Lighten Up

It irritates me when some fool burns a U.S. flag. I don’t like it when someone denigrates my beliefs or makes obscene remarks about people or things I respect. But I know such things happen. I sometimes feel outraged, but as my experience has grown I indulge my outrage less often. Outrage is an often misplaced and childish emotion.

Usually better than outrage is ridicule. We have a right and even a duty to ridicule silly behavior, to mock the arrogance of our opponents and to recognize their right to do it back to us. A very important function of free speech is to subject ideas to scrutiny.

You cannot know the truth unless you can compare it to error and for the comparison to work you cannot have an exaggerated respect for the ideas and feeling of others. Freedom must be leavened with at least a little offensiveness.

Europe and the Middle East are currently in some uproar because a Danish newspaper published some cartoons of Mohammed. Some Muslims were outraged. They burned Danish flags (where do they even find them?), threatened Danish citizens and plan to boycott Danish products.

I guess Danish ham, bacon and beer will be selling less well in the Muslim world.

A Norwegian newspaper also published the cartoons and papers in France, Germany and Spain followed. Europeans showed a little gumption in this case. Good for them. I bet this is not the last we will hear of this.

I am not saying people have no right to be annoyed when their beliefs are challenged. They might want to avoid those who give offense, maybe ridicule them. But if we are to live in the world, we have to learn not to be offended easily. It is not within our power or rights to dictate that everyone in the world respect our beliefs. When some idiot burns an American flag, I hope he accidentally sets his hair on fire, but I don’t burn cars or kidnap foreigners.

Tomorrow I am going to go out and buy a Danish ham, spread some creamy Havarti cheese on it and wash it down with a bottle of Tuborg or Carlsberg Elephant Malt. I suggest you all do the same.

Guds hjælp, Folkets kærlighed, Danmarks styrke.

Posted by Jack at February 2, 2006 11:21 PM
Comments
Comment #119870

How dare you buy Danish products after what they did to those poor ragheads! Don’t you know that wouldn’t be PC? Don’t you know we must have compasion on them and support them? After all they have been attacked without provication. They’re wounderful peace loving folks that wouldn’t think of harming anyone. Remember they’re religion is one of peace. That’s why they’re killing anyone that doesn’t agree with them. Even fellow Mulsims.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 3, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #119873

You guys are pretty ignorant.

It is a sin in Islam to represent God or His Prophet in any way, shape or form. It is irrelevant that the cartoons are caricatures. Even if they were praising Islam, the reaction would be the same. It is one of the greatest Sins of Islam to do this.

This is like having the newspapers publish sexually oriented pictures of naked children. What would your reaction be?

Posted by: Aldous at February 3, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #119875

The Holy Bible and the Koran cannot both be our religious authority.1 or the other is right or they both are wrong.The Catholics and the Muslims and the Muslims and the Jews have been at war for centuries.I could never be a part of any off shoot of any religion the requires me to blow my self up or kill anyone who will not convert and be as zealous as they think I should be or they will cut my head off.If the people of that region could choose their own leaders in an election as is the case when a nation is free from those head whackers they are not likely to create a government based on headwhacking but if they do they become the enemy of all who don’t whack heads.If someone is bent on destroying us as the have repeatedly said they are, then we should take it to them as we have and help anyone who asks.We stand to gain if they are free,their instability is a danger to every one else on earth,just as was and is communism and natzism and for that matter socilaism.A government should protect its people so they can thrive as individuals and we as individuals should not let the less able around us perish but help them build their own life.

Posted by: RDAVIDC at February 3, 2006 12:23 AM
Comment #119882

Thank you for posting on this. I also read that they were searching hotels for people to kidnap over this. This has to end, forget diplomacy they have been given far too much of that. I am Catholic and it is against my religion to murder so I guess I need to search hotels for muslims to kidnap. They don’t fit in to a peaceful society and we need to deal with them appropriately. All this bull**** about torture, my goodness America wake up and figure out what side you’re on.
BTW it would be amazing if everyone in the U.S. would subscribe to this Danish newspaper.

Posted by: andy at February 3, 2006 12:39 AM
Comment #119883

aldous,

My reaction would not be to kidnap innocent people and threaten death. That’s just me Kareem.

Posted by: andy at February 3, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #119890

I think the point of the cartoon, which showed Mohammed wearing a bomb as a turban was that the religion of Islam is sheltering terrorism. So what’s the reponse of Arabs? To burn Danish stuff, to conduct bomb-scares on the newspaper? To threaten its writers. How far off was that cartoon?

I know many Muslims do not respect our cherished belief in free speech, but, hey a lot of people in this country are spending a lot of money and putting their lives on the line so many Arabs can choose for themselves to have governments and cultures that, frankly, will probably threaten and repulse us.

Boycotting is fine, but I would like to see more condemnation for whoever is terrorizing this paper and less of cartoonists.

Posted by: Max at February 3, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #119898

More likely a case of opportunism by some idiots trying to sell more newspapers. The Newpapers printing the cartoons are almost all minor league periodicals.

On the Arab side, the Politicians are using this to rally the people. I suppose its the same way Bush keeps harping 911 over and over again.

Congratulations. You just made it that much harder to disarm Iran, Hamas and the Iraqi Insurgents.

Posted by: Aldous at February 3, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #119899

btw… Does anyone else keep getting an error from WatchBlog? It seems like the Website goes offline for a few minutes at a time.

Posted by: Aldous at February 3, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #119925

aldous,

again, are you serious? Many countries printed the cartoon not just the opportunist Danish. Who the hell are you backing here? I personally will never forget 9/11 and it’s comforting to know that, for politics sake, you consider remembering to be “harping”, that is very sad.

Posted by: andy at February 3, 2006 2:54 AM
Comment #119930

Jack, I believe burning the flag is very appropriate on many different occasions, most of which are sanctioned by the U.S. government. I also support burning the flag when that is necessary to bring light to circumstances that may be undermining what that flag stands for. The flag is a piece of cloth with dyes in it which creates a symbol of something great and good as set out in our founding documents, Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

If buring the flag will bring attention to those who would subvert or undermine our Constitution and democracy, then I say burn it. Hell, pile 500 of them together and create a bon fire to be seen from sea to shining sea! The flag is just a symbol of something great and good: the flag itself is just a piece of cloth with some dye in it. You can burn the flag, not what it represents.

No harm comes to the country by burning a flag. Much harm comes to the nation when people try to subvert or undermine the ideals which the flag represents.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 3, 2006 3:06 AM
Comment #119933

blockquote>I am Catholic and it is against my religion to murder…All this bull**** about torture, my goodness America wake up and figure out what side you’re on.

Honestly, I don’t think many people would care what we did with the terrorists, it’s the innocent people who get caught up under the label that are bothersome. Can you justify torturing some of them for what is gained from those techniques?

Posted by: Amani at February 3, 2006 3:15 AM
Comment #119942

Who the hell are you backing? Everytime you get in your car you support the Saudi oil machine.Which pump out 19 killers how many IRAQIS were in 9/11 I forgot.But in 6 years we will be free at last,free at last.OIL man BUSH said so we should trust him………HA HA HA that is all the congressman laughing,I swear I saw Chenney shooting spit balls at the PRESIDENT.
The SAudi’s curse the President with and old ARAB curse , MAY THE FLEAS OF 1000 CAMELS INFEST
YOUR ARMPITS….

Posted by: JS at February 3, 2006 4:04 AM
Comment #119987

All

Frightening as it seems,this neo-con agrees with Aldous on this one.

On this particuliar issue,Western thought simply cannot understand the affrontry that went on throughout the entire Muslim world over this cartoon.

One of our biggest problems is seeing the Muslim world and deciding about the Muslim world thru a Western thought process,which is a mistake I think.

One of the five pillars of Islam is prayer….5 times a day.From birth,the greatness of Allah has been ingrained in one quarter of the world’s population.

If a Danish paper ignorantly published a photo on the Phrophet …it should apologize.If it did so intentionially,that’s stupidilty…..just as Brit Hume did last night on Fox….

Showing the images serves only to inflame tensions needlessly.

Now on the other hand,showing the image of the veteran and Rumsfield was almost as equally as stupid.

Seems to me with negotians with Hamas and the Iranians in progress,stunts like there don’t help the problem.

My two cents anyway.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 3, 2006 7:21 AM
Comment #119991

So, let me get this straight, a cartoon caricature of muslims and pork is extremely offensive; yet, a cartoon with a quadrapalegic soldier’s condition list as “Battle hardened” by Dr. “Rumsfeld” is ok?! I disagree with the Rumsfeld cartoon, should I go and get my three year old nephew and strap a bomb to him in the name of Catholicism?!!


Maybe we should learn how intolerant the muslim world really is and quit covering it up with this PC crap! Maybe, though…

Posted by: rahdigly at February 3, 2006 7:37 AM
Comment #119992

Aldous:

I consider your comparison of the cartoons to naked children to be flawed. A more accurate comparison would be to compare cartoons of one religion to cartoons of another religion. Or perhaps we might recall how an “artist” took a picture of the Virgin Mary, smeared it with elephant dung, and hung it in a museum. Or the “artist” who placed a cross in a jar of urine.

Those images impugn, or certainly bring question to a specific religion, as did the Danish cartoons. While they caused a bit of an uproar, I don’t recall any violence or the threat of murder.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 3, 2006 7:40 AM
Comment #119998

How about the revolting depictions of Jews and Christians in the Arab world? It is disgusting to me when they depict Jews as performing cannibalistic rituals on their TV networks, but a cartoon about their prophet is wrong? It works both ways. If Islam is all about what they claim, then they would not be essentially doing the same thing that they claim we are doing to them.
It is offensive to me the way Christians are depicted in the AMERICAN press, but I am not threatening to blow up NBC (I just don’t watch that network). Personally, I think the whole blowup by the Muslims about the cartoons is childish. Grow up!

Posted by: SWMichiganConservative at February 3, 2006 7:52 AM
Comment #120001

Wow… I never thought I’d see the day that I’d agree with sicilianeagle, but today’s the day!

Yes, the newspaper had every RIGHT to publish the cartoon. But it was still a stupid thing to do at such a sensitive time. It will do nothing but make the situation worse.

