Omid Memarian

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Violations as a Response to Insult, Is it Constructive?
Q & A with my self

What is happening in the Muslims countries during the last weeks about the Danish cartoon? Today at the Arab voices class, Hani Shokrollah, former editor in chief of Al-Ahram weekly, led a sort of round table at the School of journalism. we had more than 20 observers from the school who probably were interested on this topic. Najla, calls it “Cartoon Gate”. I am very confused about saying my opinion on this complicated issue, but as many friends of mine, some of my blog’s readers and journalists from Germany, Denmark and Austria who asked me about this topic, I am going to write down some points about this huge media covered and critical issues. So perhaps it is better to talk about it in a Q & A form. Does is make sense?

Q: Does reaction of Muslims to the Danish cartoon, display emerging the clash among the civilizations?

A: Reaction of the Muslims, not. But the action of reprinting the cartoon by other European papers, maybe.

Q: So, you mean the clash among civilizations is something real?

A: The answer is yes and no. Yes, if intentionally focus on the provoking the controversial differences between cultures and civilization, do not respect the differences and judge the “others” with our values. But the answer is no, if we try to understand the differences and respect the other cultures and beliefs. In this way, it is better not to think that the whole world is living with liberal democracy values and/or Muslims values.

Q: Do you think the reaction of the Muslims was led by ordinary people or the governments?

A: I think, mostly by government. Because, lack of strong civil society does not let people in these countries to protest or come to the streets-- like what we see in the Muslim countries. Beside, civil society in many of these countries is entirely secular. Moreover, in these countries, if governments do not agree with something it never –or seldom—happens. So, as we see in Iran, Syria, Palestine and so on, strong mobilization and violence, without any governmental intervention, is impossible.

Q: Which countries in particular?

A: Just look at Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. The outrage of Muslims has appeared basically from these countries. In Iran, government normally supports these kinds of activities. I read something in somewhere by a Finish journalist who mentioned 99 percent of Iranian population are against any violence or attack in response to any kind of insulting. I am sure it is not an exaggerated number. In a country which a critic to government policies lead the journalists and writers to jail, torture and so on, how some people can attack to a embassy without the green light sign of the regime?

Q: What is its benefits for the Islamic government?

A: Apparently, after sending the Iranian case to Security Council by the IAEA, they are expecting some other changes in the International community’s tune. If the Islamic regime does not accept the Russia’s nuclear proposal, Iranian case will face different sort of sanction. So, they are just preparing fire for their propaganda against west. Syria is under pressure of International Community about the Murder of Rafigh Hariri. Some of the American sources talk about attack to Syria. So they are going to send a message to their people and say, “here it is! That’s western values which accuse. They are insulting Islam and or values.” That’s why I think they have provoked the Muslim’s emotions in a political ways.

Q: So, you mean the cartoon has not problem but that’s the reaction of the Muslims, which must be controlled?

A: I believe in what Robert Fisk has said about “Childish of civilizations”, which printing and reprinting of the cartoon has promoted.

Q: Do you think cartoonists of writers must censor themselves because of Islamic taboos?

A: I think, the freedom of expression is not without limit. For example in case of denial of Holocausts, why European countries have established rigid policies about it?
(End of Part One)


At 10:09 PM , Blogger Chas said...

You have made a very valid point. Europe already has certain press restrictions, for instance it is illegal to print the swastika or deny the Holocost. But with the cartoons, the cry freedom of the press.

At least here in the USA, you can print anything.

At 8:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Short Article to the heart of the subject by a former muslim:
Can Islam, Koran and Muhammad Command Unqualified Respect from the Westerners?

The following
should be the object of protest NOT Cartoons.
You should familiarize yourself with what the koran has in store for you:

koran 09:29 orders believers to fight non-believers until they pay tribute tax called jizya and feel themselves subdued:

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Qur'an 9:29.
Under Islam, Jews and Christians had three choices: convert to Islam, retain their religion and pay tax or fight. Pagans and atheists had two choices Islam or the sword.

Narrated 'Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said: “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him'.” Sahih Bukhari Vol. 9, Book 84, Num. 57. Also Vol. 9, Book 83 Num.17.

Narrated Abu Musa: A man embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism. Mu'adh bin Jabal came and saw the man with Abu Musa. Mu'adh asked, “What is wrong with this (man)?” Abu Musa replied, “He embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism.” Mu'adh said, “I will not sit down unless you kill him ( as it is ) the verdict of Allah and his Apostle.” Bukhari Vol .9, Book 89, Num. 271.

I heard the Prophet saying, “In the last days (of the world) there will appear young people with foolish thoughts and ideas. They will give good talks, but they will go out of Islam as an arrow goes out of its game, their faith will not exceed their throats. So wherever you find them, kill them, for there will be a reward for their killers on the Day of Resurrection.” Sahih Bukhari Vol.6, Book 61, Num. 577.

islam is offensive.

also, koran says if you obey Mo, you obey god and Mo is perfect and a model for humans for all times.

Mo ordered the assassination of at least 2 people whose only guilt is they criticized him: Asmat bint Marwan and Kaab ibn Ashraf
He ordered the execution of 600 jews from the tribe of banu qureiza (all males above 12)

check also

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