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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

Thursday, March 09, 2006

First it's a cartoon, now it's a voltaire play

The French Muslims want a 265 year old play by Voltaire banned because- wait for it- it insults the prophet, and, of course, things got violent. Read this while I continue to smack my head to my desk:

A municipal cultural center here on France's border with Switzerland organized a reading of a 265-year-old play by Voltaire, whose writings helped lay the foundations of modern Europe's commitment to secularism. The play, "Fanaticism, or Mahomet the Prophet," uses the founder of Islam to lampoon all forms of religious frenzy and intolerance.

The production quickly stirred up passions that echoed the cartoon uproar. "This play ... constitutes an insult to the entire Muslim community," said a letter to the mayor of Saint-Genis-Pouilly, signed by Said Akhrouf, a French-born cafe owner of Moroccan descent and three other Islamic activists representing Muslim associations. They demanded the performance be cancelled.

Instead, Mayor Hubert Bertrand called in police reinforcements to protect the theater. On the night of the December reading, a small riot broke out involving several dozen people and youths who set fire to a car and garbage cans. It was "the most excitement we've ever had down here," says the socialist mayor.

[...]

Mayor Bertrand considered dropping the play. But after talking to aides and voters, he decided to stand by Voltaire.

A meeting two days later to defuse the crisis got nowhere. Mr. Bertrand, flanked by officials from France's security service and other state bodies, quoted a section of France's constitution that guarantees free speech. Mr. Akhrouf and Mr. Ouardiri pleaded with authorities to try to understand Muslim feelings. Mr. Akhrouf broke down in tears. "I was very emotional," he says.

The night of the reading, riot police took up positions outside Saint-Genis-Pouilly's cultural center. An hour into the performance, the mayor got called out of the hall because of street disturbances. The mayor says the mood was "quasi-insurrectional," but damage was minor. Police chased Muslim youths through the streets.

Now that tempers have calmed, Mayor Bertrand says he is proud his town took a stand by refusing to cave in under pressure to call off the reading. Free speech is modern Europe's "foundation stone," he says. "For a long time we have not confirmed our convictions, so lots of people think they can contest them."

A frenchie with a backbone. Go Bertrand!

Ok, so now let's play the game of what's next. As in, what will the muslim population of the world demand banned next? Any suggestions? My vote goes for Dante's Divine Comedy, because it says in it that the Prophet goes to Hell and gets tortured there, which I am sure is offesnive to the world's muslim population. Do you think it will be next, or will it be something else?

Let me know!

52 Comments:

At 3/09/2006 02:47:00 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

I think the great untold story of 2005/06 is the reversed positions of France and Germany.

These two nations were Islamists greatest allies, but after the French Intefata, holocaust denials, and Cartoon violence, I think France and Germany think they made BIG mistakes when they chose their allies and enemies.

Even ties with American and Israel have become stronger in recent months.

I think we have seen the end of "apeasement" policies... no more censoring in the name of sensitivity.

While I put the blame squarely on the European Islamic community for not addressing their own serious problems, I do fear that the non-muslim backlash may go to far and violence will erupt.

Europe is at a boiling point.

 
At 3/09/2006 03:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure which book it will be but I go for them being stupid enough to ask for certain books to be banned completely. I can just see moslems in the streets burning piles of books that they think defiles the prophet ( I'm not kidding )now, the fun part about this is that it was tried in the 30's in Germany and I think that if these morons try it they will find the backlash of (dare I say it) biblical proportions. BW48

 
At 3/09/2006 04:03:00 AM, Blogger Angelsiiighs said...

arrgghhh... I,m so tired of this... I think all humans should keep their religions in their heart... and accept others to have their own beliefs... and if anyone like me believe G.D is a chair, then let me be..in..lieve

everytime these days when i read about the cartoon issue, i feel so drained by the unlogic waste of energy who could have been used in a far better way...

I start to think they'll ban the whole planet if they could...

