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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Monday, January 30, 2006

The retardedness continues

Yesterday asked the people who were calling for a Denmark boycott to stop being retarded. They apparently did not receive that memo. Evidence of continued retardedness? Well, where should I begin? First, the Saudis called back their ambassador and its Islamic World Association called on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to take firm measures against institutions, media and individuals who "insult the messages of God and the prophets". The Libyans, not to be outdone in the retarded department, shut down their entire embassy in Denmark and stated that "other measures will be taken" without elaborating. The Palestinians in their turn threatened Danes in the area and told them to leave immediately, and then engaged in their favorite past-time of flag burning by, you guessed it, burning the danish flag. To be the owner of a flag factory in the West Bank. Now that's money. And last but not least Iraq. You know those bombs that attacked christian sites the other day in Baghdad? Well, according to Elaph, the Iraqi police believe they were carried out in protest against those danish cartoons. Great Job nimrods. I am sure the Prophet is very pleased by your defense of his name and honor. Fuckin Retards! Update: Given to what I've read here of arabs cheering on a forums the alleged news that the cartoonist who drew the cartoon was found dead next to his newspaper with his body torched (h/t roba), the calls for a UN resolution, backing possible sanctions , to protect religions by the Arab League and the OIC and what my co-wrokers have told me when I told them about the bombings in Iraq ("good, that will teach them not to mess with muslims again!") , I have concluded that the retardedness is more prelevant and ingrained then I so previously thought. In light of all of these events, I see that I am left no choice but to to join forces with BP and Jameed and encourage people to Buy Danish. Cause the retardedness has got to stop!


At 1/30/2006 01:36:00 AM, Blogger GC said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/30/2006 01:45:00 AM, Blogger GC said...

And the prize for Most Retarded Thing To Do goes to................ The Arab League and Organization of Islamic Countries for calling for a
UN resolution, backed by sanctions over these Cartoons.

At 1/30/2006 02:46:00 AM, Blogger Tomanbay said...

Actually a better thing to do is to join this Boycott:
Boycott America, Save Football

(I know..it seems silly, but thats an experiement i'm doing about intolerance...the way to combat such madness I think, is by riducling it...so join the revolution for god's sake!!)

At 1/30/2006 03:00:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

TB, I will the moment i cool down from this boycott follishness. I swear it!

At 1/30/2006 04:36:00 AM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

You boycott America SM and I'm kickin your Egyptian ass...:P

At 1/30/2006 05:31:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

I think Europe and North America should withdraw all of their ambassadors from Saudi Arabia over their general attitude towards Christians and Jews (and Hindus and Buddhists etc.).

And European news papers should start reprinting Arab news papers' cartoons about Christianity and Judaism.

Some Europeans will enjoy them, especially the ones about Jews, others will be offended (and we can compare their reactions to the Muslims'), but all Europeans would learn a lot about the Arab world.

(You know I have the greatest respect for the Arab world as it was under the old monarchies. But the current instance, I cannot easily respect a lot.)

At 1/30/2006 05:54:00 AM, Blogger Gayyash said...

lets not forget that muslims are very much entitled to be pissed off about the cartoons, and that muslim leaders do have to take a stand. free speech by definition comes with accountability, and this means that the cartoonists or the paper's editors can be taken to court by those who are offended (i was told this is actually happening, but i can't seem to find mention of it in the news). at the end of the day i personally think the cartoonist's an idiot, if not a regular asshole. as the saying goes, matgeesh 3and teez el kalb wetshemm. what was he (they?) thinking? did he not expect something like this would happen? or worse, maybe he did and thought to provoke muslims into reacting so lousily as they are now, just to make them look bad. either way, if there's something the cartoonist wanted to speak his mind about islam or the prophet's life, he could have at least done it in a way that would be taken seriously. either way, it's a pity there had to be all this ruckus, and the paper's editors should be taken to court, as that is what's fair to both sides.

At 1/30/2006 06:11:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

"and the paper's editors should be taken to court"

Taken to court over what? Which law did they violate?

