Thursday, February 02, 2006

 

Islam = Totalitarianism?? Maybe So.

Scroll down for update.

From the Merriam-Webster online, pay special to "b":
1 a : of or relating to centralized control by an autocratic leader or hierarchy : AUTHORITARIAN, DICTATORIAL; especially : DESPOTIC b : of or relating to a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation especially by coercive measures (as censorship and terrorism)
Over the past few days, I've followed the furor over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad. Certainly few people like seeing the founder of their religion ridiculed. But the reaction of the Islamic community, as portrayed in the press, is way beyond reasonable.

In the U.S., we've grown somewhat used to denigrating depictions of Christianity, such as the

Piss Christ
. The primary outrage of the Piss Christ was that the work was underwritten by the taxpayer-financed National Endowment for the Arts.
Except for the rare whackos, like Eric Rudolph, Western Christianity resolves or tolerates differences rather peacefully. Violent actions, such as Rudolph's, are roundly condemned by mainstream Christians and their leaders. The government pursues, arrests and prosecutes violent persons, no matter their motivation.

Did you hear more than a peep when Kanye West recently portrayed Christ on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine? I didn't. In fact, I only heard of it because Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit mentioned that if Kanye West had any balls he would have portrayed Muhammad. When Kanye does that then I'll begin to think he might be tough and not just a nut case.

Such can not be said of much of Islam. Cox and Forkum has an excellent post on the violence and terrorism problems related to Islam. The post starts with a cartoon showing a list containing terrorism, theocratic tyranny, subjugation of women, intolerance of criticism and more. A lady states to Muhammad, "Frankly, Mr. Mohammed, a few Danish cartoons are the least of your image problems." Michelle Malkin also makes some excellent points regarding the problem.

You can see the cartoons here. These cartoons are very mild by American standards. But members of Islam seem to expect deference from everyone. Many talk radio show hosts insult Christianity, humorously or not, on a daily basis but very few, if any, go ballistic about it.

The Danish newspaper published and apology that contained the multi-cultural double talk so common today.
Maybe because of culturally based misunderstandings,...
But the Islamist still aren't happy.
"We lack a clear statement where the newspaper apologizes for the offense and stand[s] by it," said Ahmed Akkari, a spokesman for the groups.
The newspaper owes no apology. But, perhaps they apologized because they are afraid that an airplane will crash into their building if they did not.

While Islamic fundamentalist are responsible for more violence committed across the world than any other religion, little is heard from the "peaceful, tolerant" Islamic leaders and groups. CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), one of the primary groups protesting "offensive" actions has strongly suspected links to terrorism.
Two Democratic Senators had this to say about CAIR during the Sept. 2003 Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security.
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin: "[CAIR is] unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect"

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer: "we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism"
More at Anti-CAIR.

Appeasement will no more work with Islamic despots any more than it did with despots in the past. Neither will being "sensitive" and "understanding." We must stand firm, protect our essential freedoms, including the right to be offensive, and never give an inch. (Came close to invoking Godwin's Law here.)

Also, check out Michelle Malkin's blog for some excellent analysis and comparison/contrast. You will see how the TV networks are not showing the cartoons out of absolute terror respect of Islam although they glibly show images insulting to Christianity.

UPDATE

Anonymous raised this question in the comments:
What I am wondering about cartoons and freedom of speech is this: would any of these european newspapers publish cartoons of jews that depicts them with big noses and money hungry? Would they publish cartoons that deny holocaust? It's crime in these countries. The editor or cartoonist would go to jail. Hypocrisy? Apparently freedom of speech has limits to them.

I want to see this question raised and explained


My response (edited and more research than my response in the comments.):

In our country (U.S.A.) denigrating, insulting depictions of Chrisians are common. Remember Sinead O'Connor ripping the picture of the Pope in half on Saturday Night Live. Left wingers refer to Christian fundamentalists as "fundies." Greg Handel, the radio talk show host who gave the "Stampede Report" referring to the tramplings in Mecca, also said that Jews have a similar ritual. Every Jew is required, sometime during their life, to go to Washington, D.C. and prostrate themselves in front of the Federal Reserve Building. (But he is Jewish.)

There are people denying the Holocaust including some of the same people upset about these cartoons. The Arab newspaper "Al-Watan" regularly publishes offensive cartoons about Jews such as you describe. So does the official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority.

Anti-Semitic ads have appeared in England.
EARLIER this year, as England marked Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan. 27, an advertisement appeared on the Labour Party Web site likening Michael Howard, the Jewish leader of the opposition Conservative Party, to Fagin, the iconic stereotype of the miserly, conniving Jew in Charles Dickens's "Oliver Twist."

