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February 03, 2006


The republishing of these cartoons is needed to prevent their removal from the internet.

This fight is about cansorship..Do we the FREE PEOPLE of EARTH surrender all editorial rights to the Militant Muslims.

No, we should not.
the goal of these militants is to create a worldwide 'Taliban' style chaos,
where women are property,
where roving gangs can abuse people at will.

Do you want a return to the dark ages?

I'm afraid I agree with Marvin - there's a fine line between being offended by something and wanting to stamp it out.

If this is what it takes for the world to wake up to the true tenets of Islam ... then YES.

My point is that some in the media and the blogosphere, in their rush to insult our enemies (Islamic terorrists and tyrants) and perhaps to get even for attacks on Christianity or the West generally, are now also UNNECESSARILY alienating our Muslim ALLIES in the war on terror -- like the 50 million plus people of Iraq and Afghanistan and Kuwait. These allies were bought at the cost of war and the cost of good soldiers' lives. That doesn't mean it wasn't worth it. But these ALLIES in the war on terror are priceless. We should treat them with respect.

The folks who are currently photoshopping pictures of Mohammed ON TOILET PAPER and URINALS are not helping themselves or any of us in the war on terror. If you think they ARE helping the cause, I'd like to know how. Explain it to me.

Appeasement is one thing, but going OUT OF YOUR WAY to be as offensive as possible, for no reason other than to poke your adversary in the eye, is not the solution, particularly when you are simultaneously poking some of our most important ALLIES in the eye.

The Muslims of the world don't need to abandon their religious beliefs to ally with the West in the war on terror. Look at Afghanistan and Iraq and Kuwait. They are still Muslim, but they are also now our allies.

What we need is for Muslim countries to abhor TERRORISM and help us fight it. That's a much easier sell than asking them to abandon their deeply ingrained religious commitment to their prophet and their God, as they see it. All decent people are revolted by deliberate terrorist murder of innocent men, women and children. Let's not make winning the war on terror harder than it has to be.

Further, we need a winner's approach here. Part of the winner's approach in any battle or competition is not unnecessarily rubbing your adversary's nose in it. Why? Because it accomplishes nothing positive and it often just makes it that much harder to win. Many a Muslim who will support the West in the war on terror when it's about ENDING TERRORISM will nonetheless feel a religious imperative to fight the West to the death if we make the battle ABOUT ridiculing Mohammed.

Our enemy is not all 1 billion people on earth who believe that Mohammed was a prophet and that showing his image is wrong. Our enemy is the terrorists. Sure, there's a lot of overlap, but the overlap is not complete, and we make our job harder -- perhaps even impossible -- if we go out of our way to alienate the entire 1 billion Muslims on earth for no good reason except that it feels good and we have freedom of speech.

Yes, freedom of speech includes the right to say and publish things that are pointless and needlessly hurtful to our enemies AND our ALLIES. That doesn't mean it's a good idea. It may even be a very bad idea if it looses some of the goodwill from our Muslim allies that cost us billions of dollars, years and decades, and even our soldiers' lives to win.

I agree with Gina. This is not wholly about censorship and allowing others to come in and gag us. This is about the fact that in the age of citizen media, we are all ambassadors for our culture, and a horrible job we are doing of that. Diplomatic relations rely on a sense of decorum and respect. These messages, of taking a stab at a stereotypical Muslim way, could have easily been achieved by illustrations of, say, Arafat or various al-Qaeda members. I would argue, looking at other cartoons (including some I was referred to that really made some distasteful comparisons between the President, Prime Minister Sharon, Hitler and Satan) that most cartoonists would take stabs at people, not their beliefs. There is a happy medium to be found here—just as there is some sense of refrain on network television that they don’t cuss before a certain hour.
   We would be wrong to analyse this issue through western eyes, saying that if we are OK with funny jokes about Jesus Christ that the Muslims ought to be cool with jokes about Mohammed. Once upon a time—we only need to look back 75 years—we, too, would have been offended as a culture with images of Jesus in a cartoon. This does not make the Muslims and Arabs 75 years behind us—but this should be something borne in mind on why the Danish newspaper and the republications have caused offence.
   If we are proud of our western heritage and freedoms, then we should act like it. Civility and civilization are marked by the human abilities to refrain from acting like animals, and respecting customs and codes. The United States was certainly capable of doing so during its heyday of the mid-20th century, its finest hour, although I reserve judgement on its racial record at that point; and China’s greatest period of prosperity, the Sung Dynasty, was marked with the same sense of civilization and pride. Nations that retain that sense enjoy freedom—and also harmony.
   As Gina says in her original post, the west has made some great gains in the freedoms that you talk about, Marvin. And we did this without insulting their beliefs. Indeed, we did this while respecting them—and showed those who might sympathize with the terrorists that that was better. Now we are reversing those gains and losing a fight of ‘hearts and minds’, as the President might put it.
   Relations between nations are like relations between people. Just as I don’t expect, on my first meeting with Marvin, to be punched in the face by him, the Islamic world doesn’t expect to get a black eye from a cartoonist in a commentary. Marvin would tolerate my making a joke about him, probably, but I expect if I bring his mother’s sex life into it, then I’ve got a kick in the teeth coming (whether physical or in sense). Same thing here, except most Muslims seem to find this far more grave than a quip about a parent’s private habits—this strikes at something very dear and precious to them, and, as Gina says, we should be having dialogue, not alienation, with the Muslim world.

What was the point of making these pictures of our beloved prophet Muhammad peace be upon him?

In Islam we dont make pictures of any other prophets. We respect all prophets, Jesus, Moses, Abraham. In our religion, even if you made pictures of these prophets, it would be considered a big sin.

We respect all religions, yet why dont the people who drawed what they did respect ours?

Moreover, why not write about our prophet peace be upon him from true sources? if you really learn about this Prophet, you will see what a mercy he was to mankind.

If you don´t like the cartoons in Jyllands Posten you don´t have to buy it. Muslims comes to Denmark They are free to keep their religion and we respect their right to have their religion and let their religion rule their own life.

But the rules of Islam is not the rules of Denmark an we don´t have to adopt the rules of Islam. In Denmark religion is a private case. In Denmark we have freedom of speech and that imply that cartoonist threat Islam in the same way that everybody else are threated in Denmark. You can find drawings in Danish newsparpers of the Queen, Jesus and the primeminister that are more insulting.
But The Queen, Jesus and the primeminister are just laughing.
What do the muslims do when our newspapers make cartoons of Mr Mohammed. They don´t harm us but they kill each other in demonstrations in Pakistan, Libyan and Nigeria. That is really an advanced form of humour!

A good advice to muslims take a look at Monthy Pythons "Life of Brian" and learn: "Always look at the bright side of life"

Most people in Denmark sees this crisis as an comical surrelistic show.

It might destroy the name of Denmark in muslim countries, so what, maybe we get fewer muslim immigrants in the future. That is no great damage.

Olfert Copenhagen.

I'm a little late weighing in on this, but I praise Gina for being openminded on this issue. There are more flavors of opinion than just vanilla and chocolate. I'd rather visit a blog that doesn't "follow the party line" on every nuance of every issue. "Let sleeping dogs lie" is ancient wisdom, nicely restated by Gina.

Thanks for your comment, Laura.

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