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January 31, 2006 3:29 PM   Subscribe

Muslim world goes apeshit over Danish cartoon. Saudi Arabia and Libya have withdrawn their ambassadors to Denmark, which issued safety warnings to its citizens travelling in Muslim countries after threats by militant Islamic groups and a boycott of Danish goods
posted by The Jesse Helms (165 comments total)

 
Danish Muslims accept cartoon apology.
posted by ericb at 3:38 PM on January 31, 2006


Showing any depiction of Muhammad is deemed blasphemous by most of Islam, and these were seen as particularly offensive, with one portraying the Prophet wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb.

Well, it's not like you couldn't predict how they'd react, but I agree with the paper. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. Stop sending Muslims with bombs everywhere, and maybe you'll stop showing up in political cartoons.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:39 PM on January 31, 2006


They are barbarians. Bill Clinton doesn't even have the balls to say that the cartoonists had the right to do it.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:43 PM on January 31, 2006


Well that leaves more rampant danish totty for the rest of us !
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:44 PM on January 31, 2006


Mmmm... Islamic danish...
posted by papakwanz at 3:44 PM on January 31, 2006


Those tasty little pastries have cartoons and the ability to rile the Muslim World?! I know what I'm going to have for breakfast tomorrow.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 3:45 PM on January 31, 2006


Anybody have a link to the actual cartoon(s)?
posted by mr_roboto at 3:45 PM on January 31, 2006


perhaps a cartoon of an apologetic mickey mouse would solve everything.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:47 PM on January 31, 2006


So I'm guessing that Albert Brooks didn't find much.
posted by billysumday at 3:47 PM on January 31, 2006


So does this mean I should shelve my plans to develop MuhammadSucksFatCocksInHell.com?
posted by MaxVonCretin at 3:48 PM on January 31, 2006


Geez, they could have got up in arms about something more worthwhile. (note: highly distressing and offensive comic strip)
posted by Jimbob at 3:48 PM on January 31, 2006


A boycott on Danish goods? Oh my, that must have really hurt the Danish ham and bacon trade...
posted by Skeptic at 3:48 PM on January 31, 2006


mr_roboto, the last link in the FPP has the cartoons.
posted by boaz at 3:49 PM on January 31, 2006


boaz writes "mr_roboto, the last link in the FPP has the cartoons."

Ha! I didn't click on that one 'cause I thought it would be a link to the web sites of militant Islamic groups!
posted by mr_roboto at 3:51 PM on January 31, 2006


On the subject of the cartoons themselves, I like that a few of them were making fun of the newspaper. Very meta...
posted by mr_roboto at 3:53 PM on January 31, 2006


What a bunch of crybabaies. Ever look at a Saudi Gazette? It is usually has at least one terribly anti-semitic political cartoon in it.
posted by Falconetti at 3:56 PM on January 31, 2006


Imagine if a picture of Jesus Christ was used instead. Pat Robertson and the League of Metafilter Apologists would be calling for assassination attempts.
posted by Rothko at 4:10 PM on January 31, 2006


Rothko writes "Pat Robertson and the League of Metafilter Apologists would be calling for assassination attempts."

I don't think that's true. Robertson did the assasination thing with Chavez, but he usually just calls the Wrath of God down upon his cultural enemies...
posted by mr_roboto at 4:13 PM on January 31, 2006


The row has been simmering since the newspaper published the cartoons in September, but finally exploded on Friday when a Saudi Arabian imam denounced them in a sermon broadcast across the Middle East.

Some fucking allies, George.
posted by MikeKD at 4:14 PM on January 31, 2006


Wow. Fundies acting oppressed. Imagine that.

I like the cartoons, personally. Except for the head/bomb one, not because it's offensive or anything, but because it's kind of dumb.
posted by brundlefly at 4:14 PM on January 31, 2006


What does Bill Clinton have to do with this?
posted by furiousthought at 4:15 PM on January 31, 2006


Rothko: Imagine if a picture of Jesus Christ was used instead. Pat Robertson and the League of Metafilter Apologists would be calling for assassination attempts.

Well, they would be more likely to call on the Federal Government to regulate it if it happened in the U.S. More than likely, they would demand that their senators rename "Danishes" "breakfast pastries" at the Senate cafeteria.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:17 PM on January 31, 2006


Amateur religious psycho-analysis hour ...

What are the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder?
In many cases, those with narcissistic personality disorder:

* Are self-centered and boastful
* Seek constant attention and admiration
* Consider themselves better than others
* Exaggerate their talents and achievements
* Believe that they are entitled to special treatment
* Are easily hurt but may not show it
* May take advantage of others to achieve their goals

Other common traits of narcissistic personality disorder include the following:

* Preoccupation with fantasies that focus on unlimited success, power, intelligence, beauty, or love
* Belief that he or she is "special" and unique, and can only be understood by other special people
* Expectation that others will automatically go along with what he or she wants
* Inability to recognize or identify with the feelings, needs, and viewpoints of others
* Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
* Hypersensitivity to insults (real or imagined), criticism, or defeat, possibly reacting with rage, shame, and humiliation
* Arrogant behavior and/or attitude

posted by Blue Stone at 4:25 PM on January 31, 2006


There is the Making Fun Of Mohammed Contest, in which anonymous cartoons are being put on the P2P networks, like Gnutella and Emule. Since they are virally distributed, they provide no object for the seething and threats.

The only rule is to give the filename a distinct name, either starting with "MFOM_" or something else that would be found in a common search. Winners are those whose work is discovered, and results in impotent seething.

It follows Lenny Bruce's logic, that if there are thousands of pictures of "Mohammed" out there, with people frequently laughing and making sport of him and his religion, it takes away the power of their threats. You cannot fatwa everyone who laughs, even if you want to.

Since few of us are good artists, a lot of them are just crude drawings of a stick man with a beard, labeled something like "The Prophet Mohammed and a sheep". Made in three minutes with Microsoft Paint.

Quality doesn't really matter. Quantity does.
posted by kablam at 4:26 PM on January 31, 2006


Imagine if a picture of Jesus Christ was used instead. Pat Robertson and the League of Metafilter Apologists would be calling for assassination attempts.

What about a picture of Jesus Christ pounding the Prophet Muhammad in the ass with a pig-membrane condom and giving him a reach-around to jack off the Prophet with a well-lubed nail hole? And then the Virgin Mary takes a crap in the Prophet's mouth and the Prophet pukes it up all over himself and Jesus.

And then they all stand back in the final panel of the comic strip and reveal themselves as...

The Aristocrats!
posted by theorique at 4:31 PM on January 31, 2006


The Wikipedia article claims the boycott of Danish goods was "large and successful". I'd have to hunt high and low to even find something Danish, let alone boycott it.
posted by baklavabaklava at 4:35 PM on January 31, 2006


I think things like this are usually just symbols that are easy for people to grab onto and get excited about.

What if it was a national French newspaper with 10 pictures of people wiping their asses with the American Flag and peeing on pictures of dead soldiers?

I would think there would be some protests. Some boycotts, and the Ambassador to France would probably say something pretty seriously. And that doesn't even begin to approach the level of devotion to Muhammad there is in these religious countries.

Obviously the reaction is ridiculous in today's world and way out of proportion, and if the flag example above happened in the West it would be a trifle compared to this, but I wonder if that is mostly because of the general situation in the world right now, and not the actual act.
posted by cell divide at 4:41 PM on January 31, 2006


What about a picture of Jesus Christ...

