pass judgement. Bookmark this web site, use one of the buttons to the side and please tell others.

I have quietly watched this mindless and unnecessary controversy stirred up by a dumb, controversy-seeking, "edge-testing" Jyllan-Posten Denmark Editor and some cartoonists. They are all now giving the explanation of "free speech" related to "current events" to cover their hateful speech so clearly created to inflame and hurt people - while they seek police protection. Nice going Mr. Editor. Try yelling "Fire" in a crowded theatre next time. It's free speech, after all.

Their choices to run cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad really poorly were designed to convey and spread hate. This is even more appalling as it is coming to light that the same people refused to print some anti-Christian cartoons because they would be would upset the local population! But, they went ahead and printed even more insulting ones targeting not even Muslims, but the Holy Prophet.

Muslim extremists, and many otherwise peaceful Muslims, predictable as they are, are playing right into what Islam-bashers say about their being intolerant, close-minded people - not "suited for democracy" or modern life. Nice going, Muslims.

So, let us examine this idea and the cartoonist/editor's excuse of "free speech" related to "current events". Please work with me in making some new and nasty cartoons of the Prophet....

But before you threaten me with death (which is in God's hands) and Hell (also in God's hands, not yours)... please read on.

The truly dumb analogy even intelligent people supporting the cartoonist deliberately make is that Arabs print cartoons about ugly, miserly, Jews - so they should not be upset at these cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. Sorry, totally wrong analogy.

Arab cartoonists caricature Jews no more than Jewish and American cartoonists make ugly fun of Arabs/Muslims. Arabs ridicule Jews even less compared especially to how Jewish producers of Hollywood comedies and action flicks ridicule Arabs and Muslims. Idiotic Muslim terrorists, stupid Sheikhs, ugly Arabs are all often shown as stereotypical characters in Hollywood movies. But, for now, we can call both sides even on that score of ridiculing each other.

The correct analogy related to the offensive, and actually pretty poorly drawn, cartoons of Prophet Mohammad being "free speech" related to "current events" would be this.

Would all these "fair and balanced" media and publications, from Denmark to France to the USA, publish cartoons (in the name of free speech if not on merit) showing Prophet Jesus Christ as a nasty, pedophile, Homosexual telling his homosexual apostles and followers to become Christian priests and rape little boys in Churches?

After all, this is a constant "current events" topic, especially in America and who knows in how many other countries, where the church is constantly hiding and protecting abusive priests who molest children. Even this week more scandals have been exposed of how priests have continued to be protected by the Church which KNEW of their molesting children. Talk about some Muslim leader calling Christianity an "evil religion" as Christian leaders call Islam all the time.

To be fair to the major religions, can we also have a cartoon of Prophet Moses teaching Jews to make miracles like "Jewish lightning" (when a failing Jewish owned business "accidentally" catches fire and the Jew gets insurance money)?

Come on. It's not bigotry or hate-speech, it is just a funny look at current events and topics that we read about in papers here every day. But, you are right. I also don't think either cartoon would get published - at least in America or Europe because they would be considered "offensive" or "bigoted" .... Sorry, free speech is not so free and it depends on what country you are in and what group you dare to attack. Shameful double standards!

Ironically, Muslims would dislike these cartoons as well, because we revere these same Prophets of God, and would consider all of these cartoons to be blasphemy. So much so that even though the Virgin Mary is NOT a prophet, no Muslim would accept a cartoonist showing her to be some sleazy prostitute who got pregnant and claimed God made her pregnant despite being a virgin. Would any paper that published the anti-Muhammad cartoons print this one? No, I didn't think so.

But, there is a difference. Many Christians/Jews would be offended if such cartoons were published. Many would try to drive such an artist out of business or out of work. Some would even send threatening notes, but there would NOT be violent, murderous, rioting by Christians or "Westerners". (That usually requires a soccer game in England or SuperBowl party in the USA).

If we, people of the free world, want to claim free speech as the issue, we should see how many of these papers would publish the cartoon examples I give. Free speech speeches will fly out the window free as a Big Bird with a rocket stuck on its back.

The truth of the matter is, the cartoons against Prophet Muhammad were meant to inflame and incite violence, knowing that Muslims do have a more "extreme" reaction to blasphemy. And, unfortunately, most Muslim societies are NOT the best examples of tolerance and free speech. (How the USA and the US government helps keep dictators in power in Muslim countries is another story).

A lot has to do with the greater (supposed) importance of religion in daily life to Muslims. Even though, just like other religion's believers, my fellow Muslims hypocritically continue to steal, rape, murder, smuggle drugs, evade taxes, steal from the poor, look the other way when people are killed in the name of Islam, etc. Shameful hypocrites.

The other problem is a more fundamentalist approach to religion among Muslims most do not recall was and is actually financed by George Bush's family friends, the Saudis and Wahabis.

Fanatic fundamentalist Islam (the kind that was created by CIA and George Bush Sr. / Reagan in Afghanistan - and not solved by Clinton, in case you think I will give him a free pass) is a threat to everyone. Like many other things, George Bush does not seem to get this. "They" do NOT hate "us/US for our freedoms".

They Type 1(AlQaeda types) hate everyone who does not follow them. They Type 2 (Muslim masses) want to be like us, but WE keep dictators over their heads while we ignore the issues important to these majority of frustrated and often illiterate Muslims. So, when Type 1 stands up to the the USA, Type 2 either sign up to burn flags, or looks the other way - even when fellow Muslims are massacred by AlQaeda. It is so much easier, after all, to burn American flags and loot a KFC or Citibank than fight extremists to liberate Islam from their evil clutches.

In case you have not noticed, more Muslims are being killed by Al-Qaeda than "heathens" or "crusaders". The shame is that few, if any, Muslims are going around protesting those killings.

I did not see any Muslims taking out processions against Zarqawi or even the people who caused so much Muslim-on-Muslim Shia-Sunni bloodshed. How exactly did the Jews and George Bush cause that, my dear Muslims? Did Ariel Sharon walk by the procession and detonate a bomb? Did some Zionist pig blow himself up inside a mosque in Iraq?

The problem is that many illiterate and frustrated, religious but NON-fundamental, Muslims are turned On to Bin Laden's message - that "the West is out to get us". Dumb Editors and cartoonists like these Danish guys simply add fuel to the fire while falsely claiming free speech. And of course the morons running Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay torture camps taking pictures of the Iraqis/Arabs/Muslims they torture are even dumber than dumb.

So, the question remains, would the nasty cartoons about Prophet Jesus and Moses be printed by their newspapers? I don't think so. I would love to be proven wrong by these papers.

For example, people cannot even openly discuss if the holocaust happened as much as the Jewish media claim - without losing their jobs. Try writing a test article sounding like you are supporting Adolf Hitler and his final solution and see how far free speech gets you in Europe or the USA. Even native born White Christian Americans are afraid to discuss Jewish issues - or even question US support for ISRAEL - lest someone accuse them of being "anti-Semitic". What nonsense and manipulation of society and media.

So, to my fellow Americans and writers of the world I say, Freedom of Speech is a double-edged sword. Hypocrites ensure that the sharp end cuts only others and not themselves. So, either use it responsibly, knowing the sword cuts both ways, or do not cut others and then hide under the guise of free speech when the blade turns.

If you have something hateful to say, say it as it is - and as you are, a bigoted hatemonger abusing the power of the pen. But, then, please don't go crying looking for police protection when some nut-jobs come looking for you.

After all, I have the right to wear a swastika-emblazoned "Time For A Final Solution For Jews" T-Shirt to a synagogue in Israel. I am just not sure if I will come out alive. Does that make Judaism a terrorist, murderous religion? I can easily wear a T-shirt saying "LetÕs Lynch Blacks To Prevent Crime" and walk into Harlem, New York. I do not know how many pieces you would find me, and my freedom of speech, in. Does that mean Blacks (sorry, African-Americans, though they have no idea what or where Africa is) are barbarians?

If you are an Editor and have printed - or plan to print - these cartoons in a public newspaper, I will defend your right to free speech, as long as you will be fair and run the cartoons equally offensive to other groups as described here. Otherwise, you are a bigot, and just getting cheap publicity at the expense of one group.

My fellow Americans, and non-Muslim friends, please remember this.

The actions of these fanatic, idiotic, moronic Muslims destroying embassies represent Islam and Muslims as much as Christian priests repeatedly raping young boys represent Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him) or as much as the Nazi Germans Christians killing Jews (while the Church and the Pope looked the other way) represented Christianity.

And, my fellow Muslims, who are so upset about these cartoons, I say "So Bloody What?"

YOU and your actions are both giving the cartoons MORE exposure and media coverage than they would ever have gotten. Did you not learn a lesson from the stupid Salman Rushdie "Satanic Verses" controversy? How stupid is it to demand that Denmark (or Israel or America) apologize for the cartoons? So, if I make an offensive cartoon showing Jesus Christ raping little boys, and some Christians are upset, should PAKISTAN or SAUDI ARABIA have to apologize to Muslims for MY actions? Should Christians in America or Europe go out burning down Muslim-owned shops or Muslim embassies because I made fun of the Virgin Mary? How stupid IS that logic?

Even more importantly, Does the value of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) become LESS to you because someone made a cartoon about him? Is Islam so weak that if a cartoon is made or if some lesbian Muslim woman writes a book about it you lose yourgrip on your own faith? Then, I am sorry, shame on you. It is your weak faith in your Faith that is the problem and you do not deserve any sympathy or support, from me or anyone else.

Just remember, it was Prophet Muhammad himself who put up with far more hatred and violence when he went out with his message of ONE GOD, 1400 years ago. He is the one who forgave the very people who had not just insulted him but actually heaped filth and garbage on his back when he bowed down in prayer!

Prophet Muhammad forgave the poets who wrote against him and those who actually ridiculed and caricatured HIM, the HOLY PROPHET? And YOU, hypocrite in your actual practice of Islam's social lessons, too afraid to speak out against the dictators you live under, not even Muslim enough to stand up and save your/our religion from the violent extremists who kill your fellow Muslims EVERY DAY... you are the one the Prophet would need to defend his name?

Ha. He really must be shaking his head in Heaven at your not doing God's duties towards fellow man, but being violent in the guise of protecting his name.

Sorry, but he does not need you, or your kind to "defend" his name. You are an insult to him and to Islam. So, before you leave to blow up the next Embassy or Western office, ask yourself this.

How do your actions in every day life and in this issue compare to His actions and teachings?

Yeah, that's what I thought.



140 comments:

Rafe said...

I am not sure that the original cartoons were published to incite hatred, I thought they were printed to demonstrate consistency with the generally accepted western practice of poking fun at religious figures. I think there is a big difference between good humoured fun and malicious caricatures, and I think in general it is undesirable to go past the point of fun to deliberately offend people's religious beliefs in an obscene manner. For that reason I have invited all people who think that art and civility matter to react with reasonable criticism whenever they think artists or writers or cartoonists have gone too far. That is a challenge to the adversary culture of the west, to the people who enjoy the freedom and prosperity of democratic capitalism but are committed to ideas that would destroy both freedom and prosperity.

prying1 said...

I have to wonder how Bush is responsible when this crapola with terrorists began long before he was elected.

Perhaps you missed the cruxifix in the jar of urine called Piss Christ. - http://www.usc.edu/schools/annenberg/asc/projects/comm544/library/images/502.html - Please note the link is to a USA College.

I do agree that those rioting and destroying property are not endearing the faith to non-Muslums but instead are making people shake their heads and say, "What kind of religion is this?"

It will take the majority of "good" Muslums standing up and saying, "Enough!" to change peoples opinions at this point.

Many in the non-Muslum world are waiting.

sojourner said...

Hi! Thanks for dropping by my blog!

I find your post very thoughtful as compared to those who just burst out in rage over the entire issue.

You are right in that some of the more 'extreme' reaction from the Muslims are only making things worse, considering that Islam already has a tarnished image in the West. Who cares if the Western media choose to belittle the Prophet or Jesus? (I assure you, I've seen a lot of cartoons similar to the ones you proposed about Jesus and Mary in magazines and other places, and u r right - they only appear in Western magazines. No Muslim would do that.)

"How do your actions in every day life and in this issue compare to His actions and teachings?"

I have to admit that we Christians need to answer this question ourselves in relation to Jesus as much as you guys need to ask yourselves in relation to the Prophet. George Bush and many Christians around the world (which includes myself) sometimes do not give Christianity a good name either.

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for the kind words and great comment.

I think between the two of us we can solve these world conflicts... now if we can only get 3 Billion Muslims and Christians to listen to us! Right now, it seems, only George Bush is listening (to our phone conversations ;-) ).

Imran

be said...

I really was upset about the cartoons. Why make such cartoons when they are infactual and false?

If people really read about the prophet peace be upon him they would realise he was a mercy to mankind.

Moreover, as Muslims we aren't allowed to draw pictures of Prophets, furthermore, we aren't meant to disrespect someone elses religion. We respect all prophets, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, so why not respect our dear Prophet?

Imran Anwar said...

Sure, why not? But, so what if someone makes a nasty comment in Denmark? Is it Islamic or INTELLIGENT to go kill people in other countries in "protest" about our religion being "a religion of peace"? If we Muslims are so nice to others, how come so many churches get burnt in Muslim countries when any international political thing happens that upsets Muslims? Yes, the West is hypocritical, but so are Muslims.

Lizzie said...

Hey Imran,

it's good to know that there are people out there who compound my hopes that not all Muslims take the cartoon thing so seriously. I understand that many people will find them offensive... most of them seem pointed at showing the extremist view of Islam.

I wholeheartedly agree with the point you made that there are Muslims who wont understand that the West often delivers cartoons of a derogatory nature to any religion and as such, seeing the ones commisioned by the newspaper are made more hateful.

My favourite bit of your comments?

And, to my fellow Muslims, who are so upset about these cartoons, I say – “So Bloody What?”

YOU and your actions are both giving the cartoons MORE exposure and media coverage.


Never a truer word spoken. If your faith can be rocked by a drawn image, then I think your foundations need looking at.

Take care, Imran, great blog

Douglass said...

This is a good conversation. My persoanl take is that the social ground for the existence of the cartoons is in denmark more iternal than external, ore an expression of frustration with religion in egneeral, and more frustrated with not getting a handle on the middle east and the islamic phenoemna. In the same way the reaction in the ME and further into world wide Islam is absed on fury at the west's use of the ME first for oil and then for war (which are of course related). The cartoons are, both in the west and hte ME, not a cause but a catalyst, providing an outlet for built up emotions. Both sides are childish and dangerous. The west needs to continually work multilaterally to solve the problems of unequal hopes in the world, and Islam has to work to be what it is, a religion of community and life loving spirituality. The future requires sesitivity to the other and tolerance of differences.

Doug Carmichael US

wanderer said...

I really never understood what the heck everyone is fighting about. In the christian religion the example that was set was to accept punishment and abuse from another even to the point of ones own death. I had a few classes where we looked at the koran and mohammed said to respect your neighbors and their beliefs. It sounds like the same message. I don't think the author of these cartoons was trying to incite riots, I think it was trying to help muslims see that their prophet is being used for evil. Who ever follows a person into war needs to realize that only if they take responsibility before their profit for the evil they make happen in the world will there ever be peace. The person you follow whether it be mohammed or jesus or george bush or bin laden, if they are telling you to kill people in the name of religion you need to wake up. That person you are trying to kill under different circumstances could be your best friend who you have not met yet. Why do people insist on trying to force hatred on the world? It's easy if you don't want there to be death in the world then don't pick up a gun, don't strap a bomb to yourself, don't harm another person it all starts with you, it really is that easy whether it is mohammed, jesus, god or whatever name you want to call him it is the same message. Goodness starts with you, goodness ends with you. All the other things are just details.

Hope somebody out there listens.

James said...

I agree with some of what you say here. There probably is a double standard. And it's not right, certainly. Double standards are an injustice. However, the fact is both sides are claiming to have those things which are off limits, and neither side takes much care to respect that. Alas, to respect the other is a choice we all have.

I also agree with your take on fanatic fundamentalists, their danger to all of civilization, and their origins. So many are blind to what’s going on. And so much of it is so behind the scenes that few of us have the time or resources to stay on top of things. Which is just where they want us. They also want us constantly bickering and bitching at each other. And we’re playing right into their hands.

I also welcome your idea about more cartoons that offend people. I think a lot of people are too sensitive. In our era of expected political correctness, there is a presumed ‘right’ that people must be protected from being offended. No such right exists and none should. People should be free to express their opinions, hateful or not.

I agree about the double-edged sword of hypocrisy, and as I said both sides are playing at this. You’ve made a few points about Christians, Jews, and the West in general being hypocritical. There are plenty of other examples one could find but I’ll let someone else do that. I want to discuss some of the Muslim side.

I watch as protesters burn Danish flags and effigies of the Danish President and I'm struck by the irony here. So many are upset over mere images of the prophet Mohammed as being blasphemous to Islamic law. Well, first of all the world does not live by Islamic law, but that aside, many of those who are complaining about insensitivity are engaging in the same thing. Even your discussion here has tones of ‘evil Jewish conspiracy’ to it. Which you have every right to say, but if you’re going to claim that those who made these cartoons are a bunch of "bigoted hatemongers" then perhaps you need to read between the lines of your own writing. Personally, I think it’s likely you’re not a hateful bigot, and I doubt that those who made or published some of these illustrations are either. It’s easy to name them as such when they say something we don’t like or which on it’s face seems insulting but it’s not always the case. Sometimes people are trying to make a genuine point with good intentions, they may just choose a poor way to go about it.

