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BS: The right to insult and cause offence

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Subject: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 08:59 AM

What's at stake is the right to insult and cause offence (from the GUARDIAN)

those who hold passionate religious beliefs see no difference between themselves and their creeds. Calling people's religion a dangerous and misogynist primitive fetish feels to them like incitement to hatred.

I quite strongly agree with this article and I am glad about the British vote discussed in another thread. But I do not want to disturb the discussion there so I start this new thread. It is about the right to criticise, laugh about, make cartoons about religions and religious ideas. And it is about the attempt from many believers to be exempt from any criticism, sarcasm, and laughter by claiming to feel offended.

One recent onslaught comes from Muslim organisations and states triggered by a series of caricatures in a Danish newspaper, some of them being crude and stupid and some of them being quite clever in my eyes (click here for a stupid and a clever example). The violent threats to those who have in the eyes of some radical Muslims insulted the faith and the murders of some are well known (a Dutch filmmaker, a translater of the Satanic verses). BTW, the series of cartoons in the Danish newspaper has been triggered by the impossibility to find a Danish cartoonist willing to make cartoons for a book critical of parts of the Islam for all those approached did decline out of fear.

Lest you think that such things do not happen in other religions, let me tell you one other example: When I was on the Isle of Harris in Scotland many years ago, on Sundays the swings on playgrounds were chained so that no one could use them. Some farmers even did take the rams off the flock so that no sin could happen on Sundays. The landlord of my B&B was quite explicit about his dislike of this fundamentalist idiocy and called them "Christian bullies" but like others he was intimidated for the "Christian bullies" would have seen that he lost each business had he dared to act according to his wishes.

What makes these religious fanatics deal like they do? It is not my business if they follow rules I privately do consider silly. But it bothers me if they want others including me to follow their rules as well. Why do religious fanatics insist that their rules (no picture of the prophet, no fun on Sundays) have to be followed by others, perhaps even in other countries.

If we do not say no to such demands at an early stage, whatever we do could be seen as insulting to someone any place in the world who follows a set of rules of a faith we even have not heard about yet. I think some followers of religions should have more tolerance for criticism of their beliefs and should have to accept that others may even laugh about what is dear to them.

A last example: Some moths ago, I was at a symposium about neuropsychology and the brain. One of the lecturers speculated that some persons (he did name two Christian mystics, for instance) and, in particular, Mohammed may have suffered from epileptic fits. This speculations fits quite well into what is known about these persons. Quite likely no Muslim did attend that symposium and the many Christians attending did perhaps not feel offended. But if that speculation would make its way to Al Jazeera it could happen that Muslim countries would demand an apology by the German government.

For a moment I ponder what would happen if some country with a Christian majority would demand an apology for the many caricatures of Jesus in German newspapers and for the teaching of something in sciences which they feel is at odds with what the Holy Book writes. We would laugh, wouldn't we?

In Germany, Christians have learned during the last century that their beliefs are not immune to criticism and jokes and... It may seem hard, but in the extreme I think Muslims have even to tolerate that someone may consider what to them is a revelation as the ramblings of an epileptic.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: mooman
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 09:16 AM

Very good post Wolfgang and you raise some important and fundamental issues. I suspect that a least one of the Christian mystics suspected of epileptic fits was Hildegard von Bingen.

The way I view it is that, if I follow a religion (I am incidentally Buddhist which is a non-theistic way of life rather than a classical religion) I undertake to personally follow the generally accepted vows or rules of that religion. I do not expect others to. If I fail to live up to that which I have "signed up" to it is me who is fooling myself.

Any religion worth its salt should be able to stand up to challenge without reacting violently. I believe that respect to others is a central tenet of all or almost all major religions. I do not personally believe in belittling the beliefs of others but that is as much a result of common human respect and courtesy as anything else.

I sincerely hope this thread is not highjacked by negativity but remains one where intelligent discourse can take place.

Peace

Richard


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 09:29 AM

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion".

The difference between an individual as a "worshipper" or practitiioner facing his beliefs about the Infinite, the nature of being or the source of Existence and the same individual as a citizen is paramount here; Wolfgang makes the excellent point that the individual "identifies" with the practice, or the label, or the beliefs such that when they are institutionally criticized or mocke,d he feels individually attacked.

Possibly it is inherently a flaw in religiosity that this identification seems to happen more extremely with some religions, anyway, than it does with other groups such as the Boy Scouts or the Rotary or Lion's club party. It seems to me that identifying yourself with something designed by other humans is a pretty sure guarantee of confusion.

This mechanism, I feel, may be the core of what informed the AMerican architects to inject the separation of Church and State into the Constitution.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Gervase
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 09:34 AM

Good post, Wolfgang. As someone who's convinced that religion in general is a pathological state, my view is that one should always have every right to criticise what one sees to be irrational behaviour.
If someone wants to talk to an imaginary friend, and calls themselves Christian, Jewish, Moslem or whatever, other people should have the right to point out the oddness of their behaviour without hindrance.
That is the view of an atheist, however!
Nevertheless, it does seem ludicrous that we pussy-foot around something as ludicrous as religion to the extent that it becomes ring-fenced and thus immune from criticism. If someone stands up and insists that the world is flat, or that a certain political party has the only solution to world proverty, we laugh at them. Yet someone can stand up and say that a particular book is the word of god, or that a human being rose from the dead and we are expected to stifle our derision.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 09:48 AM

There is no such thing as 'rights people have'.

What exists is 'priveleges that people allow other to have'.

An important but essential semantic & practial difference in the real world.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 10:28 AM

Those who agree "people have rights" whether natural or God-given or whatever, are going to allow poeple to have those rights. Your point is important -- that rights are borne of their own recogntiion and agreement. But semantically saying "people have rights" MEANS "people mutually allow rights".

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 10:43 AM

It seems to me that there is a fundamental misconception in discussion of religion generally.

There is a vast difference (which goes unrecognised by many) between religion and faith.

Faith is what an individual implicitly believes regarding the existence of God. It is untrammelled by imposed parameters, and relates solely to the relationship between said individual and his concept of a creator.

It has no co-relation with the beliefs of others, and is a matter solely between the individual and his concept of God.

Religion, on the other hand, is a purely human construct (and intrinsically fallible), based in the need for some human beings to control and rule others.

There have always been those who profess to understand God's "message", and to know his purpose, an example of extreme hubris which has been the occasion of some of the worst atrocities in the history of humanity (e.g. Torquemada, and the Spanish Inquisition).

The basis of MOST religions is an implicit belief in being the "one true faith", and it is this unshakeable belief that has led to much of the misery, torture, warfare, and hatred that has occurred over the centuries.

If a creator exists, then all believers are worshipping the same entity, yet they are apparently unable to develop a tolerance toward those who worship him in a different way than their own.

I can't help wondering what stage of civilisation we might have reached, had we spent less energy on trying to convert our fellow humans, and more on co-operating to advance the species.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 10:55 AM

Richard, yes, one of them was Hildegard, the other I have forgotten.

I like your distinction, Don.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 10:57 AM

Sorry, I hit submit by accident before I hd finished.

If one looks around with an unblinkered ey, one can see atheists who are truly good human beings, with moral and ethical values that we might all aspire to. One can also see devoutly religious people who pay lip service to God while figuratively stabbing their fellow man in the back at every opportunity.

The converse is also the case, so it would seem obvious that religious devotion does not, per se, make a good man, nor atheism, a bad one.

Buddhism would seem to be one of the few religions which, in its dogma, has not promoted evil actions by its followers, though I am sure there have been evil individuals who have claimed to be devout Buddhists.

It is not my contention that true believers in organised religious sects are responsible for any of this, but rather that generations of the faithful have been misled by zealots and fundamentalists.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 10:59 AM

"...someone may consider what to them is a revelation as the ramblings of an epileptic." Wolfgang

I understood what you were saying and agreed with it until this line. "Ramblings of an epileptic"? The implication there is staggering. It is precisely as if you had said, 'ramblings of a mental defective'.

Surely this is not something you believe? There are many people in this world who suffer from epilepsy but I have never heard anyone intimate that their reasoning powers should be suspect.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:10 AM

Leaving my bit of thread drift (sorry), and returning to the subject of this thread, it has occurred to me that there is a small problem.

Over my sixty five years on this planet, I have noticed that there exists one group who are supremely capable of laughing at themselves.

All the best and funniest Jewish jokes I have ever heard have come from Jewish comedians.

How do we go about invoking a law to prevent people from telling jokes about themselves? They are obviously not offended or they wouldn't do it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:13 AM

Enacting into law every zealot's subjective idea of righteous indignation? That is a recipe for judicial chaos!

There needs to be only two laws:

1)You DO have the right to practice your religion, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. (yes, I am aware that this will require delicate and careful interpretation. THAT is what courts are for.)

2)You do NOT have the right to explicitly, in word or deed, to restrict, or attempt to restrict, the right of others to practice their religion, as long as they are obeying the first law.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: mooman
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:25 AM

As an aside to the main thrust of this thread and follow up Ebbie's point above, to give more information on Hildegard (who depending on the authority was said to suffer from either epilepsy or severe migraine which gave rise to her "visions").

Outside of this illness and its effects, she was clearly no "shop egg" and a rational thinker and a strong contributor to many areas including music and medicine in a time of intellectual vacuum.

Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard von Bingen, also known as "Sybil of the Rhine", was born in 1098 AD and is notable not only for being a "first" in many areas but for being so as a woman at a period of history when few women were accorded respect even to the extent of being consulted by bishops, popes, and kings. She was the tenth child of a noble family and, as was customary for a tenth child at the time, was dedicated at birth to the church. In early childhood she began to have visions of luminous objects but hid this "ability" until later in her life.

At the age of eight the family sent Hildegard to a so-called "anchoress" or religious recluse named Jutta. Hildegard was educated by Jutta and remained 30 years until Jutta died whereupon she was elected the head of the adjacent convent.

In 1141, Hildegard had a vision that changed the course of her life. A vision of God purportedly gave her instant understanding of the meaning of the religious texts, and commanded her to write down everything she would observe in her visions. Thereafter, Hildegard became a prolific author on religious and other subjects and a musical composer. Major works of specific interest in medicine were Physica and Causae et Curae (1150), both works on natural history and curative powers of various natural objects, which are together known as Liber subtilatum ("The book of subtleties of the Diverse Nature of Things"). These works were uncharacteristic of Hildegard's writings in that they were not presented in a visionary form. However, like her religious writings they reflected her religious philosophy, i.e. that Man was the peak of God's creation and everything was put in the world for Man to use. It is now generally agreed that Hildegard suffered from migraine, and that her visions were a result of this condition.

Her scientific and medical views were derived from the Empedoclean/Aristotlean concept of the four elements-fire, air, water, and earth-with their complementary qualities of heat, dryness, moisture, and cold, and Galen's corresponding four humours in the body choler (yellow bile), blood, phlegm, black bile (cholere) and black bile melancholy. (black bile). Human constitution was based on the preponderance of one or two of the humours.

She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing as well as writing treatises about natural history and medicinal uses of plants, animals, trees and stones. She may have been the first author to write concerning the female orgasm. She is also the first musical composer whose biography is known.

Hildegard von Bingen is considered an important contributor to medical knowledge as her contribution came in Western Europe during a time of otherwise intellectual and philosophical sterility. It is all the more impressive given her religious surroundings and gender and is a testament to a keen and vibrant intellect overcoming the many social and cultural barriers of the Middle Ages.



Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: mooman
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:28 AM

I also like Don's distinction between faith and religion.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Stu
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:29 AM

As Don says, Buddhism is an interesting example of a very tolerent religion which encourages its followers to question the fundamentals of Buddhist doctrine.

It is, of course, not monothestic as it seems many of the religions of the more belligerent protagonists of all sides seem to be.

I have to declare an interest here - I took Tibetan Buddhist teaching for a while (including from HRH The Dalai Lama at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester), and believe their attitude to other religions could be an example worth following.

They see all living beings as equal, each individual travelling along the path to enlightenment, often getting waylaid etc. So far, perhaps not so different from the other major faiths. If however you generate negative karma by your own actions causing harm to other living beings you will generate negative karma, and this'll come back an bite you in the backside in the future. You are not being punished by a vengeful God or whatever, you have transgressed a natural law and as Newton states, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Tibetan Buddhists do not think people who live according to other faiths are wrong - they are simply on a different path - and that is an idea that really needs to be taken on board in this day and age, especially by the bickering Christians and Muslims who need to rediscover compassion towards others in order to move away from this dangerous situation we found ourselves in now.

stigWeard


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:30 AM

It is not the religions that are to blame for bullying, being humourless and seeing offence everywhere - it is the individuals.

Or it is not the individuals that are to blame for being bullying, being humourless and seeing offence everywhere - it is the religions.

Depending of course on which looks as if it is being blamed.....


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:33 AM

Surely this is not something you believe? There are many people in this world who suffer from epilepsy but I have never heard anyone intimate that their reasoning powers should be suspect.

My dog suffers from epilepsy and I would certainly never rely on his reasoning powers.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:43 AM

A friend of mine and his wife, teachers at a Catholic college, state quite bluntly that they "do not let their church interfer with their religion."

I like that distinction, one that I have noticed during my time on this planet.

And having attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through college, I know more "blasphemous" jokes than most -- and I find them quite funny. No, I won't post some of them, although I might send them to you via PM.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 11:55 AM

Roger, the Shambles, are you telling us that your dogs that do not suffer from epilepsy are mental marvels?

Seriously- I think this should be cleared up. Wolfgang may not have intended any such implication but that is how it came across.

I am unaward of any science that equates epilepsy with incapacity.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 12:04 PM

Moreover, in many cultures epileptics were considered to have a direct connection to the Spiritual while in a seizure.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 12:04 PM

There does seem to be move against showing much sympathy to those who constantly complain that this or that has offended or insulted them in some way....This I think is a sensible move.

For very often it is an offence that is not intended, just someone expressing their view. but many of us do seem to be looking for reasons to find offence - and if you do this - you will usually find some.

But that does not mean that is now OK to find ways to intentionally insult and offend people and their beliefs. The showing of mutual respect is perhaps a better course...


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 12:10 PM

I looked at the cartoons in your opening post, Wolfgang, and I have to say, in the case of those cartoons, if someone put something like that in a British publication, only instead of ridiculing burkas and turbans, they were ridiculing people who look like this...

http://misheli.image.pbase.com/u23/automat42/upload/37024583.WaitingfortheBrooklynFerry.jpg

...it would probably be illegal in Britain. Maybe even in Germany. And if I saw a cartoon ridiculing the appearance of such people, I would consider it to be an incitement to hatred. Can't see much difference between that and the cartoons you posted, Wolfgang. They look like an incitement to hatred to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 12:27 PM

Personally, I can't imagine why someone would set out to deliberately offend another.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 12:50 PM

Personally, I can't imagine why someone would set out to deliberately offend another.

There are lots of reason for this and most of them are about the inadequacies of the one setting out to deliberately offend.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wesley S
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 01:16 PM

Now Shambles - That's a quote worthy of one of the permathreads !!


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 01:49 PM

I must admit that sometimes I feel that the passing of the Code Duello was a mistake. Perhaps if you were required to defend your words with your life or utter an apology.... But then, the slightest slight would be taken by some as Something Utterly Dreadful.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 02:37 PM

Ebbie, you're right, I should not have used that expression. His 'visions' are thought by some to have originated from his state of health.

Carol, I can't access that server you have linked to.

There once was a famous caricature in Germany which has led to a court case that the Catholic church has deeply regretted to have started. The caricature (accompanying a visit of the Pope to Germany) showed the Pope in a flock of sheep standing very close to the back of one sheep. That sheep with a sheepish grin said "The Pope comes". A bishop sued the magazine for blasphemy (or whatever the correct expression) and the magazine asked back "What do you think we have meant. The Pope likes to talk about his sheep, so what's wrong to picture him in a flock of sheep?" Now the bishop had to explain in detail what he thought was meant and the magazine published his letters to the court making explicit what was only implicit in the caricature. We all laughed and the bishop had only achieved to make that cartoon known all across the country.

Was that incitement of hatred against Catholics? Even nearly all of them did not think so. Does a caricature of Bush incite hatred of Republicans? The German press is full of caricatures (in particular of the new Pope) of different religions and religious issues and most of these caricatures of course have the majority religions as targets. Whenever the German bishops conference says something about the pill you can bet that most newspapers comment that in a cartoon. Inciting hatred? Silly notion.

I consider the second of the two cartoons in my link a very poignant critique of an extreme understanding of the role of women. The role of women in a society is a political question even if some extremists would like to make it to a religious question. If that cannot be commented upon in a cartoon, we can forget nearly all political cartoons for there'll be always someone who feels offended. The attitude criticised in that cartoon may incite hatred but not the cartoon mocking about the attitude.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 03:00 PM

Carol: Your URL has an error in it, I believe -- a "." instead of a "/".


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 03:07 PM

Just as an aside, for I'd prefer a discussion not about one particular religion. One reaction from a liberal Arab newspaper (Elaph) to the Danish caricatures:

Baha Al-Musawi (my translation from a German translation): "...Our problem is once again that we only deal with the results and not with the real reasons. It's always the others who make the mistakes and we are right...As if God had created no one else but ourselves on this world. Why do we not deal with the real problem that has moved this little caricaturist to picture the prophet in such a disgusting way...Why don't we present an image of the prophet as a pious, sincere, and tolerant human instead of allowing that Mohammed's image degenerates into that of a Bin Laden, of a sabre, of killing, of Taleban, of decapitation and of suicide?...How can we shed blood though the prophet has forbidden that?"

But as I said, the reaction to caricatures and critique by a minority of religious people is not a Muslim problem. The reactions of the two majority churches in Germany have been rather similar only 20 years ago. I'm more interested in opinions about what makes some people with a religious background react strongly to critique and, in particular, to a perceived ridicule and how comes it that they think their particular religious prescriptions should be valid for all people? A German Muslim woman today did write in an internet discussion. "How could they do it when they knew it was forbidden to picture the prophet." And she was very serious about it. The thought that what was forbidden in her religion and binding the faithful was not forbidden in Denmark and does not bind other people didn't enter her mind.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 03:24 PM

It works for me, even when I click on it instead of copy/pasting.

Try these...

http://www.zonezero.com/exposiciones/fotografos/joenyc/images/17/06.jpg

http://www.zonezero.com/exposiciones/fotografos/joenyc/17/02.html

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/specials/9905/israel.photos/content/02.argue.jpg

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/specials/9905/israel.photos/content/02.html

I have included the enlarged versions along with the contextual versions in case any of them don't work.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 03:29 PM

Wolfgang, the cartoon with the women in burkas is patronizing toward women because it assumes that no women choose to wear a burka. Believe it or not, many do choose to wear one. And to have their appearance (or their choice) ridiculed as it is in that cartoon looks to me like an incitement to hatred.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 04:53 PM

"Tibetan Buddhists do not think people who live according to other faiths are wrong - they are simply on a different path - and that is an idea that really needs to be taken on board in this day and age, especially by the bickering Christians and Muslims who need to rediscover compassion towards others in order to move away from this dangerous situation we found ourselves in now.

stigWeard"

This gels perfectly with my thoughts on the subject.

The many paths chosen simply have no significance when they all lead to the same destination, and it is that destination which should exercise our minds, and not the exact route taken to achieve it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 04:55 PM

Peace, love, dove.

Pass me a hit.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: bobad
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 04:57 PM

"They see all living beings as equal, each individual travelling along the path to enlightenment, often getting waylaid etc. So far, perhaps not so different from the other major faiths."

Christianity preaches that man has dominion over creation, a creed that has begat much destruction and exploitation IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 04:58 PM

CarolC -

Your first link informed me "you are not authorized to access...." Perhaps you have a cookie that allows you, but not others, to get to it?

The later group of links all work just fine.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: greg stephens
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 05:41 PM

CarolC: do you think those cartoons should be illegal? That is the real question. Not whether we think they are rude or funny or inciting or whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 06:09 PM

Your first link informed me "you are not authorized to access...." Perhaps you have a cookie that allows you, but not others, to get to it?

That's very weird. The site appears to be a news and entertainment site in Iceland, but I can't imagine why it would let me in and not anyone else. I can't even read the articles in it because I don't speak or read Icelandic.

greg stephens, I don't know whether or not they should be illegal. But I do think they are an incitement to hatred.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 06:10 PM

I will say, however, that I think all such cartoons and things like that should be treated in exactly the same manner, regardless of which religion they are about.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 07:43 PM

"My dog suffers from epilepsy and I would certainly never rely on his reasoning powers."

I hope your dog doesn't rely on yours, either.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 08:12 PM

An interesting issue about burkas....many women 'choose' to wear them, as in 'wear them willingly'...but it is hard to know whether they would so choose if it were not either expected or required of them...as is the case some places. We DO know that in most places where it is truly optional, 'most' women seem to choose not to, and even then it is not clear whether it is a personal choice or pressure- perhaps from family.

This does not invalidate Carol's statement....it only suggests that information is lacking.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 08:58 PM

Yes, there are women, Bill, who feel that the burkas allow them some degree of liberation, believe it or not. They feel that it allows them to not be seen as sex objects, but rather as human beings.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 09:11 PM

"Personally, I can't imagine why someone would set out to deliberately offend another."

"There are lots of reason for this and most of them are about the inadequacies of the one setting out to deliberately offend."

Not really. It's my right to tell someone that they are full of crap if they are. You can either take it or leave it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 09:30 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 10:09 PM

we've all free will & the right to express whatever we feel.

i'm living in uk which at present [but mayb not for much longer] allows free speech, free thought etc.

i'm flabbergasted by the degree of brainwashing/indoctrination of religious fun?damentalists of whatever shade who can feel offended/threatened by pictures-paper pictures at that!


& i'm further astonished that any sentient being of our world would be so outraged by argument/discussion, that they'd rather KILL than discuss/listen/learn.

here's a list of adjectives i feel apply:

fantastic


amazing


staggering


insane


more?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 10:31 PM

Pedant alert:

And you are the face I farted in, pal. Breath deep.

Ah, the right to insult and cause offense(spelled correctly) in action.


Spelled correctly, that would be "breathe."


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 02:06 AM

>>"There are lots of reason for this and most of them are about the inadequacies of the one setting out to deliberately offend."<<

Not really. It's my right to tell someone that they are full of crap if they are. You can either take it or leave it.