You might like this.

It's very jolly.
posted by Grangousier at 4:42 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm drinking a Tuborg.
posted by stirfry at 4:43 PM on January 31, 2006


What happens if a miracle of Allah creates an image of Muhammad on my morning pancake? Should I sell it on Ebay or quietly eat it without telling any of muslim friends?
posted by JJ86 at 4:47 PM on January 31, 2006


This Brussels Journal article includes a letter from a Muslim in Canada that provides some context to why Danish Muslims are pissed off at the paper.

As for the Islamic injunction not to portray the Prophet Muhammad, that has not been a blanket injunction throughout Islamic history. There are illuminated miniatures depicting the Muhammad commissioned in earlier Islamic empires, but in this day and age, Muslim clerics would seemingly agree that such publication is blasphemous. In my view that injunction is outdated, and in any event, can only be binding upon Muslims (for Muhammad is not a prophet to non-Muslims) ... in my view the clerics who are going 'apeshit' strictly because of this issue are doing so unnecessarily.

HOWEVER:

While I support the right of the newspaper to print cartoons that it wishes to, the comments on MeFi smack of bigotry and betray a level of racism/hatred against Muslims that seems to raise few eyebrows. I can't imagine people on MeFi cheering on Prince William's wearing Nazi paraphernalia to a costume party. That too was a joke, as are cartoons. Certainly, malcontents like doctor_negative were not saying "Fuck the Jews if they can't take a joke." Prince Harry was made to apologize unequivocally. He did not apologize and then give a lecture on the importance of the Freedom of Expression and his right to wear what he wanted.

European countries have laws against inciting racial hatred. As discussed before in MeFi (see the 'Let Them Eat Pork' discussion). I do not know Danish law, but I wonder what restrictions there might be on publishing anti-Semitic or anti-Gypsy cartoons? If Denmark does have anti-hate-speech laws, then they may need to be updated to reflect that there are new discriminated-against minorities in the country. There is plenty of racial hatred against Muslims in Europe today. It is pretty clear to me that they are the new Jews/Gypsies of Europe. They live in ghettos and face constant racial discrimination. They don't get jobs, are thought to be backward, etc. And this is increasingly a problem now that they are finding their own voice, and are achieving numbers approaching critical mass. How come no one really complained about Muslim values when they were invited as 'guestworkers', paid very little for the jobs they did. It's only now that Europe has belatedly woken up to the fact that they had families and have settled down, and because they are racially distinct, that Europe is increasingly hysterical about its Muslim population.

So, this controversy is not merely about the freedom to express yourself, but also to not incite racial hatred, in a continent that has had a recent and very ugly racist history which was supported by the will of the majority of the people (Hitler was democratically elected). The same is true in America (with Jim Crowe laws), though there may be more freedom to express yourself. But I can still imagine that there would be a complete outcry if cartoons were repeatedly published in the mainstream media glorifying slavery or Jim Crowe laws, and a swift apology would follow without accompanying text regarding the importance of Freedom of Expression.

As for the boycott in the Arab world, and recalling of Ambassadors. Why not? The Freedom to Associate is as important a value as the Freedom to Express oneself.
posted by Azaadistani at 4:55 PM on January 31, 2006


Should I sell it on Ebay or quietly eat it without telling any of muslim friends?

Consume it only if the pancake also depicts a balloon over the image's head saying "Eat Me".
posted by spock at 4:56 PM on January 31, 2006


Here's a small-ish image of the cartoons in question. They look nearly as funny as these.
posted by EarBucket at 4:58 PM on January 31, 2006


Ah. And here they are, in all their blasphemous glory.
posted by EarBucket at 4:59 PM on January 31, 2006


I had a laff when I read that some whackjobs are saying that any Scandinavian is a fair target!


I'd have to hunt high and low to even find something Danish, let alone boycott it.

baklavabaklava, that's what I was thinking.

I think I saw some pickled eels or rollmops at a supermarket once. Maybe some cheese.


Rothko: you idiot.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:00 PM on January 31, 2006


Rothko: you idiot.

Truth hurts.
posted by Rothko at 5:02 PM on January 31, 2006


Oops ... that should be Harry both times, instead of William the once.
posted by Azaadistani at 5:03 PM on January 31, 2006


What Azaadistani said and then you could look at this in terms of contemporary Danish politics which goes further and further to the right every day. If you contextualize this newspaper’s quaint little provocation within the overall tide of “Denmark For The Danes!” its probably not something you want to defend any more than the reaction to it. To think this newspapers effort is a ‘free speech’ issue is naïve.
posted by anglophiliated at 5:05 PM on January 31, 2006


Imagine if a picture of Jesus Christ was used instead. Pat Robertson and the League of Metafilter Apologists would be calling for assassination attempts.

Imagine if a person were to openly admit he was gay in Saudi Arabia or Iran. But it's good you know who the *real* enemy is.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:10 PM on January 31, 2006


i think muslims should renounce the whole "no alchohol" thing and sit down and have a beer and FUCKING RELAX!
posted by obeygiant at 5:11 PM on January 31, 2006


obeygiant, a lot of us do drink beer and do relax. but it gets difficult to relax when you treat us as a monolithic entity, particularly when you do so with crude stereotypes.
posted by Azaadistani at 5:15 PM on January 31, 2006


What happens if a miracle of Allah creates an image of Muhammad on my morning pancake? posted by JJ86 at 12:47 AM GMT on February 1
I'm not sure how you'd be able to tell it was Muhammad.

When will the great Muslim satirists of the age make The Life of Allah?

Oh, wait...
posted by dash_slot- at 5:18 PM on January 31, 2006


I'd have to hunt high and low to even find something Danish, let alone boycott it.

Umm, bacon? Which I'm sure the Muslims would find equally as offensive.
posted by tapeguy at 5:19 PM on January 31, 2006


Imagine if a picture of Jesus Christ was used instead. Pat Robertson and the League of Metafilter Apologists would be calling for assassination attempts.

Some Christians were mildly annoyed by the Kanye-West-as-Jesus Rolling Stone cover, but I doubt they'd find a lot of supporters here.
posted by transona5 at 5:23 PM on January 31, 2006



Mmmm, bacon.

Maybe I should have put Scandinavian in italics up there?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:24 PM on January 31, 2006


This thread has been nothing but offensive and should probably be deleted.

I find it hard to believe that somebody says something as moronic and mindless as this and nobody calls them on it.

Not to mention this, this, this...
posted by dsword at 5:24 PM on January 31, 2006


I think that those who decry taking the piss out of an ideology like Christianity, Islam or other religion, need to get a grip. Some things are funny, and people will laugh. One of the funniest things in the world, books instructing us on how to live our lives, dictated by imaginary beings, is also one of the deadliest.

Every day I weep for the secular world I thought would be here by now.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:25 PM on January 31, 2006


I think the debased nature of this thread proves that Western hatreds of religious fundamentalisms are not all the same in nature and quality. Imperialism anyone?
posted by anglophiliated at 5:30 PM on January 31, 2006


As for the boycott in the Arab world, and recalling of Ambassadors. Why not?

Because the cartoons weren't a government act? Would you support western countries recalling their ambassadors every time there's a similarly offensive depiction of Jews in the Saudi media?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:31 PM on January 31, 2006


Of course the newspaper should be able to print whatever it wants, but one of the things that riles me the most about this whole thing is the fact that it was exactly Jyllands-Posten* that went out of its way to excert freedom of speech.

