Editor Fired as Cartoon Controversy Goes Global

As European Newspapers republished controversial images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad from a Danish daily, the cultural conflict between the Islamic world and the West over the drawings continued to flare around the world.

Across the political spectrum, European editors said publishing the images was a defense of freedom of expression. The images, which first appeared in the conservative Danish daily Jylands Posten in September, were republished this week in Die Welt, a leading conservative daily in Germany, France Soir, a independent daily with financial problems, de Volkskrant, a progressive Dutch daily, and Corriere della Serra, a leftist Italian daily, along with eight other European papers.

And around the world, Muslims continued to take offense. The editor of France Soir was fired today by the paper's owner, an Egyptian businessman who offered an apology to "the Muslim community and all people who were shocked by the publication."

In the Middle East, Palestinian militants issued a threat against citizens of Denmark and Norway where the drawings were first published. "All nationals and those who work in the diplomatic corps of these countries can be considered targets of the Popular Resistance Committee and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades," the statement said, according to aljazeera.net.

Muslims also staged peaceful protest marches in Indonesia and Yemen while French Muslims vowed to sue France Soir.

"The cartoons include an image of the Prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, and another portraying him holding a sword, his eyes covered by a black rectangle," according to Agence France-Press. "A third pictured a middle-aged prophet standing in the desert with a walking stick, in front of a donkey and a sunset."

The conflict is exposing different interpretations of freedom of expression, not only between the Islamic world and the West, but between the United States and Europe.

"The Americans may call them surrender-monkeys, but the French can sometimes teach the world something about pluck -- or maybe foolhardiness," Charles Bremner, Paris correspondent for The Times of London wrote yesterday after France Soir published the drawings and before its editor was fired.

France Soir also printed images that have shocked Christians in the past, including the poster of the 2002 film "Amen," which depicts a hybrid of a Christian cross and a swastika, and parodies of Christ on the cross.

"Islam forbids any representation of the Prophet," the paper's front page editorial says today. "The question is, are all those who are not Muslims obliged to honour that prohibition? Can you imagine a society that added up all the prohibitions of the different religions? What would remain of the freedom to think, to speak, or even to come and go freely?"

A government official in the United Arab Emirates offered a very different definition of freedom of expression to the Khaleej Times.

"Freedom of expression means freedom to express one's views in ways that will not affect social harmony," he said. "Otherwise, you face consequences. That applies to Al Jazeera, or American journals, and even to the Danish media."

A top Danish official, seeking to quell the controversy, said Denmark's newspapers "could possibly learn something from US newspapers, which tended not to try to push the limits of what was permissible," according to the Copenhagen Post

"In the US, freedom of expression is also important," said vice prime minister Bendt Bendtsen. "At the same time, there is also a tradition of showing consideration for others."

By Jefferson Morley |  February 2, 2006; 12:28 PM ET  | Category:  Europe
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Comments

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Why do Muslims whine so much?

Posted by: rta | February 2, 2006 01:05 PM

Be careful what you wish for Denmark. A timid press does not serve its people well.

Posted by: JP | February 2, 2006 01:08 PM

I though the cartoons were funny and appropriate to print. Unfortunatly, society and I have very different views as to what's they think is funny and appropriate. I think the following sums up the whole situation; If you don't like it, don't read it.

Posted by: Dan | February 2, 2006 01:11 PM

This e-mail was posted to Jylands-Posten earlier this week:

Various Islamic clerics demand your newspaper "show respect" for Islam; I observe that "respect" provided "on demand" is empty. If Allah is worthy of respect, he will not mind a little infidel humor. You know how it is with those infidels. If, on the other hand, respect for Allah must be compelled by believers threatening bombs, then perhaps these believers are a bit shaky in their own respect? No...?

I finally saw the cartoons in The Brussels Journal [I missed them in your newspaper, which I had not been in the habit of reading regularly - being seriously "Danish" challenged]. Rather mild stuff, by uncivilized American standards. Oops...!

God, in various disguises, appears regularly in American political cartoons [usually drawn in no way as artistically as your lovely cartoons]. Why, just the other day, in several cartoons, God was busy explaining that the American loony Pat Roberts did not speak for him [Citation explaining Dover case omitted here].

In America, without political cartoons to keep us from taking it all too seriously, we couldn't get from day-to-day. I do hope you continue helping all your readers, fidels and infidels, to make it from day-to-day without taking it all too seriously.

Anyway, Courage... A laugh is better than a prayer...
W

Posted by: Wayne Lanier | February 2, 2006 01:12 PM

Squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Posted by: RdSantos | February 2, 2006 01:13 PM

the muslims need to advance to the modern age.christians have been subject to this kind of humor for years.how do they like it now.

Posted by: roger ellis | February 2, 2006 01:14 PM

After this, I think we need more cartoons of Islam, not less. If any religion was more in need of growing up, learning a bit of comon decency, its this one. Its followers claim to be ready to kill over their prophet. Enough is enough, Islam needs reformation. Now.

Posted by: C | February 2, 2006 01:15 PM

In the US, the government provided grant money to an artist (Maplethorpe) who put a crucifix in a bottle of urine. When people became offended, they were pretty much told by the press to shut-up. When Billy Joel sang about Catholic girls and people got upset, the press again pretty much told the people to shut-up. I somewhat agreed with the press; however, now the press pretty much says, "ohhh we must be sensitive". Has the Post published the cartoon. I can't even find it on Google images. Double standards you have set oh holy Washington Post.

Posted by: RS | February 2, 2006 01:15 PM

It is ammazing to me that a people who kill so many people without question would scream so loud over others publishing a cartoon. Or that others would give a D@#$ They need to start working on taking care of their own and quit focusing on the Americans.

Posted by: Dave | February 2, 2006 01:15 PM

If I put a picture of your family and said "for sale",and publish this on the front page of a newspaper Would this not be also "freedom of speech"

Posted by: jay | February 2, 2006 01:15 PM

to RTA: Muslims don't whine any more than Christians do when things that threaten their religion are published in newspapers.

Why not so long ago, Chrisitans were bemoaning the fact that retail clerks were saying 'happy holidays' to their customers rather than 'merry Christmas'. If that's not whining, I don't know what is....

Posted by: N_J | February 2, 2006 01:16 PM

the cover is off islam-the more you dig-the more intolerence you find

Posted by: jt | February 2, 2006 01:17 PM

go to Al Jazeera's webiste and read the letters and comments on this mess. Its truly down the rabbit hole with opinions all the way to exactly 180 degrees from commonplace western ideas. The Muslim hypocracy on their side over thi sissue nearly equals our "advanced" views on whats permissable, as if we really think ALL peoples exist in our cultures and societies.

Posted by: bill | February 2, 2006 01:17 PM

Ironically, the six US Joint Chiefs of Staff have also been upset by a cartoon this week (see Americablog.org).

As one extremist said to the other:

"Maybe we are not so different after all, you and I..."

Posted by: gandhi | February 2, 2006 01:17 PM

The comments will do nothing but further the severance of ties between non-Arab and Arab peoples. As certain leaders should make themselves understand, you cannot force democracy or freedom of speech on people who are not ready to accept these things. Freedom of expression is a basic right, and so is spiritual freedom. We should figure out how to realize these two goals without quashing an entire people's ideology.

Posted by: sandy | February 2, 2006 01:17 PM

is it me , but why is it always muslims against some thing or other ? Print them everywhere !!

Posted by: billy whizz | February 2, 2006 01:18 PM

There is a difference between FREEDOM of Speech and respecting others faith and religions. Thats called social morals . By publishing the cartoon not only europe newpapers have disrespected other religion but also showed how immoral they are socially..

Posted by: kashif ahmed | February 2, 2006 01:18 PM

I wish Christians would show so much respect for Jesus, non-violently of course... More power to those Muslim's who have so much regard for their belief that they will protest in any peaceful manner. I wish we Christians would band together and stand up in front of society when Jesus is portrayed in a negative light but we turn away...

Posted by: JR | February 2, 2006 01:19 PM

So the comic parodies the idea of violent Muslims, and then Muslim militants issue a violent threat against ALL citizens of Denmark and Norway? Maybe the comic was not such a parody...

Posted by: MarkDen | February 2, 2006 01:19 PM

The Muslims have no problem making cartoons about Jews, Christians, Americans or anyone for that matter.
It is only fair that Europeans are able to print cartoons about Mohammed.
Its this idea "DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO", the Muslims say.
If they can dish it out why can't they take it?

Maybe Muslims need to respect the free speech of nonMuslims?

Posted by: crissy | February 2, 2006 01:19 PM

For once we here in continental Europe are in the vanguard. Isn't it time that US and British media took up the challenge and showed a little pluck?

Posted by: antimuslim | February 2, 2006 01:19 PM

Considering cartoons published in Arab newspapers regarding Jews and Israel, this seems also to be a case of the chickens coming home to roost, and an object lesson in hypocrisy.

Posted by: C | February 2, 2006 01:20 PM

the cover is off islam-the more you dig-the more intolerence you find

Posted by: jt | February 2, 2006 01:20 PM

I guess the Taliban blowing up a 3000 yr statue of the Buddha in Afganistan is OK. I guess the various recent incidents of muslims against christians in Iraq is OK. I guess muslims killing buddhists in Thailand is OK. I mean all the muslims'death threat to Danes and French nationals living in the middle east, who have nothing to do with the publication of the cartoon, is not reflective of what the cartoon is trying to say: the truth - Islam is a violent religion whose only 3 choices to non believers are conversion, enslavement, or death.

Posted by: TQC | February 2, 2006 01:21 PM

Who cares what muslims want. They care nothing of peoples freedoms. They only care about what they can take. Any attention to this story is too much.

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 01:21 PM

christians, jews , muslims all should be treated with respect as well as other faiths .please live with understanding and transgres not boundaries to offend other people. a little knowledge is dangerous.being open minded is a good thing but knowingly being offensive is not.IF THERE IS PROOF BRING IT OUT IN THE OPEN.Do not hide behind ingnarance.peace to all

Posted by: jay | February 2, 2006 01:22 PM

Ah I see Kashif.

So it is okay when someone from another religion is offended, to threaten to take the life of another? That is the problem with so many people from certain religions and especially from those of the extreme side of Muslim faith...they want to kill ANYONE that makes disparaging remarks. This kind of action needs to stop now; instead, people bow to the pressure and this kind of terrorism wins again. Disgusting.

Posted by: Concerned in California | February 2, 2006 01:22 PM

So we have the Palestinians engaging in collective punishment. I thought they were opposed to that?

Funny...there's no outrage across the Muslim world when Osama bin Laden or one of that ilk paint Mohammed as a terrorist.

How is it blasphemy to caricature a man? I thought Islam's central tenet was "there's no God but Allah"? The prohibition against depicting the Prophet is to prevent idolatry. But the protesters act like the depiction isn't (and can't be) idolatrous enough.

Posted by: Roy J | February 2, 2006 01:22 PM

Surely there are a lot of things to draw cartoons about other than some religious figure. Lets respect others religions and hopefully they will learn to respect yours.

Posted by: d smith | February 2, 2006 01:23 PM

Wow, imagine that. The French are composed of both the weak spined political correctness impaired and the strong opinionated defenders of freedom. Too bad you cannot fire the owner of a paper. I hope that editor is fielding plenty of job offers now.

Posted by: Mark H. | February 2, 2006 01:24 PM

Wow!!!! what a shock, Muslims cay say anything and do anything about everyone else but when it comes to them they act like little ladies. Oh my gosh you offended my. Maybe Christian do wine but they don't go and kill people for thay

Posted by: Lorenzo Mendoza | February 2, 2006 01:24 PM

Humor, in good taste, is by definition a good thing. But let's shift the paradigm a bit to re-think what exactly has taken place here:

If the cartoons' target of humor had been at the expense of racial differenes -- for instance, white humiliation of the blacks -- would there have been anywhere near as much of a call for supporting the "right" of the newspapers to have some jolly good fun?

A fundamental problem here is that whatever is "legal" is viewed as "moral"...a concept that clearly ignores the dangers of malevolent hate-mongering.

There is only one sin, and that is any selfish act that lacks for lovingkindness.

What were the newspapers' actions projecting? It certainly wasn't lovingkindess.

Legality does not equal morality, i.e., _the right thing to do_.

Posted by: Peace Maker | February 2, 2006 01:26 PM

Hey if someone is immature enough to believe in a religion as moronic as islam how can you expect them to be mature enough to know what truth and reality even is. Let the morons believe in fairy tales, but when they carry out violence against innocent people, there is only one way to deal with a mad dog, you shoot it in the head and burn it.
Hey muslum morons wise up, grow up or die!

Posted by: If you believe in Fairy Tales | February 2, 2006 01:27 PM

Whole lot of intellectual thought going on here, ayup. USA! USA!

Posted by: Lucid Thinker | February 2, 2006 01:28 PM

In my opinion, and in the opinion of most common, decent muslim citizens, what makes these cartoons so offensive is the association ignorantly made between the Prophet and terrorism. How many times does it need to be said that ISLAM DOES NOT PROMOTE VIOLENCE. Those who claim to be killing on behalf of Islam and the Prophet ARE NOT PRACTISING ISLAM. They are NOT muslims. Ignorant people (like many of those who have posted above) need to stop categorizing all muslims as unstable, murderous savages. I think C's comment (posted above) is the most ignorant of the bunch: "Islam needs reformation. Now." I think uneducated illiterates like yourself need to reform your incorrect views. I don't know what kind of racist and hateful messages your parents raised you with, but you need to grow up and learn the facts before you start calling for reform. I agree that there are groups of supposed muslims who need to learn "decency" but this does not apply to true Islam and the majority of people who practice this religion peacefully and responsibly.

Posted by: SK | February 2, 2006 01:31 PM

Sad, as it is, the declining morality and mess in the West.

By drawing Cartoons of our Beloved Prophet, they are simply, very simply, giving vent to their own inner Insequrity and the Fear of strong Islam.

Whenever a nation or a society or a populace is scared os something they simply give vent to their feelins by making fun of the People they are scared of.

This is all the truth about the cartoons. Lets just hope the Arabs STOP going to McDOnalds and Stuff Like that and show the West How much worth they are. What say, dwag?

Posted by: A Muslim | February 2, 2006 01:33 PM

The idea of freedom of speech is that you are free to say whatever you wish so long as it does not put anyone into immediate danger. These cartoons do not endanger anyone.

The muslim world needs to learn to express their distaste in a properly capitalistic way - if you don't like what a PRIVATE INSTITUTION says, DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CURRENCY FOR THEIR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.

A boycott of these newspapers by the muslim world would adequately express their distaste for the subject matter. Why does it matter what some danish cartoonist thinks if you never actually read what he says? If the publication actually cares what the Islamic society thinks, they will self correct in order to sell more papers. Otherwise, leave it alone. Outwardly directed censorship is a crime, internal censorship by a private organization is its right as a private organization.

Posted by: Speak with the words they will understand | February 2, 2006 01:33 PM

The majority should rule, if the majority of the readers don't mind the cartoons, it should be published. I encourage everyone here to spread the images of the cartoons, use it in your blogs, local newspapers, and etc.

Posted by: Sid | February 2, 2006 01:33 PM

I see. This happens, while they don't care that the Iranian president is calling the Holocaust a myth. Whoop-tee-do

Posted by: Um | February 2, 2006 01:35 PM

Islam is sucking the world into the next world war. It is enfuriating that muslim extremists are bullying the world into submission. I don't blame the newspapers for firing their editors -- these radicals will stop at nothing to coerce the world into accepting their myopic principles. Was so anti-war but am very slowly changing my mind that everything and anything must be done to stop these vile people.

Posted by: Fed Up | February 2, 2006 01:38 PM

How one group of people can have such a hold over so much of world is beyond me. It seems a little ironic that when their god, or religious icon or whatever muhammed is gets depicted in a cartoon in a violent nature, that muslims put masks on, go to the local news headquarters and start shooting in the air as if that depiction of their prophet is inaccurate. If they want the world to stop seeing muslims as violent, then stop being violent. When christian groups become violent and start to hurt people, and start wars the church has learned to distance themselves from such actions and condemn the people that do it. The muslim people need to start cleansing their own flock and getting rid of any violent zealots, if they wish to stop their god being depicted in such ways.

Posted by: Michael | February 2, 2006 01:39 PM

People of faith of all ilk are too frequently easily offended.

Consider the Catholic League and its mouthpiece troll/president, William Donohue, who never misses an opportunity to take offense at some depiction of the pope or Virgin Mary and vent his righteous indignation all over Fox News, the NY Post and whoever else will listen to him.

Unlike many Muslims, though, Mr. Donohue and his supporters usually respond with words, not violence or mischief. Usually ;)

Posted by: Dave in NYC | February 2, 2006 01:39 PM

They Cry about a cartoon and still blow themself's UP!!!! You figure it!!!

Posted by: Notta Moose Lum | February 2, 2006 01:41 PM

Bleeding hearts are always the bleating out the same old tired crap.
Be nice, Be nice, Be nice, Be stupid.
If someone is so retarded that they will threaten to kill over cartoons they have decided not to be part of the human race. Therefore they are not to be treated as humans. If feral animals run loose and damage property or threaten people they are disposed of. Why do we have to put up with stupid retards that hide behind the name of a extinct god. If you can't handle reality do the world a favor and shoot yourself. Last time I checked we had no shortage of morons, we could do with a culling.

Posted by: Wakeup | February 2, 2006 01:42 PM

Beheadings of innocents draw no criticism, yet a mere cartoon draws threats of attacks against Europeans. It has become clear since 911, if not earlier, that the Muslim world faces a clear choice. Join the modern age or face eternal irrelevance. Thankfully, European countries are finally waking up to massive problems that have come from allowing millions of western / Christian hating muslims into their lands. I only hope that it is not too late...

Posted by: Jay | February 2, 2006 01:43 PM

Palestine should be courting favour with the west not screeching how they consider europeans open targets over a cartoon. The situation is out of control with these fanatics. The world does not need another insidious lot of fanatics to preach the way of God to it. They should watch the tapes their heroes make of sawing the head off a bound prisoner while screaming god is great. This must not be tolerated. israel has been telling us for years that these people cannot be reasoned with and now we see the truth in those statements. Cut the palestinians off and see how much their beloved muslim friends help them out.

Posted by: pat s. | February 2, 2006 01:43 PM

Yes Islam does not promote violence but where is the outrage from the Islamic Community for the egregious behavior being carried out in the name of Islam?

Posted by: Missed the Point | February 2, 2006 01:44 PM

I´d like to see the West boycot all arab oils and anyother products we may import from Islamic countries And cut off ALL AID how come they can insult Jews & Christians and other religons YET IF THE WEST DARES TO PRINT A CARTOON WE ARE IN THE WRONG.... Typical 2 faced Islam

Posted by: Dave | February 2, 2006 01:44 PM

The American press publications individually chose not to print images offensive to a religious group. I applaud them for their sensibility but will defend their right to print anything they feel like. Freedom to choose means freedom to be a jerk -- Thankfully none of our papers decided to offend.

Posted by: Tom Mariner | February 2, 2006 01:45 PM

Intellectual thoughts? Come on. It's visceral at this point. Can you blame us American non-intellectuals. Let's take all the philosophical talk about respect for other culture and harmony-with-all from this issue. What's left? The truth: Islam is not a tolerant religion. It oppresses women, supresses many rights that all western and pro western culture take for granted, and basically gives 3 choices for non believiers of Islam: Conversion, enslavement, or death. So no intellectual thoughts needed for this issue.

Posted by: TQC | February 2, 2006 01:46 PM

Where was the outrage from the Muslim community when 2000 innocent Americans were intentionally murdered by Muslim terrorists? Where is the outrage from their community when innocent people are beheaded for the world to see. Now they ARE ouraged about a cartoon. Give me a break! I'm glad to know what pushes their butttons and it's not human compassion or decency. Its time for their religion to leave the third century

Posted by: James Harris | February 2, 2006 01:46 PM

A cartoon photo representing muhammad as a radical muslim innocent people killing machine. hmmm...sounds familiar. are these people upset because of a representation of their prophet? Or because their pride is hurt because of how the rest of the world views their crazy asses.

Posted by: anti radicle muslims, lets kill them all | February 2, 2006 01:46 PM

Yes Christians would whine, they would protest, they would write long letters to the editors, but I doubt they would make death threats.

Posted by: mesangmom | February 2, 2006 01:46 PM

A cartoon photo representing muhammad as a radical muslim innocent people killing machine. hmmm...sounds familiar. are these people upset because of a representation of their prophet? Or because their pride is hurt because of how the rest of the world views their crazy asses?

Posted by: anti radicle muslims, lets kill them all | February 2, 2006 01:46 PM

Funny how with all the freedom of press, there is not one image available from any US magazine. Hmmmm makes ya think or maybe it doesn't....

Posted by: nospyingonme | February 2, 2006 01:47 PM

There is a clear thread of fear and lack of confidence in the bluster of the many anti-Islamic comments on this page.

When one is confident of being on the right, and sees someone clearly in the wrong and not thinking or acting well, the natural mature human response is one of compassion...not childish bluster.

No respectable U.S. newspaper would think of sponsoring a cartoon that clearly intended to humiliate another religion. So why do some think that it's OK to make fun of Islam?

The clear answer: a not inappropriate fear of being in the wrong on this. It certainly isn't coming from a place of confidence or being in the right.

Posted by: Confident in Austin | February 2, 2006 01:47 PM

"Freedom of expression means freedom to express one's views in ways that will not affect social harmony"

By this logic, citizens under the Third Reich did well not to express views that may have "affect[ed] social harmony?"

Posted by: Saul Epses | February 2, 2006 01:48 PM

I have looked for the cartoons and can't find them, anywhere
! I really don't care to see them but I wonder how many people have really seen them. Is everyone reacting to what they "have heard" or seen?

Posted by: Mic | February 2, 2006 01:49 PM

The true face of Islam can be found on the nightly news. Any religion whose followers kill innocents at a wedding in Amman, Jordon, or in Bagdad killing journalists, or on 9/11 clearly have no civilized values.

Someone may need to depict Mohammed's viewe of hell where he only saw women and no men. What a joke this religion is!

Posted by: John Allen | February 2, 2006 01:49 PM

Respect is what should be coupled with freedom. Freedom of speech or freedom in general stops when others freedom, dignity, religion, and culture starts
You can not publish pictures that offend anyone's religion, culture, or be a "stereo type". All Muslims or Christians are bad because one group is doing wrong. One group does not represent all.
Press should play a role in spreading peace not hatred. What westren press have done now is spread hate and made life diffecult for everyone.
Arab newspapers could publish actual events that can be shown as offensive, but they do not do that.

Posted by: MM | February 2, 2006 01:51 PM

I think everyone is missing the point. Freedom of speech is fine, I'm all for it.. But it is completely against Islam to show pictures of The Prophet Mohammed, violent or otherwise. I'm an Atheist, but I can understand why people took offence to these cartoons.

Posted by: Fiona | February 2, 2006 01:51 PM

The uproar around the publication of the Mohammed caricatures reveals in rather stark terms the extent to which certain basic tenents of Western liberalism clash with the ideology of Islam. Since the natural tendency of government is to restrict freedom, freedom depends for its very existence on the vigilance of citizens in exercising and defending it. It is therefore essential for those who advocate freedom to respond aggressively to challenges against it, whatever their origin. I therefore urge all readers of this notice to obtain and disseminate as widely as possible, either via the internet or print media, any and all of the Mohammed caricatures responsible for the present uproar. This will send a strong message to the advocates of theocracy that freedom-loving peoples will not be cowed by threats of violence.

Posted by: PLEASE READ | February 2, 2006 01:52 PM

It is time to get Mohummad and Islam down from the pedestal in which Muslims have placed them using their cooercive threats and terrorist means.

Singha

Posted by: Singh | February 2, 2006 01:52 PM

The people reprinting the cartoons wanted to provoke "radical Islam" in their own words.
Xtian Europe is sickly hypocrite ,imagine if the drawings were about Sharon blowing up arab kids.Maybe the same people calling for the freedom of the press would be crying foul over antisemitism.

Posted by: Boubs | February 2, 2006 01:52 PM

now is the time to teach these dogs
a lesson they will not forget i call on all muslims to return to their homeland this
will show the world we are not to be trifled with

Posted by: Al Jazeera | February 2, 2006 01:56 PM

I suppose it boils down to this, that the Islamic doctrine is so weak that those who believe in it need to continue to be upset over such matters.

Perhaps if Muslims truly believed in their cause and faith, they would spend more time on educating others in the peaceful fashion they so often speak about rather than plotting violent attacks against the "offenders" of their faith.

I find Islam (and any other religion) a hypocrisy when they speak of peace out of one side of their mouth and yet advocate violence out of the other.

All Islam has shown the world is that it is a violent religion and has very little to do with peace. And once again, it continues to spew it's hatred unto the world over a few simple cartoons. What simpletons the Muslims are.

Ali Rashti

Posted by: Ali | February 2, 2006 01:57 PM

DrudgeReport has a picture of him with a bomb on his head. I guess this is the most offensive.

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 01:59 PM

If Muslims are so peace-loving and kind to others. Where in the "whatever their version of the bad afterlife" is their outrage against the extremists. If there are SO many decent peace loving Muslims out there, why do we not hear a huge outcry from THEM every time some RAG HEAD TERRORIST SWINE kidnaps someone and murders them in the name of Muhamed or Allah? Muslims, fix your house, or SHUT UP!!!

Posted by: Jan | February 2, 2006 01:59 PM

Arab newspapers have show Sharon blowing up the world. Check out some of the cartoons on Al jazeera web site. You will be may be surprised. There is a lot of hate spreading there.

Posted by: MW | February 2, 2006 02:00 PM

Has it ever occured to muslims that the cartoons are an expression of how the rest of us see them and their blood-thirsty religion? They have no respect for any body else's religion or life.

Posted by: John | February 2, 2006 02:03 PM

Islam is a sham, power brokers use false gods and prophets as tools to control an illiterate population that is taught from childhood to hate infidels. Fear, terror, force and brutality are used to make people kneel to the will of the current religious leader that is in power. They use exactly the same methods to control people that Al Capone and Hitler used. They fear modern schools and free thought, free speech, and a free press because it would expose them for the true cowards they are. They must be put out of business, with, or without, the help of the so called "peaceful muslims".

Posted by: Texan | February 2, 2006 02:05 PM

The Islamic Republic of IRAN plans on holding a conference to re-write the history of the Holocaust. Talk about an insult to a religion. Along the way they might behead some more hostages in the name of Islam. The truth hurts. A picture of their holy man with a bomb on his head is just what they deserve....and they should add a swastika for more effect.

Posted by: KiddigMe? | February 2, 2006 02:06 PM

I agree with Dave in NYC. In general you hear so much whining from people of faith - christian, muslim, catholic, it doesn't matter what you believe in, it's your right to believe and worship as you please but this world and espically the press is not here to be sensitive to any faith's feelings - the press is here to report and to give commentary on current events in writing and in art. Right now, the Free world has problems with certain factors of the islamic faith and vise versa. You don't ever hear the free world as a collective have problems with buddism and you don't see or hear of any monks killing in the name of the budda (not today anyway).

Unfortunately, Islam is at war with infidels so the cartoon reflects that conflict. It's an in your face commentary of how the rest of the world views the islamic groups period. You cannot fire an editor for feeling insulted, muslims who hate that they have bad PR with the rest of the world should think about reform and work on their image - govern yourself, keep your brothers and sisters in check stop the killings, get your ass a seat at the table with the big boys whether you like them or not and start talking instead of bombing and maybe the world will stop "picking" on you.

Posted by: Whatever in NYC | February 2, 2006 02:07 PM

Albert Brooks has just finished a movie about humor in the Islamic world. Apparently he didn't wait long enough to find out THERE ISN'T ANY!
I am afraid that this uproar isn't going away soon. I don't want any more Muslim people coming to America.
I don't want to see anymore of their BS about being profiled, hated, etc. etc. etc. They are doing it to themselves. Stay out of the US and clean up your own countries and hide behind your burqas and your turbans.
A pox on all of you.

Posted by: Elaine | February 2, 2006 02:07 PM

To those anonymous/irresponsible and lost souls calling for violence against Islam:

"...for they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."

Have faith, and focus on the good in life. The Will of God is constantly unfolding, and while it uplifts the good it does not bear well for those who follow the ways of death.

Posted by: The One | February 2, 2006 02:09 PM

To all the muslim out there: Don't be a f*ck*ng hypocrites. Everydays, in the islamic media, jews are potrayed as animal, cannibalistic pigs, much more offensive then the 12 cartoons. Yet, I don't see any prominent muslim leader denounce such an act. I don't see any muslim shed any tear over the destruction of buddha statue in afghan, or suicide bombers killing innocent civilians (most of them happen to be muslim), or kidnap journalists, slitting people throat. So shut the hell up. Clean up your own house first before lecturing us on how to respect the muslim faith.

Posted by: James | February 2, 2006 02:09 PM

I agree that what islam needs is a reformation, like what occured against the catholic church in the 1500's. I know that islam is, "fundimentally" a religion of peace, yet where is the outrage from mainstream muslim's when violence is offered in protest to 'cartoons'. Yes, I'm sure they are offensive, but honestly would god approve of the behavior of those suggesting violence against folks for this? Would the prophet (praise be his name!) approve?? When Falwell shoots off his mouth, you usually hear condemnations from many main stream reverands etc. denouncing the idiocy, this denounciation from within is what is needed by Islam.

Posted by: Ken | February 2, 2006 02:09 PM

Here are some links to some funny holocaust cartoons. Is anyone offended?

****Removed due to offensive content******
edited on Feb, 2, 2006 2:10:41PM

Posted by: Michael | February 2, 2006 02:10 PM

THE FACT IS ,THAT THIS IS DISGUSTING THIS IS NOT MY OPINION.HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF WE SAID THAT ABOUT THEIR GOD ,AT LEAST WE RESPECT EACH OTHERS CULTURE UNLIKE THEM.THE GERMANS , FRENCH DONE THE PUBLISHING BY PURPOSE THEY MADE THE TROUBLE START!!

Posted by: ???? | February 2, 2006 02:10 PM

THE FACT IS ,THAT THIS IS DISGUSTING THIS IS NOT MY OPINION.HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF WE SAID THAT ABOUT THEIR GOD ,AT LEAST WE RESPECT EACH OTHERS CULTURE UNLIKE THEM.THE GERMANS , FRENCH DONE THE PUBLISHING BY PURPOSE THEY MADE THE TROUBLE START!!

Posted by: ???? | February 2, 2006 02:10 PM

THE FACT IS ,THAT THIS IS DISGUSTING THIS IS NOT MY OPINION.HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF WE SAID THAT ABOUT THEIR GOD ,AT LEAST WE RESPECT EACH OTHERS CULTURE UNLIKE THEM.THE GERMANS , FRENCH DONE THE PUBLISHING BY PURPOSE THEY MADE THE TROUBLE START!!

Posted by: ???? | February 2, 2006 02:10 PM

Wow Americans are some of the most hateful people in the world. I can't believe some of the comments I'm reading. I see no difference in the hate between you and them.

Posted by: Miquel | February 2, 2006 02:12 PM

Wow, quite a few racist and bigoted responses. Then you wonder what the fuss is about.

Posted by: ken | February 2, 2006 02:12 PM

What if a European paper, rightly or wrongly, published a cartoon of Ariel Sharon as a warmongering, power-hungry, self-aggrandizing pig who got his just desserts? Would the ensuing controversy prompt other papers to re-publish it as a matter of free speech? Or would they instead condemn it as anti-semitic hate speech? And aren't German media and society in general prohibited by law from pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic expressions? Yet they are free to demonize the central figure of 1.2 billion people? What hypocrisy! It's not just a matter of free speech; racist caricatures help spread hatred, justify violence and have very real consequences, and should be condemned wherever they are found, not encouraged.

Posted by: MyTwoCents | February 2, 2006 02:14 PM

It is amazing that few cartoons created such a huge havoc in the Moslem world. Does n't this say how vulnurable their belief is?. The Western media has an obligation to educate moslems as in thier cultures any reading outside the support of Islam is a taboo.

Posted by: Sam | February 2, 2006 02:14 PM

It is called good manners, and respect for the feelings of other people when you refrain doing things that may be perfectly legal and a civil right but hurt peoples feelings.
A substantial majority of Christians, Muslims, and Jews are not violent and would not be involved in terrorists activities. A minority in all these religions have practiced ordinary and state terrorism. Anyone who thinks his religion, country. or region of the world is perfect and saintly is delusional.
Any social organization, including religion, is composed of human beings with a varity of weaknesses, and it is always a bad idea to associate the weaknesses of the minority with the group as a whole. Broad accusations of that kind are called prejudice.
I am not religious, but I will tell you that among the people I most admire, in the front rank, is Jesus and Mohammed. Read a little about these people, and I am sure you will join me in that admiration.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | February 2, 2006 02:15 PM

These sorts of reactions just continue to alienate the muslim population from everyone else. If they cant deal with other people doing their own things (not like invading their country, but saying what they want, drawing what they want), then they dont really fit into the world.

This is why were not going to be able to get along until theres a big change. Without tolerance for things you dont like, youre always a step away from a fight to the death.

Posted by: gh | February 2, 2006 02:15 PM

Unfortunately this is only making me respect Muslims less. It is entirely hypocritical and it makes me sick. Why is this guy fired for this and not the parodies of Christ on the cross? Honestly it just makes me want to hate.

Posted by: st | February 2, 2006 02:16 PM

Why do "true muslims" always claim that Mohammed was peaceful. Read the true history:
Christians & Jewish martyrs say; "I will die for what I believe".
A Muslim martyr says; "you will die for what I believe"....
The Muslim Qur'an is unique among all the sacred writings in the entire world -- because it alone counsels its followers to make war on unbelievers. http://www.bibleprobe.com/muhammed.htm

Posted by: Shasha | February 2, 2006 02:17 PM

Go look for a job instead of posting you unemployed losers.

Posted by: Bill | February 2, 2006 02:17 PM

Get over it Arab world. Prove us wrong if you dont like being depected as angry militant suicide bombers.

Posted by: UCFG | February 2, 2006 02:17 PM

So, now the story goes from the publishing offenses of a Danish newspaper to Muslims rallying for "Death to Denmark...and France...and Germany..."

Welcome to the club, guys! You must be doing something right.

Posted by: David | February 2, 2006 02:17 PM

I'm offended by the entire Muslim Religion.

Posted by: J D Matt | February 2, 2006 02:17 PM

responding by telling muslims how they ought to be or how hypocritical they are is not the point. you're shirking responsibility by doing so.

Person A - you're bad.
Person B - well so are you

it's a cheap tactic.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,1700653,00.html
this is the best thing i've read on the matter so far.

everything else has been huffing and puffing (and a lot of bigotry).

Posted by: ken | February 2, 2006 02:18 PM

Hydrogen burning cars and a Constituional Admendment banishing all news about the Middle East would do it for me.

Posted by: Bob | February 2, 2006 02:27 PM

I'm an employed loser . . .

Posted by: Bill | February 2, 2006 02:27 PM

Hmm.. Americans are the most hateful people in the world? So everything that's been going on with all the Islamic terrorist groups: death threats, actual buddhist and christian killings, blowing up of sky scrappers, calls for jihads against all westerners, bombmings targeted intentionally at non-combatants - that's not hateful. The rantings here (More commonly referred to by us hateful americans as freedom of speech), now that's hateful, right?

Posted by: TQC | February 2, 2006 02:27 PM

Please, all these comments about 'muslims whining' etc. are ridiculous, anyone with a shred of intelligence can see that these cartoons were published for the sole purpose to upset the islamic community, and it has worked, but please do not defend these hatemongers with this blanket of 'freedom of expression' and hide the true reason: hatred of muslims. And what about the obvious double-standard of ridicule of Muslims and Jews??--On the one hand we have 'freedom of expression' and on the other we have anti-semitism.... why not label it all correctly and save everyone the time and admit that you and the rest of those who support these 'expressions' are intollerant of someone different and HATE them, period. Then again, that wouldn't be the Christian thing to do.

Posted by: Stop The Hate in CA | February 2, 2006 02:29 PM

Those poor and mistreated Muslims. How dare the world mock them. Maybe the will someday wake up from the long sleep and join the 21st century. Boo-hoo!

Posted by: ALN | February 2, 2006 02:31 PM

Inferiority complex. And the inept attitude of our leaders - bending over to all request to the point that we can never say anything against any muslim, but they can chop off our heads, burn our flag, rape our girls etc - and we have to accept.

Times are changing ... I hope this is a wake-up call for everybody.

Posted by: Joe Doe | February 2, 2006 02:33 PM

OK the misinformation have to stop.

There where 12 pictures.... 12

not 1 not 2 not 3 but 12

1 of the shows a row of terrosupspects muhammed being one but the right wing politician Pia Kjærsgaard being another.

Another pictures is just Muhammed with a Star as one eye and a halfmoon making up for is jaw and so one. Many of the other pictures are quite peacefull and humerous.

The Article was called something along the line of "The face(s) of Muhammed"

If muslims are offended, then start using the free press in the west to voice your oppinions. Lets have a debate about why we must not portray your god while no one had anything to say about the recent documantary the pictures Jews as canibals that ran in Syria or some other muslim country.

The drawings was not an attack on muslims it was part of an internal debate we have had in Denmark with regards to selfcensure.

The killing of Theo Van Gogh because of the movie he made and the fact that the woman that made the movie with him have gone underground. The publication of the illustrations was followed by a TV debate where muslims where also equally present to voice their opinions.

Danish Imams took these drawings to the Middle East and made this an international issue. They took besides the illustrations pictures with them that portrayed Muhammed with pignose and pigears and postulated that this was the kind of stuff that where being printed. This is simply a lie.

