66 thoughts on “Jyllands-Posten’s Muhammed Cartoons – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. They shouldn’t have published pictures like that.

    In Islam we’re not even allowed to draw pictures of the Prophet peace be upon him.

    We dont draw pictures of Jesus or Moses, we respect all the prophets.

    We love our prophet peace be upon him.

  2. As I’ve followed this controversy, I’ve basically wished a big womp on the head to everyone involved. I don’t know how you reconcile the belief that no images should ever be made of the Prophet, even respectful ones, with a free press.

    But those cartoons were just DUMB. What the hell was the point? This was not a smart battle to fight.

  3. Wait everyone!

    This is important. It’s not like the cartoonists just published the cartoons for fun. A Danish writer had written a sympathetic children’s book to explain Islam, but he could not find any artists in Denmark who were willing to work with him, for fear of death threats or worse for even depicting Mohanned in a pictorial way, which is forbidden in Isamlic law:

    How it all began:

    On September 30, 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. NOTE: These had been commissioned by the culture editor Flemming Rose, AFTER he learned that the children’s book author Kare Bluitgen had been UNABLE to find an illustrator for his new book project: the life of the prophet Mohammed, as told for children.

    MONEY QUOTE: “He wanted to see how deep the self-censorship in Denmark lies,” today’s Zeit quotes Rose as saying in a detailed background article.

    Kathleen Parker’s column also says:

    The cartoonists in question are a dozen Danish artists who drew
    Muhammad-themed cartoons last September for the Danish newspaper
    Jyllands-Posten during an exercise to test the limits of free speech.
    *******The cartoon-a-thon was conceived in response to complaints from a
    Danish author who couldn’t find anyone to illustrate her Muhammad
    children’s book.

    Although the book itself was not controversial, the Muslim faith
    considers it blasphemy to depict the Prophet in any way.

    So you see, there is MORE here than meets the eye.

  4. The image of the Prophet Muhammad as a suicide bomber is literally an explosive one., noted Jefferson Morley in the Washington Post.

    Several cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyland Posten last fall have stirred an international controversy, with Arab countries withdrawing diplomats from Copenhagen and calling for a boycott of Danish goods.

    The paper published the cartoons in response to news reports that a local author couldn’t find illustrators for a children’s book on the life of Muhammad due to the Islamic prohibition of images of its founding prophet.

    The newspaper’s apology, issued today in English on their Web site, said the images were part of a “debate on freedom of expression.”

    The images “were not intended to be offensive, nor were they at variance with Danish law, but they have indisputably offended many Muslims for which we apologize.”

    The paper denied the images were part of a “campaign against Islam.”

    “Because of the very fact that we are strong proponents of the freedom of religion and because we respect the right of any human being to practise his or her religion,” the editors of the popular daily said, “offending anybody on the grounds of their religious beliefs is unthinkable to us. That this happened was, consequently, unintentional.”

  5. The blogger DI2nu, who you qote above, now has note on blog that reads: ”As a mark of respect to the large number of dead in the recent Egyptian ferry disaster I have decided to remove the images.”

  6. Why Muslims are so sensitive to images of Prophet being used
    BASHIR MAAN

    MUSLIMS hold the Prophet in such high respect and reverence that he is only after God. He is regarded more respectfully than one’s parents.

    Believers think of him as the prefect human being in the world.

    Islam forbids images of anybody. Images are forbidden in the Koran. There are many verses in the Koran which condemn worshipping idols. From that we draw that idols are paintings and pictures, and particularly pictures of the Prophet.

    There were no paintings in his life of how he looked. There are descriptions of how he looked and explanations of his facial features, but no pictures. It is regarded as idolatrous.

    That is the reason that the Prophet prohibited images in the house.

    But the Prophet is more defended because of the respect and reverence that we have for him.

    There are some people who say that photographs are acceptable because that is not a painting. They say that a photograph does not come into that category.

    But, on the whole, Muslims do not like photographs or idols. Veneration starts from the photographs and causes idolatry.

    It will never change because it covers everything. Islam is a way of life. It covers every aspect of human life. There is no room for innovation or changes there. Everything is proscribed.

    The best thing is the template of the life of the Prophet.

    Everything was written down, it was history. But there is no rigidity, there are no extremes in Islam, no right or left.

    Those who protest can protest peacefully. As they have the right to print, so they have the right to protest.

    There should not be any violence.

    I don’t think the pictures should have been published. It only widens the gulf between Islam and the West.

    Maybe they don’t appreciate the reverence Muslims have for the Prophet. Maybe it was mischievous of them.

    No religious faith should be caricatured, because it will create offence.

    This is an abuse of the freedom of expression.

    Most of the people in Islamic countries are emotional because there is more illiteracy than literacy, and that is the reason why some people go to extremes.

    That is why some people take it too far.

    That is not good for Islam and not good for them.

    I think there must be some sort of understanding between the West and Islam.

    • Bashir Maan is the Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain.

  7. So you see, there is MORE here than meets the eye.

    Danny Bee: Sorry to say–not really. First, I don’t buy that a children’s book author cannot find an illustrator willing to draw the prophet Muhammed. Perhaps, she wanted to find a Muslim illustrator to do this. You don’t specify precisely what she was seeking. I can believe that a Muslim would not want to illustrate such a book. But a non-Muslim artist would certainly do this.

    Second (and as you point out in your description of the twelve cartoons), two of the twelve (neither of which I display here) depict said children’s book author as a PR hound. So I don’t believe this enterprise was a good faith attempt to test freedom of expression. There were ulterior motives that besmirch any pure ones. I choose to believe that this author or the editors (or both) were trying to provoke Muslims for the sake of making some personal or perhaps political point. Again, whatever they were trying to do was ill-informed & ill-conceived.

    I’m in favor of freedom of the press. But I’m not in favor of letting a newspaper do the equivalent of shouting fire in a burning theater. That’s what Jyllands-Posten has done with this incident. If they were truly interested in portraying the prophet Muhammed why were so many of the cartoons derisive and insulting? Now that they’ve done it I’m afraid we have to say they have a right to do so. Unfortunately, freedom of the press also includes the right to be stupid, which the Danish publication has been in spades.

    The newspaper’s apology, issued today in English on their Web site, said the images were part of a “debate on freedom of expression.”

    The images “were not intended to be offensive…

    They must be kidding. Who do they think they’re fooling?

    The paper denied the images were part of a “campaign against Islam.”

    I’d say that’s debatable. Besides, the fact that there are so many derisive cartoons in the series belies this claim.

    “Because of the very fact that we are strong proponents of the freedom of religion and because we respect the right of any human being to practise his or her religion,” the editors of the popular daily said, “offending anybody on the grounds of their religious beliefs is unthinkable to us. That this happened was, consequently, unintentional.”

