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The image of God : Europe's media : Islamic Sensibilities

category international | arts and media | other press author Thursday February 02, 2006 10:46author by iosafauthor address barcelona Report this post to the editors

"the freedom of expression and freedom of the press in the Occidental tradition"

This story began (for some) on the 30th of Sept. 2005 when a Danish newspaper published a series of cartoons depicting Muhummad PBUH the prophet of Islam.

For others this story began on the 14th of February 1989 when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini then supreme leader of Iran issued a "fatwa" calling for the execution of Salman Rushdie on Tehran radio.

& for yet others more, this story began with the Quran and that no visual images or depictions of God exist because such artistic depictions may lead to idolatry and are thus disdained. A similar position in Christian theology is termed iconoclasm. Moreover, most Muslims believe that God is incorporeal, making any two- or three- dimensional depictions impossible. This prohibition is extended to the prophets of God. (peace be upon them).
doesn't look like that.
doesn't look like that.

a timeline :

30 Sept: Danish paper Jyllands-Posten publishes cartoons
20 Oct: Muslim ambassadors in Denmark complain to Danish PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4361260.stm
10 Jan: Norwegian publication reprints cartoons
26 Jan: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4651714.stm
29 Jan: Libya says it will close its embassy in Denmark
30 Jan: Gunmen raid EU's Gaza office
31 Jan: Danish paper Jyllands-Posten apologises as the Arab states bitterly complain
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4668068.stm
The offices of Jyllands-Posten were evacuated on Tuesday 31 January because of a bomb threat.

This is the letter being circulated by Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten

Honourable Fellow Citizens of the Muslim World

Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten is a strong proponent of democracy and freedom of religion. The newspaper respects the right of any human being to practise his or her religion. Serious misunderstandings in respect of some drawings of the Prophet Mohammed have led to much anger and, lately, also boycott of Danish goods in Muslim countries.

Please allow me to correct these misunderstandings.
On 30 September last year, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten published 12 different cartoonists' idea of what the Prophet Mohammed might have looked like. The initiative was taken as part of an ongoing public debate on freedom of expression, a freedom much cherished in Denmark.

In our opinion, the 12 drawings were sober. They 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.

Since then a number of offensive drawings have circulated in The Middle East which have never been published in Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten and which we would never have published, had they been offered to us. We would have refused to publish them on the grounds that they violated our ethical code.

Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten attaches importance to upholding the highest ethical standards based upon the respect of our fundamental values. It is so much more deplorable, therefore, that these drawings were presented as if they had anything to do with Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten.

Maybe because of culturally based misunderstandings, the initiative to publish the 12 drawings has been interpreted as a campaign against Muslims in Denmark and the rest of the world.

I must categorically dismiss such an interpretation. 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, offending anybody on the grounds of their religious beliefs is unthinkable to us.

That this happened was, consequently, unintentional.

As a result of the debate that has been going on about the drawings, we have met with representatives of Danish Muslims, and these meetings were held in a positive and constructive spirit. We have also sought in other ways to initiate a fruitful dialogue with Danish Muslims.

It is the wish of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten that various ethnic groups should live in peace and harmony with each other and that the debates and disagreements which will always exist in a dynamic society should do so in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

For that reason, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten has published many articles describing the positive aspects of integration, for example in a special supplement entitled The Contributors. It portrayed a number of Muslims who have had success in Denmark. The supplement was rewarded by the EU Commission.

Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten takes exception to symbolic acts suited to demonise specific nationalities, religions and ethnic groups.

Sincerely yours

Carsten Juste
Editor-in-Chief
**********************************************
The Danish government said : "The Danish government cannot apologise on behalf of a Danish newspaper... Independent media are not edited by the government".
**********************************************

Then :

1 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons

This morning it is reported that the owner of French daily newspaper "Le Soir" Raymond Lakah has dismissed the editor of "le Soir" Jacques Lefranc for republishing and being instrumental in the re-syndication of those cartoons. Lakah has said "he "decided to remove Jacques Lefranc as managing director of the publication as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual". "We express our regrets to the Muslim community and all people who were shocked by the publication."
But the staff of Le Soir disagree and publish a full page advert in defence of the freedoms of creative and artistic expression, and the freedom of the press.

Now :

There are no ambassadors from Syria and Saudi Arabia to Denmark, and Libya 29 January: Libya says it will close its embassy in Denmark
the Danish-Swedish dairy giant Arla Foods http://www.arlafoods.com/APPL/HJ/HJ202COM/HJ202D01.NSF?Open
says its sales in the Middle East have plummeted to zero because of a boycott of Danish products and "The company has annual sales of $480m there. We have taken 40 years to build up a very big business in the Middle East, and we've seen it come to a complete stop in five days " said Astrid Gade Niels an Arla spokeswoman continuing "Our sales in the Middle East have come to a complete stop - in all countries in the region," "We have found ourselves in the middle of a game that we have no part in." "We have taken 40 years to build up a very big business in the Middle East, and we've seen it come to a complete stop in five days."

As out on the streets of Gaza the democrats of tomorrow burnt Danish flags.
And three days ago the EU offices in Gaza were occupied by masked gun men.

author by iosafpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that I honestly doubt the Prophet Muhummad (PBUH)
looked in any way like these two masked and armed men
who occupied the offices of the European Union, Monday last in Gaza.

But it is interesting to note that they are wearing old "PLO" masks.
not new type Hamas green or even the all black Islamic Jihad.
so note that.

Its very curious where our Occidental idea of God the Patriarch with long flowing beard
yet no sign of balding came from. For most it is the image of Zeus or Jupiter.
One which has passed down from the Hellenic influence on the Roman Empire
through Michelangelo and William Blake, the Mormons and Jhvh Witnesses,
to its current incarnations of Coca Cola's Santa Clause and Charlton Heston's
National Rifleman's Association moses.

prophet didn't look like that either.
prophet didn't look like that either.

author by stephen bates - guardianpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For a figure whose image cannot be depicted according to most Muslim customs, a great deal is known about what the prophet Muhammad is said to have looked like and what his tastes were - much more than Christians, for all their iconography, know about the appearance of Jesus Christ.
That is because the prophet's life and thoughts, as revealed through the Hadith, or Traditions, is central to Islam and a model for Muslims to emulate. We know Muhammad was middle-sized, had a white, circular face, black eyes, long eyelashes, thick curly hair and a beard. We even know that he had the seal of prophecy, a dark mole the size of a pigeon's egg, between his shoulder blades.

But what we cannot have, according to tradition, is a graven image. There is no explicit ban in the Qur'an, but to picture him would be to annexe God's creative power and to attempt to depict the sublime. No human being, one correspondent told the writer Malise Ruthven, can ever depict the beauty and grandeur of his countenance. That is not to say that there are no Islamic images of Muhammad, or traditions in which his picture is allowed. Examples exist from earlier centuries - most notably the 14th century manuscript of Rashid al-Din's Universal History in Edinburgh University Library - but they usually show the prophet's face veiled or featureless. In his Short Introduction to Islam, Ruthven writes: "The image of the prophet, literary rather than visual, radiates throughout the Muslim world. Perhaps the very restriction on pictorial representation aids cultural diffusion, allowing peoples of different races and ethnicities to internalise its essential features."

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,1700205,00.html
author by news alert - (iosaf)publication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For the second time in one week gun men have attacked the EU offices in Gaza.

from reuters :-

[ Palestinian gunmen surrounded European Union offices in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, threatening violence and demanding an apology for caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that appeared in European newspapers.

About a dozen gunmen, from the militant group Islamic Jihad and an armed faction of Fatah known as the Yasser Arafat Brigades, climbed the surrounding walls of the compound and fired into the air before leaving the scene, witnesses said.

The gunmen demanded an apology for the Danish cartoons, one of which shows the Prophet Mohammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb. They set a 48-hour deadline.

