Anyone who values free speech, sign this petition
Monday, February 20, 2006
The following piece has appeared on my old favourite, the Al Ghurabaa website
NAME AND SHAME THEM!
It is about time that the British government and the British public took responsibility for what their dogs are doing in Iraq and elsewhere in the Muslim world. These vile animals seen here need to be exposed, arrested and put on trial in a Shari'ah court. That is why Al Ghurabaa are running a campaign to bring these British soldiers to justice. We demand that the British Government hand over the criminals to the Mujahideen in Iraq to be put on trial.
Considering the tyrannic nature of this government we are pessimistic of the Government response so if anyone from the general public, whether family or friends, recognise any of the culprits pictured or others not mentioned, please send us all information about them to email@example.com or call us on 07904 034 544
What do you think the would do if they obtained a name and address?
Friday, February 17, 2006
In a book called UK at War with Islam (pdf, 743k), the whackos of Al Ghurabaa use the following quotation from Winston Churchill (The River War, 1899):
“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
This is a well know quotation and it has been widely repeated, both approvingly and disapprovingly. It bears examination for several reasons, not least that it is always good to read any prose, however tactless, that derives from a time when people felt able to say what they actually thought about cultures different to their own.
Churchill distinguished, rightly, between the Islamic religion and its followers. He castigated the former and praised the good among the latter.
He was correct in discerning the connection between Islam and slavery, which still exists more than a century after he wrote and longer after the abolition of slavery in the West. One of the rarely remarked on problems of Islamic migration to the West has been the reintroduction of slavery that has accompanied it. It is to the lasting shame of Western liberals that they have preferred to see this reintroduction than to abandon multiculturalism.
But then in Britain, they have also been prepared to see the death of the universal electoral franchise, less than a century after it was won. In the 2005 British General Election, postal voting enabled Muslim "community leaders" to take people's voting papers and fill them in as they wished. This of course affected women disproportionately severely.
Churchill was also correct to point out the connection between the strength of the West (which he characterises as Christianity, though today widespread secularism makes "the West" a better term) and science. It is worth emphasising that he pointed out that science had needed to defend itself from Christianity in the past. Followers of the campaign to legitimise the two hundred year old fallacy now known as Intelligent Design will be aware that this battle is not yet over.
But in the main, the West has remained within "the strong arms of science". Despite its role, centuries ago, of conserving Classical learning and conveying and enhancing Hindu mathematics, the Islamic world today is poorly educated and economically moribund, producing almost nothing except oil. Creationism has won there, with evolutionary theory taught in none of the Universities or schools in the Gulf states. This theocratic infantilism bodes ill for them, you might think, in what has been touted as the century of the life sciences, with genetics the new silicon. And so it does, with one big "but": the technology that is produced by the West spreads.
Think of bin Laden, that creature of the West, in his flak jacket, with Kalashnikov rifle and satellite phone... even his wealth derived from western oil consumption. As the technology gap narrows, the relative strengths of the two cultures level out.True, the present Iranian nuclear controversy is about the attempted acquisition of decades-old technology, but it is very powerful technology. There have been no qualitative leaps for half a century (missile defense will be the next) and until the next technological shift, we are increasingly vulnerable.
But what Churchill did not foresee, and probably would never, from the fastness of his Victorian certitude, have dreamed could happen, is the loss of confidence in the West, and especially in Europe, combined with the post-colonial mindset of much of the rest of the world.
Here is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, speaking to the National Aseembly of Sudan in January 2005:
You were the first among the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from colonialism, opening the way towards the total liquidation of colonialism and apartheid on our continent. We were the last to achieve liberation from white minority rule and apartheid, marking the conclusion of the work you had started, of the final abolition of colonialism in Africa.
we should step backwards briefly to look into our shared colonial past, once again to make the point that there are many factors that should propel us towards common action.
I would like to mention is Winston Churchill, who served under Lord Kitchener, and wrote the famous account of the colonising exploits of Kitchener in Sudan in the book entitled “The River War”.
Let me quote a short paragraph from this book, which quotation tells the whole story about what our colonial masters thought of us. Churchill wrote:
“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism...(here follows the quotation I began with)"
What Churchill said about Mohammedans was of course precisely what our colonisers thought about all Africans, whether Muslim or not. And this attitude conditioned what they did as part of their colonial project, including what their soldiers, such as Gordon, Wolseley and Kitchener did to those they sought to colonise.
our shared colonial past left both of us with a common and terrible legacy of countries deeply divided on the basis of race, colour, culture and religion.
As of yesterday, Sudan has a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The protracted and destructive war in the South has come to an end, never to return. It is also our firm view that that Peace Agreement and the new Sudan that will be born as a result of its implementation, provide a firm basis for the solution of other conflicts in Sudan, including the conflict in Darfur.
Today, I visited El Fasher in the Darfur region and have witnessed the challenges facing the government and people of Sudan in the area. I am confident that working together with the AU the leadership of this country will fully resolve the situation.
Of course, the situation in Darfur is not resolved, more than a year later. And, although the problem there and in other parts of Sudan, for two decades now, has been that of a Muslim regime attacking animists and Christians, killing some two million of them in the process, Mbeki can blame it on a colonial legacy.
Al Ghurabaa are, by their own lights, honest. They see any opposition to the complete domination of Islam and the imposition of Sharia law as a a vicious attack on Muslims and, within this supremacist philosophy, they are entirely consistent.
Mbeki is another matter. He prefers post-colonial solidarity with regimes in Sudan and Zimbabwe to ethical politics and effective humanitarian action. He will praise the murderers of millions while castigating those who brought life expectancies of up to half again those of the present day to African countries. And he falls back on the comfortable bigotry that can suggest that Churchill was using Muslims as a proxy for all Africans in his writings, instead of examining Islam and holding Islamic regimes accountable for their faults.
Churchill, in fact, wrote extensively about Africans. If Mbeki cared to be more honest, he would find plenty to criticise there. From the same book as quoted above:
The indigenous inhabitants of the country were negroes as black as coal. Strong, virile, and simple-minded savages, they lived as we may imagine prehistoric men--hunting, fighting, marrying, and dying, with no ideas beyond the gratification of their physical desires, and no fears save those engendered by ghosts, witchcraft, the worship of ancestors, and other forms of superstition common among peoples of low development. They displayed the virtues of barbarism. They were brave and honest. The smallness of their intelligence excused the degradation of their habits. Their ignorance secured their innocence. Yet their eulogy must be short, for though their customs, language, and appearance vary with the districts they inhabit and the subdivisions to which they belong, the history of all is a confused legend of strife and misery, their natures are uniformly cruel and thriftless, and their condition is one of equal squalor and want.
Far from using Muslims as a proxy for all Africans, in the very same book that Mbeki was quoting from, Churchill was careful to distinguish Arab Muslims from black Africans:
Although the negroes are the more numerous, the Arabs exceed in power. The bravery of the aboriginals is outweighed by the intelligence of the invaders and their superior force of character.
and to disctinguish both from people of mixed race:
The qualities of mongrels are rarely admirable, and the mixture of the Arab and negro types has produced a debased and cruel breed, more shocking because they are more intelligent than the primitive savages. The stronger race soon began to prey upon the simple aboriginals; some of the Arab tribes were camel-breeders; some were goat-herds; some were Baggaras or cow-herds. But all, without exception, were hunters of men. To the great slave-market at Jedda a continual stream of negro captives has flowed for hundreds of years. The invention of gunpowder and the adoption by the Arabs of firearms facilitated the traffic by placing the ignorant negroes at a further disadvantage. Thus the situation in the Soudan for several centuries may be summed up as follows: The dominant race of Arab invaders was unceasingly spreading its blood, religion, customs, and language among the black aboriginal population, and at the same time it harried and enslaved them.
