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The West Is Clearly on the Defensive in Cartoon Controversy

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The Muslim world is on the attack, and from all accounts is doing exceedingly well. With election victories in Palestine and Iran, growing influence in Egypt and riots and demonstrations all over the world to list, the West finds itself questioning its actions, motives and policies seeking to mollify any and all that are inciting Muslim anger. The response of many westerners is to call for calm, to reach out to Islamic moderates, engage in dialogue, to ask westerners to be more considerate when they joke or criticize the Muslim religion or mores. Basically they are asking that people in the west practice self-censorship.

Self-censorship is not necessarily bad; we do it all the time. We don’t insult people at work, we don’t tell wives or girlfriends they are overweight. We don’t tell our best friends that something they did or are planning to do is not a good idea. We don’t tell people that many of their opinions are stupid, whites don’t use the word nigger, when many blacks do, and we usually practice a certain amount of restraint rather than make some dumb sexist, cultural remark or joke. I am sure you do this all the time. I know that many times when I work out at my pool I see many ways that other swimmers can improve their strokes. Do I criticize them, or even make a suggestion that they something? Almost never, I keep my mouth shut.

So one might ask how this is different? I think it clearly is. We are engaged in a war, both physically in Iraq and Afghanistan and culturally against Islam. You might think that this is harsh and extreme, but events would suggest otherwise. The publisher of the cartoons that started the latest row says they are his response to self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fear and intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam. He was trying to “push back”.

Jyllands-Posten said that it would show — not tell — how Islam reacts. “The cartoons do not in any way demonize or stereotype Muslims. In fact, they differ from one another both in the way they depict the prophet and in whom they target. One cartoon makes fun of Jyllands-Posten, portraying its cultural editors as a bunch of reactionary provocateurs. Another suggests that the children’s writer who could not find an illustrator for his book went public just to get cheap publicity. A third puts the head of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party in a lineup, as if she is a suspected criminal…. You can read the complete article in yesterday’s Washington Post.

One must remember that Mohammed was a warrior, leading armies, conquering and killing other tribes and cultures. He demanded subservience. Many times his opponents were killed. His religion was a means of control. Jesus did not lead armies, rule an empire or advocate killing, neither did Buddha. We are dealing with a different beast here. If you want to read some interesting analysis of Islam you might try “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam” by Robert Spencer. Islam is not a religion of tolerance as we see by the reactions to the cartoons and the pressure more and more European communities feel. Modern Islam must condemn the calls for violence of any sort when anyone writes, speaks or acts in a way which “insults” the Muslim faith. That type of intolerance is completely unacceptable in a democratic society.

Unless truly moderate, modern Muslims accept secular societies where each individual is able to practice his own religion, we are in for a very bad time, we will truly have a clash of cultures. If you think this is overblown, think again. The Daily Telegraph reports that 40% of British Muslims want sharia introduced into parts of Britain.

Any religion that advocates killing someone for what they say, draw, paint, or write needs to disappear. Any religion that does not respect an individual’s basic human rights needs to disappear. Any religion that does not treat other races, or sexes as equals needs to disappear. Any religion that desires to subjugate or eliminate other religions needs to disappear. Any religion that forbids people from practicing any other religion needs to disappear. We do not need hate, anger, arrogance or power to be the controlling “drug” of any religious institution, whether it is Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, or whatever.

From a strategic perspective the West is on the defensive. If it is to survive this religious onslaught it will have to stand up and say no. No to intolerance, no to all the things that begin to restrict the things that make the West what it is, with all its dirty, messy, insulting, empowering, silly, wonderful acts of freedom. It should never, ever apologize, considering the nature of the opposition, where religion is way too often a tool of domination and war, where sexism reigns, and freedom of speech is severely restricted.