Some have made excuses and attempt to rationalize why it’s ok to burn effigies and flags but religion is off limits. While one could attempt to rationalize that flags are less important than depictions of 'holy figures' and 8 out of 10 religious people might agree, nonetheless this is a very self-centered and arrogant argument. One which clearly illustrates a bias. As the non-religious if there is much of a difference, you’ll probably get a different answer.

Who is to say whose value is greater in what a culture honors? A much more civilized and international approach would be to admit we all have our sacred relics and they are equally important to us, respectively. While these things ideally should be respected it is not ours to demand that government enforces that respect, yet clearly many are demanding that very thing right now. Of course, for the government to do so would infringe on the free will of human beings, and in this case on freedom of speech and expression which are the cornerstone of a free and just society.

It seems that some of the more sophisticated among Muslim officials argue that Islamic countries can or should be as democratic, free, just, and civilized as Western ones are. Actually, I would hope they could do better than that… I think now is the time for them to step up and prove this to be true. To prove that Islam can embrace these sorts of freedoms. To show that basic freedoms are not at odds with Islamic law. Wouldn't it be noble to prove that faith is stronger than the works of men? I think you’re trying to argue for that, in a way. But that isn't what we're seeing in this crisis though. Instead we're seeing the same type of angry rhetoric from world leaders as with the people in the streets.

I must say, I find it extremely hypocritical that the Iranian President finds it acceptable to call for the destruction of Israel and to say the Holocaust is a myth and yet get bent out of shape over a newspaper publishing illustrations of Mohammed. And apparently he’s not losing any sleep over that. I wonder if he sees that as ‘hate speech’ or the truth? Either way he apparently thinks he has a right to say and think it. Talk about a double standard.

While I probably don't agree with their political ideologies, though I’m certainly not convinced there was any intention of anti-Muslim hatred, I must say they are not 'hiding' behind freedom of expression, they are exercising it. Just as we are in this forum. We all say or express things which are insulting to others. Some of us more so than others. It's unavoidable. As a homosexual, who I choose as my partner, indeed my very existence is insulting to some people. Care to guess what I think about them and their idiotic opinions? But I concede that they have a right to think or say what they want. And so do I.

Do I want people to respect me; to treat me as equal? Of course. And I have every right to demand that of my government, but I have no right to expect it from others. It seems again, even here in the West, many have come to expect that government should ensure that those who say offensive things be punished for it.

Don't get me wrong, I think protesting these cartoons as insensitive is fine. Its the violence with which some of it is being done that is not. Nor is this angry demand for government censorship. To paraphrase a quote from Ben Franklin: those who demand limits to their freedom should enjoy none. If a society decides to restrict freedom or become authoritarian then it's theirs to suffer in, but to demand the rest of us follow suit as well? I don't EVEN think so.

And while we are on the subject of insensitivity, I should add that there is a very significant difference between making some political cartoons about religious figures, and making a statement that completely discounts the suffering and murder of millions of human beings.

That's one of the problems I find with many who claim to be 'religious'. They practice a faith that is supposed to be about love and compassion but when it comes down to it they will condone or even endorse things such as murder, torture, execution, inhumane captivity, oppression, etc. And all for highly questionable or even ridiculous justifications.

Seriously, to equate the disregard of millions of human lives — Jewish, Christian, Muslim, it doesn't matter — to be equal to that of an insult of a political or religious figure, no matter how beloved he may be, is a rather warped perspective. Those who support such a thing should reevaluate their priorities. Lives mean a hell of a lot more than hurtful ideas scratched onto bits of paper.

No matter the importance of veneration for one's god, perhaps a greater insult to that god would be to disrespect or marginalize (human) life and the suffering of others. For that matter, would 'god' have us destroy each other in order to save face? I'd think god were not so petty and superficial as that.

If 'god' is insulted, I'm sure he is powerful enough to deal with it on his own.

Overall, we need to live and let live. People who have hateful things to say need to stop. And those who hear those things, need to get over it. We have far more important things to be concerned with in this era than ‘hate speech’ from citizens, journalists or not. It’s world leaders that truly concern me.

Imran Anwar said...

Great comment, James. I think we agree on 99%. Thanks for visiting and hope to see your comments on more blog items.

Imran

Wacko! said...

Imran,

Thanks for your analysis of the issue and for pointing out some double standards. I had wanted to send a trackback to you, but couldn't find the option. Instead, my thoughts are found here.

musings said...

Hi. It's heartening to hear a Muslim write about the cartoons controversy in a fair and reasonable way. I'm in general agreement with what you say, but would add that publication of the Muhammad cartoons was probably not motivated entirely gratuitous irreverance towards religion as you suggest. I see in it an attempt to inspire (perhaps naively) people to think critically, which we know from the benefit of hindsight went down the wrong way.

Personally, while I would find cartoons of "Jesus Christ as a big Homosexual telling his apostles and followers to become Christian priests and rape little boys in Church" unpleasant, I would not object to such critical comments about my faith because it would (hopefully) provoke Christians to examine there faith more carefully, as in how far their practice of it measures up to what the Bible asks of Christians, provided of course that the media gives Christians a right of reply.

You also said that "ironically, Muslims would dislike these two cartoons as well, because we revere these Prophets and would consider all of these cartoons to be blasphemy". I would point out that, ironically, that's missing the point. The cartoons were meant to provoke self-examination, not objection because the drawings were made or published per se.

In addition, you said that Europe and / or the US (perhaps more Europe because denying the Holocust is a crime there but not the US ?) practises double standards, ie. "try writing an article supporting Adolf Hitler and his final solution and see how far free speech gets you in Europe or the USA". However, I see a critical difference between the foregoing and the cartoons in that the Final Solution is about genocide - killing an entire group of people; the cartoons were not an attempt to provoke the same against Muslims or any other group of people.

My other thoughts on this matter can be found at http://www.musings.per.sg/2006/02/383 and http://www.musings.per.sg/2006/02/382.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I agree... the Muhammed cartoon was not one that called for the destruction of an entire people, or making light of it (or denying that it was attempted by the Nazis!!).. it was/is insulting apparently to many Muslims, and I think most Americans can understand that and empathize... but this Holocaust cartoon competition is a different animal, and coming from the Iranian President, only will somehow skew this entire situation (The Danes/Europeans insulting Muslims) to a Jew-hating, Israel-hating spree... strange how that can happen, but its happening!

Interesting thing I heard on the news today by an analyst, that the cartoon was first published back in September and was somewhat ignored... the reason govts. and masses of people are upset now over it is because of the the timing - the Hamas elections, world pressure to stop funding to the Palestinians and US pressure on Iran about nucelar issues. What do you think? Do you think the majority of the hoopla over this cartoon was "created" by shady political leaders and irresponsible religious leaders to let off "steam" and use the "brewing" stress to get the spotlight off the palestinians and iranians, and flip it back at "evil europe, america, israel, etc" by blaming them for insulting islam.

I'm not saying th cartoon isn't insulting, I'm wondering about the subtext here, the timing, the faith-wide movement in the Arab world... Thanks!
-Matthew

Imran Anwar said...

Great points, Matthew. I think it would be one thing for me (even as a Muslim) to make some cartoons against Jesus and Moses (though I not supposed to, as a Muslim I revere those prophets too) but a totally other thing for the Iranian PRESIDENT to jump in. Bush, whom I cannot often stand, did NOT order the cartoons to be made. (Well, he did do much worse to Muslims in Iraq but not cartoons). Also, unless several of the cartoonists were Jews, why would the Iranian President not order cartoons about Christians, why only Jews? Because he needs to get support from economically frustrated Muslims to divert attention from their bad governance.

Imran

ParroPhernalia said...

What you say makes a lot of sense. Why don't other Muslims, or Catholics or Jews for that matter, understand the bigger picture.

I do take offense at the statements about 'what if.' What if someone did a cartoon of Jesus as a gay pimp? Any Christian paper wouldn't publish it.

Don't just make that assertion, do it and see. Its easy enough, just do it, then you'll have the evidence. Until then all is just speculation. I really lose interest in any discussion when someone tries to predict the actions of others as a part of their argument.

I do know the Christian world wouldn't riot in the streets, burn and pillage. (Unless they won the superbowl, of course) We have the rule of law to take care of those things. Someone has to feed all those lawyers.

After living in the land of the free it's easy to tell freedom is such a relative term. It's especially directed and moulded by capitalism. And the rest of the world is rapidly following suit.

Reports of a flag dealer in Gaza City who doubled his order of Danish flags so the rioters would have something to burn. Just another capitalist trying to make a buck.

Imran Anwar said...

Great comment. Thanks.

Imran

Brandon Musler said...

Here's the thing: both sides are wrong. I don't think Muslim baiting is any better than "Jew baiting." The editors know better, in all liklihood. But to be honest, the attacks on an embassy are completely uncalled for in so many different ways. They confirm every bad expectation and negative stereotype I have of the Arab world. I know that's painting with a broad brush, but these images almost have the visceral impact of the Abu Ghraib photos -- meaning they almost seem calculated to enrage. Of course, many of us who were not Iraqi, Muslims or Arabs WERE enraged at our own government over Abu Ghraib. Who in the Arab world is enraged for Denmark? Anybody? I don't know.

Except in the abstract I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I do feel that if this is the way religion makes people behave we need a great deal less of it everywhere. It's simply become an excuse for acting out. I know that must seem like a vast oversimplification to you but I only know one human being I would consider to be honestly devout but I know a lot of hypocrites. I thought the argument you made about The Satanic Verses fiasco was most on point and I'm compelled to ask, "Why are those same mistakes being not only repeated, but enhanced?" On balance, I'd rather have free speech and angered faithful than the reverse. I lost faith in Catholicism well before I reached puberty and never looked back so it's hard for me to be patient with fundamentalist crap...of any faith.

Imran Anwar said...

Great points, Brandon.

Yuuka said...

Basically, we both agree that some of these reactions from Muslims are giving are not in accordance with Islam`s teachings (burning flags, attacking embassies, insulting others). These terrible acts hurt ourselves the most.

yuuka said...

Basically, we both agree that some of the reactions from radical Muslims are not in accordance with Islam`s teachings (burning flags, attacking embassies, insulting others). These terrible acts hurt ourselves the most.

*Sorry about the mistakes in my earlier comment!

musings said...

In response to what ParroPhernalia said, I would like to point out that the negative or even insulting portrayal of Jesus or other religious figures by the European media is not at all hypothetical.

For example, the immaculate conception has been mocked by portraying crucified pigs, poems have been written about having sex with God, etc. And all these appear a lot more gratuitously irreverent than some of the cartoons that are the subject of the global outrage. (Of course, in some cases, those who were offended successfully got a court order to prevent further insult to their beliefs).


You may wish to read the articles at http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article-world.asp?parentid=38666
and
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1894616,00.html
for more information.

AGreatDane said...

Hi Imran,

I like your conclusion, but there are a few errors on the path to this conclusion. Please read ...

1) There is not one cartoonist, there are 10-12.

2) The drawings were not made to create hatred. They were meant as illustrations for a book to enligthen Danes on Islam. The point being: only 25 years ago, app 2% of the Danish population was not 100% white Danes. And most of the immigrants where from Norway - also "white and protestants". Since then, Denmark has accepted a 10% increase in population - predominantly muslem refugees. Since Danes were unfamiliar with foreign cultures, they need education. In Denmark, education is holistic, so it would contain humor and negative sides of the a subject, not only the rosy bits.

So these drawings are perfectly aligned with non-hating, Danish culture.

3) Yes, Danish papers DO make fun of the pope, prime minister, Bush, priests, AA, Red Cross, everyone. We have had drawings of Catholic priests with an unhealthy interest in small boys. Yes, we DO make fun of everything in our own country. We also show the English "Life of Brian" on TV. Not ever making fun of Islam (even though it was not intended at this occasion) would be discrimination.

4) A big problem in this whole situation is discovering the truth. I saw the drawings when they were published in September (I prefer calling them drawings). I did not find them particularly negative ... but ... many months after the drawings were originally published in Denmark, a group of Danish Imams went on a road trip in the middle East showing drawings that were actually profane .. like a drawing of Mohammed with a pig's nose and the like. These cartoons are not Danish - they never were published here ... and they have been used my Imams to show an inaccurate picture of the Danish society[maybe to provoke the current crisis?].

Yes, Danes are different in the way we communicate. We are often very direct and not subtle at all ... and sarcasm is an integrated part of daily communication ... But is this lack of respect?

In hope of more understanding of the background of the Danish drawings.

Tore

Dave Dembinski said...

"Does the value of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) become LESS to you because someone made a cartoon? Is Islam so weak that if a cartoon is made or if some lesbian Muslim woman writes a book about it you lose your grip on your faith?

Then, I am sorry, it is your weak faith in your Faith that is the problem."


Oh, thank you for this! I am a follower of Christ and this is the first time I have been to your site, though after that thoughtful article it won't be the last. I have been wondering the same thing about this whole debacle. What God would be worth following who needs to be defended with blood against a ridiculous cartoon?

I imagine you feel similar to how I feel when people bring up Fred Phelps and abortion-clinic bombers when talking about Christianity. These people are not Christians, they are only claiming the title. I'll have to trust that those reacting with threats of violence to these cartoons are similarly hijacking your Faith until I've done more research.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting and thoughtful blog as well as all the comments. I have been watching this situation mushroom and enjoy reading different views and opinions about it. I have one question about a line in the blog.

The correct analogy related to the offensive, and actually pretty poorly drawn, cartoons of Prophet Mohammad being "free speech" related to “current events” would be this.

If it is against the laws of Islam to depict the Phophet Muhammad, how do we know what he looks like ? Why did you think they were drawn poorly ?
How did all the Muslims around the world recognize the picture as the Prophet Muhhamad ? Obviously there would be nothing to compare it to.

Also is it written in the Holy Quran
not to depict the Prophet Muhhamad, or
is this a man made rule ?

I actually thought they were pictures of Osama at first.

Thanks for your thoughts

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for the kind words. Good questions too. Making pictures was always frowned upon, because of mankind's tendency to start worshipping idols and images. Christianity's worship of Jesus and his image/cross is a good example. In the case of the cartoons, thely were all commissioned to be about Prophet Muhammad, so people knew who the subject was. Also, having his seal printed on his turban would be a dead giveaway.

I am in the media syndication business representing some of the best drawn comics and cartoons around the world. NONE of these cartoons had quality more than a 10 year old's doodling, Much like Salman Rushdie's lame writing became famous because of Muslim reaction we have the pathetic quality cartoonists getting a big audience. How ironic.

Imran

Anonymous said...

I don't know who the bigger asses are with this "cartoon," or the people trying to portrait themselves as victims and therefore cannot control themselves. Is that acceptible rationale how Bush was elected? Is that acceptable rationale when the Palestinians contantly claim victimization but can't put a plan togehter for their government? Did someone in Denmark need to say "what about me?"
Watch out. Assoholism is on the rise!!!

ipuipo said...

Indeed, to retain the integrity of free speech, it must be expressed with maturity, responsibility and sensibility. Good post you have!

Pragmatist said...

Most of what you say seems thoughtful and reasonable. Your point about terrorists not representing mainstrean Islam any more than pedophile priests represent mainstream Christianity is a good one. But the analogy is imperfect. In the U.S., the priest abuse scandal provoked tremendous public outrage. Where is the public outrage in the Muslim world over terrorism? I have seen no evidence of it.

Also, you are mistaken about a couple of things. First and foremost, freedom of the press absolutely DOES extend to caricatures of Christian religious figures. I agree with you that if it didn't, we would be hypocrites. But to equate publishing a political cartoon with shouting "Fire" in a theatre is absurd. Pricking the balloon of pompous self-righteousness (whether Muslim or Christian) is a legitimate exercise, and hurts no one. As you yourself said, if your faith is so weak as to be threatened by such trivia, it's not much of a faith.

Second, to blame Muslim extremism on Bush the Elder and the CIA is utterly ludicrous.

But I'll give you credit for one important point. You understand how much harm the fanatics are doing to the religion they claim to defend.

Imran Farooq said...

I think the most tragic thing about this whole incident is that religion keeps taking headlines with deplorable acts. The essence of every major religion is of peace and love yet those messages are devoid everytime I see the news. The nature of the media obviously has a lot to do with that but a huge percent of the world is close minded or holds extreme views that they attribute to their religious beliefs. This is not removed to places like the Middle East either when you look at the last Presidential elections in the U.S. I'm not saying that religion is bad or that it doesn't give many people meaning and compassion in their lives. I don't know what it would take to make these changes but it's just shocking to me that no matter how times change with regard to access to information, communication, technology etc. that religious intolerance is the constant.

Krishna109 said...

Is it really true that all pictures of Mohammed are strictly forbidden by Islam? And that making images of Mohammed was hardly ever done? And that in the few times this happened, it necessitated large, angry demonstrations, and revenge?

Or-- is this all an "Urban legend"?.

There also seems to be a lot of commentary about how nasty those infidel Danes were in publishing the cartoons-- how they were deliberately trying to insult Islam by publishing them, how publishing the cartoons was a horrendous insult to Mohammed, how it deserves retaliation. If you believe all of this, what would you say about the fact that this paper published them-- with hardly any reaction at all?

Looks like someone's pulled off a big hoax-- and we've all fallen for it!!!

Zhinker said...

This is a very interesting blog and you've made a bunch of excellent points, especially those about the double standards of the Muslims.

It just infuriates me when I see our own Muslim governments like Iran, which are supposed to be examples for everyone else, turning this into politics to divert attention from what's plauging their people.

For example, what's this about making anti-semitic pictures, what do the Jews even have to do with the cartoons?