Churchill was at best patronising about black Africans, at worst he was by contemporary standards staggeringly racist. This is, of course, no more than to say that he was a man of his time, as are we all. However, the picture he described, of the Arab Sudanese preying on and enslaving the black population, is exactly that of today.
In passing, it means that Mbeki was either deliberately lying when he made his speech in Sudan or, more likely, he had not bothered to look at the book he was quoting, perhaps lest it disturbed his comfortable prejudices. There was plenty in this book to fuel a sense of grievance against the attitudes of past European colonists, but it did not include a conflation of the black and the Muslim Sudanese. One day, a powerful African nation will have a leader who is capable of remembering historical prejudices and injustices and of taking action against present horrors. But this is not that day.
Churchill's writings give us, seen through the prism of his racial prejudices, an accurate reflection of the situation in Sudan in the last years of the nineteenth century. A century later, life is basically the same for the black Sudanese. Mbeki is doing nothing to help. Students of the South African President will find nothing surprising there.
But there has been change elsewhere. We now have in Britain, in Al Ghurabaa and other Islamist organisations, the same kind of Islamic supremacists as have faced the people of Darfur, and they are seeking to change British society into an analogue of that of the Sudan.
Yet, far from showing the same kind of bullish confidence in their own culture as Churchill displayed consistently throughout his life, our present ruling classes seem to be unable to do anything except accommodate, apologise and capitulate. They are the flip side of the Mbeki coin, paralysed by post-colonial guilt to the point where they are unable to take effective action against anyone from that part of the human diaspora which found itself colonised by Europeans in the past, even when the people in question are violent supremacists and fascists.
I am glad that the racial prejudice has diminished (it has not disappeared completely, of course). Long may it wither. But I long for another Churchill in this, our time of need.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The March for Free Expression has just posted a statement of principle on its website. It reads:
The strength and survival of free society and the advance of human knowledge depend on the free exchange of ideas. All ideas are capable of giving offense, and some of the most powerful ideas in human history, such as those of Galileo and Darwin, have given profound religious offense in their time.
The free exchange of ideas depends on freedom of expression and this includes the right to criticize and mock.
We assert and uphold the right of freedom of expression and call on our elected representatives to do the same.
We abhor the fact that people throughout the world live under mortal threat simply for expressing ideas and we call on our elected representatives to protect them from attack and not to give comfort to the forces of intolerance that besiege them.
Anyone willing to support this can check the website regularly, as linked to above, or email the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org
Islamophobic, or what?
But that's not me talking. This is from a recent post at the website of UK based Islamofascists Al-Ghurabaa - the cheeky laddies behhind the "Behead Cartoonists" banners recently seen in London.
The full piece is headed
There is no Room for Freedom in Islam
Despite the insistent pleas of some apologetic sections of the Muslim community and their distorted claims that Islam ‘represents freedom’ and ‘tolerance’. The fact of the matter is that there is no room for freedom in Islam whatsoever, in fact Islam calls for the complete opposite, and end of all freedoms and the enslaving of all people to their lord.
We do not want the slavery to our desires, money, women, man-made laws, Tony Blair etc like that offered by a free and democratic society, rather the Muslims believe in Islam, which is the total submission to Almighty Allah exclusively by worshipping Him (swt), obeying and following his commands and declaring complete intolerance, hatred, disassociation from Shirk (associating partners with Allah) and all of its people (i.e. all Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists etc).
The west calls for freedom of belief, to believe as you wish and worship as you wish and change your Deen as you wish. There is no space for this fallacy in Islam; in the Shari’ah it is well known that we have been ordered with “the one who changes his Deen, [to] kill him.” And although under an Islamic authority nobody will be forced to embrace Islam, we do not accept for people to walk with their idols and crosses in the streets publicly, nor to build any new places of worship (though they may keep their existing ones).
Another recent posting is headed:
VOICE OF THE MUSLIMS OR VOICE FOR THE KUFFAR(They like capital letters. Hobbies include shouting and hitting forehead against walls.)
The vying of various so-called Muslim organisations in the UK to represent the views of the mainstream Muslim community has become like an auction, with the bidding related to the one who can side and ally with the Kuffar against the Muslims the most.
As Muslims living in any part of the world, there are certain invariable rules that are common amongst all Muslims and forms a part of there identity and the privilege to be called a Muslim, any violation of this rule would negate his/hers belief and hence there privilege to be called a Muslim and to be associated with the global Muslim community.
Recent events such as the insult and the ridiculing of the Messenger Mohammed (SAW), has made apparent the stand and clear hypocrisy of some so-called mainstream Muslim organisations. Instead of calling for the Hukm of Allah (SWT) to deal with those involved in insulting our beloved Messenger Mohammed (SAW) (i.e. the one who is proven to have done so, must be executed), they have instead embroiled themselves in a tirade of abuse, condemnation and vilification for those whom stood out to defend the Messenger Mohammed (SAW), giving rope to the Kuffar to attack there Muslim brothers and sisters.
To go even further certain individuals have called upon the police (i.e. Kuffar), to investigate, arrest and to prosecute Muslims for breaking man-made laws. That is enough proof upon somebody to be deemed an apostate, as it is a form of allying with the Kuffar against Muslims, and in doing so has violated a clear edict in Islam, that to ally with the disbelievers against the believers (Muslims) is an act of apostasy.
A section entitled
Kill Those who insult the prophet!appears to be unavailable at the time of writing, probably because the file was moved after being put online. It seems, from the filename (cartoon.htm) to have been an incitement to murder the Danish cartoonists.
It's a shame I didn't catch it in time. If the open incitements to murder in the pieces cited above were NOT sufficient to bring about their rapid removal, it's interesting to speculate what might have been.
Christopher Hitchens is spot on, again:
The prohibition on picturing the prophet—who was only another male mammal—is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then, let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent. This current uneasy coexistence is only an interlude, he seems to say. For the moment, all I can do is claim to possess absolute truth and demand absolute immunity from criticism. But in the future, you will do what I say and you will do it on pain of death.
But if Muslims do not want their alleged prophet identified with barbaric acts or adolescent fantasies, they should say publicly that random murder for virgins is not in their religion. And here one runs up against a curious reluctance. … In fact, Sunni Muslim leaders can't even seem to condemn the blowing-up of Shiite mosques and funeral processions, which even I would describe as sacrilege.
those who are determined to be "offended" will discover a provocation somewhere? We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt
Monday, February 13, 2006
By asking the government of Denmark and Norway to punish the cartoonist and their publishers, the demanders have absolutely no regard for individual liberty.
By asking the government of Denmark and Norway to apologize for the offense of private citizen, they believe that the state and the individuals are one and the same - this is the central value of facism.
By boycotting Danish and Norwegian products, they believe that one member of the collective can be punished for the action of the other. This is the very same attitude that result in the barbaric gang rape of Mukhtar Mai.
Let not pretend that they seek to redress an insult to their religion. It is a mere pretext.
They seek nothing less than our submission - our unconditional surrender to their rule.
To them I say "bring it on." I will not submit. I will not surrender. I will not be a dhimmi. I did not escape Communism to live under Sharia. You are prepared to die for your religion. I am prepared to die for my freedom.
The new front is being fought in Denmark and Norway. If they fall, we are next.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
According to Theodore Dalrymple in City Journal, Denmark
produces far more, oil excepted, than the whole Arab world put togetherTheir goods are being boycotted in many Muslim countries right now. To help people who want to buy Danish to help compensate for this, a website has been set up at http://www.buy-danishproducts.com/ to provide information about Danish products and services.
