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February 15, 2006 12:52 PM   Subscribe

In the Muslim world, the major argument against punishing European governments for the cartoon scandal is that it was not caused by those governments, but by private newspapers. Italy's Reform Minister tries to put things right.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome (48 comments total)

 
I am finally beginning to succumb to the notion that we are indeed doomed as a species.
posted by 2sheets at 12:56 PM on February 15, 2006


I was just thinking the same thing.
posted by brundlefly at 12:58 PM on February 15, 2006


Burning down European embassies and consulates is not 'punishing European governments'?
posted by wabashbdw at 1:01 PM on February 15, 2006


"not done as provocation..."

'What, I just wanted to put my balls on his face. I didn't know he'd hit me!'
posted by klangklangston at 1:03 PM on February 15, 2006


"And what are we becoming? The civilization of melted butter?"

I think something must have been lost in translation, there.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:03 PM on February 15, 2006


In light of the controversy, Iran has officially renamed danishes. They are now Roses of the Prophet Muhammad.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 1:04 PM on February 15, 2006


pastry be upon him
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 1:05 PM on February 15, 2006


Maybe they should call them "Freedom Pastries".
posted by Gamblor at 1:06 PM on February 15, 2006


Also, it's times like this that I thank God for the healing, calming effect of religion.
posted by Gamblor at 1:08 PM on February 15, 2006


Calderoli is an infamous provocator and a well-known cryptofascist beloning to Lega Lombarda party, the one who would like to split Italy again in pieces.

Lega Lombarda and Calderoli routinely appeal to the lowest common denominator using the pseudologic of "ragiunat" which is just a mix of low-level rethoric mixed with the secessionist equivalent of american jingoism.

Obviously he widely criticized and violently attacked the "power of Rome" referring to the concentration of political power in Rome (being the capital of the country it's hardly a suprise it's the center of politics as well) and condemned the corruption and alleged wrongdoing.

He LOVES Rome and loves the political climate that allow him to be in Rome, but he doesn't care about the means used to obtain his personal enrichment goals, as he just demonstrated with the t-shirt.
posted by elpapacito at 1:09 PM on February 15, 2006


Synchronicity:
TFA: He said the T-shirts were not meant to be a provocation
Earlier today I read a State Senator talking about the new Ohio anti-gay marriage law: It is not meant to be discriminatory

sonofsamiam : "'And what are we becoming? The civilization of melted butter?'

"I think something must have been lost in translation, there."


If the expression meaning is similar to the same expression in Portuguese (and I think it is an expression brought over to Brazil by the Italian immigrants), "melted butter" means "cry-baby" or "pussy". It is mostly used by children to tease/insult a child who cries for no good reasons.
posted by nkyad at 1:09 PM on February 15, 2006


wabashbdw: "Burning down European embassies and consulates is not 'punishing European governments'?"

There's an argument against it. That doesn't mean everyone listened to the argument. There was an also argument against going to war with Iraq.
posted by Plutor at 1:09 PM on February 15, 2006


One day, a muslim will get drunk, get an anonymous blowjob, and it will change his life forever.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 1:09 PM on February 15, 2006


"in a move that could embarrass Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government."
posted by smackfu at 1:10 PM on February 15, 2006


"And what are we becoming? The civilization of melted butter?"

We need an allegiance with the civilizations of popcorn and salt!
posted by spicynuts at 1:13 PM on February 15, 2006


Since Berlusconi is willing to form a coalition with these people, he should have to answer for them.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 1:13 PM on February 15, 2006


protocols: he already formed it, it governed also with their help (even if marginal) and he already lost a goverment to Lega changes of mind.

Now Berlusconi is too busy convincing italians all the Democrats are liberals (elections in one month) exactly with the same rethoric used by the Bush cronies.

Too busy purging the parties from extreme right elements to notice Calderoli..plus Berlusconi already think islam is a religion of hate so...
posted by elpapacito at 1:22 PM on February 15, 2006


sounds like a buncha milquetoasts to me.
posted by pmbuko at 2:12 PM on February 15, 2006


Never a dull moment in Italian politics.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:18 PM on February 15, 2006


Cod... What the fuck, Italy? I thought that they were borderline commie for a long time. Why Berlisconi? What happened?
posted by klangklangston at 2:27 PM on February 15, 2006


Europe is racister than they like to let on.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:28 PM on February 15, 2006


What a fucking idiot.

