Burning flags

4 Feb, '06

photo courtesy Al-Wasat newspaper

Isn’t there a law in Bahrain that criminalises burning of flags? Especially flags of those countries which we do have good relations with?

Well, this is Mohammed Khalid, the member of parliament and representative of the Northern District 6, sans slippers, burning the Danish flag to show his disapproval of the refusal of the Danish government to impose restrictions and penal actions on an independent newspaper which had the temerity to publish derogatory cartoons depicting our prophet Mohammed (pbuh).

Is he setting a good example to those around him? Fast forward 15 – 20 years; any idea how those kids standing around him and shouting their lungs out will actually turn out? Tolerant? Will they engage their brains before letting emotions run astray and resort to violence to settle disputes?

Not with what’s happening now, and this is not an isolated incident; Al-Wasat reports that up to 25 different demonstrations took place all around Bahrain, probably with similar scenes.

Does anyone other than myself think that Article 99 of the constitution should be enacted in this particular case? After all, isn’t what this respected member of parliament effectively doing is declaring war on a friendly country?

Filed in: Politics
Tagged with:

Comments (146)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    I have to agree with this. It’s always seemed to me that many Muslims, perhaps most, in Europe and beyond it have any respect for the Enlightenment principles that are foundational to modern European society. I’ve seen endless vicious tirades against “the Kuffar” – far more deliberately nasty than these cartoons are even close to being – as well as endless sneering attacks upon the very values that allow Muslims to live and follow their religion in Europe in the first place: sneering attacks upon freedom of speech, secularism, individual freedoms, notions such as sexual equality, acceptance of homosexuality, etc. These things are part of our culture, evolved over centuries, and which tens of millions of people come from all over the world to benefit from. But the impression I get is that many Muslims not only disrespect this incredible, diverse civilisation but also wish to destroy it in its entirety.

    It’s so stupid and tragic I could weep (but I won’t 😉

  2. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Mahmood,
    May you and like minded Muslims multiply beyond comprehension, even as God’s promise to Abraham. A sane voice is a welcome relief in today’s world.

  3. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    “That respect was not reciprical at all but was one-sided”….written by Mahmood

    I found this comment M…to be most helpful and really poignant.

    M…it was reciprical until recent years. What if you saw people cutting off heads yelling “Christ is king” ? M…people associate Islam now with violence and the rest of the world does not respect that. People have been shocked that a holy book contains a chapter on the art of war. I know, I know…its self-defense….but M….just having a chapter like that…shocks people..scares people..

    Most people in the west thought the cartoons were not that bad. I thought the one with the virgins was kind of ironic but the one with the bomb in the turban was just dumb and not funny.

    When people are called pigs, monkeys, infidels, kuffar, etc….it has always been somewhat shocking to the West. Yes. We have been shocked. And it never ends. And we are shocked that moderates in Arab lands aren’t shocked. I don’t know how to explain it but the West has been in a continual state of shock for some years now….

    I feel like you are my friend and this was hard for me to write…I hope it wasn’t too hard to read because I have such respect for you personally and all the other people like you!

    thinker

  4. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    thinker was only the last anonymous.

  5. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    How appalling. I am in disbelief at how we are reacting.

    Roba

  6. mahmood says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    I agree with you both, totally. We brought this unto ourselves for being dogmatic, inflexible and pig-headed about things religious.

    I have maintained and shall maintain that it is not up to a society to bend to the wishes of an individual, but in the vast majority of cases it is the other way around. If a Muslim chooses to live in a country whose culture is predominantly at variance with his or her belief, that Muslim has two choices: either amalgamate his culture with theirs as best he or she could in order to live peacefully with his neighbours, or leave! Expecting to change the whole culture of a country, calling for its active demise and destruction, calling for a complete change which is alien to its evolution is an act of utter incorrigibility and presumptuousness.

    Muslims, all of us, should get over ourselves. We are not the be all and end all of civilisation. Sure we can and have contributed to the sciences and literature, but others have done so as well and for that they should be respected. Heck, others should be respected just because they are humans just like us, regardless of their contribution to their environment or their religious affiliation and their lives should be as sacrosanct as ours.

    Now, sure there were situations where Muslims where brought into a country to aid in its development, and they should be regarded as indigenous after an appropriate time as the locals are and should enjoy the same rights and freedoms. They have become a minority in a community and country, and for the most part in Europe and the West I have seen them bend over backwards to accommodate those minorities because of the host country’s values and principals. Yet, we see some Muslims take advantage of that and go to extremes to extract a lot more than what the local would benefit from his own community and country. Those individuals should be refused that privilege and made to understand that the rule of law is supreme and religious affiliation should not dictate any higher status.

    People emigrate to better their lives, be that for economic, political or other circumstances. They should realise that emigration entails a near-complete change of environment and culture, and it is up the émigré to now integrate within that culture, rather than continue to force an environment exactly as that he has left behind.

    There are examples where this has happened of course; sadly, these are very few and far between.

    Should these unintegrated elements now be thrown out? Of course not! However a showdown is happening now and very rude wake-up calls are awaiting those who have enjoyed far too much privilege at the expense of others.

    The sad thing is that there are going to be a lot who will fall victims to this showdown on both sides; their innocence I hope will not be trampled in the process.

    A word to my brothers and sisters in Islam: The prophet’s reputation has not diminished in our eyes. It behooves us to act responsibly and let things be. Although we hold the prophet, peace be upon him, in an extremely high regard as we do his message, we have to realise that others don’t share that particular view, and to each his own. There is no compulsion in religion after all.

    Let us work peacefully and diligently to show them that they might be mistaken. We are not going to achieve this by our violence nor with our calls for violence.

  7. mahmood says:

    Re: Burning flags

    I was explaining the situation from a Muslim’s point-of-view, rather than making excuses. I have entered a comment above which amplifies my position.

    And yes, I do agree with you; if we are to live peacefully in this world, then it makes sense not to partake in violence nor advocate its use. This is just not on in today’s world.

  8. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    The next revelation for the Western Left is to discover that the bulk of the “moderate” Muslims are not moderate at all, just passive.

    Steve

  9. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(4): Burning flags

    Giuseppe Germano Bernandini, the Catholic Archbishop of Izmir, recalls a conversation he had with an important Muslim cleric at Christian-Muslim meeting, in which the Muslim calmly and confidently told him, “Thanks to your democratic laws we will conquer you. Thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you.”

    Islam is at its core hostile to non-Muslims, has been since Mohammed, and continues to be so today. This current cartoon flap is an attempt to dominate the West through intimidation and threats, an attempt to control the Western media. If we give in to this, it will encourage the Muslim fascists to demand more concessions. There will be no end to it.

    The radical Muslims interpret our tolerance as weakness to be exploited. They have played us for fools for years. All that must stop.

    Steve

    [Modified by: Steve The American (Steve) on February 04, 2006 10:19 AM]

  10. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    [quote]Mahmood: “As every Muslim is brought up to respect not only our prophet but also all those who have been sent by Allah to disperse His religions, and that we do not represent the prophet in any way, shape or form, they were insulted by the caricatures which were seen as the height of blasphemy.

    Now as WE revere the prophet of Islam (pbuh) and do not represent him and hold him at the highest platform, and as we hold the other prophets at the same level of love and respect, we expect that everyone else in the world to hold our prophet in the same light. Reciprocal respect, if you like, was a “given” to us.

    These cartoons shocked Muslims because we were slapped in the face. That respect, it was found, was not reciprocal at all, but one sided.”[/quote]

    First, let me note that you are explaining the Muslim perspective, not defending it.

    That given, it strikes me as incredible that the Muslim world thinks that they have been showing respect for other religions when the exact opposite has been the case on a grand scale. Can any intelligent human on the planet not know of the world-wide jihad Muslims have been waging to propagate their religion, replete with mass murder, beheadings, shootings, snuff videos, eviscerations, murder threats, church bombings, synagogue bombings, etc ad infinitum? In what way are these crimes respectful of other religions?

    I find this obtuse attitude similar to that of the jihadi who climbed up into the minaret of a mosque in Iraq to open fire on American forces nearby. They returned his fire. He was outraged, climbing down to exclaim in indignation that he couldn’t believe the infidels were firing at a mosque! Likewise, Muslims have flooded the world with innocent blood and now they can’t understand why they aren’t respected.

    I don’t believe the mass of the Muslim world believes in reciprocal respect but rather subscribes to a primitive morality that sees as good anything that advances their tribe or religion and bad as anything that strikes them down. They see things only from their perspective and not of anybody else. They believe they can commit any crime and the world is obliged to respect them simply because they are Muslim.

    When the terrorists accurately quote the Koran to justify their actions, it’s not exactly a big jump to depict Mohammed as a terrorist. Terrorists accurately quote Mohammed to justify their beheadings, their jihad, their hatred. Why does the Muslim world run amok in the streets when Mohammed is depicted as a terrorist in the West but celebrates when terrorists cite Mohammed as their intellectual patron and moral inspiration when they shed innocent blood by the buckets?

    Steve

  11. Steelangel says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    Mahmood, I saw this in the BBC’s coverage today on the web:

    [quote]Shaykh Ibhrahim Mogra is from the Muslim Council of Britain and an imam in Leicester.

    “Muslims will respect the rights of others to choose a way of life for themselves or a religion. But at the same time we reserve the right to disagree most emphatically with those lifestyles, just as others have a right to disagree with our lifestyle. This is the most offensive thing – even the vilification of God is not as offensive as this,” he said. [/quote]

    [i]”Even vilification of God is not as offensive as this.”[/i]

    Which got me wondering – who is more important? Allah or Mohammed? The Hadith do show Umar asking for certain rules to be passed down by Mohammed (such as veiling of women) and there are Hadith that explain why the Prophet could have more wives than four, or why the Prophets wives were more important than normal women.

    Is Mohammed the gateway to God?

    Or is Islam a cult of personality based around Mohammed and his own thoughts about God?

    Is not God greater than Mohammed? Mohammed not even the most perfect Prophet – Jesus is spoken of, even in Islam, as sinless and perfect. Mohammed worried about his own sin – a person, not a being coterminous or as important as God.

    So..

    How is vilification of Mohammed worse than Vilification of God himself?

    Unless of course you’re trying to whitewash the fact that there are verses in the Koran that by their very existance portray God as a villain who calls for war and destruction?

    I haven’t been thinking too much about the overarching theological topics regarding Islam in a long while. Been busy with work and activism – but this quote grabbed me and I had to post it here to get opinions. 😀

  12. mahmood says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    Ethan, I don’t need a theology degree to answer this one: This guy is completely wrong and as his error calls into question his very understanding of basic concepts of religion in general, let alone Islam specifically, he should be absolved of his duties.

    Of course God is MUCH more important than Mohammed and the rest of the prophets put together. End of story. Full stop.

    I understand what you’re asking regarding Islam being the “cult” of Mohammed. It isn’t, but seeing, hearing and reading about what is going on right now, including the burning of the Danish embassy in Damascus, has certainly made it so.

    I am disgusted that our so called religious and political leaders did not come out immediately and calm the situation, rather than letting tin-pot mullahs and clerics to rule the roost and rile up the rabble over an undeserving thing like this. The effects we are seeing far outweigh the cause.

    It is still not too late to instruct the clerics, as they usually are in all of our countries, to tell people to calm down and accept the apologies given. But I doubt very much that instruction will go out. After all, the ‘umma’ is now far too busy and riled up against someone else rather than concentrate on demanding – with the unified voice we have heard over the past few days – that political and economic reform be immediately undertaken.

