Tuesday, February 07, 2006

When the Murgha "comes home to roost"

The Muslim furor on the controversial cartoon issue and the 'clash of globalization' usually reported with the unrest and protest all over the Muslim World, recently showcased an interesting incident. According to AP, a leading and popular Iranian newspaper has announced an international competition for cartoons on Holocaust. This announcement comes as an interesting turn in the whole issue and has backfired into the West's reaction to the controversial issue with a biased claim of upholding Freedom of Expression. The Iranian newspaper, Hamshahri, left no doubt in the minds of proponents of freedom of speech that this contest was announced only as a reaction to the Danish newspaper's publications of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed. Many conclusions can be inferred from this unique announcement, but its hard to deny that its clearly an 'out of the box' and somewhat creative way of displaying a non-violent protest.

Such a non-violent means of protest, that may even raise Ariel Sharon's eye-brows from his hospital bed, has raised many interesting questions. "Does the West extend freedom of expression to the crimes committed by the United States and Israel, or an event such as the Holocaust? Or is its freedom only for insulting religious sanctities?" Hamshahri wrote, referring to the Prophet Muhammad cartoons.

The Iranians have clearly showed that they are not only hell-bent on acquiring nuclear technology but they are the only Muslim country that is ready to challenge the West's established ideologies and total disregard of religious sensitivities. Now the only question remains is how far will the West go to protect its ideology and at what cost? Is it possible that in coming days, a mysterious bomb may explode at the Iranian newspaper's office? It may be the same mysterious circumstances where American missiles 'accidentally' blew up the Al-Jazera's headquarter in Baghdad or the bombs that somehow landed in the pharmaceutical (aka "Chemical Weapons") factory in Sudan. While the commoners like us may never gain the ability to understand the scale of these mysteries, it should not surprise us if they still occur in coming days.

In 1963, at the time of President Kennedy's assassination, Malcolm X gave a frank comment about the assassination being the case of "the chickens coming home to roost." Maybe this time the murgha has returned to roost in the West's backyard and the next few days will, indeed, show the way in which the guardians and saviours of Freedom of Expression will react to the return of the Murgha.

14 Comments:

At 2/08/2006 1:17 AM,

Damn, you woke me up! 

Posted by Ariel Sharon

 

At 2/08/2006 9:48 AM,

Did you think about the spare tyre or not? 

Posted by Faraz

 

At 2/08/2006 1:19 PM,

Well-written, intriguing commentary. In my humble opinion, two wrongs don't make a right. I believe that Western media outlets who republished the cartoons were clearly insensitive. I don't buy the freedom of speech argument. I commend news organizations such as the BBC for its decision to not publish the images.

That said, I believe the Iranian newspaper is acting irresponsibly in sponsoring the competition for cartoons on the Holocaust. I hope the paper rethinks its vengeful decision.

You have a very creative way of looking at issues. I'm going to add your link to my site.  

Posted by DCS

 

At 2/08/2006 1:57 PM,

I really like the way your blog is evolving and your take on contoversial issues is always intresting to read.
As far as the cartoon competition that the Iranian new paper wants to hold, what i dont understand is why the holocaust? i mean the Danish people are not really jewish i mean why not traget somthing thats personal to the Danish people, that is if acting childish is all the muslim world has been reduced to now.
I completly agree with the Mahattama when he said "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind" 

Posted by Sarah

 

At 2/09/2006 12:21 AM,

Nice way of keeping an eye back. Nice blog.  

Posted by shirazi

 

At 2/09/2006 2:00 AM,

Thanks for comments everyone!!

Ariel Sharon: sorry buddy but I did'nt mean to disturb you!!

Faraz: Welcome back and yes I did manage to find oout the tyre issue

DCS: Thanks for adding me. You are right 2 wrongs dont make a right. However, Iranians are protesting in a very unique manner and I wanted to appreciate their creativity in the matter

Sarah: Thanks. You are DCS are saying the right thing but the nature of the issue demands some form of protest and as long as its peacfull and non-violent, I don't think Ghandi would have a problem with it.

shirazi: Thanks. I have added you to my BlogRoll. 

Posted by Abrar

 

At 2/09/2006 11:52 AM,

I do agree with DCS on how two wrongs don't make a right. However, it's no longer about making it right or wrong. It is about getting a point across to the West that such public mockery of one's beliefs are not only irreverent, but are expanding the growing gap between the East and the West.

Obviously, these Europeans don't want to make friends with Muslims. All they want is the elimination of this very religion, the only religion in the world with so many faithful believers. These people need a blow to their left-wing, tree-hugging iddologies. 

Posted by RaY-ZoR

 

At 2/09/2006 2:40 PM,

RaY-ZoR,

Since I am not Muslim, I am not going to pretend that I know how Muslims must feel right now. Emotions are flying high. At the very least, many Western media organizations have been insensitive to Muslims. In certain instances, Muslims have been unquestionably disrespected. The current crisis is fueled by false perceptions and misinformation. Also, it's obvious that the cultural divide continues.

In my humble opinion, Allah (God) is not being honored by the violence, hateful words and other unbecoming behaviors we are seeing on all sides. It is my understanding that Islam is based on peace. You say, "These people need a blow to their left-wing, tree-hugging ideologies." Explain to me where the peace is in this statement, my friend.

