Muhammed Cartoons

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Postby fuzzy » Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:47 pm

They are so interrealted, pinkparrot. Riots happen becase of other reaosns, in ths case a lot of it has to do with glaobalization and conflicts of culture/ religion.
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Postby intowiz » Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:03 pm

in the muslim world there are many jokes and movies against other religions. i think that it was just a joke, just a cartoon. if thet dont like it they should look at their own ridiculling of other religions.
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Postby parnassus » Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:36 pm

in the muslim world there are many jokes and movies against other religions. i think that it was just a joke, just a cartoon. if thet dont like it they should look at their own ridiculling of other religions.


The main problem with that idea is that you're assuming all Muslims think the same thing about the cartoons and that all Muslims actively ridicule other religions in their media. I've lived in the Islamic heartland (Saudi Arabia) for most of my life, and in all that time I have only ever seen two newspaper features that could have been construed as racist. They were directed at Jews, and they appeared in a government-sponsored newspaper. ALL papers in Saudi Arabia (and in most of the Muslim world) are run by the government - there is no such thing as freedom of speech. Therefore, it is unfair to blame all Muslims for insulting articles that appear in papers like the Saudi Gazette, because journalists can only print what they're authorised to print by the government - not their own opinions. Admittedly things have been getting a bit better in the past decade, but the Muslim press is scarcely representative of the Muslim people.

A minority of not very well-educated Muslims who live in places like Syria believe this to be true of all media, not just their own. They assume that the European press must be government-controlled, too - so they burn down embassies because, in accordance with their logic and lifestyle, those pictures could only have been printed with government sanction.

The very small number of British Muslims who staged violent protests (let us remember that although they made a lot of noise and a lot of headlines, there weren't very many of them) were a.) either troublemakers out to pick a fight (and every culture has their fair share of those) or b.) people who have grown extremely disillusioned with what they perceive to be Western double standards. Things like, "Torture done by Saddam Hussein is a war crime, but torture done by the Americans in Guantanamo Bay is all right." For these people, as someone has already said, the cartoons were just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Does any of this justify violence? Of course not. I think the extremists are crazy - they've reinforced a stereotype, given other Muslims a bad name, and given the cartoons a lot of publicity that they wouldn't originally have had. The same thing happened when Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran placed a fatwa on Salman Rushdie because of his seemingly blasphemous book, The Satanic Verses. That book is dreadful - not from a religious perspective, but from a literary one. The librarian at my old school once told me that before the fatwa was issued, Satanic Verses sank without a ripple into a bottomless pool of books, books, and still more books. That's what would have happened to these cartoons if only the Islamic extremists had had the sense to let it. They don't seem to realise that they are their own worst enemy.

In the words of Voltaire, "I don't agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Those cartoons were tasteless. I didn't find them amusing and I don't think they fulfilled their objective. But if the newspaper wants to print them...fine, fine, go ahead. If I dislike them that much, I will just submit an article outlining the reasons why, and that will be printed too - because people here have the glorious right to say what they really feel (within reason). Free speech is a beautiful concept. If you like the sound of your own voice, you simply have to put up with the sound of others'. This is why I support Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that originally published the cartoons.

However, I can't say the same for all the other papers that printed them. The editors say they did it to prove that free press cannot be silenced. I say they did it out of sheer childishness - with deeply malicious undertones. I don't notice the liberal European press (which usually defends free speech) reprinting those cartoons, but I do see the right-wing press (which usually doesn't) reprinting them with gay abandon. Hmmm. Something afoot there.
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Postby eDan » Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:27 pm

Ah good, I was waiting for Vicky's input on this, and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

"I don't agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
I didn't realise this was Voltaire, but it's a principle I firmly believe in.
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Postby kitty_cute » Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:00 pm

Yep, Vicky's right
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Postby monkey » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:23 pm

i think that Vicky has a tendincy to be right :)
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Postby parnassus » Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:11 am

That's such a sweet way of putting it, monkey. I am going to put that on my Xanga site.
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Postby pinkparrot » Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:25 pm

*Thinks hard about the correct way to use tact, gives up, so settles for a vague hmmm...*
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Postby parnassus » Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:58 pm

Yes, I realised on the day you offered to help me with a university-level essay that you don't think my intelligence is up to much...

