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The Hypocrisy of the Cartoon Controversy

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I didn’t intend to write about this thorny issue because I never understand why some westerners behave stupidly when it comes to religious sensitivities. More than half the world’s problems arise from religious intolerance and I just don’t understand why people who preach peace on one side instigate hatred on other.

Globe and Mail ran a survey with the question “If you owned a newspaper, would you have published a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed? 50% of them shamefully said “yes”. Where are the values that Canada has been built on, why do 50% of readers think it’s okay to insult a religion?

Western media and businesses have a tradition of insulting Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. I wonder if the same media and businesses that have insulted these religions have the nerve to draw images of Jesus and Virgin Mary in nude and call it art, put their images on toilet bowls, bikinis, sandals and make sexual jokes about them. I have never seen anything like that, not even when the news everyday was about priests in Churches across North America being accused of pedophilia, so why the hell insult other religions and call it frigging freedom of expression?

I come from a country where over 85% are Hindus, but when the Pope came to India trying to convert Hindus to Christians they gave him a red carpet welcome to respect the beliefs and faith of 5% of the population’s Christians who live in India. Tolerance and freedom of expression is not only how you react to other people’s comments, but it is also how you treat other people with your comments and actions. Those who think they can insult the faith and beliefs of other people and hide under the cover of this FofE should feel ashamed of their lives and values. In most cases papers publish these items to improve sagging sales of the newspaper, as controversy always sells.

Leave religion alone, we already have enough global problems because of it, is our creativity limited to insults and religious intolerance?

Millions of Muslims around the world are protesting against these cartoons and the governments of many Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, and Pakistan have protested against Denmark. What have these governments done to prevent the spread of violence and terrorism against Israel, India, US, UK, and other countries? What have they done to promote religious tolerance and freedom in their own countries? While Saudi Arabia has withdrawn its ambassador from Denmark in protest of these cartoons that appeared in a paper not even owned by the government, Saudi does not allow its residents to even wear a cross or read a bible. Why the hypocrisy?

And as one blogger put it so eloquently, “And why are more Muslims apparently outraged over some goofy cartoons that were drawn thousands of miles away than they are about beheadings and suicide bombings that occur in their own backyard?”

Why? You are all hypocrites, but I think the western media is the easier of the two, who will understand it than the fanatics. So can we put an end to this practice of insults to religions?

What do you think?

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About Vijay Sappani

  • Dave Nalle

    I guess it’s a half-full, half-empty thing, but I find it shocking that 50% of the newspaper surveyed wouldn’t publish a cartoon with mohammed in it. They ought to be able to poke fun at mohammed, jesus or chernobog if it makes some good points and be prepared to deal with some offended letters and not have to face any more serious repurcussions.


  • Don’t we have better things for our papers to do. debate on global povery, changing weather patterns, Iraq war and what not. Why do we need more controversies.

  • You’ve raised some good points here, Vijay.

    My thoughts – Where does freedom of speech end and hateful speech begin? What if someone decided to insult (or poke fun – whatever term you want to use) at Jews in a cartoon, would it be called hate speech and withdrawn? Would B’nai B’rith get involved? Quite possibly. There are lots of other ways to criticize Moslems in speech or cartoons, without insulting the religion and its followers, as a whole. Yes, the Moslem press has their own offensive, insulting cartoons and they are absolutely wrong to do it. Promoting hate is just plain wrong.

    If it’s “hate literature”, then it’s wrong. If it’s free speech, then it’s in bad taste but should be allowed.


    SO why aren’t more Muslims upset about terrorism and beheadings than they are about a few cartoons?

  • “Where does freedom of speech end and hateful speech begin?”

    ‘Freedom of speech’ refers to your relationship with government and law, and actually has little to do with this discussion.

    This debate is about the limits and effects of the inflammatory/hateful/offensive, about hypocrisy. And key questions about the orchestrated proliferation of the full set of cartoons (not just the original one) should be ‘why now?’, ‘who benefits’?

    Not me.

  • Bliffle

    I think that any person who tells the world exactly what to do to get the person to get upset and angry and explode is nuts. The only reason you’d do such a thing is to encourage people to upset you.

  • Antonio

    Orwell said that if free speech means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. The right to caricaturize, ridicule, and satirize religion (or anything else) is a cornerstone of free speech in Western secular countries of Christian tradition. A right that was obtained only through years of bloodshed and sacrifice by many people on the behalf of many others. If you think that Jesus or the Virgin Mary or whoever aren’t constant targets in the Western press then I’m afraid you’re sorely out of touch.