Angel (outer space)

 
At 3/09/2006 04:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

- Shakespeare's Othello, but they'll love The Merchant of Venice.
- Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum
- Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code

 
At 3/09/2006 04:10:00 AM, Blogger Pazuzu said...

lol religious intolerance is pretty fascinating isn't it? I mean someone can call me a bitch that still doesn't make me a real bitch, but to say a certain religion is fake is unaccepted! what difference would it make? I mean many centuries ago islam was seen by christians as a sect not a religion sort of like catharism, voltaire was just kissing vatican's ass, why to give it so much importance? but it's a sort of common thing everywhere, a couple years ago the christian clerics were trying to ban the song "hotel california" because it's about worshipping the devil haha!

 
At 3/09/2006 04:36:00 AM, Blogger EducSubNorm said...

Well - er, I was going to say "Harry Potter" until I remembered that it's the American right that are trying to ban that (witchcraft. Mother Goose OK, Witches unAmerican - Salem lives).

Here's your man "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". This deadly epistle, already being tagged "Willy Wonka and the Racism Factory" by dear old Jonathan McIntosh at www.capedmaskedandarmed.com has to go. Witness some of the damage being done to impressionable young people...

Shahfii Bin Mohamed Ali of the Triple Noize Rappers in Singapore says “My mother was the one who set me off on my English learning journey! She was my great motivator. My mother always encouraged me to use simple English when speaking and writing when I was young. My first storybook (Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) was from my mother.

And from Amazon's shameless archives ... A reader from Aden, Yemen
I think Charlie and the chocolet factory is great. The main character is Charlie.Charlie is poor.He is always hungry the interesting part is when he goes inside the factory.I like this book because you get to go inside the factory. By:Mohammed Nasser 9 years old.

Say no more.

 
At 3/09/2006 06:15:00 AM, Anonymous Einherjar said...

Pazuzu said...
"voltaire was just kissing vatican's ass"

He was not, he was lambasting religiousity in general, primarily targeting christians, but set his play up to revolve around a non christian religious figure so that it would not be banned. This was necessary because medieval christians were medieval, much like modern day muslims. (or at least a good portion of them)

 
At 3/09/2006 06:22:00 AM, Blogger aliandra said...

"the most excitement we've ever had down here," says the socialist mayor."

Sounds like he was enjoying the whole spectacle.

 
At 3/09/2006 06:26:00 AM, Blogger aliandra said...

EducSubNorm;

was going to say "Harry Potter" until I remembered that it's the American right that are trying to ban that (witchcraft)

Certain fundamentalist RELIGIOUS elements complained about it, but no one tried to ban it.

 
At 3/09/2006 06:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Akhrouf and Mr. Ouardiri pleaded with authorities to try to understand Muslim feelings. Mr. Akhrouf broke down in tears. "I was very emotional," he says.

Oh, boo hoo hoo. Every other religious icons have been ridiculed, so it's only fair that mohammed get his fair share of criticism.

I'm still picturing what muslims would do to the entire planet if mohammed was depicted giving head to piglet, like Jesus was a few days ago in a Canadian college newspaper. That would probably kill a couple thousands of people.


jonas

 
At 3/09/2006 07:23:00 AM, Blogger EducSubNorm said...

Aliandra;
"Certain fundamentalist RELIGIOUS elements complained about it, but no one tried to ban it."

Oh really?

The superintendent of schools in Zeeland has ordered teachers to stop reading the (Harry Potter) books aloud in class. The school district now requires parental permission to borrow the books from the library or use them for book reports. The superintendent has also declared that the district will not order any future books in the series.

Santa Fe, Texas, a small down between Houston and Galvaston, require parental signatures before children in the school district can check out the (Harry Potter) books, due to the books' "supernatural themes".

Maybe you missed a few of the other ways propriety is preserved ...

Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer - These "bawdy tales" were removed from an advanced literature course at an Illinois high school in 1995 after parents deemed the sexual content in some of the tales lewd and inappropriate.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - This classic southern novel was banned by a school district in Kentucky in 1986 for "offensive and obscene passages referring to abortion" and on the grounds that it "uses God's name in vain." No members of the school board had read the novel.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - Steinbeck's novel was removed from Tennessee public schools in 1984 when the School Board Chair promised to remove all "filthy books" from public school curricula and libraries. This classic was also banned from a public school in Ohio in 1980.

Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger - This novel depicting a teenager's nervous breakdown has been repeatedly banned and challenged for reasons such as "profanity," "sexual references," and the charge that it "undermines morality." The novel has also been cited as blasphemous and as recently as 1983, "the book's contents" were cited as justification to ban the book.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - This novel by the Pulitzer prize-winning author was pulled from a high school in Alaska in 1994 and cited for being too "controversial." The novel was both challenged and banned in Pennsylvania in 1994, and faced challenges in both Florida and Massachusetts due to the book's sexual content.

Like most other places, the "Land of the Free" has always been selective -- the worrying thing is all that other stuff that you haven't heard about mmm ?

 
At 3/09/2006 07:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Knew this would be coming...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11735622/

 
At 3/09/2006 08:09:00 AM, Blogger EducSubNorm said...

I Knew this would be coming...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11735622/

Yea - no surprise.

But what perplexes me above all else - is that anybody should be astonished that Islam is getting a bad press !

 
At 3/09/2006 08:51:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

Europe has seen this before, of course.

Luckily, and for the moment, the police are on the right side.

 
At 3/09/2006 09:04:00 AM, Blogger Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

What has been scaring me is my feeling that Jordan and BW48 are right, that so many incidents have been occuring, and each incident has enlightened people about the 'unlovely side' of Islam that there will be some sort of massive backlash and explosion -- one caused by the actions of Muslims, yes, but still one I hope can be avoided. That's why I find myself so obsessed with the situation when I'd rather be posting about baseball, the American showing of DR. WHO, and, of course, cats.

But I'm simply getting more afraid every day.

 
At 3/09/2006 09:26:00 AM, Blogger waterdragon52 said...

Interesting how the Muslim petitioners fail to appreciate that their highly emotional response proves Voltaire's point about about religious fanaticism, in general and the followers of Mohammed in particular.

The media in Muslim countries have published and broadcast the vilest aspersions on Jews and Judaism in order to rally emotions against Israel. If the cause of the "Palestinian" nation is as just as they hold it to be, that it could stand on its own two feet and not require augmentation, which ranges from citing sections of the Qu'ran to Holocaust denial, neither of which are pertinent to whatever redress is owed to Arabs displaced by the creation of the State of Israel.

 
At 3/09/2006 09:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all fairness, it's not just muslims who are trying to get books and plays banned. As educsubnorm pointed out extremist christians have been busy in the US, including the whole campaign against the theory of evolution vs "inteligent design". But the UK has also seen incidents over controversial plays, and not ny muslims. I haven't found a link for this story, but last year there were voilent protests by Sikhs in Birmingham (?) over a play, and the play was subsequently cancelled. Christians are also protesting against "Jerry Springer - the musical".
K from Oslo

 
At 3/09/2006 09:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just heard that

"Up to 21 prosecution lawyers called for the death penalty against Mohammed Al-Asadi, the Editor-in-Chief of the Yemen Observer, and the permanent closure of the newspaper, during Al-Asadi’s trial on Wednesday."

http://www.yobserver.com/

I'm speechless.

danish person

 
At 3/09/2006 09:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But what perplexes me above all else - is that anybody should be astonished that Islam is getting a bad press !

If the Muslim leaders are surprised at the increasing negative sentiments against Islam, it's because those leaders have been either deaf, dumb, or blind, or a combination of those. What I mean by this is that after 9/11, the Free Muslims Organization held an anti-terror protest in Wahsington, D.C. You probably already know how many actually showed up. Fifty people showed up. Yes, fifty, and only fifty. Overseas, the Iranian youths, God bless them, held their own candlelight vigil and thousands showed up. Thousands in a muslim country compared to fifty in a free country that suffered that massive attack. It's as if Americans had to practically beg "moderate Muslims" in the US to condemn terrorism. Many Muslims in the US (not all) don't seem to understand how good they have it here. I would much rather have those Iranian youths living in my country than many of the muslims we currently have like those Amercan-hating hypocrites Raed Jarrar and Nikki Akhavan.


jonas

 
At 3/09/2006 10:55:00 AM, Blogger DEC said...

