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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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The Mohammed caricatures by Ellerd on 4 February 2006 2:24pm
Denmark, Norway and France were set to re-print the cartoons this weekend, depicting the Prophet Mohammad, that has attracted the ire of Muslims. One of them shows Mohammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.

What do you guys think of this mess? Has freedom of speech gone too far? I would love to hear all your opinions.
Re: The Mohammed caricatures by Sophie-Louise on 4 February 2006 2:55pm
i think it's what alot of people think deep down but might not say it, and this caricature just brings it out into the open. i'm not saying everyone thinks like this but alot of people do because of what has happened in the past. people make stereotypes too easily and this is just one example of that.
Re: The Mohammed caricatures by Spursfan on 4 February 2006 3:53pm
I think freedom of speech is important.

They SHOULD reprint the cartoons, sorry guys - but that's my view.

I'm not anti-muslim (I have a lot of muslim friends especially in Turkey, and one of them used to be an Imam)but for them to take offence like this is just not on.

Re: The Mohammed caricatures by tucsonmike on 4 February 2006 4:15pm
Freedom of Speech means something we may not like. In the West, you can denigrate Christianity. I suspect the only reason you can't do Judaism is the Shoah (Holocaust). In other words, Moslems are going to have to join the 21st Century.

Unlike Anne, I don't know any Moslems. Rationally, people are people. Irrationally, I'd be lying if I said I am not "wary" of Moslems, especially after the Hamas victory.

This is not a support of Israel right or wrong. Personally, I am tired of both.
Re: The Mohammed caricatures by Spursfan on 4 February 2006 5:29pm
I so agree with you Mike, about the fact that Christianity can be denigrated, but Judaism is 'sacred' (sorry about the pun) because of the holocaust.

I am sick and tired of Israel and its hypocritical 'poor me' attitude. The way it has treated the Palistinians is as bad as Jews themselves were treated.

My Muslim friends are not zealots in any way - they love their country and their religion but were appalled at 9/11 (we were with them in Turkey at the time).
Re: The Mohammed caricatures by JF on 4 February 2006 7:00pm
On the one hand Muslims are entitled to demand the death of anyone they feel is associated with pictures of a kind allowed in a liberal democracy.

On the other hand Jewish people are not even allowed into Muslim countries which daily have television shows and newspapers which show the most appalling and bigoted lies about Jews.

As for the way Israel has treated the Palestinians, maybe you should ask how come the Palestinian Authority has managed to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid but hasn't managed to filter this down to their own people. Corruption doesn't even come close to describing it.

I'm not defending everything that Israel has done but you have to realise that when a country is surrounded by those who would wish to wipe it and its inhabitants off the face of the earth (and claim that it is their religious right to do so) then you are not going to invite them round for tea.
Re: The Mohammed caricatures by Blasi on 4 February 2006 7:20pm
The publications were an incredibly insensitive act; one the world didn't need in its delicate state.

The reactions were only to be expected.
Re: The Mohammed caricatures by Spursfan on 4 February 2006 8:33pm
JF - the Israelis deserve everything they get
Re: The Mohammed caricatures by JF on 4 February 2006 10:03pm
Wow, Spursfan, I never expected such political insight and such a grasp of foreign affairs.

Would you like to put some flesh on the bones of your argument?
Re: The Mohammed caricatures by intrepid on 4 February 2006 10:20pm
I'm all for freedom of speech as long as it doesn't offend me.
No, seriously, I could be wrong because I don't know what the intention was supposed to be, but to me (and I'm going to be pretty equivocal here) reprinting the cartoons looks-LOOKS-like a way of saying "Freedom of speech is something WE have and it's indicative of a culture which RESPECTS individuals like you, so NYAH-NYAH-NYAH." Only the speakers don't see the irony. I suspect though, that they were Actually trying to make a more principled and intelligent point: asserting freedom of speech rather than just hiding behind it.

Then of course there's what I see as an overreaction on the part of a chunk of the offended. "Down with Denmark" and worse, all 5 million Danes getting blamed (although in some quarters that might be because it's thought that the newspaper is mouthpiece of the government, as newspapers are in some parts of the world). Here again, the overreaction obscures what's at the root, specifically the feeling that Westerners have a superior attitude towards Muslims, and thinking of them as inherently violent people, hung up on anger, a preoccupation with "dominate or be dominated" and looking for reasons to feel put-down.
Presto- the extreme among the protestors are re-enforcing that image.

I hope everybody, the Western printers, the offended folks, Danish politicians, Arab student groups, the Chinese, my friend Henry, the government of Bahrein, me, Mrs. Groogenstein's 4th grade class, everybody- learns from the reaction going on. We all got ideas of what behavior CAN'T be allowed and what behavior MUST be tolerated. Most of us know what the grey areas are, just show respect and forethought when you express yourself. Here endeth the platitude.
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