brought to you by the New York Daily News:
Jehan Sadat: Religiously offensive cartoons must be outlawed…
Before we begin,
Sadat is a senior fellow with the Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Well, at least it isn’t one of Columbia’s pusillanimous pack of Mid East Studies profs, though it is odd that the author’s name matches this branch of UM’s pedagogical pagoda, isn’t it? That’s because it’s named after her assassinated husband, who was gunned down by the same brand of nutbags currently going bonkers, because he had the nerve to try making peace with the Joooos.
It’s a factoid the author and Daily News leave out, for reasons that probably made sense to Dr. Sadat and the DN’s editors, but would assist a reader, I would think, in determining whether her opinion deserves any consideration. Y’know, give her opinion some added weight, since the headline is so inherently ridiculous, and unconstitutional, to boot.
On to the text…
Let me be perfectly clear: I am a Muslim, and I am offended by the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed. I also am offended and deeply disturbed by the reaction these cartoons have evoked. Being offended by cartoons should never give rise to the destruction of property and the taking of another’s life. There is enough violence and killing in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Congo, Sudan and in hundreds of American and European cities where crimes occur every day. I have had enough of violence and hate.
Good for you, although, again, the last sentence would have a lot more impact if we knew who you are, so it would mean something more than…well, self-serving tripe.
The fact is, these cartoons came at the request of a culture editor for a Danish newspaper after he discovered that a writer could not find an illustrator for his book about the Prophet. From this little bit of knowledge, the editor decided, according to his explanation in Time magazine, that the author’s problem constituted a violation of free speech and expression.
“The fact is” that’s a pretty loose interpretation of what Flemming Rose actually said. Rose cited how the illustrator, and the translators of a book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali Dutch politician who has been critical of Islam, insisted on anonymity, because they knew there were psychos among the Dutch population who would be more than willing to kill them, just as one of these radical Islamist thugs had cut down Theo Van Gogh, and Islamic “
defender” like-minded loonytune Volkert van der Graaf blew away Pim Fortuyn. Rose considered such self-censorship out of fear to be abhorrent in a country that considered free speech and free expression an inherent part of its society, and states as much in the Danish Constitution.
Instead of trying to find out why the writer was having such a difficult time and taking the time to learn why physical renderings of the Prophet are rarely, if ever, found anywhere in the history of Islam (in mosques, in the Koran, or other books about Islam and the Prophet), he decided to launch a war against censorship by staging a contest of sorts among some of Denmark’s cartoonists.
Okay, this passage is wrong on a couple of levels. First, Rose knew why the writer was having difficulty finding an illustrator; every artist the writer approached was scared witless they would end up getting killed if they “insulted” the Danish Islamist lunatics. Second, this bit about “physical renderings of the Prophet” being “rarely, if ever found anywhere in the history of Islam” is complete and utter bullshit; it’s been going on for centuries. Her last bit, about “a contest of sorts” is the only thing remotely close to the reality of the “fact” concerning the current imbroglio’s birth.
The result was not open debate; the result was chaos.
Excuse me, Doc, but the chaos is the form these Islamist thugs chose to use to debate the issue of fear driven self-censorship in a country that promotes free speech, which the original article Jyllands-Posten published put before the Danish populace to elicit the debate, which the rioters have announced they want no part of discussing by going crazy in the streets.
Is the publication of sacrilegious cartoons the foolish exercise of a poorly informed editor or a harsh, unwarranted attack against one of the world’s three great monotheistic religions? Is the reproduction of these cartoons nearly six months after their original publication a stand for democracy or just another assault on Islam? Is this freedom of expression or expression without responsibility?
Flemming Rose was not “poorly informed” in publishing the original article. Brilliantly naive? More likely. The idea this was “an unwarranted attack” is just stupid; the paper wasn’t “attacking” anything, it was bringing a unspoken, simmering Dutch societal problem into the public square for a full airing: are Danish Muslims impervious to Denmark’s laws, and allowed to scare the shit–and constitutional rights–out of non-Muslim Danes? Is Denmark heading for dhimmi submission?
And as far as the reasoning behind reproducing these cartoons six months after they originally were published? It took the raving nutters that long to decide they were royally pissed and begin burning shit! So showing the rest of the world what their turbans were all wound up about was kinda necessary to provide some context, don’t you think?
I am not American, but I have been spending half of my time in the U.S. since 1985. I have a home and a career here. Like Americans, I believe in freedom and democracy. I also know that freedom does not come without responsibility. I know that one should not, and cannot, yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater just because one is free to do so. Even freedom has its parameters.
Yadda, yadda, yadda…although how and why you landed here in ’85, a few years after your husband was blown away in a hail of bullets, is something that, as I said earlier, would help the average reader. (And where the stash of cash you brought with you and used to endow the UM Sadat Chair came from would also be interesting…at least to me.)
There is no law that says cartoonists cannot draw caricatures. There is no law that says television commentators cannot equate terrorism with Islam. There is no law that says we should not defame the religions of others. But there should be!
If you really believe that, move your ass outta Dodge, toots, because it’ll never happen here. There are places where the local law does, to a certain extent, offer you that option: pick any country that follows Shari’a.
There should be a law that says reasonable, responsible people of any faith, or no faith for that matter, cannot attack others simply because of their beliefs. There should be a law that requires us to appreciate the cultures and beliefs of our fellow human beings.
Actually, such laws are pretty much already on the books in damn near all Western countries; it’s when religious psychopaths like some of your fellow Muslims take a perceived “insult” as an “attack” of their faith and start killing people and burning shit we find we have a problem.
In fact, there is a law: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto to you. In Islam, we say, “Do for your brother what you want for yourself.”
That first bit isn’t a law, it’s just a pretty smart suggestion. As far the second bit, well, you Muslims might talk that talk, but “Death to the Infidels!” and beheading non-believers in the name of Allah by some of your fellow Muslims pretty much establishes where they draw the line when defining who they consider a “brother.”
Whether we are in a war of civilization or a clash of culture is a question that cannot be answered, much less discussed, as long as emotions are high and reason is blind. But it is a question we cannot afford to ignore.
So tell those Islamofacsists currently going crazy over goddamned cartoons to back the fuck off and shut the fuck up! As long as they keep this up, they are plainly stating they believe the war/clash/whatever is already under way. Sticking your head in the sand and calling for discussion with these fuckers screaming “jihad!” and killing people and burning embassies may sound good on paper, but it’s a bullshit idea when you put it on the ground, especially when one side flat out wants the other side wiped from the face of the Earth.
Just ask your husband, Mrs. Sadat…oh, wait….