We just learned yesterday that one of the Imams have been speaking with two tounges to danish media saying how sorry he was that this had hurt danish interests and that danishe people are being threatened just to later to middle eastern TV say that he was happy that the the people had risen against denmark and that he was in support of the boycot.

Needless to say that the really guilty people in this was the Imams who act like the cathotlic priests used to, as if they where closer to their god that the rest of the devotees.

It is rather sad that at small group of Islamic fundamentalist have to destroy it for the rest of us. This have affected both moderate muslims which there are plenty of in Denmark and normal Danish people.

This means friends of mine and me both muslims and non muslims.

P.S. I am a non-religous person.

Posted by: Thomas Petersen | February 2, 2006 02:33 PM

to "jay, h/n_j,kashif,dsmith, michaelleo,peacemaker,sk, muslim: what the...!!! Especially h/n_j, your comment about Christmas, not even close, how a comparison, i.e., Happy Haaj Day to "holiday season" greeting(?) Not even close H/N_J. The thing is the Muslim nation is ran by a fanatical few, while the majority are too scared to stand up and tell these "few" to go f--k themselves cause its making it hard on the rest of us peaceful muslim, so it appears they have no tolerance, no respect for others on this planet. Never have there been such a stupid ethnic group people. Its a nation of people stuck in the "terrible two's" stage of development. In the name of free speech, all publications adhering to this notion of "freedom of speech" should print these "offending" cartoons and any more thereafter. Any press that cowers, is giving these idiots "permission" to intimidate and coerce.

Posted by: tw | February 2, 2006 02:34 PM

to "jay, h/n_j,kashif,dsmith, michaelleo,peacemaker,sk, muslim: what the...!!! Especially h/n_j, your comment about Christmas, not even close, how a comparison, i.e., Happy Haaj Day to "holiday season" greeting(?) Not even close H/N_J. The thing is the Muslim nation is ran by a fanatical few, while the majority are too scared to stand up and tell these "few" to go f--k themselves cause its making it hard on the rest of us peaceful muslim, so it appears they have no tolerance, no respect for others on this planet. Never have there been such a stupid ethnic group people. Its a nation of people stuck in the "terrible two's" stage of development. In the name of free speech, all publications adhering to this notion of "freedom of speech" should print these "offending" cartoons and any more thereafter. Any press that cowers, is giving these idiots "permission" to intimidate and coerce.

Posted by: tw | February 2, 2006 02:35 PM

I would love to let the Muslims live a peaceful life. Unfortunately they don't want to reciprocate towards us. Stop with the Bush/oil/nazi triumvirate -- it's so fricking tired already. Quit blaming everybody BUT the Muslim extremeists. Somehow, they are good guys that just like to kick it in the desert. Yea right.

BTW how many women are allowed to go to school in fundamentalist countries?

Enough said.

Posted by: Sickofitall | February 2, 2006 02:35 PM

Isn't it interesting that there is so little said from the moderate Muslin community. Maybe there are no moderates in that society. Maybe they have all been silenced. Aren't there any moderate Muslins brave enough to stand up to the radicals?

Posted by: Mike | February 2, 2006 02:37 PM

"The rantings here (More commonly referred to by us hateful americans as freedom of speech), now that's hateful, right?"

Don't equate the two. One may fall under the other, but they're not the same.

Posted by: huh | February 2, 2006 02:38 PM

This is absolutely absurd. The fact that the western world even entertains the thought of surrendering to the religious dictates of SOMEONE ELSE'S RELIGION makes me ill. When I was a Catholic in the U.S., I didn't expect Jews in Israel and Muslims in Morocco to join my meat-free Fridays. The Jews don't expect the Buddhists in China to keep kosher. So why should anyone, anywhere, accept, for even a moment, the idea that Muslim religious dogma is universal law for non-Muslims living in secular states? The Arabs, like all people on Earth, have a number of legitimate complaints that should be heard by the global community. This, however, ain't one of them.

Posted by: DK | February 2, 2006 02:39 PM

Jordanian independent tabloid al-Shihan reprinted three of the cartoons on Thursday, saying people should know what they were protesting about, AFP news agency reports.

"Muslims of the world be reasonable," wrote editor Jihad Momani.

"What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony in Amman?"

The article in al-Shihan also included a list of Danish products.

Posted by: lexhamfox | February 2, 2006 02:40 PM

The fact that muslim "leaders" are already using this harmless cartoon as an excuse to propogate more terrorist acts against non-muslims shows how much the truth hurts. Too bad the editor got fired for expressing his truthful opinion. I wonder how many editors at Al Jazeera got fired for their hateful political cartoons about non-muslims? Answer: zero.

Muslim = terrorism. Violence. and Hate. It's simply a fact.

Posted by: enuf with the PC crap | February 2, 2006 02:40 PM

Yes, I am a moderate Muslim and find this whole thing much displeasurable. I think that...wait....WAIT...that's my neck your cutti #)(#$*)@&$)...

Posted by: ModerateMuslim | February 2, 2006 02:41 PM

I understand that joke can be perceived as insulting, however, in west there are far more jokes which mock Jesus and church as institution, and in general, we do not see millions of people protesting over it.
I think that problem is more in the (lack of any) level of tolerance on Muslim side, than anything else. If the freedom of speech in a country gives you right to make cartoons about politicians, church, and etc. then you should be able to make jokes about the Profit as well. The fact that they are extra sensitive is their own problem. If their response to a joke are terrorist attacks, then someone should teach them more about humor, one way or another.

Posted by: jpg | February 2, 2006 02:41 PM

Muslims are just showing their true colors again. Islam wants to rule the world.

Can you say "Dar Al Islam"?

Can you say "Dhimmi"?

Can you say "Jizya"?

Wake up, Western world.

Posted by: Chuck | February 2, 2006 02:43 PM

While I read:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,1700653,00.html

I am confused as to in which way is Islam a religious minority?
Also I have seen the cartoons and believe them to be more about satire than about hate, and satire is protected as freedom of speech.

Posted by: st | February 2, 2006 02:44 PM

I think muslimes Beleave that they should make every one on earth muslem, and that is a homework that god gave them with a power of attoreny to act and do whatever it takes to achive that gool, and if you kill yourself as you killing the one don't turn muslem you get the first class seat in heaven(vip)ticket!
what a jok

Posted by: fred | February 2, 2006 02:44 PM

Arab papers publish disgusting caricatures about Jews and the Jewish religion, of the like not seen since the Nazis... and yet are outraged over a few mild cartoons.

Anyone else notice a pattern here? The world is expected to kowtow to Muslim sensibilities, while excusing their every excess. It's about time Europe started standing up for itself.

Posted by: NS | February 2, 2006 02:44 PM

Everyone needs to STOP judging others based on the country they're from or their religious beliefs. Muslims, Christians, Jews, doesn't matter what you are -- You can always be a good person and you all can get along.

It wasn't long ago that my country, America, enslaved people and could have cared less about woman's rights. Did Jesus say that was the right thing to do? No. These days, the Western world looks at the East and blames Islam for what's going on.

People, open your eyes!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2006 02:45 PM

Islam, like many "young" religions, has a death sentence for blasphemy and apostasy. Look it up. I am against theocracy in all of its forms because it removes the right to question unjust laws. Legislation of today may be the weapon of intolerant hate-crime or repression in general.

I don't like Israel's de-facto theocracy, the theocratic leanings of much of Europe, or the theocratic leanings of the current United States administration. And I certainly don't like the Hindu-nationalist or Islamic outright theocracys.

Remove the right to question, and all you have left is crimethink and a bleak future.

Posted by: areligious | February 2, 2006 02:46 PM

Ignorant Amerikkkans, all, y'all. Except for those who aren't. Bush has lower rating than any president in history. Love is stronger than hate. CEO's make over 500 times the amount of money than their workers. In the 70's it was 40 times. Continue with the facade, sheeple. Go back to work, watch your tv. "You're all f*cking peasants as far as I can see.." -J. Lennon

Posted by: beyond reality | February 2, 2006 02:47 PM

Anonymous, you need to open your eyes. have you ever studied Islam? Do you even know what Islam is all about? It DOES matter what you believe, because WHAT YOU BELIEVE determines WHAT YOU DO!!

The Koran mandates that muslims take over the world, by force if necessary. Ever heard of the little word "jihad"??

Posted by: Chuck | February 2, 2006 02:49 PM

I think when the Muslim world starts acting like little spoiled children, then ana only then will the rest of the wrold treat them like humans.

I am a refromed Muslim. Which simply means, I grew up and have switch to Christianity after seeing all the death and destrcution Islam has caused my people and country.

Posted by: Ali | February 2, 2006 02:49 PM

It's amazing to see all these responses saying how wrong the muslims are.

Why can they not get so uptight about a cartoon when most americans get just as uptight about someone burning a piece of cloth, ie the flag......

I think i'll go burn one right now and make a cartoon about it....or maybe i'll just wear a t-shirt to bush's next speech so i can get arrested. You preach free speech but only follow it when it is to your advantage. Hypocrites.

Posted by: I_am_Canadian | February 2, 2006 02:51 PM

It's understandable that people would take offense to negative caricatures of their faith or its symbols. Respect and sensitivity *should* be attributes of those people or societies that would consider themselves "civilized" or "tolerant", but people with clear opinions will always express them. Good or bad, this is a consequence of a free society, and as long as this kind of expression does not advocate violence against anyone, in the end, what's so harmful about it?

In any case, any reaction that says people who say or print things that are considered "offensive" should become the target of violence or even death is an overreaction of the grandest proportions. If we could kill everyone who ever made fun of us, even in the most disrespectful way, there wouldn't be many people left on the planet. I may not like what a person says about me or my beliefs, but I would simply consider such a person as ignorant or an idiot. I would be free to express my own views about that person, but it would not be okay for me to go out and try to kill the person.

Such a reaction is that of an extremist, no matter what that person's beliefs. (And as far as I know, it is not the teaching of any mainstream religion -- including Islam -- to kill other people.) As is always the case, those who wish to incite violence or inflict harm will use whatever they can, including religion, to legitimize their actions.

In the end, we all should keep two important lessons in mind: "Do unto others as you would have done to you" and "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me".

Posted by: BH | February 2, 2006 02:51 PM

why cant we all just get along?

Posted by: greg | February 2, 2006 02:52 PM

I meant muslim world STOPS acting like spoiled little children.

Posted by: Ali | February 2, 2006 02:52 PM

The Muslims who are offended are vocal extremists. Just like with Christianity, you have vocal extremists like Pat Robertson. With Christianity you have strange practices like handling snakes or drinking poison kool-aid. Many Christians beat their wives and keep them in submission (and an Islamic nation like Pakistan had a female prime minister. It will take decades before America has a non-WASP-male president. Kennedy was a Catholic, and it was quite controversial... And we all know what happened to him...) One has to wonder why Muslim nations have had female leaders, but America seems to give lip-service to freedom and equality, but we really just want a rich white male in the White House (Is that why it's really called the White House?)

You have to realize, these vocal Muslims are extremists, and don't represent the majority of Muslims, just as Pat Robertson does not represent the majority of Christians. I am not a Muslim, but I have known many in my life, and they're not the wife beating terrorists you would think.

What about the Christians who kill "abortion doctors" and bomb their clinics? Christians are not all the tolerant people you would think. I personally think Jesus was a socialist, but look at any Baptist, and they're completely in agreement with right wing social policy. Did Jesus end up selling the fish and wine he made at an extremely high profit margin?

As far as killing people, the war in Iraq has killed over 30,000 Iraqis. And Saddam Hussein is secular... He's not a devout Muslim at all, neither is his Baath party. He's a bad guy, don't get me wrong, but we seem to do a pretty good job of killing Iraqi's too. Maybe a better job than Saddam?

That said, the Danish cartoons are in poor taste, and cater to these off-base generalizations. I'm half Danish, and I have lived there, and I find their homogeneous culture a little confined. In fact, in some places in Denmark, it is not safe for a "person of color" to walk the streets at night, because you might get beat up. I was warned about this from relatives.

But they have the right to say this, and it just shows how close-minded they are. You want to make sure these biggoted generalizations come out, so at least we know who thinks this way. They probably haven't taken any time to meet the many Muslims who you see walking down the street in Copenhagen. Maybe they should.

I am making generalizations of Danes, and they're not all like that. But there has been a backlash against "foreigners" in that country because of their liberal immigration policies. Sometimes it's hard to believe this was the same small nation that put up such a fight against the Nazis.

Posted by: Jetsoplitofskov | February 2, 2006 02:52 PM

Tom Toles is caught up in the Pentagon's cover up of the real war in Iraq. War is not pretty.

www.awitness.org

Posted by: Reality. | February 2, 2006 02:53 PM

Muslems don't want to see the curve of there own nick:
they don't want to see there own sheikhs talk about christians and how unfaithfull they are or how jeasus is a laying guy and this is not the real one , but the real one will come one day as muslem to make sure everyone on earth is muslem and that day will be the end of the world
they talk about other religons all day long with alot wors language than just a cartoon, why they don't want to see that?

Posted by: fred | February 2, 2006 02:53 PM

Umm, I_am_Canadian, the last time I checked, burning the American flag is considered protected free speech by law.

So, which flag are you going to burn? The Maple Leaf or the Stars and Stripes? I think when your butt gets in a jam, you'll be plenty happy to see those stars and stripes coming to defend your puny butt.

Posted by: Chuck | February 2, 2006 02:54 PM

Chuck, are you really that out of touch that you think all muslims and islam preach "jihad"? This is just one small sect not the entire religion.

Every religion has a sect like this and some like chrisitianity have commited many attrocities in the world in the name of "god".....

Posted by: Anonymous | February 2, 2006 02:54 PM

It's my belief that a person gives himself away through his reactions. I could assume it's the same for a country or organization (seeing how they are run by people). So it would be safe to say that the Palestinians are really out to cause as many problems as possible. Usurpers usually rise in time of chaos. We also know it would be too dangerous to leave them alone. It's really starting look like we need to bring in some aggressive negotiations.

Posted by: Alex | February 2, 2006 02:55 PM

Surah 9:5: "Slay the infidel, wherever you may find them." This is the voice of a peaceful religion? A society that deserves our understanding and sympathy? Give me a break. WE ARE AT WAR. Every Muslim not only wants to, but is commanded to by the Koran, destroy each and every one of us, conservative or liberal.

Posted by: Dave | February 2, 2006 02:55 PM

IaC is right. It's scary to watch the US head in the same direction as the Islamic fundies they're fighting.

Posted by: NS | February 2, 2006 02:55 PM

Freedom of speech is limited in all democracies. I cannot yell fire in a crowded theatre and say I did it because I am free to do so. The consequences of such speech would result in a harm to society. Publishing anti-muslim speech that clearly offends that audience is also harmful.
Most of the posted comments on this issue do not truly address the concept of free speech which is regulated by law. Rather, there seems to people who hate muslims and Islam and are using this incident to attack. Would it alright to express anti-semite and anti-jewish speech? How about racist bigotry or pro-Nazi ideology? I think not.

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 02:55 PM

WE SHOULD RESPECT EACH OTHER MORE.
WE SHOULD MIND OUR OWN BUSNESS WHEN IT COMES TO MUSLIMS.
KNOW WUN IS TO THREATEN EACH OTHER OVER BABY COMENTS.
WE SHOULD BE MATURE ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND OTHER PEOPLES BELIEFS AND CULTUERS.
ON THE AMERICAN NEWS ITS MOSTLY THE JEWUSH PEOPLE ORGANISING THE REPORTERS WORDS.
THEY ARE THE ONES STIRRING THINGS UP TO CAUSE VIOLENCE WITH 2 RELIGIONS THEY FIGHT WITH PALISTINE PEOPLE, THEY TREAT THEM WITH NO RESPECT THIS HAS GONE TOO FAR.
WE SHOULD ALL BE EQUAL ANDDONT THINK WE ARE BETER THAN OTHERS BECAUSE THAT ISTHE TRUTH (BUT REMEMBER ONLY GOD CAN JUGDE US)
WE WILL FIND OUT THE TRUTH ON JUDJMENT DAY.
WHO IS THE REAL GOD. WHO MADE US.
WHY IS THE WORLD FULL OF TOURTURE.
WHY ISNY GOD THERE WHEN WE MOSTLY NEED HIM.
WE ARE BEING TESTED. WE SHOULD NO BETTER. SO THE NEWS REPORTERS SHOULD NO BETTER TO NOT STIRR THINGS UP.
THEY NO DEEP DOWN THAT THEY ARE DOING SINS .IT IS UP TO GOD TO 4 GIVE THEM OR NOT.EVERY BODY JUST WAIT AND C.
WATCH THE WORLD GROW WITH PEACE AND WAR ??
WHICH IS BETTER .
WHAT DO YOU THINK.

Posted by: ONLI GOD CAN JUDG | February 2, 2006 02:55 PM

The proof is now in the pudding: muslims *are* bomb wielding, aggressive and enraged people. Their totally intolerant and disproportionate response shows it pretty clearly, no? The Koran spelled it out clearly centuries ago. To all the naive westerners who have not bothered reading it yet, the Koran says: convert all infidels; if you cannot, destroy them. This has been going on for centuries. Today's agnostic Europe is now pretending that this order has magically disappeared and that one-way tolerance is a going to work to integrate. Unlike some other, the French have had the courage to stand up to the US's trying to bully them into another Vietnam. If there is a nation of true cowards out there, it's the giant bullying one that remotely sends bombs onto micro-powers that cannot retaliate.

Posted by: James .stein | February 2, 2006 02:58 PM

To all the idiots,
Unless you have a clear understanding of
religion and history, you should keep your comments from seeping out of your ignorant mouth! Muslims do not parody Jesus, nor do they make cartoons about Moses. It's forbidden to them. Freedom of speech, should not be freedom to offend! unless you want to get punched in the mouth, thats the way we did it in the old days. We all know every religion has its fanatics, did you forget about the crusades? Timothy McVey? The KKK? The witch Hunts? etc... If some one insults you or something you stand for, you run the risk of getting hit in the mouth. So why stir up controversy? leave them alone.
Instead of calling people "Rag Heads", take a look at yourself you dumb hillbilly! and go to school!

Posted by: T. James | February 2, 2006 02:59 PM

PS - respect is not something to be given to anyone, Islam included. Respect is to be EARNED, and as of today, i have seen nothing that makes me want to respect the savages who kill innocent woman and children!

Posted by: charles fletcher | February 2, 2006 02:59 PM

Charles fletcher,

Does this mean you don't respect the USA? Because they have probably killed more women and children than any other country, remember Hiroshima anyone? How about experiments on their own people?

What you fail to realize is that the government and the people are different. I hate George Bush and think he is the anti-christ but this does not mean i hate americans.....well except you :p

Posted by: Sigh | February 2, 2006 03:02 PM

This is ridiculous. Here we have a religion that has absolutely no problem posting the beheadings of foreigners on its web sites, who think it is appropriate to kill women if they are not properly dressed, and they are angry over a CARTOON! I realize that not all Muslims aspire to this disgusting view of morality but I think it is time to stop pandering to those idiots that do. Death threats over a cartoon. Far more constructive would be to teach their children that there is no glory in being a suicide bomber and that murder and violence are the worse sins of all.

Posted by: Mark Esposito | February 2, 2006 03:04 PM

"A government official in the United Arab Emirates offered a very different definition of freedom of expression to the Khaleej Times. --- "Freedom of expression means freedom to express one's views in ways that will not affect social harmony,"

Boy does that sound like the old Soviets or what? Actually it sounds a lot like many authoritarian regimes.

I'm not in favor of Bush, his war in Iraq, the Iranians playing with uranium or the Palestinians plight, but I am very happy to see democracy and freedom for once being tried and discussed in the Middle East. A culture of authoritarianism, both in government and religion, will take centuries to evolve toward giving people their freedoms. I can only hope that we may be seeing the beginnings of an Islamic enlightenment.

Posted by: Sully | February 2, 2006 03:06 PM

Boo-hoo!

Posted by: ALN | February 2, 2006 03:06 PM

The equivalent of these cartoons against Christianity would be showing Jesus raping kids, since child molestation is apparently as common (probably more) in Christianity, even worse Catholic church, as suicide bombing in Islam. I would like to see the reaction to such cartoons.

Remember actions of a few radicals cannot be casted over all community or the leaders of it.

Posted by: Yasemin | February 2, 2006 03:07 PM

Why should we repect pIslam? The desert cult of the terrorist and pedophile Muhamhead (bucket of piss be upon her).

The porKoran calls for our conversion, death or dhimmitude (social slavery and paying a 50% tax to the mullahs).

Screw Islam, screw the morons that want the West to respect this trash!

Posted by: Piggy Allah | February 2, 2006 03:09 PM

To look at the images you can search on the google images and and search for "Muhammad cartoon". I have seen 'em and they are funny.

Posted by: How_to | February 2, 2006 03:09 PM

I am not talking about the actions of a few radicals. Osama bin Laden has almost universal approval in the Islamic world. Everyone in the Islamic world hates the American people.

Posted by: Dave | February 2, 2006 03:12 PM

Jeez who cares about a lousy cartoon? This disgusting buill is all manufactured outrage of the purest kind. Does anyone seriously think protesters from Palestine actually have *seen* any of those cartoons? So offended that they call for murder and assassination? Duh. Anyone who gives the nod to this kind of behaviour or claims to 'understand' it deserves nothing but contempt. And a good shellacking.

Makes me all wanna vote for the extreme right and get the nukes dusted off (anger leads to hate, eh) But I won't.

Consider that the 'Chick Tracts' cartoons have been there for ages ... and is there stuff to be offended about oh boy.

Posted by: Fusion candle | February 2, 2006 03:14 PM

Islam is a racist,mind-numbing,oppressive religion that promotes bigotry, slavery, pedophilia (the beloved "prophet" consummated a marriage with a 9-year old!) And his followers choose to suppress their intellects, "submit" their wills and be totally irresponsibile for their own lives and behavior. Their so-called religious leaders hoard money, deny services to their citizens, then tell them to pray and that Allah will take care of them. What a brain-washing scam! Meanwhile, to cover-up cheating their own people, they tell them to blame the West for their troubles. "It's Israel, It's the USA" No! it's poor leadership, out-rite laziness, and fear of competing in a world market that fuels this desire to return to the "glorious" time of the 8th century. Wake-up muslims! Stop crying about a stupid cartoon and get your act together. Stop clouding the real issues - your countries are a mess, you don't co-operate and its your own fault. I as an American am sick of footing the bill for millions of people who refuse to seek and create gainful employment, who take our money that we've labored for in fair exchange for oil and rather than use it to better themselves, they waste it on terrorism. How arrogant, how ungrateful, how unpeaceful and THAT is what disrupts "Social Harmony" - Being upset over a cartoon is an excuse - quit using religion as an excuse for incompetence.

Posted by: JD | February 2, 2006 03:14 PM

Yasemin wrote:
"The equivalent of these cartoons against Christianity would be showing Jesus raping kids [...] I would like to see the reaction to such cartoons."

Its happened many times already. The most memorable to me was the art exhibit "Piss Christ" by Andres Serrano in 1989. It was a cross with Christ on it in a jar of urine. Christians were, well, pissed. The conservatives in the US Congress were upset since it was done using money from a government grant. But no one threatened killings, kidnappings or other violence if I remember correctly.

Posted by: Sully | February 2, 2006 03:16 PM

The real test will be Friday, when Muslims go to the mosque and are told how to react. If it is a peaceful reaction then those defending Islam will be correct, the noise being generated is only by a few. But if it blows up and violence is the result, then Islam will prove what its detractors say, it is a violent religion.

Lets wait and see what Friday brings...

Posted by: Sully | February 2, 2006 03:23 PM

James stein you are a dumb@$$
apparently you are never read the Koran,
It never says anything like that! You should actually read before making such statments. If you don't know how to read,
there is always speak & spell or hooked on phonics. give them a try!

Posted by: Ed haynes | February 2, 2006 03:25 PM

Yasemin, your point is excellent:

"Remember actions of a few radicals cannot be casted over all community or the leaders of it. "

And it cuts both ways. Can we, among the readers and contributers to this message board, agree on the following:
1) the actions of Muslim fundamentalists who advocate or perpetrate acts of terror do nothing but besmirch Islam
2) such actions should not be taken as a pretext for condemning all Muslims everywhere, or deriding their Prophet
3) when such blanket condemnation and derision does take place, as many believe occurred in Denmark, there is nonetheless absolutely no moral superiority attached to a reciprocal condemnation and death threats against innocent Danish nationals or other Europeans who are in no way involved in the publication of the offending material

If we can agree on these points, perhaps all the words written on this topic may actually advance some semblance of reasoned dialog, and therefore may not be entirely in vain.

Posted by: David | February 2, 2006 03:25 PM

""Any citizens of these countries, who are present in Gaza, will put themselves in danger," a Fatah-affiliated gunman said outside the EU Commission's office in Gaza, flanked by two masked men holding rifles.

If the European governments don't apologize by Thursday evening, "any visitor of these countries will be targeted," he said.

The furor over the drawings, which first ran in the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in September, cuts to the question of which is more sacred in the Western world freedom of expression or respect for religious beliefs. The cartoons include an image of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse. "


- Doesn't this just make the picture FACT. Can't blame them fo rpublishing the truth.

Posted by: st | February 2, 2006 03:28 PM

It's weird that is OK to fly planes into buildings, blow up trains, burn your wife and move million of muslims to europe then demand that europeans acoomodate them but it's not OK to print these publications. I hate to say it but at everyturn I get a bad impression about arabs and muslims. We are dealing with a backward, ignorant, violent and increasingly fanatical culture.

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 03:28 PM

This religon started as a war, and formed and grew up as a war , then there it is today trying to take over the whole world as a war( self bomb war).
I think average american should read and educate themself about the relegon just to know how it was established by a preist that had an illegal son by having sex with a woman seeked him for help/
Preist name was buhaira, the son name is Muhamaed which they call that a prophit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 03:30 PM

There is a fine line between "freedom of expression" and out right "insulting". The Muslim world is one Europe's biggest markets, with annual sales in billions. Doesn't being a regular customer at a store earn you the right to be respected by that store? But we are not even asking for respect. We are simply asking you to simply not disrespect us. Is that too much to ask? Morality is what we ask for. Just like it is immoral to point at an overweight person, it is immoral to insult 30% of the World's population. No?

Posted by: Ahmed | February 2, 2006 03:31 PM

Hey, let's not be too harsh on the Muslims. You know, GW is good buddies with the Saudis. The Kuwatis too. So much so, we're spending trillions of dollars and killing our sons and daughters to keep regional security in this area, which is really their job. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are wealthy countries, and we bend over backward for them. So our official policy is that some Muslims are so fantastic, we're willing to bankrupt our nation and kill our citizens to provide them security (oh, and so we can have more OIL!)

Posted by: hand solo | February 2, 2006 03:35 PM

Someone willing to kill other people just because they:
don't like their art,
don't like how they think,
don't like what they wrote,
don't appreciate their sense of humor,
don't like the other person's government.

Cartoons may be stupid, vulgar, obscene, or in poor taste; but they are pictures. Pictures are worth a 1000 words; too bad not everyone sees the same words when they look at them.

Posted by: Definition of an Extemist | February 2, 2006 03:38 PM

Look people blowing SH&$ up in the name of Islam==> Picture of Muhammad with hat-bomb. It's standard satire, sorry if you're offended but maybe you should be more offended by people killing in his name!

Cost of pipe bomb to blow up a bus in the name of Muhammad? $20
Cost of cartoons of Muhammad with bomb? $.50

Cost Muslims blowing up embassy because of cartoon? Priceless

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 03:44 PM

no religion has been more ruinous than that of christianity. if you want to attack religion, start there. slavery, oppression, forced conversion, persecution, the holocaust, molestation, you name it.

islam and judaism are just catching up in the grand scheme of history.

Posted by: religion | February 2, 2006 03:46 PM

nospyingonme: You might have a point if American papers did not carry the story, ignoring it altogether. They didn't. They have reported the story, they have just chosen not to run the cartoons.

On the whole, everyone needs to grow up. Boo hoo, the press was insensitive. The press is ALWAYS insensitive. I've written plenty of letters to the editor when I was offended by things I have read in newspapers. I did not call for the targeting of all civilians in the paper's country of origin. If someone cannot see logic in this, then he/she is simply beyond reason.

Posted by: PG | February 2, 2006 03:51 PM

The extreme right exists in every religion. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus. All would take up violence to further their goals and would do so outright,in guise or by proxy.

If we could only put them all on one continent, call it Heaven, and let them sort themselves out.

Posted by: Right | February 2, 2006 03:53 PM

religion: The history of all three religions you have mentioned are drenched in blood. You're just choosing to look at one over the others. The difference is that the recognized authorities of some religions have progressed over the years and have changed with the times. Holding grudges that go back hundreds or thousands of years is pointless, and more accurately, precisely the excuse that fanatics in some religions use to justify continued violence today.

Posted by: PG | February 2, 2006 04:05 PM

Why the f*$k should US papers run the story? This is Europes mess, let them take care of it.

Solidarity my ass, you want provocation. All those calling for a printing without an attempt at dialogue are full of it.

It's not a black and white issue freedom of speech. You have a group of people who don't like the way they are constantly being depicted. Now some idiot is going to say well then they shouldn't do this and that, blah, blah blah.

Make a cartoon of arafat, of the saudis or whatever. But their prophet muhamad? Come on. This hits at the core of their religion. Protests have hit all across the muslim world. Not just the mideast and not just arabs. They quite efficiently used the power of a boycott.

On the other end, violence as a response is indeed ridiculous and stood up against but engaging them with a constant us and them attitude is just f'in stupid.

Posted by: America | February 2, 2006 04:07 PM

"religion: The history of all three religions you have mentioned are drenched in blood. You're just choosing to look at one over the others. The difference is that the recognized authorities of some religions have progressed over the years and have changed with the times. Holding grudges that go back hundreds or thousands of years is pointless, and more accurately, precisely the excuse that fanatics in some religions use to justify continued violence today."

your today is not that long ago in terms of history. you have survivors of holocausts and slavery for example. i suppose in your mind it's all in the past. keep living dangerously.

Posted by: history | February 2, 2006 04:10 PM

history: Um, which religion sanctioned the holocaust again??

Posted by: PG | February 2, 2006 04:14 PM

As I've said here (http://mikeanddean.blogspot.com/2006/02/it-gets-better-re-arab-hysteria.html) and here (http://mikeanddean.blogspot.com/2006/02/thank-god-people-are-standing-up-to.html), people need to get a grip.

So now all Danes and Norwegians are legitimate targets because a private Danish paper said something fanatics don't like? Well then: whenever any arab paper publishes a nasty cartoon about Jews or Chrsitians or Homosexuals, any Arab or Muslim becomes a legitimate target for retaliation.

Every time a "martyr" blows himself up in some market or mall or street corner - well, sorry Palestinian people, we can now just pluck up any one of you we want to punish.

Posted by: Brad | February 2, 2006 04:19 PM

PG: Who's talking about hundreds and thousands of years. You need only look over the last century. Recognized authorities are also beholden to extreme views and given the right oppurtunity may just make a splash. The Jerry Falwells, the Vlaams Blok, the BNP, the BJP, the Osama's.

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 04:20 PM

PG: Darling, you're setting me up here by using the word sanctioning. I'll just say the one that stood and watched it happen. The one that fostered anti-semitism in it's churches and helped fuel the holocaust. the one where "The Vatican has apologised to Jews on behalf of the entire Roman Catholic community, for failing to speak out against the Nazi holocaust during World War Two. you know, that one.

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 04:24 PM

This is crazy. So I am to believe that the fowlers of Islam are so week and easily sidetrack that a cartoon can throw them into an uproar. I think the early fathers of the faith would be ashamed of you all.

It makes do difference what another person says abut Jesus, the Buddha or Muhammad.
What matters is what the individual practitioner of that faith believes, and how they practice their faith.

I think the publisher of these cartoons should make more cartoons with characters of all faith.

The greatest control we can hope to have in this life is the control over ourselves. By your actions (Muslims) you show me that you have no self-control, which means that others can and will easily control you.

Once you are controlled mentally and spiritually you are nothing, you are worst off than a slave. You are easily manipulated

Posted by: onelife74 | February 2, 2006 04:25 PM

"So now all Danes and Norwegians are legitimate targets because a private Danish paper said something fanatics don't like? Well then: whenever any arab paper publishes a nasty cartoon about Jews or Chrsitians or Homosexuals, any Arab or Muslim becomes a legitimate target for retaliation.

Every time a "martyr" blows himself up in some market or mall or street corner - well, sorry Palestinian people, we can now just pluck up any one of you we want to punish."

yes, yes this is exactly what we should do!
let's get our torches and meet in the middle of town.

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 04:26 PM

if u want to know what prophet means to us , plz enter this site
http://islamonline.net/english/index.shtml

Posted by: ismail | February 2, 2006 04:27 PM

Talk about sick hippocryts.
ONE BILLION of these "Islam is a peacefull religion" sit by idly while their countrymen,co-religionists,neighbours etc.go into a mayhem of murder,slaughter,rape and destruction against other faiths,against their own breed,against strangers who've welcomed them in their mist,against women children and elderly. Look at them going bersek over a cartoon. These same people who wouldn't dream of publishing a single newspaper without the daily dose of hatred cartoons.
I tell them:" Wake up STUPIDS, ITS ONLY RELIGION.Git it?"
Religion is only a belief,a tradition left from primitive times gone by.
Mohamed was scared of an eclipse!,the Pharohs were scared of hail and thunder. Ancient folks were superstitious, just like some of the billions still living in the middle ages. Where have you been hiding in the last five hundred years?

Posted by: Vince | February 2, 2006 04:28 PM

"This is crazy. So I am to believe that the fowlers of Islam are so week and easily sidetrack that a cartoon can throw them into an uproar. I think the early fathers of the faith would be ashamed of you all."

Can you give some evidence.

"It makes do difference what another person says abut Jesus, the Buddha or Muhammad."

Have you spoken to every christian, jew or buddhist about this?

"What matters is what the individual practitioner of that faith believes, and how they practice their faith."

Is this cristian, buddhist, jewish (or other) doctrine? Can you at least do a mini-survey using the 100ft circle that is your world and get back to us with some results.

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 04:32 PM

To the nameless guy - you might actually have understood I was speaking sarcastically when I said that, according to the Martyrs Brigade logic (all danes are now a legitimate target), all muslims are legitimate targets to retaliate for suicide bombing.

Of course I don't believe that. However, the Martyrs Brigate logic compels that conclusion, if you accept it.

Posted by: Brad | February 2, 2006 04:33 PM

If the many good and decent Muslims got this upset when fanatics bomb, kill and oppress in the name of Islam then maybe just maybe these cartoons would of never existed.

Posted by: bet | February 2, 2006 04:39 PM

Unknown: OK, if you're going to hold anyone who did not directly speak out against the nazis personally responsible for the holocaust, then wouldn't Switzerland be at the top of your list as well? I'm comfortable in my belief that the nazis were primarily responsible for the holocaust.

"Recognized authorities are also beholden to extreme views and given the right oppurtunity may just make a splash."

Point taken. I agree.

Posted by: PG | February 2, 2006 04:40 PM

I think a misunderstanding needs to be corrected. The cartoons didn't make fun of a religion, but of the FEAR that artists had by drawing a picture of Mohammed for a book. The majority of the images depics this issue, which is the core issue that cause the newspaper to publish the drawings in the first place.

Nothing was published to mock Islam - but it did mock how Islam is being carried out by threats that causes innocent artists to refrain from doing anything that resembles Islam.

The pictures are all over the net by now. Do yourself a favor a look at them. They're not what the fanatics wants them to be.

Btw. what might not be known in the international press is that it was MUSLIMS that printed out the pictures and DISTRIBUTED them in the middle east (even though this is what's prohibited by their religion). And they also added a few very harsh pictures to the collected, that wasn't in the papers, and showed Mohammed as a pedophile and having sex with animals. I would be pissed too if those had been published; sadly it seems that speaking the truth isn't very fashionable to muslims.

Posted by: Peter Larsen | February 2, 2006 04:45 PM

When the Arabs teach their children that" Jews are the descendants of " PIGS and MONKEYS " it is quite acceptable to them. Take a bit of your own medicine folks

Posted by: Sid Feasey | February 2, 2006 04:46 PM

When the Arabs teach their children that" Jews are the descendants of " PIGS and MONKEYS" it is quite acceptable to them. Take a bit of your own medicine folks

Posted by: Sid Feasey | February 2, 2006 04:46 PM

Something all of you guys forgot, is the respect for religion.

Many Christians have lost such entity, and do not care about their religion being mocked, on the other hand I see that Muslims and Jews are more strict on such issue.

Why create problems when we need to be solving them.

Peace,

Posted by: John Alen | February 2, 2006 04:54 PM

Sid: Own medicine? I love it when people pick out these juicy little tidbits then blanket them over an entire race or community.

Wait, wait, I've got one: Twin pop stars with angelic looks are new face of racism

America's white supremacist movement has an angelic new face: twin teenage pop stars whose songs preach messages of racial hatred.

http://www.abcnewsstore.com/store/index.cfm?fuseaction=customer.product&product_code=P051020%2001&category_code=30

see, goddamn racist america.

Posted by: Oh Bother | February 2, 2006 05:04 PM

I think a lot of you uncultured hicks, who are sheltered in your nice bubbles, are just venting because now you have a mouthpiece. You claim one religion, Islam, is intolerant, but all of you are turning a blind eye towards your own religions.

If you want to be taken seriously, try to discuss your views without using slander and offensive language.

Remember, the people with the loudest voices are usually the minority. Think Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson. Think Osama Bin Laden. What happens after a natural disaster ? They claim that it was the work of god as punishment.

The media spends all of its time interviewing the extreme right and never the "average" person, hence why the majority of you are too stupid to see that its a radical minority that is making the silent majority look so bad.

The same goes for the extreme Christian fundamentalists who blow up clinics or violently attack gays / lesbians. Oh, what's that you say? That's the work of a few bad seeds ?? They don't represent your religion ? Redneck hypocrites.