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  • John Oyigoga Odeh

    I appreciate your statements about Jesus and Buddha, as two major religion founders, who neither led armies or used force in spreading their ideas. Indeed the Lord Jesus Christ was a victim himself rather than a perpetrator of violence. However, I must differ from you, when you conclude that Islam is a religion of violence and intolerance, merely because its prophet was a military ruler.
    Would you similarly characterize Judaism as a religion of violence and intolerance on the basis that most of its founding prophets were equally patriachal, tribal, and military leaders; who often decimated in wholesale fashion their religious/tribal oponents.
    For example, leaders like Abraham (who was a military leader as well if we take old testament stories into account), Isaac (we don’t have any record of him fighting any major battles, but he was tribal leader, and presumably would have used force if necessary to advance the interest of his tribe), Jacob (though he severely criticized them for it, two of his sons Simeon and Levi, wiped out an entire nation for having premarital sex with their sister Dana, even though the guilty prince of this savagely slaughtered tribe later repented of his sin, and sought to make amends by marry Dana, and converting to the Isrealite religion with his entire tribe. Who by the way were murdered while recovering from the wounds of circumcision; a mark of their conversion to Judaism), Moses (who wiped out all the nations who stood in the way of Israel’s journey to the promised land), Joshua his successor (who wiped out most of the Canaanite nations; man, woman, child, and even livestock, during the original Hebrew conquest of the land of Canaan), most of the Judges of ancient Israel, like Samson, and the prophet Samuel, King David (who wrote the prophetic psalms, and carried genocidal campaigns against the Philistines, Edomites, and Hithites, to mention a few enemy nations he defeated and destroyed, and who was also the ancestor of Jesus), Elijah, Elisha, Ezra, and Nehemiah, to mention a few.
    Undoubtedly the Lord Jesus was an exception to this markedly martial tradition of most Jewish religious leaders, but the phenomenon of the warrior prophet, was undoubtedly quite common in the middle east, both before, and after the time of Mohammed. And if we do not disrepect the memory of the great prophet and lawgiver Moses, simply because he wiped out the Amalekites (an act we would term genocide in today’s post Geneva Convention world), Perizites, and other nations who opposed the march of Israel, it would be quite hypocritical to disparage the muslim prophet Mohammed for doing similar things.
    I am a Christian who has my own theological reasons for rejecting the main thrust of Mohammed’s message (i.e. primarily because he came after Jesus, and yet claimed to have a better message than my Lord; which is of course quite an unacceptable claim to me as a Christian, since no one in my belief, can have a better or even equal message to that preached by Jesus), but I will neither disrespect, nor reject him merely for being a warrior prophet, for in this, he is just one out a host warrior prophets who came before him, and whose teachings I fully accept as part of the Holly Bible. Despising him on this basis, would be similar to rejecting the Ten Commandments, simply because Moses was a warrior prince, as well as prophet of the Most High God.

  • bryl

    Your point is well taken, but it seems to me that your conclusion (I’ve copied it below, with a minor edit of my own) is equally applicable to what is happening right now in the United States. The religious “right”–our own, Western, Christian fundamentalist movement–is gaining a stronger foot-hold in mainstream political discourse (see Terry Schiavo, Defense of Marriage Act, etc.), and threatening the very things you claim are being threatened by Islam. Before we place the problems in the world today in the context of “us”(the West) versus “them” (for you, Islam), shouldn’t we first look at the problems in our own nation and figure out who “we” really are and whether we’re all really on the same page when it comes to freedom and tolerance?

    “If [America] is to survive this religious onslaught it will have to stand up and say no. No to intolerance, no to all the things that begin to restrict the things that make [America]what it is, with all its dirty, messy, insulting, empowering, silly, wonderful acts of freedom. It should never, ever apologize, considering the nature of the opposition, where religion is way too often a tool of domination and war, where sexism reigns, and freedom of speech is severely restricted.”

  • http://mypatheticpoliticalwritings.blogspot.com/ excogitater

    this Muslim cartoon issue really ticks me off. It might be that i study politics for a living and can see first had how PC everyone has become. People in the West are so afraid of offending Muslims we’ll bend over backwards to show we “understand”. No one has the moxie to say how hypocritical it is to fire bomb an embassy when Muhammad is satirically made fun of in a cartoon, but not a single Muslim leader speaks up when the religion is used to murder 3,000 innocent people. No we have to walk around say “thats not mainstream Islam”. When we really want to say “where the hell is mainstream Islam?” I love the Danish for “pushing-back”. Should i fire bomb museums that show the paintings of Bin Laden dressed as Jesus? Utterly mind blowing how weak we all have become. Call a spade a spade, tell them its a damn cartoon, poor taste? Sure, but a damn cartoon none the less. Get out of the Mosques, quit memorizing the Koran, get a real education and stop blaming the West for your ills.

