West Apologizes for Exercising Right of Freedom of Expression

This is bullshit! I have never in my life seen the entire Western world pandering to a bunch of religious wackos in such an extreme way.

Let’s review some facts here. A Danish newspaper publishes a series of cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This severely rankles the religious sensibilities of Muslims, whose religion bans depictions of people period, let alone one of the holiest figures of their faith. Denmark has 5,432,335 people, about only 200,000 of which happen to be Muslim. That means about 3.7% of all Danes are Muslim, so clearly it’s a tiny minority group there.

But what a private company publishes in a free country with a relatively small Muslim population is apparently monumental enough for Muslims to storm Danish embassies. Not just the Danish, either! A few countries republished the cartoons in a blatant defense of freedom of speech-and their nations have had embassies attacked as well. Even unrelated nations, who happen to be a part of the European Union, have indirectly had their assets attacked when a Palestinian mob hurled stones at a European Commission building and stormed a German cultural center in Gaza City. What do the leaders of these attacks have to say for themselves?

“We should have killed all those who offend the Prophet and instead here we are, protesting peacefully,” Mahmoud Zahar, a top leader of the militant Islamic group that won the January 25 Palestinian elections, told Italian daily Il Giornale.

“We should have killed them, we should have required just punishment for those who respect neither religion nor its holiest symbols,” Zahar was quoted as saying.

Oh, how nice of you pathetic fundie bastards to allow men to live after they so criminally voiced their own opinions!

The Vatican isn’t any help either… you’d think that if nothing else, good old hard-nosed Catholics would at least stand up to a bunch of Muslim thugs in foreign countries trying to order about the religious affairs of Europe. But nope!

In its first official comments on the caricatures, the Vatican, while deploring violent protests, said certain forms of criticism represent an “unacceptable provocation.”

“The right to freedom of thought and expression … cannot entail the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers,” the Vatican said in a statement.

Granted, maybe they’re doing this to try to eke out a niche in European government for their own church, but still… thanks for nothing, Ratzinger.

This isn’t even the worst part yet. Remember those stats I quoted? Well, America has about 5 to 8 million Muslims out of a population of 280 million. This means that only 1.7% to 2.8% of Americans are Muslim, far less than in Denmark and far less consequential to the religious landscape overall given that the levels of highly-devoted adherents to Christianity are far higher here. Yet what do American institutions have to say about all this?

CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam.

You pussies! Have some journalistic integrity for once and stand up to those who would try to silence your right to a free press. But at least CNN has the excuse of not wanting to lose revenue from offended Muslim readers. What excuse does our own turncoat government have?

In a strongly worded statement, a U.S. State Department spokesman said Friday that the U.S. respects freedom of expression, but the publication of cartoons that incite religious or ethnic hatred is unacceptable.

So our own government is telling us we have freedom of expression unless it hurts some religious nut’s widdle feewings? Do we live in fucking Iran or what here? What about the First Amendment? It guarantees us a free press, free expression, and freedom to worship or not-all of which are being ignored by Mullah Shrub & Co. Oh yeah, and these idiots are also trying to pass a UN resolution condemning offense towards religion.

See here, you idiot Muslim rioters. I have plenty of sympathy for the fact that people are saying/doing a lot of very offensive things against your faith. It happens to me all the time. But do what I do: get over it. Nobody’s trying to ban Islam, we’re not doing anything (in this particular case) to actually harm you, and if you want to get technical there’s some Europeans that are just about as morally outraged about the fact that you’re burning their flags as you are that they drew your prophet. People fought and died for those flags, just as people fought and died for Muhammad’s teachings. But you both have the right to express yourselves however offensively you wish, so stop trying to force your opinions on other countries.

posted by Stuart Richards
  • s.angel

    Islam offends me VERY much but I don’t act like an animal !

    They follow a man who rapped a 9yr old girl as his 3rd wife, but actually married her at 6 yrs of age.

    Muslims think this guy is great. THAT OFFENDS ME ! IT OFFFENDS ME THAT they follow this words, many of which give no responsibility to muslim men for their behavior, expecting women instead to cover up, or else. I could go on…and on..