What the world needs now is strong leadership that demonstrates courage and integrity. The violence must stop. What we also need to understand is that whether we practice Islam, Christianity or Judaism - or some other belief system - "what is right" supersedes "who is right."

If we are, indeed, people of faith, we will keep our emotions and actions in check, continue to pray, live our lives according to the Holy Book and allow God to intercede for us during crises.

You've certainly given us a lot to think about. Let's continue to pray for a resolution.

 

Posted by DCS

 

At 2/09/2006 3:55 PM,

DCS and Ray-Zor, I am quite enjoying this discussion thats going on here!!

Areils Sharon: Have you gone back to sleep or you still reading this? If you have some energy, please respong to the comments made by DCS and Ray-zor!! 

Posted by Abrar

 

At 2/09/2006 5:06 PM,

Interesting Post! 

Posted by Revolutionary

 

At 2/09/2006 5:51 PM,

It was really nice reading your comment, DCS. I've always enjoyed pacifism and non-violent protests over possibly contentious arguments. However, being a Muslim today is not an easy task, especially living in the West. After 9/11, we have been constantly looking to be accepted as normal human beings. When we board a public bus or an airplane, we can sense the uneasiness and staring the moment we step in.

You see, Islam preaches love, peace and respect as the foremost and integral principles, and so do most other religions. However, the difference between Islam and other religions is a major one. While faith is separate from one's mundane activities in all other religions, Islam is a way of life for Muslims. It is a code of conduct, if you may. Every action is determined by the boundaries set by the religion. For instance, drinking, narcotics abuse, pre-marital sex, disrespecting other's feelings, beliefs, etc are all considered to be something that should be outside those boundaries.

For many years now, Muslims are looked down upon, mocked, portrayed as fanatics, etc, while we continue to follow what our religion preaches without disrespecting other religions and their beliefs. Now, when someone insults the most important icon in our religion, and an apology is demanded, they say defend it till the end. Steps must be taken to ensure that such things are not repeated in the past. On the other hand, the governments claim they are not responsible for someone expoliting a law that they themselves administer and created at some point.

We already know that reliations between the Islamic world and the West have been shaky, and far from hospitable, yet, such indecent acts are commited, which do nothing but widen the already expanding gap between the two sides. I think the West must understand why this gap is increasing, and also what they need to do to prevent it from growing further. Certainly, letting it go by backing it up with the "freedom of speech" rhetoric does not help their cause.

That is what has angered the Muslims even more. You can only push someone so far, after which, emotions take over all sanity, which is quite evident from the actions of those involved in violent protests, which by the way I disapprove of, myself. However, since one side is unwilling to comply, there is no point in sitting lonely at the discussion table and accepting the opposition's terms one after another, accepting it as the sad truth.

In today's world, you can not get your voice heard by being passive, as you've already seen in the US. There was an interesting bumper sticker that I saw, which read: "Ignore your rights long enough, and you will lose them". That is exactly what has happened in the US with the introduction of the Patriot Act. If at this point a strong message is not sent to the rest of the world that religion is not a separate 'practice' to Muslims, rather, it is a way of life, then perhaps such inreverrence will cease, although given the reputation of the Western Media, I doubt they will back out of this one. The Western Media is grappled so strong by the left-wingers, which is why immorality is on the rise day by day.

Try flipping over some channels on cable, and you'll see what I mean. Even cartoon animations are extremely derogatory, highly offensive and provocative. If they want to mock someone, they should mock their own beliefs and cultures, not others'. However, I do realize that repeating the same mistake as them will only strengthen their conviction that what they did was right, and it might trigger another fued. Other people will start doing it. If at this point Muslims simply show their anger by economically weakening the responsible nations and peacefully protesting, it should be sufficient to show them that it is not something that should be taken for granted. 

Posted by RaY-ZoR

 

At 2/09/2006 6:33 PM,

Abrar, you should check out my latest post, it is quite interesting. It seems like the cartoons were printed in an Egyptian newspaper as well! Some blogger from Egypt has taken images of the newspaper and posted them on his website! By the way, I posted a HUGE comment under this post, but it seems to have disappeared. Oh well. 

Posted by ray-zor

 

At 2/10/2006 7:50 AM,

Ariel Sharon's waking up made me laugh fr such a serious topic...

I, somehow, support the Iranian newspaper's initiative as far as it is again under limitations of mrality. And I'll be desperately waiting to watch the cartoons to be published.

Your predictions are sensible and in present circumstances most likely to be turned into a reality.

However, I would like to add another one too; What about a week later both of us are unable to log into blogspot! 

Posted by Hasan Mubarak

 

At 2/10/2006 4:34 PM,

As far as I'm concerned, speaking as a muslim, I think majority of the muslims have an extremely racist attitude towards westerners which seems to kick in when they go in this "defensive 'jihadi'" mode. (Please note the use of the word jihad literally translates to an inner struggle to protect their religion, not one that involves blood and swords and war cries). The muslim response has been as close to retarded as I can think. I highlight some of my opinions on my webpage here  and explain why the western media is completely justified in printing these cartoons, though maybe extremely irrational at the same time. 

Posted by Abbas Halai

 

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