Encouraging YouGov poll results in The Sunday Times. 1600 people questioned:
The poll shows that 86% of people think the protests were “a gross overreaction”. By 56% to 29% respondents said it was right to publish the cartoons in Denmark and republish them elsewhere.The article is headed
Public anger at Muslim protesters
That's a fact.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
The campaign is getting serious, with a blog just opened to serve as an information point. If you are a blogger, please link to and publicise this event.
This is the website and information point for the forthcoming March in Support of Free Expression, to be held in London in March 2006.
Information will be posted here about the event, together with updates on supporting organisations and individuals.
If you are interested in helping, attending or supporting this event, please contact us at email@example.com
Two oxymorons in one title. I'm getting better at this.
Strangely, the Islamic Human Rights Commission can find no space on their website to promote the rights of freedom of conscience or speech. They cannot find time in their busy schedules to campaign about honour killings, the removal of girls from schools at the age of 14 or forced marriages.
But they are very exercised by the Cartoon Affair. And who should pop up signing their press release, but one "Shaikh Faiz Siddiqi LLB, Barrister, Convener MAC":
The publication of offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ) have caused outrage amongst the majority of the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.No it didn't. It passed almost completely unnoticed. What has caused the outrage is a campaign, orchestrated by Syria and Saudi Arabia in response to a tour of the Middle East by a group of Danish imams, equipped with a dossier containing the cartoons that were published, and some others added to make things look worse, who are such extreme salafist sunnis that the government of Iran refused them an audience.
I offer a translation of the rest:
This latest outrage is being noted as an ongoing series of attacks on Islam and Muslims.We, the attackers, are in fact (professional) victims.
The decision of different media to reprint the said caricatures has continued to inflame the situation.And Western civilisation has yet to capitulate to us.
The angry reaction of the Muslims in the UK is being fuelled by the lack of sensitivity and unreasonableness by the media and certain governments. The apology of the Danish newspaper and the Danish Prime Minister has been rejected as it does not go far enough to rectify the damage done.We demand greater displays of obedience and submissiveness from the Danes.
Reports of rising tensions and anxiety in the Muslim community have started to cause concern to its leading scholars and Imams. In their effort to bring direction to the protest and cohesion to the debate...But we have got some bad press recently. Bummer. Maybe people will buy it if we pretend to be a moderating influence, working to contain the more hot-headed elements of our community. That way, we can demand the same degree of surrender to Islamic law as the suicide bombers, while not actually calling for anyone to be beheaded.
Check out Pickled Politics:
The number of British Muslim organisations have officially exceeded the number of actual Muslims living in the UK this week, after a flurry over activity over the Prophet Mohammed cartoons.
The proposed name was initially signed off as British Islamic Group for Muslims Against Cartoons, until McDonald’s lawyers stepped in.
It has been estimated by the think-tank ‘Think Islamic ThoughtS’ that by 2050 there will be a Muslim organisation for every citizen in Britain.
"Shaikh" Faiz Saddiqi, UK Muslim Action Committee has given a press interview in which he says:
What we've called for really is for the Press Complaints Commission to add that there be a prohibition for the media to print images of the Holy Prophet Muhammad- peace be upon him. Not because we want to enforce our laws upon people.
We have a law prohibiting depictions of Mohammed and we want to enforce this law on others, not because we want to enforce our laws on others...
Simply because we are saying they are offensive.
but because we want to make it illegal to offend us, something that would extend even beyond the scope of enforcing Muslim laws on non-Muslims. Muslims can and do say things that offend other Muslims, within the bounds of Islamic law, but non-Muslims must not have the same privilege.
We've not said it once twice three times and after that any acts that are offending or insulting in the same manner are a deliberate act of malicious provocation.
We have said repeatedly that non-Muslims must not offend us but people still have the temerity not to submit...
So what we are saying that in a civilised community people have a social contract with each other and in that social contract what we have to do is respect each other.
So I'm going to use the language of civilisation to try to impose a completely one-sided version of respect, wherein non-Muslims cannot offend Muslims, but no reciprocal duty exists.
Glad we've got that clear, Faiz.
From The Jawa Report gallery of photographs all taken on Feb 10th 2006. It's a sobering view of burgeoning worldwide fascism, and a reminder that the "tiny minority of extremists" is not so tiny. Also a good example of the kind of arithmetic we are seeing in this dispute:
Publishing a dozen unremarkable cartoons
maiming, mutilating and killing men, women and children indiscriminately
Or perhaps these are mainstream, moderate Muslims demonstrating? Let's ask Faiz Siddiqi, who is organising today's march in London.
You cannot be a moderate Muslim. You are either a Muslim or not a Muslim(Faiz Siddiqi, quoted in the Teheran Times, 1997)
Friday, February 10, 2006
The American publication The National Review hails Ayatollah Sistani, the pre-eminent Iraqi Shi'a cleric.
Ayatollah Sistani has called the publication of the cartoons a "horrific action," not surprisingly. But he also has condemned the "misguided and oppressive" Muslims who "have exploited this . . . to spread poison and revive old hatreds with new methods." They, he continued, project "a distorted and dark image of the faith of justice, love, and brotherhood." In a better world, Sistani would have a Nobel Peace Prize. This is hereby a call for someone out there who is eligible to make a nomination — a category including congressmen and professors — to make the nomination.
Some words of wisdom from Sistani:
Taharat (cleanliness) and keeping a clean body and surroundings are very important in Islam. Everyone must refrain from eating and drinking those things which are najis; and the clothing that one wears for Salat, which is the best of actions in worshipping Allah, must be clean, and it is best that they are the most pure of clothing. Because of this, it is necessary to know what things are najis and if something is najis, the method of making them tahir.A Kafir is an unbeliever: a non-Muslim. Note that everything is tahir (clean) except these eleven najir (unclean) things - which include me, my mother and my children.
ISSUE 13: Everything that exists is tahir except for eleven things, and those things that comes into contact with them also become najis.
ISSUE 14: The things which are najis, are the following:
9. Beer (According to Ihtiyat Wajib)
11. The sweat of a najis eating animal.
Just for clarification:
ISSUE 17: The urine and stool of animals whose meat is halal, like the cow and sheep, and animals whose blood does not gush out, like the snake and fish, are tahir.So the shit of a cow is clean, but I am unclean. And further:
ISSUE 18: The urine and stool of animals whose meat is makruh to eat, like the horse and donkey, is tahir.
ISSUE 19: The urine and droppings of birds whose meat is haram, like the eagle, are tahir.
ISSUE 20: The droppings of small animals, like the mosquito and fly that do not have meat, are tahir.
So saying that the flower of our civilisation and all our people are lower than the shit of a mosquito is NOT offensive, but drawing a picture of Mohammed tending sheep is.
Just so we're clear about that. Nobel Peace Prizes all round.
Work has kept me from blogging today, but I did receive this e-mail:
I am canvassing individuals and organisations to gather support for a
march in London some time soon in defence of freedom of expression. I
do not represent anyone other than myself. I am concerned, as no doubt
are many others, that fear, dressed up as sensitivity, may tempt
some in power to allow our most precious right to be circumscribed,
to be eroded. We need to stand up, be counted and be seen. The
strength and survival of true democracy depends most of all on the
free expression of ideas. All ideas. There cannot be any compromise on
this. As Voltaire said to one of his foes " I despise your views but I
am prepared to die for your right to express them "
I am proposing the usual; a march on a weekend day from Hyde Park to
Trafalgar Square. Would you give your support to such a demonstration?
