» sjhoward.co.uk

  • Archive
  • Book reviews
  • Great reads
  • Since 2003
  • +SimonHowardNcl
  • @sjhoward
  • About me
  • Denmark cartoon controversy

    Some people have been getting rather het up (to say the least) over the publication of twelve cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed. But how can I, in good conscience, post something as potentially offensive as this, and then not post a cartoons like this? To do so would be to say that I respect the beliefs of Muslims above those of Christians, and that’s simply not the case.

    I never post with the intention of offending people. So whilst I wholeheartedly apologise for any offence caused by the cartoon, but simply cannot apologise for publishing it here. I accept that it’s against the Muslim religion to depict Muhammed, let alone belittle him in cartoons. But it’s equally against the Christian religion to depict Jesus as a skimpily-clad camp guy doing a Gloria Gaynor impression. As much as it is the right of the holders of those beliefs to follow their relgion in their own way, I have the right not to follow the rules of their religion. If people are offended by my choice, then they equally have the right to challenge my saying it, and even to mock me if that’s what they want to do. But nobody has the right to stop me, or anybody else, from saying something they believe in order to stimulate debate and discussion.

    In this particular instance, I’m merely using the cartoon to illustrate a point. I have to say that I think the imagery appears to me to be somewhat offensive. But that’s not stopped me publishing imagery which may be offensive to followers of the Jewish faith for purposes of discussion. In such cases, posting the image clearly does not imply agreement therewith, but merely faciliatates discussion.

    As I’ve already said, I intend to offend no-one. That probably can’t be said for the writers of comments on this site, such as this. Clearly, I tend not to agree with the assertion that I am a ‘little shit’ or a ‘fucked up prick’, yet I don’t feel the need to censor the writer’s (misguided) beliefs, but merely debated the finer points of her argument. Was I able to do this without resorting to anger because I’m a really calm guy, or just because I’m certain of my beliefs? Perhaps if shakier beliefs of mine were challenged, then I would have more difficulty in responding, and so feel more angry towards the challenger. Whatever else is said, violent aggression from the defendent can only ever damange his cause – especially when that cause is a basically peaceful religion.

    Update
    After several requests, I’ve now put the full set of cartoons online here. Please feel free continue to use this page for discussion of them.

    Update
    For the sake of sensible, reasonable discussion, I’ve removed the cartoon which previously appeared on this page. Read all about why I’ve done that here, and rest assured that you can still view all of the cartoons on this page of the site.






    Comment

    Share

    Weekly newsletter


    Your Comments and Responses

    Comment from Roman

    The muslims come to our western “capitalist” world because they think only of the good life we have here and they also want to be a part of. Then comes the reality of everyday life. We in the western world have enjoyed the freedom of speech, which our forefathers have fought for, and they are expecting us to give it up. Not on your life!!! Already there are signs of changing lot of our traditions. Everything has to be “politacally correct” like Holiday Season instead of Christmas Season. Let them protest in their homeland all they want, but when in Rome do as the Romans do….

    4th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 01:01 on 04 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    I watch the television protests and these people are holding signs deploring freedom of speech, duh!

    4th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 10:23 on 04 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    An anonymous commenter has written the following in repsonse to this post. I thought it was quite relevant to post it here, too:

    I as a muslim respect all religons even if I do not agree with all of them. I feel anger to both the cartoon publishers and to our fellow muslims who choose to use violence to be heard. Our Prophet (P.B.O.H.)and his followers suffered so much in their time. Trash was thrown at his door every day. They were betten and abused. but they still kept their heads up and praied. They spred the word of Islam not through violence but by understanding and forgiveness. If our Prophet were alive today I do not think he would be proud! Marching to buildings, burning flags, yelling out death chants…. this is not the muslim way! Muslims are not terrorists… they are not evil… just misunderstood. Think about it… are we painting the right picture by acting out in anger?

    4th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 12:05 on 04 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    Roman – I have to strongly disagree with some of your points. Our culture is the stronger for having elements of many other cultures in it. After all, the example of Christmas which you cite, was celebrated long before Christ, and then a Christian layer added to the pagan festival. And I know of not one Muslim who is insulted by the celebration of Christmas. Political correctness is a political phenomenon, where desperate, ignorant politicians try not to alienate anybody, ever, in order to ensure their re-election.

    However, freedom of speech is to be celebrated. Those peacefully protesting should be glad that they are able to do so – under the very same laws which allow the publication of these cartoons. I fully respect people’s right to protest peacefully against these cartoons, but, as the anonymous poster above points out, acting in violent anger reflects badly on the Muslim community, and is generally unacceptable and unhelpful.

    4th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 12:13 on 04 February 06


    Comment from halil

    hi,

    i am a muslim from turkey…

    please think that..if our newspapers publish a cartoon of saint jesus,how was it like your opinion..jesus is your prophet,he is very important and muhammed(sav) is our prophet ,too.so saint jesus is a prophet that we believe in it.

    it is simple..

    you must be respectful and you say ” we have freedom” i dont believe that exactly..you are good at technology etc..but let’s compare somethings..france-algeria,denmark-pkk or rojtv,usa-iraq-afghanistan,and lots of examples..as a result of these are painful people…
    ensure that we dont feel eny enmity about your people.we only want respect..
    thanks.

    4th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 12:18 on 04 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    Halil – Thank you for your comment. My point is that I did publish something offensive about Jesus, and something offensive to Jewish people, where it was necessary to illustrate a point; and so it would be unfair not to publish this cartoon on the grounds that it could be offensive to Muslims. I have published it only to illustrate a point. I fully respect your religion, and apologise again for any offence my publishing of the cartoon may cause.

    4th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 12:32 on 04 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    I would like to see more of these cartoons.They are quite truthful.

    5th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 15:30 on 05 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    I wholeheartedly disagree about them being ‘truthful’, but (after several email requests) I have now put the full set of cartoons online here for your perusal.

    5th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 16:51 on 05 February 06


    Comment from Richard Geete

    Wow.. this cartoon stuff is literally getting insane. If any of you wish to contribute towards the fight for freedom of speech, spread the word about http://www.DrawMohammad.com

    5th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 21:25 on 05 February 06


    Comment from angery asian

    to a NON MUSLIM, NOTHING OFFENSIVE ABOUT A CARTOON THAT I FIND FUNNY. I WOULD DO A LOT MORE STUFF THAN THAT. I HATE MUSLIMS WITH PASSIONS AND I HATE MUHAMMED. HE WAS A FAKE AND A MURDERER AND CHILD MOLESTING TERRORIST, SIMPLE AS THAT. I DARE ANY MUSLIM TO STOP ME FROM HATING THEM AND MAKING FUN OF THEIR IDOL! THOU SHALT NOT HAVE ANY OTHER GODS! THESE ANIMALS WORSHIP A MAN, AN EVIL MAN NAME MUHAMMED. I’M NOT RELIGIOUS BUT I BELIEVE IN A GOD. MY GOD IS FAR MORE SUPERIOR THAN THE MUSLIMS GOD WHICH IS A SHEEP/GOAT!

    I WILL REPEAT, I HATE MUSLIMS AND I WILL FIGHT EVERY MUSLIMS AND WIN ALL THE TIME. THEY ARE WEAK/COWARD BASTARDS! THEY ARE EVIL AND VIOLENT TO THE CORE AND THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT THAT RELIGION. IT IS AGAINST WHAT TRUE FREEDOM IS.
    TO ALL YOU MUSLIMS, I HATE YOU FOREVER AND YOU SHOULD ALL DIE GO TO HELL! THAT’S WHERE YOU ALL BELONG. YOU ARE MISERABLE ANIMALS. YOU WANT TO SEE ALLAH, WE’LL HELP YOU WITH OUR WESTERN NUKES!

    7th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 11:46 on 07 February 06


    Comment from angry E.T.

    TO ALL MUSLIMS AND THE MIDDLE EAST: BEWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING, YOU ARE SETTING YOURSELVES UP TO BE SLAUGHTERED LIKE CATTLE IF YOU CONTINUE TO FORCE YOUR WILL ABOUT ISLAM ON THE WORLD. IT’S A NO WIN SITUATION, FIGHTING THE WORLD WILL LEAD TO YOUR ANNIHILATION.

    TRY YOUR GARBAGE WITH THE RED CHINESE GOVERNMENT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS YOU BUNCH OF COWARDS. THEY DON’T TOLERATE RELIGION.
    TRY BURNING THE CHINESE EMBASSIES YOU SORRY MUSLIMS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ATTEMPT TO ATTACK ASIAN COUNTRIES.

    WE ARE NOT AS KIND IN DEALING WITH MURDERERS LIKE MUSLIMS.
    YOU SHOULD BE GLAD EUROPEANS AND AMERICANS ARE MORE TOLERANT OF YOUR BACKWARD BELIEFS.

    ATTACK CHINA AND N. KOREA AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS YOU FOOL. THEIR GOVERNMENT IS COMMUNIST HAVE NO RESPECT FOR ANY RELIGION ESPECIALL YOURS. WHAT DID THE MUSLIM WORLD DO WHEN CHINA KICKED OUT THE MUSLIMS THAT WAS SECRETLY LIVING IN THE SOUTHERN BORDERS IN 2001, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! THEY DIDN’T PROTEST OR BURN ANYTHING. THEY DID NOT BURN CHINESE FLAGS OR YELL OUT DEATH TO CHINA. IMAGINE 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE EXTERMINATING YOUR 1 BILLION SISSIES! THEY ARE ALLIED TO RUSSIAN AND INDIA,
    SO THAT’S 3 BILLION VS YOUR MEASLEY 1 BILLION. MOST OF YOUR MEN ARE BUSY HUMPING SHEEPS AND GOATS, THAT IS WHY THEY ARE SO SKINNY AND WEAK!

    YOU INSULT AMERICANS AND EUROPEANS BY BURNING OUR FLAGS AND CONDEMING OUR FREEDOM! MUSLIMS ARE ASKING TO BE DESTROYED AND THEY WILL WHEN THE TIME COMES. BEWARE YOU ANIMALS!
    YOU WILL ANGER THE WORLD!

    I DARE YOU PULL THAT GARBAGE TO CHINA AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THEY WILL NUKE YOUR COUNTRIES INTO PARKING LOTS AND TURN THEM INTO WALMARTS!

    7th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 12:06 on 07 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    I think it’s clear to see that the above poster has strong (and, in my opinion, abhorrent opinions). But, luckily for our extraterrestrial friend, I’m a liberal idiot who feels that people have the right to express their opinions.

    Just in case you’re not familiar with this guy’s work, he also thinks we should “give all gays to Hitler” (here) and respect the highly intelligent extraterrestrials who have power that is unbeleiveable (here).

    Nice guy!

    7th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 12:45 on 07 February 06


    Comment from g

    Ref: Comment left by angery asian on 07 February 06 at 11:46

    Wow, interesting when you look at this piace and try and read it by replacing the word MUSLIMS with INFIDELS. I think this piece was perhaps written with a certain irony in mind…


    I WILL REPEAT, I HATE INFIDELS AND I WILL FIGHT EVERY INFIDEL AND WIN ALL THE TIME. THEY ARE WEAK/COWARD BASTARDS! THEY ARE EVIL AND VIOLENT TO THE CORE AND THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT THAT RELIGION. IT IS AGAINST WHAT TRUE FREEDOM IS.
    TO ALL YOU INFIDELS, I HATE YOU FOREVER AND YOU SHOULD ALL DIE GO TO HELL! THAT’S WHERE YOU ALL BELONG. YOU ARE MISERABLE ANIMALS. YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR FALSE GOD, WE’LL HELP YOU WITH OUR WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!

    7th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 15:08 on 07 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    g – I’d love to be able to agree that the above comment was some kind of ironic piece, but I’m not so convinced. It might be worth pointing out that ‘angery asian’ is the same individual as ‘angry E.T.’ (or at least posts from the same IP), if that sways in any way.

    7th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 18:02 on 07 February 06


    Comment from Carla

    You’re an ignorant person who is disrespectful to Muslims and deserve to be punished.

    7th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 18:30 on 07 February 06


    Elsewhere on the site

    This post has been referenced by another on this site:
    sjhoward.co.uk » Who to insult next?

    [...] Who to insult next? Filed at 16:00 on 5th February 2006. Filed by sjhoward at 16:00 on Sunday, 5th February 2006 under Miscellaneous. I’ve done Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and now I’m kind of wondering who to insult next. Little green men? [...]

    7th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This pingback was received at 20:55 on 07 February 06


    Comment from JIM

    YOU PEOPLE ARE BEHAVING THE SAME WAY THE FLAG BURNERS AND RIOTERS ARE BY INSULTING ARABS AND MUSLIMS,THEY ARE NO MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THESE YOUNG ,MISGUIDED EXTREMISTS,THEN WE AMERICANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR RIOTS IN CHICAGO OR L.A.. PEOPLE SHOULD THINK BEFORE THEY SPEAK OR ACT ,INSULTING THESE PEOPLE ONLY FUELS THE SITUATION. I HAVE SPENT 6 MONTHS IN THE MIDDLE EAST INTERACTING WITH VERY FINE MUSLIMS AND ARABS IN KUWAIT,I WOULD WELCOME THEM AS NEIGHBORS ,AND IT IS VERY NARROW MINDED TO CATEGORIZE THEM .BECAUSE OF THE ACTIONS OF A SMALL PERCENTAGE. I AM FROM SOUTH CAROLINA , I EXPECT YOU THINK WE ARE ALL REDNECKS? JIM S

    8th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 02:05 on 08 February 06


    Comment from riri

    look, here are some points to consider :
    1. acts of violence, no matter the reasons, by whoever (christians, muslims, jews, buddhist, etc), is clearly wrong and intolerable. don’t use religion as an excuse for it.

