yitwail
 
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 09:04 am
Perhaps this belongs in Spirituality & Religion, but i understand there's quite an uproar in Europe and the Middle East over a danish caricature of Mohammad. If anyone has a better image of the cartoon, please post it (if you dare). It may be in questionable taste, and it may be blasphemy technically, but i support unconditionally the right to publish it. I'd like to see opinions pro and con on the right to publish blasphemous material, regardless of what religion is being blasphemed. By the way, the french headline in my image is misleading, for those who understand it, because Mohammad is not God, but merely the Messenger or Prophet.

http://www.lefigaro.fr/photos/20060202.FIG0265_1.jpg

Edit [Moderator]: Moved from International News to Spirituality & Religion.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 09:21 am
Think of all the great Muslim comedians . Now divide by 2.So the resulting number should be imaginary. Tell a muslim to "lighten up" and hell put on a white turban.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 09:27 am
and then there was this t.v. show that the "christians" came unglued over. Buncha freakin' buttwipes with their constant "my god is holier than your god"
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 09:30 am
FM, Muhammad Ali was quite the cutup, as i recall. so humor used to be tolerated, within limits, but maybe Islam's become more hardline over the last few decades.
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Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 09:42 am
Farmerman is spot on, but it isn't just muslims, IMO.

Anyone who is a fervent religionist, has usually had a humour bypass.
The problem is that they take all this imaginary friend stuff so seriously.

Stick them all in a coffee house in Amsterdam for two weeks, and ensure that they get laid every day, that'll cure 'em.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 10:36 am
I think those cartoons should be published by all mainstream press every day during ramadan.

You are right Lord E its not just Muslims, remember those Sikhs who threatened to burn down a theatre unless a certain production was pulled? Which to my disgust they were forced to do?
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 10:59 am
We are all human and therefore fair game. What makes religious figures so freakin' special that they are exempt?
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 11:00 am
threats of violence from religious supporters
0 Replies
 
chris2a
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 03:21 pm
What was that religion again?
Probably healthier to stay away from psychopaths rather that try to engage them in dialogue. Strange to consider, and hard to believe, that half the planet still believes the Earth is flat.


Hey...you...get away from that horizon!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 03:25 pm
None of us are technically qualified to address the issue of legality in nations other than our own. In the United States, these jokers are fair game--the burden of responsibility in freedom of speech and of the press is simply not to advocate criminal activity.

There are other realities, though, such as the organs of the press in Denmark and in France who have withdrawn these things for pragmatic consideration. But in the larger sense of human ethics, which transcends pragmatism and national frontiers, no ideas which do not incited to violence or other criminal behavior should ever be forbidden of expression.

As far as the bobble-thumpers or the quran-thumpers are concerned, whenever anyone caves in to their pressure, they win, and all the rest of us lose.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 03:29 pm
yitwail wrote:
FM, Muhammad Ali was quite the cutup, as i recall. so humor used to be tolerated, within limits, but maybe Islam's become more hardline over the last few decades.


Actually, Albert Brooks has a new film, called "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World". I'm not sure if it's in general release yet.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 03:42 pm
Setanta wrote:
None of us are technically qualified to address the issue of legality in nations other than our own. In the United States, these jokers are fair game--the burden of responsibility in freedom of speech and of the press is simply not to advocate criminal activity.

There are other realities, though, such as the organs of the press in Denmark and in France who have withdrawn these things for pragmatic consideration. But in the larger sense of human ethics, which transcends pragmatism and national frontiers, no ideas which do not incited to violence or other criminal behavior should ever be forbidden of expression.

