CARTOONS ( written by a paki for pakistan )

Mar 2006
1,057
4
Islamabad
#1
Alright so here I am sitting on my laptop ready to let everybody know what I think of the world these days. Yes Yes, you are quite right in considering me slightly arrogant for believing that anybody really cares what I think. In fact I should be lucky to have anybody read this at all. But what the hell, maybe some data-archeologist in the future will find my opinion interesting.



Nevertheless here goes:



I’m half Danish and half Pakistani. Since Denmark is a teeny country of only 5 million inhabitants, and has a slightly xenophobic culture, there are not many of Danistanis around. To be honest the world never really cared. Until recently.



12 cartoons were printed in a Danish newspaper. Muslims got ticked off. This is the situation.



I don’t care who is at fault. I don’t care who started it. I only want to take the situation as it is and get it sorted.



To the Danish people:.

If you can respect the rule of not wearing shoes in a mosque, then why can you not respect the rule of not drawing a picture of the prophet.

Islam is NOT a terrorist religion. I am very sorry that you feel that it is. But if you feel it, you feel it and you have the right to have this opinion. Still, speaking as a regular run-of-the-mill muslim (not the bearded whacko kind)I do believe you could have shown some degree of respect for a different faith.

If the issue was to highlight self censorship in the Danish media regarding Islam, could it not have been on any variety of other issues (women’s rights, the alleged 70 virgins in heaven, suicide bombers) rather than one which alienates all muslims, hardline as well as moderate? Had you commissioned cartoons highlighting the exploitation of disillusioned youths by hardline clerics, you would still have ticked off the bearded crazies while not affecting the religious sensibilities of the majority of muslims. Indeed I belive you would have felt a surprising amount of backing from regular muslims.

You see, we don’t like the mullahs any more than you do. They ensure that we are looked at with suspicion in the west. They ensure that we retain primitive traditions. They ensure women are kept locked up. They ensure that people are kept stupid. And they ensure that all of you think that all of us regular muslims are nuts.

At this point in time however, regular muslims are insulted too. So by printing this cartoon you have made moderates side with the bearded crazies. Please try and get this out of the way. Please accept that this cartoon was an unwarranted provocation of a religion rather than a critique of the bearded crazies. Please accept that these cartoons are as much of an insult to our religious belief as is the denial of the holocaust to jews. Feel what you feel and express your opinions freely. The drawing of a mullah with a bomb in the turban is actually a very apt analogy of the bearded crazies. But please for the sake of peace do not involve the most revered figure in our faith in this critique. If you consider the history of this man you will see that he himself would not have condoned such violence as the bearded crazies are advocating in his name. He forgave all transgressions against him. Just as we moderate muslims would like to. Indeed just as the muslims of Norway stood together and did upon receiving an apology.



To the Muslims:



I write now to all muslims who have felt affected by these drawings. I understand the outrage and indeed have felt it myself. But I started thinking about the reasons and to be honest I can’t really blame the danes for doing this. The bearded crazies are much more our problem than they are the West’s.

Every time something about our religion comes up, somehow the bearded crazies take over and start speaking for all of us. I don’t know about you, but nothing in my understanding of Islam speaks of glory for those who kill Americans. I do not believe that Islam will be spread through violent Jihad. I do not believe that women have to be kept under lock and key at home. I do not believe that non-believers should be given less rights than muslims in a muslim country. I do not believe that muslims need intermediaries to understand Islam and to pray to god. And I do Not belive that anybody who insults my religion should be killed.

I believe that all humans are equal. I believe violence is the resort of primitive people. I believe that women are equal to men. I believe that suicide bombers are misinformed individuals exploited by religious leaders who never risk a hair on their own head.I believe that anybody who insults islam is ignorant and must be taught through dialogue and discourse. I belive Islam is such a perfect religion that it is spread purely by setting an example. I believe Islam is such a perfect religion that nobody can read the quran and see any contradictions within it. I belive that Islam will prevail. But Islam will prevail IN SPITE of the bearded crazies. Never BECAUSE of them.