That exercise just rings so hollow when the newspaper's general political agenda is widely known, and their protestations about it not being a provocation even more so.

*a fairly right wing Danish newspaper known among more liberal minded Danes as 'Jyllands-Pesten' (= The Jutland Plague)
posted by AwkwardPause at 5:33 PM on January 31, 2006


I think the debased nature of this thread proves that Western hatreds of religious fundamentalisms are not all the same in nature and quality.

I'm more of an equal opportunity type when it comes to fundies of any stripe, place of origin, and/or degree whackdom.

Imperialism anyone?

No thanks, I'll have a Tuborg.
posted by stirfry at 5:35 PM on January 31, 2006



Bacon anyone?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:36 PM on January 31, 2006


dsword, if that's an impersonation of a mindlessly knee-jerk PC drone you're busting out, it's very funny!

if you're serious, well... then... it's not. and i call you a poopyhead!
posted by MaxVonCretin at 5:40 PM on January 31, 2006


This thread isn't about fundamentalism... It's about everybody here associating Islam with fundamentalism. While MeFi hosts countless remarks calling Bush a liar, when it comes down to it, you all seem to believe exactly what he wants you to: that Muslim=Fundamentalist=Terrorist.

So you get comments like this, where somebody describes a full fifth of the world's population as terrorists without even considering the ridiculousness of such a suggestion--that more than a billion people on this world are bombing others because of their religion. And, following that comment, there are a string of people expressing their confusion about how Muslims could be offended by a newspaper publishing comics that promote the same ridiculous and racist stereotypes, interspersed with several comments that were apparently written entirely for the purpose of showing that the author is indeed more racist and irrational than the comic strip artist or the newspaper.

Maybe it will help if you imagine what the response would be in the US if the New York Times started publishing cartoons
like this one in the comics section, as though it were something natural to laugh at.
posted by dsword at 5:46 PM on January 31, 2006


I get the impression that there is a big difference between making fun of religious intolerance in any form and racism, but that is just me.
posted by JJ86 at 5:54 PM on January 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Some people are retarded.
posted by tapeguy at 5:57 PM on January 31, 2006


Wow. This thread was pretty fucked up.
posted by chunking express at 6:05 PM on January 31, 2006


Imagine if a person were to openly admit he was gay in Saudi Arabia or Iran. But it's good you know who the *real* enemy is.

Speak of the devil...
posted by Rothko at 6:06 PM on January 31, 2006


Wow. This thread was pretty fucked up.

These threads, they blow up so fast.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:13 PM on January 31, 2006


I find it hard to believe that somebody says something as moronic and mindless as this and nobody calls them on it.

Not to mention this, this, this...


Would you mind clarifying my inclusion (1st 'this') in that list, dsword?

(Because I find it hard to believe that a country which has religious police who'll let girls burn alive because they're not properly dressed has trouble keeping an imam's message from spreading through out the region. But, hey, he might have been the Saudi equivalent of Fred Phelps. And, as an aside, a hat tip to AwkwardPause for his comment on the paper's possible motivation.)
posted by MikeKD at 6:17 PM on January 31, 2006


general political agenda is widely known, and their protestations about it not being a provocation even more so.

Off topic, but your comment very much reminds me of the indignant pronouncements of innocence in this recent case that was big news in Oz. (Shane Warne is the biggest idiot cum shit-stirrer going around. But he's a champ cricketer!)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:27 PM on January 31, 2006


Sorry, first line was quoting AwkwardPause.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:28 PM on January 31, 2006


This thread isn't about fundamentalism... It's about everybody here associating Islam with fundamentalism.

I can't rebut that for "everybody here" and I'm certain that a couple of folks at least would object to your lumping, but as for me, it is about fundies.

Going ballistic about an image is a fundie sort of reaction. Sort of the same thing as that so called art work "Piss Christ". Perhaps you recall it? The fundies went ballsitic while the majority ignored it.

...you all seem to believe exactly what he wants you to: that Muslim=Fundamentalist=Terrorist.

No I don't. However, the official outrage from Islamic quarters is fulsome in this case. I would like to see just a case or two where the outrage was as loud in reaction to a beheading, a stoning, etc.

Some of the reason for cartoons like this is just such a lack. Irrational? Not really fair? Yes, but as human as the reaction to those cartoons.
posted by stirfry at 6:42 PM on January 31, 2006


Seriously, fuck the fundies.

While I support the right of the newspaper to print cartoons that it wishes to, the comments on MeFi smack of bigotry and betray a level of racism/hatred against Muslims that seems to raise few eyebrows. I can't imagine people on MeFi cheering on Prince William's wearing Nazi paraphernalia to a costume party. That too was a joke, as are cartoons.

Dude, Nazis burned people. They mowed them down with machine guns. People are still excavating bones in places like Russia or Ukraine even now. They made fucking postcards and briefcases out of their skin and pillowes out of their hair. All that is in museums, you can go look at it. You can visit concentration camps and touch ovens and gas chambers. It is NOT the same as drawing cartoons of someone who's existence no one can proove. If you really don't see the difference between cartoons of some mythical character and wearing an emblem of someone who exterminated tens of millions of people just some 60 years ago, then fuck you too.
posted by c13 at 6:44 PM on January 31, 2006


Why can't we all just get along...in Dhimmitude.
posted by HTuttle at 6:59 PM on January 31, 2006


Azaadistani: I think what's causing the outrage on our parts is the whole death threats thing. People were offended when Prince Whoever dressed up as a Nazi, but no one issued death threats about it. More importantly, no one says it should be illegal for Prince Whoever to dress as a Nazi, its tasteless and it leads to people saying he shouldn't do it, but no one says "dressing like a Nazi is/should be a crime."

If Muslims chose not to represent Mohammed graphically, that's fine. If Muslims chose to tell non-Muslims that they shouldn't represent Mohammed graphically, that's also fine. But when Muslims say "representing Mohammed graphically is or should be illegal and we will call for the murder of anyone who does" that isn't fine.

While I, and doubtless everyone else here, is well aware that Islam is not a monolithic bloc, the fact remains that there are several large groups of Muslims who do act in concert, and they seem to have made the habit of threatening to kill people for expressing an opinion. My view on this is simple: fuck 'em.

I may disagree with what people say, I may take issue with what people say, I may demand that people apologize for what they say, and I might rant about what people say. But I will not, ever, call for a person to be murdered for what they say, and I hold nothing but contempt for those who do.

Moreover, where is the outcry from moderate Muslims at the insanity of the Imams issuing these death threats? Can you point me to *any* prominent Muslims who say "the death threats are wrong"? When Pat Robertson called for the death of Hugo Chavez dozens of prominent Christians said that he was wrong.
posted by sotonohito at 7:00 PM on January 31, 2006


I think they should punish the West by publishing scurrilous and irreverent pictures of Ronald McDonald (peace be upon him). That'd teach us.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:03 PM on January 31, 2006


Speak of the devil...

Truth hurts.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:07 PM on January 31, 2006


good points, sotonohito. The death threats just add validity to this
posted by stirfry at 7:08 PM on January 31, 2006


When Pat Robertson called for the death of Hugo Chavez dozens of prominent Christians said that he was wrong.

