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Old 02-03-2006, 08:17 PM   #1
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Muslim anger at Mohammed Cartoon & Freedom of speech

I felt this issue was interesting enough to get its own thread.
When you think about it its a pretty complex issue.. on the one hand freedom of speech is something we hold very dear.. and especially in a largely secular europe we don't get that worked up about people questioning or even mocking christian religious figures.

On the other hand its obviously something that is very dear to the heart of a lot of muslims (and not just the extremists... and not all are extremists). So where does freedom of speech end, and causing needless insult begin?

As i understand it this all started because in denmark they published a PRO arab book for kids with a cartoon of mohammed on it. However pictures of mohammed are forbidden in the quran to prevent idolatary.. so the book's illustrator stayed annonymous for fear of hatred.
To prove they WEREN'T scared of hated a danish paper printed a fairly insulting image of mohammed as a mad bomber... and then got in loads of grief and had to appologise. There it ended... almost.

Then, as a lot of people in europe take freedom of speech very seriously, a french paper reprinted the cartoon... along with insulting cartoons of jesus, budha, and several other religious figures. This stirred up all the current fuss and that editor got sacked. Though his staff support his right to do what he did.

Muslim leaders want appologies from western governments.. but western governments point out that they have no control over the press.

Some european leaders have come out in support of the papers right to do what they did, others (like britain's foreign secretary) have condemned the press for needlessly creating insult where none was needed.

Muslim in europe march in protest, with banners calling for attacks on denmark. But aren't they exercisig the same freedom of speach they are so upset about the paper using?

By letting the millitants use this issue to incite them, aren't they projecting the exact same image of mad millitants that the cartoon did?

A paper in jordan reprinted the cartoons because it felt the people should see what they were getting so upset about... and called for restraint.. and has now been threatened with legal action by the jordainan government.

Do they just need to "toughen up" and become immune to such things in the same way christians have... or would that be a sign of islam becoming marginalised in their lives like christianity has in a lot of our lives?

On the other hand, i remember major protests and threats from christians in the UK outside the theatre showing Jerry springer the Opera... because it featured an insulting portrayal of jesus - so maybe we aren't so differnent after all.

I think a lot of british muslims wish the extremists would shut up and stop making them all look bad.

On a side note... on the same day this all broke out two British National Party leaders were aquitted of "incitement to racial hatred" charges in the british courts over speaches they made about immigrants and asylum seekers.. they hailed this as a great day for free speech.

I need to go to bed...



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Old 02-03-2006, 09:35 PM   #2
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Danish Paper was not smart printing it. They apologized; great.
The French editor looks like he was just trying to make trouble and not really 'inform' anyone. He gets sacked; good. The end. Those responsible were punished.

I think that the muslims need to get a harder skin for this kind of thing as well. "I believe" != "Everyone believes," nor are infidels required to respect the laws of whatever religion.


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Old 02-03-2006, 09:40 PM   #3
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No, but you shouldn't purposefully do something like that knowing full well that it will be viewed as offensive. It's like deciding it'd be a good idea to urinate on a crucifix and then masturbate on a bible.

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Originally Posted by toms
Do they just need to "toughen up" and become immune to such things in the same way christians have
Maybe it's just American Christians, but I can't say the word "jeeze" without getting **** from someone. "It is a short version of Jesus, and saying that is taking the lords name in vain."

Christians as a whole haven't really toughened up, this can be shown by the **** going on in government.


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Old 02-03-2006, 09:54 PM   #4
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A christian fundamentalist paper printed them here right after the danes did it, and now we're getting bombarded with pictures of muslims burning the Norwegian flag (actually, it's just one picture over and over again).



Personally I think that the whole thing has been blown outta proportion, but they shouldn't have printed it in the first place. Respect for other people ranks way higher for me than to have the right to say something.
What I think is good about this is that we, the western world, can now feel what it's like to get condemned for the action of a selected few.


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Old 02-03-2006, 10:58 PM   #5
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Christians as a whole haven't really toughened up, this can be shown by the **** going on in government.
Christians haven't toughened at all.

Hear about about that television show The Book of Daniel that was going to appear on NBC?

It got pulled because so many christian fundamentalist groups cried blasphemy.
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Old 02-04-2006, 12:28 AM   #6
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Of course, it was yet another typical show about a dysfunctional family, so either way I'm not suprised it got canned.

I can see why the Muslims are royally pissed over the comic, but they should understand that nothing is sacred when in the media, unfortunately.
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Old 02-04-2006, 12:55 PM   #7
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I believe that even if the danish paper didnīt do the right thing publishing the cartoons, the muslims (or any other external influence) canīt say what we can publish or not. Thatīs something that lies upon the justice or the auto-censure. Now, they have published it because in Denmark there is freedom of speech, the previous censure (witch could have banned the publishment of the cartoons) isnīt related with the democracy. And itīs something that is with us, we live and believe in a democracy, where anyone can make a satira on the others, and if the other gets offended, goes to the justice.