    I’m not optimistic that this will happen any time soon.

  13. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    M–

    Ditto for me on thinker’s post and I think Steve the American brings up some important context.

    Don’t know if this is off topic or perhaps is the subtext to the topic, but as a follower of Christ I am often deeply offended by modern liberal western culture’s excesses and chauvinism. I have to censor what my children watch on TV, what music they listen to, magazines they read, etc. So as far as the culture clashing with one’s religious and moral convictions, I understand (or at least I think I do) why many Muslims are offended. The recent political cartoon using military amputee casualties to slam the U.S. Defense Secretary is an example of the political culture war, but Rap music and video and many movies are even more offensive to me.

    I’m also offended by state and tribal sanctioned persecution of Christians in Islamic countries.

    I understand the impulse to strike back. I feel the temptation to give in to the hatred and identify all Muslims as the enemy. I don’t want to do that and it is against my religious beliefs to do so, but I’m just being honest with the temptation.

    That said I would really like your opinion on where we can find common ground to discuss.

  14. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    I just want to say that there has been [b]NO burning of flags in Danmark[/b]. [b]NO holly books has been burned![/b] There har been a little demonstration (50 people) from stupid right-wing idiots and a counter demonstration (100 people) of left-wing people and second generation refugees.
    Hitz Butz Taria is a legal organisation in Danmark, eventhough they are forbidden in some EU-contries and arabic contries. Imans has said that it is ok to rape women who wear “exciting” clothes. Imans has traveled to the middeleast and spread lies about what was going on in Danmark. These Imans has free access to free hospital, free education, free speech. I am so disappointed!
    But we allso have moderate muslims and a organisation called “Muslims in Dialogue”.
    The cartoons were stupid, unnessesary and has nothing to do with the danish goverment.

    Bjarke from Danmark.

  15. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    To identify all people of one sect based on religion, race, or ethinicity is being racist. It is hard, in the world today, to find common ground with people of a different background especially when the media has done nothing but escalate the hatred one feels toward others. If you want to find common ground to discuss, then I encourage you to read the Torah, Bible, and Quran and see how all share the exact same ideas and beliefs. I am an Arab who studies in the U.S. My friend is Israeli, and we enjoy eachothers company very much. Yes, he is jewish, and I am muslim. He practices his religion and I practice mine. He might not agree with the Palestinian stance, and I might not agree with the Israeli’s.. But that doesn’t matter, because every person is entitled to have his opinion, and at the end we will always wake up, eat, sleep, and pray to the same God! He understands that and so do I, and that IS the common ground of which we live by!

    Peace!

    Ahmed

  16. cerebralwaste says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    Mahmood et al

    Why are the moderates in the Islamic world not raising their collective voices and speaking out about this? Yes some on this forum and others have spoken out but I have seen nothing in any form as a collection or group. WHY?

    The silence from the moderates is to quote a over used word or phrase DEAFENING. I feel at this time “Moderate Muslims” (M&M’s) could kill two birds with stone by standing up and being heard. 1) This would show the “West” there is a middle ground in the Islamic world and 2) More importantly by standing up to this asswipes you would be in effect striking a good first blow in taking back Islam from the Islamicfascists that are running things.

    Again can anyone give some reasonable answers as to why the only collective voice we hear is from the extreme side. And I don’t buy it is just the media playing this issue up and not reporting the whole story.

  17. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    What is going on is just another episode telling people around the globe that Muslims SUCK!!

    Gosh!!

    No respect for anything .. for anyone … yet we expect others to respect us and the things that are important to us!!!!
    NEVER!!!
    It just won’t happen!

    Many Muslims are expecting the world to think just like them .. feel for them .. understand them .. but won’t do the same for others !

    Honestly .. this thought of Muslims being the right and only right .. had made something with the minds of many Muslims where it prevented them from seeing others as people who have their own thoughts and then will be responsible about them !!!!

    I am feeling SOO angry and disappointed !!

    Ahmed

  18. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    [b]I DO NOT THINK muslims suck![/b] I have a good muslim friend from Bosnia. It is the fundamentalist muslims, christians, socialist, capitalists, human beings thats sucks.

    Bjarke from Danmark.

  19. mahmood says:

    Re(4): Burning flags

    Mark, they’re very much in the audible range now. I have just finished watching an excellent BBC program chaired by Tim Sebastian called the Doha Debates. Mona El-Tahawi and Abdulla (can’t remember his last name) the Al-Arabiya Bureau Chief on one side, and an Al-Jazeera guy and an American “expert” in Arab media on the other. If you have a chance, search for the transcript, it would be well worth your while, because that will answer you oft-used question that is beginning to sound like an annoying whine: Where are the Muslim Moderates from all of this?

    WE ARE RIGHT HERE AND OUR NUMBERS ARE GROWING

    and people are starting to listen to voices of reason all over the place.

    Now stop your whining and offer proper arguments and suggestions that we can engage you in.

  20. cerebralwaste says:

    Re(5): Burning flags

    Good Mahmood I am glad to hear it and yes I will look up the transcript that you mentioned.

    Mahmood do you have a link for the transcript? I am having trouble finding it. Thanks!

    [Modified by: cerebralwaste (cerebralwaste) on February 05, 2006 08:12 AM]

  21. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Thanks M. You are a prince!

    Ahmed…I really like you too!

    thinker

  22. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    That is just scary to me…

    Bilbo.

  23. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    What!? No “Unibrow”!!!!!!!

  24. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Maybe his beard will catch on fire.

  25. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    It is unfortunate that this is the response from parliament members who are wasting their time burning flags. Get a real job!

  26. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    It’s becoming an increasingly serious issue. Here in the UK, even my most liberal and left-wing friends have very suddenly become deeply anti-Muslim and are saying that Muslims clearly cannot live in Europe. These people didn’t say that sort of thing even after the London bombings, but they are saying it now. People are furious with these attacks on our freedoms, with our stupid grovelling politicians and newspaper editors, and with the Muslims who marched through London waving banners with slogans such as “Behead Those Who Insult Islam”.

    I’ve honestly never seen so many of my countrymen this angry before. It seems to be the end of tolerance for Muslims. I hope that the protests die down and things improve otherwise the future of Muslims in Europe must surely be in question.

  27. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Hi Mahmood,

    Maybe i’m just ignorant, i just recieved the Cartoons by e-mail and for the life of me i dont understand what all the fuss is about.
    Maybe the MP’s in Bahrain want to distract the public from all their shortcommings and when things are down stir up the emotions using Religous Jingosim.
    It worked for Hitler in Nazi Germany, the economy was bad lets “blame the JEWS”
    Your thoughts would be appriciated.

    Thanks.

  28. HMD says:

    Re: Burning flags

    [quote]Maybe the MP’s in Bahrain want to distract the public from all their shortcommings and when things are down stir up the emotions using Religous Jingosim.[/quote]

    Exactly the case!!

    Actually, I’m quite surprised that the king wouldn’t say anything about this flag-burning?
    But then again, he wouldn’t want to upset the majority over a sensitive unnecessarily overblown reactions.

    [i]*Thought maybe it’s about time any uncivilised brainless waste of space is stopped from claiming the voice of the majority*[/i]
    HMD

  29. mahmood says:

    Re: Burning flags

    The main thing is the prohibition by Islam on representing the prophets graphically, possibly for fear of some people using that graphic as an idol, hence promoting idolatry practices rather than praying to Allah alone.

    These cartoons not only represented the prophet, but made fun of, and denigrated him; that’s double trouble.

    As every Muslim is brought up to respect not only our prophet but also all those who have been sent by Allah to disperse His religions, and that we do not represent the prophet in any way, shape or form, they were insulted by the caricatures which were seen as the height of blasphemy.

    Now as WE revere the prophet of Islam (pbuh) and do not represent him and hold him at the highest platform, and as we hold the other prophets at the same level of love and respect, we expect that everyone else in the world to hold our prophet in the same light. Reciprocal respect, if you like, was a “given” to us.

    These cartoons shocked Muslims because we were slapped in the face. That respect, it was found, was not reciprocal at all, but one sided.

    Now the way that Muslims went about dealing with this situation is, to me, farcical.

    Yes, we should hold the prophet at the highest level of love and affection. Yes, we should defend him and his reputation, but the level that most of the protests I’ve seen, the worst of which was paradoxically in London, proves the point of those cartoons without a shadow of a doubt: Islam is a religion of hate and violence.

    These protests and the way this situation was handled is completely wrong. We – continue to preach – that we have the higher moral hand, that our religion is the religion of peace, that our religion is the highest form of moral contract, yet, we go about the streets in droves holding up placards DEMANDING the death and torture of ANYONE who denigrates our religion and its symbols! Why should anyone respect us if this is the way we go about things?

    These protests demanding violence, to me, is a complete moral bancruptcy of those taking part in those protests AND of their particular understanding of Islam.

    I keep saying, so what if a dimwitted cartoonist, or Nazi or racist or a stupid person drew a cartoon or swore at our religious symbols or misrepresented them? Is that going to reduce our symbols’ place in our and hundreds of millions of Muslims’ hearts? Is that going to change their greatness? Of course not. So why was this situation blown up out of all rational repercussions?

    I think this situation was used to divert the Muslim nation’s attention from the real problems festering in its midst. And these things – a full 5 months after being published – were picked up and used, abused, to do just that.

    Forget the festering corruption, negligible education, unemployment, squandering of opportunities, injustice, restriction of speech, restriction of expression, and the hundreds of other bad things we go through on a daily basis, and hang them all on a bunch of Danish cartoonists.

    I don’t buy it.

    These cartoons or the hundreds of thousands of ones which probably have been drawn and are more offensive than the original 12 published because of the brouhaha we created will not negate nor lessen my love and respect for a great man sent by Allah as a saviour of the world.

    What DOES offend me greatly however is the once again hijacking of my religion, this time universally by all sects, to show the world that it is ugly, intolerant, and violent.

  30. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    And it isn’t just in Europe. Some of the most ardent left wing “pinkos” I know are telling me, a somewhat right of center person, of their disdain over the “muslim” reaction. The Muslim world isn’t doing itself any favors with this issue that is for sure. Still begs the questions of where is the hell are the “moderate” Muslims and their voice in this mess? Where are the counter demonstartions? Where are the op ed pieces? What Arab leader (religious or political) has called for calm?

  31. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    [quote]These cartoons shocked Muslims because we were slapped in the face. That respect, it was found, was not reciprocal at all, but one sided.[/quote]

    Mahmood

    Given all the problems “Muslims” have caused in the world in the past few years I think there has been plenty of RESPECT given to Muslims and for the most part a lack of respect has been showed by Muslims to their “host” nations around the world. I wouldn’t blame any European country if they began deporting all the muslims who have been protesting lately. Muslim immigrants carrying signs warning Europe of a 9-11 type response is beyond the pale and perhaps the most DISRESPECTFULL thing I have seen in my life from an immigrant. If this is the reaction given from something printed 5 or 6 months ago I shudder to think what kind of violence is lurking under the surface. It is time for “muslims” around the world to start eating big ole slices of humble pie enter into the real world or start to expect your welcome to be worn out in many places.

