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Feb 03, 2006

The Cartoon That Could End The World

Danish-Cartoon1

Saudi Arabia and Syria recall their ambassadors from Denmark and Libya closes its embassy in Copenhagen.  Muslims storm the Danish embassy in Jakarta, and gunmen threatened the European Union offices in Gaza.  Why?  Because of 12 cartoons that ran in a Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, in September.

Originally, editors at the paper asked 12 artists to draw depictions of the prophet after an author complained that no artist was willing, under his own name, to illustrate a book about Mohammed.  A controversy then broke out between Danish Muslims and the paper which appeared settled after the paper apologized for causing offense, but defended its right to publish the material.  The current crisis started, however, when European papers began reprinting the cartoons in a display of press freedom.

From The BAG's standpoint, however, the strangest thing about the controversy is that the specific cartoons (with the exception of the one above) have barely been discussed.  Instead, the anger centers almost exclusively on the fact that the prophet is involved.  Religious leaders insist that Islamic tradition bars any depiction of Mohammed for fear that such images can lead to idolatry.  As muslimwakeup points out, however, these restrictions only apply to Muslims, not to non-Muslims.

So how offensive are the specific cartoons?  Rather than cover all twelve, I'm mostly touching on the one above, with the others linked below.

Given the embedded explosive (and an incendiary aspect to the nose, mouth, eyes, and eyebrows), maybe it's obvious the figure means ill.    But what's the message exactly?  Is the figure inherently destructive; has bombing on his mind; or is ready to explode with rage?  On the other hand, isn't it just as possible that the figure is oblivious to the bomb?  Who's to say the bomb isn't just "planted" on the figure to blow him up?  (Still, whether perpetrator or victim, the Muslims lose either way.)

As far as tension goes, perhaps the edgiest part of the image is actually the fuse.  With all the cross-cultural hostility in the air right now, what seems more provocative than anything is the mere suggestion (gotta love all that Iranian hysteria) that some explosion involving Muslims is imminent.

Danish004

The cartoon with seemingly the richest story was one I really couldn't get a handle on.  Obviously, the trappings are aggressive.  They guy has a bin Laden feel to him.  The blacked out eyes convey a convict.  But what's the narrative?  Muslim women see all too clearly the repercussions of their violent men?

I have linked to the rest of the series for your review and discussion.

Cartoon 3
Cartoon 4
Cartoon 5
Cartoon 6
Cartoon 7
Cartoon 8
Cartoon 9
Cartoon 10
Cartoon 11
Cartoon 12

(illustrations: Jyllands-Posten.  Denmark)

Comments

i find cartoon #9 to be the most fascinating, perhaps because i can't read the words. but artistically it is very compelling to me. shouting faces? disembodied heads on some sort of march or attack? how do you relate to something you barely understand the surface countours of, let alone what's underneath?

In cartoon #7, a cartoonist cowers at his drawing board as he sketches a picture of Mohammed. This incident shows that political cartoonists are more powerful than we (or the artists themselves) realize. The protesters in the Middle East recognize that power. Like the islamic militants, the Bush Administration also recognizes the power of simple visual protest. Only instead of newspaper cartoonists, the Bush Administration is obsessed with T-shirt slogans and during the election campaign even searched parking lots for subversive bumper stickers.

The hypocricy of western newspapers saying that its a matter of principle to be able to print what they want, given their fawning, absolute, and sickening compliance with the unwritten rules of western hegemony is breathtaking.
How many pictures of dead americans/iraqis have you seen on your TV/front pages?
The muslims aren't the only people with political sensitivities.
The second batch (hundreds) of pictures and videos from Abu Ghraib have been deemed unconsumablee for western people.
Wheres your liberal outrage now?
You dont even have the choice whether they should be seen or not.

#2 seems pretty clear to me, kind of Cassandra-like. Muslim society leaves women without power, but with the lack of power comes insight; Muslim men, having all the power, do not see the harm they wreak. Power and understanding, but never both together. Power blinds.

I agree fully with kevser.
The first image resembles the images of the Grand Turk that terrorized Europe; then some of the others remind me of Ali Baba. The Danes can't imagine Muslims beyond these two parameters.

I didn't look at the cartoons, because I don't want to see them and I don't want to discuss them. I understand that you don't follow Islamic tradition yourself, Michael, and that this issue is right up your alley, but I assume you understand how offensive these cartoons are for Muslims.

In any case, your post is missing a lot of background, which I'll try to gve, but I don't know whether I want to participate in this thread after this post.

