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Author Topic: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!)  (Read 78743 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« on: February 09, 2006, 11:56:47 AM »

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004455.htm
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Sheep Dog
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2006, 01:28:40 PM »

Quote from: Crafty_Dog


I had a danish this morning but I guess that doesn't count. I will have a Carlsberg tonight Wink
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-Never Mistake Patience and Tolerance for Weakness-
SB_Mig
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2006, 02:22:51 PM »

Not only did my father live in Denmark for 10+ years, he was also a spokesman for Carlsberg for a while. Not shortage of Pro-Danish sentiment around our house.
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ponytotts
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2006, 02:51:39 PM »

my girlfriend works 4 a danish woman who sells products from denmark and sweden. i guess that counts! cheesy
i cant believe the reaction from this cartoon. wow what a world.  how can the muslem world justify such an extreme response 2 A CARTOON!??!?!
has anyone seen it? i want 2 c it just 4 curiosity?s(sp?) sake.
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Sheep Dog
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2006, 06:32:25 PM »

Here is a good discussion of the controversy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons

As well as links to the cartoons.
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-Never Mistake Patience and Tolerance for Weakness-
grizzly
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2006, 10:16:02 PM »

On the Danish muslim cartoons:
I believe there is a need for censorship within the public/media and greater discipline/respect for other people and their beliefs. I am not a muslim yet I have seen and found the cartoons to be offensive, just as i find cartoons of Jesus offensive, the same as I find people trashing (not having lively discussion, flat out rubbishing it) my choices in martial arts or anything else.

But this whole deal of violent protests is over the top and they need to remeber they are just Cartoons, and if you don't like the cartoons just put the paper at the bottom of the bird cage.
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Tulisan
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2006, 06:04:53 AM »

no censorship, just respect.

... anyway, buy Danish!
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St. Luke
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2006, 11:37:08 AM »

Respect?  Good idea!

http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/ArabCartoons.htm

I've seen more and worse, but these are what come to hand right now , , ,
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buzwardo
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2006, 11:52:40 AM »

Losing Civilization
Are we going to tolerate the downfall of Western ideals?


The great wealth and leisure created by modern technology have confused some in the modern age into thinking that history is linear. We expect that each generation will inevitably improve upon the last, as if we, the blessed of the 21st century, would never chase out Anaxagoras or execute Socrates ? or allow others to do so ? in our modern polis.

Often such material and moral advancement proves true ? look at the status of brain surgery now and 100 years ago, or the notion of equality under the law in 1860 and in 2006.

But just as often civilization can regress. Indeed, it can be nearly lost in a generation, especially so now, with technology acting as an afterburner of sorts which warps the rate of change, both good and bad.

Who would have thought, after the Enlightenment and the advance of humanism, that a 20th-century Holocaust would redefine the 500-year-old Inquisition as minor in comparison?

Did we envision that, little more than 60 years after Dachau, a head-of-state would boast openly about wiping out the remaining Jews? Or did we ever believe in the time of the United Nations and religious tolerance that radical Muslims would still be seriously promising to undo the Reconquista of the 15th century?

Did any sane observer dream, in the era of UNESCO and sophisticated global cultural heritage preservation, that the primitive Taliban would blow up and destroy, with impunity, the iconic Buddhist statues chiseled into the sandstone cliffs of Bamiyan that had survived 1,700 years of war, earthquakes, conquests, and weather?

Surely those who damned the inadvertent laxity of the Americans in not stopping others from looting the Baghdad museum should have expressed far greater outrage at the far greater, and intentional, destruction inflicted by the Taliban. Unless, that is, the issue of artistic freedom and preservation was never really the principle after all, but only the realistic calculation that, while George Bush's immensely powerful military would not touch a finger of its loudest critic, a motley bunch of radical Islamic fascists might well blow someone up or lop off his head for a tasteless caricature in far off Denmark.

The latest Islamic outrage over the Danish cartoons represents an erosion in the very notion of Western tolerance. Years ago, the death sentence handed down to Salman Rushdie was the dead canary in the mine. It should have warned us that the Western idea of free and unbridled expression, so difficultly won, can be so easily lost.

While listening to the obfuscations of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw about the Danish cartoons, I thought that next he was going to call for a bowdlerization of Dante's Inferno, where Dante and Virgil in the eighth rung of Hell gaze on the mutilated specters of Mahomet and his son Ali, along with the other Sowers of Discord. I grew up reading the text with the gruesome illustrations of Gustave Dor?. Can Straw now damn that artist's judgment as well, when the next imam threatens global jihad, more terrorism, an oil cut-off, or to make things worse for Anglo-American troops who are trying to bring democracy to Iraq?

Surely he can apologize that the cross of the Union Jack offends British Muslims? Or perhaps the memory of what Lord Kitchener did in 1898 to the tomb of the Great Mahdi needs contemporary atonement ? once one starts down the road of self-censorship, there is never an end to it.

Since Bill Clinton mentioned nothing about free speech and expression or the rights of a newspaper to be offensive and tasteless, but lectured only about cultural insensitivity and the responsibility of the media not to be mean to Muslims, why did he stop with the Danish cartoonists? Surely someone who has apologized for everyone from General Sherman to the Shah could have lamented the work of every Western artist, from Rodin to Dali, who has rendered the Prophet in a bad light.

Like the appeasement of the 1930s, we are in the great age now of ethical retrenchment. So much has been lost even since 1960; then the very idea that a Dutch cartoonist whose work had offended radical Muslims would be in hiding for fear of his life would have been dismissed as fanciful.

Insidiously, the censorship only accelerates. It is dressed up in multicultural gobbledygook about hurtfulness and insensitivity, when the real issue is whether we in the West are going to be blown up or beheaded if we dare come out and support the right of an artist or newspaper to be occasionally crass.

In the post-Osama bin Laden and suicide-belt world of our own, we shudder at these fanatical riots, convincing ourselves that perhaps the Salman Rushdies, Theo Van Goghs, and Danish cartoonists of the world had it coming. All the while, we think to ourselves about the fact that we do not threaten to kill Muslims when they promulgate daily streams of hate and racism in sermons and papers, and much less would we go about promising death to the creator of "Piss Christ" or the Da Vinci Code. How ironic that we now find politically-correct Westerners ? those who formerly claimed they would defend to the last the right of an Andres Serrano or Dan Brown to offend Christians ? turning on the far milder artists who rile Muslims.

The radical Islamists are our generation's book burners who search for secular Galileos and Newtons. They are the new Nazi censors who sniff out anything favorable to the Jews. These fundamentalists are akin to the Soviet commissars who once decreed all art must serve political struggle ? or else.

If we give in to these 8th-century clerics, shortly we will be living in an 8th century ourselves, where we may say, hear, and do nothing that might offend a fundamentalist Muslim ? and, to assuage our treachery to freedom and liberalism, we'll always be equipped with the new rationale of multiculturalism and cultural equivalence which so poorly cloaks our abject fear.

There are three final considerations. First, millions of brave reformers in the Muslim world are trying each day to create a tolerant culture and a consensual society. What those in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Egypt want from us is not appeasement that emboldens the radicals in their midst, but patient, careful, and firm explanations that freedom is precious and worth the struggle ? even though its use can sometimes bother us. Surely the lesson from Eastern Europe applies: the oppressed there did not appreciate the realpolitik and appeasement of many in the West, but most often preferred a stalwart Reagan to an equivocating Carter.

Second, we, not the Islamists, are secure; our dependency on oil has masked a greater reality: that the Muslim Middle East, as in the days of the Ottomans, is parasitic on the West for advancements of all sorts, from heart surgery to computers. Most of the hatred expressed over the cartoons was beamed on television, through the Internet, or communicated over cell phones that would not exist in Pakistan, Syria, or Iran without imported technology.

The Islamists are also sad bullies, who hunt out causes for offense in the most obscure places, but would recoil at the first sign of Western defiance. Turkey may say little to the Islamists now, but they would say lots if the European Union decided to pass on its inclusion into the union. Local imams sound fiery, but if the West is too debauched a place for any pure Muslim to endure, why then do they not lead, Moses-like, an exodus of the devout away from the rising flood of decadence, and back to the paradise of a purer Syria or Algeria?

Third, the bogus notion of multiculturalism has blinded us to a simple truth: we in the West can live according to our own values and should not allow those radicals who embrace or condone polygamy, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, political autocracy, homosexual persecution, honor killings, female circumcision, and a host of other unmentionables to threaten our citizens within our own countries.

The deluded here might believe that the divide is a moral one, between a supposedly decadent secular West and a pious Middle East, rather than an existential one that is fueled by envy, jealousy, self-pity, and victimization. But to believe the cartoons represent the genuine anguish of an aggrieved puritanical society tainted by Western decadence, one would have to ignore that Turkey is the global nexus for the sex-slave market, that Afghanistan is the world's opium farm, that the Saudi Royals have redefined casino junketeering, and that the repository of Hitlerian imagery is in the West Bank and Iran.

The entire controversy over the cartoons is ludicrous, but often in history the trivial and ludicrous can wake a people up before the significant and tragic follow.

? Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author, most recently, of A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200602100920.asp
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buzwardo
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2006, 12:28:57 PM »

Curse of the Moderates
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, February 10

As much of the Islamic world erupts in a studied frenzy over the Danish Muhammad cartoons, there are voices of reason being heard on both sides. Some Islamic leaders and organizations, while endorsing the demonstrators' sense of grievance and sharing their outrage, speak out against using violence as a vehicle of expression. Their Western counterparts -- intellectuals, including most of the major newspapers in the United States -- are similarly balanced: While, of course, endorsing the principle of free expression, they criticize the Danish newspaper for abusing that right by publishing offensive cartoons, and they declare themselves opposed, in the name of religious sensitivity, to doing the same.

God save us from the voices of reason.

What passes for moderation in the Islamic community -- "I share your rage but don't torch that embassy" -- is nothing of the sort. It is simply a cynical way to endorse the goals of the mob without endorsing its means. It is fraudulent because, while pretending to uphold the principle of religious sensitivity, it is interested only in this instance of religious insensitivity.

Have any of these "moderates" ever protested the grotesque caricatures of Christians and, most especially, Jews that are broadcast throughout the Middle East on a daily basis? The sermons on Palestinian TV that refer to Jews as the sons of pigs and monkeys? The Syrian prime-time TV series that shows rabbis slaughtering a gentile boy to ritually consume his blood? The 41-part (!) series on Egyptian TV based on that anti-Semitic czarist forgery (and inspiration of the Nazis), "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," showing the Jews to be engaged in a century-old conspiracy to control the world?

A true Muslim moderate is one who protests desecrations of all faiths. Those who don't are not moderates but hypocrites, opportunists and agents for the rioters, merely using different means to advance the same goal: to impose upon the West, with its traditions of freedom of speech, a set of taboos that is exclusive to the Islamic faith. These are not defenders of religion but Muslim supremacists trying to force their dictates upon the liberal West.

And these "moderates" are aided and abetted by Western "moderates" who publish pictures of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung and celebrate the "Piss Christ" (a crucifix sitting in a jar of urine) as art deserving public subsidy, but who are seized with a sudden religious sensitivity when the subject is Muhammad.

Had they not been so hypocritical, one might defend their refusal to republish these cartoons on the grounds that news value can sometimes be trumped by good taste and sensitivity. After all, on grounds of basic decency, American newspapers generally -- and correctly -- do not publish pictures of dead bodies, whatever their news value.

There is a "sensitivity" argument for not having published the cartoons in the first place, back in September when they first appeared in that Danish newspaper. But it is not September. It is February. The cartoons have been published, and the newspaper, the publishers and Denmark itself have come under savage attack. After multiple arsons, devastating boycotts, and threats to cut off hands and heads, the issue is no longer news value, i.e., whether a newspaper needs to publish them to inform the audience about what is going on. The issue now is solidarity.

The mob is trying to dictate to Western newspapers, indeed Western governments, what is a legitimate subject for discussion and caricature. The cartoons do not begin to approach the artistic level of Salman Rushdie's prose, but that's not the point. The point is who decides what can be said and what can be drawn within the precincts of what we quaintly think of as the free world.

The mob has turned this into a test case for freedom of speech in the West. The German, French and Italian newspapers that republished these cartoons did so not to inform but to defy -- to declare that they will not be intimidated by the mob.

What is at issue is fear. The unspoken reason many newspapers do not want to republish is not sensitivity but simple fear. They know what happened to Theo van Gogh, who made a film about the Islamic treatment of women and got a knife through the chest with an Islamist manifesto attached.

The worldwide riots and burnings are instruments of intimidation, reminders of van Gogh's fate. The Islamic "moderates" are the mob's agents and interpreters, warning us not to do this again. And the Western "moderates" are their terrified collaborators who say: Don't worry, we won't. It's those Danes. We're clean. Spare us. Please.
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Tulisan
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2006, 06:18:03 AM »

respect on both sides.

yesterday I heard interesting thing about this BS.
1. cartoons are offensive
2. I also find quite offensive burning of american flag in public with the mob in the background (showed every other day on tv)
3. how about we print some cartoons every time some nice people burn american flag on tv?
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He that hath no sword,
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St. Luke
buzwardo
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2006, 05:24:05 PM »

Iran Renames Danish Pastries
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associat
ed Press Writer Thu Feb 16, 2:23 PM ET

TEHRAN, Iran - Iranians love Danish pastries, but when they look for the flaky dessert at the bakery they now have to ask for "Roses of the Prophet Muhammad."
 
Bakeries across the capital were covering up their ads for Danish pastries Thursday after the confectioners' union ordered the name change in retaliation for caricatures of the Muslim prophet published in a Danish newspaper.

"Given the insults by Danish newspapers against the prophet, as of now the name of Danish pastries will give way to 'Rose of Muhammad' pastries," the union said in its order.

"This is a punishment for those who started misusing freedom of expression to insult the sanctities of Islam," said Ahmad Mahmoudi, a cake shop owner in northern Tehran.

One of Tehran's most popular bakeries, "Danish Pastries," covered up the word "Danish" on its sign with a black banner emblazoned "Oh Hussein," a reference to a martyred saint of Shiite Islam. The banner is a traditional sign of mourning.

The shop owner declined to comment Thursday.

In Zartosht Street in central Tehran, cake shop owner Mahdi Pedari didn't cover up the word "Danish pastries" on his menu, but put the new name next to it.

"I did so just to inform my customers that Rose of Muhammad is the new name for Danish pastries," he said.

Some customers took immediately to the new name. But others were less enthusiastic about the protest.

"I just want the sweet pastries. I have nothing to do with the name," homemaker Zohreh Masoumi told the sales clerk taking her order.

The drawings, which have offended many Muslims, were published in a Danish newspaper in September and then reprinted in European and American newspapers. One depicted the prophet with a turban shaped like a bomb with a burning fuse.

Islam widely holds that representations of Muhammad are banned for fear they could lead to idolatry. At least 19 people have been killed in protests over the past several weeks, most of them in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Consumer boycotts of Danish goods, from Havarti cheese to Lego, are costing Denmark's companies millions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Muslim countries.

Iranians love sweets, often bringing candies and pastries to parties. So-called "Danish pastries" are extremely popular.

The Danish's distinctive dough was first created in the 17th century by a French apprentice baker who forgot to add butter to the flour and tried to hide his mistake by folding lumps of it into the dough. It became known as "a thousand leaves" in France.

It was copied in Italy ? where it is known as "folded pastry" ? and Italian bakers took it to Austria. It journeyed from there to Denmark when Danish bakers went on strike and replacements imported from Austria brought along what became known in Denmark as "Viennese Bread."

The pastry became the Danish to the rest of the world, probably, according to the Danish bakers' union, because Danish bakers emigrated to so many countries.

In Iran, the pastries are domestically baked, not imported. Iran has cut all commercial ties with Denmark in retaliation for the prophet cartoons.

Iran's Danish renaming wasn't the first time a food name has become a symbol of protest. A Republican congressman from North Carolina helped lead an effort to make sure Capitol Hill cafeterias changed their menus to advertise "freedom fries" instead of french fries after France opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
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Russ
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2006, 10:33:51 AM »

Protestor In England....


http://www.filedump.nl/plaatjes/20060203BritishMuslims_ps.jpg

 

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming!
Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of it {Spiritus Mundi}
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
 
William Butler Yeats
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C-Bad Dog, Lakan Guro DBMA
http://dbma-connecticut.webs.com/
Tulisan
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2006, 11:20:17 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060217/ap_on_re_mi_ea/prophet_drawings

respect to all who deserwe it, but this is going too far.
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St. Luke
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2006, 04:10:47 AM »

Fatwas and Rewards: An Inflection Point in the Cartoon Controversy
February 22, 2006 00 21  GMT
www.stratfor.com


By Fred Burton

Two minor Shariah courts in India's Uttar Pradesh state have issued fatwas calling for the death of a Danish cartoonist who drew caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. The fatwas, issued Feb. 21, came three days after a religious scholar in Peshawar, Pakistan, offered a reward -- 500,000 rupees, or about $8,300, of his own money, and 1 million rupees, or about $16,600, fronted by two of his followers, plus a new car -- for anyone who kills one of the cartoonists associated with the controversy.

Taken together, these two incidents mark a significant juncture in the global uproar over the Mohammed cartoons -- one that represents an uptick in security risks to Westerners around the globe. Given the nature of the two fatwas and the terms of the reward, the risks are particularly pertinent to European media professionals who would be closely associated with the cartoons or the newspapers that printed them; but the threat, for a variety of reasons, extends beyond this circle.

Let's begin by noting that neither the fatwas themselves, nor the promise of rewards by a Pakistani religious scholar, is the central issue. A fatwa is nothing more than an opinion or decree handed down by a Muslim leader or group on a matter of Islamic law. It is not binding, even in countries ruled by Shariah law, but it can be motivational. It also can be quite controversial within the Muslim community -- as has been the case with the fatwas issued in India. The true power of a fatwa lies in the credentials and reputation of the person who issues it, and the edict's consistency with Islamic principles. These factors will be taken into consideration by anyone struggling with the ethical issue of whether to abide by a fatwa.

In Uttar Pradesh, which has a large population of Muslims, the fatwas were issued by minor entities, while the most prominent institutions there have gone on record to make it clear they do not endorse the measures. That doesn't mean, however, that there are not those likely to act on them: Technically speaking, Osama bin Laden -- who is not a religious leader -- had no standing to issue his fatwa declaring war against the West in 1998, but followers and sympathizers certainly took his words very seriously and acted accordingly.

One of the more interesting aspects of the fatwas in this case has to do with the fact that they only now are being issued. As has been previously noted, there already has been one interesting time lapse in the case of the cartoons: They originally were published in late September 2005, but public fury in the Islamic world didn't break out in earnest until early February -- after a group of Muslim leaders traveled from Denmark to the Middle East, by their own admission, purposely to "stir up attitudes" in response to the cartoons, and after several European newspapers had republished the images.





It is intriguing, therefore, that the Indian fatwas and the Pakistani reward offer are appearing only now -- after weeks of violent outbursts, several of them fatal, in flashpoints around the world. These statements, then, are not the knee-jerk reactions of deeply offended Muslim leaders to what is construed as blasphemy; they are being issued for other reasons. Certainly, the religious leaders very likely are offended by the images, but they waited for public sentiment to reach critical mass before publicly calling for action against Danish cartoonists. This is the logic of politics: The leaders who issued the fatwas refrained from doing so until they were sure they had a built-in level of support and that their statements would be taken seriously, lest they perhaps lose credibility with their core audience, the local congregations.