I mean, in many newspapers of Europe, like in Spain (my case) they have been published lots of cartoons showing Mohamed, Jesus, Buda... And never has happened nothing. In this case, I believe that there has been a lot of interested publicity, maybe to push to those confrontations. And not only with that, also with the politics, and it doesnīt happen nothing, itīs something assumed.

If the freedom of speech lets Arabian newspapers publish offensive cartoons for the christians, the same freedom of speech lets the danish publish those cartoons. Another thing is that either we donīt know or we donīt care of those "agressions" against "us". Maybe this is because we have left aside the era of the fanatism. And Why? I must say that I donīt know. Although lot of the trouble was formed by the colonialism and the ottoman empire, witch didnīt let the previous well educated arabian culture progress in the time.

Because thatīs a great point, the culture. If the people doesnīt have culture is more easy to be manipulated, and so looks like is happening right now. For example, many of the popular movements are supported by the mass manipulated, like in Bolivia, lots of the demostrations that have raised the president Evo Morales were filled with peasants that where sent to protest without knowning what they were shouting.

We must allways have personality, and we must know what happens (as long as we can) in order to not became brainless dummies, that do what they say to them and donīt know the pleasure of the satira.


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Old 02-04-2006, 04:29 PM   #8
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Plain and simple it was just darn rude of the Danes to publish that. It was disrespectful to Muslims, and abusing their 'freedom'.

Freedom of Speech means that we have a right to speak freely, but that doesn't negate the use of respect for others. It was pointless for a picture of Mohammed to be published; the only purpose it served was to cause trouble, and, of course, prove that they have Freedom of Speech so they can publish anything they damn well want to. Hooray, congrats, you have Freedom of Speech, how about not being asses with it? A little respect will go a long way.

No one ever has any right to treat the beliefs of other's as if they aren't true and therefore those belifs don't matter. Everyone has their beliefs and almost everyone thinks that they are right. Sure there are those that will question what they've been taught, but the truth is that folks believe what they know is right. So while you may not aggree with what someone else knows to be true, or what someone totally adheres to as part of their religion, that doesn't make it okay to publish something that obviously goes against another religion, ie. Muslim.

My point here is this: No matter what you believe so deeply to be true, others should be respected in their beliefs, even if you don't agree.
Freedom of Speech is just that 'Freedom', but the freedom to say or publish anything, doesn't mean that respect should be tossed out the window.

So fine, Muslims need to 'toughen up'. If that's the case then every religion needs to as well. But I think that this should be double sided: Meaning that folks of different beliefs shouldn't say/do/publish things that are obviously going to be hurtful to others.

Well, there's my lollipop view of how the world should go about things...I'm done now....
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Old 02-04-2006, 10:43 PM   #9
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One thought: If making pictures of mohammed is forbidden to prevent idol worship.. and obviously this cartoon was never intended and would never be taken as an idol to worship... then technically it wouldn't be against Islamic law... but the original pro-islam kids book would be. But it is rude.

Another, talking now about activities in western countries, not in islamic ones: If muslims that come to western countries make use of freedom of speech to call for the death of those making such cartoons.. or attacks on the countries that the papers were in.. do they then lose the right to complain about the cartoon. Because if they want the freedom to make their comments surely they can't deny it to others.

I gotta say, considering the amount of "mobs burning flags" media coverage, i'm a little surprised that most of you fel the paper was at fault. Not that i disagree...



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Old 02-05-2006, 01:26 AM   #10
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There's a difference between calling for action and making slighted drawings of a religious figure.

Also slander and libel aren't exactly protected by freedom of speech, therefore this isn't exactly covered by that. You can't just spout off any and everything you think and believe it's part of your freedom of speech, you actually have to have support to your claims.

While none of you can really do much about it, I could call you all thick-headed fag-hags, this doesn't make it true nor is it covered by free speech. It falls under slander(spoken)/libel(written) and harassment.

The issue of free speech and free press is a tricky one, and in truth, freedom of speech and press is meant to protect the few and innocent. What this newspaper has done is effectively done the exact opposite of what the rights are there for.


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Old 02-05-2006, 01:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
toms
I gotta say, considering the amount of "mobs burning flags" media coverage, i'm a little surprised that most of you fel the paper was at fault. Not that i disagree...
I was not just discussing the Danish or the French in my post; I think that everyone in the situation should behave in a more respectable manner. Like I said, I have a lollipop view.

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The issue of free speech and free press is a tricky one, and in truth, freedom of speech and press is meant to protect the few and innocent. What this newspaper has done is effectively done the exact opposite of what the rights are there for.
Thank you. That is exactly what I couldn't get into words.
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:09 AM   #12
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Anyway, there is a page of moderated muslims where portraits of Mohamed are depicted and also cartoons. And no one has said nothing.