As far as the bobble-thumpers or the quran-thumpers are concerned, whenever anyone caves in to their pressure, they win, and all the rest of us lose.


nothing, just repeating this piercing common sense
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 05:05 pm
Hey, Mr. Turtle. I saw that earlier, and for now I'm just bookmarking. I really don't object to poking fun at religious icons, but then, I am not that passionate about religion of any sort. After watching that reenactment of Flight 93 last evening, I saw horror from both sides. It was an excellent dramatization, and really caused me to think things through.
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 05:18 pm
I didn't know that was on, or i might have watched it. And thanks for mentioning this thread on the air.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 05:18 pm
In his novel Island, Aldous Huxley has the children on his island playing with life-size puppets which are figures of gods and prophets--Jesus, Mohammed, Allah, Vishnu--and it's one of the reasons the island is attacked by the outside world. Interesting concept he expressed, though--the idea was that by making the "gods" figures of fun to the children, there was no danger of them becoming religiously fanatical in adulthood.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Feb, 2006 05:28 pm
I think it my be aired again, Mr. Turtle.

Gorsh, Setanta, I read The Island, but have totally forgotten it. Too young, I guess, to appreciate the significance.

Speaking of children, I did indeed read Lord of the Flies, and Golding really made me rethink the innocence of children, under certain circumstances.

Yit, this is a really thought provoking thread for me, honey. Thank you for the opportunity to look inside myself in the light of a setting event.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 01:08 am
This commentary in today's Guardian reflects actually nearly completely my thoughts about it:

Quote:
Freedom of speech

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cartoons and their context -----


Leader

Friday February 3, 2006
The Guardian

Like other principles, freedom of speech is only absolute until it is shaped by its context. The fierce and serious debate that is coursing through and beyond western Europe about the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad is no exception to that rule. The cartoons, which are of very mixed quality (and which many newspapers would reject on those grounds alone), offend and provoke. But that is what cartoons do, whether they are good or bad. The right to freedom of speech which allows newspapers to publish such provocative cartoons has been hard won, is inextricably essential to liberty, must be robustly defended and has sometimes to be controversially asserted. If free speech is to be meaningful, moreover, the right to it cannot shirk from embracing views that a majority - or a minority - finds distasteful, even on occasions bitterly so. All those considerations point towards a case for wider publication of cartoons which, even though offensive and provocative, say something about uncomfortable issues that are central to the modern world and have triggered an anguished debate in Europe and elsewhere.

But that is not the end of the matter. There are limits and boundaries - of taste, law, convention, principle or judgment. All these constraints matter and cannot be automatically overriden by invoking the larger principle. In any case, the right to publish does not imply any obligation to do so. Adults are entitled to make up their own minds about what they individually want to view or read, which is why we are publishing details of the internet links to the cartoons in the newspaper and on our website. But newspapers are not obliged to republish offensive material merely because it is controversial. It would not be appropriate, for instance, to publish an anti-semitic cartoon of the sort that was commonplace in Nazi Germany. Nor would we publish one which depicted black people in the way a Victorian caricature might have done. Every newspaper in the country regularly carries stories about child pornography, yet none has yet reproduced examples of such pornography as part of their coverage. Few people would argue that it is essential to an understanding of the issues that they should do so.

Context matters very much in the case of the cartoons of Muhammad too. It is one thing to assert the right to publish an image of the prophet. As long as that is not illegal - and not even the government's amended religious hatred bill makes it so - then that right undoubtedly exists. But it is another thing to put that right to the test, especially when to do so inevitably causes offence to many Muslims and, even more so, when there is currently such a powerful need to craft a more inclusive public culture which can embrace them and their faith. That is why the defiant republication of the cartoons in some parts of Europe (some of them with far less good histories of intercommunal relations than this country) is more questionable than it may appear at first sight. That is also why the restraint of most of the British press may be the wiser course - at least for now. There has to be a very good reason for giving gratuitous offence of this kind. Yesterday's acquittal of two British National party officials on race hatred charges for attacking Islam - and the triumphalist scenes as the two freed men emerged from court - are part of the context that must be weighed in asserting any right to publish cartoons that offend Muslims. So too is the political situation in Denmark itself, where the cartoons were first published, and where a large and strongly anti-immigrant party provides part of the parliamentary coalition supporting Denmark's centre-right government. What is the message that is being sent, both in the BNP acquittal context and in the Danish context, by insisting on publishing such images? Those questions cannot be ducked - and nor can the answers.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 01:21 am
The German criminal law re blaspemy, btw, say this:

Chapter Eleven Crimes Which Relate to Religion And Philosophy of Life
Quote:
Section 166 Insulting of Faiths, Religious Societies and Organizations Dedicated to a Philosophy of Life
(1) Whoever publicly or through dissemination of writings (Section 11 subsection (3)) insults the content of others' religious faith or faith related to a philosophy of life in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.