There are some big names already expressing support. If you are willing to help or attend, or even just forward mails to friends, then please contact Patrick at that address.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
One of my posts, Perfect Dhimmitude was commented on by someone called mere muslim, aka Abdurrahman R. Squires, an ex-US marine and a convert to Islam. Firstly, thanks for a restrained comment, which read:
Mere Muslim said...
Below are links to four new articles, from a traditional Muslim perspective, which address various issues which are being raised by the on-going Danish cartoon crisis. I hope that at least some of the self-righteous Islamophobes out there will have the courage to read these articles in detail--but especially the first one which is an exposé of the sloppy antics of Daniel Pipes:
Danish Cartoons, Double-Standards and Daniel Pipes
Why Muslims Are Angry...
An Idiot's Guide to Offensive Cartoons
The actual articles can be found via the post linked to above, or by visiting his website.
I say it was a restrained comment, despite a phrase like "self-righteous Islamophobes", because that's just par for this particular course. If anyone talks about Islam, they quickly become deaf to the incessant repetition of the lazy word "islamophobia", which is just shorthand for "any remark that is not flattering".
I've read the above articles. The most substantial one is indeed the Daniel Pipes piece, and I'll come to that last. In fact, taking them in reverse order makes some sense.
An Idiot's Guide to Offensive Cartoons isn't. After the first sentence, it doesn't mention the cartoons at all, let alone provide a guide to them but, for all that, it starts well:
Well I couldn't resist weighing in on the ongoing cartoon saga. The first thing I want to say is: the violent, idiotic and un-Islamic behavior has got to stop.Why? Because this was foreseen in the Qu'ran:
"You will certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your souls;
and you will certainly hear much that will grieve you,
from those who received the Book before you (i.e. Jews and Christians)
and from the pagan idolaters.
But if you persevere patiently, and guard against evil,
then that will be a determining factor in all affairs."
- Qur'an 3:186
Maintaining self-restraint in the face of the disgusting bigotry, hatred and blasphemy that we're facing today is what it means to "perservere patiently", which is what the Prophet-salla Allahu 'alayhi wa salam-did when he was mocked, ridiculed and spat upon by the pagan opposition.
Thus the question arises of how he would react to being satired and lampooned in cartoons or having his teachings besmirched by the foolhardy example of some of his latter-day followers?
and so on. That's it. Really. Just the assumption that some terrible wrong has been done, a call to refrain from violence, and examples of Mohammed's forbearance.
Note the two phrases in bold above. They provide us with a simple formula:
being satired and lampooned in cartoons = disgusting bigotry, hatred and blasphemy
No, they don't constitute hatred or bigotry. They are part of the rough and tumble of Western life. The only people for whom they constitute blasphemy are Muslims. And we are not Muslims. But there is a word for non-Muslims who live in a Muslim society and have to conform with Muslim laws and "feel themselves subdued" (Sura 9:29): Dhimmi. I'm going to need this next phrase again, so I'll make it an acronym for convenience. We do not live in a Muslim society and We Are Not Dhimmis. WAND.
Please understand this, Abdurrahman: we are not Dhimmis and you are not going to make us into Dhimmis.
Next, we have Why Muslims are angry.
Personally, I think the primary reasons, aside from the general post-colonial trauma that much of the Muslim World still suffers from due to their exploitation by European powers for so many years, are quite obvious: double-standards and hypocrisy. Thus in reality it’s not about the cartoons per se, but about all the hypocrisy and double-standards surrounding the debate about them.While I go and talk to some North African Berbers and Sudanese Christians and Animists about post-colonial trauma - having their entire culture destroyed by Islamic invaders - anyone interested can check out the Guardian article which shows the first double standard.
I'm back and, hey, that was fast. Two million of the Sudanese were dead, so it took less time than I expected. The Guardian article shows that the Danish newspaper that published the "offensive" cartoons refused to publish some unsolicited cartoons with a Christian theme. The editor said
"The illustrator thought his cartoons were funny. I did not think so. It would offend some readers, not much but some."
Newspaper refuses to publish unsolicited material. Hold the front page. Newspapers almost never publish unsolicited material. By way of a contrast, the Mohammed cartoons were commissioned because a book author had found it difficult to find an illustrator who would work on his book about Mohammed's life. After the trail of murder left by extremist Islamists across Europe, that's no surprise, so the Jyllands-Posten commissioned some cartoons to show that free speech and free expression still exist in Europe.
Do you really not understand that, Abdurrahman? The newspaper was trying to show that magic WAND. As the editor recently remarked, "we failed". What has instead become clear is the degree of fear, repression and outright dhimmitude that Islamist extremism has planted in Europe and other western countries. That's what this blog, and others, is trying to roll back.
The reason why Muslims feel angry is encapsulated in this next passage, a quote from someone called Rachard Itani:
You can curse the Prophet of the Muslims at will and with total impunity. However, approach the holocaust at your own risks and perils…There is a word for this in the English language: hypocrisy…This whole affair is nothing but an over-reaction to a simple cartoon, you say? Not if you remember a certain other cartoon that appeared in the British newspaper, The Independent, on 27 January 2003. It depicted Prime Minister Sharon of Israel eating the head of a Palestinian child while saying: "What's wrong? You've never seen a politician kissing babies before?" Jews in Britain and around the world erupted with indignation…Muslims deserve nothing more nor less than for Christians in the U.S. and Europe, and Zionist Jews in Israel, to simply abide by the golden rule: treat others as you would have others treat you. So far, Christians and Zionist Jews have proven that they only abide by the alternative definition of this rule: ‘They who have the gold, make the rule.’Yes, there was anger at that Independent cartoon. But there were no Jews burning embassies, holding up placards demanding that the editor if the paper be beheaded or demanding changes in the law and in society. That's the difference. I think the Independent was and is contemptible, but I uphold their right to free speech. No Israelis claimed immunity from criticism after the cartoon was published. No Jews declared that non-Jews should be subject to Jewish religious law.
The holocaust is the main theme, though, and is dwelt on at length in the next two pieces. Hate-Mongers Beware starts more ominously:
All hate-mongers out there need to realize that one of their kindred spirits, Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, was found guilty at the Nuremberg Trials and sentenced to death even though he never directly participated in the Holocaust.It's always interesting for a modernist, empirical, scientific, rationalist child of the enlightenment to be called "Neanderthal" by an uncritical believer in bronze-age superstition. But moving on:
I wonder if any of the hate-mongering Neanderthal hypocrites out there, like the ones who seemingly think freedom of speech should be absolute, want to defend Julius Streicher's right to free speech?
Personally, I feel that idea that Muslims are the "New Jews"--since it's okay to hate them, stereotype them, claim they have a propensity towards violence, have no moral values and pose a threat to society at large--is very substantiated, thus I don't think that internment camps (or worse) are out of the question if another large scale terrorist attack takes place on U.S. soil or elsewhere.And indeed some commentators have mentioned internment, including the very beautiful Michelle Malkin.
Just as an aside, P.J. O'Rorke, remembering all the ethereal babes who walked in counter-culture demos in the 1960s, theorised that the cutting edge is where the most beautiful women gravitate. Just compare some of the right-wing bloggers with, say, Code Pink and you'll get the idea.
To continue from the article:
It's at times like these that I really feel thankful to Almighty God for guiding me to Islam. Sure, most of us get frustrated by the often misguided antics of Muslims these days, but just look at the hate-mongers out there whose daily work consists of making the world a more hateful and less tolerant placeYou mean, a place where free expression isn't tolerated? The sort of place where followers of one religion demand that others obey their 1400 year old laws? That's not going to happen, because of that magic WAND.