    Islam OFFENDS ME, but I’m not burning down buildings or flags.

  • http://disvoter.blogspot.com The Disenfranchised Voter

    I basically agree with your post Stuart, but with that said I want to address our dear friend s.angel here.

    They follow a man who rapped a 9yr old girl as his 3rd wife, but actually married her at 6 yrs of age.

    You do realize that what you said is false. Muhammed did marry a young girl, but she was not 6. Also older men marrying young girls was COMMON PLACE back in those times. He did not rape her either. Your applying today’s sex laws to back then and that is just ridiculous.

    s.angel, Do you know that in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette, Romeo is 22 and Juliette is 12? Is their love story sick and disgusting to you now? Did Romeo “rape” Juilette?

    Please think before you make such ignorant statements.

  • Rob D.

    I posted this on Tim’s blog as well…

    Uploaded this file to rapidshare…I think this speech says it all…
    http://rapidshare.de/files/12500615/End_of_Faith_-_Sam_Harris__CSPAN_.rm.html

    Organized religion has for far too long been givin’ a pass when times have called for the religion itself to be scrutinized. Sam Harris takes on this “forbidden territory” head on in this speech on CSPAN booktv. I highly recommend it.

    “Sam Harris talks about his book, “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason,” at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in New York City. Mr. Harris argues that religion plays a major role in the increasingly dangerous world we find ourselves in today. He says religion has a negative influence in both the United States and across the Muslim world and says that for peace to exist, reason must replace faith as the driving force in society. Mr. Harris takes questions from the audience.”

  • http://www.adriftatsea.com Adrift at Sea

    See my blog where I say:

    I doubt that Mohammed would approve of many of the actions taken in his name. I also doubt that the Koran has anything in it that justifies the killing of innocents, as the Islamic fundamentalists have done. The reason Islam has gotten such a bad reputation and is stained with the blood of innocents, is that the Moslems have allowed the fanatics to do evil deeds in the name of their religion without denouncing them. I do not believe that most Moslems are evil or fanatic, but the actions of a small minority has been allowed to shift the world’s perception of them as a whole.

    If anyone can show me where in the Koran it states that the taking of innocent lives is justified by Islam, I would like to see it. I think the Moslem community as a whole has a responsibility to weed out those who use their religion to justify terrorism—if not, then they should not complain that Islam is being demonized unjustly.

  • Jens Leo

    It’s not like the arab world has never published satirical content on judaism.

  • InuitMalina

    Adrift at sea, sure: no problem.

    http://www.newwave.net/~haught/Koran.html

    Got anything to say now?

  • Jack

    The Vatican like the Muslism fanatics also lives in the 12th Century, what do you expect the world’s last theocracy, rationality? The Muslims are clinically insane and deluded, we must treat them with firmess and compassion but we should not enable their delusional behavior. George Bush is tripping all over himself to appease them as well….

  • http://inevitableamerica.blogspot.com/ Ben Rumson

    I’m sketching a likeness as I type. I hope the state department doesn’t read this! Oh, got to go, someone’s at the door.

  • http://blog.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us Joseph A Nagy Jr

    Holy heck. This is retarded.

  • http://willtoexist.com Trevor

    Do you see any connection at all between why we are in Iraq and at war and these events? Because they are connected. They’re connected by the human societies that form in fundamentalist cultures and the mindset of the people who exist within those societies. It’s not all Muslims, but there is a huge problem here and it’s going to be the biggest issue of the 21st century.

  • http://uncivildefence.blogspot.com MRJarrell

    The American media is doing what they always do where knews is concerned. Pandering. By not showing the cartoons they get to be the “ethical” guys. Riiight. Fortunately, the radicalised elements of the Middle Eastern population have yet to discover the blogosphere, otherwise they’d be burning down the Google Corporate HQ.
    As for the response from the religious factions, what did anyone expect? More pandering. Religion, government and established global media don’t want freedom of the press or free speech. It’s rather hard to shape hearts and minds when people are speaking theirs.