  • Nasir, Pakistan

    After reading the article all I can say is that writer is drastically mistaken about the Islam & Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him). All that is really taking the west and Islam away from each other to different poles is “this kind of thinking”. Well if Muslims ideology is based on militancy and armed struggle why the Christians have slaughtered the mankind more than the Muslims WWI, WWII, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korean wars, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Gulf wars, these few episodes are just the current and relatively new, I am not mentioning the periods before that and we know well what’s been happening before, Islam is relatively new just 1400 years old and in that also mass level killing never took place. What the Christians doing here n there and what the Israel doing in Palestinian areas should be termed peaceful co existence??????
    No doubt Jesus (peace be Upon Him) and Moses (Peace be Upon Him) were the most respectable prophets and our faith doesn’t complete without recognizing them as the prophets, Islam is a continuity of all the previous divine religions and Islam is not in contradiction with Christianity and Judaism but its the fresher and revised syllabus for the humanity as a whole devised by Almighty and me n you cannot argue on that.
    I can fully appreciate the fears of the west in the wake of what’s been happening today in Islamic World but all this militancy is some how related to the flawed policies of the west. Who has been providing the arms to mujahiddin when soviets attacked Afghanistan, who’s been supporting Saddam in Iraq, who’s been supporting Israel with all its brutalities towards Muslims in Palestine, who has made the present middle east after WWII, its the WEST.
    Islam has a clear vision and it says that “when one kills a human it kills the whole humanity” but it also says that when u r oppressed u have to struggle back in what ever capacity or mean.
    Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the most forgiving human on Gods earth, he never ever killed any human with his bear hand, his teachings were not of his own but the teaching of Almighty, He was just the Messenger of God.
    Christians and Jews and Buddhist and Hindus and Muslims are humans first and then some thing else, God is not the creature of Muslims only or Christians but all the humans , we are one entity and we are one specie , plz try to understand that Muhammad and Islam doesn’t want you all to be converted or murdered but all they want you to listen the voice of Almighty and come to the right path for salvation.
    Holocaust was the cruelest episode in recent history; no doubt it was a great crime against humanity but who did it???? Jesus was badly treated by whom?????? Who ever but most certainly not the Muslims is not it??? So what we have done badly to the west that west is so suspicious about us????? My dear bothers and sisters who ever you are Christian or Jew, Islam is not a tool which can be ever used against you people by some fanatic but a wonder full code of conduct to live a better life according to the criteria laid by Almighty.
    Some times what you see in Islamic world is nothing to do with Islam but old local traditions now painted to be teachings of Islam.
    We the Muslims are waiting for Christ the messiah to come to world again and make us one.
    If west can sent a person to three years of prison on just questioning holocaust why not a Danish PM or government can apologize on behalf of those who have ridiculed the Most respectable figure of Islam????????
    Plz think on that and don’t put all the garbage on Islam and plz don’t create such rift while twisting the history. I request you again.

  • http://www.codexalimentarious.com/ Richard Brodie

    Israel with all its brutalities towards Muslims in Palestine,

    You must be referring to all those Israeli suicide bombers blowing themselves up inside Palestinian mosques, restaurants, etc. But wait! Come to think of it THERE HAVEN’T BEEN ANY!! As a matter of fact there is ONLY ONE RELIGION that produces such an inhuman monstrosity as a SUICIDE BOMBER. [Deleted]

  • Nasir, pakistan

    MY comment on Israel official policy towards palitine was purely academic and not offensive towards Israili people , i think ours the country whos now talking to have great relations with state of israel. I think you are more stinking in your comments as you tried to write about muslims in your comments. Have i abused you or said some thing vulgar NO, so plz try drink a glass of water and think rationale. Sucide bombings are not according to teachings of Islam as christians offensive and mass cleaning of jews in WWII in Germany and Poland was not according to teaching of Christ.
    Israeli forces if kill muslims its ligitimate but sucide bombers are very bad , quite a fair proposition???????
    Killing in one way or an other doesnot make it good but its bad.I must say again sucide bombers are muslims but are not part of Islam.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    John at Comment #1

    I found your rendition of Judaism to be much as one describes a sandwich – without the bread!

