Free Speech

More Cartoon Offenses: Sweden & Opus

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Lars Vilks

Via Drudge, the Washington Post, according to "sources" at the paper, killed a Berkeley Breathed cartoon for fear of offending Muslims. From Fox:

The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country did not run Sunday's installment of Berkeley Breathed's "Opus," in which the spiritual fad-seeking character Lola Granola appears in a headscarf and explains to her boyfriend, Steve, why she wants to become a radical Islamist.

Sources told FOXNews.com that the strips were shown to Muslim staffers at The Washington Post to gauge their reaction, and they responded "emotionally" to the depiction of a woman dressed in traditional Muslim garb and espousing conservative Islamic views.

There was also considerable alarm over the strip at the highest echelons of The Washington Post Co., according to the sources. Lago said she flagged some of the syndicate's newspaper clients for two reasons: because of the possibility that the jokes about Islam would be misconstrued and because of the sexual innuendo in the punchline.

But over in Sweden, where no mainstream newspapers dared run the Jyllands-Posten cartoons (and many of whom tongue-lashed those who did), another cartoon controversy is raging. The top story at Aftonbladet.se, website of Sweden's largest-selling tabloid, says the country's chargé d'affaires to Tehren, Gunilla von Bahr, was called into a meeting to discuss a cartoon of Mohammad that recently ran in the (local) Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda. The Iranians were, apparently, offended by the Örebro daily, and desired Swedish government intervention.

When artist and art historian Lars Vilks, the man behind the beautiful "Nimis" sculpture in Skåne, couldn't find a gallery to display his series of ink drawings, which includes a representation of Mohammad as a dog, the paper published them in support. Sound familiar? The Iranian goverment, on a summer break from hanging gay men, has taken action, warning the Swedish government that the cartoon is "insulting to the prophet Mohammad." A Foreign Ministry spokesman was having none of it: "The Iranian government can protest whatever they want. But the Swedish Foreign Ministry and government have no reason to comment on this protest," the official told TT, the country's largest newswire.

A few English stories on the Vilks controversy here and here. None of them mention that a moderate Muslim group in Sweden offered to exhibit the drawings—that is until Vilks published this anti-Semitic drawing of a hook-nosed sow, gobbling up Palestinians. Caption: "Modern Jew sow, swollen by capitalism, on his way out to tear apart (att böka sönder) some peaceful villages. (In the style of Cézanne)"

Vilks Mohammad cartoon here.

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  1. My son drew better than Vilks when he was 3. I’d refuse to exhibit his drawings based on simple incompetency.

  2. Johnny D.

    Diddo, those drawings are just awful.

    Shame on the Post for giving in to the hysteria. When the original Muslim cartoon flack hit, I thought to myself, “well, at least that kind of stuff doesn’t happen here.”

    Ding!

    Oh, the oven. I guess my crow is ready.

  3. I’m still trying to figure out why it’s bad for a newspaper to edit a cartoon that might offend it’s readers.

    As far as Lars Vilks is concerned, I can think of a better reason why he might have trouble getting his works exhibited.

  4. “I’m still trying to figure out why it’s bad for a newspaper to edit a cartoon that might offend it’s readers. ”

    Someone’s bound to drool, I mean say, it’s creeping dhimmitude or something.

    BFD, a newspaper doesn’t want to publish a cartoon some of its readers might find demeaning. I would hope they would censor Vilks’s antisemitic pig and his lack of talent.

    Nothing to see here.

  5. Considerable alarm? At the highest echelons? Over THAT cartoon? Which is actually amusing. Makes me feel like this is a public school or something.

    Shecky, a free paper in a free country can edit whatever it chooses for whatever reasons. It’s the reasons themselves that tell us so much about the character of those who edit.

    That’s a wrap.

  6. Wow, the Orlando Sentinel ran it. Maybe I need to watch the letters this week to see if it ignites a firestorm.

    Shecky, a free paper in a free country can edit whatever it chooses for whatever reasons. It’s the reasons themselves that tell us so much about the character of those who edit.

    This is true. Even so I still don’t have any respect for the Slantinel. I wouldn’t wrap fish in it.

  7. Being offended is the new outrage.

  8. His Mohammed dog series sucks as bad as his judensow and the scupture in Skane strikes me as sophomoric, but this is a pretty cool piece. I think that someone other than Vilks did it, though.

  9. Course you know that the WaPo has no such considerable alarm at the highest echelons when it comes to offending christians.