That is indeed your right. It is a right that we all have but many choose to act responsibly with. It is only the bully who feels inadequate and weak enough to inflict a pain upon others - when they would (and do) squeal with rightous indignation if this pain were inficted upon them.

Treating people how you you would wish to be treated by them - is a good thing to remember.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 03:24 AM

Whatever happened to ignoring Martin?

Seems to me that he has all but taken over Mudcat with his paranoid delusions and his potty mouth.

He's a computerized Tourette's syndrome.

Treat him like a crank call. Hang up.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 08:04 AM

So Guest, why does your anus itch?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 12:52 PM

Because it is a side effect of all the pills I take.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 12:58 PM

I'm repeating my own post from another thread -

When you deal with freedom of speech it gets pretty tricky. You have to put up with stuff. I don't want to put words in their mouths but the way I see it - the folks who run the Mudcat would prefer for it to be an open forum with little or no censorship.

So - Martin has the freedom to post jokes about the death of my infant son. He has the freedom to poke fun at people in wheelchairs. He has the freedom to refer to women as body parts. Sometimes he's deleted, sometimes he isn't. But the freedom he enjoys means that from time to time he's going to read posts that may be offensive to his delicate sensibilities. That's called freedom of speech.

It looks like the only options are censorship - or one can try to live with the rules as they stand now.

Or one can try not to be so sennnnnnnnnnnnnsitive

You can't have your cake and eat it too.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 12:59 PM

As are about 50% of all illnesses in our society at this point...

The other 50% are due to no-good food, chemical pollution, stress, and an unnatural lifestyle.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 09:58 PM

I never joked about the death of your infant son with any malicious intention. However you seem quite guilty about it and perhaps need your head examined or perhaps your lifestyle had something to do with it.

However blaming me is not going to help your angst or sorrow.

Nor do I poke fun at people in wheelchairs who hide behind their computer screens where it is a level playfield for all. They can dish it out? they have to take it, also. And yes, some women are smelly vaginas and some men are big pricks.

I don't know. So what, Wesley? So fucking what? BTW, I love chocolate cake with a lot of frosting on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,fed up
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 10:09 PM

In this scheme of things, Martin Gibson is a hot steaming turd.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 10:11 PM

Guest, fed up

And you can eat me.

Fed up? get out.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,empathy with fed up
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 10:15 PM

Wesley your post is accurate.
If it is disputed, links to the very Threads you mention can be provided.

You said what you said mg...and it was, as you can be at times, callous and cruel and offensive and you, by your answer to Wesley on this Thread, have shown that to be true.
You can at times be a very nasty, hateful little man.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,I'm not laughing
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 11:44 PM

I wonder how anyone can joke about the death of an infant child with no malicious intent?

Maybe the same way people joke about the holocaust with no malicious intent.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Fed up - the sequal
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 11:44 PM

"I never joked about the death of your infant son with any malicious intention."

How does one go about it WITHOUT malicious intention?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 02 Feb 06 - 11:53 PM

Great minds think alike.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 11:09 AM

I see the common basis in the over the top reactions to jokes or critique not in religion per se but in a totalitarian world view. Such a world view which accepts no other views can be found in religious people and in not religious people. By far most of the religious people I know do not share a totalitarian world view at all. They are quite tolerant of other views.

During the Nazi time telling a joke about Nazis or criticising the party line was a life threatening act. Why did they react so harshly to ridicule or opposing ideas? Because they had a totalitarian world view which could not tolerate opposition and not because they were religious (they were not).

Tolerance means admitting the thought that others may disagree with me for good reasons (good to them), even on something that is very dear to me. The best solution in my eyes for living together is a secular state open to all kinds of religions, but making no single religious tenet of one group a rule for others unless such a rule has been decided by a democratic majority decision as a good rule to follow.

In the old times in Europe, when the ruler changed his religion the rulees also had to change theirs (cuius regio, eius religio). That was the totalitarian idea of a single right way. Frederic the Great, King of Prussia, is known in Germany for having said: "In my country everyone can seek a way to heaven in his own way". From that on, religious freedom (today also implying freedom from religion) was considered a human right. But such a right implies that on one is forced to follow a rule of a religion whose view he does not share. Peolpe may even criticise rules dear to some followers of one religion. If there are people who follow that rule by their own decision that's beside the point. They may do so and if they do that is not my business.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 11:15 AM

Don't apologize (Ibn Warraq)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wesley S
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 11:25 AM

My response to Martin Gibsons post of 02 Feb 06 - 09:58 PM in this thread will not be a news flash to anyone - esp to Martin himself.

Martin Gibson is a liar and a coward.

You can quote me on that anytime.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Fed up
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 11:32 AM

Its true. MArtin Gibson has no cock


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wesley S
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 11:35 AM

Fed up - Please - I can understand your frustration with Martin better than anyone on the Mudcat - but let's not sink to his level. That's what he wants. Please keep it as civil as possible.

But I'll still stand by my previous post.

Martin Gibson is a liar and a coward.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,fed up
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 11:37 AM

And he is also cockless


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,the original
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 12:18 PM

There's a fed up knockoff here. I stand by my first statement. The rest is someone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 12:27 PM

Martin Gibson told us:

"There are lots of reason for this and most of them are about the inadequacies of the one setting out to deliberately offend."

Not really. It's my right to tell someone that they are full of crap if they are. You can either take it or leave it.


quod erat demonstrandum

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 06 - 07:46 PM

He can dish it out but he doesn't seem able to take it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 01:33 AM

It took a while to find them, and I can't say that the subtlety in each one strikes me as equal, but these are what all of the Muslim-world fuss is about. Posted without comment.

Part II?

Discuss.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:55 AM

Anybody taken a look at the time-line that relates to this spontaneous outburst of Islamic indignation

- Three cartoons were printed in a Danish newspaper in OCTOBER
- Danish Imams then sent copies of five cartoons to fellow clerics in muslim countries round the globe, note two of the five cartoons were never published but the Danish Imams did not see fit to explain this
- Now FOUR MONTHS later we have the usual eminently-exitable-islamic-rent-a-mob flocking into the streets waving banners, shouting threats, discharging automatic weapons in the air and burning flags - Just one question on a thing that I have always wondered about - where the hell do all those bullets go to? When they return to earth, as surely they must, do they ever hit anyone? If they do do 'Israeli snipers' get the blame (possibly not as the ammunition for AK-47's and M-16's is very different).

Maybe the reason for the time lag was as follows:
- Took time to obtain copies of the cartoons, especially those that were not published.
- Took time to deliver the cartoons
- Took time to consider the response
- Took time to order sufficient quantities of Danish Flags to burn
- Took time for the said flags to be delivered

In any event the whole thing has been deliberately stoked up, left to it's own devices nobody would have heard a thing.

The Danish cartoonist was perfectly at liberty to draw what he did, the Newspaper was perfectly at liberty to print what it did. Nobody anywhere is owed any apology or retraction for those people exercising their freedom.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 01:15 PM

And Wesley S. again, you have a real problem with guilt and perception.

Again, I don't recall anything to be a joke. Possibly blaming yourself, your lifestyle, your inability as a good parent might have been my real intent.

I think you arepathetic and really need some help with your loss. Doubtful if you ever had counseling for it. Extremely doubtful.

Other whiners here are just hypocrites getting on the bandwagon, and are completely ineffective at it. You suck.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 01:30 PM

These cartoons should not be banished or censored.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 02:36 PM

I agree they should not. Probably, though, for a different reason.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 03:05 PM

I'm really scratching my head about this one.

Until the Muslim world realizes that we poke fun at all religions, they will not understand that these insults are not exclusive.

I've seen plenty of 'funny' depictions of Jesus and God. Its a fine line. I do think the Muslim world is offended but only because they do not have the same freedom of speech that we have. If you live in a theocracy, cartoons of your faith would be perceived as an insult. Its a waste of time for Muslims to focus their protests on a cartoon. It is counter-productive.

On the other hand, I do think there is hate-mongering, I just don't think this is a very good example.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 03:30 PM

As I understand it (I,m sure someone here will correct me if it's not so), the followers of Islam are forbidden by their faith from producing any image or statue of the prophet, even as an object of worship.

If true, the mere existence of any images purported to be Mohammed would be deeply offensive to all Muslims, and much more so if they depict him as an object of ridicule.

IMHO, this is a special case and, not an example of over sensitivity, and the authors should be asked to publish an apology to Muslims for inadvertently causing offence.

The cartoons should not be illegal. That should not be necessary, as one would hope that anyone with an ounce of empathy for their fellow Humans would not repeat the process.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 04:48 PM

Possibly mg has never suffered a crushing loss. Until the day that he does, I think he should keep his trap shut on such matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:05 PM

I'll repeat that Martin Gibson is a liar and a coward. If the truth hurts - so be it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 05:08 PM

It is tragic that people will go to such extremes over religion as we see occuring in the Muslim street reaction to those Danish cartoons. I don't doubt that there are a few Muslim clerics who have cynically used it to their advantage to whip up anger in the Muslim populace, and it is they who are the real troublemakers here, far more than the people who drew those cartoons.

One of the requirements of maturity is to accept the fact that people will sometimes make fun of things you consider sacred, that they will sometimes disagree with you. A mature society can tolerate such cartoons. So can a mature religious community.

So, teribus, again I am in agreement with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 06:11 PM

reminds me of Andre Serrano's Piss Christ
(the upside down crucifix in a jar of urine)
It upset a lot of people but the world goes on.

one wonders what anti-christian or anti-israeli cartoons are printed in
arabic newspapers


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 06:24 PM

The truth Wesley S is that you just can't face the truth.

As for the cartoons, this is a great example of how unreasonably different from the rest of the human race these people react.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 06:31 PM

May I make a small point of calm amidst the fighting. I have been working all this week past, and the week before, with a theatre production, with a company of rather more than 50% Muslims. If 10% of the rubbish you read in the paers were true, they would have been up in arms and we would all have been screaming abuse at each other. Of course they weren't. Of course we weren't.
   I am not trying to diminish the possible political effects of this row. A few hotheads on any side can be driven to absurd over-reactions by hate-mongers. But I would just like to point out that a few silly drawings do not of themselves make ordinary people fight. Of course they dont. That job is done by the stirrers; you can see them on this thread, and in life. Some people like to raise the temperature, some to lower it.
   We have had our rows this week on tour, as all groups do. I can assure you all, categorically, that none of these rows have been about pictures of Mahommed.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 07:20 PM

Good point.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 04 Feb 06 - 11:56 PM

Before going further, I will assure all of my agreement with the above statements regarding fundamentalists of any religious stripe. But let's get some balance here. I gather that this Muslim prophet was depicted in one istance wearin a bomb on his head in lieu of a turban? So let's create another scenario, one just as likely to arise as that which has caused the present Muslim rage. Let's wake up one morning and find the image of Jesus Christ [or Jehovah]with exaggerated canine teeth bared in a snarl, brandishing an axe in one hand and a blood-dripping knife in the other. Would the Pope let that one pass without comment? Would Pat Robertson? Or GW Bush? And would press freedom be granted such respect and support by "Christians" and Zionists as seems to be granted with regard to the present "bone of contention"?
   I think NOT! And neither should any respect be given to "press freedom" in this instance; as has happened thousands of times, they cross the line dividing "freedom" and "licence".


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Ooh-Aah2
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 01:08 AM

CarolC has not jumped in with her usual line that all religions are equally nasty and that it's all the fault of the U.S. anyway. Maybe seeing such foaming, fanatical hatred from individuals, organisations and whole governments over the publication of CARTOONS (!!) in a quiet N. European country has finally made the penny drop for her.



Yes I know - fat chance.

Regardless of the cartoonist's initial intentions, they have done a fine job of lifting the lid on the meideval state of the Islamic mind. Might even be enough to make the scales drop from a few eyes.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 01:09 AM

Boab has a point. Its not the cartoon that is the problem or even the cartoonist. It is the fact that it was published and re-published, knowing full well that the Muslim community would be outraged and react accordingly.

That is truly an offence.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: bfdk
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 02:33 AM

Thank you Teribus for pointing out the time line issue - I've been debating with myself whether or not to do it myself, but as I'm usually very indifferent to politics, I had refrained. Actually, the drawings were shown first on 29th September, more than 4 months ago. For my part, even though I'm a Danish citizen, I've only seen the cartoons a few days ago when I decided to look them up in order to find out what all the fuss was about.

So, if it's taken the mob presently shouting, flag-burning and sacking embassies in the Middle East 4 months to realize they've been insulted, they're either pretty thick-skulled indeed, or they were originally rather indifferent, until *someone* set the fuse and ignited the powder keg..

Little Hawk's assumption that "a few Muslim clerics [who] have cynically used it to their advantage to whip up anger in the Muslim populace" is pretty spot on. The main instigator's name is Abu Laban, a Muslim imam so radical, that he's persona non grata in countries like Egypt and the UAE. In Denmark, however, he found a safe haven back in 1984, and since then he hasn't stopped finding things in the Danish society to complain about. Mr. Laban is very aptly named, his surname means "scoundrel" in Danish. He led the delegation referred to in this article from which I quote:

"Throughout November and December a delegation of Muslims from Denmark travels all around the Middle East, to raise protests against Denmark and Jyllandsposten. They are successful in spreading the message, and the December 17 angry demonstrators take to the streets in Pakistan, outraged at Denmark. "

Now, one thing not mentioned in this article is, that Abu Laban may have been a bit in doubt as to whether these drawings were in fact offensive enough to cause the controversy he'd like to cause. So, for good measure he threw in a few other - and much more offensive - drawings, claiming without batting an eyelid that these drawings had also been published in the Danish newspaper. Mr. Laban is known in these parts for a lot of things; truthfulness is not amongst them. More about that here. The bloke writing this blog is pretty hard in his way of expressing his views, but his facts are consistent with reality, as far as I can see (haven't checked the bit about China, though). I have, however, seen a couple of the drawings that Mr. Laban threw in "for good measure", and I can well understand Muslims being upset at those.

In the Danish media Mr. Laban has for the past few days tried to come across as someone trying to put out the fire. He's advocating caution here, while at the same time going on Al-Jazeera TV saying in Arabic that he rejoices in the protests against the country in which he lives. When confronted with this, he refuses having said those things, notwithstanding the fact that his words were caught on tape.

Allegedly, today's embassy burnings were the direct result of some rumours passed on by sms that a Danish right wing radical group would stage a protest today and would burn some Quorans. Well, the radical group did meet, all 15 of them, and stood freezing in sub-zero temperatures for some time wrapped up in protective police while a much larger counter demonstration shouted abuse at them. No Quorans were burned, however.

Now, were I to learn during the next few days, that the original sender of the sms causing the uproar was one Abu Laban, I shouldn't be surprised in the least.

Looking back it seems that noone has so far linked to the cartoon shown on the front page of the France Soir a few days back (scroll down about halfway). I think that's a brilliant drawing which ties up nicely with a point made earlier here, "Any religion worth its salt should be able to stand up to challenge without reacting violently." I couldn't agree more.

And this concludes the report from the Danish front. I'll just check the sandbags and then dive back behind them for cover ;-))

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 02:58 AM

Bente - Thanks for giving us the report from the Danish front.

I was a little surprized to read, "...to demonstrate that Denmark has freedom of speech, the newspaper commissions 12 cartoonists to make a series of satirical drawings of the prophet Muhammad."

Seems to me that this was an overzealous way to make the point, not to mention that it incited a riot. I also do not think it was wise of your prime minister to refuse to meet with the ambassadors. They were, after all, seeking to resolve the issue.

I don't blame the Muslims for being offended but they have also responded inappropriately by rioting but if I were the people of Denmark, I would be equally upset with the newspaper who actually commissioned the work. Thats just plain antagonistic.

In the meantime, it sounds to me that the radical, Abu Laban should be sent packing. Please don't send him to Canada. We have our own problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 06:46 AM

GUEST,Boab - 04 Feb 06 - 11:56 PM

"So let's create another scenario, one just as likely to arise as that which has caused the present Muslim rage. Let's wake up one morning and find the image of Jesus Christ [or Jehovah]with exaggerated canine teeth bared in a snarl, brandishing an axe in one hand and a blood-dripping knife in the other."

Or how about an article headlined "Christ converts to Islam" - you don't have to imagine that as this article did appear in the Onion - favoured rag of Amos, among others (I won't say "fellow travellers")

"Would the Pope let that one pass without comment?"

Possibly not, in all probability, he would voice his disappointment and offer guidance and forgiveness - that's his job.

"Would Pat Robertson? Or GW Bush?"

The former might run off at the mouth, the latter would voice his disapproval but support the freedom granted under the Constitution of the United States of America - that's his job.

"And would press freedom be granted such respect and support by "Christians" and Zionists as seems to be granted with regard to the present "bone of contention"?"

Yes I think it would and my basis for stating that opinion is that while their beliefs may have been affronted, their intelligence, education and respect for law and order would prevent them from being susceptible to the type of hate-mongering and manipulation that has driven those followers of the Prophet out into the streets to attack and burn the property of others. Neither His Holiness the Pope, Pat Robertson or George W. Bush would pass instructions giving the OK to target and kill the fellow countrymen of whoever was responsible.

In drawing and publishing those cartoons no law was broken, no one was hurt, no one's civil rights were abused. If a line was crossed it was crossed by those who deliberately, with great effort set out to foment this unrest (if you doubt that just think how many copies of the Danish language newspaper do you think would be in free circulation in Pakistan and in the Gaza Strip?), it was crossed when laws governing the rights of property broken without reproach. Any journalist worthy of his salt should be concentrating on those aspects of this case and make some attempt to drag these miserable creatures out into the sunlight where everybody can see them for exactly what they are - malcontent shit-stirrers, whose agenda has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with peace, freedom, understanding, respect and co-existance.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 09:50 AM

The correct response to such an terrible insult to followers of this faith would be for them to bomb the whole of Denmark. That would learn em............

Many that follow this organised religion and those that follow many others, may not have a sense of humour or be able to laugh at themselves - but are these followers so sure that their various Gods do not?

Any God who had to watch some of their followers blow-up fellow humans in their name may not see a dipiction of them with a bomb on their head as being too far from the sad truth.

Perhaps those many followers who claim that their organised religions do not sanction such things would be better occupied in being seen to take steps to ensure that these things cannot happen - rather taking further steps that only tend to confirm in many people's eyes that their organised religion is based only on inciting intolerance and violence.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 02:00 PM

It is simply a matter of free speech.

That said, if you threaten my life or safety, I am gonna fight back!

A cartoon does neither. But the reaction of people to the cartoon well may threaten Danes.

You've got 2 groups of people. The "in-group" and also the "out-group"!

The former exists for recognition from the latter group.

The latter exists to usurp the place of the former!

It's only basic human nature, and it never mattered when we were far apart geographically. But now we have this in-yo-face, high speed, click-and-send capability and an eye-for-an-eye mentality. That mentality exists on all sides now. Nip-it-in-the-bud retaliation without negotiation until one side is caught with their backs to the wall and ready to surrender is a main problem here. Without a nuclear bomb to drop on Hiroshima, that World War would've gone on as long as recent wars threaten to go on!!

The right to insult, to a lesser or greater degree, has always been a part of American free speech, and we can't seem to let it go of it. As things are panning out now, we may have to at least learn restraint. Mainly the youth of all nations have the testosterone and the estrogen to carry all of it out.

But they don't have the smarts--or the maturity--to end the negatives. And the next generation will come along and obliterate the "good things" the last one accomplished...

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, suicide bombers, 9/11 operatives---they all misrepresent, and do sad disservice, to the human race by going for the throat every time. And they ensure the dumbing down of us all when they go for this lowest of all denominators as being a proper example to the youth who they want to draw into their quagmires everywhere.

As with definitions of folk music, we pick our own now, and disregard the truth of it. Why? Because we can---and because it will help our bottom line. (Proverbial and actual!)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 02:02 PM

Teribus do you think that the people who are rioting have been educated in secular schools? I doubt it.

The problem is that they are "susceptible to the type of hate-mongering and manipulation" fomented by radical clerics. With so much negative attention already focussed on their religion and the people of the Middle East generally, its not a great leap to see how they were set-up.

I think the magazine who comissioned the cartoons and the radical Muslim cleric are both to blame. They are the educated people in this situation and they knew exactly what would result. The PM of Denmark, who is also educated, should have taken the opportunity to meet with the ambassadors and hear their concerns.

There is plenty of blame to go around in this situation but the people in the streets have been manipulated to do exactly what they are doing. Any educated person should have known this would happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 02:48 PM

The Onion, Teribus, has published many parodies of religion, depicting God as a disgruntled employer, and so on. A small sample:

All My Religion Needs Now Is A Snazzy Post-Death Scenario



Well, it's been a long, hard road, but I'm finally almost finished with Cosmysticism, the new religion I've been working on for the past year or so. And I must say, I'm pretty proud of how it's turned out. It's a delicate blend of love and wrath, mystery and science, history and fantasy


Christ Converts To Islam


JERUSALEM Jesus announced that Allah has revealed Himself to Him through the holy words of the Quran.


Scientology Losing Ground To New Fictionology



LOS ANGELES According to a report released Monday by the American Institute of Religions, the Church of Scientology, once one of the fastest-growing religious organizations in the U.S., is steadily losing members to the much newer religion Fictionology.

Judge Orders God To Break Up Into Smaller Deities



WASHINGTON, DC A U.S. judge ruled that God is in violation of anti-monopoly laws and ordered Him to break up into smaller deities.

God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule



NEW YORK-- Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.

Family That Prays Together Suffers Through Long, Hellish Marriage Together



BROWNSVILLE, TX Despite deep, irreconcilable differences that might have led to divorce for other married couples, Clint and Carol Colson have managed to keep their family together through the power of faith. Their belief in God is living proof of the old adage that the family that prays together suffers

God Late For Local Wedding



CARTHAGE, MO -- An embarrassed God admitted Monday that He was late for the Saturday wedding of Patrick Moore and Dina Roble, arriving halfway through the ceremony but catching "most of the important stuff."

Christ Demands More Money



JERUSALEM   Dissatisfied with dwindling receipts in recent years, redeemer of humanity Jesus Christ issued a rare public statement Monday, sharply criticizing His followers' lack of generosity and demanding a marked increase in their contributions to the long-standing religion based upon belief in Him.