At 1/30/2006 07:38:00 AM, Blogger Cindy said...

clintons opinion


if anyone gives a shit

At 1/30/2006 07:39:00 AM, Blogger Gayyash said...

for libel. i don't know about danish law, but i would think a society that has free speech also has ways of ensuring that that speech does not become an act of violence, and some would say defamation is violent. now what constitutes defamation, and whether or not the danish cartoons could be considered such, is a matter for the legal scholars, or at least not myself.

i am a muslim and am quite offended by the cartoons, but not as deeply as those calling for boycotts or other sorts of action seem to be. were it up to me, were i a danish muslim, i probably wouldn't want to file a law suit. i just think doing so would be the best option for those who are really really angry. like i said, personally, i just think the cartoonists and editors are disrespectful idiots, but that there are respectful, civil and constructive ways of addressing their actions. taking them to court is one of those ways.

At 1/30/2006 08:00:00 AM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

"lets not forget that muslims are very much entitled to be pissed off about the cartoons" _____ Why, exactly? Is having a sense of humor forbidden under Islam? The two cartoons I saw were not even remotely offensive. You might bear in mind that the reason there is a ban on images of Mohammed is to discourage Muslims from worshipping him (as they think Roman Catholics worship Mary). As there is no risk that non-Muslims would think of worshipping the Prophet, images published in non-Muslim countries can do no harm.

At 1/30/2006 08:02:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Gayash, you are echoing my sentiment here in many ways. I also believe that if the muslim population wanted to really hurt the newspaper they would've sued them in Denmark and everywhere else they could. I wouldn't oppose such a course of action, since it is a civilized, nonviolent and would hit the newspaper where it would hurt. Unfortunately, the usual idiots took charge and issued deathtreats, blew up churches and want to boycot and sanction an entire country over a cartoon.

However, I do kind of get their point behind that cartoon, and how it's an exercise of free speech to see if the west does censor itself when it comes to Islam. And the truth of the matter is, it does, because it is afraid of the usual violent reaction that muslims inflict on those who dare rediciule them in any way, especially in an artistic form. The Fatwa against Salman Rushdie comes to mind, the murder of Theo van gogh, the continued threat on the lives of Ayan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji, and the list goes on and on. Hell, remember the whole thing with that play in Alexandria and how it lead to a nun getting stabbed and like 5 churhces getting attacked? Are you seeing a pattern here? Cause I sure do.

We are slowly, through our actions, defining ourselves as the world's most violent religious followers. We are getting the reputation that we are just a little crazy, that we resort to violence the moment anything or anyone offends us, that we can not handle criticisms without issuing death threats. By our own actions and voiced sentiments we appear to be uncivilized, short-fused, intolerant and bloodthirsty. And the sad thing is, we can't claim it's the media distoring our image anymore. All that they would need to disprove that excuse now is to issue a cartoon, and the next thing you know we go unhinged. That's a weakness if I ever heard one, and a fatal flaw in our thinking.

What bothers me, more than anything though, is the line of thinking that us acting this way is a "good way to stop them from messing with us". Because you know what? Sooner or later the consensus will end up being that we (arabs/muslims/whatever) are too dangerous and far too unstable to deal with. Unless we chnage the way we think, act and view things and reform ourselves to be less..ehh...reactionary, then sooner or later the consensus in the west will be that we are a direct threat to them that needs to be dealt with. And we know this, and yet we continue acting this way. It's like we are looking forward to it for some reason. Hoping to accelrate that "inevtiable coming war". Jumpstart armageddon, even though we know, we know, we can't win. I don't get it.

Do you?


At 1/30/2006 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Nadz said...

i love the contradiction there. people celebrate the rumor of a gruesome murder and then call for a law to ensure "religious human rights". these nuts only care about human rights when it applies to them.

as for the arguments that the cartoonists were accountable, i say this: you can disagree with them, but to call for banning this kind of speech, to punish an entire country and censor things that offend you is the height of stupidity and hypocrisy.

so yeah, i support denmark for standing up for that little thing called free speech.

At 1/30/2006 08:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not smart to mess with the Danes. Those are the people who adopted the gold star of Judaism when the Nazis tried to single the Jews out for "special" treatment. When the instruction came to Denmark that the Jews must wear the star, the King said that there were only Danes in their country and every citizen wore the star.  The Danes managed to get all their Jews to safety in small boats. They are quiet, polite, liberal and courageous. And they would have done it for muslims, too.


At 1/30/2006 08:24:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

ok, for some reason blogger is refusing to show 2 comments on the post, but shows them here. this is weird!

At 1/30/2006 08:25:00 AM, Blogger Egypeter said...

I want one answer from those that think Muslim countries are justified in this boycott. Just one.

