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Cartoon blasphemy uproar gathers pace


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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060202/wl_nm/religion_denmark_cartoons_dc_12

PARIS (Reuters) - An international row over newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad gathered pace on Thursday as more European dailies printed controversial Danish caricatures and Muslims stepped up pressure to stop them.

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About a dozen Palestinian gunmen surrounded European Union offices in the Gaza Strip demanding an apology for the cartoons, one of which shows Islam's founder wearing a bomb-shaped turban. Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous.

The owner of France Soir, a Paris daily that reprinted them on Wednesday along with one German and two Spanish papers, sacked its managing editor to show "a strong sign of respect for the beliefs and intimate convictions of every individual."

But the tabloid defended its right to print the cartoons, first published last September in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten.

Le Temps in Geneva and Budapest's Magyar Hirlap ran another offending cartoon showing an imam telling suicide bombers to stop because Heaven had run out of virgins to reward them.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the issue had gone beyond a row between Copenhagen and the Muslim world and now centered on Western free speech versus taboos in Islam, which is now the second religion in many European countries.

"We are talking about an issue with fundamental significance to how democracies work," Rasmussen told the Copenhagen daily Politiken. "One can safely say it is now an even bigger issue."

His office said he and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller had summoned foreign envoys in Copenhagen for a Friday meeting to discuss the outcry and the Danish government's response.

Denmark's ambassador in Paris met leaders of French Muslims, who have threatened legal action over the cartoons, handing over a letter of regret from Rasmussen, written in Arabic, and an apology from the director of Jyllands-Posten.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told reporters that press freedom could not be called into question but urged restraint: "The principle of freedom should be exercised in a spirit of tolerance, respect of beliefs, respect of religions, which is the very basis of secularism of our country."

SCATHING ARAB REACTION

European Union External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner also called for restraint after talks in Brussels with Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Abdul-Rahman al-Attiyah, who strongly criticized the cartoons.

"We are ... a society that likes tolerance and I think it has to be in our understanding that we have a sensitivity for other religious communities," she told reporters.

Danish companies have reported sales falling in the Middle East after protests against the cartoons in the Arab world and calls for boycotts. Morocco and Tunisia confiscated Wednesday's France Soir, which is widely distributed in North Africa.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef said Riyadh considered the cartoons an insult to Mohammad and all Muslims. "We hope that religious centers like the Vatican will clarify their opinion in this respect," he told the state news agency SPA.

In Beirut, the leader of Lebanon's Shi'ite Hizbollah said the row would never had occurred if a 17-year-old death edict against British writer Salman Rushdie been carried out.

The late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called on Muslims in 1989 to kill Rushdie for blasphemy against Islam in his book "The Satanic Verses." Rushdie went into hiding and was never attacked.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Mohammad, and Syria have recalled their ambassadors to Denmark.

FRANCE SOIR'S SELF-DEFENCE

Defending its decision to publish the cartoons, France Soir wrote: "Imagine a society that added up all the prohibitions of different religions. What would remain of the freedom to think, to speak and even to come and go?

"We know societies like that all too well. The Iran of the mullahs, for example. But yesterday, it was the France of the Inquisitions, the burning stakes and the Saint Bartholomew's Day (massacre of Protestants)."

Other European dailies printed cartoons mocking the row. Le Monde in Paris ran a sketch of a man whose beard and turban were made up of lines saying "I must not draw Mohammad."

Jyllands-Posten has apologized for any hurt the caricatures may have caused. Police said the paper's offices in Aarhus were evacuated on Wednesday for the second time in two days after a bomb threat. Workers returned after the all-clear.

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About a dozen Palestinian gunmen surrounded European Union offices in the Gaza Strip demanding an apology for the cartoons, one of which shows Islam's founder wearing a bomb-shaped turban. Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous.