Edusubnorm, excluding a book from a tax-supported public school library for minor children does not ban a book from a community. Students can still obtain the book at the city library or at a local new or used book store. (Most American teenagers have the money to buy any book they want.)

All public school districts exclude the Bible from public school libraries, too. Under your reasoning, you would have to say, "The Bible is banned in the United States."

You won't find girlie magazines in U.S. public school libraries either. Parents still have a right to influence what their minor children read and don't read. All your examples involve schools where most or all of the children were under the age of 18.

Children under the age of 18 can't go to X-rated movies either. That doesn't mean X-rated movies are banned in the U.S.

 
At 3/09/2006 11:08:00 AM, Blogger aliandra said...

EducSubNorm...

Eh, would you care to point out where these folks demanded that the government ban all sales of said books and movies?

 
At 3/09/2006 11:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon;

As educsubnorm pointed out extremist christians have been busy in the US, including the whole campaign against the theory of evolution vs "inteligent design".

Over 90% of Americans believe in God. In other words, over 90% believe the creation of man was divinely driven. It is not a view limited to extremist Christians, but a view shared by the majority of Americans.

 
At 3/09/2006 11:35:00 AM, Blogger William said...

--EducSubNorm

Do actually know what the word ‘ban’ means?

By the way, like Harry Potter, the Bible just has supernatural themes. And you can’t talk about in public schools.

Canterbury Tales are bawdy and you still can’t discuss the Bible in public schools.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner has "offensive and obscene passages referring to abortion" and the Bible has violence and adultery and you can’t discuss in public schools.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck -was deemed to be a "filthy book" . . . the Bible has . . . ,EducSubNorm, have you ever read the Bible? You can't talk about the Bible in public schools you know.

Catcher in the Rye and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and so on and so on.

Did you know there are countries that have an official department which bans book. Britain has one, but NOT American. In America all you have to do is walk right into a store--a book store that is--and buy it. Any book, just name it.

Amazing! I’m free to walk into any American bookstore and buy any kind of book: Mein Kamf, Harry Potter, the Koran, Mystery books and Thrillers and maybe even a Bible.

Get off the ‘ban’ wagon fallacy.

 
At 3/09/2006 11:46:00 AM, Blogger EducSubNorm said...

BANNED BOOKS IN US

Look on your own US banned books listings folks and you'll find all the titles I quoted with the appropriate details and the jurisdictions. This is nothing new by the way.

And yes, in the UK Seiks have succeeded in closing a play and Fundamental Christians likewise.

My point is only that although the scale of things is thankfully much smaller here in the West but it is almost always religious fundamentalists doing it.

 
At 3/09/2006 11:52:00 AM, Blogger EducSubNorm said...

William said:

"Did you know there are countries that have an official department which bans book. Britain has one"

Sorry buddy - untrue.

Decades ago there was a Chancellors office that did stuff like that but it's long gone.

You'll find that your simplistic good/bad view of the world, though very American - is also very false.

 
At 3/09/2006 11:57:00 AM, Blogger aliandra said...

EducSubNorm;

You keep missing the point. The government is not doing the banning.

All the books on your list are freely available to all adults.

And may I point out that certain nonreligious leftist groups have tried to "ban" Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer from school libraries because it contains a certain word that starts with "N".

 
At 3/09/2006 11:58:00 AM, Blogger William said...

--EducSubNorm

My sister-in-law's British. She told me that the office exists.

Prove the view is false. Talk is cheap.

 
At 3/09/2006 12:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

EducSubNorm;

And yes, in the UK Seiks have succeeded in closing a play and Fundamental Christians likewise


That's news to me. What play was it? Did they get the police to close down the theater?

Well, did they...?