In general, extreme fatwas such as those calling for the targeted killing of a "blasphemer" are most likely to resonate among hard-line conservative or radical Muslims, but they can strike a chord with larger swaths of the mainstream as well. In cases where the blasphemy was considered extreme -- or a fatwa politically expedient -- such edicts in the past have led to some unexpected results, and those in some unlikely corners of the world. Some examples from history may illuminate the security risks now at issue.

Perhaps the best-known example of a deadly fatwa, at least in the West, is that issued by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against author Salman Rushdie in 1989, in response to the publication of "The Satanic Verses." Rushdie, of course, was placed under the protection of the Special Branch in London and went into hiding under an assumed identity. In this case, extreme measures were taken to protect the life of a British citizen because the fatwa was issued by the Supreme Leader of Iran, and it was believed that the Iranians and other Muslim faithful from around the globe would go to great lengths to carry out his bidding.

What is, perhaps, less widely known is the violence carried out against ancillary players associated with "The Satanic Verses." Men who translated the book into Italian and Japanese were both attacked in July 1991; one of the translators, Ettore Capriolo, survived being beaten and stabbed, but the other, professor Hitoshi Igarashi, was killed. Two years later, in 1993, the man responsible for having the book published in Norway was shot outside his home in Oslo, but survived.

In all three cases, the victims apparently were chosen because they were easier to get to than the primary target, Rushdie, and the attacks still fulfilled the requirements of the fatwa in some form. In fact, targeting guidance in some fatwas can be subject to broad interpretation, or used as justification for seemingly unrelated acts of violence. Consider the March 1989 killings of Abdullah al-Ahdal, a Muslim spiritual leader in Belgium, who was gunned down in Brussels, along with an associate, by a Lebanese group called Soldiers of Truth. Investigators believed al-Ahdal may have been murdered because he had criticized Khomeini over the fatwa.





In a related example, 38 Saudi clerics endorsed the Khomeini fatwa in February 1989 when they issued their own against Rashad Khalifa, an Egyptian author who had immigrated to the United States in 1959. Khalifa's controversial writings, including a biography of the Prophet Mohammed, are widely believed to have inspired Rushdie's "Satanic Verses." In January 1990, Khalifa was murdered in Tucson, Arizona -- allegedly by al-Fuqra, a Pakistan-based extremist group that has been linked by U.S. counterterrorism officials to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and al Qaeda. One of the group's members, Mahmoud Abouhalima, was convicted for his role in the WTC bombing, and is believed to have been involved in Khalifa's murder as well.

More recently, there have been controversies and perceived offenses to Islam in the mass media that led to killings, even when there were no fatwas or rewards in question. The case of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh certainly stands out: He was brutally murdered in Amsterdam in November 2004 by a Moroccan immigrant. Van Gogh had received death threats related to a film released earlier that year, "Submission," that dealt with violence toward women in Muslim society and projected Quranic verses in controversial ways on the screen. The confessed killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, said he murdered Van Gogh in order to fulfill his duties as a Muslim.

In all of these cases, violence associated with perceived offenses to Islam was carried out in the West or -- as in the case of the Japanese translator, who was killed in Tokyo -- other locations far removed from traditional flashpoints in the Muslim world. Thus far, the bulk of the violence in the cartoon controversy has occurred with public demonstrations in Muslim countries, but the fatwas and offers of rewards might mark a shift in that dynamic.

Again, the point here is not about the overwhelming influence of any of the religious authorities involved; certainly none of them has the stature of a Khomeini. For that matter, fatwas in general may be losing their effectiveness with Muslims as they are employed by low-ranking clerics on occasionally mundane issues. The point is that the cartoon controversy now has reached a threshold that public demonstrations against state symbols like embassies no longer may suffice to vent the frustrations of some radical elements within Islam. Where there exists any predilection to seek out Westerners as targets for violence, the fact that fatwas have been issued or rewards offered could make the difference between contemplation and follow-through.

We are not necessarily predicting an open season on Danish cartoonists, editorial page editors or European journalists in general; but it should be understood that, as the ancillary attacks in the Rushdie case and others have shown, there is a potential for violence to be channeled in unexpected ways. Where perceptions of blasphemy and other affronts warranting death are concerned, fatwas often are carried out with extreme brutality -- and those targeted have not always been directly associated with the initial offense.

Moreover, fatwas can be executed anywhere in the world, and they do not expire (though they can be rescinded or amended) until their requirements are satisfied. Considering the chord that the Mohammed cartoons touched and the depth of the emotions still playing out in the Islamic world, that satisfaction may be a long time coming.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2006, 09:22:58 AM »

Opinion - David Aaronovitch  
 
 
 
The Times February 21, 2006


'Whoever insults the one true Church deserves to be killed.' (News report)
David Aaronovitch
 
 
 
?EUROPE MUST LEARN to live in and with the world, not to dominate it, nor to assume it is superior or more virtuous. Any continent that has inflicted such brutality on the world over a period of 200 years has not too much to be proud of, and much to be modest and humble about.? Martin Jacques, The Guardian, on the cartoons row.
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe . . .

 
 



From a Reuters report, Rome, some time around now

The Vatican has protested in ?the strongest possible terms? against the publication in paperback of Dan Brown?s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code. Cardinal Loopi, of the Office of the Defence of the Faith, condemned the book for defaming Catholicism and, in its suggestion that Jesus Christ was married, of heresy. ?We demand that the book be destroyed and that the author be punished,? said Loopi, ?otherwise we cannot be held responsible for how Catholics throughout the world may react.?



Excerpt from a speech by Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor

Merkel: ?The affront to the honour of the one true Church is in fact an affront to the worship of God, and to the seeking of truth and justice, and an affront to all the prophets of God. Obviously, all those who harm the honour of the one true Church . . .?

Crowd: ?Death to Dan Brown.

Death to Dan Brown.

Death to Dan Brown.

Death to Dan Brown.?



From the Paris correspondent of al-Jazeera

A Lyons priest today offered half a million euros and a top-of-the-line Toyota as a reward to anyone who killed Dan Brown or any executive of the Da Vinci Code publishers, Jonathan Cape. Speaking to a 1,000-strong crowd gathered after Mass outside the church of St Marie-la-Vierge, Fr Jules Monbiot announced that the offer was ?a unanimous decision by all bishops that whoever insults the one true Church deserves to be killed, and whoever will take this insulting man to his end will get this prize?.



News stories in al-Ahram (Cairo)

Bookseller shot dead in Poland, by teenager shouting: ?For God, and the Pope!?

Ten killed in Lisbon Dan Brown riots, when police opened fire on mob ransacking the Canadian Embassy. ?We thought he was Canadian,? says riot leader.

Violence in northwest London as Jews go on rampage against Holocaust denial in Muslim countries. Kebab restaurants and curry houses ablaze from the Finchley Road to Edgware.

Iranian and Syrian embassies and consulates attacked in 20 cities worldwide. Iranian Embassy destroyed in Canberra. Australian Government describes violence as ?regrettable, but understandable?.



Speech by Angela Merkel, about the convening of an international conference in Berlin to ?investigate? Islam

?We propose the following to the Muslims: if you are not lying, allow a group of neutral, honest researchers to come to Mecca, and to talk to people, examine documents and let people know the findings of their research about the Muhammad myth. You have even prevented your own scholars from researching this issue. They are allowed to study anything except for the Muhammad myth. Are these not medieval methods??


Reuters report from Berlin

?German Chancellor Angela Merkel today caused alarm in diplomatic circles when she called for the Netherlands to be ?wiped from the face of the earth?.? She went on, ?The establishment of the Dutch regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Catholic world.?



Summary of an article in French government newspaper, Le Monde

The Netherlands may have created the avian flu virus in order to damage the economies of Europe, and cleverly planted it first in the Far East to divert attention away from the real plan.



Angela Merkel on German attempts to produce a nuclear weapon

?Those who oppose us should be grateful that our people has acted nobly towards you so far, and has been patient. We want to remain patient. Don?t make us lose our patience. The peoples have awakened. The world of Christendom has awakened. Do not make us reconsider our policies.?



Reuters reports from Munich

Fr Rudiger Schlitz, the assistant to the head of the Catholic Church in Germany, has said that it is doctrinally permissible for nuclear weapons to be used. ?When the entire world is armed with nuclear weapons, it is permissible to use these weapons as a counter-measure. According to church law, only the goal is important . . .?



Al-Jazeera News. Mark Seddon reporting . . .

These are the pictures of Our Lady?s Church in Shoreham, following the explosion in which 31 parishioners died, along with the suicide bomber, who is believed to belong to the majority Anglican community. This is the fourth such bomb attack on a Catholic church in the last two years.



Statement from Human Rights Watch . . .

Calling on the Italian authorities to order an immediate, independent investigation into the violent suppression of an apparently peaceful demonstration by Seventh Day Adventists in Naples on February 13, 2005. Hundreds of demonstrators, including women and children, were injured when police and armed militia from the Catholic Enforcement League broke up the protest, apparently using excessive force, and as many as 1,200 protesters are believed to have been arrested. A year later 200 of those detained are still being held without trial.



Report from al Quds-al-Arabi

Finland. Mr X, a local celebrity and Muslim, was exhumed after his funeral and given a Christian burial, despite his widow?s objection that he had not been to Church since he was a child, and had converted to Islam at the age of 15. A church court had considered the case following a complaint from a local Lutheran preacher, and ruled that Mr X should be treated as a Christian.



Excerpts from Amnesty International Report for 2006

In Newcastle, England, a special court sentenced a Gateshead woman to be burnt to death for witchcraft. Betty Spencer, 53, was immolated in front of a crowd that had gathered in the Newcastle United football stadium. It was the sixth such execution since the year 2000.

In Idaho a teacher was killed and three of his pupils badly injured when militia members of the ?Party of Christ?, who object to girls being educated on the same premises as boys, fired into a packed schoolroom.



And finally, the good news . . .

From hiding, somewhere in Pakistan, Dan Brown apologises to the Judaeo-Christian world for the publication of The Da Vinci Code, promises to donate the proceeds from all his books to any charity nominated for the purpose by Opus Dei and undertakes to become a monk in a silent order at a monastery atop a high mountain in the Apennines.
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2006, 12:54:30 PM »

A Failure of the Press
By William J. Bennett and Alan M. Dershowitz

There was a time when the press was the strongest guardian of free expression in this democracy. Stories and celebrations of intrepid and courageous reporters are many within the press corps. Cases such as New York Times v. Sullivan in the 1960s were litigated so that the press could report on and examine public officials with the unfettered reporting a free people deserved. In the 1970s the Pentagon Papers case reaffirmed the proposition that issues of public importance were fully protected by the First Amendment.

The mass media that backed the plaintiffs in these cases understood that not only did a free press have a right to report on critical issues and people of the day but that citizens had a right to know about those issues and people. The mass media understood another thing: They had more than a right; they had a duty to report.

We two come from different political and philosophical perspectives, but on this we agree: Over the past few weeks, the press has betrayed not only its duties but its responsibilities. To our knowledge, only three print newspapers have followed their true calling: the Austin American-Statesman, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Sun. What have they done? They simply printed cartoons that were at the center of widespread turmoil among Muslims over depictions of the prophet Muhammad. These papers did their duty.

Since the war on terrorism began, the mainstream press has had no problem printing stories and pictures that challenged the administration and, in the view of some, compromised our war and peace efforts. The manifold images of abuse at Abu Ghraib come to mind -- images that struck at our effort to win support from Arab governments and peoples, and that pierced the heart of the Muslim world as well as the U.S. military.

The press has had no problem with breaking a story using classified information on detention centers for captured terrorists and suspects -- stories that could harm our allies. And it disclosed a surveillance program so highly classified that most members of Congress were unaware of it.

In its zeal to publish stories critical of our nation's efforts -- and clearly upsetting to enemies and allies alike -- the press has printed some articles that turned out to be inaccurate. The Guantanamo Bay flushing of the Koran comes to mind.

But for the past month, the Islamist street has been on an intifada over cartoons depicting Muhammad that were first published months ago in a Danish newspaper. Protests in London -- never mind Jordan, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Iran and other countries not noted for their commitment to democratic principles -- included signs that read, "Behead those who insult Islam." The mainstream U.S. media have covered this worldwide uprising; it is, after all, a glimpse into the sentiments of our enemy and its allies. And yet it has refused, with but a few exceptions, to show the cartoons that purportedly caused all the outrage.

The Boston Globe, speaking for many other outlets, editorialized: "[N]ewspapers ought to refrain from publishing offensive caricatures of Mohammed in the name of the ultimate Enlightenment value: tolerance."

But as for caricatures depicting Jews in the most medievally horrific stereotypes, or Christians as fanatics on any given issue, the mainstream press seems to hold no such value. And in the matter of disclosing classified information in wartime, the press competes for the scoop when it believes the public interest warrants it.

What has happened? To put it simply, radical Islamists have won a war of intimidation. They have cowed the major news media from showing these cartoons. The mainstream press has capitulated to the Islamists -- their threats more than their sensibilities. One did not see Catholics claiming the right to mayhem in the wake of the republished depiction of the Virgin Mary covered in cow dung, any more than one saw a rejuvenated Jewish Defense League take to the street or blow up an office when Ariel Sharon was depicted as Hitler or when the Israeli army was depicted as murdering the baby Jesus.

So far as we can tell, a new, twin policy from the mainstream media has been promulgated: (a) If a group is strong enough in its reaction to a story or caricature, the press will refrain from printing that story or caricature, and (b) if the group is pandered to by the mainstream media, the media then will go through elaborate contortions and defenses to justify its abdication of duty. At bottom, this is an unacceptable form of not-so-benign bigotry, representing a higher expectation from Christians and Jews than from Muslims.

While we may disagree among ourselves about whether and when the public interest justifies the disclosure of classified wartime information, our general agreement and understanding of the First Amendment and a free press is informed by the fact -- not opinion but fact -- that without broad freedom, without responsibility for the right to know carried out by courageous writers, editors, political cartoonists and publishers, our democracy would be weaker, if not nonexistent. There should be no group or mob veto of a story that is in the public interest.

When we were attacked on Sept. 11, we knew the main reason for the attack was that Islamists hated our way of life, our virtues, our freedoms. What we never imagined was that the free press -- an institution at the heart of those virtues and freedoms -- would be among the first to surrender.

William J. Bennett is the Washington fellow of the Claremont Institute and a former secretary of education. Alan M. Dershowitz is a law professor at Harvard.
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2006, 05:36:13 PM »

http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/book_covers/
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2006, 08:33:24 AM »

Tehran, Iran, Feb. 28 ? A senior Iranian cleric has approved attacks on foreign embassies in Tehran over the publication of insulting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in European dailies, a website belonging to the office of hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reported.

?Muslims must take the most ferocious stance against insults to Islamic sanctities?, the senior cleric told Ayatollah Dorri Najaf-Abadi, the country?s Chief State Prosecutor, according to the Persian-language website Khedmat.

?If setting fire to embassies of countries that insult the Prophet aims to show that these countries no longer have any place in Islamic countries then this act is permissible?, the senior ayatollah was quoted as saying.

?Anyone who dies in this path [of protests against the insults] is a martyr?, he said.

Khedmat did not name the senior Shiite religious leader, but Najaf-Abadi met and held talks separately with five senior ayatollahs in Qom on February 20. The ayatollahs, Moussavi Ardebili, Makarem Shirazi, Fazel Lankarani, Safi Golpayegani and Nouri Hamedani, unanimously condemned the cartoons depicting Islam?s Prophet Mohammad and described it as a ?Zionist and Western conspiracy against Islam?.

?The support shown for the [cartoons] by the European Union and some European governments showed that this was not just an issue of journalism. But Muslims? reaction was beyond expectation and it showed that Muslims have woken up and this is a great asset?, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi told the prosecutor, according to the government-owned ISNA news agency.
http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/new...p?storyid=5970
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2006, 09:30:28 AM »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Caricaturist's daughter sought
(Aftenposten English Web Desk/NTB/Ritzau)

The daughter of one of the artists behind one of the controversial newspaper caricatures of the prophet Mohammed was sought out at her school by twelve Muslim men, a leading Danish politician claims. Jens Rohde, political chairman of the prime minister's Liberal Party, made this claim during a debate program on Danish television on Thursday evening.
The twelve cartoonists are now in hiding after receiving death threats.
"And a daughter of one of the artists was sought out by twelve Muslim men at a school, they wanted to get hold of this daughter. Luckily she was not at school," Rohde said.
Rohde told Danish news agency Ritzau that he received this information from a meeting with the artists.
http://www.aftenposten.no/english/wo...cle1239506.ece
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2006, 09:23:40 AM »

I don't remember the Pope issuing any fatwas in response to this one, nor any killings or riots , , ,


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2006, 11:47:46 AM »

http://www.danishmuhammedcartoons.com/Home.html
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2006, 07:50:22 AM »

The Sunday Times February 26, 2006


We should fear Holland?s silence
Islamists are stifling debate in what was Europe?s freest country, says Douglas Murray


?Would you write the name you?d like to use here, and your real name there?? asked the girl at reception. I had just been driven to a hotel in the Hague. An hour earlier I?d been greeted at Amsterdam airport by a man holding a sign with a pre-agreed cipher. I hadn?t known where I would be staying, or where I would be speaking. The secrecy was necessary: I had come to Holland to talk about Islam.
Last weekend, four years after his murder, Pim Fortuyn?s political party, Lijst Pim Fortuyn, held a conference in his memory on Islam and Europe. The organisers had assembled nearly all the writers most critical of Islam?s current manifestation in the West. The American scholars Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer were present, as were the Egyptian-Jewish exile and scholar of dhimmitude, Bat Ye?or, and the great Muslim apostate Ibn Warraq.



Both Ye?or and Warraq write and speak under pseudonyms. Standing at the hotel desk I confessed to the girl that I didn?t have any other name, couldn?t think of a good one fast. I was given my key and made aware that the other person in the lobby, a tall figure in a dark suit, was my security detail. I was taken up to my room where I changed, unpacked and headed back out ? the security guard now positioned outside my bedroom door.

I had been invited to deliver the closing speech to the memorial conference on what would have been Fortuyn?s 58th birthday. I said I would talk on the effects of Europe?s increasingly Islamicised population and advocate a tougher European counterterror strategy. There was no overriding political agenda to the occasion, simply a desire for frank discussion.

The event was scholarly, incisive and wide-ranging. There were no ranters or rabble-rousers, just an invited audience of academics, writers, politicians and sombre party members. As yet another example of Islam?s violent confrontation with the West (this time caused by cartoons) swept across the globe, we tried to discuss Islam as openly as we could. The Dutch security service in the Hague was among those who considered the threat to us for doing this as particularly high. The security status of the event was put at just one level below ?national emergency?.