Nothing like trying to destroy a stereotype by acting like a "stereotypical" mulsim. And to our muslim brothers and sisters on this board, I'm not suggesting that Islam preaches this, but it's kind of ironic.

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http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/747

“The War is On”

From the desk of Hjörtur Gudmundsson on Fri, 2006-02-03 01:54

Mullah KrekarYesterday (Thursday) Mullah Krekar, the alleged leader of the Islamist group Ansar al-Islam who has been living in Norway as a refugee since 1991, said that the publication of the Muhammad cartoons was a declaration of war. “The war has begun,” he told Norwegian journalists. Mr Krekar said Muslims in Norway are preparing to fight. It does not matter if the governments of Norway and Denmark apologize, the war is on.

Islamist organizations all over the world are issuing threats towards Europeans. The Islamist terrorist group Hizbollah announced that it is preparing suicide attacks in Denmark and Norway. A senior imam in Kuwait, Nazem al-Masbah, said that those who have published cartoons of Muhammad should be murdered. He also threatened all citizens of the countries where the twelve Danish cartoons [see them all here, halfway down the page] have been published with death.

It is important, however, to stress again that there are Muslims of great courage. While it is risky to publish the Muhammad cartoons in Europe, it is even riskier to do so in the Middle East. Yet the Jordanian independent tabloid al-Shihan published three of the twelve Muhammad cartoons yesterday. The editor of al-Shihan, Jihad al-Momani, said he decided to publish the cartoons to show what the issue was all about. In an editorial under the headline “Muslims of the world, be reasonable” he pointed out that Jyllands-Posten had apologized for offending Muslims. He deplored that few in the Islamic world seem to be willing to listen to this. “What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony in Amman?” the editor asked.

The spokesman of the Jordanian government, however, said that the editor had done a great mistake by publishing the cartoons and announced that the government is considering suing the newspaper. Before the day was over the paper’s owners had sacked Mr Momani.

Peter Mandelson, the EU Trade Commissioner, has criticized those papers which publish or republish Muhammad cartoons. According to Mr Mandelson they are „throwing petrol onto the flames of the original issue and the original offence that was taken.” The Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned that the decision by newspapers to republish the cartoons could encourage terrorists. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he is worried about the cartoon issue. His spokesman said that Mr Annan believes freedom of expression should always be used with respect for religion.

This is not, however, the opinion of the French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy. He said that the reactions of extremist Muslims towards the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which published the original cartoons, and towards Denmark are shocking. Mr Sarkozy praised the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for his determination and defense of freedom of expression. “Freedom of expression is not an issue for negotiation and I see no reason to give one religion a special treatment,” Mr Sarkozy said.

Meanwhile the Muhammad cartoons have been published in a number of newspapers in various European countries. The BBC broadcast them in the news so that its audience would understand what the fuss is all about. The French newspaper Le Monde published its own cartoon of Muhammad [see it here] on yesterday’s front page. On Wednesday the editor of the French daily France Soir, Jacques Lefranc, was fired because he had republished the Muhammad cartoons. Journalists at France Soir defended Mr Lefranc’s decision yesterday by publishing a front page and an editorial defending freedom of speech. In Tunesia and Morocco, however, the sale of France Soir has been prohibited.

Yesterday morning armed Palestinians again surrounded the offices of the European Union in Gaza City, demanding its closure and an apology for the cartoons within 24 hours. They threatened attacks on all Danes, Norwegians and Frenchmen in Palestine. “We suggest that all offices and embassies of the three countries will be closed, otherwise we will not hesitate to eliminate them,” their statement said. Norway at once closed its consulate on the West Bank for the public, but has not yet decided to withdraw its staff. On Thursday evening Palestinian gunmen also entered a number of hotels to threaten foreigners. Many Europeans are leaving Palestine before the Cartoon War really starts.

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Hasn't anyone learned never to make fun of Fundamentalists in the media? It never works, you need concrete, a buttload of it. This land is my land, this land is your land(with a big friggin' concrete wall around it with no aid).