 
At 3/09/2006 12:19:00 PM, Blogger William said...

The only, and UNofficial, ‘Banned Books’ list in the States is published by the ALA (American Library Association). ALA publishes it every year. Nobody reads it unless they have too.

There is no Official list. Yes, lefties and liberals are upset by Huckleberry Finn’s use of the nigger. What keeps the liberal book banners bay is, is the fact that it’s a great book.

The only successful attack the Left has had in regard to banning is Disney’s ‘Song of the South.’ Okay it’s a movie, but you can’t get it in the States because the film has a HAPPY slave in it.

As long as people have access to a book it’s not banned. To effectively ban anything, you have to have an effective punishment or literally made the book go away.

The Nazis tried and Communists try all the time. But in modern times--in modern technological times--it near impossible to make a book go away.

 
At 3/09/2006 12:43:00 PM, Blogger DEC said...

"Song of the South" isn't banned. Disney simple chose not to release it again for obvious reasons. I doubt if Disney would make a cartoon feature about the Prophet Muhammad and a rabbit in a briar patch either. However, there is nothing (except good business judgment) to prevent Disney from issuing a million copies of "Song of the South" tomorrow.

 
At 3/09/2006 01:10:00 PM, Anonymous phillip krieg said...

For God's sake!!!

This is so stupid, so idiotic, that seems like a joke. Will the entire world be cesored by muslims mules just because someone says something that "offend" the prophet?

C'mon, someone gotta do something about this. If I write a parody that involves the almighty prophet, will I be sentenced to death?

Fuck off those fanatics. I'll say whatever I want... sue me if you don't like. Act like a human being, not an animal.

 
At 3/09/2006 02:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11.26;
I believe in God too, but it doesn't mean I don't acknowledge the theory of evolution, nor that I think religion should be taught in science class. The way I see it believing in intelligent design is akin to believing in fate, which completely contradicts the monotheistic notion of free will.
K from Oslo

 
At 3/09/2006 02:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW,
The play was "Behzti" ("Dishonour") by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti. It wasn't closed down, as i thought, but there were riots. And interestingly the discussion regarding the play was very similar to the one we've been having about the cartoons. You can read about it here:
http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1377285,00.html
K from Oslo

 
At 3/09/2006 02:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phillip says:

C'mon, someone gotta do something about this. If I write a parody that involves the almighty prophet, will I be sentenced to death?

Probably, especially if you ridicule him. Like the late Theo Van Gogh, you'll probably have a note stuck to your chest. Shows like Saturday Night Live will mock Jesus and Moses all day long, but not one joke from them about mohammed, not one. And I have never seen or heard of any uproar from muslims when jesus or moses are blasphemed.

jonas

 
At 3/09/2006 06:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pork products. Surely advertisements for pork products are insulting to the prophet. They've got to go. I just can't wait the see the insanity that will ensue after that one.

 
At 3/09/2006 07:28:00 PM, Blogger Solomon2 said...

Three things:

1) That "cultural center on the French-Swiss border" is probably none other than Ferney, Voltaire's home and the theatre where this play was first produced.

2) It was meant to be a veiled attack upon the Catholic Church, but Mahomet really does display Mohammed in a most unflattering light.

3) It is difficult to argue the facts of the author's interpretation, for it seems Mohmmed really did, according to the Qu'ran and contemporary accounts, display the characteristics the play portrays. Thus, mind-numbing violence appears to be the only sensible response for the "good Muslim".

 
At 3/09/2006 08:30:00 PM, Blogger CMAR II said...

Next on the list of course will be the 1100 year old French epic "The Song of Roland" where Charlemagne kicks serious Muslim butt and the muslims are accused of worshipping idols to Allah, Mohamet, and Termagant.

Does the practice of Islam somehow numb a person from being able to grasp irony?

Frenchie: Let's read Voltaire's ""Fanaticism, or Mahomet the Prophet".

Muslim: What! That's an outrage. Let's go burn some cars and instigate a riot!

