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cartoons of the prophet.. not ok. turning his house into a parking lot.. ok.
February 11, 2006 9:07 PM   Subscribe

paved prophets house, put up a parking lot.. “What makes this demolition worse is the fact that the home of the Prophet is to make way for a parking lot, two 50-storey hotel towers and seven 35-storey apartment blocks; a project known as the Jabal Omar Scheme, all within a stone’s throw of the Grand Mosque. Yet despite this outrage, not a single Muslim country, no ayatollah, no mufti, no king, not even a Muslim Canadian imam has dared utter a word in protest. Such is the power of Saudi influence on the Muslim narrative.”
posted by zog (36 comments total)

 
profits before prophets, I guess. Also, from now on, whenever someone refers to me in text I'd like them to append (peace be upon him and his pure progeny).
posted by Grod at 9:26 PM on February 11, 2006


Also, from now on, whenever someone refers to me in text I'd like them to append (peace be upon him and his pure progeny).

Doh! If only your name was Gord, then this would be a perfectly reasonable request.
posted by sbutler at 9:29 PM on February 11, 2006


There is nothing in Islam about protecting non-sacred historical sites, apparently. Which would also explain why non-saudi Muslims, or at least non-saudi Muslim leaders are not too upset.

Also, the Wahabbi sect, the Saudis, actually believe that leaving these historical buildings standing leads to polytheism. Since its not an official holy site, but it is related to Mohammad, then people might worship it and that would pervert Islam itself. Just like how you don't want to have pictures of Mohammad.
posted by delmoi at 9:32 PM on February 11, 2006


yet those same wahabbis seemed to get all upset when that mosque was demolished in India.. why didn't they just go down the road and make a new mosque which would be several degrees less idolatrous due to having less history associated with it? (yes I know a rampaging mob is quite a different destructive force than real estate development)

A bit of further reading
indicates this "history = idolatry" rationalisation has been used quite a lot in the past to justify a bit of convenient asset appropriation, including from other muslims.
posted by zog at 9:54 PM on February 11, 2006


peace be upon him and his pure progeny, bulldozers be upon his house
posted by pyramid termite at 10:10 PM on February 11, 2006


Ummm, aren't the author of the article and the others quoted "uttering words of protest"?

Seems like the author's argument is self defeating.
posted by slm303 at 10:23 PM on February 11, 2006


Additionally, it has been criticized by a Canadian Muslim leader, a couple of South Asians as well.
posted by slm303 at 10:35 PM on February 11, 2006


Those crazy Muslims.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:10 PM on February 11, 2006


That site is a little disturbing. Did you see the scroll with headlines like "homage paid to 6-month old youngest martyr of Karbala"?

However, I don't see the point of this post really. Some Muslims want to preserve this historic site, others don't. The religion says nothing about it. So?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:29 PM on February 11, 2006


omg, muslims lacking in rational sensibilities, quick stop the presses.

No real slander intended here, but this whole danish cartoon thing has reinforced my belief that islamic nations are divorced from reality.

Well maybe that's slanderous, but as much as I want to be an apologist, or imagine that I have a poor understanding of the culture, the more that i see seems to reaffirm my deepest fears. That information is so poorly disseminated there that individual clerics have even more power than their southern baptist counterparts, their words are interpreted as a mandate from sharia law.

With that in mind if no local cleric stands to gain any political clout why debate it at all. There are no infidels to be angry about, just people that probably need housing. I would imagine its massively unpopular to protest against building new things when the norm seems to be destroying them. Sure its just one more fracture in the gulf between Western cultural values and muslim values, but the only reason we protest walmart is that we have a bunch. If you have nothing why would you hate on "progress"?
posted by sourbrew at 12:10 AM on February 12, 2006


"Such is the power of Saudi influence on the Muslim narrative"

just like your gross generalizations for the sake of a dramatic effect.

I call this Saudi-phobia. So Michael Moore circa 2004. Those who make monsters out of Saudis forget the obvious fact that Saudi Arabia is a de facto colony of USA (much like Israel) Neither Saudis have a towering influence over the Muslim world, nor Israel have a towering influence on America. anti Saudi talk, or more specific, focusing on Saudis as a sign of a generalized evil among Muslims is the flip side of looking at israel as a generalized evil among the Jews.