From California, to the New York Island (that's the long way, not the short way)

Sing along.....this land is your land, this land is my land....

crap, I'll have people with guns after me in a second, damn free speech. damn it to hell.

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Meanwhile, the Us's crazy Uncle Jimmy wants us to give Hamas a chance :doh:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/02/01/carter.hamas/index.html

(CNN) -- Hamas deserves to be recognized by the international community, and despite the group's militant history, there is a chance the soon-to-be Palestinian leaders could turn away from violence, former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday.

Carter, who monitored last week's Palestinian elections in which Hamas handily toppled the ruling Fatah, added that the United States should not cut off aid to the Palestinian people, but rather funnel it through third parties like the U.N.

"If you sponsor an election or promote democracy and freedom around the world, then when people make their own decision about their leaders, I think that all the governments should recognize that administration and let them form their government," Carter said. (Watch the former president cautiously defend Hamas -- 4:35)

"If there are prohibitions -- like, for instance, in the United States, against giving any money to a government that is controlled by Hamas -- then the United States could channel the same amount of money to the Palestinian people through the United Nations, through the refugee fund, through UNICEF, things of that kind," he added.

Carter expressed hope that "the people of Palestine -- who already suffer ... under Israeli occupation -- will not suffer because they are deprived of a right to pay their school teachers, policemen, welfare workers, health workers and provide food for people."

As president, Carter brokered a 1979 peace accord between Israel and Egypt at Camp David. That effort helped earn him the Nobel Peace Prize. Through his work at the Carter Center in Atlanta, he regularly monitors elections in numerous countries.

Hamas, which has called for the destruction of Israel and has long been considered a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department, was expected to fare well in last week's elections. But it dominated them, winning 76 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Fatah, which had been in power for decades, earned only 43.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution saying that no aid should be provided to the Palestinian Authority "if a ruling majority party within the Palestinian Parliament maintains a position calling for the destruction of Israel."

Carter said "there's a good chance" that Hamas, which has operated a network of successful social and charitable organizations for Palestinians, could become a nonviolent organization. (Watch how democracy and religion coincide among Palestinians -- 2:30)

The 39th U.S. president said he met with Hamas leaders in Ramallah, in the West Bank, after last week's elections.

"They told me they want to have a peaceful administration. They want to have a unity government, bring in Fatah members and independent members," Carter said. But he added that "what they say and what they do is two different matters."

However, Carter noted, Hamas has adhered to a cease-fire since August 2004, which "indicates what they might do in the future." He said Hamas is "highly disciplined" and capable of keeping any promise of nonviolence it might make.

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I think its stupid that they get so riled up over this. But then again, we just had a Christmas that was ripped to shred by liberals, so its good to see that religious groups are thin-skinned internationally.

I don't recall anyone threatening to kill people over it though

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What exactly is wrong or the problem with Carter speech. While the outcome troubles me, Hamas was legitimately elected.

If a republican can go to China, maybe just maybe Hamas can make peace.

Nothing, except that it will result in the absolute destruction of the Palestinian people. But, nobody is telling them that they have to get out of power. See the difference?

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Nothing, except that it will result in the absolute destruction of the Palestinian people. But, nobody is telling them that they have to get out of power. See the difference?

So, in other words we should change any election outcome we do not like? Eh, screw the whole spreading democracy message.

We should cooperate with Hamas for the time being and maybe their new political authority will have a moderating effect on them.

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I don't recall anyone threatening to kill people over it though

A)If an incendiary political cartoon offends a religious group

Then B) the group overreacts, with a wide range of actions

As opposed to;

A)If laws pertaining to the public sphere are put in place and they offend a religious group

Then B) the group overreacts, with a wide range of actions

Of course there are differences. Now lets say I published a cartoon that had Jesus givin it hard to Mary Magdalene, Mary, and John the Baptist. I would expect a few death threats from the terrorist abortion-clinic bombers, or the terrorist homophobes. If you can categorically say I will not get any threats from such people, then I am wrong.

