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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: More on Mohammed and the freedom of speech issue
Thread: More on Mohammed and the freedom of speech issue This thread is 6 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 · «PREV / NEXT»
privatehudson
privatehudson


Responsible
Legendary Hero
The Ultimate Badass
posted February 09, 2006 11:44 PM
Edited by privatehudson on 9 Feb 2006

People living already poor lives need very little to set them into revolt about something. Religion is no more the central issue here than it was between the two sides of the Northern Ireland issue, it's just an excuse.

What needs adressing is why what began as a very sensible and legal protest against the cartoons in Denmark was hijacked and turned into a violent illegal protest across the world. Regardless of how Christians or Jews would react to similar images it is quite clear that the vast majority of muslims find it highly offensive to connect their prophet to terrorism. Unfortunately once more the sensible reaction and complaints of most Muslims is lost when the media concentrate their attention primarily on the violent reactions of the minority.

Pictures of embassies burning sells papers, Pictures of placards saying "Behead those who insult the prophet" sells papers. Non violent protests generally do not.
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neko
neko


posted February 09, 2006 11:54 PM

well, expanding the topic doesnt really help, more than 100 factors are in play if we are to regard all of them..

maybe i exaggerated
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bjorn190
bjorn190


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Jebus maker
posted February 10, 2006 01:04 AM

looks like its calming down tho. But I still its like, noob style to threaten with terrorism. I report as bad honor!

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Shiva
Shiva


Promising
Famous Hero
posted February 10, 2006 01:50 AM
Edited by Shiva on 9 Feb 2006

I have long thought that the trouble with religion(s) is
that they all take themselves so seriously. I would hope
that a person enlightened enough to start something, such
a mass movement, would have the ability to laugh at them
self. Humor is not a sin, and the ability to laugh, not
just at others, but at yourself, is a distinct asset in
life.

When I look at fundamentalists, no matter what religion, I don't see smiles and laughter, I see anger and suffering. Maybe they feel so much like a sinner that they find it hard to smile, I don't know. Hating people who transgress your own personal idea of what is right is probably a  bigger sin then anything else, and these kind of folks seem to do that way to much.A whole lotta judgements going on, judgements by people who think they know what God wants but in reality don't have a clue.

In Israel, there are stories of people bring stoned when
they drive their car through orthodox areas on
Saturday. Its ok to throw stones but not to drive on the sabbath! Hows that for being holy!

Now it would be wrong to say all of any group are a
certain way, just as PH said, but I do believe tolerance
and acceptance of others are a sign of maturity. Wanting
everyone to think like you do is a sign of insecurity.
Believing there is one God does not mean there has to be
only one view of the world, there is even room for
pagans, although they probably are condemned to hell for
cavorting in the woods



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privatehudson
privatehudson


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Legendary Hero
The Ultimate Badass
posted February 10, 2006 02:05 AM

Shiva you need to check out Lewis Black, although a comedian he offers very similar thoughts about extremism and humour in some of his works. He's also extremely funny so worth a look anyway


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Lady_Milena
Lady_Milena


Honorable
Known Hero
Grannie Sweet Cheeks
posted February 10, 2006 11:19 AM
Edited by Lady_Milena on 10 Feb 2006

My last post in this thread

I have somewhat different opinion from you mainly because I currently live in a country whose population is between 1/3 and 1/4 Muslim. I live 15 mins walking from a Mosque.

I know how these people are brought up, what they believe in and why they believe in it. They are just ... different. Their lifestyle is predominated by religion. Which doesn't mean they are stupid. They have the prerogative to think differently from you.

Religeous tolerance has developed in Bulgaria in the last century. A lot of it has been due to the genocide that the communists unleashed at anyone and everyone who believed in any form of god. I've seen people who tried to impose the existence of God on non-believers and I have seen how people who did not want to acknowledge God treated believers. I was sick at what I saw in both cases.