    The bread is the context within which the material of the sandwich lies and cannot be realistically separated once joined without changing both – try a peanut butter or tunafish sandwich as an example.

    You are correct to posit that the ancient history of my people is filled with warrior prophets – extra-biblical evidence hints that Abnraham was far more than a mere shepherd, but also a prince and military commander. It isn’t any putz who gets ready admittance to the court of Pharaoh or fights with kings.

    What is the context of all this? The context is what is revealed to Abraham in a dream in Genesis 25:12-21. In short, G-d tells Abraham that his descemdemts will be slaves elsewhere and the nation that oppresses them will be judged, etc. The key line for our purposes is Gen. 25:16.

    “And the fourth generation shall return here because the sin of the Amorites will not be complete until then.”

    And what is the sin of the Amorites?. Why are the Girgashites and Perizzites etc. supposed to get kicked out?

    The answer comes at the end of Chapter 18 of Leviticus. Lev.18:24

    “Don’t be defiled in all these (ways) because all these nations that I send from before you are so defiled.”

    In Abraham’s day, the Amorites have not yet sunken to a level of depravity that G-d requires them to leave, but He foresees that in four generations they will.

    In other words, the Land I walk upon here is holier than I, and I have to rise to its level to merit remaining here.

    Many of the commandments in the Torah deal with maintaining the purity of the land. G-d views this as more important than the lives of those upon it. Much of the remainder of the Hebrew Bible provides ample proof of this attitude.

    What I have just presented to you are the essentials of the Land Covenant between the children of Israel and G-d. A covenant that is recognized by the Qur’an, by the way.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    Ruvy: that would all be so interesting – if there were any gods – but as there aren’t, your silly little story means nothing.

    Your rendition of the world is “much as one describes a sandwich – without the bread!” because you still keep trying to force the world into your false views.

    Religion is the enemy of humanity…

  • http://www.codexalimentarious.com/ Richard Brodie

    Nasir: No doubt Jesus (peace be Upon Him) and Moses (Peace be Upon Him) were the most respectable prophets and our faith doesn’t complete without recognizing them as the prophets

    What hypocrites you muslims are! You give lip service to Jesus, Moses, etc. but you despise them all, including even Abraham, the father of your race, by throwing out their scriptures. Did the Guantanamo terrorists require to have the Old and New Testaments. No. Only the writings of Mohammed.

    Have i abused you or said some thing vulgar NO

    YES. you said: I think you are more stinking in your comments

    I have an ex-wife like you. Two completely different standards. I do something and it’s wrong. You do exactly the same thing and it’s perfectly fine!

    Sucide bombings are not according to teachings of Islam as christians offensive and mass cleaning of jews in WWII in Germany and Poland was not according to teaching of Christ.

    And the “mass cleaning of Jews” WAS NOT DONE IN THE NAME OF CHRISTIANITY. Hitler was not screaming “Jehovah Akhbar!” as he sent people to the gas chambers. Suicide bombers on the other hand are doing their dirty work in the name of Allah. You may think they are misguided, but they are just as convinced that you are the one who doesn’t understand the Koran’s teachings correctly.

    I think that you, and all other Muslims who pretend to condemn these fanatics TO WESTERNERS, but do NOTHING to stop them or to raise you voices in protest INSIDE of the Muslim world are one of three things – either

    1. you are cowards who are afraid that those factions will take vengeance on you for OPENLY condemning them; or

    2. you secretly enjoy seeing unbelieving infidels and their governments get hurt, humiliated, etc.; or

    3. you are practicing the Islamic art of Taqquiya, trying to lull the West with deception into believing that the Koran does not support this kind of barbarism, when in fact, you know very well that it does.