And so to
Daniel Pipes, the world's most prominent anti-Muslim hate-mongerThis seems to be a "they are doing it, so we'll do it too" defense, but that can't be right because
Based on the fact that he's the respected spokesman for so many Islamophobes around the world, you'd think he'd be able to articulate a decent defense for his paranoid positions. Please try to keep this in mind when you see how easy it is to un-spin his half-baked assertions—and it is always easy when the facts are on your side. So without further adieu, here's what Daniel Pipes, glaring hypocrite and Islamophobe extraordinaire, had to say:
"Will the West stand up for its customs and mores,
including freedom of speech, or will Muslims
impose their way of life on the West? Ultimately,
there is no compromise: Westerners will either
retain their civilization, including the right to
insult and blaspheme, or not."
It’s quite ironic that he finds it so easy to ignore the fact that eleven European countries (including ones that he lists as standing with Denmark in his article), as well as his own State of Israel, have laws which make public denial of the Holocaust a crime.
what Daniel Pipes is actually arguing for in this case is a juvenile "We're doing it because they do it too!" justification.Pipes had mentioned anti-Semitic cartoons in the Middle East. But this is hypocrisy, because burning a flag or a cross are also illegal in the USA, we are told. Then there are links to photographs of racial lynching is the USA.
On that note, please realize that the existence of anti-Semitic Muslim cartoonists and the actions of violent angry Muslim mobs in various locales doesn't nullify the fact that many of those who are defending free speech and the so-called Western way of life are having hypocritical double-standards—so please stop using the recent violence as a way to divert attention from the real issue.You mean, like showing 70 year old atrocity images to divert us from atrocities being committed today?
Various pundits are claiming that European Muslims want special treatment under the law, although at least one specific religion is already getting preferential treatment. They claim Muslims only want their religion to be protected from insult, but true and decent Muslims want all religions protected from insult (which is a Qur'anic concept by the way).And, for his twisting of the truth,
the Daniel Pipes' of the world truly have a lot in common with the likes of Julius Streicher.Muslims do want special treatment before the law. The atrocity pictures, of KKK lynchings, far from being a sign of hypocrisy, are the exact reason why cross burning is illegal in the US. We all have our particular histories and this is part of that of the USA. The Holocaust is part of Europe's and, while I don't personally agree with it, this is why Germany led the way in passing Holocaust Denial laws. European anti-semitism is not extinguished and revisionism is a route used by neo-fascists to gain ground.
But Islam is NOT a part of our history. We are not Muslims and, you guessed it: WAND. But Christianity is a part of our past. There were terrible passages in European history. Heresy and blasphemy were punished by death. There are still atavistic remains of blasphemy laws in many European countries and you'd be right to say that they don't include Islam (or Hinduism, or Buddhism...). But they are the problem, not the solution. Our ancestors fought for the right for free expression, against a (Christian) theocracy - paying with their lives in many cases. The freedoms we enjoy were hard won and are fragile and precious. And we are not going to let them slip away.
We are not Muslims. We are not Dhimmis. And we don't want your religious laws.
Compare and contrast two pieces in today's Telegraph.
Muslim Plea Fails:
A French court yesterday turned down a request by Muslim groups to gag a satirical weekly which today publishes all 12 of the cartoons and a new caricature.
The Muslim Council of France told the Paris civil court that the cartoons incited religious or racial hatred. The court ruled the application inadmissible on a technicality.
Charlie Hebdo's director and editor-in-chief, Philippe Val, said yesterday he chose to publish the cartoons "for reasons of solidarity and on principle".
University drops editor over cartoon:
A student newspaper has suspended its editor and recalled 10,000 copies after it published the Danish cartoon satirising Mohammed as a terrorist.
Cardiff University's student union paper Gair Rhydd - which means Free Word - is believed to be the first British publication to use the image that has led to violent global protests. The cartoon, first published in Denmark last September, shows the Prophet with a lighted bomb on his head decorated with the Muslim declaration of faith.
Student union leaders in Cardiff discovered on Saturday that the weekly newspaper, which is distributed free on the university campus and to halls of residence, included the cartoon alongside an article describing reaction to its publication elsewhere.
By noon yesterday they had retrieved 98 per cent of the copies. About 200 copies remained in circulation. A statement by Cardiff University Students' Union said it "very much regrets any upset caused or disrespect shown".
Ashgar Ali, a councillor in Grangetown, Cardiff, said: "The Muslim students at the university are going to be upset."
Staff at the alternative weekly New York Post have resigned en masse after the publisher pulled an edition that featured the Danish cartoons.
Meanwhile, Drinking From Home reports that French newsagents are selling out of copies of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which also printed them, but wasn't scuppered.
Sadly, a quick glance at Private Eye's website shows no sign that they will do the same. I await the publication date for the next issue with interest.
is for sale on ebay.
MP George Galloway Soul
For sale, one sullied soul belonging to Bow and Bethnal Green MP George Galloway. Having shamelessly put all other artifacts he used in Big Brother on eBay it is the last thing the Respect politician/cat impressionist has left to flog. He sold his dignity a long time ago. Any takers welcome for this sorry object.
Bidding as I type is at £104. Seems a little overpriced, to me.
Steve Bell is a cartoonist on the Guardian. But that doesn't do him justice: he is probably the best political cartoonist working in the UK. His draftsmanship is stunning, his characterisation acute and his cartoons are often hilarious. I've been following them for a quarter of a century now, and generally check on his recent images a couple of times a week. Arguably, it was Bell's depiction of former British Prime Minister John Major as a zombie with his underpants on over the top of his trousers that defined Major's premiership and made it impossible to take him seriously.
There's just one small problem. He is a political idiot, an extremist left-winger, and has absolutely no moral compass.
I'm planning a serious deconstruction of his cartoons, but for the moment, here is a good example, from today:
Bush is indeed a born again Christian and in that respect shares some aspects of religious enthusiasm with the Iranian President Ahmasmadasahatter. Like Ahmageddinoutahere and former US President Reagan, he might share the idea of the end of times, rapture, the return of the last immam, or whatever. That would be fair comment. But Bell's cartoon suggests a greater, indeed absolute, equivalence between Judaism, Christianity represented by Bush and Islam represented by Ahmhearingvoicesinmyhead.
When Israel and the US start hanging seventeen year old girls from cranes in public squares because they didn't have four male witnesses to hand when they were raped, when they start threatening to wipe entire nations off the map, when they start trying to drag the entire world into the nightmarish darkness of mediaeval theocracy, that's when comparison with the nutters in the Iranian elite will become justified.
Until then, it's a form of fatuous moral equivalence that serves to encourage the Abu Hamzas of the world, and further endangers us all. Why? Because by showing the Christian cross, the Star of David and the Islamic crescent together, with Ahmaswiveleyedlooney sitting on a cloud bottom right, Bell tells us that the Islam of the Iranian Mullahs IS the true Islam and that Ahcantbebotheredtomakeupanymoreahmasnames represents Islam in a clash of religions.
But it's also intellectually negligible, and maybe, for a man of Bell's enormous talent, that's the saddest aspect of it. We're not living through a clash of religions. A glance at letters pages shows Christians supporting Islamic attempts to censor free speech. Christians demonstrated outside the BBC when it was showing Jerry Springer The Opera, Christians successfully lobbied British TV to prevent the showing of Pope Town, Sikhs closed down a play in Birmingham.
This isn't Christianity vs Judaism vs Islam.
