Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Don't Go There

Can we all agree that mocking the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him (PBUH) however you care to spell his name, is just a bad frickin' idea?

A Danish newspaper published twelve "satirical" cartoons, and a Norwegian Christian magazine re-published them, God knows why. Shockingly, an Iraqi group called for attacks against Danish and Norwegian targets, Morocco's government officially condemned the publication, and various Muslim-themed countries closed their Danish embassies and boycotted their products. On a clear day, we could have seen that coming forever.

And all because "a writer complained that nobody dared illustrate his book about [Mohammed PBUH]." All we have to say to that is, dude, whenever the phone rings next, you'd better hope it's Salman Rushdie on the other end of the line.
Bookmark and Share


Blogger keli said...

Whilst I would agree with your sentiment that it is unwise to mock those who may retaliate with violence and hatred, I would take issue with the claim that these cartoons mocked the Prophet Mohammed or Islam.

Frankly, I'm surprised that someone of your obvious intelligence should have failed to recognise that the cartoons in question mocked the extremist attitudes of *some* fanatical individuals and *some* Islamic regimes.

That is palpably *not* the same thing as mocking a religion or the founder of it. An important distinction that seems to have been lost both by you and those who have made capital out of this ridiculous storm in a teacup for their own political ends, both in the Middle East and in the US and UK. I'm glad that some European governments at least have had the courage to defend the right of free speech in the face of yet another example of the West caving in to extremist pressure for the most questionable and self-interested of motives.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Allen Voivod, Features Editor said...

What I meant to convey by that post was not whether to satirize, but how. I agree that the cartoons must have been meant to mock a certain radical subset of Muslims, and not Islam in general.

Also, being big on free speech around here, I think I speak for everyone at CP! in saying that we support the Danish on this one, regardless of any political feeling on the matter, and decry the violent protests that have come about in the aftermath.

As with many things in life, a lot hinges on technique. In my opinion, it'd be easy enough to mock radicals without invoking Mohammed - and using Mohammed in these cartoons is like using a cudgel instead of a blade.

I suppose my post was more of an editorial evaluation than anything else - to me, the cartoons just didn't seem to demonstrate any sophisticated satirical expertise.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

It seems like Islam may be a "protected" religion now. Christianity and Judaism are mocked incessantly in all types of media, but Christians and Jews have yet to fly planes into skyscrapers.

3:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home