Anonymous said...

Well a great piece aptly summed up.It's not a question of merely a cartoon but it is violation of freedom both by the danish daily as well as the muslim protestors who are a gullible lot.
Prophet Mohammad and Islam stands for peace,love and brotherhood.
It would be better if the media exercised self restraint instead of trying to hurt the sentiments of muslims.
Had the editor of the Danish daily apologized,I suppose muslims would have not gone to such extremes but he has ordered for reprints as have sev western dailies....may be they have found yet another way of increasing their sales...so islam has come to their rescue!

Stu said...

The saddest thing about the whole controversy, is it shows that Islam/christian/Judiasm are all fundementally violent in spite of the words each has about Peace and Love.

It brings to mind Lennon's song "imagine" but he was wise enough to know his song was little more than dream for the far distant future.

I hope all people wether religious in nature or secular (like myself) will take the time to be grateful for what we have and to not blame others for our lots in life.

However, I know this is infinitely easier for me to say, than for someone without, electricity, indoor plumbing, and a warm (or cool) place to rest thier weary bones.

To all people, try to see, that maybe, what you were raised to believe is flawed and you must make it personal and not absolute before it is any use in making you a better human being.

the planet is small, is this the best we can do?

Future Geek said...

Good thoughts Imran. I'll be reading your blog regularly now.

Michael said...

Very well reasoned and well said, Imran.
The fact is that in most countries in the Middle East the riots, not to be confused with protests, are being sponsored by the State as a means of controlling and channeling their anger away from their everyday lives. If Allah or whomever is offended then they will deal with it. The sad fact is that so many people are being used for political ends by people who have only their own power in mind, in this matter.
The average man and woman in the street doesn't care and certainly did not care way back in September of 2005 when these cartoons were first published. Now that they have become a hot button political issue the powers that be are all scrambling to take advantage of it.
AS someone who spent 6 years in the Middle East I can state with no hesitation that these are not the people whom I know. The people I know embrace Inshallah, Bukra and Ma'alesh. Not, "Hey, Anwar! Let's set fire to the souk!"
I haven't noticed any outrage over the US Supreme Court having the Prophet carved in stone in their frieze as offensive, yet...
This will pass as soon as the politicans and press grow tired of using the masses and Islam.

Michael said...

PS: There have been plenty of depictions whom some would call distasteful of priests, Yeshua Ben Jusef, his mother Merriam (most recently on South Park) and YHWH. No lightning bolts and no riots...just Pat Robertson.

Imran Farooq said...

I agree with 'zhinker' about how this diverts people's attention from the real issues at hand. Bin Laden would love this press because it gives another reason for Muslims to feel like they are being wronged and he can recruit them. Political leaders like the President of Iran don't want their people to concern themselves over their quality of life in their country. They keep giving people excuses that people from outside of countries like Iran are responsible for their current situation to absolve themselves from responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Kevin -

As a Christian, I know very little about Mohammed, perhaps he was truly a prophet. Who actually knows. From the point of view of our 3 religions, (Christianity, Islam and Jewish) we are all people of the book. We have ALL three been assailed by those who do not believe in God or his judgements. For years here in America, the left has steadily tried to degrade any religion. They believe the blaspemy that man is his own god and anything they can do to tear down a religion is proper in their minds.
But the stereotype of "crazy ragheads" is only reinforced when embassies are burned and people are killed for cartoons.
One other note: America will always support Israel. God promised to bless those that bless them and curse those that curse them.Plus, he made his covenant with them. They are His people. Regardless of what the Israelis have taken from you, it would be best to work with them and the US to come up with some mutual agreement on Palestine. When the Islamist take a more civilized approach to an issue, instead of the usual terrorism and bombings, then we shall listen.

Imran Anwar said...

From the "Kevin" in your post, I think you copy pasted a comment you made on some other web site but in the interest of fairness in getting all types of comments in here, I put it up here anyway.

You make it sound like you're doing a favor to Muslims and that you will listen to them when they speak what the want to hear. No wonder the fundamentalist fanatics in Islam feel they should speak to "you" (West, Crusaders, liberal Muslims) in a language of pain. Thanks.

Also, it is the liberals in America who are doing what little is being done from letting the Bible replace the US Constitution. Just like I say to really consverative Muslims who don't like the West to move to Saudi Arabia, I invite any Bible thumping Constitution-whacking fundo-Christians to consier moving to the Vatican. Anyone who believes in God's covenant with the Jews is welcome to sell his/her land/home here and move to Israel (but not on illegal settlements built on Occupied Palestine).

If God made a covenant with the Jews, let him pay them instead of my tax money Billions going to arm israel to occupy Palestine and kill teenagers with F-16s.

Imran

Scott said...

I believe what we have here is no different from any other radical / extremist group. There are manipulators (radical leaders) who incite the less intelligent, less religiously schooled people into violent acts. (Who says that all people of any religion are truly schooled and understand the beliefs and doctrines of their faith.)

Once a crowd is entranced by the leader - they will do whatever he/she wants. These are small scale examples of the fact that people crave leadership and when good leadership is not available, they will take what comes along. Fortunately, these riots and violent actions are remaining relatively small considering the size of the Muslim world but unfortunately they are getting a lot of press.

Anonymous said...

[Sigh]

I sense that Muslims still don't "get it". There is no limit to freedom of speech. The idea is that one is not required to censor one's self just because someone else doesn't like it. Nothing is off limits--not religion, not politics, etc. As a strong Christian, I am very thankful for the devices of satire and political cartoons because these have proven to be very effective tools in correcting some of the heinous positions the church has taken over the years. You can look at any controversial event pertaining to the Church and you will find volumes of satire, cartoons, commentary, and criticism. Christianity is by far the most ridiculed and satirized religion in the world by several orders of magnitude. Indeed, many commentators on this very board have shown open hostility toward Christianity, but you do not see me threatening their safety. Why? Because I fully recognize that person's right to say whatever he/she wants about my religion including the most horrible things--even lies--that the mind can imagine. What is the proper response? Patiently and calmly rebut those criticism with my own voice. We are all equal on this earth and no man has the right to dictate what another man says or believes. That means Muslims have no right to demand apology for the cartoons. The Danish cartoonists were exercising their God-given right to say what they want. It is not important whether Muslims are offended because that is irrelevant. The only important thing is that freedom of speech is protected--even for those who say things we disagree with or are severely offended by. Once Muslims understand this, their societies will prosper and we will all have world peace. Until then, their lands will be desolate and revenge will be the law of the land.

Imran Anwar said...

[Deeper sigh]. Interesting comment and, yes, I agree Christianity is quite often ridiculed, but it is priests and the like. Attacks on the Virgin Mary etc. come by far less than attacks on Muslims' prophet/religion. You are also quite wrong in claiming there is no limit to free speech. Try shouting FIRE in a crowded theater. Try having someone say about Bush what Pat Robertson says about doing to other countries' head(s) of state. Please explain why Michael Jackson (the pedophile who has been chosen to set the Pope's poetry to music) had to take out words about Jews from his songs? Try explaining why you can't use the word nigger without being run out of town? Why was Cindy Sheehad ARRESTED for wearing a T-shirt saying how many Americans had died? Why is the Nazi symbology illegal in Europe? Why is eBay made to take off Nazi items for sale? The list (of such hypocrisy) is endless and exposes the double standards.

Yes, Muslims are acting as idiots in their attacks and asking for apologies from Denmark and now the USA. So, so do the idiots think if I call Virgin Mary a sleazy whore that Pakistan all Muslims have to apologize to Christians? As I said, they are idiots, but the free-speech claiming "West" and Christians/Jews are quite happy to have their own list of no-nos.

Imran

Anonymous said...

Wow,Muslims really believe that you can have freedom of speech without offense. How dumb. Freedom of speech is allowed specically because of offense. A previous writer mentioned the sanitization of our culture done to our civilization by the retarded imams of the left. Freedom of speech should include the ability to use offensive words and terms. What is truly offensive though is that a Christian cannot go to "Mecca" and proclaim his faith without bringing along a replacement head. The U.S. was founded by Christians and it was this fundamentalist faith which allowed for so much freedom. A Muslim can worship openly in this country. Recently I saw a Muslim pull his car over on a interstate, pull out his rug and pray. I did not behead him although someday he may behead me.

chris said...

Lennon was a marxist/faschist/violent/wife beating boob. The twentieth century was the bloodies century ever. The violence was perpetuated by pagans(Hitler) and atheistic communists(Lenin,Stalin, Mao, Ho and the Khmer. Atheists murder more than anyone, just ask Timothy McVeigh.

Anonymous said...

Good work Imran. We as muslims must realize our own weekness and mistakes. We must do some thing for image boosting as peaceful religion and try avoid the acts which give bad name to Islam.

Imran Anwar said...

In response the the excellent comment by AGreatDane earlier:

1) There is not one cartoonist, there are 10-12.

Yes. I know. I am not referring to a specific individual but to a generic individual. However, to avoid confusion, I have edited the posting.

2) The drawings were not made to create hatred. They were meant as illustrations for a book to enligthen Danes on Islam.

"Enlighten". Come on. I know people in Pakistan do not know much about Christians, so I should make a cartoon showing Jesus being a gay guy whose followers rape little children in churches. Would that enlighten the people?

The point being: only 25 years ago, app 2% of the Danish population was not 100% white Danes. And most of the immigrants where from Norway - also "white and protestants". Since then, Denmark has accepted a 10% increase in population - predominantly muslem refugees. Since Danes were unfamiliar with foreign cultures, they need education. In Denmark, education is holistic, so it would contain humor and negative sides of the a subject, not only the rosy bits.

I have no problems with people writing critiques of Islam or anyone. Everyone can find something to criticize in others so no rosy pictures are needed. But, this newspaper's plan was to "test" and see what "reaction" they would get. They got it. (I respect one cartoonist who actually showed the Editor asking for the cartoons for a PR stunt). You may remember NYC's Harlem area. I could put on a White Hood as a joke and go into Harlem at night. I don't think I would expect to come back alive. I can put a Swastika T-shirt and go to Israel. I do not expect to return alive. So, the editor, and to a certain degree the cartoonists, knew what they were doing.

Mind you, I do not agree with the mass-violence response from the Muslims. I am saying whether 1 or 10 Blacks or Jews who would kill me for the above examples would be as representative of their religion/race as these Muslims are of Islam. But, all you hear and read about is "Islamic terrorists" all the time, not Palestinian bomber, Iraqi shooter, Pakistani rock thrower, Egyptian kidnapper.... all are Muslim terrorists. But IRA, Tim McVeigh, Eric Rudolph (Christians killing abortion doctors), killers of Matthew Shepherd for being gay are NOT called Christian terrorists.

So these cartoons are perfectly aligned with non-hating, Danish culture.

I can accept that, if the same newspapers will please publish the cartoons of Jesus and Moses that I describe. :-)

3) Yes, Danish papers DO make fun of the pope, prime minister, Bush, priests, AA, Red Cross, everyone.

Again, we cannot compare apples and oranges. Arabs making fun of Jews and Jews making bigoted cartoons of Arabs is NOT the same as comparing insulting Prophet Muhammad to insulting me. Do they print homosexual cartoons of Jesus, sleazy hooker "Virgin" Mary, Moses as a cheating lying fraud, etc.?

We have had cartoons of Catholic priests with an unhealthy interest in small boys.

Jesus!? ;-) 1. It is based on true facts. But, not the right example. Did you ever have violent protests because someone made fun of Imran or King of Saudi Arabia or even the dumb Ayatollah?

Yes, we DO make fun of everything in our own country. We also show the English "Life of Brian" on TV. Not ever making fun of Islam (even though it was not intended at this occasion) would be discrimination.

I agree, so I trust you would support my cartoons showing Jesus, Moses, Mary and so on being published.By the way, the Editor whose free speech everyone is defending has now been put on leave AFTER he said he would print cartoons making fun of Jews and the holocaust. Why is no one wondering about free speech now?

4) A big problem in this whole situation is discovering the truth. I saw the published drawings (I prefer calling them drawings).

You can call them what you like. :-) It's a free country. :-)

I did not find them particularly negative ... but ... many months after the drawings were published in Denmark, a group of Danish Imams (in search of confrontation, I think) went on a road trip in the middle East showing drawings that were actually profane .. like a drawing of Mohammed with a pig's nose and the like. These cartoons are not Danish - they never were published here ... and they have been used to launch the current crisis.

They were actually sketches sent to the Muslim activists by Danes (or I think Norway folks) to piss them off. So, these guys shoved them in the whole collection to get a bigger response from Muslims. I do not agree with it but they did not make up the ugly sketches.

Yes, Danes are different in the way we communicate. We are often very direct and not suddle at all ... and sarcasm is an integrated part of daily communication ... But is this lack of respect?

I have no problem with that and do have a problem with the Muslim extreme reaction. BUT, I would like to know that Christian terrorists will be called as Muslims are Islamic terrorists, and the holocaust, Moses, Jesus, Mary type cartoons will be printed and supported by you and your countrymen. Decency, fairness and truth would demand no less.

In hope of more understanding of the background of the Danish drawings.

It is sad that these editors have done more to harm the great work Denmark does and has done for Muslims around the world. The extremists couldn't care less. The Editors' actions gave the fanatics a rallying cry to get media and public attention and in one event all that goodwill was wiped out AND your people were put at risk worldwide. That is not "free speech" but irresponsible hate mongering. Even Mike Jackson had to take out a word from his songs because "JEWS" do not like it. It was not about Moses or Judaism, but a term for Jews and he had to change his songs. So much for free speech.

Kind regards

Imran

Najam Usman said...

Salamu alaikum Imran,

May Allah bless you, Nice work!

I am 100% agreed with you that Muslim should first judge themselve for the strength of their faith, before comming on the roads.

From my point of view, the damage caused to government properties/embassys in Islamic countries was a right step. However burning a Church and public owned properties was not right.

The reason I support the riots in first case is that, the Muslim countries get more coward they are afrain of WTO. They should express their anger via boucott of Eropean Products/Trade. But they are not doing so. And this situation for a Muslim like me is more frustrating for me. Atleast, I can remind the government of my anger.

We are being governed by the people whom we do not choose/elect. This is another good point you made. But for a practical solution to get rid of such government one will require to get indulge in the bad-politics. Thats the reason most of true Muslims avoid to get involved in government.

Fi Aman Allah.

Najam Usman said...

To 'ParroPhernalia...'


I do take offense at the statements about 'what if.' What if someone did a cartoon of Jesus as a gay pimp? Any Christian paper wouldn't publish it.

Don't just make that assertion, do it and see. Its easy enough, just do it, then you'll have the evidence


Christian might not get annoyed by such images but Muslims do.

Pictures of Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) are not comparable in any sense to Bush, Saddam, Jews, Christian, Hindus and a like. The pictures of any sort specially of Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) are prohibited in Islam.

The religion Islam is not governed by West. And West is not supposed to teach Muslims, how to react to an insult for the name of "Freedom of Speech" which is more like "Freedom to annoy Muslims".

If West need respect, first respect others.

I knew Denmark being a peacefull country, before this incident. For Me & majority of Muslims, all Danish People are not considered "Anit-Muslims". Only those should be punished who were involved in Publishing & Designing of pictures. Or The Newspaper should *sincerely* (not like the way they already made) applogy to Muslims & make a commitment not to spread such kind of hate again in Future.


May Allah Bless All of us!

Imran Anwar said...

Najam Usman sahib, thanks for your kind comments and understanding how Muslims are as much at fault for their problems as the West has double standards. But, wooooow... hold on here. You support rioting and attacking embassies. I am sorry but that is what makes Muslims look like IDIOTS and ANIMALS. What, are Muslims' brains and logic too weak to have VERBAL or WRITING exchanges of ideas?

You also posted in response to another person's comment. I may not agree with all the comments here but wanted to respond to your 2nd comment.

So, if I make a cartoon of Jesus Christ as a homosexual pedophile, should some Christians go and burn the PAKISTANI EMBASSY and attack YOUR SHOP? Don't you think that would be really, reaally, stupid?

I call Virgin Mary a prostitute and PAKISTAN has to apologize to Christians worldwide?

WHO made Muslims the rulers of the world - when in fact most of them are not even men enough to stand up and get their own elected governments! And you want the whole world to follow what YOU want it to behave like? Really?

So, should we all stop eating meat because Hindus don't like it? Should we all stop azaan because Christians have laws against making noise early in the morning?

I am very disappointed in your opinions but posting them in the interest of free discussion of ideas.

Imran

Dijhili said...

Well to be honest most of the muslims we are refering to are idiots ! 72 virgins waiting for them.....where did they all come from ? But seriously, what kind of pathetic excuse for a human are you when you take the lives of innocents ! What good has Islam done for us ...at any time ? Do you see christian burning, destroying or even killing when someone publishes a sick cartoon of Jesus ? Nope ! Why....inteligence level ! Muslims need to find something more worth while in there lives than hate and 72 virgins ! Sure they are not all this way....but where are they now ? Why the silence ? Bottom line..its a cartoon...woopie doo ! Is all this attention and ager worth it...nope ! Its just an excuse ....being fueled by Syria and Iran !

Imran Anwar said...

I think you should read the history of how Christians and the Church BURNED people at the stake, how Hindus burn living women even TODAY when their husbands die, how many religious establishments do dumb and evil things in the name of their God(s). Your comment had lots of words, but did not say anything new or worthwhile. Thanks for visiting anyway.

Imran

mitsu said...

I am so glad to have found some thoughtful and enlightening discussion on these events taking place today, which have angered and dismayed me. I would like to offer my perspective. I am just one person, but I'm sure my thoughts are echoed in the minds of many. Here is a view from a liberal, non-religious American.