Just like Global Cairene said:

"Just last week, our neighbourhood Imam equated jews and christians to cows and pigs!"

How about that one, huh? Where is the Christian and Jewish world's outrage. Maybe we should rally and smite at the necks of all Muslims for that comment. Why not? It seems to be the popular thing to do in the Muslim world.

This type of venom spews from mosques ALL over Egypt ALL of the time. Can anyone deny that these calls for intolerance do not happen in Egypt...doubt it. Is this not MORE "offensive" to Jews and Christians than a stupid cartoon depicting Mohamed to Muslims? Should Christians and Jews boycott Egypt?

Now, which of the two acts is more hateful?

Which is more harmful?

Which one serves to cause more division? Do Muslims in Denmark now have a hard time with their neighboors because of the cartoons...hardly!

Or do Christians and Jews have a harder time in Muslim countires because of what comes from the mouths of fanatical imamas and loudspeakers?

Some individuals and groups in this world are hyper-sensitive and it's really ridiculous.

People should worry about the speck in their OWN eye before they point out the one in their neighboors.

This boycott is a joke and people need to grow the hell up.

Peace in the middle east.

At 1/30/2006 08:34:00 AM, Blogger Egypeter said...

SM - You and your opinions are the reasons why I visit your blog.

I hope and pray that more Egyptians will adopt your logic and views.
It is the only way for Egyptians to get their heads out of their assholes.

At 1/30/2006 09:46:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...


Sorry, libel doesn't apply to satire.

(The Danish Jew star story is an urban legend.)

At 1/30/2006 10:19:00 AM, Blogger Gayyash said...

man, i just wrote a long comment and it got lost. sigh.

Nadz, if you were referring to my comment, i did't mention punishing or censoring anyone, i said that where there is free speech, the offended have the right to take 'free speakers' to court.

Don Cox, great question. the cartoons were offensive because most sunni muslims really love and revere the prophet. it is even customary to say "peace and blessings upon him" after every mention of his name. not doing so is considered irreverent and disrespectful in traditonal or non-secular contexts or even in public speaking. this is why even the slightest mockery is considered a big deal. about islam and humor, as egyptians we're all about poking fun at things, and there's even a whole bunch of sacreligious jokes, which the teller often (tellingly) precedes and ends with "istaghfarullah" (i seek God's forgiveness). language is central to muslim spirituality and the mention of God's name is itself considered a spiritual act. i think that's why any sort of irreverent discursive reference to what is considered sacred is looked down upon. another thing, maybe it's not so relevant but it's what i know, dignity is one issue muslims take into account in humor, with a line being drawn between those who entertain themselves and others (which is cool) and those who make of themselves entertaiment for others. to be honest, i personally wish there was more humor in islam. maybe because i'm accustomed to certain kinds of secular western humor. or maybe because i'm egyptian.

Sandmonkey, yeah, it is like we're trying to "jumpstart armageddon". i can't say i get it, but i do sincerely believe it's because 'we're' disconnected from certain elements of the religion. so i don't think the solution is for the evil enemy to leave our lands (that's not to say i don't think their presence compounds the problem), nor is it our successfully showing anyone what we're made of (an impossible victory that is ultimately no victory). i agree with you that the solution can only start with an essentially internal dialogue.

Andrew, why not? what about when satire propagates misinformation, or negative misconceptions? i see what you're saying, it's not like someone ran an article saying 'verily the prophet was a bad man and all muslims are terrorists'. but still, it seems t me that the effect of the cartoons would be similar.

At 1/30/2006 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is true, that almost all danish jews escaped to neutral Sweden, in large part through the help of common danes. It is however, as Andrew Brehm points out, not true that the danes carried the jew star as a mark of support. Neither did the danish king.


At 1/30/2006 01:02:00 PM, Anonymous sunberry said...

Libel laws are put in place to protect the reputation of actual living people. Libel is also famously difficult to prove. It requires demonstrating (among other things) malicious intent as well as solid proof that whatever was printed did damage to someone's reputation, both of which are missing from this particular incident. But even if they weren't missing, libel wouldn't apply to this situation at all as Mohammad, if he ever existed, is not around today.