(2) Whoever publicly or through dissemination of writings (Section 11 subsection (3)) insults a church, other religious society, or organization dedicated to a philosophy of life located in Germany, or their institutions or customs in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace, shall be similarly punished.

[ Section 11 Terms Relating to Persons and Subject Matter
[...]
(3) Audio and visual recording media, data storage media, illustrations and other images shall be the equivalent of writings in those provisions which refer to this subsection. ]

0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 01:37 am
Interesting compilation in today's Independent:

Quote:
Threat to Europeans over 'hostile' Mohamed cartoons

By Donald Macintyre in Gaza and John Lichfield in Paris
Published: 03 February 2006

As the European press asserted its right to publish hostile cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed, anger in the Arab world reached boiling point in Gaza where gunmen converged on European Union offices and gave the Danish, Norwegian, French and German governments 48 hours to apologise.

In the West Bank city of Nablus, a German citizen was seized - and later released - after armed militants roamed hotels threatening to kidnap nationals of European countries in which the cartoons - one of which shows the Prophet wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb with a burning fuse - have been published.

Newspapers in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands reprinted one or more of the Danish cartoons that have caused the storm.

Yesterday's incidents prompted the EU to review the security of its representatives in the occupied Palestinian territories, where armed militants warned the staff at its Technical Assistance Office in Gaza City that they were demanding that all French citizens leave Gaza.

"Any citizen of these countries [that printed the cartoon] who are present in Gaza will put themselves in danger," a gunman in a Fatah-linked armed unit said at the site. On the doors of the closed office, graffiti left by the gunmen - signed by Kattab al-Yasser, an armed group within the Fatah-linked al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Soraya al-Quds armed wing of the ultra-militant Islamic Jihad - declared: "Closed until they apologise to the Muslims."

Two EU officials from Denmark have not gone to work for the past two days at its monitoring mission covering the Rafah crossing from southern Gaza into Egypt.

At the Qasr hotel in Nablus, Awad Hamdan, the manager, said gunmen demanded to know if any German, French, Danish or Norwegian guests were staying. Mr Hamdan said he told the gunmen there were no guests from those countries. He said the gunmen warned him not to accept such guests and told him they would be abducted if he did.

Denmark and Norway announced they were temporarily closing their representative offices in the West Bank administrative centre of Ramallah. Rolf Holmboe, the head of the Danish office, said shots had been fired at it but no one had been hurt.

Ahmed Qureia, the outgoing Palestinian Prime Minister and a leading figure in the Fatah "old guard", condemned the caricatures, saying they " provoke all Muslims everywhere in the world". While asking gunmen not to attack foreigners, he added: "But we warn that emotions may flare in this very sensitive issue."

Mahmoud Zahar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, visited a group of Christian nuns and clerics yesterday at the Holy Family School to reassure them after the Latin Church, a small congregation based in Jerusalem, had also received threats. He unequivocally condemned the threats against foreign nationals. " We are not accepting any aggression against foreign institutions whether EU or American, or against any other group, foreign or Palestinian," Dr Zahar said. He said some Palestinians had already boycotted Danish goods and Hamas wanted them to continue protesting by "legal means".

He told the Christian group "you are our brothers who live side by side with us along with the foreigners who come to serve this community". He said that Hamas's armed wing would offer protection for the Christians until such time as an incoming Hamas government could reform the security services and provide official security.

Earlier, Manuel Mussalam, a priest of the Latin Church in Gaza, delivered an emotional appeal to Dr Zahar after the church received a fax that he said had come from "Fatah gunmen and the Soraya al-Quds". He said: " They threatened our churches in Gaza. We will not be threatened. We are Christians, yes, but Palestinians first."

