Sunday, February 05, 2006

What Would Jesus Do?

A rather interesting article from Information Clearing House on the perspective Remi Kanazi has on the Mohamed cartoon issue that everyone in the Blogosphere seems to have already debated to the point of saturation.





Picture this: A cartoon of Jesus, with his pants down, smiling, raping a little boy. The caption above it reads “Got Catholicism?” Or how about a picture of a Rabbi with blood dripping from his mouth after bludgeoning a small Palestinian boy with a knife shaped like the Star of David—the caption reads “The Devil’s Chosen Ones.”

I wonder if people around the world would just consider this free speech? Of course, some would condone or agree with one, two or all three, while others would say “it’s free speech,” although they “find it offensive and in poor taste.” But do you honestly think media outlets such as the BBC, Le Monde, or any media outlet in Copenhagen would pick up these cartoons? The outrage would begin instantly and advertisers would pullout. Yet, those in Denmark and their supporters around Europe call it freedom of speech to have a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed—who is not supposed be depicted to prevent idolatry according to clerical interpretation of the Koran—with a turban shaped like a bomb on his head.

The double standard the West has set for the rest of the world is disgusting. We live in a foolish bubble where we think we are free to say or do whatever we want without consequence. I remember watching Saturday Night Live when Sinead O’Connor ripped up a picture of the Pope. The furor was enormous, which led to NBC receiving a 2.5 million dollar fine by the Federal Communications Commission. Imagine if it was a picture of Jesus—the US Congress would have made the Teri Schiavo intervention look like a joke.

Where are the pictures of the dead soldiers, the dead women and children in the Western media? Some governments won’t allow it and other media outlets just fear the backlash. When I need journalistic honesty, I have to turn to Al Jazeera, why is that? One cannot even deny the Holocaust in Europe, question 9/11 in America (unless you want the Ward Churchill treatment), but the West claims they’re all about free speech.

It is no coincidence the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is grossly pro-Israeli. It is no coincidence that you never heard the full quotes of Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s comments on Israel and the Holocaust—no matter the basis. And it is no coincidence that Arab analysts who are against the war in Iraq, the occupation of Palestine, and America’s “war on terror” are insufficiently represented in the European press.

So what are Muslims to do? Violence is out of the question—that would be “an overreaction.” So why not boycott? That would be a mistake as well, according to the European Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini who stated, “Calls for boycotts or for restraints on the freedom of the press are completely unacceptable.” What Frattini meant to say is that Muslims should choose capitalism over faith. Maybe the European Union will clarify through a cartoon—Mohammed selling the Koran for ten bucks in a Danish pawn shop. But boycotting is a friend of the West. However, they more conveniently title it “sanctions.” I’m sure we all remember the 500,000 Iraqi women and children that died because of the UN boycotts on Iraq after the first Gulf War.

Is Europe is willing to continue this new trend against boycotts? Will the European community call on Israel to show Paradise Now in non-independent theatres? It’s the only way to stop the boycott of Palestinian freedom of speech. Will the European Union resume aide to the Hamas-led Palestinian government tomorrow? Since Hamas’ call for the destruction of Israel is protected under the clause of freedom of speech and the group stopped suicide attacks 18 months ago, it only seems logical.

If Denmark, Norway, France, Germany and the rest of Europe believe in the freedom of speech, it should include all instances and all religions. These nations are carelessly defending their hypocrisy and reinforcing the double standard that alienates Muslims and desecrates the Muslim faith, under the guise of free speech. I guess only one question remains for small Norwegian Christian newspapers like Magazinet that reprinted the cartoons: What would Jesus do?

24 comments:

  1. Interesting, the guy almost has a point but now type Muslim+Pig+Offense+Britain into Google and see what comes up.

    Now do the Muslims really have it so bad in Europe?

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  2. so whats your answers to the question ?

    would Catholics be offended if someone put a picture of a priest having anal sex with a small boy with the caption 'Jesus said bring the little ones to me' on it ? due to the very occasional catholic priest being a pedophile. Or maybe a rabbi with a swastika on his head standing over a dead Palestinian child and the caption 'Hitlers work continues in Israel' ?

    I have no religion at all and both of these would offend me . would they offend you ?

    of course they may not and I would respect such a view(but not agree) But so many of the people complaining are the very same that were up in arms a few weeks ago about the GWB failing to put merry Christmas in his seasons greetings.

