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Old 01-29-2006, 08:05 AM   #16
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:51 AM   #17
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Latest developments:

Libya closes its embassy in Denmark

The rest of the Middle East joins the boycott.

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Old 01-29-2006, 11:21 AM   #18
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It's because you can't separate religion and politics in Islamic countries. I'd like to see a list of the boycotting countries. I think I'll visit the official Danish web site and tell them I'm going out and buying some Danish cheese. I saw some the other day at the store.
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Old 01-29-2006, 11:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
It's because you can't separate religion and politics in Islamic countries. I'd like to see a list of the boycotting countries. I think I'll visit the official Danish web site and tell them I'm going out and buying some Danish cheese. I saw some the other day at the store.
So far:




and.......



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Old 01-29-2006, 12:32 PM   #20
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No formal apologies are due to anyone, but I hope the Danish government will choose to react with sorrow, rather than scorn and contempt, over the culture gap which has been laid bare here.

Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en
the thought that a religion must be placed beyond reproach is ridiculous.
This is true, but it is also true (and the boycotting governments' statements reflect this) that Islam in the Arab world especially is as much a badge of national identity and national pride as it is a freestanding set of theological beliefs. It is not quite analogous to Martin Scorcese depicting Jesus having sexual fantasies, for example.

I do look skeptically upon the free-speech breastbeating of journalists and artists who lunge directly at the most volatile sacred cows in cheap and unreflective ways (even while FULLY sharing the revulsion at those who would kill, maim or for that matter, seek goverment intervention over it). Too often, their protestations smack of a cynical and disingenuous underlying agenda: they want to prove their targets terminally unworthy of membership in the same climate of free exchange of ideas which nurtures them, by provoking an ugly show of defensiveness which they know very well will advance their own hand. I really do hate to say this, I genuinely wish I did not perceive this ambiguity of intent there, but for better or worse I do sometimes see it and it does trouble me.

I recognize the dangers in this perspective, and appreciate that some art which may appear at first glance to be pure shock value (e.g. "Piss Christ") might on second thought be recognized as a thoughtful way of playing around with iconographies of taboo, the thin line between sacred and profane, etc. And yes, political cartoons as a genre do tend to be pretty blunt. But nonethless, while fully validating the rights of political artists and journalists to remain outspoken (and recognizing the unfeasability of quantifying precisely what constitutes "integrity"), I do think they also have a calling (*not for the state to enforce*) to uphold the integrity of their fields by not applying their skills to cheap and petty provocation for provocation's sake. Where's the "message" in that?

And melon is right to question who we (Americans at least) are to smugly congratulate ourselves on our own willingness to thoughtfully hear out stinging critiques of our integrity. I might add to his list the many Americans who participated in voluntary mass boycotts of French goods not so long ago, "until President Chirac apologizes to all Americans for putting us in danger" to quote the esteemed Monsieur O'Reilly.

Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Making a film about Christian misogyny is not going to result in the director being sliced to death in the street and forcing those involved into hiding. I really wish it was in some ways because at least then there would be a genuine cause to say that Christianity and Islam are more or less the same in that respect.
Sorry, but--WTF?! That is quite a sick thing to say. On this logic, you should also be pleased "in some ways" when suicide bombers blow up discotheques, because at least they've shown us what trigger-happy morons piety reduces them to. Which if that really were the causative factor, half the world would be running around merrily slicing up artists all the time.
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:59 PM   #21
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The "freedom fry" thing was ridiculous and embarrassing...but we didn't exactly close our French embassy.

Maybe I'll buy one of those Mew albums after all...
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Old 01-29-2006, 01:11 PM   #22
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Oh true, I didn't mean to suggest that situation was directly analogous to this. My point is, I'm becoming increasingly suspicious that professions of high-minded civic ideals are being misused to effect an unwarranted innocence re: plain old intent to taunt and humiliate. If you're going to have the audacity to make that your goal (and have the legal protections to do so) then why not just admit it outright.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:31 PM   #23
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You misconstrue me, every bloody time somebody critiques Islam or specific acts within there are demands to set up direct criticism of Christianity by definition, but in truth in this day and age by magnitutde and nature the violent deeds of believers do not match. It is the height of absurdity, I should have went the other way in saying that it would be better if no belivers ever did anything violent but I find that a lot harder to believe than literalist Christians getting it in their head that violence is sanctioned. It is a bitter statement about what it would take for the equivalence to be genuine not a wish or demand for there to be murder.