Perhaps those who are so upset about these cartoons need a better understanding of other people's culture. In my view it is perfectly (and legally) okay to question, critize and yes, even mock and malign anything at all. Perhaps I've only been watching too much South Park, but it seems to me that if someone says or writes or draws something you don't like, you can ignore it or respond to it in kind. But simply trying to repress all veiwpoints you don't like reeks of facsism. Religious veneration should not be legislated. Just because something is holy or sacred to some people doesn't mean it has to be sacred to everyone.

At 1/30/2006 01:04:00 PM, Anonymous Mark B said...

Why they hold the Danish goverment responsible for what appreared in a newspaper.
The concept that just because you allow someone to speak their mind does not mean that you have to agree with them is alien to them.
I think think they reactied this way because in their countries no one dares dissent with the official opinion. They think other countries must be the same.

At 1/30/2006 01:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would be *fascism*, sorry.

At 1/30/2006 01:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gayyash, I wont pretend to understand how offensive the cartoons are to you, but I hear you.

Out of curiosity, beside the actual drawings has anyone actually read the original article that featured the cartoons? The article was about self-imposed censorship by the media in matters dealing with Islam. Ironically it was triggered by a progressive author who couldn't find illustrators for a book ("The Koran and the life of the prophet Mohammed" which has now been published), intended to educate about islam. No illustrators were willing to provide illustrations without anonymity for fear of retribution.

In hindsight, given the grief this has brough on a lot of people, the point that the original article was trying to make could probably be put more constructively (even though is has been quite effective as we're now witnessing). But it was an editorial decision made by and independent newspaper.

Morten, Denmark

At 1/30/2006 01:33:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Yes, Morten... I think the west is getting quite the education about Islam! Thanks, Saudi Arabia and Jorden... this episode has illustrated the reality we all face better than 6 months of reading ME blogs.

At 1/30/2006 01:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if Muslims want a one-way ticket out of Europe by raising all this fuss about the cartoons, they are going to get it. The West and Europe is going to get sick of being threatened with violence and held hostage by fear everytime they offend a Muslim by exercising our Freedom of Speech.

Christians are being killed in the Muslim world and barely a peep about it. The hypocrisy is going to wear thin one day, and the tables will be turned. Not a threat, just a reality - people can only push others so far before they start pushing back.


At 1/30/2006 02:10:00 PM, Blogger Egypeter said...

Joann said:

"Christians are being killed in the Muslim world and barely a peep about it."


Where are the Christian boycotts, law suits, name calling, etc.? Or maybe it just doesn't matter when it happens to non-muslims..hmmm?

I want someone who justifies calls for boycotts and throat-slitting to read this article and answer me.

At 1/30/2006 02:20:00 PM, Blogger Gayyash said...

Sunberry, thanks for clarifying about the libel issue. i think it's a pity, ultimately, how we grant such welcome to disrespect in the name of openness and free speech and modern secular humanistic values. but who's to blame? the other option seems to be, like you said, facism. i say it's a pity because neither option seems so great to me. maybe i'm being too idealistic.

Morten, it is ironic indeed when you consider the context in which the cartoons were published. I'm feeling at a loss for words.

At 1/30/2006 02:38:00 PM, Blogger The Arabian Knight said...

Don't you guys notice something beneath all this? Notice the reaction to Denmark from the Muslim world after a series of cartoons from a PRIVATE enterprise: They're all calling for actions to be taken against Denmark.

Yet when a terrorist act occurs from private individuals the muslims world is in a footrace trying to tell the world not to make any generalizations muslims or the muslim world as a whole.

Can't the hypcrisy be any more sickening?

At 1/30/2006 03:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see why anybody would be suprised that Muslims are throwing around death threats over an insulting cartoon. I am sure that most Muslims are decent people, but some make the snake handlers look like reasonable people.

At 1/30/2006 03:47:00 PM, Blogger Leilouta said...

“Infidels” didn’t get offended and give us death threats for all those Jesus cartoons, have they? “Infidels” didn’t get offended and give us death threats for all those Jesus cartoons, have they? There are a lots of insulting images of Jesus out there, but nobody made a fuss out of it!!!
If I was an non-muslim I think I would be offended and pissed by another religion calling me an "Infidel".
Islam is supposed to be a peaceful religion and so many of us are misrepresenting the religion.