    Any editor who did not know that by publishing those cartoons they would offend Muslim religious beliefs is either an idiot or a really, really bad journalist (or both)

  8. Just goes to show that globalization and the mixing of cultures will at some point explode.

    Nah, doesn’t need to if people try to honor & respect the culture & religion of others. The main thing is to think how your action would appear to the person to whom it’s addressed. Before you draw a caricature of the prophet with an exploding bomb in his turban think how this might appear to Muslims–BEFORE you do it. Not after. Jyllands-Posten didn’t bother to think about what they were doing beforehand. Or if they did their thinking was woefully inadequate.

  9. The blogger DI2nu, who you quote above, now has note…that reads: ‘’As a mark of respect to the large number of dead in the recent Egyptian ferry disaster I have decided to remove the images.’’

    I’m sorry to hear that. I think he was performing an important service in the pursuit of knowledge & understanding. Not sure I quite understand the connection he’s making betwen the ferry disaster & these images (of course I understand that he doesn’t want to do anything insulting to Islam in the midst of this tragedy–but this distinction doesn’t seem persuasive to me). But let me add that I certainly mourn the loss of life in this terrible disaster.

    I’m certain I’m not the only progressive blogger with these images–at least I hope not.

  10. Richard,
    You are right, that the newspaper certainly didn’t have to sponsor that cartoon contest as a fullpage feature in order to illustrate the plight of the children’s author who could not find an artist to work on the book with him. A much better editorial idea would have been to write a story about the kids book author and how he was having trouble finding an illtrustator and why. THAT would have been education and non-incendiary. In doing what they did, you are right, they blew up a bomb and it is going off right now worldwide and who knows when it will stop. Bad move on the editor’s part. He was not thinking things through.

    However, one note: the author of the kids book, a man, Danish man, he wrote the text and could not find anyone in Denmark willing to illustrate it for his publisher. Really. This is true.

    When you wrote above: “I don’t buy that a children’s book author cannot find an illustrator willing to draw the prophet Muhammed. Perhaps, [he] wanted to find a Muslim illustrator to do this. You don’t specify precisely what [he] was seeking. I can believe that a Muslim would not want to illustrate such a book. But a non-Muslim artist would certainly do this.” …… From what I can find out online so far, the writer did write a sympathetic book about Islam for Danish kids, in Danish, and he had a publisher for it, and they were looking for an artist, any ethnicity, male or female, to do the artwork, and they could not find EVEN ONE willing to sign on. When the newspaper heard this story, the editors there decided to sponsor a context to “illustrate” the problem of depicting images of the Prophet in Danish publications, given the Sad New World (SNW) we now live in, post 911. Unfortunately, the editors ended up illustrating a very different problem and one that will be with us for a long long time to come.

    One thing more: in a free world, free of fear and mindcontrol and brainwashing, we should be allowed to criticize and satarize all religions in print or on radio, as long as the context is polite and well-intended. [I thought the cartoon about NO MORE VIRGINS was funny, in a MAD MAGAZINE kind of way.] I like good, religious humor that gently pokes fun at our foibles, be with Jewish or CHristian or Hindu or Shinto or Moslem.

    I do believe this is all clash of civilizations, time warp, Godwarp. So to speak.

  11. Hamlet: something is rotten in the state of Denmark:

    For discussion: On September 30, 2005, last year, the daily Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten (“The Jutland Post”) in Denmark published an article titled “Muhammeds ansigt” (“Muhammad’s face”). The article consisted of 12 satirical caricatures of Muhammad and an explanatory text, in which Flemming Rose, Jyllands-Posten’s culture editor, commented:

    QUOTE: The modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings. It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where you must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule. It is certainly not always equally attractive and nice to look at, and it does not mean that religious feelings should be made fun of at any price, but that is less important in this context. […] we are on our way to a slippery slope where no-one can tell how the self-censorship will end. That is why Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten has invited 12 members of the Danish editorial cartoonists union to draw Muhammad as they see him. […]” UNQUOTE

    BTW, Reactions in support of Jyllands-Posten

    A web badge used by the “Buy Danish” campaign.Various people and groups, including conservatives, liberals, anti-Islamist groups, White Supremacy groups, freedom of speech proponents, anticlericalists and American weblogs[29] have initiated a Buy Danish Goods campaign, which is intended to counter the boycott from Middle East countries.[30]

    The president of Reporters Without Borders Robert Ménard says that Morgenavisen Jyllandsposten has taught the world a thing or two about free speech and that there is nothing for which to apologise.[31]

  12. Is this shades of Salman Rushdie all over again. Would love to hear what he has to say about all this. QUOTES anywhere?

    Remember when when there were calls to kill him, now calls to kill the cartoonists? This is getting ugly.

    A newspaper in New Zealand a very good editorial, The precious right of freedom of speech:

    04 February 2006

    Modern society rests on the contest of ideas, the ability to question perceived wisdom and to challenge authority, The Dominion Post writes in an editorial.

    Without that contest, and the right to free speech that makes it possible, societies stultify and become entrenched in their beliefs. That freedom to question and to challenge must include the right to be offensive, to affront people’s most heartfelt beliefs, even to disparage that which they hold sacred. Otherwise it is an empty freedom.

    Our decision to publish the 12 cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten (Jutland Post) at the centre of the escalating row between the Muslim world and the nations of the West is not one that the newspaper has taken lightly. However, in the clash of values at the centre of the dispute not to publish because of fear of disturbing the sensibilities of Muslims would be to give way in the face of bullying threats. That is what Muslims are seeking to have the Western democracies do with their threats of bombs and trade boycotts.

    There is no doubt that Muslims find the portrayal of the Prophet offensive. The Koran is clear that the slander and mockery of Islam and prayer crosses a sacred boundary, and warns that those who cross that boundary will be hurled into “crushing disaster”. Mufti Abdul Barkatullah, a member of the British Muslim Council, calls it a no-go area at any cost, adding “the Prophet is held above everything in the universe, over one’s own person, family, parents, the whole world. It is less offensive to condemn and vilify God”.

    That is certainly true – for Muslims.

    However Denmark, and the other countries where the cartoons have been reproduced, including in Britain by the BBC and in newspapers in France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Germany, are not Muslim countries.

    They are democratic, secular countries which are not ruled by religious dogma, whether it be Muslim or Christian.

  13. The New Zealand editorial is largely hogwash. Certainly the general principles it enunciates about freedom of speech and of the press are laudable. But this is high-minded boilerplate. And the Jyllands-Posten incident is something other what they portray it.

    In addition, I’d be willing to bet (w/o having researched this) that 90% or more of the newspapers printing the cartoons (including Jyllands-Posten) have right-wing editorial positions. I’d be willing to bet that many or most of them have published editorials critical of foreign immigration, and of the rights of minorities to practice their religious beliefs in public settings (like women wearing a head coverings).

    There is no doubt that Muslims find the portrayal of the Prophet offensive.

    Again, a mischaracterization of the issue. The real issue is the deliberately insulting portrayal of the prophet. If Jyllands-Posten published portraits of the prophet that were thoughtful or interesting or probing, I wouldn’t be complaining here nor would Muslims throughout the world. But instead the cartoons were (with a few exceptions) either thoughtlessly provocative or insipid.