This may seem fantastic to people in Britain. But the story of Holland ? which I have been charting for some years ? should be noted by her allies. Where Holland has gone, Britain and the rest of Europe are following. The silencing happens bit by bit. A student paper in Britain that ran the Danish cartoons got pulped. A London magazine withdrew the cartoons from its website after the British police informed the editor they could not protect him, his staff, or his offices from attack. This happened only days before the police provided 500 officers to protect a ?peaceful? Muslim protest in Trafalgar Square.

It seems the British police ? who regularly provide protection for mosques (as they did after the 7/7 bombs) ? were unable to send even one policeman to protect an organ of free speech. At the notorious London protests, Islamists were allowed to incite murder and bloodshed on the streets, but a passer-by objecting to these displays was threatened with detention for making trouble.

Holland ? with its disproportionately high Muslim population ? is the canary in the mine. Its once open society is closing, and Europe is closing slowly behind it. It looks, from Holland, like the twilight of liberalism ? not the ?liberalism? that is actually libertarianism, but the liberalism that is freedom. Not least freedom of expression.

All across Europe, debate on Islam is being stopped. Italy?s greatest living writer, Oriana Fallaci, soon comes up for trial in her home country, and in Britain the government seems intent on pushing through laws that would make truths about Islam and the conduct of its followers impossible to voice.

Those of us who write and talk on Islam thus get caught between those on our own side who are increasingly keen to prosecute and increasing numbers of militants threatening murder. In this situation, not only is free speech being shut down, but our nation?s security is being compromised.

Since the assassinations of Fortuyn and, in 2004, the film maker Theo van Gogh, numerous public figures in Holland have received death threats and routine intimidation. The heroic Somali-born Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her equally outspoken colleague Geert Wilders live under constant police protection, often forced to sleep on army bases. Even university professors are under protection.

Europe is shuffling into darkness. It is proving incapable of standing up to its enemies, and in an effort to accommodate the peripheral rights of a minority is failing to protect the most basic rights of its own people.

The governments of Europe have been tricked into believing that criticism of a belief is the same thing as criticism of a race. And so it is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous to criticise a growing and powerful ideology within our midst. It may soon, in addition, be made illegal.

I had planned ? the morning after my speech ? to see Geert Wilders, but instead spent the time catching up with his staff. Their leader had been called in by the police to discuss more than 40 new death threats he had received over the previous days.

As I left the Netherlands I once again felt terrible sorrow for a country that is slowly being lost. A society which should be carefree and inspiring has become dark and worried. The jihad in Europe is winning. And Holland, and our continent, takes one step further into a dark and menacing future.

Douglas Murray is the author of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It
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« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2006, 12:53:47 AM »

This looks pretty good to me , , ,

===============





INDIA: Court nod sought for case against Yaqoob



Lawyer files case against minister who announced bounty on head of Danish cartoonist

Times of India

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lucknow --- A Ghaziabad lawyer on Tuesday filed an application before a district court to get a case registered against Uttar Pradesh minister Haji Yaqoob for announcing a bounty of Rs 51 crore for the head of the Danish cartoonist who sketched a caricature of the Prophet. The court will take up the case on February 24.

In another development the Lucknow police "sought" some more time to dispose of a similar complaint lodged by a local resident against Yaqoob. Meanwhile, clerics in Deoband have supported fatwa by a Sharia court in Lucknow on the grounds that Koran provides for stringent punishment against anyone who dares to challenge the Prophet.

The clerics were addressing a night-long congregation held at Deoband on Monday to discuss the cartoon issue. "We will hold a massive protest at Ram Lila grounds in Delhi on March 1 against Denmark and the US," Maulana Masood Nadwi of Darul-Uloom Deoband told TOI.

In Ghaziabad, lawyer Chowdhary Ajay Veer Singh on Tuesday approached the court of additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM) VIII Narendra Kumar seeking directives to the police to lodge an FIR against Yaqoob.

"I used the provisions of Section 156/103 of the CrPC which provides for court's intervention for registration of a complaint related to a crime in case the police refuse to entertain such an application," Ajay told TOI.

"I have requested the court to order for an FIR against sections 115/120 (B), 153 and 108 (A) of IPC," the lawyer said.

"These provisions cover charges of criminal conspiracy to instigate a crime which may be committed outside the country but where the conspiracy to such instigation is hatched in India," he argued.

'UP minister should be sacked'

New Delhi --- A group of eminent Muslim scholars and intellectuals on Tuesday demanded the immediate sacking and prosecution of Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, the UP minister who announced a Rs 51 crore bounty for the murder of the Danish cartoonist who sketched Prophet Mohammed.

"UP's chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is constitutionally obliged to uphold the law of the land, must immediately sack Yaqoob Qureshi," said a statement by the group Muslims for Secular Democracy, which includes noted lyricist Javed Akhtar.

The statement said Qureshi's remarks, made at a rally on Friday in Meerut to protest the publication of the cartoons by a Danish newspaper, "openly incited Muslims to violence."

Such calls, made by politicians with an eye on the Muslim vote, "have done more damage to Islam and Muslims than the original offenders against whom they protest," it said.

The UP government has rejected calls for action against Qureshi despite there being a clear violation of laws on incitement to murder and call to violence.

No Muslim support for fatwas against cartoonist

Lucknow --- Two little known Shariat courts have joined an Uttar Pradesh minister in prescribing death for the Danish cartoonist who sketched a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed but have found little endorsement from prominent Muslim groups.

While one fatwa was issued by the Irada-e-Sharia Darul Qaza on Monday, another was issued by the equally unknown Ifta Firangimahli Taksal on Tuesday.

Both have interestingly been signed by Maulana Naimul Haleem Qadri, a member of both institutions. However, he has found little support in Uttar Pradesh, which has a considerable number of Muslims.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said the fatwa had no meaning.

AIMPLB legal adviser Zararyab Jilani said: "The board has nothing to do with these fatwas; but even if we consider that the Shariat does prescribe death penalty for anyone committing blasphemy with the name of the Prophet, such a fatwa would have legal sanctity only in a country governed by Islamic law."

Northern India's widely respected 300-year-old Firangi Mahal has also dissociated itself in no uncertain terms from the fatwas.

Firangi Mahal head Maulana Khalid Rasheed said categorically: "Let me make it clear that Firangi Mahal, which is among the country's oldest institutions authorised to issue fatwas, has nothing to do with the fatwas issued by some organisation which has given itself a name similar to ours."

"A fatwa can be issued only when a formal reference is made by someone before the authorised institution; and a 'darul qaza' (Islamic court) can issue a verdict only after hearing both parties involved in a dispute."

In a move that has attracted widespread condemnation, state Minister for Haj and Minority Welfare Haji Yaqoob Qureshi had declared a reward of Rs 510 million for the head of the Danish cartoonist.

Date Posted: 2/21/2006



http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article-southasia.asp?parentid=39537
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2006, 12:10:28 PM »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

March 11, 2006
The Saturday Profile
For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats
By JOHN M. BRODER
LOS ANGELES, March 10 ? Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.

Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.

In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.

She said the world's Muslims, whom she compares unfavorably with the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence.

Dr. Sultan said the world was not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism, a battle that the forces of violent, reactionary Islam are destined to lose.

In response, clerics throughout the Muslim world have condemned her, and her telephone answering machine has filled with dark threats. But Islamic reformers have praised her for saying out loud, in Arabic and on the most widely seen television network in the Arab world, what few Muslims dare to say even in private.

"I believe our people are hostages to our own beliefs and teachings," she said in an interview this week in her home in a Los Angeles suburb.

Dr. Sultan, who is 47, wears a prim sweater and skirt, with fleece-lined slippers and heavy stockings. Her eyes and hair are jet black and her modest manner belies her intense words: "Knowledge has released me from this backward thinking. Somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs."

Perhaps her most provocative words on Al Jazeera were those comparing how the Jews and Muslims have reacted to adversity. Speaking of the Holocaust, she said, "The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling."

She went on, "We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."

She concluded, "Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."

Her views caught the ear of the American Jewish Congress, which has invited her to speak in May at a conference in Israel. "We have been discussing with her the importance of her message and trying to devise the right venue for her to address Jewish leaders," said Neil B. Goldstein, executive director of the organization.

She is probably more welcome in Tel Aviv than she would be in Damascus. Shortly after the broadcast, clerics in Syria denounced her as an infidel. One said she had done Islam more damage than the Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad, a wire service reported.


DR. SULTAN is "working on a book that ? if it is published ? it's going to turn the Islamic world upside down."

"I have reached the point that doesn't allow any U-turn. I have no choice. I am questioning every single teaching of our holy book."

The working title is, "The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster."

Dr. Sultan grew up in a large traditional Muslim family in Banias, Syria, a small city on the Mediterranean about a two-hour drive north of Beirut. Her father was a grain trader and a devout Muslim, and she followed the faith's strictures into adulthood.

But, she said, her life changed in 1979 when she was a medical student at the University of Aleppo, in northern Syria. At that time, the radical Muslim Brotherhood was using terrorism to try to undermine the government of President Hafez al-Assad. Gunmen of the Muslim Brotherhood burst into a classroom at the university and killed her professor as she watched, she said.

"They shot hundreds of bullets into him, shouting, 'God is great!' " she said. "At that point, I lost my trust in their god and began to question all our teachings. It was the turning point of my life, and it has led me to this present point. I had to leave. I had to look for another god."

She and her husband, who now goes by the Americanized name of David, laid plans to leave for the United States. Their visas finally came in 1989, and the Sultans and their two children (they have since had a third) settled in with friends in Cerritos, Calif., a prosperous bedroom community on the edge of Los Angeles County.

After a succession of jobs and struggles with language, Dr. Sultan has completed her American medical licensing, with the exception of a hospital residency program, which she hopes to do within a year. David operates an automotive-smog-check station. They bought a home in the Los Angeles area and put their children through local public schools. All are now American citizens.


BUT even as she settled into a comfortable middle-class American life, Dr. Sultan's anger burned within. She took to writing, first for herself, then for an Islamic reform Web site called Annaqed (The Critic), run by a Syrian expatriate in Phoenix.

An angry essay on that site by Dr. Sultan about the Muslim Brotherhood caught the attention of Al Jazeera, which invited her to debate an Algerian cleric on the air last July.

In the debate, she questioned the religious teachings that prompt young people to commit suicide in the name of God. "Why does a young Muslim man, in the prime of life, with a full life ahead, go and blow himself up?" she asked. "In our countries, religion is the sole source of education and is the only spring from which that terrorist drank until his thirst was quenched."

Her remarks set off debates around the globe and her name began appearing in Arabic newspapers and Web sites. But her fame grew exponentially when she appeared on Al Jazeera again on Feb. 21, an appearance that was translated and widely distributed by the Middle East Media Research Institute, known as Memri.

Memri said the clip of her February appearance had been viewed more than a million times.

"The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilizations," Dr. Sultan said. "It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality."

She said she no longer practiced Islam. "I am a secular human being," she said.

The other guest on the program, identified as an Egyptian professor of religious studies, Dr. Ibrahim al-Khouli, asked, "Are you a heretic?" He then said there was no point in rebuking or debating her, because she had blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and the Koran.

Dr. Sultan said she took those words as a formal fatwa, a religious condemnation. Since then, she said, she has received numerous death threats on her answering machine and by e-mail.

One message said: "Oh, you are still alive? Wait and see." She received an e-mail message the other day, in Arabic, that said, "If someone were to kill you, it would be me."

Dr. Sultan said her mother, who still lives in Syria, is afraid to contact her directly, speaking only through a sister who lives in Qatar. She said she worried more about the safety of family members here and in Syria than she did for her own.

"I have no fear," she said. "I believe in my message. It is like a million-mile journey, and I believe I have walked the first and hardest 10 miles."
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« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2006, 08:07:25 AM »

Wafa Sultan's website!

http://www.annaqed.com/english.html
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2006, 03:34:21 PM »

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 31, 2006, 03:04 PM
URL:
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,418930,00.html
Opinion

Why I Published the Muhammad Cartoons

By Flemming Rose

European political correctness allows Muslims to resist integration, argues
the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten. Instead, Muslims should be treated
just like all Europeans -- including being subject to satire. He argues that
publishing the caricatures was an act of "inclusion, not exclusion."




REUTERS
The burning of a Danish flag in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The worldwide furor unleashed by the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed that I
published last September in Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper where I
work, was both a surprise and a tragedy, especially for those directly
affected by it. Lives were lost, buildings were torched and people were
driven into hiding.

And yet the unbalanced reactions to the not-so-provocative caricatures --
loud denunciations and even death threats toward us, but very little outrage
toward the people who attacked two Danish Embassies -- unmasked unpleasant
realities about Europe's failed experiment with multiculturalism. It's time
for the Old Continent to face facts and make some profound changes in its
outlook on immigration, integration and the coming Muslim demographic surge.
After decades of appeasement and political correctness, combined with
growing fear of a radical minority prepared to commit serious violence,
Europe's moment of truth is here.

Europe today finds itself trapped in a posture of moral relativism that is
undermining its liberal values. An unholy three-cornered alliance between
Middle East dictators, radical imams who live in Europe and Europe's
traditional left wing is enabling a politics of victimology. This politics
drives a culture that resists integration and adaptation, perpetuates
national and religious differences and aggravates such debilitating social
ills as high immigrant crime rates and entrenched unemployment.

As one who once championed the utopian state of multicultural bliss, I think
I know what I'm talking about. I was raised on the ideals of the 1960s, in
the midst of the Cold War. I saw life through the lens of the
countercultural turmoil, adopting both the hippie pose and the political
superiority complex of my generation. I and my high school peers believed
that the West was imperialistic and racist. We analyzed decaying Western
civilization through the texts of Marx and Engels and lionized John Lennon's
beautiful but stupid tune about an ideal world without private property:
"Imagine no possessions/ I wonder if you can/ No need for greed or hunger/ A
brotherhood of man/ Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world."


BIO BOX
Flemming Rose, 48, is culture editor of Jyllands- Posten, the Danish
newspaper that set off a wave of protests in the Islamic world when it
published a series of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

It took me only 10 months as a young student in the Soviet Union in 1980-81
to realize what a world without private property looks like, although many
years had to pass until the full implications of the central Marxist dogma
became clear to me.

That experience was the beginning of a long intellectual journey that has
thus far culminated in the reactions to the Muhammed cartoons. Politically,
I came of age in the Soviet Union. I returned there in 1990 to spend 11
years as a foreign correspondent. Through close contact with courageous
dissidents who were willing to suffer and go to prison for their belief in
the ideals of Western democracy, I was cured of my wooly dreams of
idealistic collectivism. I had a strong sense of the high price my friends
were willing to pay for the very freedoms that we had taken for granted in
high school -- but did not grasp as values inherent in our civilization:
freedom of speech, religion, assembly and movement. Justice and equality
implies equal opportunity, I learned, not equal outcome.

Now, in Europe's failure to grapple realistically with its dramatically
changing demographic picture, I see a new parallel to that Cold War journey.
Europe's left is deceiving itself about immigration, integration and Islamic
radicalism today the same way we young hippies deceived ourselves about
Marxism and communism 30 years ago. It is a narrative of confrontation and
hierarchy that claims that the West exploits, abuses and marginalizes the
Islamic world. Left-wing intellectuals have insisted that the Danes were
oppressing and marginalizing Muslim immigrants. This view comports precisely
with the late Edward Said's model of Orientalism, which argues that experts
on the Orient and the Muslim world have not depicted it as it is but as some
dreaded "other," as exactly the opposite of ourselves -- that should
therefore to be rejected. The West, in this narrative, is democratic, the
East is despotic. We are rational, they are irrational.

This kind of thinking gave birth to a distorted approach to immigration in
countries like Denmark. Left-wing commentators decided that Denmark was both
racist and Islamophobic. Therefore, the chief obstacle to integration was
not the immigrants' unwillingness to adapt culturally to their adopted
country (there are 200,000 Danish Muslims now); it was the country's
inherent racism and anti-Muslim bias.

A cult of victimology arose and was happily exploited by clever radicals
among Europe's Muslims, especially certain religious leaders like Imam Ahmad
Abu Laban in Denmark and Mullah Krekar in Norway. Mullah Krekar -- a Kurdish
founder of Ansar al Islam who this spring was facing an expulsion order from
Norway -- called our publication of the cartoons "a declaration of war
against our religion, our faith and our civilization. Our way of thinking is
penetrating society and is stronger than theirs. This causes hate in the
Western way of thinking; as the losing side, they commit violence."

The role of victim is very convenient because it frees the self-declared
victim from any responsibility, while providing a posture of moral
superiority. It also obscures certain inconvenient facts that might suggest
a different explanation for the lagging integration of some immigrant groups
-- such as the relatively high crime rates, the oppression of women and a
tradition of forced marriage.

Dictatorships in the Middle East and radical imams have adopted the jargon
of the European left, calling the cartoons racist and Islamophobic. When
Westerners criticize their lack of civil liberties and the oppression of
women, they say we behave like imperialists. They have adopted the rhetoric
and turned it against us.

These events are occurring against the disturbing backdrop of increasingly
radicalized Muslims in Europe. Muhammed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader, became a
born-again Muslim after he moved to Europe. So did the perpetrators behind
the bombings in Madrid and London. The same goes for Mohammed Bouyeri, the
young Muslim who slaughtered filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam. Europe,
not the Middle East, may now be the main breeding ground for Islamic
terrorism.

Lessons from the United States

What's wrong with Europe? For one thing, Europe's approach to immigration
and integration is rooted in its historic experience with relatively
homogeneous cultures. In the United States one's definition of nationality
is essentially political; in Europe it is historically cultural. I am a Dane
because I look European, speak Danish, descend from centuries of other
Scandinavians. But what about the dark, bearded new Danes who speak Arabic
at home and poor Danish in the streets? We Europeans must make a profound
cultural adjustment to understand that they, too, can be Danes.

Another great impediment to integration is the European welfare state.
Because Europe's highly developed, but increasingly unaffordable, safety
nets provide such strong unemployment insurance and not enough incentive to
work, many new immigrants go straight onto the dole.

While it can be argued that the fast-growing community of about 20 million
Muslim immigrants in Europe is the equivalent of America's new Hispanic
immigrants, the difference in their productivity and prosperity is
staggering. An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study
in 1999 showed that while immigrants in the United States are almost equal
to native-born workers as taxpayers and contributors to American prosperity,
in Denmark there is a glaring gap of 41 percent between the contributions of
the native-born and of the immigrants. In the United States, a laid-off
worker gets an average of 32 percent compensation for his former wages in
welfare services; in Denmark the figure is 81 percent. A culture of welfare
dependency is rife among immigrants, and it is taken for granted.

What to do? Obviously, we can never return to the comfortable monocultures
of old. A demographic revolution is changing the face, and look, of Europe.
In an age of mass migration and the Internet, cheap air fares and mobile
phones everywhere, cultural pluralism is an irreversible fact, like it or
not. A nostalgic longing for cultural purity -- racial purity, religious
purity -- easily descends into ethnic cleansing.

Yet multiculturalism that has all too often become mere cultural relativism
is an indefensible proposition that often justifies reactionary and
oppressive practices. Giving the same weight to the illiberal values of
conservative Islam as to the liberal traditions of the European
Enlightenment will, in time, destroy the very things that make Europe such a
desirable target for migration.