Recently Born-Again Christian Finally Has Social Life



GASTONIA, SC   Eight months ago, Larry Dunne was alone. He didn't have a friend in the world. But all that changed with his baptism at the New Hearts Fundamentalist Church. Ever since becoming a born-again Christian, Dunne has a friend through Jesus. "Let's see, there's Richard and Janet and Craig...."

Black Gospel Choir Makes Man Wish He Believed In All That God Bullshit



COLUMBUS, OH The gloriously jubilant gospel singing that pours forth each Sunday from Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is enough to make local resident Doug Kamin wish he believed in all that God bullshit.<


Note that as far as I know, anyway, the Onion has never been targeted for any of these highly droll stories.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: kendall
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 02:58 PM

They were already mad as hell at us and this cartoon thing just added fuel to the fire.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 02:59 PM

Well they all should lighten up- after all what's the threat- pictures?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 03:46 PM

Up until two days ago I intended seekingout these 'Cartoons' on the net.
Then, fortunately someone sent me a link http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/ which shows not only the 12 images published (toward the end) but multiple other images of 'The Prophet' created and on show in numerous countries (including Islamic Nations) over the last several hundred years.

It does seem that this is a 'Planned Reaction' rather than an outpouring of righteous indignation.

But what do I know?

CHEERS

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: michaelr
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 04:04 PM

Satire is one of the pillars of free speech. It has been used since classical times to tweak the noses of the powerful and expose hypocrisy in all its disguises. We must be very careful in considering the question whether it should be suppressed.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 04:05 PM

This crap coming from a culture that sends kids to suicide bomb. Riggggggghhhhhhhhhhhttttttttttttttttttttttttttt.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 04:11 PM

Satire like the Onion is just that. My son has brought it home. After a short while, it becomes self-serving and repetitive, and quite frankly, not very interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 04:16 PM

yeah and this problem may have been sparked not by the cartoons but by a Western culture that sends their kids off to attack Islamic Countries to die for oil and under the canopy of the Lie that these Countries have Nuclear Weapons hiding there!.
The Cartoons were /are just fuel to an already raging fire.
Suicide Bombers arise when a people have no other weapons to fight with but themselves. Surely if they had Drones that could fire missiles at a target without any threat to the Life of one of their Country men/women they would use them intead!
Riiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhtttttttt.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 05 Feb 06 - 08:41 PM

How about a western culture who had almost 3000 killed on 9/11? In the name of Allah?

Fucking idiot.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 02:10 AM

I would rather a cartoon than a suicide bomb.

Is no blame to be accepted by those who still allow indescriminate bombing to be undertaken in the name of and under the broad banner of their organised religion? And who now allow such an impression of also being part of a rowdy intolerant mob - to to be given to the watching world - in reaction to cartoons?

For it was this and human beings that were being satirised by fellow human beings in these cartoons - not any deity.

If this publicity causes the majority of the rank and file to take a grip on what is undertaken in the name of their organised religion - this will have been a positive reaction. If it causes the rank and file to see a general insult to them from all of those who are not part of their organised religion - as the 'shitstirrers' who planned all of this reaction wish - it will not be positive.

Is so - there will be a similar negative reaction against this. The losers are all of us and the good people of this organised religion in particular. It is up to them to prove that their organised religion does not sanction the terrible things done because of it and in its name and to bring the criminals who hide behind them - to be exposed and brought to justice.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 03:07 AM

What message is being given about this organised religion by images of a shouting crowd of men behind a banner that states - BEHEAD ALL THOSE WHO WOULD INSULT MUSLIMS?

Those who carefully plan and orchestrate over- reactions like these are only too aware what message is being given and I fear this message has very little to do with any God.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 05:49 AM

Surely Islam - by its very beliefs - is an insult to Christianity: And vice-versa!


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 12:09 PM

With every right also comes responsibility. If you're going to publish something that others might find offensive you have the right to do so, but you must also take responsibility for the consequences. Likewise, you can call me all sorts of things, but you must take responsibility if I punch you in the nose -- or sue you.

There is not now and never has been such a thing as irresponsible rights and freedom.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 12:22 PM

Rapaire: people are always blaming the victims for crimes ("Of couse, she brought it on herself dressing like that"), but I have my doubts. You say that if you punched me in the face, it would be my resposibilty. Dont you think you might bear some of that responsibility yourself, even if it was only a teensy teensy percentage. Are you really not able to exert any control over your actions whatever?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 12:24 PM

If you punch someone in the nose, Rapaire, the responsibility is your own. That is where the line between the free exercise of speech and the interference with others' lives in the civic commmons is crossed. Not that it wouldn't be understandable in some cases.

There is a world of difference between stating the truth: "I have always been taught to believe that all ______ people are evil"; and stating the obvious falsehood, "all ______ people are evil".

Until that simple discrimination is understood, public discourse will become the mishmash that you see, for example, on the BNP thread.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 12:56 PM

Oh, nonononono! If I punch you, I'm responsible for that decision and I have to take the consequences. I'm sorry, I was using that as an EXAMPLE. Every decision we make, even in the heat of anger, requires us to accept responsibility for our actions. At twelve I was instructed in firearms, and one of the Big Rules was that you never, never pull the trigger is you don't know where the bullet will end up -- that is, we were taught that WE were responsible for whatever the bullet we fire does.

I make the decision, you make the decision. You still have a responsibility to make a good decision AND to take whatever consequences ensue. And so do I.

Sorry I wasn't clear. (And I wouldn't punch anyone out anyway, unless they swung first.)


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dax
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 06:44 PM

Most of those who riot over something as stupid as this do not understand freedom of speech. They do not even understand freedom of thought. They are puppets of their fundamentalist religion and they do not dance to their own drum. The same could be said for most other organized religions which would choose to educate their young with doctrine rather than enlightenment.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 09:09 PM

"If you're going to publish something that others might find offensive you have the right to do so, but you must also take responsibility for the consequences."

How true!

In this case, it was obvious what the consequences would be, especially after the PM of Denmark refused to discuss the problem with the ambassadors of Islam. Trying to push the problem under the carpet didn't work. It never does.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 10:29 PM

Get real. The cartoons were published months ago. The animosity against them was generated days ago. Methinks there is something rotten--but it isn't in Denmark.

Without a free press, how can the people who are being agitated with stories about these cartoons have a clue as to what they're rioting about? They're being manipulated.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 10:31 PM

All it did was make these idiot Muslims look further out of touch with the modern world than they already are.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 06 Feb 06 - 10:48 PM

Dianavan:

"In this case, it was obvious what the consequences would be, especially after the PM of Denmark refused to discuss the problem with the ambassadors of Islam. Trying to push the problem under the carpet didn't work. It never does."

No Dianavan the consequences were engineered a small group of people led by the person identified by Bente from Denmark, worked very hard to produce the results we are now witnessing, it wasn't obvious at all.

What has this got to do with the Prime Minister of Denmark? He has already stated that he regrets that it happened but that there is nothing he can do because the Press/Media in Denmark is free to report and publish what it wants. Now what further has the Danish PM got to discuss with "the ambassadors of Islam". The only people with a problem here are the one's who engineered this dispute, from what I can see the Danes have been perfectly transparent and open in all that they have done, so what problem have they tried to push under the carpet?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 12:16 AM

Teribus - Oh, I believe that the people who rioted were manipulated but I don't think the other side is blameless, either. Please read my post Feb. 05 at 2:58 AM.

What concerns me is this (from the link above), "The cartoons appear in print September 30 2006. They are immediately met with outrage from Muslims in Denmark and even gets noticed outside Denmark.

On the 19th of October ambassadors from 11 Muslim countries requests a meeting with the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, hoping to get an official condemnation of the newspapers publication of the drawings. Rather than meeting with the ambassadors to explain the principles of a free press and free speech, the prime minister refuses to meet with the ambassadors at all."

You say, "He has already stated that he regrets that it happened but that there is nothing he can do because the Press/Media in Denmark is free to report and publish what it wants."

I haven't read this anywhere. Can you please site a source or are you putting words in the mouth of the Danish PM? I certainly hope he regrets it! I'd also like to know why the publisher thought that publishing 12 cartoons that degraded the Muslim faith, wouldn't cause an uproar.

There is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to manipulation.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: michaelr
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 01:45 AM

dianavan - Today on Deutsche Welle's "Forum" newscast, I saw the Danish prime minister say in a press conference, "For the Danish government to apologize on behalf of a private newspaper company is impossible."

I see no reason why he should regret this. He is upholding a free press conducting free enterprise in a free country.

I'm as liberal as the next Catter, but here I don't follow you. The Danish state had no role in this; neither had any other. This is a manufactured outrage, flames fanned by fundamentalist fanatics. It should not be appeased at the cost of free speech.

Satire is one of the pillars of free speech. It has been used since classical times to tweak the noses of the powerful and expose hypocrisy in all its disguises. We must be very careful in considering the question whether it should be suppressed.

Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 02:08 AM

The Danish Government would know that whatever they would have said would not have altered the intentions of those who wish to stir-up the situtation they now have and for their own reasons.

The only blame is on these people and those who will still allow them to hide behind and bring their entire organised religion in to disgrace with scenes being reported and the methods of the indivuduals attracted and involved in them.

They sit there unwilling to join in such protests but unsure how they are supposed to react the so-called original insult. They can't have it both ways but the frustrating aspect is that they will try - or be forced by these engineered circumstances to make the attempt.

If the peaceful rank and file do not make a clear and open stand against those who use such methods and use them to further their political aims - they will be condemned along with these shit- stirrers and confused and mistaken by everyone else as being one and the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 02:41 AM

This is what I think. Muslims have been subjected to a hell of a lot of dehumanization in many parts of the world over the last several decades, by people who (rather self-righteously and self-congratulatory, in my opinion), consider themselves more enlightened and just plain better than Muslims . (Some of the physical depictions of Muslims in those cartoons being excellent examples... some of those depictions are incredibly dehumanizing and/or demeaning.)

Many cultures would be pretty well up in arms because of this type of treatment, and they would be justified in this.

I don't notice Muslims spending a lot of time dwelling on this kind of treatment of them as people. What I notice is Muslims expressing their righteous indignation at what they perceive as disrespect of their religion.

I think there is a very human and a very understandable reason for this. In the Muslim religion, the self is turned over entirely to the care and the direction of the creator concept ("Allah" - which is the Arabic word for "God"). It would not be consistant with this subordination of the self to "God" to complain about things suffered by the individual. But Muslims are human just like everyone else... they have feelings, and shabby treatment can get to them after a while just like everyone else.

But because of their beliefs, they don't have any kind of outlet for those feelings. The only way they can express their very valid feelings of anger over their treatment at the hands of the Western powers is to do it in a way that they can feel is in service to "God". It's a way of coping with injustice that doesn't challenge their perception of themselves as good Muslims.

I don't think rubbing their noses in the shabby treatment they're receiving from Western countries is a good way to fix the problem. That sort of thing is what is causing the problem in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 02:55 AM

michaelr - Thanks for that. I hadn't heard that explanation.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 03:00 AM

I agree Carol.

You don't tease someone who is in a bad mood already.

Its like poking a stick in a hornets nest.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Hope
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 03:07 AM

When I see the images of the rioters

My heart sinks beneath their outrage.

What hatred fuels this fire?

Who did this? Who set them up?

Who fanned the flames? Was it staged?

By those who suck the black blood of my mother?

Evil, parasitic reptiles, snaking across the desert

Spitting fire and death and disease.

Together we will slay it. In conflict, we cannot.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 03:24 AM

This is what I think. Muslims have been subjected to a hell of a lot of dehumanization in many parts of the world over the last several decades, by people who (rather self-righteously and self-congratulatory, in my opinion), consider themselves more enlightened and just plain better than Muslims . (Some of the physical depictions of Muslims in those cartoons being excellent examples... some of those depictions are incredibly dehumanizing and/or demeaning.)

If these depictions are of a group of angry robed men shouting, burning flags and effigies and carrying banners that call for the beheading of anyone who is seen to insult their religion - whose fault is is that such a 'dehunamising' impession is given?

When one of this intolerant bunch is seen to be dressed-up as a suicide bomber - is it really any surprise that the God these people claim to serve are identified with fanaticism, murder and bombing?

It may be difficult to say where this cycle was started but it is vital that is is ended............


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 03:30 AM

I'm talking about the cartoons. And suicide bombers are a byproduct of occupation, not religion. The fact that suicide bombers who are Muslim (many are not) use their religion as the focal point of their act supports what I said in my previous post.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dax
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 05:01 AM

Somehow it is hard to distinguish between a bunch of idiots burning flags and embassies because they feel offended and another bunch (perhaps including some of the same people)marching with joy because of the great victory of 911. It is hard to understand people being so easily offended themselves and as a collective group offending others to such a degree. All of this in the name of God??
Freedom of thought and expression is far more important than some percieved insult to a long dead prophet.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 05:02 AM

No - you used those cartoons as examples of the the process you describe.

Do not those who choose to exercise their right to demonstrate in this fashion or to excuse it - have to take the responsibilty for the impression that this gives of their organised religion to the rest of the world? And should they set about changing it - rather than attempting to blame the rest of the world for obtaining this impression?

Whatever the reasons and whatever the slight - is such a plainly orchestrated over-reaction going to persuade anyone that their impression of all Muslims a intolerant and humourless bunch of fanatics is wrong?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 05:09 AM

For me the issue is simple. Religious organisations may feel that they have the right to impose their requirements (including censorship) on their followers. They do not have the right to require me to obey their laws.
I do not like a lot of Martin Gibson's posts. No one forces me to read them. I know that if certain subjects arise, I will probably be offended by Martin Gibson. Does that give me the right to try and kill him?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 05:26 AM

No - you used those cartoons as examples of the the process you describe.

No, I used the cartoons as examples of some of the ways Muslims are dehumanized in the West. Here is the exact quote from my post...

(Some of the physical depictions of Muslims in those cartoons being excellent examples... some of those depictions are incredibly dehumanizing and/or demeaning.)

For Dax and The Shambles...

It really isn't about religion. It's really about many hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed and/or maimed for oil and the Western powers' colonial ambitions, over the course of many decades. It's about a persistant campaign waged by Western powers to dehumanize and objectify Muslims in every way possible so that those of us in the West whose job it is to do the bidding of the militaries of the Western countries won't mind killing Muslims quite so much, because really, after all, they're not really like us are they, and we're better than them.

It's about Western powers propping up brutal dictators in Muslim countries to secure Western access to oil. It's about Western powers undermining Muslim countries' rights to self-determination, and even in the case of Iran, crushing their fledgling democracy and then installing a brutal dictator (and propping him up). It's about Western powers meddling in the governmental affairs, the every day life affairs, and just about every other aspect of the lives of people in the Muslim countries in the oil producing part of the world, so the West can have unfettered access to their oil.

Religion only becomes a part of it because that's the only way they can respond to these crimes being committed against them without creating an internal conflict between their belief that God is all powerful and in control, and their very legitimate feelings of victimization for the way they are being treated. They are sublimating their feelings of victimization and the anger that arises from it into their concept of service to God.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 05:34 AM

To discover that that nauseating boy, with hi oh-so-cool sexy black suicide bomber outfit, was called Omar Kayam was pretty funny. The further revelation, after his nauseatingly insincere designer-stubbled apology, that he was a convicted heroin dealer out on license caused me to lie on the floor shrieking with helpless laughter. Let us hope that his deeply unpleasant cause is just a litle bit discredited among some of his admiring sycophants after this.
    Amd no, I am not dehumanising him. He has dehumanised himself.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 05:49 AM

It really isn't about religion.

That is the way you see it (and in my view) excuse it. You are entitled to express that view and I will not call for you to be beheaded for it.

But we are talking about a general impression of all Mulsims that is held, reflected and only confirmed for many non-Muslims in the west reading of these demonstrations.

All non-muslims we are led to believe - by those who want this for political reasons - but mainly it would appear out of a blind (if understandable hate) are out to insult their organised religion.

This is all simplistic and dangerous nonsense that we all need to first agree on and address together before we set off on the confused political detail that will only divide us and play into the hands who only wish for such division.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 05:52 AM

You don't know how much dehumanization he had already experienced long before he did whatever it is you are saying he did, or how many of his family and loved ones were killed for oil or colonialism. The act is the byproduct of the environment. He didn't dehumanize himself. To whatever extent he was dehumanized, it happened long before he made the decision to do whatever it was that he did, or tried to do.

You may not be dehumanizing him. But you are overlooking his humanity.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 05:58 AM

No, the first thing we need to do is recognise their humanity, and then treat them as we ourselvs would want to be treated. I am not making excuses for anything. I am showing why the approach being taken is a massively counterproductive one. The way to solve the problem is to stop acting like we own the world, and to stop appropriating other peoples land and resources at the expense of those to whom it belongs. And above all, to stop killing people for their land and resources.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 06:03 AM

You may not be dehumanizing him. But you are overlooking his humanity.

When you use generalisations like Muslims to sum-up millions of people and their many problems - are you not overlooking both their humanity and the humanity of those who you blame for these problems?

But where as this may not be much to do with any God - it is to do with our essential humanity.


They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety - Benjamin Franklin


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 06:15 AM

When you use generalisations like Muslims to sum-up millions of people and their many problems - are you not overlooking both their humanity and the humanity of those who you blame for these problems?

If I were generalizing about something like, for instance, the idea that all Muslims treat women badly (one that we constantly hear in the West), then yes, that would be overlooking their humanity.

But to recognize a pattern of behavior by the West towards Muslims, and a well-oiled campaign by the West to whip up hatred towards them, and to then try to understand their response to these things... no, that is definitely not overlooking their humanity. It is, instead, seeing within them the reality of their humanity. To put myself in their shoes and try to understand what they are experiencing, and to understand their responses to those experiences based on our shared humanity.

You overlook their humanity when you assume that had you found yourself in the same circumstances, you would behave any differently.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 06:33 AM

Omar Khayam is a very naughty boy Carol, who prior to inciting White people to smack his silly face for him made rather a nice living selling heroin!!! So living in England dehumanized him into serious crime did it?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 07:02 AM

I'm not familiar with his story, f ted. Are you saying that he was a heroin dealer just because he is a Muslim? Surely there are heroin dealers amongst all religious and ethnic groups. In what way is what he has done relevant to his being a Muslim?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 07:05 AM

How can you be a muslim AND a heroin dealer?? Read the report about him on the BBC website. He was released early on licence. Bad move!


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 07:12 AM

Does he claim to be a practicing Muslim? I wasn't able to find a news story on him in Google. If so, I guess he's not any more sincere in his religion than, for instance, Pat Robertson, or Jimmy and Tammy Fae Baker, or Jim Swaggert here in the US. Are you going to judge all Muslims just going by that one self-proclaimed Muslim? In what way is that not dehumanzing of all Muslims who are not herion dealers.

And what does his being a heroin dealer have to do with Muslims being pissed off with the way and their countries they treated by the West?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 07:22 AM

I'm getting tired. That should read, "And what does his being a heroin dealer have to do with Muslims being pissed off with the way they and their countries are treated by the West?"


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 07:44 AM

Yes perhaps he should have been beheaded for this crime - as he may well have been in other countries?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 07:56 AM

Any chance of Monty Python movie being made called The Life of Omar?

The point about good satire (and The Life of Brian is the very best) that above all - it MUST first be funny.

I have been stuggling lately (to suppress laughter) with that Brass Eye spoof that was done on the media's approach to child abuse. In particular a 'news' report about a sex offender who was shot into orbit for his crimes but where the report went on to add that due to a mistake - a 14 year-old boy was trapped on board with him.

I suppose I should not find that amusing in any way - but I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 08:00 AM

I spent last night attending a very pleasant music and food evening with various friends and acquaintances, more than half of whom were Moslems. We had a laugh, tried to join in with each others tunes, enjoyed the food and conversation. I didnt feel the need to display any pictures of Muhammed wearing a bomb-turban, none of the Moslems felt the need to display any felt-penned placards demanding that the infidel be beheaded. In spite of the hostility people try to stir up on the streets and this thread, most people are trying to muck along with each other in a reasonablw fashion. That silly little boy Omar Khayam would do a lot better going back to writng Rubaiyats, and not running around epateying the bourgeoisie. And some people would do better not writing screeds telling us what Muslims think, or what Westerners think. Or ought to think.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 08:48 AM

Thirty years ago at an old brick apartment building on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo NY, I was visiting friends on the pretense of smoking a joint, or visa versa, its hard to remember which.
Somehow no one had a match or lighter and the electric stove offered no convenience so I went into the hall and knocked on a door to see if I could borrow some matches. An orthodox Jew with weather worn face and beard answered the door. Before I could even ask for fire the man traced my eyes to a glance I made behind him where his wife was peeking around a doorway. He immediately became incensed. He angrily shouted that I had broken his convenent with God because religious law forbid his wife's face from being seen on the Sabbath.
She looked worried and scared.

Hell, I had never heard of such a thing before, not even during the time I went to Hebrew school for the option of getting a Bar Mitzvah.
I apologized claiming ignorence but he went on berating me in the hallway and heaping guilt upon me for the punishment that his wife will now have to endure. I said "Hey I don't care whatever promise you made to whatever God, but if you beat your wife you'll have to answer to the police". Of course this infuriated him to the point of holy curses and door slamming.

I don't believe this guy's God forbid reflected light of his wife to enter the eye of another human being but it happened. But now I was made to be the reason for this woman to be punished. Now I wish I had uttered some Yiddish joke instead of making the guy even angrier.

And that is where I realised that humor was often used to defuse silly religiously held beliefs. The mother of a Catholic girl I knew would some times offer up homor regarding some obscure Saint or ritual of facing an icon to the west and spinning around three times, just to let people know that she took faith a religious rules witha grain of salt. Likewise Jewish humor often involves either God or a Jewish Mother and lightened the mood when people were unsure whether they had to stand on ceremony.

Whether its an Orthodox Jew hiding a their wife's face on the Sabbath, or a Muslim man hiding the faces of women all the time I can still think of no joke to enlighten the situation and defuse the insecure, tyranical underlying cause for beliefs that cause nothing but hurt and misunderstanding between people.

If I find the joke that will save the world, I will let you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 09:28 AM

Normally I would not respond to threads like this, however I have seen an awful lot of foolishness expressed here and I would like to say three things..The essence of Democracy has to do with having something in it which can offend everyone, like a good Library. Two, These so-called "Muslim" demonstrations seem to me to be more like "males from 17 to 30 acting like hooligans" demonstrations. Also, Martin Gibson is rude, he is also often quite right and that seems to be a combination that some people find difficult.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 09:38 AM

A number of papers declined to publish the cartoons after all this controversy started, but instead to write about what happened. This decision was based on the sensibility that the cartoons were offensive to a religious or ethnic group. This is an editorial policy that makes sense to me, within limits. But it is a choice freely exercised by the paper's managers.