As for the nude children comparison — I’ve always thought the best analogy for the Muslim terrorist situation is pro-life groups. Pro-lifers all get pretty upset when abortion-banning laws get shot down. A small percentage of these people would go so far as to blow up abortion clinics and murder doctors who perform abortions. But to judge all pro-lifers by the actions of these few extremists would be foolish. The vast majority of pro-lifers are peaceful citizens.

Likewise, this cartoon would certainly upset the Muslim world in general. But it’s a small percentage of them who are kidnapping people and blowing places up. To judge them all as “ragheads” based upon the actions of those few is foolish.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 8:09 AM
Comment #120003

And what would be the reaction of the far right if a cartoon showed Jesus Christ having sex? Or a cartoon showing a Jewish Banker hording over gold? The reaction would be exactly the same.

Religion is fine in any form, fundamentalism is frightening in any form. Whenever a group says that their way in the ONLY way, they become a danger to society. Fundamentalist Christians that I knew growing up in Georgia considered me “unsaved” because I was Catholic!! Arch conservative Jews want Israel Erzazt ONLY for Jews!! You see my point.

Actually, Islam accepts Judaism and Christianity as true religions. Funny how it is not reciprocated and yet we call ourselves “modern”.

Posted by: acetracy at February 3, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #120004

Aldous

It might be a sin for them, but not for me. Lots of things are against the beliefs of other people. Reasonable people might get annoyed, maybe even avoid or boycott, but beyond that it is none of our business. Presumably God will have the last word anyway and probably doesn’t really appreciate the help of Hamas. I always thought it was a type of blasphemy to assume God needs your help in things like this anyway. What kind of God would that be?

David

It is legal to burn a flag, but I don’t have to like it. I recall one funny occasion when some guy was trying to burn a flag and set his clothes on fire. That is Monty Python style justice. But I have not been temped to kidnap or rampage when I have witnessed flag burning.

Sicilian

I would not publish such pictures in a Muslim capital and I may even concede that it is bad manners to publish them at all. But those offended have no right to take action beyond annoyance and avoidance. It is incumbent upon them to adapt to the world society. I am not Muslim. I don’t follow their belief system, just like they don’t follow mine. People need to get over this kind of outrage.

Ron

You would extend that same courtesy to every other group of believers? In our majority Christian country, public money supports defamation of Christian symbols. In a diverse world, people do things you don’t like. That is too bad. You can complain and avoid, and you can argue, but you have no right to get violent or threaten violence.

Reasonable people condemn those who attack abortion clinic with violence. These same people should condemn this. In both cases, it is the narrow minded medieval zealots whose ideas deserve no respect.

Posted by: Jack at February 3, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #120009

Jack,

I certainly do condemn the actions of the “narrow minded medieval zealots” involved here. But, at the same time, I’m not surprised by them. It’s like if I walked into a biker bar and started insulting people — I would expect to get my ass kicked. That doesn’t excuse them for their behavior (meeting words with violence), but it’s behavior that’s predictable beforehand.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 8:53 AM
Comment #120010

BTW… do you think the Muslim world is going to respond by referring to danishes as “freedom pastries”? :-)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 8:54 AM
Comment #120012

But Ron, nobody walked into the metaphorical biker bar. These pictures were published first in Denmark and then in Norway. There is no way this could be considered a part of the Muslim world and if it is, we have no world left for reasonable people.

The better analogy would be if a group of bikers invade your home and start kicking your ass because you are watching television programs they don’t like.

I share your dislike of these sorts of activities, but let’s tolerate in Muslims what we would deplore in anyone else.

Posted by: Jack at February 3, 2006 8:59 AM
Comment #120013

Re the follow up about freedom pastries. Let’s see, calling potatoes freedom fries versus kidnapping and threatening murder. I think we win on this one.

BTW - my last sentence let’s NOT tolerate

Posted by: Jack at February 3, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #120014

RDAVIDC wrote:

I could never be a part of any off shoot of any religion the requires me to blow my self up or kill anyone who will not convert and be as zealous as they think I should be or they will cut my head off.

Andy wrote:

This has to end, forget diplomacy they have been given far too much of that. I am Catholic and it is against my religion to murder so I guess I need to search hotels for muslims to kidnap. They don’t fit in to a peaceful society and we need to deal with them appropriately.

It is usually NOT the religion, but religious zealots that take it upon themselves to perform these atrocities in the name of their religion when it is clearly NOT its teachings nor is it a requirement of their religion. This includes Islam. Perhaps you should check out some of the actions of supposed Christians through out our history:

(Catholics)
Ferdinand and Isabella:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition

the reign of Mary Tudor (Mary I). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_England

The Christian church (Protestants)in Scotland around 1542

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_Scotland

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stewart%2C_1st_Earl_of_Moray

Or Even in the 20th Century in NAZI Germany:


According to Nazism, it is an obvious mistake to permit or encourage multilingualism and multiculturalism within a nation.(see third paragraph under Nazi Theory)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi

Photos of Hitler, Catholic Priests Saluting Hitler, etc…..great site.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

In a speech at Koblenz, August 26, 1934, Hitler said: “National Socialism neither opposes the Church nor is it anti-religious, but on the contrary it stands on the ground of a real Christianity … For their interests cannot fail to coincide with ours alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of today, in our fight against a Bolshevist culture, against atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for a consciousness of a community in our national life … These are not anti-Christian, these are Christian principles!”

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mhitlerchristian.html

In a 1933 speech, Hitler, said, “In the first place it is Christians and not international atheists who now stand at the head of Germany. I do not merely talk of Christianity, no, I also profess that I will never ally myself with the parties which destroy Christianity.” In another 1933 speech, Hitler said, “The Government of the Reich … regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation.”

http://www.geocities.com/newlinetheatre/comparisons.html

Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_hitler.html


To think that their religion “requires” these actions is a misconception on your part. Throughout history we have seen this kind of behavior from zealots or what I consider to be “NUTS” over and over again. To believe that when it happens today in Iraq, in Afghanistan, or ANY where else is different is a dangerous thing because it leads to the thinking that it is then OK to “hate” or persecute those who believe differently from yourself under the auspices of defending your own beliefs.


Amani:

RIGHT ON!! This is EXACTLY what I am trying to say.


David Remer,

As ALWAYS, I concur.

Sassyliberal


Posted by: sassyliberal at February 3, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #120016

Jack,

Again, the newspapers had every right to publish these things — I fully defend their rights to free speech.

But the fact remains that these cartoons have not been helpful. When you’re trying to establish peace, insulting your enemy (along with many innocent folks who happen to share your enemy’s religion) is not the right way to do it. These newspapers are certainly not friends of the peace process, nor are those who celebrate their actions.

Again, the cartoons were perfectly legal, but they were also irresponsible. The cartoonists have the right to be irresponsible — stupidity isn’t a crime.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 9:11 AM
Comment #120017

Jack:

It might be a sin for them, but not for me. Lots of things are against the beliefs of other people. Reasonable people might get annoyed, maybe even avoid or boycott, but beyond that it is none of our business. Presumably God will have the last word anyway and probably doesn’t really appreciate the help of Hamas. I always thought it was a type of blasphemy to assume God needs your help in things like this anyway. What kind of God would that be?
EXACTLY the point Pro-choicers are trying to make!!! Exactly what some of us “bleedinghearts” are saying about gay marriage. the same goes for many many issues we are arguing about in the US today. Think about it. Posted by: sassyliberal at February 3, 2006 9:16 AM
Comment #120018

Jack,

Re the follow up about freedom pastries. Let’s see, calling potatoes freedom fries versus kidnapping and threatening murder. I think we win on this one.

Why must you insist on lumping all Muslim response into one category? There are appropriate responses to offensive cartoons (boycotts, protests, etc.), and there are inapporpriate responses (kidnapping, torture, murder, etc.). I make a suggestion of a possibly appropriate response, and you assume I’m advocating murder. Are you THAT obsessed with proving that you’re better than the Muslims?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #120019

sassyliberal,

PLEASE don’t get the old “were the Nazis really Christians” debate started! Every time it comes up, it drowns out the rest of the thread!

If you’re point is that Christians have their history of violence, too, I’ll agree entirely. But there are many less controversial examples to use than that one.

(And in case anyone really WANTS to have that debate, you can read both sides of it here.)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 9:26 AM
Comment #120020

Sassy

Read some of my earlier post about gay marriage etc. I think you can do what you want as long as you don’t actually hurt others. As a free market person, however, I don’t want to have to help pay for it.

And yes, Christians have also been narrow minded and violent. It is not my brief to defend that. Suffice to say most Christians have grown beyond that and we condemn those who have not. Let’s demand that of others too.

Ron

There is never a good time to confront the zealots. If not now, when? These guys are the ones who keep the whole area in turmoil. They don’t really need an excuse. You give them too much credit. This is an argument we have to have and this is an argument we have to win. If we allow people from around the world to censor us in our homes, we have more serious problems.

Once again, I oppose violence against things like abortion clinics and I oppose this too. They are the same things.

Posted by: Jack at February 3, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #120021

Ron

I am not talking about all Muslims and I have explicitly agreed that boycotts and avoidance are appropirate. I am condemning those who are advocating, threatening and carrying out violence and those who implicitly support them by saying we need to be careful around these violent guys and censor ourselves. Yes, I am better than they are. You probably are too.

Posted by: Jack at February 3, 2006 9:30 AM
Comment #120022

sassyliberal—all those links and pix remind me exactly of what the islamo-fascists are doing/saying in these present days. very chilling….

Posted by: nikkolai at February 3, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #120023

Jack,

Two things. First, my name is Rob.

Second, I agree that we have to confront the zealots, and now is as good of a time as any. But in this conflict, you have the defenders of freedom on one side, the terrorist zealots on the other, and MILLIONS OF INNOCENT MUSLIMS IN THE MIDDLE. The last thing you want to do at this time is drive those innocent people into the hands of the zealots! When you have to go into battle, you should be collecting your allies, not creating new enemies.