Dozens. Holy shit, that's a lot.

Also, I imagine Moderate Muslims do what everyone else does when the fundamentalists go off on something stupid: they ignore them. Since when should the onus be on them to answer for people who don't speak for them?

This thread has got to be full of some of the stupidest comments I've read here in a while. (Actually, that probably isn't true, but this thread is still pretty crap.)
posted by chunking express at 7:10 PM on January 31, 2006


Couple of points:

a) Muslim isn't a race, so it's pretty hard for these cartoons to be racist in ways that anti-gypsy or even anti-jew cartoons would be. Bigoted, possibly, but not racist.

b) When your response to badly drawn, mocking cartoons is death threats, I have to ask - "How old are you? Twelve?"

c) IMHO nothing is above ridicule. Sometimes you just have dry your eyes and have a can of harden up.

d) Pointing out that extreme fundamentalist activities, be they shooting abortionists or blowing up buses, are driven in a large part by religious beliefs is completely permissable because it is the case. By all means, disown the extremists, if you feel unfairly lumped in with them, but...

d.i) If you think your common religion is innocent and thus untouchable because your interpretation of its intolerence is a milder form, you're wrong. And just as bigoted. But less of an asshole about it.
posted by Sparx at 7:16 PM on January 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Man, where's jonmc when you need him?

First, danish butter cookies. Duh!

Second:

Krrrlson: Imagine if a person were to openly admit he was gay in Saudi Arabia or Iran. But it's good you know who the *real* enemy is.

Wait, so there's only one Enemy? Well shit! That simplifies things greatly.

I'm gonna go have another beer while y'all work this one out.
posted by Coda at 7:18 PM on January 31, 2006


Krrrlson, it's not very clever for you to parrot back what smarter people have said better.
posted by Rothko at 7:21 PM on January 31, 2006


it gets difficult to relax when you treat us as a monolithic entity, particularly when you do so with crude stereotypes.
posted by Azaadistani at 5:15 PM PST on January 31 [!]


What is monolithic is the reaction not the cartoon. If the shoes don't fit, you don't have to wear it.
posted by semmi at 7:21 PM on January 31, 2006


HEY ISLAMOFASCISTS: IN THE WEST WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH SO MUHAMMAD CAN SUCK MY BALLZ...

Goodness, where did that outburst come from?!?!! I guess I just love cartoons.
posted by j-urb at 7:24 PM on January 31, 2006


I think they should punish the West by publishing scurrilous and irreverent pictures of Ronald McDonald (peace be upon him). That'd teach us.

Your Mickey Mouse is one big stupid dope!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:27 PM on January 31, 2006


I RAPED JESUS!
posted by Citizen Premier at 7:38 PM on January 31, 2006


So, to respond to one newspaper's publication, they decide to boycott an entire country? Seems a bit daft. Additionally, if you're looking for sympathy for your cause of religious insensitivity, you could do better than burning the Danish and Norwegian flags, which have crosses in them...

anglophiliated - If I may add a word: To think this newspapers effort is only a ‘free speech’ issue is naïve...
posted by kahboom at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2006


Metafilter:If the shoes don't fit, you don't have to wear it.
posted by stirfry at 7:44 PM on January 31, 2006


Krrrlson, it's not very clever for you to parrot back what smarter people have said better.

For your sake, I hope you'll never need to venture out into reality.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:46 PM on January 31, 2006


For your sake, I hope you'll never need to venture out into reality.

That's the first original thought you've come up with so far! A shiny gold star for you!
posted by Rothko at 7:50 PM on January 31, 2006


First: agree with many posters - this thread degraded quite quickly.

Second: as a Christian I've had to endure countless degrading and inflamatory words/images created to poke fun at representations associated with my faith. I chalk it all up to free speech (note: I don't really care if the U.S. notion of free speech is not an international standard) and the Muslims who feel "offended" should do the same. Same goes for religious books. Similarly, while I treat my Bible(s) with great care (not that I abuse any of my books, really), I would not go ballistic if I found someone defacing one since it's their right to do so (it's a waste of a good book, but it's their right). I do not have any right to threaten anyone.

Somehow, this whole notion that we have to treat the Muslim communities (since you cannot lump Muslims into one pile just like you cannot lump us Christians into one pile) with kid gloves just grates on me. How I wish the crew from Monty Python were young enough to do a "Life of Mohammed" since they were some of the most talented equal-opportunity-jokesters/offenders on the planet.

If you feel the need to get violently offended or highly reactionary about what others write or say about you and/or your faith then you might need to re-evaluate yourself and your faith. At least take a look at what all that angst did to Pat Robertson and look in a mirror.

The whole planet just seems to be acting like 4 year olds lately.
posted by hrbrmstr at 7:58 PM on January 31, 2006


This thread has got to be full of some of the stupidest comments I've read here in a while.

yup
posted by stirfry at 8:00 PM on January 31, 2006


I don't mean your comment, hrbrmstr.

wow! is that herb mister?
posted by stirfry at 8:03 PM on January 31, 2006


I say "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke!" I don't go apeshit when people make fun of Bakunin or Nietzsche, for pete's sake.
posted by davy at 8:03 PM on January 31, 2006


Now this was a train-wreck of a thread.
posted by FormlessOne at 8:10 PM on January 31, 2006


Now this was a train-wreck of a thread.

doing fine until the trolls showed up.
posted by stirfry at 8:16 PM on January 31, 2006


You mean in the second comment?
posted by chunking express at 8:23 PM on January 31, 2006


Also, I imagine Moderate Muslims do what everyone else does when the fundamentalists go off on something stupid: they ignore them. Since when should the onus be on them to answer for people who don't speak for them?

So these ones barking the death threats must be those moderates. Either that or there sure is a whole helluva lot of fundies running around.

I vote for fundies since those make the most noise in any sect of fundie.
posted by stirfry at 8:33 PM on January 31, 2006


If you feel the need to get violently offended or highly reactionary about what others write or say about you and/or your faith then you might need to re-evaluate yourself and your faith.

Most people, regardless of their belief system, define (knowingly or unknowingly) their faith in exactly this way: their faith is the stuff about which they go ballistic without any particular justification. Everything else is window-dressing.

Oh sure, they'll talk about tradition, or rationality, logic, or any number of "imperatives" (biological, historical, etc. etc.), but really when you boil it down it's just a matter of what they choose to be irrational about.

Asking them to reevaluate why they've gone ballistic is pointless. It's like asking a lightbulb why it's turned on.
posted by aramaic at 8:34 PM on January 31, 2006


I had a laff when I read that some whackjobs are saying that any Scandinavian is a fair target!

So Swedes are fair game? That's gotta irk them.
Imagine being a US citizen and being wacked in some foreign country for something someone wrote in the Manitoba Times.
posted by spazzm at 8:35 PM on January 31, 2006


Most people, regardless of their belief system, define (knowingly or unknowingly) their faith in exactly this way: their faith is the stuff about which they go ballistic without any particular justification. Everything else is window-dressing.

I know people of faith that might get offended, or stop associating with me, or talk shit about me if I were to draw cartoons depicting their faith in a negative way.

But I don't know any, at least so far, who would put out a contract on me.
posted by stirfry at 8:41 PM on January 31, 2006


Stirfry, There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. What percentage do you think are screaming for the death of all Danes? I'm going to have to guess not that many.