  14. I find it interesting that although you agree with the reasons that Muslims are upset by the publications of the cartoons, you still are showing the images of the cartoons on your website. It is my understanding that the image of Mohammed should not be seen. The offensive nature of the cartoons only adds insult to injury. It is not just the original publication of the cartoons, but the repetition of exposure of the images that is sacreligious.

  15. Richard and I are friends so we can discuss things here rationally and even at times agree to disagree, SMILE. — Danny Bee

    You wrote: “Again, a mischaracterization of the issue. The real issue is the deliberately insulting portrayal of the prophet. If Jyllands-Posten published portraits of the prophet that were thoughtful or interesting or probing, I wouldn’t be complaining here nor would Muslims throughout the world. But instead the cartoons were (with a few exceptions) either thoughtlessly provocative or insipid. ”

    Beg to differ here: The real issue is NOT the delberately insulting portrayal of Mohammed. The editors did not draw the cartoons. In a test of free speech and free expression, they asked 40 Danish cartoonists to submit cartoons about Islam or Mohammed or the kids book controversy ….(AND IT NOW TURNS OUT, …… CNN IS REPORTING, THAT THE KIDS BOOK WAS PUBLISHED IN DENMARK LAST YEAR AND SOLD IN BOOKSTORES and IT WAS ILLUSTRATED BY A DANISH ARTIST, but he ASKED THAT HIS NAME BE KEPT OFF THE COVER AND INSIDE BOOK art credits FOR FOR FEAR OF BACKLASH FOR EVEN PORTRAYING THE NEUTRAL IMAGE OF MOHAMMED IN PUBLIC PRINTS)… and out of the 40 artists queried, just 12 entered the fray with their cartoons which the newspaper editors published without alteration or censorship. The editor of the paper today on CNN International Correpsondentrs show said that he never considered the cartoons insulting to Mohammed but were merely caricatures of what the artists felt were issues worth portraying. Again, the editor Mr Rose did not draw the cartoons. He merely asked for submissions to illustrate a point and he printed the 12 cartoons that came in.

    Another point. this all happened 4-5 months ago and there was not a peep out of anyone in the Moslem world. Then , according to Mr Rose on CNN today, some iman in Denmark started travelling in the Middle East to preach sermons against Denmark free society and used these cartoons to whip up a storm and he also told followers that one cartoon showed Mohammed as a pig, and this is not true. So there is a lot of disinformation coming out on the Moslem side of this issue, whipped up by radicals with a not so hidden agenda.

    Still, sure, we should all show respect and reverence for the prophets of all our inherited superstitious religions worldwide, be it Jesus or Moses or Mohammed or Buddha. But the Moslem world also needs to learn about freedom of speech and freedom of expression. THis is a clash of historial time warps! SIGH.

  16. Btw, a columnist at one American newspaper noted, in regard to this issue:

    “Thanks for your note, Danny Bee, and for reading the column. I did indeed look into the original purpose of creating the cartoons. But I think the Danish newspaper may be backpeddling a little bit here. Okay, the original purpose was to spark a conversation in relation to the issue of self censorship. But that doesn’t explain the need for intentionally incendiary cartoons (and at least three of them are particularly insulting). This doesn’t change my sense that calling for the Danish government or any Western government to apologize or curtain press freedoms is ridiculous.”

    Another columnist wrote: “Danny, thanks for your note. I do think we have reached the tipping point. Clarity at last.”

  17. I find it interesting that although you agree with the reasons that Muslims are upset by the publications of the cartoons, you still are showing the images of the cartoons on your website.

    Not quite. I am not a Muslim. Therefore I do not feel bound by strict Islamic practice regarding the portrayal of the prophet’s face. Next, I did not say I agreed with the reasons the Muslims are upset. If a Muslim is upset with the insulting portrayal of Muhammed then, yes, I’m with them. If a Muslim is upset & believes that no non-Muslim has the right to portray the prophet no matter his or her intention–that’s a position I disagree with.

    It is my understanding that the image of Mohammed should not be seen. The offensive nature of the cartoons only adds insult to injury. It is not just the original publication of the cartoons, but the repetition of exposure of the images that is sacreligious.

    You’ve heard of the notion of education? You’ve heard of the notion of teaching tolerance and understanding for those outside your own nation or religion? That is the purpose of displaying these images. I want people to know the nasty nature of these images so people will understand how wrongheaded Jyllands-Posten’s project was. If all we do is talk about the controversy and never see what started it–how can we talk about it in an informed way? It makes the entire debate disembodied & awkward.

    My ultimate goal in this post is something other than to adhere to Islamic practice. My goal is to teach tolerance. Tolerance for Islam and tolerance for all religions & cultures, even those with whom we sometimes find disagreement.

    An interesting aside…I believe that Brandeis’ Jewish film center owns the rights to distribute various Nazi propaganda films. Naturally, the Center protects those rights carefully. But if I understand its policies correctly–it will make these films available for research and educational purposes. That is entirely my goal here in displaying these cartoons.

  18. The real issue is NOT the delberately insulting portrayal of Mohammed. The editors did not draw the cartoons…The editor of the paper today on CNN International Correpsondentrs show said that he never considered the cartoons insulting to Mohammed but were merely caricatures of what the artists felt were issues worth portraying. Again, the editor Mr Rose did not draw the cartoons.

    Danny: If I’m a newspaper editor and I commission a journalist or cartoonist to create a work for my publication, and then after reading it myself, I publish it in said paper…who is responsible if it turns out the piece is insulting, incendiary, in bad taste, etc. Is it the journalist/cartoonist or me? Well sure, it’s both. But much more onus is on the editor who both commissioned the work and decided to publish it.

    What’s more, he received twelve cartoons. Who said he had to publish all of them? An editor loses the ability to edit when it comes to publishing cartoons? Nah. He was courting notoriety and controversy when he published those negative cartoons. Only he didn’t understand the hornet’s nest he was stirring up when he did that. Now he, his paper and his nation will unfortuately have to pay a price.

    You published a comment fr. the Jyllands-Posten editor earlier in which he said that if he knew then what he knew now he never would’ve pushed that ‘Publish’ button. But that’s stupid. I’m no professional journalist & I could’ve told him what he might be facing before he hit that button. Why didn’t he have the slightest sense to understand what might happen? Isn’t the job of an editor to anticipate what might happen if he or his journalists write about controversial subjects? I’m not saying they shouldn’t (after all that’s one of the most important things a newspaper does), just that you need to weigh what you say and how, when and where you say it. This editor didn’t do his job. I think he was dim then & his explanations since are equally dim.

    Another point. this all happened 4-5 months ago and there was not a peep out of anyone in the Moslem world.

    Let me make an analogy that is slightly unfair but nonetheless relevant…if Hitler begins murdering Jews but the world doesn’t begin to react to the event till five months later–do we say “why weren’t you protesting five months ago?” Course not.

    Yes, the two events are entirely dissimilar in weight. But just because an injustice occurs and Muslims do nothing about it for five months doesn’t dismiss it as an injustice or disqualify them from protesting it.