Let me give you another example, Just because people think that the holocaust actually took place, doesn’t mean that they agree with every action of israel. On the other hand just because Muslims are outraged by the stupid right wing Danish newspaper cartoons, doesn’t mean that they are all Wahabi fundamentalists.
posted by sundaymag at 1:10 AM on February 12, 2006


lupus_yonderboy, I think the idea is that it seems strange that Muslims have no qualms destroying a historical site that is closely associated with their most revered religious figure (Christians would go to great lengths preserving such historical sites - arguably they regard them as "sacred" even if they don't call it that) while going all mediaval about some stupid cartoons.


posted by sour cream at 1:22 AM on February 12, 2006


it has been an open season on everything muslim and islam since 9/11. The danish cartoons and racist crap like the cartoon above are not something new. its soo easy to be harsh on muslims. The question is, do you dare to generalize about any of the Jewish or American stereotypes or you keep expanding your freedom of expression at the expense of muslims?

yeah, i know... it's far easier to be on Bush, Sharon and Rumsfields's side of the crusade when you're advocating the freedom of speech.
posted by sundaymag at 1:43 AM on February 12, 2006


sundaymag: what makes poking fun at muslims so much fun is that so many of them seem completely without any hint of self-irony.

jews make jewish jokes. christians make jokes about christians. but make a bunch of tiny cartoons about mohammed, and the entire arab world goes bananas...

lighten up, people, and it may not be so tempting to tease y'all in the future...
posted by dagny at 2:09 AM on February 12, 2006


sundaymag, what's the issue here?

I thought the issue is that Muslims take terrible offense at pictures of their prophet. OK.

Now suddenly this has morphed into "no more cartoons about Muslims AT ALL, please. Because they might be offended." How did we get here?

I think the above cartoon is pretty funny, because it satirizes the undeniable link between being a true believer in Islam and violence. It's funny, because it's true.

As for Jewish and American stereotypes, yes I do laugh about cartoons skewering those as well. Unfortunately, there are not many Jewish traits that lend them to such satire. Actually, in that respect I think that Jews are pretty boring. (That must also be the reason why there are so few Jewish entertainers.)

Muslims on the other hand, boy, they are a cartoonist's dream come true.
posted by sour cream at 2:14 AM on February 12, 2006


Death to those who mock the prophet Garfield.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:48 AM on February 12, 2006


The question is, do you dare to generalize about any of the Jewish or American stereotypes.

Of course we do:

- They're a bunch of dimwitted lardarses who keep on voting for an imbecile.
- The British, in contrast, are a bunch of soap dodgers who won't visit the dentist.

Now what was your point again?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:29 AM on February 12, 2006


That must also be the reason why there are so few Jewish entertainers

Are you kidding? Jews have probably made a bigger contribution to humour than any other race. They still dominate the field in the USA.

Check this out.

Of course, there are a couple of Muslim comedians as well, but they aren't very funny.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:39 AM on February 12, 2006


Jewish comedians? Get out of here!
posted by sour cream at 3:52 AM on February 12, 2006


As for Jewish and American stereotypes, yes I do laugh about cartoons skewering those as well. Unfortunately, there are not many Jewish traits that lend them to such satire. Actually, in that respect I think that Jews are pretty boring. (That must also be the reason why there are so few Jewish entertainers.)

Come on! For christ's sake do you own a TV or have even a little exposure to contemporary pop culture?

BTW - zog is a rather unfortunate choice of handle for posting on Muslim hypocracy. Very close to someone named kkk posting on black IQ.
posted by srboisvert at 3:54 AM on February 12, 2006


Peter MC on Muslim comedians: they aren't very funny

What about this guy Borak from Kazachstan? I think he's hilarious!
posted by sour cream at 4:02 AM on February 12, 2006


To me, the prophet's house thing (and Westerners' perplexity at it) resonates of cultural differences. To the Arabs, the house is apparently just a house, not the hallowed place where the prophet laid his head. It's similar to the way the Chinese feel about ancient artifacts. When China sent a bunch of terra-cotta soldiers on a world tour of museums, the museums were thrilled to be able to display the ancient figures. When they discovered that the soldiers on the tour were not ancient, but new replicas, they were less thrilled. The Chinese opinion was, "If you can't tell they are replicas, what difference does it make?" It seems that we Westerners have a tendency to imbue objects with great significance, a tendency that some cultures express differently, or lack.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:05 AM on February 12, 2006


I would think that a lot of this stuff surviving (and people being fully aware of what they are) to the present would indicate the Arabs do care about preserving history, it's just that the zealots in control of the axes and the cash, who may be in the minority, don't.
posted by zog at 4:24 AM on February 12, 2006


hypocracy

I see this misspelling a lot these days. I wonder to myself, if it were a real word, what would it mean? Rule by syringes?

Anyway, the correct spelling is "hypocrisy". So now you know. (And knowing is half the battle! GI JOE!)
posted by beth at 8:03 AM on February 12, 2006


undeniable link between being a true believer in Islam and violence.

Oh! I see. How very rational.
posted by mulligan at 8:26 AM on February 12, 2006


"Death to those who mock the prophet Garfield."

There is no cat but Garfield and Jon is his prophet... lasagna be upon him.
posted by TetrisKid at 8:34 AM on February 12, 2006


:-{>
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on February 12, 2006


Re: Muslim's lack of humor

In the past few years a successful (whether or not anyone else thinks there funny) Muslim comedy troupe has been touring the U.S. They've also been honored by one of the leading American Muslim organizations.