    Not only should criticism of religion be a right, it should be actively encouraged, as religion by its very nature enforces an exclusive and rigid belief system that has proven to be an enemy of human progress throughout uncounted centuries.

    You make a fine point, however, in pointing out the inherent hypocrisy of the irrational and over-the-top protests taking place because of the cartoons. The number of anti-jewish – not anti-israel but anti-jewish – cartoons in arab newspapers are legion; showing blood libel, old school anti-semitic tracts etc; even television programs showing the ancient blood libel against Jews. Any disapproval? no. The President of Iran is a holocaust denier. Any disapproval? Again, no.

    What this is boiling down to is a stark reality in the beginning of the 21st century that is becoming more and more apparent as more and more immigration from quasi-theocratic (sometimes completely theocratic) Islamic countries to secular Western countries occurs: the crux of the matter, that for years now, Islam has been demanding respect of its sensitivites both in and out of Muslim lands. Yet they do not expect to extend this same respect to others, either in their own countries or in the countries they have immigrated to.

    One last point, regarding whether or not these cartoons were inflammatory. Remember that these cartoons were not published last week, but last September, that there were originally protests in Denmark (understandable and to be expected) and that the issue had died down, until a group of ultra-conservative Muslim leaders from Denmark began a tour of Middle East countries denouncing the cartoons, and amongst the cartoons denounced were ones never published such as the portrayal of Mohammed as a pig, or a Muslim man being raped by a dog.

    While I for one find the cultural relativism espoused by certain sectors of the press and elected officials to be repugnant, there is no doubt that in many ways, we are dealing with different cultures entirely. And what needs to be established is that if some require that we not impose our value and belief system on Muslims, however distasteful I or others may find their 7th century Arabian peninsula tribal codes and practices, Muslims need to understand that in secular countries with christian traditions things they may find offensive happen; and they should deal with it.

  • Antonio

    Oh and by the way, when I said they should deal with it, I meant accept that it happens, and move on, as no one forces them to read or subscribe to the beliefs published. What I certainly did not mean, was how it is being “dealt with” by many:

    “Whoever defames our prophet should be executed,” said Ismail Hassan, a tailor who marched with hundreds of other Muslims in the West Bank city of Ramallah. “Bin Laden our beloved, Denmark must be blown up,” the protesters chanted.

    In Sudan, some even urged al-Qaida terrorists to target Denmark. “Strike, strike, Bin Laden,” shouted some in a crowd of about 50,000 who filled a Khartoum square.

    Among demonstrations yesterday, 500 protesters gathered outside the Danish Embassy in West London after a two-hour march. Amid chants of “Denmark go to hell” and “Bomb, bomb Denmark”, protesters called for a jihad, or holy war.

    Abu Ibrahwm, 26, of Luton, said: “The only solution is for those responsible to be killed. In Islam, the one who insults the messenger should be killed.”

    Protesters yelled: “Denmark watch your back” and “You’ll pay with your blood”. Banners read: “Europe you will pay, your 9/11 is on its way”.

  • Don’t forget, Jesus has been insulted by media and art alike to. Remember a few years ago, when Christians were upset when an artist put a crucifix in urine and called it art? Media and other artists defended the action, while Christians and many in (the American) Congress threatened to pull federal funding of the arts.

  • Gordon GoHah Mellencamp Hauptfleisch

    Kevin–Big difference, and the main issue: the Christians upset at the “Piss Christ” “art” (our tax dollars at waste, in all senses of the word) didn’t take to the streets–they protested verbally, not violently.

  • sal m

    i don’t know where you have been, but christian religion in general, and catholics, their clergy, jesus and god have all been savaged by media, hollywood, artists and satirists and comedians for quite a while now. you don’t see catholics burning down anything or rioting as a result.

    if you are truly unaware of this you haven’t been paying too much attention lately.

    as we speak, two danish embassies are burning as a result of this new islam nonsense…these people are fools and they are worthy of being not only satirized but ridiculed as well.

  • Sal, I really don’t recollect seeing anything and if you do see, can you show the links here and which major media carried it? I searched in Google for long hours with no result. Even if it came now, I don’t think Christian groups will act violent.