    The only fear the WaPo management has is of looking shabby at the cocktail party de jour when some trendy prog lefty asks how they could be so right wing.

  10. OK,I’ve been out of the loop with Berke Breathed since “Outland,” but…

    Steve Dallas and Lola Granola, BOYFRIEND AND GIRLFRIEND???

  11. Anyone besides me notice the lead on the story?

    A popular comic strip that poked fun at the Rev. Jerry Falwell without incident one week ago was deemed too controversial to run over the weekend because this time it took a humorous swipe at Muslim fundamentalists.

    I can hear the fundies now:

    “See! See! They slander the late Reverend Farwell and defer to the Ay-rabs! The sec-u-lar humanists hate ‘Mmerica and Christianity and want the Islamofascists to win!!!”

    Tu quoque anyone? Of course, that’s par for Fox.

  12. Edit: Falwell

  13. that is until Vilks published this anti-Semitic drawing of a hook-nosed sow, gobbling up Palestinians. Caption: “Modern Jew sow, swollen by capitalism, on his way out to tear apart (att b?ka s?nder) some peaceful villages. (In the style of C?zanne)”

    So I’ve seen this movie, “Man of the Year” with Robin Williams. Anyway, for those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s this political comedy where Hollywood gets to craft a kind of ‘dream’ candidate. Nothing particularly new. Anyhoo, I’m not going to go into the movie in general, but there’s this one rant by Lewis Black, one of the characters in the movie that’s actually quite poignant. Black’s character starts telling someone why he doesn’t watch television anymore. He basically says that it makes everything *seem* credible. He describes a faux situation, where on one side, you have a learned scholarly expert on the holocaust, and on the other, given equal footing and air time, you have this nutjob who denies the holocaust ever happened. They go head to head, and the nutjob eventually makes some good points, and starts to seem credible, and in the end, it makes everyone lose credibility.

  14. Someone’s bound to drool, I mean say, it’s creeping dhimmitude or something.

    Yes, they will, in those exact terms.

  15. The Providence Journal published the cartoon, for what it’s worth.

  16. In the not so distant future people will discuss the rights and wrongs of publishing cartoons that may be deemed offensive to Islam and they won’t even need to check if any Muslims have taken offence. Bell, food, saliva. Bell, food, saliva. Bell, food, saliva….

  17. I was privileged to enjoy that latest Breathed cartoon in the Cincinnati Enquirer where today I saw a political cartoon that I deem even more incendiary to Islamists. It’s by Daryl Cagle who evidently does his stuff on MSNBC.com. It show 3 little boys lying on their backs imagining images in clouds. Maybe somebody could link to it. I can’t.

    I’m thinking Sinincincinnati’s new motto should be: “So backward we don’t know when we’re being politically incorrect, and that’s a good thing.”

  18. Is it just me, or does that picture look like Alton Brown after a weekend bender?

  19. I read the strip online today at the WaPo and it still seems to be there.

    http://www.uclick.com/client/wpc/wpopu/

  20. To heck with comics – I want to see some high class ART featuring Mohammad.

    I want to see Andres Serrano do a “Piss Mohammad” to go along with his “Piss Christ”.

    But wait, can’t have that, a “Piss Mohammad” would lead to rioting, burning and murdering by members of the ReligionOfPeace(tm).

  21. “I can hear the fundies now:

    “See! See! They slander the late Reverend Farwell and defer to the Ay-rabs! The sec-u-lar humanists hate ‘Mmerica and Christianity and want the Islamofascists to win!!!”

    Tu quoque anyone? Of course, that’s par for Fox.”

    Yeah, because evidently only “fundies” are able to see the double standard. You must be too stupid.

    Statements, like the one I quoted above, are better at revealing the prejucdices of the bigots who make them rather than the intended targets it tries to smear.

    And to top it all off, there is a swipe at Fox. What better way to show the world how sophisticated you are. Evidently, the tiresome, well-worn Fox schtick is still cutting-edge for some people. I suppose this person reads only the New Yorker and will only eat food flown in from Vermont.

  22. “I’m thinking Sinincincinnati’s new motto should be: “So backward we don’t know when we’re being politically incorrect, and that’s a good thing”

    Everything about that motto is fine, except the first part about being “backward”. Exactly what makes them backward? Is it because they have differing political views than you? You seem to be of the same ilk as Akira MacKenzie. If you would have only closed with an anti-Fox joke, we all would be congratulating you for being more wordly than those hayseeds in Cincinnati.