    Israeli forces if kill muslims its ligitimate but sucide bombers are very bad , quite a fair proposition???????

    Yes, perfectly fair and justified, on two important counts:

    1. Israel only RESPONDS defensively to try and protect themselves from the muslim suicide bombers who are the ones who offensively INITIATE the use of violence; and

    2. Israeli forces do not deliberately target worshipper, shoppers, wedding parties, etc. They only try to destroy military targets. Civilians may become collateral casualties, as they unfortunately have been in every war ever fought, but they are not specifically targetted in the way suicide bombers directly target men, women, and children.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Nasir,

    Israel with all its brutalities towards Muslims in Palestine,

    It gets tiresome listening to this crap ladled out day after day.

    I visited Tel Aviv in 2001 shortly before we moved here to deal with some bureaucratic issues. I drove back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem and sacked out. I was exhausted and too tired to look for a synagogue to go to for the Sabbath.

    I didn’t wake up till mid-afternoon the next day. When I got to the hotel lobby I saw an interesting scene on TV. It was a split screen with names and photos flashing by with a candle in the upper left hand corner. That was the left screen. The right screen showed teenagers throwing rocks at a building while soldiers watched.

    The clerk interpreted what was on the screen for me. The night before, a bunch of teenagers were killed in the Dolphinarium Disco about a kilometer from where I was sleeping. They were killed by a suicide bomber, an Arab. Their names and photos were on display on the TV screen. The kids on the right wre throwing rocks at a mosque in Yafo that had been recently been refurbished with Saudi money.

    There was no rampage of killing and rapine in Arab villages by Jews disgusted with the steady train of funerals from terror bombings. There were no schools blown up by Jews with Arab children in them. A few teenagers threw rocks at a mosque.

    You can bet your bottom rupee that Arabs were handing out candy and celebrating in Ramallah when they heard that Jews had died. They always do.

    So do me a favor and do not ask for sympathy from me. When you can convince your co-religionists in ISRAEL – there is no such animal as Palestine – not to target innocent children and celebrate because they have murdered Jews, maybe I’ll listen to talk of peace. Until then, Arabs in this country deserve nothing but the war and death that they so happily and joyfully hand out.

    Have there been brutalities committed towards “Arabs in Palestine?” If so, they have it coming. Magía lahém! They deserve it!

  • Nasir Pakistan

    I have very carefully read the views of my friends above and here i am with my explanation.One of my friend says that i am like her wife well what can i say i dont know her wife at all.I am a muslim by faith as you know well by now and i am very proud to be muslim as you must be proud to be follower of your religions. I am an army officer by profession and if you people know about Pakistan , here army is quite popular and quite powerful so in my class we dont have any fears whats so ever from any fanatics or militants.Frankly i cannot take your point about palistinians being brutal , savage animals and Israels policy being very peaceful and only defensive.It cant be defensive as it has its own measured security threats and there implications are very grave, and when you have security syndrome and when you have a fear of survival you behave in the manner as now Israel is behaving and its not mere my perception but all the Eu states see it like that, specially France, Germany,Uk , all the world except USA sees it like that , leaving aside muslim world . I am not at all trying to be a flag career of hypocracy and duel standards , what i am trying to weigh in here is just the fair and rightful proposition.You know why im talking like this coz i know how some times military commits it self in state run terrorism , we our self have done atrocities on Bangladeshis in 1971 and killed so many innocent and at that time also situation was just like same as it is now happeneing there in Israel and palistine. Army always have the political push, so some times there atrocities and crimes are mutated by the policy makers, what the americans have done in vietnaam or what the Russians have done in Afghanistan , can we call it self defence , what the serbs armies have done in Bosnia and what our respected Indian neighbours are doing in Kashmir can be termed as defensive tactics , NO , ITS NOT LIKE THAT.
    I know well how it feels to loose the innocent people , children , women and old and i can appreciate your agony when you see such shocking images of sucide bombers killing people in Cinemas, hotels , shops etc. NO ONE CAN CONDONE THAT KIND ACT< ITS INHUMANE< BARBARIC AND INSENSITIVE , its one side of the mirror but are we ready to think just for the second ABOUT THE CAUSES???, most certainly NO.WHY? ask your self.
    I must assure you with all my sincerety and frankness that we just cannot give lip service to the most respected prophets of God , i can lay my life for them and i mean it. You know your this comment has literally hurt me. Secondly about Prophet Abraham PBUH , he is the prophet on whome every muslim prays when ever he prays for Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Friends we belive in your devine books , we beleive in your prophets as our very own and we beleive in all the earlier commandments but YOU DONOT BELEIVE US is not it harsh????
    You people are not our enemies but frankly you people are not on right ful path, and i think we should and must not question you on this coz you are answerable to Almighty and not to muslims , we have our own obligations and we try to perform it roughly.
    You know in todays muslim world there are so many ills, we are on wrong path our own selves, we are very offensive when it comes to recognizing the State of Israel as we say that Israelis are not faily treating muslims or killing them but at our own end muslim is killing muslim , sunni is killing shia and vice versa. So this is not islam, this is no way , these are not the teachings of my Prophet. What should i say you when my own house is not in order friends , better live and let live, but try to have a fair idea and think JUST.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Nasir,