These cartoons were published in the Danish newspaper last September, with the full understanding that they would offend Muslims; in fact, that's why it was done. This didn't occur in a vacuum; here is some background about the situation of Muslims in Denmark. Some of this is also taken from The">http://neurocentric.blogspot.com/2006/02/making-caricatures-of-us-all.html">The Neurocentric.

Last year, a radio station in Copenhagen had its license taken away after someone said: "There are only two possible reactions if you want to stop this bomb terrorism - either you expel all Muslims from Western Europe so they cannot plant bombs, or you exterminate the fanatical Muslims which would mean killing a substantial part of Muslim immigrants."

Apparently, before publishing them, the newspaper consulted a Danish theologian who advised them not to print them, saying "It will offend Muslims and only cause pointless provocation."

This article gives a pretty good explanation about why Muslims were offended, but it's not only that the Prophet(peace be upon him) was depicted at all; it also was sort of a last straw after a lot of discrimination against and demonization against Muslims.

So, for no particular reason except to "test the boundaries", and understanding what the reaction would be, they published them. Muslims objected at the time, and over the next few months, Muslim leaders (ambassadors, etc.) tried to set up a meeting with the Danish Prime Minister to discuss the issue, but were rebuffed. I've been hearing about this for months, by the way.

Recently, a Norwegian Christian magazine printed them. I believe that Danish Muslims asked Muslims around the world to boycott Danish products until they apologized. In any case, a week or two ago, the news and a call for a boycott began spreading around the Arab world (and Muslim world, I guess). Last Friday, some of the imams mentioned it during Friday prayers. In Kuwait, supermarkets started taking Danish products off of the shelves, because people didn't want to buy them.

One Danish company, Arla Foods, does about $500 million of business in the Middle East, I believe, and their sales came to a halt. This was all people were talking about around here, but I guess it wasn't really reported in the U.S.

Some pharmacies also took Danish medicines off their shelves, including isulin, since they have alternative products. I've seen bloggers who read that and then wrote that we Muslims were letting our diabetic patients die! I often read things that make me realize that some people are so completely ignorant that they see Muslims as some kind of sub-humans. (And these cartoons feed into that...)

Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Denmark, I think, and Libya did something like that. In Kuwait, the Danish Ambassador was un-invited to the ceremony where the new Amir took the oath of office.

Somewhere around this time, the newspaper made a half-hearted apology, which didn't really say they regretted publishing the cartoons. By this time, the Danish Prime Minister was also sort of saying that he was sorry for the offese caused, but still holding on to the "Free Speech" banner...

I heard him speaking today in a pretty patronizing way, trying to explain to the ignorant Muslims what "free speech" is, and how "they even criticize me!" as if we just couldn't understand it.

The thing is, we know that there is no absolute freedom of the press in the West. There are all kinds of restrictions, whether it's racist or Nazi diatribes, Holocaust denial, coverage of the Royal Princes William and Harry before they reached adulthood, publishing names of rape victims or juveniles charged with crimes, informing French readers that their President had a mistress and a teenaged daughter, speech which "incites hatred" or whatever.

As someone on the BBC put it: "When it offends Europeans, it's a crime. When it offends Muslims, it's Free Speech."

As news of the boycott spread to Europe, newspapers in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands also printed the cartoons. Given the tense atmosphere by then, this was nothing more than intentionally giving us (Muslims) the finger. It also bolstered the widespread opinion that the West is in a war against Islam.

At some point, there was violence in Gaza, where gunmen took over an EU office or something. THEN it was reported more widely, and the news that everyone saw was the gunmen or burning flags, without any context (as is typical).

My own view is that it's hypocrisy to talk about Freedom of Speech as the most important thing in the world, and that I certainly have the freedom not to buy Danish products. I'm not shooting guns or burning any flags, but I'm not buying any more Lurpak butter or Puck Cheese. If they love their Freedom of Speech so much, let them pay the consequences.

rhetoric
fine art
prophetic
cartoon
(of)

Sorry, I forgot one important thing. Muslim Wakeup is a website that has nothing to do with practicing Muslims. They're in the business of ridiculing Muslims who actually try to follow Islam, which makes them popular in the Western media, but it's NOT the place to go for Islamic information or opinions.

@ummabdulla - Thanks for your explanation. I agree. Please understand that this rassist assault on generalized muslim is not a universal stand in Europe. The rght wing papers that publish these are not the majority.