From where I stand, islam, christianity and judaism are all branches of the same religion. They are like three siblings who are determined to kill each other. Why? I cannot help thinking that the legacy of the god of the bible, torah and koran has been bloodshed, intolerance and suffering. Still, it is also true that these religions have no monopoly on cruelty. I try to be tolerant, especially of those whose traditions I may not fully understand. As a descendant of people whose lives were ruled by the christian religion for centuries, I feel I somehow have more right to criticise christianity, and I do criticise it. One of my main objections to christianity is its history of intolerance, so I try to understand why other people do the things they do. When muslims flew airplanes into buildings and killed thousands of people, I was of course angered and frightened, but I tried to see the big picture and understand that the policies of my government were making others around the world angry. That's not hard to believe, they make me angry too. When Palestinians go into Israel and blow up themselves, along with innocent schoolgirls, I try to understand that they are a people whose world has been carved up into bits and are living under the iron thumb of a wealthier nation. I cannot condone any of these acts and find them utterly abhorrent, but I make the effort to use them as a means to educate myself and broaden my perspective. But when people started rioting and burning buildings over some cartoons, I felt I had reached my limit. I suddenly felt so tired of feeling held hostage by the muslim reactionaries of the world who are actually willing to take others' lives over some drawings. Why must we tiptoe around muslims, lest they start smashing and burning things, and blowing people up? Even if the drawings are such a reprehensible offense in the muslim world, can't they see that other cultures don't have the same view? And are they really unable to understand what a terrible disservice they do themselves with these acts of violence? The reaction to the cartoons taxed my ability to try to understand, and I found myself tempted by the thought of giving up the effort. For a moment, I felt myself turning my back on the muslims of the world, and briefly considered the possibility that maybe the gulf between our respective cultures is too large to bridge, after all. I am on the verge of giving up hope - it seems to me that the world is in a sorry state when this is how we expend our energy. The leaders are fanning the flames of hatred and the populace is following along blindly. As much as Americans are ignorant and hateful, so too are our counterparts in Iran and Indonesia. In the face of these thoughts, it is refreshing and encouraging to find some commentary that sounds sane, and which takes more than one perspective into account, so thank you for that.

Imran Anwar said...

Thank you for a truly wonderful analysis and comment, and thanks for your kind words. Please share the word.

Imran

Merc said...

If this a repeat... please forgive me...

Interesting that a Muslim would be holding such a forum. I am impressed. There is still hope in the world.

If you could... post this. I owe it to no one but myself. Thank you.

Religion is the root of so many evils, regardless of the god. I would like to share a couple of things.

It is true, without falsehood and most real. That which is above is that which is below. That which is below is that which is above. All things are in existence to perpetuate the motion of the One.

As well as...

We all pray to someone, but when it is said and done, it is really all the same, with just a different name. So many voices, all giving choices, if we listen they will say, we will find the way.

We are all the same, we have bones, blood, skin, hair, taste, smell, etc. We should be less worried about who is above, who is below, who is right, or who is wrong, because we all have a common enemy and that is time. And for us all to achieve some sort of greatness that all our religions/political beliefs inspire us to do, time is way too short. We all are adamant that our religions/political beliefs profess peace and goodness, yet all our religions/political beliefs have a very evil side that we either attempt to hide or justify in the name of the god we pray to or the great political process we find so perfect. Point is, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. We should look past these and realize that we are all the same. In doing so, we may attain that greatness that our Messiahs, Prophets, Forefathers and gods told us we are capable of. If we arm ourselves with either cartoons, rifles, bombs, or terror, we are slipping into evil, not into the greatness that those Messiahs, Prophets, Forefathers and gods tried so hard to guide us to. We are all making history as I type, You, I, Bushmen of Australia, Israelis, Muslims, Christians, Germans, Danes, Brits, Russians, Chinese, Koreans, Americans, Mexicans, Canadians, even descendents of the Boers of South Africa. How are we going to be remembered if we are at all is the question. Time is dwindling for us to make a difference together. We just saw the end of the most terrible era of all for Earth by the end of the cold war. We need to take that a step further and make peace and prosperity a universal thing for all of Earthkind. In order to do so we need to respect each other’s tenets and take what criticisms the rest of the world gives us. True, I may not see what is right with you, but you may not see what is right with me. I can see wrong with what you are doing, but be totally oblivious to the wrongs that I am committing. Blind faith is often like this, we cannot see past our own ideas/beliefs, thus we cannot see the whole truth. We err in seeing only our own truth, which falls far short of the real truth. That blindness is holding us all, and all earth’s creatures, back from that greatness we were all told we could reach. Earthkind? Yes, humans are so selfish and arrogant they believe their actions only harm themselves, and the distance themselves from being Earthkind, but that is another story.

To End…

Children of tomorrow live in the tears that fall today
Will the sunrise of tomorrow bring in peace in any way
Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear
Can they win the fight for peace or will they disappear?

Beware… We can all be Children of the Grave. No Jest.

Replies are welcomed: mercunknown@hotmail.com

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for the kind words. Great writing. Hope to see your comments on more pages here.

Imran

Michael said...

Firstly let me tell you that I enjoyed your article very much, and I am being increasingly encouraged by the sensible reactions of what I term 'normal' Muslims to the hysteria caused by these publications.

Personally, I do not agree that these people aimed to incite any kind of hatred, and I think you must try to see these cartoons in the context of a culture very different from your own. Which, as AGreatDane mentioned, has only very recently come into direct contact with Islam. I know that you take the respect of your prophet extremely seriously, therefore I can understand why these images were hurtful; but surely it is only fair to understand that these people (and the target audience of the publication) saw them in an entirely different context. Also I would like to mention that I think all organised religions (within secular societies) must learn to take a vast amount of the media in the public domain as water of a ducks back, and I believe that as the Danish are used to the comfort of saying what they like with regards to the practices and beliefs of religions- they simply did not anticipate that the cartoons would be taken so seriously.

It is a fact of life that if we wish to live together, we must learn to do so with tolerance, and this works both ways; I honestly felt shocked that even the Muslim authorities within Denmark were so quick to condemn everyone involved, when if the truth be told they are living in a country which has welcomed them despite their cultural differences to the natives. In England where I reside, we go so far to appease the voices of those outraged by these cartoons that we do not stop (an honestly frightening) demonstration which somehow escaped the Incitement to Racial Hatred laws despite openly threatening violent retaliation. I should dread to think what would become of me if I were to try a similar thing in any Arab country. Despite this, despite the massive international panic that has been caused by the reactions of Muslims worldwide, despite the artists (and many normal citizens) now living in fear of their lives, despite a growing number of national socialists (within England as an example) who use these reactions to support their Nazi policies- still many authorities within Islam demand more compensation, in the form of apologies or hitting the economic standing of entire nations. All for some blasphemous drawings?

Let’s be honest, if we tried, we could think of much more insulting things to draw with regards to Mohammed and I’m sure many people have and will continue to, if you think these were bad just imagine what some skin head British National Party member could dream up? What then? I have no doubt that every culture has a habit of presenting others in a poor light (you give the example of Hollywood) but it's just human nature to see those different from ourselves as inferior, we must always remember this.
"Arabs ridicule Jews even less compared especially to how Jewish producers of Hollywood comedies and action flicks ridicule Arabs and Muslims." I must dispute that this is NOT the point; if we take this attitude then we will end up forever trying to figure out who started it. Even if certain newspapers would not print certain cartoons depicting other religious figures in a bad light, this is again, not the point... within their cultural context people will do what they do. Most westerners are happy to accept the differences of others so long as their ideas are not forced upon them, we are different, we always will be, and if you expect the same respect for your beliefs from those that have no basis in your culture- well then things are going to continue the way they seem to be. I'm sorry but this also means you have to be ready to let people make fun of what you hold dear, as you quite rightly presented- adopting the example of your prophet.

I think we must all learn to take things a little less seriously. I am really frightened that these divisions which many on both 'sides' seem to want will only grow and grow if we stick to our old ways. In the modern world cultures are being thrown into contrast more sharply than ever before I think, but with our relatively new understanding of human psychology (as a science) and the ability it gives us to see the group behavioural patterns which we all exhibit, surely we can find a way to loosen up a little and let things slide once in a while- just put it down to differences and allow us all to go in peace.


I must apologise, I realise that much of what I have written is only rephrasing what you have already so well put, so I will get to the point. The scary face of intolerance which is shown by so many in the world, not just Muslims of course, is something which can blind those in every group to the mistakes of their own and allow them to see others as evil. Recently many within western cultures are beginning to think that as so many Muslims simply refuse to assimilate any of our own cultural identities, yet expect total respect from the media- that the dogmas of your teachings are simply incompatible with the modern world, and that they lead usually to hatred against those who differ. This I refuse to believe. Last weekend I was informed by a friend that a much less publicised event took place where those of many faiths (mostly Muslims) gathered to explain the message of peace that I believe is the essence of your holy text; accompanied by prayer, open discussion and a large screen showing quotes from the Quran. She was welcomed to take pictures (she is a photographer) and felt an overwhelming sense of peace and understanding between peoples. This I believe is the face of true Islam. I cannot pretend that my short education in your religion at school has informed me well enough, so I would like to ask why such obvious misunderstandings (or misinterpretations?) exist within the body of your religion? So many, such as yourself, seem enlightened to the need for us all to be accepting to allow our cultures to live in peace together. So why do so many of those who are most respected in having a knowledge of the teachings of Islam continue to preach messages of (frankly) intolerance, distrust and often violence towards those who do anything to their dislike? I know many of you are outraged by the acts of those who claim to be defenders of your faith, but why isn’t more done to make these people REALLY understand that they entirely missing the point of the Muslim faith? Surely there is someone with authority who can stop this march towards hatred?

With Peace
Michael

discordianmichael@googlemail.com

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for the detailed comment, Michael. More information has come to light that the cartoons were intended to inflame, as the same paper had earlier refused to run some anti-Christian cartoons. In either case, your kind words are appreciated.

Regarding a religious authority to stop these idiots, one of Islam's great values is that there is no central authority. No Pope. Though the Iranians/Shiites are catholicizing their version of Islam with Ayatollahs, symbols, self-flagellation, etc.

The lack of a central figure means I can "communicate" with God in my heart without needing a priest to go through. With many Muslims being illiterate (though Islam's FIRST WORD was "READ" no Muslim leaders want their people to be educated) they end up falling prey to whatever semi-literate , stinky, bearded mullahs tell them to do. If they say, Michael said the Prophet was a bad man, kill Michael, sorry, but some idiot will probably come after you. That is our tragedy among many others.

Imran

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of mindless dribble. Have you seen the "CARTOONS" ? They are so tame compared to others. And no Christians don't like having there religion amde fun of...but it happens all the time..in movies, "art" work, news papers and all sorts of media....but I don't ever recall an organized violant out pouring laike the "Muslums". And did the UN ever get involved in anyother type of religious/ethnic bashing against the Christians,Jews or the Budist in Tibet?
This is the type of reactions that just goes to bloster the Idea that Muslums or Islamics are just an ignorent group that "follows" a few religious "nuts" like "dumb" sheep.......

Anonymous said...

Hi and many thanks to Imran and all who have posted thus far, it has been an interesting and fairly enlightening read. I agree and disagree with a lot of what's been said but hey, isn't that one of the greatest things; we're all managing to talk about it like adults.

On top of that, we're all able to log off after our debate, taking with us whatever we have from it, switch off the computer and go to bed safe and sound. Tomorrow, we'll probably wake up safe and sound and no doubt have breakfast(some with bacon, others without!). Not all of mankind has any such luxury. Some don't have the breakfast bit. Some don't have the debate bit. Some don't have the safe and sound bit. Some sometimes have none of these at any point in their lives. I am not a religious man, I was brought up as a christian but I have never seen any need for religion in my own life. However, to all those who follow religions that preach love and compassion (as you all claim your's does) and protest about your religion being insulted or attacked, try this thought: Every day, every single day, children die in Africa from aids, malnutrition, war etc(this is only one example, I am not an expert on world crisis areas, but I know of plenty. I just chose africa as a broad example). That's just children I'm talking about, you know, the little folk who have no say yet, the ones who learn off us adults. If you wanna protest or get offended at something then try just starting there. Protest against those that make things like that happen. Protest against those that stand by and do nothing. Protest against yourself for getting offended at comments against your religion instead of spending every waking moment trying to ease the suffering of one of your fellow human beings who can't help themselves. Please get some perspective of the human race, then work towards preventing it becoming a plague that could grow and grow(and it is, quickly!) to suffocate itself and the planet in it's own greed and ignorance.

I'd like to thank Merc for his/her post. I have very similar views. If you have not read their post yet please do, it'll save me repeating it here. I will argue one of their points though: "Religion is the root of so many evils, regardless of the god." Not true. Religion is not inherently the root, it is certain peoples' interpretation or manipulation of religion that is.

I'd also like to join in on the free speech debate. Of course free speech has to have limits. I agree that no subject should be taboo, but a degree of sensitivity towards others feelings or beliefs has to be factored in. Example: I recently had a serious accident that has left me paralysed from the chest down. I will now spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and I have come to terms with that. So, if someone were to say in my company, "you're a worthless cripple that society has no further use for", I'd be very offended and rightly so, I hope you would agree. But, he was only exercising his right to free speech wasn't he? So do you think it was ok for him to say it? It's only an example, I know(I am a paraplegic though!), but you just can't say anything you like to anybody and simply excuse it by saying it was your right to free speech. We all have a moral obligation to balance peoples beliefs and feelings against valid points and statements that we feel need to be aired. If that guy did say those things to me though, I have the right to highlight to the rest of the world what he said and to let them no how it insulted me. I have however, no right whatsoever to burn his house and call for his head on a plate.

Thanks again for the great discussion and for hearing my view.

Imran Anwar said...

I have two Anonymous comments above to respond to. The first one is a mindless drivel dribbling with words but merely stating a bigoted position of the writer. To him I say: Yes, I agree. Muslims are am ignorant group that follows a few religious nuts like the Christians followed Nazis in killing Jews and the Pope made a silent deal to look the other way.

But, a second, really incredible Anonymous comment was posted after that. I am now writing in appreciation of that latter, longer, anonymous, incredibly powerful and moving opinion.

You have taken an excellent and balanced approach, as I have tried and you have my respect. Sorry to hear of your tragic accident.

May God help you recover and live life to the fullest with a positive attitude. I survived a massive accident (by the grace of God) and though still aching after almost 18 months, I am incredibly thankful I did not go through what you did. Which brings up the second point - we are so busy complaining about each other that we forget to be thankful for what we have and to help alleviate the suffering of the real poor and dying of the world.

Thanks for a great post - and I will look forward to more from you on other topics here.

Imran

Alan said...

Imran

I'm the second of the two anonymous writers you responded to. Thanks for your very kind words. I'm very glad to hear you survived your accident and I hope the aching eases soon, I'm very fortunate not to have endured any significant pain, thanks to the excellent care I've recieved here in Scotland.

I have decided to include my name this time as your response got me thinking, both about two anonymous writers and, also about being thankful for what we have. I have the privilige of living in a country that lets me express my views openly without having to hide my identity. I should therefore, not conceal it when stating my views. I also run the risk of being grouped together with the dribbling bigot before me(sorry if my free speech offended you anon.)

Thanks again.

Imran Anwar said...

Alan, glad to meet you. You've got a friend here in America anytime you need.

Imran

Lovechild said...

Thanks for the debate, guys, balanced and thoughtful on the whole but i have to say that i feel the motivation of the Danish cartoonists should be questioned.

some of those replying to the original blog assert that there was no underlying bigotry in the cartoons but that it was all about free expression. however, i have heard from a (white) Dane that his country has become more and more right-wing and Islamophobic and that the newspaper that commissioned these cartoons is very right-wing.

I am an atheist Brit and support the idea that all religions should expect to be criticised for any number of reasons, not least that they are built on superstitions and cultural traditions masquerading as "the truth". Nevertheless, there is such a thing as ulterior motives and although the cartoonists themselves might be artists exploring boundaries, the hypocrisy of the newspaper's editor concerning decisions of what to publish and whnat not to publish (anti-Christian cartoons) shows that "free speech" is being used as a shield behind which people with some nasty ideas are hiding and lashing out at a minority in their country who already face discrimination.

it is imperative that those of us who value free speech question the motives of those who claim to share that value but who may exercise it for other reasons.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering...what If somebody passes a fatwa against u for writing what u did abt muslims?
An Indian has declared an award of 51 crores for the culprit cartoonist.

Imran Anwar said...

That would be awesome :-) because I would get rich writing some average novel like Salman Rushdie :-) . Also, if these mullahs had 51 Crore rupees (or about US$1 Million) would they not at least buy some toothpaste for their smelly breath mouths? I respect religious scholars but the only good violent mullah is a dead one.

Imran

Asma said...

Even though i am only 15, I found that your article was amazing. At first, i thought that people had the right to be angry, and i got VERY upset everytime i heard this issue on the radio on the news(sometimes i still am when people are being racist towards arabs & muslims). But now, after i read your article, i feel like i just solved a very hard math problem and all of a sudden everything seems to be clearer. We are wrong. We shouldnt be doing this! When i saw the "violent" responses of the muslims on tv, i was surprised (especially in Pakistan...etc)!!! And i agree with you, why should we be "defending" him? What do we need to defend him against? It's not like the Dutch tried to ..."decrease" our faith.
BUT! there is one thing that i dont like about the ameicans and israilis mostly... Whenever an arab or asian or any muslim person does something "wrong" (like palestini kill an israeli/american soldiers...etc) The whole world goes crazy and blames Muslims and the media goes out of control. But when a soldier kills like a whole family, nothing on the news, no craziness, nothing. And us, muslims, don't blame the jews or christians... we get angry at the soldier(s) or the army or its boss(preident w/e). I know that was an almost whole differnt topic but it still had to do about the same thing.
-Assma

Imran Anwar said...

