Archive for February, 2006

Once again…

…a bunch of cretins have run about causing a fuss and doing no end of damage to their own cause.

That’s not especially surprising, people are like that. You’d think, however, what with all the bad press Muslims are getting these days, they’d be a bit slower to have a go at papers for publishing cartoons of Mohammed because they’d had a go at another paper who published cartoons of Mohammed.

Really, don’t make death threats against the press; they publish them and you look like dicks.

I’d never have known about these cartoons but for the Carder-like blind outrage shown by (as far as I can tell) a minority of Muslims, and (less explicably) the Saudi government. As it was, I saw this, and immediately ran a Google image search for “Mohammed Cartoon”. Wouldn’t you? You see a fuss and you immediately want to know what it’s about.

There’s a slightly hard-to-understand site (mainly, I think, because I can’t read Arabic, nor semi-Arabic) which is here for reference, and the word that first comes to mind to describe it is “stroppy.”

That probably sounds like I’m trying to deliberately wind people up, but really… You don’t, by and large, see the CoE running about demanding people retract cartoons of Jesus. The one time they tried, which was with Life of Brian, they looked like dicks. But at least they didn’t burn flags or make armed assaults on people.

I don’t, really, have a problem with Islam saying “Do not do cartoons of the Prophet, pbuh,” but if they say that because “it’s disrespectful to do so” and then say “and to show you we want you to apologise, we’re burning your flag, and you’re all a bunch of arses” I don’t see how that works. You cannot, if you wish to be taken seriously, demand that people respect your views and then refuse to listen to anyone else’s. The world just doesn’t work like that.

On the aforementioned stroppy website, a fairly sensible-sounding Dane has made a comment, which follows:

I’m another Dane, and the questions below have been nagging me.

  • Why do people who believe in gods feel that they have a greater right to be offended than us people who mainly believe in humans?
  • Why do some people think that the Danish government (and indeed the Danish nation and every danish citizen) have anything to do with this? Let alone have the power to apologize for these drawings, if apologies should be issued?
  • Someone (Moslems, I guess) has burned the Danish flag on the West Bank. Is it okay if we say that this offends me to no end, and so we’re even? Or should the Palestinian government apologize to Danish patriots everywhere?
  • What if Jyllands-Posten comes out and says “nah nah, fooled you, that wasn’t Mohammed, it was drawings of the Taoist deity Lao Tzu”? Or: “Yes it was a guy named Mohammed, but not the prophet”?
  • What if there’s a religion somewhere that worships the Half-Moon, and has a rule that a drawing of the Half-Moon is a blasphemy?
  • I’m a believer. I believe strongly in equal rights for the sexes. Sex-based discrimination offends me. Should the Saudi government apologize to me?
  • Why hit on Jyllands-Posten – have you ever tried to google “prophet mohammed”? There’s loads of material out there to get you offended, if you get off on being offended.
  • What should be done to the Danish artist who, ten years ago, made a movie portraying Jesus getting drunk and having wild sex?
  • yup… maybe Jyllands-Posten didn’t need to print those drawings, and you shouldn’t provoke anybody for no good reason, and we should all just get along, and etc etc. But will the offended Moslems please calm down and start acting like grown-ups? If Allah is really displeased with Jyllands-Postens editors, he will punish them in the after-life, right?

Published By Nikolaj Nielsen – January 30 1:55:09 PM

Which pretty much sums it up in a nutshell.

I mean, really, in a world in which large numbers of addle-brained Yanks are firmly under the impression that Terrorism is a) a bigger threat than global warming, and b) All done by Muslims who are scary and intolerant and c) Not fun now it’s happened to them so they’ve stopped funding the IRA, senior members of the Muslim community are having a pop at non-muslims, who, being non-Muslims, probably don’t give a stuff what the Q’ran says, having as they do, no reason to care at all, and burning flags and causing trouble.

Now one thing I do know is that America loves to pretend it’s a free and liberal country in which people can say whatever they want, as long as it isn’t Anti-American. Having a go at newspapers for publishing things as “freedom of speech” which you find offensive isn’t going to go down well in the USA, because the average American will soon have Fox and CNN telling him the trouble is that these papers are allowed to publish whatever they want.

Yes, it’s something Islam doesn’t like, but Denmark isn’t an Islamic country. Do we expect Denmark to stop serving alcohol in case that offends Muslims as well? No we don’t, but I’m sure some muslims are offended by it. If this were a Saudi paper, or even one in a country with a moderate Muslim population, I’d probably understand the fuss a bit better, but really.. Just because Islam exists in the world doesn’t mean papers which aren’t subject to Islamic law or convention should abide by it’s rulings. If they did, they’d have to abide by the rulings of every other religion as well, and then (presumably) Muslims would be pissed off because the paper was celebrating days sacred to the Hindu gods, of which there are rather more than one.

Bloody extremists. The one thing that’s certain to piss me off more than anything else is people being intolerant, mainly because it’s really not hard to shut the fuck up and accept that some people don’t think the way you do, and trying to bully them into it isn’t going to work.

Bloody humans. Still, give it another hundred years or so and current society will be screwed anyway, and then we can have done with it and go back to anarchic tribalism and barter. Hooray.