No one brought this up, i'll do it...

So they're burning danish, norwegian, french... flags everywhere. I have a tip for you; burn the European Union flag, that way you'll "get them all". But no, Norway is still out of the union...
Getting back to those cartoons. I personally think this matter has been immensly blown out of proportion. I'm curious to know what the bloggers, that talk to the world, think. Besides textile burning junkies, who thinks there should be censorship in Denmark or Europe.
I do not wish to enrage anyone but I do think that freedom of speech existing in all the most advanced countries in the history of humanity is not a coincidence. The last 99.9% electoral vote in a european country goes back to more than 60 years. You must suspect that Danes aren't evil masterminds plotting to destroy the muslim world with a cartoon. You do know that if a cartoonist draws Jesus in Finland, no priest dares to object, because they'll sue his ass off. So why not finally accept that there are people who see things differently and you can't shut them all up, that's reffered to as dictatorship. It's that simple.
It's unexplicable to me how a cartoon can do you more harm than a law forbidding women to drive.
And please, do not attempt to turn this into a sectarian issue, this is about freedom of expression and censorship, tolerance and anger... I'm just portraying things like they are.


At Friday, February 03, 2006 3:32:00 AM, Blogger serge said...

Well I guess these Danes are ignorant.Meaning they did not know that any representation of the Prophet even
to glorify him is not allowed in Islam.I doubt they measured the concequences of their act.What I do find stupid
is for France Soir to start a general provocation.I wonder if France Soir would dare say that the number
of the Holocaust victims is Five million Eight Hundred instead of the Six Millions official nr.
So this freedom of expression is not as absolute as it seems in Europe.You can argue about the Nr of
the Holocaust victims or even deny it all together in Canada or USA but you might be arrested for such a claim in
Europe.So Europeans should wake up and learn a bit about the beliefs of 1.4billions persons and treat them fairly
like they treat the 30millions Jews of the world(maybe less).Don't flame me I am not antisemite and believe Hittler
was Evil.
Now Europeans feel free to make fun of Jesus and Americans make movies about Jesus sexual fantaisies on the cross
but I would like to remind you that it took a Muslim distributor to allow the French to watch Mel Gibson movie
of Jesus for the simple reason that the story was told the way it was taught to me by Jesuits 45years ago.
Time have changed and the new version of Jesus story blames as usual the Romans(hak al Tellians).
So much for Europe and their freedom and their fairness.
Last but not least I am neither Jewish nor Muslim.I was just born by chance ;I guess:in a Christian family.

At Friday, February 03, 2006 3:55:00 AM, Blogger ghassan said...

You are right, this issue should not be viewed as a sectarian one. I, for one, have already posted on this many times. It is true that the motivation for Arab protestations is religious but what must concern us is the act itself. An act that infringes on the right of free expression and the right to differ. Alas these rights can never be guaranted in a theocracy, which is what we have in our region either explicitly or overtly. Unfortunately for us this type of thinking is so well established in our societies that democracy will have to be regarded as an unachievable vision.

At Friday, February 03, 2006 12:12:00 PM, Blogger Ramz said...

ummm serge? What's your point, man? Why do you feel the need to point out your religion?

Let's put it this way: the holocaust happened. Millions of people were killed... it's "politically incorrect" to make a joke out of it....

On the other hand, God, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Superman, Spiderman, and all those other children's characters are fair game. If they're real, and they're pissed off... they'd do something about it, trust me. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely... You think they'd just say "oh well... maybe my followers will burn a couple of flags"?

It's such a simple thing... so many fools cried during Jesus' whipping... Mel Gibson's snuff film... the guy may be a weird-ass mo-fo but he got everyone excited ... now a caricature riles the entire muslim world... genius. That's what the media lives off...

concentrate, people...
maybe a week in concentration camp might help?

At Friday, February 03, 2006 2:34:00 PM, Blogger gabrielf said...

last trip to amsterdam i saw a enormous poster on a building façade showing the pope on a huge godmichet ... didnt see any angry christians burning flags...

At Friday, February 03, 2006 6:36:00 PM, Blogger zeid koudsi said...

no guts no glory

At Friday, February 03, 2006 10:14:00 PM, Blogger callipyge said...

Did you know that France has laws that ban all forms of homophobic and antisemitic speech? No other European country has that and the United States do not have that. That is true freedom of speech: the absence of government interference with the people's right to say what they want. Even if France passed those laws based on good intentions, they are still infringements on freedom of speech. Therefore, all the French journalists cannot run around crying that the mean bearded muslims are trying to censor them because their freedom of speech was already limited by their own government in the first place. So why does France find it so important to outlaw gay-bashing and jew-hating while thinking that it is their fundamental right to say whatever they please about Islam? There is some contradiction there. As long as France will uphold those laws and charge fines against whoever breaks them, they cannot blame people for wanting to censor other stuff. It's the "why them and not us" logic.
All the other countries are able to function without such laws because their journalists rely on:
- good taste
- good knowledge of their audience
- relevance of the material

I'm in the US. I have the right to say whatever I please on my blog or even on this one. I could write a whole post about how weird maronites are or how creepy shiites can be, etc. but I do not. Nobody forbids me from it. But it would be tasteless, offensive and irrelevant.

Now, the reaction of burning flags and threatening to kidnap europeans is wayyyyyy out of proportions and the people who do that should be punished or arrested. You do not solve hatred with more hatred.

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:05:00 AM, Blogger Zanzounito said...

well said callipyge

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:15:00 AM, Blogger Zanzounito said...

one more thing-

The act of drawing a disciple of God with a bomb in his turbine is neither satirical nor respectful..