This is religious mania vs secular enlightened, rational society. It just so happens that the most energetic and numerous religious maniacs right now are Moslems. That wasn't the case in the past in Europe, when the Inquisition and witch-hunters stalked the lands. It might not be the case in the future. But it is the problem we face right now.
I'm making a point of buying as much Danish produce as possible, to play my part in the counter-boycott of Danish goods that has been gathering momentum in the USA. This morning, I had Danish bacon, and Lurpack butter on my toast. Delicious. And there's blue cheese for lunch.
If only all political action could be so enjoyable.
I have never bought Lurpack before, normally opting for (mainly organic) English butter, but I can thoroughly recommend it. All I can say to the initiators of the boycott is, thanks guys. You have helped me find a great new taste.
Mathew D'Ancona in The Telegraph:
it is not political correctness that lies behind the ministerial blether and evasion: it is electoral statistics. Much has been made of the large number of Muslim voters in Mr Straw's Blackburn constituency, where his party's vote in last year's general election was down by 12.1 per cent and the performance of the anti-war Lib Dems up by 12.5 per cent. Blackburn was merely a vivid example of a national trend that terrified Labour pollsters.
Now, as flames engulf embassies and British Islamists call for their enemies to be slaughtered, ministers are taking no chances. Nothing must be done to alienate the Muslim vote.
Which leaves the rest of us to resolve such trivial matters as the future of free speech, the prospects for pluralism and the repeated collision of liberal democracy with modern Islamic fundamentalism. After 9/11, Madrid, and July 7 - to name but three horrors - it is no longer possible to shelve such issues as philosophical abstractions. The stakes could hardly be higher; the cost of failure unthinkable.
And in an editorial in the same paper, it is argued:
The successful prosecution of Abu Hamza for incitement to murder brings only partial satisfaction. The cleric uttered his incitements to kill for years before being charged.
Such disquiet as remains hinges upon the political interference in the Hamza case. It was indicative of the Government's obsessive fear of the ramifications of this case that Downing Street chose, unusually, to comment on the rightness of the verdict yesterday. It did not, sadly, comment on whether at an earlier stage political pressure was applied to hold off from such a prosecution.
The only political motivation behind this trial, it appears, was to be found in the reluctance to bring it about.
The Government, the Crown Prosecution Service and the police must now act to allay public fears about the selective application of justice.
It was an egregious error of the Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday to add, for his part, that this was not "slam on trial"(sic), but merely Abu Hamza: and that Hamza had misinterpeted the Koran. Such gratuitous post-facto explanations exemplify officialdom's belief that even Muslim criminals require some form of special handling. We are all, theoretically, equal under the law. It is time that those who rule, police and judge us bore that more prominently in mind.
Also see the excellent blog Drinking From Home:
Special Branch wanted to bug Finsbury Park Mosque about 6 years ago, but as one police source put it: "There just wasn't the appetite for it at government level."
And Bedfordshire Police's Guidelines for entering Moslem houses
the Muslim community feels victimized and suspicious of counter terrorist police operations and in the current climate a search at a British Muslim household has the potential to become a critical incident and come under intense scrutiny.
# Rapid entry needs to be the last resort and raids into Muslim houses are discouraged for a number of religious dignity reasons.
# Police should seek to avoid looking at unclad Muslim women and allow them an opportunity to dress and cover their heads.
# For reasons of dignity officers should seek to avoid entering occupied bedrooms and bathrooms even before dawn.
# Use of police dogs will be considered serious desecration of the premises and may necessitate extensive cleaning of the house and disposal of household items.
# Advice should be sought before considering the use of cameras and camcorders due to the risk of capturing individuals, especially women, in inappropriate dress.
# Muslim prisoners should be allowed to take additional clothing to the station.
# If people are praying at home officers should stand aside and not disrupt the prayer. They should be allowed the opportunity to finish.
# Officers should not take shoes into the houses, especially in areas that might be kept pure for prayer purposes.
# In the current climate the justification for pre-dawn raids on Muslim houses needs to be clear and transparent.
# Non-Muslims are not allowed to touch holy books, Qurans or religious artifacts without permission. Where possible, Muslim officers in a state of 'Wudhu' (preparation before prayer) should be used for this purpose.
So if the fake suicide bomber and drug entrepreneur Omar Khayam had lived in Beds, hidden his drugs in a hollowed out Quran and refused permission for a search team to touch it, he'd have avoided prosecution?
In Britain, today, we do not have equality before the law.
Much is made of the idea that Moslems underachieve educationally and have higher unemployment than the rest of the population because they are discriminated against. In fact, a racist cannot tell an Asian Moslem from an Asian Hindu, and the latter group score higher than average on both counts.
The truth of it is that Moslems underachieve because of problems within their own culture, and they have actually managed to entrench a privileged position within British society and the law, from the secure citadel of which they can continue to do badly, unchallenged and self-pitying. This does not benefit the Moslem girls who are taken out of school at 14 to be married off to illiterate Pakistani men, it does not benefit the Moslem women whose postal votes were taken from them by their "owners" and filled in for them. It does not benefit decent Moslems who do work and contribute. And it is storing up a horrible and explosive legacy for everyone in British society, Moslem, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh or atheist, male or female, whether or not they are a Labour supporter.
It has been said that a society gets the government it deserves. Do we really deserve the present Labour administration?
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
It's "let's surrender now, before it's too late" from the contemptible Polly Toynbee in The Guardian. Her piece is titled "No more fantasy diplomacy: cut a deal with the mullahs", and a better oxymoron would be hard to find.
But Polly thinks she has a way to cut a deal with the man she describes thus:
Thumbing his nose at the impotent west, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taunts us: "Our enemies cannot do a damn thing. We do not need you at all. But you are in need of the Iranian nation." And he is absolutely right.
She points out that
fantasy diplomacy is taking a grip. The pretence is that the world united can deflect Tehran: there is still a small chance that Russia's offer to strike a deal could work. But the experts expect an aggressive stand-off, with a risk of futile air attacks. Even if no blood is spilt, the west may find itself in a cold jihad with a God-driven, nuclear-armed adversary, and no solution in sight.
I wasn't being unkind when I said she wants to surrender, just in case:
Fantasy diplomacy is ready to fight all the way to stop the mullahs getting the bomb. Reality suggests there is a difficult choice: if you cannot win, give up at once to minimise the damage.
Here is a European alternative, while
the Americans are grinding out ritual bellicose statements
I'm ashamed to be a compatriot of Ms Toynbee. But - if anyone from outside the UK is reading this - I can tell you that nobody I meet while living here in rural England, while shopping, while paying for petrol (gas), while chatting at work... NOBODY I ever meet is willing to surrender to the mad mullahs, abroad or in the UK.
And neither am I.
According to an article in The Times today, "Poll shows voters believe press is right not to publish cartoons". It continues:
According to a new Populus poll for The Times, two thirds of voters think Muslims must accept the principle of freedom of speech and the right of papers to publish such cartoons. But, true to liberal principles, they do not think that editors should publish them, out of respect for the Muslim community.
Polls can be misleading. The Spectator's website claims that "Times poll on cartoons should be discounted because of dodgy question wording / lack of any opposing case, an old trick". Well, let's give Populus and The Times a fair crack of the whip. To the Populus website.
Hmmm... No mention of this poll. The latest Times poll listed is one based on a small survey of 500 British Moslems between the 9th and 19th of December 2005.
But this one makes interesting reading. In fact, it forms the basis for most of the Times article linked to above. The article concludes:
Supporters of violence remain a small minority, but a wide gulf remains over the fundamentals of freedom of speech and democracy.