  32. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    [quote]Mahmood: “I am disgusted that our so called religious and political leaders did not come out immediately and calm the situation, rather than letting tin-pot mullahs and clerics to rule the roost and rile up the rabble over an undeserving thing like this. The effects we are seeing far outweigh the cause.”[/quote]

    Many, perhaps most, Islamic religious and political leaders do not want the situation calmed and are quite content to fan the flames of violence. It serves the cause of Middle Eastern political leaders as it distracts attention from their own failings. It serves the cause of many Muslim leaders, such as the Wahhabi in Saudi Arabia, who seek to maintain, in their words, a wall of resentment between Muslims and and non-Muslims. This serves that evil end nicely.

    So the political and religious leaders of the Middle East lead their people to the cliff in the long term to maintain their own power in the short term.

    Steve

  33. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    [quote]Ahmed: “To identify all people of one sect based on religion, race, or ethinicity is being racist.”[/quote]

    Whoah, Ahmed. I’ll buy that referring to people of one race can be racist, possibly people of one ethnicity can be racist, but not people of one religion. There are a lot of different races in Brazil who share an ethnicity. And of course, religion is not race. Let’s not define racism down. Let’s keep our terms accurate.

    Steve

  34. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Burning flags

    [quote]Bjarke from Danmark: “It is the fundamentalist muslims, christians, socialist, capitalists, human beings thats sucks.”[/quote]

    How many Christians and capitalists are demonstrating in the streets, demanding people be beheaded?

    Steve

  35. Laura(southernxyl) says:

    Burning flags

    [quote]Here in the UK, even my most liberal and left-wing friends have very suddenly become deeply anti-Muslim and are saying that Muslims clearly cannot live in Europe. These people didn’t say that sort of thing even after the London bombings, but they are saying it now.[/quote]

    Isn’t this funny. Every now and then I still run across somebody’s comment where they say that we somehow asked for 9/11. I’ve never seen anybody pin down exactly how, but there must have been something. Ditto the London bombings and so on. There MUST have been some terrible grievance, even if we don’t quite know what it is, to provoke such extreme behavior.

    But in this case it’s very obvious what the grievance is, and it’s not anything anybody can defend. It may turn out to be a bridge too far for our Muslim friends.

    Somehow we are going to have to figure out how to share the Earth. I just don’t think we’re going to be able to colonize Mars soon enough to avoid having to learn how to get along.

  36. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Excellent post, Mahmood. I’ve blogged about it at my blog and gotten an InstaLanche!

    [url=”http://sisu.typepad.com/sisu/2006/02/even_my_most_le.html”]
    “Even my most left-wing friends have very suddenly become deeply anti-Muslim”[/url]

    Professor Reynolds has some interesting things to say about the [url=”http://instapundit.com/archives/028420.php”]protests as a form of gunboat diplomacy.[/url]

  37. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    I see the links (above) didn’t work. Here they are:

    http://sisu.typepad.com/sisu/2006/02/even_my_most_le.html

    http://instapundit.com/archives/028420.php

    Sissy

  38. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    Bahrain is quite tolerant indeed, and thanks goodness for that. But it’s not all that tolerant, and I was thrown stones at in Bahrain when horseriding. Maybe they are not tolerant to the extent to witness a woman on a horse and do nothing, just yet.

    I do not support the latest Anon rant, but one thought is running in my mind: my home country, Cyprus, divided now between Christian Greeks and Muslim Turks. Places of worship? In the Greek South the mosques (which include, amongst others, the holy Hala Sultan Tekke, where the Aunt of the Prophet is buried) are preserved, repaired, and open for worship.

    In the Turkish North, the churches are either demolished completely, used to store ammunition, or made into mosques with the crosses broken off and replaced with Islamic crescent.

    Now how do Muslims expect me to believe that Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance?

    Despite all that, I disagree with the publishing of those cartoons. But I absolutely despise and condemn the reaction from the Middle East that followed! Rest assured that should something of the same sort be published in Saudi Arabia, the Western world (along with Western politicians, whether barefoot or not) will refrain from burning Saudi flags.

    How very sad.

    Thanks Mahmood for a great discussion here. I wish more Muslims and Christians read your blg and got some ideas as to how things could be dealt with, sans violence and derogatory material.

    Anna

  39. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    I have to agree with you.
    This disregard to other cultures has gone too far, now the muslims are trying to convert Europe to their religion.

    Europe gave the muslims a place to stay and a tolerant society, in return they imposed their culture to their host society, chanted calls for killing people and exploded train stations.
    It’s time for Europe stopping to behave as an eunuch, this lack of respect has gone way too far!

    I say…
    DEPORT ALL THE MUSLIMS FROM EUROPE !

    The ones who insist on staying, well… I personally wouldn’t propose something radical as gas chambers, but is someone else does, I wouldn’t move a finger against.

  40. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Burning flags

    [quote]Aakash: “The banners of London protest is quite shocking, and more shocking is the official reaction to it. I guess that the Europe is being eaten by its own values of democracy, tolerance etc. How the hell can any country allow masked people go around the street shouting of beheading and annihilation?”[/quote]

    I’ll agree that the Muslim mob is taking advantage of Western tolerance. However, I disagree that such a mob is a serious threat to democracy. Frankly, the Muslim mob sets its cause back by advertising their violent intolerance in such an unambiguous way that it incites a determined opposition by the Europeans. Europeans don’t flood to the streets in an ineffective mob of wild men when they are outraged. They write editorials, articles, and books. They pass laws. They organize armies. These are slower responses than demonstrations but carry more weight.

    [quote]Aakash: “The Muslim Umma will soon become a reality in Europe, but not by bombing the Buckingham palace. Islam will fill the vacuum created by Christianity. Anyone thought why Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe? Well, to me it’s because Christianity is slowly dying its natural death. The churches are being converted to clubs and people are not identifying themselves anymore as Christians.”[/quote]

    Islam is growing in Europe through immigration, not conversion. Muslims are fond of misleading people into thinking that non-Muslims are clamoring to convert to Islam. They are not. Much of Europe allowed immigration of cheap unskilled labor from Muslim countries during the boom times of the 1980s. Those Muslims typically have larger families than Europeans, who do not bear enough children to replace themselves. Immigration and higher birth rates are the mechanisms of Muslim growth, not conversion of non-Muslims.

    The churches of Europe are not being converted to clubs, but rather to museums owned by the state for lack of congregations. While Europeans are giving up church, they have not stopped identifying themselves as Christians. They are still culturally Christian.

    [quote]Aakash: “It’s such an irony that a country which burnt people and waged war in the name of religion is officially fuelling it’s rollback.” [/quote]

    The government does not direct people’s religion in the West, the people do.

    I might point out that Islam has waged war on a grand scale for its religion over most of its existence, to the current date, in fact. Islam conquered two thirds of the Christian world before the First Crusade was launched. Muslims sacked the Vatican two centuries before the First Crusade. Islam has never been a religion of pacifism.

    [quote]Aakash: “The right wing and Bible belt may hold fort the America for some more time. But it won’t be far that you’ll see churches being demolished to make mosques, simply because there’s no one to go to church. The problem is not England and Europe becoming non Christian or becoming Islam. The problem is …well, look at the banners again. The lunatics may not be the core of European Muslims, but these are the ones spreading it with Saudi funding and Wahabi ideology.”[/quote]

    I don’t think you’ll see the churches in America emptying out anytime soon. There are still quite a few Americans who not only go to church on Sunday, but make church the pivot of their lives. The American experience with religion is entirely different than the European experience.

    You are making a rather classic mistake to think that fanaticism is more powerful than democracy. It is the same mistake that the Japanese and Nazis made in WWII. Democracies bend far, which is a strength. Fanatic faiths believe their rigid belief is a strength, when in fact it is a fatal weakness. When the public opinion of democracies mobilize behind a position after lengthy dialogue, that democracy moves like a mighty avalanche. Muslims are making a colossal mistake by antagonizing the sleeping giant of the West, mobilizing its opinion against them. This entire cartoon flap is quietly aligning all of the West against Islamic excess and draining sympathy for Muslim concerns in general.

    Steve
    [Modified by: Steve The American (Steve) on February 05, 2006 08:40 AM]

  41. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    [quote]Anna: “Despite all that, I disagree with the publishing of those cartoons.”[/quote]

    Anna, this cartoon episode, or something like it, was necessary to demonstrate the right of a free press in the West to publish anything it pleases. Remember, these cartoons were requested in the face of self-censorship in Denmark due to threats of Muslim violence. It is intolerable that Western media submit to censorship from Mecca. To not publish the cartoons would be craven capitulation to Muslim thuggery. Do you want to live in a world where radical Muslims filter your media?

    Steve

  42. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    I have heard on many occasions that in Islam everyone is born Muslim. When one converts to Islam he/she is not really a convert, but it is a revert. I also heard one Imam say Mars the Moon and everything else in this world belongs to Muslims.

    I remember a couple of years ago about a protest in NYC that was supposed to be about Muslims renouncing terror, and only 50 people showed up mostly lookers on and the media. I was so disappointed.

    I think the internet is one of the very few places where moderate Muslims can express their outrage about what is being done in the name of Islam. I think moderate Muslims are afraid for their lives too. It does make me mad tho when they come to our western countries and enjoy all we built, and then trash us.

    During the time of Ramadan, I heard 2 Arabs complain that Ramadan didn’t have the same feeling as it did in Arabia, and how they wish it would. If I lived in the Muslim world and wanted to have camaraderie during Christmas season, I would try as hard as i could to get on an airplane and go home for the festivities. I would have to go home to go toChristmas Eve Midnight Services, and have communion, since there are very few churches in the Muslim world.

    How do we tolerate the intolerant?

    -Anon

  43. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    [quote]Anon: “I say…DEPORT ALL THE MUSLIMS FROM EUROPE ! The ones who insist on staying, well… I personally wouldn’t propose something radical as gas chambers, but is someone else does, I wouldn’t move a finger against.”[/quote]

    Oh, please. Your cure is worse than the illness. Most of the Muslims demonstrating in Europe are European citizens. You can’t deport citizens of a democracy based on their religion. And the last thing Europe needs is another Holocaust. We Americans are just finishing cleaning up the last one in the Balkans.

    Trying to out-fanatic the fanatics is not the answer. I recommend strict law enforcement and intelligence collection in the short term, education and constrained immigration in the long term. It would be good for laws to be passed to identify all individuals and organizations receiving Saudi money. Most of all, we need to chuck political correctness and make a public intellectual assault on radical Islam.

    Steve

  44. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Freedom Go To Hell

    Here is a photo of a Muslim in London protesting the Danish cartoons in front of the French embassy with a sign that neatly sums up the Islamic view: “FREEDOM GO TO HELL“.

    That is the nut of the issue: Western freedom or Islamic tyranny. Pick one.

    Steve

  45. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    I have to agree with you in that!

  46. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    [quote]Most of the Muslims demonstrating in Europe are European citizens.[/quote]

    Say that to the “European” muslim youth.
    Sorry, but being born in Europe doesn’t turn someone European.

    [quote]We Americans are just finishing cleaning up the last one in the Balkans.[/quote]

    Oh, thank you so much World Police.
    The fact that North American help only comes when it suits to them (no matter someone asked for help or not) is irrelevant, of course.

    About the Balkans, what you forget to mention is the reason people there were so angry at the local muslims.
    Try informing yourself on how things happened during the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, how Christians were treated like 2nd class people, suffering extra taxes only for being non-muslim, being forbidden of getting involved in commercial activities, having no political voice etc.

    So don’t come with this political correctness thing expecting that, suddenly, the muslims with turn moderate by themselves.