I think calling for the death of all Danes over a cartoon is stupid too. I think you can say as much without insulting an entire religion.
posted by chunking express at 8:42 PM on January 31, 2006


What? Have we not figured out that there are some immoderate muslims in the world? Sheezus. Yes! But my reporting every single thing these fuckers say only inches closer and closer to painting the picture of ALL muslims as whackos. Do we really need a new FPP each time a new cluster of dumfuks issues a Jihad? Good lord. They're MORONS! Their defining characteristic is shared MORON-HOOD, not islam.

How would we like it if every time Pat Robertson made a statement it was on the headlines of every Arab newspaper in the world, in language like "American Priest Says All Arabs Must Burn in Hell."
posted by scarabic at 8:48 PM on January 31, 2006


How exactly are these cartoons offensive? When will we start withdrawing our ambassadors whenever the Protocols of the Elders of Zion get referred to as anything other than bigoted forgeries in the Islamic press?

Offended by a drawing? Tough shit.
posted by bshort at 8:50 PM on January 31, 2006


Fatwa issued against Danish troops
posted by soiled cowboy at 9:00 PM on January 31, 2006


How would we like it if every time Pat Robertson made a statement it was on the headlines of every Arab newspaper in the world, in language like "American Priest Says All Arabs Must Burn in Hell."

I would hope that my voice would be joined by others to say that Pat Robertson does not represent our views! He may be an unfortunate part of my culture but that does not mean I support his lunacy.

If he threatens violence, legal action will be taken.

That is how I would like it!
posted by stirfry at 9:01 PM on January 31, 2006


Yeah, cartoons should stop making fun of Islam, and Islam should stop parodying itself. That'd be the win/win in my book. I mean, none of those cartoons were half as funny (or half as offensive) as that whole 'Religion of Peace' meme floating around a while back.
posted by boaz at 9:01 PM on January 31, 2006


Fatwa issued against Danish troops

Remember that most anyone can issue one of those. It is hardly any sort of official.
posted by stirfry at 9:05 PM on January 31, 2006


Remember that most anyone can issue one of those.

Can I issue a fatwah?
posted by soiled cowboy at 9:08 PM on January 31, 2006


are you mullah enough?
posted by stirfry at 9:10 PM on January 31, 2006


*issues fatwa that Muslims must give soiled cowboy noogies or charliehorses if they see him*
posted by boaz at 9:10 PM on January 31, 2006



You're all a bunch of Fakirs.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:14 PM on January 31, 2006


*sprays self with magic fatwah repellant*
posted by soiled cowboy at 9:28 PM on January 31, 2006


It is far easier to scream and rage against cartoons than it is to clean one's own house. Moderate Muslims must rise up against the lunatics amongst them. Instead, we have the House of Saud funding the fundies (ironically, the very same House of Saud which OBL want's to replace).

All this lunacy creates a terrible fog which hides any beauty we might find in Islam, as Christian fundie/loonies hide the beauty that is the message of Jesus.
posted by Goofyy at 9:36 PM on January 31, 2006


is there such a thing as a "slimwah"?
posted by stirfry at 9:38 PM on January 31, 2006


*issues slimwah towards Kirstie Alley*
posted by soiled cowboy at 9:47 PM on January 31, 2006


Hey, careful with those things. Someone issued a slimwah against Calista Flockhart in 2004 and now she's disappeared completely.
posted by boaz at 9:52 PM on January 31, 2006


*issues fatwah against slimwah*
posted by soiled cowboy at 10:07 PM on January 31, 2006


*issues fatwah against slimwah*


wah????
posted by stirfry at 10:12 PM on January 31, 2006


what a disgusting fucking turd of a thread
posted by mr.marx at 10:16 PM on January 31, 2006


I'd issue a buffwah against myself, but I'm way too lazy to carry it out.
posted by maryh at 10:17 PM on January 31, 2006


what a disgusting fucking turd of a thread

*issues trollwah*
posted by stirfry at 10:23 PM on January 31, 2006


I'd issue a buffwah against myself, but I'm way too lazy to carry it out.

History buff, in the buff? Wha kinda buff?
posted by stirfry at 10:30 PM on January 31, 2006


what a disgusting fucking turd of a thread

Wrong thread mr.crybabymarx.

Try here.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:36 PM on January 31, 2006


I agree with bshort's comment:

Offended by a drawing? Tough shit.

BUT, as I tried to comment unsuccessfully above, to really be able to get your head around this as a human being, and if you're American, you need to not compare this to you 'religion'.

You need to compare this to blasphemizing America, and the troops. That has more resonance with Americans of all stripes. Walk into a bar in any part of America and say "Jesus sucks" and you may find a couple of guys to fight you. Say "American sucks and the troops can suck my balls" and you'll have your ass kicked in seconds flat.

So instead, imagine cartoons showing American symbols and troops portrayed in the worst possible way. Would we pull our ambassador from France? We changed the name of French foods in our government buildings because of far less egregious reasons.
posted by cell divide at 11:06 PM on January 31, 2006



posted by dhartung at 11:56 PM on January 31, 2006


I'd issue a buffwah against myself, but I'm way too lazy to carry it out.

History buff, in the buff? Wha kinda buff?


Y'know, like cut? Hardbodied? Gym-sy?
Damn, I guess I should've said fitwah.
posted by maryh at 12:16 AM on February 1, 2006


Where's Jesus and friends?
posted by asok at 2:07 AM on February 1, 2006


it's really a shit thread, but I'd like to state for the record that as a staunch supporter of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, I'm very much in favor of crude cartoons making fun of all religions, Islam included. and fatwas against cartoonists or writers really belong to the Middle Ages.

also, a memo to our Muslim friends: when fundamentalist crazed eskimos start hijacking planes, blowing themselves up on buses and trains, kidnapping and beheading journalists, well, then you'll start seeing crude cartoons making fun of the eskimos, too. it's the free press -- a right to be offensive, and all that. there certainly are enough crude, appalling anti-Israel cartoons routinely published in Muslim countries anyway. even offensive cartoonists have a right to equal-opportunity
posted by matteo at 2:21 AM on February 1, 2006


While I support the right of the newspaper to print cartoons that it wishes to

Azaadistani, you don't really appear to be supporting anything of the sort. You appear to be arguing that if these cartoons give offence to a particular section of the community, then that's equivalent to inciting racial hatred and therefore should be banned.

Prince Harry apologized for his actions because his actions brought the Royal Family into disrepute, but I don't recall anybody ever making the suggestion that he should be subjected to legal sanctions for attending a fancy dress party dressed as a Nazi. Presumably, his apology was prompted by second thoughts or family pressure.

Fortunately, here in the UK, attempts to outlaw things like this under a Religious Hatred law have just been seriously curtailed.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:44 AM on February 1, 2006


Say Wah!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:48 AM on February 1, 2006


also, a memo to our Muslim friends: when fundamentalist crazed eskimos start hijacking planes, blowing themselves up on buses and trains, kidnapping and beheading journalists, well, then you'll start seeing crude cartoons making fun of the eskimos, too. it's the free press -- a right to be offensive, and all that. there certainly are enough crude, appalling anti-Israel cartoons routinely published in Muslim countries anyway. even offensive cartoonists have a right to equal-opportunity
posted by matteo at 2:21 AM PST on February 1 [!]


