Monday, February 06, 2006

Where Is The Muslim Voltaire?

The expression “I do not agree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it” seems to have no equivalent in Islam.

The famous quote, based on the words of Voltaire, is admittedly extreme, but so are the acts of those individuals still
rampaging through many countries to protest an offensive cartoon.

Not only is it considered blasphemous to depict Mohammad in any manner (the opposite of Catholicism, which has mad iconography skills), the cartoon in question also shows him wearing a bomb-shaped turban. It was a double-whammy of destructive proportions.

By carrying out or calling for violence
(including more beheadings and 9/11's) in retaliation for a cartoon, those radical elements are actually justifying the stereotype that the bomb image was suggesting. And the perception of Muslims as dangerous fanatics will not change as long as demonstrations like this are associated with them.

Their anger is certainly not something many Westerners can understand, graven image notwithstanding. It's acceptable to be offended when your beliefs are trounced upon, but not homicidal.

Imagine if every political cartoon or caricature, which appear daily in some newspapers, sparked a riot in the West. There wouldn’t be enough teargas or rubber bullets in the world to disburse the angry crowds.

Moderate Muslims of the world, where art thou? It’s time for you to speak out loudly against the violence. It’s time to stand up for freedom of expression and tolerance of contrary views.

Turkey, this could be your chance to win that coveted spot in the European Union you’ve been seeking. Step up and make yourselves heard!

19 comments:

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

Bogs, this is perfectly stated. excellent! excellent!
Today is my d-day for project delivery and so I am avoiding my blog like the plague - but I couldnt not stop by here and give you your props for laying it out so clearly! A+. and as always, your economy is greatly appreciated.

I hope the bird comes by to read this. vanille -send her on over

/grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Pete Bogs said...

to my knowledge, The Bird has never been here... she may have visited, but hasn't posted comments... new people are always welcome...

infinitesimal said...

Hey,
Who you callin' Turkey?
fool.

Also...

Moderation is the cornerstone for buddhism, a call for moderates is much needed.

Bird said...

just flew in - will have to fly out very quickly...and may be off on some bizarre migratory flight pattern for a bit, but ...

K9 - what's this? i agree with you (in some ways) again? what's happening to me????? but bog's bit is "perfectly stated."

Bogs - yes, i've flown through this nest before. my "hit list" keeps getting longer and longer and this screen-sucking is diverting me from my bird business. i'm ensnared now.

Moderate Muslim voice? there is one - i know there is, and as soon as i can pause midflight i'll find some links and send them your way.

something else to consider - from what does violence stem? anger, frustration, lack of alternative ways to express views - lack of education, awareness - and course it's to the power brokers' (on all sides) advantage to keep certain large populations in such a state.

Vanillifin- what are you - some kind of tinkerbell bitch traipsing (sp?) through blogsville, sprinkling fairy dust and leaving demands for visits all about? hahaha!

on-the-wing,
bird

Pete Bogs said...

Infini - do you prefer to be called Ottoman Empire?

Bird - thanks for flying in... glad to have you here... I know there are moderate Muslims out there - but they're not speaking loud enough to be heard above the militants... see my Terror In The Unemployment Line? blog for my thoughts on the origins of terror...

stop by anytime, just no regurgitating anything into the young 'uns' mouths, please...

Bird said...

alright boys and girls - i did a quick and precursory Internet sweep for the voice of the moderate Muslim. Links and extremely limited commentary now posted at birdsblog. more to come at some unknown point in time.

in flight,
bird

infinitesimal said...

From the Boyed's site:

"From the point of view of the Muslim moderates, the Iraq war is polarising the world between a Muslim ‘‘us’’ and a Western ‘‘them’’. It is no longer easy for Muslim modernists to praise the West’s moral purpose when US leaders emphasise their power at the cost of their ideals."

I speed read the first article, and it was a bunch of bitching. "Al Jazira media sux, so does the US nobody likes Sadaam. " There was only this above bit about the Muslim moderate voice, and it is an editorial perspective.