And even if you are very offended by a "blasphemy" you canīt burn the Danish embassy at Beirut. Acts like this can turn in a very serious diplomatic crisis, and takes off from the muslims all their rights to complain. So, I agree completly with toms

Whats the matter? they donīt understand that in Europe the gobernments arenīt responsible of the newspaper publications? they donīt know that the people from the country isnīt guilty?

I donīt want to sound it like a menace, but maybe the countries will start helping less the arabs in Palestina and other places. If they are democratic "in their way" we are democratics in our way.

In my opinion, this smells to be a plan to increase the tension in the world, plan prepared by the fanatics. And isnīt a plan from Europe or the USA as they have said.


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Old 02-05-2006, 10:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Insane Sith
Also slander and libel aren't exactly protected by freedom of speech, therefore this isn't exactly covered by that. You can't just spout off any and everything you think and believe it's part of your freedom of speech, you actually have to have support to your claims.
Good point.



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Old 02-05-2006, 12:18 PM   #14
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I think the reaction of the Muslim world has been greatly over-played. The cartoons weren't that bad (see for yourself) and were certainly far less attacking in nature than many other political cartoons I've seen.

The idea that we must all accept the beliefs of others as valid and tip-toe around their beliefs with political correctness only goes so far. Why shouldn't we be free to criticize -even ridicule- a major religion? The major religions of modernity are the main problems with society: people are killing and dying in the name of these religions. My opinion is that the very nature of Islam that the cartoons were criticizing has been demonstrated by the actions of the religious nutters who react with violence about them.

We are free to criticize, lampoon, parody, and satarize people for their political beliefs but *not* their religious beliefs? I would have no problem with that distinction except the religious beliefs of others affect me in the way poltics does. If were were talking about some quaint, barely-surviving, religion from some backwater of the planet, it would be different. But we're not. We're talking about an evangalistic cult that is bent on world domination and death to those that don't believe it. They deserve ridicule. There are those for whom it is one's duty to offend.


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Old 02-05-2006, 02:41 PM   #15
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...We're talking about an evangalistic cult that is bent on world domination and death to those that don't believe it.
Um, no. It's only the 'religious nutters' within Islam that want that, just like an extremist in any other organization, whether religious or not. By the way, the link to the cartoon isn't working.
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:03 PM   #16
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I've seen the cartoons, and while I can see why the offend Muslims, frankly, it could be a lot worse. To many Muslims, depicting the face of Muhammad is considered blasphemous (even though he's been depicted in art historically, at a certain point in time it was thought that showing his face would encourage people to worship him instead of God, which would be idolatry). I don't recall if Muhammad's appearance is described in the Qu'Ran or not, but in the Hadith I believe it is, so technically you could say descriptions of him exist in Islamic literature. Depicting Muhammad as a terrorist would definately offend Muslims, regardless of their iconoclastic ideas.

I guess as a Catholic Christian and just a Christian I am "used to it." In the culture I live, not everyone is what I am, and some people hate us, don't understand us, or like to poke fun. I guess I've grown thick enough skin so I can say "oh well they just don't get it" or "whatever."

Now mob violence isn't a problem for people of my faith (I'm currently living in the buckle of the Bible belt, and Catholics here seem just as "odd" as practicing Jews for the most part), but in some places it is.

I wish we could get past the violence part.

I think Muslims have a right to feel insulted by cartoons that mock their faith or criticize their prophet. However, I don't think that's a reason for it to get physical. Much as it shocks and offends, one has to realize that not everyoen in the world agrees with you, and some people may just simply hate you. The solution is to inform others, that yes, you are upset, and this is what you really believe or feel. Those that react with violence only help to support the stereotypes of those who call Islam a "violent religion" and Muslims as terrorists.

If I were a Muslim, I'd like to think I would be "modern" enough to simply shrug off criticisms of my faith and even caricatures. I would continue to live my life as an example to show that those who criticized me were wrong. I might complain, yes. But beyond that, it wouldn't faze me.

Simply being offended and expressing it peacefully or protesting, even boycotting is no big deal. People have a right to do that. As an American that's something I have been brought up to believe is a right people should have. Hopefully incidents like this can lead to dialouge, rather than more hatred. I guess the person(s) who put out the cartoons, got the reaction they were hoping for?


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Old 02-05-2006, 03:14 PM   #17
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I fixed the link


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Old 02-05-2006, 03:37 PM   #18
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Now that I think about it, I saw a series of cartoons, specifically I'm referring to the one of the bearded arab man's face with a bomb in his turban and the inscription "Muhammad."

