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.
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.
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.