    The very reason Europeans are not wearing burkas nor praying turned to Mecca is because:

    1. – The Hispanics kicked the muslims out from the Iberia.

    2. – The Russians kicked the muslims out from the Balkans.

    I don’t remember any diplomacy, any treaty which solved problems with that kind of people.

  47. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    We still didnt discuss about what to do with Mohammed Khalid. I cant believe he actually burnt the flag himself (and with dignity being barefooted! How amazing!)

    Please anyone who is seeing this action as the ‘final blow’ for our sacred religion, LETS TURN THE TABLES before its too late!

    Within my own Faith I am fully disturbed by such actions and think people like him simply need to be punished and to stop his job immediately.. he needs SERIOUS re-prioritizing issues to work on and re-educating him what SIMPLY Islam is about..

    I will tell him and people like him his actions make me feel SHAME in my Faith..

    The agenda for next elections: [u]KILL[/u] RELIGION FROM POLITICS. GIVE HUMAN BEINGS CHOICE. IMPROVE LIVING. PERIOD.

  48. anonymous says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    I see the cockroaches are starting to come out of the woodwork here. Very good!

    Now crawl back into your racist hole and don’t bother coming back out.

  49. Pammi says:

    Burning flags

    good question…

    Where did they get all those Dane flags?

    It’s some time since I visited Palestine, so I may be out of date, but I don’t remember seeing many Danish flags on sale there. Not much demand, I suppose. I raise the question because, as soon as the row about the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Jyllands-Posten broke, angry Muslims popped up in Gaza City, and many other places, well supplied with Danish flags ready to burn. (In doing so, by the way, they offered a mortal insult to the most sacred symbol of my own religion, Christianity, since the Danish flag has a cross on it, but let that pass.)

    Why were those Danish flags to hand? Who built up the stockpile so that they could be quickly dragged out right across the Muslim world and burnt where television cameras would come and look? The more you study this story of “spontaneous� Muslim rage, the odder it seems.

    The complained-of cartoons first appeared in October; they have provoked such fury only now. As reported in this newspaper yesterday, it turns out that a group of Danish imams circulated the images to brethren in Muslim countries. When they did so, they included in their package three other, much more offensive cartoons which had not appeared in Jyllands-Posten but were lumped together so that many thought they had.

    It rather looks as if the anger with which all Muslims are said to be burning needed some pretty determined stoking. Peter Mandelson, who seems to think that his job as European Trade Commissioner entitles him to pronounce on matters of faith and morals, accuses the papers that republished the cartoons of “adding fuel to the flames�; but those flames were lit (literally, as well as figuratively) by well-organised, radical Muslims who wanted other Muslims to get furious. How this network has operated would make a cracking piece of investigative journalism.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/02/04/do0402.xml

  50. mahmood says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    STEVE, listen to this:

    I agree with Steve, you shouldn’t use fundamentalist methods and arguments to attack fundamentalists. And you especially should not generalise. It is bad form at best, racist at worst.

    So engage brains please… that is the most needed thing at the moment, not rhetoric and certainly not further incitement.

  51. anonymous says:

    Re(4): Burning flags

    [quote]I see the cockroaches are starting to come out of the woodwork here. Very good!

    Now crawl back into your racist hole and don’t bother coming back out.[/quote]

    And I see no arguments in this quote.

    Instead, I see just a tentative of offending the ones who are tired of the muslims’ attitude in a politically-correct way.

    Say what you want, but I’m not hypocritical of claiming having THE only clean and correct religion, while disrespecting other peoples’ lands by imposing them my foreign beliefs, burning embassies and calling for murdering the “infidels”.

    From the self-proclaimed “moderate muslims” I see only politically-correct rethoric, but absolutely no action. —
    In fact, the ones who aren’t burning buildings down are just watching… Personally I doubt they really care about moderation, they probably just don’t want to get involved — at this moment.

    I’m sure those moderate ones will not have any moral problem to collect any benefits coming from a subjugated western society, if the so-called radicals-not-representing-muslims-as-a-whole manage to get what they want.

  52. mahmood says:

    Re: Burning flags

    Thanks so much for the mention Sissy. I do hope that sanity will return to our streets soon.. but I’m not holding my breath yet. There is still some more misplaced anger to be expended first I think.

    Regarding the problem with the URLs, don’t put quote marks around your links, the system doesn’t like them for some reason!

  53. anonymous says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    And the rest of the world is just about ready to kick the muslims out again. Only today we find out Muslims in Yemen have let a known Terror suspect escape. Muslims BURNED the Danish Consul in Lebanon today, a Muslim in Israel stabbed 5 people on a bus, killing one, top this with the current Muslim uprising of something DRAWN on PAPER and it seems the Muslim world has a lot to answer for. Muslims better start turning Moderate in groves for I fear the world is growing tired of these Muslim rampages. The time for being PC is OVER. There is a problem in the Muslim world and if you don’t want the rest of the world imposing their solution on that problem than Muslims better start imposing some solutoins themselves soon.

  54. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    ….or scared.

  55. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    It’s somewhat amusing to me (in a morbid way, that is) seeing the Danes and Europe as a whole being countinuosly slapped in the face by the muslims who live there as guests.

    At the same time Europe does all it can to prevent Latin Americans (who happen to be fellow Christians and of European-derived culture BTW) to migrate there.

    This is an utter shame.

  56. anonymous says:

    Re(5): Burning flags

    This whole situation has nothing to to with racism, it’s all about muslims (who, in Europe, are predominantly Arabs) who want to impose their will as if it were some kind of divine right.

    I live in Brazil, and here we have a HUGE Christian Arab population (started ~30 years ago, about the period of unrest in Lebanon)… I’ve never heard of any clash between them and the local people, never. I guess there’s two generations already born here, they even mixed with the locals.
    It’s hard to identify them among the people, easier to ask a person about it in order to know.

    Many of them still keep conctact with their families in Middle-East, most of them keep their traditions. They didn’t renounce to their heritage.

    Not only they embraced the local culture, but contributed to it in a non-destructive manner.
    We even have a big Arab fastfood chain in this country, competing directly with MacDonalds and others:

    [url]http://www.habibs.com.br/[/url]

    AND everyone jokes about each other… Sometimes one may call an Arab by “turk”, or saying that Japanese people have small (certain part of the male body), or that Poles are angry people etc..

    Nobody cares. And everyone live together in peace.

    I see a very different problem happening now, and it has nothing to do with racism.
    It has to do with religion and imposing foreign cultural values on other peoples.

    The problem is not with the Arabs, the problem is with the muslims.

  57. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    The latest news here in Denmark is that the Egyption Minister of Foreign Affairs has told Kofi Annan that the Danish Government must now start “a hard line” towards the Danish press.
    How is it possible that this goes on and on with the support of government officials who must know that what they are demanding is absolutely impossible.
    For the Danish flags: I suppose they are in supply in these places because they are intended to be placed in front of the different projects funded by Danish money, as we are extremely active in development projects and dialogue programs in that part of the world
    Another piece of news, now I talk about help, is that Iraqui oficials have declared that they will not accept the money The Danish is giving to help the reconstruction.
    On another more positive note: Moderate Muslims had a founding meeting earlier today (held in the building housing the Danish Parliament). They have started a network of moderate muslims and plan to make a trip to middle eastern countries to present their view of their home country (it makes me so happy to really hear these great people(by birth syrian, lebanese, pakistani and palestinian etc.) coming out and finally calling Denmark their home)
    Ulla the Dane

  58. anonymous says:

    oh yes, they do suck

    > I DO NOT THINK muslims suck!

    Well… I do.

    And they also burn flags from friendly countries and call for assassination of the so-called “non believers”.
    All this rage and destruction for mere cartoons on Muhammad (ICTINGTBTG)*

    So much for a religion of peace, or so they like to make us believe.

    (*) ICTINGTBTG: I’m Christian, Thus I’m Not Going To Bless This Guy.

  59. mahmood says:

    Re: Burning flags

    Thank you for the update Ulla, and God bless you.

    Sooner or later the fundamentalists will disapear from the eyesight of the world. There is simply no place for them any more. They might have felt at home in small pockets as recently as 50 years ago, but no more. The world is truely so interconnected that whatever affects one part, will affect all others as well. The sooner that people realise this, the better for all concerned.

    Moderates will win. It stands to reason that we should.

  60. anonymous says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    What about those cartoons objected to as anti semitic? Doesn’t publishing these represent freedom of speech? Or expressing doubts about the holocaust?

  61. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    The banners of London protest is quite shocking, and more shocking is the official reaction to it. I guess that the Europe is being eaten by its own values of democracy, tolerance etc. How the hell can any country allow masked people go around the street shouting of beheading and annihilation? The Muslim Umma will soon become a reality in Europe, but not by bombing the Buckingham palace. Islam will fill the vacuum created by Christianity. Anyone thought why Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe? Well, to me it’s because Christianity is slowly dying its natural death. The churches are being converted to clubs and people are not identifying themselves anymore as Christians. Imagine a ‘Da Vinci Code’ on Muhammad and the Islamic response will be nothing shorter than a calamity, but the Christians celebrated the book without any moral guilt feelings. The state religion has become a mockery by itself by allowing laws which plucked out the very roots of religion. It’s such an irony that a country which burnt people and waged war in the name of religion is officially fuelling it’s rollback. The right wing and Bible belt may hold fort the America for some more time. But it won’t be far that you’ll see churches being demolished to make mosques, simply because there’s no one to go to church. The problem is not England and Europe becoming non Christian or becoming Islam. The problem is …well, look at the banners again. The lunatics may not be the core of European Muslims, but these are the ones spreading it with Saudi funding and Wahabi ideology.

    God save the Queen, son, daughter in law(s), grandsons and their girlfriends.

    -Aakash.

  62. mahmood says:

    Re(5): Burning flags

    In fact, the ones who aren’t burning buildings down are just watching

    Just shows that you hold just prejudiced views without any regard to facts. Let me tell you what I think regarding the burning of embassies in both Syria and Lebanon, particularly Syria:

    Syria is the epitome of a police state. In its population, a guarded estimate would be in every 2 Syrians, one would be working for the Mukhabarat, the State Security, or to use a direct translation of the Arabic word: Spies.

    So essentially in a country that one has to gather at least 4 signatures from “officials” in various ministries just to break wind, I doubt very much indeed that people had “spontaneous” demonstration and expressed their anger by burning diplomatic missions. I can almost guarantee that the “people” who torches those buildings are from the State Security branch, or paid directly by them.

    Of course, in a country like Syria, there will be no way to ascertain these facts.

    As for Lebanon, I wouldn’t be surprised of Syria’s involvement there too, or their cohorts Hizb Allah.

    So it’s all political shenanigans that have absolutely nothing to do with Islam or any other religion. This situation is once again being used to divert public attention and opinion from the dire situation that Syria is in, and is emblematic of the whole Arab and Muslim worlds.

    Just trying to put things into perspective, rather than mouthing off generalisations which serve nothing than exacerbate an already difficult situation.

  63. Dan says:

    Burning flags

    I see no evidence for the existence of a god. Belief in a god is an arbitrary concept that is irrational.

    Having said that, most people on this planet believe in some sort of deity as it helps them deal with the fact that we do not know where the universe came from or why we exist at all. The problem is that such beliefs are completely unsupported by the evidence.