Reading message boards like these makes me glad that I'm an Atheist. Good riddance.

Posted by: Wow | February 2, 2006 05:09 PM

When, Washington Post, thou fearless champion of free speach and freedom of the press, are *YOU* going to publish those cartoons?

Are you going to knuckle under too, or are you going to support a brave little newspaper that is being bullied and defend the freedom you proclaim is so important?

Don't blather on to me about the importance of freedom of the press if you let this moment pass...

Posted by: Waiting... | February 2, 2006 05:25 PM

It is beyond obvious that it well within the rights of the Washington Post to print the offensive cartoons...just as it is way beyond obvious that exercising this "right" would be the "wrong" thing to do. Would it be "right" for the Post to print an extremely offensive anti-black cartoon, simply because it is within its rights to do so?

Besides the Post has its own ideas when it comes to offensive cartoons. From Howard Kurtz:

IT IS a protest with high-level signatures: the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and of its five members have fired off a letter assailing The Washington Post for a cartoon branded "beyond tasteless".

The Tom Toles cartoon was published on Sunday, and depicts a heavily bandaged soldier in a hospital bed, having lost his arms and legs. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in the guise of a doctor, says: "I'm listing your condition as 'battle-hardened'."

Toles said he meant no offence to American soldiers. But the letter to the Post, signed by General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the vice-chairman and the service chiefs of the army, navy, marines and air force, said: "We believe you and Mr Toles have done a disservice to your readers and your paper's reputation by using such a callous depiction of those who have volunteered to defend this nation, and as a result, have suffered traumatic and life-altering wounds."

Posted by: No Waiting... | February 2, 2006 05:33 PM

Could I ask those Muslims who have been brave enough to read a blog full of such violent attacks against their religion to explain what, specifically, the principle is here, under which the Danish cartoons should have been forbidden? I've heard several different arguments, and I'd like to know which one you adhere to, because the counterarguments to them are different.

1. Is the problem just that the portrayals of Mohammed were drawn with the intent to ridicule him (or some of his followers)? Some make the argument that it's simply a question of being respectful towards other religions, of not saying or writing things that mock adherents of a particular religion. But if that's the reason, then why direct your anger at all citizens of Denmark and Norway, and not just at the people who drew the cartoons? Surely you must admit that there are at least some people in the Muslim world that sometimes say or write things that insult other religions (particularly Judaism). If a boycott of Danish products is an appropriate response to a cartoon written by a Dane, why isn't, say, a boycott of Egyptian products an appropriate response to an anti-Semitic statement by an Egyptian? Are you opposed to insulting portrayals of all religions, or just of Islam?

2. But of course, maybe the problem is not that the drawings were satirical, but that they existed at all, since depiction of Mohammed is generally forbidden in the Islamic world. Is that the basis on which you think the cartoon should not have been printed? But in that case, is it fair to demand that non-Muslims live according to a principle of Islam? Would you be willing to see other religions demand that you abide by their principles in what you publish?

To many in the West, a demand that we not draw pictures of Mohammed sounds like a demand that we not drink wine - a demand that we live according to Islamic laws even if we are not Muslims. That is some of what is feeding this anger, because if that really is your position, then there isn't much room for co-existence, if we want to live according to the principles of the beliefs that we hold. Is your opposition to the cartoons based on the fact that they portray Mohammed as a suicide bomber, or the fact that they portray him at all?

Posted by: Beren | February 2, 2006 05:33 PM

don't like the cartoons of Mohammad? Ok.

I say EVERY paper in the world should cartoon the Arab Mullahs, Western Evangelical So-called Christians, and Nationalist Israelis

ANY PERSON who claims to be doing what God wants by default isn't. Any person who claims to speak for God is the last person God would want speaking for him.

Its funny - all Islamic worshippers joke about "the mullah ate my lunch" the mullah ate my business" PARODY THE MULLAH - I bet the death threats are the same!

Posted by: Mullahs Murder - Cartoon Them | February 2, 2006 05:33 PM

Come on US media! What are you doing? Have the guts to stand up for the freedom of expression we enjoy here in the US. SHOW THE CARTOONS!

Posted by: Show the cartoons | February 2, 2006 05:38 PM

Wow, you rightly point out that it's unfair for Christians (of whom I am one) to denounce all Muslims on the basis of the OBL's of the world, while claiming that any crimes committed in the name of Christ are just the work of 'a few bad seeds'. But at the end of your post, you write:

"Reading message boards like these makes me glad that I'm an Atheist. Good riddance."

Umm... I'm sure you wouldn't want to slide into that same pattern of thought, would you, denouncing a religion (or many religions?) on the basis of a bunch of blog-posters? Would you?

Posted by: Beren | February 2, 2006 05:39 PM

It's strange; Muslims hit the streets throughout the world when a book is reportedly trashed, or if someone publishes some caricatures. However, when more than 20 children are killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq no one protests.

One word sums it up "hypocrites"

Posted by: hockey1 | February 2, 2006 05:43 PM

You've distilled it down to a simple freedom of the press issue. It ain't just that. Why should the Washington post or any other US paper have to publish the cartoons? To prove what and to whom exactly?

To you?

Why not first ask them to post pictures of our soldiers arriving in their coffins that have been effectively banned by this dadministration, among other things.

Dumbass.

Posted by: Keep waiting... | February 2, 2006 05:43 PM

Mullahs Murder writes:

"ANY PERSON who claims to be doing what God wants by default isn't. Any person who claims to speak for God is the last person God would want speaking for him."

Of course, I can agree with you about plenty of people who claim to be acting in God's name and, often enough, do terrible things. But aren't you kind of 'speaking for him' if you claim to know with certainty (in the first sentence) whether someone is doing what God wants or not? An awful lot of very good things have also been done by people who tried to do what God wished, and hoped that they were doing what he wished, and maybe even thought with a lot of certainty that they were. I hope you don't think hospitals and universities are such bad things....

Posted by: Beren | February 2, 2006 05:44 PM

you'd like 'em to stand up for freedom of expression huh? ask 'em to post more pictures of the war and the soldiers we've lost.

a country at war? sure doesn't seem like it. american idol had great ratings and the super bowl is this sunday!

pathethic provacateurs, how about our own back yards first.

Posted by: show the cartoons | February 2, 2006 05:47 PM

Just wrong to fire someone over cartoons.

Posted by: Did we Lose our Sense of Humor? | February 2, 2006 05:54 PM

Does anyone remember Salam Rushdie's novel and Muslim's outrage over that? I was in high school back then and actually read a bit of his book. It sucked, he can't write, but I never thought about killing him for it. I thought had we not spotlighted him the way we did he might have died of starvation. But we went overboard and harmed ourselves in attempts of protecting our religion and one of our beloved prophets. We made that mistake once before and I see us making that mistake again. However this time, this isn't going to be an isolated event, we are feeding a fire that I'm growing concerned that we might not be able to contain.

Since 9/11, West and the Middle East have increasingly grown weary of each other, begun to distrust each other, and in fact, are becoming afraid of each other. Concerned about what the other is thinking and afraid of their motives. Beginning to doubt the basic good that resides in all of us and beginning to give into paranoia and fear. Neither side has done enough to ease the others concerns. And I wonder about where we are heading. Are we, the expatriates of Muslim world, being looked upon now as irrational savages and in-humans? Given what I've read in the posts above, and the blanket statements made about Muslims, I can easily see justification in western eyes to look for a "final solution" to their immigration problem.

What kind of future are we planning to leave behind? None of us in these posts are talking about starting a meaningful and understanding dialogue between the Western and Islamic ideologies. Of course I and a billion of my brothers and sisters around the world wholeheartedly condemn Muslims threatening innocent people for any purposes. But regardless of how many times we shout out this message, no one listens because we are all victims of selective hearing. Regardless thou, either we begin to listen and care about what we hold dear to our hearts and sincerely look for solutions between Capitalism/Free Trade and Tradition/Religious Beliefs, or else, we will all leave behind another legacy that none of us will be proud of.

Posted by: Concerned | February 2, 2006 06:05 PM

Hearing what some of these "offended" Muslims have to say about cartoons, makes me think they have somehow been mortally wounded. Look, these cartoons have done NOTHING to physically harm anyone, nor have they physically harmed the religion. Religion is a concept, and it's impossible to "harm" a concept. It makes NO sense to say that freedom of expression should be balanced with respect for faith. I can personally disrespect any faith I want, as long as I am not physically hurting or intimidating anyone else. Get it? And I refuse to just "respect" a faith by default. Threatening to kidnap or murder someone because they wrote a cartoon does not earn respect. We in the West cannot capitulate to 7th century mob mentality. Shame on firing a person for simply putting forth an opinion in a newspaper. I expect this kind of thing out of Iran or Saudi Arabia, but it's scary that it happens in the West. I will respect Islam when Islam learns to respect humanity.

Posted by: SC | February 2, 2006 06:13 PM

To see the cartoons, go to the German newspaper site given in the column. Translate it via Google's translate tool. They aren't hard to find.

Posted by: Cartoons | February 2, 2006 06:18 PM

After reading more of the posts, I would also like to address the whole concept of "all religions have fanatics, etc." And let me preface this with saying that I follow no organized religion or dogma, and I'm probably what most would call an atheist. But it is entirely obvious to the casual observer that Islam is indeed the religion with the most violent fanatics in this day and age. No matter how crazy the insane Christian or other religious zealots may act, they are not, by and large, killing in the name of their religion. Islam is associated with terror for a reason. Recognizing patterns is a sign of human intelligence, so are we to completely disregard the very real connection between the two so as to not hurt anyone's feelings? And how is it ignorant or racist to acknowledge this? I see the words "hateful,"
"Islamophobe" and "racist" thrown around so much by Islamic apologists nowadays, that they've lost their meaning. Those are words to hide behind when you have no other viable argument.-"That's ok, they're just Islamaphobic." - All it really does it shut the other person up so you don't actually have to face what they are saying. It makes no sense to sit there and ignore reality because it isn't what we want to see. I personally choose to eschew the "feel-good, PC" drivel that many politicians, educators, college students, and other so-called "socially aware" types regurgitate constantly about Islam. I choose instead to use my brain and acknowledge what is thrust in front of me on a daily basis. When will others choose the same?

Posted by: SC | February 2, 2006 06:30 PM

The bottom line is that insulting a religion is an abysmally irresponsible editorial choice to assert legal freedom of expression (which was not threatened anyway). The "in your face" re-publication of the cartoons in Germany (Die Welt), France and elsewhere was a deliberate insult to believers of one of the world's major religions. Why Muslims? Why not Jews? Why not Christians?
There was virtually no journalistic imperative to balance this unpardonable editorial indiscretion. It was wanton.
Die Welt asserted a "right to blasphemy". A lie, pure and simple. Germany explicitly criminalizes blasphemy offensive to Jews, but does not criminalize blasphemy offensive to Christians or Muslims. That's Jewish privilege by law - which unfortunately is consistent with the atmosphere of unrestrained anti-Muslim prejudice so evident by the newspapers' choice of anti-Muslim cartoons to demonstrate press independence from government censorship.

Posted by: Timothy L | February 2, 2006 06:33 PM

Before we start in again on how the Muslims are so extremist, take a look:

"Christian gang arrested in Guatemala"
Last Updated Thu, 02 Feb 2006 11:23:47 EST
CBC News

Police in Guatemala have arrested a gang of religious fanatics on suspicion of possessing illegal weapons and extortion, and the possible murder of five people in a small town.

San Lucas Toliman, about 70 kilometres west of Guatemala City, was the target of the seven men, who called themselves the Social Cleansing of the Town, police allege.

They are also alleged to have killed as many as five people they considered criminals. Part of their purported work also involved setting up their own roadside checkpoints to charge travellers to pass through.

"This was a fundamentalist Christian organization in character that harangued the town's population on religious themes," said Victor Soto, head of the national criminal investigations unit.

The group allegedly targeted anyone suspected of not following the Bible, including taking part in theft or marital infidelity, said police.

Their work started with delivering notes containing biblical quotations and threats.

The seven are being held while police carry out ballistics tests.

Posted by: Johnny Tezca | February 2, 2006 06:40 PM

Dear Beren:
Americans are notorious for getting international matters wrong, their lack of knowledge beyond their continent proved tragic in recent years. As a Muslim, I will stick to the Denmark controversy, so please, try to read it with an open mind. Because, at this point thanks for mainstream Danes ignorance and arrogance, and the dedicated efforts of few extremists on both sides of this conflict, many are suffering hurt and grave losses. Needless to say eroding years of building bridges and collaboration on fighting terrorism.
Few issues in the ongoing controversy between Denmark and the Muslim world that are worth mentioning:
Firstly, there is the initial reaction of Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who refused to meet eleven ambassadors from Muslim countries, including Turkey, Bosnia, Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab countries, months ago who wanted to complain about a series of cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten first appeared in September. "This is a matter of principle. I will not meet with them because it is so crystal clear what principles Danish democracy is built upon that there is no reason to do so," Rasmussen said. As top diplomat of the Denmark, he should have met them, and explained his countries point of view, since they are clearly foreigners and not fellow European, after all it is in his job description to be DIPLOMATIC!.
But, many Danes agreed with Rasmussen. The Social-Democrats, the Radicals and the Socialist People's Party applauded Rasmussen's refusal to limit the freedom of the press and his suggestion that those who feel offended should bring the case to court, also in a recent survey more than 70 % of the Danish people survey supported the PM in his arrogant position, therefore the Danes brought collective punishment upon themselves.
Secondly, Of course, another aspect of the Danish affair is that the cartoons were not published in a vacuum. They were published against the backdrop of widespread anti-Muslim prejudice and of incendiary statements likely to provoke hate against Muslims in Denmark. The decision to publish them came only a few months after Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was quoted in the London Telegraph as saying: "We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance."

The Queen of Denmark (who is also titular Head of the State Lutheran Chruch) has called on her subjects to oppose Islam and to display intolerance even in the face of public criticism. (She obviously is unaware of the respectful position of most Christian churches, including her own, on Islam).

It should be said that the cartoons are not the only reason why the eleven ambassadors wrote to the Danish PM in the first place. In their protest letter they also mentioned the case of Radio Holger and the declarations of Brian Mikkelsen and Louise Frevert.
Radio Holger, a private radio in Copenhagen, was temporarily closed down by the Danish authorities last summer when after the London bombings its owner, Kaj Wilhelmsen, had called for "exterminating" extremist Muslims in Europe, by expelling or even killing them.
Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish Minister of Culture and a member of the Conservative People's Party that forms a coalition with Mr. Rasmussen's Liberal Party, called for a new culture war. He told a party conference of the Conservatives that "a parallel society is developing in our country in which minorities cultivate their medieval values and undemocratic beliefs." Mikkelsen said that this was unacceptable and it had to be fought by confronting the Muslims with Danish culture and values.
Louise Frevert, a member of Parliament for the anti-immigration Danish People's Party, wrote on her website that "Muslims apparently think they are entitled to rape Danish women and beat up Danish citizens." Reacting to instances of violent rapes by immigrants she added that "as the law forbids us to kill our enemies we have no other choice but to put these criminals in jail." However, as the Danish prisons are full, Frevert suggested to put them in Russian jails and pay the Russian authorities 3 to 4 euros per day per prisoner. The ambassadors claim that all these cases prove that Muslims have good reasons to be worried in Denmark today.
Thirdly, the whole matter started when a Danish author complained that he could not find an artist to illustrate his Christian "children" book about Muhammad, the paper decided to ask Danish cartoonists to draw them pictures of the prophet.

On top of the 12 pictures there were 3 more published in the Danish tabloid Extra Bladet. The first of the three additional pictures, which are of dismal quality, shows Muhammad (PBUH) as a pedophile daemon, the second shows the prophet with a pig snout, and the third depicts a praying Muslim being raped by a dog. Apparently, the 12 original pictures including the one showing Mohammed (PBUH) wearing a bomb-shaped turban were not deemed bad enough.
Deliberately targeting all Muslims, the drawings depicted the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in ways fairly guaranteed not to promote interfaith religious understanding.

The paper said its aim was to "test" the limits of press freedom. Its critics say that, in the first place, Islamic law does not allow for the Prophet Mohammed to be depicted. Secondly, the drawings equated Islam with terrorism.

Finally, I pray for a non-violent boycott of Danes products. As much as I believe in freedom of expression, I also do believe to hold accountable those who hide behind "freedoms" to spread and incite hatred against any minority.

Simply, we are all born free, "the Danes are free to write what they want, and I am free to boycott those who have contempt to every thing I stand for".

Posted by: Um Khaled | February 2, 2006 06:43 PM

I've read about the rise of the right in europe and Denmark. Thanks for the background, people think all this is occurring in a vacuum. Boycott indeed but the violence and threats can't be tolerated.

Posted by: Danes | February 2, 2006 06:55 PM

To Johnny - Good for you! You just introduced an example of Christian zealots hurting people. And they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But does that somehow disprove my point? No. Deflecting attention to another subject doesn't change the reality of the previous subject. I bet you really had to dig for that story, too. And to Um Khaled, yes, you are free to boycott Danish products for whatever reason you may deem necessary. But nobody has the right to threaten someone's life because they may disagree with something. Denmark is NOT an Islamic state, so the criticism of the cartoon being blasphemous to Muslims, doesn't hold water. Sure, it hurt their feelings, but peoples' feelings get hurt everyday when others express differing opinions. I'm sorry, I refuse to place religion on a pedestal, as if it is immune from criticism or challenge. It is just another concept that begs to be questioned. You also take issue with the fact that Islam is associated with terror. Where have you been these past years? Are you telling me Islam has nothing to do with terror? Because I beg to differ. Many of us are sick and tired of hearing that hollow excuse, while people are being murdered to the strains of "Allahu Akbar."

Posted by: | February 2, 2006 06:56 PM

I agree with you that violence should not be tolerated in any society. But, I differ on one thing with you: Islam has nothing to do with terror. Individuals like you who take advantage of others fear or anger and exploit it, are the true danger.
No one can ever say that Hitler, who was democratically elected, in a very modern society, was representing Christ (PBUH) or the Aryan ethnicity.
Remember always, that: Extremisms comes in different forms, religious and secular.

And "Allahu Akbar", again and again.

(Muslims use Allahu Akbar for applause)

Posted by: Um Khaled | February 2, 2006 07:14 PM

I wish US papers would start showing some balls and stand up for principles and show solidarity. These fanatics who complain about cartoons but gladly accept pictures of innocent people getting beheaded deserve 0 respect. And btw, there is no God, of course the intellectually challenged will never understand.

Posted by: Frank | February 2, 2006 07:18 PM

I see far too many people here who assume Muslims are a monolith. They use the words "Arabs" and "Muslims" interchangeably. In fact, I know many college educated people in the U.S. that think Saddam Hussein is a devout Muslim, and is pals with OBM and Al Queda, and that's why we are fighting the war. Even "educated" people think this, because their knowledge of politics is a little above the level of a high school civics class. They actually think politicians are accountable to the people and that we are the greatest democracy on the planet. We are not a democracy, but a republic. We vote for people to represent us, and then they take money from lobbyists, and act on behalf of the interests that line their pockets.

Let's get this straight -- not all Muslims are the same. Not all Muslims are Arabs. We are not in Iraq to fight the same people that pulled off 9-11. Most Americans are dumb enough to buy into it, because we're killing people who look sort of like the people who did 9-11. As long as we kill some Arabs, or some other ethnic group that look enough like Arabs, we will placate the masses and we can fill up our SUVs, while pleasing the Saudis and Kuwaitis with free regional security. Iraq was never a threat to us! North Korea is much more of a threat, but they are much more of a fomidable opponent. In fact, what wars have we won in the past 30 years? Grenada? Is that worth the trillions we spend on defense? It's well know that social spending has a higher return on investment... But our politicians rely on defense contractor donations for their war chests. Democrats too. They're almost as bad as the Republicans.

Christians have their extremism -- polygamy, snake handling, drinking poison, God caused this or that natural disaster, killing doctors, bombing federal buildings, wife beating, child beating, Catholic priests raping boys, threats to assassinate foreign leaders (Hugo Chavez), etc. We can't also forget the Crusades, the Holocaust. All Christian extremist endeavors. I'm sure in many parts of the world, they view Christianity with the disdain that many of us view Islam -- mainly because the ignorance is commonplace in both worlds.

These people who are in an uproar are extremists, and are not to be confused with the Muslim population as a whole. If you are a good ol' boy, and love GW, then by association, you must love the Saudis, because he sure does! He seems to love the Saudis more than his own people, because we're not as wealthy. So, indirectly, many of you "good ol' boys" are supporting Muslim regimes that you claim to detest, but are too ignorant to know any better. Your tax money is being spent to defend sheiks in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Your sons and daughters are coming home in body bags, to defend monarchies!

Who cares... Drink a 12 pack, watch the Superbowl, and pick up reactionary tidbits of misinformation from AM talk radio pundits. As long as you can finance a GMC truck, buy cheap stuff (from China) in Walmart, and rack up obscene amounts of credit card debt, life is good... And when it's not, blame it on foreigners (like the anger about offshoring jobs -- they're not taking our jobs, but CEOs in the U.S. are giving them our jobs so they can make even more profits!)

So let's not lump Muslims into a monolith... A lot of you people are indirectly supporting Muslim monarchies, and your Christian faith has a lot of weird, sick, and twisted facets to it...

Posted by: voice of reason | February 2, 2006 07:19 PM

SC,

"But it is entirely obvious to the casual observer that Islam is indeed the religion with the most violent fanatics in this day and age. No matter how crazy the insane Christian or other religious zealots may act, they are not, by and large, killing in the name of their religion. Islam is associated with terror for a reason. Recognizing patterns is a sign of human intelligence, so are we to completely disregard the very real connection between the two so as to not hurt anyone's feelings?"

If only you were right.

Terror in the name of religion does exist in Islamic nations but that's what you are referring to. You don't even know most of it.

The casual observer that you refer to is sometimes the Western observer but most specifically it has become the Right-wing American casual observer.

The casual observer that you refer to carries with them a heavy baggage of ignorance, disturbing disregard and indifference to foreign people lives, contempt for international institutions, and sometimes arrogance and a feeling of superiority over all the people of this planet including Europeans.

When a secretary of state, a high ranking official of a government like the United States, states that "Oil is too important a commodity to be left at the hands of the Arabs", one is left speechless. That was Henry Kissinger by the way.

Your inability to distinguish between people who fight or kill in the name of religion and the ones who don't is directly linked to what I explained above.

In doing so, you, as well as your politicians who are in charge today, have attempted to somehow paint everything in the context of religion in order to "delegitimize the grievings" that Arabs have felt towards the dictatorial American foreign policy for very long decades.

Your government, as well as yourself I suppose, wanted the world to believe that Al-Qaeda hijackers woke up one day, opened their Koran, and read on page x, "Go attack America on Sep 11 2001".

This ignorance is not only related to the lack of knowledge of what lies beyond the borders of America, but most importantly, ignorance of what your own elected officials, and official institutions HAVE BEING DOING outside of America.

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy once wrote:

"We are engaged in a war against terrorism, but the war is a political one, not a religious one, not a civilizational one. It is, I stress, a political war."

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out, you just have to read Bin-Laden statements. You just have to read them.

It takes however a whole lot of prejudice, contempt for others, and a sense of superiority, to believe otherwise.

This is not about rejecting "feel-good, PC" drivel.

Islam as a religion has exited for over 1400 years so far. It is not the United States government led by Bush that is going to re-write its history because most of the oil commodity happens to be in Arab-Muslim lands.

Posted by: Karim | February 2, 2006 07:33 PM

The problem is the perception that Muslems disaprove of these cartoons much more than terrorist attacks. Various Muslem organizations have given verbal adn written condemnations about terrorist attacks, but no mass protests of outrage. Why huge, violent protests abotu these cartoons, but only nonviolent protests about 9/11 and suicide bombers? Maybe if the Muslems were on teh street saying "death to terrorists" and given verbal protests over these caroons, the west would not dislike the arab world so much. It jsut seems to many that Muslem priorities are messed up.

Posted by: Don | February 2, 2006 07:36 PM

At this point, this is a spontaneous boycott not a show run by few extremists, as media would like to portray it, nor orchestrated by non-representative governments. It is ordinary, mothers, youth, merchants, ... etc.

Tomorrow is Friday, and we have a Global Day of Protest.

Good night, and Salam (Peace).

Posted by: Um Khaled | February 2, 2006 07:38 PM

Sure, these are just cartoons. But they do depict unflattering stereotypes about Muslims. I looked at all 12 cartoons, and one of them brought up the Muslim mistreatment of women. If Muslims treat women so poorly, how can you explain Benazir Bhutto, the first female leader of an Islamic nation (Pakistan)? Will the United States ever have a female president? A black president? A Latino president? Another Catholic president? Maybe a president who isn't from the South?

I was born and brought up in the U.S., but I have travelled all over the world and I have a degree in international relations from a top 20 school. I can tell you, the U.S. is a very sanctimonious nation. We talk freedom and equality, but look at who runs things -- an overgrown frat boy who got bad grades but got into a great school because of family ties. Lo and behold, he's the son of a former president. It appears to me that we have a monarchy, and not a true republic.

The press in the U.S. is not liberal at all. To paraphrase Noam Chomsky, if it's doing it's job, it has the appearance of being liberal. It's not a direct conspiracy, but the news media is owned by corporations who are stakeholders in keeping the status quo. It's this pseudo-democracy that gives them the power to make even more profits.

I am a fan of free enterprise, but America is not about that at all. It's about Halliburton and sweetheart contracts with the government. It's about having politicians in the pocket to keep business booming for one company, and prevent start ups from gaining a foothold. We don't really believe in a fair market economy. At least we don't practice it. If you're not smart enough to read a real text about this, rent "The Aviator" and you will see how much trouble Howard Hughes had with the free market... This is just one small example. We are not a free market society, we don't have free speech, and our government spies on us.

I've strayed a little, but my point is, we're not the free and enlightened democracy most of you think we are. But as long as you are comfortable (for now), no one wants to rock the boat. No matter how many people we are killing, and no matter how much the middle class is shrinking.

And yes, an Islamic state had a female leader back in 1988. That's almost 20 years ago. So these Danish cartoons that criticize the stereotypical subordinate status of women in Islamic society are just plain incorrect.

They have the right to print these cartoons. People have a right to be upset and boycott their products. I'm not a Muslim, and I found them to be upsetting and to portray an ignorant view of Islamic culture.

Posted by: Joey | February 2, 2006 07:49 PM

somebody posted this: 'Surah 9:5: "Slay the infidel, wherever you may find them."'

it is better to read the whole Surah rather than picking one sentence.

http://www.kuran.gen.tr/?x=s_main&y=s_middle&kid=15&sid=9

Posted by: whocares | February 2, 2006 08:00 PM

Um Khaled,

Thanks for the thoughtful post and the context.

I still have questions for you, though, and I'd be interested to know what you would say.

If the cartoon hadn't portrayed Mohammed in such a negative light (I didn't know about the additional pictures in Extra Bladet), but still had portrayed him in a respectful (but, to Islam, forbidden) way, would you still wish for a boycott, or not? Was the problem that the cartoonists portrayed Mohammed with ridicule, or that they portrayed him at all?

I'm certainly not happy when I see religious characters mocked (all too often by those all of whose understanding of the religion would fit on a post-it note). And it's not very diplomatic for the Danish government to refuse to meet with ambassadors. (It's also just odd. Usually an ambassador has the right to speak to local government officials about the weather, if he wants to request a meeting to do that.)

But what I think a lot of people in the West would like to know is, is this a one-way street or a two-way street to you? If you want us to avoid printing things that offend your religion, will you also avoid printing things that offend ours or those of others? Things get said about Judaism and Christianity in media dominated by Muslims that are certainly insulting to those religions. Do you think countries where those religions dominate should be able to demand that the governments of predominantly Muslim countries step in and censor anything in their own local press that Jewish or Christian people find offensive? I'd like to know what you think about that.

Posted by: Beren | February 2, 2006 08:04 PM

Islam


1. Polygamy for men only, and if a man tires of a wife, he can abandon her and trade her in for another. (Surah 4:20) However, if a woman divorces her husband, she is going to hell.


2. Muhammad at 52 married 6-year-old A'isha


3. Non-believers go to hell. "O Prophet! strive hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed." Surah 9:73


4. Qur'an and the ahadith support and encourage the faithful to press violent jihad against non-Muslims. (Surah 2:190-193)


5. "Honor killings" are a common practice in many Muslim societies, even if a woman or child is raped.


6. A woman is considered in Islamic jurisprudence to be worth half a man by means of testimony in a court of law, meaning a woman's testimony only counts for half that of a man's (thus two women are needed to counter the claims of a man). (Surah 4:176)


7. Mohammed taught both that a majority of women would go to hell, and that the majority of people in hell were women, as he claimed to have seen in a vision


8. Men are free to beat their wives (as per Surah 4:34), provided they don't break any of her bones.


9. Racism against blacks. Surah 3:106-107 indicates that on the Day of Judgment before Allah, those with white faces will receive Allah's mercy, while those with black faces will receive damnation.


"On the Day when some faces will be white, and some faces will be black: To those whose faces will be black, will be said: "Did ye reject Faith after accepting it? Taste then the penalty for rejecting Faith." But those whose faces will be white,- they will be in Allah's mercy: therein to dwell." (Surah 3:106-107)


10. Women are essentially sex slaves and literarily equated to a man's private part. Mohammed said, "A woman is like a private part. When she goes out the devil casts a glance at her."

The ahadith state that if a man desires sexual intercourse with his woman, that she must respond immediately, even if she is engaged in baking bread at the communal oven If a woman is riding a camel, and her husband demands intercourse, she must submit, and this is even said to be her duty before Allah, that fulfilling of her husband's desire

Posted by: Anon | February 2, 2006 08:05 PM

Anon: You should have quit while you were ahead -- you likely just lost the entire U.S. population of males to Islam via the unnumbered #11 comment.

Posted by: Number 11 works for me | February 2, 2006 08:13 PM

Once again France surrenders...

P.S. little known fact: The ancient French would surrender to thunderstorms!

Posted by: France Sucks... | February 2, 2006 08:17 PM

Hey Anon,

Ever see the movie "Inherit the Wind"? There's lots of garbage in the Bible that can't be taken literally. If you take the Bible literally, there are some very extreme views. Additionally there are things that are physically impossible, like stopping the Earth from rotating.

Then again, Christianity and science have been at odds for centuries. From stem cell research today, to torturing intellectuals for believing that the Earth revolves around the Sun, Christianity has a long history of backwards beliefs.

How about the people who suffer and die because our politicians are too afraid to expand on stem cell research. They can't afford to lose the "Jesus" vote.

Religious texts are not to be taken literally. Do you seriously think that a female Islamic political leader gets slapped around by her husband?

As for polygamy, you should learn something about the Mormons...

Have you ever seen Cops? You'll see people with their Jesus on the cross in their shabby trailer when the cops come to investigate domestic violence.

Posted by: turk 182 | February 2, 2006 08:18 PM

It's should be a well known fact that France funded the Americans in the Revolutionary War against England. If it were not for the French, we would be an English colony. They even gave us our beloved Statue of Liberty.

Also, Joan of Arc and Napoleon were nothing to sneeze at. Napoleon almost conquered all of Europe and beyond, and the U.S. has won a war against Grenada? Yeah! We're really tough. We lost Vietnam, we lost the first Gulf War, we pulled out of Afghanistan (making it a terrorist training camp), and we're not doing so hot in our current conflict.

Mr. "France sucks"... You need to seriously obtain an education.

Posted by: France rules | February 2, 2006 08:21 PM

Anon,

Okay, well I'll let the Muslims respond to the rest of your points, but when you claim that Islam is racist and to support your claim you cite the following:

=============================================
""On the Day when some faces will be white, and some faces will be black: To those whose faces will be black, will be said: "Did ye reject Faith after accepting it? Taste then the penalty for rejecting Faith." But those whose faces will be white,- they will be in Allah's mercy: therein to dwell." (Surah 3:106-107)"
===========================================

I think you're mistaken in your interpretation of the passage. I don't think it means that those whose faces are currently that color will face the fate described. I think it means (Christian imagery does something similar with the parable of the sheep and the goats) that those who will be condemned will take on a certain appearance, and those who are to receive mercy will take on another appearance.

Really, if the beliefs of the religion were that silly, there wouldn't have been so many intelligent people who subscribed to it throughout many centuries.

Posted by: Beren | February 2, 2006 08:23 PM

LOL. The end was cut off. It basically said that if a woman doesn't want to have sex with her husband, Islam teaches that she is "cursed by the very angels of Allah". Maybe that's why all the people in Mohammed's hell are women?

Posted by: Anon | February 2, 2006 08:24 PM

Anon, you need to go back and re-read the Quran again before you spread such half-lies/half-truths arounds.

Islam racist against blacks??? Have you forgotten Muhammed Ali/Malcolm X?

And whats this about being able to abandon Women whenever Muslim Men want. First of all look around the Islamic world and see how many divorces there are. Then take a look at the Islamic Marriage laws and then come back and say that statement again.

The rest are just as bad. btw, in Islam, It is required for Men to respect women since only with Women(ie Mother) forgivness can anyone enter Heaven.

Posted by: Concerned | February 2, 2006 08:31 PM

Stop for a moment - before you write your comment, ask yourself "What do I know about Muhammad, the man depicted in the cartoons?" If the answer is "Nothing" or "Not Much" or anything close to that, then be fair to yourself. Read up about Muhammad, the Prophet. Go on, search the internet. You owe it to yourself.

Posted by: nf | February 2, 2006 08:32 PM

Really, the Danes got a raw deal. If those cartoons by a few Danish cartoonists justified a boycott of Danish goods, this blog easily qualifies the US for a similar boycott.

Posted by: Beren | February 2, 2006 08:34 PM

ok, nf said read up on Muhammad before you post, so I did. So I read that the prophet married a 6 year old girl and had sex with her when she was 9. The holy prophet a child molestor ? Maybe that's why he doesn't want to have any pictures of him published. And people dedicate their lifes to worship that lowlife of a man, just shows how foolish the uneducated masses of the world are.

Posted by: infidel | February 2, 2006 08:52 PM

Of course there are black Muslims. No one is disputing that but the original Arabic text, and the historic treatment by Arab Muslims towards darker-skinned people (especially black Africans) suggest that the racial interpretation is likely what Surah 3:106-107 was going for.

Even today, Muslims in India, whose skins are generally darker than those of Arabs from the Middle East, are considered to be "second-class" Muslims, as I have been told by several Indians.

It's not uncommon for Muslims of the Middle East to regard black people as slaves, and in fact, they were the reason the black African slave trade ever was started in the first place. They provided a market for African tribes to sell captured prisoners of war as slaves. This began centuries before Europeans and Americans became involved in the trade (although they DEFINITELY exploited black Africans too). It's estimated that 9.3 million black Africans were taken across the Sahara desert to serve as slaves in the Muslim Empire.

Posted by: A | February 2, 2006 08:54 PM

If Islam considers dark skinned Muslims from India "second class" Muslims then thats news to me cause I'm a dark skinned Muslim and I never had to sit at the "back of the bus".

If I may reiterate again. Both Malcolm X and Muhammed Ali thoroughly researched Islam and they would have never converted if they thought that Islam was going to treat them as "second class" Muslims.

Posted by: Concerned | February 2, 2006 09:12 PM

Beren,

"If you want us to avoid printing things that offend your religion, will you also avoid printing things that offend ours or those of others? Things get said about Judaism and Christianity in media dominated by Muslims that are certainly insulting to those religions. Do you think countries where those religions dominate should be able to demand that the governments of predominantly Muslim countries step in and censor anything in their own local press that Jewish or Christian people find offensive? I'd like to know what you think about that."

They do all the time. Israel routinely complains about that. And many pro-Israel lobbies in the US include them in their reports when they petition for, say, sanctions against Syria.

Now one major difference is if say an Egyptian paper publishes some offensive anti-Semitic cartoons or drawings, the rest of the Arab world does not start publishing them in "solidarity" with the Egyptian paper.

You seem unaware of the fact that offending Muslims on Western media happen all the time. Just search the web for "Islam terrorism".

Maybe you forgot that Falwell did call Mohammed a terrorist and it was reported all over the world.

The Muslims are aware of those things but they have RED LINES.

They believe a red line was crossed, and that was depicting their prophet as a terrorist combined with the stubbornness of the Danish government to act diplomatically.

Posted by: Karim | February 2, 2006 09:57 PM

Salam (Peace) Beren:

To answer your question, here is an excerpt of a letter from another Muslim, who lives in Canada, it expresses the views of most educated moderate Muslims, including mine:
" Even in a democratic society with strong protections for freedom of speech and press, there are still limits that must be imposed. I have viewed all the cartoons and in terms of content, only two of them seem to me to be particularly problematic. Let me first say that I am a Muslim but I grew up and still live in North America, so I am accustomed to seeing newspaper cartoons that satirize every imaginable subject. Also, while there is a general prohibition among Muslims of graphically depicting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and the other Prophets, such as Moses, Abraham and Jesus (peace be on them), that prohibition has never been absolute and in certain periods there have been images of the Prophets, although their faces are either featureless or covered by a veil). Of course those pictures were made to illustrate religious texts, not to criticize the Prophets.
Personally, the simple artistic depiction of the Prophet Muhammad by a non-Muslim does not particularly bother me, any more than the depiction of Jesus or the other prophets in, for example Renaissance Art. The two cartoons that I personally find offensive are the ones that depict Muhammad as a knife-wielding terrorist and as wearing a turban that is in fact a bomb that bears the Islamic creed, "There is no divinity but God and Muhammad is his prophet".
Of course, I have seen in my lifetime many editorial cartoons that I personally found to be offensive and almost all of them were about subjects far removed from Islam. A cartoonist has the right to draw and I have the right to be offended. Generally, nothing more needs to be said or done. However, as a society, we must take into account the sensibilities of others.
The Danish case is particularly interesting because the intention of the newspaper was to stir up controversy. The intention was to offend Muslims. The newspaper set out to provoke and they succeeded. It is strange that having succeeded they and their supporters are so incensed over the reaction. Contrast the Danish publisher's approach with that of U.S. newspapers. In the U.S., freedom of speech and press is almost absolute. Even so, on a few occasions in recent years when an editorial cartoon has elicited a large critical outcry, in most cases, the newspaper has apologized to offended readers, pointing out that the intention of the artist was to express an opinion, that the freedom to express an opinion is guaranteed and must be protected but that in hindsight it is apparent that the same message could have been conveyed without unnecessarily insulting a significant number of readers."