Where Free Speech is concerned, in some countries (like the US) what is considered "hate speech" is protected, though many groups have been able to successfully argue that that kind of thing can't be promoted with public money (since that would violate the 1st Amendment). Other countries (like Canada, Germany and a few others I can't recall) have "hate speech" codes that prohibit certain kinds of displays or speech with the idea that such things have the potential to inflame predjudices that may lead to violence (and often have in the past).


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Old 02-05-2006, 04:26 PM   #19
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This is a case where I find both sides to be equally right, and both sides equally wrong.

The papers had every right to publish those cartoons, but really should have stopped and considered the reactions they might receive before publishing them. It seems like a bit of a deliberate provocation if you ask me.

The Muslim community has every right to feel incensed at the cartoons and to complain loudly about them, but that gives them no right to resort to threats of violence.

It's kind of a wash... I find it impossible to defend either sides actions in this particular case.


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Old 02-05-2006, 05:44 PM   #20
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Like I said, the reactions prove the very point the cartoons were illustrating: religion is a problem for society more than an answer.


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Old 02-05-2006, 07:11 PM   #21
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I haven't even looked at the cartoon or similar ones, but if I'm not mistaken freedom of speech is a right in the Netherlands and the newspaper in question exercised it. We don't always like what other people say, but too bad.

And all this flag burning must be making a lot of money for the flag making business. I wonder how much money spent on Danish flags is making it back to the Danish people. It's funny if you think about it.
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Old 02-06-2006, 03:36 AM   #22
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The papers had every right to publish those cartoons, but really should have stopped and considered the reactions they might receive before publishing them. It seems like a bit of a deliberate provocation if you ask me.

The Muslim community has every right to feel incensed at the cartoons and to complain loudly about them, but that gives them no right to resort to threats of violence.
Exactly what I meant. The muslims have every right to anger and peaceful protest, but it's ridiculous for them to resort to or call for violence, especially after the responsible parties were punished. Doing so only validates the cartoon's message in the first place, and I doubt that's what they want. Not much thinking being done by either side, eh?


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Old 02-06-2006, 06:35 AM   #23
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What this all boils down to is that radical Muslims will blow your ass up, or behead you over things like this. That's the only reason there was any controversy at all. Nobody worries about making jokes about Christian religious figures because, usually, there's not a suicide bomber envolved. If modern Christians pulled half the crap Muslims get away with under the veil of "having every right to be offended", half the threads and post counts in the Senate Chambers would suddenly disapear. Fact.

If someone made a cartoon about Jesus (it happens everyday), people wouldn't bat an eye.

I know it's not a popular thing to say, but I think it would be hillarious to see Muslims treated with the same 'haha, you ****ers are rediculous' scrutiny that Christians come up against anymore. Especially here. Everyone is SOOO scared to offend the poor, oppressed Muslim. ****ing lame. ONOES!PLEAESTONOTBEBLOWINGMYASSUPTHNXBYE! **** a Muslim. And a Christian. And an atheist. And anybody who looks like one of those.


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Old 02-06-2006, 08:11 AM   #24
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So sayeth the man with the possibly blasphemous avatar!

In theory, the 2nd commandment (the one about graven images) still applies to Jews and Christians today as well,.. so any image purporting to be of Jesus or God could (and probably should) be reacted to in similar same way by those groups. Not just those decided to be deemed offensive. People have been stoned to death for less...
By that measure even a movie such as "The Passion of the Christ" could be seen as a breaking of the commandment. Even a crucifix could apply.

Except that Christians often fight to keep their graven images... especially in the form of Nativity scenes on town squares every Christmas.

But even though most Christians and Jews have decided to forgo this particular battle, should that mean that every group should be expected to follow suit, and not react when something they hold Holy is thrust in their face?

And again,.. my big problem with what the papers did is that it seemed somewhat like a deliberate provocation: "Let's go out of our way to come up with something that Muslims will surely find offensive!"
Kinda like flushing the Koran...
A little effort towards cultural sensitivity can go a long way. Especially if we are really trying to convince the Muslims of the world that "War on Terror" isn't really shorthand for "New Western Christian Crusade to rid Islam from the Planet."

We can work on thickening skin later...


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Old 02-06-2006, 09:31 AM   #25
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In theory, the 2nd commandment (the one about graven images) still applies to Jews and Christians today as well,.. so any image purporting to be of Jesus or God could (and probably should) be reacted to in similar same way by those groups. Not just those decided to be deemed offensive. People have been stoned to death for less...
By that measure even a movie such as "The Passion of the Christ" could be seen as a breaking of the commandment. Even a crucifix could apply.

Except that Christians often fight to keep their graven images... especially in the form of Nativity scenes on town squares every Christmas.
Catholics don't believe crucifixes, nativity scenes, etc violate the 2nd commandment because those things are not being worshipped. What is being represented by them (God) is, and he's the only god that's ever been worshipped by any brand of christianity. Additionally, praying to anyone else like saints is not a violation either, because we aren't worshipping them, just asking for their help to worship God. Most problems people have with that are only because no one has actually explained it to them...