    Oh, there IS evidence alright: My father says so. My mother says so. The people around me say so. And, in some countries, the government says so. But the bottom line is BECAUSE THE BOOK SAYS SO. How do you know the book is the truth? BECAUSE THE BOOK SAYS SO.

    Which book? The Bible? The Koran? I suggest that neither is more valid than the other. Yet while they both recommend the destruction of non-believers, the Bible does contain the New Testament which denounces violence. I do not see this in the Koran yet, I have only read parts of the Koran as opposed to the Bible in its entirety.

    As a thought process, faith is an invalid tool of cognition in that it constitutes belief without any supporting evidence in the world outside the faithist’s mind. The final argument of a faithist is the use of force to convince other people to share one’s belief.

    A RIGHT is a moral principle sanctioning and defining a human’s range of activity in a social environment. The moral principle is that one must not initiate the use of physical force against another person.

  64. mahmood says:

    Re(4): Burning flags

    Generalisations again… not worth replying to beyond saying that I agree that the fundies should be given the boot that would land them where they emanated from or to a place where they hold dear, but saying that “the rest of the world is just about ready to kick the muslims out again” is speaking from you nether regions I suspect.

  65. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Can anyone name me a Muslin country that tolerates other religions? In saudi arabia a Christian get jailed for walking with his Bible on the street. In most other muslin country their is a zero tolerance for Christians,churches are burned and people tortured. Egypth has surpressed the Christians for a long time. Yet Muslims expect to built mosks in the west ,when is the west going to demand a apology from these hatefull country’s for their treatment of Christians? THERE ARE STILL THOSE WHO IN THEIR COMPLETE AND UTTER FOOLISHNESS THINK THAT ISLAM IS A “PEACEFULL RELIGION” , MAYBE THEY MEAN WELL BUT THEY MUST LOOK AT 1500 YEARS OF MUSLIM HISTORY AND SEE THAT THEY HAVE ONLY HAD TERROR AND WAR EVEN BETWEEN EACH OTHER AND AN ABSOLUTE INTOLERANCE OF PEOPLE IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY THAT HAD A DIFFERENT RELIGION CHRISTIAN OR OTHER WISE. yet they want those freedoms in the west!! That is the fruit of islam .

  66. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    [quote]I’ll agree that the Muslim mob is taking advantage of Western tolerance. However, I disagree that such a mob is a serious threat to democracy. Frankly, the Muslim mob sets its cause back by advertising their violent intolerance in such an unambiguous way that it incites a determined opposition by the Europeans. Europeans don’t flood to the streets in an ineffective mob of wild men when they are outraged. They write editorials, articles, and books. They pass laws. They organize armies. These are slower responses than demonstrations but carry more weight.[/quote]

    Absolutely right. A big mistake that the Islamist fanatics make is to assume that Western democracies are weak and decadent and will crumble to dust when the Mujahideen arrive. In fact Western democracies are nothing of the sort, as Hitler soon discovered. We had bloody revolutions and fought wars on a scale that few Muslims could comprehend in order to secure our freedoms. We’ll do it again if we have to. So they’d best not make us have to, if they’ve any sense (which of course they haven’t).

  67. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    mahmood, you used the word ‘pig headed

  68. mahmood says:

    Re: Burning flags

    I’ll answer your question wishing to know a middle-eastern country which is tolerant of other religions, I shall; however, ignore your rant:

    Bahrain.

  69. anonymous says:

    Re(6): Burning flags

    [quote]it’s all about muslims (who, in Europe, are predominantly Arabs) [/quote]

    Errr, kind of but it depends which European country you are talking about. In Germany, there are mostly Turkish Muslims. In Britain, mostly Pakistani/Indian/Bangladeshi. Etc.

  70. chalk66x says:

    Burning flags

    The thought of these radical Muslims being convinced of any thing by moderate Muslims no matter their numbers is mind numbing. The radicals have one thing that out weighs anything the moderates can do. They have no hesitation in killing those who don’t agree with them. Fear is their best weapon and they use it well. I consider Mahmood as moderate a Muslim as you are likely to find (I sometimes think he’s a liberal) but I find it hard to picture him taking up arms against the radicals. Saudi Arabia has unleashed a genie that will force moderate Muslims to fight for their right to their religion and their countries or immigrate. Unfortunately the radicals have taken care of the immigration problem also.

    billT

  71. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    It does make me mad tho when [moderate muslims] come to our western countries and enjoy all we built, and then trash us.

    hmm.. no offense but you seem to be narrow-minded to me! When I go back to the middle east, I always allow any foreigner to speak freely about our government and people. It is everyone’s right to voice their opinion concerning ANY matter. I am currently studying in the US, and as much as I like the people, I do not agree with some of the US foreign policies.. So I’m sorry if that makes you mad, but you’ll just have to deal with it.. Otherwise, you will be on the same boat as those who can’t accept any contradictory opinion.

    Peace!

    Ahmed

  72. mahmood says:

    Re: Burning flags

    Ooops!

  73. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    There has been a public outcry about those placards, with people demanding that those carrying them be arrested and charged. Hopefully our shithead politicians will now ensure that this is done. As the protestors were all filmed and photographed, it should be possible to track down most or all of them.

    One of the many ironies is that this whole episode is an absolute gift to the neo-Nazi British National Party. They must be ecstatic.

  74. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    [quote]Isn’t this funny. Every now and then I still run across somebody’s comment where they say that we somehow asked for 9/11. I’ve never seen anybody pin down exactly how, but there must have been something. Ditto the London bombings and so on. There MUST have been some terrible grievance, even if we don’t quite know what it is, to provoke such extreme behavior.[/quote]

    Yes, you do hear that but actually what I meant was more that many people were inclined to see the London bombings as the work of a tiny number of extremists and as not in any way reflecting the views of the majority of Muslims in Britain. What has changed is that people who used to make a clear distinction between “extremist” and “moderate” Muslims here are now, as a result of this incredible and violent overreaction to some stupid cartoons, starting to think that Islam itself cannot co-exist with Western liberal democracy.

  75. mahmood says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    Arrested and shipped out. Immediately. Those dimwits should not be allowed to poison the atmosphere any further.

    I realise that some, if not all, of those dimwitted and violence-welcoming and -promoting protesters might well be British, if so, then the government will not have the opportunity to put them on a flight out, but they could certainly be made guests of Her Majesty for some time to come.

  76. anonymous says:

    Re(4): Burning flags

    Well.. I remember taking a course on Poverty and Discrimination, in which the class sorted out the difference between Prejudice, Discrimination, and Racism. You are right, racism doesn’t include the religion aspect, I believe that would be called discrimination! In any case, I was just hoping to make a point without getting into the techinicality of the terms. But thank you for the correction. I appreciate it :)!

    Peace,
    Ahmed

  77. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(4): Burning flags

    These are obnoxious ideas that are protected by the right to free speech. Such ideas are best disinfected by the sunshine of public exposure. They can not stand the test of reality. However, if suppressed, they can fester under the surface. It is best for bad ideas to compete in the marketplace of ideas and lose fairly and squarely.

    Steve

  78. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    I might point out that a significant fraction of the Pakistani community in London supported the Tube Bombings and said that if they knew of such a plot in progress, they would not report it. Those are the Muslims many people call moderate.

    Steve

  79. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    I was thrown stones at in Bahrain when horseriding. Maybe they are not tolerant to the extent to witness a woman on a horse and do nothing, just yet.

    That sucks.. If I were there, I would have probably kicked those bastards ass, or hired someone to do it :p!

    Ahmed 🙂

  80. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(3): Burning flags

    [quote]Steve: “Most of the Muslims demonstrating in Europe are European citizens.”
    Anon: “Say that to the “European” muslim youth. Sorry, but being born in Europe doesn’t turn someone European.”[/quote]

    I’m speaking legally. You’re speaking culturally. We are both correct.

    That said, you can not solve the cultural assimilation problem by deporting citizens who possess unsavory characteristics in your view. That’s already been tried with the Nuremburg Laws.

    [quote]Steve: “We Americans are just finishing cleaning up the last one in the Balkans.”
    Anon: “Oh, thank you so much World Police. The fact that North American help only comes when it suits to them (no matter someone asked for help or not) is irrelevant, of course.”[/quote]

    Cleaning up the death and torture camps in southern Europe served no geopolitical goal of the US. It could have been easily managed by the Europeans, had they had the will to clean up the evil in their own backyard. However, without American leadership, the Europeans are helpless moral idiots. If the Americans are not on the immediate scene, the Europeans will actually help load the victims on the buses to the killing fields, as they did at Srebrenica.

    [quote]Anon: “About the Balkans, what you forget to mention is the reason people there were so angry at the local muslims. Try informing yourself on how things happened during the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, how Christians were treated like 2nd class people, suffering extra taxes only for being non-muslim, being forbidden of getting involved in commercial activities, having no political voice etc.”[/quote]

    Dhimmitude in the 19th century is no excuse for mass murder in the 20th century. The Serb army rounded up Muslim civilians and killed them en masse. It is an evil you should be ashamed to defend or repeat.

    Steve

  81. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    But you’re missing the whole point: It’s not about religion. It is about shared interest and politics.

  82. Dan says:

    Burning flags

    I am in the United States. Our media chose not to display the cartoons in question. I had to view them on the Internet.

    Here is a link listing many web sites displaying the cartoons:

    http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004446.htm

  83. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    I get it. The main point isn’t about religion though it is a common idea in the religion itself that makes the political partnership possible and the shared interest work. Politics makes strange bedfellows.

  84. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    Mahmood;

    These cartoons were published in the Danish newspaper a few months ago. From what I’ve read, some imams found them and showed them to the people in their home countries, AFTER adding some cartoons of their own that were far more vile. It was done to deliberately antagonize and make it worse. I hope people realize what happened and give these particular imams a good kick in the ass for deceiving them.

  85. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Freedom Of Speech Vs Medieval Dogmatism

    From Spiegel Online, Muslim dissident Ibn Warraq writes:

    [quote]”The cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten raise the most important question of our times: freedom of expression. Are we in the west going to cave into pressure from societies with a medieval mindset, or are we going to defend our most precious freedom — freedom of expression, a freedom for which thousands of people sacrificed their lives?

    A democracy cannot survive long without freedom of expression, the freedom to argue, to dissent, even to insult and offend. It is a freedom sorely lacking in the Islamic world, and without it Islam will remain unassailed in its dogmatic, fanatical, medieval fortress; ossified, totalitarian and intolerant. Without this fundamental freedom, Islam will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality; originality and truth.

    Unless, we show some solidarity, unashamed, noisy, public solidarity with the Danish cartoonists, then the forces that are trying to impose on the Free West a totalitarian ideology will have won; the Islamization of Europe will have begun in earnest. Do not apologize.”[/quote]

    Quite so. It’s worth reading the whole thing.

    The Western defenders of free speech are right. The Islamic radicals are wrong. We should press the point until they give up their cartoon jihad.

    Steve

  86. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Abun Laban’s Cartoon Jihad

    More about Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, the Islamist imam who has precipitated the cartoon jihad, on the Counterterrorism Blog:

    [quote]”Last November, Abu Laban, a 60-year-old Palestinian who had served as translator and assistant to top Gamaa Islamiya leader Talaal Fouad Qassimy during the mid-1990s and has been connected by Danish intelligence to other Islamists operating in the country, put together a delegation that traveled to the Middle East to discuss the issue of the cartoons with senior officials and prominent Islamic scholars. The delegation met with Arab League Secretary Amr Moussa, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohammad Sayyed Tantawi, and Sunni Islam’s most influential scholar, Yusuf al Qaradawi. “We want to internationalize this issue so that the Danish government will realize that the cartoons were insulting, not only to Muslims in Denmark, but also to Muslims worldwide,” said Abu Laban.

