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« State of the Union: There's Nothing to See Here The RantsSkeptics' Circle #27, Carnival of the Godless #33 »

Welcome to the Asylum. Population: Way Too Many
2006.02.05 (Sun) 01:00

You stupid, fucking, narrow-minded, hateful, deluded, morons:

Several thousand Syrian demonstrators set the Danish and the Norwegian embassies on fire on Saturday to protest at the publishing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad by European newspapers.


Chanting "God is Greatest," the protesters stormed the embassy; threw stones and shattered its windows; burned the national flag and replaced it with another flag reading "No God but Allah, Mohammad is His Prophet".

This whole fucking thing is sick. All of this bitching, and complaining, and condemnation, and violence over some fucking cartoons. If this is an indication of the extraordinarily loose grip on reality that these fucking assholes have thanks to their wonderful religion...fuck, we can't even think of any way to finish this sentence.

In case you aren't aware, this whole uproar is due to a handful of cartoons depicting Mohammed, the Muslim prophet, being published in Danish and Norwegian newspapers. That's right, fucking cartoons. Why were the cartoons published?

The drawings were commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten (Jutland's Post) to accompany an article on self-censorship and freedom of speech after Danish writer Kare Bluitgen was unable failed to find artists willing to illustrate his children's book about Mohammed for fear of violent attacks by extremist Muslims.

Islamic teachings forbid pictorial depictions of Mohammed.

The cartoons were published on September 30 with an explanatory article by the newspaper's culture editor, Flemming Rose.

The following is a translated summary of the article and explanation of the cartoons published in the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia.

"The modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings.

"It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where you must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule.

Just because you harbor an irrational, delusional, all-consuming belief in some fucking imaginary god and his sidekick doesn't give you the right to impose that belief on others, and threaten violence and death against those who disagree with your brand of insanity. Not to mention the incredible blend of egocentricity and stupidity necessary to condemn a cartoon as something that doesn't properly respect the rights of others, then to show your displeasure by fucking firebombing a building. Think of the balls it takes for a person whose defining characteristic is raving intolerance to demand not only universal tolerance but ultimate respect from all people under threat of death. Does anyone really think that our world wouldn't be better off without these assholes?

Let's recap here. Here's one example of the cartoons in question:

Kinda funny, actually

And here's a picture of the reaction by some Muslims, the first from a London demonstration, and the second from the embassy attack mentioned above:

'Tolerance or death!'
'We prefer death!'

In short: "If you insult Islam, we will massacre and exterminate you." Fucking loons.

And what's the reaction of the United States, the supposed bastion of free expression?

"We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility," [State Department spokesman Justin] Higgins told AFP.

"Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable. We call for tolerance and respect for all communities and for their religious beliefs and practices."

How, you may ask, does a cartoon incite religious hatred unless the people who see the cartoon are fucking unstable loons to begin with? Perhaps — and we're just spitballing here — the people we should be condemning are the ones threatening and/or actually carrying out violence against cartoonists, diplomats, and Europeans. Instead of the rest of the world taking a stand by explaining that it isn't the cartoons that won't be tolerated, but rather the violence perpetrated by religious nuts, the rest of the world seems to be all ready to perform a PC-inspired bow before a bunch of unstable and violent lunatics at the expense of free expression. Talk about sending the wrong fucking message.

In fact, we touched on this kind of scenario once before in our post titled "Let's Get Some Perspective on Quran Desecration." You might recall that claims of Qurans being flushed down the toilet by US Marines touched off a similar round of rhetoric and violence, which we found just as insane as these latest attacks. In particular, we took exception to the attitude inherent in this batshit crazy quote we found in a Newsweek follow up:

"We can understand torturing prisoners, no matter how repulsive," says computer teacher Muhammad Archad, interviewed last week by NEWSWEEK in Peshawar, Pakistan, where one of last week's protests took place. "But insulting the Qur'an is like deliberately torturing all Muslims. This we cannot tolerate."

As we said then:

Now that is some fucked up shit. Can anyone say "get your priorities straight, moron"? Let's spell this out — this guy values a book more highly than he does human life and well being. Does anyone think that's normal or sane? And we don't want to hear about "religious tolerance" or "understanding the belief systems of others" — valuing a book more than a person is batshit insane. You want someone to blame for the rioting deaths? How about the crazy fanatics who rioted and killed people over the mistreatment of a fucking book.

Those sentiments apply perfectly here, as well. Saying that the act of drawing and publishing a fucking cartoon makes violence acceptable is insane, plain and simple. Seriously, fuckwads — it's a goddamn cartoon. Let's even pretend, just for a moment, that your ridiculously stupid embargo on images of Mohammad make sense — even in this Bizarro world we're assuming for the sake of argument, this is a cartoon. The only reason you consider this to be an "image of Mohammad" is because of: a) the context, and b) the fact that you were told it is Mohammad. Look at the fucking thing! What if we told you that this...