It is also the case that the group of mullahs who first demanded to see the Prime Minister of Denmark about the cartoons -- when the request was denied -- proceeded to circulate them to Muslims all over the world. Not only that but they circulated additional cartoons, more offensive, which had never been published in any newspaper.

Now I can understand the mullahs being offended by the author of the cartoons; but in circulating them for the purpose of inciting protest, are they not doing the same thing that the publishers of the Danish press did? And in adding to them with things that had not been published, are they not inciting on false grounds?

Finally, it seems very clear to me that although they lived in Denmark, they were not very sensitive themselves to the nature of their host country, as they chose to complain to the Prime Minister as though he were an authoritarian centralist leader, which he is not, and thus were directing their message to the wrong target in the first place. The Prime Minister has nothing to do with editorial policy at Dagsbladet, or wherever. There's no connection in law or policy between the two posts. Not understanding the lines of communication and influence in the country they were living in was a first error.

So it seems to me the perpetrators of this gigantic, absurd granfaloon are as much the mullahs as the authors.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: MaineDog
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 09:44 AM

If we believe that we have a right to free speech, then we must exercise it occasionally, or we will lose it.
If we have freedom of conscience, then we must occasionally think "bad thoughts", or we will lose that freedom.
If we live in a free society, we must also grant these rights to others.
If someone exercises their free speech rights within my hearing, and does me no explicit violence, then I get to exercise my right NOT TO BE OFFENDED in order to keep the peace!
Of course, if I do not have a right not to be offended, then I probably have no rights, or sense, at all.
MD


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dax
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 10:20 AM

Carol C,
   You state that this is not about religion, but you refer to the people in question as Muslim. Is not Muslim a religious term meaning a follower of Islam? I feel that every individual is entitled to believe as they choose, but it should be a personal decision. In so called Muslim countries people do not, in many cases worship freely. Women are often not treated as equal to men, and in some countries they are held in the home as virtual prisoners. For most of the history of Christianity the same would hold true, and it is only in the last century or two that things have changed for the better.
The perception of an insult may be as much to blame on an overly sensitive receiver as on the giver of the rudeness.
   There are indeed people in this world who do not share equally in it's benefits and there are complex reasons for this , including western greed, but that does not only apply to Muslims.
The freedom to choose beliefs and expression is far more important than a perceived insult. I do not like the cartoons in question one bit, and i would probably not subscribe to a publication that would print such trash, but I also would demand the freedom to make that choice for myself, rather than be dictated to by mullahs and fanatics!


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 11:33 AM

Yes, Amos, there was a group of Mullahs all set out to whip up hatred of the West (culture, religion, laws) and they had to work hard until it worked. Now, of course, some countries use the incident for political reasons to detract from their own failings (what's better than a a good old jihad when there is threat of internal discontent).

A group of Mullahs, but a small one. I have also seen pictures from the Lebanon where clerics tried in vain with their bare hands to stop violent protesters.

The view here by some that the caricatures should not have been published for there already was hatred simmering does forget that the hatred never needs a particular trigger. Any other incident could have been used just as well.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Feb 06 - 12:49 PM

voices:
Ayatollah Khamenei said. The caricatures amounted to a "conspiracy by Zionists who were angry because of the victory of Hamas." (from the GUARDIAN)

Cem Özdemir (Green member of the European parliament):
"That has nothing to do with spontaneous outbreak of rage. The reaction is perfectly organised and orchestrated. Obviously some islamistic organisations who have been in the defensive, use the caricatures to close the ranks and bring the Muslim masses behind them. I hope they do not succeed and in Europe they don't." (my translation from Frankfurter Rundschau)

Akram Durrani (most senior elected official in the province of Peshawar (Pakistan)
"We demand that whoever made the cartoons should be punished like a terrorist."

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 12:38 PM

Abu Hamza guilty


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 12:56 PM

dax, the answer to the situation you describe is not to continue to behave toward Muslim countries as the governments of Western countries have been doing for decades. That approach accomplishes the opposite of what most people in the West say they think ought to happen. When people are constantly put in a position of insecurity and instability, as the people in the oil producing parts of the developing world have been, they become more backward and reactionary, not less.

Allowing the Muslim countries to determine their own fate and to work out their problems themselves, without the meddling of Western powers, is the only way that the natural inclination of societies to evolve and grow will be realized in those countries.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 03:23 PM

Wolfgang gave us this quote:

Ayatollah Khamenei said. The caricatures amounted to a "conspiracy by Zionists who were angry because of the victory of Hamas." (from the GUARDIAN)

Bushwah, of course. The cartoons were created and printed way last October, LONG before anyone thought Hamas had any prayer of the victory they achieved. The "conspirators" must have had a crystal ball!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 03:49 PM

Yes, Dave, that's exactly why I posted that quote. No argument is stupid enough that there are not some suckers to believe it.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 06:18 PM

"Now I can understand the mullahs being offended by the author of the cartoons; but in circulating them for the purpose of inciting protest, are they not doing the same thing that the publishers of the Danish press did? And in adding to them with things that had not been published, are they not inciting on false grounds?"

Amos, that is about par for the course, examples:

Yasser Arafat's uncle the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (a title he coined for himself) in 1920 spread the word to the Arabs living in Palestine that their brothers were being attacked and murdered by Jewish settlers - Complete fabrication, not a word of truth in it, but he being an Imam must be believed without question. Results riot and murder of Jewish Settlers. He then proceeded to do exactly the same in 1929 and again sometime in the mid-to-late 1930's. On this last occasion he had to flee to Nazi Germany where he spent much of the war as an honoured guest, helped raise squads of Muslim SS in the Balkans who delighted in persecuting and murdering the Jews of the region. While operating as the Grand Mufti he conned the British into believing that he and he alone could control the Arab population, he offered to rebuild the Al-Aqsa Mosque, money flowed in, some went to the mosque rebuilding fund, quite a large portion went directly into the Grand Muffti's pocket, when that did not seem to be enough he ripped off a special fund for orphans - Something his protege Yasser was also very good at, wonder who he learned that trick from?

Over the 'Cartoon Affair' you now have the most senior of Iran's "Twelve Old Gits" proclaiming that the cartoons that were published were all part of an Israeli plot to humiliate Muslins because of Hamas's victory in the recent election. He is believed because he is an Imam and his word cannot be questioned irrespective of how completely idiotic the utterance - The cartoons were published in Denmark in September, Hamas won the elections in Gaza and the West Bank when???


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 06:30 PM

Despicable guy that Mufti. Pity the British authorities were stupid (or evil) enough to let him out of jail and appoint him to that position (against the wishes of the majority of Arabs in the region), where he then went about killing many moderate Arabs (Muslim and Christian) as well as Jews. Britain has a LOT to answer for.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 09:47 PM

Amos - I haven't heard this before. "Not only that but they circulated additional cartoons, more offensive, which had never been published in any newspaper." Is that true?

Also - The Danes published first but many, many countries jumped on the bandwagon when they knew that the Muslim community was very upset. How wise was this? Seems to me that they were also inciting a riot.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 09:52 PM

Someone most certainly was inciting it. And I do not doubt that money changed hands in order to help arrange it. Then the media were there to let everyone know about it. Perfect, if you want to set the stage for an enlarged military conflict in the Middle East.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 09:56 PM

Dianavan's mealy-mouthed fence-sitting is a real disappointment, and I fear that CarolC is indeed showing signs of the bias of which she is sometimes accused. Neither of them, nor anyone else, has really dented the thesis of Wolfgang's extremely well reasoned opening post.

On the other hand, Martin Gibson's defence of free expression is truly heartening. Now that an editor in Tehran has put out a call for retaliatory cartoons about the Holocaust, I expect Martin will stand shoulder to shoulder with me in defending the right of that editor also to offend. Perhaps he'd let us know where he stands on that?

I wonder what makes Flamenco Ted think Omar Khayam was making a good living out of drug dealing? He did sell some heroin once, and served three years in jail. Was that not enough? And Greg's attitude seems a tad hysterical, considering he realises he's directing his venom at a mere boy. But perhaps Greg was a grown-up from infancy and never did anything stupid in his youth for any cause he was passionate about.

On the question of bhurkas, I know that they are a rarity in Muslim communities in the Serb Republic half of Bosnia and Hercegovina. In the Federation half of the country, which is predominently Muslim and Croatian, older Muslim women sometimes wear bhurkas and younger women generally do not. I recall a religious festival outside Mostar last year at which many teenage girls wore tight cutaway jeans, high stilettos - and impenetrable face veils. This seemed to me to create a provocatively sexy effect, as may well have been the intention.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 10:01 PM

Nice group smear there, Peter K (Fionn). A bit lacking in substance (well, completely lacking in substance), but I give you a couple of points for style.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 11:06 PM

Carol, here's an instance of what I found so disconcerting:

Religion [...] is the only way they can respond to these crimes being committed against them without creating an internal conflict between their belief that God is all powerful and in control, and their very legitimate feelings of victimization for the way they are being treated. They are sublimating their feelings of victimization and the anger that arises from it into their concept of service to God.

Are we to take from this that Muslims are incapable of questioning the "all-powerful god" rubbish that fills their heads? Who says this is not about religion? (Apart from you.) Those who disregard the laws of a democratic society when those laws are in conflict with their fairy-tale beliefs deserve no respect and should be confronted with the absurdity of the contradictions they embrace. (Could an all-powerful god make a rock bigger than he (or she) could carry?)


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Feb 06 - 11:12 PM

Ok. Good questions. I'm going to think about them a little bit before I answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 12:11 AM

Ok, first of all, one thing I haven't noticed anyone else mentioning is the fact that the delay in the protestation against the cartoons coincided with a case being heard in a court (can't remember which country it was in) in which the verdict was perceived by Muslims as being an inconsistant application of the law. I think this is significant, and shouldn't be glossed over or ignored. The previous case had ruled a cartoon targeting a different religion as being illegal for reasons of inciting hatred.

So the delay that people keep mentioning as "evidence" that the whole situation has been contrived, may have been because it was the court's decision and not the date of the cartoon's publication that determined the timing of the response. Having said that, I don't doubt that there are some people who are getting political milage from this situation, but I think that goes for people on both sides of the issue.

I think Muslims are just as capable of questioning as members of any other religion. However, I think it is from your own bias that you assume that if they questioned, they would come to the same conclusions as you about the validity of religious doctrines.

I don't see why anyone besides me has to think it's not about religion in order for me to hold that opinion. I am not a sheep. I am looking at it from a behavioral perspective, and keeping in mind what I read about that court case I mentioned.

Those who disregard the laws of a democratic society when those laws are in conflict with their fairy-tale beliefs deserve no respect and should be confronted with the absurdity of the contradictions they embrace.

Again, I think there is the aspect of the law being inconsistantly applied, or at least the perception of this on the part of Muslims.

(Could an all-powerful god make a rock bigger than he (or she) could carry?)

Of course. All he/she would have to do is believe the rock is bigger than he/she could carry, and it would be so.

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 12:24 AM

Islam is stupid.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 12:38 AM

I've been called alot of things but "mealy-mouthed"? What is that supposed to mean? What do you mean fence sitting?

As to Wolfgangs opening post, let me respond to this..."For a moment I ponder what would happen if some country with a Christian majority would demand an apology for the teaching of something in sciences which they feel is at odds with what the Holy Book writes. We would laugh, wouldn't we?"

uh, Wolfgang - What do you think is happening in North America?

Christians are totally offended by abortion rights and same sex marriage. So offended, that Drs. have been shot. There have been plenty of protests at abortion clinics and plenty of police presence. Yes, Christians are so offended that they want us to continue prayers in schools and will even go so far as to join hands with the neo-cons to push their agenda on the public and ignore scientific research.

What were the crusades were all about? Muslims aren't the only ones who over-react. What do you think the Christian church did to heretics? What did they do to witches?

Zionism is also fanatical. Why do you think Israel exists?

Yes, Wolfgang - Fanatics are always pushing their agenda on the rest of the world. Thats what fanatics do.

Muslims are no different. There are all kind of fanatics.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 01:42 AM

Yes, there are women, Bill, who feel that the burkas allow them some degree of liberation, believe it or not. They feel that it allows them to not be seen as sex objects, but rather as human beings.
That strikes me as one of the most amazing rationalizations I've ever heard.
How about
Yes, there are women, Bill, who feel that female circumcision liberates them from the urge for sex, believe it or not. They feel that it renders them immune from the temptations of sexual pleasure.
or
Yes, there are women, Bill, who feel that being excluded from any control or possession over their home or their family allows them the liberation of not having to worry about those things.

It seems to me the willingness to bend over backwards in praise of the most regressive and repressive traits of a foreign culture consists of the following : a) we can't possibly understand it or b) we're in no position to criticize...look how we mistreated the _____ ____ fill in the blank or c)we probably caused it by stealing all the good cloth and leaving them only burka-material.

Don Wizzy,I don't buy the goodness of Faith as opposed to the badness of religion argument. Sorry, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and most other faiths are based on a Holy Book of Instruction. The Bible is the Essence of Christianity, as the Q'uran is the Essence of Islam. The True Believers who actually accept these teachings..based on Faith...are every bit as dangerous as the ones who practice the structured tenets of the religion that sprouts up around it, and in fact, the religion is usually more main-stream and rational than the supposed commands from the Almighty that constitute the books.

And Wolfgang, your initial argument is sound. Any believer who actually has strength in his faith shouldn't feel threatened by my saying his faith is a joke. Satisfied in his own rightness, secure in his pact with god, he should be able to dismiss my joking as the idle raving of a soul-less hell-bound non-believer. But if his Holy Book says he must not allow it, or if he suspects I might be right, then he may need to attempt to actually kill me. Hopefully, I live in a world where such behavior on his part is frowned upon, instead of people saying "well, I understand why he decapitated him. It wasn't just the cartoon...it was the logical result of thousands of years of misunderstanding and repression."


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:11 AM

That strikes me as one of the most amazing rationalizations I've ever heard.
How about
Yes, there are women, Bill, who feel that female circumcision liberates them from the urge for sex, believe it or not. They feel that it renders them immune from the temptations of sexual pleasure.
or
Yes, there are women, Bill, who feel that being excluded from any control or possession over their home or their family allows them the liberation of not having to worry about those things.


Lonesome EJ, do you really put female circumcision and being excluded from any control of possessions in the same category as wearing a burka?

I'm a woman and I certainly don't. In fact, I would say for you to do so is one of the most amazing rationalizations I've ever heard. And believe it or not, when I was much younger, had I had the option of wearing something like a burka for just that reason (not being seen as a sex object), I might just have done it. There was a time in my life when I wanted people to notice who I am as a person, and also the quality of my mind, and not see me only as a potential sex partner. It's something a lot of women experience. Since you are NOT a woman, I don't expect you to understand.

However, women who are subjected to abuses such as female circumcision and being excluded from having control of possessions (a state of affairs that is hardly exclusive to Muslims, and also that is most certainly not experienced by all Muslim women), and also the women who do not have a choice of whether or not to wear a burka, these women really don't need to be ridiculed in the press. Their lives are difficult enough as it is. And to depict them in the way that one cartoon depicted them is incredibly insensitive, and is demeaning and humiliating. If you really gave even a tiny shit about them, you wouldn't be trying to justify that sort of thing.

So I can only conclude that if you are trying to justify it, you are only doing so for the purpose of inciting hatred, and not out of any concern for the women themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:47 AM

Since you are NOT a woman, I don't expect you to understand.

LEJ - this is the point where you give-up. LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 03:05 AM

PeterK(Fionn): I dont think my reaction was hysterical, having a laugh at the fact that Omar Khayam turned out to be a drug dealer. If someone acts with repellent self-righteous religiosity, I find it extremely amusing when their hypocrisy is smeared over the national press. Especially if he is a silly trendy boy. I too was a silly trendy boy who did silly things, (though I never wore blck and sported George Michael stubble):and I freely give you permission to laugh at me when I become a Christian fundamentalist and lecture people about the true way to redemption, especially if I dress up in combat gear and clutch a machine gun while doing so.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 03:35 AM

I may believe that Bart Simpson is the creator of the universe - though I am not sure how this would be viewed by this cartoon's creator.

But how would I be viewed if took to the streets claiming that anyone who insulted this cartoon creation should be beheaded?

That example is about as sensible as this current contrived excuse for rightous indignation will appear to many.

Bart Simpson is a little w*****...........................


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 03:43 AM

It sounds like the typical kool-aid GOP speech. I have Islamic friends. They live in BC they choose to wear a burka they are not abused.

http://www.majorityreportradio.com/weblog/archives/000165.php

She provides effective examples of well-educated women who choose to wear a burka although not obliged to, and of some who make that choice after a period living without the burka; they do not insist that others should be deprived of the choice and obligated to wear the burka.

http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/vhi/nussbaum/papers/gasper.pdf

the other side of the coin of course is that some women choose to wear burkas. for many religious people, restrictive dress is a show of piety or modesty

http://www.plastic.com/comments.html;sid=05/10/14/19380015;cid=84

It may seem odd to you, but many women choose, 100% on their own, to wear hijabs. While it's true some government force people to wear them, they are not a sign of oppression. Some women even choose to wear burkas, though you don't see too many around here (I've only seen about 4 or 5 different people in these on my campus), a month or so ago there was a court case in the u.s., the woman wanted a drivers license but had refused to take off her burka for the picture, citing her religion. I think she won, though I'm not sure. But there are tons of women with hijabs around here.

http://www.cheapassgamer.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-48279.html

we have piles of immigrants from middle east...some women like burkas some others hate it..it is a matter of personality...everyone have his own culture and his right to accept or refuse it...

http://www.webofmimicry.com/wom/index.php?board=1;action=printpage;threadid=471

Women have a very strong opinion about the burka. If you ban it they won�t leave the house.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1823334,00.html


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 09:24 AM

"It may seem odd to you, but many women choose, 100% on their own, to wear hijabs. While it's true some government force people to wear them, they are not a sign of oppression. Some women even choose to wear burkas, though you don't see too many around here (I've only seen about 4 or 5 different people in these on my campus), a month or so ago there was a court case in the u.s., the woman wanted a drivers license but had refused to take off her burka for the picture, citing her religion. I think she won, though I'm not sure. But there are tons of women with hijabs around here."

Denile is not just a river in Egypt.
There are plenty of women who stay with wife-beaters because they're so nice when they're sober.
If their culture makes them feel like they are less than loyal/modest/complete/a woman then they're likely to choose a go-along position and justify it as a choice. They wouldn't be the first women to make the best of a bad situation. The true test would be if women from a different culture chose to wear a burka on their own ("it's not just for Halloween, anymore")

You could model one for mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 10:48 AM

You and Peter are just as sexist as the men you're criticizing. You don't have a problem with men imposing standards on women. You just have a problem with it if they're not your standards.

A question for you, robomatic... do you think the Orthodox Jewish women who always wear wigs (a more expensive version of a hijab) do it by choice, or are they just doing it for the same reason women stay with abusive men?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 11:06 AM

I would have preferred this thread not to be about Muslims (alone) that's why I started with examples from two different religions.

Dianavan, yes I know all that about the USA including the murders. Sorry, but I don't have the impression you have understood what you did quote from me:

what would happen if some country with a Christian majority would demand an apology for the many caricatures of Jesus in German newspapers and for the teaching of something in sciences which they feel is at odds with what the Holy Book writes. We would laugh, wouldn't we?

That would be if for instance the USA would demand an apology from Germany for our biology school books might offend the most extreme literalists among the USA Christians. We would laugh, wouldn't we?.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 11:24 AM

Oops. My last post should say "you and Lonesome EJ", not "you and Peter". But I suspect that it is really just you, robo. I don't think Lonesome EJ is really a sexist. I think he probably just posted without thinking.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 11:30 AM

CarolC - 08 Feb 06 - 06:30 PM

"Despicable guy that Mufti. Pity the British authorities were stupid (or evil) enough to let him out of jail and appoint him to that position (against the wishes of the majority of Arabs in the region), where he then went about killing many moderate Arabs (Muslim and Christian) as well as Jews. Britain has a LOT to answer for."

Your representation above CarolC is simplistic and as usual complete and utter crap.

I do agree with you Tosser Arafat's Uncle was a truly corrupt and despicable individual. After having deliberately spread lies about Jews attacking Arabs he conned the British Governor of Palestine into believing that he and he alone could restore order amongst the Arab population. There never was such a title as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and it was certainly not the British Governor who conferred the title - the little turd just made it up and started calling himself that. As for the wishes of the majority of Arabs, well we all know that their wishes are whatever any self appointed Imam tells them. At that time (British Mandate Period) there were two fairly predominant rival tribes, Tosser's uncle belonging to one (probably the better robbers, thieves and camel rustlers) and naturally enough the other tribe (who actually sounded quite a decent bunch) opposed this apparent favouritism. Now Tosser's uncle being a man who knew which way was up and how to get there, did indeed start eliminating his opposition and managed to dissuade them from fostering any 'political' ambitions. Whatever you do please don't represent the situation as being one where "the man in the street" had any voice at all they did exactly as they were told by their religious and tribal leaders, as they had done for centuries.

Tosser's uncle devoted large chunks of time in robbing various charitable and religious scams he had dreamt up, in between times he organised and fomented mayhem. The British did eventually cotton onto him and chased is corrupt, camel-fly blown butt the hell out of the area.

All of the above reflects on current events to illustrate that:

- Within Islam any clown with an eye (at least one eye and a hook) to the main chance can set themselves up as an Imam (teacher) and preach whatever brand of complete and utter tripe that suits his agenda.

- Those who follow this religion seem to leave their brains outside along with their shoes when they enter the Mosque, because only someone who has completely lost their reason would believe the crap that these great teachers come out with when it suits their purpose.

- Even when they are blatantly telling lies and have been caught out doing so they persist knowing that the fools who follow them will not dare question

- Based on lies, supported by lies and driven by corruption of the worst sort they deserve nothing but comtempt. Their lies and corruption down through the years have caused nothing but misery and suffering, spread mostly amongst those people they are supposed to be leading.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 11:31 AM

Carol:

With all due respect for the undeniable quality of your mind, I think in this case you might have misinterpreted what LEJ was saying.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 11:44 AM

After having deliberately spread lies about Jews attacking Arabs he conned the British Governor of Palestine into believing that he and he alone could restore order amongst the Arab population.