Europe must shed the straitjacket of political correctness, which makes it
impossible to criticize minorities for anything -- including violations of
laws, traditional mores and values that are central to the European
experience. Two experiences tell the tale for me.

Shortly after the horrific 2002 Moscow musical theater siege by Chechen
terrorists that left 130 dead, I met with one of my old dissident friends,
Sergei Kovalev. A hero of the human rights movement in the old Soviet Union,
Kovalev had long been a defender of the Chechens and a critic of the Russian
attacks on Chechnya. But after the theater massacre he refused, as always,
to indulge in politically correct drivel about the Chechens' just fight for
secession and decolonization. He unhesitatingly denounced the terrorists,
and insisted that a nation's right to self-determination did not imply a
free ticket to kill and violate basic individual rights. For me, it was a
clarifying moment on the dishonesty of identity politics and the sometime
tyranny of elevating group rights above those of individuals -- of
justifying the killing of innocents in the name of some higher cause.

The other experience was a trip I made in the 1990s, when I was a
correspondent based in the United States, to the Brighton Beach neighborhood
of Brooklyn, N.Y. There I wrote a story about the burgeoning, bustling,
altogether vibrant Russian immigrant community that had arisen there -- a
perfect example of people retaining some of their old cultural identity
(drinking samovars of tea, playing hours of chess and attending church)
while quickly taking advantage of America's free and open capitalism to
establish an economic foothold. I marveled at America's ability to absorb
newcomers. It was another clarifying moment.

An act of inclusion. Equal treatment is the democratic way to overcome
traditional barriers of blood and soil for newcomers. To me, that means
treating immigrants just as I would any other Danes. And that's what I felt
I was doing in publishing the 12 cartoons of Muhammad last year. Those
images in no way exceeded the bounds of taste, satire and humor to which I
would subject any other Dane, whether the queen, the head of the church or
the prime minister. By treating a Muslim figure the same way I would a
Christian or Jewish icon, I was sending an important message: You are not
strangers, you are here to stay, and we accept you as an integrated part of
our life. And we will satirize you, too. It was an act of inclusion, not
exclusion; an act of respect and recognition.

Alas, some Muslims did not take it that way -- though it required a highly
organized campaign, several falsified (and very nasty) cartoons and several
months of overseas travel for the aggrieved imams to stir up an
international reaction.



DPA
Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which
originally published the Muhammad cartoons.
Maybe Europe needs to take a leaf -- or a whole book -- from the American
experience. In order for new Europe of many cultures that is somehow a
single entity to emerge, in a manner similar to the experience of the United
States, both sides will have to make an effort -- the native-born and the
newly arrived.

For the immigrants, the expectation that they not only learn the host
language but also respect their new countries' political and cultural
traditions is not too much to demand, and some stringent (maybe too
stringent) new laws are being passed to force that. At the same time,
Europeans must show a willingness to jettison entrenched notions of blood
and soil and accept people from foreign countries and cultures as just what
they are, the new Europeans.

Flemming Rose is culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, the largest newspaper in
Denmark.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

? SPIEGEL ONLINE 2006
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


More about this issue:

Related SPIEGEL ONLINE links:     OPINION: Threaten One, Intimidate a
Million (02/01/2006)
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,398532,00.html
Muhammad Cartoons: The Importance of Being Danish, or Not (02/10/2006)
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,400146,00.html
European Dis- Unity: Cartoon Conflict Shows Cracks in the EU (02/14/2006)
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,400710,00.html
Cartoon Jihad: Rotten Judgment in the State of Denmark (02/08/2006)
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,399653,00.html
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 30582


« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2006, 03:37:35 PM »

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 31, 2006, 03:04 PM
URL:
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,418930,00.html
Opinion

Why I Published the Muhammad Cartoons

By Flemming Rose

European political correctness allows Muslims to resist integration, argues
the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten. Instead, Muslims should be treated
just like all Europeans -- including being subject to satire. He argues that
publishing the caricatures was an act of "inclusion, not exclusion."




REUTERS
The burning of a Danish flag in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The worldwide furor unleashed by the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed that I
published last September in Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper where I
work, was both a surprise and a tragedy, especially for those directly
affected by it. Lives were lost, buildings were torched and people were
driven into hiding.

And yet the unbalanced reactions to the not-so-provocative caricatures --
loud denunciations and even death threats toward us, but very little outrage
toward the people who attacked two Danish Embassies -- unmasked unpleasant
realities about Europe's failed experiment with multiculturalism. It's time
for the Old Continent to face facts and make some profound changes in its
outlook on immigration, integration and the coming Muslim demographic surge.
After decades of appeasement and political correctness, combined with
growing fear of a radical minority prepared to commit serious violence,
Europe's moment of truth is here.

Europe today finds itself trapped in a posture of moral relativism that is
undermining its liberal values. An unholy three-cornered alliance between
Middle East dictators, radical imams who live in Europe and Europe's
traditional left wing is enabling a politics of victimology. This politics
drives a culture that resists integration and adaptation, perpetuates
national and religious differences and aggravates such debilitating social
ills as high immigrant crime rates and entrenched unemployment.

As one who once championed the utopian state of multicultural bliss, I think
I know what I'm talking about. I was raised on the ideals of the 1960s, in
the midst of the Cold War. I saw life through the lens of the
countercultural turmoil, adopting both the hippie pose and the political
superiority complex of my generation. I and my high school peers believed
that the West was imperialistic and racist. We analyzed decaying Western
civilization through the texts of Marx and Engels and lionized John Lennon's
beautiful but stupid tune about an ideal world without private property:
"Imagine no possessions/ I wonder if you can/ No need for greed or hunger/ A
brotherhood of man/ Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world."


BIO BOX
Flemming Rose, 48, is culture editor of Jyllands- Posten, the Danish
newspaper that set off a wave of protests in the Islamic world when it
published a series of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

It took me only 10 months as a young student in the Soviet Union in 1980-81
to realize what a world without private property looks like, although many
years had to pass until the full implications of the central Marxist dogma
became clear to me.

That experience was the beginning of a long intellectual journey that has
thus far culminated in the reactions to the Muhammed cartoons. Politically,
I came of age in the Soviet Union. I returned there in 1990 to spend 11
years as a foreign correspondent. Through close contact with courageous
dissidents who were willing to suffer and go to prison for their belief in
the ideals of Western democracy, I was cured of my wooly dreams of
idealistic collectivism. I had a strong sense of the high price my friends
were willing to pay for the very freedoms that we had taken for granted in
high school -- but did not grasp as values inherent in our civilization:
freedom of speech, religion, assembly and movement. Justice and equality
implies equal opportunity, I learned, not equal outcome.

Now, in Europe's failure to grapple realistically with its dramatically
changing demographic picture, I see a new parallel to that Cold War journey.
Europe's left is deceiving itself about immigration, integration and Islamic
radicalism today the same way we young hippies deceived ourselves about
Marxism and communism 30 years ago. It is a narrative of confrontation and
hierarchy that claims that the West exploits, abuses and marginalizes the
Islamic world. Left-wing intellectuals have insisted that the Danes were
oppressing and marginalizing Muslim immigrants. This view comports precisely
with the late Edward Said's model of Orientalism, which argues that experts
on the Orient and the Muslim world have not depicted it as it is but as some
dreaded "other," as exactly the opposite of ourselves -- that should
therefore to be rejected. The West, in this narrative, is democratic, the
East is despotic. We are rational, they are irrational.

This kind of thinking gave birth to a distorted approach to immigration in
countries like Denmark. Left-wing commentators decided that Denmark was both
racist and Islamophobic. Therefore, the chief obstacle to integration was
not the immigrants' unwillingness to adapt culturally to their adopted
country (there are 200,000 Danish Muslims now); it was the country's
inherent racism and anti-Muslim bias.

A cult of victimology arose and was happily exploited by clever radicals
among Europe's Muslims, especially certain religious leaders like Imam Ahmad
Abu Laban in Denmark and Mullah Krekar in Norway. Mullah Krekar -- a Kurdish
founder of Ansar al Islam who this spring was facing an expulsion order from
Norway -- called our publication of the cartoons "a declaration of war
against our religion, our faith and our civilization. Our way of thinking is
penetrating society and is stronger than theirs. This causes hate in the
Western way of thinking; as the losing side, they commit violence."

The role of victim is very convenient because it frees the self-declared
victim from any responsibility, while providing a posture of moral
superiority. It also obscures certain inconvenient facts that might suggest
a different explanation for the lagging integration of some immigrant groups
-- such as the relatively high crime rates, the oppression of women and a
tradition of forced marriage.

Dictatorships in the Middle East and radical imams have adopted the jargon
of the European left, calling the cartoons racist and Islamophobic. When
Westerners criticize their lack of civil liberties and the oppression of
women, they say we behave like imperialists. They have adopted the rhetoric
and turned it against us.

These events are occurring against the disturbing backdrop of increasingly
radicalized Muslims in Europe. Muhammed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader, became a
born-again Muslim after he moved to Europe. So did the perpetrators behind
the bombings in Madrid and London. The same goes for Mohammed Bouyeri, the
young Muslim who slaughtered filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam. Europe,
not the Middle East, may now be the main breeding ground for Islamic
terrorism.

Lessons from the United States

What's wrong with Europe? For one thing, Europe's approach to immigration
and integration is rooted in its historic experience with relatively
homogeneous cultures. In the United States one's definition of nationality
is essentially political; in Europe it is historically cultural. I am a Dane
because I look European, speak Danish, descend from centuries of other
Scandinavians. But what about the dark, bearded new Danes who speak Arabic
at home and poor Danish in the streets? We Europeans must make a profound
cultural adjustment to understand that they, too, can be Danes.

Another great impediment to integration is the European welfare state.
Because Europe's highly developed, but increasingly unaffordable, safety
nets provide such strong unemployment insurance and not enough incentive to
work, many new immigrants go straight onto the dole.

While it can be argued that the fast-growing community of about 20 million
Muslim immigrants in Europe is the equivalent of America's new Hispanic
immigrants, the difference in their productivity and prosperity is
staggering. An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study
in 1999 showed that while immigrants in the United States are almost equal
to native-born workers as taxpayers and contributors to American prosperity,
in Denmark there is a glaring gap of 41 percent between the contributions of
the native-born and of the immigrants. In the United States, a laid-off
worker gets an average of 32 percent compensation for his former wages in
welfare services; in Denmark the figure is 81 percent. A culture of welfare
dependency is rife among immigrants, and it is taken for granted.

What to do? Obviously, we can never return to the comfortable monocultures
of old. A demographic revolution is changing the face, and look, of Europe.
In an age of mass migration and the Internet, cheap air fares and mobile
phones everywhere, cultural pluralism is an irreversible fact, like it or
not. A nostalgic longing for cultural purity -- racial purity, religious
purity -- easily descends into ethnic cleansing.

Yet multiculturalism that has all too often become mere cultural relativism
is an indefensible proposition that often justifies reactionary and
oppressive practices. Giving the same weight to the illiberal values of
conservative Islam as to the liberal traditions of the European
Enlightenment will, in time, destroy the very things that make Europe such a
desirable target for migration.

Europe must shed the straitjacket of political correctness, which makes it
impossible to criticize minorities for anything -- including violations of
laws, traditional mores and values that are central to the European
experience. Two experiences tell the tale for me.

Shortly after the horrific 2002 Moscow musical theater siege by Chechen
terrorists that left 130 dead, I met with one of my old dissident friends,
Sergei Kovalev. A hero of the human rights movement in the old Soviet Union,
Kovalev had long been a defender of the Chechens and a critic of the Russian
attacks on Chechnya. But after the theater massacre he refused, as always,
to indulge in politically correct drivel about the Chechens' just fight for
secession and decolonization. He unhesitatingly denounced the terrorists,
and insisted that a nation's right to self-determination did not imply a
free ticket to kill and violate basic individual rights. For me, it was a
clarifying moment on the dishonesty of identity politics and the sometime
tyranny of elevating group rights above those of individuals -- of
justifying the killing of innocents in the name of some higher cause.

The other experience was a trip I made in the 1990s, when I was a
correspondent based in the United States, to the Brighton Beach neighborhood
of Brooklyn, N.Y. There I wrote a story about the burgeoning, bustling,
altogether vibrant Russian immigrant community that had arisen there -- a
perfect example of people retaining some of their old cultural identity
(drinking samovars of tea, playing hours of chess and attending church)
while quickly taking advantage of America's free and open capitalism to
establish an economic foothold. I marveled at America's ability to absorb
newcomers. It was another clarifying moment.

An act of inclusion. Equal treatment is the democratic way to overcome
traditional barriers of blood and soil for newcomers. To me, that means
treating immigrants just as I would any other Danes. And that's what I felt
I was doing in publishing the 12 cartoons of Muhammad last year. Those
images in no way exceeded the bounds of taste, satire and humor to which I
would subject any other Dane, whether the queen, the head of the church or
the prime minister. By treating a Muslim figure the same way I would a
Christian or Jewish icon, I was sending an important message: You are not
strangers, you are here to stay, and we accept you as an integrated part of
our life. And we will satirize you, too. It was an act of inclusion, not
exclusion; an act of respect and recognition.

Alas, some Muslims did not take it that way -- though it required a highly
organized campaign, several falsified (and very nasty) cartoons and several
months of overseas travel for the aggrieved imams to stir up an
international reaction.



DPA
Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which
originally published the Muhammad cartoons.
Maybe Europe needs to take a leaf -- or a whole book -- from the American
experience. In order for new Europe of many cultures that is somehow a
single entity to emerge, in a manner similar to the experience of the United
States, both sides will have to make an effort -- the native-born and the
newly arrived.

For the immigrants, the expectation that they not only learn the host
language but also respect their new countries' political and cultural
traditions is not too much to demand, and some stringent (maybe too
stringent) new laws are being passed to force that. At the same time,
Europeans must show a willingness to jettison entrenched notions of blood
and soil and accept people from foreign countries and cultures as just what
they are, the new Europeans.

Flemming Rose is culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, the largest newspaper in
Denmark.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

? SPIEGEL ONLINE 2006
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


More about this issue:

Related SPIEGEL ONLINE links:     OPINION: Threaten One, Intimidate a
Million (02/01/2006)
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,398532,00.html
Muhammad Cartoons: The Importance of Being Danish, or Not (02/10/2006)
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,400146,00.html
European Dis- Unity: Cartoon Conflict Shows Cracks in the EU (02/14/2006)
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,400710,00.html
Cartoon Jihad: Rotten Judgment in the State of Denmark (02/08/2006)
http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,399653,00.html
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 30582


« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2006, 06:31:31 PM »

Woof All:

I've renamed this thread to reach the deeper question presented by the Danish cartoons-- the effort to restrict free speech by certain groups of Muslims.

Of course when surfing the forums and the Net, not everything can be assumed to be 100% true.  Does anyone have any confirmation of the accuracy of the following?

CD
================


CAIR Gets DePaul Professor Suspended For "Offending" Muslim Students
By Jim Kouri
Jul 25, 2006





In my position with the National Association of Chiefs of Police, I get many reports, press releases and other documents on a daily basis. Because of time constraints, I may read perhaps one-third of them, giving priority to Department of Homeland Security and FBI reports.
However, every once in a while I get something that angers me and compells me to research.
Such is the case with the one report that describes the unfair, almost Stalinist treatment, of a Chicago educator whose only transgression is he supports Israel's right to defend itself from terrorists.
Responding to what has been condemned as a violation of academic freedom, professors, scholars, and students worldwide signed a petition by The Scholars for Peace in the Middle East to reinstate Professor Thomas Klocek to his teaching position at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.
Klocek was suspended from the university following a campaign launched by pro-Palestinian student groups and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Klocek believes in Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state within safe and secure borders.
CAIR and Muslim student groups told University officials that Klocek offended Muslim students when discussing Christian interests in Israel, disputing that Israeli treatment of Palestinians was akin to the Nazi treatment of the Jews, and then terminating the discussion when it appeared that the students were more interested in Israel-bashing than discussing the issues.
Titled "A Petition to Reinstate Professor Thomas Klocek to DePaul University With No Prejudice or Penalty," the petition is to be delivered to DePaul's president and Dean upon its goal of 2,000 signatures.
DePaul's Alleged Violations Of Academic Freedom
In an interview with Walking Eagle Productions, a documentary film company covering the DePaul controversy, Klocek said that he was suspended by DePaul administration, and ultimately lost his position and teaching benefits, after engaging in an out-of-class argument with pro-Palestinian students at a student activities fair on campus.
Klocek shared that he served 14 years a part-time adjunct professor in DePaul's School of New Learning and that he was considered a popular professor, with large class enrollments and received excellent student reviews, with no prior complaints about Klocek's behavior.
But after engaging in heated discussion with two Muslim student groups at a Student Involvement Fair on DePaul's campus, the student groups Students for Justice in Palestine (SPJ) and United Muslims Moving Ahead (UMMA) went to the administration to call for Klocek's firing. Both groups were backed by CAIR's Chicago office, and other local Muslim advocate groups, some of whom called for even harsher punishment.
Klocek said that although no third-party witnesses were provided by the offended parties, DePaul's Dean of the School of New Learning, Susanne Dumbleton, had him suspended without any hearing, and held his insurance benefits in jeopardy.
Once Klocek was removed from his teaching position, Dumbleton then publicly castigated Klocek in DePaul's student newspaper, The Depaulia, stating that Klocek was being punished by the DePaul Administration for expressing what she deemed to be Klocek's "erroneous assertions" to the Muslim student groups.
Christina Abraham, Civil Rights Coordinator for CAIR's Chicago branch office, granted an interview to Walking Eagle Productions to explain their reasons for filing the original complaint to DePaul on behalf of the student groups. Abraham stated that she believed all of the student group's allegations, and that they were serious enough to demand Klocek's immediate firing.
First Amendment groups, such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), protested DePaul's actions. FIRE's then-president David French stated in its own press release that Klocek's suspension violated DePaul's policies guaranteeing academic freedom as well as its contractual promise of due process "because his statements were allegedly offensive."
"While DePaul may now argue that the issue is one of professionalism, its public statements at the time of Klocek's punishment make it clear that Klocek's real crime was offending students during an out-of-class discussion of a controversial and emotional topic." said French. "Academic freedom cannot survive when professors who engage in debate on controversial topics are subject to administrative punishment without even the most cursory due process."
A Peace Organization Rallies For Academic Freedom
How did Scholars for Peace in the Middle East become involved in Klocek's defense?
"SPME is an academic community of scholars." explains SPME President Dr. Beck, in an interview with Walking Eagle Productions. "And as such, we're trying to support another scholar on what we see as a violation of his academic freedom and due process. The goal is to raise awareness among faculty members that we may not be as safe as we think we are, and to get him reinstated without penalty."
Klocek is undeterred and confident that true scholars will rise above such divisiveness, and support the petition on behalf of him. "The issue of free speech and academic freedom," says Klocek, "extends to all faculty members, part- and full-time, non-tenured and tenured alike."
While the petition is open for everyone to sign, SPME is especially encouraging signatures from professors. SPME however, has expressed the important role students can play in circulating their petition professors in their own schools and classes, or contacting professors who remain active during the summer in online forums and web blogs.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance

----------

"Klocek said that although no third-party witnesses were provided by the offended parties, DePaul's Dean of the School of New Learning, Susanne Dumbleton, had him suspended without any hearing, and held his insurance benefits in jeopardy"

I am informed that:

"Interesting, under her guidance the SNL became a non-gov organization of the UN in 1998.