I had a different take on #2. Still don't have a great hold on it, but there's something there.

The women have everything covered but their eyes, and the man has everything uncovered, except his eyes. They have a greater anonymity, but he's the one that needs it.

The women (nothing but eyes) and the man (everything but eyes) in cartoon #2 are, together, a yin and yang. The women are confined and repressed by their dress, granted little contact with the world. Contrast the man's freedom, free flowing garments and facial hair, nothing stopping his practiced hand should he decide to put the blade to use. Abundant paradox: the nurturing yang force of the women is barricaded in black, midnight's yin wears white. Seems a pretty volatile relationship, many instabilities.

The 2003 movie Osama tells the story of a 12 year old Afghan girl trying to pass as a boy. Very disturbing viewing experience for this midwestern American. The starkness of the girl's world, the bleak limits of her future, the absence of even the possibility of personal choice … this is not the world I know.

It's not clear why the women's eyes are so wide. I'm not reading fear. Astonishment?

Ummabdulla: I'm really glad you gave us more context here. I found the cartoons offensive, too, but I have little to no understanding of Islam, so I can't speak to the specifics. They did have a stilted, stereotypical feel to them, which is what I didn't like. And as images they looked clumsy and ill thought-out. They didn't work graphically or stylistically, and their meaning and message was very muddled and ill-conceived. (Note Michael's confusion over the first image; I'm confused by it, too.) It's asking for trouble to want to address an inherently controversial subject--how Islam is perceived in the west--and present it in such a clumsy, heavy-handed, deliberately confrontational way.

It's interesting that the paper sought advice from religous groups and still published the cartoons anyway. That means that they were asking for controversy. Well, they got it.

I have trouble understanding why this escalated into an international incident, though. If you have issues with the paper or with its publisher, that's one thing, and that's totally legitimate. But the Danish government isn't responsible, and the Danish people aren't responsible, and it looks like they're caught in the middle. Asking the Danish government to apologize for the actions of an independent newspaper--it doesn't make sense to me. And asking the government to police how the people perceive Islam doesn't make sense to me, either. There must be other, more effective venues for accomplishing that, if that is your goal. Start with the theologians who rejected the cartoons before they were published.

It'd be a different story if the press were a direct apparatus of the state, and if the state were implicitly (or explicitly) condoning and/or encouraging hate speech and violence toward Muslims. But it doesn't look like that's the situation here, and that's not how the press operates in western-style democracies.

Regarding the radio station: its license was taken away. So it looks as if the government is on record as punishing hate speech on its airwaves. (Again, I don't know how it works in Denmark; in the US, private companies lease the airwaves from the government, and are given license to broadcast. I'm assuming there's a similar arrangement in Denmark.)

Citizens elect state leaders, so state leaders are citizens in temporary jobs, serving until the people kick them out again. The government can regulate commerce and pass laws, but the government isn't in the business of censoring the press or the people. (In the US, this concept is "prior resraint"--suppressing the publication of a piece, rather than punishing it after it's published. Prior constraint is against the law.)

The press serves as a watchdog on the government; that makes for a very uneasy relationship between them. (It frequently gets corrupted--it's hard to make a case that Fox News in the US is much more than a propaganda machine for the conservative movement disguised as legitimate news, just as it's often difficult to figure out whether the role of mass media is to present the news, or sell advertising space to corporations.)

I'd like to know more about how this Danish newspaper is perceived. Is it frequently critical of the government, or of the president/prime minister? Is it a tabloid? If so, then maybe this controversy was a chance for government officials to distance themselves from the paper and let the paper get some heat for its actions. And maybe some bureaucrats are in no mood to apologize for the actions of this particular paper. (It'd be like asking the US government to apologize for something published by the Church of the Creator or the Ku Klux Klan. Asking them to do that implies they indorse it or are responsible for it in the first place.) If anything, letting the paper take the heat reinforces the heirarchy--or lack of heirarchy--between government and the press.

A boycott makes sense to me, because that's a chance to punish a company for advertising in this particular paper. That would bring additional pressure to bear in a well-focused way. But turning it into an international incident... I think that implies a basic misunderstanding of the relationship between the government and the press in western democracies.

I'm riffing on a few ideas for some cartoons.