I think both overreactions are moronic, I do not condone either one. But I view them as the same thing; religious political correctness.

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So, in other words we should change any election outcome we do not like? Eh, screw the whole spreading democracy message.

We should cooperate with Hamas for the time being and maybe their new political authority will have a moderating effect on them.

Where did I state that? In fact, Bush didn't "condemn" their being elected, but he said they better change their train of thought (see EVERYTHING HAMAS has done since their creation). Nobody is asking for them to step down (except for some Palestinians), but when the inevitable is upon us, there's no sense in trying to sugar coat the outcome. Democracy succeeded in Palestine. But, the negatives that come along with Democracy will rear their ugly heads 10 fold. Just because you're a democratic state doesn't mean you are free of creating evil doings.

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Where did I state that? In fact, Bush didn't "condemn" their being elected, but he said they better change their train of thought (see EVERYTHING HAMAS has done since their creation). Nobody is asking for them to step down (except for some Palestinians), but when the inevitable is upon us, there's no sense in trying to sugar coat the outcome. Democracy succeeded in Palestine. But, the negatives that come along with Democracy will rear their ugly heads 10 fold. Just because you're a democratic state doesn't mean you are free of creating evil doings.

Do not make this a HAMAS thread guys, save it for another round.

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Just because you're a democratic state doesn't mean you are free of creating evil doings.

Oh, I agree. I have always said that democracy is not the answer in the Middle East. I am just saying for now, we should cooperate with Hamas. There is nothing cracy about Carter's suggestion

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Oh, I agree. I always said democracy is not the answer in the Middle East. I am just saying for now, we should cooperate with Hamas. There is nothing cracy about Carter's suggestion

Winslow, I understand your point, but I think that these topics expand, particularly when they are political. So forgive me for my question to lucky.

Lucky, fair enough. But, how long until Hamas does attack Israel? Their goal is genicide, and they make no secret of it. How do you "cooperate" with a nation that condones genicide?

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Winslow, I understand your point, but I think that these topics expand, particularly when they are political. So forgive me for my question to lucky.

Lucky, fair enough. But, how long until Hamas does attack Israel? Their goal is genicide, and they make no secret of it. How do you "cooperate" with a nation that condones genicide?

I just want to piss off Sarge, my brilliant posts are being ignored. But keep this in mind; it is impossible to predict history, anyone that claims to has never studied it seriously. Just think about it while you are arguing against lucky.

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How do you "cooperate" with a nation that condones genicide?

I am not entirely convinced that Hamas was voted for the Israel should disappear message, rather in response to the Fatah Party corruption (not to say there isn't a constituency for the Israel must die rhetoric). They were seen as the better alternative.

Like I said before, if a republican can go to communist China, maybe Hamas can moderate their beliefs and become a force for peace. Sharon was once viewed as a rightwing extremist; the man has now embraced peace.

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I am not entirely convinced that Hamas was voted for the Israel should disappear message, rather in response to the Fatah Party corruption (not to say there isn't a constituency for the Israel must die rhetoric). They were seen as the better alternative.

Like I said before, if a republican can go to communist China, maybe Hamas can moderate their beliefs and become a force for peace. Sharon was once viewed as a rightwing extremist; the man has now embraced peace.

Great response, and I can't argue. That's what I'm hoping for....Although, I don't necessarily agree that Sharon ever embraced peace. My hope was that Sharon and Arafat, two men that had personal vendettas agains one another, would lose power in their respective countries/states. That happened. Otherwise, good response Lucky, and I agree with you.

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I am not entirely convinced that Hamas was voted for the Israel should disappear message, rather in response to the Fatah Party corruption (not to say there isn't a constituency for the Israel must die rhetoric). They were seen as the better alternative.

