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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Muslim Cartoon Debate Is Just Pure Silliness....

The debate surrounding the Danish cartoons is not unique to Islam. There have been situations upsetting to Christians such as Andres Serrano's photographs of the "Piss Christ" where a crucifix was submerged into the artist's urine and blood.

There were protests and incidents where the photograph was attacked.
two teenagers, aged 18 and 16, were to have considerably more success in their endevour. In an orchestrated attack it was reported one teenager acted as a decoy, kicking a print on the opposite wall which distracted the guards who rushed to subdue him while the other smashed Piss Christ about 8 times with a hammer. When the guards overpowered the perpetrator the hammer fell and struck a security guard on the knee.

A witness is quoted describing the event "Suddenly there was this bang. I looked around and there was this guy kicking one of the photographs, I think the Klu Klux Klan one . . . everyone's attention was to that and the security guard started to move in and suddenly we heard all these other noises, bangs. I thought it was a gun, and we all froze. Then I saw this person and I suddenly thought: `There is a person with a hammer bashing this picture' . . . people just froze, there was stunned silence."3 The exhibition was thereafter shortly closed.
Of course there was lots of controversy surrounding the picture. But no one was killed. It was debated politically and in the press as it whould be in a civilized world. There were debates on what is appropriate and what is vulgar but this definition changes over time....
refinement is out and vulgarity is in. Long gone are the Victorian days, when piano legs were skirted so as not to offend the sensitive. During the 1940s, the following joke about Pres. Harry S. Truman was considered risque. Giving a lecture to a women's garden club, he advised the audience to mix the dirt with lots of fresh manure. After the talk was over, a woman came up to his wife, Bess, and said, "I wish he would have used the word, `fertilizer.' "To which Mrs. Truman replied, "Heck, it took me 20 years to get him to say, `manure.'"

Like vulgarity itself, the meaning of the word has changed through the years. Originally, it referred to the lives of the common people. For instance, in Rome, vulgar signified the ordinary language of Latin as spoken or written by the masses, differing from the magnificent literary Latin of, say, Cicero or Virgil. Today, its primary dictionary meaning runs the gamut from "coarse to indecent." Further, "it refers to that which is banal and characterized by ignorance or lack of breeding." That says it all, but pretty soon its definition will have to be revised to something like "an expression of pop culture."
I have to say, that the cartoons, as I see them, may be insensitive to Muslims but so what. That's life. They are the ones that have to come to grips with the fact that we live in the 21st century and not the 7th. They have the duty to project Islam as an acceptable religion and not us.

But the issue that I have with the controversy is that the inflamed passions of Muslims cause them to say that they want to kill people over this. Its just so juvenile and not very endearing to the "religion of peace." Of course the Muslim reaction is to kill KILL KILL....
He said he has received 15 death threats and over a 1,000 hate letters since publishing the cartoon - all from the Middle East.

Death threats were also made against the editor of Jyllands-Posten after he printed the originals last year. Some of the cartoonists went into hiding.
Remember Salman Rushdie? They wanted to kill KILL KILL him too after his book Satanic Verses.
On February 14, 1989, a fatwa requiring Rushdie's execution was proclaimed on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran, calling the book "blasphemous against Islam." As the novel also suggested that Rushdie no longer believed in Islam, Khomeini also condemned him for apostasy, which according to the Hadith is punishable by death. Khomeini indicated that it was the responsibility of all "zealous Muslims" to execute Rushdie and the publishers who were aware of its concepts:
In the name of God Almighty. There is only one God, to whom we shall all return. I would like to inform all intrepid Muslims in the world that the author of the book entitled The Satanic Verses, which has been compiled, printed, and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Qur’an, as well as those publishers who were aware of its contents, have been sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them quickly, wherever they find them, so that no one will dare insult the Islamic sanctities. Whoever is killed on this path will be regarded as a martyr, God willing. In addition, anyone who has access to the author of the book, but does not possess the power to execute him, should refer him to the people so that he may be punished for his actions. May God's blessing be on you all. Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini.
On February 24 1989, Khomeini offered a U.S.$ 3 million bounty for the death of Rushdie, who was then forced to live for a time under British-financed security.
In this case, the Shia head of the sovereign nation, Iran, a man of religion heading the religion of peace in that country, called for and offered a reward for the execution of the writer. How weak is a religion that has to kill its critics? These are the kind of people that we are facing today. Where it is acceptable to saw the heads off of little girls but unacceptable to write or draw pictures of their idols. Idolatry is actually what Mohammed fought against that created the religion more than a millennium ago. But this subject is for another post.

But back to the cartoons, the reason that the cartoons exist at all is that an author was having difficulty obtaining illustrations for a children's book that he was writing on the life of Mohammed. Apparently illustrators were fearful that by illustrating the book that they too may become targets for the frothing at the mouth crazed jihadi Muslim.
From the BBC: cartoonists for a Danish newspaper have received death threats for drawing cartoons of Mohammed. The newspaper Jyllands-Posten urged cartoonists to send in drawings of the prophet after an author had complained that nobody dared illustrate his book on Mohammed.
See the reason that the cartoons exist at all is that people are afraid of becoming targets of these religious fanatics. These cartoons reflect their actual experience with Islam. I feel that the Danes have done us all a service by exposing these cartoons and making it an issue now for the world to see the reaction.

The debate rages in the letters-to-the-editor pages in English language Arab newspapers but I think this guys frames the issue the way that I see it....
Burden of free speech
By any measure, Denmark has long been one of the freest, most open and tolerant societies in the world. In democratic countries, free speech also applies to religion. Unfortunately, one of the burdens of free speech is that feelings and sensibilities are sometimes hurt. But if Muslims are so convinced that they are right in their religious beliefs, how does it matter what others think or say? It is a fact that Muslims have freedom of speech and religion in Denmark and other democracies. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for non-Muslims living in some Islamic countries.
From Mr R. Postnikoff
Al Ain
Thankfully, the debate is also raging in souless Europe where the freedom of speech has actually been curbed for years in favor of politically correct speech. Hopefully this will alert the spineless Europeans that the enemy that we face in the coming decades is a brutal and heartless one and join us in the fight.

An interesting article on the decline in free speech in Europe can be found here. But in the upside down world of European politics and free speech, the title of this piece caught my eye...
Muslim Radical Defends Freedom of Speech, Deplores Europe's Hypocrisy
But the money quote is here.
But he asks a question one should ponder: Is it possible to defend freedom of speech if one does not restore "absolute freedom of speech altogether?" As the great 20th century American journalist H.L. Mencken (who by the way was very critical of religion) said:
"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."


At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Elman said...

Really you are funny man sir, you don't even yet know the different between criticism and outraging, if they really think islam is a violent religion, why they don't prove they claim by logical methods, outraging occurs when someone don't have any other way to ruin the image of something in the minds of others.
Good Luck.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Muslim Cartoon said...

View the cartoon, so you can make up your own mind.


At 1:47 PM, Blogger Glenzo said...

Elman... I don't understand what you are arguing. Are you trying to say that I am using distorted reasoning to claim that Islam is a violent religion? What about the beheading of the 3 christian girls in my ealier post? Doesn't that lend some currency to my argument?


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