There is no tolerance when there is no understanding. Have you ever tried to really get into the philosophy of others and attempted to cast away your own ideas of life, just for a very short moment? Only to try to understand why other think and behave in a way alien to you?

If you think my post is awful, I'll delete it. I never had a problem doing that. The examples I gave were in fact quotes from a very good black friend of mine who lives in Texas and they were indeed produced during a conversation about the freedom of speech. I may be biased, I suppose I am then. That's why, as I said, I'm going to delete the post if even one person in the thread on PM would prefer me to.

Also, I have a nice sermon that I delivered last October in a UU church. There is a relation between it and what I said above. If anyone would like to look at it, I'll give them the link.

P.S. Editted because of my grammar wasn't me. I mean it.
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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted February 10, 2006 11:19 AM

My Lord is not violent, and to prove that I'm gonna burn some embassies!
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Consis
Consis


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Of Ruby
posted February 10, 2006 03:50 PM
Edited by Consis on 10 Feb 2006

Religious Tolerance

This is a strange thing to some people. Some people refuse to accept it. It may be that they have the right to choose what they believe and whether or not to accept it. Whatever the case, refusal to accept a difference of opinion leads to intolerance.

I do not agree with many different other religions but I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of my country. I believe in a concept of religious tolerance. And while my laws do not actually say "tolerance", but rather "freedom", I want to believe it is suggesting tolerance.

Historically speaking, there are countless times when governing groups for all countries and peoples have exercised both tolerance and intolerance. I want to believe that my country and my government wishes to improve upon the idea of religious tolerance more so than religious "freedom".

But in all honesty, I do not believe I am in the majority with my thinking. I think more people want to be free of other religious political correctness. They don't want to be considerate. They want freedom from the consideration of what other people think and feel. It's a cold world that would choose such selfishness and I find I must keep silent at times when others boast global progress and dominance over their religious enemies. Too many, I tell you too many people are organizing and celebrating some kind of sick religious dominance over such religions as Judaism and Islam. It makes me want to run away and hide under a rock where it might be safe for me to live in peace and quiet. Too many people . . . too many . . .
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terje_the_ma...
terje_the_mad_wizard


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Disciple of Herodotus
posted February 10, 2006 11:17 PM
Edited by terje_the_mad_wizard on 10 Feb 2006

Quote:
I have long thought that the trouble with religion(s) is that they all take themselves so seriously. I would hope that a person enlightened enough to start something, such
a mass movement, would have the ability to laugh at them self. Humor is not a sin, and the ability to laugh, not
just at others, but at yourself, is a distinct asset in
life.

When I look at fundamentalists, no matter what religion, I don't see smiles and laughter, I see anger and suffering. Maybe they feel so much like a sinner that they find it hard to smile, I don't know. Hating people who transgress your own personal idea of what is right is probably a  bigger sin then anything else, and these kind of folks seem to do that way to much.A whole lotta judgements going on, judgements by people who think they know what God wants but in reality don't have a clue.

Ever read "Name of the Rose", by Umberto Eco, or seen the film based on the book? Here's a good quote from there:
"Laughter kills fear, and without fear there is no faith. If Man no longer fear the Devil, what need has he of God?"

Quite a good analysis, don't you agree?


Milena:
Quote:
I may be biased

Everyone's usually biased in one way or another.
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"Sometimes I think everyone's just pretending to be brave, and none of us really are. Maybe pretending to be brave is how you get brave, I don't know."
- Grenn, A Storm of Swords.

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted February 11, 2006 12:55 PM

update

Quote:
Danish cartoonists fear for their lives
From Anthony Browne in Brussels



TWELVE Danish cartoonists whose pictures sparked such outcry have gone into hiding under round-the-clock protection, fearing for their lives.



The cartoonists, many of whom had reservations about the pictures, have been shocked by how the affair has escalated into a global “clash of civilisations”. They have since tried, unsuccessfully, to stop them being reprinted.

A spokesman for the cartoonists said: “They are in hiding around Denmark. Some of them are really, really scared. They don’t want to see the pictures reprinted all over the world. We couldn’t stop it. We tried, but we couldn’t.”

Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, president of the Danish Union of Journalists, told The Times: “They are keeping a very low profile. They are very concerned about their safety. They feel a big responsibility on their shoulders. It’s blown up so big. It is tough for them.”

The cartoonists’ names were originally printed in the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten. Flemming Rose, the paper’s cultural editor, invited 25 newspaper cartoonists to draw a picture of Muhammad “how they saw him”, after a children’s author complained that cartoonists would only dare illustrate a book he was writing on the life of Muhammad if they could be anonymous. Twelve cartoonists responded, had their pictures printed in September, and were paid 800 Danish krone (£73) each.

In an interview with a Swedish newspaper this week, some of the cartoonists expressed their doubts about the entire episode. “It felt a little like a lose-lose situation. If I said no, I was a coward who contributes to self-censorship. If I said yes, I became an irresponsible hate monger against Islam,” one of the cartoonists said.

Another said: “I was actually angry when I first received the letter [from Jyllands-Posten]. I thought it was a really bad idea. At first I didn’t want to participate, but then I talked it over with some friends from the Middle East, and they thought I should do it.”

The cartoonists come from a variety of different political backgrounds, which is reflected in their work. While some of the pictures satirise Muhammad, others attack populist right-wing politicians and even Jyllands-Posten itself, which is rightwing.

Having failed to stop the cartoons being reprinted across Europe, the cartoonists have now decided to use all the money raised from the sales of the pictures to set up a foundation which will award an annual international prize for press freedom.

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bjorn190
bjorn190


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Jebus maker
posted February 11, 2006 01:56 PM

Sucks to see the world back in the good old witch-burning days. I just hope we don't end up burning the next galileo on the stake - science has done alot for our material existance.

The worst part is that we are giving in to violence. Sure, we shouldn't disrespect others beliefs, but that should be an individual choice. You should be able to draw a picture of anything you want without getting death threats.

It makes it worse too, that the egyptioan paper that printed these pictures didn't get protested. That must mean that it is not the actual pictures that are the cause of these protests.

Yesterday the swedish secret police shut down a swedish website that had published a muhammed picture. It's kinda hard to believe for many swedes, but it happened. Sure it might have been the pragmatic thing to do, but in principle its not so good. Sure it was a right wing extremists site, but bad things usually start from good intentions.

In principle, the swedish internet is now censored by the swedish secret police. And thus, Sweden joins China in their quest for a safe internet.

Sometimes I wish we could have our freedom and democracy back. But I guess we are now in the era of betraying the very principles of a democratic society in exchange for temporary security.

As Benjamin Franklin, said, "People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both."

Somehow I wish he was alive today.

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Nebuka
Nebuka


Promising
Supreme Hero
Save me Jebus!
posted February 11, 2006 03:16 PM

Rowan Atkinson: "The right to offend is more important than the right not to be offended."

Right on!
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frakel
frakel


Adventuring Hero
posted February 11, 2006 04:22 PM
Edited by frakel on 11 Feb 2006

Hello everybody!

Being from Denmark, I feel a need to contribute to this discussion.

One thing I believe many danes has learned from this Cartoon debacle is how it is to be on the receiving end of prejudice - and in the long run this might be quite healthy.

