Sunday, February 12, 2006

How Dare You Call Me Violent! For That, I Shall Kill You!

I realize that I'm a day late and a dollar short regarding this whole Mohammad cartoon scandal, but I just have to put in my two cents. Back in September 2005, a newspaper from Denmark called the Jylland-Posten ran some editorial cartoons lampooning Mohammad and his role in some of the excesses of Islam. The most famous of these shows a caricature of Mohammad with his turban in the shape of bomb that has been lit. It took a few months, but the cartoons began making the rounds. Soon, many practitioners of the religion of peace who only need an excuse and not a reason, began to take to the streets to protest these cartoons. The funny thing is I don't even think they are so upset about the cartoons making fun of Mohammad, as they are angry about Mohammad being depicted in any capacity at all. For those of you not in the know, apparently, Mohammad is not supposed to be shown in pictures at all. Now, when I say that the Muslims took to the street and protested, I mean they really protested. In countries throughout the Muslim world, protesters have burned down Danish consulates, burned the Danish and American flags, threatened to kidnap westerners and especially Europeans, and with their protest signs, have called for the execution and beheading of anyone who denigrates Mohammad or Islam. How insane is that? These cartoons make the point that Islam is a religion prone to violence, so the religion's practitioners take to the streets and prove the cartoons' point. So, point taken: no one is to criticize Islam in any form whatsoever, for great violence will come down upon you if you do.

The hypocrisy of this position is overwhelming to say the least. The cartoon I posted above - courtesy of Filibuster Cartoons - illustrates this breathtaking hypocrisy in no uncertain terms. Honest to God, in many Muslim countries, schoolchildren are taught that Jews are bloodthirsty vampires who kill Muslims, drink their blood and harvest their organs. Do Jews take to the streets and burn down buildings in response? Didn't think so. Then, let us talk about the denigration of Christianity. A few years back, an "artist" named Andre Serrano took a crucifix, put it in a jar of his own urine, and called this masterpiece Piss Christ. Did Christians take to the street and call for the death of the "artist"? Didn't think so. Also a few years back, another artist displayed his work in a NYC art museum that depicted the virgin Mary with elephant dung being one of the ingredients in the painting. Again, no calls for the "artist's" beheading. So it seems that it is only Islam that cannot take criticism. Let us not forget about the famous fatwa against Salman Rushdie for insulting Mohammad with his book The Satanic Verses. Mr. Rushdie had to hide out for years as Muslims the world over sought him out so they could kill him. The fatwa was lifted a few years ago before anyone could carry out the death sentence on Mr. Rushdie. One member of the arts who did not get off so lucky was Theo Van Gogh, a filmmaker from the Netherlands. A couple of years ago, Mr. Van Gogh made a short film that was critical toward the treatment of women in Muslim society. For this "crime" against Islam, Mr. Van Gogh was attacked on the streets of Amsterdam where he was shot off his bicycle by a Dutch Muslim named Mohammad Boyeri. After Mr. Van Gogh fell to the ground, Boyeri stabbed Mr. Van Gogh then slit his throat, nearly decapitating him; all of this in broad daylight on a busy Amsterdam street.

The worst part about all of this is that much of the major media on both sides of the Atlantic are capitulating to the Muslims by criticizing the publishing of the cartoons, and refusing to run them in their own newspapers or show them on television. In a recent article, the New York Times had no problem showing the photo of the virgin Mary elephant dung painting even as they said that out of respect to the Muslim religion, they would not show the Mohammad cartoons. Even the U.S. government made a statement condemning the Danes for publishing the cartoons.

Rather than post any further cartoons on this blog entry, allow me to provide you with a link to Human Events Online, where you can view all the controversial Mohammad cartoons.

Good Day to You, Sir


Miroslav said...

Yes yes... similair thoughts here.

Well written.

ryan h said...


I wanted to take the time to respond to this, in hopes that I may help to break your tunnel vision.

First and foremost, most all of the things you write I stand by. Namely this entry which I have been spreading to many. You strike me as someone who is down to earth and sees matters for what they are. I'm afraid, however, that this issue you have been lost.