If the people who believe in Islam don't trust themselves to distinguish between the two, that's their prerogative. Some christians don't either, so it's not like they're alone (cue someone asking, "Why do you worship mary/the saints/your grandmother you evil 2nd commandment violater!" ).

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But even though most Christians and Jews have decided to forgo this particular battle, should that mean that every group should be expected to follow suit, and not react when something they hold Holy is thrust in their face?
They can react however they want as long as they don't start telling people it's a good thing to go postal on the Danes or anyone else.


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Old 02-06-2006, 12:47 PM   #26
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As to the issue of what constitutes a violation of the prohibition on "graven images" and such, we're pondering that very question in a course I'm taking. Some believe it only refers to idols (images of false gods being worshipped in place of, before, or besides the one true God), others believe it forbids depictions of the true God, others feel it forbids depictions of human beings (since human beings are the "image of God") and still others feel it forbids all artwork that is representational. Of course one could argue from scripture itself that that ancient Israelites/Hebrews made plenty of images of heavenly and earthly beings (like the cherubim on the ark, the various animals in the temple, the bronze serpent in the wilderness, etc) and only the bronze serpent was ever critized as being idolatrous, because many years after it was commanded to be built by God to cure people, it was being worshipped as a god itself. Some monotheistic non-Christians would consider the worship of Jesus to be idolatrous. Those of the unitarian position feel that trinitarians are idolaters for worshipping three divine persons in one Godhead. Even though Jesus had a body, face, etc, and so could theoretically be depicted in art, they would consider this worship of a man to be a violation of the commandment. Others say modern Christians need not follow the "old law" anymore because Jesus has fulfilled, clarified, or abrogated these rules in favor of new ones (for example they'd cite the non-observance of the Sabbath by most Christians as proof of this. others say only the "ceremonial law" is abrogated, while the "moral law" is still in full force, just not the physical punishments for it).

I should add, yet another interpretation of the "graven images" are only those that are on wood or stone, in other words, that which is in relief or sculpture. So 2-d images (like paintings, drawings, things that are "flat") are permissable to be made of saints, angels, Jesus or even the other members of the Godhead (the Father God and Holy Spirit). Apparently in the Greco-Roman world there may also have been a superstition against creating a portrait (a realistic depicition of a person's face framed) of a person while that person was still alive. Of course that didn't necessarily stop people, but before a certain period you don't have any portraits except on gravestones then all of a sudden you have a ton of them. It's one interpretation anyway.

Additionally, how people number the commandments varies. Remember the chapter and verse numbers were added to Bibles in the middle ages, and don't necessarily represent always a clear change in thought or statement.

Here is one of many sites that explain the different numberings:
http://biblia.com/jesusbible/deut3.htm

Another:
http://biblical-studies.ca/blog/2005...mandments.html

And another:
http://www.positiveatheism.org/crt/whichcom.htm

All the religious groups mentioned agree that these are the commandents of God, but the numbering and interpretation differ somewhat.

For further information please research the "Iconoclast controversy" (key words: Iconoclasm, Iconoclast, Iconophile, etc.). There was also a big hooplah over this during the Protestant Reformation. Islam went through a period of apparent change too but I know less about this. Early art of Muhammad and angels being depicted exists. Other artworks show the faces scraped off, and more modern Islamic art shows very stylized, symbolic art in order to avoid depicting humans and even animals.


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Old 02-06-2006, 12:54 PM   #27
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Of course, it was yet another typical show about a dysfunctional family, so either way I'm not suprised it got canned.

I can see why the Muslims are royally pissed over the comic, but they should understand that nothing is sacred when in the media, unfortunately.

I believe that no one has the right to make fun of another religion...especially if it is so controversial right now...Freedom of speech/press does exist, but it comes to a point where you have to say "that's not right." think of it this way...They have rules in school saying that you cannot swear and can't wear vulgar shirts, and stuff like that. Apply that to real life and it basically is saying that you have freedoms but don't abuse them.


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Old 02-06-2006, 01:52 PM   #28
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I believe that no one has the right to make fun of another religion...especially if it is so controversial right now...Freedom of speech/press does exist, but it comes to a point where you have to say "that's not right."
But when it is religions that are pressuring governments for changes to suit their religious doctrines or pressuring governents to offer special status. Or when it is religion that is used as the reason for anti-social behavior, then that religion may deserve satire and ridicule. I certainly deserves criticism.

That goes for any religion: Islam; Christianity; Buddhism; Hinduism; the Navajo Way; whatever


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Old 02-06-2006, 03:29 PM   #29
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But (I forgot to add), that I think few would consider a carving of a representation of the "Ten Commandments" to be a graven image as referred to in the Biblical text. Rhetorically it works, but theologically, no, unless people are worshipping that particular rock monument..

