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A storm in a Quran cup: the cartoons islamic militants would rather we didn’t publish

A storm in a Quran cup: the cartoons islamic militants would rather we didn’t publish

Duncan Riley> A little earlier today (my time) I posted a poll question about the decision by Australian blogger Tim Blair to post the jyllands posten mohammed cartoons. Honestly, my first thought, after first reading about it as the then lead story at the Sydney Morning Herald online was that he was mad, that he’s likely to make himself a target. I agreed with what he was doing, but was worried about the risk.

Two things have changed my mind. First, Blair’s blog is back up, and he points to Michelle Makin who is keeping tally of all the brave bloggers who are posting, or linking to the cartoons, in the name of free speech. Secondly, I discussed it with she who must be obeyed, who reminded me why I love her so much by telling me that I should post them, because we both passionately believe in free speech, and secondly because she would expect nothing less from me.

But before I post them, I want to reprint some of the words from Boston.com, who sums it up so well:

HINDUS CONSIDER it sacrilegious to eat meat from cows, so when a Danish supermarket ran a sale on beef and veal last fall, Hindus everywhere reacted with outrage. India recalled its ambassador to Copenhagen, and Danish flags were burned in Calcutta, Bombay, and Delhi. A Hindu mob in Sri Lanka severely beat two employees of a Danish-owned firm, and demonstrators in Nepal chanted: ”War on Denmark! Death to Denmark!”In many places, shops selling Dansk china or Lego toys were attacked by rioters, and two Danish embassies were firebombed.

It didn’t happen, of course. Hindus may consider it odious to use cows as food, but they do not resort to boycotts, threats, and violence when non-Hindus eat hamburger or steak. They do not demand that everyone abide by the strictures of Hinduism and avoid words and deeds that Hindus might find upsetting. The same is true of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Mormons: They don’t lash out in violence when their religious sensibilities are offended. They certainly don’t expect their beliefs to be immune from criticism, mockery, or dissent.

But radical Muslims do.

The current uproar over cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper illustrates yet again the fascist intolerance that is at the heart of radical Islam. Jyllands-Posten, Denmark’s largest daily, commissioned the cartoons to make a point about freedom of speech. It was protesting the climate of intimidation that had made it impossible for a Danish author to find an illustrator for his children’s book about Mohammed. No artist would agree to illustrate the book for fear of being harmed by Muslim extremists. Appalled by this self-censorship, Jyllands-Posten invited Danish artists to submit drawings of Mohammed, and published the 12 it received.

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This says it all for me, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide. In a free society we have the right of free speech, and although we may not always agree with it, the exercise therein is what makes us better than those nations that don’t practice it, no matter what the gutless Australian press…and Crikey may think. So you be the judge. What follows are the cartoons in question. I make no statement to agree or disagree with them, but publish them to support free speech, but I will leave the last word to Fark, who wrote:

Ironic: Muslims offended by caricatures proceed to act them out

mohammed cartoons

View Comments (6)
  • Pretty pathetic of you to re-print these cartoons. Freedom of speech comes with responsibility and adding “fuel to the fire” on something that clearly upsets over a billion Muslims in the world is rather a immature way of handling the situation. Additionally, taking a “lash” at radical Islamists by offending a quarter of the world’s popoulation (most of whom are NOT radical) also shows your ignorance in the matter. Let’s be real here – “freedom of speech” is just being used as a smoke screen by many people to justifiy their hostility against Islam.

    If you really believe in freedom of speech, publish anti-semitic cartoons and mock the holocaust. Don’t have the courage to do that? I didn’t think so? Think that would be in bad taste? I agree. Is it that hard then to even conceed that there may be things that other people find as distasteful?

    Juan Cole has a good summary of this:
    http://www.juancole.com/2006/02/muslim-protests-against-anti-muhammad.html

    “But you don’t have to look far for other issues that would exercise Westerners just as much as attacks on Muhammad do Muslims. In secular societies, a keen concern with race often underlies ideas of social hierarchy. Thus, any act that might bring into question the superiority of so-called white people in their own territory can provoke demonstrations and even violence such as lynchings. consider the recent Australian race riots, which were in part about keeping the world ordered with whites on top.