I think Muslims reacting with such hate and frustration is just making things worse, it shows, if anything, our lack of esteem, inferioriy and stubborness.
Just because one beliefs are different than others doesn't make that person less of a person. Are all non Muslims going to hell(if there is a hell)?
Damn! Hell must be filled with Jews, Christians,Chinese, Hindus, Native Americans, South Americans, Japanese, Romans, Mayans, Aztecs, Carthaginians, Canaanites? Get it?
Why it is not ok for non Muslim to have different religions that have similiar beliefs: doing good, being kind,not stealing etc.. All the stuff that you learn in primary school.
I still can be a good person even if I was not a Muslim, right? (See Hell Above)

At 1/30/2006 04:47:00 PM, Blogger Twosret said...

Hmmmmmm....I'm wondering why people are not offended at the relationship between Bush, Cheney and the Saudi Royal family?

Democracy is the name and hypocrisy is the game :)

At 1/30/2006 04:57:00 PM, Blogger Twosret said...

I hope the apology from the newspaper is true. Good boys Danes.


At 1/30/2006 06:05:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Twosret, you are behind the times! The new demand is an apolofy from the Danish government, and that has not been met yet.

Hey Leilouta, good to see you here! I loved your post on this issue today! I was literally laughing out loud over your "kafir" pics :D

At 1/30/2006 06:59:00 PM, Blogger Kender said...

Gayyash, you do NOT have a right to NOT be offended.

There are many things that may "offend" one in this life, but speech should be protected. If it is false speech then take it to court, IF it causes you harm to something besides your psyche.

But if it is true speech either change your stance or actions so that the speech no longer applies or live with the fact that the truth only hurts you because you know the actions or beliefs that the speech points out is wrong.

Does this make sense?

Again....you have NO RIGHT TO NOT BE OFFENDED!!!!!!

At 1/30/2006 07:34:00 PM, Blogger Ron Larson said...

Wow! I am amazed that so many millions of Musims around the world can (a) read Danish, (b) all read a Danish newspaper.

I must buy stock in a newspaper that has such a huge circulation. And here I was thinking that newspaper readership levels are going down.

At 1/30/2006 07:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

twosret said,

Hmmmmmm....I'm wondering why people are not offended at the relationship between Bush, Cheney and the Saudi Royal family?

Democracy is the name and hypocrisy is the game :)

Many people, both Republicans and Democrats here in the states (including myself), are mad about Bush/Cheney's relationship with the Saudi Royal family. No hyprocrisy here. You're wrong about this statement.

Leilouta said,
If I was an non-muslim I think I would be offended and pissed by another religion calling me an "Infidel".

I'm not. Please, call me an infidel anytime, anywhere, anyplace. Also, call me a kafir. I wear those labels with pride. Just like Blacks are proud to be Blacks, I'm proud to be an infidel.


At 1/30/2006 07:38:00 PM, Anonymous Big R said...

Love your blog sandmonkey. I've been following it for awhile. i have a question...
The islamic world wants an apology for the disrespect shown for their prophet.
Where was the apology for the destruction of the Buddhist statue in Bamiyan. As i Recall that was carried out by good virtuous Muslims. But hey I guess respect for prophets only applies to the Muslims
If you ask me Islam is reaping the seeds they have sown and the future will prove to be a very bitter harvest for the 'Religion of Peace' unless they start comporting themselves as adults

At 1/30/2006 07:43:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Things are going to get grotesquely violent in the coming years. George Bush's softball approach has obviously failed. Islam is becoming more extreme, not less. Less able to co-exist with the rest of the planet, not more. This can only end one way. And that really saddens me, because the person I think of as my "best friend" right now is a moslem.

At 1/30/2006 07:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...I'm wondering why people are not offended at the relationship between Bush, Cheney and the Saudi Royal family?"

Yes!! Right here!! I don't expect ANYONE to believe our United States' foreign policy as to its purported objectives of the spread of democracy, accountability, and liberty as long as we have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. C'mon, Bush, we all know you're allegedly the church-going type, how do you think it looks to hold hands with King Abdullah of the KSA, who has no pressing need to eliminate the death sentence for apostasy, let alone have a church on "Saudi Sacred Soil"? Well, in case you're wondering, it looks like proof that Bush is the sub in that little relationship. Please, nobody kid themselves that this isn't the perception.
...If anyone is offended by either the implications or the prompted visual image of W doing some pillow-biting at the Royal Palace, I am not going to apologize. If it takes a satiric shock to get one to register the horror of connivance with a government that is brazenly and proudly antithetical to our own Constitutional Bill of Rights and mechanisms for equal justice under the law, then so be it. I offend because I care. Seriously.