    Then , according to Mr Rose on CNN today, some iman in Denmark started travelling in the Middle East to preach sermons against Denmark free society and used these cartoons to whip up a storm and he also told followers that one cartoon showed Mohammed as a pig, and this is not true. So there is a lot of disinformation coming out on the Moslem side of this issue, whipped up by radicals with a not so hidden agenda.

    There are always going to be Al Sharptons (I’m talking more about the ‘old’ Al) and Meir Kahanes in this world eager to stir things up with outrageous, incendiary rhetoric. But just because Al Sharpton was a demagogue didn’t mean that some of the time his criticism wasn’t valid. That’s precisely the reason he ran a credible presidential campaign last time around. He’d toned down the hatred and zeroed in a some important social and political issues that mattered to him and a lot of other Americans.

    Anyway, the Danish imam may’ve had ulterior motives. But that in no way refutes or diminishes the original insult that motivated his complaint. If Jyllands-Posten hadn’t behaved so badly there would be no conflict. Again, there’s no way you’re going to get me to shed any tears for that rag.

  19. Richard,
    I support your stated goal here in displaying the cartoons. It is an important one.

    BTW, let’s get real, everyone! Nobody knows what Mohammed looked like, there are no photos of Him, just as we don’t know what Jesus looked it either, nor Moses, nor Buddha. We are dealing with Ancient History here. So if somebody says that is Mohammed in one of the cartoons, how do we know? There are no existing images of what he looked like while he was alive here on Earth, same with Jesus and Moses and Buddha and other prophets, except for okay, Joseph Smith and Bubba Free John.

    The editor of the Danish newspapers told CNN today that he didn’t SEE the cartoon about the man with the turban as a terrorist bomb as Mohammed, but just as a depiction of that cartoonist’s view of a Moslem man, not the Prophet per see. It never entered his head, he said. He said he said.

    This entire malaise is about fanaticism and superstition and good intentions gone awry, in addition to a global media circus whipping up even more dismay.

    Sometimes I feel that we moderns, living today, are the unahppy inheritors of ancient superstitious screeds that continue to warp men’s (and women’s) minds worldwide, resulting in this huge clash of civilizations that in no way began with 911 and in no way stops there. We are in for over 1000 years of this meshagus, better get used to it.

    And in a way, the Internet and the global media reach, only help spread the misinformation and poison worldwide.

    But, yes, let’s teach tolerance and let’s foster the notion of education and enlightenment. The world is not over yet. Although the end is nigh. Near.

    It could very well be that human beings were a big mistake in evolution’s path, and here we all are to prove it. Global warming, overpopulation, resource overconsumption, ozone layer getting bigger by the second. We are in big trouble, Earthlings, and here is this tempest in a teapot threatening to burn down more embassies and result in more deaths of innocents. Innocents.

    How far we’ve come, as a species, and how short a way, too! We should have woken up a long time ago, but we cannot, for the ancient superstitions still rule the mindsets of most of us. Sigh.

    [He said, drifting off to sleep. The sleep of the enlightened…]

  20. Pat Robertson still has not weighed in on this weighty issue. He will. G-d willing.

    What’s next? More intolerance? Friendly handshakes across the seas? Holy War?

    Question: all this beccause of a minor unheralded illustrated children’s book to teach respect for Islam in Denmark that didn’t even sell 3000 copies????????????????

  21. You say: The real issue is the deliberately insulting portrayal of the prophet. But isn’t it just the portrayal of the prophet- insulting or not and deliberate or not. I have looked at the cartoons on your site and a friend had sent me all of them- Sorry, but I do not see them as insulting and I would not know they were suppposed to be iimages of Mohammed if it diid not state it specifically- The best of editorial cartoon rely on the reader/viewer to interprete.

    In fact the idea of the “Sorry We ran out…” seems not insulting but quite parallel to many editorial cartoons. Sorry, but not being Moslem I tend to see the issue of religious insults on the same level as the issues of inadvertent insullts to the feelings of the Catholic Church- The entire secular world cannot be expected- or at lest should not be expected- to accord to the demands of the religious issue of a particular faith. The issue of image of God is common in many religiuns, and somehow the world has gotten past it. Although I may point out the recent riots of Haredim in Israel over an autopsy of a suspicious death although most Rabbeim would say it is approvable for those reasons: Nonetheless, groups of haredim felt “insulted” by that offensive act. Thank you,

  22. …Let’s get real, everyone! Nobody knows what Mohammed looked like, there are no photos of Him, just as we don’t know what Jesus looked it either, nor Moses, nor Buddha. We are dealing with Ancient History here. So if somebody says that is Mohammed in one of the cartoons, how do we know? There are no existing images of what he looked like while he was alive here on Earth, same with Jesus and Moses and Buddha and other prophets,

    Actually, the Muslim prohibition against portraying the Prophet parallels a Jewish prohibition against portraying God (“You shall make no graven image”). No one knows what Yaweh looks like but that might not stop an artist from attempting to portray Him/Her. Hence the reason for the commandment. Similarly, it doesn’t matter whether or not we know what the real Prophet looked like. What Islam is getting at is the Prophet was so profound that he cannot be imaged by mere human beings.

  23. Sorry, but I do not see them as insulting

    Max: There is a very delicate line we walk as human beings. We all belong to different ethnic and religious traditions and are members of different nation states. The problem I have with those who honor their own traditions but somehow misplace sympathy for those who adhere to different ones is this–if we cannot stop for a moment and try to see it through their eyes then why should they try to see things through ours when we ask them to?

    This does not mean I’m asking you to become a slavish apologist for Islam, faults and all. I’m just asking people to walk a mile in an Muslim’s shoes before you doubt the validity of their sense of injustice.

    Look at it this way, an Arab cartoonist portrays Moses with a kipah that displays images of an Israeli flag and an F-16. Would it piss you off? It would me. I’d call it not just anti-Israel, but anti-Semitic. I’d also call it tasteless & insulting. So what’s different when a Danish cartoonist draws something similar?

  24. “What Islam is getting at is the Prophet was so profound that he cannot be imaged by mere human beings.”

    THAT is fine for adherents of the religion in question. But those who follow other religions or belief systems and live in the modern world, can’t they draw pictures of Mohammed and depict what he might have looked like?

    The Orthodxo Jews always write God as G-d, because they are taught that thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain. That’s okay. But I can write God and they don’t get angry at me. Or threaten to burn my embassies.

    It’s time for the Moslem world to grow up and face modern times. i know it’s not kosher or PC to say such a thing, but so be it. Tolerance. Englightment. Education. But most of all, tolerance.

    Like Max said so well above:

    “I do not see them as insulting and I would not know they were suppposed to be iimages of Mohammed if it did not state it so specifically — The best of editorial cartoons rely on the reader/viewer to interprete.’

    Amen.

    Now the question is: will TIME or NEWSWEEK magazine in the USA dare to print the cartoons in question here. We will see on Monday,

  25. Ricahrd,

    On this point, you are spot on, and good on ya, mate: ” I’m just asking people to walk a mile in an Arab’s shoes before you doubt the validity of their sense of injustice.”

    yes yes yes: walking a mile in an Arab’s shoes, I feel their sense of anger and injustice over the publication of those 12 cartoons. Their sense of anger and injustice is valid.