  23. As a Muslim I did not find the Opus cartoon offensive. It is a bit stereotypical and misrepresents what the hijab (i.e., scarf without face veil) – as opposed to the burqa — means to many Muslims. The burqa is associated with fundamentalism (not the a colorful scarf as the one shown in the Opus cartoon — the mouth covering is realy neither a burqa nor a standard hijab — a cute stereotypical addition by the Opus cartoonist) and most Muslims (outside KSA and Afghanistan) find it too extreme and even offending.

    It is funny, I came across the news regarding Opus on Micelle Malkin’s website, confirmed by Fox and no where else! They basically propagated the “fact” that they are offensive, that Muslims are already “outraged” and that Westerners/Christians/”free-speechers” should stand up to Muslim “outrage”. Well, being connected to many Muslim news sources (here and abroad), I have found very little regarding Opus (let alone the fact they are necessarily “offensive”), no “outrage”, and the whole thing seamed theatrical and staged.

    In any case, someone on this thread once shared this George Bernard Shaw quote:

    “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”

    I did find the original Danish cartoons disturbing (not offensive). I found it to be an expression of liberty, but was certainly irresponsible. The Danish cartoons did, however, provide the precedent to initiate debate (and was sad to see the outrage on the Muslim side, and equally sad to see the ignorance and stereotyping on the side of many Westerners). Now repeating the offense seems to me pointless. It seems to me to be irresponsible, the quality of tabloids, or is just meant to antagonize and not debate.

  24. “See! See! They slander the late Reverend Farwell and defer to the Ay-rabs! The sec-u-lar humanists hate ‘Mmerica and Christianity and want the Islamofascists to win!!!”

    You’ve been skipping your medicine again, haven’t you?

  25. iih- It’s hard to tell exactly where Breathed is coming from all of the time. His jabs at people can be a bit clever and subtle, he spreads it around a lot, and it’s generally fairly good natured. I’m just guessing, but I think that the stereotypical and/or misrepresentative nature of the clothing may have been very intentional- not to pick on Muslims but to pick on the person that Lola Granola represents- she would make up some funky outfit and not know the better of it. He finds a way to simultaneously pick on the male chauvinist pig (Dallas) and the hippie (Granola).

  26. ….and for anybody that doesn’t know about it, Yahoo posts classic Bloom County strips every day.

    http://news.yahoo.com/comics/bloomcounty;_ylt=AlG4tOXEgM6PLDpl4tBejNkDwLAF

  27. JLM:

    Yes, indeed, I agee. I have not found the cartoons offensive. If anything may be they did annoy me a bit since it may have described the headscarf as a symbol of “fundamentalism”. Looking at the cartoon, since I was referred there from Fox and Michelle Malkin’s website, I tried (hard) to see how this could be offensive to me as a Muslim. The only thing I found is the mischaracterization of the head scarf as “fundamentalist” (which I do not think is true). But that was after trying hard to see where the offense lies.

    I am a practicing Muslim by the way, with a feminist (headscarf-wearing believe it or not — she is a career woman, quite successful and seem to have a great professionl future) Muslim sister. I do not think either of us is fundamentalist since we approve of women wearing the headscarf. My sister’s reasoning for wearing it is that “she wants to be valued for how she thinks and not for how she looks” (and she is quite attractive — if I may say so).

    In any case, this “controversy” is a bit blown out of proportion.

  28. Oh, the oven.

    Watch it.

  29. Yeah, because evidently only “fundies” are able to see the double standard.

    You don’t know what a Tu Quoque fallacy is, do you?

  30. If you would have only closed with an anti-Fox joke, we all would be congratulating you for being more wordly than those hayseeds in Cincinnati.

    You jerk-off to Sean Hannity, don’t you?

  31. The Detroit Free Press chose not to run it also, running Candorville instead, without comment. They normally run Opus on Sundays, but Candorville (which is an edgy race-related comic) was in Opus’ normal place, without comment. Interesting….
    Detroit has one of the largest Arab populations in any US city. But many of them are not Muslim but Christian, FWIW.

  32. Oh, for the days when we all just got along.

  33. That outfit was totally supposed to be what Lola Granola thinks a Muslim woman wears.

    Breathed never has just one target.