This is akin to the stylized calligraphy done by Muslim artists on the cover of Qu'rans or in mosques. Depictions of words (which don't have any objective existence on their own as living creatures) is pretty much okay with anybody.


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Old 02-06-2006, 03:32 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
But when it is religions that are pressuring governments for changes to suit their religious doctrines or pressuring governents to offer special status. Or when it is religion that is used as the reason for anti-social behavior, then that religion may deserve satire and ridicule. I certainly deserves criticism.

That goes for any religion: Islam; Christianity; Buddhism; Hinduism; the Navajo Way; whatever
Ah yes, like the temperance movement pushing for prohibition of alcohol, or the abolitionist movement calling for the outlawing of slavery (or the defenders of slavery based on biblical traditions). MLK Jr. frequently used religion to push his political agenda, through disrupting society. You even have figures like John Brown using violence to further a political goal, and justifying it with religious rhetoric. You have Ghandi's use of religion to furhter Indian independence through disruption and citation to violence against citizens (and again furthered and motivated by religious fervor). Various Native American "liberation" movements have been and still are religiously motivated and sanctioned. Liberation Theology... the Dali Lama, 'nuff said. Very good point!

Right now we're currently studying the rise of American evangelicalism (after the Civil War) and the various causes and motivations. For example one reason given for pushing for women's suffrage was that women were believed to be more spiritual by nature than men (and thus if given the vote, would guide the nation into an era of higher conscience and virtue). Certainly higher church attendance and practice of "virtues" were more frequently linked to the female gender in that time.


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Old 02-06-2006, 03:39 PM   #31
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My point is good and it stands. Criticism and satire were used against those individuals and critical thought eventually prevailed. Criticism and satire aren't always done for the cause of right. But they are tools that should never be censored or disallowed if we are to engage in critical thought. And by every definition of the word, John Brown was a terrorist. We accept him because his cause was just, but he was a terrorist.

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Rhetorically it works, but theologically, no, unless people are worshipping that particular rock monument
I'd say the rock is being worshipped if we accept that the Oxford English Dictionary is a valid source for defining the lexicon of the English language.

1. a. trans. To honour or revere as a supernatural being or power, or as a holy thing; to regard or approach with veneration; to adore with appropriate acts, rites, or ceremonies.


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Old 02-06-2006, 03:46 PM   #32
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I see your worship of the Oxford English Dictionary continues unabated, Skin. And I took you for an atheist!

Ah, but religious people make a distinction between reverential awe given to GOD(s), and that given to non-GOD(s) (except pantheists I suppose).

For some this distinction is less clear though. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses are forbidden to salute the flag (though this may have more to do with a prohibition against swearing oaths rather than the homage paid to a piece of cloth representing the nation).

For example, archaically it was termed to "give worship" to somebody who won the race or the tournament, even though such people did not consider themselves to be polytheists. An achiever may win the "worship" of his peers, but may not be the figurehead of a religion. Otherwise, yes, you can say people worship the Ten Commandments, George W. Bush, Oprah, I-pods, cheeseburgers, etc. again, rhetorically excellent, theologically empty.

Some would argue (and bear with me here) that there is actually no such thing as "idolatry" because the premise of idolatry is that the thing itself is the deity or the permanent habitation of the deity. Somebody might reverence a statue of Jesus or a carving of the ten commandments for what it represents, rather than the object itself, as if it had any real power. Compare to issues about flag burning, etc. (incidentally, my brother came up with a theory that the flag companies had some kind of deal with protesters who burn them, though interestingly enough you can see the American flag often burned in various countries on TV was hastily constructed for the purpose, for example with the wrong number of stripes/stars or arrangement, etc.)

I agree that satire has a place in free speech, I don't think I ever condemned it. Merely, I can see why it upsets people. I think on some level it's meant to (the people it's directed against), otherwise it wouldn't be effective as a means of persuasion or cheerleading for a cause. Definately. And by the same token, those that use satire should not be surprised when they strike a nerve. I'm not in favor of prior restraint (I'm an American, after all), nor of people not being allowed to be offended or raise protest. And while I think that those who incite violence bear some responsibility for it, ultimately the perpetuators of violence are still responsible for their own actions (hence the debate about "hate speech" legislation in many countries and differing results). As the beginning of dialouge it [satire] can be a valuable thing. All to often though I think it is merely used as a tool of invigorating your supporters. Which I guess is too an admirable goal.