    When I look at my globe and see south Asia split up so many ways, with so many opportunities for war and conflict, I shake my head in dismay.

    Were the Indian Empire able to reconstitute itself somehow, with Pakistan, the Union of India and Bengladesh at its base, it would form a huge military colussus that could oppose the Russo-Chinese behemoth slowly emerging to its north, ally itself with non-Arab Moslem powers like Persia and Indonesia and eventually perhaps provide benevolent shelter for Australia and posibly New Zealand.

    I could make one hell of an argument for my case, patriclularly in that I’m privileged here to speak to a member of the Pakistani military.

    But it ain’t my business, and I keep my long Jewish nose out of your affairs.

    That is all I ask you to do with respect to Israel.

    Elsewhere, Gazelle, whom I also believe is a Moslem, points out correctly that this whole sorry business is about politics, not freedom of speech. And within it all lie elements of incitement,purposely designed to provoke conflict.

    The good lady is right.

    Poking fun at a prophet you revere is not the most polite thing to do, but given that the Moslem press in Arab states defecates on Jews regularly, I have trouble working up the lather of sympathy that perhaps I should.

    Respect is a two way street, sir.

  • Nasir , Pakistan

    Ruvi
    World has changed a lot , Pakistan has changed a lot, can you beleive that i am talking to you directly and i am complelled to say that you are like my brother, you just cant imagine this thing here few decades ago. I must certainly shall keep my nose out of the affairs of Israel all i said and expressed was not to be taken as intrusion in internal affairs but academic debate. We are happy free as you are and no need for us to have any kind of reunion with India or even with united states of america for that matter. We have earned this freedom after lot of sacrifices to celebrate our lives according to our own teachings.
    You know in Pakistan now weaccept that Israel has very ligitimate right to live and survive along with Palistinian state, we must push the political process forward to avoid any confrontations and hatred , what can you say???
    Now Pakistan and India is talking on all issues and even we are enjoying kind of good relations,so all the solutions are political and not military.
    I know it is awkward for you to deal with hamas but i think its the great opportunity to deal with those who always be bulldozing the peace process due to there own reasons. Israel must change too , trust and try to have change of hearts.
    Ruvi , you are quite right that this is not freedom of press or expression , if i redicule you or you redicule me its personal but when i rediculing Moses or Muhammad its not fredom of expression. I think you people should also take notice when some one redicule the personalities you rever.
    Islam has no agenda and mandate whats so ever to eliminate Jewish state or jews , they have equal rights even more than equal rights to live and survive. You know i have been brought up listening stories of Prophet Muhammad and Moses and christ from my mother , from the texts of Quran but i dont like to see the moses in a cartoon movie like “Prince of Egypt” coz no one can depict and should not depict the prophet whome God has himself spoken directly.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Nasir,

    i dont like to see the moses in a cartoon movie like “Prince of Egypt” coz no one can depict and should not depict the prophet whome God has himself spoken directly.

