Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Muslim irrationalism and cartoons

I am in agreement with the Salon commentator on the topic of the Danish cartoons that are claimed to be blasphemous to the Prophet. They should be published in the press everywhere (they are here on the web and in a million other places) and the exaggerated claims of outraged Muslims dismissed.

You don't damage a religion by drawing pictures. Indeed to an atheist, like myself, God seems irreparably dead. My view is that intelligent people should live in an Age of Reason where God-talk and religion are set aside and replaced with thinking and philosophy. Bridges across waterways don't make aboriginal women infertile (see here for a discussion of Hindmarsh) and walking on water is difficult when temperatures move above above freezing. So too raising the dead!

You didn't agree with that? Well, I can live with your contrary view and, indeed, understand the role of beliefs and even marginally appreciate them. It improves your brain chemistry and often makes you very nice people, good social beings etc etc. By doing so it will often help me even if I believe you are deluded. But.....even then..... my friends:

  • Muslims have claimed their religion as justification for killing innocents and this is satirised by the cartoons. This is a legitimate object of humour and has a socially-redeeming feature of pointing to the craziness of the claim.
  • Suicide bombers and Jihadists do claim that virgin females in heaven will be their reward for killing innocents (see here) which is the point of another cartoon. Such daft viewpoints deserve to be mocked.

Give it a break my Muslim friends. You are far more serious about your beliefs than most Christians I know (you substitute pious belief for much religious babble) and deserve respect for that at least. But, as many of you have done, separate yourself from the irrationalism associated with this bout of cartoon-induced, reflex-response madness.

Get on with being good citizens who derive an important part of your life from your religion and avoid confirming the expectations of anti-Muslim bigots who parady you but who, on some occasions, as current actions confirm, are indeed correct.

Update: As one commentator suggests the Iranians have responded to the cartoons by seeking the 12 best cartoons of the Holocaust (see here). The Iranians (and other fanatics who have responded in similarly bizarre and sometimnes violent ways ways) have totally lost the plot. And I guess they will regard most of the rest-of-the-world as unreasonable for seeking to deny them access to nuclear fuels that can be turned into weapons. It is so sad that people can be so deluded and can concentrate their hatreds and resentments in this way.

Update: A key issue is that the Danish cartoonists are not under any obligation not to offend a religious law they have no obligation to uphold. Update: I grabbed this comment on the hypocrisy of the Muslim fanatics from Yobbos' blogsite. Brisbane's Courier Mail and The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin seem to be alone among Australian newspapers to have the integrity to publish at least one of the cartoons. The Age in Melbourne is its usual whining, gutless, hypocritical, leftist self.


Anonymous said...


I think that the right of sacrileges
is sacred. This holds recursively....

But I don't think that Danish cartoons are more
offensive to Muslims and Islam than Bush's wars.

I don't think that anyone would have payed attention to a cartoonist from the south of Denmark had Pope Urban the modern not been engaged yet another holy crusade and had Denmark not been a participant in this crusade. The protest cannot be decontextualized from the modern day crusades. They are not happening
in a vacuum.

weekbyweek said...

"walking on water is difficult above freezing temperatures."

A very clever line. :)

theo said...

whilst building bridges over waterways will not change the fertility of women, not building a bridge over said waterways might suggest a respect for the culture and sovreignty of the original owners.

whilst, as an athiest, i agree that drawing pictures cannot damage a religion, as devout liberal, i do believe that civil society should have civil boundaries. i don't think it should be illegal to publish the cartoons, but i do think it's done in bad-taste, bad-faith and that it's inflammatory and unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

The cartoons were commissioned, they weren't newsworthy items that justified publishing given that it was guaranteed to create more problems. To retaliate, Iran's biggest-selling newspaper is launching a competition to find the 12 "best" cartoons about the Holocaust.

I like this editorial comment in The New Zealand Herald, which decided not to publish the cartoons:
As soon as an issue is framed as a test of press freedom, the temptation is to publish for no better reason than to assert that freedom. And in some circumstances, where the threat is real, that might be reason enough to publish. But in this country, and most others where newspapers have strutted a hairy chest on this issue, Muslims are a small minority of the population and we are free to offend their religious sensitivities if we want to.

The only question to consider is, why would we want to?

Exactly. In the current situation, why would you? Three years ago, Danish paper Jyllands-Posten itself turned down satirical cartoons of Christ, deeming them offensive to readers, as well as unfunny. Illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted the drawings but was told by the paper's Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, that "I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them."

Meanwhile, if he had his time over, the editor-in-chief of Jyllands-Posten says he wouldn't run the controversial cartoons which have provoked such calamity.

hc said...

Non muslims do not need to abide by muslim laws. In my view the cartoons are reasonable comment. They point to the use of religion as a driving force behind the killing of innocents.

The Danish now have their lives threatened. These threats confirm the picture of fanaticism described in the cartoons.