Monday, February 6, 2006

It's Capital Blasphemy to Just Describe the Cartoons

UNIFFORS (The Gadfly) in European Media Lampoon the Prophet Muhammad, believes that "the Department of Foreign Affairs should issue a statement condemning the publication of the cartoons."

If the DFA does take this advice they should take extreme care in its implementation. It is Capital Blasphemy not only to make physical portrayals of the Prophet M., but also to describe such portrayals. For example, the Chicago Sun Times writer, Mark Steyn, relates how Burger King showed its "sensitivity" and gave in to British political correctness --
And no doubt he's impressed by the "sensitivity" of Burger King, which withdrew its ice cream cones from its British menus because Rashad Akhtar of High Wycombe complained that the creamy swirl shown on the lid looked like the word "Allah" in Arabic script. I don't know which sura in the Koran says don't forget, folks, it's not just physical representations of God or the Prophet but also chocolate ice cream squiggly representations of the name, but ixnay on both just to be "sensitive."
Ironically, despite their equally "sensitive" stand, UNIFFORS will probably qualify for the coming global fatwah of mass destruction to anyone who publishes, portrays, describes or spreads the word about these blasphemies. Philippine Commentary will proudly stand with UNIFFORS on that day of common valor.


Here is the BLASPHEMY of UNIFFORS --
"the cartoons feature an image of the Prophet wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb with a lighted fuse, another portraying him with a sword and eyes covered by a black rectangle, and still another walking with a stick in front of a donkey toward the sunset."

along with the BLASPHEMY of JYLLANDS-POSTENS (courtesy of the Belmont Club) who notes that things could be getting out of hand --
The crisis over the Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed has ironically struck the weakest point of both strategies. At present the crisis is not a danger to the grand strategies of either. But as the days pass the danger grows that it may get out of hand; that some Islamic cell may detonate a bomb in Europe or some skinhead burn a mosque. And then the consequences may incalculable. For America an open antipathy between the West and Islam would destroy its carefully crafted attempt to ally itself with the Muslim street. It would place Washington in the intolerable position of having to choose between its old European allies and its newfound friends in the Middle East and Central Asia. For Europe the consequences would be no less disastrous because in following the policy of Appeasement its leaders have risked falling so far behind their publics that they now find themselves unable to steer the course of popular events.
Last night on CNN, they showed in living color several examples of anti-Semitic cartoons that have been regularly published in major Saudi Newspapers throughout the years. So yes! there are many blasphemous, racist and worse things done by Muslim writers to other faiths, including inciting the beheading Indonesian school children. Yet we do not see Judaeo-Christian mobs burning down the Saudi embassy over it. And of course, the various sects of Christianity have poked fun at each other’s supernatural beliefs without provoking riots at every joke.

It has been claimed that Islam does not accept the democratic principle of Religious Freedom itself, the Separation of Church and State. This has been denied, but it cannot be denied that Religious Freedom and Freedom of Expression are actually indivisible rights which arise from the same human right: the right to hold an individual, private opinion, to think private thoughts and to believe in private Gods, or none at all. We cannot protect the religious rights of Muslims or Christians if we do not uphold the civil rights of them as citizens. There is no conflict between these two rights, unless you decide one of them is dispensible relative to the other. The mobs that burned the Danish Embassy in Beirut would kill YOU if they saw you with a copy or even a description of the cartoon, like a printout of the Uniffors blog! This is a difference in values that really has no middle ground. To ask that we respect this particular aspect of Islamic societies as being inherently “cultural” could lead to many logical absurdities. On the matter of religious freedom and freedom of speech, one side is going to have to give. Insisting that the two VALUES can co-exist in reality is what is called "appeasement." There is no religious freedom for anyone, if there is no freedom of expression for everyone. I daresay, MOST Muslims probably agree with this.

VACLAV HAVEL, poet, and until 2003 President of the Czech Republic had this to say about blasphemy while considering two popular science theories in The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World
What makes the Anthropic Principle and the Gaia Hypothesis so inspiring? One simple thing: Both remind us, in modern language, of what we have long suspected, of what we have long projected into our forgotten myths and what perhaps has always lain dormant within us as archetypes. That is, the awareness of our being anchored in the earth and the universe, the awareness that we are not here alone nor for ourselves alone, but that we are an integral part of higher, mysterious entities against whom it is not advisable to blaspheme. This forgotten awareness is encoded in all religions. All cultures anticipate it in various forms. It is one of the things that form the basis of man's understanding of himself, of his place in the world, and ultimately of the world as such.
It is hard for any Organized Religion to publicly admit that it might be not the One True Religion. Especially when some of them command a billion or more human beings as fanatical adherents to beliefs that might seem strange and outrageous to the Others. But there can be no peace unless ALL of them agree, at least privately and in good humor, that yeah, they might not be the One True Religion after all, and promise not to act like it. At right is a celebrated photograph by Serrano of Jesus Christ entitled Piss Christ.

[NOTE, the cartoon at the top of this post is from the Los Angeles Times. It shows two Jews worshipping their "GOD" -- courtesy of Facts of Israel But there were no Judaeofascist mobs burning down the US Embassy in Tel Aviv that day. Although maybe that's when a Jewish producer thought of the Broadway hit where Jesus Christ makes gay love to Judas. No Christian mobs burned down the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco that day, though. Nor Alabama.]

And here's a link from Xenon, with beautiful artwork portraying the Prophet Mohammed throughout history. Seems that the prohibition on portraying him, or at least rioting about it, may be of recent vintage relative to the age of Islam, much like the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which was a 19th Century innovation in Roman Catholicism.


Rizalist said...

Comments are Back On ... but I can't guarantee Blogger has gotten rid of all its hiccups.

A warm welcome folks.

Tiercel said...

The Arabic word for “secular” is a neologism, almaany, which comes from aalam, meaning “world.” It’s not often heard in public these days, for, to many, almaany also means “godless.” . Promoting democracy and human rights are very important goals, but there also are other interests.

Amadeo said...

This conflagration is now spending in practically all places where there is a visible Muslim community, where sad to say, they remain unassimilated.

And for what, if I may ask?

All because of a dozen cartoons originally published in some obscure newspaper in Denmark.

If only the passions,faith, determination, and actions of all these people could be harness into more productive endeavors, to benefit themselves.

This could be a much better world.

How prescient and wise Christ was when he spoke about not worrying what man may say of you and your faith, he cannot harm a hair in your head. Worry instead about those that can kill your spirit.

Rizalist said...

Folks on the thread is Tiercel with a link back to a site with lots of Statements from various governments and personalities. It's worth a visit over there...I don't want to give any impression here of closed-mindedness or bias in what is clearly an important global issue. Thanks for that T.

Amadeo thanks for the quote from JC!

manuelbuencamino said...


I was also following the thread in the UNIFFORS blog.

Uniffors was condemning prejudice and not condoning violence when they said they understood why some muslims reacted violently.

They stated quite clearly that they were not for the curtailment of the freedom of speech. They were for condemning prejudice.

I think you should reread the comments of Brownman and the Gadfly. You will see that you are misrepresenting their position.

I am a friend of some members of Uniffors and I can assure you that their stand on this controversy is against racial, religious and cultural prejudice and nothing else.

Rizalist said...

MB--I respect the opinions of Uniffors, and I admit some of that comment thread got kinda long. But I will go back and reconsider some of the finer points you raise. I did not agree the DFA should condemn the publication of the cartoons as Uniffors suggested and I doubt that that will change. But perhaps you're right and I should look at their amplified stand a lil closer. Thanks