  • http://www.frankworley.com Frank Worley

    Absolutly agree. I was so disgusted with CNN’s failure to show the cartoons. They “caved” later in the day and showed pixilated versions of the cartoons. Still, as a former journalist I am both angered and scared. If liberty must be sacrificed everytime someone gets mad, then we have truly lost site of the very foundations upon which the republic was built.

    Frank

  • Deepak

    I agree. The pandering is as obscene as the actions of the overreacting idiots from the middle east.
    Fortunately there are still reasonable voices. This is what
    Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan had to say: “As much as we condemn this, we must have the courage to forgive. But that doesn’t mean that insulting cartoons about Islam must continue.”

  • Dave

    InuitMalina-

    Easy enough to quote out of context… I also note that the passages don’t indicate which version or translation of the Koran they are taken from. Most modern Moslem scholars, who are not fundamentalists, do not see justification for any of the fundamentalist actions in the Koran. I doubt that the Koran actually justifies the killing of innocents.

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  • InuitMalina

    Dave–

    Out of context? Are you serious?

    Listen Im no religionist but i was just posting examples, there are hundreds of sites chronicleing calls for the murder of infidels in the koran.

    http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/terrorist1.html

    I mean these are the sites im coming up with…..

    Nothing i can do about it !

  • John

    Way to tell it like it is! Well done!

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  • http://21cr.blogspot.com DaveT

    Religion in general offends me deeply. I’m doing my best to cope.

  • http://libertarianyouth.blogspot.com Nigel Watt

    Blargh, religion. Some say that fundamentalism is the last hurrah of religion. I sure hope they’re right.

  • http://darianworden.tripod.com Darian Worden

    Good article…this whole thing is outrageous.

    How about we wear t-shirts with the offending toon(s) on them along with a nice saying like “IT’S CALLED ‘FREEDOM OF SPEECH’ YOU FUNDIE ASSHOLES!” or “FUCK CENSORSHIP! FUCK APPOLOGIES! FUCK FUNDAMENTALISM!”

  • Stuart Richards

    Go talk to the nice folks at Bureaucrash.org and they might make something like that into a shirt design.

  • Artus Register

    Easy enough to quote out of context… I also note that the passages don’t indicate which version or translation of the Koran they are taken from. Most modern Moslem scholars, who are not fundamentalists, do not see justification for any of the fundamentalist actions in the Koran. I doubt that the Koran actually justifies the killing of innocents.

    The average self-proclaimed Christian glosses over many of the horrors in the Hebrew Bible (the “Old Testament”) and would be outraged by a bombing of a gay nightclub or a massacre of Wiccans, too. But such actions would be in accordance with Talmudic Law:

    http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Leviticus+20:13&version=9

    http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Exodus+22:18&version=9

    The “out of context” excuse is a thin one. The cold, hard fact is that religious texts are often filled with violence and hatred. Many adherents, mercifully, do not feel a compulsion to act out the cruel and unforgiving commands of their chosen spirituality.

  • Artus Register

    wellcoolstuff.com has a clever shirt on censorship:

    http://www.wellcoolstuff.com/thestore/prods/CTS2.html

  • InuitMalina

    Right there with you Artus!

  • http://www.chieftain.com/editorial/1140005582/4 Daniel Ong

    Another point of view (click on my name for link):

    “…there were two things that a journalist didn’t do. One was to never make fun of someone’s religion, and I can’t remember what the second thing was.

    It was OK to discuss religious subjects, even to be critical. It was permissible to have strident views on church vs. state, and to editorialize on all ranges of subjects from nativity scenes at City Hall to gays in bishops’ robes.

    But never ridicule a man’s personal belief in a god.”

    (The author, Chuck Green, veteran Colorado journalist and former editor-in-chief of The Denver Post, syndicates a statewide column.)

    Moslems overreacted and I condemn any violence protesting the exercise of freedom of speech or the press, but there is a role for the exercise of discretion as well.

    As an aside, a decade ago the Denver Post was among the first papers to include Libertarian election results on its front page, and I personally thanked Chuck Green for doing that.

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