Thursday, 9 February 2006

Pictures of the Prophet

I've been too busy to deal with this shit but now I am on it because it annoys me but not for the reasons you'll think. But before I do, some facts for ya'll, it's not forbidden in the Qur'an to draw pictures of the Prophet Muhammad (praise be unto him) only idolatry. The Hadith (the second text in Islam, rather like the Talmud in the Jewish faith), does forbid representations of the Prophet Muhammad (praise be unto him).

Having said that, representations of the Prophet Muhammad (praise be unto him) are common place in Muslim nations and also have a great history in Christian literature. Never mind the fact that in the US Supreme Court there is a statue of him...

These cartoons where first published on the 30th September 2005.

Please read that again and then ask yourself why it all exploded last week?

Nevermind the fact that some of them are racist and some of them just badly drawn, why has it taken till last week for people to start rioting over images that are 4 months old? When the pictures first came out there was barely a squeak of anger at them and it all passed away.

For the scenes we now have popping up across the globe in one of the worst moments of over-reacting I've seen for a while, we have Saudi Arabia to thank. Come with me on a journey of adventure and I'll explain why...

In January of this year the most important Muslim religious festival took place in Saudi Arabia, it's called the Hajj and every able-bodied Muslim is obligated to make a pilgrimage once in their lifetime to Mecca, which is in modern-day Saudi Arabia.

There were a number of stampedes, called "tragedies" in the press, during the Hajj which killed several hundred pilgrims. I say "tragedies" in quotation marks because there have been similar "tragedies" during the Hajj and each time, the Saudi government promises to improve security and facilitation of movement to avoid these. Over 251 pilgrims were killed during the 2004 Hajj alone in the same area as the one that killed 350 pilgrims in 2006. These were not unavoidable accidents, they were the results of poor planning by the Saudi government.

This was a huge story in the Muslim world. Most of the pilgrims who were killed came from poorer countries such as Pakistan, where the Hajj is a very big story. Even the most objective news stories were suddenly casting Saudi Arabia in a very bad light and they decided to do something about it.

Their plan was to go on a major offensive against the Danish cartoons. The 350 pilgrims were killed on the 12th January and soon after, Saudi newspapers (which are all controlled by the state) began running up to 4 articles per day condemning the Danish cartoons. The Saudi government asked for a formal apology from Denmark. When that was not forthcoming, they began calling for world-wide protests. After two weeks of this, the Libyans decided to close their embassy in Denmark. Then there was an attack on the Danish embassy in Indonesia. And that was followed by attacks on the embassies in Syria and then Lebanon.

Feel angry now at being manipulated? I hope so.

20 comments:

  1. I'd heard (and this is just speculative uncited rumor because I'm tired and lazy) that the anti-Dane cartoons dossier many clerics touted around included a few especially inflamatory comics that were never even published.

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  2. this makes for some serious food for thought...revolutionises spindoctoring to an enth degree!!! wow...

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. The above comment was me asking a stupid question before the coffee kicked in.

    The Saud family is a very large, very powerful, very silent mover in world events.

    Yeharr

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  5. Interesting claim. I'd read elsewhere that these cartoons had been around for months, but the Saudi PR connection hadn't occured to me. This is obviously happening now because someone wants it to. The scary thing is how easily so many have been whipped up to violence.

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  6. You said "y'all"!!

    And finally, I get to see the cartoons, though to be fair I haven't tried to find them on the net.....somehow, just hearing the words "cartoons incited violence" was enough. You know, I've heard it all du jour.

    Too bad Charles Schulz didn't live to see this, huh?

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  7. I thought the picture looked more like a Sikh than a Muslim (I remember when we used to spell it Moslem).

    Anyway, here's a topical joke:

    A female Islamic fundamentalist, all dressed from head to foot in black, meets her friend at the bus stop and asks her:

    "Does my bomb look big in this?"

    Well it make me laugh...

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  8. Daniel,

    Your post certainly makes sense about the timing. With all the junk news here across the pond, I'd like to find a few good international sources. Where do you get your news sources? I'd like to add them to my repertoire.

    UL

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  9. Yup, ditto. As you probably know, I posted about the same thing today.

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  10. This is interesting food for thought. I'm sure that Saudi Arabia has no qualms about using it's media as the U.S. does to divert attention from sticky situations. However, this is the type of story that could take a while to spread. Denmark is a fine country and all but this is a small paper with a small circulation. If you look up the e-trail on this at www.arabnews.com, the Danish Cartoon story surfaced there on Dec 30th and grew in controversy a month later on Jan 29th. This doesn't explain why the demonstrations are exploding across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and even Europe. If you really want to find the cartoon culprit in the middle east, it's the Simpsons. Which began airing on 9/27/05 - which is the only cartoon reference I could find on the middle eastern www.albawaba.com site.