-Troy Z, USA

At 1/30/2006 08:05:00 PM, Blogger Scorekeeper said...

Way to go.
All they're doing is guaranteeing that Denmark and Holland, 2 of the most liberal left wing contries in Europe, now totally awake from their fantasies about Islam, the immigrants that don't want to matriculate into their societies, and will also become ardent allies of the US and Australia in the War on Radical Islam and its funding around the world.

At 1/30/2006 08:07:00 PM, Blogger Scorekeeper said...

Programmer Craig
The die was already cast way before Bush. Come on get serious. This has been coming for years in the making. Nixon was talking about it 30 years ago.

Why do you think Sandman talks about moving to the US eventually?

At 1/30/2006 11:42:00 PM, Blogger GC said...

Why don't we just call the spade a spade and admit that the origin of all this uproar lies in the way the vast majority of us moslems interpret Islam (or maybe it's just plain simple the way Islam is). We are repeatedly told that Islam is the ONLY right way, that Christianity and Judaism in their current form are distorted and thus are not acceptable by God, that any other religion is kufr and thus its followers are automatically assigned to hell let alone that their blood is "halal" and in fact we would be rewarded for taking it. The underlying attitude is that tolerating the existence of all these other religions is generous enough just as long as they are in line and don't insult our sensebilities. It all goes back to the tribal atmosphere that existed in the days of the prophet where there were two simple and clear camps: the believers and the non believers, and it was up to the several hundred people in Mecca to choose sides. This view does not work in the modern world and people should wake up to the simple fact that Islam needs reform. We can't apply to the whole Globe of six billion people the same standards that applied 1400 years ago to a few thousand people in a small town in Arabia. In my view, that's the core reason for this whole debacle: in a Global and connected world, we can't continue with the same insular view we have of Islam.

At 1/31/2006 02:01:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

"Andrew, why not? what about when satire propagates misinformation, or negative misconceptions?"

I assume the prophet does not really currently carry a bomb in his hat and that we can somehow prove this to the news paper and thus prove that they propagated misinformation? That's ridiculous.

Satire always propagates negative misconceptions. Do you read Dilbert? It's all about negative misconceptions of management and lazy engineers. That's what satire is.

I have seen some of the "cartoons" about Jews in Arab news papers. I cannot believe that Muslims suddenly believe that cartoons making fun of other religions and nationalities is wrong.

At 1/31/2006 06:49:00 AM, Blogger Gayyash said...

Andrew, I see your point. But at the end of the day mocking a religious figure isn't the same as mocking engineers or managers (simply because one is much bigger deal than the other, irrespective of how you relate to either). Of course, in secular societies it _is_ the same and that's why people are free to publicly mock or satire whoever they please. This to me is a failing of such societies. Not the fact that people have the freedom to say what they want, but the stated absolute indifference about offending people, let alone 'different' people. I say this because respect is such an important issue for me, and I'm someone who's all for satire and criticism and zaniness. Biting, harsh, aggressive criticism is one thing, and the 'freedom' to talk shit is another. Of course, (social) liberalism views both attitudes as being equal and there are many arguments to support this. I just find that certain kinds of absolute freedom end up in superfluous self-indulgence. To end this: I think the best thing would be dialogue (between offended Muslims and the Danish editors and free speech defenders) like ours here. That way both sides can actually come out having learned something, and maybe more respectful, if not appreciative.

Also I echo your sentiments about Jews in Arab news papers. Shame.

Kender, saying someone has no right to be offended is like saying I can slap you and you have no right to feel pain. When I say I'm offended, you should ask why, and we can start from there.

"But if it is true speech either change your stance or actions so that the speech no longer applies or live with the fact that the truth only hurts you because you know the actions or beliefs that the speech points out is wrong."

You have a point with the first part, only the cartoons weren't 'true speech', they were fun cartoons. True speech would a be a series of articles or a documentary or a conference maybe that discusses the bad things Muslims do. Your second statement was unnecessary, and not because it blows our cover but because it's silly.

At 1/31/2006 06:53:00 AM, Blogger Vera said...

Doesn't the whole cartoon outrage in the Muslim world remind you all of the South Park movie and how everybody went to war with Canada? I've had this "Blame Canada" song playing in my head ever since the cartoons became big news a few days ago.

At 1/31/2006 07:12:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

"I think the best thing would be dialogue (between offended Muslims and the Danish editors and free speech defenders) like ours here."