One depicts a large pig wearing a Star of David slitting the throat of a young Palestinian girl. Another shows Jesus in fatigues brutally raping and sodomizing a Japanese schoolgirl while other soldiers look on and laugh. I have this one hilarious idea where the Dalai Lama sits down and smokes crack with some whores while high fiving Chinese soldiers busying themselves torturing Tibetans. Another portrays Native Americans as drunks and pedophiles. It's a rich field this portrayal of religious icons and hey - it's funny stuff right?
Course, these aren't necessarily insightful or even accurate portrayals of the majority of these people, but heck, it sure is easier on my noggin and since most of them have allowed whatever cultural definitions they may have had to be assimilated into "market forces" who's gonna bitch and whine except some nutbar extremists?

Yes, "Freedom of Speech" now comes full circle into broad strokes of ignorance and lack of respect for *anything*. It is astonishing to me that European newspapers could be so ignorant and insensitive. Truthfully though, it could be argued that you yourself are perpetuating this by showing these too.

FWIW, I'm not a religious person; but I understand and appreciate that many religions caution the use of imagery to depict their prophets. I would even go so far to say that this is an essential wisdom of these religions and that it is the individuals responsibility to supply their *own vision* of their prophet. Consider the immense freedom of that.

Emmanuel Todd writes in After the Empire about universalism and the necessity of it during the Cold War - why it was useful to be perceived as a culture of inclusion for most western nations. Well - that's out the window now ain't it?
Just curious - How many people think these same rag sheets would have the backbone to publish the cartoon ideas I wrote of above?
Exactly.
None.

ummabdulla;

Let me see if I have your view correct:

  1. It is justified to hold the entire nation of Denmark responsible for the small minority that published these cartoons.
  2. It is unjustified to hold the Ummah responsible for the small minority that commits acts of terror.

What makes these two cases different?

Also, I read through your link and I have to say, any such discussion that avoids any mention of Salman Rushdie, Theo Van Gogh and Hirsan Ali is one that being very disingenious.

Further, the claim that Jesus Christ isn't routinely disrespected is bogus. Leaving aside the standard examples (Piss Christ, Chris Olifi's Virgin Mary and Last Temptation of Christ), one need only consider things like South Park or various thirts.

Bernhard:

"rassist [sic] assault"? When did Muslim become a race?

There's two things to remember here: there are two different groups pursuing political ends with this incident.

The first are conservative elements in Europe who want to stop or eliminate immigration to Europe. So they push for publication of these cartoons as an in-your-face thing to people who have been enduring all kinds of anti-immigrant discrimination so far and who therefore react, as U. points out, more to the political context than to the religious context.

The second, however, is the perfect willingness of anti-western imams to use this to whip up anti-western sentiment. The response of muslims in Gaza, for example, has little to do with the political situation in Europe and everything to do with the political situtation in the Middle East.

Between both of these kind of opportunists, the reaction and responses to these cartoons has been fanned far higher than they ever would have been withiout the fanning -- ON BOTH SIDES -- of intolerant bigots.

Ain't nobody clean in all of this.

ghostmachine, we must be looking at different cartoons. I didn't see any killing or torture or pedophilia on any of those 12 cartoons. You come off sounding disingenuous to me.

Since I've been reading this site, I don't think I've agreed with anything AOG has said. Until now. He's 100% right on this one.

I'm dumbfounded that a few cartoons can cause this much trouble. I have to work really hard to imagine any case where such outrage over something like this makes any sense. I'm sure I'd be pretty offended if we discovered the picture #1 was actually a doodle drawn by President Bush. I don't think any of these cartoonists are commanders-in-chief of nuclear powers or large standing armies.

The reaction to these cartoons tells me more about those who are offended than about the cartoonists or the papers that printed them. And it's not pretty.

Igor

Cartoons are against my non-religion. I have closed my Bagland embassy and will boycott this website until tomorrow. I hope you're happy.

First of all, I agree that the cartoons were published as a political provocation, which is obviously reprehensible (as is the quality of the art work...).

That said, give it some context: Here's a link at the anti-defamation league that tracks the deluge of anti-semitic cartoons issuing from Middle-Eastern newspapers all the time, including a few cartoons published in response to the Danish cartoons (ghostmachine, your images are truly passe, check out some of this stuff!).

http://www.adl.org/main_Arab_World/default.htm

In general I agree with annoyingoldguy: I don't think anybody would have even noticed this stuff (are the cartoons even saying anything interesting?) if the demagogues hadn't puffed it up on both sides.

It's interesting to me that the cartoons are more than a little self-conscious. The cartoonist cowering over the sketchboard is one example. Another has "public relations stunt" printed right on it. The line-up of Muhammed wanna-bes in the police station shows that there are different ways to depict Muhammed, all of them based on stupid Western stereotypes, since we have no idea what he looked like. One cartoonist depicts himself holding a drawing of Muhammed as an unidentifiable stick figure with a beard.