DePaul University : : About DePaul (University Officers-Susanne Dumbleton)"
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Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 30582


« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2006, 09:18:10 PM »

Credible threats against the Danish cartoonists
By Olivier Guitta

If you thought that the Cartoon Jihad was over, think again.

Indeed, several European secret services are on the lookout for special Islamist commandos allegedly trying to kill the 12 Danish cartoonists involved in the Jyllands Posten Muhammad cartoons. Most probably, a European sleeper cell could be activated for that mission. Nonetheless, an entrance of dangerous Pakistani elements thru Turkey is envisioned.

In fact, a couple of Al Qaeda messages are warning of targeting the cartoonists along with some European countries. The first one is the April 23 Bin Laden's call in a video to boycott products from the US and European countries which supported Denmark over the publication of the cartoons . Bin Laden had also severely critisized France for pts supposedly harsh treatments of Muslims, referring most probably to the anti-hijab law passed in 2004. Then the Islamist website Ansar Al Sunna published the exhaustive list of newspapers which published the cartoons and called for vengeance against them; adding that they deserve the same fate as Theo Van Gogh, who was savegely murdered by an Islamist in November 2004.

Then on May 2, Hamid Mir, the editor in chief of the Pakistani daily Ausaf, who met Bin Laden a couple of times, reported that credible sources told him that a team of 9 Afghans and 3 Pakistanis were on their way to murder the Danish cartoonists.

In a May 11 35-minute video, Libyan Mohammed Hassan, who escaped from US custody at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan last July stated: "Muslims avenge your Prophet .... We deeply desire that the small state of Denmark, Norway and France ... are struck hard and destroyed," said "Destroy their buildings, make their ground shake and transform them into a sea of blood".

All this is happening while a Pakistani student who tried to kill the editor in chief of the German daily Die Welt for publishing the cartoons, was found dead in his German cell on May 3. The cause of death was suicide but the Pakistani press and opinion think differently and anger is brewing.
===================

Danish Mohammed Cartoons
2006-07-24
Israel is attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon and the civilians are getting worried. Strangely, a large proportion of the Lebanese population turns out to be Danish (5,000 people), Swedish (6,000) or Canadian (30,000). Apparently lots of people, who have received asylum, are now on vacation in the very country from which they have ostensibly fled.


 
Akkari hiding behind the Danish flag.


Luckily, the Danish embassy which was burned down in February is functioning again. But it turns out that one of these people with Danish passports Danes is none other than Ahmed Akkari - one of the lying imams, who travelled the Middle East with their fake Mohammed cartoons and thus were directly responsible for the embassy burnings.

Danes, Swedes lead evacuation race (CNN)


The Danes got a test run in crisis management earlier this year when newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad triggered violent protests against Danish embassies in Muslim countries.

One of the Danish Muslims who spearheaded the rallies against the prophet drawings, Lebanese-born Ahmad Akkari, was among those evacuated from Beirut on Thursday.

"My impression is that the transportation has been safe and that no one has been suffering," Akkari told Denmark's TV2 channel as he boarded a Greek ferry chartered by Denmark.


Ahmed Akkari has Danish citizenship since he only received a suspended sentence for violence in 2001. His wife and daughter are not Danish, but have now received a temporary residency permit.

So Akkari and his family are going to Denmark. This time Akkari is neither burning the Danish flag - nor trampling on it - but hiding behind it.

Added: Fixed typo, 30,000 Canadians - not "30,0000" (thank you, Unright@Fark).

Added: According to Danish Television (Danish text), 5,300 people have been evacuated. 47 of these weren't Danish citizens but have received a 90 days temporary residency permit (this group includes Akkari's wife and daughter). Among the evacuated are at least 10 criminals, who were expelled from Denmark for a period of no less than five years, but who have been granted a visa.
http://bibelen.blogspot.com/2006/07/akkari-and-danish-flag.html
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« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2006, 07:28:12 PM »

From the Wall Street Journal
Bret Stephens

The Many Faces of Belgian Fascism
August 22, 2006; Page A13

BRUSSELS -- Belgium is the birthplace of Ren? Magritte. So perhaps it's not surprising that, in politics, even the fascism here is surreal.

Take Belgian Socialists, Flemish or Walloon. The hallmark of nearly every European socialist party has long been hostility to religion. In recent years, Belgium's ruling Socialist-Liberal coalition has antagonized Catholics by legalizing gay marriage and euthanasia, banning crucifixes from government buildings and abolishing the traditional Te Deum service previously held by the government to commemorate the inauguration of Leopold I, first king of the Belgians.

But then the Socialists began taking note of Belgium's Muslim community, some 500,000 strong. In Brussels, notes Jo?l Rubinfeld of the Atlantis Institute think tank, half of the Socialist Party's 26-member slate in the city's 75-seat parliament is Muslim. In the commune of Molenbeek, longstanding Socialist mayor Philippe Moureaux has made Halal meals standard in all schools; police officers are also barred from eating or drinking on the streets during Ramadan. The Socialist Party was also, improbably, the leading opponent of a bill that would have criminalized the denial of the Armenian genocide. This, too, is a product of burgeoning Muslim-Socialist alliance, as is the party's routine denunciations of Israel.

Now take the Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), the secessionist Flemish Party previously known as the Vlaams Blok until a court ruled it illegal in 2004. The Blok has longstanding links to Nazi collaborators. One of the party's founding members is Karel Dillen, who in 1951 translated into Flemish a French tract denying the Holocaust (possibly the only French text for which a Vlams Blok party member has ever shown sympathy.) For many years, the party's chief selling point was its call to forcibly deport immigrants who failed to assimilate. It also made plain its sympathies with other far-right wing European parties, such as Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front in France.

But that's changing. Younger party leaders, realizing their anti-Semitic taint was poison, began making pro-Israel overtures. And the party's tough-on-crime, hostile-to-Muslims stance began to attract a considerable share of the Jewish vote, particularly among Orthodox Antwerp Jews who felt increasingly vulnerable in the face of the city's hostile Muslim community. Today, Vlaams Belang is the largest single party in the country.

Then there are the government's actual policies. In April, Belgians were shocked by the murder of a teenager named Joe Van Holsbeeck, who was stabbed to death in Brussels's central train station by two Gypsy youths, at the height of the afternoon rush hour, in broad view of dozens of onlookers. (Apparently, the killers wanted his MP3 player.)

Amid a pervasive and growing sense of lawlessness -- Belgium's per capita murder rate, at 9.1 per 100,000 is nearly twice that of the U.S. -- the murder became the occasion of much national soul-searching. When Jean-Marie Dedecker, a senator from the ruling Liberal Party, opined in an op-ed that "policemen look the other way in order to avoid being accused of racism," he was rebuked by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt for "inciting hostilities."

There is also the amazing case of journalist Paul Belien, who edits the Brussels Journal, a pro-American, Euroskeptic, anti-Islamist blog. In February, the blog was one of the few news sources to republish the notorious Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammad, thereby attracting some two million unique visits. It also attracted extraordinary scrutiny from the Flemish newsweekly Knack. Noting that Mr. Belien's blog had been cited by Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes, Knack described the link as "no coincidence," but rather a "deliberate provocation by the neocons," the ultimate aim of which was to make Americans and Europeans believe "that all Muslims are violent and dangerous, after which the clash in Palestine, Iran and Syria can really kick off."

But that was as nothing compared to the reaction Mr. Belien provoked by an article following the Van Holsbeeck murder, in which he described the killers as "predators" and called for Belgium to decriminalize the possession of self-defense weapons (pepper-spray is what he says he had mainly in mind).

Two weeks after the article appeared, Mr. Belien received a letter from the Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, a government-mandated body whose mission is to "assist victims of discrimination" and "sensitize the general public on anti-discrimination." (Belgium has one of the strongest anti-discrimination regimes anywhere.) Mr. Belien's article, according to the CEOOR, constituted an "incitement to violence"; he was ordered to remove it from his blog or face state prosecution. He complied. In the meantime, he says he received emails with pictures of burned corpses and messages reading, "This is what is going to happen to you."

Mr. Belien has since been questioned by the police for homeschooling his five children, four of whom have moved on to university or beyond. Part of Mr. Belien's problem, surely, is that his wife is a member in parliament for the Vlaams Belang. But whatever her politics, Mr. Belien is not a member of the party, and nothing on the Brussels Journal suggests that it is a party vehicle. His chief crime, rather, seems to be that he has laid bare, to an English-speaking audience, the lesser-known charms of the Belgian state.

Meanwhile, the real fascists in Belgium are gaining strength, largely protected from scrutiny by the country's "anti-racism" legislation. At Brussels's Imam Reza mosque, a preacher commemorated the 17th anniversary of the Ayatollah Khomeini's death: "The enemies cannot extinguish the light of the Islamic Revolution." And in Molenbeek, the newspaper Het Volk published a study of the local Muslim population: The editor, Gunther Vanpraet, described the commune as "a breeding ground for thousands of Jihad candidates."

The Belgian government may prefer not to notice. But as Magritte might have said, this is not a pipe.
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« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2006, 07:57:49 AM »

The Pope's Real Threat
Captain Ed
Many people have written about the controversy over Pope Benedict's recent
remarks at the University of Regensburg, where he quoted a medieval emperor
about the barbarity of forced religious conversions. In a replay of the
Prophet Cartoon madness, Muslims only escalated their rhetoric after the
Vatican apologized for any offense the quotation may have given followers of
Islam. Despite apologizing Wednesday for quoting Manuel II's words from 1391
(but not for its argument against violence in religion), Muslims burnt
effigies of the Roman Catholic leader and staged demonstrations around the
world:

"Protesters took to the streets in a series of countries with large Muslim
populations, including India and Iraq. The ruling party in Turkey likened
Pope Benedict XVI to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the
mentality of the Crusades. In Kashmir, an effigy of the pontiff was burnt.

At Friday prayers in the Iranian capital, Teheran, a leading ayatollah
described the Pope as "rude and weak-minded". Pakistan's parliament passed a
motion condemning the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Ismail Haniya, the
Palestinian prime minister, criticised him hours after a grenade attack on a
church in the Gaza Strip. ...

The head of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, said the
remarks "aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world".

Similar comments were made in other Muslim capitals, raising fears of a
repetition of the anger that followed the publication of cartoons depicting
the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper earlier this year."

All this has shown is that Muslims missed the point of the speech, and in
fact have endeavored to fulfill Benedict's warnings rather than prove him
wrong. If one reads the speech at Regensburg, the entire speech, one
understands that the entire point was to reject violence in pursuing
religion in any form, be it Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Bahai. The
focal point of the speech was not the recounting of the debate between
Manuel II and the unnamed Persian, but rather the rejection of reason and of
God that violence brings (emphasis mine):

"The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this:
not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The
editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by
Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching,
God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our
categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted
French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to
state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would
oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have
to practise idolatry."

This is really the crux of the argument, which is that argument, debate, and
rhetoric are absolutely essential in forming any kind of philosophy,
including religious doctrine. The words of sacred text do not cover all
situations in the world, and therefore development of a solid philosophical
body of thought is critical to growth and wisdom. That requires the ability
to challenge and to criticize without fear of retribution, a difficulty that
most faiths struggle to overcome.

Islam, on the other hand, doesn't bother to try. Benedict never says this
explicitly, but Islam's demands that all criticism be silenced turns
doctrine into dictatorship, which rejects God on a very basic level. A
central tenet of most religions is that humans lack the divine perfection to
claim knowledge of the totality of the Divine wisdom. Islam practices a form
of supremacy that insists on unquestioned obedience or at least silence of
all criticism, especially from outsiders, and creates a violent reaction
against it when it occurs.

Islam bullies people into silence, and then obedience. We saw this with the
Prophet Cartoons, a series of editorial criticisms that pale into
insignificance when seen against similar cartoons from the Muslim media
regarding Christians and especially Jews. It is precisely this impulse about
which Benedict warns can occur in any religion, but modern Muslims show that
they are by far the widest purveyors of this impulse.

Unfortunately, the Muslims are not the only people who missed the point. The
New York Times editorial board joins Muslims in demanding an apology and an
end to criticism of Islam:

"There is more than enough religious anger in the world. So it is
particularly disturbing that Pope Benedict XVI has insulted Muslims, quoting
a 14th-century description of Islam as "evil and inhuman." ...

Muslim leaders the world over have demanded apologies and threatened to
recall their ambassadors from the Vatican, warning that the pope's words
dangerously reinforce a false and biased view of Islam. For many Muslims,
holy war - jihad - is a spiritual struggle, and not a call to violence. And
they denounce its perversion by extremists, who use jihad to justify murder
and terrorism.

The Vatican issued a statement saying that Benedict meant no offense and in
fact desired dialogue."

The Times missed the point, too. They aren't satisfied with the explanation
offered by the Vatican. They want a "deep and persuasive apology" for
Benedict's temerity in criticizing the use of violence and rejection of
reason in religion, and specifically using a six-hundred-year-old quote that
insulted people who regularly insult everyone else, including other Muslims.
The Times counsels surrender to the threats and the violence.

Benedict opposes both. That's the real threat behind the Pope's speech, and
don't think the radical Muslims don't understand it.

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/008071.php

===========

From a column in the WSJ:

Another AP dispatch quotes a spokeswoman for the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, Tasnim Aslam: "Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence." Aslam's view of Islam can be described, charitably, as passive-aggressive.

If Kapusuz and Aslam are so concerned about Islam's reputation, why don't they denounce those of their coreligionists who do evil and inhuman things in the name of their faith? Most likely because they are afraid of them. In the eyes of a jihadi, a moderate Muslim is something worse than an infidel: an apostate.

By contrast, attacking Benedict is cost-free. After all, how many suicide bombers does the pope have?


===========

The Pope?s Words
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?E-MailPrint Save
 
Published: September 16, 2006
There is more than enough religious anger in the world. So it is particularly disturbing that Pope Benedict XVI has insulted Muslims, quoting a 14th-century description of Islam as ?evil and inhuman.?

In the most provocative part of a speech this week on ?faith and reason,? the pontiff recounted a conversation between an ?erudite? Byzantine Christian emperor and a ?learned? Muslim Persian circa 1391. The pope quoted the emperor saying, ?Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.?

Muslim leaders the world over have demanded apologies and threatened to recall their ambassadors from the Vatican, warning that the pope?s words dangerously reinforce a false and biased view of Islam. For many Muslims, holy war ? jihad ? is a spiritual struggle, and not a call to violence. And they denounce its perversion by extremists, who use jihad to justify murder and terrorism.

The Vatican issued a statement saying that Benedict meant no offense and in fact desired dialogue. But this is not the first time the pope has fomented discord between Christians and Muslims.

In 2004 when he was still the Vatican?s top theologian, he spoke out against Turkey?s joining the European Union, because Turkey, as a Muslim country was ?in permanent contrast to Europe.?

A doctrinal conservative, his greatest fear appears to be the loss of a uniform Catholic identity, not exactly the best jumping-off point for tolerance or interfaith dialogue.

The world listens carefully to the words of any pope. And it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly. He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology, demonstrating that words can also heal.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2006, 09:41:20 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2006, 09:54:18 AM »

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/005938.htm

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« Reply #33 on: September 20, 2006, 12:09:45 PM »

Jihad Enablers
The pope, the protesters & White Guilt.

By Jonah Goldberg

Before you can discuss the manifest seriousness of the latest controversy involving the pope, you have to acknowledge its hilarity. Pope Benedict XVI, in an austere philosophical address, invoked Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, the 14th-century ruler who offered a harsh assessment of Islam. While the Koran says, ?There is no compulsion in religion,? Manuel couldn?t help but notice that Muslims were setting up more franchises in his neighborhood than Starbucks ? and they weren?t doing so by selling the best darn Mocha Frappuccinos on his side of the Bosphorus Straits.

?Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new,? Manuel complained sometime around the siege of Byzantium, ?and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.? Why Pope Benedict quoted Manuel is hotly debated. But one explicit reason was to enunciate the Church?s opposition to using faith to justify violence or intolerance.

And this is where the hilarity comes in. A Pakistani foreign-ministry spokeswoman responded: ?Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence.? 

During Friday prayers in Iran, a senior cleric changed his usual script to denounce the pope, but the crowd of worshippers hadn?t seen the memo, so they chanted back the usual refrain: ?Death to America! Death to Israel!?

In Turkey, protesters demanded that the justice ministry arrest the pope when he visits there this fall and prosecute him for insulting Islam.

And just this week, clerics in Gaza reportedly suggested that the pope convert to Islam to save his own life.

But let us not dare suggest that even a whiff of intolerance can be detected in the Islamic world. If you say otherwise, I will cut off your head.

It may be amusing to note how so many Muslims are eager to confirm a stereotype in the process of denouncing that very stereotype, but it?s not so funny when they put their jihad where the mouth is. Churches were attacked in the West Bank and a nun in Somalia was murdered, allegedly in reaction to the pope?s comments. Al Qaeda?s franchise in Iraq announced ?We shall break the cross and spill the wine. ... God will (help) Muslims to conquer Rome. ... (May) God enable us to slit their throats.?

But this isn?t primarily about al Qaeda or even the war on terror. Note that the parliaments and governments of Islamic nations ? our allies in the war on terror ? have been at the forefront of the anti-pope backlash.

The many learned disquisitions on the pope?s speech notwithstanding, this isn?t about theology either. After all, no serious person can take lectures on religious tolerance from the Muslim world very seriously. Spare me tales of Jewish accommodation in the 15th century. Today, throughout the Muslim world, Jew-hatred and Christian-bashing are commonplace, state-sanctioned and fashionable.

No, this is about us. The best book for illuminating what?s going on in the Muslim ?street? isn?t some weighty treatise on Islam; it?s a short little tract called White Guilt by Shelby Steele. The book isn?t even about Islam. Steele focuses on white liberals and the black radicals who?ve been gaming them ever since the 1960s. Whites, he argues, have internalized their own demonization. Deep down they fear that maybe they are imperialistic, racist bastards, and they are desperate to prove otherwise. In America, black radicals figured this out a while ago and have been dunning liberal whites ever since.

The West is caught in a similarly dysfunctional cycle of extortion and intimidation with Islam, but on a grander and far more violent scale. Whether it?s the pope?s comments or some Danish cartoons, self-appointed spokesmen for the Islamic street say, ?You have offended a billion Muslims,? which really means, ?There are so many of us, you should watch out.? And if you didn?t get the message, just look around for the burning embassies and murdered infidels. They?re not hard to find.

In response, the West apologizes and apologizes. Radical Muslims, who are not stupid, take note and become emboldened by these displays of weakness and capitulation. And the next time, they demand two pounds of flesh. Meanwhile, the entire global conversation starts from the assumption that the West is doing something wrong by tolerating freedom of speech, among other things.

This week, French President Jacques Chirac explained that everyone in the West must avoid everything that sparks tensions. In other words, we must forever be held hostage by the tactical outrage of a global mob. There?s nothing funny about that.