    I am all for freedom of speech and I strongly condemn the violence shown by a small number of Muslims. The burning of the embassy today should not be defended by anyone. But double standards is another issue and many that think a cartoon on Mohamed with a bomb is fine would object to the cartoons described above and that would be hypocrisy

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  3. You do have a point however, I think the press should be held responsible

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  4. what is the quickest way to piss off anybody?

    how about make fun of something very personal to them. like their mother or religion.

    -Hype

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  5. The paper published this headline:
    "Yes, we have the right to caricature God." The paper ran a front page cartoon with Buddha, the Christian and Jewish Gods and the Prophet Mohammed sitting on a cloud above Earth, with the Christian God saying: "Don't complain Mohammed, we've all been caricatured here."

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  6. As you say M that was the headline , but alas it was only a headline the reality is the paper in question does apply Double standards . Its easy to make a headline , it is less easy to ensure the newspaper you run applies fairness in its aproach.

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  7. So are you planning of speaking of the violence, or only about one side of the conflict?

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  8. I already did in the comments above M. I take the same view that the British Press have done. There can be NO excuse for the violence.

    I am sure you read my comment above that says 'I strongly condemn the violence shown by a small number of Muslims. The burning of the embassy today should not be defended by anyone'

    Or did you miss that ?

    You know my personal view we have discussed it via email

    If you do a search on all the blogs you will find 95 % of them only putting the other side of the story so here you get the flip side. Tell me you have not seen dozens of articles that failed to say any of the above but only condemed the violence ?

    Whats your view on my question to anonymous ?

    'would Catholics be offended if someone put a picture of a priest having anal sex with a small boy with the caption 'Jesus said bring the little ones to me' on it ?' due to the very occasional catholic priest being a pedophile.

    Or maybe a Jewish rabbi with a swastika on his head standing over a murdered Palestinian child and the caption 'Hitlers work continues in Israel' ?

    I have no religion at all and both of these would offend me . would they offend you ?

    I am not one of the sheeple M that all follow the arse hole in front with just a single point of view.

    I have never supported any violence on this site.My view as you well know is that I am sickened by such violence but that does not blind me to the double standards of what we call 'freedom of speech'

    You ?

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  9. for the American readers I suppose the motto of the Sheeple should be

    "Follow the Asshole in front of you"

    instead of 'arsehole' .... oh the wonders of the culture divide

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  10. Yes, we did speak about this in detail over email. That was before you decided to post something.

    I do not think the cartoons should have been published- not as a legal issue, but as an ethical issue. The author transcribed the Qur'an, I mean, he was not ignorant about Islam. He was aware of the sacredness of the Prophet. Yet he chose to take it to this level. It was culturally insensitive and defied an ethical standard. As for the freedom of expression- I am not clear on the laws in the pertinent countries and have no law degree, so I am not sure how to argue on that point. It is contentious to be sure.

    The violence, is undisputable. It is one thing to mention the violence in a comment, it is another thing to mention it on your blog site. Again- its your choice to post what you wish- I simply find it interesting that you decide to post a whole bunch about the publishing of the cartoons, but nothing on the violence.

    And why not mention all the other chaos this debacle has created? The EU? The boycotting? The arson? The sabotages? What a mess!

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  11. "for the American readers I suppose the motto of the Sheeple should be

    "Follow the Asshole in front of you""

    The US has criticized the publications, by the way.

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  12. To answer your questions:
    "would they offend you ?"
    Whether the cartoon offends me or not, I do not think it should have been published (ethically) and I do not think if I was offended I should act violently. PERIOD.

    "Tell me you have not seen dozens of articles that failed to say any of the above but only condemed the violence ?"
    We are speaking about this ONE post- not the 95% of others you have posted.

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  13. M you come here to read what is not already being said everywhere else in the blogosphere.
    As i said I am not a sheeple I wont just follow the heard .One thing for sure if nobody else had posted on the violence then i probably would have.

    The opening comment on the article I state clearly 'the Mohamed cartoon issue that everyone in the Blogosphere seems to have already debated to the point of saturation.' So your wondering why I didn't add to that saturation ? the answer is in the question you will find.

    I agree that we should not be talking about a legal issue here but a moral one and they should not have been published.My country has countless daily papers and not a single one has decided to post even one of the cartoons. (for once they seem to have morals and ethics).