    The reason for the protest is not only the nature of the cartoons but the cartoon itself as Islam does not beleive in Idolatory. The artist’s knew this very well and did it to profit from the controversy, which is themost disturbing thing.

  • Vijay, you ask why we need more controversies? It’s because it sells papers. That’s it.


  • sal m

    just because there aren’t links to anything doesn’t meant that these things didn’t/haven’t happened…how about the “works” of “artist” robert mapplethorpe(sp?)which included something called “piss christ” which was a crucifix submerged in a glass jar of urine.

    how about “singer” sinead o’connor on saturday night live ripping up a picture of the pope while uttering some inane protest?

    and there have been countless cartoons depicting the pope in a less-than-flattering manner…

    western civ and it now exists has no problem tearing down any mainstream religion, especially catholicism. and rightly so, since so much of what comes out of it is worth of ridicule. same holds for islam. and is there any doubt now that all religion does is provide another way for people to turn against each other?

    if islam doesn’t believe in idolatry that’s their problem…this kind of thing is what reduces religion to nothing more than the level of a complicated superstition.

    to respond in the matter that so many of these people have reveals them to be irrational and hurts their cause irrepairably.

  • Jim

    Well, every time there is a demonstration in the streets of Gaza, Iran, Syria – they always chant ‘death to America’ or ‘death to who-ever’.

    How often do you see a demonstration in the USA or Europe where they chant ‘death to Iran, etc’? Never.

    The middle east is an insular, intolerant culture. The Danes are the opposite extreme. Choose your side.

  • Richard

    I have been trying to understand why there has been violent reaction to such simple images. I do not believe that the images were directed towards religion, but at the people who terrorize, maim and kill others in the name of religion.

    Will the sword be mightier than the pen ?

    In this struggle between the Pen and the Sword the battles can be summarized below:

    1. The Sword (terrorists) kill and maim innocent people on a regular basis in the name of their religion for belief of rewards in their heaven.

    2. The Pen (intelligent populace with freedom of speech) is frustrated at seeing people killed daily and responds with a cartoon portraying the Sword’s belief of rewards in heaven for barbaric acts as comical.

    3. The Sword reacts like a bully, by threats on the cartoonist, press, nation and other innocent people. The threat is re-directed by claiming that the cartoon was directed towards heaven and thus their religion.

    4. The Pen (press) in other countries protects it’s freedom to speak by publishing the cartoon, while nations that are fearful of the Sword bow to it’s power and critisize the Pen.

    5. The Sword continues to use religion as the front for more violence against the Pen.

    Where will this all end ? We are all now fearful of the terrorists, so much so that the shout of “bomb” in the Phillipines will result in 88 people dead in the stampede; and Governments too afraid to say what they really think for fear that their citizens will be punished by the Sword.

    Satirical cartoons enable free societies to voice the opinion of the people where it may be controversial or dangerous. The cartoon was not an afront on religion, but made fun of the twisted minds of terrorists who kill in the name of religion.

    Religious people should see the message and not kill the messenger. The terrorists have hijacked their religion and portrayed it as a violent sadistic religion and truly religious men and women should see the truth and act against the terrorists.

    In the name of Peace – don’t kill the messenger, but hear the message and take the right action.

  • The author in his article recites, “but when the Pope came to India trying to convert Hindus to Christians they gave him a red carpet welcome to respect the beliefs and faith of 5% of the population’s Christians who live in India.”


    You’re not going to like this. There is a minority in far eastern India called the B’nei Menashe which clains ancestry from the Hebrew tribe of Menashe that was forced into exile by the Assyrians over 2½ millennia ago. When rabbis arrived in India to help these people, who want to leave India and return home to Israel, perform the formal rituals and study to bring them back into Judaism, your government raised a big stink about missionaries coming to India. Funny that the Catholics with their big publicity pope get a free pass and we Jews get the boot, eh?

    The double standards apply even in South Asia.

    Sorry that I don’t have the link, but I haven’t checked my e-mails where I read the story. When I get the chance, I’ll be glad to post the link, if it interests you.

  • Ruvy,

    You are totally out of fact on this.I’m part of the Indo-Israel relations team and know exactly what happened in Assam.It has nothing to do with India, but everything to do with Israel. If all the papers were in order, Indian politicians cannot do anything and India is happy to have these people settle in Israel that will help us build stronger relations.

