SUDAN WATCH: Muslim anger spreads round the world - and it is not about Muslims and children perishing in Darfur, Sudan

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Muslim anger spreads round the world - and it is not about Muslims and children perishing in Darfur, Sudan

The Financial Times today says Muslim anger is spreading round the world.

Hey, guess what, they are not outraged at fellow Muslims and children perishing and suffering atrocities in Darfur - they are angry over some cartoons!

As Margaret Thatcher once said, "It's a funny old world".

Today, the BBC says Annan urges calm in cartoon row - the Danish paper's editor told the BBC his intention was to show Muslims they were not exempt from satire.

More on this Muslim outrage at Captain Marlow's in Europe where Marlow links to a post encouraging us to buy Danish as "Muslim countries have chosen to pressure liberal little Denmark in order to teach the media and governments, which stand by them, a lesson which does not bode well for free speech or satire."

UK journalist Melanie Phillips, in Cartoon jihad, says "It is worth reminding ourselves at this juncture what the issue was about from the start of the affair. Gratuitous offensiveness towards Islam or any other religion is not to be approved of. But not only is censorship of such offensiveness another matter, and violence and intimidation arising from it another matter still, this was not in any event gratuitous offence."

Feb 3 ComingAnarchy post authored by Chirol, an American studying in Germany, says We Are All Danes Now and notes that, "The Tension has some rather disturbing images of Muslim protesters with signs reading "Europe learn from 9/11," "Massacre those who insult Islam" and more. You have to see it to believe it. The longer this goes on, the more pessimistic I become about the Middle East's ability to fix its failing culture."

Thomas at Contango in Norway writes An elaboration and some questions saying it is likely the row will continue to escalate, possibly with violent acts to follow and, "Let there be no doubt that the paper obviously is in its right to publish these drawings. There cannot be limits to freedom of speech."

Marcus at UK blog Harry's Place writes Two Minute Hate saying "this Danish cartoon business is rapidly turning into mainland Europe's version of the Satanic Verses affair - the wave of protest was triggered by Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi, head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, who last night called on Muslims all over the world to observe "an international day of anger for God and his prophet"."

UK journalist Stephen Pollard says Danish humour may be no laughing matter, but it must be defended - "They [the cartoons] are certainly offensive to a large number of Muslims, as this week's turmoil shows. But so what? Rather more offensive, one might think, than some mocking cartoons is some Muslims' desire to murder me as a Jew."

And, he goes on to say, "Europe is not part of the Caliphate, whatever some Muslims wish. One of the defining qualities of Western civilisation is that, while religions of all kinds are tolerated, their beliefs and practices must be subject to secular laws. The idea that any religion should be above those laws is anathema to Western civilisation."

This blog author agrees with Stephen when he says Denmark's reputation has not been tarnished but enhanced and that all the Danes can and should do now is carry on standing up for the basic Western value of free speech, and hope that other nations do the same.

Helmut, a professor of philosophy, public policy, and international affairs, who blogs out of Washington DC at Phronesisaical, says it's a cartoon world and he is letting the irony of the photos do the talking for him. Heh.

Through The Looking Glass: The Danish Cartoons - Does one have the right to make fun of religion? Where is the line between freedom of speech and censorship? And what are the appropriate responses? asks Sheila Musaji, February 4, 2006 at

A child joins demo in London

Photo: A child joins demonstrators in Belgrave Square, London. via Telegraph UK 5 Feb 2006: Muslim protests are incitement to murder, say Tories [via Captain Marlow]

Feb 4, 2006: English Lord of the blog says Cartoons should not have been published because present situation is too volatile - it is time for us here in Britain to say we are proud of our multi cultural society and our history of a free and fair society and we are going to keep it that way.

Feb 4, 2006 Normblog Prophet and loss: "The front page of the Guardian today reports a remark from the foreign secretary that would be worrying if he'd said it: "Jack Straw... denounced the decision to republish the cartoons, saying press freedom carried an obligation not "to be gratuitously inflammatory"." But this seems to be the result of sloppy editing. What Straw acually said, according to the report here, was: "There is freedom of speech, we all respect that, but there is not any obligation to insult or to be gratuitously inflammatory."

Feb 6, 2006 American Atheists at NoGodBlog received 70 comments at Apology withdrawn: "I earlier said "sorry for the cartoon", referring to the Moslem ordeal (there are sooo many), but I then read this article, and I'm retracting that sentiment. Nobody who demands the death of a human just because of what he writes, says, or believes is deserving of any respect at all.

See "Freedom go to hell" and "Europe take some lessons from 9/11" photos at The Artyom Reader.

See more photos just in from London at Michelle Malkin's: "Be prepared for the REAL holocaust!" "Europe you will pay. Your 9/11 is on its way!!" "Behead those who insult Islam" "Slay those who insult Islam" "Butcher those who mock Islam" "Exterminate those who slander Islam" "Massacre those who insult Islam" "Annihilate those who insult Islam" (Hat tip: UK blogger John Holroyd of Towards a Free World Cartoon Debate - The case for mocking religion "We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt.")

The Common Room blog has a round up news and views of Islam in the Cartoons.


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