Like I said before, if a republican can go to communist China, maybe Hamas can moderate their beliefs and become a force for peace. Sharon was once viewed as a rightwing extremist; the man has now embraced peace.

(I have to agree, I would not be too surprised to see Hamas quiet down with the rehtoric and actually makec some positive changes. I think there may be a struggle coming up inside the organization to decide what they want for the future of Palestine. If it goes one way, watch out Israel, if it goes the other, then this election may not turn out ot have been nearly as bad, as so many people think. Remember folks, no one could have guessed that Sharon would have come so far towards peace and allowing reform and progress in Palestine a few years back...though Arafat's death played a big part in it too.)

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(I have to agree, I would not be too surprised to see Hamas quiet down with the rehtoric and actually makec some positive changes. I think there may be a struggle coming up inside the organization to decide what they want for the future of Palestine. If it goes one way, watch out Israel, if it goes the other, then this election may not turn out ot have been nearly as bad, as so many people think. Remember folks, no one could have guessed that Sharon would have come so far towards peace and allowing reform and progress in Palestine a few years back...though Arafat's death played a big part in it too.)

I hope you're right. I really do. But how does Hammas NOT cut ties with the insane murderers? They got them there. But, as Winslow pointed out, nobody can predict history (sorry, that statement made no sense, but I got the point).

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I am not entirely convinced that Hamas was voted for the Israel should disappear message, rather in response to the Fatah Party corruption (not to say there isn't a constituency for the Israel must die rhetoric). They were seen as the better alternative.

Like I said before, if a republican can go to communist China, maybe Hamas can moderate their beliefs and become a force for peace. Sharon was once viewed as a rightwing extremist; the man has now embraced peace.

Hamas (حماس), acronym of Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Arabic: حركة المقاومة الاسلامية, literally "Islamic Resistance Movement" and Arabic for 'zeal'), is the largest Palestinian Islamist movement. Hamas is engaged in social welfare activities as well as in violent activities to achieve its political goals. It is listed as a terrorist group by the European Union, Canada, the United States, Australia and Israel; the U.S. State Department provides a list of terrorist actions by Hamas.

Created in 1987 and connected to the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt, Hamas seeks to establish an Islamic theocracy in the area that is currently Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. In pursuit of this end, Hamas affirms a right to engage in armed struggle. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, a co-founder of Hamas, reportedly stated that the movement's goal is "to remove Israel from the map" [1]. While during the election campaign Hamas dropped its call for the destruction of Israel from its manifesto [2], several Hamas candidates insist that the charter is still in force and often called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" in their campaign speeches [3], [4].During the second intifada, the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Hamas claimed responsibility for most of the suicidal bombings that took place in Israel.

In the Palestinian Legislative Council elections of January 2006, Hamas won 42.9 % of the vote, which gave it a parliamentary majority with 74 of the 132 seats[5],[6]. This outcome has been seen as a major setback for foreign governments attempting to mediate the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The United States has said that it will not deal with Hamas until it renounces its support of suicide bombings and terrorism and accepts Israel's right to exist, in direct contradiction to Hamas' charter as currently written. At the same time, Israeli president Moshe Katsav and Israel's ex-prime minister Shimon Peres have both said that if Hamas will accept Israel's right to exist and give up terror, Israel should negotiate with the organization.

Its attacks targeting Israeli civilians and other human rights abuses have been condemned by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.[7] During the second Intifada, the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Hamas claimed responsibility for most of the suicide bombings that took place in Israel. Hamas has observed a respite since an attack on the Israeli southern town of Beersheba in August 2004 (15 dead, 125 wounded) and has violated it once since that time in an attack on the same bus station in Aug 2005 (7 wounded).

Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and any secular Palestinian government, inasmuch as these geopolitical entities are abolished, the expulsion of non-Muslim (especially Jewish) populations, and the creation of an Islamic Republic of Palestine.

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