For the Anglo-Jewish community, it was a familiar coincidence. Two years before, the Jan. 27th issue of The Independent, the left-of-center British newspaper, carried a cartoon of a disrobed Ariel Sharon devouring a blood-soaked Palestinian child under the words: "What's wrong . . . you never seen a politician kissing babies before?"
Here's a cartoon of Arial Sharon that appeared in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 22, 2004.

Not the least bit offensive.

Here is a PDF file of Anti-Semitic cartoons that were published in Western media including the U.S., Germany, England, France, Italy, and more.

Anyone with enough intellectual curiosity could easily find this info with a few searches on the Web. I have to wonder if Anonymous 1:17 is anti-Semitic. I frequently listen to 700 WLW AM radio. A frequent caller is a guy named Ken. He sounds intelligent and always makes a superficially logical argument. But he is so anti-Semitic and racist that the radio station made up a little jingle they play whenever he calls.
He hates Blacks, He hates Jews,
Here some more of his racist views.
Here's Ken!
(My apologies to WLW if I got the words wrong.)

I do not endorse publishing overly offensive pictures, drawings, commentary, etc. I attempt on my own writing, and other communications, to maintain a positive enough atmosphere that I just might persuade someone over to my point of view. However, the current situation is a classic case of those offended needing to clean up their own backyard first. The Islamic fundamentalists are the only ones wanting to kill people over pictures.

Comments:
I get in this discussion with my Pops all the time.

Christianity has embraced tolerance and pluralism only recently, considering its 2000 year history. Strange enough, I think that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Vatican II, and Pope John Paul the Great had a real hand in molding the rather peaceful religion of which you and I share today. I think that without them, we wouldn't be able to talk about Christianity being a religion of peace at all.

You don't even have to go that far back to see when Christians were employing terrorism and censorship to get their ways. I was born just a few short miles away from the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Deim was a Catholic and despotic dictator of South Vietnam. America as we know it was founded by Christians fleeing persecution at the hands of other Christians. I'm not even going to discuss the IRA.

This doesn't give an excuse to anyone behaving badly today, no matter what their religion, but we do need to keep things in a historical perspective lest we forget how we overcame those things in our own culture's past.

On the topic of these cartoons, I think people have lost their minds. I think these cartoons are classless, as I thought the Piss Christ was classless. The very religious got upset with both of them. None of that surprises me.

The Southern Baptist Convention expressed their outrage against Ford & Disney (and Ford caved to their demands), I've seen Catholics turn red in the face and ball their fists talking about "the Da Vinci Code," Muslims will express their outrage about cartoons they think are idolatrous.

What was it I am supposed to be surprised about?
 
Muslims express more than outrage. Compare the reaction of Catholics and other Christians to "The Da Vinci Code" (which I did read and enjoy) to the Muslim reaction to "Satanic Verses" by Salmon Rushdie. Look HERE and HERE. When was the last time the Pope offered money for somebody to be executed? Quite a while, I'd guess. (Please don't reference ole Pat Robertson. But he was roundly criticized by virtually everyone, Christians, etc.)

Christians can't claim innocence for past violence but violence and threats of violence that are common in the Muslim world are virtually unheard of in the Christian, Hindu and Buddhist world.
 
What I am wondering about cartoons and freedom of speech is this: would any of these european newspapers publish cartoons of jews that depicts them with big noses and money hungry? Would they publish cartoons that deny holocaust? It's crime in these countries. The editor or cartoonist would go to jail. Hypocrisy? Apparently freedom of speech has limits to them.

I want to see this question raised and explained
 
Anon 1:17 -

You make a good point. In Germany especially certain speech regarding Jews, denying the Holocaust, and such, is illegal. (I may have the details wrong, but I know certain speech is illegal in Germany.)

But in our country (U.S.A.) denigrating, insulting depictions of Chrisians are common. Remember Sinead O'Connor ripping the picture of the Pope in half on Saturday Night Live. Left wingers refer to Christian fundamentalists as "fundies." Greg Handel, the radio talk show host who gave the "Stampede Report" referring to the tramplings in Mecca, also said that Jews have a similar ritual. Every Jew is required, sometime during their life, to go to Washington, D.C. and prostrate themselves in front of the Federal Reserve Building. (But he is Jewish.)

There are people denying the Holocaust including some of the same people upset about these cartoons. The Arab newspaper "Al-Watan" regularly publishes offensive cartoons about Jews such as you describe.
 
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