"We will watch the office closely and if European countries continued their assaults against Islam and against the Prophet Mohammad, we will turn this office into ruins," a spokesman for the Yasser Arafat Brigades told Reuters.

Another armed Fatah group, called the Abu el-Reesh Brigades, said citizens of Norway, Denmark, France and Germany in Gaza "will be in danger" if their governments do not apologise within 10 hours.

EU officials had no immediate comment.

DIPLOMATIC STORM

A diplomatic storm has erupted over the cartoons, which were published in a Danish newspaper in September and republished in Norway last month. Newspapers in France, Germany and Spain have also reprinted the caricatures.

Islamic tradition prohibits realistic depictions of prophets, and considers caricatures of them blasphemous.

Earlier this week, Syria recalled its ambassador from Denmark in protest, and the Danish embassy in Damascus was evacuated after a bomb threat that turned out to be a hoax.

Two large Danish companies have reported their sales falling in the Middle East after protests against the cartoons in the Arab world and calls for boycotts.]

author by pat cpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

defend the right to mock all religions.

mohammed was a psychotic mass murdering imperialist. he spread islam by the sword. this is historical fact.

christianity was also used to justify imperialism.

judaism is now being used to justify the occupation of the west bank.

author by Mark O 'Hehirpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.... but he's right in this case. No religion is above ridicule!! Now let's start on the Buddhists ... self absorbed, egotistical, bastards the lot of 'em!!

author by Peccantem me quotidie, et non me poenitentempublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 13:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and side ironically with the opposition to those laws which were rejected yesterday in the British parliament, noting that Blair himself declined to vote.
http://www.4ni.co.uk/nationalnews.asp?id=47981

Of course "defending the right to mock" might seem clever in Ireland, but right now there are armed men in the offices of the EU in Gaza.

They aren't the armed men who won the election last week.

They are different armed men and they're angry, and they're threatening not only European interests (who are considering whether or not to bail out their economy by tomorrow night)
but also the state of Denmark.

Somehow that should all come together shouldn't it?

one of the images causing the agro.
one of the images causing the agro.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ataturk knew how to deal with islamic fundamentalists. when ataturks republican government were introducing such shocking reforms as education for women and banning of the veil; islamic fundamentalists stirred up rebellion in support of their traditional rights to treat women like animals.

ataturk had 200 mullahs hanged in the middle of ankara. this put a halt to their gallop.

at the turn of the twentieth century, republican radicals rose up and hanged the supreme ayetollah in the centre of tehran.

this is the only way to deal with islamic fundamentalists. but it has to come from the people themselves. maybe eventually the palestinian people will see the islamic clergy for the hyenas they are.

author by Omarpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am a moroccan, one cannot imagine the difficulties involved in being an atheist in a muslim country.
It is out of the question. People would think you'd had a nervous breakdown if you told them there was no god.
Not to mention that if you are born a muslim you can't refuse the religion, and there will certainly be some fanatic who will beat you up for your opinion.

No religion is deserving of respect and islam is the worst of all.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_I_Am_Not_a_Muslim
author by iosafpublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 21:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It clouds so many peoples' minds and intellects, especially on indymedia spaces.

Let me remind ye all, that the Palestinian people have united the "left" through many political philosophical twists in solidarity. & that solidarity was reflected in the Mediterranean Community by the "governmental will" to propose the "barcelona declaration" 10 years ago, and in the North of Europe to foster the Oslo accords. Europe has supported the Palestinians through all intifadas in the most meaningful way - "economic help".

Europe in its various forms has planted the strawberries, olives, and other cash crops.
Europe in its various forms has underwritten the aspiration to statehood of the Palestinian people.

And that has changed in the last week. This afternoon several hours after the Abu el-Reesh Brigades threatened retaliation against Europeans for the re-publication of the images masked gunmen kidnapped a German citizen from a hotel in Nablus in the West Bank.
http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=14...47000

It is still by no means certain that the Palestinian budget will be underwritten by Europe or that the customs and excise transfers will be made from Israel the last working day of the week [tomorrow].

On the eve of a "Palestinian civil war" the fine minds of indymedia ireland commentarists who bothered to answer to this article with its very relevant geo-political and "LEFT political philosophical twisted development" thought only to "cheer on the mockery" or have the usual Irish neurotic go at religion.

So I defy you to now be consistent. Admit you are abandoning the Palestinian people because when push came to shove, their armed struggle ended up to "just about religion" unlike the armed struggles you like in other places.

author by Khoemeinipublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 21:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al queida bomber who went into the pub??No?Well I was hoping somone could tell me it too?
Every other religion and people associated with it can laugh or poke fun at themselves or be laughed at.
Except the Muslims.
What makes them such a humoursless lot?Even the Jews who would have a right to be miserable after losing 6million of their kind have a sense of humour.
Loosen up abit for fucks sake.

author by Raymond McInerney - Global Country of World Peacepublication date Thu Feb 02, 2006 22:06author address Limerickauthor phone Report this post to the editors

The tao depicted is not the real Tao.

author by ha bloody ha - how many indymedia heads does it take to change a lightbulb?publication date Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This incident so far is turning out differently from the last time global "muslim sensibilities" were rudely tread on. I refer to the news (first denied as a rumour) which spread through Islam in mid May of 2005, when the magazine Newsweek reported that investigators at Guantanamo had flushed a Quran down the toilet.

That led to print apologies, statements by Condoleeza Rice, riots in Kabul and other places in which young people died.
http://indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69797

This morning there is a german man kidnapped somewhere in the West Bank over a cartoon. A cartoon which has bounced around Europe and been the cause of at least one newspaper editor losing his job. But Islam is not only found in the West Bank.

The Danish embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia was attacked last night / this morning by 200 to 300 white-clad protesters from the Islamic Defender's Front (FPI) shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest).

Indonesia's second city Surabaya also has a Danish consulate and protesters gathered there to.

[ "Newspapers in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary have reprinted the caricatures this week, saying press freedom was more important than the protests and boycotts they have provoked.Many Arab commentators said the European defence rings hollow because, they said, European media protected Judaism and Israel from criticism."]

Blasphemy laws are common not only in the islamic world but also in the Occident. The last case brought for blasphemy in the UK was in 1922 against a man who declared "Jesus is a clown!".

"We'd take Muslim protests more seriously if they weren't so hypocritical," Berlin's Die Welt wrote as it published one of the Danish cartoon adding "The imams were quiet when Syrian television showed Jewish rabbis as cannibals in a prime-time series."

In the full page defence of the reprinting of the cartoons, the workers of France Soir wrote that the 1789 French Revolution separated church and state, and that means not to give any religion a right to impose its views.

Perhaps accordingly a French RC+ cardinal has sided with the muslim protesters. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Catholic archbishop of Lyon, echoed this when he welcomed the Muslim protests and hoped they would lead to more respect for all religions. Joseph Sitruk, Grand Rabbi of French Judaism, has also expressed support for the Muslims.

author by guardianpublication date Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

makes interesting reading.