Asma (Assma?) I am delighted to read your comment and most impressed by your wisdom. I remember when I was your age (yes, almost 30 YEARS ago :-) ) and had my first writings published in The Pakistan Times and people said I was so wise for my age. Well, you are very wise and I am very impressed. We need expressive and intelligent young people like you to be more regular, confident and balanced about expressing your opinions. On the second topic that you mentioned I encourage you to read:

From the start I have been writing about it, this is from 1996:
http://www.imran.com/creative/writing/OOOOO/

and recently:

http://www.imran.com/media/blog/2005/08/can-they-handle-truth-re-logical-plan.html

Enjoy and share with your friends.

Imran

Susanne Gerull said...

Hi, a little greeting from Denmark.

I just had a four-hour discussion with my fiancé about this whole topic.

In the search for more information on the net I stumbled into your blog. I enjoyed reading your posting and I share a lot of your views.

There is one thing though that I as an inhabitant of Denmark (actually I'm German) want to let you and the readers know: the publishers might have had the intention of being 'provocative', but believe me, neither them nor any Dane would ever have imagined that these witlessly pathetic and so truly superfluous cartoons could trigger reactions of THAT range.

Neverever. Do you want to know why? Because most Danes are so out of touch with religion, not just islam but their own as well, that they fail to understand the very notion of respecting the sacred and the holy. Those I talk with are stunned about the reactions they see on tv and they are genuinely sorry about the whole thing. What did Jesus say? "Forgive them, they do not know what they are doing."

And, actually, they do make fun of Jesus. For example, a few years back a film was made showing Jesus as gay and connected to a terror group. So, yes, this happens, too.

In my view, Denmark is one of the most securalised countries in the world, it cannot be compared to the U.S.
But anyway, it's not the worst country to live in, either, and most people here, though being atheists, agree that publishing these cartoons was the last thing Denmark and the world needed.

Despite the danger of sounding naive, I really hope we all can make peace with each other soon. I hate the current situation. But I'm happy that the internet enables us to get into a dialogue.

Peace and love from Susanne :o)

Imran Anwar said...

Loved your comment. Hope to see you post here on other topics too. Thanks.

Imran

a norwegian said...

Dear Imran.

Thanks a lot to yourself and all the people that has posted their opinion here. In thruth a very interesting, educating and fascinating example of free-speech. There is a lot of good points here (and some ridicolous too) and if nothing else this blog shows that no human is perfect, neither western nor muslim. It also shows that it is not given to any man to be able to tell the absolute truth. It also shows the diversity of opinions within both the western and muslim cultures.

This is the first time I post my personal opinion on the internet like this, and I do so out of respect for Mr. Imran Anwar, and because the re-actions and counter-reactions on the cartoons of the Prophet as shown in the newspaper has upset me a lot.

I am sure that a lot of you, including Mr Imran Anwar will disagree in my conclusion that Jyllandsposten did a brave and correct thing in publishing cartoons of the Prophet. I will try to explain my point of view in three stories.

1st story.

When I was a young boy, one of my teachers told me a story demonstrating the power of the caricature. Sometime before the french revolution, a french magazine published a drawing of the King, with his head shaped like a pear. I doing so the magazine told it's readers that the king was stupid, arrogant, pompous and that he misused his power. Remember, at this time the king was given his power by God and because of that he could not be wrong. The magazine's editor published the drawing in risk of his own life, and he did so because he knew that someone had to stand up against the greed and arrogance of his king. Since then cartoons has been used, with great success to kick the butt of the powerful, stupid and arrogant, whether thet be Gods (The words of Jesus stating "Let the young children come to me", has in deed inspired caroonists to comment the church's reluctance to do the right thing towards pedophile priests) or humans(especially Pres. Bush had been cartooned a lot lately). This story shows that the pen is stronger than the sword. Maybe the drawings has exposed some of the untrue, but powerful followers of the Prophet in a way that treathened their power?

2nd story

Almost 1000 years ago, St Olav christened my native Norway(violently of course). The most recognised historican of that time, Snorre, highlights one incident in st. Olavs crucade. At the farm of Dale Gudbrand there was a large wooden statue of one of the ancient Gods, and if this God was fed at night, he would eat all food set before him during the night. This was a proof of this Gods power, and the place was naturaly a holy place of that ancient religion. King Olav took his sword and cut down the statue in one stroke, and the rats and snakes hiding inside the statue was exposed. Dale Gudbrand and his men soon converted to christianity.

Since then there has been exposed a lot of rats and snakes hiding behind the word of christ also. (crucades, the treatment of africans and indians, the burning of whiches, political cowardness, pedophile priests etc.) There has also been exposed "rats and snakes" behind the shelter of free speech, communism, jewism, bushism etc. The drawing of the Prophet with a bomb on his head was according to the illustrator an attempt to expose those who kills in the name of the Prophet. Is it not allowed to say that also some of the followers of the Prophet use His name to do unfair and stupid things? Is not a drawing something that everyone can understand? Isn't the killings and burnings proving the illustrator right?

3rd story

This one goes to those that does not think that the west dare to question their own religion. Quite recently I read a truly remarkable book by the canadian writer Nino Ricci (http//www.ninoricci.com) It's title was Testament. In this book, Mr. Ricci suggests that Jesus was in deed not the son of God, but the result of Mary's father letting a roman officer rape his daughter to improve the fathers position in the roman province of Judea. Mr. Ricci also suggests that the idea of Virgin Mary is a lie that the disciples spread to avoid embarresment. I am sure that Mr Ricci, as well myself, many of his readers and many of the critics praining this book consider themselves Christians. Still we praise a book that truly attacs the most essential parts of christianity. Why is that? Can it be that we aknowledges Christ's words, actions and lessons higher than who's son he was? Can it be that our faith is strong enough to allow questions to it?

I have used the essence of these stories to come to the conclusion that Jyllandsposten did right in printing the cartoons of the Prophet. Not because I disrespect the Prophet, or his true followers, rather the opposite. I disrespect those who hide themselves behind the name of the Prophet and spread hate and untruth. Like the danish and norwegian imams using the image of a french farmer imitiating a pig in a village feast to rise a riot agains two small countries on the edge of the world.

I believe, as sad as it sounds, that it is necessary to sometimes attack the holy to expose the evil hiding behind it, whether that being Jesus Crist, the Prophet or someone else.

I truly apologize for hurting people with these words. I hope that you all can forgive me.

best regards
Olav ( my true name)

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for your comment, Olav. The problem I have is the double standard on both sides. The same newspaper did NOT publish anti-Christian cartoons saying people would be offended. But, I enjoyed your posting very much.

Imran

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for your comment, Olav. The problem I have is the double standard on both sides. The same newspaper did NOT publish anti-Christian cartoons saying people would be offended. But, I enjoyed your posting very much.

Imran

Anonymous said...

A couple of points. First, I have no problems with people of different religions. I am a scholar of religion and find a couple of mistakes with the "theology" of this article. Mainly the statement that mulsims share the same prophets with jews and christians. The only prophets that jews and christians follow are those in the line of Issac of the hebrew bible, aka new testement in christianity.

As others have said, I am thankful for your objective view of the event, but be careful not to mistake disgust for hatred. By this I mean that for most people the only interaction with muslim philosophy for centuries was no existant. A pacifist, for example, wouldn't look at this and breed hateful media, they would wonder what the hoop-la was all about and release something like the Dane did back in september. Then again I could be wrong. Motives of the heart are fickle and volitle things.

Finally, it needs to be known by all that everyone does not support the views of the media. In the US, media believes that it talks for the majority, when in fact it represents the ideas of a relativly small minority. Communist countries are censored so much that events like the Tianannmen Square Massacre, or as their government calls it the June 4th incident, is down played so much that it is even censored on the internet. And the largest media broadcaster in the middle east allows propaganda to fuel hate amoung their viewers. I still don't understand how Al-jazeera gets their videos without authorities getting to their terrorist organizations. There is no balance or journalistic integrity anymore and it is a shame.

To bad the state of the world has digressed so much that a simple sit down talk and some honest principles seems to only be a wet dream. The world conflicts come down to such greedy principles. Land occupation for religion is not necessary, it the ability to cohabitate them with out religious bickering and persecution that is what religion needs. You have to give it to the Americans, they do have a good system working as far as religion and government control go. For example, Israel and and Palestine are battling over land that each have very deep historical claim to that dates back centuries, despite what recent events may lead one to think. The boundries set by a government and religious intolerance are what is flaming this conflict.

I am in no way a soft heart, save the world, don't eat meat guy, but there is merit to my statements.

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for your comment, but let me correct a mistake in what you call is a mistake about theology. Muslims believe in the SAME prophets, from Adam, through Noah, Moses, Jesus on through Mohammad. Jews and Christians don't believe in Mohammad, that was their choice. It does NOT change the fact that Muslims believe the SAME prophets that Jews and Christians do. By the way, Jews don't believe in Jesus, Muslims DO. Judaism and Christianity have LESS in common with each other than they both have in common with Islam. Thanks.

Imran

Anonymous said...

Christians don't label Islam as an evil religion - only some of the people who practice it. Nobody in the west is suicide bombing Muslims; nobody within the Christian religion is seeking to abolish or attack Muslims on the basis of religion; nobody in the west is storming embassies of Muslim countries, burning businesses, attacking Muslims randomly...that only happens in the Muslim world. No Christian has kidnapped and beheaded Muslims to change Osama bin Laden's policies. The west has always welcomed Muslim immigrants and don't kill them because they show up on our "holy" lands. America and its allies have always tried to prevent mass murders of people as best we can, including Muslims in Kosovo and we send help to Islamic nations who need it during disaster relief. But Muslim clerics have branded westerners as bad, and Christians as bad, because Islam still talks about the behavior of Frankish armies that killed Muslims a thousand years ago. That was then, this is now. The west doesn't behave like that anymore, but Islam hasn't grown up...they are still kidnaping and beheading people on the basis of their belief system, their nationality, or some other unjustifiable reason. So, what do you expect us to do, but respond to your attacks? You allow your extremist mullahs to preach hate to small children. You allow terrorist training camps to operate in Islamic countries and you aggrandize mass murderers as great heroes. What do you expect your image to be in the west? Muslims have brought down upon themselves the loathing of the west and has nobody to blame but themselves.

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for the comment. In the interest of time, I can easily flip your words around and replace Muslim/Christian.

Plus, Christians are the ones who elected and keep this crusading president in power. Christians do not behead Muslims, they drop cruise missiles on them. Much cleaner on the hands. Christians do NOT have a "holy" land comparable to Mecca (which the Saudis, not Muslims in total, try to keep so "clean" while smugglers, killers and other scummy Muslims can go there). Islamic countries mostly have dictators kept in power by the Christian West, keeping out education, leading to these uneducated masses doing what they do. It will take 20 years of education, 30 years of economic well being, before they can be more moderate as most Christians are. Of course, it is Christians who burn Black churches, bomb Islamic countries, lynched Black slaves, and what not including raping children in church. And, Christian leaders call Islam an evil religion? Did you speak out against Christian bigots like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc. Saying things like that? No, I didn't think so.

Thanks for posting.

Imran

alasadi said...

Both Muslims and Europeans are practicing double standards.
Europeans such as "Austria" just sentenced David Irving for 4 years since he is a holocaust denier, and expressed his ideas in publications. In Germany the media insults Islam regularly.
Europeans think it is Ok to insult Islam, and everything related to it, such as Islam, the prophet, Quran, but it is not OK to criticize anything else.

On the other hand, many Muslims are angry for the provocative, insulting cartoon, but they bless the attacks on Iraqi civilians, or in mosques belonging to Shiites in Pakistan or Iraq.
More than 30 Wahabi cleric in Saudi Arabia have signed a document urging the youth to go to Iraq and fight, since there are 2 evils in Iraq; Shiites, and Americans, both are infidels according to Wahabis, both should be killed. Muslims did not show any anger to attacks on school buses in Iraq, busy markets, the opposite is true. Celebrations were made, such as what happened in Jordan.
Muslims did show any anger against a French cartoon published in 2000 since France was supporting the dictator of Iraq, and France is a good friend of the Arabs and Muslim dictatorships. France after all a strong nations, unlike Denmark which is weak. Who would accept an isult from a weak person??? No body.

We are a nation which respects only the strong, strength is represented in wealth and power, and does not pay much attention to the weak, in fact we tread on them. Our hisotry is teamed with examples, even our daily life. When cultural proverbs emphasize power and wealth, and belittle ethics.
The prophet has always forgave his enemies, he showed ultimate tolerance for every one who disagreed with him, the Muslims they don't follow his manners.

I think Islam as we see it now, is a new religion which has nothing to do whith the one found or revealed on the prophet. It is a crazy fantasy made by mad men called fanatics, or fundamentalists or any name you like.
Thank you
Maan Alasadi

"I have made this comment in response to your commenton my blog"


Related topics
http://maanalasadi7.blogspot.com/
http://maanalasadi5.blogspot.com/

alasadi said...

Both Muslims and Europeans are practicing double standards.
Europeans such as "Austria" just sentenced David Irving for 4 years since he is a holocaust denier, and expressed his ideas in publications.
In Germany the media insults Islam regularly, it is not a problem for them.
Europeans think it is Ok to insult Islam, and everything related to it, such as Islam, the prophet, Quran, but it is not OK to criticize anything else.

On the other hand, many Muslims are angry for the provocative, insulting cartoon, but they bless the attacks on Iraqi civilians, or in mosques belonging to Shiites in Pakistan or Iraq.
More than 30 Wahabi cleric in Saudi Arabia have signed a document urging the youth to go to Iraq and fight, since there are 2 evils in Iraq; Shiites, and Americans, both are infidels according to Wahabis, both should be killed.
Muslims did not show any anger to attacks on school buses in Iraq, busy markets,or mosques in Pakistan during th holly month of Ramadan, the opposite is true. Celebrations were made, such as what happened in Jordan, when a Wahabi from jordan blew up himself in a busy market and murdered more than 200, in Hilla in south of Iraq, the victims. His parents in Jordan celebrated in MARTYARDOM

Muslims did not show any anger against a French cartoon published in 2000, it was more vulgar and insulting where the prophet was drinking alcoholic beverages. France in 2000 was supporting the dictator of Iraq, and France is a good friend of the Arab and Muslim dictatorships. France after all is a strong nation, unlike Denmark which is weak.
We are a nation which respect only the strong, strength is represented in wealth and power, and does not pay much attention to the weak, in fact we tread on them.

Maan Alasadi

http://maanalasadi5.blogspot.com/
http://maanalasadi6.blogspot.com/
http://maanalasadi7.blogspot.com/

mike b. said...

"And, Christian leaders call Islam an evil religion? Did you speak out against Christian bigots like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc. Saying things like that? No, I didn't think so."

Well, calling guys like Robertson "Christian leaders" is a stretch at best. A large percentage of christians consider him a complete jerk and don't think he speaks for them let alone be their "leader." And church burners, lynchers, etc. have no business calling themselves "christian."

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks, Mike B. I agree with you but we Muslims are constantly beaten up about why we do not come out to condemn the dumb mullahs on our side but I also do not find Jews or Christians (normal good people) taking out processions to condemn their Zionist rabbis or Falwell/Robertson type evangelical TV-whores.

Alasadi, thanks for your post.

Imran

svip said...

I'm Danish. I'm also an agnostic. I have no extraordinary respect for any of these religious figures. History tells me they were good people. I have no particular reason to doubt that, nor to disrespect people who follow these people's teachings.
But this entire story isn't about the prophets or their devoted followers. It's about sheep and shepherds.

In the Muslim countries, a few shepherds, most likely attempting to protect their religion and culture, not from Danish 'hatemongering' but from natural curiousity of other cultures and religions, tell of these Danish cartoons and what they should supposedly mean to Muslims - and masses of sheep, unwilling to assume the responsibility of forming their own educated opinion, listen to these teachings, and in a true display of mob mentality, perform acts they wouldn't do on their own. (That being said I've wondered if the reporters handed them to flags to burn so they could take photos of it)

And in Denmark, a country being herded towards a right-winged xenophobic culture, the actions of Jyllands-Posten's editor and these misguided Muslim individuals - and the medias' exaggerated dealing of these - deal a devastating blow to the political opposition's attempts to pull the nation out of its lemming-like decline.

If this wasn't so easily explained with stupidity, it would be good fuel for conspiracy theorists.

svip said...

By the way, I wouldn't even call Danish a Christian country. Christianity is more of a routine than a belief here.

Imran Anwar said...

What a great comment, SVIP. Thanks!

bernie said...

Your article required much space for rebuttal so I blogged it here:


You have the right to yell fire in a crowded theater

I hope this clears up the yelling fire thing for you.

Also I respectfully disagree with everything you say, except for 10% about Christians and Jews.

The details are in the post.

Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

Hanna said...

First of all, I admit I didn't read through all the comments. I skipped maybe the last 5 or so, simply because I'm pressed for time online today.

I am technically a Christian (Lutheran, actually), but I live in a secular society and have not practiced my faith since childhood. However, just this last week I ended up having a heated argument with someone I had considered a friend (as in 'someone to respect my views even if not agreeing with them'), over some foundations of my faith.