    On its face, it would appear as if nothing were wrong. However, the Danish Muslim delegation showed much more than the 12 cartoons published by Jyllands Posten. In the booklet it presented during its tour of the Middle East, the delegation included other cartoons of Mohammed that were highly offensive, including one where the Prophet has a pig face. But these additional pictures were NOT published by the newspaper, but were completely fabricated by the delegation and inserted in the booklet (which has been obtained and made available to me by Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet). The delegation has claimed that the differentiation was made to their interlocutors, even though the claim has not been independently verified. In any case, the action was a deliberate malicious and irresponsible deed carried out by a notorious Islamist who in another situation had said that “mockery against Mohamed deserves death penalty.� [/quote]

    Abu Laban garnishes his cartoon jihad with the usual Islamist hypocrisy:

    [quote]”And in a quintessential exercise in taqiya, Abu Laban has praised the boycott of Danish goods on al Jazeera, while condemning it on Danish TV.”[/quote]

    That’s something to remember the next time you see a Muslim imam on TV telling you what you want to hear.

    Steve

  87. johndowne says:

    Burning flags

    Oh dear, i really wonder if Steve, when he says that without American leadership, Europeans are idiots, actually realises how that comes across? By making such fatuous generalisations, he removes any credibility from his other statements, which is a disservice to himself.

  88. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    [quote]When you form governments from your cronies based on loyalty rather than merit, you get some awfully dumb guys in charge.[/quote]

    You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie!

  89. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Burning flags

    [quote]Ulla the Dane: “The latest news here in Denmark is that the Egyption Minister of Foreign Affairs has told Kofi Annan that the Danish Government must now start “a hard line” towards the Danish press. How is it possible that this goes on and on with the support of government officials who must know that what they are demanding is absolutely impossible.”[/quote]

    You give them credit for being too smart and cosmopolitan. Just a few years ago Putin criticized Bush for allowing the US media to criticize Russia. If the head of Russia doesn’t understand that the press is free to say whatever it wishes, why is it hard to believe that Egyptian functionaries don’t understand how a free press works? When you form governments from your cronies based on loyalty rather than merit, you get some awfully dumb guys in charge.

    I wonder if much of the outrage from the Muslim world is based on the mistaken notion that the Danish government directs the Danish press just like Muslim governments direct their press. That may account for their goofy demands that the governments apologize for their press, like that will ever happen.

    [quote]Ulla the Dane: “For the Danish flags: I suppose they are in supply in these places because they are intended to be placed in front of the different projects funded by Danish money, as we are extremely active in development projects and dialogue programs in that part of the world”[/quote]

    Ulla, Ulla, Ulla. Do you think the rioters went to their local Dane and said, “Excuse me, Hans, do you have a Danish flag I can burn at the big demonstration today? We’re going to burn down the Danish Embassy then behead all the Danes who slandered Islam. By the way, what’s your collar size? 15 inches? Thanks!”

    Ulla, it’s pretty obvious that these “spontaneous” demonstrations were planned in advance, with Danish flags ordered and waiting for the demonstrators to report as ordered.

    [quote]Ulla the Dane: “Another piece of news, now I talk about help, is that Iraqui oficials have declared that they will not accept the money The Danish is giving to help the reconstruction.”[/quote]

    Ulla, this is the funniest joke in Baghdad. You will never see a day when Iraqis turn down free money.

    [quote]Ulla the Dane: “On another more positive note: Moderate Muslims had a founding meeting earlier today (held in the building housing the Danish Parliament). They have started a network of moderate muslims and plan to make a trip to middle eastern countries to present their view of their home country (it makes me so happy to really hear these great people(by birth syrian, lebanese, pakistani and palestinian etc.) coming out and finally calling Denmark their home)”[/quote]

    So the radical Muslims are running amok in the streets and the moderate Muslims reaction is to form a committee? When they actually DO something, like take to the streets to face down the radicals, let me know. When moderate Muslims stop acting like mice, then I’ll take them seriously. Right now the radicals rule Islam with the consent of the Muslim majority.

    Steve

  90. anonymous says:

    Re(7): Burning flags

    [quote] I lived for 12 (mostly)happy years in Saudi Arabia, working at the King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh in the “good old days” from 1975, and in Al Ain, UAE at the Al Tawam Hospital.

    I have spent years since explaining a faith that is not mine, countries to which I know no allegiance and a people with whom I could never be united as a citizen. All because I felt that I – having lived there, and become fond of the place, warts and all – had more understanding of it than those who simply looked and, often, condemned, from a viewpoint of distant ignorance.

    After the events of the past few days I can no longer do this with any sincerity so when people say to me, as they inevitably will, “Sheena, you spent years there – what do YOU think?”, I shall shrug my shoulders instead of explaining, describing or defending.

    Sad that it should come to this.
    sheena | 02.06.06 – 10:35 am |[/quote]

    I lifted this quote from the RP’s blog. I think it sums up how many people (Westerners) feel about the current events. Especially those of us who have spent some time over the years in the Middle East and have a love and appreciation for the region, its people and culture. It pains us as deeply to see what is happening. For years I have tried to answer questions from friends and neighbors and have spoken at length about my experiences and done my best to explain how things really are and not always the way the “media” or general perceptions are portrayed. This current cartoon flap is a major splinter that has burrowed deep under the flesh and it hurts. It feels worse than a slap in the face.

  91. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Burning flags

    Not idiots, Johnster, moral idiots. I stand by my point and have given my example of the Balkans to support it. This current cartoon jihad also supports my point. Europeans thought they could finesse the Muslim cultural assault and rejected the direct action of the US against threats from radical Islam. Now the Europeans are realizing they can’t finesse it. They must confront it. France has already threatened to fire nukes at any country that attacks it. That sounds a lot like cowboy talk threatening the unilateral action France condemned in the US.

    Steve

  92. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(8): Burning flags

    Tamara Mady, a reader of Instapundit, makes the point that the cartoon jihad is due to Arab Muslim arrogance:

    [quote]”Coming from an all Muslim family, I’m forced to listen to the sense of perceived injustice of Muslims concerning the depiction of their revered prophet. It’s quite sickening.

    I tell my family that that’s just how things work in a free society: while I don’t agree that the newspaper should have done something so culturally insensitive, they do have the right to do that, and attempting to make Danish society pay as a whole for it is utterly ridiculous.

    It doesn’t matter, I’m told. It literally means nothing to them, because in their world, everything should revolve around them and their culture, and God made the world for Muslim Arabs to control.

    And this is the kind of mindset the Danish people are contending with.”[/quote]

  93. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Damn your beliefs and your liberty!

    The Guardian reports on the “spontaneous” demonstration in Beirut that burned down the Danish embassy:

    [quote]”It wasn’t long before the heavily-laden coaches and minivans began to arrive from Beirut and the rest of Lebanon. They were all full of young, often bearded men who wore headbands and carried identical flags with calligraphic inscriptions in Arabic such as: “There is no god but God and Mohammad is his Prophet” and “O Nation of Muhammad, Wake Up.”

    The police seemed to know the demonstrators were coming and had turned out in force with barriers, barbed wire fences and several large fire trucks.

    Asad Harmoush, a leader of Jamaía Islamiya, the conservative Sunni Muslim group that had helped organise the protest, tried to deflect the blame. “We can’t control tens of thousands of people. We tried to limit the harm and we extend our excuses to our brothers in Achrafieh and to the security forces. There has to be an investigation. Obviously there were infiltrators.”

    And then in the early afternoon, as suddenly as it had all begun, it ended. The leaders of the mob turned to the angry young men beside them and told them it was time to leave. Obediently the crowd thinned out and began walking back to the buses, even as the Danish embassy continued to burn. By 3pm there wasn’t a single protester left on the street.”[/quote]

  94. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Shoulda Seen This Coming

    Now they’re selling T-shirts of the turban-bomb cartoon at MetroSpy for $18.99 plus shipping and handling.

    Steve

  95. anonymous says:

    Re(7): Burning flags

    The problem is, you moderates are not shouting loud enough to be heard by Western media. People in Europe are increasingly waxing cynical and callous, disbelieving the very notion of liberal or moderate Islam, because the only Islam they see on TV or in the news media is the hothead Islam.

  96. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    [quote]I suppose they are in supply in these places because they are intended to be placed in front of the different projects funded by Danish money, as we are extremely active in development projects and dialogue programs in that part of the world[/quote]

    A lot of those Danish “flags” that were set ablaze were just painted pieces of cardboard.

  97. mahmood says:

    Re(8): Burning flags

    Yes well, if it bleeds…

  98. Dan says:

    Burning flags

    After looking into the whole matter, I see that the original cartoons were originally published in Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, September 30, 2005.

    Why wait so long for such an outrage? I suggest that the Muslim world, led by the Saudi “Royal” family is trying to stir up a distraction from the fact that over a million Muslims recently trampled to death several hundred Muslims in an attempt to perform a ritual of stoning Satan by throwing rocks at a wall/pillar.

    Why don’t they do this now? Who, EXACTLY, is doing the will of Satan? I submit that it is fundamental Muslims in particular and all faithists in general.

    “Moderate” Muslims please turn away from this murderous religion.
    [Modified by: Citizen Quasar (Dan) on February 06, 2006 01:12 AM]

  99. Dan says:

    Burning flags

    An interesting perspective on the matter may be found here:

    http://drsanity.blogspot.com/

  100. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Dr.Sanity was indeed interesting. Let freedom ring in the Middle East.

    thinker

  101. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    I have myself been astonished at how tolerant Britain is about that kind of extremists, who come out with placards crying for the death and beheading of non-Muslims. In my country – European and democratic – there are laws against that sort of things. Laws which protect Muslims, as well as the non-Muslim majority. You go out demanding that all non-Muslims be killed – you go to jail (and if you aren’t a citizen, out you go, to where you came from). You go out demanding that all Muslims be killed – you go to jail.

    One part of the problem is the anti-authoritarianism and libertarianism that has been going on far too long in those Anglo-Saxon countries and is polluting the rest of us. People have no respect for good, equal, secular law which protects everybody, Muslim or non-Muslim, against thugs. Instead, thugs are being given free rein, and everybody is unhappy but the thugs.

    As regards the protests in Muslim countries, it is quite clear that they have been exploited by local undemocratic leaders to turn the eyes of the people away from local social problems. Which are, as we know, huge in most Muslim countries: if you do not live in a poor, hungry Third World place, then you live in a rich, corrupt petrocracy.

  102. anonymous says:

    Re(5): Burning flags

    [quote]Now stop your whining and offer proper arguments and suggestions that we can engage you in.[/quote]

    At this time, I have no other suggestion than KEEP SHOUTING, and see to it that others keep shouting, too. If you shout long enough, even we in the West will hear. If you are numerous enough and shout loud enough to make Osama’s friends fear, then we will definitely hear you, too.

  103. anonymous says:

    Re(6): Burning flags

    Correct me if I am wrong, Mahmood, but isn’t Syria’s Assad dynasty somehow non-Muslim? I thought they belonged to some kind of obscure religion that is neither strictly Muslim nor Christian.