    But don’t burn Danish embassies down for G-d’s sake! Just write a letter to the editor, like most civilized people would do.

  26. What some are saying…

    ‘I have been hurt, grieved and I am angry.’
    –Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf

    ‘There is freedom of speech, we all respect that, but there is not any obligation to insult or to be gratuitously inflammatory… I believe that the republication of these cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong.’
    –Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

    ‘We’d take Muslim protests more seriously if they weren’t so hypocritical… The imams were quiet when Syrian TV showed Jewish rabbis as cannibals in a primetime series.’
    –Berlin’s Die Welt which republished one of the cartoons

    ‘We didn’t think the cartoons had crossed any line… We are the biggest newspaper in Denmark. We have always been the enfant terrible of the Danish press. Our cartoonists have made fun of politicians, Jesus and the Virgin Mary.’
    –Jan Lund, foreign editor of Danish Jyllands-Posten

    ‘As much as we condemn this, we must have, as Muslims, the courage to forgive and to not make an issue… between religions or cultures.’
    –Afghan president Hamid Karzai

    ‘This plays into the hands of Muslim extremists. Many people at Friday prayers will want to express their anger, but we say do it within the law.’
    –Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain

    ‘If someone said something offensive about my mother, I would deal with it, but if they insulted the Prophet it would be worse.’
    –Abdullah Wahim, teacher, outside the Danish embassy in London

  27. don’t burn Danish embassies down for G-d’s sake! Just write a letter to the editor, like most civilized people would do

    Danny Bee: I was with you up till the “civilized” part. I’m totally opposed to any use of force or intimidation to express one’s views whether it be regarding religion or politics. That includes the tremendous overreaction on the part of some Muslims.

    But I’m also opposed to creating a unfounded distinctions between the “civilized” and “uncivilized” world. Many right-wing Jews paint Arabs or Muslims as “uncivilized.” It’s handy way to demean your opponent using code words w/o engaging their ideas. People one doesn’t like or doesn’t understand are labelled “uncivilized” all too quickly sometimes.

  28. Richard,
    I was using the word in a joking way, sorry for that, apologies, and I agree with you. It’s a loaded word and I take it back. You are right. RE:

    “……I’m also opposed to creating a unfounded distinctions between the “civilized” and “uncivilized” world. Many right-wing Jews paint Arabs or Muslims as “uncivilized.” It’s handy way to demean your opponent using code words w/o engaging their ideas. People one doesn’t like or doesn’t understand are labelled “uncivilized” all too quickly sometimes. ”

    Agree.

  29. NEWS LOOP:

    Danish cartoonists now fear for their lives

    From Anthony Browne in Brussels

    TWELVE Danish cartoonists whose pictures sparked such outcry have gone into hiding under round-the-clock protection, fearing for their lives.

    The cartoonists, many of whom had reservations about the pictures, have been shocked by how the affair has escalated into a global “clash of civilisations”. They have since tried, unsuccessfully, to stop them being reprinted.

    A spokesman for the cartoonists said: “They are in hiding around Denmark. Some of them are really, really scared. They don’t want to see the pictures reprinted all over the world. We couldn’t stop it. We tried, but we couldn’t.”

    Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, president of the Danish Union of Journalists, told The Times: “They are keeping a very low profile. They are very concerned about their safety. They feel a big responsibility on their shoulders. It’s blown up so big. It is tough for them.”

    The cartoonists’ names were originally printed in the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten. Flemming Rose, the paper’s cultural editor, invited 25 newspaper cartoonists to draw a picture of Muhammad “how they saw him”, after a children’s author complained that cartoonists would only dare illustrate a book he was writing on the life of Muhammad if they could be anonymous. Twelve cartoonists responded, had their pictures printed in September, and were paid 800 Danish krone (£73) each.

    In an interview with a Swedish newspaper this week, some of the cartoonists expressed their doubts about the entire episode. “It felt a little like a lose-lose situation. If I said no, I was a coward who contributes to self-censorship. If I said yes, I became an irresponsible hate monger against Islam,” one of the cartoonists said.

    Another said: “I was actually angry when I first received the letter [from Jyllands-Posten]. I thought it was a really bad idea. At first I didn’t want to participate, but then I talked it over with some friends from the Middle East, and they thought I should do it.”

    The cartoonists come from a variety of different political backgrounds, which is reflected in their work. While some of the pictures satirise Muhammad, others attack populist right-wing politicians and even Jyllands-Posten itself, which is rightwing.

    Having failed to stop the cartoons being reprinted across Europe, the cartoonists have now decided to use all the money raised from the sales of the pictures to set up a foundation which will award an annual international prize for press freedom.

  30. Is there a middle ground? ASKS TIME magazine, which DID NOT print the cartoons in this week’s issue:

    QUOTE UNQUOTE: It’s worth noting that the vast majority of Western news outlets (including TIME) have chosen not to republish the cartoons, out of deference to Islamic sensitivities. On other occasions the U.S. media have exercised self-censorship in matters of religion; in 1992, for instance, after Sinead O’Connor outraged Catholics by ripping up a photo of the Pope on Saturday Night Live, NBC reran the show without O’Connor’s performance. To Muslims, disrespect for the Prophet is a rallying point beyond worldly politics. And so as anger plays out in Muslim hearts, the challenge for the West in the days ahead is to figure out how to contain it.

    My guess is that NEWSWEEK also will not print the cartoons, not even one of them.

  31. I am a Muslim and am extremely offended by the violent display that has erupted in parts of the Muslim world… These cartoons are offensive to Muslims, but this is not the way to deal with it. When I said so on my blog, a right-wing Bush supporter posted a comment that basically said, “Yeah! Muslims suck! Let’s post these cartoons everywhere we can, just to show ’em!!” Um… that’s not what I meant.

    You said it best in your article: The hotheads seem to run the agenda leaving progressives on the margins of the debate. I don’t think the majority of Danish Muslims advocate the violent response to these cartoons, at least judging by this BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4692318.stm

    Some snippets:

    Rabih Azad-Ahmad, chair of the Multicultural Association, said the row had become too confrontational.

    “Now, we have to demonstrate that we are proud of being Danish and that we are supporting Danish values,” he said.

    In an unexpected turn, the reaction to the attacks on Danish embassies could help promote integration in Denmark.

    “I didn’t know there were so many Muslims in Denmark who are supporting Western values,” said Soren Espersen, an MP for the populist Danish People’s Party.

    His comments mark a turnaround for the party, which has grown to be the country’s third largest on a political platform of nationalism and xenophobia.

    They are also likely to have been welcomed by a group of Danish writers who warned two months ago that the harsh tone in the national debate about Muslims and integration was comparable to Nazi rhetoric against Jews.
    (end snippet)

    Regardless of the inexusable Muslim extremist response, I don’t believe the publishing of these cartoons was a test of freedom of speech, as has been claimed. More like a PR stunt by a small, right-wing Danish newspaper designed to inflame anti-immigrant feelings.

