Friday, February 3, 2006


I have decided to join the ranks of those blogs that are posting the Muhammad cartoons in support of free expression and in support of the Denmark press. I am doing this for one main reason. No group, under any circumstances should be able to dictate limits to my first amendment rights without a very strong national security reason. It is one thing to expect those that exercise their right to free expression to use that right responsibly. It is quite another to have a group that goes out of its’ way to exercise that right to denigrate other groups but can not stomach even the smallest showing in return.

And as to the excuse/argument that it is the equivalent of a mortal sin in Islam to show an image of Muhammad, I say bunk to that! There is ample proof available to show that this ‘rule’ is selectively enforced, at best. Check out this site for a start and Google from there.

Update 2/6/2006:
I have been following this story like a lot of people that are ‘browsers’ and have read opinions on both sides of the discussion. On the one hand you have those that say that publishing the cartoons is wrong because it offends Muslims. On the other hand you have those who say so what, it is called freedom of speech. I chose to post the cartoons for the reasons stated above and I still believe that it was and is the right thing to do.

I can understand the position of those that say (as do I) that with rights come responsibilities but I also say, you can not have it both ways. The Arab press is constantly publishing the most vile, hurtful and hateful stories, cartoons and lies of Israel, Jews and Christians. They don’t seem to see anything wrong with that. So satire is not the problem It is also (despite what you might have heard or read, see top of this post) not uncommon to see images of Muhammad in Arab countries as well as the rest of the world. So that is not the problem either. The problem seems to be that it was done by Westerners, at this particular time. As others have said, if you find the material offensive, you can do what every other individual or group does when it feels wronged in a CIVILIZED SOCIETY, you write a letter, hold a protest, and/or boycott. You do not do as has been done, riot in the streets, burn a few buildings, and threaten a bunch of other innocent people with death and destruction.

Oh well, just another ho-hum day in the life of the religion of piece…

Update 2/16/2006:
I have wanted to update this story with more recent information and did not get a chance until now. For anyone that does not know. The big picture on this appears to be that a Danish newspaper printed the twelve cartoons shown above back in September of 05. At that time some Danish imams got upset and tried to start a ‘row’. It quickly fizzled out and nothing came of it. The imams then decided that if they could not get any traction in Denmark, that they would try their luck in the Middle East. To help explain their case, the imams put together a pamphlet on the cartoons and (their view of) the prevailing sentiments toward Muslims, in Denmark. As the cartoons were rather bland, even by Muslim standards, the imams decided that the pamphlet needed a little ‘spicing up’ and they added three additional cartoons/images to it that were NEVER published in any paper in Denmark or anywhere else. In fact, one of the three was not even about Mohammad. It turns out to be a very pixilated photograph of a Frenchman in a hog calling contest. There is also some concern as to the true origins of the other two added items. Regardless, the imams took their ‘enhanced’ pamphlet on a road trip to the Middle East and showed it off to a number of the local imams. These local imams then whipped up their followers into the blood thirstily rage that was shown in various videos and news stories. As people have died/been killed, buildings and cars burned and lives directly and indirectly threatened, calling the rage blood thirsty is not over the top.

It is not clear whether any of the actual folks doing the rioting have seen any of the original cartoons or not, as very few if any of the papers in the Middle East will run them. There is also much confusion in America about the cartoons as very few U.S. papers will run them. If anything, this situation helps to demonstrate that more information is better than less. Either out of fear and/or sensitivity, most news organizations have not run all of the original cartoons nor have they deeply covered this story. This leaves the facts to speculation and allows some to take advantage of the situation. How many of those that are involved in the rioting and protesting would still be there if the full truth were known? I am not saying that there would not be some response just that we do not know how much more restrained it would be if all of the truth were known. Part of what gives these imams their power is ignorance and bowing to fear or sensitivity as opposed to truth feeds that power. As to if anything will happen to the original Danish imams for instigating all of this, no one knows. And that is the “rest of the story”.

Update 2/17/06:
The Danish cartoonist’ rebuttal is in stark contrast to the Muslim rebuke. Follow the link. "Gevoelig" means "sensitive" in Dutch.

Update 2/24/06:
U. S. Cartoonists fight back.
And other comments...

Update 3/1/06:
MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism
and a very interesting rebuttal that is worth reading.

Update 3/14/06:
In his own words...

"I'm glad there was pain, and I wish there will be more pain," Moussaoui said. . . .

In a lengthy explanation of why he hates Americans, Moussaoui said Islam requires Muslims to be the world's superpower as he flipped through a copy of the Quran searching for verses to support his assertion. He said one verse requires Muslims "to fight against all who believe not in Allah."

Update 5/26/06:
Something has happened to the photo links but they are fixed now.

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