I’m not defending the terrorists. If you want to insult those goat-pleasuring sons of one-eyed whores, you go right ahead… I won’t stop you. But when an insult is aimed at the ENTIRE MUSLIM WORLD — at the very religion of Islam — you’re insulting a lot more than just the terrorists. And when you defend the insults by saying the terrorists don’t deserve any better, you’re lumping millions of innocent people into the same category as those terrorists.

How in the world can this actually HELP us in the conflict, Jack?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #120025
Aldous:

we might recall how an “artist” took a picture of the Virgin Mary, smeared it with elephant dung, and hung it in a museum. Or the “artist” who placed a cross in a jar of urine.

Those images impugn, or certainly bring question to a specific religion, as did the Danish cartoons. While they caused a bit of an uproar, I don’t recall any violence or the threat of murder.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 3, 2006 07:40 AM

jbod,

There were many threats of violence (against the art studio and artist). The differences, IMO, are (a) It’s your religious extremists so their threats don’t resonate as strongly and (b) the worst FREC wingnut is your average zealot muslim.

Posted by: Dave at February 3, 2006 9:49 AM
Comment #120027

And what would be the reaction of the far right if a cartoon showed Jesus Christ having sex? Or a cartoon showing a Jewish Banker hording over gold? The reaction would be exactly the same.

Posted by: acetracy at February 3, 2006 08:22 AM
================================================
Ace,
Have you actually seen the cartoon and understand, or have translated, the words? It’s unoffensive, except that it is a mortal sin to create an image of Mohammed. It used to be felt the same way in the xhristian church too, no images were allowed of Jesus or Mary.

Posted by: Dave at February 3, 2006 9:54 AM
Comment #120028

Funny, since they don’t eat pork.

What we have here is a very disturbing difference in fundamental beliefs about free speech, and human and civil rights.

That is the fundamental, root problem.

Something, people in democracies take for granted.

And, that is the important and disturbing point that should come out of all this.

There are an alarmingly large number of people around the world that have a total absence of understanding of fundamental free speech, and human and civil rights.

While we can’t force such beliefs of free speech, and human and civil rights on others, we may, unfortunately, still have to face-off with them all someday, because they resort to violence against others that merely criticize them, proving that they are unable to peacefully co-exist.

People in a democracy believe criticism is everyone’s right, if they don’t like it can criticize back, or ignore it, or boycott their critics, or even sue in civil court if it slanderous, false, and can be proven to cause direct damages.

But, violent retaliation to criticism is not a right. It is illegal (not that it doesn’t ever happen).

At any rate, the fact is, the Danish stand to lose a lot by these boycotts.
While the Danish are within their rights of free speech to publish such cartoons, it was foolish.
Some Danish businesses have already come to a halt. Thousands of jobs could be lost.

But, Jack is right: Lighten up !

It’s nothing to get all blown out of shape about (pun intended).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #120029

Helpful would have been having these cartoons printed in a Mosque newsletter.

Posted by: bugcrazy at February 3, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #120031

Guess they haven’t seen the video game yet… you know, the one with Moses vs. Mohammed!? Tossing lightening, throwing rocks… Not real funny and certainly tasteless. Yet people of PEACE actually DO find ways to live with others, even with others of differing views and beliefs. Seeking wisdom is certainly a good place to start when looking for answers to these kinds of problems.

JF
Rhode Island, USA

Posted by: jf at February 3, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #120032

I agree with Jack on this one. Those guys need to lighten up.

On the other hand, SE got it right too: “Showing the images serves only to inflame tensions needlessly.”

It does seem irresponsible. Is this a battle that Europe (and FOX) really need to fight right now?

Posted by: American Pundit at February 3, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #120034

Aldous —

It is you who appear ignorant. You miss the point completely.

Muslims have an absolutely right to their righteous indignation, to demonstrate and to boycott Danish goods. They have an obligation to the peaceful defense of their religion.

The non-Muslim cartoonists are not under any religious ban on including Islam’s prophet in their work. In the cartoonists world they have a right to express their opinions.

What the Muslims/Islamists do NOT have the right to do, even within the parameters of their religion, is to kill people just because they express a different opinion or do something that a Muslim cannot do. But the Muslims do kill people. And they will continue to kill people. For whatever reason suits their fancy at the time.

These demonstrators are extremists, and their extreme actions are going to be met with increasingly extreme reactions from an increasingly disgusted world.

Islam peaceful? Gimme a break!

Posted by: Swampfox_1965 at February 3, 2006 10:33 AM
Comment #120036

d.a.n and jf,

There was a time when the West was as intolerant as the Middle East is. You could point to the Inquisition as a great example, but you really don’t have to go that far back. There were plenty of examples in 1800’s America alone of Christians attacking Christians because of differing beliefs.

I’m not suggesting that we’re bad, or that they’re not. The point is that it took us a long time to learn a more civilized way. Obviously, we need to share those lessons with the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a belief that spreading democracy (electing your own government) is the same as spreading human rights (respect for minorities, free speech, etc.). They’re not the same. They can go hand-in-hand, but they can also exist independently. We need to spend less time spreading democracy, and more time spreading an understanding of human rights.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #120037

Swampfox_1965,

Islam peaceful? Gimme a break!

So you’ll indict the religion of millions of people based upon the actions of a handful? There are thousands of people demonstrating against these cartoons, but most are just marching, burning flags, and maybe boycotting goods. What’s so disgusting about that?

Yes, the ones who are threatening violence (kidnapping, murder, etc.) are out of line. But why do you insist on judging an entire religion based on their actions? Would you judge Christianity based on the actions of David Koresh?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #120040

…because the ‘peaceful’ ones are not doing enough to stop the violent ones??


Posted by: bugcrazy at February 3, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #120042

Rob —

“bugcrazy” hit that nail on the head.

When abortion clinics were bombed by pro-life zealots it was the Christian masses that yelled the loudest.

When the twin towers collapsed it was the Muslim masses that danced in the streets.

Can you connect these dots?

Posted by: Swampfox_1965 at February 3, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #120043

and the Christians were not yelling in support of the bombers, either.

Posted by: Swampfox_1965 at February 3, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #120046

The whole thing reminds me of a great quote—

“Lighten up Francis!”

Posted by: Scott at February 3, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #120048

Swampfox, bugcrazy,

The difference is that the world wasn’t calling for the pro-lifers to abandon their pro-life stance because of the bombings. But the world still calls for Muslims to abandon their stances that are supported by the terrorists.

Consider, for example, Osama Bin Laden. The three biggest points that he has continually preached against are:

1) US military presence in the Holy Land (Saudi Arabia);
2) Western governments propping up Middle East dictators; and
3) Palestinian occupation.

These are not, in and of themselves, terroristic (is that a word?) viewpoints. You don’t have to be a terrorist to be opposed to these things. But the western world in general, and the US in particular, consistently equates the two. If someone is preaching against Palestinian occupation, they are considered “friends of the terrorists”. (I know… I’ve been called such on this board a number of times.)

Most of the Islamic world is opposed to the three things mentioned above, but most of them don’t support Al Queda or other terrorists. But when Americans take this “with us or against us” attitude, we essentially tell the Muslims that they either have to give up their beliefs or be labelled as terrorists.

If pro-lifers had to choose between giving up their pro-life beliefs and being judged as “friends of the bombers”, how many of them do you actually think would change their minds? Not many.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #120049

Ron

You would extend that same courtesy to every other group of believers? In our majority Christian country, public money supports defamation of Christian symbols. In a diverse world, people do things you don’t like. That is too bad. You can complain and avoid, and you can argue, but you have no right to get violent or threaten violence.

Reasonable people condemn those who attack abortion clinic with violence. These same people should condemn this. In both cases, it is the narrow minded medieval zealots whose ideas deserve no respect.


Posted by: Jack at February 3, 2006 08:37 AM

I know all that. I was just being facetious.
Really the Muslim religion claims to be one of peace but every time you look they’re killing someone they don’t agree with. They’re no doubt going to try to find a Danish tourist to kidnap and kill over the cartoons. Some kind of tolarence that is.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 3, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #120054

“it is the narrow minded medieval zealots whose ideas deserve no respect.” Like those who choose to behead hostages and partialy born children?

Posted by: pige at February 3, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #120064
Unfortunately, there seems to be a belief that spreading democracy (electing your own government) is the same as spreading human rights (respect for minorities, free speech, etc.). They’re not the same. They can go hand-in-hand, but they can also exist independently. We need to spend less time spreading democracy, and more time spreading an understanding of human rights.

Rob Cottrell,
You are absolutely correct. Thank you for making the important distinction.
Yes, the form of government is not the issue, as long as the government respects human and civil rights.

True, history shows us all behaving badly over the centuries (e.g. the Crusades). Nevertheless, that’s the past.

True, democracy and human & civil rights don’t always go hand-in-hand. However, dictatorships and human & civil rights rarely go hand-in-hand.

Our democratic republic has its problems too. Our choices of candidates are severely limited.
Main parties block access to third parties.
Incumbents always outnumber newcomers to congress, and incumbents prevent newcomers from passing badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms. Incumbents won’t allow any reforms that may reduce their power or their opportunities for self-gain. Incumbents have gradually given themselves many unfair advantages to secure their cu$hy, coveted seats.

So, while the U.S. has laws to protect human and civil rights, we have a problem with equal and fair law enforcement, and only a facade of democracy, since incumbents have stacked the deck in their favor. Politicians too often are above the law. Presidents can pardon felons (even those that pled guilty, like the 140 felons Clinton pardoned).

And, incumbents within the federal government are so arrogant and irresponsible, that they are threatening the future and security of the nation. That is why voters must start voting out (or recalling) all irresponsible incumbents now. Unfortunately, that would be a very large percentage of all incumbents, because almost all of them (if not all):
[] vote on pork-barrel while our troops risk life and limb and go without body armor,
[] vote themselves cu$hy perk$ and retirement plans,
[] miserable mismanage and plunder entitlement systems,
[] refuse to secure the borders and enforce the laws, refuse to stop spending and borrowing and bankrupting the nation (it would now take 139 years to pay of the debt),
[] allow abuse of eminent domain laws, refuse campaign finance reform,
[] refuse tax reform,
[] refuse election reform, refuse one-purpose-per-bill-amendment,
[] refuse balanced-budget-amendment, refuse to increase transparency for increased accountbility for increased responsibility,
[] and look the other way.