X had a recommendation, I forget where, some comment. from an Islamic woman who was underground and writing.

The end of Boyeds article is stating the love frindship and "live a better life" principles that are echoed in Muslim voices that I personally know.

Fundies are everywhere in the media, where are the moderates?

Bird said...

arctic terns (aka: me) are known to enjoy numerous side trips that take them away from their clean-shot, get-there quick, migratory path (which happens to be the longest migratory path of any speciies on the planet). i seem to be on a side trip today...sigh...

i'm not one for conspiracy theories (they generally seem to be kooky), but i think a careful look at our media is in order -why DO the fundies get so much play and the moderates don't (this applies to all issues)? Vanilifin poses an interesting question. Who can answer it? (not i, said the little red hen - ooops- that ain't me...babe).

Pete Bogs said...

I recommend the book "What Liberal Media?" by Eric Alterman... he explains how just how consternative to the core the US media are...

Anonymous said...

Muslim Voltaire?

here is a clip from UN tody on cartoon war:

European leaders spoke out strongly against the violent
behavior of thousands of Muslims over the weekend, as the
cultural row over cartoons depicting the Islamic Prophet
Muhammad continued to rage and European embassies
were attacked throughout the Middle East. Although United
Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed
sympathy toward those offended by the images first
depicted in a Danish newspaper, he and other world
leaders said such anger does not justify violence.

(UN Sec Gen, Annan is a Muslim, and a thief--architect of food for oil swindle)

Pete Bogs said...

European leaders have been speaking out... they're not the focus of this story... I want to hear from Middle Eastern leaders, both political and religious... I realize those are one in the same, in many countries... Annan played a diplomat in the issue - he has to, as head of the UN... diplomacy is his business...

I can take both sides, too... based on their beliefs, I can see why Muslims may have been offended... the reaction has been so violent and so out of scale with the actual offense... I don't think you should set out to offend, but I do think we have to retain the right to present controversial material...

the impetus is not on me to hold my tongue, the impetus is on others not to react in such extreme ways...

Pete Bogs said...

anon - you have a lot to say... that's good... why don't you register to put yourself on an even keel with everyone else?

presidentbobo said...

Alas, the Muslim Voltaire was stoned to death...

Pete Bogs said...

perhaps the original Voltaire was the Muslim one, then? he seems to have fallen victim to sharia law...

Bird said...

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/FCE073DD-7F1B-4714-95F0-DD1F354F1D9A.html

oh dear! I just checked into Aljeezra - hunting for the moderate Muslim vice. It's there - sort of - in Lebanon...

but of course, news reports are more about the extreme violent reactions - still occuring - more calls for various acts of violence in retribution for the cartoons.

And according to one article, Iraq will be returning funding from Denmark in protest over the cartoons. Hmmmm...

And Iran will be running a series of 12 Holocaust cartoons in answer to the Mohammed cartoons.

Pete Bogs said...

interesting... Mahmoud says he doesn't believe in the Holocaust, yet he wants to run cartoons... sick mofos...

infinitesimal said...

Moderate Muslims live in Egypt and Morrocco

Cemil Aksut said...

In context of Cartoon crisis it is being propagated in western media as if any critcs against Islam and his values are forbidden. This is totally wrong. I live in Istanbul and a member of moderate conservative muslim family. Here in my country there are plenty of newspapers, columnists, authors having a rigid stance against islamic teachings and lifestyle.

Christian community and its culture may tolerate any kind of critics even in form of satiric or aggressive manner against Jesus (this makes us sorry because Jesus is our prophet, too). This is your way. We muslim people are sensitive about our prophet. For example, you may criticize his sayings in a serious manner having intellectual depth, that is wellcome. But, for us it is impossible to tolerate such cartoons, insulting, blaming, degrading him. Violence? Turkish people's vast majority are against violance against embassies including me. Boycotts and mass protests are understandable all over the world.

Sorry for my poor English

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