  34. That outfit was totally supposed to be what Lola Granola thinks a Muslim woman wears.

    That is exactly why I wasn’t sure if I should be annoyed (though Michelle Malkin and Fox say that I ought to be outraged as all Muslims are 😉 ). I am really not familiar with Breathed to judge. But if this is about a serious debate, I actually pretty welcome the cartoons as an opportunity to understand what the veil means to Muslim women. To some it is a portrayal of male chauvinism and oppression, but to some it is a matter of deliberate choice as I had mentioned above. Some others do it because it is a “social tradition” without either hating it or loving. And this (just doing something because this is “the way it is supposed to be”) I do have a problem with.

  35. Whoa….wait a minute…. Lola Granola, Opus’ ex-fiancee, is dating STEVE??!?

    And the WaPo editors are a bunch of fucking pussies.

  36. The WaPo has lost its collective mind…and its nuts.

    It would be just toooooo bad if a cartoon told the truth and offended idiots. I didn’t say Muslims, I said idiots.

  37. If the Christians want some street/press cred they need to start having some of those nifty massive street riots and start cutting heads off of journalists, blowing up buildings, beheading thai schoolgirls and slamming airliners into high rise office buildings. Once you start doing that everyone is really worried about offending you.

    for instance a Saturday Night Live won’t do an offensive Mohammad skit but they will gladly do a Jesus one. Oh they’re all avant garde and cutting edge and full of the first amendment when the people they are offending might do something like, oh, pray at them or at the outside not watch their program. It makes them look all impressive and edgey and committed to the rest of the hipsters. “Look at us! We really told those bible thumping hicks! Aren’t we edgey and cutting edge and over top! We shit on Jesus! We actually shit on their savior and they couldn’t stop us! They’ll hate that but we did it lol! But we’re edgey and hip like that and we won’t be censored because we’re artists and we must express our work and these bible thumping fascists won’t stop us!” If those Christians they were offending were coming to the studios to blow themselves up or to kidnap them and cut their heads off or to simply demolish the various studios by plowing into it with a 747s all of their hipster artiste bullshit bravado would end up as a brown and yellow puddle on the floor.

  38. You jerk-off to Sean Hannity, don’t you?

    how’s that therapy comin’ along?

  39. No threat from Radical Islam.

    All the stories of the Rise of Islam threatening Western Europe’s history of tolerance and openess, are way overblown.

    Alarmists like Donderoooooooooooo, are just plain wrong. They’re closeted bigots who hate all Muslims. There’s no truth to Dondero’s allegations that Radical Islam is spreading across Europe and indeed to the shores of the US.

    There’s no reason for America and the American Military to fight back against Radical Islam. We should just ignore them, and they will leave us alone.

  40. …mischaracterization of the head scarf as “fundamentalist”

    But wait, doesn’t the head scarf mark a woman as “for Muslims only”? Doesn’t it mean that an “honor” killing may follow if this woman is alone with a man not her close relative? Is it not a sign of complete and utter discrimination against any non-Muslim man?

  41. Alarmists like Donderoooooooooooo, are just plain wrong. They’re closeted bigots who hate all Muslims. There’s no truth to Dondero’s allegations that Radical Islam is spreading across Europe and indeed to the shores of the US.

    There’s no reason for America and the American Military to fight back against Radical Islam. We should just ignore them, and they will leave us alone.

    Thank God you’re finally admitting it.

  42. There is no Berkeley Breathed. Everyone knows that Bloom County was actually penned by Francis Bacon.

  43. We should just ignore them, and they will leave us alone.

    Like on Sept 10th?

  44. “We should just ignore them, and they will leave us alone.”

    Ah, PeaceInOurTime(tm) – how wonderfully ignorant of history one must be to even consider this possible.

  45. KenK:

    I am not sure if you are being sarcastic of those who lump Muslims into one basket labeled “Islamic fanatics” or you are genuinely asking. Though I think it is the latter. I do not think it is either accurate or beneficial in the US effort (and anyone else’s for that matter) to fight Islamic terrorism. If the West wants to win this “war”, it needs to be very careful about how to characterize the general Muslim public. Most importantly, one should never lump them into one basket as a single monolithic group of fundamentalist people. The headscarf certainly does not equate to extremist fundamentalism. If you do so, fighting terrorism will be an utter failure.

    And, of course, it would plainly be stupid to go back to 9/10/2001 kind of mentality towards the threat. But that does not mean the West should spring to the other extreme end of the spectrum by inappropriately responding to the threat.