Hi, I'm Mohammad!

...is Mohammad? Ooh! Did we just fuck your entire society of zealots up the ass and force you to eat pork? No. We drew a fucking smiley-face with a beard. It's called "perspective," you fucking assholes. Go fuck yourselves.

And don't think that this is a phenomenon relegated to "those crazy Muslims." If we repeat one of the quotes from above and just replace a single word, it'll sound oddly familiar to many rational Americans (a fact we're sure didn't escape your attention):

"The modern, secular society is rejected by some [Christians]. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings.

In case you don't know what we're talking about, and you can't be bothered to poke around our site looking for the numerous examples of the above behavior, here are some pictures from demonstrations around the United States, courtesy of those small-minded, hateful assholes at godhatesfags.com:

'We prefer death!'
'We prefer death!'

Are these demonstrations as bad as what's going on in the Muslim world right now? Absolutely not. And we certainly aren't saying that all Christians or Muslims are like these fucking morons above. But don't think it can't happen here.

— • —
[  Filed under: % Civil Liberties  % Greatest Hits  % Religion  ]

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/tpc-trkbk.cgi/281

Comments (28)

Aussie Adam, 2006.02.05 (Sun) 05:58 [Link] »

Excellent rational summary of the situation guys. This is, to put it mildly, unbelievably scary. They always want it both ways, don't they? The hypocritical scumbags.The disgraceful appeasement of these nut jobs by your government also pisses me off. Great to see that papers in Germany and France have also published the cartoons (according to gods4suckers). Good on 'em!

dikkii, 2006.02.05 (Sun) 06:21 [Link] »

I'm going to call you on this.

If I'd drawn a picture of myself having sex with your mother, you'd be firebombing my house.

Yes, a series of cartoons is no excuse for a small bunch of hysterical zealots to get violent, but there is also no excuse to incite the aforementioned lunatics by offending the living bejesus out of them.

The point is, as much as I think that drawing a picture of me having sex with your mum would be funny, I'm simply not going to do it. I know that you'd get offended.

Taking this one step further, if I drew a picture of me schtupping several people's mothers, you would probably call me irresponsible. Particularly if those people whose mothers I had depicted came from the same community, and were likely to get violent about it.

Last, and by no means least, you would probably be questioning why I decided to portray myself in coitus with mothers from just that community. Would there be some kind of bigotry attached, perhaps? Hmm?

And this is why I'm calling you on this. Freedom of speech/expression has responsibilities attached - which you appear to possibly have overlooked.

MBains, 2006.02.05 (Sun) 07:48 [Link] »
If I'd drawn a picture of myself having sex with your mother, you'd be firebombing my house.


I'd be, well, Laughin' My Ass Off! And if I drew such a picture of your mother gettin' pleasured by her poodle, well, I may be an asshole, but if you firebombed my house, you'd be a felonious offender doomed to time, oh so much time!, behind bars where you would oh so Constitutionally belong!

If you've lost the ability to control your emotions, you are dangerous and NEED to be restrained. If you say your Religion commands you to be dangerous, then your religion fits the bill of Terrorist Institution and you will be quarentined from the world of Democratic Rights.

And this is why I'm calling you on this. Freedom of speech/expression has responsibilities attached - which you appear to possibly have overlooked.

The one to throw the first punch is the one who is wrong and must be stopped. Shake yer head and spit in the general direction of those you despise. Better yet, point out what is despicable about them, as the 2%ers have done here. Getting physically violent is ONLY acceptable in Defense against Physical Violence.

Your opinion has merit Dikkii, but it misses the point that only Life-Threatening Violence is unacceptable.* Adult muslims are NOT children who need to be protected from ideas and images in order to have an opportunity to mature in a physiologically healthy manner. Hekk! Look at the GHF pics above; and you can see that those good xtian folk are already corrupting the objectivity of their own children by involving them in hate spewing protests against a segment of the animal kingdom which has no more choice in it's sexual orientation than do they, themselves, or any of the rest of us! THAT is also batshit insane!

Ignorance becomes Violence when fear subsumes reason, but only the Violence is completely and utterly unacceptable in a civilized world.

Here's my post on the issue. As you can see, while I thoroughly enjoy reading and supporting Rants of this nature (I mean I laughed and cringed about half-a-dozen times reading this post!!!,) I have friends whom I have made the personal decision to honor by not directly posting any pics of Mo' the Pro' on my site. I respect my friends, but not the intellectual dead-end that is Islam in it's most insane of insistences.

* Being the Amero-Centric silly human that I am, I think that all the world's wars should be fought on the American Rules FOOTBALL field! Now THAT's where violence belongs! Go 'Hawks!!!

Stillers 34
Seahawks 27

dikkii, 2006.02.05 (Sun) 08:41 [Link] »


You wrote,

Your opinion has merit Dikkii, but it misses the point that only Life-Threatening Violence is unacceptable.