The ironic bit is that she's a Christian too, although of a different sort. If this sort of strife happens that easily between individuals, I can see it happening between different orientations of the same religion - such as with the Sunni and Shia Muslims as well as different Christians.

But it's easier to swallow the insult when at least technically you believe in the same things, and have the same Holy Book to look to. Interpretation is what matters, like with (or so I've been given to understand) the different orientations of Islam. (My apologies for not using the correct phrases or spellings, but English is a foreign language to me.)

Now, being the oldest of three kids (the big sister of two little brothers), I've grown up to know them pretty darn well, and also I've grown to know just what are their likes and dislikes and how to push their buttons to get them mad. I may not always understand them, but I understand them well enough to be able to manipulate them slightly. And same goes vice versa, of course. Now take this sibling rivalry to the religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All these religions have grown together and with the help of one another, basically of the same family (or at least in my understanding the God is the same one in all three), and at the same time they know exactly how to make one another mad.

So, while everything gets blown out of proportion when the global system is involved, I personally view this whole scuffle as a fight between siblings. Sometimes one sibling wins, sometimes another, but in general they know how to get along.

Let's all just get along may sound very naive and too often used, but it's the only reality worth clinging to.

(Disclaimer: Everything written herein is the personal opinion of me and should not be generalized as the opinion of all Christians, Europeans, females or humanity.)

Marcel from Germany said...

I expected my fellow muslim friends in Europe to take up this chance to show the whole world, that they love the European idea of live, that they are part of the European society, they live in and prejudices against Moslems of being intolerate are all lies.

I expected Moslims and Not-Muslims to protest against violence.

I was disappointed. I saw muslem demonstrations against cartoons, but no demonstrations (except one in Norway) against murder and threatening.

hundeblick said...

You need to get your facts straight.

The Jesus Cartoons were rejected by the newspaper because they were sent in by a reader and they were of bad quality.

Cartoons showing a pedophile Muhammed were NEVER published in the danish newspaper.

See my website for various new pictures and links about this topic.

Hanna said...

Had to comment on this one before I go...

Of course, it is Christians who burn Black churches, bomb Islamic countries, lynched Black slaves, and what not including raping children in church.

No, no and no. It's politicians who tell armies to bomb Islamic countries, it's mobs who burn Black churches, it's individual human beings who rape children and it were rich and powerful people who did not think the Blacks were more than talking animals who freely lynched their Black slaves back in the earlier centuries.

Just because they happen to have been christened, they are not Christians. Make no generalizations of Christians and I'll make no generalizations of Muslims. Hate only breeds hate.

Imran Anwar said...

As I said: Jesus cartoons were SUMBITTED to them and they were REJECTED (because they would offend Christians). The Muhammad cartoons were COMMISSIONED and ASKED FOR by the paper. The Muhammad cartoons were some of the poorest quality cartoons I have seen (I have been in the comics and cartoons syndication business for about 20 years so I have seen some in my life) but the paper gladly published them. The Editor went on leave -- soon after he apparently said that sure he would now run Holocaust cartoons. This week a Brit was sent to PRISON for THREE YEARS for questioning the holocaust. Hypocrites should die of shame (on both sides).

Imran

Kourosism said...

I think it is difficult to lump all Europeans together, and brand them as hypocrites because a few newspapers published the cartoons. Yes, David Irving was sent to prison, but Abu Hamza has also been jailed, and during the recent protests people who were trying to hand out leaflets featuring the cartoons to incite tension were arrested.

We all need to stand up against hatred, whatever its source. It saddens me that there have been so few protests against violence, and peaceful protests (such as those carried out in London over the last couple of weeks) have received very little media attention.

Indeed, the media has a lot to answer for, in my humble opinion.

Paul M. Kingery said...

Dear Imran,

Thank you for your thoughts. I look forward to following your interesting blog. I’ve been writing about Ariel Sharon in relation to the Christian future. He may be more important a player than many realize. Are you interested in topics about the apocalypse, end times, the end of the world, eschatology, last days, the horsemen of the apocalypse, the beast, prophesy, prophesies, revelation, 666, bible prophesy, prophets, Canaan, Canaan's land, Land of Canaan, or the Christian future? If so you may enjoy reading " Land of Canaan." This is a free online book. The Link is http://landofcanaan.info/book.php
Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Paul M. Kingery, PhD, MPH

Anonymous said...

I am a muslim and want to say that the prophet was extremely peace loving.I agree your views 100 percent.
If I may be permitted.....I quote...
Reverend Bosworth Smith in 'Muhammad and Muhammadanism,' London, 1874.
"Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope's pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."
"In Mohammadanism every thing is different here. Instead of the shadowy and the mysterious, we have history....We know of the external history of Muhammad....while for his internal history after his mission had been proclaimed, we have a book absolutely unique in its origin, in its preservation....on the Substantial authority of which no one has ever been able to cast a serious doubt."
Dr. Gustav Weil in 'History of the Islamic Peoples'
Muhammad was a shining example to his people. His character was pure and stainless. His house, his dress, his food - they were characterized by a rare simplicity. So unpretentious was he that he would receive from his companions no special mark of reverence, nor would he accept any service from his slave which he could do for himself. He was accessible to all and at all times. He visited the sick and was full of sympathy for all. Unlimited was his benevolence and generosity as also was his anxious care for the welfare of the community.
Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.
"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."
“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."
"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”

Hanna said...

Imran Anwar said...
As I said: Jesus cartoons were SUMBITTED to them and they were REJECTED (because they would offend Christians). The Muhammad cartoons were COMMISSIONED and ASKED FOR by the paper.


I think you're reading too much into the rejection of the Jesus cartoons. Most newspapers discard anything sent to them that's not asked for, because of the sheer volume of things they get. And the Muhammad cartoons were commissioned and asked for to portray the difficulty of maintaining the "freedom of speech" in media, because they were afraid of an outcry. And then the outcry happened exactly as people had feared it would. Stereotypias abound from people behaving as someone else thought they would.

Erik said...

I agree with you a very long part of the way.

But as a dane I have some comments, to say " Would all these "fair and balanced" media and publications, from Denmark ... Prophet Jesus Christ as a nasty, pedophile, Homosexual telling his homosexual apostles and followers to become Christian priests and rape little boys in Churches?"

First; Such cartoons are very rarely printed, but *not* unheard of.
Secondly; Do you really feel that the prophet is pictured as such a monster in those cartoons ? I for one can only construe two of them as potentially offensive. And in practical terms I think only the drawing with the bomb, is potentially offensive, because of the possible link between Islam and terrorism.

But why haven't I heard any outcry when a suicidebomber in his farewell video makes an extremely strong connection between islam and terror ?
That is also the reason why "classic" terrorist organisations such as IRA, ETA and Rote Armee Fraction not are called "christian" terrorist's, even though one could possibly say that IRA have a religious aspect, their statements is purely political. And I don't think they consider themselves martyrs (in a religious sense anyway).


"The actions of these fanatic, idiotic, moronic Muslims destroying embassies represent Islam and Muslims as much as Christian priests repeatedly raping young boys represent Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him) or as much as the Nazi Germans Christians killing Jews (while the Church and the Pope looked the other way) represented Christianity"

I think that is true, but the difference is both the priest and the nazis atrocities created public outrage and consequences.

Imran Anwar said...

Erik, good comment. Thanks. The IRA and the Protestants in Ireland do deliberately target children as valid targets. I do not hear Christianity being condemned as media do to Islam. I do not see Jesus with a bomb cartoon. I feel that Muslims overreacted but the Danish paper and its editor was not an innocent victim.

As far as Nazis' actions causing outrage, we know from history that in fact the POPE and CHURCH were well aware of what the Nazis were doing. What consquences did that raise? The Pope (even that dead Nazi supporting one and the current ex-Nazi) is still infallible.

Thanks for your posting.

Imran

Strai said...

"Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of the conservative daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten, contacted approximately 40 cartoonists and asked them to draw the prophet as they saw him. This was meant to highlight the difficulty experienced by Danish writer Kåre Bluitgen in finding artists to illustrate his children's book about Muhammad." - Wikipedia

Oh yeah, those cartoons were created for the sole purpose of creating anger. [/sarcasm]
Get your facts straight.

Oh, and by the way, - www.loljesus.com -

Imran Anwar said...

Strai, thanks for the link, interesting site. But, also get your facts straight. The Editor of the Danish paper was sent on leave as soon as he said on TV he would also print anti-Jewish cartoons. (And they did refuse to print ant-Christian ones so as not to "offend" people."

Imran

A girl from San Diego/ just a student said...

I have an Engish class and your blog was assigned to us to read for comparison with another, and I must admit, YOU'RE GOOD! I'm glad that we did our paper on your blog because it made me stop and think and thought "he's totally right!" Thanks for being so tough but sarcastic, and true in opening up a few minds. We can't please everyone and certainly not everyone would understand. Good job!

Imran Anwar said...

Well, thank you for that wonderful comment. Now, I have to carry the burden of knowing kids in schools will hate me for BEING their homework. :-) But, seriously, thanks for your comments. And, remember, changing minds is much tougher than changing the world! Now, go forth and do good in life!

Imran

Hasan said...

Hey Imran,

I am a fellow muslim and I agree all the way with your ideas. Great work. I am doing a term paper on the cartoon contrversy and as I was searching for sources, I stumbled upon your site. I read your whole article and found some great points and information, so no doubt I will be using it as a source (if that's alright with you). Thank you.

Imran Anwar said...

Hasan, thanks for the kind comments. I am glad you found the article helpful. I would be happy to be quoted with attribution to this article and me. I love credit as much as credit cards :-) . Please do include a URL for the blog so others may come and see it too. Thanks.

Imran

Louis William Rose said...

"Prophet Jesus Christ as a nasty, pedophile, Homosexual telling his homosexual apostles and followers to become Christian priests and rape little boys in Churches?"

Dear Mr. Anwar,

I think that's Catholicism your talking about, not Christianity per say, although we do have our share of sexual predators as well. Jack Chick of "Chick Tracts", (www.chick.com) has been using cartoons to rake Catholics over the coals for years and he is makeing a good living at it in the ol' USA.

Moving on.

We are all violent people so I am not blaming the Arabs for that. However there is an old saying about what should happen to those folks who can't take a joke.

In response to the recent acts of violence by Islamic extremists because of a cartoon, I have produced a demonstration of the right to free speech where the Koran, the Bible, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and United States flag are destroyed by fire.

I have sent this video to various emails within the governments of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and to various Muslim associations within and without the United States.

To view the video rightclick on http://www.geocities.com/louisrose/freedom.wmv and save target to desktop.

I would appreciate your comments.

Imran Anwar said...

Mr. Rose, thank you for your comment. Interesting point of view. I did notice that your free speech "burning" list does not include Moses/Torah/Star of David. Instead of burning things, that can be a fire hazard and cause environmental pollution and cost money, why not do a real free speech demonstration... Let's stand there with posters saying "Bring Back Hitler", "We Need Final Solution For Jews", "Christ Was A Faggot", "Niggers Is Bad Peoples", "Jews Teach Daughters To Give Blowjobs To US Politicians", "Long Live Stalin"... and so on. I mean, no one is stopping us from burning things... let's SAY the things we are not supposedly allowed to say. Your thoughts?

Imran

Anonymous said...

I thought that it was a great entry. I didn't agree with all that you wrote but at least you showed that there are other viewpoints other than those espoused by radical imams.

While the writers do offer explanations as to what those drawings were meant to represent they could have been more upfront about it rather than leaving it open to interpretation because they allowed the cartoons to become more than just offensive, they allowed them to be hijacked by radicals to foment violence.

'As far as Nazis' actions causing outrage, we know from history that in fact the POPE and CHURCH were well aware of what the Nazis were doing. What consquences did that raise? The Pope (even that dead Nazi supporting one and the current ex-Nazi) is still infallible.'

That is the one statement that I disagree wholeheartedly. History shows that the priests of the Catholic Church did a lot of undergroud work to help Jews escape the Holocaust.

Furthermore, it was made clear by the Nazis that any sort of open condemnation would have resulted in the same sort of treatment for the Vatican as with other occupied countries (leaders killed, resistance eliminated) which would have allowed the Nazis to use the Church to sanction their actions as holy much like radicals imams do for suicide bombers.

As I said, all in all it was a very good article but to suggest complicity between the Catholic Church and the Nazis is unbelievably offensive and beneath someone who wrote such a thoughtful and eloquent article.

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks for the kind words. I do not expect everyone in the world to agree with me or anyone else 100% so I see no problem with your disagreeing with me. Good comments about the Pope. I agree with you. Good points about Christians who helped Jews escape Nazis. As a matter of fact, what I do find sickening is how we are force-fed holocaust movies on various TV channels which totally make it a "Jewish" tragedy. Hitler killed Catholics, Poles, Gypsies in incredible numbers, I rarely see that mentioned. Anyway, the point about complicity of the Catholic Church in Nazi crimes is not my accusing the then spineless Pope of calling up Hitler and offering help in killing Jews but of looking the other way. I am not the one making such accusations, it is the Church itself APOLOGIZING to Jews and the influential Zionist state of Israel for its inaction at that time. One would assume they know more about their complicity than you or I would know and would not apologize for something they did not do. Even worse, their continued protection of worse-than-Nazis evil religion preaching child molesting Catholic priests to this day is even more shameful. But that is a whold separate topic. Thanks for the great comment.

Regards

Imran

Anonymous said...

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,2453,0,0,1,0

Zen and the Heart of Blasphemy
by Liam Clarke, The Blanket, March 19, 2006

Belfast, Northern Ireland -- "What is Buddha? A dried shit stick". Such a statement about Mohammed or Jesus would provoke outrage amongst Muslims or Christians but to the pious Buddhist who asked the question in T'ang dynasty China, Master Ummon's reply was a precious teaching. It was so valued that it has been passed down from more than 1,000 years and is now case 21 in the Gateless Gate, one of the main collections of Zen koans.



<< Zen Master Ummon (862-949 CE). He wiped his backside with the Buddha.

As a Zen student I had to do a double take on the current controversy over the publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed. In Zen, blasphemy and irreverence is actually hard wired into the scriptural canon. For Zennists the real blasphemy is holding fast to our own ideas of the absolute.

Buddhism is the oldest of the world religions and Zen has learnt to employ blasphemy in a radical and creative way.

Ummon's statement has no complex symbolic meaning and is intended mainly to shock.

In medieval China a stick was used as we now use toilet roll and Ummon was telling his questioner in the plainest possible terms that he could wipe his ass with Buddha, or at least his ideas of Buddha.

Subverting the sacred is a standard tactic in the Zen teacher's armory. It is used to shock the pious into re-examining their fundamental assumptions so as not to commit the real sacrilege of defending their own opinions as absolute truth.

In the 5th century Bodhidharma, China's first Zen Patriarch, was asked by Emperor Wu, what the Holy Truths or Buddhism were and replied "nothing is Holy, there is only emptiness". He told Wu, a devout warlord and lavish patron of Buddhist institutions across his realm, that his work was without merit. At first Wu reacted with anger. Bodhidharma fled in fear of his life but Wu later came to value the encounter as an "Emperor has no clothes" moment which had stripped away his delusions.

The twentieth century, Soto Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki taught "There is no Buddha so we bow to Buddha. If you bow to Buddha because there is Buddha, that is not a true understanding." He advised that important issues and problems should always be addressed with a "beginners mind" because "in the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there is only one."

It's not just that, as George Bernard Shaw wrote, "all great truths begin as blasphemies", Zen goes further in urging us to move outside the box. It makes systematic use of the paradoxical and the shocking to undermine established orthodoxies and habitual ways of looking at the world. In another koan our experiences and most cherished beliefs are compared to a 100 foot pole which we must step off in order to realise the truth. In another, two travelers are caught in a blizzard and find an abandoned pagoda with a statue of Buddha in it. One says "perhaps the Buddha will help us", the other nods and sets fire to the statue.

The reader who has struggled thus far will realise that compared to most religious or political systems Zen is decidedly dogma lite.

However there are points of contact with Islamic and Christian, even Marxist, thought. As in Marx, the world confronts us as our own alienated product which we can reclaim.

Like Mohammed, the historical Buddha, who lived 2,500 years ago in northern India and southern Nepal, asked his followers to make no images of him after his death. For a hundred years or more he was represented by an image such as a footstep in the sand, much as Allah is represented in a mosque by a disc containing Arabic calligraphy. In both systems the absolute goes beyond any representation we may amke of it.

However when Alexander the Great's followers established themselves in what is now Afghanistan the Hellenistic rulers commissioned carvings depicting Buddha as a meditator seated in the full lotus posture, sometimes guarded by Hercules. The image caught on.

Zen, a back to basics movement within Buddhism, did not forbid the Buddha statues but it supplemented them with the Enso. The Enso, a broken circle drawn in sumi ink with a single brush stroke, symbolized the unity of all existence but also signified that our ideas of it were necessarily flawed.

The Enso is a broken circle symbolizing the >>
recognition that our ideas of the absolute are inevitably incomplete.

Zen attacks fixed conceptions of the absolute or Buddha nature with the utmost vigor.

Those who interrogate our understanding and even those who insult us are often regarded as allies. The historical Buddha compared his teaching to a raft which could be abandoned when they had served its purpose.

The contemporary Zen Master Paul Haller Roshi, who comes originally from Cullingtree Road in Belfast, has advised his students "look at the world around you and the people in it. It is your movie and you are directing it. Watch carefully and you will lean a lot about yourself."

We tend to do the opposite. The problem is that a 100 foot pole is a very unstable place to be and we cannot remain there indefinitely.