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Old 02-06-2006, 04:21 PM   #33
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Yeah, these cartoons probably shouldn't have been printed, and, given the current world climate and the way the Islamic world has treated any percieved insult to their religion, it was definitely a bad idea...but that doesn't excuse the kinds of things that have been going on. Flag burning is one thing, but I remember reading a story more than a week ago about a Middle-Eastern shopkeeper who was dragged out into the street and beaten because he hadn't removed Danish goods from his shelves. Embassies are being attacked throughout the Middle East. Protestors are advocating even more violence:


The thing that really gets me is that these Muslims who are violently protesting the cartoons are showing the truth in the cartoons (which, from what I've seen and heard, use depictions of Mohammed to criticize/point out the violence in the Islamic world).

The initial complaint that I heard about the cartoon was that Islam prohibits depictions of Mohammed in order to prevent idol worship...but in my opinion, any Muslim who would worship or who thinks someone would worship a political cartoon just because it contains a poorly-drawn picture of Mohammed is a moron. But from what I've heard, the complaints have gone beyond that to "they're insulting Islam," so I guess that's a moot point.


I also think this is a stark contrast to Christianity and Islam - yeah, lots of Christians complained about the recent TV series "Book of Daniel", but Christians didn't kill the show. For one thing, it was an absolute flop in the ratings - the fact that it was an entirely biased, extremely inaccurate portrayal of Christianity very likely plays into that. Not only was its depiction of a Christian family totally non-typical to the extreme, its theology was nowhere near anything resembling mainstream Christianity. The article I cited quotes a CAA (Creative Artists Agency) agent as saying, "Religion’s not that hot anymore. The afterglow of Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion’ has completely faded. Jesus is simply not that marketable right now." This guy has no idea what he's talking about. If that was true, The Chronicles of Narnia movie would have been a total flop...but to date, it's the 26th highest grossing movie at the US box office. The only thing "Book of Daniel" is indicative of is Hollywood's ignorance of what the Christian TV & movie audience wants to see, if they were marketing to Christians. If they were marketing to non-Christians or Christian bashers, then they were just as stupid for not realizing that they don't make up a large enough market.

There have been other examples, mainly of art put on display: the 'artist' who put a cricifix in a vial of urine, the 'artist' who splattered feces on a picture of the Virgin Mary...for one thing, most Americans who are Christians realize that these people aren't artists, they're idiots. By some of your comments, it seems as though you fear Christianity more than Islam...yet after these things were put on display (and after "Book of Daniel" broadcast), American Christians weren't rioting in the streets. Nobody attacked NBC or advocated the beheading (or be'hand'ing) of the so-called artists. The basic feel of the protests was, "we don't appreciate being insulted in this way," though opinions did range from outrage to apathy...personally, as an American Christian, I thought it was stupid - I watched just enough of "Book of Daniel" to know that it wasn't worth my time to watch (which I really gathered reading about it beforehand, but I thought I'd give it a fair chance anyway).

I guess the basic point I'm trying to make is that when militant Islam comes under attack through art or the press, they become even more militant, while 'militant Christianity' really doesn't exist on a large enough scale to be significant.


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Old 02-06-2006, 05:22 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by rccar328
The thing that really gets me is that these Muslims who are violently protesting the cartoons are showing the truth in the cartoons (which, from what I've seen and heard, use depictions of Mohammed to criticize/point out the violence in the Islamic world).
http://rupix.com/tomgross/

While these particular cartoons are not specifically against a religion (many are antisemetic though), they do show that the fine art of making 'offensive' cartoons is not just one that the Danes possess. It's within imagination that someone could even feel the need to protest these. It's just funny that while they're worried about someone making light of their religion's views, their own cartoonists draw pictures of Israelis chopping kids up with an axe made out of a swastika. I'm not defending the Israelis past actions, but seriously. When does free speech cross the line to just outright hatemongering? I don't think the Islamic world's hands are clean.

Some other links:

http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-21.htm
http://www.aljazeerah.info/Cartoons/...on%20links.htm - many of these actually make good points. I don't want anyone to think that all arabic cartoons are like those above.


EDIT: Wikipedia has an article on it. It's interesting to see how the Danes treat this:
Quote:
Section 140 of the Danish Penal Code prohibits blasphemy. However, this law has not been used since 1938. [20] Section 266b of the Danish Penal Code prohibits expressions that threaten, deride or degrade on the grounds of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, belief or sexual orientation. It has never, however, been used to prohibit statements offensive to religion. The Danish public prosecutor determined that the Muhammad cartoons were not blasphemy in Danish law.[6]
I think it qualifies as offensive, but not something to die for:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
No Muslim visual images or depictions of God exist because such artistic depictions may lead to idolatry and are thus disdained. Moreover, most Muslims believe that God is incorporeal, making any two- or three- dimensional depictions impossible. Instead, Muslims describe God by the many divine attributes mentioned in the Qur'an. All but one Sura (chapter) of the Qur'an begins with the phrase "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful". These are regarded as the most important divine attributes, at least in the sense that Muslims repeat them most frequently during their prayers (salat) and throughout their daily lives.
So there have been riots for something that may lead to idolatry. If I understand that correctly, the actual images of Allah are not the sin. It's worshipping the physical object that is... I somehow doubt we could find a single Muslim who would do that with those cartoons.