Today's editorial :-
"Context matters very much in the case of the cartoons of Muhammad too. It is one thing to assert the right to publish an image of the prophet. As long as that is not illegal - and not even the government's amended religious hatred bill makes it so - then that right undoubtedly exists. But it is another thing to put that right to the test, especially when to do so inevitably causes offence to many Muslims and, even more so, when there is currently such a powerful need to craft a more inclusive public culture which can embrace them and their faith. That is why the defiant republication of the cartoons in some parts of Europe (some of them with far less good histories of intercommunal relations than this country) is more questionable than it may appear at first sight"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,1701092,00.html

Today's comment by Sarah Joseph
"Now the great shape-shifter of fascism seems to have taken on the clothes of "freedom of speech". If these cartoons were designed to provoke Muslim fundamentalists, maybe they have done more to reveal the prejudices of Europe. Europe has a history of turning on its minorities. Will that be its future too?"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,1701137,00.html

and the most odd little cartoon from "our own" Steve Bell. One of the principle cartoonists of the "anti war movement" and "stop war coalition" the man has had his fair share of complaints. Mostly he's very accesibly (popularist some would say). Have a look at his cartoon today, and see can you "change the caption".
http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/stevebell/0,,1701293....html

author by iosafpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 13:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kare Bluitgen a Danish writer spent much of 2005 searching for an illustrator for a children's book he was writing on the life of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Obviously he didn't think of asking the Chester Beaty library in Dublin for their pictures of the "round white faced, curly haired, bearded, birthmarked one". But! Mr Bluitgen couldn't find anybody who wanted the job, One artist declined the commission because he didn't want to end up like Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film-maker who got murdered by an angry Islamist for similarly "antagonising" Muslim sensibilities. And many other artists turned jt down too. "They were worried," Mr Bluitgen said : "Eventually someone agreed to do it anonymously."

Mr Bluitgen's lack of illustrators came to the attention of the Danish print media in general and the Jyllands-Posten in particular. We know how these things go, commercial papers like to think they're in the vanguard of debate, but really they just want to sell issues.

They termed their debate something like this :-
"How far should Denmark go down the road of self-censorship?
"Was freedom of speech more important than Muslim sensibilities?"
And of course they didn't ask - "May we insult a religion to help sell our rag and get that in under freedom of the press?"

Then the 30th of september arrived, and Carsten Juste, the editor of Jyllands-Posten unveiled (no pun intended) 12 cartoons by 12 cartoonists who had seized the commision to help him sell his newspaper. They were a very mixed bag of cartoons. Mostly the sort of thing which honestly wouldn't last long on an indymedia site. But one which has been reproduced the most is the one above. You can read the "timeline" from 30th September till now in the article above.

There's nothing to add, except that Islam is a globalised religious culture which we have been told by the president of the USA is not quite our enemy but not our friend. And thats good enough for most of us, and most particularly the prime minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Who being a "Bush fan" C/F http://www.indymedia.ie/article/70971 didn't really appear to "try hard enough" when the some of the Islamic states sent their ambassadors around to complain.

Ah! the clever sod cries! How did the Islamic states hear about it? Aren't their ambassadors front page news? Well.... After that meeting some of the Islamic states decided they didn't like the Danish anymore and would spare themselves the expense of diplomatic missions to Copenhagen and furthermore boycott Danish milk, cheese and butter. (obviously danish bacon is not a big export).

And then a group called "Islamisk Trossamfund" got busy. "Islamisk Trossamfund" is a bunch of imams in denmark serving the 200,000 strong Danish muslim community. They went on a tour of Europe, probably availing of cheap budget air lines, and brought copies of the cartoons to all their friends. And wow, isn't the west surprised what a network of friends they had. Unsurprisingly, after a few weeks of this "pass-it-on" the muslim internet community, the blogs, and the words were buzzing, but the usual "chinese whisper" effect came into it.

The editor of Jyllands-Posten insists that two of the images bounced around by Islamisk Trossamfund were not in the original commission and sure you wouldn't see them in the Chester Beaty either. One showed Muhammad with the face of a pig, another : a dog sodomising a praying Muslim ; and Muhammad as a paedophile. Shocking stuff, and people were shocked.

And the irish buyer of newspapers didn't get to read a word about it till this morning.

learn something from that. - The world is big and great, info changes, data twists, anger is like energy and unless properly earthed come back at you. If you want to sell a paper, don't take the piss.
The german who was kidnapped in Nablus has been released unharmed, perhaps because he was german and not a dane.

author by Annabelle.publication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 13:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is trully frightening. The Islamic fundementalists are offended by silly juvenile cartoons of Muhammed and threatening death to infidel Europe. Today on the front page of the Irish Times - a zealot was waving placard: "Europe is the Cancer Islam is the Answer" but there were far worse statements on Sky News which showed a placard: "Butcher Those Who Insult the Prophet."

I am an atheist and I believe in the total separation of church and state and that individual freedom in society is paramount and immutable. I am not a Muslim so I do not to have the same respect for Muhammed therefore I can insult Islam however I please. I can understand an ordinary Muslim being insulted but that does not mean I should not be allowed to say what I like, when I like, where I like, to whom ever I like. Most Muslims would not advocate murdering me because I disagree with him/her. But there are lot of Muslims in the Middle East and in Europe who want to kill us because we do not share their beliefs. That is simply insane and none of us should stand for that.

The burning of the Denmark flag is an outrageous insult to the Danish people and threats to the lives of Danish people themselves is utterly outrageous. The paper who published these cartoons is privately owned and the government of Denmark has no power to stop them from publishing what they like. This argument is between some Muslims and a newspaper.
But that newspaper has the right to publish what it likes however insulting.
Thats what free speech is all about.

Should we ban the Life Of Brian because some Christians dont like to be shown how ridiculous their beliefs are?

Rowan Atkinson and Richard Dawkins are my heroes. Voices of Reason in a sea of irrationality.

author by Insomniacpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Annabelle.

You are right you should be allowed to say what ever you like. But you must accept that what you say might have consequences. Free speech must be balanced.

If you run into an emergency room in a hospital, freaking out and screaming "Fire!" at the top of your lungs. Free speech? sure but balanced?

Try running through Shannon Warport screaming "Bomb!"

On the other hand let's look at it this way.

The coalition of the stupid, Denmark included, perpetrates what is for all intents and purposes a crusade resulting in genocide in the Middle East, millions are killed (if you include sanctions and I do.). Now just before Round 3 begins in Iran, Denmark insults every living Muslim on the planet on Behalf of its American betters.

Free speech?

Cool.

What was the objective of the cartoon?

And should you answer humour, how is it funny?

author by pat cpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 14:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

all religions should be mocked including islam. we live in a republic where we have certain basic rights. the right to poke fun is a basic bourgeois liberal right.

if muslims dont like that then they should go live in an islamic country. i speak as a socialist, anti-racist and anti-fascist. opposing racism does not mean you have to bow beforefore islam. opposing fascism means understanding that some islamic fundamentalists are fascists and are objectively as rotten as justin barrett.

author by Insomniacpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 14:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To a point I agree with you Pat. I as an anarchist have a natural right to mock anything or anyone I choose. A right I exercise often I hope you agree.

But as a bloke obsessed (I admit it) with end game scenarios, I cannot see how this particular cartoon or defending it brings about a result I desire. So yup the right to mock exists, is a powerful and a just tool of lifting oppression, I just don't see what it acomplishes tactically here, at least what it acomplishes that could be expressed as being a positive for me or me country or I'd hazard your good self, especially where the lifting of oppression is concerned. Short of course of getting the opportunity to use the tactic itself.

I dislike fundamentalism, irregardless as to what religion practices it and if the developed world had not been as much at fault as it is for the current feelings of Muslims, I'd probably be less inclined to argue this point. But it just seems to me to be another way to get the Muslims outraged, and for us to dislike them all the more.

I think issues like this invite the question, "should we try to win a battle or win the war?"

Looks to be another old tactic to me. Propaganda.

Seán

author by Gaelpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 14:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry but we are a free country and a Western democracy and since the Enlightenment there has been a tradition of satire on religion. Long may it continue. Muslims living in Ireland as guests in our country, you must accept our ways. If you demand tolerance you must show tolerance. A cartoon hardly warrants the disgraceful scenes of recent days in the Middle East. Demanding that the Danish government apologise for or punish the journalists involved again demonstrates the contempt for free speech in the Middle East, where national govts routinely do interfere with media freedom. We should not go down the road of Islamic theocracy. I also find it ironic that some of the very people in this country who would not usher a word of criticism of a cartoon mocking the Catholic church insist we should pander to the Muslim community.

author by pat cpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 15:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i dont care if catholics are enraged about a cartoon. i dont care if muslims are enraged about a cartoon.

actually i'm happy. mainstram islam believes in the sharia . which states that gays and adulterous women should be stoned to death. if muslims are annoyed then i'm overjoyed. i will fight racism. i wont defend any religion. if muslims dont like bourgeois liberal freedoms (which are a lot less thgan anarchist freedoms) then they should movce to an islamic country.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 15:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By all means say what you will about, the Church - try here - I've already started:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74031
(And note I have an end result in mind whilst I pull the proverbial piss.)

