February 8, 2006

"The world ought to call them on it."

Says Condoleezza Rice, about the cartoon protests: "I have no doubt that Iran and Syria have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and have used this for their own purposes."


Gaius Arbo said...

Sounds like a good idea.

PatCA said...

They should call them on it, but they won't.

The NYT today printed another pic of the Dung Virgin Mary, but not the Mohammed cartoons, to illustrate the point that imagery can provoke violence. Huh? When I first read it, I thought it was a satire on press cowardice.

Pastor_Jeff said...

I'm with Condi.

But to your earlier point, Ann, those opposed to Muslim rioting are not really helping things with the recent French Charlie Hebdo cartoon wherein the Prophet calls his followers "cons" - a very rude word for female genitalia: See You Next Tuesday.

AlaskaJack said...

Isn't free expression unhinged from the norms of common decency a wonderful thing? Now we're going to have an international contest for the best politcal cartoons that ridicule the holocaust. It really brings people together doesn't it?

EddieP said...

Alaska Jack

It's exactly what is necessary to bring this to a head so that all parties can eventually agree it is much ado about nothing! Hiding it or ignoring it won't make it go away. Sunlight is still the best disinfectant. Read AMIR TAHIRI's post at Instapundit.

Jim Gust said...

I saw those cartoons, and I didn't see any Mohammad representations. Arabs, perhaps, Muslims, certainly. Why would I think the guy with the bomb in the turban is Mohammad? Did I miss something?

I've heard that the real story here is Denmark is slated to chair the Security Council when the referral of the Iranian nuclear situation comes up. It's all about intimidation.

Craig Ranapia said...

Well, the world should because there's been some very mixed messages coming from Washington D.C. over the last week...

Jen Bradford said...

In the first few days it made sense to think and talk about the responsibilities of both sides in this equation, but not once people started losing their lives. I appreciated this piece from Claudia Rosett.


P. Froward said...


Is this what you mean by "free expression unhinged [sic] from the norms of common decency"? Go on, pull the other one. There's nothing in those cartoons that goes anywhere near violating any norms of common decency, except maybe (maybe) in the faculty lounge at Qom. It's mild, mild stuff.

I suppose you're trying to hype them as "offensive" to people who haven't seen them. That's not very honest.

But maybe you haven't seen them yourself, and you just figure that if a Syrian rentamob objects to them without having seen them either, that's all you need to know.

Anyhow, if publications like Charlie Hebdo keep it up, and I'm betting they will, even the loony sort of Muslims who're freaking out about it will get used to it in time. The whole thing will become a non-issue.

RogerA said...

What I regret most about this whole affair is the MSM has done a terrible job of placing this "outrage," "culture clash," or as the BBC call it "row," in context. This is clearly a fabricated outrage whipped up by some cleric named Laban from Denmark about cartoons that were published six months ago including three there were phonied up.

Two despotic states along with their clients staged demonstrations buring thousands of danish flags (question for the interested reader: Danish pastry is easy to find--when was the last time YOU tried to buy a Danish flag?)--and as several of the preceding posters have noted it seems to coincide with external events which affect Iran's nuclear desires.

It WOULD be nice if the mainstream media would give us the whole story.

Craig Ranapia said...

It would also be worth meditating on this quote from Cynthia Ozick's 1994 essay on a certain infamous "row','Rushdie in the Louvre' (collected in 'Fame and Folly: Essays'):

Rushdie's so-called blasphemy is the fabrication of literalists whose piety can be respected but whose literalism assumes what may not be assumed: that the Creator of the Universe can be diminished by any human agency. Islam, like Judaism, is not an iconic creed (both are famously the opposite), but the philosophers of even such iconic religious expressions as medieval Christianity and classical Hinduism do not locate the divine literally in paint or carving, and that art, while it may for some kindle reverence, cannot be a medium for the soiling of the sacred. Art cannot blaspheme, because it is not in the power of humankind to demean or besmirch the divine.