Actually, I did make that point when I wrote this:

Yes, a series of cartoons is no excuse for a small bunch of hysterical zealots to get violent...

The problem is that some people DO get a little bit touchy and unreasonably upset about this sort of thing.

This means that anything you say then becomes potentially as hurtful as a punch in the face.

You also said this:

The one to throw the first punch is the one who is wrong and must be stopped.

Taking your analogy to an extreme, if I call someone at work a racial epithet, this would be seen by yourself as merely me exercising my freedom of speech and not nearly as bad as physical violence.

Sure, I would be a serious arsehole to do it, but it would be humiliating to them nonetheless.

It would hurt this guy as much as a punch, and therefore, as far as I'm concerned would be the first punch.

Look the violence is, I agree, fucking bullshit. And the Xtians and Clims who practise it should all fucking well wake up to themselves.

But anyone who deliberately preys on the hang-ups of this bunch of morons by purposefully inciting violence for a laugh as this Danish idiot has done is, quite frankly, worse. And no amount of hand-wringing along the lines of, "Can't they take a joke?" is going to cut it, because they knew precisely what was going to happen.

If they didn't know, then they're complete idiots.

MBains, 2006.02.05 (Sun) 09:29 [Link] »
Taking your analogy to an extreme

Exactly bro. " to the extreme..." Something best left for Rants and Experiments.

In the real world, where we all live regardless of our acknowledgement of it, extremes are things which we must step back from in order to comprehend. There's no other way to see what produced them.

If they didn't know, then they're complete idiots.

OR they see an irrational growth of irrational emotionalism growing in the midst of their Open and Tolerant Society and felt that it is their moral and honorable duty to bring the fiasco to the fore. Do you know what precipitated this insanity? Check it out. NO disrepect was involved. Only information and education. THAT is what is so tabu to extremists.

I really do understand where you're coming from Dikkii. My linked post explains my opinon on and understanding of the situation further but I'll just reitterate here that words are just words. They are not fists, or guns or "turban bombs".

When I was about 6 years old (first grade,) I intervened to break up a fight where twin brothers were exercising their angst upon some smartass. They proceeded to pound me as well. I'd "LOL" if the shit didn't escalate to the point where, when confronted (freakin' eventually!) by our Catholic School principal, they accused me of calling them that wonderfully ubiquitous N word. !!! THAT blatantly false accusation was percieved by the school admin as sufficient "reason" to excuse these whacked and wayward thugs from any recriminations for their thuggery.

Now, you've just my word that such a insult was not in my character to deliver. My point is that its delivery was irrelevant then and IS every bit as irelevant now. Again in the real world, had I said such, there's no doubt as to what would follow. There is equally little doubt as to the RIGHT of the thugs to act as they did. That "right" does NOT exist. If the school had followed their own rules, thugboys would have been expelled on the spot; regardless of their ostensible verbal motivation.

We all say "rules are meant to be broken." But we ALL know that they exist because someone Reasoned what might happen if 1 + 1 occur and created a rule to prevent, or at least cope with, such. THAT is what exceptions to the rules must take into account and it is why I didn't post the turban-bomb pic on my site directly. I think something like this is what you're saying, and, if so, then I agree in its essence.

I didn't call those kids the Name. The school didn't even try to verify such because they were AFRAID of looking racist. Instead, for nearly two more years of arbitrary beatings on the playground by these insane and abused-at-home buttheads, I and several other runts took it, quite literally, on the chin. I mention "other runts" because I finally got so afraid (of both the thugs and my own stupid and credulous father's abuse of me for fighting!!!) that I smashed in one their noses, scaring them permanently off to other prey. This all happened because those in Power were too damned scared of irrational emotional backlash against Reality to make a stand on rational and reasonable principle.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword is true in the long run of cultural evolution. But, no matter how you try to rationalize it, the Sword is Always Bloodier than the Pen.

I understand and appreciate your points Dikkii. I am one who sincerely and deliberately speaks with my Pen until a time might come that I am confronted with the Sword. Then the rules be damned.

Orac, 2006.02.05 (Sun) 10:11 [Link] »
How, you may ask, does a cartoon incite religious hatred unless the people who see the cartoon are fucking unstable loons to begin with?
You forget the example of Nazi Germany. Anti-Semitic magazines like Julius Streicher's Der Sturmer (examples of which can be found here) were a key factor in Hitler's ability to whip up a homicidal anti-Semitism in the German people. The constant stream of anti-Semitic literature, articles, cartoons, and movies were indispensible to Hitler.

This it not to say that I support banning "hate speech" or mockery of religion. However, it is quite incorrect to claim that cartoons can't incite religious hatred. True, it requires a sustained effort, but I think you were a bit simplistic here.

Fan-man, 2006.02.05 (Sun) 12:11 [Link] »

Dikkii, I have to call you on your point of view. You're lacking perspective.

If I'd drawn a picture of myself having sex with your mother, you'd be firebombing my house.