Who among them is responsible ?
The system is so corrupt, who can tell ?

So, we too have our demons.

Voters had better start voting out irresponsible incumbents while voters still have the right to vote, or we too will become a part of that alarmingly large number of people around the world that have a total absence of understanding of fundamental free speech, and human and civil rights.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #120082

d.a.n,

True, democracy and human & civil rights don’t always go hand-in-hand. However, dictatorships and human & civil rights rarely go hand-in-hand.

That’s absolutely true. But note that, in the West, civil rights grew slowly, over several generations, from authoritarian governments. The Magna Carta, issued in 1215 (in a monarchy, not a democracy), forced the king of England to respect the rights of lesser noblemen. The Declaration of Independence, issued over 500 years later, built upon that basis, demanding those freedoms for all citizens in the American colonies. But really, all our Founding Fathers were asking for was the same rights that were enjoyed already by citizens of England. Even under a monarchy, England had grown an understanding of civil rights.

Civil rights is as much about protecting the rights of minorities as it is promoting the will of the majority. Democracy does the latter very well, but does a poor job of the former. That’s why we have the Bill of Rights in the US — to prevent mob rule from infringing on the rights of the minority. While democracies usually do a better job of protecting freedoms than other governments, they must be limited by an understanding of basic human rights.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #120091

Rob Cottrell,

Well said. Human and Civil Rights is works for everyone.
To violate one threatens the whole.
And any Constitution must be carefully crafted so that neither the majority (mob rule) or minority can never ever make or break laws that violate those basic rights.

While democracies usually do a better job of protecting freedoms than other governments, they must be limited by an understanding of basic human rights.
Yes. And I think we are failing to educate our citizens to understand it, and failing to peacefully force our elected officials to follow and enforce it.

Unfortunately, offices in government, by virtue of their inherent power, are merely positions for personal, self-gain. Government is FOR SALE, and the type and number of common-sense reforms that congress refuses is revealing and disturbing.

Even the best of our Congress persons look the other way, troll for campaign money, vote on pork-barrel, refuse reforms, and fuel the partisan warfare.

The bar is set so low, and some of our problems have grown so large (e.g. national debt, illegal aliens, aging population and mismanaged entitlements systems, government corruption, etc.), it’s not too hard to see one more little push or two sending us right over the edge.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #120105

David:
Great post. This bears repeating:

“No harm comes to the country by burning a flag. Much harm comes to the nation when people try to subvert or undermine the ideals which the flag represents.”

That’s what we’ve got going on in this country right now, a lot of subverting and undermining of our ideals. Which is why it seems such a strange paradox that politicians both Right and Left have been focusing on trying to pass the flag burning amendment.
The act of being able to legally burn the Stars and Stripes in protest shows that our first amendment rights are safe and sound, while focusing on outlawing the burning of that symbol of freedom, is in actuality, an attack upon the very freedom it is supposed to represent. Ironic, is it not?

As for replies to the topic…
Rob Cottrell, truly excellent posts. Well argued, and well said.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 3, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #120149

Dave:

jbod,

There were many threats of violence (against the art studio and artist). The differences, IMO, are (a) It’s your religious extremists so their threats don’t resonate as strongly and (b) the worst FREC wingnut is your average zealot muslim.

Posted by: Dave at February 3, 2006 09:49 AM

Several things: First, I have no idea what an FREC is, so you’ll need to clarify your comment for me. Second, I don’t recall any actual violence regarding Mapplethorpe’s or Ofili’s “art. I also don’t recall any large demonstrations (Tens of thousands of angry Muslims marched through Palestinian cities, burning the Danish flag and calling for vengeance Friday against European countries) or bombings (Palestinian militants threw a bomb at a French cultural center in Gaza City, and many Palestinians began boycotting European goods, especially those from Denmark) regarding the “artwork”. If you can provide comparitive threats and violence in regard to Mapplethorpe or Olisi’s art, I’ll be surprised.

Allow me to state something unequivocally so that you can understand it. I accept terrorist actions from NO ONE, whether they hold the same general beliefs I do or not. A “Christian terrorist” or a “Muslim terrorist” is the same to me—-a terrorist. Your statement above, therefore, is unequivocally incorrect.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 3, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #120154

I guess I could be sympathetic if the Muslem world was as careful about they way they treat Christianity and especially the Jewish faith. They burn bibles in Saudi Arabia, leave Israel off the maps in their school books, their governments publically declare the will wipe Israel off the map, and give an oh so special name to non-Muslems, Infidel.

Please!! Time to grow up and be an equal in the real world.

Posted by: Pat D at February 3, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #120158

Pat D,

and give an oh so special name to non-Muslems, Infidel.

Would you prefer “Gentile”?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #120164

jbod,

FREC, I believe, is Far Right Evangelical Christian…

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #120189

Am I the only one who is still outraged at the
insensitive and idiotic comments of ALDOUS on
how Bush, or anyone else for that matter, shouldn’t still be “harping” on 9/11 ( NOT 911. That’s who millions of people were CALLING on 9/11. ) I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how
some liberals in their mindless hatred for Bush, FORGET that 9/11 was the single biggest attack on
Americans ( civilians ) on American soil.

I’m saddened at how someone I can only assume is
an American can be so compassionate towards a
Muslims beliefs, but so uncaring about the
thousands of Americans either murdered or affected
by the violent acts of a few radical Muslims. Are
Muslims so weak in their faith that a drawing of
their prophet, either positive or negative, can
have them foaming at the mouth in the streets?

“Lighten up” is right. Christians have their
beliefs insulted nearly everyday by Hollywood
( just watch a few episodes of Law & Order ) and
the liberal media, etc.. But in a rational and
civilized culture you protest, write angry letters
and boycott. You don’t threaten to bomb and
kidnap just because your religion was insulted.
I guess Muslims have never heard “sticks & stones
will break my bones, but WORDS will never hurt
me”. If their faith and prophet are that weak,
maybe that’s why they resort to violence.

Am I outraged when my GOD or Savior is mocked or
depicted in a negative way? Of course. Am I
sickened or angered when I see someone, especially
an American, burning the U.S. flag? Yes. But I
also fervently believe in free speech and free will. There’s an outdoor burn ban in Okla. right
now because of a long drought. If someone burned
a U.S. flag protesting the war, I would NOT
support their arrest, unless they did it in a dry
field endangering several nearby homes/properties.

Aldous took foreign newspapers to task for
printing a religiously insensitive image of Mohammed. The papers may have used better sense,
but I support their right to do it. It suprises
me that Aldous apparently doesn’t. But then I’m
also suprised and saddened when people, liberal
or conservative, don’t seem to remember how
recently 9/11 happened. I suppose if they had
lost someone who’d been burned alive, crushed by
tons of metal and concrete or jumped hundreds of feet ( to their faster, less painful death ),
maybe they’d be more sensitive. But then again,
I’m probably just “harping”.

Posted by: Dale Garland at February 3, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #120197

Sicilian Eagle said “On this particuliar issue,Western thought simply cannot understand the affrontry that went on throughout the entire Muslim world over this cartoon.”

Sure they can. Remember the uproar over public funding of the painting of Jesus in a vat of urine? We can understand.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 3, 2006 5:45 PM
Comment #120199

Rob, FREC actually stands for Fundamentalist Right Evangelical Christian. A term I coined over a year ago here at WatchBlog. Glad to see it still has some currency.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 3, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #120205

God, I love religions. They bring so much harmony to the world.

Posted by: mental wimp at February 3, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #120210

The liberals’ mentality will be PC and sensitive up to the very day when sharia is imposed upon them; they will act shocked at what is being forced upon them, but they will ultimately become obedient, if mediocre, Muslim worshippers. The Muslim minority in Europe is now beginning to impose sharia upon the non-Muslim majority, exampled by the Muhammad cartoon crisis. They are vocal and militant, like our own homosexual or ACLU/secularist minorities. The big difference is their birthrate. Before long, they will be the numerical majority, but sharia will be the law of Europe long before that. The cartoon crisis is just one of the last cries of the dying Western majority.

Posted by: Metros at February 3, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #120226

Off The subject. I am a 65 yrs old retiree. They tax my social security. I have to report 85% of social security. Please answer me 3 questions.1st What party voted to put SS in general fund—-(DEMS???)2nd what party voted to tax 50% of SS.—-(DEMS???) what party voted to tax SS at 85%—(Dems-Al Gore cast the deciding Vote ????) If all this is true why dont the Republicans make an Issue of this. Dems the party of the poor —-the working man) Thanks for listing.

Posted by: Thomas at February 3, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #120235

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion go together. Both have to respected or neither means anything, and you can’t have one without the other.

If Pat Robertson came out and said that anybody who published an anti-Christian cartoon should be beheaded, you can just imagine the outcry. In fact, Pat Robertson does have a case of foo-in-mouth almost that bad.

But are those criticizing Pat Robertson being “insenstive” to Christians? Hardly. They criticize him deservedly for his words actions and nobody would say that they should be silenced.

In the same way, if Muslims feel that they’re disrepected, they ought to think about why. Threatening to kill people isn’t winning them any respect or convincing anybody that their religion is deserving of any respect.

Posted by: sanger at February 3, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #120246

Dale,

“But then I’m also suprised and saddened when people, liberal or conservative, don’t seem to remember how recently 9/11 happened.”

Nothing that is said, from the right or the left, liberal or conservative, is going to change the fact that it happened. Being sensitive to the fact isn’t going to change that it happened.

Life has to on, if Americans dwell on what happened on Sept. 11th, we will allow those that want to defeat to defeat us.

Their aim has been to change our way of life. Our fear and negative reactions are acomplishing their goal for them.

Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #120254

Rocky, do you think that it was a bad thing for Americans to “dwell on” Pearl Harbor and allow it to change their way of life?

No. We knew then, just like we know now, who the enemy was and where they had to be confronted—on their own turf.

9-11 HAD to make us look at things differently, and to change our behavior.

If you think that things are bad now, wait and see how much worse they get after the next 9-11. Or the one after that.

We can prevent that from happening by our actions and vigilance or we can just bury our heads in the sand and hope that it was all a bad dream and that it can’t happen again.

If another 9-11 occurs, we can kiss all of our civil liberties goodbye. Unfortunately, I fear that the extreme positions taken by American liberals against even minimally heightened measures is hastening the day that when that occurs.

Posted by: sanger at February 3, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #120273

The below was sent to me this morning. Whlle it does not apply to the cartoons, my insticts keep telling me it fits in here somwhow.

IMMIGRANTS,
NOT AMERICANS,
MUST ADAPT.
I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we
are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge
in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However…… the dust from the attacks had
barely settled when the “politically correct! ” crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to! America.
Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants.
However, there
are a few things that those who have recently come to
our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.
This idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans……
we have our own culture, our
own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language.
Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!

“In God We Trust” is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women…….on Christian principles………….
founded this nation….. and this is clearly documented.
It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools.
If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as
your new home………because
God is part of our culture.

If Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don’t like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.
We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY,
our land, and our lifestyle.
Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion and we
will allow you every opportunity to do so!
But once you are done complaining……. whining…… and griping…….. about our flag……. our pledge…… our national motto………or our
way of life….I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other Great American Freedom…….

THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.


It is, Time for America to Speak up

Posted by: Linda H.askm at February 3, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #120274

sanger,

But are those criticizing Pat Robertson being “insenstive” to Christians? Hardly. They criticize him deservedly for his words actions and nobody would say that they should be silenced.

In the same way, if Muslims feel that they’re disrepected, they ought to think about why. Threatening to kill people isn’t winning them any respect or convincing anybody that their religion is deserving of any respect.

I agree that Christians and Muslims should be judged by the same measuring stick. But that’s not what’s being done here. If Pat Robertson says something offensive, Pat Robertson gets the blame. If the President of Iran says something offensive, the whole friggin’ Muslim world gets the blame. Every Christian has a face and a name, but Muslims are just a giant group to be condemned together.

In your post above, you’ve singled out a specific Christian, and are judging his actions separate from those of other Christians. But you’re not doing the same thing for Muslims. The VAST majority of Muslims aren’t threatening violence, aren’t blowing themselves up on buses, and aren’t beheading people. But you’re judging the whole religion based upon the small minority who are doing those things.

Can’t you see the double standard?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 3, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #120282

Actually, Rob, it’s very common indeed—and especially here on Watchblog—to use Pat Robertson as a represtantive of the beliefs and attitudes of the entire Christian right.

Anybody who tars Muslims with the same broad brush is in error, but the Muslims as a community have never stood up in a forceful way and condemned the actions of those who act violently in their name.
In fact, if polls are to be believed, millions upon millions of muslims support this violence. On 9-11, they danced in the streets.

Sadly, you’ll see a hell of a lot more protest from Muslims about an insulting cartoon than you will about videos of men screaming praise to Allah as they saw the heads off of bound defenseless victims.

When Muslims turn to the streets in rage about these videos, then their protests about cartoons and comic strips might fall on more sympathetic ears.

Posted by: sanger at February 3, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #120286

Sanger,

“We can prevent that from happening by our actions and vigilance or we can just bury our heads in the sand and hope that it was all a bad dream and that it can’t happen again.”

If you read what I wrote carefully, nowhere does it say that we should bury our collective heads.
You and your ilk make great hay by miss-reading and miss-interpeting anything that doesn’t fit the mold of the Hannity-Limbaugh crowd.
What I said was, it happened, nothing anybody can do now will change that it happened.
Where please, does it say that we should bury our heads in the sand?
You can’t answer because it doesn’t say it.

We have to move on. Living in fear of the “next” Sept. 11th is exactly what those folks want us to do.

Is that a concept to foreign to get your head around?

Linda H.askm,

Have you ever taken the time to read what is enscribed on the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

It is from a poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus.

It reads;

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Now unless you feel the need to close that door, we all need to lighten up a lot.

Everybody here is an immigrant.

Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #120322

Sanger,

I wanted to say what you just did, but the dinner bell rang. Until the “silent majority of muslims” speaks up to disavow the direction that their religion is going, I can only deduce that they are all about death to the non-believer. Whereas, Pat Robertson’s views are subject to enough dissent that he ends up apologizing for them. When he says in essence death to Pres. Chavez, we do not whip up a parade, hide behind dish towels and shoot guns in the air waiting for our brethern in Venezuela to run through the city streets with bombs strapped to their chest.

If the majority of muslims were vocal about wanting peace, especially when the cameras were on, I would be much more sympathetic to their cries of blasphemy.

Rocky,
although the Statue says that great quote, (thanks to the French for the Gift by the way) It does not say, come on in and we will adapt our lives to fit yours. Should we let the Irish and English drive on the left? How about allowing the indonesians to have open pit fires in the living room floors of rented domiciles? (happens and it is a mess). How about allowing the sudanese to run a slave trade in our country today? We must be accomodating you know. How about African female vaginal mutilation? All Welcome.

Yes, come on over, but this is the scant amount of conformity that we require. Language, tolerance, and abide by the same rules that us natives have to.


Posted by: Scott at February 3, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #120324

Rocky,

“Everybody here is an immigrant.” ??? I don’t
know about you, and I certainly can’t speak for
everyone on this blog ( although Sanger did a
good job responding to you on your response to
me ), but I am NOT an immigrant ( “not that there’s anything wrong with that!” ). I may be the
distant descendant of immigrants, but I and all
of my recent relatives were born in the U.S.
Surely you know there’s a difference…right?

As for negating history. I agree that if we
constantly live our lives in fear, then we have
allowed the terrorists to win by controlling our
lives. But that doesn’t mean that we should
slowly and quietly forget what happened either.
I don’t remember the exact quote, but I believe it
has something to with not forgeting the Holocaust. “Those who forget the past, are doomed to repeat it.” Unfortunately some of us have
forgotten the atrocities of the Holocaust, other-
wise we may have tried harder to prevent the
genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia.

Rocky you said, “Being sensitive to the fact isn’t
going to change that it happened.” Well duuuhh!!!
If I thought that “being sensitive” could actually
change the course of history, I’d invent the
machine to do it and win the Noble Peace Prize
along with dozens of top science prizes. But
since that ain’t gonna happen, I’ll settle for
trying to be more sensitive to the shortened lives
and memories (and living families) of all of those
innocent civilians who were slaughtered by a few
radical Muslims on 9/11. That’s not “harping”.
That’s caring. A difference that Aldous( he’s been strangely absent/quiet by the way. I guess he has more of a life than some of us ) may not
have grasped yet.

Posted by: Dale Garland at February 3, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #120335

Immigration is a total red herring here.

Especially since neither party is at all willing to do anything about illegal immigration, much less curb legal immigration, and there’s been virtually nothing in all of the many controversial security measures post 9-11 which touches on immigration.

When the political left gets up in arms about the nation’s reactions to 9-11, how many of them are talking about immigration anyway? Where is this giant backlash against immigrants? This huge, preoccupying obsession and fear of immigrants? After Guantanomo, the Patriot Act, wire-taps, NSA eavesdropping etc, immigration doesn’t even rank.

If you’re a left wing activist, and you want to turn yourself into a pariah among your peers, just start talking tough about cracking down on immigrants. And Republicans, especially corporte Republicans, including Bush, have no interest in cracking down on immigration either.

There have been scattered anti-immigrant incidents since 9-11, yes, but it’s hardly been anything of any scale, and I don’t believe that it’s been any more wide-spread than the anti-immigrant feeling that has always cropped up from time to time in this country, primarily because people think that immigrants are taking their jobs and being awarded their tax-dollars.

Posted by: sanger at February 3, 2006 11:37 PM
Comment #120347

Linda H.askm
I TOTALY AGREE! Anyone who doesn’t love this great country of ours, alien or citizen, needs to exercise the right to leave. And the sooner the better.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 4, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #120356

Scott,

“although the Statue says that great quote, (thanks to the French for the Gift by the way) It does not say, come on in and we will adapt our lives to fit yours.”

We all have to adapt to each other in subtle ways or there is chaos.
I live in Arizona where there has been an invasion over the last few years.
Do you really think that I haven’t had to adapt?

“American” culture didn’t happen over night. Over the last 2 centuries there has been plenty of conflict between the multiple cultures that call this place home.

Sanger,

“And Republicans, especially corporte Republicans, including Bush, have no interest in cracking down on immigration either.”

You’re absolutely right.
Bush and his “corporate” cronies couldn’t do business any more without the cheap labor provided by the open border policy.

“There have been scattered anti-immigrant incidents since 9-11, yes, but it’s hardly been anything of any scale, and I don’t believe that it’s been any more wide-spread than the anti-immigrant feeling that has always cropped up from time to time in this country, primarily because people think that immigrants are taking their jobs and being awarded their tax-dollars.”

Yeah, you’re right again. there were plenty of incedents here in Phoenix including a murder in cold blood, just because the guy wore a turban.
BTW, he wasn’t even a Muslim. He was from India.

How ignorant is that?

Posted by: Rocky at February 4, 2006 12:38 AM
Comment #120367

Okay Rocky,

But why have you had to adapt? I live in California, same influx of people. Are your having to adapt because the Mexican tourists are coming with so much money that speaking spanish is more profitable? (like San Felipe?, ensenada, Cabo San Lucas?) or because the local bleeding hearts in government says that it is unfair to give driving tests etc, in english only. I took spanish, because they were my closest neighbor. Had the language been portuguese, or german, that is what I probably would have taken.

This is America, the melting Pot. One word, one culture, many influences. Stew—Beef, Chicken, Fish, vegetable. Still stew. Not Flour-Water-Butter-beef stock-potatoe-simmered for an hour-onion-carrot-mushroom-biscuits-grease-etc. then stew. It is stew. The carrots aren’t crying for recognition, the spuds don’t require a hyphen with their association with the stew. They just are part of the deal. And yes Veggies aren’t human, but they are relevant.

Influence is one thing, but cultural capitulation is another. I like the spanish, danish, africans but pandering to an outside culture disrespects the culture we have already fought for and established here.

Posted by: Scott at February 4, 2006 1:04 AM
Comment #120372

Aldous,

I am not IGNORANT of the fact that making fun of a religion that has millions walking on all fours for miles so that they can squash 300 to 400 of their own on a bridge in order to get to the other side and throw a symbolic rock at an infidel, may have a consequence. I am in amazement that they cannot look at their own behavior and say gee why do others think this way about us?

Posted by: Scott at February 4, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #120375

Scott,

“But why have you had to adapt? I live in California, same influx of people”

I have had to adapt because my neighborhood is now on the edge of the barrio.
I also work in a trade that is involved with the construction of houses (I work with smart houses in computers/audio/video), and there is a lot of construction in the Phoenix area.
I have seen the trades change from skilled craftsmen to semi-skilled imigrants.

Hey I’m not bitching, it is what it is, you adapt, you get on with your life.

Posted by: Rocky at February 4, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #120389

Linda H.askm:

In a few more years, Latinos will outnumber Caucasians and Spanish will become the Language of choice. When that happens, YOU should feel free to leave.

Posted by: Aldous at February 4, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #120393

Scott:

If you don’t know how emotional the Hajj is for Muslims, then you are what you are.

Posted by: Aldous at February 4, 2006 2:02 AM
Comment #120477

AP,David et al

I spent most of Friday on the phone with many European friends and the general view seems to be a hardening of views toward Islam in general.

Most told me of the fury toward Iran on the nuclear issue.Seems the cartoon is now a flash point and linkage had occurred.

On the other hand State has been trying to difuse the situation there calling the cartoon essentially out of line…especially in light of the delicate Hamas situation now developing.

I don’t think is (or was) a freedom of the press thing .We as Americans enjoy that right,and had that cartoon been published by the NYT I think that may trump the Muslim sensitivity issue.

By the way,David,I think it was a crufix in a jar of urine in a show funded by the Nationial Endowment of the Arts..public money…and also there was a statue of the Virgin Mary made entirely from elephant shit too which promped a conservative outcry….keeping in mind Ogelthorpe’s pornograpgic exhibit also funded by public funds.

Europe has problems much different than ours….France,Holland,and Belguiim have huge muslim populations as does Spain.Germany has millions of Turkish muslims.Italy has a lot (not millions but hundreds of thousands) od Africian muslims.So the back lash there may be starting.

Listen,these Muslim protesters don’t know better.Much of what they know is because since birth they have been religiously brainwashed….to them prayer and reverance is much more ingrained in their life(geez…they pray 5 times a day for Pete’s sake…plus get a propaganda lesson once a week at Mosque every Friday to boot)by mullahs who themselves are ignorant and uneducated….most have memorized the holy Koran word for word…the ONLY book that they have every read,and a source of pride is at suppertime when little Almal recites a certain passage of the Koran from memory.

If you want (or even think) to change that ingrained view and belief,it will take generations…maybe..of diplomacy.

Recall that every text book in Suadia Arabia… controlled by the Wahabbi sect….calls for the destruction of Isreal and refers to us as the infidel….and they are our “friends”

MTV isn’t the answer,neither is the internet.Moderates there cower for their life.Moderate journalists are killed as a matter of course.Last year 62 of the 82 journalists killed were Arabs …most espousing moderate view.

Back in history,the allies had a different tactic rather than winning the hearts and minds of Japanese nationaliast (with their religious zealots…the kamikaze) and the Nazis (with the Hitler Youth).

Then the answer was to kill off a whole generation and then take the young and educate them ab initio.

I am not espousing that view.That was then this is now.

I wasn’t kidding three weeks ago when I said 2006 would be an interesting year geo-politicially,and this is just the tip of the iceberg,I fear.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 4, 2006 6:56 AM
Comment #120499

Scott,

This is America, the melting Pot. One word, one culture, many influences. Stew—Beef, Chicken, Fish, vegetable. Still stew. Not Flour-Water-Butter-beef stock-potatoe-simmered for an hour-onion-carrot-mushroom-biscuits-grease-etc. then stew. It is stew.

Yes, but when beef is introduced to the mostly-vegetable stew, are the vegetables telling the beef it has to become a vegetable or get out? That’s what you’re advocating here.

At one time, all Americans were immigrants (the natives at the time weren’t considered Americans). They brought their cultures with them to America, where they eventually (over several generations) allowed other cultures to influence theirs. Through this, the “American culture” grew. And every time there was a new wave of immigration (Germans, Irish, whatever), a new culture was brought in and merged with the whole. The immigrants didn’t have to fully adapt to American culture, and Americans didn’t have to fully adapt to the immigrants — instead, each influenced the other, creating a new American culture that was more diverse than the old one.

I agree that a good deal of the burden of change should be on the immigrant — they should learn the predominant language, the laws, etc. But native-born citizens should adapt as well. If you have a wave of Spanish-speaking immigrants in your neighborhood, expect them to speak Spanish to each other. Learn a little Spanish yourself. Expect differences in styles of music, styles of dress, landscaping, entertainment, food, etc. And expect them to affect your daily life, just as YOUR culture affects THEIR daily lives. Eventually, the two will merge, and a new American culture will emerge.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 4, 2006 8:47 AM
Comment #120503

sicilianeagle,

Much of what they know is because since birth they have been religiously brainwashed….to them prayer and reverance is much more ingrained in their life(geez…they pray 5 times a day for Pete’s sake…plus get a propaganda lesson once a week at Mosque every Friday to boot)

Funny… I pray 5 times a day as well (when I wake up, before each meal, and when I go to bed), and get my weekly “propaganda lesson” at church on Sundays. I can’t buy that the problems are all due to religion. Especially when the terrorists, dictators, etc. are all violating the tenets of their religion with their actions.

It’s true that there is currently more terrorism and violence among Muslims than among non-Muslims. And it’s true that a higher percentage of them are supportive of these acts than elsewhere. But even if a full 5% of them became bomb-wearing sacks of exploding entrails, and another 20% supported them in it, that wouldn’t be sufficient reason to write off the other 75%. Remember, for every Muslim that was threatening violence, there were a dozen or more peacefully marching, and for every Muslim peacefully marching, there were a dozen or more who stayed at home.

Get the terrorists, stop the violence — but don’t blame an entire race or religion for the actions of a small minority of their people.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 4, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #120510

Rob
Believe me I am NOT blaming an entire race…merely pointing out the inherent cultural divide betewwen East and West.

We need to look at the problem thru their (uneducated) eyes,that’s all.

While religion isn’t the cause of all problems there…it is used a convienient method of whipping up a particuliar sentiment for sure.

I am worried about the 10% lunitic frindge…that’s 100 million Muslim fanatics….larget than the Nazis were during WWII.

That is why I said that Iraq was(and is) a battlefield…semms like another front in Palestine is about to open.with a third in Iran getting ready too.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at February 4, 2006 9:25 AM
Comment #120524

We are already in a holy war with Islam, so what is the point of being nice. Muslims believe in world domination by the sword; read their Koran so you can see what I say is true. Their justifications for murder and mayhem are pointless. It is what the law of their so called prophet teaches them. It is one of the faults I have with my friend W, when he comes out and says Islam is a noble faith. OK, it may be that he has to , seeing that he’s our Prez. and all

Posted by: G A PHILLIPS at February 4, 2006 10:02 AM
Comment #120534

The problem is that Islam is a religion. It is not true faith. The Catholic church is a religion also. Neither one has much to do with God, whose name happens to be Jesus Christ. I was a uniform skirt wearing, bead carrying Catholic once. It wasnt until I tried to communicate with God that I realized that I was NOT a saved Christian. That is what Islam and Caltholicism have in common. Neither faith allows personal communication with God. Just idle chatter in His ear. Both religions have a long history of killing anyone who does not convert to their evil doctrine. If only the Catholics had followed Christ’s command to spread the good news, instead of raping, and murdering and stealing; just maybe Islam would be a thing of the past, and no heads would be rolling!!! Some day all of us will bend our knee and proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, then most will go to eternal damnation. That is the saddest thing of all, if only we would all do it now and ask forgiveness for our sins against Him, we would know peace finally. Sadly, most churches today are not leading us in the correct direction. Each of us, all of us in the world, have free will to worship the true God, or not. If only “religions” understood that God doesn’t want love or worship that is not freely given.

Posted by: G A's girl at February 4, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #120535

sicilianeagle,

Again, we agree. (How’d THAT happen?) :-)

The unfortunate fact is that the Bad Guys (tm) have run a more effective political campaign than the Good Guys (tm). The terrorists understand what the average Muslim wants, and twist that to support their agendas. The Good Guys, on the other hand, fail to understand the very people they’re trying to protect.

Consider the occupation of Palestine, for example. Most Muslims want to see that come to an end. The Bad Guys have convinced them that the only way for that to happen is to destroy Israel. The Good Guys have a peaceful solution, but they’re not presenting it at the grass-roots level that the terrorists are. The terrorists are walking the streets every day, talking to the people, spreading their message person by person. We, on the other hand, are holding press conferences on CNN.

We have a better solution than the terrorists. But we’re not SELLING IT TO THE PEOPLE.

In the recent Palestinian elections, the people had two real choices: Fatah (which was pushing the peace process) and Hamas (which was pushing violence). Which did they vote for? The one that kept the lights on, delivered the mail, and fed their children! Fatah had the better message on Israeli relations, but completely failed to connect to the people in the areas that really mattered to them.

In the 1980s, Reagan proved that we could beat the Communists without firing a shot — by waging an economic war. He forced them to match us dollar-for-dollar in an escalating arms race, until eventually their economy tanked. He knew that winning the war wasn’t just about having the stronger military.

The same is true for the War on Terror. It’s not going to be won with just bullets and bombs. If we want to defeat terrorists, we must understand the things they’re doing RIGHT (charities, public services, etc.), and outdo them there.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 4, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #120542

G A PHILLIPS,

We are already in a holy war with Islam, so what is the point of being nice. Muslims believe in world domination by the sword; read their Koran so you can see what I say is true. Their justifications for murder and mayhem are pointless. It is what the law of their so called prophet teaches them. It is one of the faults I have with my friend W, when he comes out and says Islam is a noble faith. OK, it may be that he has to , seeing that he’s our Prez. and all

Not all Muslims believe that — I know several who don’t. Then again, not all Christians believe, for example, that a wife should be subservient to her husband (as is claimed in Ephesians 5:22-23), or that adulterers should be put to death (Leviticus 20:10).