Entirely the fault of the British, Teribus, since the Arabs knew better. There was an election, you know, and the other candidate got the majority of the votes. But the British overruled that vote and installed Haj Amin, against the wishes of the majority of Arabs.

And to top it all off, Haj Amin was in jail, and the British let him out just so he could terrorise (and kill) the moderate Arabs (along with the Euoropean Jews). I guess that's what you call, "restor(ing) order amongst the Arab population".

How stupid can a government possibly be? Unless it wasn't stupidity, but sheer evil that motivated them. As I said before, the British have a LOT to answer for.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:22 PM

Oh, yeah... forgot this part...

What was Haj Amin al Husseini in jail for?

He was in jail for instigating riots against the European Jews!

This is the man the British were convinced would bring order amongst the Arab populaton? Either you are lying, or they were lying, about the reason for appointing Haj Amin. And your belief that anyone would be stupid enough to fall for those lies says a lot about your own level of intelligence (or rather, your lack of it).


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:48 PM

I'm a little bit disappointed, Carol, to find you treating us British in the way that is so resented when applied to your own people.

Please remember that the people whose actions you rightly despise were a British government, not the "British".

I refuse to feel any responsibility for what was done by the political leaders of my country when I was four years old, or at any time before I was old enough to vote.

I am always careful to indicate the difference between my feelings about Bush/Cheney et al, and my genuine liking for the American people.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 02:53 PM

I'm a little bit disappointed, Carol, to find you treating us British in the way that is so resented when applied to your own people.

The only thing that bothers me when people criticize people in my country, is when they assume none of us has a sense of irony.

However, please consider all of my criticisms of "Britain" in this thread to be directed at the government of Britain and not the people (except for Teribus, if, in fact he really is British, which I sometimes doubt).


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 04:44 PM

Lonesome EJ, do you really put female circumcision and being excluded from any control of possessions in the same category as wearing a burka?

Well, actually, no, Carol. At least not the female circumcision part. That was a case of stepping over the line a bit too quickly, and I apologize if you were (understandably) offended by it. While I hold to the gist of my argument, I agree that that statement was unnecessarily provocative.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dax
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 06:51 PM

A sense of humour is sadly lacking here. I suppose that we , in so called Christian countries, would be burned at the stake for what we consider humour today. It is indeed to bad that those who profess insult can not learn to laugh at themselves. Religion and all of it's polarized beliefs does not serve us well. If only we could extract it's many good points and shitcan the rest.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 07:51 PM

Some things just aren't funny, dax. Like for instance, bigotry and prejudice.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 08:08 PM

As I said CarolC, Tosser Arafat's Uncle "CONNED" the British GOVERNOR, it had absolutely sweet FA to do with the British Government of the day or the British people. So when you tritely come out with "The British have a great deal to answer for" I think that you had better take a harder look at the given situation and the conditions that prevailed at that time.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 08:11 PM

"Conned"? I rather doubt it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 08:12 PM

What part of "in jail for inciting riots against Jews" do you think that governor didn't understand, Teribus?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 08:47 PM

...and he wasn't a governor. He was a High Commissioner, appointed by the British government, and answerable to the British government, not the Palestinian people (otherwise he would not have had the authority to overturn a popular vote). So the only people with culpability for the deeds done by Haj Amin, are the members of the British government who were responsible for Mandate Palestine. The majority of Palestinians bear no culpability whatever for his actions, and should not be held responsible for them. They are as much, if not more, his victims than anyone else (since they are still being made to pay for his crimes).


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dax
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 09:03 AM

This thread is full of red herring. History is not of prime concern because religious history of all faiths is a dispicable mess. What we need in this world today is some enlightenment in order to relate to each other as equal parts of humanity, and from there find ways to live in harmony.
If religious faith is based on truth it can survive the challenge of open and frank discussion. If it is based only on doctrine and dogma then it is best cast aside . Before this determination and judgement can be made we must be able to debate its merits in open forums.
In order to do this dogmatic concepts of heresy and insult must give way. Only then can we depart from the dark ages.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 11:14 AM

Always look on the bright side of life


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 03:04 PM

Carol:
I don't understand your post. A wig is a wig. Not a hijab. I was making my point on your interpretation of the words of the women who wear cloaking garments 'by choice'. There are slaves who don't know what to do with freedom. There are slaves who know nothing about freedom. As Wolfgang implies, it's not just a Muslim thing. The people of the erstwhile Soviet Union have been having a hell of a time adjusting to the free market economy. People mustered out of the Army often find civilian life much tougher to bear than the military, it's a motive to re-enlist.
Your immediate devolvement to looking for a Jewish analogue makes me wonder if you are going to contribute to the holocaust cartoon competition being suggested by the Iranian leaders as a response to the Danish cartoonists. Seems you have a one track mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,donuel
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 03:16 PM

So now you know how I feel about US TV eveangelists.

thye are the Immams of America.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 03:43 PM

Good post dax (9.03am). And Donuel - spot on!


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 04:39 PM

The hijab, the burka and the wigs (as well as the coverings women wear in some strict Christian sects) are all the same thing. They all come from the same "biblical" traditons. They arise from the Judeo/Christian/Islamic injunction for women to be kept covered up, or to "dress modestly". It's all the same religion, really, with some differences in the cultural trappings. The reasons for covering women up are the same in all religions in which women are covered up.

And I don't agree with the idea of making women cover themselves up. However, I also don't agree with the idea of not allowing women to cover themselves up if they want to, or to ridicule them if that is what they choose to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 04:42 PM

...or even to ridicule them if they do it, but not by choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 09:47 PM

You're right about 'necessity of a woman covering herself'.

Where did the nuns get their habits?

Why did we have to wear a hat and gloves to church until recently.

Ever see how widow in some countries dress?

What about India? The older women always cover their heads.

Its all a matter of degree.

As far as Jewish women wearing wigs - I want to know more. Why do they do that?

I'm against anyone imposing dress codes on anyone else especially if those that make the rules for women's dress happen to be men. Other than that, its a woman's choice.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Feb 06 - 10:01 PM

Some Orthodox Jewish women wear wigs whenever they are in public settings, and some wear head scarves instead of wigs. They also, like some women in some of the stricter Christian sects, wear three-quarter length sleeves, longish skirts, and have the neckline of their dresses right at the base of their neck or higher. I don't think it's necessarily a sign of repression for these women to dress in this way. I guess someone will correct me if I'm wrong about this, but my understanding is that it is a form of modesty to dress in this way. Just like with the hijab and the burka.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong if a woman wants to dress in this way out of deeply held religious beliefs.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 02:37 AM

Personally, I don't see anything wrong if a woman wants to dress in this way out of deeply held religious beliefs.

Well nor do I - if they are her beliefs and her choice. But I am not a woman so could not possibly understand such things.

What concerns me far more is when things are concealed under whatever garments a woman is wearing.

When along with her husband this is strapped-on high explosive and the intention is to blow-up themselves and anyone else present because of and in the name of their organised religion - I do worry.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 09:12 AM

I would guess that any concealed weapons would not be concealed around the head or neck, so I think a hijab or a burka would not be any more conducive to concealment than, for instance, a loose fitting dress or winter coat. So that's a non-issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 07:42 AM

What I said was:

"whatever garments a woman is wearing"

It remains an issue unlessit is proposed that women (and men) of this or any other organised religion are to go around completely naked.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 11:45 AM

Living "modestly" is important to the Amish and women's attire is a big part of their commitment to that code. (One could say that it is male-imposed, because the Amish are profoundly patriarchal in their dicta. In their 'councils' though, the women do have a voice.)

The Amish devolved from Roman Catholics (whom they now fear and despise) and their garments reflect that influence. It's interesting to me that they modeled their women's clothing on traditional nuns' attire.

It varies a great deal from church to church but this includes longish dresses, compressed breasts, doubled material in the chest area, long sleeves, thickish dark stockings, the symbolic head covering that in turn is encased in an outer 'bonnet' that casts the face into shadow. The whole intent is to avoid flamboyance in any sense.

When my family moved from Oregon and joined the Amish church in Virginia, my mother continued making her daughters' dresses considerably shorter than the preferred standard in the 'new' church. Years later my mother wrote an apology to the Virginia church acknowledging that she should have adhered to the standards of the church that she joined.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 14 Feb 06 - 03:22 PM

I was at Turkish singers' concert a year ago, and he talked about how the west and the crusades are a large part of the mindset - that is western oppression of the muslim world.
He was from Istanbul and I think the irony of the fact Constantinople wasnt originally Muslim was totally lost on him.

No doubt that Radical Islamists are fanning the flames of this issue,
because the overwhelming majority of newspapers in the west chose not to publish the cartoons. And it is perfectly ok, in that part of the world to publish anti Jewish and anti-Christian articles and cartoons.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 02:09 AM

If trying to talk politics and religion in this thread was not bad enough - the introduction of women's fashion is set to make any sensible discussion totally impossible.............

For I am not too sure if I understand the first two but I know for sure that I am really lost and up to my neck in deep and murky water on the third.

Does my bum look big in this?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 02:21 AM

Hey, Roger, don't be dense. What I was describing was not about "fashion" at all, but a swift look at conservative views imposing standards on that basis on their women. Not too different in theme or purpose from the bhurka.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 02:28 AM

No, Roger, your bum looks just fine in that. Really. I would not kid you about something this vital.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 09:34 AM

200!


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 10:29 AM

What concerns me far more is when things are concealed under whatever garments a woman is wearing.



Roger,

Yes, they do, those women, conceal things under their garments. Things of great power, mystery, allure, potentially devastating things if badly handled. But, withal, things of incredible beauty, comfort, joy and vibrant life. If I ever get to your side of the Pond I will sit down and explain them to you, although you'd do better not to wait, and immediately go forth on a Grayte Adventure of Exploiration and discover for yourself the range and dimension of these hidden lands.

The Temple of the Golden Curves will be glad to offer some small stipend to help fund your explorations, in exchange for a detailed report or journal.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 10:30 AM

What a wonderful thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 10:37 AM

If I were to call Muhamed a fake and a charlatan, I'm sure that would insult all followers of Islam. But surely that's how all Christians must feel! Likewise, followers of Islam don't recognise Jesus as God, which, in turn, is a direct insult to Christians. Now, it seems like is an understanding that if these thoughts are kept to ourselves then nobody takes offence.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 11:55 AM

it's great being a guest on mudcat because I can insult everyone and get away with it


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 12:01 PM

Not so much, GUEST.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:10 PM

bullshit lady

if its good enough for the racists its good enough for me


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wesley S
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:15 PM

Gee guest ... If that's the level you want to sink to - go right ahead.

"Guest - A person who receives hospitality at another persons home, club, city or the like." Random House College Dictionary.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:16 PM

You got it

the site lets racists post with impunity

if its good enough for them its good enough for me


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:19 PM

Guest, you dive into the crap...


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:19 PM

...swim in it, revel in it,


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:19 PM

...and then complain about it. Nobody made you spend so much time and effort on things you hate. Find something you love and forget the rest.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:20 PM

Same to you


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wesley S
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:21 PM

Well - If it up to me - and it isn't - I'd block all of offensive posters - the racists, Martin Gibson and a few others and make it a members only website. Then I'd start looking at your posts.

But it's not up to me.

So if you want to pass out the same swill as the racists - then it's your decision.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:21 PM

lets be nice to racists right


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:22 PM

right


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:25 PM

and we ignore them and show them our indifference

let them know we agree

right


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:28 PM

try asking the people of color here how they feel about racist shit using the name nigger about them

but that isnt you so it doesnt matter does it


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:30 PM

and ask the reasonable people here how much their reasoning did with the nazis

go ahead

and enjoy your moral superiority and your peaceful language


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 01:30 PM

Wesley S

"I'd block all of offensive posters "


as you state, "But it's not up to me. "... and a good thing.

Are you so closedminded that viewpoints that you find offensive are to be ignored? Sounds like sticking your head into the sand, rather than trying to deal with the world.


As for guest, if we don't let racists post, why should we let you?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 02:27 PM

exactly my point

guests should not be allowed to post

racist, nazi or otherwise


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 02:36 PM

Bruce - I'm always willing to listen to someones viewpoint - even if it doesn't agree with my own. But people are not expressing viewpoints when they call women cunts or use racial slurs. If they want to stay on the topic that's great. But the trolls who use words like nigger are not trying to make valid viewpoints anymore. Do you agree ? Those are words that people trot out when they've run out of ideas and just want to piss someone off.

As I said. This is not my website. But I find enough of value to keep coming back.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 03:33 PM

'So if you want to pass out the same swill as the racists - then it's your decision.'

i watched the 'reasonable' people here reason with the nazis

the nazis kept coming around

i chose not to reason with the nazis just give back the swill

the nazis went away

i will never be reasonable with racists

that is what they want

fuck them

swill is what they get to leave

i get to leave them in more swill

i don't care who likes it

i know they dont

and thats good enough for me

and while were on that where were the moral majority when the nazis and racists were posting their stuff

i remember about five people showing up

thats it

you want to stop the shit then outlaw guest postings


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 03:38 PM

"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively
calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought—not free thought for those who agree but freedom for the thought that we hate."



--- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

US v. Schwimmer, 279 US 644, 655 (1928)


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 03:40 PM

good to see that we agree on that and both think what we want


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 03:42 PM

" Do you agree ? Those are words that people trot out when they've run out of ideas and just want to piss someone off. "

So, those people who use terms which I find to be offensive, such as neo-con or Bushite, should be prevented from posting here?


I think not.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:05 PM

I'm curious. Why do you find neo-con and Bushite offensive ? I have used the term neo-con before but not Bushite.

I don't care for the words cunt and nigger because they reduce people to just objects. They are intended to demean and degrade. But mostly I think people use them in order to feel better about themselves. They have an inferiority complex or else using the words would not occur to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:07 PM

Oh - and it's not up to me who should or should not post here. That's up to Max, Joe and the clones. No one would come to the Mudcat if I were in charge. I'm too much of a stick in the mud.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:13 PM

And neo-con and Bushite do not???


Bush + shite = Bushite How do YOU feel about a label that is applied to you telling you you are shit?




I have been told that

a. One is a Bushite if one agrees with any one thing that Bush has ever done.

b. ALL Bushites ( see a) are presumed, even when they state otherwise, to agree with everything that Bush does, and are thus guilty of all sorts of crimes against humanity.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:17 PM

" Do you agree ? Those are words that people trot out when they've run out of ideas and just want to piss someone off. "

I didnt say that. get your facts straight for a change


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:18 PM

besides, i dont think its worth while speaking with you bb


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:21 PM

Why do you find neo-con and Bushite offensive ?

Even a non-native speaker can see that. The idea is to use an association to a bad word. That saves the effort to argue and to think.

Con-men is the one association and shite is the other. The usual way in the latter example would be to use the word Bushists.

It works of course in both directions: DemocRATs is but one example.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:21 PM

Guest,

I was quoting Guest Wesley S. 15 Feb 06 - 02:36 PM


I agree- You do not think.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:45 PM

That puts a new spin on the word Bushite for me { and remember it's a word I havn't used }. Maybe I don't get out much but I've always thought the term Bushite was a combination of "Bush" and "ite" not Bush and shit. As in a follower of Bush.

I haven't used the word and I don't plan to in the future.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:49 PM

Thank you.


There are a number of words I do not use in polite conversation, and others that I do not use at all. BUT, my point is that, to protect my own free speech, I am forced to protect the speech of those people who DO use those words, regardless of my opinion of them or their viewpoint.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: akenaton
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 04:58 PM

Wolfgang I never use the word Bushite, as i find it rather clumsy.

I have never even thought of the connotation BB and yorself put on the word and I'm sure that most of the other anti- war people here think the same way.

Both of you have just got the wrong end of the stick on this one.

Ake...(hoping to stay civilly disagreeable)..


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 05:00 PM

"I have never even thought of the connotation BB and yorself put on the word and I'm sure that most of the other anti- war people here think the same way."

Well, I was introduced to it as Bu-shite. Seems obvious to me...


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 05:03 PM

BS: Advice for anti-war anti-bushites here 112* d 07 Jan 06 - 08:42 AM Trace
BS: Advice for Pro-War Bushites 41 31 Dec 05 - 12:21 PM Trace
BS: Advice for anti-pro-war Bushite Peacnics 18 30 Dec 05 - 10:26 AM Trace
BS: Question for Bushites.... 37 22 Jan 05 - 09:51 AM Trace
BS: The Bushites Fleece the Nation's Capital 51* d 13 Jan 05 - 06:56 PM Trace
BS: Evangelical and Bushite not synonymous 27 28 Oct 04 - 09:14 PM Trace
BS: BuShites: 'Noah's Canyon' 7 22 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM Trace


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 05:04 PM

Bruce - I agree. If free speech is to exist we will have to put up with both sides. That's why I'm suprised when I hear people say "Free speech is for me - but not for you people".
The same free speech that allows one of our best known trolls to have his fun here allows the Neo-Nazi types to spread their crap too. It's not ideas that offend me - it's just a few of the words that some people resort to to express their ideas. Thanks for sharing your ideas with me.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 05:05 PM

Neo-nazis are cocksuckers. So are racists.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 05:10 PM

Peace,

I agree with you- BUT will still have to support the right to free speech for those whose ideas I hate.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 06:01 PM

People who hate are cocksuckers, especially when they choose to share their hatred and promote it. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of communicating with people and then discovering or suspecting they come here to hurt people. I'm sick of the way they blame their actions on others. Not much I can do about any of it though, so I just ignore the haters like the Nazis and our anon vigilante, and hold onto the comforting thought that they have to live with themselves. Then I think that maybe they don't notice. The world is full of people who don't notice things and it's not my problem, not my concern. My concern is finding happiness, finding inspiration, and doing what I enjoy. The rest, I'll mostly ignore or laugh at.

I'm fond of the first amendment too. It reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
It is my belief that Max deciding he doesn't want to provide a playground for those who wish to promote hatred, no matter what side they're on or how right they think they are, doesn't involve Congress making a law. I don't think he's part of the government. It doesn't stop anyone from voicing (or typing) an opinion. This just isn't the right place for it.

I'm just about ready to take up an 'all or nothing' philosophy. Membership only, confirmed by e-mail, with the ability to boot people who can't behave, or no clean-up of threads at all. Just let folks post whatever. The BS section will either blow up, or folks will figure out merely contibuting is what makes subjects or thread topics so popular, and maybe NOT play the hate game quite so much. Then again, they'd blame what they do on somebody else. In the meantime, I hope y'all take part in what inspires you and ignore the rest.

I'm not promising I won't be back here, but I rather doubt there will be anything else I want to contribute to this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: robomatic
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 06:35 PM

CarolC:
Regarding your responses and observations re: wigs, hijabs, scarves, traditions of women covering themselves. Good answers. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: akenaton
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 07:29 PM

Surely the connotation is Bush-ite, as in someone who agrees with, or promotes the ideas of G.W.Bush.
*An endangered species almost extinct on Mudcat and under threat in North America.
Close relative the Blairite, likely to be completely wiped out in the UK within the next few months.
Both species contributed to their own demise by sticking to the old premise that "Bullshit baffles brain every time"*....Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 07:56 PM

Well, I'm obviously not immune to getting pissed off. I'm disgusted by what people do, not the people. Folks who lash out at the whole of Mudcat because they're mad at somebody else are likely just sensitive and frustrated and not necessarily bad people. The only people who are going to be hurt are those who are also sensitive and frustrated, and once in a while, that's me.

We reap what we sow, though. We get what we deserve. If we encourage contant argument, abuse or just disrespect, we get more of the same. If we feed trolls, we get more trolls. I guess I get upset about what's been lost. I try to imagine where current people and their tactics will take us, and it's not a better place.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 08:17 PM

I am a Mudcat member.

I always post with the same member name.

There are other members here who are my friends and others who are not.
I believe that is because some like what I say while others get pissed off. Some of them vehemently.

I love free speech. What does free mean? Free except for certain things or free for everything? Freedom of speech does not mean you can just yell fire in a theater. However free speech should not ever limit an opinion because of someone's comfort level.

It has and continues to be my sincere belief, that the so called trolls here are really the membership themselves who just do not have the balls to post some things under their regular Mudcat name.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 09:25 PM

Yesterday an asshole GUEST said, "Iraqis are positive proof that niggers fuck monkeys." I then proceeded to inform him that

1) the best part of him ran down his mother's throat
2) he was a fucking coward
3) he fucked pigs
4) he was a pig

How nice would y'all have been to that piece of shit?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 09:26 PM

And pardon me for not taking the time to reason with the poor misguided soul. May he die screaming.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 09:51 PM

Peace, I feel the same way. Why hold back? Tell them how you really feel. I've done it. If they are uncomfortable with the language, too fucking bad.

Face it, if you want to tell someone to get fucked do we have to really be worried about being impolite, rude, or downright offensive about it?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 10:36 PM

It's like this: ban fuckers like that after their first such remark and I will become the epitome of niceness.

PS Thank you, Martin.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: OldPossum
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 05:25 AM

Peace, what you should have done was ignore that message. Don't feed the trolls.. You have been told that before, haven't you? If you feed the trolls you are just playing their game. "Wrestling with a pig just makes you both dirty, and the pigs enjoys it". If you (and several others) just stop feeding the trolls, this place would be a lot nicer. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Divis Sweeney
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 06:42 AM

Strong debate is healthy. I have been involved in many a thread debate here and never taken offence.Looking at the pm's I receive from those involved neither have they. Most voices here are from the sidelines. Simple answer, if you don't involve yourself in the debate and reading the posts annoy you, then pass onto something that is of interest to you and leave us to it. I only take on board the viewpoints of those who take part.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: motco
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 07:01 AM

Strong debate is healthy.

I agree entirely Divis. But there is a clear line between that and the foulmouthed personal insults that we see here from time to time and which can only emanate from individuals who are severely inadequate.

motco (Man on the Clapham Omnibus)


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Divis Sweeney
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 12:52 PM

Good point motco. Great part of the world Clapham, love the common here.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: number 6
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 12:58 PM

I don't know who the hell the Clapham guy is ... but I certainly agree with you Divis and motco that a strong debate is healthy, opposing views are exchanged, and sometimes you can see the point of the opponent ... and that is what it is all about ... arrogance, and foul mouth insult and attacks are not worth the replies.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:25 PM

"If you (and several others) just stop feeding the trolls, this place would be a lot nicer. Thank you."