?2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDdjNzM2ZjZkYzc3NWExYzk1YWVhY2FhMDc4YmJmM2I=
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« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2006, 12:49:43 PM »

Submit or die: An offer infidels can't refuse?
Commentary
By CLIFFORD D. MAY
Many commentators have noted the apparent irony: The pope suggests Islam encourages violence _ and Muslims riot in protest.

Many commentators have pointed out the apparent hypocrisy: Muslims are outraged by cartoons satirizing Islamic extremism while in Muslim countries Christianity and Judaism are attacked viciously and routinely.

Many commentators are missing the point: These protestors _ and those who incite them _ are not asking for mutual respect and equality. They are not saying: "It's wrong to speak ill of a religion." They are saying: "It's wrong to speak ill of our religion." They are not standing up for a principle. They are laying down the law. They are making it as clear as they can that they will not tolerate "infidels" criticizing Muslims. They also are making it clear that infidels should expect criticism _ and much worse _ from Muslims.

They are attempting nothing less than the establishment of a new world order in which the supremacy of what they call the Nation of Islam is acknowledged, and "unbelievers" submit _ or die. Call it an offer you can't refuse.

If you don't understand this, listen harder. In London, Anjem Choudary told Muslim demonstrators that Pope Benedict XVI deserves to be killed for daring to quote a Byzantine emperor's description of Islam as a religion "spread by the sword."

"The Muslims take their religion very seriously," Choudary explained as if to a disobedient child, "and non-Muslims must appreciate that and must also understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam and the prophet. Whoever insults the message of Mohammed is going to be subject to capital punishment."

Iraqi insurgents _ some Europeans admiringly call them "the resistance" _ posted on the Internet a video of a scimitar, a symbol of Islam, slicing a cross in half. It would be a stretch to interpret this as a plea for interfaith understanding.

In Iran, the powerful imam Ahmad Khatami said the pope "should fall on his knees in front of a senior Muslim cleric." In no culture of which I am aware is that a posture from which brother addresses brother.

Dr. Imad Hamto, a Palestinian religious leader, said: "We want to use the words of the Prophet Muhammad and tell the pope: 'Aslim Taslam' "

The Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh explained: "Aslim Taslam is a phrase that was taken from the letters sent by the Prophet Muhammad to the chiefs of tribes in his times in which he reportedly urged them to convert to Islam to spare their lives."

It is not only those readily identified as extremists who voice such views. The prime minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, seemed to strike a conciliatory note, saying that the pope's expression of regret for his remarks was "acceptable." But he added: "(W)e hope there are no more statements that can anger the Muslims."

Similarly, on National Public Radio, a George Washington University professor, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, argued that statements such as those quoted by the pope _ expressing sentiments some Muslims may find offensive _ must be viewed as a form of violence.

Is the Western ideal of freedom of speech and of the press threatened? Of course. But that's only part of what is at work here. More significantly, Americans and Europeans are being relegated to the status of a dhimmi _ the Arabic word applied to those conquered by Muslim armies between the 7th and 17th centuries. Based on shari'a law, dhimmis are meant to "feel themselves subdued," to acknowledge their inferiority compared to Muslims.

In some ways, we already have done so. For example, Muslims are welcome in the Vatican, even as Christians are banned from setting foot in Mecca. We do not object to Saudis building mosques in America and Europe even as they prohibit churches and synagogues on Arabian soil.

We pledge to abide by the Geneva Conventions when waging wars against Muslim combatants. We expect those combatants to follow the same rules. They are engaged in a jihad and they will show no mercy to infidel soldiers or even to infidel journalists. The "international community" does not seriously protest. With our silence, we consent to inequality.

Most of the world's Muslims are neither rioting nor calling for the death of the pontiff. But quite a few may reason that if Christians and Jews haven't the confidence to reject dhimmitude and defend freedom, they would be foolish to stick their necks out. After all, a Muslim who challenges the Islamic extremeists brands himself as an apostate _ as deserving of death as any uppity pope.

http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/13428
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« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2006, 09:00:35 AM »

Opera Canceled Over a Depiction of Muhammad
 Claudia Esch-Kenkel/European Pressphoto Agency, 2003
A scene added to ?Idomeneo,? shown in a 2003 rehearsal, includes Muhammad and other religious figures.
? ? ?
By JUDY DEMPSEY and MARK LANDLER
Published: September 27, 2006

BERLIN, Sept. 26 ? A leading German opera house has canceled performances of a Mozart opera because of security fears stirred by a scene that depicts the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad, prompting a storm of protest here about what many see as the surrender of artistic freedom.

In the scene that offended Muslims and led to security fears, a king places the severed heads of religious leaders on chairs.
The Deutsche Oper Berlin said Tuesday that it had pulled ?Idomeneo? from its fall schedule after the police warned of an ?incalculable risk? to the performers and the audience.

The company?s director, Kirsten Harms, said she regretted the decision but felt she had no choice. She said she was told in August that the police had received an anonymous threat, but she acted only after extensive deliberations.

Political and cultural figures throughout Germany condemned the cancellation. Some said it recalled the decision of European newspapers not to reprint satirical cartoons about Muhammad, after their publication in Denmark generated a furor among Muslims.

Wolfgang B?rnsen, a culture spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel?s conservative bloc in Parliament, accused the opera house of ?falling on its knees before the terrorists.?

?It is a signal to other stages in Germany, or even elsewhere in Europe, to put no works on their programs that criticize Islam,? he said.

The disputed scene is not part of Mozart?s opera, but was added by the director, Hans Neuenfels. In it, the king of Crete, Idomeneo, carries the heads of Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha and Poseidon on to the stage, placing each on a stool.

?Idomeneo,? first performed in 1781, tells a mythical story of Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea, who toys with men?s lives and demands spiteful sacrifice.

The cancellation of the performances fanned a debate in Europe about whether the West is compromising values like free expression to avoid stoking anger in the Muslim world.

Already in Germany, there is growing sentiment that Pope Benedict XVI may have overdone his contrition for a recent speech in Bavaria, in which he cited a historical reference to Islam as ?evil and inhuman.? The speech set off waves of protests in Muslim countries.

The interior minister, Wolfgang Sch?uble, who has defended the pope and called for more dialogue with Muslims in Europe, said canceling the opera was unacceptable and ?crazy.?

Michael Naumann, a former German culture minister, said, ?It?s a slap in the face of artistic freedom, by the artists themselves.? Mr. Naumann, now the publisher of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, added, ?The pope showed the way by being so extraordinarily apologetic.?

The sulfurous public reaction prompted some people to speculate that the decision might eventually be reversed.

Ms. Harms said the ?Idomeneo? production, which was first staged by the Deutsche Oper in 2003, would remain on the opera?s program. It could be performed later, she said, though she would have to consider the political and diplomatic aspects of ?this complex issue.?

The scene with the severed heads aroused controversy among Muslims and Christians when the Deutsche Oper first staged it. But the company was not the target of any organized protests, and the Deutsche Oper put four performances on its calendar for this November.

Then, in August, came the anonymous threat.

?All this came in light of the cartoon controversy,? said a police spokesman, Uwe Kozelnik. ?We started to investigate and finally concluded that disturbances could not be ruled out.?

While the police said they did not pressure the Deutsche Oper to cancel the opera, they supported the decision.

Berlin?s chief security official, Ehrhart K?rting, drew a parallel between the decision and that of German newspapers earlier this year to resist reprinting the cartoons depicting Muhammad.

?Even the German journalists? association criticized the reprinting of the cartoons because their publication could hurt the religious feelings of one group of people,? Mr. K?rting said in a statement.

Muslim leaders in Germany reacted cautiously. Several planned to participate in a conference on Wednesday organized by the government to foster a better dialogue with Germany?s 3.2 million Muslims.

The leader of the Islamic Council, Ali Kizilkaya, told a radio station in Berlin that he welcomed the cancellation, saying a depiction of decapitated Muhammad ?could certainly offend Muslims.?

?Nevertheless, of course, I think it is horrible that one has to be afraid,? Mr. Kizilkaya said, according to The Associated Press. ?That is not the right way to open dialogue.?

The head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Ayyub Axel K?hler, declined to comment on the decision, saying he wanted to learn more about the circumstances.

Those circumstances appear to be in some dispute.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Ms. Harms said she broached the possibility of removing the offending scene with Mr. Neuenfels. When he resisted, she let the matter drop.


However, a lawyer for Mr. Neuenfels, Peter Raue, said Ms. Harms telephoned the director on Sept. 9 to tell him she planned to cancel the performances. The issue of tinkering with the ending never came up, Mr. Raue said, and in any event, ?you couldn?t change it; it is part of the story.?

The scene devised by Mr. Neuenfels puts a sanguinary ending on an opera that, in the way Mozart wrote it, ends with King Idomeneo giving up his throne to appease the god of the sea, and blessing the romantic union of his son Idamante with the Greek princess Ilia.

The severed heads of the religious figures, Mr. Raue said, was meant by Mr. Neuenfels to make a point that ?all the founders of religions were figures that didn?t bring peace to the world.?

Andr? Kraft, spokesman for Komische Oper, a more adventurous opera house where Mr. Neuenfels is engaged in another Mozart production, described the 65-year-old director as ?a secularist who does not believe religion solves the problems of the world.?

For the Deutsche Oper, the cancellation is a major crisis for a prestigious opera company that has been in transition. Founded in 1912 as the Deutsches Opernhaus, the company moved to its present building in western Berlin in 1961, opening with a production of Mozart?s ?Don Giovanni.?

Ms. Harms was appointed director in 2004, coming from a less prominent opera house in the northern German city of Kiel. While there, she said, she faced a bomb threat to the opera house. Ms. Harms plans to present her first production, a little-known work by Alberto Franchetti called ?Germania,? on Oct. 15.

Some critics of the decision to cancel said it revealed the weaknesses of Berlin?s generously supported cultural institutions.

?Because they are subsidized by the German state, there is a great deal of artistic independence, but also a lack of accountability and intellectual rigor,? said Gary Smith, the director of the American Academy in Berlin.

The practice of updating classical operas ? often with current political or social themes ? is common in Germany. But the cancellation of ?Idomeneo? could make this production a landmark of another kind.

?I?ve never heard of something like this, or even similar to it,? said Nikolaus Lehnhoff, a prominent German opera director. ?I have seen many politically incorrect performances in Berlin. I think the reaction to the pope?s speech has sensitized the cultural scene.?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2006, 09:03:53 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2006, 04:54:42 PM »

Lileks: Now history is off limits lest we offend Islamicists
James Lileks, NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE
Monday, September 25, 2006

Clip and save, for this may come in handy: If you mock Islam with a drawing or a novel, you get riots and dead people. News of mishandled holy books yields riots and dead people. Insufficiently reverent short films by a Dutchman yields a dead person, specifically the Dutchman.

Now we add this detail: Quoting medieval religious colloquies is a reasonable justification for burning churches, shooting a nun and holding up signs demanding that the pope convert to Islam or saw off his own head. (There have been reports of carpal tunnel syndrome among radical Islam's enforcers, and they have requested we all help out.)

This is a new twist: Now history itself cannot be discussed. Since it's difficult to predict what else will enflame the devout, Islam has to be treated with unusual deference, like a 3-year-old child with anger management problems.

But it's not what we say that truly offends. It's what we are. The West's lack of interest in joining the Ummah is an affront in itself, and we broadcast our sins in High Infidelity. If you believed that the West's apostasy was an affront to God, you'd spend your leisure hours torching straw popes, too.

Progressives at home and abroad seem oddly unconcerned. "Islamophobia," after all, is just a product of the BushCo junta's relentless fearmongering, and Benedict is the Nazi pope who personally swipes the condoms from people's bedroom drawers.

But it's an inconvenient truth, to coin a phrase, when the ranters show up with vibrating uvulas demanding the pope's assassination. (Would they be satisfied with a docudrama version? It would go over big at Cannes.)

It's inconvenient when glowering young men line the walk outside Westminster Abbey with anti-pope signs, thereby showing that England's radical Muslims have sunk to the level of idiots who protest funerals with "GOD HATES FAGS" placards. Such images cause a momentary pang of dismay among some: That's not helpful, chaps. Not helpful at all.

See, the real problem is the West and its bluenose brigade, its Wal-Marts and Hummers and Big Gulp lifestyles. The Christianists, as some clever equivocators call them, are an impediment to Utopia as great as the terrorists. No less a philosopher than Rosie O'Donnell said so on "The View" recently, proclaiming Christian fundamentalists and Islamicists equal threats to America. They're both judgmental ? boo, hiss! ? and that makes them equal.

O'Donnell had a point, one supposes. Using the legislative process to pass faith-based initiatives, driving jets into skyscrapers: madness, everywhere.

At the risk of making a generalization: The secular right seems more tolerant of Christianity, and skeptical toward large swaths of Islam. The secular left often seems annoyed and contemptuous towards American religion ? unless the pastor on the dais insists Jesus would have been a board member of Planned Parenthood ? and oddly protective of Islam. Not because they believe in it; heavens, no. Some progressives are simply besotted by any civilization not their own.

Others have no vocabulary to oppose its more radical manifestations, because, well, we cannot judge other cultures. (Unless they're in the American South.) Others are less concerned by Islamicists because they have greater dislike for the people who oppose radical Islam, who are probably bigots. (Boo, hiss!) When those theo-neos get tough on radical Islam, it's just a convenient mask for their dislike of the Scary Non-Christian Dusky Hordes. Besides, what about the Crusades and the Inquisition? Huh? OK, then.

Thus the most enlightened and well-intentioned beneficiaries of the human civilization excuse or wish away the words of their most implacable opponents. It'll take something drastic to change their minds. A dirty bomb? Maybe. A demonstration in Pakistan in favor of Wal-Mart? That would certainly reorder some opinions.

In the meantime, we will learn to say less and less about more and more. As the grim cliche has it: If you say Islam isn't always a religion of peace, the Islamicists will kill you. This doesn't make them hypocrites, of course. The grave is a very peaceful place.
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« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2006, 07:43:20 PM »

FWIW, my seat-of-the-pants impression is that the response to the Pope and now to this opera is a lot milder in some Muslim quarters see e.g. the Turkish-German leader's response in the following.  Still, plenty of stupidity to go around , , ,
=========
Opera reignites Islam row after cancelling production
By Devika Bhat and agencies
 
 
 


 
 

A leading German opera house has been condemned by senior politicians and security officials for its "crazy" decision to cancel a production featuring the severed head of Muhammad because of security concerns.

Deutsche Oper halted the production of Mozart's Idomeneo after Berlin officials warned of an "incalculable risk" because of scenes dealing with Islam.  The move has reignited the debate about free speech which was triggered in the row over published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Kirsten Harms, director of the Deutsche Oper, told the Berliner Morgenpost that the Berlin state police had warned of a possible, although not certain, threat in regard to the production, which is scheduled for November.

She said that it would be in the best interests of the safety of the opera house, its employees and patrons to cancel the show, which will be replaced by The Marriage of Figaro and La Traviata.

After its premiere in 2003, the production by Hans Neuenfels drew widespread criticism over the scene in which King Idomeneo presents the severed heads not only of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, but also of Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad.

"We know the consequences of the conflict over the (Muhammad) caricatures," the opera house said in a statement. "We believe that needs to be taken very seriously and hope for your support."

Ms Harms defended her decision saying that Ehrhart Koerting, Berlin's top police official, had phoned her in mid-August and warned her of grave consequences if the opera house proceeded with its plan to show Idomeneo

"If I had paid no attention and something had happened, everyone would rightly say that I had ignored the warnings," she said.

Police have said their concern was prompted by an anonymous phone call in June, but they had no evidence of a specific threat. Mr Koerting issued a statement confirming the conversation, but said that the decision to cancel had been Ms Harms's alone.

The decision comes in the wake of a speech by German-born Pope Benedict XVI which infuriated Muslims by citing a 14th century Byzantine emperor as linking the spread of Islam with violence.

This year, furious protests also erupted after a Danish newspaper published 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Those caricatures were then reprinted by dozens of newspapers and websites across Europe and elsewhere.

Islamic law is interpreted to forbid any depiction of Muhammad for fear it could lead to idolatry.

Wolfgang Schaeuble, Interior Minister and Germany's top security official, condemned the decision, which came ahead of a conference on Islam planned for Wednesday to discuss ways of improving dialogue and integration with the country's Muslim community.

"That is crazy," he told reporters in Washington, where he was holding meetings with US officials. "This is unacceptable."

Wolfgang Thierse, the Deputy Parliamentary Speaker, said that the decision to cancel highlighted a new threat to artistic expression in Germany.

"This is a very dangerous sign about fears of violence motivated by Islam in Germany," he told the Reuters news agency. "Has it come so far that we must limit artistic expression? What will be next?"

Peter Ramsauer, head of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) in parliament, said the move pointed to a "naked fear of violence" and called it an act of "pure cowardice".

Klaus Wowereit, Berlin's Mayor, said that "with all understanding for the concern about the security of spectators and performers, I consider the decision of the director to be wrong."

He said: "Our ideas about openness, tolerance and freedom must be lived out on the offensive. Voluntary self-limitation gives those who fight against our values a confirmation in advance that we will not stand behind them."

Bernd Neumann, the federal government's top cultural official, added that "problems cannot be solved by keeping silent."

"When the concern over possible protests leads to self-censorship, then the democratic culture of free speech becomes endangered," he said.

However, the leader of Germany's Islamic Council welcomed the decision, saying a depiction of Muhammad with a severed head "could certainly offend Muslims."

"Nevertheless, of course I think it is horrible that one has to be afraid," Ali Kizilkaya told Berlin's Radio Multikulti. "That is not the right way to open dialogue."

Berlin Police Chief Dieter Glietsch told Germany's rbb radio that "one can find nothing wrong if, in a climate that's already tense between Islam and the Western world, people avoid heating up the situation further through a scene that can, and perhaps even must, be taken as provocative by pious Muslims."

The leader of Germany's Turkish Community said that while he could understand how the production could be seen as offensive, he also encouraged Muslims living in the West to accept certain elements of its traditions, saying that an opera production was not equivalent to a political point of view.

"I would recommend Muslims learn to accept certain things," Kenan Kolat told the online Netzeitung newspaper. "Art must remain free."

About 3.2 million Muslims live in Germany, mainly Turks who arrived after the Second World War, many of whom contributed to the nation's postwar economic boom.

Fears of Islamic radicalisation have increased recently, aggravated by a failed bomb attack on two German trains in July. Two Lebanese students have been arrested in relation to the plot.

 
 
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« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2006, 12:49:13 PM »

Little Green Footballs blog follows up on the initial ruckus:
=======================================

Saturday, September 30, 2006
Denmark Exports Soaring
How one of the biggest rows of modern times helped Danish exports to prosper. (Hat tip: Moonbat Media.)

While Danish milk products were dumped in the Middle East, fervent rightwing Americans started buying Bang & Olufsen stereos and Lego. In the first quarter of this year Denmark?s exports to the US soared 17%. The British writer Christopher Hitchens organised a buy-Danish campaign. Among the thousands of emails sent to Rose was one from an American soldier serving in Iraq. ?He told me he was sitting in Iraq, watching a game of football and drinking a can of Carlsberg,? Rose said.

Rose is not the only person to have prospered from the crisis. Re-elected last year, Mr Rasmussen last week became Denmark?s longest-serving Liberal prime minister. Danish troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than this, his sceptical line on immigration appears to have been vindicated as other EU countries follow suit.