It's clear the cartoonists even knew that this was a really pointless exercise in provocation and stereotyping. Note the cartoon showing Muhammed wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, and the other showing him as kind of a beatnik with a halo. There's an undercurrent of resentment on the part of the cartoonists (I understand they were required to take part in this project, as employees of the newspaper), it's obvious to the cartoonists themselves that they cannot draw Muhammed without resorting to all the negative popular images of Muslims; beards, bombs, veiled women, crazy eyes and all the rest of it, adding insult to injury.

I think that's why nobody is talking about most of the cartoons. The Danes are normally relatively generous and fair minded people in my experience who have welcomed many immigrants. I think only a couple of these cartoonists enjoyed their appointed task, and these couple produced the cartoons everybody is talking about.

The rest of the cartoons are tongue-in-cheek, even if they were volunteered, their purpose is to undercut the assignment. Like the Sultan saying to his henchmen, "Calm down guys, it's just a cartoon from the south-west of Denmark", in other words, even the cartoonist is saying "Please. ignore this, it's not important".

I think this should not be ignored when discussing the cartoons.

There's also nothing profound about the veiled women or their expressions in the 2nd cartoon. The A**wipe just wanted to stick some oppressed females in there.

Also notice the words on the blackboard which the jeans-wearing "student Muhammed" is pointing to: "these journalists are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs". I mean, really, how much more obvious can the cartoonist be about what he thinks of the assignment???

Also some of the "Muhammeds" in the police lineup are blondes, redheads, and Chinese, some wearing Western clothes. The thing they have in common is they are wearing turbans and bloodthirsty expressions. I believe this is more of a comment on the inanity of negative stereotyping than a use of the same.

I think a majority of these cartoonists were trying in not so subtle ways to slap the editor's face for his stupid idea, which was just designed to create another problem in the immigrant community.

And in the line-up cartoon, two of the "suspects" are women. I don't think the cartoonist is trying to say Muhammed could have been a woman. What do others think of this? I'm sure its very insulting to Muslims, even the hint that Muhammed could be female.

The more I see these, the more subversive I find them, except for three of them....the first two, and the "no more virgins" cartoon (just dumb). Do others find them subversive also?

BEG
So the bomb on the head represents happiness and joy? If it doesn't "symbolize" violence and mayhem, one of us completely misses the point of this web site. It's about reading into the image isn't it?
Well - just consider my takes on "fun with religion" to be the short cut.

Theoretically, based on your blase "what's the big deal" attitude, you wouldn't mind images of Native American pedophilia or Jesus raping schoolgirls. Its just a picture right? Since *you* fail to appreciate or respect the value systems of a group you dont belong to and apparently ascribe to that value system which says "anything goes", then let me ask you - is there *anything* that's not "okay"?
Why?
If I post a photo on the Internet of someone who bears a striking resemblance to your mom on her hands and knees doing pornographic with small animals, you wouldn't have a problem right? Is that too personal for you? Cuz, see BEG, I kind of perceive ones religion as being you know - deeply personal.

Are you saying that it's no biggie to post flyers of rats with big yellow Star of Davids on them, cuz hey, there's no killing or anything?
Wow. How civilized and enlightened.

If you dont understand why some groups would prefer that their cultural or religious identities not be defined by outsiders, you dont understand the insult.

*ANY* practicing Muslim will find the imagery of a bomb wearing Mohammed deeply offensive. Full stop.

This does not excuse moronic Arabs denigrating Jews.
Its funny to me that most westerners dont want their political systems identified with any religious affiliations (no onward Christian soldier here!...), but when it comes to Arab countries, theres really only one violent, backward, crazed religion to draw from isn't there?

More cartoons, plenty of additional pages: http://www.adl.org/Anti_semitism/arab/cartoon_arab_press_080702.asp

'Hate speech' is a nebulous concept. Speech that incites to hatred or violence ... but incites in whom? Few people claim that -all- speech is (or should be) free, but if the limits are 'speech that incites hatred', that is -not- 'speech that violates a religious precept.' So the prohibition against depicting Mohammed is irrelevant. Your religious creed cannot affect my speech. You can hope for, but not demand, respectful discourse.