The bearded crazies are our problem MORE than they are the West’s. They worry about a few fatalities. We have to worry about economic and political sanctions. We have to worry about somebody screaming “BLASPHEMY” in front of our house only to be ransacked by a crazed mob led by one of the bearded crazies. We have to worry about being evicted from the country we have emigrated to because we are thought to be with the bearded crazies. Lets face it, they are a major problem for our image.



An insult was perpetrated in Denmark. Yet muslims are burning their own cities led by the bearded crazies. Why is that?



We all know that a religious party is generally great in opposition but as soon as they have to deal with the nitty gritties of administration they completely suck. There is a reason for that. Bearded crazies are generally angry people and are fueled by anger towards any available culprit.



Seeing the broadcast of the protests in Lahore and Islamabad, I saw only young people venting their anger. It had diddly squat to do with the cartoons. Life is hard for the people in Pakistan. We have rampant corruption, complete mismanagement of public funds and the biggest crooks in the world comprising our political class. The protests started because of the cartoons. It ended in violence because we have a large section of the population disillusioned and disaffected by the life they lead.



We need to do two things here:



1) Stop letting the bearded crazies represent our beautiful religion. Internally as well as externally.

2) Ensure that our population is not so frustrated with their lives. If they aren’t ticked off in the first place about poverty, pollution, corruption, crime, discrimination and lack of representation in the government, no mullah would be able to incite any mob to such barbaric violence.



We have all the answers to every situation in our lives in the religion of Islam. Considering the infinite variety of situations that each muslim faces every day of his life, how can it be that mullahs somehow manage to present protest, violence and jihad as the answer to most of them. I don’ t know guys. Seems a bit primitive for a religion meant for all time.



What do you think?
 

tyreay

Former Staff
Nov 2005
2,370
1
Rhode Island shore line
#2
First of all welcome to the forum. I understand your plight and it is certainly a sad state of affairs when you have to worry about your safety in your own house because of someones religous beleifs. Unfortunately the ones that need to read this never will.

I can certainly understand how upseting this cartoon made some people. I think that the reaction was way out of line.

I have a friend who lives in Islamabad and she has been effected by this too. Her life was disrupted and she also had to worry about the rioters. She calls it the rallys. What I told her is I think the rioters have way over reacted. It is a cartoon. Unfortunately I, (as many other uninformed non-muslims) was un aware that to use this was such a insult. I see our President, the Pope, Saddam, Osama, The Queen of England in cartoons on editorial pages every day. The 'mullahs' as you called them are really going to get the idiot War-mongers nervous. Every one needs to just chill out and look at the big picture. Would Mohommed think this is the way to handle things? If I understand the religion correctly he would forgive, alot like Jesus would also do. Has anyone through any of this actually forgiven anyone? The problem is no one is ready to give alittle. Humanism is the key to solving this and many of the world's problems.



http://www.ecospherics.net/pages/RoweEarthEthics.html

http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto1.html
 
Sep 2005
1,463
1
#3
tyreay said:
First of all welcome to the forum. I understand your plight and it is certainly a sad state of affairs when you have to worry about your safety in your own house because of someones religous beleifs. Unfortunately the ones that need to read this never will.

I can certainly understand how upseting this cartoon made some people. I think that the reaction was way out of line.

I have a friend who lives in Islamabad and she has been effected by this too. Her life was disrupted and she also had to worry about the rioters. She calls it the rallys. What I told her is I think the rioters have way over reacted. It is a cartoon. Unfortunately I, (as many other uninformed non-muslims) was un aware that to use this was such a insult. I see our President, the Pope, Saddam, Osama, The Queen of England in cartoons on editorial pages every day. The 'mullahs' as you called them are really going to get the idiot War-mongers nervous. Every one needs to just chill out and look at the big picture. Would Mohommed think this is the way to handle things? If I understand the religion correctly he would forgive, alot like Jesus would also do. Has anyone through any of this actually forgiven anyone? The problem is no one is ready to give alittle. Humanism is the key to solving this and many of the world's problems.



http://www.ecospherics.net/pages/RoweEarthEthics.html

http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto1.html


It's not really the same thing as a caracature of the pope, since the Bible doesn't expressly forbid images of the pope. In Judaism, depictions of God, or even people and animals are traditionally forbidden (although there are varying degrees of observance, and disagreements on how to observe, like every Jewish law) so I can understand how Muslims would feel. While I respect freedom of speech, I think that it is important for people to respect that privelege by being respectful.