    Your constantly wondering about why I didn't post this or did post that M , but you have your own site if you feel something is being missed. The decision to post articles on this site is obviously purely a matter for the editors and the decision on whether to read the article and comments is purely a matter for you.

    What concerns me a little is that you seem more interested in analysing me than you do the article. if so it is a mission doomed to failure. you can not analyise a person through a web site , this is merely a persona and you would actually have to know me to understand my motives in all I do.

    The question I hear from you is 'why are you not following the sheep' the answer is ' I never will '
    Could you respectfully please try to deal with issues in the articles and comments posted and not the editing policy of the site. You obviously have no influence over what we decide to post but you can bring your wisdom to analysing the actual article posted and the comments there after . something you have completely failed to do in this thread.

    It is one thing to focus on what is not here (even though the violence is discussed in the article) but you not have made any points thus far on what actually is here. Again I am not telling you what to write but there is only so many times i can explain to you our posting policy and also only so many times I would be willing to do so if your not even responding to the article itself or replies direct to you on points you make.

    So starting again from the top M , do you have any opinion on the actual article I posted ? or any opinion on any of the comments made ?

    BTW the sheeple 'follow the asshole in front' 'American' comment was a translation of the meaning it would be incredibly silly to presume that I am talking about American people wouldn't it ?

    Sheeple exist all over the world the point is in the different spelling not in any regard to how Americans think , behave act or whatever .. is that another misinterpretation of my meaning ?


    in answer to you third post . i was asking if you had seen them anywhere , I assume you do not only read my web site . so what is the common view your coming across .... but never mind

    :-)

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  14. Whatever about the cartoons. But isn't it ironic that one of the cartoons features Mohammad with a bomb for a turban...and now MORE THAN A FEW Muslims are killing and threatening violence in the streets.

    This is the greatest concern in the ME? Not that there are kids with little or no health care or people suffering from lack of adequate food?

    No...those things aren't important enough to charge into the streets and fire off AK47s... a damned cartoon though...well that's worth killing over.

    Panties on the head? Kill and protest.
    Cutting human beings heads off with a knife? Barely a word.

    More of the same from "religious fanatics."

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  15. Barely a word because a) dissent is suppressed in the Middle East, and b) such dissent when it happens (and it does) it not conductive to the image that the mainstream media in the west aim to protray - it serves western interests more to depict all Muslims as mindless savages.

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  16. It is very dificult to sit in one culture and make judgments on another. Religion is the essence of society in the Middle East and as Djeb has already said 'it serves western interests more to depict muslims as mindless savages'

    Take Hamas they have spent more of their time and money over the last decade (and more) building schools and hospitals and feeding the poor in Palastine but we are only told about their 'terrorist' actions against Israel.

    Which was probably the last thing on the minds of the voters.

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  17. I totally disagree w/the article. But I must say the following remarks are directed at the radical Wahabi-style strain of Islam that advocates violence and suppression of non-Muslim 'infidels'. I am saddened by the fact that the voice of moderate Islam is being drowned out by the clamor of radical jihadists:

    1) The rape comparison is not equivalent. Priests don't use Jesus as a justification for their sex crimes. Radical muslims do use the Koran (based on the teachings of Mohammed) as justification for suicide and terrorist bombings. Thus the picture of Mohammed w/the bomb-turban depicts the Mohammed of the muslim extremists. The extremists are playing the 'religious bigotry' card to shame people into denial regarding their terrorist motives.

    2) The media continually disrespects Christianity while kowtowing to other faiths. Consider
    Polly Toynbee's review of the "Chronicles of Narnia":

    Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls.we ask him to? Poor child Edmund, to blame for everything, must bear the full weight of a guilt only Christians know how to inflict, with a twisted knife to the heart.
    So basically she calls the central tenet of the Christian faith 'repugnant'. And then there is Brittney Spears, scheduled to appear on Will & Grace as a Christian caricature hosting a cooking show entitled "cruci-fixins". One complains about such stuff and gets labeled as a humorless, right wing boor. I could go on and on. The Muslims are getting off easy.