Posted by: Um Khaled | February 2, 2006 10:02 PM

Iraq, Niger, And The CIA
By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006

Vice President Cheney and his then-Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were personally informed in June 2003 that the CIA no longer considered credible the allegations that Saddam Hussein had attempted to procure uranium from the African nation of Niger, according to government records and interviews with current and former officials. The new CIA assessment came just as Libby and other senior administration officials were embarking on an effort to discredit an administration critic who had also been saying that the allegations were untrue.

Posted by: Niger Documents were Cartoonish | February 2, 2006 10:17 PM

From the Toronto Star:

But the issue goes well beyond the old debate over whether freedom of expression has limits. It does in countries like Canada, which have anti-hate laws. But regardless of the presence or absence of legislated limits, every society has its own notions of what is acceptable and what is not.
We can be certain that the editors publishing the Muhammad caricatures would not smear their pages with anti-Semitic graffiti. Or commission drawings maligning the Pope, by depicting him, say, in compromising sexual positions.
And had the editors opted to be that offensive, we can be equally certain that not too many people would have been rushing to their defence.
It is this double standard that's at the heart of the repeated conflicts between the West and the world of Islam over how far anti-Islamic provocateurs can go in baiting Muslims, repeatedly, knowing full well the depth of Muslim feelings about their most cherished beliefs. Invoking freedom of speech or the need to puncture political correctness are no more than smokescreens to hide that larger, and uglier, truth.
The Danes have neither defended freedom of speech well nor upheld another sacred secular principle, mutual respect between peoples of all faiths.
In balancing these two competing rights in this troubled world at this time, thinking people and responsible public institutions should err on the side of advancing mutual understanding, not fanning more conflicts.

Posted by: Timothy L | February 2, 2006 11:20 PM

Hypocrites these Arab thugs threatening Europeans in the Palestinian territories. Their (and those from other Arab countries)cartoons about Jews are disgusting.

Once again we see the nature of this "democracy". Guns, threats, barbarism and violence - the true Palestinian way!

Posted by: Carol | February 3, 2006 12:19 AM

Arabs need to get a sense of humour and stop threatening everybody with violence when they don't like something.

Posted by: Terence | February 3, 2006 12:21 AM

Given all the suicide bombings and terrorist attacks done in the name of Islam, you would have thought the reaction would be one of pride, because I can bet you that those burning flags, threatening people etc support suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks.

Posted by: Terence | February 3, 2006 12:30 AM

I don't know about the others but the Al Jazeera Flash cartoons are simply hilarious. How come everybody else is still using old fashioned static ones. Get Flash now. And I don't think you can speak like that when they also have cartoons like this. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/0EE30E43-B137-417C-9FA4-E629E849E7DC.htm?idpage=1&idPageImage={17B96C76-F892-4CD3-8318-82C6B204A4FD}

Posted by: ?????? | February 3, 2006 06:45 AM

The Washington Post can use a cartoon of a wounded American soldier but cant find this cartoon to publish. Double standard!!

Posted by: jp | February 3, 2006 08:32 AM

The Washington Post can use a cartoon of a wounded American soldier but cant find this cartoon to publish. Double standard!!

Posted by: jp | February 3, 2006 08:33 AM

It is not at all about the cartoons any way. It is simply a way of saying "Look how many people we can get on the streets against you for such a trivial matter. Now imagine what we can do if the matter is serious. Fear us and don't try anything 'funny' against us again."
'Frendly' warnings like that happen all the time:).

Posted by: ??????? | February 3, 2006 08:48 AM

The muslims need to get a sense of humor and need to get over themselves. Free speech is highly valued in our societies and it wouldn't hurt them to embrace it, too.

Posted by: sm | February 3, 2006 08:50 AM

The difference between protests when a cartoon that is published that is ant-christian or anti-semetic is that Jews and Christians don't threaten the lives of the diplomatic corps of a country and raid their offices.

I always laugh when Isalom-facists say that whenever a natural disaster hits the US it is because God is punishing us.

If that logic is true, maybe Muhammed sunk the ferry with the pilgrims returning from the hajj because he is displeased with their threats of violence over a friggin cartoon...

Posted by: PBUH | February 3, 2006 08:58 AM

I can see a lot of racism very close to the surface with some of the posters here. Some people look for jusification for their hate, and the reaction that some Muslims had to these cartoons, has some people rubbing their hands in glee at justification for their hate. There are fundamentalist Taliban style Muslims and Taliban style Christians. When both meet there is hell to pay.
I think the issue here is ignorance, of the Danes for inflaming these two groups, fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians. To print so many cartoons speaks of a paper looking for a reaction and that is what they got. The creepy dark holes that the ignorant crawl out of to demand a forum for their hate of others are almost empty now, as the ignorant call for the heads of the ignorant.
The Crusades lasted 600 years of slaughter of the non Christian by the Christian, Christians have lots of shame in their past and instead of calling for retribution and self righteousness they should realize they are a danger also. The ignorance of believers of all faiths that throw intelligence to the wind in order to feel justify themselves polluting others with their hidden agenda.
I am not Muslim, but I know that this is a minority of the Muslim population. I am tired of people calling Muslims to denounce fundamentalist Muslims. Christians have kept silent about lots of abuse and give credence to the evils of the Catholic church and the millions that have died in their name. Who in the general population speaks for the children abused by the pedophiles of the church. Misuse of power in religion is an ongoing problem, from all sides.

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | February 3, 2006 09:12 AM

The response of the Muslim world simply reinforces negative stereotypes of Muslims who have no control of their emotions, and lack a sense of proportionality of response. Rather than respond with satire, they respond with death threats.

"Freedom of speech" does *not* mean freedom from insult or 'hurt feelings.' Were the cartoons in bad taste? Arguably. Was it the responsibility of the cartoonists to be sensitive to the feelings of others? Not in a free society it isn't...

Posted by: DR | February 3, 2006 09:20 AM

To Karim - Well thank you for summing me up as someone who has a "lack of knowledge of what lies beyond the borders of America,...
a heavy baggage of ignorance, disturbing disregard and indifference to foreign people lives, contempt for international institutions, and sometimes arrogance and a feeling of superiority over all the people of this planet including Europeans" You could not be more incorrect. This is the phenomenon I am speaking about. This idea that nobody but a stupid, gun-toting American redneck could hold the opinion I hold is completely ridiculous. I submit to you that you are actually the one with a superiority complex, and I think many well-educated people in the world are coming to the same conclusion that I have about the problems with Islam. I will have you know I am well-educated and very well-traveled for a "stupid American." And I probably am more familiar with world political history and Islamic history than the average joe. If it were up to me, I'd love to be able to use alternative forms of energy in the place of oil, so that the Middle East could get the isolation it so desperately desires. However, I again submit to you that, without oil revenue, the Middle East would be in big trouble. But what do I know? You simply can't shut people like me up by calling us "ignorant," "racist", etc. That's too easy. Rather than offering condescending and patronizing explanations of how we just don't understand, maybe you should actually think about what we are saying. I will end this by quoting a man named Abdel Rahman al-Rashed from the Dubai-based TV channel Al-Arabiya who famously has stated, "It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain that almost all terrorists are Muslims." What do you think of this? Or does he just not get it either?

Posted by: SC | February 3, 2006 09:53 AM

Couples of observations are in order here:

The fact that both sides are on edges-how did we get to this point unkowingly.
2nd point is the fact that some of folks feeding this fire are being motivated
to more than they're saying publicly.
Ok, for point #1, its clear that the west feels somehow Muslims are un-fair
and have got away with a lots of special treatment: The extent to which this
is true is based on the eyes of beholder!
For instance, for the average Nordic seeing a women veiled or with head-scarf seems somehow she is making a point or militant, whereas for the Women, she is simply following what Allah has asked of her(i.e. verse, I'm paraphrasing, Oh, you prophet, tell your women to cover their bodies properly and now show of their bodies like the early time of ignorance...).
See, how much Mis-understanding on both sides!
Muslims on the other hand feel that lately, they have been assaulted over and over
and enough is enough; now they're going after the Prophet personally(peace be upon him).
You get the point of "how both sides" are on the edges.
The 2nd point is: Mainly the groups who published this are very anti-Islamic,
anti minority folks whose their bottom line is marginalize or challenge
anything that looks like Islamic (be it book, women, Islamic businesses, schools etc).
Problem with this idea is that, it's very counter-productive, but gives
the nationalistic folks something to shout about (protest, messages etc) while
it rallies the other side. Counter-productive that it doesn't help in changing the position of women in certain countries, it rather created tough climate to work with!
Example is new Danish gov that came to power with sole agenda of anti Islamic,
anti immigration policy. Good portion of the Danish Muslims are indigenous ¬ immigrants by the way.
I think both sides should sit down and say, ok, we live in this world
together, nobody is gonna eliminate nobody so how can we live without being
on each others throats. Doesn't look like a hard discussion -just takes town hall meetings!

Peace,

Posted by: Moh | February 3, 2006 09:55 AM

"so why is it so horrible that muslims are angry when the core of their religion is insulted. wouldn't christians be mad if christ was ridiculed in such an arrogant and ignorant fashion?"

No, it's not horrible that people are upset. But the threat of VIOLENCE and the carrying out of acts of violence is absurd over a CARTOON is absurd.

Please note that soldiers are not storming the doors of the Post, buring issues on the street, or THREATENING THE LIVES of Post employees.

Also - calling people racist for expressing their views is up there with folks on the radical right calling people traitors for doing the same thing...

Posted by: PBUH | February 3, 2006 09:59 AM

you don't think anti-muslim stuff is published all over the western press that is ignored as freedom of speech? just look at the language and ignorance in this thread! you can say all muslims are terrorists or any variation thereof in the media, and it is dismissed as freedom of speech.

try saying, "all blacks are...." or "all jews are....". i bet the freedom of speech arguement wouldn't apply then so easily.

you can say what you want about muslims and they won't care. but talk about the Prophet and that crosses the line. people don't understand because they are ignorant about anything beyond reality TV and mcdonalds.

what would happen if an anti semetic cartoon was published in denmark. these same people justifying the action against muslims would be up in arms about how horrible and racist it is.

you are all a bunch of hypocrites looking for a reason.

Posted by: Fahd | February 3, 2006 09:59 AM

Religion -- The mother of all haters.

Posted by: MC | February 3, 2006 10:08 AM

The BBC News website looks at why the depictions have caused such offence.

What does the Koran, the holy book of Islam, say on the issue?

There is no specific, or explicit ban on images of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad - be they carved, painted or drawn.

However, chapter 42, verse 11 of the Koran does say: "[Allah is] the originator of the heavens and the earth... [there is] nothing like a likeness of Him."

This is taken by Muslims to mean that Allah cannot be captured in an image by human hand, such is his beauty and grandeur. To attempt such a thing is seen as an insult to Allah.

The same is believed to apply to Muhammad.

Chapter 21, verses 52-54 of the Koran read: "[Abraham] said to his father and his people: 'What are these images to whose worship you cleave?' They said: 'We found our fathers worshipping them.' He said: 'Certainly you have been, you and your fathers, in manifest error.'"

From this arises the Muslim belief that images can give rise to idolatry - that is to say an image, rather than the divine being it symbolises, can become the object of worship and veneration.

What does Islamic tradition say on the matter?

Islamic tradition or Hadith, the stories of the words and actions of Muhammad and his Companions, explicitly prohibits images of Allah, Muhammad and all the major prophets of the Christian and Jewish traditions.

More widely, Islamic tradition has discouraged the figurative depiction of living creatures, especially human beings. Islamic art has therefore tended to be abstract or decorative.

Why is the insult so deeply felt by some Muslims?

Of course, there is the prohibition on images of Muhammad.

But one cartoon, showing the Prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, extends the caricature of Muslims as terrorists to Muhammad.

In this image, Muslims see a depiction of Islam, its prophet and Muslims in general as terrorists.

This will certainly play into a widespread perception among Muslims across the world that many in the West harbour a hostility towards - or fear of - Islam and Muslims.

Posted by: | February 3, 2006 10:12 AM

Pleace tell the thruth, you dont show the drawings out of respect for Islam, but out of fear for the Muslim anger.
As a prominent member of the press, I urge you to reconsider.

This issue is not respect of religion, but should we accept to live in fear of religion ?

It´s not a question of the drawings are good or bad taste, - it is at question of the right to print drawings someone will think is bad taste.

Pleace take the bold stand, and publish the drawings in the name of freedom of speach and freedom of press.

sincerely
Lars Hansen
Denmark

Posted by: Lars Hansen | February 3, 2006 10:13 AM

Has anybody asked the Washington Post why it hasn't published these cartoons? Or put them on its website?

You can find them easily on the web, but that isn't the point, really, is it? (Go to the stupidly named but useful www.mediawatchwatch.org and follow the links if you haven't seen them yet.)

I think the Post, like all US publications, is censoring them. Presumably because it's frightened, rather than to really protect anybody's feelings, since the Muslim population of Washington is quite small.

And if I'm right, then the battle is, at the moment, being lost. For Freedom of Expression doesn't exist in one of the nation's most respected papers.

Posted by: Mata Hari | February 3, 2006 10:29 AM

ITS NOT ABOUT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

this is about incitement. freedom of speech has been limited by the US Supreme Court. its not about being scared of muslims. its not about what they can do to us in retaliation. its about good taste, good judgement, inherent racism, and incitement.

Posted by: Fahd | February 3, 2006 10:34 AM

We in America should know by now that we should not be there and they should not be here.

Posted by: JNR | February 3, 2006 10:56 AM

The more Muslims we can offend the better. We who find Islam offensive have a right to say so!

Posted by: candide | February 3, 2006 11:01 AM

Soon it will be necessary to modify freedom of religion here. Muslim faith will have to be banned as dangerous to the welfare of our nation and its security.

Posted by: candide | February 3, 2006 11:02 AM

To be fair, I would also outlaw Christianity, which is a fairly serious mental illness.

Posted by: candide | February 3, 2006 11:02 AM

a commenter above claims "freedom of speech has been limited by the US Supreme Court." that's true to a very limited degree - you can't defame a person without risking a libel suit, for example, or publish critical nat'l security info.

But you're perfectly free to praise or mock religion, political beliefs, and the like. Just as folks who are offended by such views are free to denounce them (short of violence). That's the whole point of the 1st Amendment - free exchange of ideas. There's no 'don't hurt feelings' exception.

Posted by: CE | February 3, 2006 11:09 AM

Fahd,

Let me turn your argument around.

If Al Jazeera were to show on a news broadcast a cartoon of the Pope with a child under his vestments, would it then be permissible for the Kinghts of Columbus to storm the Saudi embassy, to threaten the lives of the employees of Al Jazeera, etc, etc???

Posted by: PBUH | February 3, 2006 11:17 AM

I don't think the comments against Islam would run so strong if the reaction to the "offensiveness" Muslims believe has occured was not demonstrated in such a violent fashion.

People can be offended, but when you decide it is okay to kill others because you are offended, you no longer claim a right to be offended.

Besides, I always thought that regardless of your religion, if your faith is strong and true, then nothing can be done to shake your faith.

Posted by: Iraq Vet | February 3, 2006 11:25 AM

Where are these pictures? I can't find them here.

Given that they are obviously news, the Washington Post has an obligation to its readership to print them.

Posted by: Chester | February 3, 2006 11:30 AM

They may not have printed them due to ownership issues.

But, if you check out Auth's political cartoon (available on this site), it has a reproduction of the comic.

Posted by: PBHU | February 3, 2006 11:34 AM

It is interesting that these caricatures of Muhammad are reported to be a violation of Islam, while there is nothing in the Koran that prohibits depictions of God or Muhammad. These restrictions were placed on the Islamic religion subsequently by clerics who forced there own moral interpretations onto the theology.

These supposed "violations" of Islam are arbitrary and capriciously introduced to begin with. I for one was delighted to see that these European publications have the balls to stand up for their well-placed ideals.

As for Muslims entering the modern world, as someone here called for....the whole salifa movement within Islam is an attempt to bring the religion back to its medieval ways and therefore its prior prominence. They don't wish to be a part of the civilized world.

Posted by: Phil | February 3, 2006 11:46 AM

Iraq Vet - You make excellent points. We have come to expect violence and hostility as a response from Muslims to just about anything perceived as an insult to their religion. And are we just to sit back and accept that as the status quo? Why is it that we hold other religions accountable for their bad actions, but seem to feel that the Muslim world needs to be appeased when mob rule and violence take hold? Are we not making the assumption that Muslims are unable to control themselves and be civilized in the face of criticism? Because that seems to be a "prejudiced" idea coming from those who love to call everyone else prejudiced, racist, ignorant, etc. Bottom line: I refuse to withhold an opinion so as not to offend religions. We are not a theocracy and we do not abide by Sharia. I do not care that this is punishable by death in Muslim countries. Thank God we are not a Muslim country, so their laws have no bearing on us. Muslims who choose to live in the West are bound by the Western rule of law, plain and simple. There are no laws in this country that prohibit "hurting someone's feelings." Get over it and grow up. If your faith is indeed true and strong, then this issue should be like water off your back. Obviously these people who run around brandishing guns and threatening to kidnap innocent civilians are a bit shaky in their faith. NOBODY has the right to threaten lives over something as inconsequential as a cartoon. These people continue to prove the points these satirists make in the cartoons.

Posted by: SC | February 3, 2006 11:55 AM

Drudgereport.com has a link to the cartoons. Once again, this website scoops the mainstream press.

Posted by: Chester | February 3, 2006 11:56 AM

Chester,

Actually, I found a link from Rolling Stone website to the pics yesterday. But your point is well taken. Will the mainstream US press run the cartoons in print?

Posted by: DR | February 3, 2006 12:00 PM

What if we treat muslims in their own intolerant way by proclaiming that we do not care at all of what they think? And then we add that in any case their prophet is a false prophet because the only true religion is Chritianity? Will that give them a sense of proportion? What they constantly do is to impose to others their standards and insist that we should respect them. When you go to saudi arabia you should cover your wife. Why is it wrong to demand that when they come to our places the veils should be removed?
I am confused and angry by their double standards. If they do not like Europe or the US go to Saudi Arabia. You will not have problems there. But who would like to leave there..?

Posted by: VA | February 3, 2006 12:03 PM

Incitement??? Some mildly derrogatory cartoons??? Are you nuts? If that is all it takes to incite the entire Muslim world, then these cartoons were RIGHT ON TEH MONEY!!!!

Posted by: Phil | February 3, 2006 12:04 PM

>> Christian group angry over Britney 'Will'

According to NBC's initial synopsis of the episode, Jack's fictional TV network, Out TV, is taken over by a Christian broadcaster, leading Spears' character to do a cooking segment on his show called "Cruci-fixin's."

The American Family Association immediately raised objections to the planned episode, saying it "mocks the crucifixion of Christ" and will "further denigrate Christianity" by airing the night before Good Friday.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/02/03/leisure.willgrace.reut/index.html

Posted by: Tom | February 3, 2006 12:04 PM

Earth - Islam = Peace

Posted by: Mo | February 3, 2006 12:05 PM

Tom - I don't think that silly incident of Christians getting their panties in a bunch about Britney Spears can even begin to compare to Muslims threatening to kill and kidnap people over a cartoon. That will be a newsworthy story when a Christian zealot takes someone hostage and/or kills them. Try again.

Posted by: SC | February 3, 2006 12:11 PM

Well, as a chinese. I see a lot of cartoons on almost all western newspapers ridiculing our beloved leaders. Now it could also be taken as an insult, so how could all those newspapers and political correctness help us to remove those cartoons from their website and/or newspapers, at least remove them from the place where our people can have access? If needed, we could do the following with no problem:
1. Send out suicide bombers.
2. Remove from our newspaper all cartoons ridiculing westeren people.
3. 1 billion people's parade aiming to protest the cartoons.
4. Burn European and USA flags at BeiJing or any cities you point publicly.

I am serious. Is there any people can help us on this? But when you comment, please do respect our Party, our believe.

Thank You

Posted by: Ou | February 3, 2006 12:12 PM

For how much longer will we be obliged to tolerate and deal with this backwards looking, uneducated, undemocratic, theocratic mob the media calls "the muslim world"?
Maybe it is time to realise that Islam as a religion is a force of reactionism and stops progress.
Please, get out of the middle ages and come to the modern world. Maybe we should help the muslim countries to create their owen enlightment (a few centuries late but better late then never).

Posted by: GA | February 3, 2006 12:14 PM

I thought that the cartoon of the old man with the dagger and a black rectangle over his eyes with two burkha clad women with their eyes open captured the current state of Islam perfectly. A picture worth a thousand words - the women covered completely except for their "shocked" eyes, while the man is blind to the what he is wreaking with his sword! Beautiful!!

Posted by: Newton | February 3, 2006 12:20 PM

SC,

Well now if I see the whole Muslim world rise up in arms over a bunch of cartoons then I'll agree with you. If you are talking about a bunch of hot head Palestinians, well we can all recall the lynchings in this country done by the good southern Christians over not so many years ago.

My point is if Christians consider the crucifix sacred then you shouldn't make fun of it. Same with images of Muhammad for the Muslims.

I'm for making fun of well heeled TV evangelists, fundamentalists of all persuasions, Bible thumping pols, and nutty mullahs however.

Posted by: Tom | February 3, 2006 12:27 PM

It would behoove the outraged Al Aqsa Martyrs and, others of their ilk, to consider whether any of the Muslim media has insulted Christianity and or Judaism, before letting their dudgeon rise too high.

Posted by: Jon | February 3, 2006 12:34 PM

Tom:

I have seen the cartoons and though they show an old man with the word Muhammad written on them, how does that mean it is THE Prophet Muhammad? As there is no image of THE Prophet anywhere, how does a sketch of a generic man with a beard be taken to be an image of the "Prophet"? Muhammad is a generic name in the Muslim world. If I didn't know about the "outrage", I would have simply assumed the person to be a person from the Middle East living in current times with the name Muhammad.

The best cartoons are those that sum up the irony of the world we live in, in a simple sketch. It seems like the Jyllands cartoons have more than succeeded in this. If there had not been any "outrage", the cartoons could have considered a failure, but now they reflect the reality of our times!

Posted by: Newton | February 3, 2006 12:35 PM

You think the groups of Muslims around the world rising up right now are just a group of "hot-headed Palestinians"? It's much more widespread than that, Tom. And your point is ridiculous. Why shouldn't I be able to joke about or criticize religion? I can make fun of anything I want, so long as I am not physically harming or intimidating anyone. Religion, as I mentioned before, is just another concept that begs to be questioned. I refuse to place it on a pedestal where it's immune from challenge. What's more is that what those cartoons did was prove the point that many Muslims in this day and age refuse to be logical and civilized in the face of criticism or challenge. With all of the problems stemming from Islam today, it's important to ask the tough questions and make people uncomfortable. Otherwise, what's going to change? I bet the Muslims who are running around brandishing weapons, chanting slogans ,threatening to kill people and otherwise creating a ruckus, haven't even read the cartoons or understood the message. If they had, then maybe they would understand the irony.

Posted by: SC | February 3, 2006 12:47 PM

I am inspired! As an artist, I am always looking for ways to shake up the status quo. I am going to put some cartoons of all the worlds major religions on my website. I don't know a single one that doesn't beg for a little humor in between the dogma and the hatred... except perhaps the Buddhists, who don't seem to want to hurt anybody at all. What's with them?

Posted by: Solitaire | February 3, 2006 12:57 PM

The reason the Muslim world is such a disaster is well........because it is Muslim.

Posted by: | February 3, 2006 12:59 PM

The so-called religion of Peace and Tolerance is anything but. Radical followers of the wonderful Muslim faith (the precentages are steadily increasing) are quick to denounce the European Press and threaten violence against their countries citizens. Islam followers once again show their true colors; intolerance, tendencies towards violence, suppression of basic human freedoms.

Where were you oh holy followers of Islam when innocent people (westerners) were beheaded or blown up by your fellow muslim followers of the so-called religion of peace and tolerance? We in the west have been tolerant and passive with your religion you for too long. You have succeeded in creating much dislike and intolerance towards Islam! It would be admirable if leaders of Islam take charge to cool things down at this time, but this can not happen. You see if some Muslim leaders speak of tolerance and understanding now, your wonderful followers will either shoot them or blow them up!

Posted by: Paul | February 3, 2006 01:00 PM

The cartoons were funny and so is this one of Jesus. No need to hate.
http://www.noflysonus.com/product.asp?IntID=4191&strManufacturer=Elvis%20Jesus

just enjoy life and learn to laugh a little.

Posted by: Rick | February 3, 2006 01:04 PM

Lars Hansen - you think the US is afraid of Islamic extremists? You might want to actually visit the US at some point.

This is shoddy reporting by the west (how surprising). What they're not telling you is that, for the past couple months, most Islamic nations have been *peacefully* protesting and boycotting Danish goods. There were some idiots calling for restrictions on speech, and there were some fringe groups shouting Death To Whatever, but for the most part, it was peaceful. The idiots calling for violence were very much so in the minority. It wasn't until papers in Germany, France, and the hypocritical Italy reprinted the images months later that it escalated to the point where ultimatums were issued (I say hypocritical because it was only a few short months ago that many Italians were in an uproar over a depiction of an all-female Last Supper and called for - and got - censorship. Somehow, that's tasteless, but making fun of Mohammed is protected speech).

Also shoddy reporting: there's little context. Not many people realize just how racist much of Europe is. They like to talk about how forward thinking they are, and how they're better than the US or whatever, but large swathes of the population are both anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim. These cartoons were the straw that broke the camel's back. However, for some stupid reason, US papers don't print about how crappy the continent is to visible minority groups, so we get the impression that these guys just woke up in the morning and said, "Hey, let's kill whitey."

More shoddy reporting: there have been fatwas issued against terrorism and extremism by a number of Islamic organizations, both in the US and outside. Just because you haven't heard of them doesn't mean they don't exist.

And some background info that doesn't get around in the West: at least one of the posters here wrote things like "PBUH" after certain names. What that means is "Peace be unto him," it's a sign of reverence, and Muslims who use it use it after the name of ANY central religious figure. Mohammed, Christ, Moses - they all get the same treatment.

I read one poster say that he laughed at Muslims who say that natural disasters are punishment from God b/c he doesn't like the US. I was unaware that both the mayor of New Orleans and Pat Robertson were Muslim - or did you forget how they both stated that God was punishing America?

And to anyone who thinks Muslims need to "clean their house" - why don't the Christians do anything about Fred Phelps, who regularly gets his people together to protest at the funerals of US servicemembers? Why don't Christians do something about Pat Robertson and his supporters, or the people who want to bomb abortion clinics? Why don't Jews do more to put a full stop to Kahanism and the hilltop youth, a group that Sharon and others in the Israeli government have thought could become violent and damaging to any peace process given time and just a little incentive? No religion is untouched by fanaticism.

Posted by: Joe Bismark | February 3, 2006 01:30 PM

I am a firm believer in respecting others on all grounds. Publishing these cartoons was not the wisest move considering the state of world today.

However, to read articles such as this http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1107AP_Prophet_Drawings.html?source=mypi and read of the outrageous reactions is downright scary. These are large numbers of people reacting in this way. We're not talking one or two nut cases.

In my opinion, reasonable people do not react to something such as this so violently. Sure, it was definitely in bad taste but I don't believe anyone deserves to die for it. I was taught that to respond to something such as this gives it the importance it doesn't deserve.

Boycotting Danish products is reasonable. Vowing vengeance is the action of lunatics. Throwing bombs, shooting into the air, throwing rocks, inciting hate over something so stupid is not reasonable.

I do not see how Muslim children can learn anything but hate. They are exposed to it constantly. It is truly a shame. How will they learn to be different?

How are we ever to become one global family when children are learning to hate for hates sake? How are they to learn that not all Americans, Danish, French, Arabs, Muslims, Christians are evil when all they are shown is the evil?
Why can't we all get past the ridiculousness and hate? What will it take?

Posted by: clee | February 3, 2006 01:42 PM

As far as Muslim oppression of women, it is interesting to note that Denmark has never had a female prime minister:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_Denmark

However, Pakistan has had a female prime minister. Jordan is ruled by a female monarch.

http://www.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/tows_past_20011005_d.jhtml

The Danish newspaper has every right to display their ignorance and sanctimony. To me, these charicatures are offensive. It's akin to depicting black people eating fried chicken and watermelon. Also, Abercrombie & Fitch got in trouble for their t-shirts that made fun of Asians. I think the death threats are a bit extreme, but I can understand the anger. The Danes have depicted the most extreme face of Islam as the way the religion is practiced by all Muslims.

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 3, 2006 02:31 PM

if I was a journalist with any of the major US newspapers and agencies I'd be deeply ashamed by now. Why do French, German and other European newspapers have the courage to reprint the cartoons but the Washington Post and others here don't, what are bunch of chickens. The news groups here deserve for the US government to start censoring all their news, if it's not being done already, who knows, because they clearly don't fight for their freedom of press. I am disgusted.
And as far as the muslim outrage is concerned, who cares, it's a billion of ignorants worshipping a child molester who lived over thousand years ago. It's their agenda to kill all us infidels, so we might as well start fighting them now rather then later. I wish we could put all the moslems, christians, jews and other religious fanatics in one place so they could fight each other, while the rest of us works on the progress of science and mankind.

Posted by: infidel | February 3, 2006 02:32 PM

"except perhaps the Buddhists, who don't seem to want to hurt anybody at all. What's with them?"

Solitaire, you are an art-hippy, and you really need to know the facts. Sri Lanka has had a bitter war (with suicide bombings and all that jazz) between Buddhists and Hindus. This doesn't often make the news, because there is no oil there. But this is a bloody conflict, and yes, your precious "pacifist" Buddhists have been killing people. Any religion, in it's extremities, is dangerous. Islam has been singled out as a dangerous religion, because the news media focuses on the extremists. The news media distorts reality. For example, people's fear of crim has been rising, but the crime rate has been declining. This is because the media reports negative news, and there is much more news programming (2 hours of local news, national news 2 times a day, 24 hour news channels).

Some people really need to get out more, turn off the TV, and maybe pick up a book? Just an idea.

Posted by: correctionist | February 3, 2006 02:38 PM

Dumbmark- please stop. Have you seen the pictures? Come on. There's worse every Saturday in the WaPo's drawing board.

Some of us who don't believe in organized religion, don't believe your religion automatically deserves respect. That covers ALL religions. Today it happens to be Islam, yesterday it was Christianity, and last week it was Judaism. More blood has been, and continues to be, shed in the name of one god or another than for any other reason. Why? When someone can explain to me why its important for me to believe what they believe, then I might have some time or use for organized religion. I challenge any reader to sell me on this notion that we all need to believe in the same higher being. It only matters if a) you need me to do something for you b) you want my money or c) you want someone elses money. Altruism my ass.

Until then keep all your myths the f**k out of our lives. Next time you want to get good and pissed because someone has insulted your religion, take a deep breath and go for a walk. We'll all thank you.

Posted by: AS | February 3, 2006 02:51 PM

Nice try, Dumbmark. Do you really think that there's a question as to whether women have more freedom in Denmark or, say, ANY country in the Muslim world? Can women drive in Saudi? Can they work in the profession of their choice in Iran? can they speak and act FREELY in most of those countries? No, they're considered chattel in those places.

Posted by: JS | February 3, 2006 02:54 PM

hey Solitaire, if you need artwork ideas, we need a picture of Mohammed raping his 9 year old 'wife', lets see what the truth loving moslems say to that. And if the christians come to defend the dignity of moslems, lets draw pictures of catholics burning witches for saying the earth is not flat or similar accusations back in the days.

Posted by: infidel | February 3, 2006 03:06 PM

Dumbmark, please don't tell me that you actually trying to imply that Pakistan and Jordan treat women better than a country like Denmark. That is asinine. And yes, Denmark has made a statement about a side of Islam which has decided to bear its ugly face in light of the cartoons. But it's always been there before, so why the surprise? What suprises me is how people such as yourself constantly try and pretend there is no problem within Islam. Islam is the inspiration behind a multi-million dollar internationally financed terror ring! That is a problem, and it separates it from the random act of Christian, Hindu, Bhuddist, etc. violence! And you can understand their anger? It was a cartoon in a Western country! If it had been within a Muslim country, then I imagine they would be free to rip apart with their bare hands whoever disrespects their religion. This kind of behavior is insane. But what's worse, is people who actually defend that mentality.

Posted by: SC | February 3, 2006 03:06 PM

The cartoons can be seen at:
http://www.humaneventsonline.com/sarticle.php?id=12146

Let's see I'm chosing a religion to follow today. There's the one whose prophet was a general that led his armies into battle, has a book that says you can convert non believers to your religion or tax them or even kill them. Now there's another different religious choice. The one where they promote love and forgiveness. Hmmmmm.

Posted by: Paul | February 3, 2006 03:36 PM

It wasn't in bad taste, and nobody should care if the cartoons offended Muslims. Freedom is not freedom without the ability to offend. We seem to be frozen in political correctness with the idea that we should not offend anyone. To the contrary, it is not a protest if it doesn't offend. Would Muslims give up their hate speech because it offends Americans or Danes? I don't see that happening.

Posted by: Frozen | February 3, 2006 03:57 PM

Um, for the record I just want to say that these nudniks running around calling for revenge in my name are simply nuts. I don't know where they got the idea that no one could draw a picture of me but I don't recall saying anything along those lines. And the seventy two virgins thing didn't come from me either, not to mention strapping on a bomb and murdering people. Everyone needs to lighten up a bit. I mean, Jesus and I were horsing around the other day playing some ball and calling each other names and talking trash..but did we come to blows? Nope. The guy's funny, there's no way around it. And I can't deny that inside the paint, Jesus can take it to the hole every time (he's got that floating on air thing down cold). Although he knows he can't stop my three pointers. So there you go folks, if we can get along - you can too. Peace be upon you (especially the nudniks)

Posted by: Mohammed | February 3, 2006 04:03 PM

Why believe the cartoons depict the Prophet? No one has a picture of the Prophet Mohammed, so how can an artist draw him? The most the artist can do is draw an image and label it as the Prophet, but saying it is an image of the Prophet does not make it so.

This does not mean that the cartoons (which I have not yet seen) don't defame Islam, but if they do it is likely in the sense of political fun rather than as a religious putdown.

Of the three major Judeo-Chritian religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, only Christianity deviates entirely from the Commandment "Thou shalt not have graven images," allowing churches to be decorated with stained glass depictions of someone's guess as to what Christ and his entourage looked like (since the historic Jesus was a devout Jew, He would not have allowed his image to be copied) as well as statues and relics of Saints that are venerated and worshiped, in the manner of pre-Christian pagan religions whose customs were adopted by the Church to enhance its acceptance. (There are, of course, modern Jewish artists who photograph or paint images of people, but they are not shown in the synagogue.)

During the Saudia Arabian exposition in Washington, DC, in the 1970's or 80's, I was struck by the beauty of some of the abstract art that Saudi artists had created in lieu of paintings that depicted people.

Posted by: Ed1234 | February 3, 2006 04:09 PM

It's time for the American media to step up and reprint this cartoon, if for no other reason than solidarity with their European brethren. Every website and news source I visit says something along these lines: "The ____ has chosen not to publish the cartoon in question out of respect for the sensitivites of our Muslim readership."

If we choose to live in a society where we must cater to the sensitivities of every demographic, religious, ethnic, and nationalist group before we publish, we will not publish anything at all. Say goodbye to the great Washington Post. Blank pages will arrive on our doorsteps and fill our news stands.

In any event, depicting images of Jesus is blasphemous to Muslims, as he is a revered prophet in their religion. Thus, every Catholic who wears a crucifix is condemned to death for blasphemy. It's time reasonable people stood up for the freedom of ideas. We are NOT subject to the laws of Islam and should not pander to those that are.

I would applaud the Post if it published the cartoon, with mention that the paper does not endorse the content, but does believe that the picture itself is NEWSWORTHY and thus MUST BE PRINTED.

Posted by: America? | February 3, 2006 04:16 PM

...a cartoon originally published 3 months ago is used by Muslim extremists as propaganda to incite their followers to act in the exact behavior depicted in the cartoon...

..and the POST sits on its politically correct hands...

...out of reverence to what? The Pentagon's request?...The White House's urgings of 'restraint' and 'responsiblity'? When did the American media become the lapdog of the administration?...

...We've lost the war of ideas because we can't behave as we always have out of fear...what, of a FATWA?...Where is the great Katherine Graham when we need her???

...way to go, WASHINGTON POST...Journalistic integrity is dead...

Posted by: unfortunateson | February 3, 2006 04:35 PM

The only place I ever hear Muslims professing that terrorism is against the teachings of Islam is somewhere in the Western world, where presumably they are safe to state a minority opinion so openly.

I don't recall any angry Muslim mobs in front of their respective embassies here in the US any time terrorism is propagated in the name of their faith.