Incidently the full of crap goverments are appealing to their partners in crime
Quote:
The Muslim world’s two main political bodies say they are seeking a UN resolution, backed by possible sanctions, to protect religions after the publication in Scandinavia of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of Organisation of the Islamic Conference, said in Cairo on Sunday that the international body would “ask the UN general assembly to pass a resolution banning attacks on religious beliefs”.

The deputy secretary-general of the Arab League, Ahmed Ben Helli, confirmed that contacts were under way for such a proposal to be made to the UN.

“Consultations are currently taking place at the highest level between Arab countries and the OIC to ask the UN to adopt a binding resolution banning contempt of religious beliefs and providing for sanctions to be imposed on contravening countries or institutions,” he said.
link

That is so absurd I think that the UN would go along with it.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
That is so absurd I think that the UN would go along with it.
Yeah, well, these are the same morons (along with the Vatican and the U.S.) who always balk at gay rights.

They can all fuck off. Self-centered ideologues...

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Old 01-29-2006, 07:58 PM   #25
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I have practiced "self-censorship" of my art because I thought some of my work was needlessly offensive to certain parties. I don't like the idea of putting a bomb on the head of any religious figure, let alone Mohammed. OK, we don't have to follow the rules about not making any images of Mohammed. I'm not a Muslim, therefore that rule doesn't apply to me. But putting a bomb on his head? This disturbs me. This is portraying him as a terrorist, and I'm pretty damned uncomfortable with that. Most Muslims are decent people who mind their own business, not terrorists. I've used Muslim symbols in my art, including the crescent and star and mosques. I don't want to deliberately do nothing in a piece besides piss off my Muslim friends. That being said I'll still buy the Danish cheese.
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:17 AM   #26
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Quote:
Danish Paper Apologizes for Muhammad Cartoons Offense

Bloomberg -- The Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the prophet Muhammad linking Islam with terrorism has apologized for having offended Muslims around the world.

"We apologize for the fact that the cartoons undeniably have offended many Muslims,'' Carsten Juste, editor-in-chief at Aarhus, Denmark-based Jyllands-Posten said in an open letter published on the broadsheet's Web site late last night.

The apology came after Muslims in Gaza and the West Bank yesterday and Sunday burnt the Danish flag as part of a protest against the 12 cartoons published last September, including one showing Muhammad wearing a bomb in place of a turban. Other cartoons included one of the prophet as a crazed, knife-wielding Bedouin and another of him at the gates of heaven telling suicide bombers: "Stop. Stop. We have run out of virgins!" -- a reference to the belief of some Muslim extremists that male suicide bombers are rewarded in heaven with 72 virgins.

Muslims also criticized Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for last October declining to meet Muslim ambassadors to discuss censuring the paper.

Critics portrayed the cartoons "as part of a hate campaign against Muslims,'' Juste said. "I must categorically reject this. The last thing we want is to offend other people's religious views, precisely because we believe in religious freedom and respect the individual's right to choose his or her own religion.''

The newspaper didn't apologize for having published the cartoons. "If we really went out and apologized, then the Middle Eastern dictatorships would be able to control what we put in our papers,'' Juste told Danish newswire Ritzau.

"I'm extremely happy that Jyllands-Posten has decided to take this very difficult step,'' Rasmussen told Danish broadcaster Danmarks Radio last night. Rasmussen said he hadn't contacted the newspaper to solicit the apology. "I would now like to appeal to Muslim groups in Denmark to speak out and defuse the situation after Jyllands-Posten's apology,'' he said.

A spokesman for Denmark's Islamic Faith Community, Kasem Ahmad, said on Danish radio Tuesday that "we will clearly and articulately thank the prime minister and Jyllands-Posten for what they have done."

The newspaper, which is Denmark's biggest, yesterday received over 9,000 e-mails containing suggestions as to how it should handle the situation, according to Juste.

"We had no idea that this would arouse so much indignation and irritation in the Muslim world,'' Juste told Ritzau. ``That's what we're apologizing for.''

Rasmussen declined to meet the ambassadors, saying the government can't circumscribe the freedom of the press. He also declined to apologize for the cartoons. "A Danish government cannot apologize on the part of a Danish paper,'' Rasmussen told broadcaster TV2 last night. "I can't call a newspaper and tell them what to put in it, that's not how our society works.''