 
At 3/09/2006 10:41:00 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

cmar ii, that's either a picture of Sadr or rude. There is no reason to start fights with pictures.

Either way, American Rednecks seem reasonable compared to this bullshit. It is so on!!

 
At 3/10/2006 01:30:00 AM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

"Over 90% of Americans believe in God. In other words, over 90% believe the creation of man was divinely driven. It is not a view limited to extremist Christians, but a view shared by the majority of Americans."____Very sad that a country that is so advanced in many ways should be so backward and superstitious in others.

 
At 3/10/2006 05:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Cox;

Sorry you feel that way, Don. Most folks in America are happy to think that there is more to existence than working, eating, sleeping, screwing, and shitting. Nihilism might explain your low birthrates and why Europeans have taken the path of voluntary extinction. You ought to make peace with your immigrants. They’re going to be the future inhabitants of your continent.

Regards;

 
At 3/10/2006 06:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So - that's how it is in America then ...
life consists of working, eating, sleeping, screwing, and shitting - and then God.
That's all ??
No wonder they're such a boring lot.

 
At 3/10/2006 06:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder they're such a boring lot.

Yeah, so boring that their culture gets imitated all over the world.

 
At 3/10/2006 07:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yeah, so boring that their culture gets imitated all over the world."
I have nothing against Americans whatsoever but you must admit 6.44am that all over the world there are also people trying to shoot the crap out of them as well. Yes, I know, wackos but still, not everyone loves the US and that includes its allies. To some in the world the US signifies freedom: the ability to better oneself, social and political freedom etc. Some see the US as a crass capitalist enterprise which serves no-one's interest but its own. Some see it as the Great Satan and others as the Great Saviour. Some see it as proof of the decadent debauched lifestyle of the West and others as a bible thumping holier than thou country on a religious crusade. My point is that the US is regarded as being whatever your point of view will find because it is all the aforementioned things and it is the selectivity of the viewer that makes judgement. Me, I think it's probably the last hope for a free and civilised world because if the barbarians aren't at the gate then they're certainly within sight. BW48

 
At 3/10/2006 07:20:00 AM, Blogger Pazuzu said...

My reply goes far above but I feel I should say it:
"attacking one religion cause you want to critisize another religion but you don't dare to→kissing asses"

 
At 3/10/2006 07:52:00 AM, Blogger aliandra said...

BW48;


not everyone loves the US and that includes its allies

Yes, that's very true. America is surely not perfect.

However, neither do Americans love everyone else in the world(including allies), seeing them as freeloaders off American cash and American protection, parasites, hypocrites, and perpetual whiners who, when not blaming America for everything that's wrong with the world, are demanding that America fix everything that's wrong with the world.

That doesn't go for every country on the planet, but the above is an accurate description of the isolationist streak running through a lot of American conversations lately.

Cheers;

 
At 3/10/2006 09:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when has there not been a strong isolationist streak in the US?
Anyway as Europe has a long tradition of thinly disguised critisism of the powers that be, why not just pick up where we left it?
Piglet has already proved to be controversial (can't be bothered too find the link too, explain the story) so why not just change his name too Guinea piglet!!
K from Oslo

 
At 3/10/2006 12:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Over 90% of Americans believe in God. In other words, over 90% believe the creation of man was divinely driven. It is not a view limited to extremist Christians, but a view shared by the majority of Americans."
-------
The problem with this -- my theory -- is that in America, we have the right to create god in our image, and thus you have a number of 90% which includes millions who believe in "god", but not the god specifically defined by particular churches/organizations. You've got homosexual catholics who believe god does not prohibit homosexuality; Wiccans; spiritualists; and all kinds of independent churches; etc. Thus, when you see a figure like "90%", it's pretty worthless as to the broad values of society because "90% believe in god" is a meaningless statistic.