    Just my humble opinion.

  46. Correction:

    By “it” in

    I do not think it is either accurate or beneficial in the US effort (and anyone else’s for that matter) to fight Islamic terrorism.

    I mean lumping Muslims into one basket label “fundamentalists”.

  47. “Akira MacKenzie | August 27, 2007, 10:40pm | #
    If you would have only closed with an anti-Fox joke, we all would be congratulating you for being more wordly than those hayseeds in Cincinnati.

    You jerk-off to Sean Hannity, don’t you?”

    I think you’re guilty of a TU COCK fallacy here.

  48. But did Mohammed tap his toe in the airport restroom?

  49. That’s very insightful, Eric. Especially since the Muslim Washington Post staffers were obviously Radical Islamists. And because comic strip syndicators don’t ever, ever send out these warnings about potentially offensive strips in any situation except for jokes involving Muslims.

    Bedwetter. You can’t even look a fairly straightforward case of bland inoffensiveness without wetting yourself about the Mooslem hordes.

    Ah, well, at least you aren’t transparently fantasizing about how cool the murder of your political opponents would be, like Cactus. Yellow and brown smears! Yeah!

  50. i’m proud of you eric; you’ve really made a breakthrough here.

    now repeat after me:
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.
    rudy is a dimestore crook.

  51. Hi all,

    This is my first post here.

    iih,

    You claim that you are a practicing Muslim, and that you were not offended by the cartoons. In my opinion, you are on the other side of the bell curve, in that, 95% of all Muslim friends/relatives I talked to since, have found those cartoons to be hands down offensive. I have lived in the Middle East for 20 years, and in the West for 8. This is why I am confident you are more of an exception than the rule, regarding this particular matter.

    More to the point, most Muslims do not like that the prophet Mohammad is being put on such a negative spotlight by the West.

    One may argue that current violent events by other Muslims disgrace Islam more than cartoons. I counter that those events are done in a political vein, with a religious veneer. Westerners believe its the opposite: Religious fundamentalism, masquarading as political griefs.

    This initial assumption on their part is factually wrong – humans dont generally think in existential terms – they might motivate or provide some sort of annesthezia, but at its heart, motivation for humans has to do with on the ground, earthly issues.

    It is for this reason that Westerners in general see Muslims blow themselves up and then assume its an ‘Islamic thing’, thereby tainting the entire religion.

    Its almost as if Westerners spend 1 minute listening to an entire 1 hour speech by Muslims, but then spend 1 hour analyzing the final “Allahu Akbar” phrase in closing statements.

    Westerners are not stupid. Seeing this is not hard. And yet many still do it.

    In my dealings with Westerners who mis-understand this, I have come across two types of people, whom I have roughly classified.

    — The first type are the ignorant ones. Through no fault of their own, they just simply do not know enough about politics and history of the Middle East. Generally a polite bunch, they approach issues with an open mind. On the flip side, they are the ones most likely to by swayed by whatever sounds and points are floating around, without giving it too much thought.

    — The second category are the Westerners with a more malevolent streak: They look at you, hypothesize you are middle eastern, and will immediately think you have insider knowledge as to why OPEC is raising oil prices. Now I do have a sense of humor, so I ask them to call Cheney and ask him for my overseas phone-call transcript to various oil sheikhs, one good American to another.

    On the more sinister side however, are people like Michelle Malkin, Daniel Pipes, etc. Those are famous people in those circles, but of course there are others like them but just regular folks. Those types of Westerners do not like Islam, or Muslims. They taint the names of Arabs and Muslims for a living. Not just individuals – but all of them. They stereotype us, making other Westerners fear us. There is a strong correlation between people who randomly ask me ‘Why I hate them’, and them watching Fox News, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkins, etc. This correlation is no accident. This is the fruit of the seeds that those bigots spew.

  52. You claim that you are a practicing Muslim, and that you were not offended by the cartoons. In my opinion, you are on the other side of the bell curve, in that, 95% of all Muslim friends/relatives I talked to since, have found those cartoons to be hands down offensive. I have lived in the Middle East for 20 years, and in the West for 8. This is why I am confident you are more of an exception than the rule, regarding this particular matter.

    yep, you are right. I think I would be considered a “liberal” Muslim. But such reformists or liberal Muslims are not a minority, eventhough most Muslims would be offended by depictions of Muhammad in general (on theological-bases, not dogmatic/superstitious bases). When it comes to the cartoons, I did not find the Opus cartoons offensive with the possible exception mentioned above. The original Danish cartoons were not offensive until they were repeatedly published just to cause further offense to Muslims. I originally thought it was partly ignorant of Muslim sensibilities, but an honest and unconventional way of sparking debate.