If you want to take apart the muslim dogma and traditions, go ahead.

But this cartoon slags God.

The existence of God cannot be absolutely proven. This at least is true given any current methods or proofs.

An athiest who insults or parodies God, knows his insult to be aimed at the believer. Or else he talks to God himself.

And an anarchist is not bound to do anything.

This anarchist if he has to fight someone, will not just go for the weakest or easiest victim. And particularly so when this victim for me doesn't even begin to constitute what I see to be the overall problem.

Course you're entitled to feel how you feel, I realise that. Again I'm mostly looking at this from a selfish perspective, what does actively provoking a muslim get me, when I see so many more priorities before me, eg. Irish government, American government, Europe, shit dude everywhere. The Muslims are the least of my worries, unless of course somebody successfully pits us against each other. I'm not biting.

Take the rich outta the equation, then I'd have something to say. Other than that let the bloody rich spill their own blood.

Seán

author by iosafpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 16:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we have indymedia because the commercial media self-censor and failed to respect legitimate rights of expression in the West.

& now look above, and we see an editor of a commercial newspaper's statement on how "in the name of free speech" he chose to commission images which are offensive to a key minority as part of a cynical attempt to sell more newspapers.

& now look here the article i wrote reporting the "Threat to Denmark" in the wake of the London Bombings. Note the date. Read the information. Please see that the Danish actually already have quite an agenda on Islam and muslims, certainly as long as they've been part of the coalition of the willing, and after the US and UK forces ratcheted up the highest number of complaints on how their small contingent of military and intelligence officers in Iraq behaved.
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/70971

Of course we have these debates all the time. I don't need to leave a Jerry Springer opera aria, or ask would the Irish Times or Irish Independent ( so adept at self-censorship and selective reporting and commissioning of articles and cartoons ) pay for, publish, and allow to be re-published a cartoon depicting Jesus Christ as a paedophile?

Fact is, the muslims have a right to be offended.
Fact is, the Danish are looking for a fight.
Fact is, the republication of those cartoons in other European newspapers fueled the fight. Put it in context.
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/70971

author by pat cpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

when islam stops attacking gays and women i'll stop attacking islam.

iosaf

you are wrong. all religions should be mocked. islam more so than others.

author by Sarcastic Bastardpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 21:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Does this mean that Nick Griffin is going to be a cartoonist?

author by iosafpublication date Sat Feb 04, 2006 22:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On another thread which is more relevant to our "collective politics" I left a comment saying amongst other things, that the youngsters of Greece have a right to line up walk the walk and say "Fuck the State, Police and Church". Because many of their parents lived through a brutal dictatorship which combined all those elements. And in a sense I'm happy to see them all "line up and walk the walk" in their fashionable "anti-fashion" hoodies, and hope that in a few years their understanding of their avowed political stances will deepen beyond prejudice.

And on this thread, I forewarned of a crises which finds it roots not in (as the article suggested) the fatwa against Rushdie, or the Koran or even the September 30th "buy our newspaper" stunt.

The roots of this crises grew through the "non political" Non-"insurrection" non-"intifidada" of 2005 in the French banlieu. The roots twine around the mood wing which brought Hamas the party of armed struggle to power. The roots choke the unity so professed against the "coalition of the willing's" invasion of Iraq. The roots feed off of the new "pan-Islamic leadership" formed in the diametrically opposed image of Bush in Iran. the fruit :-

Kids. Kids Pat c. neither you nor I are kids anymore.
And those kids just burnt European diplomatic legations in Syria and elsewhere today. Oh its ok, those embassies were closed in any case, the diplomats have been expelled. Now Pat C. coz you're not a kid anymore, I'd ask you to think about "religion" and how convenient a tag it was, when in other times the embassy of the UK to Ireland was burnt.

Oh yes, Pat, your armed struggle didn't begin nor end with the burning of that embassy. Fact is, in pursuit of profit, and to support the Danish state's commitment to the war on Iraq, a newspaper editor published images which were deeply offensive to some, and have incited riot and ruck the world over.

Will we reason with them? Well to be honest, where will they go? Will they stop burning our embassies and join a political party? Hamas good enough?
how about staying with the agro and joining Islamic Jihad. Because of course they are all religious.
Hmmmm. Quite. Utter utter shite. The prophet did not look like a gunman, but portraying him so, brought out the gunmen who will use a slight against him.
Do you know what the word "agent provocateur" means, Pat C.? Coz I don't see devout muslims on tv I see angry kids rucking, and they're not rucking against the system, or even the USA. nope they are the first generation of "muslim" kids to ruck against us.

please read the background info on Danish involvement in the Iraq war and the crimes committed by their intelligence service at this link. I'll link ye all to even more interesting data soon. But for now, please note that Europe didn't save the Palestinians economy yesterday. They told them all to
"Fuck Off. Fuck the state. Fuck your state. Fuck your police. Fuck your kids. Fuck your church." Oh well if that happened in Ireland since the embassy got burnt we'd have a "conflict expert" on hand to tell us what happens next. no Pat C.?

http://indymedia.ie/article/70971

author by Wavepublication date Sun Feb 05, 2006 00:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Propaganda analysis
http://newjersey.indymedia.org/en/2006/02/9831.shtml

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Feb 05, 2006 06:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree fully with the author and want to add my few bob to the pot.

Focus on the end picture. Where we are and what we are. Compare this to where we are and what we are as described by our media and politicians.

Why are these stains on humanity suddenly trustworthy?

Humanity and dignity are only common bonds when you embrace them.

To paradoxically deny these bonds is to be fully fettered, or enslaved.

Fuck enslavement.
Seán

author by @publication date Sun Feb 05, 2006 14:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the light of recent international developments which saw a comission of 12 cartoons by a right wing newspaper in Denmark and the ensuing polemic which resulted and the most fascinating process by which the internet and emergent forms of globalised information sharing shaped diametrically opposed reactions, it seems a good idea to start a competition.
The idea is very simple. Christianity has long been afforded a respect it hardly can merit. Sheltering behind good manners and sensibilities, down right offensive images have not been published in the Euròpean Commerical press.

Its time to see what would happen if that occured.

Cartoonists (of whatever quality or ability - the worst the bettter) are invited to present their "provocative" depictions of the following characters - Jesus the Christ. Mary the Virgin.

The most mundane and ignorant will be chosen and form the principle part of a full page advert to be submitted to the following commercial newspapers -

The Sunday Independent.
The Irish Times.
The Times.
The Sun.
The Star.
The Nordic trogyldyte.
Le Soir.
La Razon.
Die Welt.
Der Standard.
the Belfast Telegraph.

Please remember not to submit images which though humourous or thought provoking do not dwell on - violence, racial stereotyping, gender issues, rape, murder, or child abuse.

Be encouraged that your "art work" will help carry the causes of Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Opinion, Freedom of Expression forward, as well as helping people from different social and cultural backgrounds "get on well" with each other.

send your entries to
filterlesscamel@hotmail.com

author by conception turkey basterpublication date Sun Feb 05, 2006 14:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I suggest the organisers of this competition, allow entries depicting front bench politicians in europe, the monarchies of europe, (though illegal) and of course baby Blair "the untouchable".