    2. there are cultural and religious differences. the key to live side by side (at least within societies) is tolerance. it’s not about the sarcastic offense and criticisms. but the drawing that i find very disturbing. the prophet is by islamic law forbidden to be personified in any form whatsoever. so why is it so hard for you people to tolerate that? criticism through freedom of speech can be done politely

    3. before you hate muslims so much, please think outside the box. there’s always a reason for every action. it takes two to tango. don’t you think the western (US and its allies) have anything to do to trigger acts of terrorrism?

    4. no need to provoke much further by insulting each other’s god. there is only one god, the same one for everyone of us. the difference solely lies in how we acknowledge “HIM/HER”

    thank you, peace be with us…

    8th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 10:18 on 08 February 06


    Comment from silly PEOPLE

    WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE…ALL THIS TIME MUSLIMS HAVE BEEN KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE IN THE NAME OF THE MOHAMED, MUHAMED, MOOOOOOOHAMED(HOW DO YOU SPELL HIS NAME ANYWAYS??)AND NOONE OF THE MUSLIMS EVEN IN THE U.S SAID ANYTHING. NOW A BUNCH OF STUPID CARTONS COME OUT AND THEY ARE OFFENDED!!!
    I GUESS IT’S ALL TRUE…ALL MUSLIMS SUPPORT THE KILLING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE…WAKE UP AMERICA..OPEN UP YOUR EYES YOU IDIOTS..DON’T YOU ALL REALIZE WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST..IT’S LIKE TYING TO GET RID OF ROACHES IN YOUR HOUSE AND THEY KEEP COMING BACK..WE NEED ALL, YES ALL(EVEN THE BUSH HATERS) TO STICK TOGETHER..

    YOU ALL REMEMBER 9/11…WELL THIS IS WHAT ISRAELI’S HAVE TO GO THROUGH EVERY SINGLE DAY….

    IS THIS WHAT THIS WORLD HAS COME TO..THE WORLD AGAINST THE ARABS!!SAD, VERY SAD..

    8th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 16:28 on 08 February 06


    Comment from WHO SHOULD BE PISSED

    ALL THE TIME THERE ARE CARTOONS THAT MAKE FUN OF JEWS…SHOULD WE START BURNING EMBACYS TOO!!!

    I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU MUSLIMS(I HOPE YOU ARE READING THIS)ALL YOU IDIOTS WANT IS SOME ATTENTION..WELL YOU GOT MY ATTENTION..YOU ARE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS..NOW MOVE ON MORONS

    8th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 16:31 on 08 February 06


    Comment from JIM

    Its amazing,I THINK IF WE BUILT AN I.Q.graph , IT WOULD SHOW the people who HAVE TO RESORT TO INSULTS AND NAME CALLING ,TO ARTICULATE THEIR POINTS OF VIEW, THEY WOULD BE ON THE LOW END OF THE I.Q. POINTS ,GROUPED RIGHT IN WITH THE PROTESTERS WHO ARE DOING THE VERY THINGS THEY ARE MAD ABOUT!
    JIM S

    8th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 21:16 on 08 February 06


    Comment from steve, glasgow

    I find it unusual that in this day and age we still dont realise that these people are nuts!! One minute it’s all muslims are united together, then some of them blow up or kill people, then it’s , “oh they are a minority group of muslim terrorists”. MAKE YOUR MINDS UP!!!! Your all united or not !!!
    These people are bananas…and it’s time we did something about it…..Wipe them off the face of the earth and HEY PRESTO..!! 99% of your security problems are solved !!

    sm

    8th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 21:58 on 08 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    I have to say that, personally, I find the lack of tolerance in these comments very surprising. I had thought that we live in a world where people can live harmoniously with those who have different beliefs, morals, attitudes, and values. Within such a world, a degree of humour and challenge about the above does not seem out of the question.

    However, recent events seem to show that some Muslims can’t tolerate this challenge, possibly largely due to the fact that some non-Muslims are so highly critical of a largely positive beliefs system. As far as I can tell, the cartoons were never supposed to reflect sentiments like those expressed above (“you are all a bunch of idiots”), but rather supposed to contribute to an adult discussion.

    Even if we overlook the illogical grouping together of all Muslims, it seems silly to me that so many of the above posters complain about the fact that Muslims are intolerant of our lifestyle, whilst simultaneously being intolerant of theirs.

    If Western views are stereotyped to the degree that Muslim views are, then it’s easy to see why the cartoons are offensive: They would appear to have been produced by people who have unjust and illogical hatred for people’s beliefs. However, whilst sadly not accurately reflected above, the stereotypical Western view of Islam is no more accuracte than the stereotypical Muslim view of the West. Until we overcome that notion, relations can never really move forward.

    8th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 22:54 on 08 February 06


    Comment from nilbes

    I have read all the posts above and have come to the result that none of the posters know their country’s or religion’s history. Please go back and look at history and read about the violence and blood-sheds done in the name of God!!! and when I say God = anybodies God !!! cathlics versus protestants versus jews versus pagans (pagans have their gods too if you dont know only they are one too many :-)) versus moslems versus hindus this list can go on and on. But what you all actually dont realize that this hate is only a scapegoat used to cover up the actual problem which is greed!!! greed for wealth for politics and power. It all adds up who has the power to control the ones who are poor and illeterate and have to stay that way to be exploited!!!! Power is a pendalum that swings from one group to another throughout history and thats the law of mankind. Anything that can be done about it?? difficult to say if there is a solution I would be rather happy to know about it, but please with no abuse and name callings which only degrades the issue and helps no one. Rational ideas with integrity would be warmly welcomed

    9th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:13 on 09 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Well……..I have read all of the posts above……I personally believe that the people who are writing this are as bit of fundamentalists as those who published the cartoons and as are those who are burning embassies. When you talk of freedom of press, you talk of tolerance……Is there any tolerance in any of these anti-Muslim statements? I think European and Western countries also have rules, and culture, and anyone who does not follow rules is subject to punishment as per rules. It is extremely naive and feeling stupidly proud about your culture and hating the culture of others. No doubt as my Turkish brother said, West has advanced technologically but collapsed morally and spiritually, particularly in this regard. The angry protestors just represent a small portion of Islamic world who feel that they have to be violent to express their feeling of being insulted.

    However, it is always the final resort of a person who is being oppressed, to become violent. I do not support violence, but I suggest to the Western countries that if they have wealth, they should set out to help the Muslim countries (mostly poor) and try to respect their believes rather than mocking them. They will gain more respect for their views. Prophet Muhammad said to the Muslims, “Don’t make fun of their false gods, they will make fun of your Real God”. And also, for those who have hurled insults in name of Islam and Prophet Muhammad……..I would ask them to study Islam and first know about the real beliefs of Muslims, then they are free to say whatever they like based on their belief…….But I certainly condemn those who use violence to express themselves…….As by violence, you alienate others rather than make them see your point of view.

    9th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 12:35 on 09 February 06


    Comment from Careperson

    Let non-believers be kind to Muslims. Let Muslims also be kind to non-believers.

    It would be unwise and unthankful to the Muslims if we do not recognize that most of them for whatsoever reason resisted to be converted into a religion of terror despite Islam inviting people to terrorism.

    Similarly, it would be unwise and unthankful if the Muslims feel hurt despite the world is hurt everyday with terror attack on innocent “nonbelievers”. It is not everybody – it is only a few hurt back Islam. If we listen to their voice it may be clear that they hurt only the source of the terror unleashed and not against peace loving Muslims. The Muslims should be thankful to the non-Muslims because a large number of them, who suffered the terrors of 9/11, Mumbai, Madrid bombings, and Kashmir, did so patiently. Other than sheer goodness, what made a vast ocean of people tolerate the onslaught of Islam since start of that religion?

    Israel being violent or USA or other countries being violent can no longer justify the violence of Islam. Nor it can be justified based on the belief that the God wanted Muslims to be harsh with the “infidels.” What justification do Muslims have to be violently outrageous when the people hurt by Islam repay that hurt by saying that Islam’s prophet was a womanizer, child abuser, war monger, and demanded unquestioned acceptance of himself? The very Holy Koran itself admits that the prophet was all of these things.

    Another important issue the zealot Muslims point out is that Islam forbids portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed and the Allah and therefore a violent outrage at the recent caricatures of Mohammad is justified. It is also added that Islam outlawed portrayal because it may lead to idol or portrayal worship. A critical analysis into Islam can reveal that no one ever dared to make an idol of the prophet Mohammed himself. Yet by forbidding the portraits of himself and Allah Mohammad made himself indistinguishable from Allah. No idol today is so zealously protected as the undrawn image of Prophet Mohammed. That is what the cartoon controversy exposes.

    How can any body say that one should not criticize a prophet who wanted idol worshippers, Jews, and Christians slain, nonbelievers maimed, with hands and legs chopped from them, and women treated inferior to men…? How can somebody expect that the prophet’s support of slavery (including sex-slavery), punishment by beheading, the taking of women as war booty, genocide, looting… would not be noted or criticized? When a religious text prescribes a morality that is far inferior to that is normally practiced in everyday life there WILL be criticism. Why should people be hurt with that?

    Is there any compulsion other than the ‘fear’ of Hell that the Koran imposes on disbelievers that forces Muslims to be over defenders of this medieval text? Or is it that the false prestige of belonging to the ‘tribe of God’ pushes them into arrogance? Or is it their hypocrisy that pushes them to be defenders of the holy God? Are they really so God loving? If they were God loving they should prove it by leading a virtuous life and not by propagating terror. Or is it that they are self-centeredly greedy for Paradise that they seek if by unleashing terror against the nonbelievers? If they are loving, religious and spiritual, they should say “No” to violence, “No” to standing divided from the rest of the humanity, “No” to the oppressing women, “No” to war, “No” to womanizing, “No” to child abuse, “No to hatred, “No” to brutal corporeal punishments, “No” to blind faith, “No” to slavery, “No to all forms of violence—EVEN IF God or His prophet demanded them.

    What is piety? Is it just taking part in a prayer ritual of 5 times a day? Is it just the ritualistic abstaining from food or certain foods? Is it something to do with pilgrimage? Is it being dogmatic about one’s own interpretation of the so-called Holy Scriptures? Is it to sit and endlessly praise God? Is it holy to wage war against others? Is it pious to discriminate between men and women?

    To be pious is to be caring. To be pious is to be sensitive towards others.

    What is the meaning in always reciting that ‘God is Merciful and great’, while remaining insensitive to fellow human beings? What is that God would achieve through bloodshed? If anybody believes that their god wants bloodshed then they should check whether it is really the Creator God they are serving. Can God be so insensitive? Can God be so chauvinistic? Can God be so fanatic? Can God be so dogmatic? Can God be so much addicted to rituals? If somebody says that the God is violent, racist, chauvinist, divisive, fanatic, partial, war mongering, preoccupied with human politics, demands that people adhere to some mediaeval social system, and has already spoken his last word through his last messenger- should we be so naïve as to accept that claim? This last, in fact, amounts declaring the death of the God. If somebody is a believer and wants to be pious, I think they should meditate on this.

    Islam is a violent religion. If somebody is nonviolent within that faith, it is not because of Islam, it is because their human sensibilities are still alive in them, guiding them to be caring and nonviolent. One can hardly find any other scripture in the human history that has spewed so much of hatred and venom against its disbelievers as those of Islam do, but that doesn’t mean that all Muslims are violent.

    Unfortunately, Islam imposes itself on any human child born to Muslim parents irrespective of the parents being true believers or not. The first violation thus performed on every human child born to ‘Muslim’ parents is that their human sensibilities are forcibly replaced by the artificial religious identity of being Muslim. Some bearers of the violent identity become terrorists, some always remain hurt by the violent actions of their brothers and sisters against the world of the ‘Other,’ ashamed of the Islamic image imposed on them, some are pained over the hurt imposed on them by those who were themselves were harmed by Islam, and a majority do not bother about any of this. The practice of identifying human children by default with religious identities should be questioned as religion should be chosen by individuals if they find it necessary. In other words, the present practice of every human child being labeled with a religious identity should be brought to an end. By default all human children should have a choice to be secular minded. This would mean, pushing religious identities on human children by means of circumcision, baptism, or any other religious rites should be seen as a defenseless violence on human children’s identity. In other words, the present practice of pushing religious identities on human children and its rightness should be debated thoroughly. Terrorism today is a part of identity politics. Hence it requires examining the source of human identities to think of a terror free world. People are subjected to ‘fatwas’, circumcisions, oppressive dress codes, stratified gender relations, stratified social relations etc., only through imposition and reification of religious identities on human children. However difficult it may appear to think in this direction, I think the final end to the nasty identity politics could be made possible only if we could help people to transcend their identities. All that helps people to transcend their identity should be done; All that requires to prevent people from being locked into identities also should be carefully considered. This should be the lesson we should learn from our hurts and counter hurts. The only way to make the world peaceful is to make it secular. People should learn to be moral and just without the help of institutionalized religion.

    The madness of imposing religious identities should, of course, be seen as human right violations. Every normal child born is a child capable of being sensitive and sensible; and no child is a born Muslim, Christian, Hindu or Jew. In other words, humans give birth to humans – not Muslims, Christians, Jews or Hindus. People are born secular. Religious identities were imposed on them later on. They are part of politics people play: identity politics.

    Identity politics invariably have something to do with politics in THIS world. It is a nasty game linked to the power and positions people want to enjoy. It has nothing spiritual in it. There exists no piety in it. The supporters uphold a mundane bloody politics carried on in religious or spiritual guise and the opponents oppose it because they recognize it as the nasty politics of power and greed and that it has nothing ‘sacred’ or ‘holy’ in it. Its “holiness” is there only in its propaganda.

