Friday, February 10, 2006

ael view of cartoons

Important points on the Cartoon riot - arab-europe league point of view

1- The issue for us is not about depicting the prophet or any other theological consideration. It’s about stigmatizing a whole population of more than one billion Muslims through portraying their symbol as being a terrorist, megalomaniac, misogynic and a psychopath. This is Racist, xenophobic and calling for hatred against Muslims.

2- We do believe in Freedom of speech but we think that respecting sensitivities and being constructive is also an added value to a democratic society. We are against laws oppressing any form of expression no matter how appalling it is. Nevertheless, we condemn the selective indignation of Europe’s intellectual elite and population. When anti-Muslim stances are made or published this is perceived as freedom of speech and cheered and supported but when other sensitive issues to Europe like the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, homosexuality, sexism and more are touched, Europe’s elite is scandalized.

3- In our
cartoon campaign we do not endorse any anti-Semitic, homophobic or sexist stands. All we are trying to do is to confront Europe with its own hypocrisy using sarcasm and cartoons. We will therefore continue our sarcastic campaign in the days to come and we will not be intimidated by the ridiculous law suite that was filed against us in the Netherlands.

4- The reaction of the majority of Muslims to this provocation has been civilized and consisted of economical boycott and free speech. If Europe would boycott the Palestinians because of voting for a certain political party in elections, why are Europeans so surprised that the boycott is used against them? The fact that some mobs turned violent is by no means representative of the majority. The mob is never more than a caricature of the people, it is not the people. Anybody suggesting that Muslims in their majority are violent in their reaction to this issue is Islamophobic.

5- Arabs and Muslims are facing occupation on the hand of the west, oppression on the hand of the dictators often supported by the west and aggressive colonization by the Zionist and appartheid state of Israel. Adding symbolic offence to factual aggression is responsible for the tension that we are witnessing today. Any attempt to understand the cartoon’s issue out of the current international context is completely missing the point.

so where does the line get crossed?
a couple canadian views:

Hate behind right-wing blogburst
No need to publish offensive cartoons

... Case in point: Toronto-based blogger Kathy Shaidle (a.k.a. Relapsed Catholic) whose religious politics would have easily qualified her as chief judge and bonfire builder during the Spanish Inquisition. The woman never misses an opportunity to insult Islam. And so, it was hardly surprising that, not only did she publish the offending cartoons, she giddily took up the torch and ran with it.

On Sunday she posted a Tom McMahon cartoon claiming that when it comes to skyscrapers Muslims "destroy" them, and when it comes to cartoons Muslims "riot about them" — as if this applies to every single Muslim every single minute.

Why she doesn't call her blog the Daily Auto Da Fe — for the public burning of heretics in Spain — is beyond me.

The cartoon uproar has merely added fuel to her fire, one she and others of her ilk had been hoping for ever since the calls for Muslim blood over the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 calmed down.

In terms of the North American corporate media, only a few dailies, including Montreal's Le Devoir, have republished the cartoons, which are not particularly good, not very funny and not necessary to understanding the story. As many editors have explained, merely describing the cartoons is sufficient for making the point. ...

Muslim cartoon clash hits Halifax

... "You can't do philosophy directly and honestly without causing inflammation," he said as the protest march was getting started. "It's one of the side effects, rather like surgery."

Cartoon 'blogburst'

Internet activists says republishing Muslim caricatures necessary for free speechToronto blogger Kathy Shaidle didn't think twice about republishing controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad on her website last week, even as those very caricatures provoked violent protests around the globe.