Circular logic

February 4, 2006 at 10:11 pm (Religion)

Pious Muslims in the Middle East are protesting the depiction of their prophet, Muhammed, as a bomb-yielding terrorist by attacking innocent civilians. Actually, any depiction of their prophet is blasphemous, and CNN has decided not to show the cartoons (did I mention it was a cartoon?) “out of respect for Islam.” I, meanwhile, have no respect for Islam,* so here’s one that I found particularly apt:doug_marlette_2002.jpg

You can find a whole boatload of them here. Thanks to TSS for the link.

UPDATE: Now they are killing each other.

*I have no respect for any dogmatic religious institution, but Islam is particularly vile.

UPDATE (best of addition): I don’t know what happened to the picture.  It was of Muhammed with a bomb for a turban.



  1. rcr said,

    Amen brother.

  2. booyah said,

    GREAT post about "Dear Muslim Complaint Box," over on think you’ll enjoy it thoroughly.

  3. jones said,

    obviously its time for the local muslim apologist to make his appearance. my first objection, as i’ve previously stated, is to jb’s decrial of islam. it is not inherently a hateful ideology, but sometimes hateful people practice it. got it? secondly, i have no problem with the original publishing of these cartoons. it was done to make a good point – that a vocal minority should not limit free speech. i do have a problem with much of the subsequent response, however. any approach that does not publish the cartoons merely as information pertinent to the "story" that is the response the cartoons has provoked is hatemongering, and purposefully furthers dangerous divisiveness. note that this shouldn’t be illegal, but it is irresponsible. again, as i’ve stated before, my position isn’t based solely on the importance of respect for others, but on practical grounds concerning the "war on terror." there are more muslims than any other religion, and every time you say "i hate islam" without respect for the fact that you don’t really hate millions of muslims, but rather thousands of extremists – and every time you publish a cartoon just for the sake of provoking muslims – and every time you kill a teen boy’s parents in baghdad – you’re increasing the probability that one of those moderate muslims you don’t hate, but anger with these actions, will become one of the muslims you do hate. its easy to sit in your office or home well fed and rested with little danger of violence in your future and say these things, but it doesn’t help, and it smacks of small mindedness and facile logic. and it bothers me not just because the government is helping to manipulate the public into these dangerous positions and i hate being lied to, or because i do believe in respecting the positions of others, but also because i don’t want to see a nuke go off on manhattan.

  4. jones said,

    gee, got a little righteous there, didn’t i.

  5. JB said,

    With regard to the inherent nature of Islam as hateful or not: it doens’t matter to me what the Koran says (and I am certain you have read it); the only pertinent issue is how it’s words have been interpreted and implemented over time. That is what a religion is, nothing more than a cultural institution that changes with the popular currents of its practitioners. A Jewish friend once described Reformism as ignoring everything that sucks about being Jewish. And Islam, as it currently presents itself to the world, repulses me, even more than Catholicism. I never said I hate any individual, only their ideology.I also emphatically disagree that any publishing of said cartoon (the one above was not among those published in Denmark) can be construed as "hatemongering." You have a problem with the response of media outlets publishing said image? The Inquirer did just that, justifying it on the grounds of providing the whole story to the readers. I wholeheartedly agree–do you not think people should be able to see what has caused such an uproar? I bet 99% of the rioters have not seen what they are so incensed about, but are merely sheepishly obeying their religious overlords. Do you have a problem with the response from the people who are torching embassies and stampeding each other to death? Or is that justified in light of some cartoonists’ "blasphemy." (I think there is a whole lot more going on here, and this is just an excuse to vent some justified frustrations against the West. See, I’m not that bad…) I hate to use the cliche, but as soon as we limit freedom of the press to avoid pissing off some mullah in Ramallah, the terrorists have won. I have two problems with your moderate Muslim theory: first, where are these so-called Moderates, and why are they not calling for a more muted response? Where are they when an Israeli school bus gets blown up? Where are when 200 African Muslims are killed so a few Americans have to get stitches? Etc. etc. etc. Second, that goes both ways. Every time I see a suicide bomber strap himself with a bunch of nails and go into a night club on the promise of some kind of heavenly whorehouse, every time I hear "death to America," I care about that guy’s uncle a little bit less.