So, what constitutes a small minority? Overall, 7% think that suicide bombings can be justified against the UK (ostensibly, their own country), 16% think they can be justified against Israel, 13% in Chechnya and 15% in Iraq. 7% think they can be justified against civilians.
The phrase "tiny minority of extremists" is widely employed, but in the article about this poll, this has been altered to "small minority". I guess it is a small minority, but an average of more than 10% being able to justify suicide bombings under some circumstances is not cause for celebration.
Imagine this through the looking glass. What if a poll had established that nearly 10% of Britons approved of randomly killing civilians in Pakistan?
And it gets worse. Anomg 18-24 year old British Moslems, 28% approve of suicide bombings against military targets. But these military targets include British troops. Let's say that again: more than a quarter of young British Moslems approve of lethal attacks on their own armed forces.
Abu Hamza has just been sentenced to seven years for inciting murder and racial hatred. 27% of younger Moslems, and 13% overall, agree with his views.
28% of younger Moslems and 17% overall (with a bias in favour of women, for whom the figure is 21%) agree with Omar Bakri Mohammed. Omar Bakri has been living in the Lebanon since being expelled (in absentia) from Britain last year. But he spoke to the BBC yesterday, and according to Lebanon's Daily Star:
Bakri claimed "everybody" now acknowledged that cartoons of the Prophet which first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September were insulting.
"In Islam, God said, and the messenger Mohammad said, whoever insults a prophet, he must be punished and executed," he added. "This [cartoonist] should be put on trial and ... executed" if proven guilty.
In an apparent reference to Denmark, which has defended the cartoons on freedom-of-speech grounds, he said if nations fail to put people on trial for insulting Mohammad, they must "face the consequences."
So, nearly one in five British Moslems would agree with this.
A poll of just 500 people is not statistically significant (rather like the Lancet study a while back that concluded that there had been 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq but was based on just 30 households). But poll after poll shows that between 10% and 25% of British Moslems are essentially a mistrustful, alienated and fascistic group that approves of violence, whether or not they induge in it themselves. They also show that this problem is worst among younger Moslems.
There are between one and two million Moslems in Britain, depending whose estimate you prefer. One in five feel little or no loyalty to the country and, among the under 25s, that same proportion approve of violence, lethal violence, against British people and institutions.
The Times chose to end its piece on a reassuring note. In all honesty, I cannot do the same.
The website of the Islamic Society of North America is showing the text of a joint statement by "prominent New York City Imam and Chairman of the multi-faith Cordoba Initiative, Feisal Abdul Rauf" and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton. It's worth showing this in full:
In our capacity as Muslim and Christian leaders committed to bridging the divides that separate our communities, and as members of the C-100 Coalition of the World Economic Forum, we are saddened and appalled by the cartoons, and the irresponsible actions of papers in Denmark in publishing them. Moreover, we view their subsequent republishing in various other European newspapers as gratuitous and insensitive.(emphasis added)
While we recognize the importance of free speech and agree that religions should not be privileged in this regard, the publishing of such insulting cartoons is expectedly being seen by many around the world as an affront to a world faith. This only deepens the suspicion between the West and the Muslim world. At a time when the need for understanding has never been greater, it is sad to see some participate in willful fomentation while others tirelessly advocate for mutual respect and compassion.
In the aftermath of the commotion, we call for calm and peace, as it is firmly our belief that such actions only further prove the need to deepen the dialogue between our faiths and cultures.
Carey is the retired Archbishop. But retirement hasn't kept him out of public life. For example, in March 2004 (according to the Sydney Morning Herald) he
launched a trenchant attack on Islamic culture, saying it was authoritarian, inflexible and under-achieving.
The Australian newspaper continued:
In a speech that will upset sensitive relations between the faiths, he denounced moderate Muslims for failing unequivocally to condemn the "evil" of suicide bombers.
He attacked the "glaring absence" of democracy in Muslim countries, suggested that they had contributed little of major significance to world culture for centuries and criticised the Islamic faith.
He urged Europeans and Americans to resist claims that Islamic states were morally, spiritually and culturally superior.
"Although we owe much to Islam handing on to the West many of the treasures of Greek thought, the beginnings of calculus, Aristotelian thought during the period known in the West as 'the dark ages', it is sad to relate that no great invention has come for many hundred years from Muslim countries," he said.
Dr Carey said that moderate Muslims must "resist strongly" the taking over of Islam by radical activists "and to express strongly, on behalf of the many millions of their co-religionists, their abhorrence of violence done in the name of Allah.
"During my time as archbishop, this was my constant refrain: that the welcome we have given to Muslims in the West, with the accompanying freedom to worship freely and build their mosques, should be reciprocated in Muslim lands," he said.
And in October 2005 he changed tack slightly. According to The Telegraph:
Muslims and members of other religions should get used to being mocked, the former Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday.
Lord Carey of Clifton said he passionately believed it was good for members of a religion to have their faith criticised on certain occasions.
Lord Carey said he wanted to live in a society where people were sensitive to the feelings of others.
"But in being sensitive, what we mustn't do is create a society in which certain stories are not told," Lord Carey told a news conference.
following the publication of Salman Rushdie's book Satanic Verses, Muslim groups came to him asking him to support their campaign against the novel.
"They were very offended by Satanic Verses but I said you are living in a country and civilisation where we are quite used to this," he said.
"They say: 'Why as a Christian don't you condemn the Life of Brian?' I said: 'I love the film and I think it is good for religion to be knocked, to be criticised, to be challenged because we have done a lot of damage in the past'.
"We know religion is a force for good but I don't want to control a writer not to criticise me, because I may need that criticism.
"The Church of England is a broad church, we are used to being mocked. I do believe passionately in this."
In what's turning out to be a shameful week for the Anglican Church, Carey's turnabout here, his moral failure to defend artists whose lives are under threat, is contemptible. He joins the growing list of public figures who are demonstrating that, in order to get the establishment on your side, all you have to do is be exceedingly violent.
In an article titled How clerics spread hatred over cartoons, David Rennie (whose blog has been covering this for some days now) writes:
"As world leaders pleaded for calm in the Mohammed cartoon row yesterday, the Danish Muslim leaders who set the crisis in motion insisted that they had been trying to promote a "dialogue of civilisations".
They also angrily denied allegations from moderate Muslims and European intelligence services that hidden "masterminds" triggered the sudden explosion of protests, a full four months after 12 cartoons of the Prophet were first published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
Ahmed Abu Laban is the most prominent of a group of Danish imams and activists who toured the Middle East late last year, seeking to "internationalise" their campaign of protest
Mr Abu Laban's reputation is at an all-time low among many Danes, after he condemned the consumer boycott on Danish television but told the al-Jazeera channel he was "happy" about it.
Mr Abu Laban was keen to stress his moderation yesterday. Danish Muslims were not looking for a victory or confrontation over the government, or the press, he said. "The whole story is about dialogue of civilizations.""
Not before time.
A "group of Arab and Muslim youth" has set up a website to show that:
"the images shown of Arab and Muslim anger around the world are not representative of the opinions of all Arabs. We whole-heartedly apologize to the people of Denmark, Norway and all the European Union over the actions of a few, and we completely condemn all forms of vandalism and incitement to violence that the Arab and Muslim world have witnessed...
The problem with media representation of such issues tends to be that the media only picks up the loudest voices, ignoring the rational ones that do not generate as much noise. Voices that seek tolerance, dialogue and understanding are always drowned out by the more sensationalist loud calls, giving viewers the impression that these views are representative of all the Arab public’s view. This website is a modest attempt at redressing this wrong. We would appreciate it if you could forward the word to as many of your friends as possible."
Check out www.sorrynorwaydenmark.com.