Many Christians have believed in world domination by the sword, too — remember the Crusades?

But, in comparison, how often do you find statements in Christianity like this one from the Qur’an:

Those who believed - the Jews, the Christians, the Sabeans, and others - who believe in God, the Day of Judgement and do good deeds, stand to be rewarded by God. No fear or grief shall befall them (Qur’an 2:62; 5:72)

The religion of Islam recognizes the legitimacy of Judaism and Christianity, even if some Muslims don’t. Can you say the same thing of Christianity? I can’t (and, yes, I’m a Christian.)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 4, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #120556

Interesting to see that the views on this aren’t falling neatly along the traditional Left-Right divide. My take is that, although running such cartoons is culturually insensitive, it’s crucial to stand up for the right of free expression on this one. Religious zealots shouldn’t be allowed to intimidate whole societies, even if the press does something that’s dumb.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at February 4, 2006 11:58 AM
Comment #120557

It seems to me that there are enough things happening that the Muslims are not upset about yet, responsible for that outweigh the Mohammed caricature.

Posted by: steve smith at February 4, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #120559

‘In the recent Palestinian elections, the people had two real choices: Fatah (which was pushing the peace process) and Hamas (which was pushing violence). Which did they vote for? The one that kept the lights on, delivered the mail, and fed their children! Fatah had the better message on Israeli relations, but completely failed to connect to the people in the areas that really mattered to them.”
Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 4, 2006 10:31 AM

Rob,
Apparently there was more to the election and the reason for the way the vote went than we were led to believe.

Seems there were really 3 parties running but one of them was linking itself to Fatah. The ‘3rd’ party took enough votes from the real Fatah to cause the Hamas ‘victory’ in some districts.

Sort of like the Dems blaming Nater for their loss in the last 2 pres. elections here???

Posted by: dawn at February 4, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #120579

“Sort of like the Dems blaming Nater for their loss in the last 2 pres. elections here???”

Or Ross Perot in the two before that.

Posted by: Rocky at February 4, 2006 12:34 PM
Comment #120586

Simply had to throw that in there….

What’s a comment without some sort of jab?

Everything that goes wrong is always someone elses fault…

Posted by: dawn at February 4, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #120595

We are in a holy war with Islam no matter what you or they believe, and please do not try to compare catholics or any other of the busted off sects who twist the word of God to there own meaning with what the Son of God gave to us. ether you believe the word of God or you don’t, if you read the bible properly some laws are for certin Kingdoms and some laws are for all mankind and the jews have lost there chosen status and the followers of the prophet of doom never had one. I am not trying to be harsh with you but the truth is the truth. all that is happening was foretold and is coming true. we can only accept the Son sacrafice and try retain his gift by following the laws of his and our father. though I pray with all my heart that all will one day see the light, it is writin that not all will. If you whant to know more go to (discover bible guides). we are called to forgive and pray but we must also defend the faith.

Posted by: G A PHILLIPS at February 4, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #120600

Rob

Reagan’s contribution to the defeat of communism was necessary but not sufficient and it was hardly a peaceful or low risk operation. He confronted communists in Central America, Africa and Afghanistan. He developed weapons systems and (despite foolish peace movement and communist front organizations) managed to push an agressive policy. President Bush is following a similar strategy against terrorism. The actual deployment of U.S. forces is a difference dicatated by the different sort of enemy.

We can’t use the economic weapon against the terror economy because the terrorists don’t have an economy. They live like parasites on ours, so we would have to destroy our own economy to get to theirs.

Posted by: Jack at February 4, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #120602

Rob,
Of course as a Christian, I cannot judge your heart and I pray you are a Christian. However, I can use decernment to judge your words and actions. A Christian would know that Christ was a Jew, He FULFILLED the prophecies of the Jewish people. As for Islam, when God came into the world to give testimony to the truth, there was no Islam, and wouldn’t be for 600 years. In fact, He warned us not to follow false prophets (aka Mohammed). There IS NO legitimacy to those “religions” if salvation is what you wish to be the end result of your beliefs.

The reason most Muslims do not participate in what most people consider “extremism” or “fundamentalism” is because most people are slackers where there faith is concerned. In fact, a peaceful Muslim is confined to a special place in Hell where he will be roasted on a spit day and night by Allah himself according to Muslim beliefs. Please also keep in mind that the crusades were the Catholics………NOT the Christian chuch. If you remember, the Roman Catholic’s killed or jailed everyone who did not follow their doctrine.

As for Christian women being subserviant to men, what that means is that there has to be a leader in every group such as a family, God intended for men to do that job and intended women to be the nurturers. However, a man is to show respect to his wife and to always put the needs of his wife and children first…..sacrificial love. This I did not learn in my Catholic upbringing, but through lots of prayer and Bible study. Do not try to turn the Bible into a textbook. Ask God to reveal his word to you.

Posted by: G A's girl at February 4, 2006 1:37 PM
Comment #120604

Aldous,
Congratulations, it only took you an hour and a half to get President Bush into this.

Posted by: Mike at February 4, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #120606

These sort of situations will never be solved by closed minds.

Posted by: Rocky at February 4, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #120614

Jack,

I’m not saying that military action isn’t required. At times it is. But military action ALONE won’t win this war. We have to start addressing the concerns of the innocents who are caught in the middle, and we have to do it better than the terrorists have.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 4, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #120640

Something occured to me a while ago. Apparently, not a single one of the newspapers involved in the showing of those pictures had an overseas office. Not a single one has a reporter stationed outside their country.

Hmmm… I guess its easy to be brave when you’re safely away from any risk. Kinda like most Republicans.

Posted by: Aldous at February 4, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #120643

From the NYT…”Ouch”, this must have hurt, especially that second paragraph!!

“It also signals the failure, at least for now, of the two-and-a-half year strategy of France, Britain and Germany that was based on the premise that Iran could be coaxed into freezing crucial nuclear activities if the political, technological, economic and security rewards from the West were enticing enough.

In recent months, the three countries have moved much closer to the position of the Bush administration, which has branded Iran as part of an “axis of evil” and never held out much hope for the European negotiating track.

The resolution is a compromise between the Americans, who wanted immediate action, and the Russians and Chinese, who wanted a delay, and it will allow concrete Security Council action against Iran only after a delay of at least a month.”

What is it that keeps these countries and some here in the USA to want to keep negotiating ad nausium year after year after year.
These radical Muslim regimes are masters getting the monumentaly gullable to keep blathering while they maintain their agenda’s!!

Posted by: Dr. Dickran Mgrdechian at February 4, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #120658

This is just the Begining of the end for Islam. For what they preach, they too shall suffer. I guess the coward U.S. papers did not have the “stones” to publish the cartoons. This is freedom of speech in this great country. Get over it Islam. Stay tuned listeners it’s only going to get better. defeatjihad.org

Posted by: Proud American Infidel at February 4, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #120660

wow. Im pretty fed up with this whole murder plunder and do whatever pleases you to terrorize those with any opinion you disagree with or even better, hurt anyone and anything nearby when youre upset. ok, this is evil. period. no matter what religion. it is evil to cause young girls to marry old men in the name of religion. it is just plain wrong. I would think that after 911 things like this would be a wake up call to people around the world to realize in good conscience that hurting other people is just wrong and it shouldnt matter if they are even muslim. I mean it just sickens me that this mob mentality is taking over a religion that professes to want peace, so why are all these bad things coming from their basic beliefs? what society can exist under that mentality? well it seems that only Islam can exist and are they going to stop? the violence is getting worse! I am sorry but I am afraid of the justified radical behavior because it isnt right even if thats what they believe. They dont care about any other religion. I mean I am mormon and we take ridicule constantly, but we didnt go storming the capitol when they murdered our prophet Joseph Smith. No they peacefully moved to Utah and we peacefully continue to practice our religion and we believe in respecting others beliefs. Mormons arent perfect but our doctrine says to respect others and let them worship how they please. I dont want to live in fear of offending a muslim. It isnt right that any should oppress their beliefs on the whole world. Ihope it can stop but I believe it will follow the trend. I wish it wouldnt be that way but we cant let the violence continue.

Posted by: what is wrong at February 4, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #120661

Rob

Agree that hard and soft power both must be used. It is just that you can’t usually apply soft power without hard power first.

Aldous

I don’t believe you know what a strong point you made and in which direction. You contend that the publishing of cartoons takes courage and you are talking about physical courage. What an indictment is that when you know that people in the Muslim world are so unreasoning that they will attack and maybe kill representatives of a firm that publishes a series of articles in its home country.

Think of how much more respect you have for Americans and Republicans. You write some provocative things. Yet you know (and you are right) that if you met a group of us, you would be perfectly safe from anything but verbal chastisement and an argument we all might enjoy.

Posted by: Jack at February 4, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #120663

These cartoons were done in september of last year… So, what took Islam so long to become outraged. It was the Prez of Iran that started all this by repeatedly calling the CNN of the Arab world, Aljazeera and getting them to replay this whole thing over and over again. Why you ask, to take the focus off of Iran’s Nuke troubles….Islam should be very careful not to pull the lions tail while it’s head is in its mouth….

Posted by: Proud American Infidel at February 4, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #120701

Rob Cottrell: (Ref your comments above at February 4, 2006 10:59 AM)

Your selective ignorance of history is driving me nuts.

First, comparing Islamic Jihad to the Crusades is like comparing the Rock of Gibraltar to a stone. The Islamic expansion, by sword if necessary, is a fundamental driving force in Islam, required by the Koran, and supported by the Hadiths and espoused by thousands of Muslim clerics and terrorist leaders. It is an admiited cherished dream of moderate Muslims like an officer of CAIR to see the United States as an Islamic state. Crusades were only about liberating the Christian holy lands from the destructive Muslims; not about dominating the world through religion.