Posted by: | February 3, 2006 04:42 PM

It is so sad sad sad. We are a small egalitarian country, naive, and with no law system designed for for the crimes and terror threatening us. Many, many Norwegians get killed by muslims. In Norway. And we are literally talking about an epidemy of rapes. The muslims in Norway openly tell us that is to punish our Scandinavian lack of moral. Many internation al terrorists are living here. As the community is so very transparent, we are not even spared to be confronted with the criminals in our everyday life. One day I sat down on the bus, and looked stright into the face of the aeroplane hijacker Souhaila Andrawes. She could see my discomfort, and laughed loudly. She had the upper hand. As have all the muslims in Scandinavia now. Sweden have lost their famous social democracy, that is why you hear no protests from their country. Our freedom of speach were the last little straw we were clutching. But I suppose we loose. We have opend our country for them, and notice: Moste of these people are living on very generous contributions from the Norwegian society. We are helping muslim countries by the billions. I suppose many of you are laughing at our stupidity and naiveté. Like the hijacker in my scared face. We are indeed the dodos of today.

Posted by: Norway | February 3, 2006 04:46 PM

"Dumbmark, please don't tell me that you actually trying to imply that Pakistan and Jordan treat women better than a country like Denmark. That is asinine."

THEN WHY HASN'T DENMARK HAD A FEMALE PRIME MINISTER?!? You are asinine. Your view of the Muslim world is so stereotypical, and you have bought into the media distortions.

I can't generalize as well as you do, so I cannot say that Denmark treats women better than Pakistan or Jordan. It really depends on the situation, don't you think?

All I can say is that it is very sanctimonious of Danish people to think ALL Muslims treat their women poorly, when in the case of Pakistan, they elected a female prime minister almost 20 years ago.

I personally have worked with and am friends with Muslims (in the U.S.) who are from India and Pakistan. My former boss was a Muslim, and he moved out of the Bay Area, and moved back because HIS WIFE liked it better here.

All of the Muslims I personally know treat their wives with respect and as equals.

The Muslims you see on TV and hear about are often very poor rural people. Look at how very poor rural Christians in Appalacia treat their wives! Have you ever seen Cops? 75% of that show is domestic violence. The U.S. has a serious problem with domestic violence, and there are battered women's shelters to prove it.

You are assinine. You think your vague generalizations are the truth, but you live in a tiny f&%$^'ing world.

Posted by: | February 3, 2006 05:20 PM

All of this Muslim bashing reminds me of the similar ignorant views of India that I hear. People still think the caste system is in practice. Maybe in some remote areas, but in the 60's India went through their "affirmative action" and the lower castes were favored in school admission and government jobs. In Modern times, the UK's class system is far more primitive and ingrained than India's caste system.

Also the Indiana Jones movie where Indians are eating chilled monkey brains. Most Indians are vegetarians.

Then I hear about how women in India throw themselves on the funeral pyres. Maybe in some remote areas. Again, this is a case of the extremities being viewed as normality.

The fact is, India is way ahead of us in terms of stem cell research. They can cure certain forms of blindness that cannot be cured in the U.S., because people believe that Jesus would not want it that way.

India also has the 2nd largest Muslim population in the world. I can't say there has always been peace between Hindus and Muslims there, but how about Ireland? Nice peaceful Christians? Come on... Give me a break!

Our own religious extremists have done a very good job of turning what was once a great nation into a second rate power. I can't consider the U.S. a "hegemon". Defeating Grenada is hardly the sign of a dominant world power. Our scientific community has been stifled by ignorance. College students are not majoring in EE and CS, because the jobs are being sent overseas by greedy CEO's.

Most of the posts here are based on ignorant AM talk radio lies. It's time to think for your selves, and let Rush Limbaugh pop his pills and sputter forth complete drivel.

Posted by: Same Old Story | February 3, 2006 05:41 PM

"Let's see I'm chosing a religion to follow today. There's the one whose prophet was a general that led his armies into battle, has a book that says you can convert non believers to your religion or tax them or even kill them. Now there's another different religious choice. The one where they promote love and forgiveness. Hmmmmm"

Yes, Love and forgiveness, like the Crusades... Like Northern Ireland (gee, even Christians can't get along?)

A lot of Christians are really think their sh@t doesn't stink. It stinks worse than any other religion. George W Bush is a born again Christian, who has killed 30,000 Iraqis. Where's the love and peace there?

Posted by: central scrutinizer | February 3, 2006 05:49 PM

Karim,

Thanks for your post. Actually, I'm quite aware that a lot of uninformed and nasty things get said about Islam in the Western media.

What I was asking, though, was whether, if another religion was insulted in predominantly Muslim media, you would support exactly the same reactions to it. I know that Jewish organizations protest portryals of rabbis and of Judaism in the media of various Muslim countries. But not much usually comes of it, as far as I know. Do you think that governments of Muslim countries should force media organizations that insult Jews to keep silent at the request of foreign governments, as some in the Muslim world have asked the Danish government to do to the Danish media? I just wanted to know whether you thought it should work the same way in reverse.

Indeed, you're right that when one media outlet in the Muslim world publishes something offensive to another religion, the other media outlets don't all republish it out of solidarity. But then, do those media outlets receive death threats? There's something about death threats that can make people feel they should show solidarity, even if they don't agree with the people with whom they are showing it.

It's unfortunate that this all turned out as it has. The threats against Danes start, to some people, to make it seem as though the cartoonists were right, if not about Mohammed, then at least about many of his followers. It's not the best response to an accusation of being violent, to threaten violence.

All that said, although I think the paper should have the right to publish such cartoons (or else there wouldn't be freedom of speech) they also shouldn't have published them. There are many things that we can legally do, that we still shouldn't do. But the government is only the enforcer of the law, not of right action - so if someone does something that's legal, even if he shouldn't have done it, it's mistaken to ask the government (as in this case the Danish government was asked) to step in and stop it.

Thank you for your post.

Posted by: Beren | February 3, 2006 06:00 PM

"Dumbmark- please stop. Have you seen the pictures? Come on. There's worse every Saturday in the WaPo's drawing board."

I've seen the pictures, and they remind me of charicatures of black people you would see in the 1930s. I watched the Today show this morning, and they completely downplayed the offensiveness of these cartoons. They made it sound like riots were occuring because of Beatle Bailey or Peanuts. With the Aberchrombie & Fitch debacle, they at least showed the t-shirts. They were offensive. But I think A&F and the Danish newpaper have a right to reveal their ignorance. We need to know that this prejudice and ignorance exists.

Also, I am not a Muslim, but I am simply alarmed at the notion that the vocal minority of Muslims represent all Muslims.

Do all Christians handle snakes and rape alter boys? It says in the Bible that you should take up snakes. There are Christians that do that. Living in the U.S., I know this is not your typical Christian. But your typical Christian in the U.S. honestly believes that Jesus would be a Republican.

The fact remains that many people view Islam as a monolith. It is not. The news media will get more viewers if they show an angry mob, and not Muslims peacefully praying in a Mosque on Friday. Many people have bought into these distortions, and believe life is really like this. It isn't. The reality is a far cry from what the media depicts.

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 3, 2006 06:01 PM

Muslims. Where the hell do the get off hating Jews for moving into their turf when 15 million muslims have moved into Europe? The Jews at least have a claim to an ancestral homeland, the muslims have no attachment to Europe whatsoever.

Europe needs to expel the Muslims cancer that grows before it becomes terminal.

I spit on Mohammed.

Posted by: Stegman | February 3, 2006 06:05 PM

It is obvious that this tiny protest (cartoons) from Denmark-Norway started something. So I could like someone to read what I posted at 4.46.36 and give some constuctive advise of what we shall do to keep our freedom (of speech among other things)?

Posted by: Norway | February 3, 2006 06:06 PM

Um Khaled,

Pax quoque tecum (Peace be with you as well)

Thanks very much for your post and the reasonable approach that you cited. Not that it will satisfy everyone (on either side), but it is thoughtful and intelligent, and does make it possible to find common ground.

I agree with you (not just on this particular topic, but on a lot of modern art that's designed to shock) that it's disingenuous for people to set out to shock and offend people, but then cry foul when people actually get offended. It's hypocritical. But it's clever too, because by provoking a reaction, they are able to claim that they're being persecuted, that they're being daring, and provocative, and risking censorship. The best response to such people, if you want them to stop, is to ignore them (it's the one thing they can't bear).

I think that a lot of people are backing the cartoonists, who don't actually agree with the cartoonists. But as soon as there was a demand that the government censor the cartoons, it became a matter of principle. It's one thing for the newspaper to decide that it shouldn't have printed them, or for other people to think that they shouldn't have printed them. But when people raise demands for censorship, that makes it seem to many Westerners that not only do you want us to agree with you about the cartoons, you even want us to change the structure of our laws and society. (It's somewhat ironic that this is something that the West and the Muslim world each fear from the other.) At that point, people become very defensive.

I hope you will keep posting. Your perspective is very helpful.

Posted by: Beren | February 3, 2006 06:16 PM

Just generally, to those debating which religion is the most violent or has done the most harm, and so on (and to those atheists or agnostics who think all religion inspires violence):

The problem lies in the very nature of humanity. People are willing to kill for their religion not because it's a religion, but because it involves things that they care very deeply about. People are also willing to kill for anything else that they care deeply about (such as honor, family, their nation, vengeance, wealth, land, security, and so on - even, ironically, peace). That doesn't mean that honor, family, security, peace and so on are bad things. On the contrary, it's precisely because they are good, that people may be tempted to kill for them.

There are certainly plenty of examples of wars fought in the name of religious beliefs. And many of the people who fought may have killed for their god (though their commanders may often have had other motives, such as profit, and trade). But I study the ancient world, and I can tell you that it's pretty hard to argue that the spread of monotheistic religions in the West did much to increase the amount of violence there. People simply don't have a standard of comparison, because they don't have much awareness of the history of the West before Christianity. It was awfully violent too.

Once people convert to a religion, they may be tempted to commit violence in its name. But this is because they are human beings, prone to violence for the sake of everything they care about. (For a non-religious, but ideological, case, take the struggle between communism and capitalism.)

Posted by: Beren | February 3, 2006 06:36 PM

John Adams said that it was everyone's duty to worship the Creator but to do so without breach of the peace.

I wish everyone would just take a big time out.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 3, 2006 06:41 PM

More people are killed for religious or ethnic reasons that for any other reason.

Who said religion was good.

All you need to do if follow the golden rule.

Period.

Posted by: Impeach Bush | February 3, 2006 06:43 PM

Beren! Danes and Norwegians do not want to kill at all. We give in to the moslem as much as we can. (Explanations above) Still they kill and rape us. We quietly sit in front of the TV and look at the Muslim burning our national flags with the holy cross - day after day, without protesting. We have tried everything. Still you criticise a little humorus protest? Try to comment this, not religious wars of the past.

Posted by: Norway | February 3, 2006 06:52 PM

When, in the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ", Jesus was depicted as having sexual fantasies, there was some outcry. But the Vatican's ambassador stayed in Washington all the same. When, in the "stoning scene" of "The Life of Brian", the prohibition to call Jahwe by name (Jehova, Jehova!) was ridiculed, the Israeli ambassador was not recalled from London.
Having said that, I suggest that both sides should lighten up. Those crummy cartoons were neither good enough to be printed all over Europe (they were not that good or funny), nor did they warrant all you muslim folks to get your pants in a bunch. It was just a failed attempt at being funny. So get over it. And no, in free countries, the government cannot tell newspapers what to print. If you live in the countries where those newspapers are published, write letters to the editors. Stop buying them. Don't buy the goods advertised in those newspapers. That would be the way to make your outrage felt. Attacking aid workers in Gaza, however, or storming embassies is a pretty stupid way to counter the image transported by those cartoons.

Posted by: JC | February 3, 2006 07:04 PM

"It is obvious that this tiny protest (cartoons) from Denmark-Norway started something. So I could like someone to read what I posted at 4.46.36 and give some constuctive advise of what we shall do to keep our freedom (of speech among other things)?"

Try this... In the Washinton Post, print a cartoon charicature of a black man with big lips and a huge afro eating a bucket of fried chicken. See the sh!tstorm this will create.

I'm neither black nor Muslim, but have some decency and sensitivity. These are offensive charicatures that they have a right to print. But one has to wonder why they would do this? What do they gain by offending such a large segment of the population? Can't they exercise free speech in a more truthful manner?

They've hurt Denmark's economy. Danes have lost jobs because of this. Denmark is in jeapardy of terrorism now. How funny are those cartoons now? If you poke your finger in a bee hive, don't be surprised if you get stung.

How about printing a cartoon of a Catholic priest raping a boy? How about a cartoon of a drunk IRA member eating a potato, carrying a shelleleigh, and bombing a police station? Oh, these are white people and decent, peaceful, Christians, so it's not as fun...

There's a lot of sh!t that stinks much worse than the extremist minority of Islam. I think Muslim extremist are nut cases, just as much as any other extremists. But some people need to get it through their thick skulls that the majority of Muslims do not believe in extremism. They are upset, and are protesting and boycotting Danish goods.

If someone in Iran sees protesters in Seattle or San Francisco being beaten up by the police while protesting globalism, do they think all Americans are like that? Maybe so. Do they think all Americans are obese? Maybe so, and this is much closer to reality than the notion that all Muslims beat their wives or believe in war.

BTW, "jihad" means "struggle". Not war or holy war.

Posted by: | February 3, 2006 07:11 PM

"Danes and Norwegians do not want to kill at all."

Actually, for a small nation of 5 million people, Danmark has quite a few soldiers in Iraq, who are killing Iraqis.

When I was in Denmark during the first Gulf War, you would see Danes wearing "Operation Desert Storm" t-shirts. I didn't see this in California. They were more into kicking Iraqi butt than we are.

(Sigh) Whatever happened to the liberal Danmark I used to know and love? You can't blame everything on the Muslim immigrants. Maybe they need to change their immigration policy, if they deteste Muslims so much. No one wants to take asylum in a nation where they are detested.

Futhermore, I would imagine, much like the Puritans who founded America were kicked out of England for religious extremism... The Muslims in Europe may very well be extremists who were too extreme to fit in where they live. I don't know this for sure, but it is a theory worth investigating.

I do, however, think that the issue of Muslims in Danmark, Norway, etc. raping women and whatnot has been blown out of proportion. I head the story of a Turk who had cut up the face of a Danish woman who he felt insulted her. But don't Danish people commit crime? I would like to see some specific statistics on the percentage of crime amongst Muslim immigrants in these nations... My suspicion is that the press is exaggerating this, and creating the same fear of crime we have in America. When people see the black youths in their puffy jackets and sagging jeans, they are afraid. The fact is, you should be much more concerned about what the well dressed CEO of your company has in store for you...

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 3, 2006 07:20 PM

Norway,

You write:
=============================================
"Beren! Danes and Norwegians do not want to kill at all. We give in to the moslem as much as we can. (Explanations above) Still they kill and rape us. We quietly sit in front of the TV and look at the Muslim burning our national flags with the holy cross - day after day, without protesting. We have tried everything. Still you criticise a little humorus protest? Try to comment this, not religious wars of the past."
===========================================

I think you misunderstood me. My comments about all humans having a temptation to violence was not a claim that Norwegians or Danes were especially violent people. Every Norwegian that I know is civilized, just and reasonable. My point was to reply to others (not you) who were posting on this board and trying to blame most violence in human history on religion. It's a popular cliche, but I think it's really quite wrong when you look at the facts. I was replying to these people's general comments on the role of religion in history - not to your comments on events in Scandinavia.

As far as the wrongs you say are being done to you by some (or would you say many?) Muslims in Norway, there are better (and more direct) ways of dealing with them than drawing cartoons that ridicule millions of people who have nothing to do with these crimes that have occurred in Scandinavia, since they've never been within 5,000 kilometres of Scandinavia in their lives. When people commit crimes, you should arrest them, try them, and convict them, and for crimes as severe as those you describe, the punishment should also be quite severe. Why waste energy on ridiculing people who haven't committed crimes when you could be catching those that have, or preventing further crimes? I don't see how a cartoon is going to contribute to law enforcement.

But although I think that the cartoon was in poor taste, and was a bad idea, and I wouldn't have published it myself, I also think that freedom of speech protects such speech. And obviously I think that death threats against Danes and Norwegians are utterly wrong. And since the cross that is portrayed on your flag is holy to me too, I also have been angry to see it burnt. (I've wondered whether some of the Muslims talking about how offensive these cartoons are have realized that some of the protesters are doing something potentially equally offensive to Christians.)

Thank you for posting.

Posted by: Beren | February 3, 2006 07:21 PM

"Jihad" means the exact same thing as "crusade." In some situations it literally means "holy war," and in other contexts it means "struggle."

It is true that in some instances the term "jihad" is meant as a nonviolent struggle. However, it is incredibly disingenuous to claim that the Islamist jihadist is one big nonviolent struggle.

There are millions of muslims itching to kill in the name of Islam. And there are vast millions more in support of them. It is statistically true that of the approximately one billion muslims only a small minority have engaged in violent confrontrations with the enemies of Islam. But is flat out wrong to claim that this minority has broken with the peaceful, tolerant majority of the religion. They are simply the enforcers of the popular will.

We must defeat the ideology of Islam. The religion must be vanquished.

Posted by: Stegman | February 3, 2006 07:29 PM

Impeach Bush, you write:

=============================================
"More people are killed for religious or ethnic reasons that for any other reason."

"Who said religion was good[?]"
=============================================

As for your first comment, what time frame and geographic area are you talking about, and what is your evidence? If you think about the most destructive conflict that the West saw in the past century, it was the First World War. That wasn't about religion.

The Second World War also wasn't a religious conflict, was it?

Or we could take US history. The most destructie conflict we had was the civil war. A war over religion, was it?

Or perhaps Vietnam? Was that religious?

Hmm... well, okay, what about Korea? Maybe Korea was a religious war?

The mass executions by most of the major dictators of the twentieth century were not religiously inspired (indeed, it was often the religious people who were killed).

Do you really think that a significant part of the bloodshed of the twentieth century was due to religious causes?

Of course, I'm not saying people haven't committed horrible crimes in the name of their god(s). They have and it's an abomination. But to claim that religion has been the major contributor to human violence, while a beautiful rhetorical move, is almost indefensible, from a historical standpoint.

As for your second comment/question ("Who said that religion was good?"), well, not that many religious people, actually. They tend to say that _God_ is good. If you're asking who said that, the list is long and it includes a lot of people that you probably admire, and who labored for ideals and causes that are now dear to many of those who want to impeach Bush. (And it also includes many people currently living, who do want to impeach Bush. I'm one of them.)

Posted by: Beren | February 3, 2006 07:39 PM

"There are millions of muslims itching to kill in the name of Islam."

This is simply not true. You are taking the views of ignorant, rural, poor, uneducated Muslims, and projecting this on every Muslim. You see a crowd of 50-100 people protesting on fair and balanced Fox news, and you think this represents millions? You are not only ignorant of the intentions of the majority of Muslims, but you also have wickedly poor math skills...

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 3, 2006 07:44 PM

Hey Dumbmark,

You're part right- I am taking the views of the ignorant, uneducated muslims. That's muslims for you, though. What do they teach in their schools? Saudi oil money finances madrassas (arabic for "indoctrination academies") where little muslim children do nothing but memorize verses in the Koran. Verses that state that non-muslims are to be converted, enslaved, or killed.

If more muslims were educated, it's just possible that they would see their religion for what it is: medieval garbage. Utter sh!t.

By the way- my math skills are just fine. If you deny that millions of muslims want to kill in the name of Allah you're either an idiot or a liar.

Down with Islam. Piss on Mohammed.

Posted by: Stegman | February 3, 2006 08:08 PM

Re these cartoons, I didn't see them and I didn't like them.

Posted by: Ali-Ali Akhbar | February 3, 2006 08:43 PM

I've dropped the Washington Post and am subscribing to the Jylands Posten.

Posted by: Semon A. Szlyk, Esquire | February 3, 2006 08:47 PM

To "neither black nor muslim" ... We (and, yes) I am talking for the majority) think we have tried everything to satisfy muslim immigrants. The provocation in JP was I last desperate try to demonstrate our beloved freedom, which muslims (also IN NORWAY) try to limit, little by little.The editor admit today that "he lost the battle of freedom of speach."

Dumbmark: ... abouth rape/statistics: 80% of rapes in Oslo are done by muslims. Muslims are 10-20% of the inhabitants of Oslo (difficult to be exact here because so many are illegal. The press is not exaggerating this. On the contrary they follow the authorities request to write as little as possible about it. The numbers are from the official police statistics.
Immigration policy: Most are comming illegal. Only 10%(!!!) bring their papers. It is very difficult to send them out.

Beren: Agree with you in much: Still I find historical explanations insufficient. I just visited Senegal, also with black Americans. Africans said afroamericans were stupid. What did they whine for? Were they not in America?
The cross: I did talk about "us" as Norwegian in general. And "we" are not angry. Only "we" are astonished over the ungratefulnes and hatred from the muslims who have forced their way into our country, and still been treated well.
Personally i am Jewish. And very grateful to Norway and Denmark. My grandmother were helped to Sweden under the last war. By Danes. By the way, two years ago I were attaced by a very angry (in fact elderly) muslim in the metro when wearing my grandmothers little Star of David.

Posted by: Norway | February 3, 2006 08:49 PM

I didn't find those cartoons amusing! Free speech, OK, but where's the entertainment?

Posted by: Serena Goldsmith | February 3, 2006 08:51 PM

Where's Herblock when we need him? How come he's not with the Post anymore?

Posted by: Jake Snickstein | February 3, 2006 08:54 PM

BEREN-

Actually, most of the examples you cited were 'religious conflicts', just not in a traditional sense. The tenets of National Socialism(Nazism) were dogmatic in nature and very similar to a religious doctrine. In fact, Hitler was definitely trying to establish the veracity of his 'master race', which is wholly interchangeable with the word 'chosen people' or whathaveyou. This is likewise true with Communism, although it was a religion specifically without god. Hence, Korea and Vietnam were both 'religious' conflicts. The U.S.'s role in both wars was to prevent the 'spread' of this nasty ideology.

And unfortunately, yes, the mass executions of the dictators of the 20th Century WERE, in fact, committed over religion. Changing the name and calling it Communism, Chinese Nationalism, Fascism, or what have you...it's still acts in the same way as a religion and with the exact same intentions.

Posted by: Amerika | February 3, 2006 08:55 PM

Herblock passed away a few years back...if I recall. Unfortunately.

Posted by: sad | February 3, 2006 08:57 PM

I revel in the delicious irony that if the NY Times published the "offensive cartoon" it might be bombed by the same group whose backside its editorial page goes out of its way to kiss. I'll bet it would jerk gail collins panties in a knot - a knot she would quickly untie by blaming it on a danish ham GW once ate. Perhaps our soldiers in Iraq should put down their arms and just carry around cartoons they would threaten to show if everyone didn't behave. maybe maplethorpe had it almost right - if he had just added "the prophet" to the mix, it would have been perfect.

Posted by: An Interested Bystander | February 3, 2006 09:00 PM

freedom of press in this country is becoming a joke. First, these journalists mostly submit to the Bush doctrine, now they bow to moslem intimidation. It's ok to show the mob burning flags, Danish or US or whatever, but it's not ok to post a cartoon of their prophet. Seeing my flag getting burned insults me and I am sure many, many others, so if the newspapers really believes they can't show things that hurt/insult people, then they couldn't show burning flags either, or innocent victims getting beheaded. Come on US media, face up to the truth.

Posted by: atheist | February 3, 2006 09:56 PM

Dumbmark - It looks as if I hit a nerve. I can't tell you why Denmark hasn't elected a prime minister, but I know it isn't because women are oppressed or abused. You complain about my "stereotypes", but I tend to believe that these stereotypes come from some truth. What is it with people like you who refuse to acknowledge the very real association of terror with Islam? How much more obvious does it need to be? And my world is quite large, thank you. Again, as a well-travelled, well-educated individual, I am quite aware of the reality of the world. My opinion does not mean I am an ignorant simpleton. I am quite close with a Muslim co-worker, who herself has fallen away from Islam because of the ignorance and violence associated with it. Her native country's culture has been destroyed by Islam and its restrictive dogma and violence. If these are just stereotypes that we just don't get, then why is the Muslim world a festering hotbed of terror and dysfunction? Keep in mind the common denominator, from Somalia to Iran to Afghanistan, is Islam. What do you suggest we focus on then? Or do we just ignore what is clearly in front of our faces to sanctimoniously complain about the random act of Christian, Hindu, etc. violence. I abhor religious violence, but I especially abhor a religion that serves as the inspiration for a worldwide financed terror network, and at the same time, speaks of "peace" and "respect". That doesn't compute.

Posted by: SC | February 3, 2006 10:17 PM

To atheist:

There are alot of Americans who agree. If the Post is really for the free press they should print the cartoons on the front page. Again freedom means not shrinking to pressure from any group the Post has no fear of publishing anti-Christian or anti-Bush or anti-US cartoons, why should the Muslim world get a free pass. Post Editors are you afraid of Muslims? What does that say? Hmmm.......And you don't want a few thousand Muslims burning down your headquarters like they are the Danish Embassy in Syria.

Posted by: Frozen | February 4, 2006 10:28 AM

Documents Show Army Seized Wives as Tactic

By CHARLES J. HANLEY
The Associated Press
Saturday, January 28, 2006; 2:50 AM

-- The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.

In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."

The issue of female detentions in Iraq has taken on a higher profile since kidnappers seized American journalist Jill Carroll on Jan. 7 and threatened to kill her unless all Iraqi women detainees are freed.

The U.S. military on Thursday freed five of what it said were 11 women among the 14,000 detainees currently held in the 2 1/2-year-old insurgency. All were accused of "aiding terrorists or planting explosives," but an Iraqi government commission found that evidence was lacking.

Iraqi human rights activist Hind al-Salehi contends that U.S. anti-insurgent units, coming up empty-handed in raids on suspects' houses, have at times detained wives to pressure men into turning themselves in.

Iraq's deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim Ali, dismissed such claims, saying hostage-holding was a tactic used under the ousted Saddam Hussein dictatorship, and "we are not Saddam." A U.S. command spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, said only Iraqis who pose an "imperative threat" are held in long-term U.S.-run detention facilities.

But documents describing two 2004 episodes tell a different story as far as short-term detentions by local U.S. units. The documents are among hundreds the Pentagon has released periodically under U.S. court order to meet an American Civil Liberties Union request for information on detention practices.

In one memo, a civilian Pentagon intelligence officer described what happened when he took part in a raid on an Iraqi suspect's house in Tarmiya, northwest of Baghdad, on May 9, 2004. The raid involved Task Force (TF) 6-26, a secretive military unit formed to handle high-profile targets.

"During the pre-operation brief it was recommended by TF personnel that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target's surrender," wrote the 14-year veteran officer.

He said he objected, but when they raided the house the team leader, a senior sergeant, seized her anyway.

"The 28-year-old woman had three young children at the house, one being as young as six months and still nursing," the intelligence officer wrote. She was held for two days and was released after he complained, he said.

Like most names in the released documents, the officer's signature is blacked out on this for-the-record memorandum about his complaint.

Of this case, command spokesman Johnson said he could not judge, months later, the factors that led to the woman's detention.

The second episode, in June 2004, is found in sketchy detail in e-mail exchanges among six U.S. Army colonels, discussing an undisclosed number of female detainees held in northern Iraq by the Stryker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division.

The first message, from a military police colonel, advised staff officers of the U.S. northern command that the Iraqi police would not take control of the jailed women without charges being brought against them.

In a second e-mail, a command staff officer asked an officer of the unit holding the women, "What are you guys doing to try to get the husband _ have you tacked a note on the door and challenged him to come get his wife?"

Two days later, the brigade's deputy commander advised the higher command, "As each day goes by, I get more input that these gals have some info and/or will result in getting the husband."

He went on, "These ladies fought back extremely hard during the original detention. They have shown indications of deceit and misinformation."

The command staff colonel wrote in reply, referring to a commanding general, "CG wants the husband."

The released e-mails stop there, and the women's eventual status could not be immediately determined.

Of this episode, Johnson said, "It is clear the unit believed the females detained had substantial knowledge of insurgent activity and warranted being held."

___

Posted by: | February 4, 2006 10:58 AM

I haven't read everybody's comment but i can see lots of you mixing things up and just standing by your side without considering whether something is fair or productive.
Violent protest is un-justfied.
Also, it was wrong to print the cartoons from the first place.
For those who say, freedom of express, i say, didn't they have enough to write about prior to this issue! All of sudden pple act like they're being censored.
Peace

Posted by: MA | February 4, 2006 11:07 AM

Amerika,

Thanks for your post. But I think you make the defintion of 'religion' so broad as to be almost meaningless. (And you also apply it a bit selectively. If communism is a 'religion', so is capitalism. If Chinese Nationalism is a 'religion', isn't the nationalism of any country a 'religion'?)

I think what you really mean is not 'religion', but 'ideology', or 'a cause'. But in that case the argument becomes a bit circular: If you start by defining as a 'religion' any great cause for which people have been willing to fight, of course you'll find that all the great causes for which people have been willing to fight were 'religions'. It's easy to find as a conclusion what you started with as a premise.

So I suppose one could define the expansionist ideologies of European powers in colonial days as 'religions'. And then one could define the nascent nationalist or anti-colonialist ideologies that opposed them as 'religions' as well. And then colonial wars would be religious wars. But at that point, you're using the word 'religion' in a way entirely alien to its meaning in everyday speech.

Or do you disagree?

Posted by: Beren | February 4, 2006 11:19 AM

Don't worry, the muslims have oil; so they can do what they want : burn flags, ambassies, attack innocents and show it on TV, insults westerners on audio/videotapes. As a european, can I agree the US position? Do we have to bow in front of them? Do we have to forget our way of life?
It took 4 months for them to comprehend that the cartoons were insulting.... Isn't that political or religious manipulation??

Posted by: Etienne | February 4, 2006 11:54 AM

Don't worry, the muslims have oil; so they can do what they want : burn flags, ambassies, attack innocents and show it on TV, insults westerners on audio/videotapes. As a european, can I agree with the US position? Do we have to bow in front of them? Do we have to forget our way of life?
It took 4 months for them to comprehend that the cartoons were insulting.... Isn't that political or religious manipulation??

Posted by: Etienne | February 4, 2006 11:55 AM

The fact that the Middle East has oil should be a source of fear for Muslims. Perhaps thats why so many are moving to Europe. When it runs out the rest of the world will have absolutly no use for them.

Posted by: Frozen | February 4, 2006 12:38 PM

Muslims NEVER indignated Christ, and Muslims will never do that. Just spreading hatred through caricatures shows how immoral the Europeans are. Actually the got habituated in lampooning Christ, so they thought, why not Mohammed (PBUH). You say that muslims kills christians, jews etc, then can anyone answer me who is killing thousands of muslims in Palastine, Afghanistan, Iraq and India? Does anybody has an answer to it? Who will take responsibility of this mass killing? Christians? Jews? No one will.
And who did the holocaust? Any Muslim? who killed thousands of people in Veitnam, bosnia? Muslims???????/ Off course not.
So, don't differentiate people on the basis of their religion.
Do you find the millions of muslims living in countries like India, Malaysia, turkey ............as terrorist? Similiarly, do you think the Dictators of the Christian countries like argentina, cuba..not voilent? They are? But no one refers to them as christians.
So, don't judge a group or religion by just few members of it, hope you guys understood.

Posted by: Peace be upon him | February 4, 2006 01:31 PM

i feel mocking any religous figure is wrong, although i didn't find the cartoons (except the turban one) to be offensive in any way i feel ignorance exists not only in americans or europeans but muslims aswell, i would like to see more morderate muslims come out and speak for themselves and denounce any kind of violent act in the name of islam

Posted by: henna from pakistan | February 4, 2006 01:45 PM

How immoral the Europeans are? Who was the last Dane or Norwegian to behead someone? Or to call for a beheading?
Maybe the west could draw a distiction between radical Islam and a bunch of lemmings if there actually was one.

Posted by: Frozen | February 4, 2006 01:49 PM

Yikes. Such furor is very wrong over a mild cartoon most Muslims never saw. And it's true that Islam rarely bats an eye over the public murders of innocent civilians, and should be ashamed of itself.

Just as wrong is the endless volley of insults coming from all countries, especially Canada and Europe, and the U.S. Striving for more civilized attitudes might make sharing the planet more tolerable.

Posted by: | February 4, 2006 02:02 PM

Yikes. Such furor is very wrong over a mild cartoon most Muslims never saw. And it's true that Islam rarely bats an eye over the public murders of innocent civilians, and should be ashamed of itself.

Just as wrong is the endless volley of insults coming from all countries, especially Canada and Europe, and the U.S. Striving for more civilized attitudes might make sharing the planet more tolerable.

Posted by: 14Peace | February 4, 2006 02:03 PM

Some one saw some hundreds of protesters among .20 billion muslims from Indonesia burning the flag of Denmark and decided that all the .20 billion muslims there are voilent....
Someone saw a bunch of 100-200 guys in Palestine and thought that all the 4-5 million muslims are terrorists...
This is the biggest fault of Westerners. Every Human being in this world just look under your consceince and think about the deeds of Mr.Bush and come to a conclusion.....IS HE RIGHT? ISN't He making Christians the enemy of muslims? Isn't he degrading the christianity?

Posted by: A Muslim | February 4, 2006 02:35 PM

I think Chritians and Muslims have had some issues for maybe since the Crusades. So how you can blame that on Bush I am not sure, the US wasn't even around. If your point is that Bush is making Christians the enemy of Muslims does that mean you are implying Muslims are looking to George Bush to come up with an enemy?

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but it would seem all terrorists are Muslims.

Posted by: Frozen | February 4, 2006 02:43 PM

Frozen writes:

"Not all Muslims are terrorists, but it would seem all terrorists are Muslims."

Come on. It's a great slogan, but it's just wrong, and you must know that. Or at least, somehow I missed the IRA's recent mass-conversion to Islam. ETA's too, apparently.

Posted by: Beren | February 4, 2006 02:51 PM

Thank your Lord not to live in an islamic country. I can believe in You without having to hide, like all the Christians there.
They can not read the Bible, they are rejected, they are put in jail because of their faith, tortured, and even murdered. I know that a lot of pastors were killed in Pakistan, Indonesia, Irak, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. But even the westerners don't know about that. We never talk about them on TV or in the newspapers... Is the muslim faith jeopardize in the US and Europe? Are they threatened?
We not only have cultural difference with muslims, but we have learnt to tolerate other religions without exterminating them. Tolerance doesn't mean that we can not make cartoons.
If the danish muslims want to sue the danish drawer, they are laws that certainly authorize this. But why middle easterners are involved?

Posted by: Etienne - France | February 4, 2006 03:04 PM

Sein Finn has joined the politcal process and never operated for global destruction. Likewise the ETA focus is very narrow. When was the last time you heard either calling for the destruction of everyone else in the world or moving to foreign countries and rioting. I have seen many a politcal cartoon about the IRA but I must have missed their protest. Neither of these groups has power outside their very limited region.
To the contrary Muslim extremists are the bain of governments all over the world, hardly the case for the IRA or ETA. I haven't been searched in an airport recently because someone was afraid I was Irish.

Posted by: Frozen | February 4, 2006 03:10 PM

Note : if you want to see the cartoons, go to this website: http://permanent.nouvelobs.com/cgi/edition/aff_photo?cle=20060202.OBS4859&offset=1

Excuse me but it is in french... You can click on "page suivante" = next page.

Posted by: Etienne - France | February 4, 2006 03:26 PM

Hatred perpetrates hatred.
When somebody talks about muslims, why does they just refer to Middle-Eastern Asians or Arabs? WHY????? They are just 20% of the world's muslim population. We, the muslims of India(200 million), Indonesia(250 million), Malaysia(30 million), China(20 million) Aren't Muslims? Have anybody dared criticize us? No and they can never do that. We comprise nearly 60% of muslims and we all live in DEMOCRACIES. You guys just find an easy target in Middle Eastern Asian or Arabs as they are monarchies and have a bad track record of human rights. This is what we can expect from a nation's people's whose President sees the map of Brazil and Says "It is really big" Showing his ignorance.
Long Live Peace, Freedom and Islam and Christianity.

Posted by: Indian | February 4, 2006 03:45 PM

Indonesia and China are not democracies ...

Posted by: | February 4, 2006 03:51 PM

Indonesia, not a democracy? REally, ? May be China isn't a true democracy..but Indonesia????? Even if it isn't why running away from the other facts and just pointing the democracy statement....

Posted by: Indian | February 4, 2006 03:54 PM

Indonesia is not a democracy. Ask a Christian Indonesian how it feels to live there....

Posted by: | February 4, 2006 05:15 PM

For clarity's sake, remember that democracy and freedom of religion aren't the same thing (though I think they're both good things). A democracy could democratically decide that it didn't want to have freedom of religion. Or, on the other hand, a dictator could decide that he did want to allow freedom of religion. So how a Christian Indonesia feels about living in Indonesia isn't really relevant to the question of whether Indonesia is a democracy or not.

Posted by: Beren | February 4, 2006 05:22 PM

WOW! Out of flags? Sorry! Just a moment! We are sending more! You know you can always rely upon our kind donations! *paralysed government & absolutely flabbergasted population*

Posted by: Norway | February 4, 2006 06:16 PM

Norway, you are again getting Racial........This is your problem, You know, if we muslims cut down our petrol, you will be begging in front of us, don't forget. You will not be able to survive, let alone give your "kind donations". You are totally dependent on Muslims.
And, paralysed governments.....who said, India Is a bigger economy than your crass small country which is so cold that no body wants to live there, you just survive on heaters and all that stuff.
So, have pity on your own self and think what you are before pointing fingers on others.....You guys sucks big time.

Posted by: Indian | February 4, 2006 07:34 PM

I'm so grateful that Denmark and other EU countries decided to stand up for freedom of expression. Muslims are under "Islamic Law" non believeres are not...see non muslim believers have a freedom to choose, question, satirize your so called "prophet" and anyone's "god" for that matter. I'm a little disappointed that the US Government decided to side with the Muslim world (although it's just for PR purposes) Attention all Muslims- You do not dictate what others choose to say or "draw" about your religion, UNDERSTAND, you can not cast your "laws" on non-muslim believers. You (muslims)can not depict your "prophet" in this manner, non believers can and thankfully Denmark did. Thank you Denmark and the EU countries that stand for freedom and not submitting to a religious belief.