    More to the point, most Muslims do not like that the prophet Mohammad is being put on such a negative spotlight by the West.

    Agreed.

    One may argue that current violent events by other Muslims disgrace Islam more than cartoons. I counter that those events are done in a political vein, with a religious veneer. Westerners believe its the opposite: Religious fundamentalism, masquarading as political griefs.

    Oh, yes. Muslims’ irrational responses and violence extremely stupid, reactionary, and does no good. I argue, unlike those Westerners you mention in this paragraph, that they are doing this despite of Islamic teachings as opposed to because of these teachings. I.e., they are ignorant of their own faith. Or may be, I have a very different view of the faith than these ignorant Muslims (let alone fundamentalists) do, which was point that Muslims come in all sorts of shapes and backgrounds, and are not monolithic.

    I pretty much agree about the remainder of your comment.

    I was myself welcomed on H&R a few months ago. I like it when people discuss matters rationally and objectively, as opposed to the nutjobs who often times show up (a few examples can be found in this very thread). Overall, this is an excellent forum, especially if you are libertarian, or have libertarian tendencies. I am a Muslim with strong Libertarian leanings. And am still learning!

  53. I have come across two types of people, whom I have roughly classified.

    “Ignorant” and “malevolent.” That’s interesting.

    Your religion is clearly malevolent. And ludicrous.

  54. Monsieur F. Le Mur (est que vous etes fran?ais ou Canadien?):

    You missed the phrase in bold. Not all Westerners:

    In my dealings with Westerners who mis-understand this, I have come across two types of people, whom I have roughly classified.

  55. Mr. F. Le Mur:

    Your religion is clearly malevolent. And ludicrous.

    And how a great way to start a civilized discussion!

  56. “They taint the names of Arabs and Muslims for a living. Not just individuals – but all of them.”

    OTOH, they have not cut off anyone’s head nor blown up any children on purpose. They don’t seem to incite riots or arson either.

    It’s all “SUBMIT OR DIE”, even with the so-called moderate Muslims.

  57. KenK:

    OTOH, they have not cut off anyone’s head nor blown up any children on purpose. They don’t seem to incite riots or arson either.

    True, and? What is your point? Does being Muslim immediately imply all the stuff you describe above?

    It’s all “SUBMIT OR DIE”, even with the so-called moderate Muslims.

    Thanks for making the very point that “An Arab” was alluding to above.

    I do not know what you do for a living, but are you actually aware that there are many Muslims in this country who are serving the US on many fronts in the most loyal and fruitful ways? Are you aware that there are Muslims in the US army in Iraq and Afghanistan today risking their lives for the US just like everyone else in the army? Here, they are teachers, doctors, firefighters, just name it. And they are Muslim. Are they all for your “SUBMIT OR DIE” accusations? Your ignorance is in itself insulting.

  58. I’ve known a number of American Muslims. None have used violence on me so far.

  59. I’ve known a number of American Muslims. None have used violence on me so far.

    🙂 The fact that they haven’t so far does not mean that they will not in the future (clearly). But the fact they have not so far does not mean that they will, either. 🙂 Just being silly.

  60. Sorry, it’s a vice common to the legal profession to hedge 🙂

    I worked for Iranian expats in the early 80s. They were very nice and gave me lots of pistachios and Russian vodka. Even though they were in opposition to the Revolutionary government, they felt compelled to identify themselves as “Persian”, which always seemed unfair to me (I was in high school at the time).

  61. Sorry, it’s a vice common to the legal profession to hedge 🙂

    🙂 I was just really being silly.

  62. This thread has the potential to get really nasty. I’ve seen several semi-regulars go off the deep end on iih, which is baffling to me. Not to mention the not-so-regular “bedwetters” (thanks, joe).

    Hopefully, this turns out more like that thread a week and a half or so ago.

  63. Every Muslim, without exception, wants me to submit to allah. Just ask them.

    Some few are willing to let me die of old age but most would at best stand by while another Muslim mudered me even if they wouldn’t wield the knife. Maybe they would just make me a slave. You see I am an atheist, and worse, an apostate christian. The koran clearly calls for my death or complete subjugation . Just read it.