It also shows why so many people cannot grasp that the prevailing forces in Islam today are hell-bent on conquering the world. 90% of Americans think of religion (well not that many, but it's generally true as a societal matter) as a club or something personal to onesself. Thus, we generally tolerate all kinds of interpretations of god/religion: "Oh you're a Hindu, that's cute. Where's your elephant statue? I'll have a bottle of Cutty Sark and a donut." Or, "Hey neighbor, I know you're nominally a Presbyterian, but my Universalist Unitarian church is having a potluck dinner tomorrow, want to come?" Or, "Mom, tomorrow night after Christmas, can I go to Timmy's to celebrate Hannukah? Jesus did, and Mrs. Goldstein makes great potato pancakes." This stuff doesn't happen in Islamic countries because they take seriously, "there is no god but Allah and Mo. is his prophet" -- if you do not agree, you are insulting God. You must die.

 
At 3/10/2006 12:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

, when you see a figure like "90%", it's pretty worthless as to the broad values of society because "90% believe in god" is a meaningless statistic

Actually, it's not. About 85% of Americans describe themselves as Christian. Add in the 2% Jews, the smaller number of Muslims, and you get a number very close to 90% who believe in the Abrahamic God. New Agers, vodoun practitioners, neo-pagans, and Buddhists are statistically insignificant.

 
At 3/10/2006 01:18:00 PM, Blogger The Egyptian Observer said...

The Muslim world's demands have been absolutely ridiculous.

@Angelsiiighs. I completely agree with you, however radical Muslims feel to urge to impose their demands on the whole world. They essentially seek to run the world their own way (which they think is divine).

I recently wrote an article on the misinterpretation of Jihad - I believe this is where all the source of Muslim animosity is coming from.

Islam should be compatible with today. However, such Islamists and radicals are making Muslims seem backward and uncompromising.

The demands and protests are getting out of hand and whats worse is that its making the world think that Muslims enjoy behaving as though they were in the Middle Ages.

Islam needs a new face.

Visit my blog! The Egyptian Observer.

 
At 3/10/2006 02:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Akhrouf and Mr. Ouardiri pleaded with authorities to try to understand Muslim feelings. Mr. Akhrouf broke down in tears. "I was very emotional," he says.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I see a bit of duplicity here.
A lot of these people originated in countries where expression of religion outside of Islam are restricted to some degree. There, they enjoyed being the dominant religion/culture, where other faiths often complain of harassment/mistreatment/and misrepresentation in the media.

Now that they've emigrated to the west, they no longer enjoy this preferential treatment, protected from any controversy concerning the Prophet or their religion. Well, guess what: you chose to live here, so now you'll have to adapt to western culture, versus expecting us to adapt to you.

A million monkeys typing a million mockeries of The Prophet will not change one iota of who your Prophet or God really is, will it? It's far better to be convinced in your heart on the truth, than to depend on the government or some unruly mob to secure your beliefs, is it not?

 
At 3/10/2006 09:00:00 PM, Blogger Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

Somewhere the question of "What's next?" got lost in the various side debates.

I can't see Muslims protesting "Song of Roland," mostly because few Muslims (or non-Muslims) know it -- and the few who do, students forced to read it, might welcome and join the protest.

Hmmm, gotta be comething popular, something that pokes fun at an item of Islam -- ideally something that ONLY Islam accepts. Npw if there were only a TV show worth protesting. Wait a minute, something's rattling around the back of my brain.

Now if it could include 'blasphemy' and 'indecent dress,' that's what would really make it ideal.

I think I've got something. Mmmm, *YES!!*

Perfect.

The next Muslim protest is against

I DREAM OF JEANNIE

 
At 3/11/2006 07:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aliandra, my country (Australia)is part of the coalition of the willing and we support our troops, if not the politicians who sent them o/s. A lot of aussies think that getting rid of the Taliban was mandatory, ousting Saddam was a necessity and staying in Iraq was stupidity. Wait for it--getting rid of a dictator creates a power vacuum, so yes they had to stay or the results would have been worse than now. We have our own cash, trade with whom we like, don't think you need to be the world's policeman, attribute blame to those who deserve it and mostly thank G*d that ours is the best country in the world. Knowing this fact we hold no envy to the US. If you are not American I really apologise. :) BW48

 

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