Saturday, February 04, 2006
what? A mere itty bitty little cartoon will accomplish what YEARS of concentrated efforts from the "current administration" FAILED to accomplish?!?
Reality is sometimes much stranger than fiction is - indubitably.
All that Dubya has done in his two terms (lest it is all that Dick Cheney has done, through him) is categorically as nothing in comparison to the effects of one tiny single panel cartoon depicting Mohammad... Well, obviously it is viewed as a most disrespectful caricature of the Prophet, as it is also one of the entire muslim world. And that will get all of Islam's blood boiling faster than any U.S.-led military action on muslim soil. How... odd. But no matter the oddness of the comparatitive value of these two facts - it is beside the point here. The possible events that can stem from this single cartoon are simply mind-blowing indeed...
Wouldn't it be amazing to see the entire planet engulfed in one final decimating war - over a cartoon strip? Every outrageous thing that Dubya did wasn't enough to incense all the muslim nations enough into banding together as One and steamrolling all over the "Infidel Invader" (!) - but now they will, because someone got inspiration from perennial French favorite Iznogoud...?!? It takes a little and a lot for them to mobilize it seems... quite literally too. Within hours of the publication of this cartoon, there has been a flurry of activity that is quite simply... astonishingly hard to believe! From kidnapping threats to the firing of a French editor over said cartoon! This, even though at least one Muslim group has accepted an apology over this blasphemous defiance of Sharia law (depicting the picture of the prophet is prohibited under Sharia law.)
See? Muslims are better at their religion than Christians are! I have seen so many blasphemous doctored pictures depicting a likeness of my Saviour - Christ, the son of God... and what has anybody done about THAT outrage? Were there any kidnapping threats issued? No! Anybody got fired? I don't think so! If they won't go this far for their Lord, it is obvious that not one single soul in the Christian world would kill a blasphemer (always a fellow westerner too! Never a "foreigner" - another thing that Islam has over the Western world - their unity!).
But I've digressed yet again...
The fact that an apology was issued (by... someone, somewhere!) does not help matters at all, alas. For it is indeed as null and void, seeing as other papers have dared to reprint the cartoon... Thus, we can assume that Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades remain on standby... Next stop: the Islamic Jihad. Yikes. Don't the Danish wish they had had one less cartoonist among their creative people now... hmm?
It is actually silly to hear European newspapers argue that "freedom of speech is sacred" - in the face of angry Muslims naturally offended by "jokes" that they can only consider utterly blasphemous. Do journalists and reporters know what "sacred" means? The right to say or write inane things shouldn't be hailed as "sacred" - it isn't even a "right" to do such things! Knowingly offending someone, when it is totally unprovoked, should not be tolerated! I sincerely doubt that this is "payback" for 9/11 (even though the cartoon is evidently linked to that - I was somehow allowed to peek at it by my local blasphemous news broadcasting network - they know what's coming to them now too!) and I doubt that this Danish cartoonist (D.C. - here ye art once again!) had any relative of his perish in the WTC Twin Towers...
"The government of Denmark has to do something to appease the Muslim world," said an official. Hmm... Danish pastries for everyone - will that do? It will cost a bundle on postal costs alone though... all those carepackages, you know... Maybe sentencing to death the culprit -the cartoonist- will be less costly... hmm?
The whole world is already in an uproar over this, a mere 48 hours after the initial publication of this cartoon. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yuri Thamrin was quoted saying that this dispute "was not just between Jakarta and Copenhagen." (I always liked those names and locales, as a storyteller and traveller, by the way - Jakarta and Copenhagen! Never thought I'd see them linked by such controversy in my life though...!) "It involves the whole Islamic world vis-à-vis Denmark and vis-à-vis the trend of Islamophobia," added Yuri Thamrin, on behalf of most of Indonesia, I am sure...
Pakistan, as ever in the thick of things, had their precious parliament pass a resolution officially condemning the cartoon as "blasphemous and derogatory".
Just to annoy their arch-nemesis and neighbor, India did not.
Never mind the fact that India is not exactly a "muslim country"...
Meanwhile, in everyone's favorite muslim country, IRAQ, Iraqi Christians are fearful - rightfully so too. There were excessive (and much more passionate than when it involves anti-american sentiment) violent protests, culminating with the burning of the Danish flag (which is all red... with a white cross on it! Depending how you are holding it, there's symbolism there...) and so, "a new wave of attacks by Muslims, driven by anger" over this cartoon could happen... and keep happening... until all cartoonists are dead and buried?