  64. iih,

    yep, you are right. I think I would be considered a “liberal” Muslim.

    Two points. It is very possible that Muslims with a liberal outlook also be offended by such images. This is because the offensiveness of the images has many aspects. (More on this below). In other words, I realise that you call yourself a ‘liberal Muslim’, but that doesnt explain why you are not offended by the images. 🙂

    Secondly, I prefer not to use terms such as ‘liberal muslim’ to begin with. It implies that being just a ‘muslim’ is illiberal. IMO, it is yet another Western concoction betraying the initial assumption that to be Muslim, is to be a violent illiberal fanatic to begin with. As such, I refuse to give credance to such a basis, and oppose using that phrase. Muslim will do. How this Muslim acts depends on his/her political leanings, character, etc.

    When it comes to the cartoons, I did not find the Opus cartoons offensive with the possible exception mentioned above. The original Danish cartoons were not offensive until they were repeatedly published just to cause further offense to Muslims.

    Regarding the images, there are many elements associated with the ‘offensiveness’ of the articles. Primarily, those are:

    1) The actual image.
    2) The intention behind it.

    Thus, even though the actual images may at times not be overtly offensive as such, (for example, the artist has done a bad job), the actual intention behind it is for the purpose of disrespecting Muslims, their faith, and their prophet. That is what makes it offensive.

    Of course, it is possible to mistake and rush to conclude that an otherwise docile image of say, Mohammed on a camel riding in the desert is intended to be offensive, and that of course, is wrong. In order to establish intent, it is necessary to probe the artist, the paper publishing it, before one concludes that there is an actual malevolent intent.

    That being said however, it is clear from the actions of that Danish paper, its artists, and others who published those cartoons, that they are/were out to offend / disrespect Muslims in general.

    Muslims’ irrational responses and violence extremely stupid, reactionary, and does no good. I argue, unlike those Westerners you mention in this paragraph, that they are doing this despite of Islamic teachings as opposed to because of these teachings. I.e., they are ignorant of their own faith.

    I see what you are saying, but I have a different take on it: First off, remember that the ‘Muslims violent responses’ were very, very localized. Out of a population of 1.1 billion Muslims, there were tens and tens of protests against the cartoons. A couple became violent. As I recall, molotov cocktails were thrown at a Western embassy in Syria, and a nun was shot in Somalia. In Pakistan, 11 people or so died in a stampede.

    Now, Westerners who chose to taint Islam because of those are not simply ignorant of Muslims, but also of the laws of statistics. Out of 1.1 billion people and only 15 or so fatalities in the most backwards neighbourhoods of the world? I call that a success story. 15 out of 1 billion is better odds than dying in a plane crash.

    Couple that with the fact that an umpteen amount of non-violent protests did in fact taken place across Egypt, the Gulf and the Levant, and you’re left with naked Western bigotry.

    Overall, this is an excellent forum, especially if you are libertarian, or have libertarian tendencies. I am a Muslim with strong Libertarian leanings. And am still learning!

    It took only 22 minutes before the first bigot Mr F le Fur decided to post in reply to mine. A couple of minutes after that, another one alluded that I want Westerners to ‘submit or die’.

    This is the current environment we as Muslims have to live in iih, through no fault of our own. I very much doubt that rational conversation and understanding is possible anymore with those types of Westerners. ‘We’ took down the towers according to them, so its only fair that they chastize ‘us’.

    My advice to you iih is not to waste you time responding to each and every Western kook you come across. It really is a waste of time, and you can spend your time doing things that are much more productive.

    You cant reason with those people. The best thing IMO is to make use of the Second Ammendment, buy a gun or two and some ammo, and prepare to defend yourself should any one of those Westerners decide to pull a Japanese-Internment camp on us.

  65. The koran clearly calls for my death or complete subjugation . Just read it.

    Actually, KenK, don’t they call for a “head tax”?

  66. Timon19:

    This thread has the potential to get really nasty.

    Unfortunately it seems that it may lean that way. The last thread you’re mentioning was quite useful, but exhausting.

    “An Arab”:

    Sometimes you have to take in some abuse and ignorance from people. Conversation has worked in the past on H&R. Often seemingly aggressive people turn out to have gentle and sincere core that results in a good exchange.