Incidentally, I don't think that I am always right. "I only know how much I do not know." But I take great pains never to pretend that I know more than I do. Just a thought.
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Postby eDan » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:09 pm

That reminds me of a famous Donald Rumsfeld quote:

There are known knowns; things that we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; things that we know that we don't know.
And there are unknown unknowns; things that we don't know that we don't know.

Such glorious clarity! lol.
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Postby pinkparrot » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:49 pm

I don't really think much of barriers such as age and intelligence - they just don't matter to me. Intelligence, ability, age - they don't even cross my mind! It doesn't matter who, what, where - it's all the same. There is no change in what I say or do. It's nothing personal. I was only trying to be supportive; to be a friend.

I'm sorry if I offended you. In future I will not interfere.
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Postby Goldenhamster » Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:56 pm

I agree with Vicky's quote, 'I strongly disagree with what you say but will fight to the death for your right to say it.' We need freedom of speech. It has been freedom of speech that has helped the UK to have a fairly balanced media, and freedom of speech that has helped let women, homosexuals and ethnic minorities gain their rights and break through demeaning stereotypes. If we can't discuss problems, theories, and ideas in public, what do we have? These cartoons were not sensitive or sensible or even accurate, but I still think that they should not have been prohibited in the UK.

I also think that apart from anything else, the Islamic extremists are doing themselves no favours. They have helped to make the Muslim community one that is unfavourably stereotyped by the west, and probably more people have heard of, and viewed these cartoons as a result of their actions, than possibly would have done anyway.

I think that these cartoons should have been published in the UK, as other material that was interpreted as offensive has been released to the public such as Jerry Springer Opera, scenes of violence in a Sikh temple, and a sculpture of Jesus constructed out of cigarette ends. If we want free speech, we need to be able to discuss all things openly in public, even sticky topics such as religious extremism. At the same time, common sense, courtesy and respect should be universal in public debates.
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Postby parnassus » Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:51 pm

I don't really think much of barriers such as age and intelligence - they just don't matter to me. Intelligence, ability, age - they don't even cross my mind! It doesn't matter who, what, where - it's all the same. There is no change in what I say or do. It's nothing personal. I was only trying to be supportive; to be a friend.

I'm sorry if I offended you. In future I will not interfere.


* Virtual hugs * to pp. You didn't offend me. I was having a nasty day and was in a sour mood. Sometimes the feathers on my angel wings start to itch and I have to remove them for a while.

I also don't think much of barriers such as age or intelligence - I make friends with people whom I like, irrespective of how clever they are or whether they are in my peer group. The youngest of my close friends is thirteen; the eldest is eighty. However, I do treat them differently - the eighty-year-old is deserving of a little more respect and a more comfortable chair when she comes to visit me than the thirteen-year-old is. You can't treat an elderly lady as if she is just starting out in secondary school.

Similarly, if you feel that you want to help someone on this forum out of the kindness of your heart, don't make the mistake of offering practical assistance unless you know you're capable of giving it. If someone quite a few years older than you is worried about how her uni coursework is going, don't volunteer to help write the coursework. Bright as you are, at fourteen years old you can't do that. A simple, "I'm sorry you're down, Vicky. Have some virtual chocolate cake and feel free to talk to me if you're stressed," would be just as kind and just as helpful to me as advice from a professor who is an essay-writing maestro. It doesn't mean you're not my friend just because you can't save me from my tutors. :)
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Postby pinkparrot » Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:11 pm

:)
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Postby parnassus » Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:28 pm

I'm afraid you're going to have to be a little more articulate than that! When its not in context, that smile could mean anything from "I'm fine" to "I'm baring my teeth". Please let me know. :cry:
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