Friday, February 17, 2006

Weekend Reading

Sections in this post:

Diane has posted a library of analysis on the cartoon controversy:

Anatomy of an outrage -
Cartoon : Aug 2005 - mid-February 2006

...And on the cartoonish controversy's connection to worldwide violent jihad:

Jihad ready or are we "tooned" out ?

If you don't know what is going on after following those links, you have no one to blame but yourself.

For some reason, Sandmonkey's post on the Arab Parallel Universe (a term coined by our own Jeffrey -- New York) is making the rounds again. In a similar vein is this article by Hans Magnus Enzensberger (h/t Hello) psychoanalyzing murder-suicide bombers and other human ticking time bombs:
The Radical Loser

I'd be curious to know what you guys say.

I just noticed this at Diane's post...

I know a lot of people here will be glad to know that the Iraqi government and the Coalition are doing much better job of monitoring the Iranian border. I just spoke with someone tonight who recently made a two-way trip from Iran to Iraq and back.

"This time it was harder enter Iraq. They required ONE IRAQI to vouch for every TWO of us. They took our pictures and fingerprints."

Buck Sargent at American Citizen Soldier has a good interview with Truth Teller of A Cititzen of Mosul. (h/t Christine)

Check it out.

To Die and Kill for Muhammed's Good Name

Sandmonkey reports on a lethal epidemic sweeping the Muslim world. Believe it or not, it has killed more people than Bird Flu. (I'd swear Sandmonkey has been reading my mail)

It can be spread via
1) Hearing about cartoons insulting the prophet, or
2) Reading about cartoons insulting the prophet.
However, actually viewing such Prophet-insulting cartoons will not cause an infection; on the contrary, nothing will happen and no one will get agitated.

Big Pharoah says enough is enough and is desperately seeking a cure.

15 Dead in Nigeria The deaths of people for any reason is tragic. The deaths of people over a senseless phony issue is appalling. The deaths of innocent people, murdered ostensibly to defend the good name of the Prophet Muhammed is infuriating. Here is an article on the protests in Nigeria, in which at least 15 have died; mostly uninvolved Christians (or thought to be Christian) when they were killed:

Thousands of rioters burned 15 churches in Maiduguri in a three-hour rampage before troops and police reinforcements restored order, Nigerian police spokesman Haz Iwendi said.

Chima Ezeoke, a Christian Maiduguri resident, said protesters attacked and looted shops owned by minority Christians, most of them with origins in the country's south.

"Most of the dead were Christians beaten to death on the streets by the rioters," Ezeoke said. Witnesses said three children and a priest were among those killed.
[Grand Imam Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi of al-Azhar University, the world's highest Sunni Muslim seat of learning] said the Danish prime minister must apologize for the drawings and further demanded that the world's religious leaders meet to write a law that "condemns insulting any religion, including the Holy Scriptures and the prophets." He said the United Nations should impose the law on all countries.

In response, Nissen did not address the issue of a global law but said it was impossible for Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to apologize. "I have brought to his excellency (Tantawi) the apology of the newspaper, but our prime minister did not draw these cartoons. Our prime minister is not the editor of this newspaper. He cannot apologize for something he did not do," Nissen said.

Frankly, such a law would be a serious mistake when, for so many, humanity and liberty is seen as an enemy of their religion. How can any decent person find a way NOT to insult any religion as presented by so many Muslims worldwide over the past month...over the past 4 years in fact? How can they when powerful Islamic religious leaders --let alone the fact that they do not condemn such evil-- but are actually promoting it?

Why Publish The Cartoons?

Flemming Rose, the editor of Jyllands-Posten, who made the decision to publish the twelve drawings of the Prophet Mohammed explains why:

At the end of September, a Danish standup comedian said in an interview with Jyllands-Posten that he had no problem urinating on the Bible in front of a camera ***, but he dared not do the same thing with the Koran...Last September, a Danish children's writer had trouble finding an illustrator for a book about the life of Muhammad. Three people turned down the job for fear of consequences. The person who finally accepted insisted on anonymity, which in my book is a form of self-censorship.

European translators of a critical book about Islam also did not want their names to appear on the book cover beside the name of the author, a Somalia-born Dutch politician who has herself been in hiding. Around the same time, the Tate gallery in London withdrew an installation by the avant-garde artist John Latham depicting the Koran, Bible and Talmud torn to pieces. The museum explained that it did not want to stir things up after the London bombings. (A few months earlier, to avoid offending Muslims, a museum in Goteborg, Sweden, had removed a painting with a sexual motif and a quotation from the Koran.)

Finally, at the end of September, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with a group of imams, one of whom called on the prime minister to interfere with the press in order to get more positive coverage of Islam.

So, over two weeks we witnessed a half-dozen cases of self-censorship, pitting freedom of speech against the fear of confronting issues about Islam. This was a legitimate news story to cover, and Jyllands-Posten decided to do it by adopting the well-known journalistic principle:
Show, don't tell.

*** Commenter Jim says the following about this clause: "This is a terrible, literal translation of an idiomatic term: "tage pis på" literally means "taking a piss on". However, what it means is "to bullshit about". Basically, this [is] an innocuous statement about being able to make fun about the Bible but not the Quran."

CMAR II's primer on Apologies and Culpability


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