    I recommend that you check back in on weekends. As one of Reason’s editors once remarked, it seems that most poeple actually post while they are at their jobs out of sheer boredom with what they have to do to earn a living. If you want to get the serious, responsible, respectful bunch, come back on weekends. These discussions are usually more stimulating, and less a waste of time.

  67. Secondly, I prefer not to use terms such as ‘liberal muslim’ to begin with. It implies that being just a ‘muslim’ is illiberal. IMO, it is yet another Western concoction betraying the initial assumption that to be Muslim, is to be a violent illiberal fanatic to begin with. As such, I refuse to give credance to such a basis, and oppose using that phrase. Muslim will do. How this Muslim acts depends on his/her political leanings, character, etc.

    It’s a useful descriptor. I’m a liberal Christian; that doesn’t imply that being Christian is illiberal. It just means that, on the spectrum of liberal to conservative Christians, I’m further on the left.

    Thus, even though the actual images may at times not be overtly offensive as such, (for example, the artist has done a bad job), the actual intention behind it is for the purpose of disrespecting Muslims, their faith, and their prophet. That is what makes it offensive.

    Sorry, but this just bothers me. I still can’t figure out why you should have a right not to be offended. Of course, I can never figure out why conservative Christians fly off the handle at negative depictions of Christians or Jesus, either. People need to be made fun of, as do their beliefs. If negative depictions of Muslims, their faith, or Muhammad offend you, well, welcome to free speech. You don’t have to watch it.

    Mainly, such negative depictions come in two flavors. One is the person who’s trying to be offensive for the sake of giving offense. Complaining about the offensive content just fuels their determination to be offensive, which means that the better course of action is to ignore it. The second flavor is the person who’s trying to make a point, and either doesn’t realize that what they’re doing is offensive or realizes it but thinks that the point is important enough to do it anyways. This person needs to be engaged in discussion, because they just might say something worth listening to.

    Basically, I think that taking offense at things is just a waste of time. There are much more productive things to do than throw a hissy fit because your sensibilities are offended.

    And let me apologize for the Neanderthals upthread. Some posters here have a stick up their ass about Islam (see also: Donderooooooooooo!!!!111omgluvrudy!!!!). These people live in a fantasy world where the West is locked in a struggle TO THE DEATH with Islam. Two civilizations enter; only one can leave! Ignore them; they aren’t worth your time.

  68. grylliade:

    While I do not entirely agree, you make some very good points. Such as this one:

    Basically, I think that taking offense at things is just a waste of time. There are much more productive things to do than throw a hissy fit because your sensibilities are offended.

    It was waste of time and sometimes human lives. And I think “An Arab” implicitly was implying this too. I think both of us were trying to explain why these cartoons were offensive to Muslims (may be more to him that it was to me — at least for the original Danish cartoon). Remember also that there are theological prohibitions against depicting the Prophet. So by merely drawing a cartoon of him, let alone drawing a cartoon of him in a negative context, is in itself problematic to Muslims — even if the drawing was for flattery or appreciation. And “An Arab” got the rest of the explanation right on the mark vis-a-vis the general Muslim population and their reaction.

    Regarding

    And let me apologize for the Neanderthals upthread. Some posters here have a stick up their ass about Islam (see also: Donderooooooooooo!!!!111omgluvrudy!!!!). These people live in a fantasy world where the West is locked in a struggle TO THE DEATH with Islam. Two civilizations enter; only one can leave! Ignore them; they aren’t worth your time.

    You gave me hope again 🙂

  69. “trying to explain why these cartoons were offensive to Muslims”

    THAT is fairly obvious. Try explaining why said offended Muslins riot, burn and murder while when “conservative Christians fly off the handle” nobody is burned alive or hacked to death.

    PS. The West is locked in a struggle TO THE DEATH with Islam, just ask the leader of Persians, as he works on getting his atomic weapons built.

  70. Glad you’re finally catching on Joe.

    Yes, there are Radical Islamists at the Washington Post. In fact, I heard one report on Fox News last night, that the cartoon was vetted by 3 Muslim WP staffers, and that’s why it was pulled.

    Rather chilling for the future of freedom of speech in America.

    And the Anti-War Libertarians after the Denmakr controversy said it “can’t happen here.”

  71. Maybe someone could introduce the “Mohammed Dog”
    to Michael Vick and his posse?

  72. as a Muslim i am not offended as i know that the enemy of Islam would have killed our prophet if got chance let alone make a dog pictures

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