Posted by: Cheers to EU | February 4, 2006 10:15 PM

Musims regularly show Jews as daemons and depict them biting the heads off of Arabs.

Yeah, that's 'respect'.

These muslims are complete idiots.

Posted by: johnnyr | February 4, 2006 11:15 PM

Once and for all, the Danish newspaper did not mean to offend anybody with these cartoons. So what was the purpose of publishing these cartoons? I think that the Muslim world need to understand that the western world somehow fear Islam. Not Islam as a religion, but those who wants to defend Islam with violence. A filmmaker in Holland was killed because he made a movie which was critical against Islam, people who writes negatively about Islam wants to be anonymous, because they fear for they life. The Danish newspaper wanted to show that people did not have to fear Islam. Since we, in the western world have the freedom of the press. Moreover they wanted to show, that it is wrong to let a religion you don't believe in, tell you want to do or not to do.

Now people are talking about that the freedom of the press or freedom of speech should have its limits. That's true, and it already has it limits. But we must remember that the reason why we have the freedom of speech is to protect people from religion and politics. E.g. Copernicus said that the earth wasn't the centre of the universe. This was really offended, since people believed that God created the earth as the centre of the universe. Darwin said that humans were related to the apes. Both these two man said things that was must worse then these cartoons of the Prophet. Now some people would say that there is a big difference, since what these two men were talking about was science. Then we have to remember that religion on their time was the "science" about reality and human life. Moreover maybe the Muslim should take a close look at the Danish flag it has a cross on it. And the cross represent the Christen believe. So they do not just burn the Danish flag, they are also burning the symbol of Christianity. And the burning of the flag is must worse, to burn a flag, is to say that you wish the death of the country. And since the Danish flag has the cross on it, it is also the death of Christianity. The drawings of the Prophet did not want the death of Islam.

What I don't understand, is that Muslim world don't protest when somebody kills in the name of they religion. But maybe that's ok? The Muslim world has the right to protest and boycott goods from various countries. But they do not have the right to threaten people! I really think that it is sad to see. What the Muslim world should have done was to protest and boycott the goods if they felt offend by the drawings. To set fire on the Danish embassy or to threaten the Danish people with terrorism is to say that Islam is a religion which kills people if people offend it or make a critic of it. To kill or hunt people in a physique way is must worse they to make a drawing of the Prophet. Human life always comes first! If the Muslim world begins to kill or hunt people because of these drawings, they are doing something that is must worse then the drawings themselves.

Posted by: Robert | February 4, 2006 11:38 PM

To all who how belive in freedom of speech: Please give your support to the Danish govenment! Denmark is a small country (5 mil people) we really need the help of the big countries! So people in the USA, if your govenment won't help us, then I really hope that you, the people in the USA, will stand by the side of Denmark in this situation. People in Denmark can't do anything, because they are afraid that they will get hurt if they protest. They are losing their freedom of speech because of this. Right now it feels like it is Denmark vs. all the muslim world. We really feel that we are alone in this situation. We need to know that you are with us in this situation. Danish people wants to protect the freedom if speech. But we can't do it all alone....this is a cry for help!

Posted by: Robert | February 4, 2006 11:53 PM

Robert you and Denmark have the support of all who believe in freedom. All need to stand against those who wish to surpress it. The USA should stand next to Denmark, instead of cowtowing to a religious system that takes away your freedom. Islam (Muslims) is not a peaceful religion; it proves that it's not everyday. Hang in there Denmark, don't let a religion force you to give up your right to express your ideals.

Posted by: Cheers to EU | February 5, 2006 01:11 AM

Actually, to all of you that keep going on about the Muslim countries having oil and it being our 'trump card', not ALL Muslim countries have oil. Moreover, having oil has been the bane of our society and probably the worst thing that happened to us. Prior to oil Muslims were educated, thinkers, some of the worlds best scholars, mathematicians etc.. Oil and the subsequent influence of the West, and reliance on 'oil money' deflected us from this path very, very dramatically bringing the period of 'enlightenment' to a complete standstill. This is obvious if you look at the countries in the Middle East, such as Jordan, that do not have oil. These countries have been forced to rely on their population and, as a result, Jordan has one of the highest literacy rates in the World (99% according to UNESCO for both sexes between 15-24 years old), the second highest rate of University Graduates (per capita) worldwide (after the US) etc. etc.. Europe - take a look at Spain until the mid-1400's when the Arabs were driven out of Spain - had a great deal of use for 'us' well before the oil since we taught them so very much and this, once the oil has ebbed away, will return. Oil is the worst thing that ever happened to us.

As a Muslim I feel that the actions of the few, such as the burning of the Danish Embassy in Syria, the takeover shut down of the EU offices in Gaza and the threats to life against Danish and Norwegian citizens are an insult to Muslims as well as to the West. Then again we are talking about Syria, a Government which needs to deflect the growing local anger and hatred against it and thus promotes such acts and Gaza where there is, due to the Israeli-Palestinian problems, an inherent dislike of the West which they see as very biased towards Israel. Other parts of the Muslim world have protested peacefully and cannot be held accountable for the afore-mentioned actions of a few.

Why do we not protest when some terrorist does this or that? We do, peacefully and - if we were allowed in our countries, which we are not - we would do so on the streets. Many of our Governments do not allow such demonstrations for fear for their own seats. You must remember that most of our 'leaders' are weak men that only care about the seat they are sitting on the money they steal from the masses, however, they control the army and the police and any moves against them are dealt with most severely (most severely). To protest against terrorist actions - in their minds - could lead to retaliation against them by the same terrorists, however, a 'pro-Islamic' protest actually shields them from the extremists. Weak minded, weak spirited, weak men.

It is not fair of you to say that the peace loving Muslims do not do anything, are we not here discussing the matter with you and trying to get our point across? Do we not write (if you read the Arab papers you would see) about our disgust when these terrorists initiate their crimes? Do we not cry when we see the atrocities committed in the name of our religion? We do and, if we could, we would do a lot more. We are being targeted by the extremists just like you (Amman, Beirut etc..) and our people are being slaughtered by mindless animals. Do not generalize about us, it is unfair and the result will be to alienate even the good Muslims, which serves absolutely no purpose for anyone. We need dialogue between us, not hate, otherwise these problems will grow and grow.

Posted by: NH | February 5, 2006 09:04 AM

OK so now they burn the Danish Consulate in Beirut ... Frankly this is becoming more embarrassing by the minute.

For my part all I can do, as a Muslim, is apologise on behalf of the majority of Muslims that see these actions as an insult to all of us.

Posted by: NH | February 5, 2006 09:10 AM


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Posted by: che | February 5, 2006 09:26 AM

To Indian

I will not respond to your somewhat uninteligent posting above, other than to point out that Norway is the third greatest exporter of oil in the world (only Saudi Arabia and Russia export more).
To norwegians high oil prices mean huge proffits. It seems rather obvious that you do not know what you are talking about.

Posted by: Norwegian | February 5, 2006 10:13 AM

NH,

Thank you for your insightful comments. And I agree with you that it's unfair of westerners to claim that Muslims never condemn terrorism, if those same westerners don't read Muslim media, in which those condemnations would occur. I'm glad you pointed that out.

The destruction of the embassies (and one consulate, so far) is a disgrace. And the odd thing, it seems to me, is that, really, it's an act of the _same_ blasphemy as the cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb on his head was. The cartoon claimed that Mohammed's teachings were an incitement to violence against innocents. These rioters are, through their actions, _agreeing_ with what the cartoon claimed. Their actions send the same message to the world as the cartoons did, except that, while the cartoons weren't likely to sway anyone's opinions, the rioters actually might. They're saying what the cartoons said, and they're saying it far more persuasively.

I can't speak for Muslims, but as a Christian, I can say that when someone portrays Jesus in an obscene way, yes it makes me angry, but I can deal with the fact that someone who is not a Christian has a negative view of Christ. And after all, what harm can a cartoonist really do to him? Neither God (as we believe him to be) nor prophet (as in the case of Mohammed for Muslims) can really be harmed by an artist with a pen. But the worst blasphemy, the real case of 'taking God's name in vain', is when Christians commit crimes, and harm innocents in God's name. That is real blasphemy. Those acts really do insult the name of God, and they do it in the eyes of the whole world.

Are there Muslims who would feel the same way about this violence? Or is the traditional approach to the question somewhat different?

Thanks again for your post.

Posted by: Beren | February 5, 2006 12:07 PM

To correct what I said, it was the Danish embassy in Beirut, not just a consulate.

Posted by: Beren | February 5, 2006 12:25 PM

This cartoon-reactive anger did not occur in a vacuum. There is a core catalyst to this entire situation - the historic contempt in Europe and the US for Arab/Islamic peoples, their values and their territories.
This Western contempt has manifested itself in many ways extremely hurtful to Muslim societies over the recent decades. The British invasion of Egypt in the 1880's, the post-WWI mapping of Britain's wishlist for the remnants of the Ottoman empire, the Balfour declaration, the unilateral imposition of a synthetic country of European Jews in historic Palestine, the CIA sabotage of Iran's democracy in the 1950's, and so on right up to the invasion of Iraq and now the moves by Zionist-oriented members of Congress to financially strangle the new Palestinian democracy. The most provocative contempts are the brutalities which accompany Israel's occupation of the West Bank/Gaza and its attendant atrocities, and the US invasion of Iraq. Add the ugly equation in Western thought, that regards the rocketing of Afghan women and children villagers and the shooting of Palestinian school-children, simply acceptable inevitabilities in our perpetuation of oppression. The US and Israel militaries have adopted criminal levels of "rules of engagement" to continue a historical sin.
The cartoons insulting Islam were obviously emblematic of this entire history of contemptuous and hideously violent oppression which continues right up to today. On 9/11 there was a hue and cry to search out "root causes". We never did, because that would have necessitated objective examination of this hurtful history as the most realistic motive.
Now, with democratically-elected Hamas, with an independent democratic Iran, with a cartoon-reactive display of extraordinary unity of Muslims the world over tired of this prejudice and oppression and its multiple manifestations in our Congress, in our biased definition of "terror", in anti-Muslim European attitudes now fully unmasked in the cartoon fray, perhaps a consciousness of "root cause" will begin to surface in Europe and the US. That consciousness is imperative to the fundamental changes in perspective necessary to end the Long War, i.e. to end the historical contemptuous oppression of Arab/Muslim peoples and lands.
Wake up, West. Open season on the Arab/Muslim world is over.
As is evident by the rash of "punish the Palestinians" bills introduced by the Zionists in our Congress, the so-called "pro-Israel" types (really now in context "pro-Israeli oppression and occupation") will ardently challenge basic "freedom of expression" about the real "root cause" with ready-to-fire accusations of "anti-Semitism" at anyone who mentions the undeniable reality of what's been going on in the Middle East for over 100 years.
Minimally, the restoration of "green line" Palestine (UN 242) to the Palestinian people, i.e. the termination of Israel's military occupation of the West Bank, is an imperative and necessary juncture to reach the end-point of the "Long War". US oppression in Iraq will eventually burn itself out.
I think bin Laden understood all too well that the Muslim/Arab world had been losing the century-plus "Long War" against US/European oppression, and that there was little to lose by a rash departure from the failing historic appeasement of Western oppressive impulses. His move on this game-board of history has minimally succeeded in baring to the eyes of observers everywhere the "root cause" reality. I think his bet was that the US and Europe would capture the poisoned pawn he offered, and in a fit of hyper-aggressive but poorly conceived "pro-Israel" blinded counter-moves, expose the realities of contempt and oppression behind the "Long War" of oppression for what they really are, with the objective of unifying and energizing Muslim/Arab resistance to both present and future oppression.
And, sad to say, it is clearly arguable his move has been a success, at least so far.

Posted by: Timothy L | February 5, 2006 01:03 PM

To NH : thanks for your contribution. Where are you from?
We don't speak arabic, so how can we know the debate between tolerants and radicalists?
In France, when there is a protestation, we have sometimes another one about the exact opposite object. I know that you can not protest in your countries, but even on TV (Al-Jazira and so on)? Why not write to westerner newspapers?
Of course there are educated syrians, libanians, iranians, etc. I know MD from these countries, and I don't have any problem with them. Except considering Israel (I'm not a Jew)...

Posted by: Etienne - France | February 5, 2006 01:20 PM

I want to make a proposal to the UN that countries that do not secure the embassies of other countries against local violence should be prepared to loose their UN seat.

It might make Syria think twice before allowing it, Lebanon work harder to stopmit, and it might have stopped the Iranians invading the US embassy in then 70s.

Posted by: Sully | February 5, 2006 01:42 PM

Earlier I wrote:
----
"The real test will be Friday, when Muslims go to the mosque and are told how to react. If it is a peaceful reaction then those defending Islam will be correct, the noise being generated is only by a few. But if it blows up and violence is the result, then Islam will prove what its detractors say, it is a violent religion.
Posted by: Sully | Feb 2, 2006 3:23:24 PM
----
The sorry results are now in.

Posted by: Sully | February 5, 2006 01:46 PM

To follow up on what Sully says in his earlier posting, the embassy of a foreign nation is legally the sovereign territory of that nation (even if, as in the case of one of the embassies that was burnt in Damascus, that means that it's upstairs from the sovereign territory of another nation). An attack upon an embassy is, in a legal sense, an attack upon the territory of that nation. It's not just the burning of a building.

It's one thing when a nation simply has very weak security forces that are overpowered by a massive crowd. It's quite another, though, when a police-state like Syria, which can control much larger demonstrations, if it wants to, allows rioters to damage a foreign embassy. (Or when Chinese police allow protestors to get close enough to damage the Japanese embassy.)

People who work in embassies are very exposed. They have only a minimal security staff, insufficient to protect them from even a small violent crowd, and they usually live amongst the local population. If they can't be protected, the work of diplomacy can't be accomplished. It's therefore a very old tradition that no matter how much the host nation dislikes the foreign nation, it still does everything it can to guarantee the safety of that nation's diplomatic personnel. Not to do so is a serious betrayal of diplomatic precedent, and the accepted norms of behavior between nations.

Posted by: Beren | February 5, 2006 02:06 PM

I see no possible logic/ rationale for jylands-posten to commission this work. I do think however that they have a right to publish whatever they want to and fail to understand what the fuss is about as the cartoons are meaningless and only shed light on the contorted bigoted view of the cartoonists. The cartoons are not in prophet Muhammad's image as muslims do not engage in drawing/painting images of Muhammad (unlike the christian world's misguided depiction of the blonde Jesus). I disagree with violent protest at the same time I agree with Muslims boycotting danish products/goods (which is within their rights). Disgruntled Europeans/Americans are free to boycott Saudi oil.

Posted by: aj | February 5, 2006 03:26 PM

To clear up some misunderstandings. The slight (by Scandinavian standards) provocations were to state an exaple. We have our laws and way of living, and would appreciate everyone who feel uncomfortable with that to leave our countries. I feel Saudi Arabia for instance would cramp my style, and choose not to live there. The mohammedans behaviour as dominating, racist übermensch goes particulary bad with the egalitarian, secular easy-going scandinavian life. And since they are very underreprecentet in the work force, and very (but very very) overreprecented in the criminal records, they are a treath to the welfare system.

Posted by: Norway | February 5, 2006 05:20 PM

My country is too afraid to publish the cartoons in its papers, and they were threatened by Muslim groups here against publication. New Zealand had them published and there were violent riots from Muslims (surprise?).

I am sorry that Australia has shown such weakness.

I believe that freedom of expression has its limitations, and one of them should be from racism. However, the cartoon were not racist, rather political, after all, suicide bombers DO invoke Islam when committing their acts.

That said, I want Australia to publish them because Muslim groups have no right to threaten people, and commit despicable acts of violence and threats across the world.

Posted by: Aussie | February 5, 2006 09:46 PM

Until I see the Imams protesting against anti-Jewish cartoons and media in Arab countries, these Muslim protesters (read thugs) will get no sympathy from me.

Posted by: Carol | February 6, 2006 12:16 AM

Dear Beren (Salam):

Thank you for your kind words, Allah knows that we need civility in this world, especially on this blog.
In your last post, you argued that "The best response to such people, if you want them to stop, is to ignore them (it's the one thing they can't bear)."

Sure, if it is a random act of insensitivity by a single lunatic, any reasonable person will do that. But we are talking about a religious minority in Europe that is targeted systematically; same Europe that last decade had an ethnic cleansing against Muslims on its backyard. In Denmark you have Muslims denied building and renting permits for Mosques, they pray in abandoned dairy factories, let alone schools and charity closures. It is also true here in the US, especially after 9/11.

Any minority when it feels besieged by a hostile and violent majority, then any act of provocation, be it insignificant, their reaction will be disproportionate and out right unreasonable. In particular, if those in leadership or decision making positions (religious and secular from both sides) fail to communicate, in a firm and timely fashion, and resolve the issue peacefully. We have a proverb in my country that says: "catastrophes happen when a sensible person faced by a dilemma does not know what is the right thing to do, or he realizes the way out when it is too late", and this is what happened, this matter was there for the Danes to resolve for months, to address the fears and concerns of its minority. Instead, they cried help fight "Islamic censorship", and Islam-phobic Europe acted in response. This weekend, as few Danes march and protest carrying signs saying "Sorry", which means a lot to compassionate human beings, and especially religious Muslims, even if it is one Dane, it is a plus for the Danes in this ordeal. But the matter now is in the hands of the street thugs, and extremists in some Arab and Muslim countries, and Nazis and racist seculars in the West.
Desolately, to date two people lost their lives, because of these cartoons, churches and property were vandalized!. (Ironically in Lebanon and Turkey two secular countries).

It is similar to African Americans rioting in LA in the 90s, after R. King's police brutality case. It was in the hands of the American Justice, the jury rendered the misguided verdict, matters got out of control, into the hands of few criminals, with the sympathy and understanding of the larger African American minority. After much pandemonium and havoc, everyone in the country, had to figure out better ways to communicate and coexist, this situation is similar, except, you are dealing with a minority with strong ties with a much larger majority. The west blinded by its prejudice and mistrust missed the opportunity to build vital bridges with the Muslim world via its minority, and ironically caused the unification of Muslims (Arab & Ajam, Sunny & Sheia, Rulers & public, ...etc) in confirming the terrorists claim that the West is out there to target the FAITH!.

By the way, the more religious a Muslim is the more he/she has self discipline, and adherence to Islamic principles and teachings. After all, Prophet (PBUH) whom Muslim's revere is called the "Prophet of Mercy". That is why, you did not see violence in Saudi Arabia, or other more conservative gulf states, and all violence, and church attacks were in secular Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, even in Palestine while Fatah armed youth were seen all over the media in the west, Hamas communicated with Christian leaders and offered persons to protect churches.

But the west has a myopic focus on our social customs, dress code, and sex life; and it never came to terms of how to deal with notions such as diversity and multiculturalism.


Personally, I am an adult, and my self-esteem and comfort of who I am is long established, but I will never let my Muslim child to be brutalized and dehumanized in such manner, by someone who is so creepy. Sorry, this has nothing to do with art , creativity, or freedom of expression. Islamic Art throughout centuries expressed itself creatively, within its boundaries. And when some so called journalists claims that they are affirming and protecting their freedom of expression, does that mean that they did not have it ? or are they seeking freedom to incite hatred & bigotry? are they responsible if one of their readers decides to burn a mosque ?

As much as I detest violence, and sympathize with the Danish people's unsuccessful attempts to reach out (some in the Muslim world might interpret their late response to be disingenuous and a result of the boycott or it is government orchestrated since most of them live in dictatorships), I believe we should embrace ourselves to a more difficult times.

Another reason for the total communication breakdown in such a short time is the pitiable knowledge of Danish officials of the Muslim world, and it showed clearly in their panic focus on Saudi Arabia's media by addressing its newspapers with Arla paid ads, if you read some of the Arabic blogs, you will find that the Saudis were offended because this focus confirmed to them that the Danes were after their money, and careless about apologizing to the larger Muslim community, and the rest non-Saudi Muslims felt that the Danes were adding insult to injury by apologizing to the Saudi rich minotiy!. Also, the Danish foreign Minister was on AL-Jazeera TV addressing Arabs not Muslims, same mistake again, and not apologizing. Arabs are a minority, in the Muslim world, although the Prophet is Arab, but a practicing British Muslim will feel more offended than a nom-practicing Saudi Muslim. Another obstacle facing the West is that calculatingly and superciliously use the advice of so called enlightened and progressive Muslims (like Ayan Hirsi Ali a European MP, which is not considered Muslim because of her profane and blasphemous statements and behaviors) to represent Muslims and consult with regarding Islam, Ayan Hirsi Ali and other western-promoted figures could not do anything to diffuse the any crisis both locally and internationally, they are outcasts. Because the West can not come to terms in dealing with a more intelligent Muslim women that cover their heads and prays 5 times a day!. Similar to Ahmad Chalabi's role in the US involvement in Iraq, he and others basically lied about Iraq's WMD situation, and the Americans loved what they heard. That tells volumes about ones values, as far as I am concerned I love this country, its people, but I do detest its foreign policies.

Where do we go from here ? I think the 1) Danish news paper should be held legally accountable for inciting hatred and racism if such law exists I the Denmark, 2) allow Muslim artists or writers to address its readers and express their point of view about why Muhammad (PBUH) is so important to Muslims, and 3) the PM should apologize, after all he snubbed the whole Muslim and Arab diplomatic corps in Denmark, even though he might meet all the Arab & Muslim rulers, it will not change the situation, they do not have much say in these matters, the Danes should get a fatwa from religious and moral authorities like Al-Azhar in Egypt, Sheikh Qaradawi in Qatar who is widely respected and famous (he is on Al-Jazeera regularly, and he called for Friday's Global Protest), Saudi Counsel for Fatwas (they called for the economic boycott in the first place). The rest will follow, including Um Khaled.

Many might not like what I wrote here, and it is not for senseless provocation, simply an attempt to express the point of view of millions from a different culture.

For now, I will continue my boycott of Delicious Danish products peacefully, till I hear the Fatwa.

Posted by: Um Khaled | February 6, 2006 05:31 AM

to the ones who think nothing special has happend
soppose an islamic news paper puplish a caricature of jesus.what do you do?
maybe it is not important for you because of not beliving to your prophet but muslims have sth called belive.they can not accept whatever other offer them.I think no free person admire this work.the ones who admire like pop are not free however they think they are.

Posted by: mehdi | February 6, 2006 09:27 AM

Frozen, you wrote:

"The fact that the Middle East has oil should be a source of fear for Muslims. Perhaps thats why so many are moving to Europe. When it runs out the rest of the world will have absolutly no use for them."

1-Muslim countries that have oil (aka the Gulf states) don't move to Europe or elsewhere. Stop making stuff up.

2- In all of the Gulf states (except Saudi Arabia), the foreign workers OUTNUMBER the native born citizens. This will be UNTHINKABLE in any western country, even the MOST PROGRESSIVE ONES.

Let me give you an example in order to EDUCATE YOU:

UAE (Emirates) population: 2.5 million people. 1.6 million of them are foreigners.

MORE THAN 50% of UAE IS FOREIGN.

NOT TO MENTION that UAE HAS GENEROUS WELFARE SYSTEM and that they DON'T EVEN TAX THEIR RESIDENTS INCLUDING FOREIGNERS.

IMAGINE ONE EUROPEAN COUNTRY WHERE MORE THAN HALF OF THE POPULATION IS FOREIGN.

It WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE.

Other examples:

Bahrain. Population 688,000. Foreigners: 235,000.

Kuwait: 2.3 million. Foreigners: 1.2 million.

Don't lecture us Arabs about taking "foreigners" in.

3- For the oil, Arabs will do just fine without it.

I just hope oil would run out sooner so that your governments would stop killing our people for it.

We will then have the opportunity to fix our own problem without any interference from outside (which only comes from the west, especially America theses days)

Posted by: Karim | February 6, 2006 10:01 AM

Aussie:

"I believe that freedom of expression has its limitations, and one of them should be from racism. However, the cartoon were not racist, rather political, after all, suicide bombers DO invoke Islam when committing their acts."

The cartoons were racist.

By drawing Mohammed as a suicide bomber, it implies that anyone who believes in the Islamic faith is a suicide bomber.

It would be as racist as if someone showed Moses as greedy, blood sucking evil man. It would imply that anyone associated with the Jewish faith is the same.

The cartoons were racist, bigoted, and irresponsible.

No need to spin this into a "political cartoon".

That's what the Nazi did when they ridiculed the Jews in their cartoons.

Posted by: Karim | February 6, 2006 10:08 AM

Karim,

Go have a look at the other blog on this matter 'Apology Met With Anger Over Cartoon'. We, you and I, were asked a direct question and I would appreciate your answering it also view it refers to a most inflammatory statement made by a Mr. Omar Bakri Mohammed.

Posted by: NH | February 6, 2006 10:36 AM

Karim wrote:
"The cartoons were racist...By drawing Mohammed as a suicide bomber, it implies that anyone who believes in the Islamic faith is a suicide bomber."

If instead of a cartoon the newspaper published 1000 words describing the intent of each cartoon, would there have been riots? I've read a lot of columns that would make any Muslim angry. Why the difference with a cartoon? Because of the religious edict that says you should not draw pictures of Mohammed? Are non-Muslims now required to obey this Muslim edict or they will be attacked with violence?

Posted by: Sully | February 6, 2006 10:57 AM

mehdi wrote:
"soppose an islamic news paper puplish a caricature of jesus.what do you do?"

The most memorable insult to Jesus for many was the art exhibit "Piss Christ" by Andres Serrano in 1989. It was a cross with Christ on it in a jar of urine. You can see it here if you like:

http://www.usc.edu/schools/annenberg/asc/projects/comm544/library/images/502.html

Christians were, well, pissed. The conservatives in the US Congress were upset since it was done using money from a government grant. But no one threatened killings, kidnappings or other violence if I remember correctly. There was a lot of protest, but no riots or Christian leaders calling for violence. That's because Christianity is a peaceful religion. Islam calls for violence in these cases. That is what seperates the two cultures.

Posted by: Sully | February 6, 2006 11:15 AM

Sully,

First of all, let me make it clear that I condemn strongly any violence associated with these protests. I hope that Syria and Lebanon would prosecute the rioters that were involved in the burning activities.

The Lebanese minister of interior has already resigned because of what happened in Beirut.

To answer your question, that's where culture comes in. You shouldn't assume that images or words mean the same thing for different cultures.

I couldn't tell you why people reacted this time and not before.

What I read was that many activists launched a boycott campaign which was very successful in the gulf...Once western media picked it the news, Europe turned this into a "free speech" issue and started "fighting back" by "insulting more"...I am guessing this inflamed people and the boycott became popular protests some of which were taken over by extremists (unfortunately).

Posted by: Karim | February 6, 2006 11:20 AM

Sully,

Have you ever read the Koran? Do you have any idea what it does or does not say? I very much doubt it; if you did then you wouldn't make statements like 'Islam calls for violence in these cases'. It does not, nowhere in the Koran is violence preached or called for except in defence of ones family, home and country (something I think we can all accept).

And please, don't get self-righteous about Christianity. It has its fair share of blood on its hands or are we forgetting Christianity's past (starting with the Crusades and ending with Bosnia and not even mentioning the born again Christian - Mr. Bush - and Iraq)?

Posted by: NH | February 6, 2006 11:26 AM

NH,

Omar Bakri Mohammed is a self-proclaimed "islamic cleric" (clandistine) with no official backing whatsoever.

Bakri was born in Syria and fought the Baath Syrian regime and then moved to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia deported him from its soil for his radical activities 20 years ago.

He then sought asylum in the UK, which was granted to him.

What do you make out of this guy?

Posted by: Karim | February 6, 2006 11:37 AM

Karim,

Personally I can't stand him. I have heard him speak and he makes me sick to my stomach. I would love to know his political agenda but I can't seem to make heads or tails of it.

He was granted asylum in the UK and then went on to incite - whilst claiming the UK was his home - terrorism against UK citizens whilst condoning the London Bombings after which he fled the UK to Beirut. I understand that the Lebanese are not too happy having him either. I don't really understand him nor, quite honestly, do I want to.

I just wish people would stop asking his opinion as it gives a very warped view of Islam.

Posted by: NH | February 6, 2006 11:44 AM

I am trying to understand some of the self righteousness I can see here. Gary asks Muslims to control themselves by speaking out against their immams etc. I think anyone can ask America to control it's president who brought a Muslim nation to mass death of the innocent. Gary, could you please control your president. He sends troops that kill and maim innocent Iraqi's in the 100's of thousands.
The way Muslims have been treated by the West and the US in particular, all they needed was one issue and they blew. It was wrong to threaten, but hey the way they are treated is wrong. Your liar of a President has a lot of blood on his hands and it doesn't seem to bother him a bit, like any psychopath he doesn't let the messy blood of war he started ruin his day.

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | February 6, 2006 12:18 PM

As Muslim, i want to say quickly that we should differentiate things as some of you suggest and deal with them seperately & fairly.
Cartoons were big mistake and insult from the first place.
The Violent protest and embassy burning are wrong and violate islamic principles.
Under Islamic law, host country should protect its guests and those Dines are guest and no matter how large the crowd they should have stopped at the set perimeter and respected the Islamic law not out of respect outsiders but we answer to higher authority(Allah).
I'm equally sad that this happened.
Other issues that are in pples minds can also be dealt with seperately and peacefully.
Salaam Alaykum,

Posted by: AM | February 6, 2006 01:06 PM

What and where is Denmark.. _

Posted by: L | February 6, 2006 01:12 PM

in the name of god almighty lets respect and support the rules and freedom of speach in denmark> they have their rules we have ours> they suffernd enough( i cant understand they accept burning of their flags thou) freedom for all people> god save all humans on earth> amen> as long they dont execute innocent people live at internet i can accept it>
Amen

Posted by: george | February 6, 2006 01:21 PM

Obviously the Muslims engaged in enraging have no sense of humor. I am betting that the Christians in this audience also have no sense of humor..... so....

.... in that spirit:

What did Jesus say when the Romans were pounding nails into his hands and feet?

"Stop! Don't! Stop! Dont! Stop! Don't Stop!"

What did Pontius Pilotus Say?

"Queer sort of fellow, I do believe he rather enjoyed it."

Posted by: Kurt | February 6, 2006 01:30 PM

Obviously the Muslims engaged in enraging have no sense of humor. I am betting that the Christians in this audience also have no sense of humor..... so....

.... in that spirit:

What did Jesus say when the Romans were pounding nails into his hands and feet?

"Stop! Don't! Stop! Dont! Stop! Don't Stop!"

What did Pontius Pilotus Say?

"Queer sort of fellow, I do believe he rather enjoyed it."

Posted by: Kurt | February 6, 2006 01:31 PM

quote Karim: "Once western media picked it the news, Europe turned this into a "free speech" issue and started "fighting back" by "insulting more"."

Sorry, no. In the beginning most europeans agreed that publishing the cartoons (when they were first published) was insensitive and unwise. So for months there was little reaction to the trouble that was brewing; it was seen as a danish affair. But when danish journalists received death threats and muslim ambassadors were recalled to their countries the pattern changed. It's one thing to ask that a paper apologizes for having crossed a line, it's quite another to do this at sword's point, so to speak. Religious satire is legal within our countries. Demanding punishment of the journalists meant outlawing them for something, that - however insensitive - was within their legal right to do, and more - it questioned this very right to unhindered expression.

Yes, I know that freedom's never absolute, and each and every country has its own (often silent) regulations as to what is considered tolerable or not. And yet, the right itself to express yourself freely is never questioned in western countries, is indeed one of the pillars democracy rests on.

The french interior minister said that, however uncomfortable he felt with the whole situation, he'd prefer an 'excess of caricature to an excess of censure'. I choose to agree.

Reprinting the cartoons throughout Europe hasn't had that much to do with the prophet anymore. It refers to Islam insofar, as the death threats come from muslims (and are uttered in the name of Islam). Really, at this point, what counted was the solidarity shown.

Posted by: ef | February 6, 2006 02:05 PM

Faith is sacred what so ever u name it we as jews and christians are sensitive to many things let everyone stay in it's own space do respect and get respect God is same in all religions and regions we name it different if naming one persons God will bring attributes for our God?If some are bad in one culture can we name whole society bad people and their acts are not total depiction of preaching and teaching but of personal choices too

Posted by: Corrinna | February 6, 2006 02:19 PM

Faith is sacred what so ever u name it we as jews and christians are sensitive to many things let everyone stay in it's own space do respect and get respect God is same in all religions and regions we name it different if naming one persons God will bring attributes for our God?If some are bad in one culture can we name whole society bad people and their acts are not total depiction of preaching and teaching but of personal choices too

Posted by: Corrinna | February 6, 2006 02:19 PM

Ef,

Quote: "Sorry, no. In the beginning most europeans agreed that publishing the cartoons (when they were first published) was insensitive and unwise."

Can you please post few examples?

The Danish prime minister refused to meet with 10 mostly Arab embassadors to discuss the issue.

Here is the timeline of the controversy as outlined by FT:

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/d30b0c22-96ee-11da-82b7-0000779e2340.html

If the affair is Danish as you say, then why did other European newspapers publish the same thing?

Is Denmark not able to defend itself?

Or was it more of an "opportunity" to further insult the feelings of many Muslims?

European newspapers had every right to defend Free speech as they understand it, however, re-publishing the same drawings in "solidarity" was simply as unwise as the Danish original publication.

Posted by: Karim | February 6, 2006 05:49 PM

Could I ask, also, what people on both sides of this debate think about the Danish Muslim group that, from what I understand, did its best to publicize these cartoons throughout the Muslim world?

Posted by: Beren | February 6, 2006 06:11 PM

Ef:

"Yes, I know that freedom's never absolute, and each and every country has its own (often silent) regulations as to what is considered tolerable or not. And yet, the right itself to express yourself freely is never questioned in western countries, is indeed one of the pillars democracy rests on."

Democracy has nothing to do with this. What you might be talking about is called ANARCHY not democracy.

A democracy can perfectly censor or regulate speech or other forms of expression.

Federal law in the US censors speech (obscene) and images (nudity) in public settings including broadcast radio and TV.
Canada has anti-Hate anti-Racism regulations.

Many European countries have regulations against neo-Nazi publications.

AND this is not all about hate and racist laws.

Please research "The Exorcist" movie controversy.

To my knowledge, the movie was banned on video until recently in both the UK and Finland.

Would you please explain to me, without resorting to double standards, why democracy in the UK and in FINLAND couldn't allow for the movie to be released in video?

THe movie was neither racist or hateful but it was offensive to the feelings of religious people:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/1264611.stm

Comments?

Posted by: Karim | February 6, 2006 06:18 PM

Yes, Beren, you might. This incident was the very first time any European country confronted the muslims with their superiour complex (in Scandinavia that is, as of course it is none of our business how they chose to govern and live in their own countries) - good almighty - looks like it is working!

For the very first time in 30 years they worry about the future of their privileged position in our countries. The best thing that could happen, if they start to behave as normal citizens.

If all muslims (still talking about Scandinavia) keep their religion private, stop completly their daily racist attacs on ethnic Scandinavians, cut down their skyrating reprecentation on the criminal statistc:

We will say: OK! No bad feelings! We are simply not tuned into the rreezzzzzzzzpect thing.

Posted by: Norway | February 6, 2006 06:40 PM

Sorry Beren! A little to quick response from me there! I thougt you were asking for the (very few) Danish muslims that stood up and said they did not agree with muslim violence.

The imams? Well, they did what the Khoran tell them, war at the infidels. Happens all the time in Norway, all kinds of dirty tricks and most fantastic lies. For many years we had no idea, till we got our spies in the mosques.

Posted by: Norway | February 6, 2006 06:50 PM

SpeakOutforDemocracy:

I increasingly view your rambling postings against anything remotely dealing with the U.S. (case in point this forum) as an extreme cry for help. Please just provide us with with your real name and address and we'll make sure the psychological assistance you so desperately need gets to you immediately. BTW, congratulations on your new Prime Minister.

Posted by: SpeakOut Needs Help | February 6, 2006 07:11 PM

Does anyone remember when Muslims issued a fatwa against Omar Sharif for playing St. Peter in a movie way back when? Then, of course, there's the Salman Rushdie episode.

The conclusion I draw from this cartoon fiasco is that Islam and its adherents have not changed their core beliefs concerning non-Muslims (which includes the belief that we are infidels that should be converted, by force if necessary, as if this were 700 AD) remains the same. The only difference now is that Muslims are increasingly finding new radical voices to spur them on and to legitimize their increasingly warped belief structure.

The future of Muslim-nonMuslim relations is very bleak indeed.

Posted by: SameOldSameOld | February 6, 2006 07:18 PM

NH wrote:
"Have you ever read the Koran? Do you have any idea what it does or does not say? I very much doubt it. If you did then you wouldn't make statements like 'Islam calls for violence in these cases'. It does not, nowhere in the Koran is violence preached or called for except in defence of ones family, home and country (something I think we can all accept)."

Hmmmm that is interesting. I went to Google and entered the words "fatwa" and "death" and got over 944,000 hits.
Now maybe it is not preached in the koran, but someone is preaching it:

1) Salman Rushdie is sentenced to death via a death fatwa by Khomeini for writing the "satanic verses" which were considered offensive to Islam. The fatwa was later upheld after Khomeini's death by the Iranian government.