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Old 02-06-2006, 05:30 PM   #35
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Dravis, your first link just proves what I was saying previously: Both sides are screwing up here. If everyone was just a touch more respecting of others' beliefs, religions, societies, everything, folks would get along a lot better.

The Islams are publishing extremely awful, and potentially hurtful, cartoons, yet they are throwing fits about the Danish, doing a bit of the same. How stupid.

Once again: 'Free Speech' does not mean the same thing as 'You can say and publish anything you damn well please'. Ugh, people bother me.

EDIT:
Quote:
When does free speech cross the line to just outright hatemongering? I don't think the Islamic world's hands are clean.
When societies do things as have been displayed in this thread. When the Danish publish a cartoon that they know is offensive. When the Islams burn flags of other nations, and publish cartoons that are equally offensive as what the Danish put out ther. When people take their so called freedom and using it to purposefully offend and hurt others. That's when a line has been crossed.

EDIT AGAIN:
Quote:
So there have been riots for something that may lead to idolatry. Just how many people think that it would be possible for someone to worship those cartoons anyway?
I don't think that people are going to worship something depicted in a cartoon, but that's not the point. I think that there is a point in religions where people forget the reason for something, and only remember that the something is prohibited, ie. visual depictions of Muhammed in this case. I highly doubt that anyone is concerned about others worshipping the cartoon image (reason for 'rule'), rather they are angered over the very fact that it was done.

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Old 02-06-2006, 05:58 PM   #36
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I highly doubt that anyone is concerned about others worshipping the cartoon image (reason for 'rule'), rather they are angered over the very fact that it was done.
I think they have more of a point with how the cartoons generalized all muslims as extremists, which is not the case at all. Seeing as the actual depiction is not the problem, that's pretty much all the reason they have left. That would make the cartoon the same level of insult as the other Arab ones I posted. I have little respect for those people who will state something as the view of their religion without bothering to check to see if it's true. If you don't know the reason you do something, how do you know if it's true or it's not and you just hadn't thought about it?


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Old 02-06-2006, 06:48 PM   #37
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I found something interesting...

This site shows various depictions of Mohammed throughout history, along with various contemporary depictions. Obviously, the contemporary images are much more offensive, but the idea that Muslims are objecting to these cartoons because they believe no one is to make a picture of Mohammed is ludicrous.


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Old 02-06-2006, 08:29 PM   #38
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Thanks for the site. I hadn't seen all of the images before, and some of those are quite deliberately insulting and definitely a provocation.

What's also interesting was this quote:
Quote:
Yet when a delegation of Danish imams went to the Middle East to "discuss" the issue of the cartoons with senior officials and prominent Islamic scholars, the imams openly distributed a booklet that showed 15 images -- not only the original 12 cartoons, but three fraudulent anti-Mohammed depictions that were much more offensive than the ones published in Denmark. It is now thought that these three bonus images are what ignited the outrage in the Muslim world.
So they lied to the people that trusted them to instigate hatred. Now that's appropriate behavior from religious figures.


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Old 02-07-2006, 04:01 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Jedi
Once again: 'Free Speech' does not mean the same thing as 'You can say and publish anything you damn well please'.
Actually it does ... it just doesn't mean you *should*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Jedi
When societies do things as have been displayed in this thread. When the Danish publish a cartoon that they know is offensive. When the Islams burn flags of other nations, and publish cartoons that are equally offensive as what the Danish put out ther. When people take their so called freedom and using it to purposefully offend and hurt others. That's when a line has been crossed.
So long as the 'hurt' is linked to offending, I agree - the Danish and others had the right to publish, the Muslims had the right to be offended, and to respond by things like boycotts, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Jedi
That's when a line has been crossed.
As soon as private property belonging to another person is destroyed, death threats made, and the other radical violence being done *by* Muslims *against* anything non-Muslim, the *real* line was crossed.

And, unfortunately, by these acts the point of the cartoon was proven true.

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Old 02-07-2006, 05:38 PM   #40
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I read somewhere that some muslim factions allow, or even use representations of mohammed... however some others don't. So its not a universal prohibition.. a bit like the factions in christianity with respect to idols.

As for those signs, beld by protesters in london, calling for deaths of danes, another 7/7 etc.. the police will apparently charge any of the people they can identify. Even the organisers of the rally have distanced themselves from and said they were shocked by a few of the signs..

In the UK and a lot of countries the line is drawn at "incitement to commit violence". So you can praise hitler, for example, but you can't incite people to go out and kill jews.
Unfortunately its notoriously hard to prove... as the release of those two BNP leaders proved..



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