    Let us not hate Muslims. Let the Muslims not demand that their prophet not be criticized. If they dislike criticisms let them refrain from it. If they do not like to draw the prophet’s portrait, let them not do it. But they have no right to demand at gunpoint that the others should not criticize or draw caricatures of the prophet. Many believe that the so-called prophet has a big role in the present-day violence and terror. The very Koran is full of criticisms on all non-Muslims, so non-Muslims have a right to be likewise critical of Islam. Islam is divine only for its believers. Its divinity cannot be imposed on the others. If Muslims feel offended because the God will be offended, then let them learn that God is not so powerless that He requires a terrorist or a bad-mouthed devotee to support Him!
    _________________
    I Care

    I Thank Walt Ampbreia for editing language of this article.

    9th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 21:13 on 09 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Really fine comments………I appreciate all of them…..At least someone has expressed knowledge in his/her expression. All of your points are valid. But let me ask you some questions…….If West is a very women respecting society, why are women raped in West (a figure much higher than in Islamic World)……why people keep mistresses when they should have only one wife……Why West kills so many people for peace……Iraq, Afghanistan, etc……Isn’t it hypocrisy that at one aspect you claim that you protect human rights, give women respect, and at the other end all crimes against women and humanity are being committed. For instance, tell me the number West has killed, and the number Muslims have killed, you will have to shut your eyes.

    You have destroyed your social setup…….You are big nations with a huge number of production of illegitimate offsprings…….who don’t know who their father was coz their mother had multiple sexual partners…….You run programs like finding your father……. Your nation is brought up without a family setup, without values, only the values feeded in their minds in schools, no proper home structure. This all doesn’t happen in Islamic society…….If you are talking of Muslims doing ill things to Jews, Christians, then remember what your noble Christians did when they occupied Jerusalam and what Salahuddin (Saladin as Westerns call him) did when he occupied Jerusulam……..Okay, but now you say that all religions are bad……So we will talk in context of your so-called modernism……..So under the context of modernism, some pleasure-seeking rich idiots of West announced that women should be equal to men, so that women should rebel against the social setup and be free, unprotected, so that they can use them for their pleasure………You would certainly laugh off at that……But let me tell you, the present day boss-secretary concept, free sex, this is the product of all this……..Even women have to do a lot of things to please men, coz they are taught that they have to be equal……..I really respect if someone says men and and women are equal……But when you say equal, you leave a big question mark?……..Are they equal in their sexual appetite, responsibilities, even their anatomy and physiology etc. When you consider someone as your equal, you can never give that person respect……You claim for yourself what you claim for that person. In Islam, women are granted equal rights, not equality……Because this equality thing is in itself quite unfair, a big farce. Islam provides women with a prestigious position in society…….As mother, they have three times more status than the father…….A son has to obey his mother even if he has to disobey his father. Women are given half inheritance, and they are not obliged in anyway to run the family. This inheritance is theirs to enjoy, while the man has been made responsible to feed his family. So, there is not any unfairness in this, rather a prestigious position. It is totally unfair if someone says that Islam promotes men having more women. No…….If anyone has the time to read Koran, he/she must find out that Islam only says that you can do that if you can do justice, and also it is stated that you can never do justice…….So Islam basically only allows a person to have one wife……..Also, it is said that God created all human beings from a couple…….So this is sufficient evidence to refute any claims that one makes that Islam is a promoter of polygamy……….Anywayz, what people of West is doing, having extramarital relations……???? illegitimate childs…….?????The God who created this earth knows better than us, and he guided us through his religions, through Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and fianlly prophet Muhammad (peace be upon all of them). The only problem the West is facing, as I believe, is that it is so self-centered in it’s worldly achievements that it has totally neglected the spiritual aspect and pleasure ecking is the them, the result of which is that a large number of Western people are seeking psychiatric or spiritual care.

    As I stated before, the only way to make other people convinced is by dialogue, not arguments. You give me your point of view, I will give you mine………If anyone sees the mirror, he/she thinks him/herself to be the most beautiful person……..It is only when you see at the world you can know what is the truth……

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 07:07 on 10 February 06


    Comment from AHMED

    DO YOU KNOW WHO IS MUHMMED?
    MUHMMED IS THE MESSENGER OF ISLAM
    OUR GOD SENT HIM TO LEAD PEOPLE TO THE RIGHT WAY
    DO YOU KNOW WHATS THE RIGHT RELIGION ?
    I DO
    ISLAM IS THE REAL RELIGION
    DONT TELL ME I SAID THIS CUZ I TRUST MY RELIGION..
    EVERY RELIGION WAS SPOILED BY PEOPLE SINCE LONG TIME AGO.
    BUT WHEN ISLAM CAME HE GATHERED ALL PAST RELIGIONS,JEW AND CHRISTIANTY …AND ADD SOME NEW RULES….
    DO YOU KNOW WHAT JEW AND CHRISTIANTY CALLED TO?
    IT CALLED TO WORSHIP ONE GOD CALLED ALLAH..
    WHEN ISLAM CAME HE COMMANDED ALL PEOPLE TO CHOOSE ISLAM AS A RELIGION
    AND TO LEAVE THEIR PAST RELIGIONS,CHRISTIANTY,JEW..
    WHEN ISLAM CAME HE ORDERED US TO BELIVE IN IT AND CHOOSE IT……AND TO LEAVE JEWISH AND CHRISTIANY BECAUSE ITS SPOILED…..
    LOOK TO THE DIFFRENT BETWEEN QURAN AND YOUR HOLLY BOOKS
    WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT BOOK?
    QURAN.OUR GOD PROTECT QURAN OF BEING SPOILED…WHEN YOU READ CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH BOOKS YOU THINK YOU ARE READING A NORMAL BOOK NOT A HOLLY BOOK..YOU GUESS YOU ARE READING A STORY..TRY TO READ AND UNDERSTAND QURAN AND THEN JUGE..
    CHRISTIANS AND JEWISHS THINK THEY WILL GO TO PARADISE AFTER DEATH.IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK?
    THE SAD ANSWER THEY WILL GO TO HELL…
    OUR GOD SAYS IN THE RIGHT BOOK THE HOLLY QURAN(وقالوا لن يدخل الجنة إلا من كان هودا أو نصارى تلك أمانيهم قل هاتوا برهانكم إن كنتم صادقين)
    THIS MEANT (THEY SAY “NONE SHALL ENTER PARADISE UNLESS HE BE A JEWISH OR A CHRISTIAN” THOSE ARE THEIR DESIRES.SAY “PRODUSE YOUR PROOF IF YOU ARE TRUTHFUL.”)
    OUR GOD SAYS IN THE HOLLY QURAN(TO ALLAH BELONG THE EASES AND THE WEST: WHITHERSOEVER YE TURN, THERE IS ALLAH FACE. FOR ALLAH IS ALL-EMBRACING,ALL-KNOWING.)
    OUR GOD ALSO SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN( O YE PEOPLE! WORSHIP YOUR GUADIAN LORD, WHO CREATED YOU AND THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE YOU THAT YE MAY BECOME RIGHTEOUS,)
    Muhmmed (PEACE BE UPON HIS NAME) SAYS “ WE ALL (PEOLPE) BELONG TO ADAM AND ADAM IS FROM EARTH DUST SOIL GROUD…
    OUR GOD SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN (((( “BEHOLD, THE LORD SAID TO THE ANGELS; “I WILL CREATE A VICEGERENT ON EARTH.” THEY SAID: “ WILT THOU PLACE THEREIN ONE WHO WILL MAKE MISCHIEF THEREIN AND SHED BLOOD?_WHILST WE DO CELEBRATE THY PRAISES AND GLORIFY THY HOLY NAME??
    HE SAID “ I KNOW WHAT YE KNOW YE KNOW NOT” . AND HE TAUGHT ADAM THE NAMES OF ALL THINGS; THEN HE PLACED THEM BEFORE THE ANGELS, AND SAID: “ TELL ME THE NAME OF THESE IF YE ARE RIGHT.” . THEY SAID: “GLORY TO THEE: OF KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE NONE, SAVE WHAT THOU HAST TAUGHT US: IN TRUTH IT IS THOU WHO ART PERFECT IN KNOWLEGE AND WISDOM.”))))

    I HOPE YOU ALL PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE MUSLIMS…..
    IN ISLAM RELIGION YOU CANT STEEL PEOPLE MONEY,YOU CANT RAPE WOMEN, YOU CANT SUCIDE.IS THERE ANY RELIGION SUCH AS ISLMA??
    WE WORSHIP ONE GOD CALLED ALLAH ..
    HE CREATED US.
    EVERYTHING BELONG TO ALLAH.
    HE DONT HAS A WIFE,CHILDS,COUSINS,PARENTS GARND PARENTS. HE IS ALONE , HE IS CREATER.
    HE CREATED HUMANS IN THE BEST WAY AS HE SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN.
    WHO DO YOU WORSHIP GUYS???
    WHEN MUSLIMS WERE CONQURED IN THE PAST SINCE MUHMMED AGE THEY WERENT KILLED ANY WOMEN,CHILDS,OLD MEN,OLD WOMEN AND ALSO GUYS WHO DIDNT DECLARE WAR AT MUSLIMS..
    ITS THE GREATEST RELIGION
    DO YOU KNOW WHY ISLAMIC WOMEN WEAR CLOTHES THAT SOMETIMES COVERED THEIR FACE??? TO PROTECT THEIR SELVES FROM MEN..
    YOU KNOW MEN LOOK AT A BEATIFUL GIRLS AND WOMEN SO IF THEY WERE GOOD THEY WONT LOOK TO ANY ONE..
    CAN YOU TELL ME WHY MOST GIRLS AND WOMEN ARE RAPED IN EUROPE AND AMERICA…
    WHY IN THE ISLAMIC COUNTRIES NOTHING ARE HAPPENING??OR WIDLEY LESS THAN YOU ??
    WHY?
    ISLAM PROTECT WOMEN AND GIRLS..
    YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM ALOT OF PROBLEMS WE DONT SUFFER FROM..
    I PREFER TO BE KILLED OR CHOCKED THAN TO LOOK AT MUHMMED CARTOONS.
    IM GOING TO LEARN ENGLISH ,,IM GOING TO SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY.IM GOING TO PROVE TO ALL PEOPLE ISLAM RELIGION..
    WAIT AND YOU WILL SEE WHO AM I GOING TO BE??????

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:57 on 10 February 06


    Comment from anonymous in madrid

    i’ve read all the posts – all dealing with either logical, irrational, philosophical or theological reasoning.

    something bugs me and it has nothing to do reasoning or justification but, rather, chronology.

    these editorial cartoons were published back in september! why did the repercussions only start a week ago?

    the way i see it, this muslim backlash is not a spontaneous act of disgust and insult directed at western governments. it is a carefully orchestrated event by the more radical ayatollahs and fundamentalists taking advantage of the misery and poverty of their people. to what end? your guess is as good as mine but i tend to think that it’s a show of force meant to intimidate and instill fear. i’m certain many of the demonstrators are paid agitators, professionals if you will. is it any coincidence the protests commenced after iran’s refusal to submit to the IAEA and the Hamas victory in palestine?

    these protests have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with power politics.

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:57 on 10 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Sound reasons……..But you just missed one point. That is, there should be a freedom of opinion, not freedom of insult..

    Thanks.

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:06 on 10 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    In supplement to my prior comment……..One can insult one another as much as one would like by talking to each other, having a dialogue, where both have an equal chance. But when you hurl insults in the name of certain religion or a person, and make mockery by the way of publishing it, irregardless of other person’s beliefs, then let me tell you it is a serious affair and has it’s repercussions. If you are a psychopath, who does not know how to respect someone’s beliefs, you should find your place in a mental ward rather than on editorials. Sick minds must not be allowed to publish all the nonsense they believe in, otherwise this earth will become a hell. I don’t believe any right-minded person either Jew, Christian, Muslim, or anyone else likes to mock other religions……Whatever our religion or belief may be, whatever our style is…….We are all children of this Earth and have the full right to enjoy our lives in our chosen manner and have the right of being respected for our beliefs.