Time to pause and mention that, for this luminous blogger, this is extremely ironic... for I found virulent opposition when I clashed with amateur cartoonists whose preferences can be summed up in two words - "toilet humor". And me, I want more tasteful jokes. The further it could get, perhaps, would be to have a cartoony cat pretend to be an Humphrey Bogart-type of private detective named, say... Dick Spade. And then to have a dazzling sulfurous blonde come in and ask him, casually (but sultry still) - "are you... Spade?". See? That is the perfect compromise. Tasteful and somewhat daring, if not risqué per say...! Subdued and low-key actually - just like what a Bob Newhart or a David Letterman would do. Or even a Larry David. All usually successful and all digestable. Oh - and not a hint of blaspheme! The Soup Nazi was as far as Seinfeld would have ever gone in an "assault" upon another culture... But enough about that...
Back to the news...
"La Libération" in France has published the offending cartoon - and so has the Belgian newspaper De Standaard. Both defend the "freedom of expression" to the last apparently... even over survival instincts and good old fashioned common sense!
Ironically, today, also in the news, was a report on a French-Canadian (close enough to un maudit Français) who sought online a Belgian woman he had met briefly in Cuba and could not forget. He found her too - and they chat on AOL now! Don't you just love a happy ending? But I've digressed yet again... *arrrghhh*
British newspapers refused to publish the cartoon though - up til now that is. And venerable CNN has declined showing them on-air as well (or on their website, linked here) "out of respect for Islam". Foreign Minister Jack Straw -old strawman himself, as scaredy-cat as ever... and thus, a poor scarecrow he is... but I digress for the umpteenth time- applauded the Brits' reticence there. Of course - no sense in poisoning any further an already poisoned situation...
It is, it appears, a Battle of the Value Systems - respect for religion versus freedom of speech. Care to place your bets on which side will win... and what will be the effects of that - and the long-term consequences?
I'd be interested in your take on the question.
No vague aliases.
And even a photo to go with that - I did not ask so much!
There is not one iota of islamophobia in me, one way or the other. I would not have suggested that mere (tons of) Danish pastries would compensate for this "sacrilege" - if such was the case. I would not have shown understanding of Islam by complimenting their passion for their faith and their unity either.
The Western world, in comparison, is lukewarm at best. I've repeated so many times. Most of us are Christian in name only...
Anyhow, the question of freedom of speech should not even be in the same ballpark as the one around the "sacredness" of any religious beliefs.
In the name of freedom of speech, countless cases of slander, libel, malicious spreading of unfounded rumors and the like have happened and continue to happen. Some paperboys just don't check their facts. In the case of an editorial or a cartoon, there are no facts to check anyways! It is all about opinion and impressions... and parody. Some things should not be made fun of - for me, these include Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary, God The Father, Heaven...
Truth be told, I actually hope this is the wake-up call that Islam needed. Let's just get this over with. We can't get along - so we "gotta get it on". That's Western attitude "for ya"! As with 9/11, I saw it as a tragedy, sure. But I also saw it as an endtime necessity. Since then things have been slow-moving. Dubya is oil-crazy - but not mad enough to precipitate the world into the inevitable apocalypse that is to come. Only passion for something much HIGHER than material goods (such as the damn oil) can achieve that.
Islam can strike back all it wants. I may even want to add fuel to the fire. But not like the Danish cartoonist did - no. I respect religious conviction too much for that. I wouldn't want to have it done to me that way either. Hence, I would never do it that way either.
The conflict is inevitable.
A simple cartoon is enough to ignite such violent passions - that is telling. (Although somewhat comical - but, again, I would be highly displeased if I saw something of the sort mocking my Lord. And I have seen it in the past too. I did not make kidnapping threats at that time though - no.)
The apocalypse is inevitable.
Deep down, such a thing as "islamophobia" is aberrant and ludicrous. They exist - that will not change. They are numerous and more enthusiastic (make that much more) about their faith than we will ever be, collectively, about our own. To fear the INEVITABLE is what is not RATIONAL...
I fear it not.
I embrace it!
And look forward to it!
Hopefully we'll have front row seats for armageddon, you and I both, Scott!
That was a very interesting article you wrote. I hadn't heard anything about that cartoon until I read your blog.
I have missed reading and commenting on your blog. I'm sorry I haven't been commenting in a while. Your blog is Great!
God Bless You (\ô/)