The lesson for non Muslims in the furore over the cartoons is to look at the hurt being expressed in the Muslim world. We don't have to agree with it, we certainly should not buckle down to censorship, but we should accept the protests as expressions of a deeper concern which needs to be addressed. It is clear that large numbers of Muslims world wide feel marginalized, disrespected and disempowered.

Muslims may find it useful to perform a similar process when they look at the cartoons and listen to those who defend their publication so that they can hear what is really being said. They may find it useful to begin by respecting the concerns, sincerity and the values of western critics without going so far as to share them.

The Blanket is to be congratulated for giving both sides of the debate a chance to see the movies they are making out of the world and a platform to exchange critical views on their content. Muslims deserve better than to be either patronized or caricatured.

What we don't need at this point is sloganising by the ultra left or attempts to ride the tiger of Muslim anger by western secularists. The issues are too important and too large to be exploited in this way.

Didn't someone call that sort of behaviour an infantile disorder? I don't think he was a Zen master.

Paramendra Bhagat said...

Hate Speech, Free Speech: Europe Needs To Learn The Difference

Paramendra Bhagat said...

Hate Speech, Free Speech: Europe Needs To Learn The Difference

Imran Anwar said...

Great link, thanks.

Imran

Chase said...

Imran,

I tried posting this once before, and misfired somehow. I tried again, and am sure you got it, but you failed to respond to it. I am posting again, unexpurgated, and hoping you will answer me two things -
Why is Jerusalem "holy" to Muslims (or is it just a way for Mohammed's followers to continue to be enmeshed in conflict with his former allies of convenience on whom he later turned), and how can Allah/God be humiliated by the act of a Muslim converting to another form of worship of the same God? I thought only those who allowed themselves to be could be humiliated, and shouldn't someone ask Him?

My original post-
"Interesting comments throughout - some thoughtful and reasoned, others totally
out in some other universe. A couple comments to start:

"...It is the liberals in America who are doing what little is being done from
letting the Bible replace the US Constitution. Just like I say to really conservative
Muslims who don't like the West to move to Saudi Arabia, I invite any Bible thumping
Constitution-whacking fundo-Christians to consier moving to the Vatican."

The Constitution and the western philosophy, some aspects of which had their historical
start in Greece, is wholeheartedly based on teachings from the Bible. The western
nations constitutions are based on law, and those laws' basis is the Bible. Liberals
in America, and their similarly secularized relatives across Europe are not attempting
to preserve any recognition of that basis in their "defense" of the US constitution.
Rather they are co-opting some of the more trite or commonly popular aspects of
Christian teaching in their attempts to water Christianity down, to dumb-down society,
to make it more accepting and tolerant, so that everyone can do their thing, hurting
no one but themselves if theys so choose (a great fallacy) in their pursuit of and
rationalization and hopeful acceptance of deviance and personal gratification, whatever
their flavor.

Let me also point out that the Vatican speaks to and for only some sectors of
Christianity. Of course, you knew that. Your impassioned rhetoric is forgiven.
America was founded by and on Christian principles and the Constitution thereof
was born from Christian laws. Those who do not know, or seek to sever that heritage
know not that what they are seeking, and how adrift they would be.


"From where I stand, islam, christianity and judaism are all
branches of the same religion. They are like three siblings
who are determined to kill each other. Why? I cannot help
thinking that the legacy of the god of the bible, torah
and koran has been bloodshed, intolerance and suffering."

Nooooo. There is nothing in either the Torah or the Bible that
teaches annihilation of others en masse, or of disbelievers individually.
On the Quran teaches that. Yes, many take the literal stories of the
God of the Old Testament to be mean, vengeful and violent. These were
acts of justice or preservation wrought in the past. There is nothing
in the Word given that advocates man performing those kinds of acts.
While some might twist them to stand as precedence in trying to justify
those kinds of events again, they are without standing.

Someone else wrote in trying to paint religion as the root of evil,
and I did not clip their posting, that prophets were
causes of other acts of terror, alluding to pre-Renaissance Europe
and the crusades and such, I guess. Nooooooo again. When the apostles
were killed, there was no continuation of authority, and there were no
more prophets during that time. It was strictly men, some good, some not,
who were attempting to speak and act in God's name, but of their own
volition and desires. Please don't try to attach their acts to any
sort of obedience to God's will.

"Religion is the root of so many evils, regardless of the god."

Another pat phrase used by those who have little understanding, or less
regard for things reverent or requiring humility and recognition of their
humanity. Religion is not the root, but go ahead and blame it if it
makes you feel better. The feeling will be totally temporary, I assure
you. People who misuse and abuse their understanding or self-appointed
roles in the name of religion are involved in lots of horrific shenanigans.
Do NOT use your lack of understanding or interest in recognizing a higher
power and refusal to acknowledge or act in any sort of proscribed fashion
to decry religion as the source of your dissafection.

Ok, now, to my questions.

What makes things holy?

My expectation of an answer would be that something or place that is holy
is such because it is of some connection with Divine things.

Ok, some general agreement there? Ok. I have read somewhat of the origins
of Islam, and of the Quran. I know Mohammed did not write anything down,
but that it was his wife and friends/followers who acted as his scribes.

Mohammad said he had a dream. It involved a winged horse. On this horse
he was supposedly transported to Jerusalem? What happened there?

Whatever transpired there, unless Mohammed is considered holy (which would
be blasphemous in itself, right?) or unless he actually was there or received
or did something there (which already departs from the premise regarding
things holy) what about the 2nd-hand accounts of this dream have made any
part of Jerusalem holy, and worth all the bloodshed over the centuries?

Abram was the father of both the Hebrews and the Arabs, through Isaac and
Ishmael. Abram was the patriarch, and the settler and ruler of much of
what constituted Palestine and modern Israel, right? And Isaac was the
birthright son. Orrrrr, is there some animosity still over that?

My question boils down to the enmity over the possession of Jerusalem and
the centuries of struggle that surround it. Abram was the original
colonizer - the people he drove out preceding the birth of Ishmael, so
NOOOOO, not Arabs. He settled, cultivated and made it bloom. Joshua
came back and reclaimed it, whether one believes he did so under Divine
instruction or not. The tribe of Judah, or the ancestors, with parts of
Benjamin and Levi, continued to live in the land, never totally leaving,
tho they became a minority or their blood was thinned through intermarriage.

So, Zionism is born, and the British, backed by the UN, again mandated
the return of the Jewish state.

Tell me then, what is Islam's claim on Jerusalem? I know in Lebanon there
is a Green Line - which as I understand it is the line that divides the
cultivated and profitable lands from those that have been laid waste or
unworked by people who did not invest of themselves in it, for whatever
their reasons or rationalizations. Did the Arab peoples occupying the
Levant make it bloom like a rose? Perhaps I am reading "Westernized"
historical texts? To defend my background, I am well familiar with the
architectural marvels of the amazing underground culverts that carried
water many miles across the lands....and all the things that made the
Islamic culture the leading in the world....for awhile. For whatever
reason - clan in-fighting, politics, I don't know, but like many
civilizations, it waned and was overtaken by others who built upon
many of Islam's innovations. But where the "holiness" and "right" to
lands in Jerusalem? Lands have either gone to those they were given,
to those that were stronger, or in Biblical language, "to the profitable
servant."

I am not going into the treatment of Palestinians - while there have been
bad things on both sides, it seems in granting the Palestinians willing to
live in Israel with the right to vote and such, they are/were living and
being given more respect in Israel than by the rest of their Arab brother
who refuse them anything but indentured servant status in their lands.

Not meaning to sling arrows - I just want to know what the Islamic claim
is on temple mount. As you can tell, if it is based solely on a dream, or
the blood spilt there in the years between the tearing down of the Hebrew's
temple and the scattering of the last two tribes, and the return of the
Israeli state in 1948, then I am not likely to buy the justification. I
have no trouble with the peoples sharing the area, but like Mecca and Qom,
Muslims have trouble with that.

JFK once said, "We cannot negotiate with people who say, 'What's mine is mine.
And what's yours is negotiable." That is where Yassir Arafat led his people
wrong. He was given innumberable chances to share and find peace. He wanted
it all. While I have sympathy for the Arab peoples who have suffered under
tyrants and despots, I am trying to develop that same sympathy for them collectively
in not rejecting them much earlier in their histories."

knibilnats said...

Personally, I believe that publishing the cartoons were simply an act of racism and anti-Muslim sentiment. It had nothing to do with free speech. However, you have overstated the power that "Jewish" movie and television producers and that the state of Israel possess. America, the most powerful country in the world, is a Christian country. Jews have very little power.

I'm sorry that you have the impression that there is some kind of conspiracy trying to make the Holocaust a strictly Jewish tragedy. Of course other groups were killed. However, Hitler's primary goal was to exterminate the Jews. But maybe we can have a more productive dialogue in another arena.

human # 30,023,493,1823 said...

monotheistic religions killed off all the cool greco-roman polytheistic gods... a shame really, they were much more exciting. and im sure they turned less people into fanatic killers.

christianity and islam both have thousands of years of blood on their hands.

funny how the jews that are the root to both relgions seem to be the most peaceful. (historically, not talking about the modern isreal issue)

in my opinion, if u can live life without worrying about god(s), heaven , or hell, you're better off ... most dont have the stomach for it though.

Anonymous said...

wahh wahh wahhh..

Chase said...

Still wondering if you will address for me the Muslim claim of holiness attributed to Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Seems to me this is the single source of divisiveness between the Islamic and Hebraic peoples, and I don't understand how it came to be.

Imran Anwar said...

Chase, Hi. I am neither an Arab historian, nor an Islamic scholar, so I am sure you can find a dozen places to read up answers to the question(s) you ask. Jerusalem was the direction in which Muslims kneeled and prayed from the start, so perhaps that gives you some idea of its role to Muslims. Plus, the Occupied Palestine issue is more about LAND, less about RELIGION.

It would not matter if your backyard was totally unrelated to my religion or your religion.... if someone occupied it and made their own home on it, I am sure you would fight to liberate it. Or would you not? Thanks.

Imran

Chase said...

You obviously have not re-read my post from so long ago now. The Hebrews occupied the land at the edge of recorded history. When the Arabs had it, they did next to nothing with it. Refer to the parable of the talents. If the only holiness to Jerusalem is that it is the adopted home of Ibrahim, then the children of Ishmael have no claim. The birthright was Isaac's and the debate ends there, doesn't it?

The only lingering issue, as you say is land. So, the Israelites have made the desert blossom as a rose, and have turned it into a land of milk and honey. Sounds more like petty jealousy and thieving hearts to me than anything. The Palestinians have been offered, time and time again, rights and votes and jobs and a life in Israel. Their boy-loving Arafat wanted it all. He couldn't share when sharing was offered. Let the Palestinians who stood with the scum of Arafat dwindle in their dust. If they want respect and assistance, then they need to make themselves respectable. I am sure they will continue to pursue the malevolent, lazy and spiteful ways of their historical past.

Imran Anwar said...

Chase, your "logic" stretches just continue to astound me.

If a native American Indian can show that his grandfather owned the land your house is built on 300 years (much less 4000 YEARS) ago, will you support their right to take over your home and give you a garage to live in?

So, anyone living in Arizona desert should roll over and die if someone comes along and usurps their property and plants some nice bushes and trees? Doh.

Did you personally meet and serve Yasir Arafat's needs for boys to sodomize?

They are not lazy, but few can be more spiteful than Zionists... they also SPY on OUR country (the one you claim to serve) and use our tax payer money to do illegal things that get US hated. Wake up, get those blinders off... even if you do not ride a bike.

Imran

Chase said...

I loved riding my bike to work each day in a previous assignment -4.8 miles each way and I was probably a lot healthier for it. Unfortunately, well, there developed certain undercarriage problems....

My point is not that whoever has the biggest bulldozer should win outright, but that the Palestinians have been given opportunities to, hand-in-hand with the Israelis, share in the land and the rights of living in Israel and to forge new ways to get along.

Instead of even grasping an extended pinky, with whatever wariness they might have felt, they supported and continue to support leadership that still calls for all or nothing. Well,
nothing is all they deserve then. They need to get over their clannish past, and join the modern world.

The Israelis have shown no hegemonic tendencies over that which was necessary to secure their security. What other nation anywhere has that kind of constant threat - total annihilation - hanging over their head? And yet you use Zionism as if it is some leperous disease. Sounds like some deep-seated racist bigotry to me, Imran.

You don't think we keep tabs on what the Israelis are doing, just as they seek to check us out? We don't have the special relationship with Israel that we have with Britain, but Israel's clandestine peeks at us have not ever been with any intent to destroy or subjugate us.

What would you do with Zionism? Would you do as some ancestors did and insist they be spread abroad again, broken up, thinned out, and to serve as slaves, courtiers, and indefinitely indentured servants? What IS the Arab problem with the Israelis? They have a right to exist like anyone else, and the fact that they do more with their land and education and freedoms than others elevates that right, as far as I am concerned.

Imran Anwar said...

Chase, your comment seems almost reasonable. Wow. However, the logic, as often, is flawed. And funny. Palestinians should be thankful that Israel OFFERS to SHARE land with them that belonged to them anyway!? Palestinians want what was theirs until 50 years ago and that is CLANNISH thinking? Huh. OK. Then what kind of lame claim are Jews laying based on 4000 year old story books? Ha. Lastly, it was White Christian Germans who screwed the Jews, and they should have given them land out of Germany, not stolen from Palestinians. I am all for giving Jews Israel based on 4000 year old stories if you agree to give you home and property to the Indians who owned North America just 300 years ago.

Imran

FBillano said...

Hi, Imran.

Whew. It's wonderful to FINALLY find an eloquent and sensible moderate like yourself. I am SO tired of constant extremist thinking (from any party, anywhere around the world). Your thoughts are a breath of fresh air! If you ever feel the need to chat with a fellow moderate from Asia, you're welcome to step into my parlor anytime, dude. (Yahoo Messenger ID: fbillano)

Peace be with you, always,

F.Billano
Manila, Philippines

Imran Anwar said...

Thanks, Frances, for your comments and emails separately. I was amused to read this comment at http://lushootseed.blogspot.com/2006/02/stop-insanity-mrmuhammed.html about my posting above. My response to them was:

"I was amused by your comment about my blog item about cartoons of the Holy Prophet. Perhaps you should read it again. That is what I am telling Muslims, to grow up, who cares what someone says about the Holy Prophet. But, the holier-than-thou attitude of Christians is amusing considering the picketing of dead American soldiers' FUNERALS by Christian fanatics saying it's good they died... because America tolerates homosexuality. Last time I checked, the only recent cases of people being burnt alive (besides blacks lynched by White American Christians) was the Church and Christianity burning them at the stake...

Yes, no one has bombed a cinema showing an R-rated movie based on the life of some so-called Virgin Mary or some homosexual guy named Jesus..... but there is a reason... no one has made a movie like that because producers are smart enough to know what would happen to them. Abortion clinic doctors murdered by Christians in America is a current phenomenon too. No one seems to blame the religion of Christianity or all Christians for such evil people's actions.... but dumb Muslims come out to express outrage on something they consider blasphemous and Islam gets put on trial. Funny.

Regards

Imran"

Yickth Woovle said...

>.... but dumb Muslims come out to express outrage on something they consider blasphemous and Islam gets put on trial.

I don't know anything about Islam. What I do know is that there can be no support for violence as a response to depicting anyone in anyway via illustration - be it a deity or a mortal.

Period.

It's an opinion. It's to be shared. That is the way we proceed. If we fear retaliation for our ideas, then we stay blocked. We transcend very slowly.

This thing called existence is so big - well, it's so big that the word "big" doesn't come close.

The opinions we have at any moment are in a state of flux, never static. They evolve. Will this issue be discussed in the same way, or understood in the same way 2,000 years hence?

Probably not.

We will evolve, sharing each other's ideas as we share the air. It'll be a beautiful thing. I hope to enjoy it.