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:14 on 10 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    PLEASE READ IT
    PLESE

    THEN COMMENT AGAIN

    DO YOU KNOW WHO IS MUHMMED?
    MUHMMED IS THE MESSENGER OF ISLAM
    OUR GOD SENT HIM TO LEAD PEOPLE TO THE RIGHT WAY
    DO YOU KNOW WHATS THE RIGHT RELIGION ?
    I DO
    ISLAM IS THE REAL RELIGION
    DONT TELL ME I SAID THIS CUZ I TRUST MY RELIGION..
    EVERY RELIGION WAS SPOILED BY PEOPLE SINCE LONG TIME AGO.
    BUT WHEN ISLAM CAME HE GATHERED ALL PAST RELIGIONS,JEW AND CHRISTIANTY …AND ADD SOME NEW RULES….
    DO YOU KNOW WHAT JEW AND CHRISTIANTY CALLED TO?
    IT CALLED TO WORSHIP ONE GOD CALLED ALLAH..
    WHEN ISLAM CAME HE COMMANDED ALL PEOPLE TO CHOOSE ISLAM AS A RELIGION
    AND TO LEAVE THEIR PAST RELIGIONS,CHRISTIANTY,JEW..
    WHEN ISLAM CAME HE ORDERED US TO BELIVE IN IT AND CHOOSE IT……AND TO LEAVE JEWISH AND CHRISTIANY BECAUSE ITS SPOILED…..
    LOOK TO THE DIFFRENT BETWEEN QURAN AND YOUR HOLLY BOOKS
    WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT BOOK?
    QURAN.OUR GOD PROTECT QURAN OF BEING SPOILED…WHEN YOU READ CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH BOOKS YOU THINK YOU ARE READING A NORMAL BOOK NOT A HOLLY BOOK..YOU GUESS YOU ARE READING A STORY..TRY TO READ AND UNDERSTAND QURAN AND THEN JUGE..
    CHRISTIANS AND JEWISHS THINK THEY WILL GO TO PARADISE AFTER DEATH.IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK?
    THE SAD ANSWER THEY WILL GO TO HELL…
    OUR GOD SAYS IN THE RIGHT BOOK THE HOLLY QURAN(وقالوا لن يدخل الجنة إلا من كان هودا أو نصارى تلك أمانيهم قل هاتوا برهانكم إن كنتم صادقين)
    THIS MEANT (THEY SAY “NONE SHALL ENTER PARADISE UNLESS HE BE A JEWISH OR A CHRISTIAN” THOSE ARE THEIR DESIRES.SAY “PRODUSE YOUR PROOF IF YOU ARE TRUTHFUL.”)
    OUR GOD SAYS IN THE HOLLY QURAN(TO ALLAH BELONG THE EASES AND THE WEST: WHITHERSOEVER YE TURN, THERE IS ALLAH FACE. FOR ALLAH IS ALL-EMBRACING,ALL-KNOWING.)
    OUR GOD ALSO SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN( O YE PEOPLE! WORSHIP YOUR GUADIAN LORD, WHO CREATED YOU AND THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE YOU THAT YE MAY BECOME RIGHTEOUS,)
    Muhmmed (PEACE BE UPON HIS NAME) SAYS “ WE ALL (PEOLPE) BELONG TO ADAM AND ADAM IS FROM EARTH DUST SOIL GROUD…
    OUR GOD SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN (((( “BEHOLD, THE LORD SAID TO THE ANGELS; “I WILL CREATE A VICEGERENT ON EARTH.” THEY SAID: “ WILT THOU PLACE THEREIN ONE WHO WILL MAKE MISCHIEF THEREIN AND SHED BLOOD?_WHILST WE DO CELEBRATE THY PRAISES AND GLORIFY THY HOLY NAME??
    HE SAID “ I KNOW WHAT YE KNOW YE KNOW NOT” . AND HE TAUGHT ADAM THE NAMES OF ALL THINGS; THEN HE PLACED THEM BEFORE THE ANGELS, AND SAID: “ TELL ME THE NAME OF THESE IF YE ARE RIGHT.” . THEY SAID: “GLORY TO THEE: OF KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE NONE, SAVE WHAT THOU HAST TAUGHT US: IN TRUTH IT IS THOU WHO ART PERFECT IN KNOWLEGE AND WISDOM.”))))

    I HOPE YOU ALL PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE MUSLIMS…..
    IN ISLAM RELIGION YOU CANT STEEL PEOPLE MONEY,YOU CANT RAPE WOMEN, YOU CANT SUCIDE.IS THERE ANY RELIGION SUCH AS ISLMA??
    WE WORSHIP ONE GOD CALLED ALLAH ..
    HE CREATED US.
    EVERYTHING BELONG TO ALLAH.
    HE DONT HAS A WIFE,CHILDS,COUSINS,PARENTS GARND PARENTS. HE IS ALONE , HE IS CREATER.
    HE CREATED HUMANS IN THE BEST WAY AS HE SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN.
    WHO DO YOU WORSHIP GUYS???
    WHEN MUSLIMS WERE CONQURED IN THE PAST SINCE MUHMMED AGE THEY WERENT KILLED ANY WOMEN,CHILDS,OLD MEN,OLD WOMEN AND ALSO GUYS WHO DIDNT DECLARE WAR AT MUSLIMS..
    ITS THE GREATEST RELIGION
    DO YOU KNOW WHY ISLAMIC WOMEN WEAR CLOTHES THAT SOMETIMES COVERED THEIR FACE??? TO PROTECT THEIR SELVES FROM MEN..
    YOU KNOW MEN LOOK AT A BEATIFUL GIRLS AND WOMEN SO IF THEY WERE GOOD THEY WONT LOOK TO ANY ONE..
    CAN YOU TELL ME WHY MOST GIRLS AND WOMEN ARE RAPED IN EUROPE AND AMERICA…
    WHY IN THE ISLAMIC COUNTRIES NOTHING ARE HAPPENING??OR WIDLEY LESS THAN YOU ??
    WHY?
    ISLAM PROTECT WOMEN AND GIRLS..
    YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM ALOT OF PROBLEMS WE DONT SUFFER FROM..
    I PREFER TO BE KILLED OR CHOCKED THAN TO LOOK AT MUHMMED CARTOONS.
    IM GOING TO LEARN ENGLISH ,,IM GOING TO SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY.IM GOING TO PROVE TO ALL PEOPLE ISLAM RELIGION..
    WAIT AND YOU WILL SEE WHO AM I GOING TO BE??????

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:14 on 10 February 06


    Comment from Mike

    I think Muslims should live together in “there” country and not in the UK, we obviously have big differences which have already got us to the point of killing eachother, so lets call it a day. To be honest i dont give a shit about your religion, and it is clear it is a very poor religion anyway, i have seen real footage of your people hacking off the head off an english person while he is alive and there is no excuse for that, then you have the cheek to demonstrate in our country trying to promote cutting off peoples heads, if i were in charge you would have left the UK by now, we really dont want you here, i certainly dont anyway. I also belive when in rome you do as the romans etc, instead you are trying to get mosks built and change our landscape to reflect yours? I think its too late now anyway, i dont see the UK ever putting english people first, its all about putting the everyone in the world first, great business plan, can you imagine running a buinsses and the gola was to make sure all the other business and competitors were doing good? Ill be voting BNP next time, i suggest everyone also does that, at least they have the balls to stand up to these cowards that kidnap and cut heads off with a saw

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:56 on 10 February 06


    Comment from Mike

    oh also, english people had wars about religion hundreds of years ago, we have moved on since then, if you want a war about religion again go to your own country, we really arent interested in your religion in the slightest way, we just dont like you

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 14:00 on 10 February 06


    Comment from deleted

    christian religion is wrong

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 15:05 on 10 February 06


    Comment from deleted

    PLEASE READ IT
    PLESE

    THEN COMMENT AGAIN

    DO YOU KNOW WHO IS MUHMMED?
    MUHMMED IS THE MESSENGER OF ISLAM
    OUR GOD SENT HIM TO LEAD PEOPLE TO THE RIGHT WAY
    DO YOU KNOW WHATS THE RIGHT RELIGION ?
    I DO
    ISLAM IS THE REAL RELIGION
    DONT TELL ME I SAID THIS CUZ I TRUST MY RELIGION..
    EVERY RELIGION WAS SPOILED BY PEOPLE SINCE LONG TIME AGO.
    BUT WHEN ISLAM CAME HE GATHERED ALL PAST RELIGIONS,JEW AND CHRISTIANTY …AND ADD SOME NEW RULES….
    DO YOU KNOW WHAT JEW AND CHRISTIANTY CALLED TO?
    IT CALLED TO WORSHIP ONE GOD CALLED ALLAH..
    WHEN ISLAM CAME HE COMMANDED ALL PEOPLE TO CHOOSE ISLAM AS A RELIGION
    AND TO LEAVE THEIR PAST RELIGIONS,CHRISTIANTY,JEW..
    WHEN ISLAM CAME HE ORDERED US TO BELIVE IN IT AND CHOOSE IT……AND TO LEAVE JEWISH AND CHRISTIANY BECAUSE ITS SPOILED…..
    LOOK TO THE DIFFRENT BETWEEN QURAN AND YOUR HOLLY BOOKS
    WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT BOOK?
    QURAN.OUR GOD PROTECT QURAN OF BEING SPOILED…WHEN YOU READ CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH BOOKS YOU THINK YOU ARE READING A NORMAL BOOK NOT A HOLLY BOOK..YOU GUESS YOU ARE READING A STORY..TRY TO READ AND UNDERSTAND QURAN AND THEN JUGE..
    CHRISTIANS AND JEWISHS THINK THEY WILL GO TO PARADISE AFTER DEATH.IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK?
    THE SAD ANSWER THEY WILL GO TO HELL…
    OUR GOD SAYS IN THE RIGHT BOOK THE HOLLY QURAN(وقالوا لن يدخل الجنة إلا من كان هودا أو نصارى تلك أمانيهم قل هاتوا برهانكم إن كنتم صادقين)
    THIS MEANT (THEY SAY “NONE SHALL ENTER PARADISE UNLESS HE BE A JEWISH OR A CHRISTIAN” THOSE ARE THEIR DESIRES.SAY “PRODUSE YOUR PROOF IF YOU ARE TRUTHFUL.”)
    OUR GOD SAYS IN THE HOLLY QURAN(TO ALLAH BELONG THE EASES AND THE WEST: WHITHERSOEVER YE TURN, THERE IS ALLAH FACE. FOR ALLAH IS ALL-EMBRACING,ALL-KNOWING.)
    OUR GOD ALSO SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN( O YE PEOPLE! WORSHIP YOUR GUADIAN LORD, WHO CREATED YOU AND THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE YOU THAT YE MAY BECOME RIGHTEOUS,)
    Muhmmed (PEACE BE UPON HIS NAME) SAYS “ WE ALL (PEOLPE) BELONG TO ADAM AND ADAM IS FROM EARTH DUST SOIL GROUD…
    OUR GOD SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN (((( “BEHOLD, THE LORD SAID TO THE ANGELS; “I WILL CREATE A VICEGERENT ON EARTH.” THEY SAID: “ WILT THOU PLACE THEREIN ONE WHO WILL MAKE MISCHIEF THEREIN AND SHED BLOOD?_WHILST WE DO CELEBRATE THY PRAISES AND GLORIFY THY HOLY NAME??
    HE SAID “ I KNOW WHAT YE KNOW YE KNOW NOT” . AND HE TAUGHT ADAM THE NAMES OF ALL THINGS; THEN HE PLACED THEM BEFORE THE ANGELS, AND SAID: “ TELL ME THE NAME OF THESE IF YE ARE RIGHT.” . THEY SAID: “GLORY TO THEE: OF KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE NONE, SAVE WHAT THOU HAST TAUGHT US: IN TRUTH IT IS THOU WHO ART PERFECT IN KNOWLEGE AND WISDOM.”))))

    I HOPE YOU ALL PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE MUSLIMS…..
    IN ISLAM RELIGION YOU CANT STEEL PEOPLE MONEY,YOU CANT RAPE WOMEN, YOU CANT SUCIDE.IS THERE ANY RELIGION SUCH AS ISLMA??
    WE WORSHIP ONE GOD CALLED ALLAH ..
    HE CREATED US.
    EVERYTHING BELONG TO ALLAH.
    HE DONT HAS A WIFE,CHILDS,COUSINS,PARENTS GARND PARENTS. HE IS ALONE , HE IS CREATER.
    HE CREATED HUMANS IN THE BEST WAY AS HE SAYS IN HOLLY QURAN.
    WHO DO YOU WORSHIP GUYS???
    WHEN MUSLIMS WERE CONQURED IN THE PAST SINCE MUHMMED AGE THEY WERENT KILLED ANY WOMEN,CHILDS,OLD MEN,OLD WOMEN AND ALSO GUYS WHO DIDNT DECLARE WAR AT MUSLIMS..
    ITS THE GREATEST RELIGION
    DO YOU KNOW WHY ISLAMIC WOMEN WEAR CLOTHES THAT SOMETIMES COVERED THEIR FACE??? TO PROTECT THEIR SELVES FROM MEN..
    YOU KNOW MEN LOOK AT A BEATIFUL GIRLS AND WOMEN SO IF THEY WERE GOOD THEY WONT LOOK TO ANY ONE..
    CAN YOU TELL ME WHY MOST GIRLS AND WOMEN ARE RAPED IN EUROPE AND AMERICA…
    WHY IN THE ISLAMIC COUNTRIES NOTHING ARE HAPPENING??OR WIDLEY LESS THAN YOU ??
    WHY?
    ISLAM PROTECT WOMEN AND GIRLS..
    YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM ALOT OF PROBLEMS WE DONT SUFFER FROM..
    I PREFER TO BE KILLED OR CHOCKED THAN TO LOOK AT MUHMMED CARTOONS.
    IM GOING TO LEARN ENGLISH ,,IM GOING TO SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY.IM GOING TO PROVE TO ALL PEOPLE ISLAM RELIGION..
    WAIT AND YOU WILL SEE WHO AM I GOING TO BE??????

    if you want to be muslim ,you can do as you want
    but last thing i should tell it
    if you are are an adult and you died you will go to hell…\
    i hope you all will be leaded to the right way(islam)
    with all regrets..

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 15:49 on 10 February 06


    Comment from deleted

    i agree with you…
    muslim brother

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 17:00 on 10 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Well……This is to my English friend…….Admit it or not, you will have your landscape changed and everything……Islam is winning hearts fast, coz it is the religion of THe God, not men…….And as for violence, I join in your condemnation of it……..Your comments itself show the gravity of situation for all the false believers, and so called modernists. But I totally deplore all those who make fun of other religions……I am a proponent of increased respect for each others beliefs rather than throwing stones…….Just because I don’t believe, I have to hate it…….This is not a good approach at all!!!!…..May God guide everyone to the right path……..I invite you to read Islam……If you have any questions about Islam, I will be most willing to answer them but this hating does not make sense…….You cannot occupy someone’s land (Iraq and Afghanistan, Palestine) and expect them to kiss you for making them slaves and stealing their property……This idea is totally against human freedom…..If that is what you believe in. The Israelis ain’t innocent, they have occupied the Palestinian lands and as part of the occupation force they have settled in……..So they are tasting the bitter along with the sweet. Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan are by no means innocent too…….But yes, the citizens of European countries and Western countries are, and I believe all such people should be hanged who are doing such activities……terrrorism or whatever you might call it……This is not supported by Islam…….It is totally their own concept…….And I don’t believe them to be Muslims at all…….But I can’t kiss your Bush or Blair for invading and occupying Muslim countries also……..You don’t own this world……It belongs to everyone,,,,,,,,And the sooner you learn this reality, the better for you.