  104. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    I’ve seen worse…
    http://www.shopmetrospy.com/
    [img]http://www.shopmetrospy.com/buy_graphics/325_mowham02.jpg[/img]

  105. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    [quote]I recommend strict law enforcement and intelligence collection in the short term, education and constrained immigration in the long term. It would be good for laws to be passed to identify all individuals and organizations receiving Saudi money.[/quote]

    I agree entirely with you, but for the most part the legislation is there already, at least in my country. The problem is, that it is impossible to hire anybody for intelligence services who would have any idea of Arabic, Persian, or other relevant languages, and to teach those languages to policemen…oh no. Oh no.

  106. mahmood says:

    Re(7): Burning flags

    They are Muslims, their sect is called “Alawis” or “Alawite”. Have a look at this entry in Wikipedia for more information:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alawite

  107. mahmood says:

    Re(6): Burning flags

    I think getting a sore throat, be branded a useless trouble maker, be shunned and swept into the dust-bin of history is more like what you will achieve, if your method is adopted, with all due respect. Shouting never solves problems. Clear-headed thinking and engagement does.

  108. anonymous says:

    Re(8): Burning flags

    Then this explains why Syria gets along so well with Iran? The Alawis don’t harbor the same ill will towards the Shi’? Am I thinking correctly?

  109. mahmood says:

    Re(9): Burning flags

    I think there must be a deeper shared interest between the two countries than just sect or religious affiliation. Although both the Shi’a and Alawites do give some importance to Imam Ali, the Alawites much more than the Shi’as of course, but I think their political partnership transcends mere religious affiliation even though some might want us to believe it is simply so.

  110. Dan says:

    Burning flags

    Here is an interesting link showing numerous pictures of Mohammed over the centuries:

    http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/

  111. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    I think you are you right. The common ground is the importance of Ali which allows the political partnership to work. I had always incorrectly assumed Syria was Sunni and as such have always been puzzled by the idea of Sunni Syrians (say that fast 3 times!) working hand in hand with Shi’ Iranians. I suppose in retrospect I should have know this little tidbit of info but alas the old adage is correct you learn something new everyday!

  112. anonymous says:

    God in Print?

    [b]T[/b]he caricatures of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon Him), nearly five months after initial publication, has caused a great hew and cry: flag burnings, destruction of merchandise, demonstrations, ugly chants, the beating of Europeans, hostage taking„l in the name of the prophet. I consider it a low blow to make a cartoon of any religious figure, be it Abraham, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed or Vishnu.

    These people are revered and adulated by hundreds of millions of people around the globe. Though personalities like Tony Blair, George Bush, Jacques Chiraq or Ariel Sharon seem fair game for cartoonists from Tokyo to Seattle, not to forget Cairo and Riyad, Arab artists wouldnÂ?ft have to think twice about sketching for publication their amirs, sultan and kings that rule their countries.

    Even tolerant Bahrain has a draft press law spelling out dire consequences should anyone offend the countryÂ?fs leadership or a journalist or cartoonist write or draw something unflattering about them, the sacred cows, as it were, of the region. Freedom of the press, of opinion and of _expression is clearly stunted in a vast swath of the Middle East.

    In the religious context, one of the most flagrant abuses of religious freedom is witnessed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There seems to be an inherent fear of other religions and faiths in that country except for Islam as other beliefs might possibly taint their citizens.

    Though Christianity and Judaism were influential for centuries in that country before Islam, in the past decades, the kingdom has tried to suppress entirely the religious life of other religions though even Mohammed permitted Christians to worship in the precincts of a mosque near Mecca. Christians and Jews, after all, according to the prophet, are ahl al kitab (people of the Book), must be respected even if they don�ft have exactly the same approach to God nor identical customs and worship practices. In Saudi Arabia, the Church has gone underground„Ÿnot so in any of the other gulf countries.

    An eighth-century church unearthed in the 1980s on the eastern shores of Saudi Arabia caused great embarrassment to the kingdom. Scholars even believe that that edifice had originally been a synagogue. So, in Saudi Arabia today, people in prayer groups at home can be arrested and expelled from the country, Bibles are confiscated and burned, practicing Christians are forced to sign statements to renounce their Christian faith, vowing never to practice it again, priests are imprisoned and expelled, crucifixes are destroyed.

    No wonder Saudi Arabia doesnÂ?ft want to support any boycott of Denmark or other countries because of the cartoons of Mohammed as their own religious-tolerance level is so dismal. While the queen of Denmark is unlikely to express her regrets over cartoons, Saudi King Abdulla is hardly likely to apologise for his countryÂ?fs total disrespect for Jesus, or Prophet Isa, and for the adherents of that faith.

    Christianity, however, isn’t the sole target of the Saudi vigilantes but Hindu sacred tomes found in people’s luggage are also seized and destroyed, even if they’re consider heirlooms, passed down for generations. The issue of cartoons is a much larger topic that needs to be addressed and roundly debated… without violence.

    [b]Abdulla Saeed[/b]

  113. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    OK, I’ll admit, I did laugh at that.

    Steve

  114. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    You need to get out of the lefty bunker and walk around my friend. Conservative T-shirts mocking the deserving have been around for decades.

    Steve

  115. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Burning flags

    Give me a reason to change my mind, Johnster, and I’m likely to do it. However, simply saying that something comes across as fatuous is not very persuasive. I’m am convinced by objective facts, not subjective feelings.

    Steve

  116. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    Nice scarf. stupid t-shirt. hey, does the cartoonist get any royalty checks for any of the sold t-shirts?

  117. anonymous says:

    Re: Burning flags

    What a website! Its the first time I see a conservative website trying to send its message through ‘humor’ (and make a quick buck as well). Unfortunately for them, its not [i]that[/i] funny, as satire is usually done better by liberals. No explanation for why that is, but I guess its because they’re not as uptight as the compassionate conservatives (clearly not the person incharge of this ruckus). Except for George Bush. He’s funny. In a depressing way, that is.

  118. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: A sane voice…

    Christine,

    In America, we say that a Republican is a Democrat who has been mugged. Perhaps in Denmark, a conservative is a liberal whose tolerance has been abused.

    The cartoon jihad is the clash of civilizations in miniature and foreshadows future conflict. Islam is a supremacist, expansionary, and violent creed. It is supremacist in that it demands that everyone respect it while offering no respect to others. You can see this in its demand that apologies be made for the cartoons of Mohammed while making no apology for the most vituperative cartoons it produces, such as the one this week of Hitler sleeping with Ann Frank. I don’t recall a Muslim leader making an apology for anything. They only demand them as their due.

    The expansionary aspect of Islam can be seen in its demand that Denmark’s media conform to Muslim practice. It can also be seen in the Muslim disinclination to integrate with its host societies but form colonies and demand their hosts change to suit Muslim law and custom. It is also evident in the campaign of Islamic terrorism around the world to convert countries to Islam, then combine them into Muslim super-states with the ultimate goal of world ruled by an Islamic Caliphate.

    The cartoon jihad may seem silly, but if Denmark were to concede to the unreasonable demands of the radical Muslims, it would encourage them to demand more and more. You probably should reconsider what you are willing to tolerate and draw a bright line where your tolerance ends. Then you should be ready to make a strong defense of your culture, because this will not be the last time it will come under assault by Islam. This is a conflict that will go on for the rest of our lives and beyond.

    Steve

  119. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Anonymous…I don’t think you should post that picture without Mahmood’s permission.

    thinker

  120. Steelangel says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    [quote]Moderates will win. It stands to reason that we should.[/quote]

    Not true, Mahmood.

    We have seen, historically that moderates do not -win-, they merely survive and adapt to the nutcases willing to kill them for their beliefs. The Jews during the exile were ‘moderates

  121. mahmood says:

    Re: Burning flags

    Thanks Thinker. I’ll let it stand at this time. These images have grown in a viral fashion and no one can now stop them.

  122. mahmood says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    In ancient history you are right, I don’t think that your arguments hold any water now, however. If the only way for moderates to win is to resort to violence, that makes them nothing more than extremists!

    The only way to go forward in this world is through moderation, and world support. The “global village” now must support moderates and exert pressure on extremism to eradicate it and achieve peace and harmony.

    I can see this happening right now. I can see a few Arab and Muslim voices against this hostile halucination that is sweeping the majority of our world; yet, the few voices who are speaking up are gaining ears and are unafraid to voice their opinions because they know that the larger world opinion will support them, as they must.

  123. johndowne says:

    Burning flags

    “I stand by my point and have given my example of the Balkans to support it.”

    Darn it Steve….there was I thinking you might change your mind

  124. Dan says:

    Burning flags

    Nice thread, Mahmood. I like your blog and keep coming back here expecting a new post. However, this is such an important issue, and you are getting A FEW good responses, that I hope you will run it for a few more days. It will certainly (possibly?) help world understaning/peace if you do.

    Thanks.

    —Dan
    [Modified by: Citizen Quasar (Dan) on February 07, 2006 12:25 AM]

  125. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Let them post all the pictures they wish if it makes them feel good about themselves.. This is a free world and everyone has the right to free speech..

    Instead of demonstrating and fighting back, I hope all muslims can just join together and say, “Allah Esamhkum”..

    Ahmed

  126. Dan says:

    Burning flags

    Anonymous…AKA: Ahmed.

    Please tell me what “Esamhkum” is. I speak English and Mahmood has chosen to make this an English speaking blog.

    Thank you.

    —Dan
    [Modified by: Citizen Quasar (Dan) on February 07, 2006 12:32 AM]

  127. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Forgive them.. 🙂

    Sorry about that..

    Ahmed

  128. Dan says:

    Burning flags

    Ahmed:

    Thank you.

    —Dan

  129. anonymous says:

    Re(5): Burning flags

    I hear you.

    Feeling that I had always supported Palestine and the muslims in my own country when I felt they were victims of unjust attacks, I must admit I was starting to think “what, I have been standing up to THESE guys?” I do feel that Denmark is currently the target of lots of different kinds of anger towards the west, arabic governments, other divisions of islam. And as Denmark is such a small country that poses a threat to noone, everyone is allowing for it to happen.
    I have found some relief, however, in the blogosphere. People like you might not reach as far as people on tv, but I have seen a lot of arabic reactions that are much more sane and promising. That has calmed me and given me a new sense of hope. So thank you for speaking your mind. It does matter and it does help.

    Kristian Dupont from Denmark

  130. anonymous says:

    A sane voice…

    Dear Mahmood,

    Thank you very much for been a sane voice in what is more and more blatantly becoming an insane world.

    I would like to comment on recent events from the point of view of an ordinary Dane, as I hear only a few peeps in the international debate and most of them from the extreme right. They do not represent me, as your fundamentalists do not represent you. I have never thought of myself as being, in any way shape or form, a racist, nor do I have a problem with people who chose to practice a different religion than mine. I must confess, however, that recent event has put my professed tolerance to the test.

    Let me start my clarifying: The cartoons/drawings were not published in an attempt to be funny. They were published – as I believe Steve pointed out – as a commentary to events in Europe over the last couple of years: The murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (who had participated in the making of the film “Submission”) by radical Muslims; the attack on an (I believe) Swedish artist, who had depicted the Prophet; and finally the problems faced by a Danish author, who was writing a children’s book about the Prophet – he could not find an artist, who was willing to illustrate the book unless the artists could remain anonymous.
    The paper chose to ask different illustrators to draw the Prophet [i]the way they saw him[/i], wondering how many artists would answer the call.