    3) Radical Islam is offended by a lot of things. Trying to appease them is pointless:
    - Jews (descendants of apes and pigs)
    - Christians (infidels)
    - Pagans (worse than the above)
    - Gays (dig a ditch and kill 'em)
    - Rape victims and sexually active women (honor killings coming your way)
    - Americans (the great Satan)
    - Hollywood (Satan's warehouse)
    - Women (shut up and put your veil on)

    3) The Arab Media is RIFE with antiSemitism of the worst kind. Here's just a taste from www.MEMRI.org:

    http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sr&ID=SR2604

    In one of his sermons, Saudi Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, imam and preacher at the Al-Haram mosque – that is the Ka'ba mosque in Mecca, the most important shrine in the Muslim world, said:

    "Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil fathers of the Jews of today, who are evil offspring, infidels, distorters of [God's] words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers... the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs… These are the Jews, an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption..." [4]

    The image has pervaded the public consciousness, even that of children. In May 2002, Iqraa, the Saudi satellite television station, which, according to its website, seeks "to highlight aspects of Arab Islamic culture that inspire admiration … to highlight the true, tolerant image of Islam and refute the accusations directed against it," interviewed a three-and-a-half-year-old "real Muslim girl" about Jews, on "The Muslim Women's Magazine" program. The little girl was asked whether she liked Jews; she answered, "no." When asked why not, she said that Jews were "apes and pigs." "Who said this?" the moderator asked. The girl answered, "Our God." "Where did He say this?" "In the Qur'an." At the end of the interview, the moderator said with satisfaction: "No [parents] could wish for Allah to give them a more believing girl than she... May Allah bless her and both her father and mother."


    Would Jesus say such a thing about Muslims? I sincerely doubt it.

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  18. Ah yes, the Wahhibis. Those folks who allied with Muhammad ibn Saud, founder of the House of Saud which is so dear to the Bush Family and so important to U.S. foreign interests.

    Well, regarding point number one, you missed it entirely. The point is not to compare religions, that should be obvious. The point, which you so thoroughly missed is to demonstrate how one could take offense from the cartoons.

    Regarding point two, again I wonder as I did in your other post on the video if this is not some subtle irony here. You mention Polly Toynbee, a woman who was nominated for "Most Islamophobic Journalist of the Year" in 2003 by the Islamic Human Rights Commission. If her work is just as offensive to Christians as the cartoons were to Muslims, why was their barely a whimper when she came in 4th place in the above mentioned 2003 awards? Indeed, why no outrage when the third place winner, Robert Kilroy-Silk, said "they (Muslims) are backward and evil, and if it is being racist to say so then I must be and happy and proud to be so." (No kowtowing there. Would Jesus say such a thing about Muslims? I sincerely doubt it.) But the real question is, did Toynbee's article claim that the central figure of the Christian religion is a terrorist? No.

    And, regarding point number three, it is (as if I expected more at this point) a tu quoque ad hominem. In other words, you are saying that it is ok for our side to do something wrong because they do something wrong. (As an aside, you could have picked a better quote from SelectiveMEMRI. The one you provided was quotes from an imam, not from the media.)

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  19. You really like to shift the topic to my debating skills, or lack thereof, which seems pretty 'ad hominem' if you ask me.

    Well, let's see what we agree on. I don't know much about Polly Toybee but what you said doesn't surprise me. She seems particularly venemous. I also share your disgust, BTW, w/George Bush's cushy relationship w/the Saudi Royal Family.

    You didn't read the MEMRI quote in full. The second paragraph refers to a media incident. The first paragraph is the imam.

    No, Polly didn't claim Jesus was a terrorist. She said his sacrificial death (sacred/cen
    tral tenet of the Christian faith) was REPUGNANT. That is an equally offensive type of statement. If a major newspaper referred to Mohammed as 'repugnant', Muslims would be highly offended. I brought up the incident because you seem to feel that the Western media is respectful of Christianity while being disrespectful of Islam. On this point I totally disagree.

    You said In other words, you are saying that it is ok for our side to do something wrong because they do something wrong.

    Yep. I think it's hypocritical for the Arab world to rag on us for publishing a lousy cartoon when the Arab media is so rife with vicious anti-Semitic propaganda. My sympathy is reserved for Muslims who don't share those sentiments and who have to take the fall for the yammering horde of radicals screaming about jihad and strapping bombs to thier own children.

    What really bothers me is that radical Islam is using 'political correctness' to dodge criticism by crying 'bigotry' and 'discrimination'. In doing so, they create a climate in which people are afraid to talk about the reality of terrorism for fear of 'offending' Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorism at all. From what I have read, the offending cartoons were commissioned as an attempt to break through the stranglehold of political correctness.

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  20. WHOA! I just looked at the link posted for the Islamaphobia awards.