    No country is going to leave anyone inside with out proper papers. When you come on a visitors visa, you are ot expected to do religious conversions, it applies not only to India but all countries in the world, including Israel.

  • PGR Nair, Saudi Arabia

    I am a Chemical Engineer and I have lived peacefully in Saudi for the last nine years.I appreciate some of the view points expressed by Vijay. I do endorse the view that it is gross insensitivity to depict the symbols of worship of millions of people that have passed the test of time and survived for thousands of years. This includes Jesus, Virgin Mary, Prophet Mohammed, Moses , Lord Krishna or Budhha. Danes may have the right to caricature any Gods. Liberal minded people may not take offense at it as well. Unfortunately we are living in a world where we have less scope for such humour and the world’s Muslims aren’t laughing crowd when it pertains to religious sentiments. The tolerance level of public to such cartoons are dictated by many Social, cultural and intellectual dogmas prevailing in that nation. In many Oil rich Arab countries where literacy level is appalling low, issues such as this act as the most inflammable flare points for many unexpected catastrophes. When Mr. Rose, the Editor knew that the cartoon could be controversial, he should have the wisdom and responsibility to think of the ordinary illiterate and conservative muslim multitudes who are ready to march for a Jihad for the honour of their dear prophet. I personally know at least a few Danes who mourn the idiocy of publishing the Cartoons denigrating the Prophet

    Now coming to the precedence of such incidents in the past, I can cite many. I wonder how Vijay forgot the much debated “Nude Saraswati” Paintings of MF Hussain.Acknowledged as one of the living legends of Indian art, MF Hussain created a public furore by painting Hindu goddesses in the nude in 1996.Depicting Saraswati, Durga and Draupadi naked in the company of various animals and identifying them by name on each canvas was seen provocative by some section of extremist Hindus.
    Hussain later apologised and said he had not meant to hurt the sentiments of any religious group. He even expressed his willingness to go before a committee of three persons – an art critic, a lawyer and a representative of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (the Hindu Organization) – that could scrutinise his entire collection. Hussain said he would immediately destroy anything that the committee found objectionable.That suggestion was brushed aside as members of some hard-line Hindu organisations ransacked the painter’s house in Mumbai and also manhandled artists outside a gallery in Delhi that had Hussain’s works on display

    Condemning the attacks, Hussain’s supporters insisted his own religious beliefs were of no relevance. According to them, Hindu gods and goddesses had been depicted throughout history in sculpture and painting not just in the nude but in sexual positions as well and therefore there was nothing sacrilegious about what the world-renowned artist had done. We know this is true from the famous sculptures of Kajuraho Temple or Konark Temple.

    In USA, the “PISS CHRIST” controversey of 1987 is well known. Piss Christ is a controversial photograph by the artist Andres Serrano. It depicts a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist’s urine. Some have suggested that the glass may also contain the artist’s blood. The piece was underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts, which offers support and funding for projects that exhibit artistic excellence.

    The piece caused a scandal when it was exhibited in 1987, with detractors accusing Serrano of blasphemy and others raising this as a major issue of artistic freedom. On the floor of the United States Senate, Senators Al D’Amato and Jesse Helms expressed outrage at the support given by the National Endowment for the Arts for the piece, since it is a federal taxpayer-financed institute.

    Serrano produced other similar works to much less controversy; Madonna and Child II (1989), for example, in which the subject is similarly submerged in urine, is not nearly so well known as “Piss Christ”.

    Piss Christ is often used as a proxy for the idea of freedom of speech, or as in this case, freedom of expression. It is referred to in many popular publications including the book by Bill Maher When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden.

    “Piss Christ” is also said to highlight the humanity of Jesus. While some see the submersion of the crucifix in urine as debasement of Christ, some supporters see it as an illumination of Jesus’ connection to man. They contend that “Piss Christ” reminds viewers of the most basic and biological functions that made Christ human and the fact that during the crucifixion, Jesus would probably have voided his bowels; therefore reinforcing the connection between Christ and man.

    I mentioned the above incidents to show the precedence such incidents in the past though in both situations the flare up were minimal. However, I firmly believe that press and artists have to be more prudent and think broadly before tinkering with idols and personalities of the Sanctum Sactorum

  • If we give up freedom of speech on all controversial topics because we’re afraid of offending people–or just afraid of being murdered–we don’t actually have freedom of speech. Freedom of speech isn’t for saying “I like blue. What color do you like?” You could discuss color preferences in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

    There are no controversies or controversial treatments of topics that don’t offend somebody who believes the opposite, or who harbors different sensibilities. That’s what controversies do.