I also think that tensions in the world are pretty high right now. Around 50% of the population of most Middle Eastern countries is under 25. Also, most of those people are impoverished. People just want something to be angry about.
 

tyreay

Former Staff
Nov 2005
2,370
1
Rhode Island shore line
#4
To me it is exactly the same thing as a carniture of the Pope as I do not know the rules of the koran. My point was I, and probably many non muslims, did not know(of course I do now) that this was that big of a deal. I don't know the rules of that religion and for them to expect me to is just plan stupid. My message to them: Get over it, it was a cartoon! To get mad enough to riot over your religious beliefs is just a little barbaric and it is time to reassess our veiws of our religions, our neighbor's religions, and the world around us, and how we let our religions rule, and sometmes get in the way of, our lives!!!
 
Sep 2005
1,463
1
#5
tyreay said:
To me it is exactly the same thing as a carniture of the Pope as I do not know the rules of the koran. My point was I, and probably many non muslims, did not know(of course I do now) that this was that big of a deal. I don't know the rules of that religion and for them to expect me to is just plan stupid. My message to them: Get over it, it was a cartoon! To get mad enough to riot over your religious beliefs is just a little barbaric and it is time to reassess our veiws of our religions, our neighbor's religions, and the world around us, and how we let our religions rule, and sometmes get in the way of, our lives!!!


Well, maybe people should learn about something before they criticize it. That is usually a good idea. Otherwise, you end up looking silly. Or, in more extreme cases, on fire.



Barbaric?



Man, that was bad word choice. Barbaric is a very loaded word.
 

tyreay

Former Staff
Nov 2005
2,370
1
Rhode Island shore line
#6
It was a cartoon. This is on the same level as a joke. Oh that right, your easily offended by low-class jokes. Once again, no kleenex on the emoticons.
 
Mar 2006
1,057
4
Islamabad
#7
awesome

Thanks for taking out time for this guys.



I agree that the reaction from the muslim world was indeed barbaric. And i don't think that word is too strong. But it is important to note that the cartoon issue is the straw that broke the camel's back. Palestine, Afganistan and Iraq are all contributing factors to the intensity of anger felt by the muslims.



The unfair treatment meted out to muslim communities by the western world was epitomised in the flagrant disregard for muslim culture. So while the cartoons may not be a big deal to anybody, the overall attitude towards muslim culture as perceived by the muslims IS a big deal. So if you look at the protests in THAT light, it doesn't seem all that strange.



There is no doubt that religious minorities in muslim countries face institutionalized discrimination. its a two way street. For me personally it means that i get screwed no matter where i go.



The point is that the solution to this clash lies not in diplomacy between the two parties, but rather in introspection. THe muslim world needs to reclaim its religion from the hands of hardliners. Just as the western world must re-evaluate its perception of islamic ideology and accept that local and foreign policy considering islamic ideology as a negative thing will only serve to marginalize muslims who then seek shelter with hardliners.



Right now all muslims are essentially on the same side as the hardliners and its getting harder for us to explain that we don't condone suicide bombings unilaterally. That is but a small portion of people interpreting islamic ideology that way.



However i also belive that western culture is being hijacked by right wing neo-cons who present a very intolerant view of Western ideology. All the muslims see are the neo-cons. The west also needs to explain itself to the muslims. WHen has it ever done that except in vague platitudes? these platitudes about freedom and democracy sound great, but not many muslims actually feel that these tenets of western ideology is being implemented fairly and in its true spirit. Do you?
 
Sep 2005
1,463
1
#8
tyreay said:
It was a cartoon. This is on the same level as a joke. Oh that right, your easily offended by low-class jokes. Once again, no kleenex on the emoticons.


Why exactly is kleenex necissary for anger?
 
Sep 2005
1,463
1
#9
Re: awesome

hkbajwa said:
Thanks for taking out time for this guys.