    Had the Danish newspaper published antisemitic cartoons that showed, e.g., Moses as an exploitative money lender and brought into question the Holocaust, there would also have been a firestorm of protest. For the secular world, the injuries and unspoken hierarchies of race are what cannot be attacked.

    Muslims are not, as you will be told, the only community that is touchy about attacks on its holy figures or even just ordinary heros. Thousands of Muslims were killed in the early 1990s by enraged Hindus in India over the Ayodhya Mosque, which Hindus insisted was built on the site of a shrine to a Hindu holy figure. No one accuses Hindus in general of being unusually narrowminded and aggressive as a result. Or, the Likudniks in Israel protested the withdrawal from Gaza, and there were dark mutterings about what happened to Rabin recurring in the case of Sharon. The “sacred” principle at stake there is just not one most people in the outsider world would agree with the Likudniks about.

    Human beings are all alike. Where they are distinctive, it comes out of a special set of historical circumstances. The Muslims are protesting this incident vigorously, and consider the caricatures insupportable. We would protest other things, and consider them insupportable.”

  • I don’t understand why muslim organisations are using this thing as an opportunity to deny the holocaust. That’s such a load of crap. Denying a piece of history that did occur as a response. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I don’t think reprinting these cartoons here is a ‘good move’ either. it just pisses people off more and more. It has little to do with free speech.

    But what saddens me the most is masses of people screaming in the streets wanting ‘blood’. I saw this guy in the news stating the artist who has drawn these cartoons should receive the death penalty or things would never ‘get well anymore’ when it comes to the relationship between Denmark and the muslim world.

    It’s ok to be offended but the sheer stupid fanatism displayed by these people makes me feel very, VERY sad. Like the whole country of Denmark and all of it’s citizens have ANYTHING to do with this one private newspaper that decided to publish these stupid cartoons. Like it’s ok to ‘act on behalf of God’ and start killing people because of this same one newspaper that published these cartoons. The cartoons were not funny. I think they were stupid, I didn’t laugh about them and I agree they serve no purpose but offending people. However the recent things I’ve seen in the news are the saddest thing I’ve seen in a long long time. Sadder than any cartoon no matter how bad.

  • I agree with Marco’s comments. As a Muslim, I totally condemn the violence and threats of violence that we’ve seen. This is no way to deal with this (or any) issue in a civilized society. And I am not in the minority. What you see on the news & media does not represent the vast majority of Muslims. It’s like when I have been a victim of racism, not automatically assume that “all white people are racist”. That’s a ridiculous notion, just as is the idea that all Muslims are radicals.

    I also wanted to make a couple of other points:

    1) The Guardian in the UK today reports that:

    “The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny”
    http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,1703500,00.html

    It’s good to know that Muslims get a special exemption. And then you wonder why people get upset?

    2) Tim Blair’s seems to feel that he took a real courageous step in publication of the cartoons in the name of freedom of speech. He also points to his own survey which shows that 80% of his readers are in favour of the publication. Really Tim? Well take a look at the comments on that post. It looks like all the facists and racists on the web are gathering at your site to add their umm….”thoughtful” comments and endorse your “survey”.

  • Omar is Right. The world’s just so screwed up lately. The Western world is blaming all muslims because of the relatively few idiots we see in the news. At the same time I’m pretty sure I would be considered ‘a white western pig’ if I’d be walking around in Damascus or another middle eastern city. People are blaming millions for the actions of small groups or single individuals. I guess we’re still in the middle ages.

  • Omar, “touchiness” is an odd way of describing the murdering of innocents by radical muslims angry with these cartoons. The irony of these attacks in the context of the cartoon’s content would be laughable if it didn’t involve said murders. Some people need a sense of humour.

  • Further to this Omar, Jews worldwide are tolerating Iran’s peristent attacks on the holocaust (something they’re “touchy” about) without firebombing embassies and murdering Iranians worldwide.

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