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 17:44 on 10 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    Above (here), one anonymous contributor commented that

    But when you hurl insults in the name of certain religion or a person, and make mockery by the way of publishing it, irregardless of other person’s beliefs, then let me tell you it is a serious affair and has it’s repercussions. If you are a psychopath, who does not know how to respect someone’s beliefs, you should find your place in a mental ward rather than on editorials. Sick minds must not be allowed to publish all the nonsense they believe in, otherwise this earth will become a hell.

    First of all, let me say that I am not a ‘psychopath’, but I am currently working with the mentally ill, and I don’t feel that there is any need to sigmatise them as part of this discussion.

    Secondly, I don’t feel that I have mocked anyone by republishing the cartoons. I published them to facilitate an open discussion of their contents; my personal view, as stated in several places on the site, is that I disagree wholeheartedly with the sentiment expressed in some of the cartoons. Furthermore, the fact that this post has generated more comments than any other on the site – including a number of reasoned, thought-out comments, clearly posted by individuals who have considered the issues – demonstrates that the aim has been acheived.

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 20:04 on 10 February 06


    Comment from Sharpstar7

    I’m thinking of joining the army in the USA. They are they only people who dare to stand up to them, soon other country’s will follow but i am not gonna wait on them. WE WANT YOU FOR OUR US ARMY.

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 21:17 on 10 February 06


    Comment from jamie

    How sad that this is all going on. I don’t care how many time you tell me the the Muslim faith is better I will not believe and we can tell those that are Muslims until we are blue in the face and they won’t agree either. We not stop all of the fighting…this anger isn’t going to change anyone.

    10th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 23:42 on 10 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    This is for sjhoward…….my comments were not meant for you……You are doing a right job by starting a dialogue, coz when the cat is out of bag, you cannot contain it……I believe this forum is an excellent place for discussion and sharing of beliefs…..My comments are for the original publishers.

    11th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 11:11 on 11 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    This is for the person who has posted his beliefs in caps about Islam…….First of all, you seem highly illiterate, secondly you are too proud, thirdly you are doing no service to Islam by raising your lone slogan…….You cannot win hearts by saying that you are right……..You have to prove it!!!

    11th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 11:18 on 11 February 06


    Comment from gnc

    Oh wow! Look how far(!) we came..

    Some say Mohammed is the prophet of sheep; he is a terrorist and all.. Freedom of speech, freedom of insult.. And I, as the debates and protests go on and on, feel like a pawn more and more everyday, don’t you?

    I’m from Istanbul, Turkey, and though I believe in a creator, I don’t believe in any holy book, any prophet, thus any religion. It’s very doubtful that the creator of such a universe would “send” messages like those written in all three books. That said, moving on to my point..

    Everyone on Earth should have his right to think, speak, draw, posess, love, hate, and live. It’s the basic doctorine of democracy that when someone crosses the line to someone else’s right, he’s got to stop there. And if all those Muslims are saying that they have been insulted, well, maybe they have a point. (I don’t agree that they should be insulted; that’s because I think that something simple as a cartoon can not harm the things I love and the way I value them.)

    What bothers me is the intention. Today we know that the cartoonists didn’t draw on their own behalf but were “ordered” by their bosses to draw them, so that freedom of opinion could be tested for its limits. It’s such a foolish experiment to run when the subject comes to making fun of/critisizing millions of people and their beliefs. Moreover, these people are known to be easily provoked, and once provoked, they do harm. They don’t just threaten but actually kill hundreds of innocent people. (No need to remind anyone of 9/11 and London.) How could any jounalist or owner of a newspaper risk peoples lives on experimental cartoons?

    One finds hard not to munch on conspiracy theories like certain “president(s)” are using Denmark to provoke certain groups so that they can act (declare war) against these groups and put the blame on them. Years ago stabbing a Prince was the so called reason of a WW, so today, put the blame on a cartoon and intolerant readers for another WW, why not? Religion is again being used as it was used in Medieval times. Back then it was used to keep people under control, today it’s used to set people out of control and to gain the control of valuable resources. Why can’t every country just sit still in peace even if it takes only one year?

    11th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 15:51 on 11 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Well…….I agree with you………This could be a point of starting a new WW…….There is no other sound reason to disturb a violent class of people who are known to be intimidated quite easily by just saying something about their religion and about their prophet. I hope all of my fellow posters would understand that point as well, as I certainly do from reading this post.

    11th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 16:23 on 11 February 06


    Comment from Eike

    I must first admit that it is always difficult for me to comment on religious discussions on the internet, trying to keep in mind all the aspects of this complex cultural phenomenon no one can obviously go without.

    This is meant to refer not only to churches or religious groups/sects that have formed due to some written historic recollections about a single, outstanding person whose deeds were to be recorded or any assorted metaphorical stories and fables, but to all systems of intimate and private belief about the inner workings and reasons of the universe. A point of refernce to not feel lost and isolated and without cause in an evironment that keeps growing larger and larger in relation to oneself as one grows up from infancy and thus limited perception to adulthood and its full-blown grasp of the world – or lack thereof.
    (I’m trying to keep this as not only unoffensive but also as general as possible to include everyone, especially those who, in my experience, tend to claim they “have no religion” or have no “need” for it – read again, think twice. I’m not talking about God, god or any necessary need for a higher entity to be part of that point of reference.)

    So much preface for such a simple comment… but in respect to all concerned, i feel the need to establish neutral ground on which to base my ideas, thus no emotion will tint my point of view and turn it to be unfair.

    Regarding the cartoons, the responses to them as well as the “Jesus-Video”, i’m wondering… should not ANY Symbol that was meant to be at the center of a part of our lives of such utter importance to so many people be able to withstand such poignant questioning ? What good would a belief-system be if it started to crumble like it was withered, old paper at first poke ? Shouldn’t a structure so many build their everyday lives upon be firm enough to endure a little bruising ?
    I’m not only referring to the most recent articles of debate here, but also to the many cartoons about popes, bhuddas, manitous and what other manifestations of belief are known to man which often are highly entertaining and relieving because they depict the main character as still being one of us, so very human. That makes it easier to relate to them, to not feel ever so small next to these monuments of perfection many of us perceive in those idols.
    Now, belief is something we all carry in our hearts, a most personal thing not only in value but also in construction, reflecting much of our innermost feelings.
    It’s not very surprising that many people feel threatened and vulnerable when it comes to this, their inner sanctuary being exposed, maybe ridiculed. The aggressive reaction of many parties in an argument of religious content surely is a result of fear and pain, a mechanism of protection, self-defense. But why ? Why should such pain arise from any question about these inside matters ? Should not any proper religion enable us to simply stand above that, providing us with answers to those troubling questions why might have instead of forsaking those who ask ?
    Motivation and adoration are strong forces in human life. We all need someone to look at, imitate and learn. (Imitation is a very basic form of expressing sympathy. It is not a sign of weakness.) It therefor makes great sense to keep track of what people said who so many looked up to seeking guidance in matters of dealing with one another and the many difficulties of everyday life.
    But i think it is very dangerous to idolize these to a perfection they have never achieved – nor ever claimed to. Growing up in the “western civilisation”, Christ is the religious idol i’m most familiar with. His doubts are clearly expressed in the bible and since it is not a diary, i’m sure there have been other times that he was upset, fed up and out of patience that are not listed. So what ? From what i heard, i still think he must have been a pretty decent fellow. I’d like to hear his opinion on many things.
    But that does not mean i would blindly abolish my self-respect and responsibility for my own decisions and follow his every word. And i also think that’s quite ok with him.
    “If you met God/Jesus/Mohammed/ today, what would you ask him/her ?”
    People often either laugh at me or get mad when i tell them my answer, because they think i was making fun of their religion.
    I’m not.

    I’d like to invite that person for a drink and hear his/her favourite joke.

    (For the record : I’m a taoist. Not by choice, i one day simply found out that this was the name for what i’d been believing all along)

    12th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 00:48 on 12 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    If the point or reason why the cartoons were published was to spur discussion, then the author failed miserably. He only brought out the worst side of the human race.

    12th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 01:17 on 12 February 06


    Comment from Abbas

    Dear,
    This is a brutal offence ISLAM. So I would request this website to remove the cartoon of Prophet. Because it is against the humanrights of muslims.
    thanking you

    12th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 06:31 on 12 February 06


    Comment from A Believer

    Most of the non-Muslims seem to be highly unaware of Islam and all they echo is about anti-Muslim propaganda. Here are some facts I would like to shed some light on:

    1. Some of my respected but I am sorry to say, ignorant fellow posters commented that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a child molester……This is absolutely false. If someone wants to refer to his marriage with Ayesha, they should know that Ayesha (may God be pleased with her) was not a child when she was married to The Prophet. She was a fully adult woman, and the accounts of her being a child are not reliable.

    2. Secondly, some state that he was a womanizer……….That is absolutely false too…….Most of his marriages were forced by circumstances where he had to deal with women who preferred to be his wives, and he could not turn them away due to his position and responsibilities. If he had more wives, he did justice with them, and we believe all of his marriages were on Allah’s commands. The prophet was not a rapist, neither he was a pleasure-ecking person. He always kept his eyes towards the ground when in public. When women came for advice, he did not look towards them, and neither allow them to touch his hands or anything as signs of devotion. He ordered all men and women to keep themselves chaste and not to look at those women/men who were not related to them or married to them.

    3. He is not worshipped by Muslims, as some ignorant propagandists claim. He is respected as messenger of Allah and a superior human being. He feared Allah all his life, and did his best to please The God and His commands……..Nothing more, nothing less. Muslims only pray to one God (Allah) and no one else. We don’t believe the God of Jews and Christians to be different from our God. He is the one and only Divine power that exists in this Earth. The following is a translation of some verses of Quran in which The God describes Himself.
    “Say Allah is one. He is above worldly needs or desires. He neither gave birth, nor was he born. There is no one equal to him.”
    The Prophet conveyed the same message to the idol worshippers of Mecca. Now, let me tell you, all idol worshippers believe in one God, they just make a genealogy or family tree of The God and they personify their deities as human beings. Allah clearly states that He is One. He has no father, no mother. How, he is, He does not care to specify. He is……and that is the truth……..The same way, we human beings, we don’t know how we are but we are…….But the organization of this Universe, the days and nights and other facts all point towards that there is One God. The truth about Islam can be found in the verses about Islam, which prove Islam to be from Divine guidance. I invite all of my ignorant fellow posters to refer to the site http://www.islamtomorrow.com where one can find a lot of scientific realities described by Quran and the Hadith (saying of The Prophet), which give facts like Bigbang, Cloud formations, about mountains, on deep seas and internal waves, on human embryonic development, on cerebrum, and a lot more scientific truths that were told to human beings by Islam and in modern times by SCIENCE. This cannot be told by some violent, womanizer, and child molester, Human God. These are all the facts that are given by the God Himself. For your further interest, I must tell you that this is a site hosted by an American who turned to Islam……Sheik Yusuf Estes.

    4. People claim Islam to be a religion that promotes terrorism. This is clearly wrong. Islam does not promote terrorism in any form and condemns it, and killing of innocents can never be proven by reading Quran and Hadith again and again. Islam makes it the responsibility of the Muslims to spread the word of The God, The God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon all of them). If some violent people who claim to be Muslims kill innocents, you can never cite them as representative of the Muslim faith.

    5. Islam is the religion of oppressed people who are dominated by this world’s capitalist and anti-human societies, where material is everything. Islam imposes taxes on all the rich and affording people to give them to the poor. It asks people to give alms to the poor, help the needy, the widows and orphans of the society.

    6. Some claim that Islam does not give equality to women. Absolutely wrong. If one has the opportunity to read Quran, he/she must find that in Quran it is written, “Men and women have equal rights”. Islam gives women a prestigious position in society. They get inheritance from their father and they are not supposed to spend it on their husbands. THe husband is given the responsibility to earn and feed his wife and children. The mother in Islam has three times more rights than the father. One is to obey his/her mother before his/her father. Islam promotes a social setup, where all are grown in the comfort and care of a structured family.

    7. There is another claim made about Islam that it asks for capital punishment and chopping of the hands and feet. Yes, these punishments are there, and they seem highly cruel. But the God who made this universe knows that there can never be a perfect peace and equality of beliefs among human beings. So, a few number are punished to make it as a lesson for those who commit offensive crimes. Adultery is a social ill, the society that allows it has to face with destruction of family structure, illegitimate childs, and a lot much other problems. Even this modern day disease of AIDS is a gift of this free-sex concept, and especially since it is more prevalent in homosexuals strengthens one’s concept about Islam’s justification of capital punishment for married people having sex. Those unmarried persons who commit sex are subjected to lashes, to purify the society of this social ill. We are human beings not animals that we have to be subjected to free sex. There is a prediction of the Holy Prophet, “When some society indulges in sexual pleasure ecking behavior (adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism etc), the God punishes them with new diseases unheard of”. This is a wake-up call for the free-sex promotists. For someone to be punished for committing adultery, there must be at least four witnesses, all reliable people who are proven to be unbiased. For theft and robbery, Islam punishes with the chopping of hands. But this chopping of one hand is only when it is proven that the person was not some needy person who had to steal to continue his subsistence. Also, theft of ordinary items is not punished. The theft is only punished when the theft is above a specified material value. There is a concept of forgiveness in Islam. If someone wants to forgive the offender, the law allows the person to go free. Even a murderer is pardoned if the one who wants justice wants to excuse the man………..And Islam enforces upon its believers to be more forgiveful so that the God would be more forgiving towards them. Islam asks its followers to not to spread the words of other people’s crimes, even adultery, so that God would be quiescent about their crimes.