I would be livid at an editorial cartoon in the States which approvingly depicted the lynching of an African-American. I wouldn't expect the -government- to apologize, though, or condone any act of violence, but I'd certainly consider boycotting. If this is offensive to Muslims, then of -course- they have every right to boycott, just like Christians can boycott stores that offend them with 'Happy Holidays' or whatever.

The right not to be offended doesn't exist. The right to not buy whatever you choose not to buy, though ... that's a good one.

According to Wikipedia the people in th line up are not all supposed to be Muhammad. Being unfamiliar with Danish politics and culture, I can't say these identifications are correct but here is what Wiki has to say:

"A police line-up of seven people, with the witness saying: "Hm... jeg kan ikke lige genkende ham" ("Hm... I can't really recognise him"). Not all people in the line-up are immediately identifiable. They are: (1) A generic Hippie, (2) politician Pia Kjærsgaard, (3) possibly Jesus, (4) possibly Buddha, (5) possibly Muhammad, (6) a generic Indian Guru, and (7) journalist Kåre Bluitgen, carrying a sign saying: "Kåres PR, ring og få et tilbud" ("Kåre's public relations, call and get an offer")"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy

Or more accurately those are the people they're representing as muhammad.

The flag of Danes, a christian cross, is burned by Muslim protestors. Do these cross and flag burners see this symbolically as an anti-christian defilement? Do they equate it with the cartooning? Seems no one is talking about the cross/flag burning as somehow being equally offensive, in a religious context. Burning crosses. Burning flags. Even in America where one would think these would touch a lot of nerves, it is not being discussed as such. Don't get me wrong, I think it is good not to get too worked up about any of this. It is just seems oddly generally unilaterally interpreted, when, there seems to be such symmetry.

The BAG has just served up the biggest meal to date-like UMMABDULLA I don't know if I want (have enough skill or time) to dine. ( but I hope she hangs in here)
I will perhaps just pick away as I cannot follow DOCTOR BIOBRAIN'S advice and close my embassy.

JENNY said; "i find cartoon #9 to be the most fascinating, perhaps because i can't read the words. but artistically it is very compelling to me."

I see # 9 as Zionism Vs Islam/Islam vs Zionism.
In its simplicity I find it both compelling and artistic as well.

1) THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS---Samuel P. Hungington
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Huntington

2) Bernard Lewis----The Roots Of Muslim Rage.

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, interest in Lewis's work surged, especially his 1990 essay The Roots of Muslim Rage. Lewis is also known for his literary sparrings with the late Professor Edward Said of Columbia University, who critiqued Orientalist scholarship (of which he claimed Lewis's work was a prime example) in his seminal 1978 book, Orientalism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Lewis

(Unfortunately Edward Said died last year)

I visualize both of these Academic Zeus like characters with agents and publishers competing over the rights to use # 9 on the cover of an inevitable reprint of their classic works ?
These cartoons serve as a rerun of 911 in Academia and will energize the neocons who will use these Professors as cover/camouflage in the great verbal babble of 'GWOT'.
They have probably popped the champagne at the AEI an organization which GWB " calls his base ".

I look forward to BAG's discussion of Piss-Christ.

Ummabdulla I find your comments and information very important. Thank you. It should be noted how conveniently the background information is not included in the media when these issues come up.
Kvesar I agree with your comments. Again the standards toward publishing are not evenly applied, they are lopsided for the one side. How convenient and still better when the public is blind to the uneven scales and are convinced that this is "freedom" and "a right" to insult others.
I find it really strange that so called "political correctness" is suddenly nonexistent when it comes to protection of human rights and questioning of governmental policies and actions.
I am amazed how many stories have come up in media reporting the abuses, (just to mention few: treatment of prisoners and koran in the US Guantanamo prison, the burning of bodies in Afghanistan by US military, the bombing of civilians, the arrests of women in Iraq, Abu Graib...) and yet the outrage and reaction are invisible in the United States and in Europe.
What I find ironic is that the boycott and protests, hitting Denmark and hopefully other countries, who do not respect and defend human rights is being painful and is producing a reaction! Maybe it is the beginning of unity, I hope, against the evil.

Hi guys, I'm Danish. Allow me to translate.

Number 9 is a rhyme. It says:
the Prophet who is crazy
and who keeps women under the yoke.

But there is a silly double entendre here, because the phrase used for "being crazy" contains two words that are also slang for cock and fucking, and the thing with the women becomes very sexual.

That having been said, I have no idea what the drawing is supposed to be.

In number 8, the guy is saying, "I can't quite recognize him."

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