the cartoon crisis

February 10, 2006

The number of deads rose to eleven in Afghanistan today as the cartoon crisis spread to the southern part of the country.

The cartoons were originally published in a Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, after Danish writer Kare Bluitgen complained he was unable to find an illustrator for his children’s book about the Prophet, because no one wanted to break an Islamic tenet banning the portrayal of his image.

I believe there have been more reasons to publishing the cartoons than what Kare Buitgen has been saying. Why would the cartoons need to be published if it’s for children illustration in Denmark’s leading daily newspaper, is Denmark a nation of three year olds?!

I was reading some of the Muslim newspapers and weblogs in reaction to this incident and there were two reasons which were most commonly spread. The more extreme writers believed it’s another manifestation of Western–Christian hostility toward Islam. They claimed the western “Politicians and the media have a tendency to see Muslims only as criminal, anti-social elements and as potential rapists” This could be seen in the irony of the cartoons, where the media connects the most prominent Islamic character with backwardness, bomb and criminality.
The other reason was, it’s also connected with a lot of home issues which still remains unsolved in Europe, such as freedom of expression. The traditional European censorship comes to a dead end with the rise of right wing governments in power.
Twentieth century history of the Scandinavian countries has had a reputation for being peace-loving and harmless.
That might still be true. But the perception among millions of Muslims has changed; the cartoons are not only breaking the ban and insulting, but it’s also provocative and hostile. Many Scandinavian’s has realized that their reputation is at risk and latest figures shows that almost 80% of the Danes regret the action of Jylland Posten. Many Muslim governments have demanded an official apology from the Danish government, I believe if the Danish government responds positively that would make a big difference.
The polish daily Rzeczospolita decided to republish the cartoons the other day, following the lead of many other papers in France, Germany, and Norway. This is after Jyllands-Posten apology, which admitted that their right of free expression has insulted some other people.
This clearly means that Rzeczospolita realizes the reprint of Mohammad’s cartoon portray is a provocative action, but they still want to go ahead with it. This brings up a good scenario for the polish government; will they allow the cartoons to reinforce their commitment to western values at the cost of exacerbated relationship with the Muslim countries and Muslims inside Poland. Poland is especially interesting to picture in this crisis as it has deep rooted Catholicism tradition and it’s currently ruled by PiS, a socially conservative party who is more toward religious values.
The sentiment of the Scandinavians as very secular societies where religion has never been much important is understandable, but Poland is even more religious than ‘classical countries’ such as Italy. How would a very religious European country insult to another religion? Will Poland standby if Rzeczospolita publishes similar cartoons of Jesus.

The tenet banning of Mohammad’s portrayal in Afghanistan also led to an over exaggeration of the caricatures. No one knew what was originally drawn and this is where the rumors start. rumors of the picture which has gone around Kabul is more obscene.
But even if the presumed cartoons were published I believe violence and attacks are no way to go.
I wonder how would Mohammad (pbuh) reacted if he was around. It has been said he was a very tolerant person with a very good sense of humor, and if he could have understood the Danish sense of humor, he would have set a good precedent for a lot of his followers.

Freedom of expression and information access has been one of the deadliest phenomena since volatile peace has return to this country in 2002. Protests in May 2005 against the alleged insult to Quran in Guantinamo brought at least 15 causalities.

آيا اروپا واقعا به آزادی بيان اعتقاد دارد و آن را رعايت می کند؟ … شايد اگر دقت کنيد، در ‌می‌ يابيد که برخورد اروپا و غرب با آزادی بيان مانند بسياری از برخوردهای ايرانيان، متناقض است و غرب در رفتار خود کاملا عمل متناقضی را از خود بروز می دهد.
بعنوان مثال، می‌توان به مساله‌ هولوکاست در غرب اشاره نمود. اينجانب هولوکاست را نفی نمی‌ کنم اما آيا اروپاييان برای ارايه نظرات مخالف خود پيرامون هولوکاست از آزادی بيان لازم برخوردارند؟
نه محمد، ما سانسور نمی کنيم … – همه چيز درباره آمريکای من – ۵ فوريه
… به نظر می آيد هربار “جهان اسلام” از چيزی رنجيده می شود، حتی چيزی خيلی کوچک، عکس العمل بسياری از آنان خشونت است. پرچم ها يا اشياء و حتی ساختمان ها را به آتش می کشند، غارت می کنند، انسان های بی گناه را می کشند و خواستار اعدام “توهين کنندگان” به باورهايشان می شوند.