Jyllands-Posten printed the cartoons on Sept. 30. They were re-printed on Jan. 9 by Magazinet, a Norwegian Christian newspaper with a circulation of about 5,000. Magazinet editor Vebjoern Selbekk today said he, too, "regrets if the drawings were offensive to Muslims.'' The newspaper printed the cartoons in an article about the controversy in Denmark, he said. "We have not done this to provoke Muslims across the world,'' Selbekk said in a statement on the newspaper's Web site.

"A lot of the reaction we've seen stems from the fact that people in the Middle East were misinformed,'' Rose said in an interview with Denmark's TV2 today. "We saw British media showing pictures of the prophet,'' linking the images to Jyllands-Posten, "representing him as a pig. We never printed, nor would any Danish paper ever print, such pictures.''
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:06 PM   #27
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What I find really funny is that the Arab world get twisted over Europeans excercising free speech while having their own state press publish cartoons that would be at home in a 1938 copy of Der Stuermer without a harsh word. When Bill Clinton speaks up against the Jyllands Posten cartoons why does he not condemn these forms of state sponsered and approved expression?

From the ADL site on Saudi Arabia's Al-Yawm





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Old 01-31-2006, 11:03 PM   #28
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Well there aren't really functional relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia anyway, so I'm not sure what analogous form of protest they might lodge.

The cartoons involving the Star of David are indeed offensive (Thanks for posting this! ) though I still don't see them as being as offensive as comparable depictions of Muhammad, at least not in terms of the likely perceived depth of the slight. If they'd depicted a blood-drenched Saudi flag, for example, or Ahmadinajad as a vampire bat drinking from a puddle of blood, I doubt it would have drawn such an overwhelming reaction.

But as I said above, I'm not arguing for anyone's right to an apology, just expressing skepticism about all this disingenuous Why-we-had-NO-idea-how-offensive-this-would-be b.s. Especially coming from that Norwegian Christian paper. If they're so proud of their freedom to offend anyone and everyone, then why be so lily-livered about admitting that that was indeed the intent?
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:17 PM   #29
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The entire point of inviting cartoonists to make them was to test the limits of free speech in Danish society and to see what reaction if any it got. It has obviously caused a lot of people to blow a gasket. It highlights the agenda of certain community leaders and shows that they can run entirely contrary to standards and freedoms of the society that they live in. Testing these rights can only occur when there is heat and the best way to get heat is to offend religious sensitivities.

The important point about those cartoons as with those other ones published all over the Arab world is that they are done by state controlled media outlets. They could at any point be pulled like an anti-regime cartoon or article but they are not. When these same governments make approach to the Danish to apologise or force an independent media entity to apologise while at the same time actively promoting hatred along ethnic and religious lines it reeks of hypocricy and those notions should not even be entertained. Outrage over one set of cartoons but not others by ex-presidents just encourages these anti-freedom wankers to keep on pushing.

It also scratches the problems that will be caused when governments institute speech codes against that sort of thing (as Blair is putting in the house of commons now).

Case in point

Free speech is just such a fundamental right and when anti-freedom dickheads get their chance to etch away at it to gain favour with religious constituencies then free discourse within a society will end and hatred will ferment under the restictive regime of government approved speech.
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:47 PM   #30
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Quote:
Although the upper chamber cannot reject the bill, as it was a manifesto commitment, peers inflicted a series of amendments on the legislation.

These would restrict the new offence of inciting religious hatred to threatening words and behaviour rather than an original definition also covering insults and abuse.

They would also have required the offence to be intentional and specify that proselytising, discussion, criticism, insult, abuse and ridicule of religion, belief or religious practice would not be an offence. The bill - a Labour manifesto pledge - would give Christian and Muslim believers the same protection currently afforded Sikh and Jewish communities under existing racial hatred laws.
If it really winds up being limited to "threatening" words and behavior, and these protections are already afforded to Jews and Sikhs, then it wouldn't really be all that new and radical. But you're right, the draft championed by the government is something far more disturbing.

Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
It highlights the agenda of certain community leaders and shows that they can run entirely contrary to standards and freedoms of the society that they live in.
And I still tend to assume was in fact the goal. At the risk of sounding like a mule.
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