Those 12 Offensive Cartoons-Caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhamad (PBUH)
Monday, 06 February 2006
What if I was a Muslim? Would I have liked this idiotic portrayal of Islam’s Prophet Muhamad? But of course not! So, why is such portrayal acceptable to some?
In my opinion, that is all the question that the journalists at Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten and their sympathizers all over Europe need to answer or resolve.
How would they feel, if their holy of holies is desecrated and demeaned?
It will be recalled that Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 published their silly series of cartoons which portrayed or depicted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as if with a turban, but grenade like turban, with a lighted fuse.
In essence, it suggested that the prophet was a violent symbol or an explosive representative of Islam and by extrapolation, Islam itself is violent.
Expectedly, adherents of the Islamic faith, took strong exception to these calculated affront committed by these journalists in the name of press freedom. But press freedom must be exercised with a great sense of responsibility.
And media freedoms cannot be limitless or irresponsibly exercised.
How would Christians appreciate the portrayal of the Christian Cross and Jesus Christ if depicted and portrayed, in such depraved and violent manner? How would the Christians feel if the Cross on Christ’s shoulders is cartooned-caricatured to look like a shoulder-fired surface-to-air-missile (SAM)? Or Stinger Missile similar to the ones given to the Mujaheedeen by the CIA before Afghanistan morphed into the hands of Taliban?
And would the Jews not rightly call anyone anti Semitic if such non-Jew was caught depicting the Star of David as weapon or tool of violence?
Why does the world, particularly, Europe expect a different sorts of reactions by adherents of the Islamic faith?
The enthusiasms with which other European newspapers and publications embraced the denigration of Prophet Muhammad and the spiraling willingness to engage in these disparagements of the symbol of Islam is, to say the least, disturbing; It creates and reinforces the impression that there is an orchestrated war against Islam by America and Europe. Particularly since September 11, 2001, the appearance has been created and nurtured, to the effect that the so-called war against terrorism is actually a war against Islam. Contest between religions, Christian and Islamic civilizations.
It is therefore safe to say that this latest siege and unified attack from the European Press against Islam, is merely a continuation of a clash of cultures of Christianity and Islam.
Christianity postures as the superior culture, the superior religion and the superior civilization. And to that extent, it does appear, as if, there are repeated attempts to humble and defeat Islam through the contests of civilizations in wars, in portrayals and even the ridiculing of Islamic symbols as was engaged in by Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten and its copy-cats sympathizers all over Europe ballyhooed last week.
And of course, we are to pretend and feign surprise when our Muslims brethrens react to lampooning of their holies? Some prefer to believe that Muslims are just being unreasonable! That is not so. Muslims are merely resisting unwarranted attacks.
Here in the US, I have witnessed protests and picketing of movies and theater plays that are satirical of Christianity or Jesus Christ, notably, Jesus Christ Super Star.
And more recently, Mel Gibson was criticized by some Christians but more severely by Jews because of his movie “Passion of the Christ”. Mel Gibson had to engage in repeated explanations and at some point his movie was edited to assuage the feelings of his critics. Where was press freedom and artistic freedom as defense or superior argument when Mel Gibson was severally severely mauled by the critics?
Why is everyone now suddenly hiding under freedom of expression and press freedom as the excuse for tolerating and perpetuating what is clearly an inappropriate portrayal of Prophet Muhammad and Islam, with the subliminal auto suggestion, that Islam, its prophet and symbols are interchangeable with war, violence and terrorism in the same sentence? Why the linkage of Islam, its prophet with violence or tools of war, grenade?
Whatever happened to the Christian admonition of Do Unto Others as you would have them do unto you? I thought true Christian values requires that Christians have, and demonstrate respect and tolerance toward the holies of all others? Or is it The Inquisition all over again?
But why is it, that when it comes to Muslims, we pretend, that their feelings do not matter or that the rest of us are not obliged to respect their feelings and religious sensibilities? And when Muslim therefore reacts to these shortsighted policies, we are shocked and dismayed? Or conclude that Muslims are just unreasonable?
Why can’t Christians and Jews demonstrate the same respect and care, when handling Islam and Muslims’ holies? Why can’t Christians and Jews simply put themselves in the proverbial shoes of Islam and Muslims as it were?
Christian Conservatives also known as the Evangelicals the US, currently drive and propel public policies in America foreign and domestic policies that is, however, same Christians Conservatives, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed etc who are excited agog at their policies successes at home and abroad, but are loathe to have Islamic influenced public policies in Palestine, Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan! But why is this fair?
Why is it okay for Pat Robertson to issue Christian fatwa against President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, but somehow, it is not acceptable for religious clerics in Iran, Afghanistan or Iraq to issue Islamic fatwa against a person or persons who affront their religion?
I personally abhor violence, but if force be the measure of strength and if might be deemed right, who is to determine who gets nuclear weapons power and who is to determine the superiority between Evangelical Christian propelled fatwa and its Islamic version?
I was raised as a Christian of the Catholic faith, even though I am now semi-retired Catholic, I would not intentionally or deliberately disrespect what the Catholics hold dear; Similarly, I would expect all of us, in the finest Christian tradition to show and demonstrate respect towards other peoples holies. Long Live Islam!