    What is going on here? The website posted a sampling of 'Islamophobic' media quotes. Most of these quotes were referring to the actions and words of Islamic extremists.

    So what is their point? When Islamic extremists talk about murdering infidels, decapitating people, etc. are we just supposed to sweep it under the rug and not report it? Is it 'Islamophobic' to suppress the truth?

    The worst PR for the Islamic faith comes in the form of these extremist rantings and ravings, not the Western media.

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  21. I suppose misrepresenting and ignoring what I posted is easier than addressing it. Or perhaps you can explain to me how saying "They [Muslims] are backward and evil and if it is racist to say so then racist I must be — and happy and proud, to be so," is not Islamophobic. (Another stunner from the man in question is "Moslems everywhere behave with equal savagery.")

    But let's go throught the list:

    Most Islamophobic British Politician of the Year

    1) Nick Griffen for a comment unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    2) David Blunkett for comments and action unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    3) William Hauge for comments unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    4) Andrew Dismore for one comments unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists" and two related.

    Most Islamophobic International Politician of the Year

    1) Ariel Sharon for a truly monsterous comment promoting genocide and completely unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    2) Vladmir Putin for one comment related to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    3) Silvio Berlusconi for comments unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    4) Praveen Togadia for comments unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."

    Most Islamophobic Media Personality of the Year

    1) Melanie Phillips for comments unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists." (Painting vitually all Muslim youth with the same brush.)
    2) Nicky Campbell for comments unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    3) Robert Kilroy-Silk Yup. Unrelated. We already covered that monster.
    4) Polly Toynbee, the woman you love to hate, for one comment unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists," and one partially related.

    Most Islamophobic Media of the Year

    1) The Daily Mail. Well hey, they mention the word fanactic in the headline, but it's a headline calling someone a fanatic for identifying himself as Muslim before British.
    2) The Daily Telegraph for a comment relating to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists," one that might very well be refering to U.S. funded actions, and two more that are related to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    3) The Sun for a comment unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    4) Fox Network News for 3 headlines related to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists," and one for a domestic dispute.

    A speech by Sister Muddassar Arani unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."

    Islamophobe of the Year

    1) George Bush Jr. for a comment unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    2) Franklin Graham for a comment unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists," (painting all Muslims with the same brush and ignoring evidence that negates his claim).
    3) John Ashcroft for a comment unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."
    4) Donald Rumsfeld for a comment unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."

    A speech by Massoud Shadjareh unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."

    A piece about judo unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."

    Coverage by the Financial Times unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."

    And finally links to further information unrelated to "the actions and words of Islamic extremists."

    Now a word of warning: That particular issue is settled. Most of the quotes were not referring to the actions and words of Islamic extremists. As such, if you want to waste our time on that again, you will be in violation of our sixth commenting rule (your posts in violation of the third rule have remained as a worn out courtesy), and your post will enter the digital void. Consider how you want to spend your time wisely. You have been warned.

    " You really like to shift the topic to my debating skills, or lack thereof, which seems pretty 'ad hominem' if you ask me."

    Scroll up. You will see that I addressed every point to made. Your trouble understanding this likely stems from a lack of understanding of what an ad hominem is. I have not made one.

    "You didn't read the MEMRI quote in full. The second paragraph refers to a media incident. The first paragraph is the imam."

    Ah, yes. Thank you. The third paragraph you posted does mention a media incident. As deplorable as it is, you are using the argument that because Islamic media has made despicable comments that it excuses the Danish media or western media doing the same. In other words, a tu quoque ad hominem. It does not excuse it. Posting a thousand examples of Islamic media bigotry will not change this simple fact of logic. As such, another warning, this one same as the above. You will discover the digital void if you persist on this vein.

    "No, Polly didn't claim Jesus was a terrorist. She said his sacrificial death (sacred/cen
    tral tenet of the Christian faith) was REPUGNANT. That is an equally offensive type of statement. If a major newspaper referred to Mohammed as 'repugnant', Muslims would be highly offended. I brought up the incident because you seem to feel that the Western media is respectful of Christianity while being disrespectful of Islam. On this point I totally disagree.
    "

    The reaction to the cartoons did not occur in a political vacuum. There have been more than a few events - even before 2001 - that have led up to the reaction.

    Also, western media is not totally respectful of Christianity. It is, however, far more respectful of Christianity than it is of Islam.

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