    The publishing of the cartoons sparked much debate back in my country. A constructive and pretty much sober debate over religious sensitivity, humor/satire, and freedom of speech. Most Danes, and, I believe, quite a few Muslims, chose to view the cartoons as a positive sign, a sign, that the integration process is working. When you poke fun at somebody, he is part of the club. If Muslims should be excempt from the form of political joking which is very much used in the public Danish debates, it would effectively be a sign, that they were not part of the club, that they were not part of our society.

    If I have understood the whole bruhaha properly, the main grievance is over the drawing featured above(?). It is funny, in a very sad sort of way, that the way radical Muslims all over the world have chosen to react to the depictions, proves the illustrators point. The way he saw the Prophet, equalled the man with violence. The way people completely overreacted, burning flags, embassies and threatening the lives of Danish citizens in the name of religion, equals their religion with violence. If you equal my religion with violence, I will kill you?!?!? He just spoke ’em as he saw ’em.

    By the way I am bemused, that the Muslim fundamentalists on the one hand think it horrific beyond the pale for a newspaper in a small, secular country to publish a drawing, which some people find insulting to their faith, but on the other hand find it completely allright for masses of people to burn my flag, step on my flag, burn pictures of my premier, and depict my queen as a cow ?!? Bemused might not be quite enough!

    An apology seemed to me like a good idea a week or so ago ([i]Just say the word and get it over with already – it’s no skin off your back, and you did genuinely hurt some people![/i]). Now, however, I am not so sure – uhm make that: There is no way! Why should we apologise for something, which in Denmark is perfectly legal ([size=9]the newspaper has already apologized for hurting the feelings of Muslims, what they won’t apologize for, is printing the cartoons in the first place[/size]), to totallitarian regimes, in most of which human rights have appaling conditions (if they exist at all). I get a rather unpleasant taste in my mouth, when Saudi Arabia tries to lecture Denmark and Danes on freedoms and rights – We have been a democracy for 107 years come June – I think we are beginning to get the hang of it, thank you very much!

    Furthermore I am sick to my stomach of me “having to try to understand” the Muslim point of view, when it is so clearly a one-way street:
    Countless times our premier has tried to make the point that, allthough he, personally, does not agree with the decision to publish the drawings, we have a free press in Denmark, and he has absolutely no say over, what the newspapers can and cannot print. It does not sink in.
    They want the cartoonists beheaded – Sorry folks, no can do. We haven’t had the death penalty since 1933 (except for a brief stint after WWII) Besides, I think beheading as a form of punishment was discontinued, along with the chopping of of other body parts, sometime in the 18th century.
    They want an apology from the Queen… Well tecnically she is the Head of State, but we have a constitutional monarchy – she has no more power over the media, than the premier (ie. none).

    It seems to me that the dialogue is increasingly becoming a shouting match. I hope very much that it will not turn out that he, who shouts the loudest, wins.

    If you have read this far, I thank you – I ranted, I know, but it feels good to have gotten it of my chest.

    Kindest regards

    Christine

  131. mahmood says:

    Re: A sane voice…

    Christine, thank you for your input and I appreciate your views. When you say that “the dialogue is increasingly becoming a shouting match” I fully agree with you, and add that both participants seem to be deaf as well!

    When they get sore throats and quieten down a bit, I hope that everybody will see what has been facing them from the start: the caricatures are in bad taste, and they should not have created this much resentment and an almost nucleur fallout. We (Muslims) need to just shrug off these things and get on with our lives. There are much more important things that the blessed Prophet will hold us to account to on the day of judgement than how he was portrayed in a graphical representation.

  132. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    If you haven’t seen this already, check out http://www.sorrynorwaydenmark.com/

    -ES

  133. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    A REVIEW by Uncle J from Canada:

    I was falling into an almost suicidal despair about the recent cartoon-based events and the future of the human species. Then I came across this website, where the proverbial Moderate Muslim generously and courageously hosts a forum for people to express their fear of Islam and discuss the Islamic religion/culture in a spirit of honest enquiry and open-mindedness. Maybe there is hope for the future. Thank you Mahmood.

    My personal belief is atheism but I try to keep it personal rather than seeking converts – partly to get along with others who may be religious, and partly out of paranoia, as we unbelievers are usually the first targets of the theocratic control freaks. Here is my conclusion derived from reading history and observing the human experiment: in societies where God rules and the people in charge answer only to God, they answer to no one, and the Dark Ages set in. Progress, scientific discovery and human development have happened only in societies where public decisions are made according to reason, and religious belief is kept a personal matter. This was true, from what I am told by some Muslim writers, during the Golden Age of the Muslim world as well. Too bad about the current state of affairs.

    P.S. Lest one become too smug about one’s own culture and its demons, you will be shocked by the threatening and violent abuse that an American dissident can expect for questioning his country’s beliefs [or at least the reactionary fundamentalist Christian Republican ones] – check out the ‘Net Hell’ section at the bottom of the website called ‘Conservatively Correct’
    the URL is
    http://rackjite.com/1beast.htm

  134. anonymous says:

    Re: A sane voice…

    Ups – Denmark has been a democracy for 157 years, not 107 as previously posted – sorry.

    Christine

  135. anonymous says:

    Re(8): Burning flags

    Well, you are the Muslim, not I, so you know better, but to me it sounds rather exotic, not exactly the way I used to perceive Islam. There sure is quite a lot of Gnosticism there, quite reminiscent of Black Muslims in the United States.

  136. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Hatred is born of fear and fear is dissipated by knowledge.
    Mahmood, you are a shining example.

    Will

  137. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Real Story of Cartoon Jihad

    Here is an excellent account of the hidden back story of the cartoon jihad by Amir Taheri of the New York Post, who claims that “the whole rigmarole was launched by Sunni-Salafi groups in Europe and Asia, with Ahmadinejad and his Syrian vassal, President Bashar al-Assad, belatedly playing catch-up. God had nothing to do with it.”

    As the Muslim rabble-rousers shopped their goods around the Middle East last fall, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in Palestine were more interested in winning elections than fomenting propaganda riots and deferred. Al Jazeera, always eager to propagandize against the West, jumped on the cartoon jihad bandwagon with both feet.

    Taheri concludes:

    [quote]”People watching TV news may think that the whole Muslim world is ablaze with righteous rage translated into “spontaneous demonstrations.” The truth is that the overwhelming majority of Muslims, even if offended by cartoons which they have not seen, have stayed away from the street shows put on by the radicals and the Iranian and Syrian security services.

    The Muslim crowds that have demonstrated over the cartoons seldom exceeded a few hundred; the Muslim segment of humanity is estimated at 1.2 billion. And only three of Denmark’s embassies in 57 Muslim countries have been attacked.

    The Danish Muslim gang who lied by adding cartoons that had never been published has done more damage to the Prophet and to Islam than the 12 controversial cartoonists of Jyllands-Posten.

    The fight between Denmark and its detractors is not between the West and Islam. It is between democracy and a global fascist movement masquerading as religion.” [/quote]

    Read the whole thing.

    Steve

  138. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    Right on brother![http://emullah.blogspot.com]

    On a side note why you want to keep all comments Anonymous even if people want to choose some identity.

  139. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re: Burning flags

    Thanks for confirming the incoherent and intractable hatred of Muslims for the West. Isn’t it interesting that you can be so outraged by a cartoon yet beheadings and snuff videos and mass slaughter done in the name of Islam does not outrage you a bit?

    Steve

  140. mahmood says:

    Re(1): Burning flags

    No need to generalise Steve.

    Our enraged friend, it is interesting to note, logged in from Melbourn in Australia. Not that would say much about the person of course, but one would think that that environment would have rubbed some local tolerance into them. Not in this case of course. Or is this attitude because of the recent racial troubles in Australia?

  141. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Re(2): Burning flags

    Hmmm. That is an interesting fact, Mahmood. And yes, they are having the same kind of trouble with Lebanese Muslim gangs in Australia.

    Steve

  142. anonymous says:

    Burning flags

    This is how they should react or do worse out of it… if i was there i would explod the bloody flag of that country which disrespcted islam… fuck you mother fuckers , suck my looooooooooooonnnng deck you all danish pimp… i know u won’t submit this letter… so i say that…….. FUCKKKKKKKKKKKK UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
    ASSHOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSs

  143. anonymous says:

    Burning flags — Cartoons!

    I support the cartoon publications (or the right of . . .) and am tired of Muslims attempting to control my own freedoms of religion or speech. I am especially concerned about how Muslims (mainly those that follow strict Islamic laws) treat woman. Personally, this last points makes me feel that a great majority of Muslims are bigots and ignorant to the rights of others. When most Muslim women are given the “choice� to do X or Z, then I will be more open to listing to Muslims concerns about cartoons.

  144. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS WESTERN TERRORISM

    The Volokh Conspiracy features this photo of a Muslim woman in Kenya protesting the cartoons with a sign that neatly sums up the radical Muslim position:

    FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS WESTERN TERRORISM

    That pretty much distills down what they are about.

    Steve

  145. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    Fight From The First Ditch

    Mark Steyn comments in the Chicago Sun-Times on the new Muslim outrage at a blow-up male sex doll, sold in Britain, called Mustafa Shag:

    [quote]The Muslim Association’s complaint, needless to say, is that the sex toy “insults the Prophet Muhammad — who also has the title al-Mustapha.”

    In a world in which Danish cartoons insult the prophet and Disney Piglet mugs insult the prophet and Burger King chocolate ice-cream swirl designs insult the prophet, maybe it would just be easier to make a list of things that don’t insult him. Nonetheless, the Muslim Association wrote to the Ann Summers sex-shop chain, “We are asking you to have our Most Revered Prophet’s name ‘Mustafa’ and the afflicted word ‘shag’ removed.”

    If I were a Muslim, I’d be “hurt” and “humiliated” that the revered prophet’s name is given not to latex blowup males but to so many real blowup males: The leader of the 9/11 plotters? Mohammed Atta. The British Muslim who self-detonated in a Tel Aviv bar? Asif Mohammed Hanif. The gunman who shot up the El Al counter at LAX? Heshamed Mohamed Hedayet. The former U.S. Army sergeant who masterminded the slaughter at the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania? Ali Mohamed. The murderer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh? Mohammed Bouyeri. The notorious Sydney gang rapist? Mohammed Skaf. The Washington sniper? John Allen Muhammed. If I were a Muslim, I would be deeply offended that the prophet’s name is the preferred appellation of so many killers and suicide bombers on every corner of the earth.

    But apparently that’s not as big a deal as Mustafa Shag. When Samuel Huntington formulated his famous “clash of civilizations” thesis, I’m sure he hoped it would play out as something nobler than shaggers vs. nutters.

    … to use the Arabic proverb with which Robert Ferrigno opens his new novel, Prayers for the Assassin, set in an Islamic Republic of America, “A falling camel attracts many knives.” In Denmark and France and the Netherlands and Britain, Islam senses the camel is falling and this is no time to stop knifing him.

    The issue is not “freedom of speech” or “the responsibilities of the press” or “sensitivity to certain cultures.” The issue, as it has been in all these loony tune controversies going back to the Salman Rushdie fatwa, is the point at which a free society musters the will to stand up to thugs. British Muslims march through the streets waving placards reading “BEHEAD THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM.” If they mean that, bring it on. As my columnar confrere John O’Sullivan argued, we might as well fight in the first ditch as the last.[/quote]

  146. HelloWorld says:

    Peace people

    We love you

Back to Top