I take it you are not a person of colour, huh?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:26 PM

"Peace, what you should have done was ignore that message."

The fact that you are able to ignore the message is disturbing.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:29 PM

And one more thing: it's so inters=esting that you and a few others say, "Stop feeding the trolls." Don't you think it would be lots better if there were no trolls in the first place?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:32 PM

"Don't feed the trolls.. You have been told that before, haven't you?"

Yep. Not advice I choose to take. Maybe you should get off your complacent arse and help deal with the cocksuckers. How's that?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: number 6
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:36 PM

I really wish they would disallow Guests from posting ... that would certainly drop the ugly, attacks from happening.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: number 6
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:39 PM

I also agree and with MG and Peace ... you have to make a stand against those that do ... no, it isn't feeding the trolls.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:41 PM

BTW, OldPossum, just ignore the following--which is mild compared to the shit from Nazis and Racists: "Yep. Not advice I choose to take. Maybe you should get off your complacent arse and help deal with the cocksuckers. How's that?"


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:49 PM

"I also agree and with MG and Peace ... you have to make a stand against those that do "

I'm sorry six - but I don't see any difference between the swill posted by the neo-nazis and the garbage that Martin posts on a regular basis. None. They are both cut from the same cloth. If you think there is a difference between the two I'd love to hear your reasoning. I doubt that I will agree with you but I'm willing to listen.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:51 PM

No-one has to agree, or leave uncommented, any speech- but NO-ONE should be able to ban it, either.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:56 PM

Not suggesting ban, Bruce. Just that people be obligued to post using monikers. If they have to post under their 'moniker', they will be much less likely to say shit like that posted by the GUEST I quoted above. Then the cocksucker would find himself in the deep freeze real quick. Tend to straighten out the behaviour in a hurry, because mostlt assholes like that are cowards and they have difficulty when they can't shoot from ambush or anonymity.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 03:57 PM

BUT, since the GUEST thinks of him/herself as a non entity, why not ban the GUEST. Not like it's a member or anything. Right?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 04:10 PM

Peace,

I can live with that, about guests. But I still object to those who attempt to ban members who have something to say that some ( or even most) find offensive.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 04:20 PM

Bruce,

I agree. I think you are correct about the banning aspect. However, maybe there is a middle ground where, when people post that type of remark they are

1) outed
2) given the option of instead being banned

Put the ball in the GUEST'S court. And the onus.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 04:22 PM

PS Bruce

I have missed you on the threads for a few months--rotten old conservative/liberal that you are. I hope you have been well.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 07:22 AM

To return to the subject of women's fashion.

It is a good job that liberated women have thrown away their bras. These could be quickly whipped off to form a very effective sling which would be capable of lobbing a failry large missile a long way.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Once Famous
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 07:59 AM

What if you don't want to have a debate about something? What if you just want to get your point across in the strongest, most influential way?

Doing this with language that has impact if far from inadequate. If someone was offended by it, well at least they are paying attention.

Damn if that hasn't worked for me. Debate here hardly has any influence.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 08:44 AM

Martin,

"Debate here hardly has any influence."

I can agree with that- it seems like most of the people here do not even bother to read what is posted, just who posted it, to determine if they agree or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: robomatic
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 10:52 AM

There's an analogy to be made here in how people think and how people think people should think.

Posit that trolls exist.

You can either ignore 'em or 'troll back' at 'em.

If you ignore 'em have they gotten away with something? Some folk would argue they have by the simple fact that something disagreeable lies in the forum unopposed. Other folk would argue that a negative reaction is better, because something disagreeable lies in the forum unappeased (by a response).

Some folk dislike the fact that trolls exist at all. In a 'perfect' world they wouldn't.

Sort of reminds me a bit of the abortion debate. In a perfect world, there would be no abortions necessary because there would be no unwanted pregnancies.

Since there are unwanted pregnancies, the response devolves to those who want to ban abortions (societal response) and those who want to allow them (individual accountability).

The old dichotomy is the persistance of belief in attaining the ideal (no trolls, no unwanted pregnancies) without the necessity of overwhelming societal control (dictatorshiops).


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 10:59 AM

The situation is more easily controlled by disallowing guests to post--either real guests or member guests. Few members--knowing they would have to live with what they said (the kind of thing I quoted above re people of colour and simians) would dare post that. The shunning that would reslult would make them leave the forum. That is not banning and it is not censorship. It IS accountability.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: OldPossum
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 12:08 PM

Peace wrote (quoting me):
"Peace, what you should have done was ignore that message."

The fact that you are able to ignore the message is disturbing.


That statement is both arrogant and clueless. I am of course expressing my disapproval of the message exactly by not responding to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: OldPossum
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 12:11 PM

Peace, I addressed myself to you because in your message of 15 Feb 06 - 09:25 PM you said: " ... How nice would y'all have been to that piece of shit? ". My criticism of you was really in response to that message. But anyway this is not about you really (you are certainly not the only one to feed the trolls), and anyway this discussion doesn't belong in this thread. I think I will start a separate thread about trolling.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 12:20 PM

I found your castigation of me arrogant. Go address yourself to the racist cocksucker first.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 12:25 PM

BTW, why didn't you simply ignore that post? It was certainly one helluva lot less offensive than the post by GUEST.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: OldPossum
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 12:43 PM

Well, Peace, I was simply trying to persuade you to stop being clueless. How you take it is really up to you. Anyway: Those who wish to continue to discuss trolling are invited to continue in this thread. I won't mention it in this thread again. Everyone are encouraged to continue discussing the original topic from now on.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 12:57 PM

Well, OldPossum, I was simply trying to persuade you to stop being blind. How you take it is really up to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Mar 06 - 03:42 PM

A recent speech which fits right to the theme of this thread:

The right to offend (Ayaan Hirsi Ali, European of the Year, 2005, speaking in Berlin, 9th of February, 2006)

I do not seek to offend religious sentiment, but I will not submit to tyranny

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Mar 06 - 04:45 PM

Thanks Wolfgang, very good article.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 04:06 PM

Free speech is only free speech if it is applied consistently.

If it is not applied consistently, it is selective censorship.

Jyllands-Posten (along with quite a few other media outlets as well as governments) is guilty of selective censorship (as well as massive hypocrisy)...


http://www.catholicnewtimes.org/index.php?module=articles&func=display&ptid=1&aid=729

"Four media outlets, in addition to a student newspaper, have entered the fray, publishing or promising to show the controversial cartoons. The extreme right wing magazine, the Western Standard, and the Jewish Free Press ostensibly showed support for press freedoms. As well, TVO and the Quebec daily Le Devoir used the cartoons in the context of explaining the controversy. There have been at least half-a-dozen protests throughout Canada. More than 4,000 people attended a peaceful rally at Toronto's Queen's Park on Feb. 19. The Canadian Islamic Congress and the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada also filed complaints against the Western Standard and the Jewish Free Press, under the Criminal Code and human rights legislation. Many of the nations where these cartoons have been published have laws against anti-Semitism - and rightly so. In fact, Italian prosecutors recently announced charges against eleven individuals who displayed Nazi symbols during a football game. Meanwhile, media in Italy have reproduced the cartoons with impunity.

Denmark, too, has limits. Its laws prohibit blasphemy and expressions that threaten, deride or degrade others on various grounds. The offending newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, even refused to publish caricatures of Jesus in 2003 because they would 'offend'. Of course, these limits and laws are viewed through political, social and philosophical lens. As a result, a public prosecutor came to the conclusion that the Danish cartoons did not violate any laws.

Freedom of expression is alive and well in Canada, but cannot be used as a carte blanche. We have restrictions. We have libel laws and censorship of various forms in keeping with 'community standards'. Moreover, criminal and human rights legislation also restrict free speech in the interest of protecting minorities and maintaining harmony. Canada's Criminal Code proscribes statements that incite or promote hate. Convictions have been few and far between because of the specific intent required, but it has withstood constitutional challenges. Under Canadian law, it is an offence to incite 'hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace'. To be convicted, an accused must have communicated statements in a public place and ought to have known that the incitement was likely to have brought about a breach of the peace.

Though it can be argued that the cartoons, in and of themselves, may not be caught under law, there are strong grounds to lay a charge against those who republish them now. The news value has now diminished. Secondly, at least two of the cartoons, especially the one showing the prophet with the bomb and the one calling for an end to suicide bombings because of a shortage of virgins, suggest that Muslims are necessarily and inherently evil (this is a reasonable interpretation), because a Muslim by definition tries to emulate the prophet. The issue for most is not whether the prophet should be pictured. It is his portrayal, essentially, as a poster boy for al-Qaeda and by extension, Muslims in general, as violent and therefore worthy of hate.

Thirdly, given the fact that Muslims, both observant and non-observant, have made it very clear that these are offensive and violate their dignity as a community (granted this is an alien notion in our individualistic society), republishing them is therefore intentionally provocative and can promote hatred.

As well, it can be reasonably argued that the intent behind their publication in the current climate will serve no real free speech purpose and may in fact expose Muslims to hate. Lastly, I believe that the full context of its initial publication can shed some light on the intent behind its continued publication. They were published against a backdrop of ever increasing levels of Islamophobia and racism, where even the Queen of the land had called for the demonization of Muslims. The following quote from the South African newspaper the Mail & Guardian is illustrative: 'Further, they were published in Denmark, which has been named by the European Union Commission on Human Rights as the most racist country in Europe. It has witnessed a large number of attacks against Muslims, some resulting in the killings of Muslim immigrants. And, they were published by a newspaper with historical ties to German and Italian fascism and which called for a fascist dictatorship in Denmark. Jyllands-Posten is also anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim. Within such a context, these cartoons are clearly hate speech. Their publication is an ontological attack against the foundations of Islam'. Indeed, some commentators have argued that given the foregoing, the aim of the cartoons was nothing short of inciting hatred against 'the terrorist within.'"


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Peace
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 04:16 PM

"Free speech is only free speech if it is applied consistently.

If it is not applied consistently, it is selective censorship."

Ain't THAT the truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 04:18 PM

Mr. Faisal Kutty has written an interesting piece of pure propaganda. Thank you, Carol, for bringing it to our attention.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 06:07 PM

Everything you disagree with is propaganda, Wolfgang. We already know that... you don't have to tell us. It's your standard argument. Too bad you're so fond of posting propaganda yourself, though. If you weren't, you might be in a position to point fingers. As it is, you're just showing us your hypocrisy.

But unless you've actually studied Mr. Kutty's claims and proved them to be false, you're just spouting vitriol and not making an actual argument. If you've proved them to be false, I look forward to seeing you cite your sources.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: bfdk
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 06:15 PM

"Further, they were published in Denmark, which has been named by the European Union Commission on Human Rights as the most racist country in Europe. It has witnessed a large number of attacks against Muslims, some resulting in the killings of Muslim immigrants."

Eh? I hadn't heard about those attacks or killings.. And I *live* in Denmark!

The only killings of Muslim immigrants that I can bring to mind off the cuff were a couple of killings of "rebellious daughters", one who was "too westernized" for her parents' liking and another who had gone and married an Afghan man against her parents' wishes. Both of those girls were killed by members of their families..

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 11:59 PM

bfdk, this is a sincere question...

Do you ever see anything presented in your media there in Denmark that isn't in some way critical of Muslims? Is anything positive ever presented about them in your media at all?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 03:35 AM

Don't you recognise propaganda when you see it, Carol? The portrait you are painting of yourself by seriously asking the last question is not very complimentary.

The concept of taqiya (English transliteration may vary) not only allows but sometimes even compels Muslims to lie for the sake of their faith.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 05:13 AM

Carol it is a characteristic of newspapers everywhere that good news doesn't sell papers. I suggest to you that it would be hard to find positive articles about most things in a newspaper.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 06:01 AM

Denmark... has been named by the European Union Commission on Human Rights as the most racist country in Europe (quoted by Kutty, quoted by Carol)

It is difficult to prove a negative but after a long search I'm fairly sure that this is just an invention which is quoted, is quoted, is quoted...

I never use the term 'propaganda' for writings because I do not agree with them. It is a particular style and one-sidedness and dubious claims that make me think of that term. I use it just as well if I agree with most of an article. Don't you, Carol?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 10:53 AM

Here is what the UN Human Rights Council had to say on the subject through its Higher Commissioner, Louis Arbour and special reporter Doudou Diene...

http://agora.blogsome.com/2006/03/22/translation-of-doudou-dienes-report/

"24. Finally, the initial reaction of the Danish Government[1], refusing to take an official position on the contents and the publication of the caricatures while referring to respect for the freedom of expression, and the non-reception of the ambassadors of Moslem countries, is revealing not only of the political vulgarizing of islamophobia but also, by its consequences, of the central role of political leaders in the national arena and the international repercussions of the demonstrations and expressions of islamophobia. On the legal level, the government of each State which is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is bound, with regard to the relation between Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Thought and Expression, by three articles: article 18, which protects Freedom of Religion, but whose paragraph 3 poses limitations with regards to, inter alia, the protection of the law and order and safety as well as the rights and fundamental freedoms of others; article 19, which protects the freedom of expression and opinion, but whose paragraph 3 interjects, inter alia restrictions, the �respect for the rights or the reputation of others�; and, finally, article 20, which states the principle of prohibition by law of any call to hatred on the grounds of nationality, race or religion which constitutes an incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. The fundamental principle which these articles express is the founding principle of all legal systems: any freedom or right finds its limit in the respect and the right of the other. Therefore, on the legal level, in particular with regard to its international commitments, the Danish Government was under an obligation to give its opinion, always respecting Freedom of Expression, not only on the impact the caricatures had on the liberties and rights of its community of 200,000 Moslems, but also on the impact on protection of law and order.

25. On the political level and with regards to the ethics of international relations, the Danish Government has not shown in this question, in the alarming context of the recrudescence of the defamation of religions, in particular of islamophobia as well as anti-semitism and christianophobie, the engagement and vigilance which it usually shows with regards to counter-acting religious intolerance, counter-acting religious hatred and promoting religious harmony. These values are precisely those which give direction, legitimacy and opportunity to the recent launching by the Secretary General of the initiative for an �Alliance of civilizations�.

A. Political and ideological context of the publication of caricatures

26. The special Rapporteur cannot avoid the question of the political and ideological national context in which the publication of the caricatures occured as well as the position of the Danish Government. This context is, first of all, marked by an agreement signed on December 8, 2005 between the Government and the Danish People�s Party, an extreme-right party, to tighten the conditions for access to citizenship in a country considered as having an immigration policy among the most restrictive of Europe, a country where 13% of the seats of the Parliament are occupied by the Danish People�s Party, of which one of the spokesmen, S�ren Krarup, described �Moslem immigration as a means to overrun Europe, the same as they�ve been doing the last 1.400 years.� According to the French newspaper L�Monde of December 11, 2005, an imam filed a complaint against a deputy of the Danish People�s Party who, in Parliament, compared Moslem women wearing scarves to the motorcyclists who raise a swastika. The Special Rapporteur has indicated to the Commission and the General Assembly, in all his reports, one of the principal causes of the vulgarizing of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia: the increasing infestation of the political programs of the traditionally democratic parties with the racist and xenophobic platforms of the parties of the extreme right."


Don't you recognise propaganda when you see it, Carol?

I could very easily say the same about you, Wolfgang. And my last question is a very legitimate one. The fact that you don't know the reason for my question shows that you have bought all of the propaganda aimed at you about the situation in Denmark hook line and sinker. And it doesn't paint a very flattering picture of you.

The fact that people don't know what really happened during the months in between the publishing of those cartoons in Jyllands-Posten and the violent protests that occurred several months later is a testament to just how biased and propagandistic the Western media has been throughout this whole tragedy.

Here's the timeline...

After the cartoons were published, many Muslims sent letters to the editor of Jyllands-Posten to protest the publishing of what really amount to quite racists and defamatory cartoons. Jyllands-Posten refused to publish the letters. Muslims countries asked the government of Denmark to meet with their ambassadors to talk about the issue. The government of Denmark refused to meet with any of the ambassadors. Muslims around the world peacefully protested both the cartoons as well as the fact that their concerns were being totally ignored by both the government and the media of Denmark. The peacefull protests were never reported. This is not "freedom of speech". This is blatant discrimination.

Muslims around the world boycotted Danish goods. Then, and only then, did the government of Denmark sit up and pay attention to the concerns of Muslims. It did not need to get to the point where Muslims in other countries would respond violently. Had the government of Denmark paid even the slightest attention to the quite valid feelings of the Muslims in Denmark who felt they were being discriminated against, the issue would never have left Denmark.

Denmark has a right to discriminate against people they consider "foriegners" (even though some of them were born and raised in Denmark), but Muslims around the world also have a right to not buy Danish goods if they don't like the way Denmark treats Muslims.

Denmark is beginning to understand that its economic wellbeing is dependent upon the money it receives for it's goods from Muslims in many countries and maybe that understanding will help the government of that country to act more responsibly in the future.


Here's more on the subject of descrimination against Muslims in Denmark...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,1701273,00.html


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 11:05 AM

As far as I am aware Denmark's biggest export is bacon!
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 11:50 AM

And Carlsberg


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: bfdk
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 08:13 PM

Well, Carol, I'd consider this a positive story. A strong voice of reason coming from a Muslim living in Denmark. Here's another piece about the same guy, Naser Khader. This bloke's been a favourite of mine for years, as he's always well balanced in his views. He's also been brave enough to speak out against the lying imams, the result being that he's had to live with police protection for a long time. Not because the Danes threathen him, but because the radicals amongst the Muslims in this country do..

Why, just yesterday this story broke on the news here, and it's caused quite a lot of stir, I can assure you. As if that weren't enough, there was more to come. Both pieces are from a homepage you also quoted, so I take it you might consider this source credible and reliable? It's likely that those pages will be updated continuously during the next few days.

You may also find this blog interesting, if you want to know more about the lying imams. Have you seen this? Don't you find it passing strange, that quite a number of the Muslims who dare speak out against the Muslim radicals have to live in fear of their lives?

Btw here's a bit of taqiyya for you.

And here's a timeline a bit more comprehensive than the one you listed.

"Denmark is beginning to understand that its economic wellbeing is dependent upon the money it receives for it's goods from Muslims in many countries and maybe that understanding will help the government of that country to act more responsibly in the future."

Don't know if this is something you've deducted from what you've read about the matter, or whether you're quoting someone else, but I have to say I think you'll be proven wrong.. A few companies with their eyes firmly fixed on the bottom line have taken it upon themselves to apologize for all of us hoping to bring back some of the missing revenue. They're not very popular amongst the majority of Danes. Arla Foods have now not-so-affectionately been dubbed "Allah Foods" for their belly-up performance in the Arab media.

A recent survey amongst the Muslims living in Denmark showed, that 11% of them thought the goings-on in the Middle East were quite okay, embassy burnings and all. For my part, I'd gladly lend a hand in putting stamps on the backs of those 11% in order to send them to countries more suited to their desired way of life. I'd also gladly lend a foot (all 5 toes) to assisting them out of this country, obviously so despised by them. That done, life here would be much better for the - predominantly - silent majority of 89% left behind with the rest of us. If that makes me a racist, then so be it, and I shall proudly wear the badge.

Just checking the sandbags again, in case I should need them..

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: melodeonboy
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 08:39 PM

Yes, Giok and Teribus; the main Danish exports that I'm aware of are bacon (which Muslims won't buy anyway), porn (which they're not able to buy), booze (which they're not SUPPOSED to buy!) and cheese (and let's face it, nobody in the world should be subjected to Danish cheese!).

I remember an attempt several years ago, in the Arab/Muslim country where I was living, to boycott American goods. It then occurred to the poor dears - especially the young ones - that without MacDonald's, Burger King, Jeeps, rap music, baseball caps etc. their lives would suddenly become rather empty! The idea sank without trace!

I can't see sanctions having much effect (except to get rid of that nasty cheese!).


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,me
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 09:40 PM

Carol - Keep it up; you're doing great - clearly creating some distress among an otherwise quite self-satisfied bunch of people.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 01:58 AM

sure, you have a right to insult and cause offence but remember, if you do, you might end up with a knuckle sandwich. Go for it. Its your choice and you live with the consequences.

In other words, if you say my mother wears army boots, I might take this as an offensive remark and defend the dignity of my mother by decking you.

Say something offensive and be prepared for the defense - whatever that might be. You are responsible for your words and deeds. Simple as that.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 03:21 AM

Whatever happened to "Sticks and stones (and knuckle sandwiches) can break my bones, but words can never hurt me"?

No matter what the language that caused offense, responding with violence escalates the conflict to another level.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 05:52 AM

Insult and Offence !! Right !! Bloody Three Hundred !!!


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,me
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 10:43 AM

Allow me to elaborate on Guest 1:58's analogy.

I live in poverty, am illiterate because I had no opportunity for education, and, yes, my mother wears army boots, because it's the only footwear we could afford for her, and she spends a number of hours each day working on hard-baked and stony earth. You are rich, well-educated, and your mother wears only high-fashion Italian sandals, suitable for the lounging, shopping and massages of which her life consists. You laugh and sneer at my mother for wearing army boots. I pick up a hunk of clay and heave it at you. You run to a safe distance, then explain to me that according to your beliefs, it is your God-given right to insult my mother, and that, moreover, if my ancestors had been as intelligent and morally-enlightened as were yours, then my mother would today be wearing Italian sandals too and we wouldn't have a problem. And that until I accept that you have the right to insult my mother, I'm just going to have to live in poverty and oppression ...

I pick up a rock this time.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 03:31 AM

LOL!

Ain't that the truth Guest,me. The direct route to World War Three.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: melodeonboy
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 08:44 AM

Do tell me, "Guest, me", where is this land where people are no longer sneered and laughed at on grounds of race, religion, income, breeding etc.? It's certainly nowhere to be found in the Muslim heartlands of the Middle East!

As for the issue of oppression, is this really relevant to the subject?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,Knowing too much is to weep
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 08:59 AM

Muslims are cherry picking their sense of insult.

Images of people are forbidden in a mosque etc etc.

However some of the Christian churches that were taken over by muslims hunreds of years ago and converted to Mosques still have some the Christian images of man in the upper gallery and dome.

.........

the Extreme Church of Fundamentalist Fundamentalism and Artificial Intelligent Design should also allow no depiction of any living thinking people.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Brass Monkey
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 01:41 PM

That's because Jesus is also one of their prophets, and they've dedicated a whole chapter of the Koran to Mary, but they don't want to behead us if we take the piss out of those two, do they?
Apparently Mohammed and all his family were killed by followers of Islam anyway. I bet that wasn't because he was a bad stand up comedian.

Blasphemy! Burn those blasphemers!

As it happens the year according to the Islamic calender is now 1427, which proves that they know how backward most of them are. Either that or they have got a sense of humour after all!
I think the blame rests on all those Germans who thought the Gulf region was a wonderful holiday destination. (???!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 02:21 PM

michaelr says, "No matter what the language that caused offense, responding with violence escalates the conflict to another level."

Thats a very Western thought. Most of us know this and ignore insults but you are making the same mistake as George Bush. You cannot apply Western ideology to Muslim nations.

Not everyone responds to a situation in the same way. There are plenty of Muslims and Christians and Jews who do not turn the other cheek.

In other words, you can be responsible for your own words and actions but you cannot control the response of others. You must always be aware of the reaction that your words and deeds create.

If the Western world were as enlightened as they think they are, the cartoons would never have been published. Instead, they just added fuel to the fire.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 02:56 PM

Is it "Western ideology" to think that violence is not a reasonable response to a perceived insult?

I agree that "You must always be aware of the reaction that your words and deeds create"   --   but we mustn't take self-censorship to the point where we're afraid to express ourselves for fear of reprisal.

Freedom of speech (and satire, which is an integral part of it) may not be part of the Middle Eastern cultural tradition. That does not mean we should abolish it.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 03:20 PM

No, we should not abolish free speech but with every right there is also a responsibility.

To aggravate an uneasy relationship with the Muslim world during a time of war is irresponsible and inappropriate.

If the western world wants the Muslim world to adopt our ideology, then we must show them respect. Insults and name calling will not solve the problem. As we have seen, it only escalates the cultural clash.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 06:01 PM

If the western world wants the Muslim world to adopt our ideology...

I don't think that's what we want -- or should want. Vive la difference, I say. It should be possible to accept and embrace our differences. And it has been done quite a bit: there was a lot of open exchange of ideas before the religious fundamentalists on both sides began hogging the bullhorn.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 07:04 PM

I'm reading your links, bfdk. I haven't finished them all yet.

On the subject of whether I consider the Agora website credible or not... I really don't know anything about it. I was directed to that page from another page because it had a translation of the report by Doudou Diene from French into English. I didn't use the excerpts from the page that directed me to the Agora website because that page didn't have as much of the report, and it had a lot more editorial commentary, and I wanted to avoid that.

After I read more from Agora, I'll decide whether or not I agree with their stance. However, let's discard the subject of the Agora website for the purpose of the point I was trying to make when I posted a link to it. Let's, instead, consider the UN website a better representative for the UN. Here are a couple of pages from their website on the subject of the emergence and rise to power in Denmark of extremist xenophobic political parties in the current context...

http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/0/5F30A01100D70D67C125712A006FBE18?opendocument

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=17718&Cr=racis&Cr1

"Referring to the recent controversial depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspaper cartoons and the violent reactions, he said the cartoons illustrated the increasing emergence of the racist and xenophobic currents in everyday life. But the political context in Denmark was what had given birth to the cartoons.

It was one in which an extremist political party enjoyed 13 per cent of the vote and had formed part of the governing coalition. The development of Islamophobia or any racism and racial discrimination always took place in the context of the emergence of strong racist, extremist political parties and a corresponding absence of reaction against such racism by the country's political leaders, Mr. Di�ne said.

There were other factors, including increased immigration flows, and the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, but the political factor was an essential condition, he said.

He called for international mechanisms, including the UN General Assembly, to treat cases such as the Danish cartoons not as a clash of civilizations but as a debate on the balancing of two rights, freedom of expression and freedom of religion. The law, he stressed, could not provide a satisfactory answer. It would have to be accompanied by a lot of thinking on the need for inter-religious, inter-ethnic and intercultural dialogue."


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 08:22 PM

"...a lot of thinking on the need for inter-religious, inter-ethnic and intercultural dialogue."

My point exactly. It happened in the 20th century, through the 70s and 80s. It needs to be restored, and the bloody bible- and koran-pounders need to be marginalized from the discourse.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,guest, me
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 12:33 AM

Melodeonboy - You've lost me with your irony: "Do tell me, "Guest, me", where is this land where people are no longer sneered and laughed at on grounds of race, religion, income, breeding etc.? It's certainly nowhere to be found in the Muslim heartlands of the Middle East!"

As I say, I'm not sure I understand ... but where I grew up, I learned early that those who sneered and laughed at others on the grounds of race, religion, income, breeding, etc., usually got the knuckle sandwich referred to in an earlier post - yes, it's shocking, but their right to free speech was not respected - unless they were with the biggest, meanest gang, or were hiding behind some authority figure.

"As for the issue of oppression, is this really relevant to the subject?"

Yes. How can you expect people who have never known democracy to understand and respect the concept of "freedom of speech" (or expression), especially in a situation in which it seems to be a rationalization for a gratuitous insult?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 12:40 AM

Does the Danish press also publish cartoons about Jews and Africans?

Does the Danish press publish cartoons about homosexuals?

Why are Muslims considered fair game?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 06:29 AM

If it is wrong for us to disapprove of the practices of any religious community, is it not equally wrong of them to interfere with the freedom of our press.
Cannot freedom of religion, and freedom of expression co-exist? It would appear that intolerence is the only thing that both sides have in common.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Brass Monkey
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 09:24 AM

Actually, these Danish cartoons were brought to the attention of the Muslim world by Danish Immams.
In the Christian religion, we have 'thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain'. The fact that we do quite often, is scandalous to a muslim. However, take the recent case in Afganistan; the possible death sentence for a muslim man converting to Islam; this highlights another dichotomy.

If a religious faith permits acts, which are abhorrent or unacceptable to people from another religion, should this really affect the laws we live under in a country? Why should religions be allowed to object to practices of individuals in other countries and religions in the first place? Is this not making divisions wider between cultures?

Individually, we do not have to accept and feel sympathetic to the practices of other cultures if it is alien to our own.
We need to remove religion and subjective opinion away from politics and law, not bring them closer together.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 12:17 PM


The real conflict is not between the West and Islam, or even Christianity and Islam. It's been secularism and fundamentalism, irrational blind faith and a rational, logical approach, between innovation and tradition, between past and future, between those who value freedom and those who do not. (Taslima Nasrin)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 12:39 PM

Fundamentals (John Coulter)

The real insults to Islam are radical Muslims who scream their lungs out calling for the beheading of those who made the cartoons and publish them....
This is not a war against Islam – it is a fight against the lunatic excesses of fundamentalism in any faith.


I do not agree with every bit in that article, but I like its general approach. In my opinion it could steer back the discussion from a discussion about one religion to a more general discussion.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Teribus
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 01:19 PM

I concur with what our GUEST says, provided that he means that it should apply evenly across the board.

My reason for saying that is that would appear to be one facet of this affair that our GUEST seems to have forgotten. That was that the much repected and revered Imam Laban tried like hell to rabble rouse with this story in Denmark for about two and a half months and got nowhere with it. He then took the cartoons that had been published and added more that had NEVER been published then went to peddle his lies and distortions round the Muslim World that Guest keeps referring to.

OK GUEST what should be done about Laban?

Should he be responsible for his words and deeds as you suggest in your post of 25 Mar 06 - 01:58 AM?

You put it very well in your post of 26 Mar 06 - 02:21 PM, because Laban was perfectly aware of the reaction that his words and deeds would create. And exactly according to his plan those cartoons, the ones he added, the ones that never had been published, they ensured that fuel was added to the fire.

Is our GUEST going to advocate that Laban be held responsible for deaths his lies and distortions have caused? After all he did say in his post of 26 Mar 06 - 03:20 PM, that, " To aggravate an uneasy relationship with the Muslim world during a time of war is irresponsible and inappropriate." And Laban is certainly guilty of that.

I do not think for one minute that the western world wants the Muslim world to adopt our ideology. And as far as showing respect goes, that is very much a two way street.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 01:22 PM

I've read the timeline you posted, bfdk, and it's not at all comprehensive. In fact, it's a perfect example of what I have been talking about with regard to the bias that the Western press has blatantly exhibited in its reportage of this situation.

The timeline you posted only addresses violence committed by extremist Muslims in response to the cartoons and a couple of other incidents. It doesn't mention anything whatever about the efforts of more moderate Muslims to get the issue of the practice of discrimination against Muslims by the Western media and Western governments addressed.

It doesn't say anything at all about anger on the part of non-extremist Muslims when they couldn't get their letters to the editor published. Or the many peaceful protests by non-extremist Muslims that preceded the violent protests. It doesn't say anything at all about the issues that are causing the non-extremist Muslims (the ones you say you don't have anything against) to feel that they are being ignored and discriminated against by your government and the governments of other Western countries. And also their anger over the fact that forces from your country, along with other Western countries are, as we speak, in Iraq killing Muslims.

The Western press (including the press in your own country) are trying to separate all of these factors from the issue of anger over the depiction of the Prophet in the cartoons, because it serves a particular set of agendas to separate these issues. But many moderate Muslims are saying that it's not the depictions of the Prophet that are at the core of the controversy. They are saying that for them, it is about blatant racism and descrimination against Muslims generally by Western governments and by Western media. The fact that you don't seem to know about these larger issues and the feelings of non-extremist Muslims about them, and the peaceful efforts of moderate Muslims to get their grievances addressed through non-violent means, shows that the media in your country is not reporting these things.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 02:52 PM

Do you really think your timeline is more comprehensive, Carol? And BTW your timeline isn't one though you use this word. It doesn't give the times and it mixes fact with interpretation which no good timeline does.

Wolfgnag


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 03:27 PM

Nobody has the right to expect a country to change it's rules and/or laws just because they have come to live in that country.
I have heard many people who've come to live in the UK complain about aspects of the way of life that they disapprove of.
If you don't like the rules or habits in a country why live there?
It is a bit like a woman marrying a man for what she thinks she can make of him, and not for what he is.
Or Shambles moaning about the way this site is run, but still posting here with monotonous regularity.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 05:56 PM

No, mine's not comprehensive. Nor did it need to be, because I was talking about what the Western media ommitted from its coverage, rather than everything that happened from start to finish. And I never made any claims that mine was comprehensive. This is how I described what I was including in my "timeline"...

The fact that people don't know what really happened during the months in between the publishing of those cartoons in Jyllands-Posten and the violent protests that occurred several months later is a testament to just how biased and propagandistic the Western media has been throughout this whole tragedy.

Take note of the words "in between" and "the publishing of those cartoons in Jyllands-Posten and the violent protests that occurred several months later". They are important.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 06:02 PM

John 'Giok' MacKenzie, would you say the same if the "rules" were that, in the country in question, all women must wear a head covering whenever they go out in public?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 03:23 AM

in comparing the worldwide muslim reaction to the cartoons - and the case of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan..
where is the outrage against condemning a man to death for converting to Christianity.
certainly most of the Afghan population seems to agree that he die.
and if there is any reaction from the muslim world I havent heard it.
if they want democracy they have a long way to go.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:38 AM

If that is the rule in the country Carol, then yes. I am a firm believer in the old saying, 'When in Rome, do as the Roman's do'
If you don't want to wear the garment then don't go to the country, it's oh so simple.
I also disapprove of the US and the UK going into other countries and trying to change their way of life just as much as I disapprove of other people going there and trying to do the same.
Things like trying to impose democracy on a society to whom it is anathema. What's so good about democracy? It doesn't seem to work very well in the US, or the UK.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: bfdk
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:32 AM

Carol, if you read what I wrote, you should realize that 1. I didn't claim that the timeline was comprehensive, merely that it was a bit more comprehensive than the one you listed (which, indeed, it is) and 2. I did not "post" the timeline, I linked to it. When tackled on the lack of comprehensiveness in your own timeline, you then go on to claim that it doesn't need to be comprehensive, because you're talking about a specific point, rather than the matter as a whole. So, you claim for yourself the right to be selective, while at the same time berating me for linking to a timeline that doesn't list every little whinge uttered by a Muslim along the way? You're accusing me of bias, while at the same time reserving for yourself the right to be exactly that; biased. To write a fully comprehensive timeline, you could probably write from now and till kingdom come, and there'd still be points left out.

"The timeline you posted only addresses violence committed by extremist Muslims..". Well, had there been any violence committed against extremist Muslims, I reckon it would have been in the timeline, too, but there hasn't been any, has there? The violence has been pretty one-sided, hasn't it? I've seen posters shouting "Behead those who insult the Prophet", but I haven't seen any with "Behead those who burn Danish flags and embassies" ..

"It doesn't say anything at all about anger on the part of non-extremist Muslims when they couldn't get their letters to the editor published." I've seen a fair number of letters to the editor written by people with "Arabic sounding" names. Some were very much against the cartoons, others were against the violence in response to the cartoons. One paper here stated, that at the height of the controversy they received 200+ letters a day, so obviously some had to be left out.

You talk about the time "in between" being important. Well, the proper way of doing it would have been to take the matter to the courts, have the police investigate whether or not a breach of law had been committed. For that to happen, all that was needed was for someone to go to the police and file a complaint. That done, the police would have had to investigate. But this didn't happen. Instead the lying imams started on their tour of the Middle East with their cargo of drawings from various sources - including a photo of an entirely innocent French pig squealer. When asked later, why they didn't file a complaint first, they merely replied that they "didn't know that was possible". And that's passing strange, because it has been done before - by radical Muslims dissatisfied with something or other in the papers..

No, Carol, I just don't buy that argument. Someone wanted to stir up trouble, and that's exactly what happened.

"The fact that you don't seem to know about these larger issues and the feelings of non-extremist Muslims about them, and the peaceful efforts of moderate Muslims to get their grievances addressed through non-violent means, shows that the media in your country is not reporting these things." So, I'm just a country bumpkin who willingly believes anything the media tells me? Who only reads Danish news? Either that, or we're back to the difference between the rights that you reserve for yourself as opposed to those you grant to others. You reserve the right to select the things you find important and comment only on those, but if I do the same, I've been poorly informed by the media? I'm too stupid to get the "full" picture?

Mr. Laban was interviewed by the police for 5 hours yesterday about the things he'd been saying on candid camera (his possible knowledge of someone willing to commit a suicide bombing). Afterwards he spoke to the Danish press - in English, because after 22 years in this country Mr. Laban still hasn't made the effort to try to learn the language of the "natives". He said, that he wanted respect from the Danes, and that the Danes don't understand him. Well, in my book respect is something you earn, not something you can claim as of right, and as for understanding, then maybe it would help, if he made the effort to communicate in the language of the country he lives in?

Respect goes both ways.

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 01:49 PM

Well that's the problem, isn't it, bfdk? I have found at least one person who claims that there was violence against Muslims in Denmark. But if the media is as one sided as it appears to be, how can we know if they would even bother to report such incidents if they did happen?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:00 PM

Even if there is violence against Moslems or any other minority in Denmark or anywhere else, unless it is by agents of that state you cannot claim that the country as a whole is prejudiced. The actions of the few do not denote the guilt of the many.
I have heard tales, can't verify them, that certain incidents have had 'D Notices' put on them by the government to prevent their publication, in order to avoid inter racial strife that might occur if the news were published.
While I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this story it does occur to me that it would sometimes be better if newspapers etc were prevented from printing some of the inflamatory crap they do.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:20 PM

You can call the society in which it happens "prejudiced" if they selectively censor the reportage about such events.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:23 PM

Do you agree with all the actions of the US government Carol, things they profess to do in the name of you and all your countrymen/women?
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:29 PM

...and you can't possibly be suggesting that the government are concerned about inter racial strife. If they were, they wouldn't have been so reluctant to put a 'D Notice' on those cartoons, would they? So it has to be prejudice against immigrants. In other words, only showing the immigrants in a bad light and only showing their own people in a positive light.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:30 PM

Absolutely not John 'Giok' MacKenzie. We're every bit as bad as they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:37 PM

That's OK then, so although you're not to blame for the actions of your government, the people of Denmark are at fault because of the actions or inactions of their government?
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Brass Monkey
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:40 PM

CarolC, I really advise that you come over to the Gulf states and see what the censorship here is like.
I live in what is regarded as a moderate muslim country. The population here is mainly made of cheap labour, it operates a multi-tiered salary scale according to nationality. The situation of Nepali and Indian workers and some Phillipinos/Thais that are employed as housemaids is never reported. Murders and rapes happen here that are not reported, this is to promote the idea that this is the safest country in the world. The difference between rich and poor is astounding. We think that slave labour has been abolished, think again. This is a third world country with a third world veneer.

These countries are most definitely 'prejudiced'.
I don't buy the Gulf papers anymore, the stories aren't real. In fact they are quite often 'comical'.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 03:04 PM

I'm not blaming bfdk for his/her government's actions, John 'Giok' MacKenzie. I'm trying to highlight a problem that he/she (and quite a few other people) appear to not be aware of.

Brass Monkey, the censorship is just as bad or worse in my country (USA). There is still a majority percentage of people here who believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the attacks on this country on September 11, 2001. This is not by accident. It is by deliberate design of the government and media of this country. And it looks like the situation in Denmark isn't much (if at all) better.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: robinia
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 07:02 AM

What about the right not to be bullied into compliance with someone else's "rules" -- bullied by threats of murder? So some fanatical Christians describe doctors who work in abortion clinics as "murderers" and actively promote lethal violence against them. I think only one doctor has thus far been killed, but that murder (along with posted "death lists") has had an understandably chilling effect on the availability of abortion throughout much of America. So after the two very public murders (BEFORE the Danish cartoons) of Dutch artists who dared to break the rules of the Koran, European artists are, to say the least, intimidated. And not just artists -- the list of people who are said to be "in hiding" because they have offended radical Islam includes, I am told, moderate Muslim leaders themselves. And of course governments are intimidated, not to mentions editors. After all, who wants to be a target for murder (or simply for mob violence)?

I don't have an answer -- what's happening is truly scary -- but I remember how a small (Southern?) town a few years stood up to the violent bullying tactics of a hate group that started trashing Jewish homes. The town residents all decided to display the menorah in solidarity with the targeted Jewish residents, i.e. to broaden the target to include everyone. No, it's not a perfect analogy -- I'm not keen on throwing more fuel on the fire -- but I am distressed to see murder and threats of murder achieving their goal. . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: robinia
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 09:15 AM

Just curious -- was my comment deleted as too "off thread"? I was trying to refocus the discussion. . .


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:59 AM

on the day the Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered (shot 8times, and an attempt was made to decapitate him) by an Islamist in Denmark, an Artist painted a mural of angel on the outside of his studio with the words "though shall not kill." Some passing Moslem men were offended by this, claiming it to be racist and anti-muslim. Police were called and the image was ordered removed.. even the journalist recording the event, was arrested cameras seized and tape destroyed..
(later the Mayor of Rotterdam apologized)


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:54 PM

The Muslim riots were fomented by Muslim leaders after a Muslim living in Denmark failed to get the retractions/ apologies he sought from the Danish papers, then personally and through every means of support he could find, worked up to international Muslim leaders, and in so doing he not only used as evidence the cartoons that were actually published, which by Western standards are in no ways extreme, but included some blatent rabid anti-Muslim cartoons that were beyond nasty. In so doing he blended actual publications with others which were nothing but an emotional appeal to incitement. When he was being interviewed he made no defense of this tactic.

The Muslim newspapers throughout the Middle East do not stint from much nastier stuff than has ever appeared in the major periodicals of the rest of the world. And The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has made it into a television series.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: bfdk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 04:05 AM

Carol, I notice that "..a large number of attacks against Muslims, some resulting in the killings of Muslim immigrants" has by now been downgraded to "I have found at least one person who claims that there was violence against Muslims in Denmark"..

Okay, so could you please supply some details as to which Muslim(s) has/have been attacked when and where? If we're talking about one specific incident, it wouldn't be so hard to come up with some facts, so the rest of us can check it out for ourselves? Was your informant Danish? Muslim? a Muslim Dane?

The D Notice mentioned by Giok is a British concept. We don't have anything like that here. So, there's no way the Danish government could have imposed any prior ban on the cartoons as you seem to think when writing "If they were, they wouldn't have been so reluctant to put a 'D Notice' on those cartoons, would they?".

The Danish government *cannot* impose any kind of D Notice or ban on anything a paper might decide to print. The papers are answerable to the courts, if they print something that's against the law of the land - derogatory, defamatory or what have you. Whoever's offended by what they write may take the matter to court. But the press *never* has to ask ahead whether or not it can print this or that article or - in this case - cartoon. Equally, the Danish government is not in any way resonsible for anything the Danish press prints.

I realize that this can be hard to understand for people living in countries where you don't get one peep out of the press without government say-so, but I rather did think a person living in the USA might understand the concept of "free press".

Bente


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:29 PM

bfdk, I'm not the one who used the words "large numbers of attacks". Those words come from the South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian. This is the quote I found in the editorial I excerpted...

"'Further, they were published in Denmark, which has been named by the European Union Commission on Human Rights as the most racist country in Europe. It has witnessed a large number of attacks against Muslims, some resulting in the killings of Muslim immigrants."

I don't know anything at all about the Mail & Guardian, but I'll see what I can find out. And I'll try to find out specifics of what they were referring to when they made that statement.

And on the subject of a "free press"... there is no such thing in the US. All of our media are beholden to government, corporate, and special interests. Nothing is published in any major news outlets without their say-so. It looks like that is the case in your country as well. Prior to my posting, did you know that a couple of years ago, Jyllands-Posten decided against publishing a cartoon that showing a disrespectful depiction of Jesus, with the reason given that they felt it would cause offense?

If your answer is that you didn't know, how can we expect anything from the press in your country to be unbiased and representative of what actually happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:45 PM

Here's the editorial as it appeares in the Mail & Guardian:

http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=263804&area=/insight/insight__comment_and_analysis/


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:58 PM

What about the right not to be bullied into compliance with someone else's "rules" -- bullied by threats of murder? (Robinia)

That's the point, exactly. Threats of death or injury come from a totalitarian mindset. People who think what they believe has to be shared by anyone else.