So how about crude cartoons about Jews because of the actions of Israel? Oh, wait, that's offensive - when a Canadian student newspaper made a cartoon that could be even considered critical of Judaism (the religion - they meant Israel), they were roundly condemned. Then how about crude cartoons of Catholics because of the IRA? Or of Protestants because of the Ulster Unionists? How about we just damn the whole Irish people, regardless of the fact that most of them don't even live in Northern Ireland.

Either racism is acceptable in entire, or racism is never acceptable. You can always associate people with some terrible actions. My country has interned Japanese people, attempted cultural genocide on Native Canadians and perpetuated long standing unofficial but widespread discrimination against French Canadians (until Trudeau). And this is Canada - what do other countries have to answer for?

As for moderate muslims taking a stance against violence - they do constantly. It's just that no one ever listens to them, preferring to have their own prejudices confirmed. Immediately after September 11th, various Canadian Muslim groups issued statements condemning such violence. Already Danish groups have accepted the apology - the link is above.
posted by jb at 3:45 AM on February 1, 2006


That was moronic, jb. Thanks!
posted by shoos at 4:13 AM on February 1, 2006


BUT, as I tried to comment unsuccessfully above, to really be able to get your head around this as a human being, and if you're American, you need to not compare this to you 'religion'.

You need to compare this to blasphemizing America, and the troops. That has more resonance with Americans of all stripes. Walk into a bar in any part of America and say "Jesus sucks" and you may find a couple of guys to fight you. Say "American sucks and the troops can suck my balls" and you'll have your ass kicked in seconds flat.

So instead, imagine cartoons showing American symbols and troops portrayed in the worst possible way. Would we pull our ambassador from France? We changed the name of French foods in our government buildings because of far less egregious reasons.


But they didn't go into bars (or mosques or whatever) and mock Mohammed and his followers.

They drew a cartoon that was apparently so offensive that people made death threats against the cartoonist and threatened to cut off diplomatic relationships with the cartoonist's country.

That's insane. If muslims want their religion to not be parodied so much, then they need to become more moderate and stop with the insanity.

Besides, if you went in to a bar and started railing about America sucking then you might get kicked out or a punch in the nose, but you almost certainly wouldn't have to fear for your life.
posted by bshort at 5:10 AM on February 1, 2006


Enjoy your future all you naval-gazing dhimmi slaves.

Just say NO to PC.
posted by HTuttle at 7:39 AM on February 1, 2006


we did, we're all on Macs already
posted by matteo at 8:23 AM on February 1, 2006


Peter McDermott: I merely said that I suspect Denmark has hate speech laws, which may only apply to those minorities that were discriminated against in the mid-20th century. If that is the case, and the right-wing paper deliberately published these cartoons to incite Muslims in Denmark, Denmark's anti-hate speech laws should be examined more carefully (see below). This is all in the context of an increasingly right-wing Denmark.

I believe unequivocally (and this is my belief in abstract, in the absence of a national or historical context, and would apply to this situation and the Prince Harry situation alike) that a newspaper has the right to print what it wants and a Prince to where what he wants. I do believe that Cindy Sheehan has the right to wear a t-shirt at the State of the Union address and should not have been arrested. I believe that people whose sensibilities are so easily provoked betray weakness on their own part. I believe that people of any religion should have enough faith in their own deity to endure disparaging comments by others, and if they don't, they exhibit intolerance. I believe that laws against blasphemy in every society must be abolished.

However, as discussed previously in MeFi, freedom of speech laws in continental Europe are not as expansive as they are in the Anglo-Saxon common law tradition (i.e., in the UK and the US). Danish law must be examined, and the point I am making is that if Danish law is protective of minorities that were persecuted in WWII, that law may need to be updated to reflect the fact that the racial/religious minorities of today in Denmark are different. My point is this: in an objective sense, the debate over the cartoons should have included weighing their potential as deliberate hate speech designed to incite racial hatred versus the right to express oneself without limitation. Denmark has hate-speech laws. The country DOES place limits on speech. Speech (verbal or written) previously has clearly been dangerous enough in the country to have had limits placed on it. Why then, is there an assumption by everyone that the cartoons are instantaneously protected and cannot qualify as hate speech?

Here is an excerpt from an article on Denmark's hate speech laws and one lawyer quoted below believes that such cartoons come close to being illegal, but don't entirely qualify. That lawyer could be right or wrong, but coming close means that the legality of publishing such cartoons is a litigable issue:
"According to the paragraph covering racism in Denmark's criminal code, deliberate dissemination of material that threatens, mocks or denigrates a group because of its race, color, nationality, religious belief or sexual orientation can be punished with up to two years in prison.

A few of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons link the prophet to terrorism,' said Tyge Trier, a lawyer at Eversheds Copenhagen specializing in international human rights law, in a phone interview on Jan. 18. 'I'd say even these cartoons don't violate the criminal code's paragraph on racism, though they come pretty close.'"

I am not European. I don't live in Europe. But watching Europe's hysteria regarding its growing Muslim majority makes me uneasy. I think both sides are trying to shout each other down, without listening to the other. That does not bode well. Europeans are looking for opportunities to pick fights with Muslims and what they view as a backward culture, tradition and religion; conversely Muslims are looking to pick fights with Europeans with what they perceive as hatred against Islam.

Europeans seem to view themselves as secular ... but the Muslim world views Europeans as Christian. The English Queen goes to Church and is linked closely to the Anglican Church; Tony Blair is a born-again Christian leading a crusade in Babylon; the Western press was in a tizzy over the succession of the Pope for wks whose seat is in Europe (which other religious leader's succession--of any denomination--has been given such coverage?); the party in power in German is called the Christian Democrats. I know that all the examples I have given are superficial and symbolic, but they are symbolically very telling. While Europe may perceive itself to be secular and largely non-Church going, it is not so perceived from the outside, except maybe in the U.S., which is even more Christian. I am not saying that there is no separation of Church and State in Europe: but the average non-European who is not schooled in the West does not appreciate the subtleties of European history and the distinction drawn between Freedom of Expression and inciting religious or racial hatred. Nor, frankly, do many Europeans. And the European view of the Muslim world is equally steeped in ignorance and stereotypes. As I view it: the Europeans invited their non-Christian minorities as cheap labor, but never bothered to integrate them into their societies. They need to play catch-up (both sides), rather than acting like petulant children.

My final point regarding the Prince Harry example is this: Harry was made to apologize. It was his right to wear what he wanted, but it was in poor taste. He did not invoke Article 19 on the Freedom of Expression or start quoting Nietzsche. Newspapers througout the western world print stuff that they apologize for as a matter of routine. Such retractions or apologies are not followed by lectures on the Freedom of Expression. If the Danish paper believed that it was in poor taste to publish such cartoons, then it should have apologized (which it did) and left it at that (which it did not). If it did not think the cartoons were in poor taste, then it ought not to have apologized, and said that it reserves the right to publish what it wants.

Phew.
posted by Azaadistani at 8:54 AM on February 1, 2006


Cartoons from the Arab press:
http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/ArabCartoons.htm
http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-21.htm
posted by ori at 9:15 AM on February 1, 2006


Thank you ori - nothing like a little context.
posted by Eyebeams at 9:41 AM on February 1, 2006


stirfry: hrbrmstr == harbor master...something I'd like to do when I retire (in Maine)...
posted by hrbrmstr at 10:00 AM on February 1, 2006


I think you are making some thoughtful responses Azaadistani. I would like to emphasize the point that a lot of european countries are having trouble assimilating 'differently cultured persons', and any issue pitting muslim culture v. western is a hot button. People on both sides are sensitive and the only real solution is to be mindful of the other sides sensitivities.
posted by Catfry at 10:47 AM on February 1, 2006


Europe's hysteria regarding its growing Muslim majority ....