Let me explain: the Cartoons were printed in a single Danish newspaper, they do NOT represent the view of a majority of the danish population (but perhabs a rather large minority - which is bad enough). I say this with certainty, because I study political science and have just finished a major paper on the danes attitude towards immigration and cultural differences. So it is quite appaling for me to experience that ALL danes and danish products (and thus ordinary danish workers) are now being targeted by campaigns throughout the world of Islam. In the same way many danes have a tendency to regard every muslim as the part of one coherent group who shares almost identical values and beliefs, we now experience that many people regard all danes as supporting these cartoon and having a great desire to ridicule the religion of other people. This is not the case! On the contrary this has sparked MAJOR discussions in Denmark about this issues. The prevailing point of view in this debate seems to be, that allthough the right to free speech should not be limited by laws, there is no reason to unnecesarily offend other people (this is my own interpretation of the debate of course). If the newspaper had wanted to make the point, that it should be possible to portray Mohammed in a danish newspaper - they really had no need to ridicule the prophet at the same time. Many people (including both left- and right-wing politicians) also question the need to make even such a single picture of Mohammed. Is it threatening the right to free speech that mohammed should not be drawn? Most people think not. Today the former danish foreign minister Uffe Elleman Jensen (which is from the same centre-right party as the current prime minister) - declared on the radio, that the editors on the newspaper who had brought the cartoons had not lived up to their responsibility. He said, that with the right to free speech comes responsibility - and they had failed that responsibility...

So not all danes are in support of these cartoons, allthough that seems to be the impression in foreign media. Everybody has to keep an open mind in this, and avoid dangerous prejudice which might escalate the tension.

Yesterday I overheard an old danish man talking to a friend. He was very angry that some muslim protesters (in Jordan if I recall) had burned crates of danish cheese to protest against the cartoons. The old man then said, that the muslims living in Denmark might as well burn their work- and living permits and leave the country. He clearly couln´t set the muslims living in Denmark apart from some protesters in Jordan. This made me very angry and sad at the same time.

The evening before this incident a large number of Christian and Muslim communities in the Danish city of Århus (where I live) had called for common prayers for peace and understanding. Later the muslim communities held a large demonstraion in which they expressed their disgust in the Cartoons, but at the same time expressed their gratitute towards Denmark who had given many of them shelter when they had to flee their original countries due to war, or political terror and opression.

My point, besides releaving my heart, is that this incident has forces many danes to consider their attitute towards the many immigrants and refugees in our country - because they now have experiences how it is to be on the receiving end of prejudice. At the same time it has forced the large silent majority of Muslim immigrants to take a stand on their own possition and relationship with Denmark. Many immigrants who previously have been silent now speak up and express their sorrow when they see the danish flag or danish embassies being burned.

It is my hope that when this terribly situation has calmed down somewhat the end result in Denmark will be a much larger degree of understanding between the danish and immigrant communities. Hopefully this will also help to mend the gab which has now opened between Denmark and the Middleeast.


I´m not blind to the fact that this situation is being made more severe by several middleeastern governments (Syria and Iran for instance), who is clearly in support of the violent demonstrations and fails to give danish embassies the protection they need (the youth movement who invaded and set the Danish embassy in Teheran on fire is closely associated with the current President of Iran - and nothing goes on i Syrai without the secret police knowing of it in advance: if a mob of demonstrators succeded in attaching the danish embassy  in Syria it was because the government allowed them to do it). Syria has been under pressure because of the accusations of their involvement on the assasination of the prime minister of Lebanon. Iran has been under pressure to limit their nuclear program. For these two governments this is a chance to relieve that pressure and direct focus otherwere.

But this should not make us believe that these cartoons have not been a great offence to many ordinary muslims around the world. We now have to realise that we live in a world of global communications. And what might in a local Danish context be regarded as a harmless (but unpleasant) cartoon, is taken as a great offense in other parts of the world - as well as among the muslims living in denmark.


EDIT: I just added some more to this post to clarify my thoughts.

EDIT 2: I just had to add this: Throughout this day there have been demonstrations for peace, dialogue, respect and understanding in many danish cities... It seems many communities are extending hands to one another across ethnical and religious differences. This makes me very happy. At least something good has come out of this...


- to avoid misunderstanding: when i refer to danes I mean the ethnical danes, not danish citizens, since many of the muslim immigrants have attained danish citizenship...
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Binabik
Binabik


Responsible
Legendary Hero
posted February 11, 2006 09:51 PM

Quote:
Is it threatening the right to free speech that mohammed should not be drawn? Most people think not.