    Lastly, I would like to point out towards the ills of Western society. Due to their slogan of giving equality to women, the West has forced women to come on the street and outside world, unprotected, where they are raped, molested, and harrassed. If one is to draw the lines between US (a perfect Western society) and Saudi Arabia (a perfect Muslim society), one would find extreme differences in the number of sexual crimes committed against women in these two societies………I claim that ratio to be greater than 1:100 in favor of Saudi Arabia. Women have the right of divorce as well as men in Islam. Women are respected more in Islam than in Western society. If a man rapes a woman, he is subject to capital punishment. Islam respects the rights of everyone, whether man or woman, child or old. Even animals are given consideration, and one is not supposed to kill an animal for pleasure, or beat that animal to death, and there are indications of hell granted for those cases.

    CONCLUSION: ISLAM IS THE MOST MODERN OF RELIGIONS. IF ANYONE WANTS TO SEARCH FURTHER TRUTH, HE/SHE MUST REFER TO THE SITE http://WWW.ISLAMTOMORROW.COM WHERE ALL EVIDENCE IS GIVEN ABOUT ISLAM AND ITS RELEVANCE IN MODERN WORLD.

    I hope everyone sees the truth and would follow the right path.

    N.B. All the facts given above are true and can be verified by reading Islam……….If someone has any further questions, he/she may feel free to contact me at my e-mail address given below:

    imranch65@hotmail.com

    12th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:29 on 12 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    In response to the poster who said:

    If the point or reason why the cartoons were published was to spur discussion, then the author failed miserably. He only brought out the worst side of the human race.

    In some repsects, I agree. Some of the comments above do indeed represented some of the worst aspects of the human condition. But then there are also reasoned voices for both sides of the argument, and if we always give in to the people who make unreasoned comments, it only stifles the intelligent debate. Let those unconsidered, ignorant posters feel free to post their hateful messages – all it serves to do is harm their own points by showing the degree of their ignorance.

    Abbas commented:

    I would request this website to remove the cartoon of Prophet. Because it is against the humanrights of muslims.

    I apologise deeply for any offence you’ve taken from the cartoons, but I stand by my original justification for posting them. In a sense, it’s disappointing that many of those who have been tremendously supportive about the publication of the cartoons have chosen to express themselves through the medium of email, many expressing that they didn’t want to air their view in public. Though clearly many, above, have also expressed their support.

    Eike: You said

    Shouldn’t a structure so many build their everyday lives upon be firm enough to endure a little bruising ? … Why should such pain arise from any question about these inside matters ? Should not any proper religion enable us to simply stand above that, providing us with answers to those troubling questions why might have instead of forsaking those who ask ?

    I agree with your sentiments entirely, and you’re whole argument was interesting and insightful – far more, I think, than mine. But the problem is that it doesn’t matter why people take offence – the fact is that they do, and the more pertinent question is – Should we inflict a little brusing?

    A Believer – I thank you so much for putting a reasoned and calm rebuttal of criticisms of Muslim beliefs into the mix. I can’t claim to agree with some of your opinions – particularly those on AIDS – but I’m very happy that you put them forward for future debate.

    I thank everybody who has commented so far, and I hope this debate continues – I have found it tremendously interesting, and my one little post has certainly received far more interest than I ever imagined it would. So thank you again to everybody who’s contributed so far, and I hope you will continue to do so.

    12th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 11:52 on 12 February 06


    Comment from Eike

    Dear sj,

    in reading your comment on mine, i noticed a mistake verily so on my behalf… a typo.

    I meant to say

    Should not any proper religion enable us to simply stand above that, providing us with answers to those troubling questions WE might have instead of forsaking those who ask ?

    It was meant to reflect back on the questions we ask ourselves, imposed on us by events we cannot fully explain, that don’t make “sense” to us. Instead of “shooting the messenger”, should not my religion provide me with comfort and soothe me, lessen the fears that the “message”, the question, has provoked in me ?I fully agree that the reasons for people to take offence come in as many variations as the people themselves – and thus are more likely to be a symptom of something deeper, hidden inside.
    As to your question

    Should we inflict a little brusing?

    I have often wondered about that myself, not only in regard to religious topics, but people in general – where to draw the line ? My musings so far about the derivatives from Kant’s categorical imperative as a general basis of behaviour (which from my experience is the common denominator of all major religions, please point out my mistake if i am wrong here) all have a distinct flaw :
    Since my own limits are to be set where those of others begin, everyone would have as much space as they require.
    How to define my personal space, and thus where mine ends and the others’ spaces begin, or how i might evade what could be considered an invasion of theirs in such a way that i can never, ever cause any harm, or bruising, to anyone, i have no idea.
    So is it insulting already to demand a little buffer from everyone ? The ability to endure a little bump here and there ? And if so, who’s to define what’s “a little” ? Me ? Him ? Brian ? How can we find a solution that we all can agree on ?This is, of course, not meant to justify anyone poking another’s sore spot out of sheer malice – but i think we all know these everyday mishaps of trying to make a joke about something we thought utterly harmless, ending up hurting someone dear to us while having intended quite the opposite.

    Typos corrected by request (sjhoward)

    12th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:03 on 12 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Discussing and arguing religions are absolutely non-productive.
    Let each man, woman, and child have their belief without fear of retribution and anger towards them from others. Religion should make each of us more tolerant to others , at peace with humanity and the world, and loving and respect towards others.

    Nobody has a right to tell anyone what to believe.

    12th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 20:43 on 12 February 06


    Comment from AnnoyingCommunist

    Stop the fight between religions. Stop soliciting people to read this and that as my time has better use for other things. I am originally from a communist country and I can’t agree with more than the “angry asian” point about communsit country. I don’t hate mulsim or any other religion like this guy/gal does. BUT, western countries are WEAK! shame on the person talking about western country are low on moral standard. That’s their poor parent/govenment’s excuse not taking care of their own people. try the burning, bombing crap with Red chinese and N. Korea, they dare not because they know those communist are more barbarist than them. thoese communist will smash their face into airport and kill their whole family. Dear Mulsim please migrate to China or N. Korea, see how good people treat there!!! then compare yourself with those Muslim in western counties! Read the recent Chinese history see how Chinese government treat your Muslim and did you done one damn thing for your brother sister Muslim in china! Ironically, it’s American and European accuse Chinese government stop torture you muslim and christian!!!

    Be civilize with civiliz people, but be more barbarian with barbarist.

    Don’t be stero type yell out how good your religions is. You make trouble in every corner of the world and I don’t see these *GOOD* muslim did one damn thing BUT tolerent!

    13th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 04:33 on 13 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    To The Communist: If all that you want is a war……A war you will get…..And beware you don’t love life as much as we Muslims love death.

    13th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 11:56 on 13 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Also, if you refer to us doing nothing in Communist World, you must have forgotten Afghanistan, Chechnya…….Even today, the number of your soldier deaths should remind you of what Muslims did to your God-less army.

    13th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 11:58 on 13 February 06


    Comment from AnnoyingCommunist

    Thanks you for pointing out the fact we don’t love life as much as you love death! Finally we got one person telling the truth! All you *peaceful muslim* people can shut up now. Read my post carefully before you made the judgement:” all that you want is a war”, and your poster have nothing to answer my question! Now I belive some people in this planet don’t need dialogue, compremise but only their way! they are the superior man kind and we all need to obey them. haha!!!! I read Quran and have high respect for Allah but not these crazy follower misinterprete Allah’s kind will. (Might Allah be in peace)

    Again, I respect all the religion, altough I don’t have any religion myself. but take advantage from people’s kindness is WRONG! I don’t talk about Russian, I talked about China and N. Korea. Look what happen in XinJiang, most your brother sister there! shame on you, as I have sympethy on you muslim in China being treated wrongly but all you want just a war! Somebody in this world love death, have as many enemy as possible….Allah won’t be peace in heaven if he know this is his follower!

    One more fact: N. Korea dare to anti-America, but they kiss up to China. Iran anti-western but also kiss up to China. WHY?

    Next time ask your brothers and sister migrate to westernized asian countries such as Japan and south Korea see how good they put up with your crap. then you will appreciate these WEAK western countries!!!

    BY the way, please return all the money donated by European, they are from tax-payer that even struggling paying the college tuition for their kids. Have all your anti-christian cartoonist’s artist head off then we are even..

    See you in TianAnMen Square.

    13th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:48 on 13 February 06


    Comment from AnnoyingCommunist

    by the way, I don’t love life as much as these westerner do. our government educated us don’t fear of death since we were infant. this fight is between muslim and christian, I have nothing to do with it but want to point out something both side don’t see.

    I have respected Muslim my whole life until recent years. Declare war against me follow my post then I know you all are hopeless. I have wasted my time.

    13th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:58 on 13 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Thanks for your positive comments. We don’t declare war until someone wants it that way rather than dialogue. What you say about China is true, it is a matter of Muslim conscience, and I totally deplore those fellow Muslims who are asleep. The only problem we have in Islamic countries is that the governments represent their Western interests rather than Islamic ones. The real problem here is these few so called Islamic fundamentalists who have a history of being funded by US secret agencies, and all they are doing is serving the cause of Israel and US to build up events so that a war can be declared on Islamic World as a whole and they all know that they can destroy any country in the world by dropping just one bomb, all they need is an excuse. The US knows it is in its benefit that these violent people survive. This Al-Qaeda thing has never attacked any Israeli installment (don’t you think it strange). The core problem of Muslims is pro-Western governments of Islamic countries who are not representative of the general public’s opinion, and they like to have villas and properties in Western countries, rather than serve fellow Muslims, and they are well supported by their Western allies……..This is a matter of exploitation, oppression…….Once Islamic countries get their true representative governments, it will be a whole lot different ball game.

    13th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 14:03 on 13 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    If the West had spent more time and funding on building up a better understanding between West and the Muslim culture than building up pro-Western governments in Islamic countries, the results would have been better than what both Islam and West has to deal with nowadays.

    13th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 14:25 on 13 February 06


    Comment from AnnoyingCommunist

    I am glad we got some dialogue now. What you say is same in the US. The US government doesn’t represent American’s interest. All the stuff US government did in Middle East were by small group of people in Washington DC influenced by the Jews. Let me put it this way: No government is perfect, they all make mistake like individual. The so-call democracy is not working that well in the US. Did you see Al Gore won the general public vote but lose presidency? Shame on the US! I hate war on Iraq, I hate Bush. But I love American and all the good people in the world. Bush is the worst president in the US history ever. He lied to American and still continues to lie. He used American’s name to declare a war, spent American’s hard earn dollar that their children has to pay for his stupidness and his Moran cabinet. American have trained to trust their government and it works well in the past but NOT with this president!

    One thing upsets me is US considering target Iran. This is only deepen the gap between Islam world and western countries, I am afraid the trouble will continue in generations. What kind of world we left to our children? Did we not learn enough lesson from history? As normal human being myself live in this world, I only want peace, a peace place we can have a job, a house, a family, believe whatever we want to believe, respect each other and live in harmony. Not let our life ruin by these selfish government.

    Back to the Demark cartoon accident: The newspaper did have the freedom of speech. But they exercised it with no brain. This is a stupid mistake they shall never forget. They did apologized, I think Muslim should accept it and not take this further. Please remember people make mistake. We need to give room for people to get better rather than have their heads off. Otherwise we all walk around without head :-)

    13th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 16:36 on 13 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Yeah……I agree with all that you say…At least I have found someone who shares my views. As a person, I accept Denmark’s apologies, and I hate those who are reacting violently to that. It is certain that all make mistakes, and we Muslims can be more forgiving than believed. Our religion asks us to live in harmony with other people. It is just that our religion allows for human nature where use of force is the last resort but that also should be in a just way. The Prophet and his followers never attacked anyone who was peaceful and wanted to live in peace. Also, this concept of these political parties using Islam for their self-promotion is against Islam. By reading Islam, I have come to this conclusion about terrorism. I define terrorism in the following terms in accordance with teachings of Islam:

    “A terrorist organization is such, which is not represented by any respectable state of the World, neither do they have any government, and who use violence as a source of their cause promotion.”

    So, one can see clearly from this definition who is terrorist and who is not.

    If one finds the opportunity of studying history, one would find that Muslims have remained remarkably tolerant of people of other faith, their atrocities were never as widespread as those in other countries at all times.

    If given a chance and some better understanding, we can show the World how civilized Islam is…….But once again that is not possible until we have those governments, which are totally representative of Western Governments whose target and ambition is world domination and exploitation.

    All the fight between West and Islam is that Islam is resistant to some aspects of the Western culture like free sex and wine. If Muslims deveolop these habits, the West will have no problem with Islam at all…….All that West wants is Rogue Islam (that is without basic Islamic values) just like the rogue christianity that West has built up for its benefit.

    We, Muslims, deny to admit to free sex as it is a social evil, which leads to the destruction of family, production of illegitimate children, and sexually transmitted diseases. We object to wine as it is a health hazard and originator of social problems. We believe that every human being has a mission of coming in this world and that is to spend his/her time in accordance to the teachings of the God. And as for tolerance, we have historically been demonstrated to be more tolerant, and we will be tolerant in the future. The violence of a few is not the hallmark of Islam and Muslims as a whole.