    “Leave religion alone”? No assertion could be more offensive to any freethinking person, let alone any observer of the causes of our present conflicts. If the thinkers of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment had “left religion alone,” we wouldn’t have the freedoms we now enjoy. And satire and parody are perfectly legitimate modes of criticism. I don’t want a human past without Voltaire and Mencken.

    We can’t “leave religion alone,” because religion has an awful lot to do with the rationalizations of the Islamo-fascist mass-murderers. You know. The ones carrying placards saying cartoonists should be “exterminated”?

    All newspapers not in league with the Islamo-fascists, without exception, should reprint the offending cartoons, as an act of defiance of the terrorists and those who would rationalize, excuse, or cover for their conduct. That includes newspapers in the Middle East published by Muslims who do not support the terrorists and their rationalizations. Let them say “We are offended by these cartoons. We are even more offended by those who in the name of Islam threaten to behead cartoonists. To support freedom of speech and the right of publishers and cartoonists to live and do their job, we publish these cartoons.”

    What the Islamo-fascists don’t want at all is any criticism of Islam and/or how they interpret and practice Islam. They’ve said that explicitly. All such criticism is in “poor taste” in their view. How can we kow-tow to that, when it’s the basis of their rationalizations and the major cause of 9/11?

    The above article is worse than nonsense. It’s a counsel to surrender. Vicious religious doctrines that rationalize mass murder should be opposed–including by cartoons–not studiously ignored.

  • Mate, you’re full of it, as your brethren.

  • there are plenty of anti christian images, one comes to mind of Jesus in the a toliet at New Yorks museum of art.

  • stallion

    i think the denmark should pay a big price for that cartoon images and i hope the muslim will do same think they did on 9 11 in the us cause the denmark fuckers cock suckers thjey desirv it

  • mike

    the denmark should pay a big price for those images

  • WeQue

    I hope you’re making a very bad joke stallion because 9/11 was a tradgety comitted by cowards that cost the lives of thousands of innocent people, Denmark has every right to publish those cartoons, even though I don’t think they are acceptable I think they have every right to free speach.

  • john

    if the denmark like to make fun of the muslim religion i hope the muslims will make a special bom for the denmark and blow them all soon

  • kevin

    i hope the muslims in all the world will make the denmark pay for this a big price by planting a bom for them in the middle of downtown to teatch the whole anti muslim a lesoon

  • nadia

    the denmark will pay for that i big price there is always a smartter muslim will take care of that soon no matter how smart the denmark they think they are

  • brandon

    the muslim will teatch the denmark a lesson soon i hope and let the whole world know that don’t under estimate the muslims no matter who you are

  • Brandon, Nadia, Kevin and John – Your comments are scaring me. You sound like you’re advocating violence.

    Dave – Do you actually believe the newspapers sell more copies when they contain offensive cartoons.?

    How do places like this – where at last count we have at least five columns – fit into this suggestion that it’s a media hyped story?

  • phil

    I think most of the above comments (#23-#29), prove that the USA and the rest of the free, civilized world, must track down terrorists and kill them by what ever means are necessary including spying on who ever would write such things by what ever means are available.

  • WeQue

    I thought Islam was the religion of peace? guess not. (obviously sarcastic directed at the extremists who advocate violence)

  • Smartguy

    If no insult is intended, is it still an insult? Or is it just thin skin?

  • If I said you had no sense of humor but what I said wasn’t actually funny is that really a fair criticism or am I just picking a fight?

  • Shark

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

    Mohammed walks into a bar…

    …carrying the decapitated noggin of a western journalist.

    Bartender says, “Hey, you can’t bring that in here!”

    Mohammed says, “But they told me in high school that I’d never get ahead…”

  • Shark

    Jesus walks into a hotel, lays three iron nails on the counter and says,

    “Can you put me up for the night?”

  • Shark

    Q: Why can’t Buddha vaccuum under the sofa?

    A: Because he has no attachments.


    Q: What does the Dalai Lama say when ordering a hot dog?

    A: One with Everything.

  • Shark

    Q: Why did Ganesh sue American Airlines?

    A: Because they lost his trunk.