Khadr Habib, an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza, insisted that the faction was against targeting "foreign guests" but warned that the situation could move "out of control" because of anger at the cartoons. He said: "Talking as a Muslim, this is very bad. The Prophet Mohamed is a red line. I am very surprised that the Danish government did not attack the publication of the cartoon."

He added that he was also surprised that other European governments had not apologised for the publication. "Islam respects all other religions," he added.

The spiral of publication and outraged response seems set to continue as European newspapers waded into the row by reprinting many of the cartoons.

Others took the approach of the French centre-left newspaper, Le Monde, which published a large, front-page sketch of a pencil writing over and over the words: "I must not draw Mohamed". Plantu, the newspaper's award-winning cartoonist, made the words spiral into a striking portrait of a turbanned man with a flowing beard.

Utter confusion, meanwhile, surrounded the decision of the struggling French tabloid newspaper France-Soir to publish all 12 Danish cartoons on Wednesday. The newspaper's proprietor, Raymond Lakah, a Franco-Egyptian businessman, fired France-Soir's publisher and editor, Jacques Lefranc, for printing the drawings and issued a public apology to Muslims. However, his newspaper devoted the first four pages yesterday to congratulating itself on its defence of democracy, press freedom and "secularity" against " religious intolerance and censorship".

France-Soir made no mention of M. Lefranc's dismissal, which some executives claimed was related to M. Lakah's bid to dispose of the bankrupt newspaper.

continued
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Feb, 2006 01:37 am
part 2
Quote:
How the European press covered the controversy

FRANCE

The editor of France-Soir, the tabloid daily that published all 12 cartoons, was fired yesterday as the paper's Franco-Egyptian proprietor issued an apology to the country's Muslim population. No other French publication has featured the cartoons, but Le Monde illustrated its coverage with a front page illustration of the words: "I must not draw Mohammed."

DENMARK

The country that sparked the furore in September when the newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons featuring Mohamed hassummoned its foreign envoys for talks on dealing with the crisis. "We are talking about an issue with fundamental significance to how democracies work," said the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Sales of Danish goods in the Middle East have collapsed.

GERMANY

The staunchly conservative Die Welt published one of the most controversial Danish cartoons, showing Mohamed with a turban shaped like a bomb, topped by a hissing fuse. "There is no right to be shielded from satire in the West," wrote the paper. The Berliner Zeitung featured the cartoons on its news pages.

SPAIN

Two newspapers, El Periodico and ABC, have published the cartoons, arguing that press freedom is more important than the protests and boycotts which the cartoons are provoking across the Muslim world.

ITALY

Corriere della Serra and La Stampa newspapers published the cartoon depicting the Prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban.

NETHERLANDS

The Dutch paper De Volkskrant reprinted some of the offending cartoons over two pages. The paper also interviewed Dutch cartoonists, not all of whom were willing to support the move. "Why throw oil on the fire?" asked one cartoonists, Joep Bertrams.

The story so far
30 SEPTEMBER 2005: The 12 cartoons are published in Danish paper Jyllands-Posten

20 OCTOBER: The Danish Prime Minister hears complaints from 11 countries but he refuses to intervene

10 JANUARY 2006: Magazinet in Norway reprints the cartoons

28 JANUARY: After a boycott, the Danish-Swedish firm Arla appeases Muslims with adverts in Middle East papers

29 JANUARY: Saudi Arabia calls for a boycott of Danish goods and orders its envoy back from Copenhagen. Libya says that it will close its Danish embassy

30 JANUARY: Editor of Jyllands-Posten apologises. Gunmen storm EU's offices in Gaza

31 JANUARY: Denmark tells citizens not to go to Saudi Arabia

1 FEBRUARY: Seven papers in Europe republish cartoons in solidarity with Jyllands-Posten

YESTERDAY: Shihan in Jordan reprints cartoons to show "extent of the offence". Gaza gunmen reoccupy EU offices.
0 Replies
 
 

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