I agree that the reaction from the muslim world was indeed barbaric. And i don't think that word is too strong. But it is important to note that the cartoon issue is the straw that broke the camel's back. Palestine, Afganistan and Iraq are all contributing factors to the intensity of anger felt by the muslims.



The unfair treatment meted out to muslim communities by the western world was epitomised in the flagrant disregard for muslim culture. So while the cartoons may not be a big deal to anybody, the overall attitude towards muslim culture as perceived by the muslims IS a big deal. So if you look at the protests in THAT light, it doesn't seem all that strange.



There is no doubt that religious minorities in muslim countries face institutionalized discrimination. its a two way street. For me personally it means that i get screwed no matter where i go.



The point is that the solution to this clash lies not in diplomacy between the two parties, but rather in introspection. THe muslim world needs to reclaim its religion from the hands of hardliners. Just as the western world must re-evaluate its perception of islamic ideology and accept that local and foreign policy considering islamic ideology as a negative thing will only serve to marginalize muslims who then seek shelter with hardliners.



Right now all muslims are essentially on the same side as the hardliners and its getting harder for us to explain that we don't condone suicide bombings unilaterally. That is but a small portion of people interpreting islamic ideology that way.



However i also belive that western culture is being hijacked by right wing neo-cons who present a very intolerant view of Western ideology. All the muslims see are the neo-cons. The west also needs to explain itself to the muslims. WHen has it ever done that except in vague platitudes? these platitudes about freedom and democracy sound great, but not many muslims actually feel that these tenets of western ideology is being implemented fairly and in its true spirit. Do you?


In another thread on this site, we discussed a theory formulated by the economist Steven Levitt about how abortion reduced crime in America during the early 90's. In his study, Levitt also cites the Romanian anti-communist revolution as an example. If you haven't read Freakonomics yet, I would highly recommend it. The theory probably sounds offensive to some people, but it is one of the most intriguing things I have read in a long time.



When I read that study, the second thing I thought of was the Middle East. In most Middle Eastern countries (Israel excluded) 50% of the population is under the age of 25. According to a World Bank report, 1 in 5 people in the Middle Eastern-North African region including Israel lives on two American dollars or less per day. The Middle East falls desperately behind industrialized regions on education. The Wahabist exportation of fundamentalist, anti-American, anti-Jewish madrassas has only excaberated things. The Middle East is a powder keg. It doesn't take much to set people off.



It depends what you mean by tenets of Western ideology. Our neo-cons are just as bad as any fundamentalist with a bomb strapped under his or her coat.



There are aspects of Western culture that I think the Middle East would benefit from. Liberal, secularized education, freedom of the press, speech, and religion, democracy, equal rights for women, legalized abortion, more industrialization, and brisker trade are all beneficial. On the other hand, I can understand how people might get the wrong idea, and think of George W. Bush and the Dallas Cowboys' cheerleaders. Those are just the downsides of a free and open society.



I'm Jewish, and although I understand that the Palestine/Israel issue has been vastly mishandled, when I look at the situation, I think that it is fundamentally unfair. I would be interested in starting a different thread to discuss the issue. I think Israel could prevent suicide bombings and what have you by implimenting an affimative action policy towards Palestinians, and integrating them into Israeli society. I don't think the two-state solution will work. I don't agree with the hardliners who think that Palestine never existed, or that we should drive the Arabs into the sea. They're also just as bad as the suicide bombers.
 
Jan 2006
3,232
3
Columbus, Ohio
#10
The way I view this, is that there are indeed times and things to be serious about. But there is absolutely no time where freedom of speech should be surpressed. I think the western world, and the artists of the cartoons should be highly recremended to not be so...offending. Yet at the same time, there shouldn't be laws to supress other's thoughts on Islam, no matter how radical they may be. Doing so would be defeating the purpose on an idea-war that is supposed to be spreading ideas of democracy and personal liberty. Doing so would make us what we were fighting in the first place.



The radical clerics in the middle east would love to see a decline in western political and religious toleration. We wouldn't be helping the situation any by lessening people's personal liberties. But how to fix the situation in the Middle East is a different debate all together, one that must take into account of all past and present aggressions by both sides. A blood-fued locked into anger for thousands of years. Killing only feeds the anger. Peace can only be brought by understanding.
 

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