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  11. Interesting comments about the relationship between the Hajj tradgedy and the cartoon issue. I came to the same conclussion that the cartoons were not the cause of the issue, but that the issue was being used by groups to create the protests and violence we've been experiencing.

    However, I attributed the the manipulation to Iran, who met with the Danish delegation of Muslims 10 days before the Muslim community became enraged by the issue, and Syria, who met with Iranian president Ahmadinejad for 6 days after Ahmadinejad met with the Danish delegation. Still, I'm very interested in the Hajj connection, and will definitely do my own looking into that shortly. Any additional evidence would eb totally appreciated.

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  12. I think there is an age were you just feel the need to protest. With me it was CND. (Ok, we just used to march & sing and kiss the female police officers rather than burn down embassies). With these guys its cartoons. If it wasn't that it would be something else. Sit back, have a beer, they will grow out of it. I did.

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  13. Wow, UL actually admitted that you make sense. That's something to celebrate! I thinkt he whole thing is silly, particularly the fact that the articles were publiched in September. They did say that on NBC Nightly News the other night, but that should have been one of the first things mentioned when the riots started.

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  14. Freedom of speech VS Religion.

    Jeezus Christ and Alalallah are not the same person.

    Knock knock...

    Who's here?


    I found better to anger everybody!


    Next time they are going to offer a new drawing: Jesus Christ being fucked in the ass and Allah sucking the dick of Jesus Christ.

    You want a clash of civilization? This one will make it.

    LOL

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  15. Jess: yes, there is a dossier going round which contains fake representations of Muhammed (PBUH), not a useful way of aiding the situation.

    Darren: you should be a comic, your material is cutting edge, fancy jacking in music?

    Scottage: I wouldn't lay it on Iran to be truthful, but they are fighting for the right to do as they please, it's a shame they have to fight for it at all.

    UWL: I am in shock at UL coming over.

    Politiques: :-/

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  16. im sory to say, ur viewpoints are dumb, and where does it say in the Quran, that it is al right to draw images of the prophet (pbuh), ur jus making silly assumption and misleading a interpretation, the jews dont even have a holy book, its they believe on half a scroll, and the bible has been changed so many times, ive lost count, the words are manmade if u ask me. the whole point of muslims doing this protest, is the image showing a disrespectful meaning of the prophet,so i respkt every protest fighting for what they believe in, u lot can be ignorant and insult whatever, at the end of the day, u'll realise, how wrong the danish publishers are, and it doesnt matter when the picture was publish, it shouldn't have been created in the first place...so get your facts right people

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  17. Anti-kkk: I'm glad you're anti the KKK as that's your only redeeming feature as you really can't spell.

    Anyway, the Qur'an does not forbid the making of images of Muhammed (pbuh) only false idolatry. The Jews do have a holy book, it's called the Tanakh.

    As for disrespecting the prophet, maybe they are but that doesn't give anyone the right to violent protest and harm others and esp for certain parties to use this incident to incite hatred and violence between people.

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  18. Because my nation has passed hate-crime legislation, and I understand the essence of this legislation to be aimed at preventing the denigration of people based on their ethnic, cultural or religious characteristics, I have to say it was completely stupid of the fucking Danes to pubish the cartoons in the first place.

    The so-called "free speech" argument is bullshit. Ridiculing the most holy person in someone's religion is a hate crime.

    Mind you, the fucking asshole Nazi Pope cocksucker didn't bother to stand up and point this out. Maybe he should be beaten with a Hitler Youth Corps Nazi standard.

    Oh, wait, you ask, did the Col. Dr. just commit a hate crime by calling the Pope a fucking asshole Nazi cocksucker?

    Of course not! I am a Catholic, and as such, that fucking asshole Nazi cocksucker IS the most holy person in my religion.

    I'm the one who is exercising free speech, for I am a member of the organisation being headed by a fucking asshole Nazi cocksucker. I'm what you call an "inside critic".

    Now, the Protestants I hang with sometimes point out that the Pope bears a striking resemblance to a fucking asshole Nazi cocksucker. The variation in intent, and intensity of these observations categorise them between anywhere between mindless Cromwellian fuck puppets and progressive Christian revolutionaries.

    If a religious, cultural or ethnic institution or Great Person is ridiculed at the expense of the dignity and well-being of those who identify with them, it is a hate crime, not "free expression".

    I'm sorry, but the Danes, who collaborated with the Nazis, remember, and don't listen to that "we resisted Skorzeny" crap, should have known better.

    And who expects anything NOT corrupt from the Saudis? Let's remember their "kingdom" was formed in 1919. Eighty-seven years of quasi-independence still equals Anglo-American domination.

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  19. There are so many groups waiting for a clash of civilization.Many powerful groups I think. And they take every advantage to show a bad picture of Islam. Everyone who believes your claims is cheating himself.It can´t be so simple. There should be -and I believe there IS- a more profounded explaination about the situation nowadays.

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