    Now this is different and moves us beyond politics to the realm of religion and entertainment.

    The Prince of Egypt was made by a Jew, Stephen Spielberg, and provides a very Jewish view of the prophet Moses. The movie has distortions to the story in Exodus, but that’s Hollywood for you.

    This also provides a good illustration of where Islam and Judaism differ in their interpretation of the same basic commandments. Jews are prohibited from depicting G-d and from depicting anything that they might worship as a god. That is how our rabbis look at the prohibitions on depictions.

    By contrast you are prohibited from depicting anything that has had contact with G-d or that might be worshipped as a god.

    If we watch The Prince of Egypt, I might be annoyed at the distortions in the story from Exodus, but I will enjoy seeing Moshe Rabbenu. He is the success story of the tribe, being the Lawgiver and all. I suspect most Jews would agree with me in this.

    In addition, I would enjoy hearing the late Ofra Haza sing in the movie and hearing the Hebrew in the songs – especially now that I fully understand the Hebrew and the source of the lyrics.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’m curious here…why is it wrong to depict the prophet in pictures but ok to name everything and everyone after him???

  • http://www.codexalimentarious.com/ Richard Brodie

    I’m curious here…why is it wrong to depict the prophet in pictures but ok to name everything and everyone after him???

    Andy, don’t even expect to find any logical explanations. In the first place it is impossible to depict Mohammed in pictures because no one knows what he looked like! So the muslims don’t have to worry that their proscription against picturing him will ever be able to be violated! In the second place, you are correct to wonder why a written name, which evokes a mental image, is perfectly fine, while a drawing, which is just a representation of someone’s mental image, is completely forbidden. Makes no sense whatsoever.

    you are quite right that this is not freedom of press or expression , if i redicule you or you redicule me its personal but when i rediculing Moses or Muhammad its not fredom of expression.

    Nasir, you Muslims are never goig to be able to comprehend Freedom of the Press. It is at least a millenium ahead of the point in time at which your culture is stalled. To understand and love that Freedom, I guess you will have to go through a whole socio-evolutionary process similar to what we call The History of Wesetern Civilization.

    We regard it as even MORE important to be able to ridicule religious and political leaders, and the ideologies they stand for, than it is to engage in personal ridicule – the exact opposite of YOUR perception. So just as you have agreed with Ruvy not to stick your nose into into Israel’s affairs, do you think you and the entire Islamic world can agree with me to keep your own different ideas aobut Freedom of Expression limited to your own societies, and stop trying to dictate to Western societies about how you think we need to change our ideas concerning Freedom of Speech to conform to your ideas on the subject?

    Thank you in advance for your willingness to reciprocate a mutual respect in this important matter.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Richard, I believe religion and logic are mutually exclusive. I didn’t used to believe this…but they make it so easy!

  • troll

    Andy – religions have their own rigorous logics…it’s the premises and intentions that lead to absurd results

    troll

  • teutates

    where can I get a decent pastrami sandwich in Jesuralem?