Twelve years or so ago, if you drew a picture of yourself having sex with my mother, I would probably bust you in the face and hope that was enough to break your nose. Today, however, I'd roll my eyes and walk away from your dumb ass. See, today I'm infinitely more rational and mature than I was just twelve years ago.
I believe in rare cases of extreme measure, where it is imperative for people to fight fire with fire. You do need to have perspective. If a fly lands on your child's forehead, you wouldn't swat it with a crowbar. Most of us know this.
Save your firebombs my friend, you live in a civilized society.

The Two Percent Company, 2006.02.05 (Sun) 13:21 [Link] »

We want to start here, with this statement from dikkii:

If I'd drawn a picture of myself having sex with your mother, you'd be firebombing my house.

That is absolutely not true. And it wouldn't matter what cartoon, or painting, or fanfic, or CGI animation, or photoshopped image you created, we would not firebomb your house for this. Nor would we punch you, kick you, or kill your dog. Frankly, it wouldn't even offend us — we'd be more weirded out than offended. As Fan-man points out, we might have punched you for this when we were children, but as adults, violence wouldn't be our response. As MBains says, it's not sane or acceptable to meet biting satire with violence. Insults are not the same thing as a punch. If you don't agree, try getting punched.

All that said, should you draw yourself fucking people's moms? Well, whatever, if that's your thing. To us, it just seems somewhat silly if you're doing it for any reason other than a private fetish (and if that's what you're into, rock on). Is it polite to share those pictures with others in such a way that we can see what you've drawn? Not especially, no. In fact, it's pretty rude. Much like swearing (a topic near and dear to our hearts) there are times and places where things are appropriate, and times when they are not, and it's up to us to be able to tell the difference if we want to be a member of society. However, to us, rudeness isn't a crime, and there is no right to "not be offended." Now, should other people engage in violence because you drew those pictures and shared them in an inappropriate way? Hell, no. Period. There's no question here as far as we're concerned. Such pictures might be cause for legal action depending on various issues of defamation, privacy, and pornography, but violence and murder are just not acceptable here, even if we were offended. There's no room for ambiguity on this.

Sure, perhaps we'd wonder, if you chose a specific group of moms to pictorially fuck, if there was some ulterior motive, but so what? Seriously, so what? If you chose only mothers of people who published pictures of Mohammed (a group that now includes us), we might assume that you didn't like such people. We already assume that extremist Muslims don't like such people, and yet we aren't out firebombing their homes. Instead, we're calling them out as the dangerous and unstable lunatics that they are.

We agree that freedom of speech does come with responsibilities. But what both the European newspapers did (and what we did) was to deliberately point out what was so insane about this issue. The cartoons were not about upsetting Muslims; they were about pointing out why their being upset to the point of violence is so out of proportion to what's going on (a point that these Muslims proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, by the way). Hell, they were published because an author couldn't find anyone who would illustrate a book about Mohammed for fear of fiery death. Remember, it doesn't matter if the drawing is meant to be offensive or meant to glorify the memory of the man — either way, these loons call for your head. That is insane, and there is no way that we advocate bowing to such an insane request, even if we know that these loons will respond with violence.

In fact, dikkii touches on this particular idea as well:

The problem is that some people DO get a little bit touchy and unreasonably upset about this sort of thing.

This means that anything you say then becomes potentially as hurtful as a punch in the face.


But anyone who deliberately preys on the hang-ups of this bunch of morons by purposefully inciting violence for a laugh as this Danish idiot has done is, quite frankly, worse. And no amount of hand-wringing along the lines of, "Can't they take a joke?" is going to cut it, because they knew precisely what was going to happen.

Let's look at a scenario here to illustrate why we don't agree with this sentiment. The idea here is that if we know that a certain activity will offend a certain group of unstable loons, then we shouldn't engage in that activity or else we'll be as culpable as the violent loons for what happens next.

Okay, the Two Percent Company as a group intensely dislikes the extreme Christian slant of many newspaper articles and editorials. It drives us up the fucking wall to read all of these blatantly incorrect and extraordinarily narrow-minded opinions about how Christians are both the majority in the United States and yet also terribly oppressed. So far, all of this is actual fact. Now, let's suppose that we want to stop such things from being published, and we decide that the best way to do so is to wage a war of violence against those who write or publish them. In addition, we decide to firebomb the courthouses of any state in which such activity occurs.

The question is, once we set the precedent that every time we see such an article, violence and death will follow, should the papers stop publishing such articles? And if they don't stop, should they be held to be as culpable as we are for the violence and death that we mete out? Or, would bowing down to our threats and violence merely be a PC-motivated nod to reinforce the idea that violence works?

Once again, we're drawing a very consistent line on this issue, and we apply it blind of our opinions on the content of the messages being judged. In the end, no matter the purpose of the message, it doesn't excuse violence, and the only ones who are culpable here are the ones perpetrating the violence.