What would President Bush do if Time magazine published a picture of Jesus with a hand grenade or a rifle?

Those drawings were made to incite anger and resentment in the Islamic community.

Isn't beautiful how religion brings us closer together?

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:33:00 PM, Blogger Ramz said...

zanzounito... yes, the drawings were intended to incite the anger of danish muslims. All two of them.

Let me tell you the story. The muslim leaders in Denmark tried to make a big deal out of it, but the average muslims weren't insulted... they seemingly saw it for what it was... satire.

Then, these leaders formed a delegation, took the caricatures, added four new ones to them (one with mohammed as a pig... of course, to assure that they would tick everyone off) and started a tour of the muslim capitals...

That is why it took so long for the righteous anger of the masses to hit the streets...

Those drawings were caricatures. The Islamic community that you speak of is searching for any and all reasons to feel anger and resentment.

Let's not bullshit each other.

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:41:00 PM, Blogger callipyge said...

I am sure that anti-jewish hatred also started with "innocent" satirical caricatures and not outright attacks. The rest is in the "infamy" section of history books.

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 8:12:00 PM, Blogger Zanzounito said...


The Islamic community is "not searching for ALL reasons to feel anger and resentment."

I am a Muslim who does not go around searching to pick a fight.

Oh, and by the way, satire is a form of language to convey insults or scorn in a "witty" manner

And I saw it for what it is.

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 8:12:00 PM, Blogger Zanzounito said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 8:37:00 PM, Blogger Leilouta said...

You're damn right!

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 8:52:00 PM, Blogger pot.of.tea said...

"To-day, I came to Beyrouth in hurry... I descended at Hamra to buy something from there first, and on my way I took two photographs of a vernacular intervention; a feller had written the word “Denmark” in large Arabic letters on the pavement, so that people and cars ran over it. I also am very cross over the Danish issue, and am only getting more and more disappointed in the last people that still stood tall in front of my eyes (the Europeans). How sick, how blind, how staunch, and how immature. I do not give two flying fucks about their freedom of speech; it is impolite.
And even if I wanted to take it from their fucking freedom perspective; it ends at the other."

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 9:37:00 PM, Blogger Ramz said...

z, that's not what I said. I said that this "islamic community" that you're talking of, not the islamic community in general, seems to be looking for a reason.

That's your problem. Generalizing, over-analyzing, etc...

So, now the europeans suck. Who's left guys? What's the friggin' point?

Freedom of speech is freedom of speech.

Now, let me ask you this... did any of you bother to read what I said? Doesn't it matter that these leaders purposefully seeked out anyone who'd be highly insulted? Doesn't it matter that they fabricated additional images to piss them off even more?

You didn't. It doesn't matter, you WANT to see this as an insult.

Let me ask you this, though. The one with the prophet standing at the gates of heaven and telling suicide bombers "sorry guys, we're all out of virgins"... did you really not find that funny?

Ah well, I guess you didn't even look at the things before getting all worked up.

At Saturday, February 04, 2006 11:07:00 PM, Blogger zwixo said...

France's two laws are indeed an infringment of freedom of speech and i'm against them.
But in most of the other European countries, this is not the case.

"Isn't beautiful how religion brings us closer together?"
I truly believe that Madonna singing Hung Up brings people together more than religion. Where did you see that, when, how, all I saw was division.

But all i read is the "limits of politeness and morals and good taste". Who knows what good taste is. Who knows for sure what morals are. You know your morals. You don't have anything to do with another's morals. Then i hear "as long as freedom doesn't affect the other's freedom". How the hell did someone's drawing limit your freedom. This is not steeling, not murder, but it angers you. So now we want to ban whatever is blasphemous to us. What you consider sacred he doesn't. Blasphemy was a word the church used over and over in the dark ages; now they don't even dare utter it to the public.

Somehow the absence of critical thinking in the middle east opposed to relatively high critical thinking in Europe is what you see now on tv. This is the truth, I'm not westernizing things, this is reality. On one hand you have dialogue and choice and on the other you have no alternatives but One option and burning the flags. I don't think telling the danes or europeans from here what they should or shoulf not draw or write is the right way to handle this.

I know this is a sensative issue, but I would not support anything that has to do with banning an illustrator from drawing or a writer for writing or a thinker from thinking. And what others think is always what you like, you know that don't you!

At Sunday, February 05, 2006 1:41:00 AM, Blogger arch.memory said...

I was so depressed today after reading about the Syrian torching of the embassies in Damascus; it was just so barbaric, in the worst sense of the word. And then they (or is it we?) wonder, why does the world hate us? But I have to say that I take solace by what I am reading here. I am so glad to read views that appreciate critical thinking before reacting, and a discussion of freedoms (and their limits). I wish this were more descriptive of the general Arab and Islamic populace...

At Sunday, February 05, 2006 6:13:00 AM, Blogger Zanzounito said...

zwixo-I was being sarcastic about the "religion uniting us"

as for ramz- well, you will understand how I feel once someone publishes a hateful illustration about something that is sacred and special to you...

Once someone starts to make fun of you, then you will get it (not implying that I will)

We have differing views and you chose to point out my "problems" but I won't do that to you.

Believe what you want, laugh at the gays, the jews, or the blacks, the muslims...but I won't

At Sunday, February 05, 2006 2:15:00 PM, Blogger Ramz said...

zanzounito... a lot of things piss me off. I have perspective, however... if something insults me, I might insult it... i probably won't torch it's embassy, chant death threats and promote terrorist acts against the nation.

Again and again and again... but you don't want to hear it... you just want to feel insulted. that' your prerogative, permit me to consider anyone who's insulted ignorant. that's mine.

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