Wrong. Growing muslim minority.

Tony Blair is a born-again Christian...

Wrong. He has taken catholic communion. Tony Blair yesterday rejected calls by Church leaders for religion to play a prominent role in the election campaign.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:23 PM on February 1, 2006


sotonohito (who I sometimes think might be a fellow gaijin) has nailed it.

First of all, to clear up a misunderstanding, those raging lunatics aren't upset about the Danes making fun of Muslims. Rather, it's part of Islamic mythology that you shouldn't make pictures of Allah or the prophet Mohammed.
I mean, imagine there were some sort of Christian commandment saying that you shouldn't depict God in paintings and then some fag paints a picture of God all across the Sistine Chapel. You'd be pretty upset, too, now wouldn't you?

Also, this raises all sorts of interesing questions. Of course, it is completely tasteless and intolerant to make a cartoon featuring Mohammed. But what about a cartoon showing a preteen girl just minutes after Mohammed (pbuh) statutorily raped her (although strictly speaking perhaps not legally by the laws of the Caliphate at the time)? Would that be a fatwahable offense as well?
posted by sour cream at 12:53 PM on February 1, 2006


I am not Saudi. I don't live in Saudi Arabia. But watching Saudi Arabia's hysteria regarding satirical cartoons printed by a newspaper of another country makes me a little uneasy.

Azaadistani, I don't know exactly what kind of hate speech laws Denmark has, but I'm pretty sure they don't cover this sort of thing. Someone would have already exploited those laws to sue the paper.

Poor taste is part of the freedoms of the press and especially satire and cartoonists. Sometimes a requirement for it. And the Saudi press are the last to lecture anyone on poor taste in cartoons.

But poor taste =! hate speech. It takes an exta step to make it so.

As for the Muslims in Europe being the new Jews. Well. Would that explain why the Muslim Association of Britain boycotted Holocaust Memorial day for the second (third?) year? Or maybe not.

I agree with you about not making generalisations and stereotypes and so on. But you have to admit this sort of reaction to political cartoons is pretty fucked up. There is no excusing it. It is totally indefensible. Saudi and Jordanian authorities demanding to interfere with how a free press works in *another* country. Don't you see this is exactly the kind of thing that reinforces the worst stereotypes? what sort of PR is this?

The comparison with Prince William doesn't hold -- he was wearing a nazi costume at a private party and he was rightly mocked and shamed in the tabloids and papers for being a clueless moron. It had nothing to do with freedom of the press. It had to do with inappropriate choice of costume, historical ignorance and insensitivity, plus inappropriate conduct for a member of the royal family. I don't recall the Jews going *apeshit* over it or Israel threatening to recall their ambassador in London.
posted by funambulist at 1:36 PM on February 1, 2006


And integration goes both ways. When you're demanding religious censorship, you're pretty much given up on integration in a democracy.

(Those who do demand that sort of thing, at least. I have a feeling this is being more exploited in terms of Arab governments wanting to cash in on populist votes than in terms of masses of European Muslims ready to riot if an official apology is not issued).
posted by funambulist at 1:41 PM on February 1, 2006


Hear, hear!
posted by AwkwardPause at 1:58 PM on February 1, 2006


Developments.
posted by semmi at 2:10 PM on February 1, 2006


According to Danish newspaper Politiken, the owner of the French paper reprinting the cartoons (France Soir) has just fired its editor-in-cheif for doing so.
posted by AwkwardPause at 2:35 PM on February 1, 2006


I heard on the news several newspapers across different European countries were going to reprint the cartoons, not just in France.
posted by funambulist at 2:54 PM on February 1, 2006


From Semmi's link: The [Danish allegedly moderate Muslims] announced on Friday that they no longer demand apologies from Jyllands-Posten for the publication. Instead they said they just want two things: a guarantee from the Danish authorities that Muslims can freely practice their religion without being “provoked and discriminated.” And a declaration from Jyllands-Posten that the cartoons were not published with the intention of mocking the Muslim faith.

Well, they can ask for it, but they ain't getting it (at least I hope). In fact, nobody gets a guarantee to be able to freely practice their religion without being provoked. Not Christians, not Jews and not Muslims. You want freedom from provocation of your faith? An exemption of equal-opportunity mocking? Western Europe ain't the place for you. Maybe Iran or Afghanistan is.

Also, what's with all this juvenile apologies business? This is just not how things work in Europe. You have a claim against Jyllands-Posten? Go assert it in court and sue for damages. But stop whining already, sheesh.

I don't think there is a way you can force someone to "apologize" for something in the Danish legal system -- the concept of forced apology doesn't exist, I think. Apparently it does in the Muslim world. And they probably enforce it with the threat of serious bodily pain.
posted by sour cream at 2:57 PM on February 1, 2006


NYT (reg. req'ed) reports: "In support of the Danish position, newspapers in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland reprinted some of the cartoons today. A small Norwegian evangelical magazine, Magazinet, also published the cartoons last month."
posted by AwkwardPause at 2:57 PM on February 1, 2006


Also, isn't freedom of religion written in the Danish constitution? What more do they want?
posted by sour cream at 2:58 PM on February 1, 2006


btw, if this hasn't been mentioned already, the whole thing has been on the boiler since last October...
posted by funambulist at 3:00 PM on February 1, 2006


You have a claim against Jyllands-Posten? Go assert it in court and sue for damages.

Exactly. But then, the complaint would be ruled out at first session and we'd be missing all the drama...

An interview with the editor of the Danish newspaper from Channel 4, UK (streaming video - unknown format, if anyone figures out how to make it work on a Mac please tell us).
posted by funambulist at 3:09 PM on February 1, 2006


Apparently the French paper printing the cartoons, and whose editor was fired today for printing them*, is owned by an Egyptian magnate.

*I have so far only seen this mentioned in Danish media - anyone seen this mentioned elsewhere?
posted by AwkwardPause at 4:37 PM on February 1, 2006


whose editor was fired today for printing them*, is owned by an Egyptian magnate.

Ha Ha!</Nelson>
posted by boaz at 4:51 PM on February 1, 2006


Are muslims so delicate that they can't stand up for their religion when someone draws a picture of their holy man? Really? I think someone needs a huge steaming mug of Get Some Perspective with a chaser of Stop Living The Stereotype.
posted by bshort at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2006


You need to compare this to blasphemizing America, and the troops.

*cough*
posted by mr.marx at 5:51 PM on February 1, 2006


Anyone remember Rowan Atkinson's speech?

'Bout the only thing from the "celebrity bully pulpit" that has made sense to me!

Prolly because he is Oxford educated, and hasn't lived with his head up his ass his whole life. *Ahem* where was I...?

The freedom to criticise or ridicule ideas – even if they are sincerely held beliefs – is a fundamental freedom and a law which says that you can ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas, is a very odd law indeed. It promotes the idea that there should be a right not to be offended, when I think that the right to offend is far more important than a right not to be offended.

Transcript in full.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:09 PM on February 1, 2006


I recalled right - several newspapers across Europe have indeed reprinted the cartoons yesterday.