  6. jones said,

    good rebuttal. i should have mentioned that the violent response to the cartoons is certainly not justified.but while you and i would agree that religion is cultural, to a believer its a little more. so its not fair to normal muslims to claim their religion is despicable, because by extension you’re saying they’re despicable. and how many loud moderate voices are there anywhere these days? aren’t moderates by definition not as loud as zealots? of course you don’t hear about or from these people, who are probably the muslim majority. reason doesn’t make riveting newson the freedom of speech angle, you’re right that the cliche is true. i guess what i meant was that publishing the cartoons despite muslim opinion is laudable, while publishing them to spite muslims is hatemongering. i admittedly have no proof this has even happened, though i’m sure its just a few blogs down.good point about how "death to america" makes you feel. but i can’t get around the fact that we’re currently the richest empire in the world and have had our oily fingers in the middle eastern pie for decades. 30000 something iraquis have died in the last three years. 5000 americans died in 9/11. i make more at my crappy job than 90% of the middle eastern population (ummm…probably, right?). basically, they have much more reason to be angry than we do. and it seems like we’re doing our best to make them angrier. that bothers me. m just finished reading 1984, and the truth that people are easier to control when you give them a common enemy has never seemed so true.

  7. TSS said,

    A couple points of fact I’d like to bring up and let you draw your own conclusions (plus a little opinining of my own).1) The cartoons were first published in November to no response. They were even reprinted in a mainstream Eqyptian newspaper by the time the riots started.2) The riots started after the Saudi government began whipping up fervor. They did so right as they were being roundly criticized across the entire Muslim world for once again doing very little to prevent another Hajj stampede. Hey, look over there!3) The pamphlet containing the cartoons that was used to incite the riots included more cartoons that were never published anywhere, including one where Mohammed is a pig and it says something like, "This is the real Mohhammed". That would be blatantly inciting anger in my book.4) Freedom of speech is meaningless unless you protect unpopular speech.5) Jones’ point about having a common enemy is a good one, but it works both ways. The cynical use of Islam by corrupt leaders is a prime example of rallying in opposition to a common enemy. They hate pigs, dogs, Jews, and Americans, in varying degrees. In some quarters, instituting Sharia legalizes your possession of 4 female slaves. You want to see a 2 minute hate (a 1984 term)? Listen to some Friday sermons from the holiest mosques in the world ( ). There simply is no Christian/Jewish/ Buddhist/Confucianism equivalent to that in these days.Yeah, we’ve fucked with their countries and they have a right to be mad. It’s hard to blame someone for killing an occupation soldier, as much as that pisses me off. But they don’t have a right to bully us into changing our culture for them. Everyone is so goddamn scared to enrage the Muslims. What really annoys me is CNN and places like that who say they’re not showing the cartoons out of "respect" for Islam. They mean "fear of" of course.

  8. JB said,

    I should add that I am a misanthrope–I have almost as much contempt for the cesspool that Western society has become as I do for Islamarabia. Actually, that’s not true, I’ll take a fundamentall free society over a theocracy any day. But I certainly wasn’t trying to justify US foreign policy. Just yesterday I was reading a coopy of Fortune magazine from 1980, and there was this big article about President Carter’s "synfuels" program–I wonder what ever happened to that? My guess is Reagan killed it, under the banner of free enterprise. I’ll post something about that some day soon.

  9. jones said,

    you think i’d remember by now to point out that your vilification bothers me because it reminds me of others who are actually prejudiced, as opposed to your admirably indiscriminate brand of loathing. i did read about the saudi, eqyptian, and pakistani involvment in stirring the pot, as well as about condi recently blaming syria and iran (wait, aren’t they part of some axle or something?) and somehow neglecting to mention these countries. i have to concede the point about the prevailing winds of islam – obviously it does seem to preach hate more often than most other religions at this point. i just feel that it might not be so hateful if we hadn’t been blatantly rogering the middle east for so long while proclaiming our virtue. in large part we have ourselves to blame. i miss the commies.

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