    14th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:08 on 14 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    The reaction of Islam to the cartoons illustrates the reality of the cartoons portraying true Islam, which is a very violent and intollerant way of life. The reaction of Islam and Muslims proves how dangerous Islam is to the world. I felt they were mild and in good taste and portrays the truth.

    14th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 16:12 on 14 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    The reaction of Islam to the cartoons illustrates the reality of the cartoons portraying true Islam, which is a very violent and intollerant way of life. The reaction of Islam and Muslims proves how dangerous Islam is to the world. I felt the cartoons were mild and in good taste and portrays the truth.

    14th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 16:30 on 14 February 06


    Comment from +

    you guys mush see this!!!
    http://www.sorrynorwaydenmark.com/
    anyway ignore the first idiot post in the guess book.

    15th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 07:17 on 15 February 06


    Comment from Newsman

    Someone asked why this suddenly blew up into a grat crisis. This is the answer: for some reason overlooked in the mainstream media.

    How it happened.

    Years ago in Europe, people fought long wars and won the right to criticise and even ridicule religions. Eventually they freed their state from torturers and police who oppressed people on the pretext that they were “offended”. The people exercised their new right frequently.

    Cartoons mocking jesus and chr

    A man was killed for making a film about Muhammad. Had the terrorists returned? Were people afraid? Were people killing again to suppress religious freedom? A newspaper decided to test this. They published some cartoons.

    – pictures actually published by Jyllands-Posten

    They were reprinted in the Islamic world, but caused no real fuss, no great outrage. Sure, plenty of Muslims didn’t like it, but attempts the time to stir up trouble fell completely flat.

    – pictures in egyption newspaper 3 month earlier
    – ditto, Egytptian blogger
    – ditto again, Belgian paper

    Cartoons were Published Five Months ago in Egypt, Egyptian blogger

    Several months later, a totalitarian state in the middle east sponsors some Danish extremists to travel the world with a false set of pictures, spreading lies and racial hatred.

    – Danish imams busted
    – links to the pictures the imams disseminated
    – blog with links to all the pictures

    Then embassies are raided, newspapers pontificate about a “crisis”. Many newspapers try to reprint the cartoons, so that the truth might be known. In Jordan and Yemen, the editors are thrown in jail by their governments. In Malaysia, they close the newspaper down. In France, a Middle Eastern owner fires his editor. The truth remains obscured, as governments try to whip up as much hatred and violence as they can.

    Where will it end? Will the people find the truth about how they have been used? In Denmark and Belgium the media has now told the truth. Will the truth be told in the middle east, in the UK, France, the USA? In other countries? We shall see.

    There is no real “crisis”, no real “outrage”. A few extremists have invented this for stirring up violence and racial hatred. In truth, there are few people in the middle east or elsewhere who are particularly excited, once they learn the truth. Will they learn what has happened?

    15th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:08 on 15 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    Newsman – that’s very interesting. I certainly wasn’t aware of the existence of these ‘fake’ cartoons – thanks for the contribution, it really explains a lot about the way this has all played out!  Thanks for posting.

    15th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 14:24 on 15 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    It amuses me to see people such as angry asian, posting about how he HATES ALL MUSLIMS AND HOW CLOSED MINDED they are. You’re just as ridiculous and close minded as those you’re speaking against. I personally thought the “STOP WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF VIRGINS” cartoon was hilarious. But that’s me. I could see how someone might be offended, but burning down CD stores? But for those who will preach about how Christianity is right, haven’t you read history books? Did you ever hear of something called the CRUSADES, when millions (numbers range from 50million – 150 million people killed by the papacy in the middle ages) were slaughtered in the name of Jesus Christ? They only spent a couple days on the subject in Catholic School, but I REMEMBER!

    15th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 17:28 on 15 February 06


    Comment from joe from tampa

    does the muslim society have absolutely nothing better to do with their time than protest everything the west does. do catholics protest every time mother mary is in the paper or a joke about a priest and a young boy. don’t they have things to blow up or something. i wish they’d hurry up and do it already.

    16th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 14:28 on 16 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    MR SIMON
    I AM sorry but i am telling you true you are not a human’s son you are a son of bitch what are you understand about your self this is big issue for muslim and you are publishing these images on net and taking comments do you know what are you doing?you are attaking on muslims emotions this is not fair muslims are never attake any other religion we are always respect of other religion and non muslims always trying to attake on islam why why why?now listen islam is very well religion what is islam educate to us islam is peace full religion and islam message is brotherhood to all in world and some people is attaking on other religion they are doing against islam education but anybody will go against islam we ‘ll do defence of islam this will not terorism this is our right.
    HOLY PROPEHT MUHAMMED(p.b.u.h)are a very very great person in
    this world and he is very very respective person for us.we love
    him very much it’s our faith and we can do anything for him… so my comment and opinion please stop these publishing photos and don’t get any comments and remember we are danger for you
    FROM ALL MUSLIM WORLD

    17th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 02:01 on 17 February 06


    Comment from A Believer

    Well……a brother of mine has just tried to jump the rifle as in the above post. I agree in spirit with what he says, but I totally disagree with the venom in his words……It is better to justify your cause than shout blood!!!!…..The Islamic tradition is not only against pictures of the Holy Prophet, but against all pictures…….The Islamic concept as given by the Prophet is that “those who make pictures, they distort the nature as defined by The God”. This rules out all pictures that are man-made. However, photos don’t come into this category, as it is a preservation rather than distortion of human nature.

    But we are talking of Islam in the purest sense. Modern day Muslims have adopted the habits of the West and have begun to make cartoons and pictures, which is totally against the teaching of the Holy Prophet.

    The protests of these Modern day Muslims is not against the pictures itself, it is against the spirit of the cartoons (the venom it depicts)……If you talk of real Islam, they are no way near it…….If they were Muslims in the purest sense, they would have grown beards, had been saying prayers five times a day, giving tax to the government to help the poor, fasting for a month in a year, performing pilgrimage to Mecca once a year. Nowadays, the Muslims are as much pleasure-loving and worldly as the Christians, Jews or any other human race.

    So, the West need not be afraid of them. If they are committing violence, the reason is their poverty, they are burning shops to loot them, they are burning embassies to express their anger on their being poor, ill-educated, and being oppressed by the West, expressing anger over their pro-West governments, over the killing of their brethren in Afghanistan, Iraq……….As the West does not forget the killings of 09/11, Madrid, and London, and the Western people hates the Muslims because of that……..The Muslims hate the West for the killings of hundreds of thousands of their brethren.

    The only problem with the Muslims lyes with the fact that they just can’t get rid of their Muslim identity. However, pro-West a normal Muslim may be, his/her heart bleeds when the armies of West murder a lot of Muslims in name of peace. These suicide bombings are nothing more than the end of desperation and the height of revenge and anger on the brutal murder of Muslims and the forceful exploitation of Islamic resources like oil.

    If anyone believes in human freedom and human values, he must know that the oppressor has always has a fall as Rome had, old time Persia had. The West and far West (US) will have its fall………There is nothing to stay, only truth and rightfulness prevails.

    P.S. It is my request to the author of this site to remove this cartoon of the holy prophet……..If he wants to have discussion and debate, we can have that without provoking anger and disrepect in each other. We would really appreciate if he does that as this will be a show of respect for the feelings of the Muslims as a whole.

    17th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 07:02 on 17 February 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    After some serious consideration of the above posts, I decided that, as a compromise measure, I would remove the cartoon from this page, and hence contain them all to one individual page on the site. That way, only people who click through to the other page will see them, and any people who would be insulted by them, but still wish to discuss them, are able to visit this page to contribute to the discussion without being forced to see the cartoon they are complaining about. That seems reasonably logical.

    It would seem deeply illogical to remove the cartoons altogether. How can we ever have an informed debate about something that we can’t see?

    Finally, whilst I’m all for free speech, threatening comments will not be tolerated, and action will be taken against anyone who leaves such comments. Posting annonymously just means that your details do not appear on the site – Your IP address and other details are still available to me backstage, and will be used, in the first instance, to contact the ISP of anybody posting threats.

    17th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:29 on 17 February 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    Whoever bullshit is against muslim. Be aware, we are the supreme power. Do not tell anything about our prophet, u bullshit. U bullshit SjHoward, bullshit, pig, dog, shut up ur bloody mouth, u r bastard, afraid of muslims, come infront of a single muslim and say anything about our religion, and see what happens to u.

    18th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 05:11 on 18 February 06


    Comment from A Believer

    Dear SJ Howard:

    I personally extend my thanks to you for this great act of yours of removing the cartoon from this page, and as a Muslim I feel the gratitude for this. And I apologize on the behalf of the idiotic person who has given his post above. The true Islam is not abuses, it is tolerance…….In fact, this is what all true religions of the world dictate. And my advice to the person who has posted above is, “If you don’t have tolerance you shouldn’t visit the sites that offend you”. You are as great a criminal as the original publishers of these cartoons by fanning to the fire. Your act is not helping Islam, and your way of expressing your anger is totally nonsense and non-Islamic.

    18th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:21 on 18 February 06


    Elsewhere on the site

    This post has been referenced by another on this site:
    sjhoward.co.uk » An amazing couple of weeks

    [...] The last couple of weeks have been really, really amazing for the site. The last two weeks have brought more hits to the site than the first three months of last year (more than 150,000 in all), mainly due to the somewhat surprising spread of this post, which certainly wasn’t hindered by the fact that it became one of the top results on Google for the search term “Denmark cartoons”. Quite how that happened, I have really no idea. The post was inevitably controversial – it generated (and is still generating) more comments than any other item ever posted on the site – over 70 in total. [...]

    19th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This pingback was received at 02:00 on 19 February 06


    Comment from jools

    There are a lot of very misguided people here. Islam is NOT the right religion any more than christianity or any other religion is. It is a way of life. It appears from these posts that the supporters of islam have displayed their opinions and prove my point. As an example UK is a predominantly christian society. The whole history of this country has built a certain amount of values and a way of living that westerners are used to. On the other hand it seems that the islamic way of thinking is incompatible and that is why there are so many problems nowadays. Muslims come to this country and refuse to live by UK society rules and instead separate themselves by acting as victims. In many ways they seem less developed socially than us as they still treat woman badly and have zero tolerance. Why should we have to put up with this? why should a muslim student be allowed to wear one thing while everyone else in the same school wears a uniform. Double standards on both the muslim and western sides is the answer and the problem. There is no reason why we should bend over backwards to please what is essentially a threat to our society.

    Nowadays, gladly, i am seeing a bit of a turn in the tide. Wherever i go people are more willing to allow their views to be aired rather than hiding behind the political correctness of the times. I said gladly before because i am glad that people can be free to give their proper opinions rather than turning a blind eye and waiting for the worst to happen. I hear many views from English in a cross section of society that are expressing their discontent by the Muslim influence on our society. Muslim protests against the cartoons are serving to dig their own graves as a certain amount of tolerance has ended and we dont give a shit any more. The reaction has forced people to take sides.

    In short… muslims come to this country for the way of life. Fair enough, but if they come here than they should abide by our rules and not demand special treatment. If you dont like it then go back to part of the worlds where your views and lifestyles are accepted. Dont come here and impose your views and rights on us because the majority of people dont care. Western society respects other peoples private lives and religion but we are not going to adjust for people who have displayed such an intolerant and violent view towards our culture.

    19th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:08 on 19 February 06


    Comment from A Believer

    Interesting comments……..and they have a tone of honesty too. But the main problem lies with the fact that the Western society itself invites immigration. If it is so allergic to Islamic ideas why does it do that? You are quite right that the Muslims come to your country for the way of life, but they are also contributing to maintain that way of life. They are as much part of your society as you are. They are taxpayers, workers, taxi drivers, and doing such petty jobs that a well-bred Westerner White never thinks of. They are contributing to your health system. They have all right to protest and show their point of view. If West has objections to that, it can stop immigration all together. The Muslims in Western society are not imposing themselves on anyone. They just demand respect for their views and not to be made fun of. Is that too much to ask>????

    I challenge the Western countries to stop immigration…….They will have a hell of crises. Your population growth has dwindled, going into negative figures. Your elderly population is growing……..You have a real shortage of workers. Now come on, admit it…….This immigration is a lifeline for the sustainance of your society. So, learn to taste bitter with sweet. Even if you keep a servant in your house, you have to accomodate him/her if he/she is of a different religious/social view. Your expression of impatience is childish to me………We human beings should learn to live with each other. I would like to quote a piece from the last sermon of The Prophet to show how liberal and tolerant Islam is.

    “Remember, that all human beings are the offsprings of Adam and Adam was born of clay. There is no superiority of a white over a black or a black over a white. There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab or of a non-Arab over an Arab”.

    I hope there will come a day when we all human beings will learn to live in peace, with a sense of respect for each other’s views, without making fun of them.

    20th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:02 on 20 February 06


    Comment from Sandy

    i say how far it is agreeable, for the muslims to not supporting the hindus when Mr. M.F Hussain draws cartoons on the gods and godessess.
    it is as painful, when one stimulates one’s religion.

    20th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 12:27 on 20 February 06


    Comment from A Believer

    I agree with you totally……..The Prophet said to all believers.

    “Don’t make fun of their gods, or they will make fun of your God”.

    Any sort of religious mockery is inacceptable and deplorable. The person should be sought and punished who does that.