— • —

To Orac's point:

...it is quite incorrect to claim that cartoons can't incite religious hatred. True, it requires a sustained effort, but I think you were a bit simplistic here.

That's fair. We think you would agree that cartoons such as the ones in question and taken in the context in question would not incite hatred and violence in anyone who is not already unstable to begin with, but we would agree that other cartoons in other contexts could drive more stable people to go to extremes. As you note, the German example was a sustained campaign of propaganda that included, among many other things, cartoons. In addition, in the German example, the message in question was one demonizing the Jews which was in no way meant to be humorous. In this example, it was a a series of cartoons that were intended to be both humorous and politically relevant. In short, the cartoons here were not threats or insults to Muslims unless they are already unstable to begin with in that they believe that any depiction of a person that is labelled as Mohammed is an insult punishable by death. To us, that is dangerously unstable. Again, we're pretty sure you agree with this distinction, and we agree that our statement was overly broad.

If something like the German propaganda campaign mentioned incites violence, while we still disagree that the violence is necessary or acceptable (and we think you agree), we understand why it happened, and it doesn't presuppose previous mental instability. If something like the Mohammed cartoon incites violence, we firmly hold that the violent protesters were dangerously unstable to begin with (and, incidentally, proving the point of the cartoon in the first place).

Crosius, 2006.02.06 (Mon) 15:19 [Link] »

I support freedom of speech, so I cannot condemn the paper for the act of publishing the cartoons.

But I question their motives.

The purpose of a newspaper is to sell newspapers. Journalists may practice journalism, but the newspaper they work for functions on the baser principles of commerce and profit.

Publishing these particular cartoons has generated controversy, publicity and conflict. Sales have no doubt skyrocketed for the papers which carried the cartoons. The papers will sell more copies covering the resulting fallout - fallout they incited.

These newspapers have created a conflict to generate news.

If a newspaper sent someone to yell "Fire!" in a theatre, then covered the resulting story, "Six Trampled in False Alarm!" it would be clear that the newspaper was culpable.

Although I applaud the idea that people should learn restraint and good manners, everyone is aware that there are people who will not display these traits when challenged.

It has been said that, "The freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins."

These newspapers swung their literary fists, knowing it would incite a violent respose, and they did it with the mercenary goals of increasing sales. Then they claim a right to behave in this manner by virtue of the right of free speech.

Free speech must be tempered by weighing intent.

The intent of the newspapers was not to illustrate intolerance but to provoke newsworthy uproar.

They are free to do this, of course. But they are still assholes for doing it, not the noble crusaders for freedom of speech they claim to be.

The Two Percent Company, 2006.02.06 (Mon) 17:43 [Link] »
It has been said that, "The freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins."

Absolutely — we agree. But note that it doesn't say "the freedom to swing your fist ends when it annoys me enough that it drives me to firebomb your house."

We know little about the behavior of the press in Europe, so we can't speak to their motivations. Our guess (and it's only a guess) is that there was at least some motivation other than creating a splash. Frankly, while this kind of story probably generates significant short term sales spikes, it is certainly capable of turning around and having quite the opposite effect on sales in the long run. With that kind of risk, it's hard to imagine that the motivations of the newspapers in question were entirely mercenary.

That said, even if their actions were purely motivated by money, we still can't fault them for publishing the pictures (as you seem to agree, Crosius). For us, it keeps coming back to the same thing: no rational person should be offended by what they published, and none of us should have to spend our lives catering to irrational and dangerous people. Remember — it isn't even the fact that some of these cartoons were jokingly insulting that caused the uproar; it's the simple fact that any image of Mohammad was published, whether it's flattering or insulting. In point of fact, some of the cartoons are not at all insulting or demeaning, but they are all "evil" to those tossing firebombs.

Does publishing these cartoons make the newspapers assholes? That's a subjective call in our minds, but we can see the case for that argument (and against it). As we said, we know little about the press in Europe, but if their intent was to touch off violence and to make a buck, then yes, they are assholes. To a certain extent, though, we don't care what their intent was because it's clear to us that they aren't the ones committing violents acts. At worst, they lobbed an insult.

In our view, the reason that you can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded room is because it could incite rational people to panic, creating injuries and violence. It is correct and perfectly acceptable to make rules for rational people and to try to protect them from harm. But the moment we start catering to the irrational elements of society is the moment that our journey down the long, slippery slope to Politically Correct Paralysis truly takes hold. And if we start down that slope, by the end of the day there would be literally nothing that would be acceptable to all people. Hey, everything offends someone. Even Dikkii's strange MILF-toon fetish. (Just kidding, Dikkii.)

Free speech can be a bitch. It often protects ideas that we find repulsive or even downright evil. But we need to remember that old childhood saying: "Sticks and stone may break my bones, but cartoons will never hurt me." Again: it's all about keeping things in perspective — the folks firebombing buildings because of a cartoon are clearly much more of a problem than the folks who are offending them by publishing said cartoons in the first place, no matter what their motives were.