I guess I'm not "most people".  Drawing a picture of Mohammed lies at the very heart of free speech.  If we only speak to an audience who agrees with us and is not offended, then there would be no need for a right to free speech.  Free speech exists for the sole reason that people *DON'T* agree or are offended.

Each country has to determine for themselves whether they have a right to free speech.  They have to determine if offending someone nullifies free speech, whether the offended person is within their borders or outside.  But to begin making exceptions for one offended group is a very dangerous game to play with a right many of us feel is fundamental.  Because no matter what a person says, it will offend somebody.  And as I stated, the fact that it offends somebody is the only reason we have such a thing as free speech in the first place.
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privatehudson
privatehudson


Responsible
Legendary Hero
The Ultimate Badass
posted February 11, 2006 09:51 PM

There was a demonstration in London today protesting the cartoons but also objecting to those who attack embassies or call for violent reponses to the cartoons. It's good to see that there are those willing to stand up and be counted for peace rather than violence.
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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted February 11, 2006 10:03 PM

Weren't the cartoons originally published four months ago...? Seemingly some people waited to be offended...
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frakel
frakel


Adventuring Hero
posted February 11, 2006 10:56 PM
Edited by frakel on 11 Feb 2006

@ Vlaad: At first the cartoons was mostly unnoticed outside Denmark. But later a small group of danish Imams, who felt insulted by the cartoons, went on a voyage to the middleeast to gain support for a protest against the cartoons. Then the story was picked up by one or two (can´t remember which) major arab tv-networks. Then suddenly things started to move very fast. In the middle of all this there has apparently been circulating sms-messages in arabic, stating that danes were gonna burn the holy Quran on Copenhagen town square... many rumors and false information has circulated - and then the embassies were attacked...

@ Binabik: if the point had been to show it should be possible to draw a picture of mohammed, there really was no need to make a picture which insinuated that all muslims are terrorist (I´m speaking of one of the most insulting cartoons - is shows mohammed as a very angry, bearded man with a large turban - but the turban is actually a great bomb just waiting to explode...). Of course we should not be silent when important issues are at stake - and believe me - in Denmark we have had many discussions about the differences of the rules of islam and danish law. But this thing about drawing mohammed is about very personal and religious issues which has great importance for the offended, and very little importance for non-muslims. I mean it doesn´t have any impact on my life that I do not draw mohammed. It is perhabs my right to do this, but choose not to out of respect for another religion.
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privatehudson
privatehudson


Responsible
Legendary Hero
The Ultimate Badass
posted February 11, 2006 11:20 PM

It's worth noting that before those Imams went to the middle east they had made a legal protest against the cartoons citing parts of Danish law that prohibits publication of something likely to ridicule or insult religious dogma. The Danish police investigated the complaints but decided to take no action, presumably because they felt the right to free speach overided the complaints.
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frakel
frakel


Adventuring Hero
posted February 11, 2006 11:26 PM

Thats right. The matter was considered by the public procecutor (statsadvokaten) who found that the law against racist/hate utterings had not been broken by publishing the cartoons. Later the matter was considered once more by an even higher authority (rigsadvokaten) who reached the same conclusion.
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dkolb
dkolb


Promising
Known Hero
Nay Nay and Aslan Protector
posted February 12, 2006 06:46 AM

Quote:
My Lord is not violent, and to prove that I'm gonna burn some embassies!


I agree with however posted that.
This is just getting ugly.
I guess as PH said the news just shows the violent groups but still I mean, to me the point isn't that there are 2 billion muslims who are non violent, the point is that there are thousands of violent muslims wreaking havok.
And now it seems like some of these middle eastern governments are trying to spark more protests.

I really don't see what's so offensive about the cartoon that there need to be so much needless destruction. And all the violent demonstrators are doing is proving the cartoon right.

But I suppose I'm biased, because I'm a christian and I'm used to people making fun of my religion, I mean heck my Savior's name is a common slang term used all the time.
But I don't see myself going after whoever says it with an AK-47. And I love South Park! It's really funny.

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