    20th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:10 on 20 February 06


    Comment from kk

    Response to :

    ITS THE GREATEST RELIGION
    DO YOU KNOW WHY ISLAMIC WOMEN WEAR CLOTHES THAT SOMETIMES COVERED THEIR FACE??? TO PROTECT THEIR SELVES FROM MEN..
    YOU KNOW MEN LOOK AT A BEATIFUL GIRLS AND WOMEN SO IF THEY WERE GOOD THEY WONT LOOK TO ANY ONE..

    come on…!!! u mean to say tht girls can have a good look at smart guys…feel watever they want to ….but guys cant??..y ??

    21st February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 08:55 on 21 February 06


    Comment from S M Arora

    There is already enough chaos and disquiet in the world. Why unnecessarily add more to it. Freedom of everything pre-supposes restraint. Nobody likes his Gods be maligned by anyone. All provocations should be avoided/discouraged.

    27th February 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 09:44 on 27 February 06


    Comment from Worried

    I wonder if any of you has thought about the fact that the cartoons and our reaction to them are a reflection of our times. This is how I see it:

    Religious struggles are fundamentally a political and economic struggle? That our ideas, and religion, how we are taught to perceive our god or gods, whether benevolent or ruthless, is in fact how we are taught to perceive the socio-political climate of our nation and times? Have you noticed that, it is no coincidence that more egalitarian(and many would call “less civilized” societies have more gods in their religion system? Have you noticed that, historically, all religious conquests have had a huge economic and politcial purpose? To control resources other people have. You and I are a product of that. Less democratic and policive societies have ONE god and that god is someone to be feared, and his truth to be obeyed. Hmmm. The longer a country seems to remain under political and economic conflict (usually because other country or countries have imposed their rules for social-politcal control, including trade, commerce, religion and monetary currency, political system, as well as flow of information, the more likely its people seem to believe that their god is THE only god. Hmmm.

    Perhaps here, we are NOT fighting “religious” arguments or wars but wars to protect the interests of very powerful pepole who control OUR access to the resources of the world, like health, education, the land and the oceans that feed us with their (former) plenty.

    Seems to me the more difficult the control of those resources becomes, the meaner our religious disagreements will become, REGARDLESS of whether we percieve ourselves as good people or not. Our beliefs will become more polirized, more antagonic, less tolerant, and each of us more willing to kill our fellow human being and his or her children.

    “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins illustrated for me the willful destruction of nations’ economies–including those mentioned by some of you in your comments–, lives and hopes, by powerful people in powerful countries, who, intestingly enough, call everybody else who disagrees with him/her “evil”.

    The cartoons and our reactions to them are also an expression of our times: expresssions of deep social divide. Who is causing that divide? Interestingly enough, chances are neither you nor I did. We just talk about it. Chances are they were handed down to us through our politicians, education, religion. TV, and newspapers.

    Looking forward to your comments.

    5th March 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:35 on 05 March 06


    Comment from Worried

    My apologies for the many typos above.

    5th March 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 15:43 on 05 March 06


    Comment from the original poster, sjhoward

    Thank you all again for the multitudinous comments which have been left here. I think they serve to continue the debate about the cartoons, which will run and run in an ideological sense for many years to come, even if coverage has generally fallen out of the media, as to act as a record of both sides of the argument for future reflection.

    If anybody has any further comments, please feel free to leave them below.

    Thank you!

    19th April 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 11:32 on 19 April 06


    Elsewhere on the site

    This post has been referenced by another on this site:
    sjhoward.co.uk » Amnesty and Observer join forces over internet censorship

    [...] However, despite its flaws, the central message of the campaign is a worthy and positive one, and one which I have supported in the past through posts like this one. It is, therefore, a campaign which this site will be supporting – albeit in a somewhat symbolic way – by carring quotes from otherwised censored material in the sidebar, in order to raise awareness of the issue. [...]

    28th May 2006 | Permalink

    » This pingback was received at 11:21 on 28 May 06


    Comment from Ampbreia

    “I Thank Walt Ampbreia for editing language of this article.”

    Well, thank you, but who is Walt? That’s no part of my name. Just wondering.

    31st May 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 22:28 on 31 May 06


    Comment from Ampbreia

    As regards the so-called respect Islam is due that the Mohammad cartoons allegedly violates, it should be pointed out that respect must be earned; it is NOT a given. When 98% of the terrorist attacks and human rights abuses in the world today seem to be being committed by Muslims, nobody but the criminally insane could possibly love or respect them or their religion for it. And they horrendously violent way that Muslims reacted to the publication of some relatively benign cartoons about Islam has won Islam more disdain than it already had from the world by previous behavior. No other religionists would have reacted so badly as that. Not even close! Besides, the over-reaction to criticism only proves the falsehood of Islam in a very basic way. The truth doesn’t need to defend itself from criticism with anything other than logical argument. What do we get when Islam is criticized? No logic; only violence. You want respect; be respectable. You’re not there yet.

    31st May 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 22:37 on 31 May 06


    Comment from A Believer

    The author of the above post has just shown ignorance of World crime facts. 98%???? you must be joking or simply out of your mind. I would like a clear citation of the sources that point to that figure and their credibility. Otherwise, I am compelled to dismiss your comments as mere echoing of the propaganda that The Western media has been carrying out to malign Muslims and Islam. As clearly stated in the messages above, we demand respect for our believes, not for ourselves, to be more specific, and by those, I don’t imply the believe of those who are terrorists….But if you want to know about the Terrorist Attacks, I would like to share some of the ground realities. Following are the instances where terrorist attacks are being carried out.

    1. In Iraq by Islamic and Iraqi National Insurgents. Well, you cannot occupy anyone’s country and ask them to accept your terms. No one invited the US in Iraq and no one wants them there. Those Western civilians who go there to work, go of their own volition, in support of the occupation regime, and are considered by those Iraqi Nationals and Islamic Insurgents as part of the occupation force, hence they are attacked. I pity the killings but I pity more the Muslims that are being killed by the Occupationists………The ratio is still a dreadful 1:100, i.e. 1 Western death to 100 Muslim deaths. So, where is the 98%????????

    2. In Palestine, Palestinians are carrying out suicide bombing attacks. Hey………come on, these Palestinians are the ancient inhabitants of the land……..The Israelis conquered them in the Biblical times, and settled as the occupiers of their land……..After being driven out, they have again captured the land. The Israelis have immigrated there, not on invitation, but they have invaded the land and driven those poor Palestinian Arabs out of their homes at the backing of The West and they are living a miserable life in camps………So, you don’t want to give them the right of self-defence????? or to fight what was rightfully theirs and they have been deprived of that?

    3. In the West, there have been isolated attacks like the 9/11, Madrid train bombing, and London underground attacks. I deeply regret the killings of those innocent people caught up in the wild warfare of the world war mongerers, and I do not support the terrorists who carry out the attacks. But again, who led everything to this?

    The fact is these terrorists are the offshoots of the same mujahideen that the West trained to fight USSR in Afghanistan and countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia lined up as frontline states to fight communism. Now, these people were given weapons to fight a superpower, given base camps and freedom to spread their quasi-religious propaganda but after nurturing their quasi-religious beliefs of Jihad and performing extensive brainwashing and making them full terrorists, there was no attempt to take those weapons away, and somehow these people turned against the West just because, the West took no interest. And the reason is political. The West did not want to make these guys peaceful. If they would have become peaceful, then the West could not hold the world in chains by using their threat……….

    So to Respected Ampbreia, you are just a victim of the propaganda. You seem to know nothing about the facts. I would request you to study the facts and comparative history and then I think you would be able to make more acceptable comments.

    4th June 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 21:06 on 04 June 06


    Comment from Mihammad Taimur Hashim

    AOA
    i am Muhammad Taimur Hahsim.I am a Muslim.I live in Pakistan.I am very angry on the cartoon of prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).
    Allah give the man the MorAl to that man who made he is been burnt alive in fire Denmark Government is hiding the news from the public plz dont make it possible if want to contact me that mail me

    taimur_hashim@hotmail.com

    18th June 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 08:39 on 18 June 06


    Comment from abdullah

    Very seriously, If you americans truely enjoy freedom of speech or indeed freedom at all. Then you should denounce the cartoons. Why? because they are nothing to do with freedom of speech, the cartoons are a defamation of someones character. I.e. the cartoons are a lie projected onto someone without giving that someone chance to defend themselves. Thats not freedom of speech! thats persecution! And why would you want to spend so much of your time defending lies? Surely then your life will become a lie and before you know it you will become slaves to those who know the truth but conseal it from you.

    28th November 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 14:30 on 28 November 06


    Comment from Ampbreia

    I have read the Koran. Plenty of inspiration for terrorism and human rights violations there. I have read the Haddiths. Even more inspiration for terrorism and human rights violations there. I have lived under Sharia law in an Islamic country “inspired” by the Korand and haddith isn all the worst ways. I have seen Muslims being led after prayers in shouts of “Death to America,” getting rabid and bloodthirsty whenever and wherever they find themselves not exactly loved for being so. I have a coworker who is an immigrant from Iran whose entire family was killed – he being the only survivor – because they refused to recant their Ba’hai faith and convert to Shi-ite Islam. Don’t tell me I don’t know how Islam is. Definitely don’t tell me I have any reason to love or even respect it.

    28th November 2006 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 17:54 on 28 November 06


    Comment from Anonymous

    I am a Muslim, and teaching of Islam gives us respect for all the religions. We have the beleif that Allah sent 124,000 messengers on earth for the betterment of mankind and Hazrat Muhammed Peace Be Upon Him is the Last Prophet of Allah. we have eternal love and beleifs. Muslims are not terrorist but they fight for right, they fight for their independence. Who is USA to invade other countries for the sake of their own trust? why they only support Jews and Christians? why not Muslims? one can sue a person in USA if he hurt his feelings and beleifs then why shouldnt USA penalize Denmark for hurting the feelings of Muslims of the world. Who the hell is USA to ask Iraq that they have weapons of mass distructions?? why USA provided it to Israel?? It is very clear from the response of the world that the publishing of these cartoons are totally wrong a sin. May be one person or one muslim is wrong in expressing , may be 2 may be 200 may be 2000 may be 200000 but not the entire World’s Muslims. If we respects other then it is must that other should respects us and over beleifs. May Allah disgrace the cartoonist and let him converted to be a Muslim so that he will learn what he has done to himself and the entire humanity.

    14th March 2007 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 10:33 on 14 March 07


    Comment from xenia

    There is nothing easier in the world than putting yourself on the side of the stronger. It is also easy to defend what one perceives as one’s own.

    The Danish newspaper refused to print cartoons which portrayed Jesus in an offensive light several years ago. Hence, their decision to print the Muhammad cartoons was opportunistic, facetious, and plainly racist.

    As a Communist born to semi-practicing Christian parents, I would defend their freedom of speech if they had made fun of Jesus, Buddha et alia as well. But of course they did not.

    So, guys, go to hell with your lies about civilization and freedom. I see the way you treat the poor and the weak in your societies every day. But only the rich and those with the right passport have the right to live on this planet anyway, right?

    27th March 2007 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 13:45 on 27 March 07


    Comment from Ampbreia

    I’m sorry Muslims are so offended by the way the world regards them after so many acts of terrorism they’ve committed on so many of us. I was offended too when I went to Iran and even LA in the U.S. and heard Muslims shouting “Death to America!” in the streets. So we offend each other. So what? But when I see Muslims rioting in the street, burning, destroying, murdering random individuals – in the case of 9/11, three thousand random individuals – and call for the decapitation of anyone that insults someone, let alone a man that died a milienium and half ago, moreover insulting with the plain truth… and I have no respect for those particular Muslims nor those who defend their criminally violent behavior. Nor would I expect any country to shelter foreigners who behave like that within their borders. As to citizens that chose to behave like that, that’s what tear gas and prisons are for, not sympathy.

    As to Muslims that do not have riots in the street, commit acts of terrorism, or preach violence or misogyny or genocide, I have no problem with them. My freedom stops where yours begins and yours stops where mine begins. If we want to live in peace together, there must be no violence involved in expressing our naturally differing points of view. And if you want to live in my country and are not a citizen, then be a gracious guest! That’s not asking too much, is it?

    27th March 2007 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 15:37 on 27 March 07


    Comment from ghulam

    Who was [Eesah ( pbuh )]Jesus ? Was he European and democrat ? Where lived Adam and Eva? Was [Musa ( pbuh ) burn in Israel? Do you civilized European know something about respect and not hurting innocent people? We have learned a lot about you. You are hurting us as Christ ,Jew , Democrat , Communist or Political. Jesus hate Devil and love peace.

    20th February 2009 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 00:54 on 20 February 09


    Comment from nurul

    i really do not understand why Islam is very famous and why some people like to judge Islam directly before they know well about islam. Allah give this world for us together.

    20th February 2009 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 04:01 on 20 February 09


    Comment from ALI

    All I have to say is that in Islam when god ordered muslim’s to respect all profit’s that came before mouhamed pbh and he sent him as mercy on to man kind we as muslim’s know god is all seeing and knowing and he will be the judge when the time comes thank you Ac

    27th April 2009 | Permalink

    » This comment was received at 02:40 on 27 April 09


    Write a new comment or response

    Commenting allows you to respond to what the author and other commenters have been said. Comments often appear on this page instantly, though sometimes take a little longer - especially if you are new to the site.

    Enter your comment in the text area below. You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> .

    Note: By submitting your comment, you confirm that it conforms to the site's Comment Policy.
    Gravatar: To show your face, sign up for Gravatar, and enter your email address above.





    Hello!

    Welcome to my blog!
    I've been writing here since May 2003, and waffle on about all sorts of stuff. See this page for more about me, or follow me on twitter. Enjoy browsing, commenting, and getting involved!




    Search this site

    Weekly newsletter















    Printed from http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2006/12/08/a-video-from-iraq
    (c) sjhoward.co.uk - full conditions can be viewed at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/
    The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site.