Yes, that last part may seem like I'm off my head, but I truly feel we never die, only move around - shift moments. Hard to explain, but it supports this idea of peace I'm sharing.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Best Imran Anwar,

Since the Mohammed drawings have started to become headlines again (Feb 2008) after some Danish-Muslims (one born in Morocco and two from Algeria? or Tunisia?) planned to kill one of the artists that made one of the now world famous drawings
(I will not include Lars Vilks from Sweden, who is only out to profit from this scandal.......... and in my opinion he is not worth talking about )
This was not the first attempt to kill in the name of Islam over these drawings, In Germany a young Pakistani was arrested in the building of a German magazine that had printed them. He later committed suicide in the cell, and was buried as a hero ...... in the name of the “holy jihad”..... why does the Liberal Muslims not condemn this kind of actions?
Or the $1.000.000 for killing the Danish artists?
So I started to look around again...... and found your blog..... I have to say you have some great points..... But one thing that have been missing to me in your blog is the historically problem with the Abrahamic religions that have “ONE GOD”....Not only Islam... But especially Islam.....
Look at the problem when the pope visited Turkey last year, and wanted to visit the Haiga Sophia.. and the protests that it made.... This is an old Christian church, converted into a mosque... You can also look at the problem that some Islam leaders made out of the speech the Pope made in Germany..... They took a few words out of a long speech and made a bomb out of it... You can find the whole speech in the Vatican archive.... I recommend you to read it, It was rather pro-Islam.... (if you can´t find it I have a copy in my computer)
It would be the same as to take out a frase from Quran, like “kill” and claim that the whole Quran is violent.....
I can go on about how conservative/ fundamental Muslims have been destroying religious places of worship in the so called “Muslim world”. Just look at the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan, building a parking garage on a Hindu temple in Pakistan..
This list is long, and during the last decades the Muslim world have constantly been offending religious sites of other religions...... In the name of that they are an offence to Islam.... While here in Europe Muslims are allowed to visit Alhambra, and it was restored according to its former glory, by taking away most Christian changes...... There are several more examples in Spain.....
Christianity have got Religious Tolerans while Islam is filled with Religious Intolerance.... Often supported by Imams, or other Religious leaders.
This is also one of the big problems..... three weeks ago in Barcelona, (Spain) 12 Muslims (one of the arrested was an Imam), were arrested for planning a new suicide attack in Barcelona (BCN)..... in the name of that BCN, was former an Islamic territory....... some 800 years ago (BCN was only Muslim controlled for 100-150 years)........ They were arrested with all information about where to place the bombs (in the transportation system of BCN during peek hours), with the time fuses, but with not enough explosives...... in a clandestine mosque....used for more private meetings..... since most mosques camera and recording the prayers after hate against the non-Muslims have been spread in many mosques here in Spain (there are several transcripts of Imams demanding for terror action against Spain and Europe)..... Why and how can it be that an Imam can talk so bad about another religion or other believers. There have been many incidents of this lately.... and this don’t come out in the world news.....Not only in Spain.... In England Imams have been video filled during Friday prayer asking “Death to the British” etc..... In Sweden, Norway, Netherlands as well...
One of the Danish Imams who brought the Mohammed File to the Arabic meeting, Abu Laban was caught on video to talking of a planned “martyr action,”' and this after it has been known that the file was produced by him and several others..... The most provocative drawings were never published...... and it has came out in Danish TV and by the Danish Police that at least one of the drawings was most likely produced by the Imams, the “Paedophile Mohammed”...
Have the Imams been proclaimed “infidels” and punished by Islam? No they are celibrated as heroes........
I have a copy of the “original” folder that the Imams spread to the various Islamic institutions and authorities.....
This makes me ask how much of this was planned by the Danish Imams....... and why......Have any Muslim organization apologized to the Danish for these lies ?
I would not so much speak of an Islamophobia in Europe, as I would speak of a problem with Islam in Europe..... In most European countries, the Imams or Mosques will get some funding from the government just as a priest or a church to finance it (in the name of multi-cultural interest). When will this ever happened in an Islamic country.....This also goes for publications in many countries in Europe...... not only Christian..... but also Islamic, Hindu, Jewish...... all in the name of integration.
In US you have a different system, where tax advantages are given to people that donate to religious, political ... non-profit organizations. Yes we talk of rights for all civilization, and the right to caricature all religions or ideas.
But not to spread hat, or lies.
Here to me is one of the big questions, in your Holocaust point. It is a fact that the holocaust happened, and in many European countries it is forbidden to spread lies, such as that the holocaust never happened, and is invented by the Jews.......
Same if I would use a T-shirt with “All Niggers are.....” that is hatred.
But, to publish a drawing of how I see Islam/Mohammed as a caricature is not racism, it is my opinion...... You could make a drawing of how “I see Hitler”.... and make him into a saint (He did some good things as well, as promote the “Volksauto” the Beatle” and built Autobahns for the people, even if they were used only by the army and the nazi leaders)...... that would be your opinion...... but to say that Hitler and the Nazis never ordered the killing of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, etc would be a lie...... Nobody claims that Hitler only killed Jews in his Concentration camps....
Several drawings have been published in Europe of Osama bin-Laden as a “hero”.... made in Arabic countries, in some shops here in BCN you can buy T-shirts with Osama.
Same as drawings have been made of “God” (Christian) as a killer, paedophile etc.....
When you talk about the Church and priests helping Hitler, check Wikipedia, how the Jewish World Organization were thanking the Pope and the Church for all the help they had received during the holocaust.... The mufti of Jerusalem, helped the Nazis, and in Iraq the Imams were helping the Nazis, all in the name of Islam...... etc.....
There were some rotten apples in all religions........... Why only point out the Christian?
Same with slavery....... What about the Eastern African slave trade..... to Arabia mainly... and controlled by the Muslims for Muslims........
It does not make the American-Caribbean slavery better...... No but when Afro-Americans talk about the bad Americans they forget all other slavery such as the Arab slavery, and yes Saudi-Arabia and Yemen did not out-law this slavery until 1964.......

Have you ever read the article that accompanied the publication of the Mohammed drawings ? I think it is still available in English via Wikipedia...
Did you read the apology that the Danish News paper published?
Have any Islamic organization apologized for the “Internet terrorism” made to Swedish sites, including “Bamse” the biggest magazine for children 3 to 7 years in Sweden....
Have you seen the “Dirty Kuffar,” video that was made long before the Mohammed drawings, and distributed outside mosques in England, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
Or what about the van-Gogh murder in the name of Islam......... Have you seen the video “Submission” made by Theo van-Gogh.(available via Y-tube)..... It was also made as a critical view of Islam, (by women that had been beaten by their Muslim husbands), and for Muslims to start to rethink their values...... Just as van-Gogh had made several programs on Dutch TV against Catholic Church, Dutch Reform Church and Jews.......He was a very provocative man, but he could open the eyes with his provocations, and create a change.......
When will the Western-world get a big demonstration for the help of the Tsunami victims in Indonesia lead by the Imams, or a simple “Friday prayer, thank you” for the help in Pakistan after an Earthquake....... Most of the help is coming from Europe, US, Canada, Australia, and not much from Saudi-Arabia or Iran. Saudi-Arabia and Iran is manly sending fundamental Imams as help to the world..... Yes we had one here in Spain not long ago, and he was filmed in a “Hate the West” Friday prayer.....Several Imams from Morocco (educated in Saudi-Arabia) were banned from entering Netherlands for similar reasons.
What would happen if a Christian priest in Pakistan would claim that all Muslims were bad......?
Here is some of the more important points in the double-edged sword according to me.
I also disagree with you on your constant blame on the Jews, such as the Jewish producers in Hollywood, there are some Arabic/Muslim as well....... Not all bad in the world is to blame on the Jews....Remember Muhammad Jamal al-Durrah, see Wikipedia.........
I would like to write some about the Palestine-Israel as well.. But I leave this for next time.

I was born in Sweden, not being Jewish but raised Protestant Christian. I wrote myself out of the church when I was 15, (30 years ago) and I consider myself more anti-god than pro-god.
I have lived in USA, Indonesia, India, Caribbean, Netherlands, and now I live in Spain....... To me it is important to not only get my news from CNN, or Al-Jazzera. Since I know 10 languages, I get my news from all over the world, and I like to read from more than one paper or TV station.......
My answer was written before and glued on your box since I am dyslectic and I have to spell-check it.
It would be nice to get some in-depth answer from you and not just “nice comment”.

Anonymous said...

Just Shut up!
Do you think that we {Muslims} are wrong, or doing something in a wringway that everybody has a right to insult our Prophet in a wrong way? Why? Who gave him such right to do so? Why? Is it humanity? Is it freedom of expression? Is it something? If you are a theif and sombody gave abuses to your father, do you think he is right? Tell me honestly?

Imran Anwar said...

Ah, what a moronic comment from a fellow Muslim (Anonymous "4:03 PM"). If only Prophet Muhammad could see what kind of idiotic 'logic' (or lack thereof) people use to try to 'defend' his good name. As if he'd need such stupid support.

During his lifetime, he had a lot worse, said, written and done to him than can be compared to the idiotic Danish cartoonists' creations. Yet, he went on to lead a small people to form the basis of latter day Islamic greatness and even today's 1 Billion Muslims (though most are so happy living in squalor and illiteracy as long as they can chant 'Death to (Someone)').

It's a good thing today's dimwitted Muslim 'defenders of Muhammad's name' were not around then, or Islam would have been nothing more than a group of adoring fans of the Prophet who would have disbanded after his death.

Imran

Anonymous said...

load of crap. the cartoons were just for showing how people feel about the world.

Imran Anwar said...

Uhhh... OK. I have no idea what the writer of the comment above means.

Imran

Reo said...

Some muslim commentators said above that they respect all other major religions and their prophets as well. I am a strict atheist with no belief in god and in any religion. I just would like to know how you would feel about people like me. Why should someone have a belief ?

Imran Anwar said...

Reo, non-Muslims, Jews, Christians and others including "non-believers" thrived in the days of Islamic glory. Retarded Taliban types blew up their wn heritage in Afghanistan by destroying Buddha statutes that centuries of Muslims had respected and let stand.

Current hate-driven chaos-spreading agenda comes from Saudis (friends of every US government) Wahabi extremism funding efforts.

There is no compulsion in Islam. I can tell you about Islam and God, but I can't force you to convert (nor "save your soul" or kill you as some other religions do).

If such were Islamic heritage a Muslim Mughal empire would not have left any Hindus alive in India. Bad things are done in name of religion by all groups. These days Muslims have more of that share. Dick Cheney and Bush dropped bombs from 35000 feet as crusaders (as more documents are showing) but no one criticizing Christians or Christianity.

May God be with you. LOL

Regards.

Imran

Anonymous said...

First of all, I would like to thank you for writing this, I have a task for philosophy on freedom of speech and I chose the cartoons and the problems it invoked.

It is nice to read that at least some genuine believers can look at these cartoons in a way not including violence or hating the cartoonist for making them.

I think we should all look at this in a more relaxed way, I strongly doubt the Danish cartoonist meant to cause any problems, but even if he did, just by laughing it away the Muslim community would've made these drawings worthless.

But as you said, it's because they acted in a way they thought was the correct way. Trying to get back at them by inflicting damage that wasn't even related to the Danish cartoonist or the newspaper. Still even if it was related to those, it still wouldn't have made any sense, because if you see what happened after the riots, the cartoons being published in 130 newspapers in 49 different countries, just to show their sympathy and to support free speech.

The law of action and reaction also applies to this, because of the cartoons, people responded, but they over did it and others responded as well by publishing them even more.

I think to ensure that further reactions like what had happened never happen again, is to just think, oh well, it's just a cartoon, we shouldn't make a fuss about it and it'll just pass, as everything does.
That's the attitude of most Christians when watching for example Monty Python movies, who criticize the Catholic church frequently.

so let's just all stop caring what other people say or think about your religion, religion is what you believe and it should be what you think not what some Danish guy thinks.

best regards

Kevin.

wirelessben2 said...

The caveman writings about your Man in the Cloud are just as legimate as the caveman writings about another Man in the Cloud?

You rightly call Christianity on its hypocrisy. Bravo. It needs the comeuppance.

Life is breathtakingly short. People are bound to make up a savior to ease the fear of death and the pain of lost loved ones.

And woe to anyone who questions that savior. Witness the Inquisition and the trials of Salmon Rushdie or the cartoonists.

Both religions are legitimate?

You would be equally enlightened to say both religions are legitimate frauds.

Anonymous said...

Even Buddhism had warlike periods:
http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/war.htm

I think people will be people, and religion doesn't really make a difference one way or the other. Religious texts are interpreted in contradictory ways all the time, and it is the culture of a particular time and place that decides what is acceptable and what is not.

-EB

anjum said...

very mature and intelligent outlook.

salute you sir.

ThinkTank said...

I really liked those thoughts.

Zain said...

INCREDIBLE SIR!!!

As a Muslim, I am PROUD of your thoughts, and feel you are doing an actual "JIHAD" by pointing out the double standards (read hypocrisy) of Muslims, as well as non-Muslims.

May your efforts bring an ever lasting peace in this World where people of all faiths and beliefs can exist cordially.

Just one dis-agreement...in one of the replies, you said the following:

Regarding a religious authority to stop these idiots, one of Islam's great values is that there is no central authority. No Pope. Though the Iranians/Shiites are catholicizing their version of Islam with Ayatollahs, symbols, self-flagellation, etc.

Although I would NEVER support a POPE sort of central authority in Islam, I also believe that an ideal system can only work if there is a 'central authority'...but as I said it's an IDEAL SYSTEM.

The only time when Islam didn't face any of these problems (that we are facing today in the form of identity crisis, or our behavior with the external world), was during the time of Prophet Muhammad SAWW himself. Unfortunately it was proved after his demise that the system (one man show) cannot work, because to exercise such influence and run the system successfully and with credibility, one has to be super human. I have accepted this fact, and so should other Muslims, who still dream of KHILAFAT.

As for your comment regarding Shias, and that they are trying to Catholicising Islam, you have just been guilty of the same MISTAKE that you have pointed out in your article. YOU SHOULD NOT JUDGE SHIAS JUST BY THE PRACTICES IN IRAN.

Ayatollah Khomeini or his successor, Khamenei happen to represent just one point of view (Vali-e-faqih or central authority) among Shias. Just because they are dominant doesn't mean their point of view is correct. Maybe you don't know Ayatollah Sistani commands more followers, and his agenda in neither political, nor it aims to establish an Islamic Republic of Iraq.
Perhaps you should search about Ayatollah Montazeri, he was supposed to succeed Khomeini, but he couldn’t because…. (I wont spoil the fun, read it yourself :) )
The so called reformers (who are fighting for the change) in Iran, happen to be turbaned ayatollahs as well. You see…Shias are ‘slightly better’ when it comes to fighting radicalism and extremism among themselves...:)

The thing you said about 'symbols and self flagellation' is another topic where you need to do a bit of research. And try to search for it from a 'non-wahabic' point of view. You'll get great help if you try to learn about it through SUFISM. 'Symbols' are quite dominant in Sufism as well.
Flagellation infact is symbolic as well. The violent ones (bloody ones rather) have been declared as HARAM by EVERY AYATOLLAH. If someone still does it, just think of him as the typical Muslim you have criticized in your article.
Long live Unity among Muslims…

LONG LIVE UNITY AMONG HUMANS!

Salaar said...

Good one, Imran. I wish I could be as level-headed as you about monotheism ;-)

Best regards,

Salaar

LondonGirl said...

"Basically, we both agree that some of these reactions from Muslims are giving are not in accordance with Islam`s teachings (burning flags, attacking embassies, insulting others). These terrible acts hurt ourselves the most."

Makes sense to me. Burning buildings and threatening to kill people doesn't say "Religion of Peace" to most people.

Shayan said...

Salaam to all.

Well, I must say that this is really a very thoughtful post. Great work Imran.
I totally agree with your main point of view but I disagree with some of the extreme words used by you (in some places).

I think, being Muslims, we should respect All the Prophets.

My reply to an anonymous person who said that:
"..What is truly offensive though is that a Christian cannot go to "Mecca" and proclaim his faith without bringing along a replacement head. The U.S. was founded by Christians and it was this fundamentalist faith which allowed for so much freedom. A Muslim can worship openly in this country.."

Well, first of all, not Everyone can enter U.S. and start proclaiming his/her faith. Anyone who wants to enter U.S. should 1st get a Visa from U.S. Govt.[and several Muslims can simply never get it :)]

Similarly, to enter Mecca, there is a VISA for that as well. And the condition for getting this Visa is very simple: Anyone who wants to enter Mecca should accept that, 'There is only one God and Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is His last Prophet.'

No one can consider the U.S visa policy as offensive. Similarly, no one should consider the Visa policy of Mecca as offensive as well..

with best regards,
Shayan.
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Sana said...

i so desperately want to agree with you . 100 percent but i find that i cant. sure i agree about the insane reactions that were very harmful to muslim identity as a whole.BUT (theres always a but )
you like examples dont u ? so here is one . if some one made a caricature of ur mother for other peoples amusement ?what would u do ?
say ":hey my belief in her motherhood is so strong i dont need to react at all?"
you wud go out and punch tht person`s lights out.and if it were an insulting caricature , wht wud u do then ?
Everyone is making this all into some huge conspiracy and islam and belief and whatnot .when the simple thing is some one insulted a person we all love very much.because we couldnot slug him /her we took other ways to vent our anger(which were stupid ,no doubt)
ANOTHER thing , u keep saying smelly mouth mullahs or something.First , they are not mullah if they are not taking care of cleanliness.so dont call them that.
SECOND , u might have met some mullah who was fasting .tht does give a peculiar odour , no ?how can u insult that ?
i understand tht u were using tht expression for those who are only posing as mullahs .still it gives a bad name to them ALL.
i think i m coming across as too critical but i have been thinking about ur article ever since i read it and i had to write a response for my peace of mind.even though i never have before because of the rapid descent into name calling and general rudeness that everyone is prone to descend into.
so , we agree tht it is only natural to feel offended . then we had protests and what not.the thing with living in a not "super power" country is that no one listens to you.so ,how do we make them realise we are offended ?i think destroying govt property is plain idiocy but peaceful protests are not . as for why shud the danish govt. hv to apologise for it . well why shud pakistanis have to pay the cost for 9/11 when it wasnt even staged by us ?
I DONT THINK that asking for retracting those cartoons was wrong.they shudnt hv been given tht much importance in the first instnace (agree with you there) but after all the people had found out about it .wht to do then ?not say anything ?well tht`s wht other religions do , yes .ANd hasnt tht given people free reign to mock who ever they want whenever they want?
there is a differnce between calling us normal muslims names and messing with our Prophet.
What is intolerance?
hating islam amd muslims ?killing innocent civilians?deliberately crossing pakistani borders and killing army men .who were actually helping in the war against terror?not letting muslims in their country? burning Quran ?insulting their Prophet?
or
Having protests in OWN country so that other people would be aware of the hurt they have caused?
i do not agree with extremism .Non- muslims dont like it either yes ?extremism is bad in any way or form ?SO WHY IS THERE EXTREMISM IN THEIR FREEDOM OF SPEECH.???SHOULDNT THERE BE A BALANCE OR A CHECK THERE TOO ?