  • Nasir , Pakistan

    @ Ruvy
    Yeah you are right that it gives a good illustrated base to under stand the limits of depictions in Judaism and Islam. Moses is as respectable and dignified in my eyes as in yours but you have to judge the realities in different mode and I have to in my on. As when you are listening radio both AM and FM mechanism is present but you have to switch the band to listen to FM and then at that band you cant listen AM even though both are accessible at the same time in your space. Kind of raw logic , human understanding is quite different but in nowadays world it is kind of mechanical and robotic, thats why we are coming head on.
    My understanding about Judaism is quite fair and quite transparent , not at one single place did Almighty has told us bad about any thing related to your core religion but those who were opposed to Moses mean pharaoh and party. I consider and its my trust and its my whole faith that Islam came with new texts and commandments and laws and code of conduct from the same God who is your God too for whole mankind and till day of Judgment and you have all the right to deny that, we would be jugged by our God when we shall see our graves and when the reality shall be put in front of our eyes but alas then it would have been too late.
    @Richard
    My dear sir Richard, i respect your opinion and your viewpoint and I would not deny the fact that Islam too has some image problem and some thing has gone wrong with it over the period of time and people have tried to interperate it with there own logics but our divine book is quite clear and no one can change a word from that and its the promise of almighty. I have spent my entire child hood in the countries of west and in there schools and not in some mudressahs of Islam. When I came back to Pakistan after 18 years and joined army I did my numerous courses from the western countries so I know well the western civilization and you cant put me in the cat of those who remained in some sort of shell.
    My understanding about west is direct and not through some pump up medium, i know well the civilization and its great success story. Here I shall not go in to any controversy and shall straight come to the point. First of all Islamic teachings are not time bounded and secondly it does not retard the idea of progression and advancement. It does not bar you from taking any kind of education , it does not block you in some restricted space and does not violate the basic rights. You must understand that there is a difference between will and norm , there is a difference between good n bad , right n wrong , fair n ugly , humility n pride , treachery n sacrifice , fairness n fraud , culture n savagery , mind n body , flesh n soul , virtue n vice and so on who has really y enabled us to figure out such things it our mode to civilize our selves and become decent , respect full and law abiding. Now when under the umbrella of freedom , man which has took so much of pain to change from other animals, it starts of with humiliation, it starts going and roaming with out cloths , it starts behaving like animals i cannot term it as freedom. If my will and freedom of expression pushes me to abuse God , its prophet or it induces me to do every funny thing at that name , I am sorry then its better to be called stereotyped or what ever. Western civilization has its own great things and pluses but you cannot relate with purely human system with that of Devine. Islam never stalled or stopped in the way but Muslims did and thats the reason why we are like this. Islam and Quran cannot be blamed on the condition of Muslims today but its our own deeds.
    Islam and logic and science go hand in hand with each other, science has proved all now which was written in Quran 1400 years ago. Its my faith and its my trust that teachings of Islam is beyond any time limitations its till day of Judgment , Muhammad PBUH was the last prophet from Almighty.
    I am free , I can say what can be said not what i always want to say and I always do what is right and not what I want to do. This type of system has been given by us by the one Who has created us so who can know better than the one like Him , who knows us from inside out and who can judge better for us, our own self or He.
    I can understand No one has seen Prophet Muhammad and no one can really depict him real but dont you think he was more looking like a person with a turban having bomb fuse , or like a person with a donkey , or like a person having creasant like horns on his head , its not depiction my dear sir , its insult and no one has the right to insult any one whom I have great attachment, I am sure at your level you wont like that your father even be insulted. What is insult and offence its the logic of civilization and plus of western civilization , so come on dont make this word without any meaning.
    My name has Muhammad attached with it but this is with sheer respect and its not with that kind of meaning that I can ever be like him or my mother wanted to be like him , its different and its not bared in Islam , if it would have barred then I swear I would have never attached it with my name.
    Many civilizations came and gone with the wind in the past cause they could no walk on the path told to them , I trust Islam shall shine and Muslims as ever shall again give this world a new better code of conduct but first they have to follow it themselves.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Nasir,

    Both your faith and mine talk abut the Day of Judgment but in different ways. In our faith it is very clear that the sons of Israel and the sons of Ishmael shall one day reconcile themselves to each other – in our text it says that one day the sons of Kedar (the second son of Ishmael) will sacrifice bulls at the Temple.

    In your text (I don’t remember which Sura) it says that one day we Jews will return to our land.

    There are fools within both of our faiths who must be removed to enable this reconciliation to take place. Once it occurs, nothing will be able to stop the combined power of the Sons of Abraham.

  • Nasir, Pakistan

    Its heartening and most satisfying comments i have ever heard or read, thanks and may God be with you always and ever.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Thank you, Nasir.

    May the Merciful One guide you in the correct path always and grant His blessings of peace and wisdom upon you.

  • justin USA

    yea ive heard from a bunch of people that the scottish temple masons believe that jesus wasnt the son of god, that his name was actually jesus crestian along with his brother judas crestian, and jesus was crucified, but not as the son of god. so is this true or false? who knows?