I'm afraid too many of the offended Muslims have made it clear that "dialogue" is not their game.

The best way, and I am being serious here, to fight such cartoons is to make absolutely sure that nobody in the Muslim world published cartoons about the evil Jews.

This is not something the west came up with, it's something the Muslim world showed us.

At 1/31/2006 07:25:00 AM, Blogger Gayyash said...

"The best way, and I am being serious here, to fight such cartoons is to make absolutely sure that nobody in the Muslim world published cartoons about the evil Jews."

I like this suggestion. I wonder what this struggle will be like, after this whole thing with the Danish paper. How will people justify such cartoons here? This would make for some great public debates, which would be welcome.

At 1/31/2006 11:55:00 AM, Blogger aliandra said...


You said "what about when satire propagates misinformation, or negative misconceptions?"

Hollywood movies do it all the time and nobody goes ballistic. Nor is anybody insisting that their misconceptions be censored by the goverment

At 2/02/2006 11:46:00 AM, Blogger The Dane said...

HEY - you are funny!

Theres one thing that people never talk about, concerning these drawings; they were taken somewhat lightly and as a joke - and some of them makes fun of the newspaper - not muhammad...

I can see why religious people get upset - but this reaction is pure nonsense - I see a lot of people screaming they want respect from everybody including the Queen, waving their gun, petroling our flag, beating up our people... Hey man - respect is something you earn, not something you threat people to give you!

I'm sorry - but the arab world is loosing credability by the hour!
And worst of all: they loose the respect from the intellectuals in europe and all over the world - people who stubbornly have been supportin the palestinian cause for ages... man, they are shortsightet!

Well - peace be upon you brother - you got humor!

At 2/02/2006 07:20:00 PM, Blogger smallaxe said...

Great Blog!!! I hope the Islamic world has more independent thinkers like you than many of us in the west fear.

1) This IS a clash of cultures - but not Christian vs Muslim or East Vs West but
This type of freedom of expression MUST be allowed to go without threat of violence otherwise there will be no alternative but violence to destroy the tyranny of intolerance that grips Islam. Make no mistake I'm not Christian - in my book ALL organized religion is Satan's doing - look at all the worlds trouble over the millenium caused by religious crap.

2) The cartoons DO have a valid point. Muhammed carried a sword and bow and CONQUERED the middle east at the tip of the sword and at the tip of the pen with threatening letters to regional leaders TERRORIZING them into submission with threat of violence. I have seen his sword and his letters in Istanbul's museums. The heart of violence and terrorism in the Muslim world begins at the Prophet. At its core(Muhammed) Islam is intolerant and violent.

3) Hypocrites abound - outrage at this and none at constant anti-semitism and mockery of non-muslim.

At 2/07/2006 07:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great blog, found it looking for comments from the cartoonist about why he drew mohammed and so forth...but got side-tracked here. i love dissent , but, i live in the usa and while backing the neo-cons in egypt may be a rebel move, here its quite the opposite. the fools who commit violence in the name of the prophet are equivalent to the fools here who regularly say things like "if it were up to me i'ld just nuke all those sandn####ers. don't think the usa isn't filled with ignorant hate, fueled by rabid nationalism and religious fanatacism. i'm sure awful things about christians and jews and hindus and buddhists are often said in the mosques.... but that doesn't negate the fact that equally vile and often blatantly racist things are said regularly towards islam in american churches. peace.

At 2/18/2006 03:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're making a mistake.

You are blaming the angry millions for being angry.. I don't think you're right.. instead, you should have blamed the way how they express their angry.

Let me explain:

- A lot of Muslims knows that "riots, fire and killing" are NOT the right way of expressing their anger but the rest don't know.. the cartoons made them angry

- Islam has no thing to do with this. Muslims (who are truely faithful) know that Islam's message is "peace" which is against what's happening now (no matter what the reason is).

- Human by-nature likes to use symbols to represent what he beleives.. and when these symbols are insulted his beleives are insulted as well then turns him to be angry

In my opinion; the cartoons incident didn't show the Muslims are fanatic.. because being fanatic is against Islam principles. but it showed that Muslims today have weak Islam faith and practice.
It also showed that many people around the world hate Islam and Muslims regardless of their opinion about the reaction.. They just love to express their hate and they seize every possible chance to say that Islam and/or Muslims are bad.


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