And yes, AwkardPause, it's confirmed, the editor of France Soir has been sacked - lots of stories found google news, here's from The Times:

Jacques Lefranc, was fired as managing editor of France Soir - a once successful Paris daily now struggling to survive - after splashing a cartoon depicting Muhammad over the front page.

Under the headline "Yes, we have the right to caricature God", the cartoon also showed Buddha, the Christian and Jewish deities and the Prophet all sitting on a cloud. The Christian God says: "Don’t complain Muhammad, all of us have been caricatured."

... Despite the bloodshed in the backroom, the paper was unrepentant in today's edition, asserting that "faced with religious intolerance and censorship it is time to come to the defence of secularism."

This morning there was growing confusion around the reason for M Lefranc's departure, with another employee telling the BBC that many journalists supported his stance and blaming his departure on a transfer in the newspaper's ownership.


And, it gets crazier:

Palestinian gunmen take over European Union office in Gaza and demand apology for offending cartoons. Now the EU should demand an apology for the offending guns. And then the gunmen will demand an apology for daring to demand an apology and before you know it, while everyone is focues on Iran getting nukes, we'll have a WAR over apologies.
posted by funambulist at 3:15 AM on February 2, 2006


Plus some amusing commentary from The Religious Policeman (blog of a Saudi in the UK).

This entry in particular...

A Memo
From: Royal Press Secretary
To: His Majesty
Date: 1st February 2006

Subject: Cartoons

... I have therefore given some thought to "spicing up" the story, and have come to the conclusion that we ought to find some other country, ideally small, harmless and inoffensive and with exports that do not appeal to your family, to demonize in addition to Denmark. I have therefore been reviewing all published representations of the Prophet (PBUH) to establish what countries could be blamed for them. Sadly, there are many representations out there, perhaps more than we ever imagined.

... This picture is of an early Renaissance fresco in Bologna's Church of San Petronio, created by Giovanni da Modena and depicting Mohammed being tortured in Hell. Whilst theologically incorrect (it is in fact the Pope who will be tortured in Hell), I would not recommend antagonizing the Italians at this time, simply because of the volume of Italian marble that is imported for use within our royal palaces and public buildings.

... This depiction of Mohammad at Madinah is of Arab origin. However, we can't boycott ourselves, can we? (If his Majesty will permit me this small jest!)

... In this picture, Mohammad is shown as trampling on the Cross and Ten Commandments, which, while admirable in itself, is still a Haram likeness. It is set in the Netherlands, which would qualify as a small and harmless country, only exporting flowers to my knowledge. However, thinking ahead, they are in Group C in this year's World Cup, and we are in Group H. If we meet later in the competition, having victimized them over a 300-year-old picture, then we would definitely get a very serious kicking with the rest of the world cheering them on, and a great loss of face for us. Discretion is the better part of valor in this instance.

posted by funambulist at 3:37 AM on February 2, 2006


Perhaps a tad too late, but just thought I'd point this out: the reason folks are crying hoarse over free speech is because the Arab League has officially asked the Danish government to apologize for the paper's actions.

Which, as them Europeans (and me too, must add) see it, is pure nonsense; why should a government apologize for a newspaper article? That'd be a bit like the US Government apologizing to all recovering addicts for, say, A Million Little Pieces, among other things.

Personally, me believes there's a lot of angst floating out there (was about to say 'Third World', but I was forgetting Sydney's recent violence); Muslim-related angst is, of course, the most prominent one, but there's other kinds as well. Nepal, for instance, had two days of rioting because a certain Bollywood star allegedly said that Nepal wasn't a "nice" country; in another part of South Asia, an irate mob burned down the state Assembly because of a rumour that their province could be split along socio-ethnic lines. Phnom Penh, if I recall correctly, saw one week of rioting because of a certain intemperate remark by a Thai actress (or not; can't recall the exact details, but Thai interests in Cambodia were adversely affected then).

Another curious in-joke about the cartoons, but extremely amusing to see that one of the original cartoons depicts offended people with swords drawn out.

That said, this is a set calibrated to offend alright; I wish I wasn't in a position defending that time-bomb cartoon.
posted by the cydonian at 8:11 AM on February 2, 2006


That said, this is a set calibrated to offend alright

I honestly don't see the offensiveness. I think it's very tame in terms of satire of a religion.
posted by funambulist at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2006


Editor fired after publication of Islam cartoons
"The Paris newspaper France Soir has fired its managing editor after the daily printed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that have sparked rising protests and boycotts in the Muslim world.

The daily confirmed that owner Raymond Lakah had fired Jacques Lefranc on Wednesday evening after a tumultuous day on which German and Spanish dailies ran the controversial cartoons that first appeared in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten."
posted by ericb at 11:38 AM on February 2, 2006


The anger appears to be heating up some more.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 12:41 AM on February 3, 2006


From the deleted thread:

The Danes publish some lame cartoons...
and Palestinians respond by lobbing pipe bombs, grenades and kidnapping teachers.

View from Denmark

atticus: sorry for reposting your post in this post, but I thought we'd all like to talk about the ongoing developments.
posted by bshort at 10:00 AM on February 3, 2006


I mean, imagine there were some sort of Christian commandment saying that you shouldn't depict God in paintings and then some fag paints a picture of God all across the Sistine Chapel.

Well, there's the first commandment. Some people interpret it to mean that one should worship the almighty only, and any effort to capture the essence in the almighty in a symbol is strictly forbidden. Punishable by death, even, I think.

Over the years, this has done nothing to stop some Catholic ethnic groups from deifying Mary and quite a number of saints, as well as developing all kinds of odd superstitions about crosses, rosary beads and communion wafers and wine. It's kind of weird and confusing. As a protestant, I frankly don't get it.

Historically, in Michaelangelo's time, I don't think there was such a problem with it. The Christians didn't really bring the whole campaign against graven images and other forms of idolatry until the Reformation. Calvin was particularly strong on this one. In fact, if you visit a presbyterian church today, you will only see a plain cross, but not the full on carnage crucifixion of Jesus that you get in other churches.

One thing that I have thought about on this subject with regard to Islam is this fetish about not having pictures of the Prophet or Allah at all. To me this is about as bad as idolatry, as it takes it to such an extreme, the principle points (faith, worship, community, etc) seem to be lost.
posted by psmealey at 10:23 AM on February 3, 2006


Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, said freedom of the press should not be an excuse for insulting religions, while the EU trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, said newspapers had been deliberately provocative.

These two should definitely apologise -- for spectacularly missing the point.
posted by funambulist at 10:58 AM on February 3, 2006


Photoshop competition (NSFW, here and there).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:13 AM on February 4, 2006


It gets craaazier:

Syrians set fire to Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus
posted by funambulist at 10:31 AM on February 4, 2006



posted by funambulist at 10:33 AM on February 4, 2006


They're stiil apeshit? Man, I can't go apeshit for more than ten minutes, and then I get all winded. I obviously need to spend some more time on the exercise bike.
posted by boaz at 11:49 AM on February 4, 2006


Something is up. This is being manipulated...
Syrian protesters who burnt and looted the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus at the weekend were encouraged to organise by the Syrian authorities, and received text messages from Islamic study centres urging them to gather, according to participants in the riot.
posted by grahamwell at 4:15 AM on February 6, 2006


New thread
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:02 AM on February 6, 2006


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