And don't place the bar too high!

a napkin (serviette) and a crayon will do.
this has to an fully "inclusive" competition.

filterlesscamel@hotmail.com

Of course, help will be needed with funding the full page advert, feelers will be put out to the major Journalist unions and representative bodies, and the relevant state arts funding mechanisms will be exploited.

Fuck all of you.

author by puckpublication date Sun Feb 05, 2006 16:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1) I feel the publication of these cartoons was childish and irresponsible. They reminded me of the kind of badly drawn rubbish you see in neo nazi/ skinhead publications.

2) I also feel that the REACTION to them is equally childish and irresponsible, if only for the P.R. damage that this small group of knuckleheaded muslims in Syria and Beirut are doing to Islam.

3) I dont think that 'Europe is the cancer and Islam is the answer'. I feel that we in Europe should stand up for the principles we developed in the Enlightenment, principles of science and free enquiry, and tell this minority of muslims to BACK OFF, it took us years to develop them and we are proud of them

4) I am suspicious of book burning

author by iosafpublication date Sun Feb 05, 2006 17:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Muslims pay attention to the Danish for a few reasons.
1) they invaded Iraq.
2) they are very very nordic.
The myth of the "clash of civilisation" alluded to the writer has long past time it was debunked. Today you may find details of a "competition" for cartoonists, in the "help wanted" section to similarly approach the problems faced since before the enlightenment by cherished beliefs held by Christians. http://indymedia.ie/article/74110 There is small chance that the same newspapers who recirculated the cartoons on muhammed will accept full page adverts with equivalent "mocking" of Christian figures. They will "self-censor". Neither Le Soir or Die Welt will publish them for fear of offending their readers, despite their protestations of "hypocrisy" or a comitment to secularism.

And this shows us the base problem at heart of the "coalition of the willing". Led by the USA, a right wing christian fundamentalist country in the main, it was put to us as a "crusade" but for most in Europe, "religion" doesn't excite such feelings for we have lived under tyranny which used religion as a stick to beat us and label to divide us. And long long ago in a galaxy far away : we did our crusades .:. and learnt the hard way of the true power of our neighbours.
In spite of that, "history" : we can still lodge a suitable complaint.

1 full page advert will cost between 200€ and 800€ depending on which "free speech" champion newspaper is asked to accept it.
A similar page will cost upwards of 1000$ in the US media. And of course thats where we really want to push the freedom of speech thing, so that angry young americans can burn our Irish embassy.
For if "peaces25" had to cancel its advertising campaign on 60 years of austrian democracy for offending Western sensibilities with pictures of a cute girl's crotch in European flag knickers, or a sex trio of Chirac, the British Queen and Bush fucking, we do know how to get up their noses. http://indymedia.ie/article/73588#comment133169

& it will all be my fault. & I'll just say sorry & perhaps write an apology. & that will be how it ends. move along there nothing to see.

But everyone will have a good day out-.

author by A10publication date Sun Feb 05, 2006 20:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"whoever offends the prophet,kill them"
"EU you will crawl when Al Quieda comes calling"
and some other tasty slogans brandished by Muslims in London during the week.Wonder will they all be hauled up like Nick Griffin of the BNP for inciteing race hatred.Or will it be OK because it is easier to go after a few crackpot nazis than a fanatical bunch of terrorists and their supporters.?

author by puckpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it certainly seems ok for muslims to protest like this .... Can you imagine what would happen if a bunch of europeans protested in Syria because the culture is to limiting to european tastes i.e "We want 35 channels on TV, We want beer, We want pornography" etc etc ... we wouldnt get away with it.

author by leonardpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Holocaust happened. Face it. Are you really trying to compare a historical event like that to the life of Muhommed as outlined in Islamic belief (ascending in into "Heaven" etc).

Then relativism is completely out of control.

author by Ali H.publication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is another side to relativism coin you speak of as Muslims see on a regular basis how anti-semitic remarks from any quarter cause a furore in the press and ritual denunciation from politicians, and that same press and politicians feel quite free to insult Muslims without any fear of punishment. This is what Muslims see and what makes them justifiably angry at what they perceive as double standards.

author by historianpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If fundamentalist muslims are so opposed to the values of western Europe, why do so many of them try to claim asylum and residency rights in EU states? Surely if they do they must be prepared to accept the rules of civil society just as Europeans must do if living in Saudi or Iran.

author by Bhuvanapublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 15:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just think back to the Talibans's destruction of the Bhudda statues, talk about cultural insensitivity! (not to take away from their violence towards actual people).

Where was Islamic response to that.

Since were all becoming interested in understanding and accomodating Islam, its worth noting that "apostasy" is currently punishable by death in the countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Iran, Sudan and Mauritania.

Thats the difference thats at stake.

author by Localistpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>>this small group of knuckleheaded muslims in Syria and Beirut are doing to Islam.

I'd image most muslims are angry about these cartoons. The fact is, Islamic ruled countries are highly intollerent of non Islamic values, and indeed human rights in general. A few hundred protesters my arse -

"In Afghanistan hundreds clashed with police and soldiers Monday during demonstrations against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Four people were killed and at least 19 wounded, officials said. "

"In southern Iraq, several thousand Iraqis rallied to demand diplomatic and economic ties be severed with countries in which the caricatures were published. The protest in Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, and witnessed the burning of Danish, German and Israeli flags and an effigy of Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Protesters called for the death of anyone who insults Muhammad and demanded withdrawal of 530-member Danish military contingent operating under British control. "

"Elsewhere, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir came to a standstill on Monday as shops, businesses and schools shut down for a day to protest the publication of caricatures in European newspapers. Dozens of Muslim protesters torched Danish flags, burned tires, shouted slogans and hurled rocks at passing cars in several parts of Srinagar."

"In the Indian capital of New Delhi, riot police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of students from Jamia University, who chanted slogans and burned a Danish flag. "

"At least one person died, 30 were injured, half of them security officials, and about 200 people were detained in Sunday's violence, officials said. Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said the arrested included 76 Syrians, 35 Palestinians and 38 Lebanese. "

"The Beirut violence came a day after violent protests in neighboring Syria, including the burning of the Danish and Norwegian missions. The United States accused the Syrian government of backing the protests in Lebanon and Syria, an accusation also made by anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians. "

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/06/world/main128...shtml

author by Ali H.publication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 18:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If fundamentalist muslims are so opposed to the values of western Europe, why do so many of them try to claim asylum and residency rights in EU states? "

Probably because they are living under dictatorships propped up by our governments and paradoxically this is the only place they can express themselves politically. Egypt and Algeria are 2 which cometo mind. Also dont forget that we helped to create the fundamentalist problem by using Bin Laden and Co. to doour dirty work for us in our proxy war against the Russians in Afghanistan. They chickens have indeed come home to roost!

"Surely if they do they must be prepared to accept the rules of civil society just as Europeans must do if living in Saudi or Iran."

I havent heard many Irish Muslims calling on Christians or atheists to change their way of life intheir own home country, so why do weinsist on trying to ram our values down their throats? As for immigration I think they have no particular wish to be here and would prefer to be in their own home countries if only we would stop interfering. Dont forget that we were living under a Catholic theocracy until not so long ago, and didn't give the vote or equal rights to women until even more recently (some would justifiably argue that they still don't). You don't need to measure things on a geological timescale to realise that we're not very far ahead of them in termsof development.

author by Ois - WSMpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 19:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There's a big difference between an 'offensive' cartoon about islam and an 'offensive' cartoon about chritianity in todays world. Just as there's a big difference between an 'offensive' cartoon about judaism circa 1930 and an 'offensive' cartoon about chritianity today.

It's different because a cartoon about chritianity is a cartoon about chritianity. A cartoon about islam in am environment where Pia Kjærsgaard, as leader of the far right Danish People's Party - which in the last elections took 13.3% of the vote to become the third biggest party in Denmark - is encouraging people to heed a "call-to-arms" against "Islamism", which they describe as a "world revolutionary movement" seeking to impose Shari'a all over the globe, can be seen to be about a hell of a lot more than religion.