There also is a large histroy of political cartoons in the Arab/Muslim world, the most famous proabably being Naji al-Ali's creation of Handala, which is extremely common on key chains, taxis, buttons, T-Shirts, etc. within Palestine today (despite the fact that al-Ali was assassinated in 1987).
posted by slm303 at 8:59 AM on February 12, 2006


An op-ed article in Toronto Star, Canada’s widely-circulated daily,

NOT. I suppose it is possible to buy this paper outside Toronto these days, but hey, I can get the Globe and Mail in the UK. Canada has two national newspapers, the Globe & Mail and the National Post. The Star is a distant runner up.
posted by tiamat at 9:12 AM on February 12, 2006


its soo easy to be harsh on muslims.

Indeed...


posted by Krrrlson at 9:46 AM on February 12, 2006


NOT. I suppose it is possible to buy this paper outside Toronto these days, but hey, I can get the Globe and Mail in the UK. Canada has two national newspapers, the Globe & Mail and the National Post. The Star is a distant runner up.

The Toronto Star, while not a true national paper, has largest circulation of any Canadian paper and is available throughout all of Canada as well as many places outside the country not to mention being on the internet. I have no idea what point you were trying to make anyway but you probably need to try again.
posted by srboisvert at 10:12 AM on February 12, 2006


First, this is a horribly-written press release. It's written using a vocabulary only accessible to Muslims themselves.

Next, let's look at the facts-- it's 2005. If Islam was so against the preservation of places of historical and religious significance because it might lead to idolatry, why has it only been in the last 80-100 years that these sites have begun to get paved over?

What the press release is trying to convey, and what the world needs to be concerned about, is the influence and sway that the Saudi Arabian government holds when it comes to Islam.
posted by deanc at 10:40 AM on February 12, 2006


(re: the picture Krrrlson posted above)

I wish someone would cave that stupid bitch's head in with a hammer. Not because she's Muslim, but because she's stupid and a net loss to humanity. She is hateful, spiteful, and evil, and the world would be better off without her.

She, and her male owner who painted the sign for her, should both be publicly executed while a sign reads "Be prepared for the REAL crusades!" How do you think that would go over?

This reminds me of the people out dancing in the streets and firing guns in the air a couple hours after 9/11. Everyone else is supposed to just tolerate their hateful ridiculous behavior, but the tiniest transgression, even imagined, against their religion and it is time for jihad.

Oh, you don't like someone making cartoons about The Prophet? Well, we don't like watching videos of you sawing journalists' heads off.

This whole comic thing has really stretched the bounds of credibility and tolerance regarding Islam and its fanatical, ridiculous adherents.

Yes, yes, not all Muslims are protesting blah blah blah blah. Shut up. I might actually punch the next person who says "Islam is a religion of peace" in their damn mouth.

I mean, I imagine some stupid Christians would be upset if someone made a cartoon of Jesus being cornholed by Uncle Sam. But I doubt that there would be rioting in the streets and worldwide call for war.

If Muslims put 1/4 as much effort into developing their societies as they did being outraged at everything in the west, they would be the dominant culture of the world.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:01 PM on February 12, 2006


Ynoxas,

Good to see you use the same sort of reasoning system other extremists use.

Also, Islam is a religion of peace.
posted by mulligan at 4:02 PM on February 12, 2006


If Islam was so against the preservation of places of historical and religious significance because it might lead to idolatry, why has it only been in the last 80-100 years that these sites have begun to get paved over?

There's a lot of ignorance in this thread (not surprising, since few non-Muslims know much about Islam); I'll take that quote as an opportunity to clear up a couple of points. This is not about "Islam," it's about a very specific variety of Islam, Wahhabism, which would be a rightfully obscure sect except that the Al Saud, who came to power over 200 years ago through an alliance with Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab, happened to create their neo-medieval monarchy on top of what turned out to be an immense reserve of oil, enabling them to push Western governments around and spread their narrow-minded doctrines all over the Islamic world through munificent funding of Wahhabi madrasas and other educational institutions. Most Muslims have a perfectly natural reverence for anything associated with the Prophet, including his house, grave, &c, but the Wahhabis believe (to quote the Wikipedia article I linked above) that "the invoking of any prophet, saint or angel in prayer, other than God alone" and "supplications at graves, whether saints' graves or the prophet's grave" are contrary to Islam. "In 1801, the Saudis attacked the Iraqi city of Kerbala and sacked the Shi'a shrine there. In 1803, Saudis conquered Mecca and Medina and sacked or demolished various shrines and mosques." If the Saudis managed somehow to achieve domination over the entire Muslim world, there would be massive destruction of anything they considered idolatrous or "contrary to Islam," wiping out many historical and artistic treasures; this would be as appalling to the vast majority of Muslims as it would be to Westerners. Try to keep that distinction in mind when you read about this sort of thing.
posted by languagehat at 8:37 AM on February 15, 2006


the undeniable link between being a true believer in Islam and violence.

Cretin.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:26 AM on February 15, 2006


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