I'm not Muslim, and before 9/11 I knew absolutely nothing about the religion other than the word. Even though I had been dating a Muslim for some time. I'm not a religious person at all, but I see the value in faith and hope, as they help many survive cold and lonely nights. And push when sometimes it feels like there is no longer a reason.

I think you have lost site of the real issues here, and your attention has been misdirected by otherwise arrogant sources. That's not intended to be an insult to anyone.

I'll start with the obvious: violence. My personal problem with the drawings of Muhammad is that they're drawn by ignorant people. Muhammad was a prophet, like any other prophet. His words were simply written from God. The violence comes from the interpretation, and the people, not the religion.

Seeing as how you are a teacher I don't expect to lecture you about the different denominations of the Islamic faith, but I hope to remind you of the psychology behind everything in hopes that you regain control of your point of view.

It's late, and I just got done having this discussion with another buddy of mine so I'll do all of this in dude talk, so forgive me if I don't sound as scholarly as others. :P

Muslims have a bad rep because of the Sunni's. When Muhammad died, Ali and Abu were the two successors. Sunni's believe Abu was the man, Shi'a believe Ali was the man. Abu was a friend of Muhammad, and a militant kind of guy. While Ali was actually Muhammad blood. Most people followed Abu, and his militant interpretations are why we have people drawing cartoons of Muhammad with a bomb on his head, which isn't fair.

Also, you should remember the Taliban, which have ruled with /fear and violence/, aren't any kind of religious group. They're terrorists to both their own people and the world and shouldn't be related to the Muslim faith in any form. I bring up the Taliban because you mentioned Rushdie, which was the whole reason the conversation came up with my buddy. ANYWAYS. He was held captive for 16 *YEARS*. It's old news. And hardly constitutes among the worst crimes of the Taliban. Also remember that, while the Taliban are in rule, all the clerics and political leaders 'benefit' with their lives by promoting it as faith.

If 1.5 billion people exhibited the violence you, and sadly many others, associate with Muslims as a whole.. well.. think about it. 1.5 people killing.. well.. everyone else? There's be a lot more dead bodies. -- Most of the violence I know of is 'in the family'. Sunni vs Shi'a. Sunni's again being the bullies because the militant interpretation that's been taught for FIFTEEN HUNDRED YEARS since the death of Muhammad. And when you know only one ultimate rule since the day of your birth; death to the unfaithful, you tend to, even after the liberation of those rulers, follow suit.

There will always be extremists. And as scary as it is when you introduce violence as a core, it is ultimately left up to the person to decide what is right and wrong. This is the reason (I believe) that 70% of the Muslim population that are Sunni aren't killing people. Because killing is wrong.

Also, when you said "The worst part about all of this is that much of the major media on both sides of the Atlantic are capitulating to the Muslims by criticizing the publishing of the cartoons, and refusing to run them in their own newspapers or show them on television." I had to make a face like this.. =/

Surely you don't believe that's the worse... the fighting. The lives that have been lost for what's actually a common cause. The blind hate that the families of both 'houses' have developed because of the centuries of deaths and all the pain they have caused each other. And.. the worst part? The pride. Ooohhh what damage can be done by the ripple of broken pride. When the very core of your lifestyle is challenged and insulted. These men.. are they not equally capable of love? Do they not love their children? Their mothers? Do they wish heart ache and torment on their friends and family? Over a *thousand* years of broken pride. Surely you must see the impact that has. And sadly, when other people get involved, when an artist decides to volunteer himself to insult that very group of people, he's sucked, like a vacuum into the pool of hate. It is sad, but the artist is as much to blame for poking a stick at the serpent as the serpent is for striking.

And finally, it's unfair to make assessments of the entire Islamic faith based on the actions, no matter how horrific, of a few. Is it fair to call all Catholics molesters? Hardly. Is it fair to call all Americans greedy, stupid, killers? Of course not. Don't loose your focus on the -person- responsible. Don't allow yourself to become that person who stereotypes. America's shit stinks too. 2 bombs.. 220 thousand people dead in only a moment of time.

I hope everything I've said has meant something... really I do.

ryan h said...

BTW, Microsoft Word is worthless when it comes to some grammar corrections. >_<