MBains, 2006.02.06 (Mon) 20:51 [Link] »

This post seems to me to be the kind of thread that could go on, quite productively, for long, long time.

And frankly, that's a good thing for any society of homo sapiens. Being a 30 year SF reader. I can't help but imagine and wonder at what variety of takes on it intelligent alien species might logically have.

I didn't mean Dolphins when I wrote that, but now I wonder how smart they can even be if they don't use technology? How woul.. how do they handle insults? They certainly seem to have a sense of humor, so doesn't that sense of humor necessitate an ability to mentally juggle abstractions such as vengence and humiliation?

We're just animals, but I wonder if W and his ilk, or any fundamentalist religious or political nutter, really believe that; really Know it is true. I think it matters and it's the only way to earn and give respect when emotions run hot. Not every muslim the world o'er is firebombing, or even calling for firebombing anyone. Not every Arab is anti-Israel, even if a largish majority most fanatically are so.

I wonder how far it might evolve in the next thousand years. I think we're helping somewhat.

But still, will there only be dolphins left to determine what's humorous, and what's respectful and tolerant?

I sure hope not. And I've not even passed me genes.


noisefloor, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 04:36 [Link] »

The question is, Is Islam compatable with democracy?
Here a muslim scholar gives you the answer.
Women in bikinis offend these guys too.
Lets not get wishy washy or well all end up circumsised and drinking mint tea at the end of the day.
Besides oil and gas what does the Middle east produce?
Food? Not much.
Art? Little.
So if we could only ween ourselves off their fossil fuels we could ignore them.

Mahf, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 04:53 [Link] »

After reading al thiss shit you have written all i can say is it shows how low down shitty pieces of scum u guys are and nothing about islam n jus keep making assumptions about islam. No wonder you guys have no moral values and no repect. You talk about arabs bein intolerant: when have arabs spoken against Judaism/ Christianity the way you guys are right now. When have they instulted Jesus or Moses(they are prophets of Islam as well). You assholes have double standards: won;t allow anyone to wear Nazi swastika in public, cannot write anything anti semetic but no when it comes to Islam say all the shit you can. Talking about our prophet like this I really feel sorry for you. Cz you don't know what shit youve gotten urselves into. Only God knows.

MBains, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 05:23 [Link] »

Read what met your expectations then moved on to bitch about it, eh Mahf?


Too bad. You actually had some kind of valid point amidst yer gibberin' "you guys are meanies!" whining.

Instead of following it up, you chose a stereotypical approach. How... unrefreshing.

Your loss, dude. Good luck with that attitude.

mahf, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 06:27 [Link] »

No actually i jus read the stuff so i cud see how low u guys cud go jus to hate something for the sake of hating

MBains, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 06:36 [Link] »

errr... how refreshing!


Fan-man, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 10:49 [Link] »

Hey Ralph Mahf, be careful who you're painting with a broad brush here. I don't think anybody is insulting the nation of Islam. The issue at hand is the actions of a small faction. But I need to ask you, who are you referring to when you say "you guys?"
Any person that posts on this board could be Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or
Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in The United States than in Afghanistan. The only
difference is that in the US, they are free to worship as each of them, all of them, or none of them.
And BTW, if you're reading this board, you should know better than to threaten with what your god may think of us. My god will protect me with his sword.
Good day sir!

glintir, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 15:54 [Link] »
You assholes have double standards: won;t allow anyone to wear Nazi swastika in public, cannot write anything anti semetic but no when it comes to Islam say all the shit you can.

Ever actually been to America? People wear swastikas, black clothes, no clothes, etc. ALL THE TIME. It's the crazy freedom thing. The no swastika rule is Germany.

Furthermore, you can say, write, scream, or pee in the snow any anti-semitic remark you want. Just expect someone else to call you names in return. Same goes for Islam, Xtianity, or any other ISM you care to insult.

Ain't freedom of speech grand. I think it is. And I think all you nutjobs who get all worked up about how persecuted you are in America, should shut up.

Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 17:56 [Link] »

Truly, your mental prowess is staggering, mahf. Do us all a favor — go away and learn how to read, think about what you've read, understand it, and write about it both intelligently and intelligibly, then come on back. M'kay?

Oh, and by the way, as glintir points out, people can dress up like Nazis and talk trash about Jews here in America, and we'll defend their right to do so. We'll also call them "assholes" for doing so. As a note, we'll call them "assholes" for talking similar trash about Muslims. Then, if they start firebombing buildings, we'll call them "dangerous, unstable, criminal assholes."

For you, we'll just stick to "moron."

PB27, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 18:02 [Link] »

Crosius, when J.S. Mill (I believe it was Mill) used that line, "The freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins," he sure as heck wasn't talking about a "literary fist."

Journalists may generate news as much as philosophers may generate history. Let it be.

Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 18:14 [Link] »

Speaking of morons:

A prominent Iranian newspaper says it is going to hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust to test whether the West will apply the principle of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide against Jews as it did to the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Hamshahri, which is among the top five of Iran's mass circulation papers, made clear the contest is a reaction to European newspapers' publication of Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which have led to demonstrations, boycotts and attacks on European embassies across the Islamic world.

Remember when Crosius was talking about motivation? Well, we may not be sure about the motivations of the European newspapers, but we sure do know the motivation of this Iranian paper — revenge!

"Does the West extend freedom of expression to the crimes committed by the United States and Israel, or an event such as the Holocaust? Or is its freedom only for insulting religious sanctities?" Hamshahri wrote, referring to the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, in a short article on its back page.

Absolutely! Hey, if freedom of expression didn't extend to the crimes of the United States, then this site wouldn't exist. Hell, we have plenty of cartoons on our site aimed at making Bush look like an idiot.

The weird thing is that we can't imagine that this will prove any point for Muslims. When they publish whatever it is that they publish, there will surely be lots of verbal protests, which is perfectly okay. But when no one firebombs anything (and we're pretty sure that there won't be any firebombing), that will only show the extremist Muslims as the dangerous lunatics that they are.

Hey, thanks for going out of your way to prove our point here, Iran!

MBains, 2006.02.07 (Tue) 18:24 [Link] »
he sure as heck wasn't talking about a "literary fist."

Excellent! Nor can it be said of a Journalistic sword. The only blood either of them draws is in peoples' minds, not from their bodies, their mouths or noses. When those people do what they see fit, it is their actions and their responsibility.

If someone is paying them in cash, as Iran does al Qaeda, then it's a shared responsibility. THAT is government sponsored mayhem.

Otherwise, it is entirely their decision and no amount of instigation can excuse it for the injury to individual human life and society.

Society isn't the Military.

PB27, 2006.02.09 (Thu) 11:22 [Link] »

MBains wrote: "This post seems to me to be the kind of thread that could go on, quite productively, for long, long time."

I totally agree. And it would be very USEFUL to keep this going--to shine as much light as possible into the nooks and crannies of the free speech issues. MBains and 2% particularly have shed beams upon shadows that I have never thought to explore (e.g., the "Iran" and "fire" points).

Tom from 2% wrote: "Absolutely! Hey, if freedom of expression didn't extend to the crimes of the United States, then this site wouldn't exist."

There's the crux of this whole thing. How will our world ever progress if we don't get the most caustic issues out in the open? Concessions to any truth will not be made (by those who believe fallaciously) until the subject at hand is discussed freely and, EVENTUALLY, impersonalized in the brains of both sides.

Just spit-balling there. Maybe certain things never get "impersonalized." I don't know. The great salvationist religions seem to have all somehow withstood the objective logic that opposes them.

I'm not sure that CONVINCING the religious masses will ever work. That "Make a new system that makes the old system obsolete" quote comes to mind here. The religious won't leave their comfy blankets unless the world has a better one to drape them in. Belonging. Security. Can we give it to them? Hopefully.

Damn I'm out in left field!

a7mad, 2006.02.13 (Mon) 15:26 [Link] »

I can tell you why, because some of your fellow human are offended. You know what? A rock wan?t stop a wave in the sea of hatred, but it can break it. Your hand stop the light beaming into your eyes but it doesn?t stop light t.
Friends, It is not about the Cartoons, it is about understanding.

From the age of the Greeks, Europeans used to portray Jusis, they even drew God. Thus, it is normal to them to draw their gods and prophets, but in the Islamic nation, they believe that God and Prophet are so high, holly enough not to be portrayed. It is all about misunderstanding. Muslims are so angry about their religion, their beliefs, no one can jugge that. Not because some furious angry people commited a wrong act, all European turn their racist buttom on and start showing hatred, cursing religions like pure RACISTS. No wonder Hitler was from Europe?

People, in every religion there are some FANATICS. In Europe Protestants were burned for infedality, if this what matters with you all. They were burned, their families and there sons. Please people be resonable and not angry try to be rather sympathatic. The Muslims are jealous for their religion. Stop Racism that the world has always suffered from. It is the uncureable desease. The Plague. The Black Death. It does not descriminates?.

?That infernal habit of lying, shuffling, deceiving and equivocating, so deeply rooted in the very souls of all my species, especially Europeans.? Jonathan swift, Gulliver?s Travels??.

Michael Bains, 2006.02.13 (Mon) 15:57 [Link] »

Okay a7mad, Europe is the most racist ethnicity there is. {sighhhh}

Read this post and understand WHO is involved in the whole debate before suggesting such silly simplisticity.

Or go straight to the Anti-Defamation League, and skip my commentary.

Either way, definitely keep speaking your mind. It is an excellent way to learn. Just don't neglect listening and absorbing all of the facts as well.

It's a very very mad world.

The Two Percent Company, 2006.02.13 (Mon) 18:38 [Link] »

a7mad says:

A rock wan?t stop a wave in the sea of hatred, but it can break it.