2) The fatwa department of Afghanistan's supreme court in August 2003 (post invasion) recommended that two journalists from a weekly newspaper that published articles some people consider blasphemous be put to death. You can read more about it here:
http://www.afgha.com/?af=article&sid=36167

3) An Islamic group based in the UK issued a death fatwa against a playwright whose London stage production depicts Jesus Christ as a homosexual. You can read more about this here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/493436.stm

4) The government of a mainly Muslim state in northern Nigeria called for believers to kill a woman journalist who wrote a blasphemous article while covering the Miss World pageant. You can read more here:
http://www.dawn.com/2002/11/27/int2.htm

What I cannot understand is why this pacifist Islamic faith you describe is producing death fatwas for blasphemey in various cultures, from Persians to Afgans to Nigerians to Muslims living in Britian. It has to be more than just a few bad apples.

Posted by: Sully | February 6, 2006 07:32 PM

"If thats the mentality of the people and they can never be altered into a peaceful, tolerant peoples with a likewise peaceful religion...then they should all be exterminated. And thats the word, exterminate."

Exterminated by peaceful, tolerant people like you, right?

Posted by: OD | February 6, 2006 08:40 PM

Sully,

What is your point?

The UK based Islamic group you mentioned was run by the individual who was deported by Saudi Arabia and who was sought by the Syrian government.

You are highlighting clandestine and gangster-type groups, not official Islamic institutions.

Certain issues have more to do with under-developed governments than the religion of its people.

Only 50 years ago, many Christian churches, and Christian led governments in America condoned slavery, segregation and systematic abuse of black people.

The early European settlers, that founded America and who were Christians, killed as much as 95% of all native Indians in North America. The Indians call it a genocide.

Now If I were a bigot, I would blame it on Christianity and If I was racist, I would blame it on white people.

Finally, let me remind you that as of today, the United States government reserves capital punishment for "traitors". And treason sometimes simply means giving awat secrets to the enemy (no killing involved).

Posted by: karim | February 7, 2006 01:03 AM

This sums it up best:

"Who offends Islam more? A foreigner who draws the prophet...or a Muslim with an explosive belt who commits suicide in Amman or anywhere else?" Jihad al-Momani, editor-in-chief of Shihan, Jordan.

Islam needs to examine itself, because it has gone down a sickly violent path. The recent thuggery is just another case in point, to go with numerous bombings, hijackings, beheadings, flying planes into buildings, suicie bombings, shootings, stabbings---all done in the name of Islam.

Posted by: Carol | February 7, 2006 01:16 AM

A couple of Articles from ArabicNews.Com that shed some light on how we - moderate Muslims - view the current situation.
Quote:
Grand Mufti of Syria expresses regret over embassies incidents
Syria-Denmark, Politics, 2/6/2006
The Grand Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Ahmad Badruddin Hassoun expressed regret over the bad way in which some people exploited of means of expression to protest the publication by some European newspapers of offensive drawings of the Prophet Mohammad.

Hassoun said in a statement Saturday evening that "we feel sadness over what some people did driven by their emotions into a stage in which they impaired our dialogue with the Danish and Norwegian peoples."

The Grand Mufti pointed out that the Danish ambassador three days ago brought him an official letter from the Danish prime Minister in which he apologized and expressed sorrow over what some Danish newspapers did.

He added that "we had already accepted the apology, and agreed that the Danish newspaper concerned would publish articles by some Moslems in Denmark on the noble attributes and traits of the Prophet Mohammad so that we don't reach the stage of conflict or lose friendship of some of our friends in Europe who support Arab rights."

He said "the protest march today had already kicked off to a beautiful and disciplined start to express their emotions in a civilized way following Friday noon prayers in which Moslem scholars talked about their love to the Prophet Mohammad, but unfortunately the march was turned by some rioters who don't know the language of dialogue with the others into damage and arson."

The Grand Mufti of the Republic stressed that "we have never expressed our anger this way before. We have always believed that the dialogue with the others can be achieved by teaching not by killing, harming or burning them."
Unquote.

You see even Syria's Grand Mufti has expressed the views of the moderate Muslims noted in this blog.

Also..

Quote:
Lebanese minister of interior resigns over rioters burning of the Danish embassy
Lebanon-Denmark, Politics, 2/6/2006
The Lebanese minister of the Interior Hassan al-Sabaa resigned from his post, while the Lebanese authorities started large scale acts of detention covered scores of Syrians and Palestinians.

This was after the burning of the headquarters of the Danish consulate in Beirut on the background of the increasing anger over the blasphemous picture for Prophet Muhammad, that were printed by several European papers.

A Lebanese security source said that the acts of detention targeted "persons involved in acts of riot against citizens property, foreign interests and worshiping places."

The Lebanese government held an emergency meeting on Sunday evening after the expansion of the objection to the insulting of the prophet to Beirut, and the burning of the Danish consulate, less than 24 hours following similar attacks in Damascus resulted in burning the Danish and Norwegian embassies there.

The Lebanese prime minister Fouad Sinioura called for convening the meeting after 15 demonstrators came from various parts of Lebanon burnt the building of the Danish consulate in Beirut and cars for the Lebanese army during a demonstration converted into confrontations with the police which opened live bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Sinioura deplored resorting to violence in acts of protests. he said what had happened had no connection to Islam, adding that "violating security and destruction gives an inappropriate image about Islam." However, the Lebanese republic Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Rshid Qabbani called for self control.

News reports in Beirut said that thousands of demonstrators broke into the Danish embassy after they were able to cross the security forces which tried to prevent them from approaching its headquarters in al-Ashrafeyah, east of the capital Beirut.
Unquote.

Mr. Siniora is a Christian and he views Islam in exactly the same manner as we have been trying to get across in these blogs. Also, the Mufti of Lebanon has, as all serious Muftis and religious leaders in the Middle East, called for self-control and ending of the senseless acts of violence that serve no purpose whatsoever except to damage Islam's image.

Also, and I don't know if you have this information in the West, do you know that the fire at the Danish Consulate in Lebanon did not, in fact, even damage the Danish Consulate itself. The Consulate is on the 4th or 5th floor (I'm not 100% sure which one) and it was unharmed by the fire. The only people that were directly affected were the poor Muslims and Christians that had offices on all the lower floors and whose entire businesses were destroyed. Of course this does not justify anything but it shows how mindless these people are - they are hurting their own people and stirring up hate for nothing.

Posted by: NH | February 7, 2006 02:50 AM

NH,

I have begun to read the Koran (in french). I had to throw it away because I was disgruntled about the violence I could read in it; first of all against the Jews and then against the Christians. I can't figure out why the "prophet" was so angry against both of these people, which he called "the people of the book". If we have the same background (the old testament is quite common between Jews and Christians), why so much hatred? Can I read a book where those people are depreciated? It doesn't mean that I judge every muslim, but I judge the Koran as hate-driving. It doesn't mean it conduces obligatory to suicide-bombing. But in my opinion, it gives an awful background against westerners in the muslim world.

In Europe, we have people who are against the cartoons, and those who are pro (because of press freedom). I can understand why muslim are angry, but why do they want the europeans to act like muslims but not drawing their prophet? Are we supposed to follow your rules? And if the aswer is "yes", why muslims don't follow our rules too?
Do we have to believe in a common faith? Do we have to make a new religion so as to satisfy everybody?

Posted by: Etienne - France | February 7, 2006 04:01 AM

Study: New Machines Await 4 in 5 Voters

By ROBERT TANNER, AP National Writer Mon Feb 6, 7:25 PM ET
www.yahoo.com
Fewer voters will cast their ballots by punching a card or pulling a lever in this November's elections as the country continues to turn to newer, electronic machines, according to a study released Monday.

While the study says old systems that were prone to error are on their way out, experts also note that means many Americans will be voting on unfamiliar equipment this fall.
At least four out of five registered voters will use the newer generation of machines -- either ATM-style touchscreen machines or ones that ask voters to fill in the blanks, a vast change from the contested 2000 presidential election that spurred states and Congress to push for improved equipment.
Back in 2000, just over half the voters had access to the latest technology.
By this fall, however, only one out of 33 voters will be asked to use the system that raised the most objections in Florida -- punch cards -- and just one in 10 will use a lever machine, according to a survey by Election Data Services, a political consulting firm that tracks election equipment. Six years ago, one in six voters used punch cards and one in five used levers.
The changes are bound to create their own glitches as voters and administrators learn how to use equipment they haven't voted on before, said Kimball Brace, president of Election Data. Just over 30 million voters will be casting ballots on unfamiliar equipment, he said.
"You throw that many people in on something new, you're always bound to see something go wrong," he said.
The changes have created new controversies, especially with accusations that touchscreen-style machines are vulnerable to manipulation. In response, 25 states have passed laws requiring election administrators to use machines that allow voters to verify their vote has been accurately counted, and that create paper receipts for a recount.
Those paper trails -- called voter-verified paper audit trails -- are creating their own challenges, as manufacturers try to respond to lawmakers' demands for the equipment, Brace said.
Some of the survey results may change by the time the fall election arrives, the study said, because some states are still trying to change over from older equipment as encouraged by the federal Help America Vote Act, which was passed after the contested 2000 election.
The widespread push to modernize means that, in the six years between November 2000 and this fall's elections, nearly 82 million people in a nation of 170 million registered voters will have cast ballots on new equipment, the study concludes.
___
On the Net:

Posted by: che | February 7, 2006 05:18 AM

Study: New Machines Await 4 in 5 Voters

By ROBERT TANNER, AP National Writer Mon Feb 6, 7:25 PM ET
www.yahoo.com
Fewer voters will cast their ballots by punching a card or pulling a lever in this November's elections as the country continues to turn to newer, electronic machines, according to a study released Monday.

While the study says old systems that were prone to error are on their way out, experts also note that means many Americans will be voting on unfamiliar equipment this fall.
At least four out of five registered voters will use the newer generation of machines -- either ATM-style touchscreen machines or ones that ask voters to fill in the blanks, a vast change from the contested 2000 presidential election that spurred states and Congress to push for improved equipment.
Back in 2000, just over half the voters had access to the latest technology.
By this fall, however, only one out of 33 voters will be asked to use the system that raised the most objections in Florida -- punch cards -- and just one in 10 will use a lever machine, according to a survey by Election Data Services, a political consulting firm that tracks election equipment. Six years ago, one in six voters used punch cards and one in five used levers.
The changes are bound to create their own glitches as voters and administrators learn how to use equipment they haven't voted on before, said Kimball Brace, president of Election Data. Just over 30 million voters will be casting ballots on unfamiliar equipment, he said.
"You throw that many people in on something new, you're always bound to see something go wrong," he said.
The changes have created new controversies, especially with accusations that touchscreen-style machines are vulnerable to manipulation. In response, 25 states have passed laws requiring election administrators to use machines that allow voters to verify their vote has been accurately counted, and that create paper receipts for a recount.
Those paper trails -- called voter-verified paper audit trails -- are creating their own challenges, as manufacturers try to respond to lawmakers' demands for the equipment, Brace said.
Some of the survey results may change by the time the fall election arrives, the study said, because some states are still trying to change over from older equipment as encouraged by the federal Help America Vote Act, which was passed after the contested 2000 election.
The widespread push to modernize means that, in the six years between November 2000 and this fall's elections, nearly 82 million people in a nation of 170 million registered voters will have cast ballots on new equipment, the study concludes.
___
On the Net:

Posted by: che | February 7, 2006 05:19 AM

AND THE REPUBLICANS WIN THE 2006 ELECTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: che | February 7, 2006 05:26 AM

If you want to read an alternative Muslim point of view check out Irshad Manji, who is very outspoken about the Muslim need to change their limited view of the world and the need to allow the Koran to be interpreted by the people themselves. She is under protection of a body guard because of her views though she has had no problems. www.muslim-refusenik.com/

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | February 7, 2006 07:46 AM

karim wrote:
"What is your point? [...] You are highlighting clandestine and gangster-type groups, not official Islamic institutions."

Really? The Iranian government is a gangster-type institution. Actually I believe that to be true. How about the "fatwa department of the Afgan supreme court" or the Nigerian local government? If what you say is true then Islam has been hijacked by many in many countries and those hijackers reside in mosques and governmental institutions. If the vast majority of Muslims were peaceful I really doubt you'd be seeing the riots and the support for the violence expressed by most Muslims. When was the last time the Pope or a bishop called for someone's death or Christians rioted due to an insult to the religion?

Your talk about Christian religious-based violence of the distant past, and I mostly agree with the facts, but its the 21st century. Christians grew up and there are no longer crusades, inquisitions, witch burning or calls for violence in the name of God. When will Islam grow up and forgo the violence perpetrated in the name of Islam and Allah?

Posted by: Sully | February 7, 2006 09:48 AM

Carol:

"Islam needs to examine itself, because it has gone down a sickly violent path. The recent thuggery is just another case in point, to go with numerous bombings, hijackings, beheadings, flying planes into buildings, suicie bombings, shootings, stabbings---all done in the name of Islam"

If you call burning few embassies by rioters and uncontrolled crowds sick violent path, what would you call bombing and destroying an Arab country like Iraq and killing over 100,000 of its people based on a lie and supported by a so-called "civilized" congress and other official institutions?

Like said in this blog so many times, all of the hijackings, all of the violent acts committed by non-governmental Arab groups COMBINED SINCE THE 70s DO NOT COME CLOSE to the many foreign people lives for which the US government is responsible.

The bloody foreign policy set aside, the US internal violence is one of the highest in the world and is THE highest (by far) among all Western nations.

All US politicians have tried to reduce the crime rate inside the US, but for crimes outside of the US by the US government, it is the wild west.

As long as the "American people" don't protest much and as long as "the President's ratings" are OK, the killings of foreigners can go on with no accountability or impunity.

The very few brave Americans who defend the lives of innocent people (including foreigners) are labled radical leftists, traitors and un-American.

No one dares to criticize the SACRDED Army when it is the entity that is doing the actual bomings and killings. People are told they "are just doing" their job!!! Support them!

It is, we are told, how a democracy works. The congress votes for the bombings, and the army executes the killings, and they get medals for it.

Any human being with a conscience would question this process but to many people in America these days, this process has become like a CULT.

Let me remind you that we are no longer in the 70s when your government could kill 2 million people in vietnam and still hides it from the world.

Today, for every bomb your government drops on foreign people, the entire world is recording.

Posted by: Karim | February 7, 2006 10:17 AM

Sully,

Ayatollah issuing the death penalty against Rushdie is about the same as your Pat Roberson calling for the assassination of President Hugo Chavez, few months ago.

That was an Iranian issue, you should keep confined to Iran.

When Roberson issued a call for killing Venezuela's president, he was speaking from the point of view of a Christian religious leader.

No one projected that on All Christians on this planet.

People understand it was an "American" issue, not to be associated with Canada which is also inhabited by Christians.

This is what you fail to apply to other people, especially Muslims, and this is when one could see your bigotry and racism.

Posted by: Karim | February 7, 2006 10:29 AM

Why would one refer to anti-Mulism prejudice as 'racism'? Islam isn't a race, is it?

Posted by: Beren | February 7, 2006 10:50 AM

"If you want to read an alternative Muslim point of view check out Irshad Manji, who is very outspoken about the Muslim need to change their limited view of the world and the need to allow the Koran to be interpreted by the people themselves. "

For the record, Irshad Manji supported the War on Iraq.

It seems to me that according to Irshad, not only Muslims should change their view of the world, the world, itself, that opposed the war should also change.

In my opinion, Irshad fails to see the difference between the political "war" and the religious one.

Her book should have been directed at people who are engaged in religious wars. Most of these "wars" are waged inside the Muslim countries themselves (fundamentalists vs moderates). The attacks on America are all part of political wars that aim to drive American political influence and presence out of the Arab Middle East.

Posted by: Karim | February 7, 2006 11:09 AM

Beren,

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/media/comment/0,,1701682,00.html

Posted by: Karim | February 7, 2006 11:17 AM

To SK: You declare that Islam does not promote violence and is a tolerant religion, and you claim those doing so are not muslim. I say you are naive and perhaps it is you that is not muslim. Your "religion" seems to have gone a different path that that which you have taken. Perhaps it is because you and those like you have allowed islam to be commandeered by hateful ones that have taken over islam and actively promoted it to an organized terrorist support organization. Shame to you for allowing that to happen to your religion! Why don't you and you friends rise up and reclaim your religion by killing these "real muslims" that are portraying your religion and your god as hateful murderous terrorists?

Posted by: TES | February 7, 2006 01:11 PM

Karim,

Thanks for the link to the story, which I read. It doesn't convince me, though, that anti-Muslim prejudice is racism. I'm not saying that it's not equally bad, just that it's something different. It seems to me that referring to nasty anti-Muslim statements as 'racist' perpetuates the (vast) misunderstanding of some people in the West who think that Muslim=Arab. Hatred of Arabs would be racism. Hatred of Muslims is...what would we call it? "Religionism"? "Religious prejudice"? "Religiously-based hatred"?

The article was arguing that even though anti-Muslim cartoons aren't cartoons about a person's race, they're still just as much of an incitement to hatred, and an attack on people's identity, as racist cartoons would be. I can agree with that. But not with the idea that hatred of Muslims is racism.

This is already a very confused issue, and I think the more clarity and precision we can bring to our use of terms, the more chance the issue has of being resolved.

Thank you for your post.

Posted by: Beren | February 7, 2006 01:21 PM

TES writes:

=============================================
"Why don't you and you friends rise up and reclaim your religion by killing these "real muslims" that are portraying your religion and your god as hateful murderous terrorists?"
=============================================

Er, would that really make things better/more peaceful if the people who believed in killing in God's name and those who didn't were both killing each other over whether or not it was right to kill in God's name?

Posted by: Beren | February 7, 2006 01:26 PM

TES,

Practically speaking, what do you suggest that Muslim governments or nations do in this case?

Give us examples.

If someone goes on TV and says "we should protest the anti-Islam Danish cartoons", the state should arrest them?

If Muslims have failed as you wrote, then I would like to hear your own suggestions to solve this problem.

Posted by: Karim | February 7, 2006 01:26 PM

It looks to me, at first glance, like there's some evidence that at least one of the 'extra three' pictures was deliberately faked. But maybe I'm wrong. Thoughts on this, anyone?

http://www.neandernews.com/?p=54%20.

(I'm not saying I agree with a lot of the comments on the page to whis this links, of course.)

Posted by: Beren | February 7, 2006 01:39 PM

Thanks for your answer Beren.

I see where you are coming from.

The reason I equate that with some kind of racism is because most people who claim to believe in certain religion are simply born into it. Most of them haven't actually chosen to be say Muslims or Christians. Just like Black people can't change their skin color or their features, most Muslims today regard their religious beliefs as such.

You could argue racism often involves prejudice based on superficial/racial characteristics but I think it can also be extended to names, traditions, habits, the way people dress and so on.

Just like the article argued, it is easier today to get away with insulting Muslims for behaving a certain way than it is to insult "black people" for the same behavior.

Posted by: Karim | February 7, 2006 01:49 PM

Muslims can be of any race, like Beren says. and they're certainly free to change faiths, unless they're in Saudi Arabia I suppose.
also, even if Muslims were of one race, criticizing acts by certain Muslims wouldn't be racist, any more than criticism of Israel is necessarily anti-semitic.
as for faked pics - Wall Street Journal reported today that 3 of the pics (incl some of the most inflammatory ones) were bogus, and included in a dossier distributed by Danish Muslims in the Mideast to publicize the story.

Posted by: CE | February 7, 2006 03:26 PM

CE,

1- I am arguing that in the mind of some people (in America) the Muslim is perceived in a "racial context".

Insults directed at the central symbol of the religion becomes a racist act.

2- Your analogy about Israel is not valid. The equivalent would be to criticize THE JEWS instead of Israeli.

So each time Israeli has an issue of some sort, you would refer to them this way: "the Jews did this, the Jews need to reform, the Jews need to stop the occupation, a Jew in Israel murdered another Jew", etc.

That would be some sort of racism, and in this case it is known as anti-semitism.

What you and others fail to acknowledge or comprehend is whatever Israeli JEWS in Israel do should not be associated with JEWS in New York city. This stands true even if Israel calls itself "The Jewish state".

The same standard should apply to Muslims or any other religious group.

Posted by: Karim | February 7, 2006 04:33 PM

Karim, just because some people here or abroad mistakenly view Muslims as being of one race doesn't mean criticism of some Muslims is racism. some people think the earth was created 5000 yrs ago; that doesn't make it true.

If your point is that it's mistaken and offensive to say all Muslims are terrorists, or that Islam is a religion only fit for terrorists, then I'm with you. But if you're arguing that because Muslims view certain things as off limits, the rest of us are bound by those views (and are bigots if we aren't), then I disagree.

Posted by: CE | February 7, 2006 05:36 PM

karim wrote;
"Ayatollah issuing the death penalty against Rushdie is about the same as your Pat Roberson calling for the assassination of President Hugo Chavez, few months ago."

Are you serious? You are comparing the edit of the theocratically ruler of Iran, whose death fatwa was upheld by the Iranian government after Khomeini died, with Robertson who has no position over the US government and his statement was denounced by the US government? Now you are just getting silly but is point out to me that you are apologetic to Islamic terrorism.

I understand you point that all Muslims are not the same. That is obvious. In fact, that is part of my point. You see death fatwas coming from various cultures that follow Islam. My point is: Why do we see the same behavior (death fatwas) coming from Afganistan, Iran, Nigeria and Britain when the only thing in common is that they are Muslim?

What you are sidestepping is that Islamic traditions and beliefs allow for the killing of people for many reasons. In fact, it is required in some cases as you have already said.

Your response to Carol was disappointing. You, like many Muslims in the ME, respond to condemnations of the violence with saying that US attacks are the same. You are again sidestepping the question at hand ... is Islam violent by its nature? What does US or the actions of other countries have to do with it? The point many are making is that Islam has allowed the taking of hostages, beheadings of innocents, suicide bombings of innocents, domestic abuse and death sentances for thinking about Islam incorrectly.

Stick to the question being debated and stop bringing up false arguments. How can you call Islam as peaceful religion when from Muslim country to Muslim country we see terrorists, domestic abuse that would shock any westerner, death fatwas and other barbaric 5th century behavior?

Posted by: Sully | February 7, 2006 06:28 PM

Here's the deal guys; what the cartoons have done is akin to spraying a swastika on a synagogue, or dangling KKK symbols to African Americans; these are all hate crimes, and this is NOT about Freedom of Expression.

Our society has laws against such hate crimes, and to defend them is to defend hatred. Those reponsible should be charged with hate-crimes. These cartoons should be considered just that...a hate crime, inflammatory and offensive in the extreme, that any minority that has been discriminated against should be able to identify with, and those espousing the hate crimes should be charged, tried and sentenced as such.

Also Muslims are obliged by their very religion to uphold the same honour bestowed upon the Prophet on Moses, Jesus, and all the biblical prohets who are our equal messnegers from God. So you wont see Muslims retaliating by defaming the earlier prophets. Muslims revere the Prophet above all else after God; we can't even mention his name without saying "peace be upon him" afterwards (the same goes for Jesus & Moses' and all the others' names).

Posted by: Sherry | February 7, 2006 06:32 PM

Sherry wrote:
"Also Muslims are obliged by their very religion to uphold the same honour bestowed upon the Prophet on Moses, Jesus, and all the biblical prohets who are our equal messnegers from God."

Please don't kill people or destroy property in Jesus' name. If you know anything about Jesus, which as a Muslim you must, you would know that is not what he would have wanted. My guess is it is not what Mohammed or Moses would want either, but you'll have to ask your cleric since you are not allowed to make that decision for yourself.

Posted by: Sully | February 7, 2006 06:57 PM

You should not go on discussing muhammedanism. Norway is a secular country, and most people now think (and are starting to say) keep that sick cult private, or get out of this country. Another annoying thing about muhammedans - they are so terribly racist. I am a typical target, beeing young, modern and Scandinavian blond I am called infidel whore. Should they hear my name, I am called a Jewish whore. I could not care less about that, but I care that they are a threat to the social democracy, in which muhammedans are completely impossible to integrate. Sweden has collapsed, by the way. Did you know that? There is press censor. Just keeping you updated about Scandinavia, since we are in the picture now.

Posted by: Norway | February 7, 2006 07:20 PM

Sherry also wrote:
"Here's the deal guys; what the cartoons have done is akin to spraying a swastika on a synagogue, or dangling KKK symbols to African Americans; these are all hate crimes, and this is NOT about Freedom of Expression."

I hate to disappoint you Sherry but spraying a swastika is destruction of property and thus a crime, but "dangling KKK symbols to African Americans" is not. It happens all the time when the Nazis or KKK have a march or parade. The reason they can march and hold these symbols for all to see is Freedom of expression. We in America do not have to like what we see, but we let it occur because we love freedom more than wanting not to see those things we do not like.

Don't you see, once you equate free expression (not destruction of property) with criminal behavior, you move toward outlawing free expression. But from what I'm hearing from Muslims demonstrating about the cartoons, outlawing anything that offends their religion is ok and worth killing people over. That is not freedom, it is tyranny.

Maybe instead of trying to get the West to understand your anger, maybe you should try to understand why they are defending the publishing of the cartoons so much. They used to live under tyranny and do not want to go back to the life Muslims seem to want to embrace.

Posted by: Sully | February 7, 2006 07:32 PM

Why is it OK to burn US flags, effigies of western leaders and shout death to america but not OK to print these cartoons? Muslims complain that they are victim's of disrepect, opression and violence and that the west is trying to suppress their culture, religion and values. Then why does it seem that they are so willing to do the same to any party or country they don't agree with? And I also have to mention once again we see these violent angry fanatical mobs preaching violence by the tens of thousands. No most people in the west think Muslims are violent backward extemists bent on spreading intollerant Islanic jihad across the globe. I think most people and politicians think this but don't dare say this aloud: they are afraid.

Posted by: | February 7, 2006 07:38 PM

Sherry, you write:

=============================================
"Here's the deal guys; what the cartoons have done is akin to spraying a swastika on a synagogue, or dangling KKK symbols to African Americans; these are all hate crimes, and this is NOT about Freedom of Expression."
=============================================

This, I think, gets at part of what's at stake here. _Why_ were the cartoons (other than the extra three that were truly disgusting, but that seem to have been faked) as offensive as a swastika on a synagogue. I'm not disagreeing with you - after all, you're the one who knows whether you're offended or not. But it would help very much if Muslims could explain to non-Muslims _why_ these cartoons were _that_ offensive. I understand that they were a little bit offensive. But things that are mildly offensive are generally permitted by freedom of speech. I have often seen portrayals of Jesus that I found somewhat offensive. In a free society, we all agree that we will sometimes see things that we don't like. For it to cross the line into violence-inciting hate-speech, it usually has to be more than just somewhat offensive.

Now, again, I'm not saying that this cartoon didn't cross that line. What I am saying is that I don't quite see how it did, and I'd like you to enlighten me about it.

I am a practicing orthodox Christian, and I have seen plenty of insulting portrayals of Jesus. In one of the buildings at my university, there is someone who has a cartoon of Jesus holding an assault rifle (rather like having a bomb for a hat?). It's a bit insulting. But I don't think that it's hate-speech. I think that it's silly, stupid, uninformed, a bit sad, really. I pray for the person whose view of Jesus has been that confused by the crimes people have committed in Jesus' name.

But it doesn't offend me as much as these cartoons seem to have offended some in the Muslim world. So please help us to understand why these are so bad. Because until we understand it, here's how things will look to the average westerner: It will seem that Muslims want, not equal protection, but special protection, against a kind of insult that we are all subjected to. You see, so long as this portrayal of Mohammed looks to us exactly like the portrayals of our own religious figures, which insult us, but which we endure, in our eyes you'll be asking to be exempt from what all the rest of us put up with.

Were these really as bad as painting a swastika on a synagogue? Painting a swastika on a synagogue is a threat of violence, isn't it? How does a negative portrayal of Mohammed threaten violence against anyone? Now if crosses or, let's say, Crusaders' symbols were painted on a mosque, I'd agree with you that that was similar. But it seems to me like the parallel for a negative portrayal of Mohammed would be, well, a negative portrayal of Moses (I know he's also a prophet to you, but for this purpose the point is that he'd be a prophet to Jews). And I don't think that anyone would say that a negative portrayal of Moses was a hate crime. Or, to take something that involves a religious prohibition (like drawing the Mohammed), many very religious Jews will not permit the name of God to be written. But if a non-Jew writes it, it's not viewed as a hate-crime, is it?

Please help us to understand how these cartoons were worse than cartoons that we see all the time making fun of other religions, ideas, groups of people, and so on.

If I, a practicing monotheistic believer in the God of Abraham, have trouble understanding your offense at this, I can guarantee you that secular Westerners are having much more trouble. We will all benefit from your explanation.

Thank you for your post.

Posted by: Beren | February 7, 2006 07:41 PM

And then there are some who don't stand at either extreme:

http://www.sorrynorwaydenmark.com/

Posted by: Beren | February 7, 2006 07:52 PM

Nice try Beren. But I settle for nothing less than absolute accept of freedom of expression (IN NORWAY). I do not intend to dictate the laws in Syria. There are no partial freedom of expression.

Posted by: Norway | February 7, 2006 08:18 PM

Norway,

Thanks for your post. I too would rather live in a place that had total freedom of expression. I'd much rather be offended, and have the right to reply however I wished, than have both my opponents' speech, and my own, censored. But I know that many countries (including European ones) put _some_ limits on speech that is so extreme that it threatens violence against people. (For example, nearly all countries make blackmail illegal - yet in a way, blackmail is just speech. Similarly, Germany, understandably, has some restrictions on making Nazi statements. And in Britain, they're talking about prosecuting some of the people who marched in London to protest the cartoons, because they carried signs threatening another 7/7. And Abu Hamza Masri was just convicted, in Britain, of soliciting murder and stirring up racial hatred.)

Now some people on this board have said that what Muslims want is just equal treatment, that they only want their religion to have the same protections that other religions already have under some European laws. In that case, what I want to know is why banning these cartoons _would_ be equal treatment, instead of preferential treatment.

Is there absolutely no limit on speech in Norway? I agree with you that people should not try to censor speech in nations other than their own, that they've never even visited. Norway's laws should be what Norwegians want them to be. The same goes for every other country.

Posted by: Beren | February 7, 2006 08:54 PM

It seem amazing to me that a silly cartoon can generate so much anger in the muslim world.
I think the middle east is in great need of anger management therapists!!

Posted by: RA | February 7, 2006 10:02 PM

It seem amazing to me that a silly cartoon can generate so much anger in the muslim world.
I think the middle east is in great need of anger management therapists!!

Posted by: RA | February 7, 2006 10:03 PM

I'd be interested in hearing what percentage of the Muslims rioting actually saw any of the offending cartoons. I have tried but am having a hard time finding them myself. They came out a Danish newspaper. Is that where the Lebanese and Syrian Muslims saw the cartoons?

I think muslims are upset over something that, if they ignored it, would have quickly gone away. Instead the clerics decided to bring it to friday prayers and incite violence. Now the whole world is seeing these cartoons. As offensive as they are, the violent reaction of muslims has earned these cartoons a place in history books for years to come. If they had quietly protested through diplomatic channels, we'd all be talking about the super bowl instead.

Posted by: Sully | February 7, 2006 10:16 PM


Does anyone remember the controvery over "The last temptation of Christ" movie?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/flashpoints/theater/lasttemptation.html

And if I remember well, some protesters set fire to a theater in Paris France.

Posted by: Karim | February 7, 2006 11:55 PM

Im a native Canadian of ojibway descent. Our people never faught wars, we fought only when provoked and felt threatened, like a cornered badger would if approached by a wolf. WE lived a holistic life with nature. Everybody, all people, animals, rocks, rivers and trees are all interconnected. Everything in nature is intrinsic in value. WE were natural and lived by the land, our so called "religion" explained our place within our world, and the basis of our beliefs was "respect". Is it possible, that that big 3 faiths (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) can learn something from the so called "savages" that lived in teepees, igloos and wigwams??

Posted by: Jason | February 8, 2006 06:09 AM

Stands to reason, cartoons bringin' down a cartoon species.

Posted by: Reynolds | February 8, 2006 06:48 AM

If West countries believe freedom of expression, Why prison every talks about the myth Holocaust? I think freedom of expression is a lie.

Posted by: justice | February 8, 2006 07:23 AM

For all who wrote about Islam as violent relegion, just read what you have written and you can notice that you are full of hatred.
In Islam we respect all prophets.. not sharon, he is criminal by all means. It's history.

Posted by: The Truth | February 8, 2006 07:51 AM

The cartoons struck a nerve because the truth hurts. They were just trying to show the stupidity in thinking that killing innocents will buy you a ticket to heaven. What's scary is that many Muslims in the Arab world felt humiliated by a bunch of cartoons! c'mon - grow up!! What a bunch of losers!!! Get a job and fix up your countries instead of worrying about everything that the West does. Protest against your own governments instead of the West all of the time! Or try to invent something that will benefit all of mankind - instead of praying 20 times a day ! What was the last contribution to come out of that part of the world in the last 1000 years? I can't think of any... If if wasn't for the West finding oil in your own countries you wouldn't have a leg to stand on!!

Posted by: Elvis G. | February 8, 2006 11:48 AM

Being a Muslim, I have a few things to say:

1. Many people are talking about "freedom of speech". Aren't there any limits for such freedom? It is a crime to deny Holocaust in Denmark. It means, if I write an article in a Danish newspaper that denies Holocaust, I'll be jailed. Another example, thousands of people died in 9/11 incident. Did you see any visual of a dead body in that incident on CNN, Fox News, Newsweek, Time, Washington Times, New York Times? These so-called bearers of free speech!!

2. Again referring "freedom of speech", if I print a photograph of your mom and dad having sex, how much extent you will be able to tolerate it? If there are no limits to freedom of speech, then why most of the online forums are moderated and all the messages in them are not posted immediately?

3. Muslims highly respect all the religions and we never say anything against any of them. If a such cartoon was made about Jesus Christ, our response will be similar as it is now. There have been protests from Muslims when Quran was burnt (in many cases) but we never burnt a copy of Bible as reaction. Similarly now, Muslims are very angry and they have been torching embassies of those countries who reprinted those cartoons, banning products of those countries but we will never even think of reacting by printing insulting cartoons of Jesus Christ or Pope.

Posted by: Bilal | February 8, 2006 12:30 PM

Balil wrote:
"Muslims are very angry and they have been torching embassies of those countries who reprinted those cartoons, banning products of those countries but we will never even think of reacting by printing insulting cartoons of Jesus Christ or Pope."

So, are you saying Muslims are nice people because they only attack people and property and not other religions? I'm wondering if the Koran says to turn the other cheek? My guess is no.

Posted by: Sully | February 8, 2006 12:51 PM

News from Norway: There is a price of my head as Norwegian. 5 kilos in gold. That is not a bad , afghan currency considerd.

Beren: The freedom of speach is limitless. Threats and the likes, you take to court.

Or - that's how it were. It is a lost battle. One human right down. Four to go?

Posted by: Norway | February 8, 2006 06:01 PM

ok !
muslims r concern with hazrat muhammad(s.a.w)much more than any thing...they hav spiritual and cordial feeling for muhammad(S.A.W).
i generally think that they hav this feeling much more than as jews and cristians hav 4 there prophets...
denmark and all other responsible countries hav made a blunder bi doing so and they r responsible 4 all this voilance
and this is now there responsiblity to tak there own care..they shoul apologise muslim world ....and they shouldnt repeat this blunder again...bcz this leads towards ...war...and i think in this world no one lik to invite it in there country

Posted by: fahad | February 8, 2006 10:22 PM

Karim,
Islam needs to address this sickness of violence. At least have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that fact.

Posted by: Carol | February 8, 2006 10:39 PM

For the record, I think the cartoons were wrong and the message could have been gotten across without denigrating Mohammad.

However, I believe there is a fundamental hypocrisy with Muslims who are querying free speech and stating that limits should be imposed, yet are vilifying Jews and Christians in their own media (a practice that has been going on for a long time).

Moreover, why are Muslims not protesting the violence that is committed in Islam's name? Eg suicide bombings, beheadings etc. Are these acts denigrating Islam? Such acts are far more serious than cartoons, and yet, silence!

So, either these acts do not denigrate Islam and are acceptable to Islam, or, both are wrong but cartoons are more offensive to Muslims than beheadings and bombs.

Finally, where on earth did all those people in the Mid East get Danish flags?And why is Iran stoking the fire? Perhaps because Denmark is on the Secuirty Council. These cartoons, after all, are 5 months old.

Posted by: Carol | February 8, 2006 10:50 PM

FRom what Ive noticed here is that the muslims really defend themselves but no Muslim has addressed the bombings, threats and behyeadings. For Petes sake, answer the questions on those things, are u afraid to admit soemthing, just answer, if you have the balls!

Posted by: | February 9, 2006 05:08 AM

How da hell does someone just come up with the idea to draw a prophet??????Nobody ever drew him and some stupid people,probably a big group of them.There is a reason why he didnt want his picture to exist.I am pissed too, very pissed.This is a completly different matter.

Posted by: Almira | February 9, 2006 12:47 PM

Almira,

The way that Danish paper go the idea, supposedly, was like this: Someone wanted to publish a children's book about Mohammed, and they wanted pictures (since it was a children's book). But all the artists who were asked to do it refused to do it, because they were afraid. The newspaper thought that artists shouldn't be afraid of physical violence when they illustrate children's books, so to make a point, they asked several cartoonists to draw Mohammed.

You say that nobody ever drew Mohammed, but that's not quite true. There have been some (not many) portrayals of Mohammed by Muslim artists throughout the centuries. And if you're talking about non-Muslim portrayals of Mohammed, there have definitely been several of those. There's a carving of Mohammed, along with other 'law-givers' in the US Supreme Court building, for example.

Posted by: Beren | February 9, 2006 02:43 PM

I notice a lot of Scandinavians are claiming that crime has increased due to the influx of Muslim immigrants in the past few decades. I looked up statistics for crime in Denmark, and it appears that crime has actually gone down, sex crimes in particular (I hear that Muslims are raping Danish women. This reminds me of what people said about African Americans before (and during) the civil rights movement). This is more a case of the media distortions. When a Muslim commits a crime, it's "this is how these people are". When a Dane commits a crime, it's just a bad apple.