Second, you quote a Koran Sura from the Medina period when Mohammad was weak and had to save his life by escaping from Mecca in the middle of the night. It all changed years later when his marauders conquered Mecca, and slaughtered 800 jews in one day and one night. How about a sample from the Meccan Suras, such as Koran 2:191, or [9.5] “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

Quite an earful, eh Rob! But convert or die has always been the motto of Muslim conquerers.

Third, you are complaining about what appears to be a historic impossiblity. Muhammad can recognize Jews and Christians, or the people of the book because he was born in the 6th century and the Jews were everywhere in the middle east. But how can the Torah or the Bible recognize Islam when it came into being more than six hundreds year later? As a matter of fact they warned against future prophets who will darken the soul of humans as Islam has done very successfully.

Posted by: Ravi at February 4, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #120704
We are in a holy war with Islam no matter what you or they believe… the jews have lost there chosen status and the followers of the prophet of doom never had one. I am not trying to be harsh with you but the truth is the truth. all that is happening was foretold and is coming true. we can only accept the Son sacrafice and try retain his gift by following the laws of his and our father. though I pray with all my heart that all will one day see the light, it is writin that not all will. If you whant to know more go to (discover bible guides). we are called to forgive and pray but we must also defend the faith.

You seem very sure of yourself. Someday I think you might look around and realize what tiny creatures we all are in the face of a vast and awesome universe. Until then I fear that your vision of God will be constrained by a lack of comprehension of the limits of human understanding.

Posted by: Amani at February 4, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #120708

what is wrong,

I mean I am mormon and we take ridicule constantly,

Cool! So am I!

Mormons arent perfect but our doctrine says to respect others and let them worship how they please. I dont want to live in fear of offending a muslim.

Strangely enough, Muslim doctrine says to respect others, too. But, unfortunately, a peaceful religion can be followed by violent people. (I probably don’t have to remind you of Mountain Meadows.) I doubt that God smiles upon the murder of ANY of his children. The important thing to remember is that not all Muslims are guilty of violence and hate. Most of them ARE peaceful people. They’re just not the ones you see on television.

Ihope it can stop but I believe it will follow the trend. I wish it wouldnt be that way but we cant let the violence continue.

I agree. But meeting the violence with more violence won’t be enough to stop it — especially if we don’t take time to differentiate between the terrorists and the peaceful ones.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 4, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #120713

I am cintually surprised by The penchant many Americans seem to have for hypocracy.

For instance, you just paralleled the burning of the American flag, although loosely, with the sacrigious depiction of Mohamed by soem Danish news papers. Do you WORSHIP the flag in any religious sense? …and yet it those same supposedly conservative types who are undermining the very essence of our Constitution. It is as though the image, symbol, idolatry if you will is MORE important than the actual foundation of our country. Why is that? It is the same people, it seems, who knock Catholicism in favor of those rediculous evangelical churches that are more about creating forced homogeny than any kind of Christian love while simultaneously literally worshiping the symbols, not of God, but of a political, territorial entity (our country). Why?
At the height of the British Empire, and still today, The Brits use their old Union Jacks to polish brass and to scrub ship decks. Why do we simultaneously engage in idolatry with respect to such temporal things while we undermine the very essence and substance of what they stand for?. Why do ANY Americans revere the flag and still push for the Patriot Act? Are we insane?

And then to add insult to injury, we completely disregard the sensitivities of others with respect to their beleifs. We seem hell bent to insult and blaspheme just because we don’t understand the sensitivities of others. If a cartoon of Mohamed is just a cartoon, why must we WORSHIP the flag, throw away the constitution, and get all upset when the Muslims are offended by the cartoon of their prophet?

Are we the only ones allowed to revere symbols?

RGF

Posted by: RGF at February 4, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #120717

Ravi,

Let’s bring this to a more personal level. Do you actually KNOW any Muslims? If so, how many of them have tried to kill you for not believing in their religion?

I ask because I know several Muslims, and they are some of the most peaceful folks I’ve ever met. I don’t agree with their religion, and have had in-depth discussions with them about our different faiths — and yet they’ve never once tried to kill me for not converting to Islam.

You can quote the Qur’an all you want. But if I want to know what a Muslim believes, I’ll trust the Muslim’s word over yours.

I ask you and everyone else here one simple question — how many actual Muslims did you speak with before developing your opinion of what Muslims believe?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 4, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #120731

I’ve read, not all of the comments posted here.
Just kinda seems like to me, that a religion that
accepts the context of killing children, sending
it’s advocates (in a purely penthouse letter nirvana)to bomb innocents, and, or, chops people’s
heads off to show on an “independent” network news
program is inherently a bad thing. Call me nuts, but crazy is crazy. And should be called out

Posted by: Eric at February 4, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #120734

Rob, if you really want to know what Muslims think, read the Egyptian, Syrian, Iranian or Saudi newspapers. They are always full of vitriol and mischief for the Jews, Israel, and America. Don’t extrapolate from your limited safe contacts. The Muslims in America keep a low profile for very good reasons.

Posted by: Ravi at February 4, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #120739

GA Phillips:

My Gosh, I have never seen so much un-PC like expression of beliefs as you have espoused in a long time. Go wash your mouth with soap. Just kidding!

Really, as the crazies in the Middle East go marching down burning flags, effigies, embassies, and chanting death to everything in sight, let us, you and I go down to DC and waive some flags with the inscription, “Down with PC” to protest against the State Department’s meddling, totally uncalled for, and unnecessary pronouncements on this controversy.

Posted by: Ravi at February 4, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #121103

Really, as the crazies in the Middle East go marching down burning flags, effigies, embassies, and chanting death to everything in sight, let us, dip our amo in pigs blood. Death to the sons of Islam.Look up the word Allah in the dictionary you will notice the very next word is all- american do-do-do-do-do-do-do

Posted by: Allah be damned at February 5, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #121141

Here is a sample of what appears regularly in in Muslim publications. Of course, we don’t burn things down.

It is time we demand respect too. Or maybe we should just forget about it and tell anyone who gets upset about pictures that they should just grow up.

Posted by: Jack at February 5, 2006 6:23 PM
Comment #121220

Rob

I spent a whole year talking to Muslims about what they think. Most of them are great people, but there is one very scary aspect that I found even in really nice guys. Many Muslims view non-Muslims as sort of second class citizens. They talk about toleration, but the toleration presupposes acceptance of Islamic superiority in any cases of conflict. The case of the cartoons shows this well. It is just none of the business of anyone outside Denmark what is published there. You can have an opinion about it, but you have no right to demand anything. Just like we have no right to demand that Muslims allow Christian missionaries in Mecca during the Haj.

Posted by: Jack at February 5, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #121291
It is time we demand respect too. Or maybe we should just forget about it and tell anyone who gets upset about pictures that they should just grow up.

I couldn’t agree more, Jack. There comes a point when we must make an assertion of our own rights, and this is it. What they are demanding is incompatible with the most fundamental principles of our (western) society, and we must take a stand in defense of our ideals. It is unconscionable that, rather than backing the Europeans in defending the tenets of democratic society (freedom of the press), we are bowing to the dictates of religious extremism (Our views are the only ones allowed to be expressed). By demanding that the Danish government, rather than the newspapers, appologize for these actions they are opposing not the cartoons, but the right of freedom of the press itself.

Many Muslims view non-Muslims as sort of second class citizens. They talk about toleration, but the toleration presupposes acceptance of Islamic superiority in any cases of conflict.

So what is so startling about this? I would say it is true of most religions that, although they may tolerate outsiders they view them as fundamentally wrong. The question is whether or not they are willing to constrain their disagreement to the conduct agreed upon in civil society.

Posted by: Amani at February 6, 2006 2:09 AM
Comment #121298

In fact I’m considering writing a letter to congress, and I suggest you do the same. This defference to censorship is unacceptable.

Posted by: Amani at February 6, 2006 2:31 AM
Comment #121386

Amani,

rather than backing the Europeans in defending the tenets of democratic society (freedom of the press), we are bowing to the dictates of religious extremism (Our views are the only ones allowed to be expressed). By demanding that the Danish government, rather than the newspapers, appologize for these actions they are opposing not the cartoons, but the right of freedom of the press itself.

Thanks.
As many others europeans here, I don’t really understand Bush position about this issue. His declaration sounds very paradoxal if we consider how many times he said “we’ll defend our way of life” !?
Does european freedom of the press *that* different compared to US’s one??? Freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental universal human rights, defending it is defending our way of life. Since when it’s not anymore part of USA’s way of life???
Maybe, once again, he just can’t align himself politically with EU without being sick :-\

BTW, I found these cartoons stupids. That’s the purpose of sarcastic cartoons most of time.
Anyway, I understand that many muslims could be offended by them. IMHO, it would be great that cartoonists present some apologies to those offended. I’m worried that many radical islamists groups are using it to help their causes.

But I’ll defend to death the right for these (tasteless) artists to draw and publish their works in EU zone. Because that’s what I believe in. Freedom of expression.
After all, nobody has forced muslims to see these cartoons. They’re and always were free to NOT look at them. If a cartoon could send them in such furry, what will they do about Islam offenses many “infidels” could *think* of, at this particular moment of time?!

Yeah, Jack, you’re right, time to grow up for them.

PS: after US boycott on french goods, time for the other *side* to boycott us. In both case, doesn’t really hurt that much but, well, please stop being childish!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 6, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #121389

Phillipe

I wish we (the U.S. Government) would take a stronger stand. This American is with you. I agree with you that the cartoons are in bad taste, but we can’t let the most violent decide what we can see. Kudos to the European media on this one.

Free speech is interesting and so is indignation.

Why is it that animal rights groups throw paint at old ladies in fur coats, but avoid insulting motorcycle gangs wearing leather? It is the same reason all our brave advocates of free speech attack the U.S. or France and not Islam. Good to point it out.

Posted by: Jack at February 6, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #121647

Hey folks! I was amused that I stirred up such fuss with my post about immigrants. I never actually stated how I felt on the subject. I simply got it in my e-mail and meremly posted it because it seemed to fit in with some of the earily posts.

Personally I think we should be proud to be immigrants - after-all, that’s what helps makes our country such a great one.

Although we do need to try to find one language we can all understand - how about pig-latin?

Posted by: Linda H. at February 6, 2006 9:42 PM
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