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Mohammed Cartoons

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Is there anyone else who agrees this thing is totally out of control?


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Why don't I see Egyptians burning down their own offices? They posted the same images in their newspapers..


Image taken from an EGYPTIAN newspaper

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Source: http://alphabetcity.blogspot.com/2006/02/m...n-egyptian.html


That not quite how I would react if I wanted to show the world my religion is peaceful instead of the way the cartoons show it. One could even call it a paradox.


Reference material: a direct link to the 12 cartoons from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that started this whole ordeal.


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I think that this conflict has two major issues: A religious one and one of mutual respect.


[1] The religious one is the following: Europe is a non-religious-society today (or at least Germany). Religion is for the private life only and in some areas religious people are mocked and laughed at for their believes. Materialism rules, spiritual and religious thinking is outdated. The church is used to being heavily critized and has accepted the fact. The church doesn't defend itself anymore.


So, here is the problem: Middle Eastern societies are deeply religious and don't accept criticism or mockery like that. It's like someone would mock Jesus during the Crusades in Rome - just outrageous. The Europeans didn't expect this reaction because they're used to churches accept this kind of criticism without any reaction at all.


This ain't a conflict between Western and Muslim societies - it's between religious and non-religious societies, who don't understand how the other one works. That's why the europeans are talking about freedom of speech and freedom of press and the muslims are talking about insults.



[2] The second, the mutual respect: I don't think that the Western society and the Muslim world treat each other with mutual respect. The west, especially the Europeans, trade and work with every regime in the middle east that guarantees stability. It's not important how these regimes work on the inside. Does anybody know that the egyptian president Mubarak ruled with the national emergency act for more than 25 years? For more than a quarter of a century, Egypt has been officially in the state of national emergency. Does anybody know that the ex-president of the palestinians, Arafat, had several billion dollars of money on suisse bank account that were given him by the EU to help his people?


No, because it is nice to travel through Egypt and visit the pyramids, no matter how undemocratic the regime is. It's nice to have a stable palestinian government no matter how corrupt it is.


The west talks about freedom and democracy, but the west doesn't support democratic movements in these countries effectively. When Spain and Portugal were ruled by dictators, Europe supported democratic underground movements with money and equipment. But now? When the palestinians or the egyptians vote, Europe is "shocked", that fundamentalists drastically increase their amount of votes. But is that really surprising? If you had the choice between corrupt dictators and something else, what would you vote?


The west appears in the middle east as a couple of nations that is interested only in stable trade relations and talks a lot, but does nothing. Give us cheap oil and we don't care about the rest. Give us good trade concessions and you can rule like you want.

And when the people vote, then Europe is shocked by the results.


So, how does this look like: The West does nothing for the people there. When they have the chance to act politically, the west is shocked. And not even their culture is respected - the west mocks their religion and keeps building coca-cola and mcdonalds-shops.


Freedom of Press does not include the freedom to insult anyone and everything. These pictures were insulting to muslims. I'm not allowed to print a public paper saying "Yo, prime minister, you f*** idiot, you are so unf***believeably stupid, your f*** dad had to be a f*** dog, and a stupid one, too!!". I'd be charged for insulting the prime minister and found guilty.


This is nothing else.


If the West and the Middle East want to live in peace, both sides have to develop a mutual respect for each other. Both sides have to work really hard on this. The current tasks are:

  1. West:

    Learn that jokes about Mohammed and the Islam are insulting to Middle Eastern societies.

  2. Middle East:

    Learn that the adequate reaction to a problem with someone is not burning his/her buildings and hurting/killing people.

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Freedom of speech is of course a fundamental pillar of a free and democratic society, however the european newspapers were not intent on a constructive and meaningful arguement about religious values, they were doing this to stir up controversy and to sell more copies, surely they could appriciate that sections of the islamic world would react like this.

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Even if we learn to 'respect Islam' extremists will still hate the west anyway. Supposedly to them, we're all christian and they do not like the fact that we do not stand up for 'our religion'. The ungodliness of modern europe means that they will continue to harbor disrespect to the west.

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Yesterday on the web I found an article that showed examples of cartoons from Islamic newspapers. They included comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and showing Jesus urinating on a map of the Middle East. Now, call me cynical but what's good for the goose is good for the gander. What right does the Islamic world have to put such cartoons in print and then get universally offended because someone puts a cartoon of Mohammed (albeit as a terrorist bomber) in a few newspapers?


Apparently its ok for Al Jazierra to show folks getting their heads chopped off, snipers killing US and UK soldiers and terrorist making their demands but OH NO don't show Mohammed!!!


Piece said, I'll get off my soapbox now.

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We in the West should not make the mistake, that every muslim protesting against this pictures is a fundamentalist or sympathizes with terrorists.


More or less all muslims are deeply religious and feel offended because of these pictures. Many of them are very upset about it and a few are protesting violently and use this as an excuse for a jihad against the west.


The important words here are: "Only a few". It seems that the whole muslim world is these few, but that's not the case. These few are the loudest and that's why they get most of the attention.

When Germany plays a soccer match against the Netherlands, it's the same. The hooligans from both countries are the loudest and the most violent, so they get the most attention and the other side says: "Look at the Germans/Dutch, all hooligans, all drunk...".


When we make the mistake to say "Everyone who isn't for us is against us", we lose. Protesting against something and being violent are two totally different things.



We have to show respect to all religious muslims. These troublemakers will always make trouble wether we respect them or not. But the other ones (more than 99% of the muslims) will recognize this repect and behave differently, maybe even deal with the troublemakers themselves (just like Germans and Dutch deal with their hooligans).

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EU tries to ease anger over Mohammed cartoons


The European Union foreign policy chief is attempting to calm the waters amid the row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. As part of a tour of the Middle East, Javier Solana has met the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. He has already been to Saudi Arabia, and will go on to Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel.


Solana said: "We should not allow the latest development to separate us. We cannot afford the challenges of today - that will require our cooperation, and relationships as deep as possible - to separate us." As Solana continued his talks with Muslim leaders, protests continued in several countries, including Iraq.


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To me, this whole affair sort of reflects the row over globalisation. It is basically, at its core, about one culture not understanding another. As has been said, the West doesn't understand how central Islam is to the lives of people in the Middle East and Central Asia, and, to a lesser extent, to a lot of Muslims in the West.


For example, South Park can have Jesus as a chat show host, and it is acceptable because Chrisitanity isn't central to society, at least not any more. This is especially true for Europeans.


Frankly, I think people, and I mean of all faiths and nationalities, need to learn the difference between personal insults and insults against religion or politics. I know many Americans that consider insults against George Bush as personal! Frankly, I don't give a damn what someone says about my country.


Maybe the Crusades never ended. Maybe this is still a war of Christianity and Islam. Many a conspiracist will tell you so! tongue.gif

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