Monday, February 06, 2006
A British newspaper with guts. Yes, it's true. The Sun published a very good piece by Trevor Cavanagh today - highlighted by The Spectator. There's no weblink, so the Speccie has placed a pdf for download on this link. I've downloaded the piece so if the link goes dead, I can make it available again.
A brief taste from the accompanying editorial:
"Mrs Thatcher used police to face down union thugs during the miners' strike. It was ugly, dangerous and costly. But she knew Britain's free speech and rule of law are worth defending. Whatever the cost"
"Blood curdling footage of masked gunmen and threats of throat-slitting for non-believers - that's what I call offensive.
Here, commentators justify censorship of the Danish cartoons by claiming they are not very funny. That's a cop out. By suppressing these images, we are not only keeping out own citizens in the dark, we are surrendering a hard-won Western tradition of satire which is the true test of free speech.
And as we have seen in riot-torn France and Australia, if it isn't one thing, it will be another.
While we walk on eggshells, how long before increasingly assertive extremists start to demand further accomodation?
What will we do, for instance, if self-appointed religious police start telling non-Muslim women they are immodestly dressed?
Or take physical exception to our unpleasant binge-drinking culture?
Well, at this rate we may well soon find out"
Christopher Hitchens on good form, as usual, writing about:
the cartoons, the (obvious) fact that Al Quaida is losing and the wonderfully titled comment on the Palestinian elections, Suicide Voters.
I don't often commend Johann Hari, but he is spot on about the loathsome Galloway.
I'm proud to say there are now several competitions for new cartoons/photoshops of Mohammed. Here are a few links. If you know of any more, mention them in a comment, please.
Incidentally, the Wikipedia entry shows the cartoons, at the moment at least, and rightly so. View the entry here.
There is also an excellent survey of depictions of Mohammed through the ages at zombietime.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
So what do we do? I have a sense that this Danish cartoon episode could prove to be a tipping point. We need to make it clear, fast, that WE don't capitulate, even if some of our politicians and media do.
Blogging and reading helps vent frustration, but how do we make plain the sheer VOLUME of outrage that is felt around the world about the quisling capitulations of governments and media to aggression and violent intolerance?
Maybe the internet can provide a mechanism for this to be made plain. An online, multilingual, international petition could be sorted by country and presented locally, and sent to elected representatives so an online tally can be kept of whether or not they are willing to support it. There are some very fundamental principles at stake here so it should be possible to erect a very big tent.
I have quickly roughed out a wording but invite suggestions for improving/replacing it. Comments on this site are moderated, but I'll approve any that are on topic, so long as they are constructive, whether or not I agree with them.
WE THE PEOPLE of the twenty first century, common era,
SALUTE the men and women of past centuries, of all nationalities, who through their courage, wisdom, resolve and sacrifice
WON for us the inestimable and inalienable benefits of
DEMOCRACY WITH A UNIVERSAL ADULT FRANCHISE
EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW
EQUALITY IN EDUCATION
FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY
FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE &
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
and we ASSERT our DETERMINATION to
RETAIN these benefits for ourselves, to
EXERCISE WATCHFUL STEWARDSHIP of these benefits, and to
PASS THESE BENEFITS DOWN TO FUTURE GENERATIONS.
WE THEREFORE CALL ON OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, IN EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, TO:
1.DEFEND THESE RIGHTS against attack, specifically the attack that is presently being mounted against them by adherents of a particular interpretation of ISLAM.
2.DEFEND ALL PEOPLE from indigenous and migrant populations against breaches of these rights when they are to be found within incoming cultures.
3.ASSERT that religion and the state must be separate from one another and that a person's religion must remain a matter of private conscience.
4.ASSERT the obvious and simple truth that in a free society, freedom of conscience and freedom of expression will always result in actions and utterances that cause offence.
No need for me to remind you of the outcry in the Islamic world every time offensive cartoons are published there. You can view a load here if you like but BE WARNED - there is a range of images from the Islamic wwworld there, so inevitably you'll see some gruesome things like beheaded hostages.
I rather like the next one, I'm afraid. Yes, there's a dumb caricature of the favourite US/Jewish hybrid you see in lots of these cartoons, but it actually contains a note of Islamic self-criticism, so it's a cut-out-and-keep-orama. There's no telling when the next example of this might come along.
1. Mathew Parris, in The Times:
"So they have thin skins. That shouldn’t stop us poking fun at them
WRITING yesterday of the decision by this newspaper and others not to publish those now-infamous cartoons poking fun at Islam, my colleague Ben Macintyre suggested that “this is not a matter of kowtowing to pressure”. With respect, I think it is."
Read it all
2. Charles Moore in The Telegraph:
"If you get rid of the Danes, you'll have to keep paying the Danegeld
It's some time since I visited Palestine, so I may be out of date, but I don't remember seeing many Danish flags on sale there. Not much demand, I suppose. I raise the question because, as soon as the row about the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Jyllands-Posten broke, angry Muslims popped up in Gaza City, and many other places, well supplied with Danish flags ready to burn."
Read it all
3. David Rennie, Weblog in The Telegraph:
"Last night, for the newspaper edition, I spoke at length to a spokesman for the group of Danish imams and activists who have done more than anyone else to bring the Mohammed cartoon row to international prominence...So I propose to print here more or less the entire contents of my notebook."
Read it all
4. Ibn Warraq in Der Spiegel (yesterday's edition):
"Best-selling author and Muslim dissident Ibn Warraq argues that freedom of expression is our western heritage and we must defend it against attacks from totalitarian societies. If the west does not stand in solidarity with the Danish, he argues, then the Islamization of Europe will have begun in earnest."
Read it all
According to the Metropolital Police website, a Hate Incident" is:
"Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate."
Note the "any other person" bit.
So. How many arrests were there?
No wonder this strange fruit of the unnatural union of Che Guevara and the Ayatollah Khomenei is grinning:
Javier Novoa, a "simple University student in Texas, US", has set up a blog at http://thecallforthought.blogspot.com/ to counter the hate sites such as JihadWatch that spread lies about Islam by calmly and dispassionately telling the truth.
In his first entry, which can be read here, he explains his reasons for putting up the site:
"The problem with the United States in particular and the whole world in general is that people refuse to think, and allow other people to think for them. In this time of spreading of information, we have no excuse not to think and question."
Just so. Then, in response to a comment about slavery, he remarks:
"Why should we ban slavery? Slaves can be legitimately captured in Islam on the battlefeild. We do not have to adopt your standards."
Thanks for the thought, Javier.
From Al Ghurabaa, one of the most funtastic Islamist websites in the UK.
Q. ... is your brother in-law aloud to give you a gift
A. In relation to the brother-in-law and sister-in-law and also male and female cousins, they are foreign men/women to eachother, and in fact they (the in-laws) are a greater danger than other foreign men/women, that is because the prophet (saw) said, "the in-laws are death" so avoid your death, you cannot freemix with them, nor socialise with them.
Socialising includes to give gifts, doing favours, cooking food specifically for the person, chatting about personal issues, joking, playing, enquiring about them - even asking 'how are you' etc. All of this is haram between brother/sister in-laws and between any other foriegn man and woman.
Read the whole thing
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
I have revived this blog in order to publish the Danish cartoons. No disrespect to anyone, except whacko Islamofascists, but a full-on assault against free speech needs to be rebuffed. One of the idiocies about this whole episode is that these cartoons are now more widely reproduced, copied, viewed and discussed than would ever have been the case if the Islamic world had not chosen to respond to the deliberate stirrings of a few Danish agitators.
So here they are, prefaced by one from Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons