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Thread: Transcendental Cartoons

  1. #1

    Default Transcendental Cartoons

    France enters Muslim cartoon row

    A French newspaper has reproduced a set of Danish caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad that have caused outrage in the Muslim world.

    France Soir said it had published the cartoons to show that "religious dogma" had no place in a secular society.

    Their publication in Denmark has led to protests in several Arab nations.

    Responding to France Soir's move, the French government said it supported press freedom - but added that beliefs and religions must be respected.

    Islamic tradition bans depictions of the Prophet Muhammad or Allah.

    Under the headline "Yes, we have the right to caricature God", France Soir ran a front page cartoon of Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian gods floating on a cloud.

    It shows the Christian deity saying: "Don't complain, Muhammad, we've all been caricatured here."

    The full set of Danish drawings, some of which depict the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist, were printed on the inside pages.

    Bomb threat

    The paper said it had decided to republish them "because no religious dogma can impose itself on a democratic and secular society".

    The global controversy the cartoons have provoked "has done nothing to maintain balance and mutual limits in democracy, respect of religious beliefs and freedom of expression", it added.

    In a statement, the French foreign ministry said the decision to publish the pictures was the sole responsibility of France Soir.

    The French authorities supported the principle of press freedom, the statement said, adding that that freedom must be exercised "in a spirit of tolerance and with respect for beliefs and religions".

    The offices of the Danish newspaper that first published the caricatures, Jyllands-Posten, had to be evacuated on Tuesday because of a bomb threat.

    The paper had apologised a day earlier for causing offence to Muslims, although it maintained it was legal under Danish law to print them.

    Ministers from 17 Arab countries on Tuesday urged Denmark's government to punish Jyllands-Posten for what they described as an "offence to Islam".

    Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the paper's apology but defended the freedom of the press.

    The images' publication in Denmark has provoked diplomatic sanctions and threats from Islamic militants across the Muslim world.

    Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated this week in the Gaza Strip, burning Danish flags and portraits of the Danish prime minister.

    Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador to Denmark, while Libya said it was closing its embassy in Copenhagen and Iraq summoned the Danish envoy to condemn the cartoons.

    Story from BBC NEWS:

    Published: 2006/02/01 12:55:35 GMT


    Cartoon outrage bemuses Denmark

    By Michael Buchanan
    BBC News, Copenhagen

    The diplomatic crisis between Denmark and the Muslim world may have been relatively slow to gather pace but now that it has, it is having a real impact.

    It began with a series of cartoons in a Danish newspaper - including one of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb.

    But today few people are laughing.

    The global outrage has led to the recall of ambassadors; Danish citizens in Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian territories have been forced to leave after death threats.

    And Danish businesses have had to lay off hundreds of workers because of boycotts in the Muslim world. The paper has apologised but the crisis shows no sign of abating.

    However, on a winter's evening at an ice rink in Copenhagen young Danes are bemused by the attention their country is receiving because of 12 drawings of the Prophet Muhammad.

    "It's ridiculous," says one. "I don't see why the anger - it was a joke, you can see."

    No regret

    Another adds: "It's a shame it has had to come to this. I think it is very silly of people to draw such things. I think that the freedom of expression is more of an obligation than a right."

    "I am not a very religious person so I don't have anything against it and I think it's absolutely too much what the Arabic countries are doing," says a young woman.

    Asking me that question is like asking a rape victim if she regrets wearing a short skirt Friday night at the discotheque
    Flemming Rose
    Jyllands-Posten's culture editor

    Just opposite the ice-rink are the Copenhagen offices of the newspaper at the centre of the controversy, the Jyllands-Posten. The building was cleared out by police on Tuesday following a bomb scare.

    There was also another threat against the newspaper's headquarters in Aarhus. But despite the threats, the paper insists they were right to publish the cartoons.

    "We stand by the publication of these 12 cartoons," says Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Jyllands-Posten.

    He was the man who commissioned the cartoons, one of which shows the Prophet with a turban on his head covering a ticking bomb.

    But knowing what he knows now, would he still commission and print those cartoons?

    "That is a hypothetical question," he says. "I would say that I do not regret having commissioned those cartoons and I think asking me that question is like asking a rape victim if she regrets wearing a short skirt Friday night at the discotheque."

    Job cuts

    Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen does not see this diplomatic crisis in those terms.

    At a packed press conference, he said that Denmark had a long tradition of freedom of the press and freedom of expression. But Mr Rasmussen said he regretted the offence caused.

    "I, likewise, am deeply distressed by the fact that these drawings, by many Muslims, have been seen as a defamation of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam as a religion," he said.

    "I do hope that the apology of the independent newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, will contribute to comfort those that have been hurt."

    For some in Denmark, however, it is already too late.

    "If we look at ourselves from a Middle East standpoint, we have been active in the market place in the Middle East for more than 40 years," says Finn Hansen, managing director of Arla Foods.

    Arla Foods is one of Europe's largest manufacturers of dairy products. They have had an established market in the Middle East for decades, but a boycott of Danish goods by several Arab nations means that Mr Hansen is now looking to lay off around 100 people.

    "We are today in a position where we don't really experience any sale," he says. "Even the few places where our products are still on the shelf, we do not see any turnover of our products on these shelves. So we must say the sale of our products is nil."

    Moving on

    Of critical importance to the resolution of this crisis will be the decisions made in the headquarters of Copenhagen's Islamic Federation.

    Danish Muslims have been protesting as vigorously as anyone in the Middle East about the cartoons. But the group's chairman, Imam Ahmed Abu Laban, says they are now ready to move on.

    "I think the latest apology has become more clear and more indicative to the Muslim ears," he said. "We will support after this press conference to push forward to develop the situation, to settle as soon as possible this kind of dispute and bring the boycott to an end."

    Denmark's reputation as an easy-going, consensual nation has been severely tarnished in recent days. All the Danes can do now is hope the repeated apologies for the offence caused, by both the government and the newspaper, will end this unseemly row.

    Story from BBC NEWS:

    Published: 2006/02/01 12:10:34 GMT


  2. #2
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton


    It's about time Europeans started reacting to the growing Muslim influence around them.

  3. #3
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    So, lemme get this strait.

    In order to express their discontent at the prophet Muhammed being portrayed at all, nevermind with a turban time bomb, the "devout" Islamics have made bomb and death threats?

    GREAT way to dispel a stereotype!

  4. #4


    More info on the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten at Wikipedia

    The page has been temporarily locked and is read-only.

    I wonder what Salman Rushdie is thinking.

  5. #5
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    This is really sad.

    For a religion and its peoples to be so insecure that ANY ribbing is seen as a cause not for dissent, but outrage.

    I agree that they should have written into the paper and expressed their concern and requested they remove/abstain from doing things like that in the future, but demanding is not a right they have.

    They are totally within their right to not buy or distribute the paper now, but having a boycott of everything Danish just because they did not forbid it is really a poor call on the behalf of these governments.

    They are just trying to get another "us vs. them" thing going since there is not enough actual acts of barbarism for them to go on.

    War over a political cartoon.


  6. #6

  7. #7


    February 3, 2006

    Temperatures Rise Over Cartoons Mocking Muhammad

    Mohammed Salem/Reuters

    A gunman stood on the roof of the European Union office in the Gaza Strip today.


    PARIS, Feb. 2 An international dispute over European newspaper cartoons deemed blasphemous by some Muslims gained momentum on Thursday when gunmen threatened the European Union offices in Gaza and more European papers pointedly published the drawings as an affirmation of freedom of speech.

    In Gaza, masked gunmen swarmed the European Union offices on Thursday to protest the cartoons, and there were threats to foreigners from European countries where the cartoons have been reprinted. The gunmen stayed about 45 minutes.

    A newly elected legislator from Hamas, the radical Islamic group that swept the Palestinian elections last week, said large rallies were planned in Gaza in the next few days to protest the cartoons, which depict the Prophet Muhammad in an unflattering light. Merely publishing the image of Muhammad is regarded as blasphemous by many Muslims.

    "We are angry very, very, very angry," said the legislator, Jamila al-Shanty. "No one can say a bad word about our prophet."

    The conflict is the latest manifestation of growing tensions between Europe and the Muslim world as the Continent struggles to absorb a fast-expanding Muslim population whose customs and values are often at odds with Europe's secular societies. Islam is Europe's fastest growing religion and is now the second largest religion in most European countries. Racial and religious discrimination against Muslims in Europe's weakest economies adds to the strains.

    The trouble began in September in Denmark, when the daily Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons lampooning intolerance among Muslims and links to terrorism. A Norwegian magazine published the cartoons again last month, and the issue erupted this week after diplomatic efforts failed to resolve demands by several angry Arab countries that the publications be punished.

    The cartoons include one depicting Muhammad with a bomb in place of a turban on his head and another showing him on a cloud in heaven telling an approaching line of smoking suicide bombers, "Stop, stop, we ran out of virgins!"

    They have since been reprinted in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Hungary. The BBC broadcast them on Thursday.

    Most European commentators concede that the cartoons were in poor taste but argue that conservative Muslims must learn to accept Western standards of free speech and the pluralism that those standards protect.

    Several accused Muslims of a double standard, noting that media in several Arab countries continue to broadcast or publish references to "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a notorious early 20th-century anti-Semitic hoax that presented itself as the Jews' master plan to rule the world.

    Many Muslims say the Danish cartoons reinforce a dangerous confusion between Islam and the Islamist terrorism that nearly all Muslims abhor. Dalil Boubakeur, head of France's Muslim Council, called the caricatures a new sign of Europe's growing "Islamophobia."

    Saudi Arabia and Syria recalled their ambassadors from Denmark, while the Danish government summoned other foreign envoys in Copenhagen to talks on Friday over the issue, having already explained that it does not control the press.

    "We are talking about an issue with fundamental significance to how democracies work," Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the Copenhagen daily Politiken.

    Jyllands-Posten has received two bomb threats in the past few days, despite having apologized for any hurt feelings about the drawings.

    Late Thursday morning, about a dozen gunmen appeared at the European Union offices in Gaza, firing automatic weapons and spray-painting a warning on the outside gate: "Closed until an apology is sent to Muslims." The men handed out a pamphlet warning Denmark, Norway and France that they had 48 hours to apologize.

    The office, staffed only by Palestinians at the time, reportedly received a telephone warning that the gunmen were coming, and was quickly closed.

    In Nablus, on the West Bank, two masked gunmen kidnapped a German from a hotel, thinking he was French or Danish, Agence France-Presse reported. They turned him over to the police once they realized their mistake.

    Leaders of Fatah and Hamas said they did not endorse harming any foreigners in Gaza. All the same, the threat emptied hotels there of Europeans, most of them journalists. The manager of the popular Al Diera Hotel said 12 of his 22 rooms had been cleared out by late afternoon.

    France Soir, the only French daily to reprint the cartoons, fired its managing editor late Wednesday as "a strong sign of respect for the beliefs and intimate convictions of every individual," according to a statement from its owner, Raymond Lakah, an Egyptian-born French businessman.

    In an editorial defending its decision to publish the cartoons, France Soir asked Thursday what would remain of "the freedom to think, speak, even to come and go," if society adhered to all of the prohibitions of the world's various religions. The result, the newspaper said, would be "the Iran of the mullahs, for example."

    Not everyone saw it that way. Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, issued a statement condemning "in the strongest terms" France Soir's publication of the cartoons. "Any insult to the holy prophet (peace be upon him) is an insult to more than one billion Muslims," his statement read.

    On Thursday, France's embassy in Algeria, a former colony, issued a statement condemning the publication, saying the French government was "deeply attached to the spirit of tolerance and to respect of religious belief, as we are to the principle of freedom of the press."

    "In this light, France condemns all those who hurt individuals in their beliefs or religious convictions," the statement read.

    Still, Europeans showed no signs of backing down. Le Monde ran a sketch of a man, presumably Muhammad, made of sentences reading, "I must not draw Muhammad."

    Craig S. Smith reported from Paris for this article, and Ian Fisher from Gaza.

    * Copyright 2006The New York Times Company

    Bin Laden Artwork Now Hanging In New York

    Morry Alter

    Save It
    Email this Article Email It
    Print this Article Print It

    (CBS) NEW YORK Is that who we think it is in that picture?

    Our interest in this story was sparked by an angry email sent to us here at The writer wasn't angry at us, but rather about what he'd seen at the current National Black Fine Art Show in the Puck Building. This is the 10th anniversary edition of the show which features galleries from across the country selling the works of America's top African American painters, sculptors, and photographers.

    But the writer had big problems with a painting by Harlem artist "Tafa". It depicts an upside down Christ-like figure with a face strongly resembling Osama Bin Laden. The email read in part, "This is outrageous. This is an attack against my religion. How can an artist go so low? Most people are outraged, most Christians."

    On the phone with me, the artist declined to do an on-camera interview, telling me the work speaks for itself, but adding, the resemblance to Bin Laden was no accident.

    The art show's producer Josh Wainwright, insisted he hadn't even made the Bin Laden connection. "Knowing what you know now would you have barred the painting from being part of your show?" I asked. "Absolutely not," he replied. Wainwright says he's a military veteran and despises Bin Laden, but he added, "I don't think it's anyone's job or vocation to limit the expression of artists."

    While some at the show did recognize the Bin Laden face on the Christ body, we found none who were offended. Instead most defended "Tafa" the artist's right to speak his mind. The painting is bordered with hand lettered expressions and names including "mujahadin," "McCarthyism," and "Amadou Diallo," a man killed by New York City police in 1999.

    You could take the painting out of circulation, or not, for a mere $12,000 and change. You can see the painting, or not, by visiting the show which runs through Sunday. Daily admission is $15.

    ( MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

  8. #8
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Geez. Too many people are taking this too seriously.

    Notice how these gunmen do not have enough cajones to be able to protest WITHOUT masks? And what the hell is a protest with guns? That is not a protest, that is a military maneuver.

    I am looking at the people that are out there being outraged at the whole thing and one thing strikes me as oddly familiar.

    These guys will protest ANYTHING with the same fervor. Everything they object to is met with flag burning, fights, yelling and guns in the air.

    So what is really important to these people, and how much of it is told to be important by their "leaders"?

  9. #9


    What do you get when people are forced to focus on religious studies in university? Too many good minds worried about the most trivial of things. The following is an actual fatwah issued regarding soccer by a most learned cleric.

    In the name of God the merciful and benevolent:
    1. International terminology that heretics use, such as "foul," "penalty", "corner," "goal", "out" and others, should be abandoned and not said. Whoever says them should be punished and ejected from the game.

    2. Do not call "foul" and stop the game if someone falls and sprains a hand or foot or the ball touches his hand, and do not give a yellow or red card to whoever was responsible for the injury or tackle. Instead, it should be adjudicated according to Sharia rulings concerning broken bones and injuries.

    3. Do not follow the heretics, the Jews, the Christians and especially evil America regarding the number of players. Do not play with 11 people. Add to this number or decrease it.

    4. Play in your regular clothes or your pyjamas or something like that, but not coloured shorts and numbered T-shirts, because shorts and T-shirts are not Muslim clothing. Rather, they are heretical and western clothing, so beware of imitating their fashion.

    5. If you have fulfilled these conditions and intend to play soccer, play to strengthen the body in order better to struggle in the way of God on high and to prepare the body for when it is called to jihad. Soccer is not for passing time or the thrill of so-called victory.

    6. Do not play in two halves. Rather, play in one half or three halves in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the corrupted and the disobedient.

    7. If neither of you beats the other, or "wins", as it is called, and neither puts the leather between the posts, do not add extra time or penalties. Instead leave the field, because winning with extra time and penalty kicks is the pinnacle of imitating heretics and international rules.

    8. Young crowds should not gather to watch when you play because if you are there for the sake of sports and strengthening your bodies as you claimed, why would people watch you? You should make them join your physical fitness and jihad preparation, or you should say: "Go proselytise and seek out morally reprehensible acts in the markets and the press and leave us to our physical fitness."

    9. You should spit in the face of whoever puts the ball between the posts or uprights and then runs in order to get his friends to follow him and hug him like players in America or France do, and you should punish him, for what is the relationship between celebrating, hugging and kissing and the sports that you are practising?

    10. You should use two posts instead of three pieces of wood or steel that you erect in order to put the ball between them, meaning that you should remove the crossbar in order not to imitate the heretics and in order to be entirely distinct from the soccer system's despotic international rules.

    11. Do not do what is called "substitution," that is, taking the place of someone who has fallen, because this is a practice of the heretics in America and elsewhere.

  10. #10
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    When a basic tenet of one's religion is that no images of the "prophet" should be produced (nevermind that one of Christianity's Top Ten is "no graven images") it is not all that unreasonable that some people go a bit nuts when images of the "prophet" are not only produced but also lampoon the "holy" one.

    And while one could argue that drawings / cartoons don't quite fit the definition of "graven" (which seems to relate specifically to sculpted images) the "or any likeness" phrase seems to cover all the bases.

    Not to say that the current reaction can't be construed as a bit over-the-top ...

    Still ...

    Imagine the same cartoons with your "prophet" of choice as the one depicted and see what reaction you have.

    (see here:

    Exodus 20:
    2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth

  11. #11


    The Lord thy God was speaking to the Hebrews, the people with whom he had made a covenant. He wasn't addressing the Egyptians, or any other group.

    As I understand it, the depiction of any image of the prophet Muhamad is forbidden by Islamic Law. Islamic Law is binding on Muslims, not on heretics, or their governments and newspapers.

    I'm sure there are Christians that are upset about the painting, but so far, the Pope has not mobilized the Swiss Guard and called for a crusade against the Puck Building.

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    When a basic tenet of one's religion is that no images of the "prophet" should be produced (nevermind that one of Christianity's Top Ten is "no graven images") it is not all that unreasonable that some people go a bit nuts when images of the "prophet" are not only produced but also lampoon the "holy" one........
    There's upset, there's outraged, and then there's the threat of violence because of it.

    There is no case for moral relatism when violence is involved.

  13. #13
    Banned Member
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    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    Apparently any many with long dark hair, a beard and mustache can be said to resemble bin Laden. That article is a real stretch.

  14. #14


    Read the article again.

  15. #15
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider
    Apparently any many with long dark hair, a beard and mustache can be said to resemble bin Laden. That article is a real stretch.
    The artist himself said the resemblance was not accidental.

    I think the best way to protest these things is to simply not pay them any heed. ESPECIALLY if it is the attention they need in order to survive.

    I do not think the elephant Manure Virgin Mary would have gotten any attention if the artist had not said it was her and people were outraged, so whatever.
    Last edited by Ninjahedge; February 4th, 2006 at 12:36 PM.

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