Sorry, we must have missed something — who is throwing the rocks in this situation? Or rather, the firebombs?

Listen, if you spend any time reading our site, or in fact this very post, you will know that we are not attacking Muslims and defending Christians (seriously, what the fuck?). Both religions are collections of silly, unsubstantiated beliefs, and in that way (and, as far as we're concerned, in so many others) they are absolute equals.

No one can judge religion? Says who? For too long, religion has demanded unquestioned privilege and respect in the public forum. "Oh, don't disparage religion, it's special." We call bullshit. Religion is just one more silly belief, no different from the loons who think that Elvis was abducted by aliens and is living on Venus. Get over it.

You seem to forget that even if the drawings were flattering to Mohammad, that would still amount to a capital crime to these Muslim fanatics. Remember: any depiction of him is wrong, not just the overtly insulting ones. Not that this distinction is the most important point in a discussion about free speech, but we wanted to call it out.

See, it just isn't about understanding; it's about perspective. Being offended doesn't give anyone the right to firebomb buildings and issue death threats, and anyone who does so is fucking stupid, insane, evil, or all three. Further, if an individual engages in such activities at the behest of their religion, then that religion is stupid, insane, evil, or all three...dangerously so. And before you wander off into purely rhetorical waters, we're not suggesting that Islam itself is dangerously insane; we are, however, suggesting that the flavor of Islam that these people follow is dangerously insane.

Hey, at heart, many religionists get it right. They really do want to just live better lives and be kinder to their fellow humans. Of course all Muslims aren't fanatics. Nor would we ever say, as a blanket statement, that they all are. There are plenty of Muslims who are just as pissed off and/or upset about these violent protests as we are. We applaud these people for their rationality, sanity, and compassion. Those aren't the people we're talking about, here. We're talking about assholes who are conducting violent and deadly attacks in response to fucking drawings. No matter why they reacted the way they did, they reacted — physically, violently — to a cartoon. Some fucking perspective would be much appreciated, here.

And please, tell us, what exactly is "racist" about a statement that people who violently protest a cartoon are dangerously insane? In no way did we say that all Arabs (or even all Muslims) were dangerously insane. We judged no group by any accident of their birth, such as skin color or heritage. Instead, we looked at a specific group and judged it by its words and actions, not its genetic or cultural composition. Seriously, stop tossing around phony and overly emotional labels if you want to continue to comment here. We have very little tolerance for people who throw around emotional rhetoric with no facts, research or logic in sight. Your obtuse offering contributes exceptionally little to this discussion, and mostly just pisses us off; this is, by the way, why we're not sugar-coating our response.

If you think that we should be sympathetic to the assholes who are firebombing buildings because of a cartoon, then, quite frankly, you need to carefully re-think your dangerously insane position. Seriously. There is no sane defense of what they are doing. We have no respect for or interest in someone who espouses this "love the firebombers" crap. It's pure bullshit.

Stop Racism that the world has always suffered from. It is the uncureable desease. The Plague. The Black Death.

No, a7mad, that disease isn't racism. It's religion. Religion, in the hands of people like these fucking psychotics, is the disease that humanity has always suffered from. And quite frankly, if you're not willing to judge these people who are so clearly wrong, and if you're not in agreement that their violent response to a series of cartoons was way the fuck overboard, then we have to wonder what the heck is wrong with you.

Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2006.02.17 (Fri) 20:53 [Link] »

Meanwhile, across the globe, the violence over these cartoons continues. Nine people died in violent protests in Libya, and some crazy cleric issued a $1M reward for killing "the cartoonist" responsible (apparently, in his holy rage, he is unaware that there are actually twelve of them):

"This is a unanimous decision of by all imams (prayer leaders) of Islam that whoever insults the prophet deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man to his end, will get this prize," [Pakistani cleric Mohammed Yousaf ] Qureshi said.

Qureshi did not name any cartoonist in his announcement. He did not appear aware that 12 different people had drawn the pictures considered blasphemous by Muslims.

This is now well into the realm of depressingly sick.

Blondin, 2006.02.28 (Tue) 13:52 [Link] »
It would hurt this guy as much as a punch, and therefore, as far as I'm concerned would be the first punch.

This is bullshit. Remember the "sticks & stones" thing from kindergarten?

I (or anybody else) can never know what somebody else might find "offensive". If somebody says or does something that you find offensive they either did it out of ignorance or they did it because they knew it would upset you and were looking for a reaction. Either way the correct reaction is to tell them you found it offensive and then drop it. If they were acting out of ignorance they will probably try not to offend you again. If they were just being assholes looking for a reaction then giving them the reaction they were looking for is a great way to encourage them to continue being offensive and hurtful.

I don't believe for one second the Danish newspaper was trying to provoke a reaction but, even if they were, every wannabe-bully asshole in the world now knows how to yank the Muslim chain so they better get used to it.

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