This article is a good example of how twisted the discourse on this issue has become. Apparently, the Guardian?s viewpoint is that only ?fervent rightwingers? could actually support Denmark?s battle for free speech?when it would be difficult to find a more ?liberal? cause than the right to free expression.

The subheadline for the article?s another howler:

One year on, protagonists have few regrets despite deaths of more than 139 people.

As if the Danes should ?regret? violence and murder they did not perpetrate. Why do Guardian writers never seem to think the raging Muslim mobs need to regret anything?

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=22777_Denmark_Exports_Soaring&only
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« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2006, 07:33:22 AM »

Interesting that some of the response seems to be less or even non-violent this time:
================

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood denounces what it calls 'new Danish insults' to Islam
The Associated Press

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2006

CAIRO, Egypt Egypt's largest Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, on Saturday denounced what it called "new Danish insults" to Islam and urged the world to boycott countries that allow offenses to all religions.

The Brotherhood's condemnation came a day after word spread about a Web video showing young members of a populist Danish political party mocking Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

The video showed people in their 20s and 30s participating in a drawing contest at a summer camp for the Danish People's Party Youth last August. They appeared to have been drinking alcohol.

The footage shows a woman presenting a drawing of a camel and saying it has "the head of Muhammad" and beer bottles as humps. The group laughs as the woman, who was not identified, explained the drawing.

"Muslims are shocked by this new Danish insult," the Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement issued Saturday. It described the drawing as "the ugliest for God's most honorable human being, peace be upon him."

Kenneth Christensen, chairman of the Danish People's Party Youth ? known for its anti-immigration stance ? refused to apologize Friday for the actions of its members, but acknowledged they were problematic.

"It is bad style because it overshadows our political line," Christensen said. But he added that he believed it was "OK to poke fun at Muhammad, Jesus or Bill Clinton."

The Brotherhood, which enjoys wide popularity in Egypt and across the Arab World, urged Muslims on Saturday to boycott products from Denmark and any other country that would allow such an "insult."

It also called on Muslims to "express denouncement through peaceful means, by demonstrations and protests."

The drawings depicted in the video, like the pope's comments about Islam earlier this month and Danish cartoons mocking Muhammad last year, were likely to provoke Muslims and could trigger a new round of angry demonstrations all around the world.

"The repetition of such actions is evidence of the depth of enmity carried by certain sectors in the West toward Islam and the prophet," the Brotherhood statement said.

In September 2005, the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten printed drawings of the Prophet Muhammad. Four months later, they were reprinted in a range of Western media, triggering protests from Morocco to Indonesia.

Some Islamic leaders called for the cartoonists to be killed. Throughout the crisis, the Danish government resisted calls to apologize for the cartoons and said it could not be held responsible for the actions of Denmark's independent media.

Islamic law is interpreted to forbid any depiction of the prophet for fear it could lead to idolatry.



8 October 2006



JAKARTA - A video lampooning the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) broadcast in Denmark has angered groups in Indonesia, the world?s largest Muslim-majority nation.


Denmark?s national TV2 channel on Friday broadcast excerpts from the video showing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a beer-drinking camel and as a drunken terrorist attacking Copenhagen.

The video, filmed in August, was made by members of the far-right Danish People?s Party.

It shows the Prophet being mocked during a summer party, with some portraying Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as dressed in a turban and wearing a belt with explosives, as others look on and laugh.

?In Islam, death is the penalty for insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), visually through a caricature or verbally, except if the doer regrets his deed and promises not to repeat it,? said Fausan Al Ansori, a spokesman for the hardline Indonesian Muhajehdin Council.

He added: ?Danish authorities should think seriously, are they going to defend, in the name of human rights, one or two of its citizens who clearly insulted the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and sacrifice its relations with the Islamic world??

The Danish embassy in Jakarta had to close down for weeks in Februaryfollowing angry protests over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) published in the European nation and reprinted elsewhere.

Muslims consider all images of the Prophet to be blasphemous.

?I remind the Danish government, do not provoke (us). If the government of Denmark cannot maintain harmony, it will have to bear the risks,? said Tifatul Sembiring, the head of the Prosperous Justice Party, in a Detikcom online report.

?A state system should be able to control its citizens. (  shocked )  It is very regretful that provocation is repeating itself without the (Danish) government doing anything,? Sembiring said.

Amidhan, the chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, the country?s highest authority on Islam, criticised the caricature of the Prophet.

?I cannot accept this. Denmark should give attention to this because no matter what, the country also bears responsibility over the actions of its citizens,? he told ElShinta radio.
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« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2006, 03:22:01 AM »

Let them speak for themselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axgxyrBB31Y&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pDu4YS5To0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ery38_v5SqA&mode=related&search=
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« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2006, 02:31:46 PM »

Dissent Crushed
By Adam Brodsky
New York Post | November 20, 2006


Muslims are often accused of not speaking out sufficiently against terrorism. Nonie Darwish knows one reason why: Their fellow Muslims won't let them.
Darwish, who comes from Egypt and was born and raised a Muslim, was set to tell students at Brown University about the twisted hatred and radicalism she grew to despise in her own culture. A campus Jewish group, Hillel, had contacted her to speak there Thursday.

But the event was just called off.

Muslim students had complained that Darwish was "too controversial." They insisted she be denied a platform at Brown, and after contentious debate Hillel agreed.

Weird: No one had said boo about such Brown events as a patently anti-Israel "Palestinian Solidarity Week." But Hillel said her "offensive" statements about Islam "alarmed" the Muslim Student Association, and Hillel didn't want to upset its "beautiful relationship" with the Muslim community.

Plus, Brown's women's center backed out of co-sponsoring the event, even though it shares Darwish's concerns about the treatment of women. Reportedly, part of the problem was that Darwish had no plans to condemn Israel for shooting Arab women used by terrorists as human shields, or for insufficiently protecting Israeli Arab wives from their husbands.

In plugging their ears to Darwish, Brown's Muslim students proved her very point: Muslims who attempt constructive self-criticism are quickly and soundly squelched - by other Muslims.

"Speaking out for human rights, women's rights, equality or even peace with Israel is a taboo that can have serious consequences" in the Arab world, Darwish says. In part to drive home that point, she wrote a book, just out. Its title says it all: "Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror."

Darwish argues that her own community - in the Middle East and in America - is hostile to criticism, even from Muslims. After 9/11, she says, many in Egypt refused to believe that Muslims were responsible. Instead, they blamed "the Zionist conspiracy."

From her childhood in the '50s, she's seen seething animosity toward Jews, Israel, America and non-believers generally pervert her culture. "I asked myself, as a Muslim Arab child, was I ever taught peace? The answer is no. We learned just the opposite: honor and pride can only come from jihad and martyrdom."

In elementary schools in Gaza, where she lived until age 8, Darwish learned "vengeance and retaliation. Peace," she says, "was considered a sign of defeat and weakness."

An event in 1996 inflamed her longstanding frustration with her community. Her brother suffered a stroke while in Gaza, and his Egyptian friends and relatives all agreed: To save his life, he needed to go to Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, not to Cairo. Even though they had spent their lives demeaning Israelis - and boasting of Arab supremacy.

Hadassah saved her brother's life; understandably, her appreciation for Jews and Israelis grew. Today Darwish preaches not only the almost embarrassing lengths to which Jews go to seek dialogue and peace, but also their cultural, political, scientific and economic contributions.

Such notions from anyone in the Arab Muslim world are indeed rare. But Darwish isn't just anyone: Her father was killed by Israelis. Yet she doesn't blame the Jewish state - for her father was Lt. Col. Mustafa Hafaz, an Egyptian who headed one of the modern world's first terrorist groups, the anti-Israel fedayeen in Gaza.

Hafaz's terrorists killed hundreds, maybe thousands, of Israelis in cross-border attacks. Of course the Israelis fought back. Darwish realized that Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdul Nasser, who controlled Gaza, had sent her father to a certain death.

Hafaz became a shahid - a martyr for jihad - and that bought Darwish's family great status. She'd rather have had her father alive.

Darwish's message is invaluable for our age. Too few Arabs and Muslims share her desire for peace with Israel, equality and cultural reform; too few speak - in their living rooms or mosques - about the need to root out radicals from among them. When one Muslim voice does raise such sentiments, it deserves to be heard. Too bad the young Muslims (and their Jewish enablers) at Brown won't hear it.

And if those values can't be espoused in America - land of tolerance and free speech - well, what hope is there for meaningful cultural change?
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« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2006, 02:47:05 PM »

Second post of the day

A Muslim writes a "Islam is against terrorism" letter to the editor, is kicked out of his mosque, and is threatened with violence.

====================
Posted November 27, 2006 12:50 PM  Hide Post
http://www.tulsaworld.com/NewsStory.asp?ID=061029_Op_G4_Messa31453

Readers Forum: Message of Islam is not jihad, fatwahs
By JAMAL MIFTAH
10/29/2006


I moved to the United States in March 2003, with my four kids and wife from Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. There was a call by a local jihadi organization to fight the coalition forces in Afghanistan. One of my dearest friends, Mirza Kohistani, fell prey to that call and joined the group, despite my advice and that of his wife to him.

All the leaders of that organization returned safely after the fall of the Taliban empire, but they left behind the body of my friend and hundreds of other innocent people like him.

I am obliged to respond to Ayman al-Zawahri's recent video message, portraying himself as champion of Islam and others as liars.

My message to Ayman al-Zawahri and Muslims of the world: "Islam" means submission and is derived from a word meaning "peace." Islam, Christianity and Judaism have the same origin, the Prophet Abraham. The prophet of Islam has said that God has no mercy on someone who does not have mercy for others.

I ask that al-Zawahri look at his deeds and those of his master, Osama bin Laden, and other so-called Islamic jihadists.

Because of lack of knowledge of Islam, Muslim youth are misguided into believing by the so-called champions of the cause of Islam that the current spate of killings and barbarism, which has no equal in the recent civilized history, is jihad in the name of Islam. They are incited, in the name of Islam, to commit heinous crimes not pardonable by any religion and strictly forbidden in Islam.

Cowards like al-Zawahri and bin Laden are inciting the ignorant and innocent youths to commit suicide bombings to kill innocent civilians including children, women and the elderly, while they hide in spider holes and caves. They never send their own sons and daughters, born out of half a dozen of their wives, to get killed in the name of Islam. They are themselves hypo crites, cowards, thugs and liars. For 12 years they misappropriated aid received from the U.S. and the West to fight Russia. Now they are ensuring smooth flow of petro dollars from Arab countries in the name of jihad against the West.

Even mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. and around the world have become tools in their hands and are used for collecting funds for their criminal acts. Half of the funds collected go into the pockets of their local agents and the rest are sent to these thugs.

They are the reason for branding the peaceful religion of Islam as terrorism. The result, therefore, is in the form of Danish cartoons and remarks/reference by the Pope.

I appeal to the Muslim youth in particular and Muslims of the world in general to rise up and start jihad against the killers of humanity and help the civilized world to bring these culprits to justice and prove that Islam is not a religion of hatred and aggression.

I appeal to the Muslim clerics around the world that, rather than issuing empty fatwas condemning suicide bombing, they should issue a fatwa for the death of such scoundrels and barbarians who have taken more than 4,267 lives of innocent people in the name of Islam and have carried out more than 24 terrorist attacks on civilian installations throughout the world. This does not include the chilling number of deaths because of such activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is well over 250,000.

I appeal to al-Zawahri and his band of thugs to hand themselves over to justice and stop spreading evil and killing innocent humans around the world in the name of Islam. Their time is limited and Muslims of the world will soon rise against them to apprehend them and bring them to justice.


Jamal Miftah is a resident of Tulsa.

===============
Now see a news clip about the response from the leaders and some others in his in his mosque.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=23480_Why_We_Rarely_Hear_from_Moderate_Muslims&only


 
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« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2006, 04:25:14 PM »

Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
February 7, 2006

The key issue at stake in the battle over the twelve Danish cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad is this: 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.

More specifically, will Westerners accede to a double standard by which Muslims are free to insult Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, while Muhammad, Islam, and Muslims enjoy immunity from insults? Muslims routinely publish cartoons far more offensive than the Danish ones . Are they entitled to dish it out while being insulated from similar indignities?


 Germany's Die Welt newspaper hinted at this issue in an editorial: "The protests from Muslims would be taken more seriously if they were less hypocritical. When Syrian television showed drama documentaries in prime time depicting rabbis as cannibals, the imams were quiet." Nor, by the way, have imams protested the stomping on the Christian cross embedded in the Danish flag.
The deeper issue here, however, is not Muslim hypocrisy but Islamic supremacism. The Danish editor who published the cartoons, Flemming Rose, explained that if Muslims insist "that I, as a non-Muslim, should submit to their taboos ... they're asking for my submission."
Precisely. Robert Spencer rightly called on the free world to stand "resolutely with Denmark." The informative Brussels Journal asserts, "We are all Danes now." Some governments get it:
Norway: "We will not apologize because in a country like Norway, which guarantees freedom of expression, we cannot apologize for what the newspapers print," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg commented.
Germany: "Why should the German government apologize [for German papers publishing the cartoons]? This is an expression of press freedom," Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble said.
France: "Political cartoons are by nature excessive. And I prefer an excess of caricature to an excess of censorship," Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy commented.
Other governments wrongly apologized:
Poland: "The bounds of properly conceived freedom of expression have been overstepped," Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz stated.
United Kingdom: "The republication of these cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong," Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said.
New Zealand: "Gratuitously offensive," is how Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton described the cartoons.
United States: "Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable," a State Department press officer, Janelle Hironimus, said.
Strangely, as "Old Europe" finds its backbone, the Anglosphere quivers. So awful was the American government reaction, it won the endorsement of the country's leading Islamist organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. This should come as no great surprise, however, for Washington has a history of treating Islam preferentially. On two earlier occasions it also faltered in cases of insults concerning Muhammad.
In 1989, Salman Rushdie came under a death edict from Ayatollah Khomeini for satirizing Muhammad in his magical-realist novel, The Satanic Verses. Rather than stand up for the novelist's life, President George H.W. Bush equated The Satanic Verses and the death edict, calling both "offensive." The then secretary of state, James A. Baker III, termed the edict merely "regrettable."

Even worse, in 1997 when an Israeli woman distributed a poster of Muhammad as a pig, the American government shamefully abandoned its protection of free speech. On behalf of President Bill Clinton, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns called the woman in question "either sick or ? evil" and stated that "She deserves to be put on trial for these outrageous attacks on Islam." The State Department endorses a criminal trial for protected speech? Stranger yet was the context of this outburst. As I noted at the time, having combed through weeks of State Department briefings, I "found nothing approaching this vituperative language in reference to the horrors that took place in Rwanda, where hundreds of thousands lost their lives. To the contrary, Mr. Burns was throughout cautious and diplomatic."

Western governments should take a crash course on Islamic law and the historically-abiding Muslim imperative to subjugate non-Muslim peoples. They might start by reading the forthcoming book by Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale).

Peoples who would stay free must stand unreservedly with Denmark.
_________
Additions:
The cartoon above was drawn by J.J. McCullough of www.filibustercartoons.com and is posted with permission.
For those who wish to "Buy Danish," a list of products to purchase can be found at End the Boycott.
_________
From www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: www.danielpipes.org/article/3360
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« Reply #44 on: December 18, 2006, 10:38:57 AM »

Looks like they're going to hold that "beheading" opera in Germany after all.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/12/18/now-showing-in-berlin-muhammad-beheaded/
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« Reply #45 on: December 18, 2006, 12:26:57 PM »

This comes from a web site that looks interesting. I'll be checking it out further as time permits:

http://www.metransparent.com/english.html


17 December 2006
 
Carnage amongst brothers and the vain nirvana of global Caliphate…
Iqbal Latif
 
Radicals are the greatest proponents of Islamic unity and caliphate. The unique method to reach this unison is mesmerising. The formula is simple: first, eliminate any opposing thought and then impose spiritual unity from top down. Definitely unity can only be achieved by force. The last time a universal Islamic Ottoman Caliphate existed under Selim the grim, Mamluks and Saffvids lost their dynasties. Might and conquest was an integral part of previous ideological unity. In an environment where state craft has become part and parcel of the new world, the radicals are selling a dream of nirvana where 'great Islamic unity' will under a caliph achieve the dominance that Islam is missing today. To achieve that, elimination of dissent is the primary object; nothing can be resolved peacefully hence bloodshed is a convenient tool of statecraft.
 
A quick expanse of the hotspots in the Islamic world reveals a very repulsive and distressful drama unfolding very silently and unnoticeably. Sectarian and political divisions are leading to mass inter-communal terror: the way Hamas and Al-Fatah are ready for a civil war; the manner in which Hezbollah is readying for the new civil war in Lebanon; the approach taken by Gulbadeen Hikmatyar to eliminate the government of brother Pakhtoon Karzai with the aid of his ex-enemy Mullah Omar. In the latter case, Karzai is a Sunni so are the other enemies of Karzai i.e. Taliban. Of course they consider Karzai to be a puppet of the Northern Alliance.
 
Nearly all of these varied groups, whilst colouring their hands by the blood of their own brethren, talk about the ultimate Caliphate where they all can live peacefully under the tabernacle of the God-entrusted Caliph. Mullah Omar likes the title of Ameer-ul-Momeneen; Hezbollah awaits an even bigger appearance that of 'Imam Ghaib.' Osama would like to be the first rejuvenated Caliph of Islam after the end of the Ottomans Empire, which his forefathers under the guise of 'Arab National Army' and leadership of Lawrence of Arabia, fought to destroy and obliterate.
 
In 1517, the Ottoman Sultan Selim I defeated the Mamluk Sultanate and made Egypt part of the Ottoman Empire. Al Mutawakkil was captured and transported to Constantinople, where he agreed to formally surrendered the title of Caliph as soon as he dies, as well as its outward emblems, the sword and the mantle of Muhammed (PBUH), to the Ottoman Selim I.
 
The creation of an Islamic caliphate, or empire, has long formed part of Al-Qaeda's worldview, and it is a vision that seems to have unsettled many in the west. But it will remain just a militants' dream. It is these very people who had torn Caliphate apart when it existed. Before he went into hiding in 2001, Osama bin Laden often talked of deposing Muslim rulers, seen as indebted to Western powers, and abolishing modern state borders to unite all Muslims under a caliphate - an Islamic state where God's word was law ruled over by a caliph, or "successor" to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
 
What grudge possibly can Arab Osama bin Laden have with the westerners; it was not until 400 years after the Mamluks defeat at the hands of Selim I that under Lawrence of Arabia as the head of the Arab armies they captured Damascus and installed an interim Arab administration, deputizing for King Feisal. So after 400 years of Turkish rule, the Arabs were once again a power to be reckoned with in the contemporary world, though very much below the authority and strength which Lawrence had intended for them. As Lawrence himself put it, the opponents of Arab nationalism had bigger guns, that were all. Is Osama going to re-install Caliphate that his forefathers in the name of 'Arab revolt and nationalism' busted?
 