    And what’s up with the publisher of the book about Islam? If this book is truly a sympathetic one, why would they want to print illustrations of Prophet Muhammad, knowing full well how disrespectful this would be to the religion itself? I just don’t buy it.

    Btw, I agree with you that your display of these cartoons are for educational/discussion purposes only, and not inflammatory.

  32. Thanks for your comment, Purvis. And I’m also glad to know that you share my criticisms of both the Danish paper and the extreme response to their dumb stunt. Good to know that people of differing religious traditions can see eye to eye on such potentially incendiary issues.

  33. Don’t be utterly devoid of democratic commen sense. We have the right to make verbal jokes, to publish controversial books, to post offensive photos (with strict rules), and to depict cartoon characters of the issues at hand. When did it become acceptable to kow-tow to the Muslims because a cartoon is found offensive? And the response is to publish cartoons of the Holocaust?! What is everyone smoking these days? There is no comparison between the two concepts: one – a known, horrific killing of millions of people; two – the depiction of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. I can’t see straight over this nonsense anylonger. Send me, I’ll take that 27 year old CSM’s place.

  34. Caryn: Your problem is that you wish to paint all Muslims with the same brush when it is inappropriate to do so. Because a Muslim draws a detestable cartoon portraying Adolf Hitler in bed with Anne Frank does that mean that all Muslims are responsible?

    And you’ll get nowhere claiming that the Muhammed cartoons were “inoffensive doodles” as Tim Rutten did in the L.A. Times, while the Holocaust cartoon is a truly offensive expression of hate. Both were offensive. I’m sorry but a non-Muslim doesn’t get the right to tell Muslims what they should and shouldn’t find offensive. This is the height of cultural and religious insensitivity.

  35. I made no such comment that Muslims are all alike, nor did I state the cartoons were “inoffensive doodles.” They are indeed upsetting to many, including non-Muslims.

    What I did say was that there is freedom of expression and speech (not to mention religious beliefs, movement, sexual orientation, etc.), at least in some countries. And people (whoever they are) do not get to riot because they find something offensive. Or put fatwahs out on people’s lives because they find a book offensive (Salman Rushdie). Or decapitate people to make a point.

    Nor is it in good taste to “retaliate” by eliciting cartoons of a well-documented genocide. Islam/Allah is a concept, a belief. And visual depictions of Muhammed in art do exist at various museums throughout the world. The murder of millions of people in WWII is a fact. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    It is an angry, disenfranchised, misogynistic and (hopefully minority) of Muslims who are creating these unhappy times. Take care when you read comments to be accurate.

  36. Caryn: I am glad & reassured to hear that you do not blame all Muslims for the harsh overreaction to the Muhammed cartoons.

    However, I assure you I read your comment carefully & was accurate in my response (except for that one point). Here’s what you wrote about the Muhammed cartoons & the Holocaust cartoons published by Muslims in response:

    There is no comparison between the two concepts: one – a known, horrific killing of millions of people; two – the depiction of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban.

    This is an inaccurate analysis of the issue. You have attempted to diminish the concerns of Muslims by saying the Muhammed cartoons are somehow less offensive that the Holocaust cartoons; instead of admitting that both are patently & unforgivably offensive to both Muslims & Jews.

    That being said, I see little else in your comment to disagree with. We both find the Muhammed cartoons “upsetting” (well, I’d go farther than you on that). We both repudiate violence as a legitimate response to religious bigotry. We both agree that Muslim “retaliation” against the cartoons by publishing Holocaust cartoons is also illegitimate. We both agree that a minority of Muslims have responded in inappropriate ways.

  37. Isn’t “Thou shalt have no graven images before me.” one of the 10 cornerstones of Jewdism, Christianity AND Islam? Aren’t their people in this country outraged that this can’t be displayed publically?? One would hate to bring up why Jesus was such an insult to the leaders of his own religion in his time. “He says he’s what!?” (and did he ever really say he was THE prophet??)

    Could it be that we are a bit embarrassed that our western religions don’t place the same weight in the orginal commandments … unless it’s an issue of just displaying them. This is NOT necessarily about Mohammed! We could get a lot farther in bringing peace by trying to understand one another instead of antagonizing cultures or countries. I think the term is.. “diplomacy”. Simple concepts like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Love your neighbor..” The idea of making fun of this outrage is a travisty. We should have asked some serious questions after 9/11, but no one wanted to figure out what was driving the other side. “An eye for an eye” became the only important concept. Not the best core value to draw from any of the world’s religions. Not one that has driven CIVILIZATION.

    Some of the fears that the followers of Islam have are exactly the same as the fundamentalist Christians. Can’t they get together on some things or do we have to relive the crudades?? What is the total body count since 9/11? Have we improved anything yet? How much time, money, and life has been wasted? Who is profiting??

  38. Richard –

    I stand by my previous point, namely, one does not elicit cartoons of the Holocaust as a reasoned response to the offending cartoons – particularly when it was not Jewish people who made them to begin with! The Holocaust is a historical fact/truism of horrific proportions. Islam, Allah, Mohammed – they are religious beliefs/concepts. They are not equivalent in an objective analysis. Subjectively, of course, it would appear many Muslims wish to make them equivalent.

    Ironically, Mohammed has been depicted in artwork before and, in fact, nothing in the Koran explicitly forbids his depiction. It is the addition of the bombs and allusions to virgins, etc. which makes them less then savory. Many a cartoon has poked fun at Christ/God/Buddha, Hindi gods – I have not been aware of global riots.

    In fact, the response from the Muslim community merely begs the question: Why are the Muslims so anti-Semitic? It was a bunch of Danes who did the cartoons, so why respond by asking people to make cartoons of the Holocaust? It is neither a Koranic nor rational response; sadly, it seems entirely fitting of the Muslim mind-set to respond as many have.

    In the end, what is truly striking is how little humor the Muslim community has. We need to understand what has brought so many of them to this point but not at the expense of allowing this behavior.

  39. Caryn, you’re so missing the point! Of course publishing Holocaust cartoons is not a ‘reasoned response.’ But neither was posting the Muhammed cartoons in the first place. How is anything connected with this controversy “reasoned” & why would you expect it to be? You mean to say that if Muslims feel deeply insulted you require them to provide a “reasoned response?” That’s mighty white of you. Would it be nice if they did respond in a measured way to the insult? Of course. But do you or anyone else have a right to tell them the right and wrong way to protest? No. The only exception I would make to this is that I believe that no Muslim has a right to engage in violence to express whatever outrage they might feel. That IS beyond the pale.

    And you’re way off base in your comparison of the Holocaust & Islam. Our identity as Jews is infused with the horrible experience of the Holocaust. Of course, it’s a central feature of our identity. And you mean to tell me you think that the concept of Allah & Muhammed are no less central to Muslim identity? You don’t think a Muslim who feels his religious identity has been trampled upon has a right to feel as incensed by the Jyllands Posten cartoons & you & I feel about the Holocaust cartoons? If so, I’m afraid you have a serious empathy deficit. You have great empathy for the suffering of your own people but very little for non-Jews (or specifically Muslims). That’s very unfortunate.