    ©2006 by Shark Productions

  • Spectator

    An editorial in Saudi Arabia’s Arab News blasted Danish Prime Minister for his “categorical refusal to apologize” for the publication of the Mohammad cartoons “because it would be against the laws on freedom of speech.” The editorial continues: “[I]f it does go against the law [of freedom of speech], the answer is simple: Change the law. Follow the British example: Outlaw religious hatred.”

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. As you hint at, Saudi Arabia is the country that outlaws practicing any religion publicly except Islam. By law, all Saudis must be Muslims. Yet, this Saudi paper has the audacity to suggest that the Danish government restrict speech that Muslims find offensive. Give me a break. Saudis are offended by a Christian wearing a cross, a Jew a yarmulka, or a Buddhist meditating.

  • Bliffle

    Personally, I detest violence and mayhem, I’m upset by the sight of gory people and I cannot abide hurt to children. I think it’s pornographic and obscene. Thus, I avoid most movies and the gory TV shows. I avoid them. I don’t demand that the government suppress them. I don’t even write to tell the showbiz people they shouldn’t make them.

  • Scott Butki

    I wrote up my take on this issue, from a media perspective.
    I’d be curious to read your response.

  • Smartguy

    Scott, it isn’t that we must do a thing because we can, but we do it because we can. In the US and Europe, we are pretty much used to such cartoons. I’m occassionally offended, myself, but not to the extent that many Muslims are to the Danish cartoons (and others). Muslim countries have been quite sheltered from “the outside”. In my opinion, they’ve not yet grown up in that respect. Most people who visit message boards are civilized towards each other, though I have admit there are some in the West who haven’t grown up, either. I suppose there will always be some who are stuck at a young age, reacting to anything outside their small world that is different or in opposition to their worldviews who see these as threats and react with predictable kneejerk reactions.

    Muslims see the world in a very narrow way. And, these days, anything in any country that is published will be seen by people in these Islamic countries. People who have written books have been killed because of it, even if they were living in the United States. Such reactions should be seen as criminal, no matter what beliefs a person holds. Unfortunately, it is not. I don’t see that changing for several thousands of years. The freedom to publish a thing contrary to the beliefs of others should remain. Why tiptoe through the tulips because for all practical purposes, a certain culture is either adolescent or sick and may be offended? I think they will have to learn to live with it, no matter how long it takes.

  • As a muslim, i would luagh on some of the comments, because “The racism comes as a result of lack of knowladge about the others”, its not about freedom of speech, say what do you want about me, about my country, …..etc, but when it comes to offensing me about something i beleive in, it becomes shame on you.

    haha, who said that muslims did the 911 thing must wake up, you know that islam is the most peaceful religion on earth but you have to take in mind that when you are extremely offended you will be very apset whatever your religion is.

    Muslims dont see the world in very narrow way, but its not funny at all to kick someone you dont know waiting to see his reaction, is it ?

    I believe that most of the readers dont know much about islam, so that they are saying such things about it, but to ease understanding the way muslims think now, just put yourself in such situation and see if you can go with it.

    To be hounest, if i were christian and someone drew some cartoon about jesus bombing some place in somewhere, i will react the same as i do now being a muslim.

  • Maamoun

    And By the way, please see this:

  • Dave Nalle

    To be hounest, if i were christian and someone drew some cartoon about jesus bombing some place in somewhere, i will react the same as i do now being a muslim.

    And you’d be just as intolerant and despicable.

    BTW, thanks for providing that video link so that I know not to take anything you say seriously anymore.


  • Shark

    Q: How many Islamic Fundamentalists does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: None. The lightbulb is an invention of the infidels! Thomas Edison will suffer our Fatwa of Death!

  • Maamoun

    Dear Shark, What the logical relation between Lightbulb invention, and drwaing offensive cartoons about Mohammed PBUH ?!! :O

    & Dont believe what u r seeing on media everyday about muslims, its not like that, trust me, In Quran there are many rules about everything…..

  • Shark

    Dear Maamoun, what is the logical relation between:

    * an anachronistic, tribal personality cult

    * some ink patterns on a Dutch newsprint

    * riots, burnings, and random murders across Europe


    Thanks in advance!

  • Unfortunately we are living in a world where we have less scope for such humour and the world’s Muslims aren’t laughing crowd when it pertains to religious sentiments.

    So, because of one thin-skinned fanatical religion, the West is supposed to dilute it’s Freedoms?