The last time I was in Denmark, I heard the same story of the Turk who cut a Danish woman's face. I think this is a terrible crime, but it's a much worse crime to assume everyone in the Muslim world is a criminal, due to one incident. Danes have assaulted and murdered each other too. Danes have assulted and murdered Muslims and other new immigrants. There are many Danes who are vehement racists.

As far as sex crimes, Denmark has many child pornography offenders. Whenever these world wide child porn rings are busted, there are almost always a few Danes involved. Never any Muslims, though. Does this mean all Danes are child pornographers? No, of course not. No one would think of making that argument. So let's not be so lazy when it comes to Muslims. They're not a bunch of robots. They have differing beliefs, and different sects of Islam disagree, sometimes to violent ends, much like in Ireland. Of course, when it's white Irish people, we realize that "they're not all like that". When it's Muslims, we rush to assume "they're all like that".

In the U.S., we face similar issues regarding the fear of crime. It's not based in reality. It's due to the media's desire to increase subscribership/viewership. Extremity boosts ratings and subscribership.

The enemy is the media. Yes, the Washington Post too. Let's face it, journalists aren't philosophers or rocket scientists. You would hope that they attended some modern social science classes with a more postmodern epistemology, but apparently not. They love to show the 300 angry Muslims burning flags, and will never show the lack of protest in a lot of the Muslim world. India, for example, has the 2nd largest population of Muslims, yet they are not burning down embassies.

So let's not be simpletons here. Try to think with your own brain and do some research. Don't gobble the poop that the press feeds you. Most of these people are flunkies that have some OK communication skills. But they are not thorough researchers. After all, it takes work and effort to not only get the story right, but to put it in its correct context. They'd much rather show the extremity of others.

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 9, 2006 03:36 PM

"Someone wanted to publish a children's book about Mohammed, and they wanted pictures (since it was a children's book)."

Why does everyone try to make these caricatures seem so innocent? Have you seen them? They're as offensive as caricatures of African Americans before civil rights. They're as offensive as Nazi caricatures of Jews. The reaction is a very extreme. Then again, I lived in LA during the riots, and a jury verdict caused city-wide riots for several days. Rodney King, anyone? Does anyone remember that?!?

As a non-Muslim, I find these offensive. So does Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush, the State Department, etc. So if you want to defend these drawings, you're more right wing than G.W. Bush. Even a neo-con like GW has the decency to realize that this is offensive material. I never thought I would agree with that fraternaturd, and I feel his convictions on this matter have more to due with sucking up to the Saudis. Nonetheless, I agree with Clinton, GW, and others who say these caricatures are "appalling".

The press has now called this debacle the "Cartoon Controversy", in order to make it seem like people are flipping out over something akin to Family Circus.

The press has a right to show how ignorant they are. They have to deal with the consequences of free speech -- lost jobs, burnt down embassies, and the fact that Danes can no longer travel safely in the world. Was it worth it?

I can tell you, if a U.S. Newspaper published a caricature of an African American with big lips, eating fried chicken and watermelon, you'd have more than a few riots on your hands and maybe even some lawsuits.

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 9, 2006 03:55 PM

Sure, its OK for the "balanced" Arab news network Al-Jazeera to give airtime to Osama Big-Nose Laden and other terrorist killers whenever they pop their ugly heads out of their cave holes so they can issue death threats and spew their garbage. Its also OK for these same Arab stations to give Al-Zarqawi airtime to do beheadings. But GOD forbid a newspaper in the West shows a cartoon of a "prophet"!! Its ironic - many Muslims were mad because these cartoons showed Muhammed as a terrorist and give Islam a bad image. But what do these same Muslims do as a reaction - they turn around and burn and go on a rampage. We (the West) rest our case ... BTW - Muslims - if you don't like our newspapers then don't READ THEM and stick to your "well-balanced" news in your own countries!

Posted by: Tom Crusader | February 9, 2006 04:36 PM

the muslims need to lighten up!
ut's only a cartoon!

Posted by: den | February 9, 2006 05:27 PM

It's a complete myth that al Jazeera or al Arabiya have shown beheadings. None of these beheadings have ever been televised by Arab media. These videos exist strictly on the Internet.

Posted by: OD | February 9, 2006 05:35 PM

Dumbark, you write:

===========================================
"Why does everyone try to make these caricatures seem so innocent? Have you seen them? They're as offensive as caricatures of African Americans before civil rights. They're as offensive as Nazi caricatures of Jews. The reaction is a very extreme. Then again, I lived in LA during the riots, and a jury verdict caused city-wide riots for several days. Rodney King, anyone? Does anyone remember that?!?"
===========================================

I have seen them, yes. As you ask the question, I assume that you have seen them too. Which ones did you think were as bad as Nazi portrayals of Jews? (Leaving out the three extra ones, which, it seems, may have been faked.) Did you think that they were all negative?

Pictures do, for most people, evoke more of an emotional reaction than words. But, that said, in their own way, political cartoons are a lot like opinion-columns. They have a stance, an opinion, and they try to get that across. What the cartoonist of Mohammed with a bomb for a turban was 'arguing' with his cartoon was that the teachings of Mohammed are leading people to violence. Now, you may disagree with that position. But do you think that it's such an extreme position that it should be banned from newspapers? Do you think it's so extreme that it can't be discussed? (In which case, do you think the same thing about portrayals of any other religion?)

You, and others who have posted about how offensive the cartoons are, may well be right. But it would advance your point if you would say _how_ it is that the cartoons are so offensive. Which ones are, and why, and how offensive are they (since we all sometimes see cartoons that insult us)?

Later on, you write:
==========================================
"As a non-Muslim, I find these offensive. So does Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush, the State Department, etc. So if you want to defend these drawings, you're more right wing than G.W. Bush. Even a neo-con like GW has the decency to realize that this is offensive material."
==========================================

It's not really a right-wing v. left-wing issue. The world's more complicated than that.

But even if it is offensive material, is it _so_ offensive that it should be illegal to publish it? If you think so, please explain how. I keep asking people who think the cartoons should have been banned to explain why they're so completely offensive (more offensive than, say, the cartoon of Jesus holding an Uzi that someone at my university has on her door), and so far, I haven't seen any answers.

Thanks for your post.

Posted by: Beren | February 9, 2006 06:40 PM

"the muslims need to lighten up!
ut's only a cartoon!"

It's not only Muslims who are offended by these caricatures. Bill Clinton, GW Bush, Condoleezza Rice and many other political leaders have denounced these "cartoons". These "cartoons" are offensive, and portray offensively negative stereotypes of Muslims.

People who say "lighten up, this is just a cartoon" show their ignorance. It's a series of images that are offensive to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. As a non-Muslim and non-Caucasian American, I find these images extremely offensive. They're the sort of images that remind me of the harassment and stereotypes African Americans faced decades ago (and really, they still face many of these problems today).

The people who say "lighten up" tend to be white people who have never faced any racial discrimination in their lives. They will never have any empathy. They will never understand.

I am well aware that the press in many Muslim nations distorts reality. This is something the press does everywhere. Yellow journalism is still alive and well. Newspapers have historically misinformed the public in order to gain support for otherwise objectionable positions. This is part of the interface between senior news editors, corporations, and government. How do insulting caricatures of Mohammed relate to "the news"? Where is the objective information here? These were intended as more than just amusing cartoons, as the Danish publisher also seems to contend.

I agree that a few Muslims have taken this too seriously. Be aware, that the Western press is distorting this reaction. Many ignorant people around the world actually believe all Muslims feel this way, so you read posts like "Muslims need to lighten up" instead of "Some Muslims need to lighten up".

If you have ever seen an anti-globalization protest in San Francisco or Seattle, I can assure you, a lot of the "Burningman hippies" aren't as mellow as one would think. The police aren't very friendly either. But since they're white people, we would never say all white people throw Molotov cocktails and rocks at the police to protest something as vague as globalization. We would not even attribute these values to most people who live alternative lifestyles in the U.S. We would never say "Lighten up, hippy crackers. I eat at McDonald's all the time. Globalization isn't that bad."

When it comes to brown people, then it's often a case that they all think alike and are robots submitting to the monolithic view of Islam. Since most Americans are under educated (compared to the rest of the industrialized world), it is very easy to pass off gross generalizations as fact. I believe the government continues to under fund education in order to have an easily manipulated populace.

Additionally, many Muslims feel that they are being targeted in a war against Islam. I don't think this is too far from the truth. North Korea is a far bigger threat to U.S. security than Iraq ever was. After 9-11, it was just easier to sell the Iraq war to an American public that is not knowledgeable of the secular nature of Saddam Hussein's Baath party. There are Muslims in Iraq, and Bin Laden is a Muslim, which is enough of a connection for American trailer trash to be sold on military action. As long as we're killing some brown people for "what they did to us", Joe Six Pack will be happy, driving in his huge super-sized SUV with the "support our troops" yellow ribbon. Does anyone see the irony in huge SUVs with the yellow ribbon on them? I hate to generalize, but I have not seen a single Prius with a yellow ribbon on it (but I'm sure there's one out there).

That said, not all uneducated, lower-middle class, white Americans are for warfare against Muslims, just as not all Muslims are in a rage against the Danish caricatures (that were in extremely poor taste and offensive).

We do our fair share of censorship and are outraged at many things in the U.S. Janet Jackson's bare breast debacle was a huge scandal, causing the FCC to review it's policies, and networks to start running ALL live events on 10 second delays. Over what? A couple of boobs? The Rolling Stones were subtly censored -- lyrics that we all know were turned down so as not to offend anyone. But when it comes to Muslims, heck, all's fair, right? Mohammed with a bomb in his turban? A caricature of how poorly Muslims treat women? That's OK... But if Disney censors the Rolling Stones, it must be due to poor taste. It's the poor taste of Rolling Stones fans that have made them one of the most successful rock bands ever.

At least most of the U.S. press has had the decency and good taste not to publish these images. Our leaders and State Department have denounced these images. Yet, people who seem to think the U.S. is just not right-wing enough are complaining about free speech? Very sanctimonious. If we want free speech, let's start with things that aren't offensive, like Rolling Stones lyrics. "You make a dead man come" That's offensive? That needs to be censored? But then we need to show the Muslim equivalent of Amos & Andy everywhere?

I am against censorship in all its forms, though the press must take responsibility when it offends people to the point of violence. There is also quite a bit of hypocrisy here - the U.S. media censors a lot of media that is hardly offensive. But in this forum, you will read post after post saying that these offensive caricatures should be printed everywhere. The artwork is pretty crappy, they shouldn't have been printed in the first place... But if we are for a free media, why don't we start here, in the U.S. - the "land of the free, home of the brave" I would much rather see Janet Jackson's breasts than crappy and offensive cartoons that cater to the lowest common denominator.

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 9, 2006 06:58 PM

Also, I'd be curious to know why, if the cartoons are so automatically offensive, they were apparently run in an _Egyptian_ paper in October, without causing scandal, riots, or much of a stir, as far as I've heard. The link is:

http://freedomforegyptians.blogspot.com/2006/02/egyptian-newspaper-pictures-that.html

Now I know that the blogger has a bit of an axe to grind, and a bias. But even taking that into account, it looks like the actual facts are pretty striking. I can't read Arabic well enough to know if this person is telling the truth. And I'd welcome correction from those of you who know more about this, or who have better access to the Egyptian press. But, on the face of it, it looks like the cartoons were published in Egypt during Ramadan without anyone protesting, which is surely a bit strange, if the cartoons are so obviously and deeply and instantly offensive.

Any thoughts?

Posted by: Beren | February 9, 2006 07:00 PM

"It's not really a right-wing v. left-wing issue. The world's more complicated than that."

You must not be reading the posts, then. Or maybe you are reading them, but you're too hung up on ACLU free speech issues.

Read the posts and you will discover people who think the Muslims should be wiped out because they are inherently evil. Have these people ever met a Muslim? I have Muslim friends, and they are not evil. I have known plenty of white "Christians" who are completely diabolical, yet I do not think all Christians are this way. I do notice a pattern of people who call themselves Christians, when their values are really neo-con, and nothing resembling the teachings of Jesus Christ, who was extremely tolerant.

Beren, you keep on re-iterating your "free speech" views, but you're not reading the ultra-right-wing "let's wage war against Islam" sentiment. That is what I'm talking about.

I have a neighbor who thinks I am a Jew and makes offensive comments towards me. He's a white man from the South, who for some reason decided to reside in a diverse urban population. I would love to tell this guy "Hey F%#$in trailer trash, why don't you go F%@$ your sister". I would love to tell him to move back to Kentucky. I have the right of free speech to do this. Is it a good idea? No. He would beat the sh!t out of me. This is the same dynamic at play here.

Of course free speech should be absolutely free. But one has to realize that offending people has it's consequences. One also has to realize that the U.S. media is always censoring itself to keep advertisers and religious extremists placated. You seem to be OK with that, but when it's something that offends Muslims, suddenly you're Mr. U.C. Berkeley over here?!?

If you see a hornets' nest, don't whack it with a stick. You'd think it's common sense, but Denmark has recently had a right-wing resurgence, and having lived in Denmark, I know all too well what this is about.

"But even if it is offensive material, is it _so_ offensive that it should be illegal to publish it?"

Again, Beren, you don't read my post. I never said it should be illegal to publish this. It's in poor taste, and many world leaders agree with me. Is there something that these very intelligent people and myself "get" that you don't "get"? I think so.

You seem to be so wrapped up in ACLU B.S., that you can't see the crux of the argument. No one is making it illegal to show these images. No one passed a law. Much of the press has chosen not to print these images because they are offensive. Just as they would not print an image of an African American with big lips and a Jheri-curl afro eating fried chicken and watermelon. It's just as bad as that... Clinton called it "appalling"

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 9, 2006 07:19 PM

"Also, I'd be curious to know why, if the cartoons are so automatically offensive, they were apparently run in an _Egyptian_ paper in October, without causing scandal, riots, or much of a stir, as far as I've heard."

At that point, these crude drawings weren't the focus of international attention. Also, the Muslim world is not a monolith. I know quite a few Egyptians, and they tend to be very moderate. You're making the mistake of thinking the Muslim world is one giant organization with the same values. When these drawings became controversial and the sh!t hit the fan, and this made news in more _radical_ areas, then the press got their precious photo ops of Muslims freaking out.

Don't be a tool.

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 9, 2006 07:25 PM

Dumbmark,

Thank you for your post, and for clarifying you position. Some comments:

Many of the things that you say in your last two posts I agree with, but they're not specifically about this issue. Of course there's hypocrisy in our media, of course plenty of people here make ridiculous and offensive generalizations about Muslims (and others), when they've never even met any. Of course a lot of people here are quicker to generalize about non-whites. All of that is true. And all of that is worth saying to counter the people on this page who say things I don't really even want to type in quotation-marks, about Arabs or Muslims (often confusing the two). But none of that really gets to the heart of the question of whether or not the cartoons should have been published.

I stick with what I said about how the issue of whether to publish or not to publish offensive cartoons is one that doesn't map onto the left/right divide. The world really is more complicated than that. As proof: If a cartoon featured an insulting portrayal of evangelical Christians, or of white southerners, or of NRA-members would it be the right, or the left that would object? The right. But if a cartoon featured an insulting portrayal of hispanic immigrants, or of Muslims, or of homosexuals, would it be the right or the left that would be most likely to object? The left. (For the record, I don't agree with insulting portrayals of any of them.)

I'm glad to know that you don't think there should be censorship of the cartoons. Please excuse me for having misunderstood you.

You write:
===========================================
"One also has to realize that the U.S. media is always censoring itself to keep advertisers and religious extremists placated. You seem to be OK with that, but when it's something that offends Muslims, suddenly you're Mr. U.C. Berkeley over here?!?"
===========================================

I do realize that the US media censors itself to please advertisers and religious people. But I submit that when you claim that I'm "OK with that", you're simply making an unwarranted assumption about a person that you've never (as far as I know) met. Actually, I'm not okay with that. I wish the media would self-censor much less. Of course, there are things that they shouldn't show, but I don't want them to change their policies because of threats from advertisers or religious groups. And I willingly put up with things in the media that insult me, or groups to which I belong.

Really, I'm not sure that we even disagree so much. We both think that the papers shouldn't be censored, but that they should, in decency, refuse to publish violently racist or sectarian things. So we probably agree that there is a line, inside of which are some things that are maybe somewhat insulting, but are still legitimate (you can't read any paper for very long without seeing a cartoon that insults you a little bit). Outside that line are things that no decent paper would print.

The question, for me, is: do these cartoons rise to that level? Are they worse than anything that already appears in the papers? And I'm not yet convinced that they are (with the exception of the three extra ones). In fact, those extra ones are, to me, illustrative. Because the main twelve, in the places where they might be offensive, are trying to make a specific point about Mohammed's teachings. The point might be one that I disagree with, but it is a legitimate point to make. The 'extra three' on the other hand, don't make any point - they're just designed to insult. If you turned the cartoons into words, the 'turban one' would say, "Islamic teachings inspire violence." This might be wrong, but it's a legitimate position. On the other hand, if you turned the 'dog cartoon' into words, well, it wouldn't be printable and it wouldn't say anything substantive.

To take your example of an African American eating fried chicken and watermelon, such a cartoon wouldn't be making any point. It would just be caricature. If you turned it into words, it wouldn't be anything that would be worth printing as an op-ed. I think that's different from a cartoon that tries, for example, to claim (whether truly or not) that Islamic teachings as interpreted by many right now, have a negative impact on women. That is a point worthy of debate. To remove it from the paper would weaken public discourse.

Now maybe there's something that I (and many others, including all the Egyptians who saw the cartoons in October, but didn't protest) am missing. Maybe there's something that makes those cartoons so bad that they do cross the line and shouldn't be shown. And I'm willing to learn. But if you think that there's something that I'm missing, show me what it is. Explain in detail, why those cartoons are so bad that no decent paper should show them. That I think, is where our disagreement seems to lie.

Finally, you write:
===========================================
"You seem to be so wrapped up in ACLU B.S., that you can't see the crux of the argument. No one is making it illegal to show these images. No one passed a law."
===========================================

Did I make you angry? I don't see why you need to assume that I'm wrapped up in anything to do with the ACLU, or why you need to conduct psychological analysis of what you perceive as the failings in my argument. The reason I was talking about whether it should be legal to show such images, was because there have in fact been calls from some quarters, either to make all such depictions illegal, or to impose such a ban on them, in practice, that they might as well be illegal. And a high court in South Africa did, in fact, ban the images from being shown. That sounds like a legal issue to me.

Thank you for your post.

Posted by: Beren | February 9, 2006 08:06 PM

Dumbmark,

you write:
=============================================
"At that point, these crude drawings weren't the focus of international attention. Also, the Muslim world is not a monolith. I know quite a few Egyptians, and they tend to be very moderate. You're making the mistake of thinking the Muslim world is one giant organization with the same values. When these drawings became controversial and the sh!t hit the fan, and this made news in more _radical_ areas, then the press got their precious photo ops of Muslims freaking out."
===========================================

No, dumbmark, I was not assuming that the Muslim world was monolithic. In everything you say about the variety in the Muslim world, the intelligence of Muslims, the unrepresentative nature of photos of rioting Muslims, and so on, if you say them to me, you're preaching to the choir. I've insisted on those facts for a long time.

I brought this publication up because it is relevant to the argument that some (including you, if I've understood you correctly) have been making. They have claimed that these cartoons were extremely and automatically offensive to Muslims. If that is true, if it is really on the same level as the parallels you listed, then it should instantly have been spotted as offensive. That's the nature of cartoons that 'cross the line'. You couldn't publish Nazi portrayals of Jews in _any_ Jewish paper (although there's also great variety within Judaism) without sparking an outcry. You couldn't publish that watermelon- and fried chicken-eating African American cartoon that you mentioned in any publication with an African-American readership without sparking an outcry. If a cartoon that is supposed to be so extreme gets published by and for people whom it supposedly insults, without sparking an outcry, that is a significant, though maybe not decisive, piece of evidence that the cartoons may not have been _that_ extreme.

Or do you disagree? (Which is fine - just say how.)

You close by writing:
===========================================
"Don't be a tool."
===========================================

You could omit the discourtesy. It doesn't contribute to your argument, especially as you are pointing out the dangers of making assumptions about people far away whom we've never met.

Thanks for your post.

Posted by: Beren | February 9, 2006 08:20 PM

"The question, for me, is: do these cartoons rise to that level? Are they worse than anything that already appears in the papers? And I'm not yet convinced that they are (with the exception of the three extra ones). In fact, those extra ones are, to me, illustrative. Because the main twelve, in the places where they might be offensive, are trying to make a specific point about Mohammed's teachings. The point might be one that I disagree with, but it is a legitimate point to make."

I think they are offensive.
Bill Clinton thinks they are offensive.
GW Bush thinks they are offensive.
Condoleezza Rice thinks they are offensive.
Kofi Anan thinks they are offensive.
Many Muslims think they are offensive.

These are just like caricatures of African Americans. The Arabic features are exaggerated, just like attributing big lips or a greasy afro on a black person. They show women completely covered up, which only occurs in very radical Islamic cultures. I watched Iranian TV last weekend, and they had women wearing cleavage-bearing blouses and short skirts dancing around to poorly produced pop music. One of the shows had a woman who constantly berated her husband, and he didn't beat her or kill her. He just looked bummed out...

Iran is considered a conservative Muslim state, unlike, say Turkey or Jordan. Yet, when I watch Iranian TV, the women aren't covered up as in the Danish caricatures.

The caricatures assume that people who believe in Mohammed condone violence and the oppression of women. These are tantamount to caricatures of African Americans you would see decades ago.

As far as I am aware, no one has made it illegal to publish these images. As a matter of good taste, or safety, much of the media has not been displaying these pictures. Instead, many media entities try to portray this as people freaking out about something akin to the Family Circus. This is far more offensive than your typical newspaper cartoon. This is not the Sunday funnies. These are bigoted and offensive caricatures. Take a cue from world leaders here. They think these are appalling!

Posted by: Dumbmark | February 9, 2006 08:27 PM

Dumbmark,

It is the very nature of opinion-cartoons to exaggerate. That is how they make their point. Look at their portrayals of individual politicians and celebrities. Are those flattering? They're often insulting. But surely you wouldn't say they shouldn't publish them, would you? There is a line that has to be drawn, and figuring out where it lies is difficult.

Can we agree to avoid two extremes? One extreme would be, "Newspapers should never publish anything that would make anyone insulted." (But if we did that, nearly all of our political cartoons would vanish.) The other extreme would be, "Newspapers should publish absolutely everything, no matter how hatred-inspired, violence-inciting, and bigoted." That would be absurd.

So what we're left with, if we reject those extremes, is that fact that some things are insulting, but should be published, and other things are extremely insulting, and shouldn't be published.

You list people who agree in calling the cartoons "offensive". Fine. I can agree with that, but the question is, are they so offensive that they're in the category of things that should never be published, or are they instead in the category of offensive cartoons that still can be published? Obviously they're somewhat insulting. We all know that, I think. But if you agree with me in rejecting the two extremes, then the question has to be _how_ insulting were they?

You say, "Take a cue from world leaders here. They think these are appalling!"

Assuming, for argument's sake, that these politicians were all speaking sincerely, rather than out of political calculation, it's still a weak argument just to cite a couple of authorities. (With, what, one exception, everyone that you list as authorities also thought there were WMD in Iraq.) Your argument would be stronger if you could also explain how the details of each cartoon were, not just offensive, but more offensive than other cartoons that do appear in the paper.

The most you say is that the "Arabic features" of Mohammed are exaggerated. Perhaps, though I'm not sure I think so, and I read at least one Arab who was quoted as scoffing at a cartoons because he thought it made Mohammed look more Iranian or Pakistani than Arab. But perhaps some features were exaggerated. If so, that would be a better argument than the ones that I've heard so far (almost none) for why the cartoons are exceptionally offensive. But that argument would still have to contend with the fact that individuals' features are _usually_ exaggerated in opinion-cartoons. At that point it becomes an artistic question about exaggeration and degree.

You also write:
===========================================
"They show women completely covered up, which only occurs in very radical Islamic cultures. I watched Iranian TV last weekend, and they had women wearing cleavage-bearing blouses and short skirts dancing around to poorly produced pop music. One of the shows had a woman who constantly berated her husband, and he didn't beat her or kill her. He just looked bummed out..."
===========================================

Indeed. My family lived in Iran at one time, and my parents have mentioned being in the homes of women who would get home, remove their chador, and be wearing a miniskirt. Iran is not really what many Westerners think. Nor are Iranian women especially submissive, at least from what I know.

But the cartoon did not, as you say, assume that all Muslim women are completely veiled. What it did was make a claim that Islam's teachings are in danger of leading to such a situation. Now you can disagree with that point of view, but it is an argument that can be made. It is an argument that _has_ been made (in words, rather than pictures) by women from the Muslim world. It is not a point of view so extreme that it should not be allowed to appear in a newspaper, even if it is wrong.

You also write, "As far as I am aware, no one has made it illegal to publish these images."

As I said, a court injuction barred the publication of the cartoons in South Africa (i.e. made it at least temporarily illegal to publish them.)

Thank you for your post. I wish I had more time to reply to it.

Posted by: Beren | February 9, 2006 10:12 PM

The west is free to express it"s democratic right to publish whatever they deem is right. But the muslims are deeply hurt. I am a sufi hindu and so we revere the Gods and prophets of all religions. for us jesus, krishna, rama, buddha and Muhammed-PBUH are all one- We should show respect for all prophets. so it is better to accept the apology of the danish editor. may this chapter close peacefully- regards- hiro bachani- http://www.merlin-me.com

Posted by: hiro bachani | February 10, 2006 09:20 AM

I support these cartoons and am tired of Muslims attempting to control my own freedoms of religion or speech. I am especially concerned about how Muslims (mainly those that follow strict Islamic laws) treat woman. Personally, this last points makes me feel that a great majority of Muslims are bigots and ignorant to the rights of others. When most Muslim women are given the "choice" to do X or Z, then I will be more open to listing to Muslims concerns about cartoons.

Posted by: Shawn | February 11, 2006 02:37 PM

I read something on this subject in the Detroit Free Press today. Basically, to sum it up, the author stated that in the West, we value freedom. In the middle East, they value religion. We both have to learn to respect one anothers values.

This situation has nothing to do with "Muslims whining". And when people condemn the entire religion of Islam based on whats going on in the middle East obviously have no clue what the religion is about. The middle East is entirely different than anything any of use in the West have ever experienced. Everyone gets upset and blames Islam because of people like Osama bin Laden and other terrorists. But what does life in the middle East have to offer? If you are brought up thinking that Western ideas are bad and anyone expressing freedom should be punished, what else can you think? Back when there was the Oklahoma bombings, did anyone make a big deal of the fact that the bomber was a Christian?

You cannot look at this as being a problem with the Islam religion; it's a problem with our world and disrespecting each other.

Posted by: elle mich | February 11, 2006 03:17 PM

Freedom of speech? Would it go to the extend of denying the Holocaust? There's a European Law forbidding anything as such, punishable by jail. So that means that you can't just go around and say what you want. You have to be respectful of others' sensitivities

Posted by: Sam | February 11, 2006 08:13 PM

I am the Prophet Mohammed, and I have a few things to say to my followers: First of all... get a life people! I can't believe you took the Koran seriously! I was so stoned when I wrote it. And don't worry about the cartoons; even I had to laugh when I saw them, although they didn't look anything like me.

By the way I have some new rules for the faithful:

1. Women, get rid of the burkhas and get some decent clothes. It's the 21st century, for Allah's sake! Attractive women are hereby required to wear tight sweaters, miniskirts and leather boots at all times. However, ugly and fat women should continue to cover themselves up.

2. Pork is now okay to eat. I hereby declare a ban on egg salad. No reason, I just don't like the stuff.

3. No more fasting. What are you stupid? You need food or you will starve!

4. No more jihads. Your making us all look like violent, intolerant morons. In my day we didn't know any better. We were a bunch of ignorant tribesmen.

5. One exception to rule 4. If you see that "Ted Ferguson Bud Light Daredevil guy" kill him immediately! I hate those commercials. I mean, they were funny at first but, you know, enough already.

6. Which brings me to the most important rule change... the ban on alcohol is now lifted! Enjoy. I should have never banned it in the first place, but I have too many tequila shots in this bar outside of Medina one night and the next thing I know I'm married to a 9 year old! Boy did I take some ribbing from the guys at the oasis over that one! Anyway I overreacted.

I'll be back with additional rules after I have some more hallucinations in a cave.

Until then your Prophet,

Mohammed

Posted by: The Prophet | February 13, 2006 04:12 PM

Shawn wrote:

"I am especially concerned about how Muslims (mainly those that follow strict Islamic laws) treat woman. Personally, this last points makes me feel that a great majority of Muslims are bigots and ignorant to the rights of others. When most Muslim women are given the "choice" to do X or Z, then I will be more open to listing to Muslims concerns about cartoons."

The Muslim women you wrote about certainly have not elected you to speak for them, nor have they asked you to "defend" their rights through those bigoted, ignorant and arrogant comments.

Somehow some westerners, mostly from America today, believe that they have inherented this planet (with its oil) and its people and that they see themselves as the sole "defenders of justice and human dignity" (with bombs of course).

Let me remind you that your country, that boasts to be a beacon of freedom for the rest of us, was, not too long ago, founded on the genocide of millions of native Indians (women and men alike), and later on engaged in mass kidnapping (from Africa) and enslavement of millions of black people (again women and men alike) under your founding fathers slogans of "freedom and liberty".

Before lecturing people of which you are ignorant, Why don't you take a trip to the Indian reservations in the good ole patriotic red states, and ask those people who were almost annihilated how they STILL feel even today.

Ask them about the deep wounds and scars they carried from generation to generation.

Even the sham pathetic Museum that was built for them in the capital after so many decades of indifference to their suffering did not feature the genocide they have been subjected to, ....supposedly out of concern of hurting the "white man's" conscience in America.

Now here is a little history lesson for you:

If I look at all authoritarian Arab-Muslim governments that ruled the entire Arab world since the 70s, they, combined, have not killed as many people (especially foreign ones) as the democratic US government, has been responsible for and still is even today as WE SPEAK.

Posted by: Karim | February 14, 2006 01:07 AM

Who is more Insensitive and rigid? One thing this whole controversy makes very clear is the hypocrisy in the European nations. They are always complaining about the religious intolerance that minorities experience in Muslim states. They are always talking about us being insensitive to the fundamental rights of our minorities. And are always preaching us to be more tolerant and broadminded. But in this whole saga of cartoon controversy we see how Intolerant, Insensitive and Rigid they themselves are when it comes to the feelings of minorities in their own countries. At least no newspaper in muslim countries ever dares to ridicule the prophets of any faith which European newspapers are doing so proudly and shamelessly in the name of freedom of speech.
If muslims are sticking to their standpoint asking for an apology and are being labeled as intolerant and rigid for this. Then aren't the Europeans behaving in the same way as they are sticking to theirs? Not willing to give a simple statement saying," WE MADE A MISTAKE.SORRY FOR HURTING YOUR FEELINGS.WILL NOT DO IT AGAIN."

Posted by: umera ahmed | February 15, 2006 03:49 PM

I think the Europeans should apologize. They are only using the excuse of freedom of the press as a shield for their arrogance, and general bias against muslims. As an American and a person of faith, I can understand where the muslims are coming from, and any pictures showing Jesus like this would make me absolutely furious. While violence is never called for (perhaps if these countries had traditions of peaceful protest, it would help), the newspapers had no right to print something so bigoted and offensive. Freedom of speech is NOT the freedom to be an ass and refuse to accept the consequences.

Quite frankly, I think we as Americans have been dealing with the fallout from such European attitudes for years. They are much more comfortable with their bigotry and lack of respect for religion, and then the muslim world looks to us, because we are the most visible power of the West... But honestly, something like this would NOT be tolerated in my country. Freedom is linked with responsibility, and we believe that religious beliefs are worthy of respect.

Posted by: Ella | February 15, 2006 09:20 PM

Umera - That is because the West will not be dictated to by an entirely different culture/set of rules. I repeat: Shariah law or Islamic law has ZERO bearing on my day-to-day life. If you truly want to live in a society which dictates what you think, then go and move to one of these Islamic paradises.
Ella - Freedom of speech is absolutely the right to be an ass, as you so eloquently put it. The right not to be offended, however, is not a law in this country, so if you don't like what someone says, either tough it up, or deal with it in a peaceful way. NOBODY has the right to be violent, claiming their feelings were hurt. GROW UP PEOPLE!

Posted by: SC | February 16, 2006 12:45 PM

DEMARK,
YOU SHOULD BE CAREFULL ABOUT ISLAM, OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE IN TROBLE

Posted by: malam | February 17, 2006 02:37 PM

Malam, I imagine if you are one of those who cause "trouble" for Denmark, then you, my friend, will be the one in trouble. I guess this is an admission that Muslims like you are absolutely unable to control yourselves in the face of challenge. Why are Muslims like you so afraid of criticism, that you turn into cavemen? If this is the future of Islam, than Islam will be the one in trouble.

Posted by: SC | February 17, 2006 07:22 PM

I THINK IF YOU WEST ARE SO FREEDOM FREE WHY A PERSON IS PRRISONED IF HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN THE HOLOCAUST?
WE MUSLIMS ARE PEACEFUL IF FREEDOOM OF PRESS MEANS TO HURT MUSLIMS AND TAKE THOUSANDS OF LIFE. THEN WHAT USE IS THIS IF BESIDE GIVING SOMTHING BETTER TO HUMANITIES DISTURBING THEM. YOU HAVE HEARD THIS FAMOUS PROVERB THAT YOUR FREEDOM ENDS WHERE OTHER PEOPLE NOSE BEGINS.

Posted by: MOHAMMAD SOHAIL | February 22, 2006 01:31 AM

Mohammad - Where in any of this did these cartoons punch anyone in the nose, so to speak? Your use of the proverb proves the point of supporters of freedom of speech. Get this through your head: SPEECH DOESN'T PHYSICALLY HARM ANYONE! Seriously, you are complaining about pictures on paper. Where is all your "righteous" outrage at people getting their heads chopped off, women getting hanged for defending themselves against rape, women getting murdered by family members for hurting the family "honor" or any number of barbaric atrocities so prevalent in the Middle East? It is disgusting how Muslims like you sanctimoniously chide the West for what amounts to hurt feelings, while human beings are slaughtered on a daily basis in your countries. Forgive me, but I have NO sympathy for your childish concerns about a cartoon. I have plenty of concern, however, for the amount of evil perpetrated on a daily basis by maniacal people who claim to speak for God.

Posted by: SC | February 22, 2006 02:50 PM

CARICATURE DEGRADATION OF
OUR BELOVED PROPHET MUHAMMED (pbuh)

The Majlis Ashura of the Greater Atlanta Area is a body that fosters a dialogue and working relationship amongst the various Masajid (Mosques) in the region. We share the concerns of the Global community of Muslims and must openly condemn the vulgar representations that purportedly represent the humble Prophet, Messenger and Servant of G-d Muhammed Ibn Abdullah (The Peace and Blessings of G-d be upon him). It was the Prophet himself who specifically forbid the portrayal of his image, flattering or defamatory, primarily to discourage any desire to worship him or any attempt to portray him as a "god" instead of a Prophet and a man. We recognize that these cartoons in no way represent the Prophet Muhammed (The Peace and Blessings of G-d be upon him), however, we are conscious that they have sparked a controversy that is generating a great deal of distress and violence all over the world. We, along with the majority of Muslims, view these drawings by cartoonists in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten as offensive and vulgar.

Such images add no value to the public domain, but rather detract from it and have ignited a political and religious firestorm. Curiously, the same newspaper rejected cartoons ridiculing Jesus (Peace be upon him) three years ago.

All Muslims (1.3 Billion) regard Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), who spent his life administrating mercy and kindness to both Muslims and non-Muslims, with deep respect, admiration, and love. Defamation of his person or character is considered especially egregious and blasphemous. We understand that the strong reaction of the average Muslim is, in fact, a response to the character assassination and ridicule of the Prophet (pbuh) who has been considered the most influential person in the history of mankind.

Under U.S. and International law, the right to freedom of expression is not considered unlimited and is only considered legitimate when in pursuit of an aim recognized as legitimate and should not violate the rights and reputations of others nor violate the preservation of national security or public order, health and morals. Slanderous, libelous, demeaning and demonizing images that provoke public anger and discord cannot be considered legitimate exercises of free speech.

Exploiting emotional attachments to sacred symbols is a perverse disregard for the dignity of all human beings. Yet, Muslims and other sincere people must not be manipulated by this senseless baiting, which has led to useless confrontations, riots and violent clashes, supposedly in the name of "free speech, religion, political power and liberation."

We feel obligated to remind our fellow Muslims all across the globe of the saying of our Prophet: "The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger." - indeed a message for all mankind.

We join Muslim leaders around the globe in calling for the calm and peaceful resolution of this conflict. It is a fact that the Islamic leadership did not initiate these events, which are an unfortunate consequence of the actions promulgated by those who chose to attempt to humiliate and enrage Muslims. We do not believe that anything can be gained by violent reactions to what at best can be described as a vulgar portrayal. We pray and hope that Muslims throughout the world respond to this insult in rational, responsible, and peaceful manners, in keeping with the principles of Islam and teachings of the Prophet (pbuh).

With Allah's Name, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

"And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious
are those who walk on earth in humility,
and when the ignorant address them, they say, 'Peace'."

As-Salaam Alaikum (May G-d's Peace be upon you)


The Majlis Ash Shura
of the Greater Atlanta Area
1127 Hank Aaron Boulevard
Atlanta, GA

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