Now, I don't pretend to be an expert on the subtleties of Islamic theology but I was under the impression idolatry was as much a sin to Muslims as it is for Christians - even if the precise definition is enormously controversial both within, and between, faiths. Perhaps those who scream the loudest about blasphemy would care to ask themselves if Ms. Ozick doesn't have a point.

Jane said...

Iran and Syria?? How typical of the Bush administration to ignore the role of Saudi Arabia in fanning the flames.

XWL said...

These thoughts posted by Guy Hebert at Samizdata.net (I don't think he's the same as this Guy Hebert) seem pretty insightful and appropriate to this comment thread,

"So the objection to the cartoons cannot really be founded in the Islamic image-ban. They are clearly neither idolatry nor invitations to it. On the contrary, the insistance that a mocking representation amounts to a gross insult to the prophet is much more like idolatry in that sense: a demand that the man be revered as incapable of representation as God."

RogerA said...

Jane--I spent a year in Saudi Arabia and am certainly no fan of the Saud family nor the Kingdom generally, and its brand of Wahabism specifically--do you have any specific evidence that the Saudis are involved in this? I havent seen it in any posting thus far: the finger of suspicion continues to point at the danish "cleric" Laban and the syrian and iranian regimes.

NOT that you are wrong--I just havent seen anything--enlighten me, Please?

Steven said...

As evidence the cartoons are not nearly as offensive as now being claimed:

They ran in Egypt in October.

If these really were so offensive to Muslims, why didn't they spark offense when publicized in a Muslim country four months ago?

Of course, American media have deomnstated just how far they're willing to stick their necks out for freedom of the press by their knowtowing to the cynical, manufactured, manipulative, and selective "outrage" over the cartoons.

miklos rosza said...

Yes, as Steven just pointed out, the 12 cartoons appeared in a major newspaper during Ramadan in Egypt in October.

Of the 3 fabricated cartoons (which were not published in Denmark) the one supposedly featuring Mohammed with a pig's snout comes from a photograph of someone in a pig-calling contest in France.

And by the way, Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq has not freaked out. Not at all.

I, on the other hand, was too excitable at first. Yet another piece of evidence proving why it's a good thing I'm not a policy-maker.

Meanwhile I hope Michael J. Totten in Beirut is okay. He could easily pass for a Dane.

Daryl Herbert said...

those opposed to Muslim rioting are not really helping things with the recent French Charlie Hebdo cartoon wherein the Prophet calls his followers "cons" - a very rude word for female genitalia

Pastor Jeff: what makes you think someone who would print such a cartoon is opposed to rioting? Maybe they think things need to get worse before they can get better. Maybe he thinks the world needs to see just how crazy Muslims are, instead of backing down in the face of their weird double-standards.

AlanDownunder said...

Why is Condi singling out just Iran & Syria?

MadisonMan said...

Jane--I spent a year in Saudi Arabia and am certainly no fan of the Saud family nor the Kingdom generally, and its brand of Wahabism specifically--do you have any specific evidence that the Saudis are involved in this?

I'm not Jane, but I'll point out that the more than once-a-day diatribes against the cartoons in the Saudi press started after all the pilgrim deaths in (at?) the Hajj. It seems to me a classic case of diverting outrage from the Saudis who can't prevent deaths at the Hajj to those wicked, wicked Danes.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Daryl Herbert,

I'm not assigning any particular motives. And I have been and still am against rioting, violence and Arab hypocrisy.

Ann made a point a few days ago that we need to understand why these cartoons are ofensive. If that's true of the original 12, how much more this latest one which has a revered religious leader calling his followers "c***s"?

Do they have the right to do it? Of course. Should anyone be surprised at the reaction when people who are already enraged see this?

You have the right to go into any church on Sunday morning and say the same thing. So why don't you? Because it's well over the line of decency towards any religion. In this one case, I don't think they're being "crazy Muslims." If you said that in a bar, you'd probably get a punch in the face and little sympathy.

Unfortunately, you may be right about how people perceive reactions to the Charlie Hebdo cartoon - but only because all the western media I've seen translate it as "fools." That makes the reactions seem extreme. But if people knew Muslims were being called "c***s" by their prophet? I think people might be a little more understanding at Muslims taking offense.