    And Caryn, you have directly contradicted your statement fr a previous comment in which you claim you do not indict all Muslims for the worst behavior shown in recent weeks within that community. You wrote in yr last comment:

    …The response from the Muslim community merely begs the question: Why are the Muslims so anti-Semitic? It was a bunch of Danes who did the cartoons, so why respond by asking people to make cartoons of the Holocaust? It is neither a Koranic nor rational response; sadly, it seems entirely fitting of the Muslim mind-set to respond as many have.

    These are precisely the type of sweeping anti-Muslim generalizations you claimed earlier that you eschewed. I guess old prejudices die hard.

  40. Of course we all have a right to protest – I never said we couldn’t. Remember freedom of movement and expression? But not to terrorize (fatwas, beheadings, rioting, retaliatory cartoons) those who do not agree with our views. And the Jews are not “my people.” I am not Jewish (marriage name). I have no religious affiliation, thanks be to Allah.

  41. Caryn: Sorry to have presumed you are Jewish.

    I’m with you about the fatwas, beheadings (though I think you’re confusing incidents which happened in Iraq, with Muslim response to the cartoons & we really should keep those separate because beheadings are not specifically a religious response–the people doing them are political insurgents opposed to the U.S. occupation) & rioting. But how do ‘cartoons’ constitute terror? I think your language is unfortunately imprecise here.

  42. Friends,
    I am an Anglican pastor from india writing this comment to offer my prayers to the muslim brothers and sisters around the globe and the family of the cartooniost. May God give peace to both groups.
    We need to have freedom to express our ideas. But our expressions should not insult or provocate others. Believers are very sensitive. Even if they do not go to church or mosque if an issue come against their religion they will take arms and ammunitions.This being a reality, artists and men of letters should know this before publish anything that come to their thinking realm.
    Here i would like to offer my prayers to entire muslim brothers all over the world and the family of the cartoonist, who is crying due to the situation.
    Rev. Alex P Oommen

  43. I’m over and out. You (this website) lost a moderate (registered Independent) amongst this dribble/American crap.

    And the sad thing is: I’m a 42 year old mother,2 kids (9/11). Go sacrifice your own children. (Don’t even start: I had family that served in both WWI and WWI and Vietam).

  44. Caryn: Well, you may indeed be a “moderate” on some or most political issues. But you’re not on this one:

    When did it become acceptable to kow-tow to the Muslims because a cartoon is found offensive?

    That’s not a “moderate” response to this controversy. Not in my book. It’s a knee-jerk reaction completely in line with that of many right-wingers (Jews included) represented by the likes of Little Green Footballs, etc.

    I have 3 children myself & for the life of me I can’t make hide nor hair of what you mean by “go sacrifice your own children” in this context. It’s a non sequitur. Do you mean to say that by not denouncing all Muslims for being violent and intolerant somehow this means we’ll be fighting a war against Islam? If so, you’re a seriously deluded individual. If you meant something else, you’ll have to explain yourself a little better.

    This site isn’t for everyone. It’s for people who want to be challenged and questioned about their values and ideas. If my own approach threatens your equanimity then by all means go where you’ll feel safe and secure (albeit unchallenged).

  45. I stand by what I stated before. Richard, I’m afraid you are too much of an apologist. (You protesteth too much.) Please do not mistake me for Sean Hannity, Mike Savage or Bill O’ Reilly. I am looking for people who can discuss the issues with candid, clear, non-agenda minds. The Muslim world, in general, is angry, disenfranchised, irrational, and – to put it mildly – not for women’s equality. What other language encourages commiting suicide with the promise of virgins in Heaven?! If you’re going to commit suicide, for Allah’s sake, do it knowing you get nothing in Heaven remotely identifiable as 20 virgins.

  46. Dear Caryn,

    I can understand why you would feel the way that you do about Muslims in general; if my only exposure to what Muslims are like was the actions of extremists that are reported in the papers, I’d probably feel that way too. However, as a Muslim myself, I can say that the riots, suicide bombings, etc that you read and hear about are NOT representative of Muslims as a whole and are also not acceptable in Islam, as those Muslims who are sincere followers of the Qur’an (and not blinded by political propogandists) well know. But most people in America don’t know any Muslims personally–and I’d guess that is the case here–and would have no way of knowing this.

    As for being moderate, I have to say that between you and Richard, you sound quite a bit more tempestuous. And in my experience (and that includes within the Muslim community), those who yell the loudest tend to be the least moderate.

  47. Purvis –

    I am well acquainted with the Muslim world having travelled extensively in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey (Muslin not Arab) and, at some point, dated several Muslim men. You and Richard have alternately assumed I was Jewish and then not familiar with Muslims…Again, I stand by my previous statements which were not “yelled.”

    The present state of Islam in general (yes, I know there are peaceful Muslims) is a mess. For that matter, the present state of Catholocism and Christianity is a mess. Faith and morality should come from within not from books written by men. Scary stuff I know.

    Caryn

  48. Please do not mistake me for Sean Hannity, Mike Savage or Bill O’ Reilly. I am looking for people who can discuss the issues with candid, clear, non-agenda minds.

    I never mistook you for them. None of them would acknowledge the possibility that some Muslims might NOT be terrorists. At least you do. As for the last sentence you wrote above–what you are really looking for is people who’ve made up their minds that the Muslims are the bad guys in this controversy and that no other parties share any responsibility. There are whole hosts of people out there who share your views so you’ll be able to make ea. other entirely smug & self-satisfied that you know who’s to blame & that it isn’t us.

    The Muslim world, in general, is angry, disenfranchised, irrational

    That’s an entirely defensive, insulting & wholly inaccurate picture of the Muslim world & shows you are indeed ignorant of the remaining 90% that doesn’t fit yr stereotype.

    What other language encourages commiting suicide with the promise of virgins in Heaven?!

    I hope you meant “religion” above when you wrote “language” otherwise your statement is nonsensical. Many religions contend that when you defend your religion with your life (by losing it) that you will receive a heavenly reward. Judaism is but one. There are some moving stories in the Talmud of Roman era rabbis who deliberately threw themselves in the way of death to protect their fellow rabbis and students.

    The present state of Islam in general is…a mess.

    Again, ignorant, offensive & patently wrong. There are elements of Islam you don’t like–fine. I feel the same way. But I don’t make sweeping & stupid statements like this one to denounce the entire (“Islam in general”) religion. Only an Arab-hater (though I”m certain you wouldn’t identify yourself as such) would think & speak this way.

    As for yr travels in Arab lands, foreign travel is critical for Americans to understand that there is a world out there aside from us. I’m glad to hear of yr interest in visiting those places. But some people (& you would appear to be one) may travel 10,000 miles fr. home and their ideas and attitudes about the world remain stuck in the same old rut.

  49. Richard –

    In reflecting on your reactions/comments from two months ago, it appears to me they are from someone who is trying to be an apologist and a globalist – which (at least to me) satisfies no one. To state I am stuck in a rut is fabuous – it’s a personal insult and easily thrown out there.