تقدس و آزادی بيان – فرنگوپوليس – سيما شاخساری – ۳ فوريه
من فکر می کنم که مقوله هايی مثل “آزادی” و “دموکراسی” و “سکولاريسم” در دنيای امروزی ما شکل تقدس به خود گرفته اند. يعنی سکولاريسم در خود به مذهب تبديل شده و بعضی از حاميان آن تا حد بنيادگرايی هم می روند.
… و اين کارتون ها هم در مقطعی از تاريخ و در مکانی چاپ شده اند که جو ضد اسلام و مسلمانان باعث شده که مهاجران مسلمان مورد تبعيض و تنفر جوامعی که در آن زندگی می کنند قرار بگيرند. … نمی شود تحت نام “آزادی بيان” خشونتی که اين کارتون ها در سطح ملی و فراملی به همراه دارند را ناديده گرفت.
… بنيادگرايی مذهبی، تصوير آيينه ای بنيادگرايی سکولار است. حالا خشونتش چه به اسم آزادی بيان باشد چه به اسم محمد، چه به اسم مسيح، چه به اسم شيوا، چه به اسم موسی.
کاريکاتورهای توهين آميز و جنگ هويت – مداد – حسين نوش آذر – ۳ فوريه
اعتراض يکپارچه و گسترده مسلمانان جهان به دولت دانمارک و تحريريه روزنامه “يولاندز پستن” نه تنها در اعتقادات مذهبی مسلمانان ريشه دارد، بلکه بيش از هر چيز از بحران هويتی نشان دارد که از شروع انقلاب اسلامی در ايران هر دم بر ابعاد آن افزوده می شود.
جنگ های اخير با ابعاد جهانی و فرا ملی در خاورميانه تنها جنگ ميان غرب و جهان اسلام نيست. اين جنگ ها، جنگ هويت است. مسلمانان استعمار شده در يکسو قرار دارند و مسيحيان و صهيونيست های استعمارگر در سوی ديگر.
فرهنگ افراطی نرنجاندن – BuzzMachine – جف جارويس – ۵ فوريه
من اغلب از اين ناليده ام که آمريکا به فرهنگ نرنجاندن تبديل شده، جايی که هر چه ممکن است موجب رنجش کسی شود را نبايد گفت …
… آيا ما نبايد بيشتر، از عکس العمل خشونت آميز در مخالفت با بيان يک عقيده ناراحت شويم تا از ابراز آن عقيده؟ آيا نبايد اين موضوع را بيان کنيم؟ … آيا ما – دولت ها، ناشران، روزنامه نگاران، شهروندان – مرعوب خشونت شده ايم؟ …
آيا روزنامه نگاران آمريکايی برای ابراز همبستگی با ناشران اروپايی بايد اين کاريکاتورها را منتشر می کردند؟ … آيا اين تصاوير بخشی از داستان نيستند که برای فهميده شدن بايد به نمايش در می آمدند؟ آيا حقی برای ديدن آنها هست؟ آيا مسئوليتی روزنامه نگارانه که آنها را در گزارش ها نشان دهيم وجود ندارد؟
وقتی اهانت، به گناه و جرم تبديل می شود و موجبی برای مجازات و حتی خشونت، هيچ وقت مشخص نيست که خط قرمز کجاست؟ اما زمانی که ابر


for Katowic victims

February 7, 2006

It’s snowing outside – like usual
I opened the window and touched to see if it was cold
In deed, I felt you; i felt the coldness of your body
I felt all the cold concrete rubbles coloured with cold white snow
Closed the window
I saw a man putting a new ad on the board across the window
I want them to put a big white pigeon
You know which one I am talking about
The one you liked the most
Yes, that one 😉
The one you liked too much and decided to soar with it without farewell
We wondered where you went … Magda and Łukasz was looking for you
The dog misses you too… I saw him drunk last night; he had lost his second rotten tooth
Want to clear all roofs from snow
But usual story… my muscles can’t help me … I am a blind in the dark …bothered but not afraid
Today we mourn for you… flags half masted and decorated with couple of black ribbons
Wanted to tell you we’ll remember you after today too
If man does nothing because he feels not like it… then that causes the triumph of even concrete over us
our diminutive act could have prevented your sudden departure… this is no chaos theory
Maximum respect!!!