I like you example what they did in the town. I personally wish the whole EU would have acted and published the cartoons simultaneously when the first death threats came and embassies were burned just to show that this is not the way of protesting that we accept.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 01:16 PM

A Moslem convert to Christianity, a leader in the South African Palestinian Solidarity movement, and a Moslem Activist.
That's who the 3 authors of that article are, not likely to be written from a neutral point of view!
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 03:40 PM

John 'Giok' MacKenzie, nobody writes from a neutral point of view. The only people who believe they are doing so are the ones who are so ignorant of other possible points of view, they consider theirs to be the only possible valid one.

The fact that you consider anyone who is now or has ever been a Muslim to be automatically suspect or inherently dishonest shows how biased and lacking in neutrality your own perspective is.

I found this while searching the Mail & Guardian website. This is the kind of thing that represents the culmination of the kind of agenda Western governments have toward Muslims around the world. The way the government in question (the US government in this case) is behaving toward human beings is no better than anything that is being done or has been done to human beings by any Muslim regimes, or even terrorists. In fact some of the tactics are very reminiscent of tactics used by the Nazis in their prison camps. This is the kind of thing we are being inured to by Western governments. It is the reason they are trying to portray Muslims throughout the world as less than human, as the cartoons in Jyllands-Posten did. If we don't see Muslims as human, we won't mind so much when our governments (and our servicemen and women) treat them as less than human.

http://www.mg.co.za/articledirect.aspx?articleid=39347&area=%2finsight%2finsight__international%2f


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 04:04 PM

"The fact that you consider anyone who is now or has ever been a Muslim to be automatically suspect or inherently dishonest shows how biased and lacking in neutrality your own perspective is."

That is an outright lie, and I think you should retract it. Your rabid defence of your viewpoint with utter disregard of the facts has gone too far.
I prefer to dispute or discuss a point of view with someone who has a balanced viewpoint, and not someone who will not be wrong in spite of evidence to the contrary.
You are troubled CarolC, I think you should consider seeking medical help.
John 'Giok' MacKenzie


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 04:57 PM

A Moslem convert to Christianity, a leader in the South African Palestinian Solidarity movement, and a Moslem Activist.
That's who the 3 authors of that article are, not likely to be written from a neutral point of view!


These are your words, John 'Giok' MacKenzie. Please advise me of any possible interpretations of these words besides the one I articulated in my 30 Mar 06 - 03:40 PM post. If you are unable to come up with any, I will attribute your accusations against me in your 30 Mar 06 - 04:04 PM post to the lateness of the hour where you live.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: melodeonboy
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:07 PM

If people in Britain and other European countries are wary of or even hostile to Muslims, and it's probably true to say that many are, shouldn't CarolC be asking why?

Speaking as a Briton, I believe it's true to say that the majority of Britons (certainly the majority of the English) are not greatly concerned about religion. It's therefore not been of great concern to most of us what religion someone belongs to.

This laissez-faire attitude is changing, and what is interesting is that it is changing only in regard to Muslims. Why are we not reacting in the same way to the large numbers of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and adherents of other religions that live in Britain?

Might it not be that we do not see members of these other communities setting up their own parliament; that we see these communities integrating into British society and not trying to create a state within a state; or that we do not see members of these communities openly declaring war on British society; that we have not experienced terror attacks from these other communities; and, possibly most importantly, that it is the Muslims, not these other communities, who are the one religious/political faction that is trying to change the way that British people live and to interfere with our rights and freedoms. Is it therefore any surprise that many British people are concerned about Muslims and the political (oh yes, there's more to this than just religion) effect that they are having on British society?

The Muslim world is full of anti-Islamic conspiracy theories. It ill behoves Westerners to become apologists for such nonsense; they should know better! CarolC take note!


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 09:43 PM

The same arguments can be applied to the feelings many Muslims around the world have toward the West, melodeonboy. If they have anger at Western governments and countries, doesn't it make sense to ask why?

Can it be the colonialism that Western governments have been forcing on them for many decades? And the wars and occupations Western governments have been waging against them (mostly for oil) for many decades? And the lies and trickery Western governments have used in order to manipulate the people of many Muslims countries to do their bidding? And the killing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims throughout the world by Western governments over the decades, all for the purpose of gaining supremacy in the region, and for access to oil?

You might not like their presence in your country, melodeonboy, but have you ever even bothered to wonder how they feel about the presence of your government and your country's military in their countries? Of course not. That would be treating them like human beings, wouldn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 02:00 AM

I merely stated a fact, one of the basic tenets of research is to provide provenance for your points of argument. I merely stated the antecedents of those who provided your backup information, and pointed out what would be obvious to any sane person.
Until you can argue sensibly and properly on a subject I shall not waste any more words on you, you are obviously incapable of logical or reasoned argument.
I would also point out that if you may be chronologically challenged.
G.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 09:04 AM

My goodness, Mr. MacKenzie. You have no problem accusing others of bias, but when your own bias is pointed out, you have no better response than to make vicious attacks rather than reasoned arguments. You surprise me. Hardly the gentleman I met at the Getaway. Maybe your powers of reasoning go dormant when you get your dander up. Either way, I will take you at your word when you say you will withdraw from the debate. Good bye.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Alba
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 09:13 AM

Giok is a gentle man with a personal opinion.
I am looking forward to meeting him at the Getaway this year:).

Jude


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 10:28 AM

He's a very nice man in person, Alba. I'm sure you will enjoy meeting him.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,me
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 01:58 PM

Here's to CarolC.

I just stumbled onto Mudcat recently, but I've observed that most "discussions" here in which people have opposing strongly-held views start to degenerate into schoolyard name-calling by the fourth or fifth post - relatively speaking, this thread has gone on an extraordinarily long time before sinking into such childishness, and I think much of the credit goes to Carol. Facing relentless opposing arguments, some intellectual bullying, and some ridicule, she has maintained her decorum while continuing to try to open minds to the possibility of another point of view on the issues in question. Some of you are so intent on watching for her to slip up in the course of making an argument that you're missing her general point: she's not calling for the beheading of cartoonists and more suicide bombing; as I understand it, she's suggesting that the "Muslim world" may have some valid - or at least, understandable - beefs with the West, and that "our" way is not necessarily the only valid way of looking at things. I don't know why that's bothering people so much ...

As for a certain "gentleman" - casting aspersions on the mental health of someone because they don't agree with you in the context of a rational discussion hardly seems "the behaviour of a gentleman". And "chronologically challenged"? What's that supposed to mean anyway? That Carol is old and therefore senile, or young and therefore ignorant, or that her life expectancy is limited due to her expression of unpopular views? Whatever the case, it's distasteful.

By the way, FWIW, I'm speaking as someone who recently had a close family member injured in an attack by a gang of what could be described as "Muslim youths", an attack in which there were clearly racial overtones; I'm not living in some la-la land.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: melodeonboy
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 07:49 PM

'"our" way is not necessarily the only valid way of looking at things'

Yes, Guest me, I agree with your comment above (I hope I haven't quoted it out of context). My concern is that many in the Muslim world believe that "their" way (reinforced and controlled by imams and theocracies) is the only way of looking at things.

Let us remember that the original cause of offence, the cartoons, were published in Denmark. I don't pretend to be an expert on Denmark, but as I understand it, their society, like Britain, permits lampooning of the "great and good". Far from being oppressive, a situation where a pauper may laugh at a prince, or a peasant at a prime minister, is something that I, along with most Westerners, I suspect, find liberating. Most Muslims come from countries or societies which do not allow this kind of behaviour, where one is expected to kowtow to those with greater economic, social or religious power. In this context, of course they find these cartoons shocking. But they were published in Denmark, not in the Muslim world. If Muslims don't want to see them, they don't have to go to Denmark. As I understand it, it is Muslims who made these cartoons widely available in Mulsim countries; I'm not aware that the Danes had any intention of exporting them.

Are we to exist in a situation where we are allowed to laugh at ourselves but not at certain other groups in case they threaten to kill us? Who's oppressing who here?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,me
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 10:14 PM

We're back to the beginning again. I think every possible argument one way or the other has been made on this thread, and I don't think anyone's point of view has changed at all. Come to think of it, that's an interesting question: Has anyone's opinion changed the least little bit as a result of this prolonged and lively discussion? Or, has it had the effect of hardening the position you already held?

Okay, I will make a BRIEF response to melodeonboy's rhetorical questions - I don't see it as a matter of us being "allowed to laugh at ourselves but not at certain other groups in case they threaten to kill us"; I see it as a matter of sensitivity.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 10:25 PM

Thank you for your kind words, Guest,me.

I think my point is that many of the people who were rioting and committing other kinds of violence in response to those cartoons, as well as many of the people who were demonstrating peacefully (and whose peaceful protests were never covered in the Western media) are saying that their anger is not because of the Prophet being depicted, but because they feel that they are being descriminated against. This feeling seems to me to be a valid one, since the same magazine (Jyllands-Posten) decided to not publish a cartoon with a disrespectful depiction of Jesus because it might cause offense.

The point I am trying to make is that although the Western media wants everyone to believe that the anger is only because of the fact that some of the cartoons depicted the Prophet, and not because of any other considerations, that is just not the case. Some may be angry about the fact that the Prophet was depicted, but many are angry because they feel discriminated against, marginalized, dehumanized, and ignored. Many are angry about what they feel is a double standard... one standard for Muslims, and another standard for everyone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 03:48 PM

whose peaceful protests were never covered in the Western media (Carol)

How many of all Western media have you read to come to such a general conclusion, Carol?

Or is it just your idiosyncratic way of trying to say that you have not read about peaceful protest being covered?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 06:33 PM

I'm going by what people are saying they "know" about the situation, here in this thread and elsewhere, Wolfgang. Have you read, heard, or seen any mention of peaceful demonstrations in the Western media?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: freda underhill
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 08:46 PM

Meanwhile, in the Antipodes, the cartoon debate hotted up when Australia granted refugee status to some West Papuan asylum seekers. West Papua is colonised by Indonesia, the asylum seekers were indigenous activists escaping persecution.

The Indonesian government was deeply offended by the suggestion that it could persecute anyone - and placed strong pressure on the Australian govt not to grant asylum to the West Papuans. Their reaction when news of the granting of refugee status came out was pretty tetchy, and one of their local papers published this cartoon, which depicts our Prime Minister as a dingo, buggerising our Foreign Minister. In that image, a shaking Howard is mounted on Downer with the prime minister saying: "I want Papua!! Alex! Try to make it happen."

A few days later, one of our newspapers published a cartoon of the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as a tail-wagging dog mounting a startled-looking Papua dog and saying "don't take this the wrong way". The caption under the cartoon reads "no offence intended".

The Australian cartoon can be found here, by going to Bleak's daily cartoon and clicking.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: freda underhill
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 09:02 PM

This article about Dr Wafa Sultan, focuses on the extremes discussed in this thread. When Dr Sultan was a medical student at the University of Aleppo, in northern Syria, gunmen of the Muslim Brotherhood burst into a classroom at the university and killed her professor as she watched. aid.

Al Jazeera invited her to debate an Algerian cleric on the air last July. In the debate, she questioned the religious teachings that prompt young people to commit suicide in the name of God. "Why does a young Muslim man, in the prime of life, with a full life ahead, go and blow himself up?" she asked. "In our countries, religion is the sole source of education and is the only spring from which that terrorist drank until his thirst was quenched."

Her remarks set off debates around the globe and a clip of her February Al-Jazeera appearance had been viewed more than a million times.

"The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions or a clash of civilizations," Dr. Sultan said. "It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality."

She is now subject to a fatwa.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: heric
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 09:06 PM

Holey moley. Maybe the world is moving to an advanced stage of civilization where all wars can be fought with cartoons.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: freda underhill
Date: 01 Apr 06 - 09:07 PM

back to the cartoons, there were many, many negative opinions about Muslims in the Australian media when the riots happened around the world in response to the publishing of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. The opinion pieces in many of our main papers served to whip up further distrust of Muslims in Australia based on the actions of people overseas.

None of those commentators noted that no Australian Muslims rioted or did anything objectionable related to the cartoons.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Apr 06 - 10:47 AM

Have you read, heard, or seen any mention of peaceful demonstrations in the Western media? (Carol)

Sure I did, but then I do read European media and do not rely solely upon propaganda sites from an interested party. Here's how the Guardian reported back then. Our newspapers were full of reports, more so of course about violent protests later (that's why they started the violent protests, to get TV time) but also about peaceful protest. You should really learn about the Muslim concept of lying for the sake of the own community.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Apr 06 - 03:35 PM

I don't see any mention of peaceful protests in the link you provided, Wolfgang. I only saw mention of one demand for an apology.

You should really learn about the Muslim concept of lying for the sake of the own community.

I don't need to learn about that. It's hardly a Muslim concept. I see people lying for the sake of whatever community they identify with here in the Mudcat, in the Western media, and in Western governments every single day. I could, if I were as obsessed with trying to trip you up as you are with me, suggest that posting a link to the Guardian article as an example of peaceful protest, and your comment about "the Muslim concept of lying for the sake of the own community" (now there's a fine bit of racist propaganda if ever I saw one) is an excellent example of you distorting the truth for the sake of your own community (in this case your community being defined as everyone who isn't Muslim).


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 05:44 AM

We all know, Carol that if you cannot argue the facts you argue the motives of posters with which you do not agree.

BTW, Muslims are not a race.

Some online definitions of protest
A demand for an apology is a protest according to some of the definitions. And it is peaceful

But if you did mean with with "peaceful protest" demonstrations there have ben hundreds of repüorts about them all of Europe and they are easy to google.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 06:00 AM

Sorry for not reading carefully. I was reading and whose peaceful protests were never covered in the Western media not as an addendum to 'demonstrations' how it may have been meant but as a statement on its own.

But the fact that peaceful demonstrations have been covered in the European press remains the same.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 02:19 PM

We all know, Carol that if you cannot argue the facts you argue the motives of posters with which you do not agree.

What a hypocrite you are Wolfgang. The tactic described above is the one you use the most.

Racism doesn't depend on the group in question being technically a different race. All that is needed is for them to be treated as if they are a different race, and to be discriminated against for that reason. This is what you and many others do with regard to Muslims.

But I do note that you have not yet provided any real documentation to support your assertion about the "peaceful protests" being covered in Western media.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 08:28 PM

BTW, definition of "race"...

2 a : a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock b : a class or kind of people unified by community of interests, habits, or characteristics "the English race"
3 a : an actually or potentially interbreeding group within a species; also : a taxonomic category (as a subspecies) representing such a group b : BREED c : a division of mankind possessing traits that are transmissible by descent and sufficient to characterize it as a distinct human type


From here...

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/race

(click on "race[3,noun]")


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: beardedbruce
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 05:42 AM

" BREED c : a division of mankind possessing traits that are transmissible by descent and sufficient to characterize it as a distinct human type"

Like folksingers?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 12:26 PM

in the above post of 2:19 CarolC perfectly proved Wolfgangs point.

as for peaceful protests (by the Muslim population), there were plenty here in Canada. We heard about them nonstop for a period of several weeks..

on the other hand, I saw no muslim protest or even a peep of outrage
at the Afghan judge (and the rest of the Afghan population) that wanted to put the Christian convert to death, Which I regard as a much worse violation of human rights than insulting any religion.

imagine if some western govt had such a law..

and yet they were offended by an image of an angel with the words thou shall not kill - the whole thing is about as ridiculous as the Muslim man who muttered 'I divorce you' to his wife in his sleep - and
the village elders made them get a divorce - required her to sleep with someone else before they could re-marry....

this kind of mentality went out in the west centuries ago..


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 04:54 PM

Interesting, Carol.

I see you would consider an expression like 'the Muslim race' to be a correct description in analogy to 'the English race'.

I don't agree with you there at all. Muslims come from all parts of the world and from all subgroups of our species. I don't consider it a good idea to call them a race.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 06 - 12:49 PM

in the above post of 2:19 CarolC perfectly proved Wolfgangs point...

...on the other hand, I saw no muslim protest or even a peep of outrage at the Afghan judge (and the rest of the Afghan population) that wanted to put the Christian convert to death


Well let's use Wolfgang's logic then, petr. Where did you look for Muslim outrage about the Afghan judge wanting to put the Christian convert to death?

And would you please provide some examples of the coverage you saw about the peaceful protest? So far, I have not seen any examples provided by anyone at all.


I don't know which kind of definition I prefer, Wolfgang. I wasn't aware of the definition I highligted in bold until the day I posted it in this thread. It has opened up some new avenues of thought for me and I'm considering all of the implications before I decide which use I feel most comfortable with. It is definitely providing me with some very interesting food for thought.

But nevertheless, as I said before (and independently of the definition I highlighted above), racism doesn't depend on the group in question being technically a different race. All that is needed is for them to be treated as if they are a different race, and to be discriminated against for that reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 06 - 01:25 PM

on the other hand, I saw no muslim protest or even a peep of outrage
at the Afghan judge (and the rest of the Afghan population) that wanted to put the Christian convert to death


Looks like you didn't look very hard. Or maybe you prefer to be willfully ignorant. Yours is the kind of anti-Muslim racism I've been talking about all along. Just keep those blinders on, petr. They seem to be working very well for you.

I found this in the first page of a Google search using the search words "muslim condemn afghanistan sentenced death convert christianity" (without quotes).

href="http://www.islamonline.com/cgi-bin/news_service/world_full_story.asp?service_id=2176

CAIR calls for release of Afghan Christian convert
3/23/2006 10:00:00 AM GMT

The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged the Afghan government to free a man facing a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity, The Muslim News reported.

The Washington-based advocacy group says that Abdul Rahman�s conversion is a personal matter that shouldn�t be handled by the government.

CAIR sought consultation on the issue from members of the Fiqh Council of North America, an association of Islamic legal scholars that interprets Muslim religious law, then issued a statement saying;

"Islamic scholars say the original rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion. Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, a position supported by verses in the Qur�an, Islam's revealed text, such as:

1) �If it had been the will of your Lord that all the people of the world should be believers, all the people of the earth would have believed! Would you then compel mankind against their will to believe?� (10:99)

2) �(O Prophet) proclaim: 'This is the Truth from your Lord. Now let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.'' (18:29)

3) �If they turn away from thee (O Muhammad) they should know that We have not sent you to be their keeper. Your only duty is to convey My message.� (42:48)

4) �Let there be no compulsion in religion.� (2:256)

"Religious decisions should be matters of personal choice, not a cause for state intervention. Faith imposed by force is not true belief, but coercion. Islam has no need to compel belief in its divine truth. As the Qur�an states:�Truth stands out clear from error. Therefore, whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.� (2:256)

"We urge the government of Afghanistan to order the immediate release of Mr. Abdul Rahman."

CAIR, the U.S.�s largest Muslim civil rights group, has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates in the U.S. and Canada. Its mission is to improve the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil rights, support American Muslims and promote justice and mutual understanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 06 - 01:41 PM

...on the other hand, if you really didn't see any mention of Muslim criticism or condemnation of the apostasy ruling in the Western media, that supports what I have been saying about the Western media's racist anti-Muslim scapegoating agenda. As always, it's not that no Muslims were criticizing or condemning this action... it's that no Western media outlets are willing to report when Muslims do criticize or condemn these kind of things. And people like you are just so willing to believe the worst about Muslims, you don't even bother to look past the lies and distortions the mainstream Western media puts before you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 06 - 02:15 PM

This is interesting. According to the Wikipedia site, the Danish editor who commissioned the racist cartoons of Muslims has been put on indefinite leave from Jyllands-Posten for saying he would reprint satirical cartoons from an Iranian newspaper depicting the Holocaust. Free speech indeed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flemming_Rose

"On 8 February 2006, Flemming Rose said in interviews with CNN and TV 2 that Jyllands-Posten planned to reprint satirical cartoons depicting the Holocaust that the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri planned to publish. He told CNN "My newspaper is trying to establish a contact with that Iranian newspaper Hamshahri, and we would run the cartoons the same day as they publish them". Later that day the paper's editor-in-chief said that Jyllands-posten under no circumstances would publish the Holocaust cartoons. [1] and Flemming Rose later said that "he had made a mistake".[2] [3]. The next day Carsten Juste, the editor-in-chief of Jyllands-Posten, stated that Flemming Rose was on indefinite leave.[4]"


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 06 Apr 06 - 07:55 PM

My point exactly!

Its O.K. to print cartoons about Muslims but not about Jews.

I wonder if the Danish also print sexist cartoons and homosexual cartoons?


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 07 Apr 06 - 03:26 PM

Carol, I doubt you would argue the scale of Muslim protest around the world regarding the Christian Convert, was anywhere near the scale of protest regarding the Cartoons. Pretty much all the Afghan religious leaders felt he should be put to death, as well as most Afghans that were interviewed on the subject.
(Which is not to say that all afghans felt that way - however Hamid Karzai had a really tough issue on his hands - its tough to get western aid with this kind of thing - people even protested when he was freed for mental health reasons - and he ended up leaving the country. wonder why?)

no doubt there was some muslim protest on the issue, I note the samples are all from Muslim groups in the west, heres what aljazeera had to say on the subject

note the line 'according to sharia law, death is the stipulated punishment for apostasy'

I am not anti-muslim although perhaps you are being wilfully ignorant yourself in drawing that conclusion. I am opposed to all religious zealotry, be it christian fundamentalist or muslim etc..

I do take offense at a system of belief that requires a woman who has been raped to provide 4 male witnesses, or something equally ridiculous as sentencing an innocent sister of a rapist to be raped as punishment for his crime.. the list goes on ..
If you want to jump to the defense of that kind of thinking you are the bigger fool.


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Subject: RE: BS: The right to insult and cause offence
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Apr 06 - 11:17 PM

What you said, petr, was this:

on the other hand, I saw no muslim protest or even a peep of outrage at the Afghan judge (and the rest of the Afghan population) that wanted to put the Christian convert to death

And that is what I responded to. If you feel you need to restate your position in light of new information, that is your right, and have at it. But as originally stated, it's a highly prejudiced bit of willful ignorance.

On the subject of religious fundamentalists, I agree that all forms are destructive. But I don't single out any particular one in isolation from the others for my condemnation.

I also am aware that issues such as the one you gave the example of (the rape example), are not exclusively the products of religion, but are, instead, the products of closed societies that embrace old and worn out societal norms. It's not religion that is the problem. It's closed societies that are the problem. Putting an entire religion on the defensive is not a way to open up closed societies. All you will accomplish with that approach is to cause them to become even more closed and even more radicalized.


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