There is no line of logic, however convoluted, under which this is even a remotely good idea.
posted by Meredith at 2:32 PM on February 15, 2006


Hey Elders, here's a "major argument argument against punishing European governments" for you to chew on: it's not up to any government to punish another government for its ideas, the ideas of its private citizens, and those of its press. Okay? Okay. Glad we have that cleared up. Yeah, Calderoli is a crass idiot, but the tone of your FPP implies the best attitude to adopt toward psychopathic zealots is that of tipetoed appeasement.
posted by ori at 2:39 PM on February 15, 2006


Monkey see, monkey do.

Some monkeys anyway.
posted by HTuttle at 2:48 PM on February 15, 2006


Obviously, a control-freak government cannot understand a free press.
Should not those who dabble in politics expect to appear in political cartoons? If the imams cannot stand the poltical heat - well..
posted by Cranberry at 2:50 PM on February 15, 2006


It's interesting to me how the anger at the cartoons is described differently east and west.

Here (west), the dominant meme is that Muslims are mad that Mohammed was depicted in drawings. There (east, or eastish), some make the claim that the drawings are a further attempt to humiliate and mock Islamic culture in order to incite religious hatred and invoke a new crusade on the "Holy Lands." I truly believe they think the West wants to come in and conquer everything. And we just might yet.

I guess I'm saying I don't think it's a free speech issue. I think cartoonists should be free to blaspheme as much as they want, of course, but I can see how Muslims might be offended about more than the depiction of Mohammed here.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:56 PM on February 15, 2006


cartoonists should be free to blaspheme as much as they want

We can say that because parodying Christianity generally only results in red-faced rhetoric and waggling fingers. 200 years ago it would have been a different story.

Baby steps, baby steps.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:02 PM on February 15, 2006


ori, I think you're reading a lot into his post. He's not saying that Calderoli just justified Muslim violence against foreign governments. He's just saying that Calderoli's stupidity just made that argument a lot harder for some people to swallow. It's a valid point.
posted by shmegegge at 3:03 PM on February 15, 2006


ori, I am not your enemy. However, I do think you're a prat.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 3:14 PM on February 15, 2006


"Monkey see, monkey do."

Well, if you're going to drag evolution into this, just imagine the furor over a version of the classic cartoon depicting a monkey evolving into Mohammed.

If the fundy christian response to Darwin is wack...
posted by mischief at 3:15 PM on February 15, 2006


The problem with your account, mrgrimm, is that this display of volatility and outrage did not emerge organically from any honest public sentiment, but was carefully nourished and groomed by local politicians.

Syria's best-known dissident Riad Turk on Monday accused the government of Bashar al-Assad of "manipulating" rioters who set fire to the Damascus missions. "The regime in Damascus feels surrounded and under threat. It exploited the situation and manipulated the rioters as a way of putting pressure on the West. It's the old logic -- me or chaos," Turk told AFP in Paris. [link]
posted by ori at 3:17 PM on February 15, 2006


klangklangston, you're right in that the Socialists were in power for most of the 80s (Christian Democrats before that). However, they were not as good at hiding corruption as the CDs, and there was a massive scandal in the early 90s called Clean Hands. Something like one third of the parliament faced legal sanctions for corruption (see also "tangentopoli," or "bribesville"). A former prime minister, Craxi, even fled to Tunisia where he died.

This basically blew up the entire existing political system, and parties re-named themselves and other parties emerged. Using his media empire and vast wealth, Berlusconi created a new center-right party out of thin air, Forza Italia, or "Go Italy." He formed a coalition with these Lega Nord idiots and the semi-fascist Alleanza Nazionale. Then he ran into legal problems and the former Communists, the Democratic Party of the Left, ran things for a while. He's gotten back in and has gotten some laws passed basically to protect him from further prosecution.

So yeah, it's pretty crazy.