That said I'm not apologising for the islamic protestors, they're completely wrong. But I think trivialising the content of the protests is a mistake.

author by By Any Means Necessarypublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 19:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Syrian authorities allowed these demonstrations and acts of violence against the Danish / Norweigan embassies.
In a police state no one gets away with venting their frustrations in such a way with out police / state sponsorship.

The cops in London did not arrest the one woman who wrote the majority of these placards, same hand writing, same medieval pseudo-faith rhetoric, despite the BBC filming her doing her bit for inter community harmony. Why not, it makes great propaganda, when again will the scribblings of one woman get so much media attention?

What I find hypocritical from these "protests" is that many of these one party dictatorships, whose press is state controlled, can daily publish gross anti-Jewish propaganda which follows many of the racist ideas that were common at the start of the 20th century in Europe.

author by Are Muslims Extremists?publication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 19:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Test our feelings'

Hundreds of people took part in the morning demonstration in Afghanistan's Laghman province, in a second day of protests in the city.

Demonstrators shouted "death to Denmark" and "death to France". They called for the expulsion of diplomats and soldiers, who were sent by both countries as part of international efforts in the US-led "war on terror".

Cartoon row: Your views

"They want to test our feelings," protester Mawli Abdul Qahar Abu Israra told the BBC.

"They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not. Death to them and to their newspapers," he said

author by Connor Dpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Please, youre arguing on our right to mock? How sad. Our right to critical arguement and free speech is obvious but to mock? As a catholic I can be offended by offensive images and jokes about our Holy Father, the Pope. I can handle criticism of him, not a problem. Dont take our responsibilities as european christians, who should respect other faiths and beliefs, so lightly.

The Danish cartoons were a mistake, an offense. The muslim reaction in Britain and the Middle East were overblown but understandable. Muslims should respect our right to criticise aspects of their culture with which we dont agree and to condemn the fanatical elements so embedded in their countries and we should respect their belief that the cartoons have offended them. How can they not be offended, theres a bloody bomb on their prophets turban.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the british embassy was burnt for good secular reasons, i was too young to participate in 1972. in 1981 during the hungerstrikes i did my best to get thru to burn the british embassy, so did swp members, some of whom were seriously injured.

i hate all organised religion and i mock the prophet who incidentally was an imperialist & who spread his invented religion at the point of a sword.

when islam stops oppressing gays and women. i'll stop mocking islam.

No Gods!

No Masters!

author by iosafpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 21:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

at times you appear so flimsy and un-informed.
The Fatah head of youth section, admitted that Hamas won the elections because they had listened to women.
C/f
http://indymedia.ie/article/74121?&condense_comments=fa...37312

and I suppose you can't ask around your mates, and fund how the embassy got burnt on the third day, if its armour and fire proof doors protected in the first.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 21:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"at times you appear so flimsy and un-informed.
The Fatah head of youth section, admitted that Hamas won the elections because they had listened to women. "

and you really know how to piss women off when they make complaints.

yes iosaf. the women of palestine, all of them, told hamas that they wanted to lose all rights, wear the burka, stay in the home. yes iosaf i'm sure they told them that.

next you'll be telling me that palestinian gays support hamas, they just cant wait to get stoned to death.stoned? i suspect you are stoned again iosaf.

"and I suppose you can't ask around your mates, and fund how the embassy got burnt on the third day, if its armour and fire proof doors protected in the first."

what are you on about? 1972? are you seeing conspiracies again? ah i get it! the brits conspired to let their own embassy be burned down. they removed the fireproof doors. funny no noticed it. i suppose it was a bit like getting the steel out of the twin towers.

iosaf: i believe something known as gelignite was used to bow down the doors.

author by iosafpublication date Mon Feb 06, 2006 21:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yes you're right - an industrial grade explosive was used to take down the doors.
I'm not saying I think burkas are good, I hope you remember I was lambasted for supporting a ban on the veil in france, and i hope you remember I live in a muslim neighbourhood and work as an activist with muslims of all degrees, and even "ex-muslim agnostics" like Omar above.

Now who had that explosive?

I thought that would be right up your street. How many people had industrial grade explosives in Ireland in 1972?

author by Bhuvanapublication date Tue Feb 07, 2006 09:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Iosef, the protesters say they hate the cartoons. Some of them say they hate "Western values". As if this is ALL about Denmark's ties to America and the Iraq war.

"I havent heard many Irish Muslims calling on Christians or atheists to change their way of life intheir own home country, so why do weinsist on trying to ram our values down their throats?"

Ali its about choice. In a free society you can practice whatever you believe, provided it doesnt interefere with other people. Thats why religion should be kept home - as long as it doesnt oppress family members.
And when a religion proves incapable of tolerant peaceful coexistance, then it has no place in free society. After all its just a notion created by people and re-interpreted by people.

author by Stef Stargazerpublication date Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:17author email stef.stargazer at ntlworld dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Respect for other people's delicate sensibilities is all well and good wherever they are and, within reasonable limits, whatever primitive nonsensical mass delusion they may choose to believe in, but making allowances for the kind of totally disporportionate reactions we are currently witnessing around the world to the 'cartoons' published in the Danish paper, as with the previous completely 'over the top' Islamic reaction to 'The Satanic Verses' and the similar if less overtly homicidal reactions of so-called 'Christians' to 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and 'The Life Of Brian' involves taking seriously, if only implicitly, the frankly scientifically ridiculous claims of the so-called 'great' religions, which, without a shred of genuine or replicable evidence in support of any of them, insist nevertheless on their various fantastic versions of reality being allowed to take precedence over the substantially increasingly contrary but repeatably DEMONSTRABLY VALID picture of the Universe being gradually revealed to us by the (God-given?) reasoning minds of scientists and philosophers, throughout the long bloody history of the dressed up glorified talking chimpanzees who currently dominate this tiny insignificant planet.

How can any person aspiring to true intelligence, and possessed of an honestly enquiring mind, take any of these mythical so called 'sacred' messages and their historically dubious at best messengers seriously, let alone elevate 'respect' for any or all of them to greater importance than respect for the real lives of any of the real suffering souls who have to tolerate this continuing outrageous tyranny of unreason? I'm absolutely with Richard Dawkins on this. Take away religion and good people will go on doing good and evil people will go on doing evil. But for good people to do evil requires religion. It really is the root of all evil in the World. Roll on the day when the human race finally grows up and leaves these childish fantasies in the only place they belong: history books.

Show me the physics that support your various gods and prophets and I'll take them seriously, but not a moment before, no matter how many bullying threats the obscene crusaders and jihadis make. How dare these ghastly hypocrites threaten the lives of real people in the name of their supposedly compassionate gods? Don't they think their allegedly all powerful deities and their favoured 'prophets' can take care of themselves?

author by iosafpublication date Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1) clarification. I wrote this article above before this story broke in ireland, and pointed out that it had developed over a long time. I made clear references and links to popular Danish anti-Islamic sentiment, and made clear that disinformation on both sides lead to the crises.
I have made it clear that I consider this to be a case of ordinary people on both sides of the argument (Occidental or Islamic) being asked to choose between two fascistic stand-points.
Whereas western artists have a right to depict whatever they want that right must be tempered by commercial media organisations especially in times of obvious hurt and wider conflict.
Muslims have a right to be angry at the republication of the cartoons especially considering the track record of the rags which have done so. Yesterday an Austrian paper "Kleine Zeitung" thought to reprint the cartoons as Iranians burnt the Danish embassy. It is quite apparant that this is nothing but "shit-stirring".
The muslim staff in the delivery office went on impromtu strike.
Solidarity with them.