    When Mr. Rose, the Editor knew that the cartoon could be controversial, he should have the wisdom and responsibility to think of the ordinary illiterate and conservative muslim multitudes who are ready to march for a Jihad for the honour of their dear prophet.

    So, the West should be intimidated into self censorship because of the threat of the terrorist Islamic multitudes?

    Ain’t gonna happen.

  • Smartguy
  • sr

    Shark #46.Q: How many Islamic Fundamentalists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A. None! They sit in the dark forever and blame the Jews for it!

    mohammed walks into a bar and says! Good evening gentlemen, and get out, ladies.

    Did you hear about the muslim strip club? It features full facial nudity!

  • Dawn

    There’s free speech and then there’s religion. Religious sensitivity can NOT be expected, but religious freedom is a right in this country, upheld by our laws.

    I think the true travesty of this story is it further isolates a segment of our world from those who would be willing to embrace them, but I for one will not embrace a culture that does not tolerate political expression, even if that expression may offend some.

    Plenty of groups have offended Jews, Catholics and Atheists, and yet those practicing these religions (or lack of) aren’t systematically regarded as barbaric and intolerant.

    I’d say the Jews are the most tolerant of religious groups and the Catholics are right up there behind them – and they sure are different religions.

  • Just saying “it’s my religion” isn’t a free pass to do anything you want.
    The practices of some Christian sects are prohibited by law in the United States. Look at the polygamy in the Mormon church that was outlawed. In Indiana, where I live, there have been several cases of parents being prosecuted for not seeking medical treatment for their children. They belong to a denomination called the Church of the First Born, which believes in faith healing.

  • Asmo

    I beg to differ with the assertion that Christinaity somehow ‘escapes’ irreverence. Christianity (along with Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism et al) *is* routinely lampooned and satirised in Western media. “The Simpsons” regularly has a laugh at the expense of Christianity.
    Lighthearted stuff, and I’m all for it. In Europe the Pope is a frequent and deserving target. The ‘puppet’ show “Spitting Image” which ran throughout the 80s and early 90s was very explicit in it’s religious satire. Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” is another prime example. There are countless websites with “offensive” Christian jokes and images.



    For starters. Their bumper stickers are top notch 😉

  • Bliffle

    Few institutions present as juicy a target as the religions. What could be more inviting than claiming that you talk with the gods? And what could be more deserving of scorn and parody?

  • Ja Ja Binks

    “SO why aren’t more Muslims upset about terrorism and beheadings than they are about a few cartoons?”

    Darn good point SFC!!!!!

    I always wondered why all the rich Muslims arent helping their Palestinian brothers?
    Surely they have enough money to overcome any obstacles but where are they?

    As for Chrisianity not taking hits, that couldnt be further from the truth if you tried. I belong to the AFA and I get almost daily reports of NBC dispariging Christainity any time it can…Chrisitanity takes hits daily by the media and Muslims alike….

    Such a reaction in my mind is ridiculous, the rest of the world DOES NOT HAVE TO LIVE BY YOUR IDEALS>>>>> FACE IT !!!!!!!!!

    All the rampaging and killing over a cartoon is less than childish….

  • Jan

    With respect to Vijay’s comment that the West is hypocritical and we would never insult the Virgin Mary or Christ in our pop culture or art – not only has it been done but with much fanfare. See Serrano’s “Piss Christ” (a cross suspended in urine)and I think it was the Virgin Mary modeled in elephant dung? (That artist’s name escapes me.) Serrano I think even got public funding, and the other work was shown, I think, by the wealthy art patron Saachi. People protested but unlike the poor Japanese publisher who had the gall to publish Salmon Rushdie’s book or the artist Theo Van Gogh whose throat was slit in Amsterdam for his short film critical of the treatment of Muslim women, no one was killed and I doubt even threatened, and yes, I do think it has something to do with the fact that Western civilzation places a greater value on freedom of speech,thought and expression. These cartoonists are only the latest of a list of people under threat because they dared to be critical of Islam. It is not a little deal and it really ought to concern all of us.

  • Intolerance is bad. But no one should be able to arbitrarily say what is inappropriate just because some religious fundamentalists believe it,
    otherwise we’d have no freedom at all. No pork, no meat at all, no pron, no abortion, no stores open on weekends, no women’s rights, no rights for homosexuals, no cartoons of prophets, etc, etc, etc…

    Check out FlushaHolyBook.com and see what equal opportunity lampooning is all about.