Now Al-Qaeda militants are talking about setting up a caliphate in west Iraq, and militants calling themselves Al-Qaeda in Yemen also said recently a caliphate is their goal. Very noble goals indeed but the way they are handling communal differences between various strains of Islam is absolutely murderous. A Caliphate being conceived on orgies of blood!! It absolutely took two wars with Mamluk and Safavid armies to unite the Caliphate the last time. No universal Caliphate is possible, going by what happened to the 'Ottoman Caliphate' under the name of Arab revolt. The Ottoman family, the House of Osman of Turkish origin, and was not a member of the Prophet's family. They were always considered as a usurper by the Arabs. According to the Islamic tradition, a caliph had to trace his lineage to Prophet Mohammed (Umayyads and Abbasids are examples of this). Blood is thicker than ties of Islam, 1400 years of history is living prove.
 
The treacherous battle of Shiite and Sunni Islam in the heartland of Iraq is another unique example of this hysterical exposition of internecine abhorrence. Zarqawi's detestation of Shiites in Iraq and his war of freedom for Iraq by mass elimination of Shiites resulted in emergence of the equally ruthless Sadr; the two are fighting for freedom of Iraq and freeing Iraq of Iraqis at Godspeed. People of peace and advocates of inter-sectarian unity have been totally sidelined. The mass frenzy of carnage has overtaken the hotspots of the Islamic world, and no one seems to notice that this is actually the consequence of continuous chastisement of 'hatred against mankind' that is now revealing its full impact on fledgling societies. The so-called blood infested freedom struggles have come to a full circle and are now consuming the children of Jihad; the first victim of misplaced revolutions, rather, all revolutions, has been its own children.
 
Such naked and barefaced vengeance has seen very few parallels in modern history. Medieval world had seen Protestants and Catholics war on the lines of Shiite and Sunni war between Iraq and Iran. But within the Middle East, where these communities are so intermingled in modern day and age, the spectre of inter-sectarian violence at this height is a new threat to regional balance and economic stability of the world as far as energy goes.
 
For the consumption of these bloodthirsty tyrants who want to claim universal 'Caliphate' by waging a war against their own brethren, let us take a whirlwind tour of history; let us se e how bloody and forceful it was the last time when Selim I united the Caliphate of Islam. The Ottomans under Selim at the Battles of Marj Dabiq and al-Raydaniyya destroyed the Mamluk Sultanate, which led to the annexation of Syria, Palestine and Egypt. It was he who extended Ottoman power to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The holiest sites of the Islamic world - the Great Mosque in Mecca and the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina - fell under his dominion when the Turks took Egypt and her Arabian provinces from the Mamluks. The title which 'King Fahd' took in the 80's, that of Khadim ul Haremeyn, or The Servant of The Two Holy Shrines, was originally instituted by Selim I. Instead of styling 'Hakim ul Haremeyn,' or The Ruler of The Two Holy Shrines, he accepted the more pious title Khadim ul Haremeyn, or The Servant of The Two Holy Shrines.
 
It was after the conquest of Egypt and the Holy Cities, Al-Mutawakkil III (1509–17), the last Abbasid Caliph in Cairo, formally surrendered the title of Caliph and its emblems, the sword and the mantle of Muhammad to Selim. Once cementing his claim to the position of the "Guardian of the Faithful", Selim waged a war against Persia, whose ruler Shah Ismail I claimed to be Caliph as well. The triumphant crusade which followed was a victory for Selim, whose determination and bravery overcame the insubordination of the Janissaries, the household troops of the Ottoman dynasty.
 
After assuming the Caliphate, Selim assumed the title Malik ul-Barayn, wa KhaKhan ul-Bahrayn, was Kasir ul-Jayshayn, wa Khadim ul-Haramayn - that is, King of the Two Deserts, KhaKhan of the Two Seas, Conqueror of the Two Armies, and Servant of the Two Holy Shrines. This designation alludes to his dominions in Africa and Asia (namely, Egypt, Anatolia , and much of the Fertile Crescent), his rule over the Mediterranean and Black seas, his conquest over the Mamluk and Safavid armies, and his guardianship of the shrines of Mecca and Medina. It was Selim who expanded the 2,500,000 km² of Ottoman land to 6,500,000 km². After completely filling the royal treasury, he reportedly locked it with his own seal and decreed that "he who will fill the treasury more than this, may use his seal to lock it." The treasury remained locked with Selim's seal until the collapse of the Empire 400 years later.
 
One problem that is faced by the Islamic world is the distrust and infighting between them; the violence within communities is extensive. In the face of huge diversity of religious and political systems in the Middle East today, no such 'messianic' figures are on the scene. Selim-kind of power and figures do not exist anymore; it is decentralising of authority where every state within the Arab world wants respect and authority. The massive schism between Sunni and Shiite Muslims who argue bitterly over the first four caliphs (632-661 AD) to succeed the Prophet (PBUH) makes this dream of a universal caliphate even more part of a fairy tale.
 
Shiite Iran has its own form of Islamic government where supreme authority lies with an Islamic jurist chosen by a body of senior clerics to rule in the place of a disappeared line of descendents of the Prophet (PBUH). In Saudi Arabia, the adherents of an austere school of Sunni Islam , known as Wahhabism, give their allegiance to the Saudi family to rule as kings in return for wide latitude to enforce their version of sharia, or Islamic law. "I can see the whole Arab world falling into sectarian violence, so I can't see this caliphate happening," said London-based anthropologist Madawi Al-Rasheed, referring to Sunni-Shiite tensions in Iraq and Lebanon. "This is just part of (Al-Qaeda's) war of slogans."
 
These brewing struggles are suggestive of a roadmap of insecurity, all through the crescent of volatility from Morocco to Afghanistan. The internecine wars have to be stopped. Continuous fanning of the message of 'Jihad' against the infidels have to be revisited and abolished once for all; sowing hatred breeds hatred, sowing bullets leads to a harvest of bullets. Eventually the Muslim world should wake up to realize that this 'Jihad' is being fed by the blood of its own children. Guns, dynamite, venom and poison have no boundaries. They flourish on the easiest of preys, and when these guns fail to find the 'infidels,' they can easily find unarmed civilians in their own neighbourhood with whom they don't agree ideologically and they become the new target. Hamas and Hezbollah and Alqaeda deliver messages of poison that need continuous feeding of blood to sustain their efforts. The best antidote is 'peace.' That means death to them; if they are contained they start gulping their own children with equal ferocity. It is their brand of ideology that matters and in absence of their brand being accepted every other shade of human thinking is discarded.
 
That is what is exactly happening. Unable to launch their global campaigns of terror, the fangs of terrors are now demanding new blood to sustain its tentacles. In Gaza, the Palestinians are now victims of the Hamas or the Palestinian security forces, political expression bastardised to the highest level of corruption. When politics are at the back stage and guns in front, naturally every dispute is handled by guns, even a shoddy attempt of formation of a bipartisan government. Last week they were talking of a coalition government; yesterday they were killing each other like nobody's business. The problem is that when a 'gun' is relied on for so much, even a family feud, then it becomes a gun-based feud. The family of Islam is tearing each other apart; the message of tolerance and communal coexistence has been lost. It is important it searches from the moments of history where tolerance led to peaceful eras.
 
Hezbollah should avoid making attempts to plunge Lebanon into the ignominies of bloodstained days. Al Fatah and Hamas, ready to get on to each other's throats to bury the façade of brotherhood and unity once and for all, should avoid the dance of death amidst them. Mature societies respect life and respect law. These signs of medieval immaturity need to be buried; the Middle Eastern media should join hand s to denounce this vain violence all around us. It is not the enemies who are killing Muslims, once again, it is the Muslims killing each other and if unchecked it will be the biggest unfolding tragedy. There are hundreds of regions where fragile balance between communities can dribble over to bloodshed.
 
It was not an Arab freedom fighter like Arafat or Osama bin Laden, but Lawrence who as a great military leader and strategist got them freed from the 'yoke of Caliphate..' Today's demands of Caliphate are expedient tool to find the cannon fodder of the Islamic Jihad, find new suicide bombers in hope of a vast Caliphate land. Islamic global unity brings out a lot of emotion and lot of anger. Lawrence of Arabia organized the national rebellion of the Arab peoples and gave them the first opening in 400 years to become a significant Middle Eastern power. It was overthrown by the French with considerable bloodshed. Feisal, having been robbed and deposed of his kingdom in Syria was awarded with Iraq. On his death Sheikh Hamoudi of Aleppo exclaimed in his grief: "It is as if I had lost a son. Tell them in England what I say. Of manhood, the man; in freedom free; a mind without equal; I can see no flaw in him."
 
A lesson from history where coexistence, even in wars, was most important has to be revisited; sensibilities and rejection of hatred should take the front seat. The best caliphate would be respect of the territorial integrity of bigger and smaller states and respect of life and property with the tolerance of opposing strains of ideas that is a possible goal. Radicals who are destroying peace and security and demanding the promotion of universal Islamic unity amidst this carnage of bloodletting under the name of 'caliphate' is nothing but a visa for elimination and cleansing the minority thought. A Caliphate should be about inclusion not exclusion. The atrocities in the hotspots within the fringes of the Islamic world demand removal of this toxic thinking of self-righteousness associated with eliminations. The world today needs no global wars and no mass conversions. Let the hundred flowers bloom.
 
iqbal.latif@gmail.com
Paris
 
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« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2007, 12:56:02 PM »

Muslim leaders condemn CW Post video
BY OLIVIA WINSLOW, HERBERT LOWE AND JENNIFER KELLEHER
Newsday Staff Writers

February 7, 2007, 10:12 PM EST
 
A video by five students at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University depicting ski-masked "hostage-takers" speaking in cartoonish Middle Eastern accents has drawn condemnations from local Muslim leaders.

The university dismissed the students from their jobs as residence hall assistants in Brookville Hall, saying they had engaged in activity that violated their employment contract and that reflected "insensitivity."

 

 

In the video, which mocks those aired by real-life terrorists, five figures speak in exaggerated accents as they threaten their captive, a rubber duck dubbed "Pete," according to an account in the student newspaper that knowledgeable campus sources agreed was accurate. The subtext is understood to many on campus: The duck is the mascot for Brookville Hall.

While friends of those who created the film amphasized it was made in jest, Muslim leaders did not see the humor. They acknowledged students' right to freedom of speech, but said that right carries responsibility.

"I think it's not a prank," said Ghazi Khankan of Long Beach, a member of the board of the American Muslim Alliance, which he described as a regional and national group that advocates for Muslim participation in the political process. "Campuses are for enlightenment and for teaching us to get along, to respect each other, to know how to live together."

News of the video quickly went national. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., sent out Newsday's Web article about the incident in an e-mail blast. Said Ibrahim Hooper, council president: "It's something that needs to be addressed."

Habeeb Ahmed, president of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, who said he was a C.W. Post alumnus, agreed. "People are testing the waters again and again, and the Muslim community is always at the receiving end."

Back on campus, provost Joseph Shenker, said the five students involved would continue to receive free housing and the meal plan -- but in exchange for working 10 hours per week in community service.

Student employees must "function as role models and as teachers for the other students," Shenker said yesterday. "We expect them to be instructing our students on being sensitive regarding all groups.

"I think the tape was an insult to the victims and families involved in hostage situations," he added.

The college, which has about 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, could not provide a breakdown of Muslim students on campus.

The video, which was posted on YouTube and Google -- then taken down -- came with a statement indicating that it was done "all purely as a joke of course."

Meanwhile, the five students, all seniors -- Robert Bennett, Bert Estrada, Dustin Frye, Jordan Marmara and Billy McDermott -- are to face a formal campus hearing, either later this week or sometime next week, Shenker said. He declined to speculate on what disciplinary action could result.

The students have hired civil rights attorney Frederick K. Brewington of Hempstead, who said he felt the college's actions were unfair.

The affair apparently also cost Brookville Hall's residence hall director, Kristin Kielczewski, her job. She did not respond to a message seeking comment.

McDermott, 21, of Ocean City, Md., said yesterday that Brewington had advised him and the other fired student resident assistants not to comment beyond saying, "We're getting our ducks in a row."

Danny Schrafel, the Pioneer student newspaper editor-in-chief, said the administration's actions have split the campus into two camps: People who believe the resident assistants were fired unjustly and those offended by the video.

Matthew Bartlett, 19, a freshman from Clifton N.J., who lives in Brookville Hall, called McDermott "a great guy.

"I'm pretty appalled by what they [the administrators] did because I don't think it's fair. It's our right as students to express ourselves. We're in college."

Frank Schlegel, 21, of Westhampton Beach, a senior in marketing, said he has had all five of the students as an R.A. during his nearly four years in Brookville Hall.

"I thought it was hysterical," said Schlegel, who said he had seen the video. "There's no way it can be seen as these guys are being racist. It was strictly made for entertainment. They're not troublemakers of any sort."

Michael Colon, of Westchester, 19, a freshman biology major, said he started a petition supporting the R.A.s on Monday. So far, he said, he has 80 signatures. 

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lipost0208,0,3675967.story

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« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2007, 09:16:07 PM »

GM posted
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/04/23/intimidation-islamist-attacks-across-the-west/
on the "Islam the religion" thread, but I am moving it here.
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« Reply #48 on: April 23, 2007, 09:23:43 PM »

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/rss/print_503977.html

Furor over author Ayaan Hirsi Ali's visit stirs debate on religious freedom
By Robin Acton
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 22, 2007

Say what you want about your religion.

Go ahead, say anything that comes into your mind -- even if you don't agree with your minister, your priest, your rabbi. Even if you think you're right and they've got it all wrong, as long as you're not making a direct threat to someone, you can disagree or turn your back and walk away to another faith or to no faith at all.

Here, in America, it's OK. In a land of more than 3,000 diverse religions, your right to religious liberty is a guaranteed protection under the First Amendment.

"The key in the U.S. from the beginning has been to make sure all religious groups not only understand freedoms, but connect them to their own commitment," said Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar and director of educational programs at the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Va., and Nashville.

A community debate over religious freedom surfaced in Western Pennsylvania last week when Dutch feminist author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who has lived under the threat of death for denouncing her Muslim upbringing, made an appearance at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Islamic leaders tried to block the lecture, which was sponsored through an endowment from the Frank J. and Sylvia T. Pasquerilla Lecture Series. They argued that Hirsi Ali's attacks against the Muslim faith in her book, "Infidel," and movie, "Submission," are "poisonous and unjustified" and create dissension in their community.

Although university officials listened to Islamic leaders' concerns, the lecture planned last year took place Tuesday evening under tight security, with no incidents.

Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali's appearance.

"She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death," said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976.

Hirsi Ali, an atheist, has been critical of many Muslim beliefs, particularly on subjects of sexual morality, the treatment of women and female genital mutilation. In her essay "The Caged Virgin," she also wrote of punishment, noting that "a Muslim's relationship with God is one of fear."

"Our God demands total submission. He rewards you if you follow His rules meticulously. He punishes you cruelly if you break His rules, both on earth, with illness and natural disasters, and in the hereafter, with hellfire," she wrote.

In some Muslim countries, such as Iran, apostasy -- abandoning one's religious belief -- and blasphemy are considered punishable by death under sharia, a system of laws and customs that treats both public and private life as governable by God's law.

Sharia is based largely on an interpretation of the Quran, the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, a consensus of Islamic scholars and reasoning, according to the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. In some countries, sharia has been associated with stoning to death those who are accused of adultery, flogging for drinking wine and amputation of a hand for theft.

One of the most noted cases of apostasy in recent years involved author Salman Rushdie, whose novel "The Satanic Verses" offered an unflattering portrayal of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. The book prompted Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa -- a religious decree -- in 1989 calling for Rushdie's assassination.

Although ElBayly believes a death sentence is warranted for Hirsi Ali, he stressed that America is not the jurisdiction where such a crime should be punished. Instead, Hirsi Ali should be judged in a Muslim country after being given a trial, he added.

"If it is found that a person is mentally unstable, or a child or disabled, there should be no punishment," he said. "It's a very merciful religion if you try to understand it."

Zahida Chaudhary, a member of the education council and education secretary at the Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Monroeville, insisted that Islam is a peaceful religion.


"The Prophet Mohammed was a peacemaker and a role model for humanity," she said. "My understanding is that he was a peaceful person who believed that religion was a choice. He tried to teach people and bring them into it, not punish them."

Haynes, who has studied and written extensively about religious liberty and has worked with many Muslim groups, said he was "stunned" by ElBayly's comments.

"There are more radical, extreme views of Islam in European counties than in the U.S. It's rare to hear it and even more rare to learn that American Muslims believe it," he said.

While Hirsi Ali is viewed as an infidel among the Islamic community, those who speak out against other religions usually are met with discussion, prayer and counseling. In extreme cases, critics might be shown the door.

"One is free to choose whatever religion and body of truths one wants to believe," said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese. "The church fosters freedom of religion. That's a decision everyone has to make on their own."

Centuries ago, Lengwin said, the church imposed harsh punishment -- including execution -- upon people viewed as heretics. He cited as an example the Roman Inquisition trial of 15th century Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was tried by the church, threatened with torture and sentenced to prison for his teachings on the motions of the earth.

With the evolution of the church, things have changed.

For example, Lengwin said, the church has faced criticism from many of its own priests who have disagreed with various beliefs and practices. When that happens, there is discussion and clarification of beliefs, he said.

It doesn't always work.

"We've had people walk away and start churches of their own or join Lutheran or Presbyterian or other churches," he said. "The role of the church is to teach the truth as effectively as you can. There's no jail if you don't agree with us."

The Rev. Douglas Holben, executive presbyter for the Redstone Presbytery, which covers Westmoreland, Fayette, Somerset and Cambria counties, said the Presbyterian Church "as a community of faith would try to find a common ground" when confronted with differing opinions.

"We seek to find things to unite us," Holben said.

If faced with criticism, it's best to "find ways in which they find the church to be faithful to the Lord," he said.

Holben said the church has formed a Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity that includes people from different backgrounds and perspectives. Discussions among the group were productive, he said, adding that the members did not condemn or judge each other for their differences.

"They were able to say that even though we don't agree with your opinion, we can agree upon a common faith," he said.

Rabbi Sara Perman, leader of the Congregation Emanu-El Israel in Greensburg, explained that before the French Revolution emancipated Jews in Europe, those who spoke out against Judaism faced "cherem" or excommunication. Cherem resulted in both a spiritual and economic "death" because people who were excommunicated were unable to make a living in their community.

"Now, the reality is that if you are unsatisfied and speak out against Judaism, there isn't much we can do about it in this country," Perman said. "Within the general Jewish community, there isn't much you can do except not give them a forum or ignore them."

Haynes said the key to America's success in religious diversity is for people of all religions to understand that you "can't just tolerate" the fact that Muslims or Catholics or Protestants or Mormons or Jews have a right to be here. He said this country is a "level playing field" where everyone is free to practice their religion, but not to carry out extreme ideas that violate basic principles.

"I don't think there's anyplace on the planet with more religious diversity," Haynes said.

"This is a big challenge in 21st century America to make sure we can live with the deepest differences, and religious differences are the most difficult to navigate."


Robin Acton can be reached at racton@tribweb.com or 724-830-6295.

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« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2007, 04:38:28 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/04/25/audio-ayaan-hirsi-ali-defends-the-imam-who-says-she-must-be-killed/

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is right. Easy on the eyes as well.
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