Eoin Dubsky (who lives in France) has commented on another thread on this subject (one of many which have now been opened) that he works with muslims. http://indymedia.ie/article/74125?comment_offset=16#com...37383
And so do I. Both at "job professional work" and "activist campaign work". Most of the arguments trotted out by ignorant westerners about "Islam is anti-gay" falls short of being true to the feelings and sensibilities of the muslims I know. I feel tempted to quote a saying which I hear so much in jest "never be a good muslim" which echoes my excuses for not staying on the beach more than 5 hours "I've got catholic skin".

The republication of these cartoons is aimed to provoke a split in European society, not only on the continuing political clash with certain muslim governments most significantly Iran, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, but also to provoke internal discord between those who consider themselves (all of a sudden) "Free speaking, European secularists" and their neighbours and fellow workers who are (ever so slowly) "Islamist, homophobe, reactionary, misogynist, 5th columnists".

I hope that in far away Ireland this message gets through.

__________________________________________________

the transcript of Rasmussen's latest speech is appended to the article "The Threat to Denmark"
http://indymedia.ie/article/70971?author_name=iosaf&com...37400

Rasmussen ought now like Aznar before him in the "Coalition of the willing" be asked resign by his own people.

author by glennserpublication date Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Before we get all carried away with how great and pluralist Ireland is remember that it's not so long ago that we were locking up students for publishing the numbers of family planning clinics in England, I'm frankly shocked that no-one remembers the fact that "The Life of Brian" and "The Meaning of Life" were both banned for blasphemy in Ireland (Brian was banned for 8 years which is a bloody long time before home video was common).
Things might be better now but I clearly remember the protests over "The Last Temptation of Christ" and pro-lifers attacking students on Thomas Street, it's not that long ago, fanatics of any persuasion are scary. The separation of church and state worldwide still has a long way to go as far as I'm concerned.
Glenn

author by duffypublication date Wed Feb 08, 2006 13:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And there are very important reasons why Ireland has changed from a society which paid too much deference to religion. Lets ensure we dont turn back the clock.

author by redjadepublication date Wed Feb 08, 2006 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A beautiful web collection of depictions of Mohammed throughout history - including Islamic art depictions from the past

Mohammed Image Archive
http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/

if the above website is slow, download the 50+megabyte .pdf format file here:
http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/mohammedimagearchive.pdf

author by iosafpublication date Fri Feb 10, 2006 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper has been sent on leave.

So far we have known about Carsten Juste the editor in chief whose apology (so warmly accepted) is printed above.

But now mr Rose, has announced his wish to reproduce the "Holocaust cartoons" printed in the Tehran daily 'Hamshari' on the 7th of February 2006.

So for exactly the same reasons I ask you to condemn Iran, I now ask you to condemn Denmark and its government for stoking the main sources of hatred in the name of "media profit".

http://www.ambdublin.um.dk/en
121-122 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2
Ireland
Tel: 00 353 (1)475 6404
Fax: 00 353 (1) 478 4536
E-mail:dubamb@um.dk ...

Iran Embassy
72 Mount Merrion Avenue
Blackrock
Co. Dublin

Tel:(+ 353) 1 288 0252
Fax:(+ 353) 1 283 4246

Any state which sponsers and incites street violence not only in its own territory but beyond in the name of insult by a European state demanding censorship which subsequently denies the Holocaust {in which millions of European citizens were denied their citizenship, educational qualifications, homes, jobs, put to enforced labour, tatooed, starved and subject to experimentation and then murdered systematically} in its _own press_ is not a state which may be allowed to screen a labour force (unionised or not) to work in, build, maintain, or secure a nuclear facility for the simple reason that : a state which censors foreign media & internet is responsible alone for the conditioning of hatred, prejudice and xenophobia amongst its own population of labour-force.

the Holocaust was and is a European issue.
Neither the Danish nor the Iranians have any right to insult the memory of the Shoah, its victims or survivors.

Iran in the UK
16 Prince's gate
London
SW7 1PT
Tel(+44) 207,253000.
Fax( +44) 2075894440.

Denmark in the UK

Embassy of Denmark
55 Sloane Street
London, SW1X 9SR

Tel: 0044 (0)20 7333 0200
Fax: 0044 (0)20 7333 0270
lonamb@um.dk

author by .:. / ·.·publication date Fri Feb 10, 2006 22:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

at this link the welcome news that Sweden is the first state of the EU and the West to take official action on the "cartoon war"
http://indymedia.ie/article/74056&comment_limit=0&conde...37752
and lets remember they're a "neutral" just like us, no matter what 9mm Willie O Dea says. Just to remind you - so far one european has lost their job over this - the editor of Le Soir, and only one other european has been suspended from work - the cultural editor of the Danish daily. Whereas 9 people outside of Europe have been killed. And tensions between muslim traditions might also be linked to the "iconoclastic" question, bringing the death toll to over 45.

And at this link you may read about the attempts in switzerland amonst the swiss legal establishment to use article 261 of the Swiss criminal code, which says anyone who "openly and in a vile way" insults or derides the religious beliefs of others may be jailed for up to 6 months or fined.
http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=10...50000

after so much damage to peace efforts over the last 3 years, I would like to encourage anyone and everyone to see what case may be taken.
France has seen a failed injunction, brought by the muslim umbrella organisation to stop this week's magazine republishing, though the executive in the form of president Chirac did officially protest, and one presumes the chip will remain on the shoulder to be settled another time.

The failure of Blair's anti-religious hatred laws, (though they didn't account for what has happened) in the same timespan highlights the need in anglo-saxon jurisprudence for action on this matter.

So far the state of Philadelphia in the US has been the only state to see the cartoons re-published.

As soon as the "secretive gang" to which I belong identify the cartoonists we will attempt an action over the breach of copyright in the wanton global reproduction of the cartoons. So far only extremist web sites and the Danish newspaper have suggested republishing them. Good enough reason if any, to boycott Denmark until it changes regime.

The moment any news or other entertainment organisation or website republishes the "Holocaust cartoons" we must respond.

author by a7mad - No Onepublication date Mon Feb 13, 2006 20:47author email a7mad at inbox dot comauthor address ffauthor phone 01035353562Report this post to the editors

can tell you why, because some of your fellow human are offended. You know what? A rock wan’t stop a wave in the sea of hatred, but it can break it. Your hand stop the light beaming into your eyes but it doesn’t stop light t.
Friends, It is not about the Cartoons, it is about understanding.

From the age of the Greeks, Europeans used to portray Jusis, they even drew God. Thus, it is normal to them to draw their gods and prophets, but in the Islamic nation, they believe that God and Prophet are so high, holly enough not to be portrayed. It is all about misunderstanding. Muslims are so angry about their religion, their beliefs, no one can jugge that. Not because some furious angry people commited a wrong act, all European turn their racist buttom on and start showing hatred, cursing religions like pure RACISTS. No wonder Hitler was from Europe…

People, in every religion there are some FANATICS. In Europe Protestants were burned for infedality, if this what matters with you all. They were burned, their families and there sons. Please people be resonable and not angry try to be rather sympathatic. The Muslims are jealous for their religion. Stop Racism that the world has always suffered from. It is the uncureable desease. The Plague. The Black Death. It does not descriminates….

“That infernal habit of lying, shuffling, deceiving and equivocating, so deeply rooted in the very souls of all my species, especially Europeans.” Jonathan swift, Gulliver’s Travels…….

author by iosafpublication date Tue Feb 14, 2006 08:55author address bcnauthor phone Report this post to the editors

I've checked the cartoons of Europe's main commercial newspapers this morning and almost to a one, they've changed theme and gone back to what they're better at.

Today is the anniversary of the assasination of Hariri. He and others were killed in a car bomb on sunday valentines day of 2005. http://www.indymedia.ie/openwire?search_text=hariri%27s...+game that's a link which will bring you through it all, including the photo analysis of the car bomb site, which first pointed out the discrepencies in the original "blame game". It was of course the same weekend that Charles prince of cymru announced he would marry Camila. And the 33 storey Windsor tower in madrid had just finished burning down, (it took 7 hours) the media were fascinated by "shadows" which appeared on the CCTV footage but no arsonists could be found.