But even before the Socialists first came to power, Italy had a generous welfare state that has proven very difficult for Berlusconi and friends to dismantle. They're really a new thing in that even the Christian Democrats were generally cool with a lot of social programs, whereas Berlusconi wants to reduce or even eliminate some of them.
posted by lackutrol at 3:19 PM on February 15, 2006


Will some Danish cartoons be the catalyst that unites the sides for the upcoming, or already in progress, Islam vs. Western Civ. war?
posted by acetonic at 3:36 PM on February 15, 2006


According to Sid Meier, yes. I say we pillage their railroads.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 3:38 PM on February 15, 2006


Lackutrol: Thanks for the update. I had a vague conception of some of that (I knew about the corruption scandals kinda), but I had no real sense of Italy's domestic politics pre-Berlusconi outside of knowing they were leftist, and the worldwide news story that they had elected a porn star to parliament. By the way, is there a nickname for Berlusconi? His name's too long to type over and over. My mind wants to redub him Biscotti, but that might not be clear enough...
posted by klangklangston at 4:27 PM on February 15, 2006


All it really demonstrates is the simple truth that people like being racist. All they need is the opportunity to vent their deeply held fears and prejudices and they'll gladly play along.
posted by nixerman at 4:28 PM on February 15, 2006


The Northern League spends 80% of its rhetoric trying to make southern Italians feel bad about being in Northern Italy. I have spoken with some of them and they can be real idiots - some are very nice guys, but real idiots. Think Hannity with pasta.
posted by zaelic at 4:28 PM on February 15, 2006


acetonic : "Will some Danish cartoons be the catalyst that unites the sides for the upcoming, or already in progress, Islam vs. Western Civ. war?"

Protocols of the Elders of Awesome : "According to Sid Meier, yes. I say we pillage their railroads."

I never made it to Andromeda in a normal game with the Arabs or the Vikings - only with the Germans, the Americans or the Chinese. But I OCC'ed (Civ 2 One City Challenge) once with the Vikings.
posted by nkyad at 4:43 PM on February 15, 2006


Can we bomb italy now?
posted by blacklite at 5:14 PM on February 15, 2006


Basically there were three major parties before the scandal: the Christian Democrats, the Socialists, and the Communists (who were about the mildest Communists possible). They even divided up the TV channels, RAI 1 for the CDs, RAI 2 for the Socialists, and RAI 3 for the Communists (I interned at RAI International for a few months). But the CDs led every coalition from the 40s until the mid-late 70s.

The only nickname of Berlusconi I know of is "Il Cavaliere," "the knight," which is really obnoxious and takes longer to type than "Berlusconi." And I have no idea why anyone would call him that. I think his new nickname should be "Gesu," "Jesus" after him calling himself the Jesus Christ of politics a few days ago. Or maybe something about his plastic surgery.
posted by lackutrol at 7:33 PM on February 15, 2006


The Jesse Helms,

I have long argued that our "torture" should consist of putting terrorists up at a five star resort, and giving them a television, the television will only play (at first) shows featuring mild sexuality. Then slowly it will upgrade to skinimax, then finally full blown porn. The only beverages available in the fridge will be organic micro brews. On the day that they finally crack down and start masturbating we send in two hookers. When the ordeal is over, we bring them into a debriefing room and say,

"See guys, what was all the fuss about, isn't the American dream fucking awesome? Tell us about those plans to kill people, and we'll bring some twins next time."
posted by sourbrew at 7:35 PM on February 15, 2006


"Will some Danish cartoons be the catalyst that unites the sides for the upcoming, or already in progress, Islam vs. Western Civ. war?"

if so, mission accomplished.
posted by mr.marx at 8:04 PM on February 15, 2006


The story's disappeared. Weird. Here's the BBC.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 8:49 PM on February 15, 2006


lackutrol: the "cavaliere" thing is because, before he got into politics, he'd gotten that honour title, sort of like the British knighthoods, that is granted rather liberally to businessmen. (search for "knightood" here).

The more informal nickames are: Berlusca (neutral), Burlesconi (pun on burlesque, clown, etc.), but the most popular is "il nano pelato", the bald dwarf. Not politically correct but rather descriptive.
posted by funambulist at 6:07 AM on February 16, 2006


"Nano pelato," heh. Though I am myself vertically challenged, I like that one.
posted by lackutrol at 7:35 AM on February 16, 2006


Or maybe something about his plastic surgery.

Berlutox!
posted by romakimmy at 8:27 AM on February 16, 2006


Berlusconi asked Calderoli to resign after he decided to wear a t-shirt with the alleged provocative comics.
posted by elpapacito at 4:43 PM on February 17, 2006


The only "problem" with those cartoons is that they weren't offensive enough--except, perhaps the ones added on by Muslim clerics as disnformation. Moreover, there is no prohibition on depicting Mohammed. So, while I would not wear one of the such tee-shirts described in the article, I can't condemn said minister for doing so.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:55 PM on February 17, 2006


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