    I am terribly okay with stating Islam is a mess, which many Muslims (especially the educated women who have left their countries) would agree is the case. If, in fact, you have lived and worked in a Muslim country you would understand better what I have stated – particularly as a woman.

    Best – Caryn

  50. I didn’t know being a “globalist” was a sin. Actually, I take it as a compliment. But I have no idea what you mean by the term since you use it w/o explaining your meaning. As for being an “apologist,” given that you detest Islam so you WOULD think I was an apologist for it. I am not an apologist for Islam. But I am an ardent opponent of religious intolerance & bigotry. You are guilty of gross oversimiplification & overgeneralization about Islam which rises to the level of intolerance. So of course you’d see me as an apologist. But you’d be wrong.

    I am strongly in favor of those practitioners of Islam who oppress women changing changing their beliefs toward women. I am in favor of any religion which oppresses women reforming itself. But I am not in favor of singling out Islam for opprobrium to the exclusion of all others. All religions have issues in which they are deficient and should change.

  51. I never stated nor implied being a globalist was a “sin” and you surely know the meaning of the word – I am not imprecise in this regard. And, if you recall from one of my earlier e-mails, I stated that the present (and past?) state of Catholocism and Christianity are also a mess. I do believe I made myself clear in being anti-religion, in so far as religion breeds intolerance. Certainly Islam, as it is today, is extremely intolerant. It is not the religion of the Koran and almost all of the current, documented behavior in the Muslim community cannot be justified within the Koran text. I have said the same of other religions when warranted. No one speaks for God.

  52. What’s wrong with being a globalist? You are vague & imprecise in terms of not making clear your usage of the term.

    religion breeds intolerance

    Ah, here is the crux of our disagreement. This is the statement of someone who has but a cursory,superficial familiarity with religion. Religions are like all other human belief systems. They contain ideas. Some of them are worthy & progressive. Some of them are retrograde and hateful. Religions, like all belief systems, change as humans change. We are entitled to observe the aspects of our religions which we cherish and to discard or scorn aspects we detest. Islam is like any other religion in this regard. Some religions are profoundly tolerant or at least contain intellectual/theological trends that are tolerant. I do not throw an entire religion out with the bath water simply because there is an idea or set of ideas within it which I find repellent.

  53. There is no true religion and no one should forget that this Life is not a rehersal but the only chance we have on Earth. Death is an unknown and no religion can tell or fortell what happens after death. Life is precious and any religion that espouses otherwise is evil. And any religion that demeans the value of life should be avoided. I have reviewed our “conversation” from last year and I stand by my views; unfortunately, Iraq simply magnifies my horrowrof Islam and religious sectarian violence.

  54. Life is precious and any religion that espouses otherwise is evil

    Islam does not “espouse” that life is NOT precious. Any view by a non-Muslim that it DOES is based on ignorance at best & willful calumny at worst. Which is it with you? Little bit of both I’d say.

    I have reviewed our “conversation” from last year and I stand by my views;

    I can see that in the passing of that year you have not alas grown in wisdom, compassion or knowledge of Islam.

    Iraq simply magnifies my horrowrof [sic] Islam and religious sectarian violence.

    I see, Iraq is the only nation guilty of sectarian violence. What of Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland (only a few yrs. ago), or even the Israeli Palestinian conflict (not sectarian but certainly inter-religious violence), to mention but a few. And you think that Islam is the only religion involved in sectarian violence? Gimme a break.

  55. Islam, as do other religions, say/preach one thing and practice another, including – no doubt – Islam. I have been consistent: no religion rises above another and should cast a shadow on the freedom of any individual. Religions should be a private matter, not a public/governmental matter. And no person deserves to die at the hand(s) of others because of a lack of or affiliation to a particular belief. Cartoons are freedom of speech whether we like them or not; but that gives no one the right to irrationally engage in threats, harm, fatwas, etc. against those that exercise this freedom. Sri Lanka, Ireland (No.), Palestine, Darfur, South Africa, Bosnia, Vietnam, etc. – what is your point?! The dignity of humankind suffers from any type of dehumanization (which religion does/has done time and time again). Propose a solution since these times require large minds.

  56. The dignity of humankind suffers from any type of dehumanization (which religion does/has done time and time again

    You seem to have enlarged your former attack on Islam to include all religions. As usual you overgeneralize. Yes, religions have brought dehumanization to humankind as have many other forms of human endeavor. Reserving yr opprobrium for religion alone is misplaced.

  57. Dear Richard,

    Looks like Caryn has “I have to be right even if I have to change the subject to do so” syndrome. Amazing… still leaving comments after more than a year..

    Btw, happy Passover!

    ~Purvis

  58. Purvis – If you wish to be completely accurate: I went from June ’06 to Jan ’07 without comment, Hardly a year…still, the entire discourse begs the question of where religion had/has a right to be involved?

  59. “In Islam we’re not even allowed to draw pictures of the Prophet peace be upon him.” I believe you made a good point. In Islam. that says it all. If you are not a follower of Islam you should not be subjugated to its rules. And when a network or publication refuses to show the images it is not out of respect for Islam, it is out of fear of reprisals and violence. After what happened to Theo Van Gogh is outrageous. But that is a different thread. Christianity had its period like this and it passed. It will pass with Islam too.

  60. I think this photo is hilarious.. Why are muslims so offended by this photo ???? I am a catholic but, as I grow older (45 now) and see the world from mature eyes it is becoming obvious that there is no supreme being..I ask 1 question – if Mohammad or, Jesus truly loves us – why would they let their children kill 2500 people in the WTC attacks or, allow a mother to drown her 3 children Chicago ??? I am leaning towards science versus religion unless someone can answer this question with facts not, “Faith related”..

    Christians = stop blaming the Muslims…
    Muslims = trash that Koran, it is evil
    Politicians = keep funding the space programs, this is where I believe we will find all our answers..

  61. A few years back a Danish newspaper published a picture of Prophet Mohammad, peace be on his name. The cartoon showed the Prophet wearing a bomb in his turban. The Moslem world was just aghast at this irreverential portrayal of the Prophet. Since then the fires have been raging in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Western embedded media says that it is a clash between Freedom of Expression and an increasingly intolerant Islam. This view is wrong because there are laws in all Western countries against Blasphemy and Racism. No one can claim the right to publish a cartoon dishonoring Jesus Christ and claim that freedom of expression protects him/her. Therefore the principle of Freedom of the Press or ERxpression is not involved. The Wesrern Media is claiming unto itself the Right to dishonor Islam in the name of Democratic Freedoms. As Oliverm Wendell Holmes once said. you cannot shout fire in a crowded theatre and then claim that the act and its consequenes are covered by the First Ammendment. The present case is similar.

    There is a strong feeling in the Islamic world that the West is trying to undermine Islam as a religion and civilization by constantly depicting it as a fundamentalist, aggressive, lawless force. The anger that is spilling on to the streets is a spontaneous expression of the frustrations that people feel when their sacred symbols are cynically violated.

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