"Hmmmmm skyscraper I love you"

from "El Pais" "saint valentine has a problem, a danish girl is in love with a north african" God doesn't look like that, and nor do angels.
from "El Pais" "saint valentine has a problem, a danish girl is in love with a north african" God doesn't look like that, and nor do angels.

author by redjadepublication date Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...or at least they make a point.

Image from
'Arabellenes antiszemitizmus a nyugati sajtóban?'
http://indymedia.hu/cikk.shtml?x=28249

An altered image from the famous Nazi propaganda poster 'The Eternal Jew'
which can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-semitism
1937 German poster. In his hands are "Zuckerbrot und Peitsche", or "cookies and knout", an allusion to a saying similar to that of "carrot and stick".

Notice the Hammer and Sickle.

indymedia.hu - 'The Eternal Muslim'
indymedia.hu - 'The Eternal Muslim'

author by pat cpublication date Tue Feb 14, 2006 16:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

tariq\ ali was on the radio this am, he doesnt want to have the cartoons banned. he pointed out that religious people annoy atheists every day.

well thats\the opinion of an atheist from an islamic background. under islamic law he is considered an apostate and deserves death.

i wonder what the\ swp position on that is?

author by iosafpublication date Tue Feb 14, 2006 16:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i believe the SWP opened a threa on this subject with their party political statement called "Hate Speech is not Free Speech" there are over 100 comments, and since you "authored" at least 11 of them, you ought remember it.
You could ask the SWP there what they think of Tariq Ali. I'm not swp. I'm not a member of any Irish political party. I'm a member of spanish, catalan and french anarcho-syndicalist and ecological based associations and various other groups. One does extend to ireland, but .:. whilst we know where the minutes of the rds are, and who really burnt down your embassy we don't know what the swp think about Tariq Ali.

I'd love to read an article by you some time or some other contribution beyond commentary.
you know out of the ditch and be the media and play the game. You'll have a nice valentines won't you?

author by pat cpublication date Tue Feb 14, 2006 16:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the tariq ali comment was addressed to indy at large. i thought this thread was appropriate as any other to post. i'll give tariq your regards.

author by iosafpublication date Tue Feb 14, 2006 17:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

or your local sheikh? or your local imam? or your local child abuse campaigners? or your local rabbi? or your local academic staff? or even give old d.i. whiteacre of the irish secret service a call?
But anyway I takew on board what Tariq Ali said, because on both sides of this conflict as I pointed out many times, are two symptoms of Fascism in this I concur with Sarah Joseph of The Guardian's comment (linked above). But I want "non-fascists" like my muslim ex girlfriend and her transvestite brother on side before I care to include a Danish right wing rag under a right wing regime involved in an illegal war and occupation. Now one thing we must have all learnt is that we have the power to offend. But power is like sex, the more you use it the less you really get out of it.

author by iosaf ipisphipublication date Wed Feb 15, 2006 14:28author address bcnauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Javier Solano, president of the European Union parliament, catalan born, member of the Spanish ruling socialist party PSOE, "an Ceann Comhairle Mór" has assured member states of the world Islamic conference, that the EU will promptly move to incorporate legislation on "Religious Hatred" using the mechanism of the Council of Europe's charter on Human Rights and the UN universal declaration of Human Rights.

Q:: How is this going to work?
A :: Simple. Minority interests in Europe such as homosexuals, jews, people with disability, non-caucasian ethnic groups are already ofered protection from Hate attacks in any form particularly the media (be it commercial or otherwise).

Q:: Will this be a "european" application of the UK proposed legislation on religious hatred?
A:: To a certain extent elements of the UK proposed legislation which lost a House of Commons vote in the last 2 weeks (see details and links in comments above) will be incorporated, but the Blair bill fell short of protecting key minority interests of the European citizenry as its stands.

Q:: What will be the immediate efect?
A:: both law-makers and states, individuals and groups dedicated to protecting human rights will have an instrument to prosecute under criminal law at both national and international level those who incite "hatred" of any religious group, or any ethnic minority on the basis of their "perceived religious affiliation".

Q:: What's the interesting side effect?
A:: For a long time there has been a "cabal" of interests who wish to "clip the wings" of global reach projects such as wikipedia. In its first year of existence the majority of its database (which uses an open source system and is affiliated to the creative commons and opensource licenses) was dedicated to scientific and information technology entries. That of course was understandable as the majority of people who knew about the nascent project were in someway connected to science of IT. However, over 60% of entries (then in a minority) in the sections "history", "humanities", "philosophy" and "politics" gave platform to neo-nazi groups, third position fascists and oddly a minority US based religious denomination "The Church of Latter day Saints of Jesus Christ" commonly known as "Mormons". Thanks to the expansion of the "open source movement" this imbalance has been redressed, but the database founded to extend knowledge and the ethics of the open source movement still offers extremist views and facilitates their desemination, a simple example being the amount of "U.S. Hate bands" allowed space to advertise their lyrics and political stance.
As C. Brown one of the co-founders of the "creative commons" license put it in an interview on the theme published in 2003, "My father was an operative with the CIA, stationed in eastern Europe, he worked for the Radio Liberty project ([with antenna banks located in Catalonia, radio liberty broadcast counter-propaganda into eastern and central europe during the cold war]) whilst the stassi and bulgarian secret services sprayed social activists with radioactive isotopes he worked for true freedom of conscience and association, I shall carry on that work, all-be-it on the other side of popular perception".

It is an intolerable wrong that the global open source movement which gave the world GNU, wikipedia, indymedia be again a source of "anti-semtic" ( in its widest sense of both muslim and jew) and "anti-religiosity" slurs. The inclusion of a prohibition on "anti-semitic or holocaust denial" clauses in the indymedia global charter and local constitutions offered that organisation a redress from one of the most serious legal threats it has ever faced. Both indymedia and wikipedia are now on the point of expanding into Africa and central Asia. We can not permit prejudcies based on ignorance and thinly veiled hatred, or to define them more clearly "crypto-fascist inflitrates" to stop either the indymedia or wikipedia projects as they come at long last closer to their original objective.
The project was about creating "Global Change" not championing minority social interests in the richest societies in the world.

The introduction of the values of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Solidarity and Truth, with free exchange of information to the peoples of Africa and mid-Asia who are majority muslim or of muslim identity construct. Therefore as soon as this legislation is passed, the as of yet most serious attack on either organisation "wikipedia" or "indymedia" will come this time not from any state (such as Italy, Switzerland or the USA) nor any security agency (such as the FBI, the Mossad or Shin Beth) but from those within those organisation who now wish "purge the bad apples". May they google and find a website for them. We're not giving their filth to africans or asians.

___________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile the attacks on the financial district and fast food restaurants Mc Donalds and Kentucky fried chicken and other outlets of globalised imperialist capitalism which took place this week in Lahore Pakistan obstensibly caused by the "cartoon war" have resulted in 3 confirmed deaths.
http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=14...20000
for other details see http://indymedia.ie/article/68631#comment138147
____________________________________________________________________________

Members of my individual collective has just arrived in Syria & will enter Lebanon soon, as Hizbollah have admitted on their website to funding Hamas,
http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=14...31000 Unfortuanately I may not offer you the link to Hizbollah's website, as under European legislation I would be commiting a criminal act, their site is presently blocked under a French state initiative of 2003. & sure it would be in arabic and you mightn't read that yet.

as soon as my comrades return we will see "Hariri's Game part 9"
for the other elements of "Hariri's game" see
http://www.indymedia.ie/openwire?search_text=hariri%27s...+game
& yes the potter wins in the end.

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