Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kudos Tim, Kudos Janet, Kudos...Andrew ????

Today I decided to add some new cartoons that between them span my thoughts on the current crisis. Perhaps the newspapers that were too "sensitive" and "nuanced" to print the original twelve might consider printing some or all of these.

Exhibit A to the left is a new Mohammad cartoon that has appeared in the French press, in the Weekly Satirical Charlie Hedbo. [Hat Tip: The Dumb Ox]

The cartoon caption reads "Mohammed overwrought by the fundamentalists", The old pedophile is crying, saying "It's hard to be loved by such idiots". Fatwa pending.
[Update 9/2/2006 : Chirac, walking proof that the entire Eurabia thesis is correct, never misses a chance to play the dhimmi while another French newspaper prints the cartoons! This is a major victory. We all remember what happened to the editor of France Soir...]

The next one speaks to the hypocrisy of what passes for business as usual in the government controlled Middle Eastern press. Want to see some real ones ?

Want to see some more ?

Still not convinced ?

In light of the above, we are fortunate indeed that such difficult times have not prevented newspaper editors from maintaining their strict codes of ethics, and upholding the key values we associate with the best practice of the journalistic profession. Yes, we are talking the bedrock values of Western Culture here. Indispensable values. Values that allowed the Enlightenment to blossom forth from the shackles of oppression and ignorance. Yes, those values are apparently tolerance, sensitivity, respect for religion, compromise and cultural understanding. All those things that the founding fathers of the Enlightenment showed to the Kings and Church of their time. Or perhaps there is another explanation for all this?

To be fair, it is all well and good for anonymous amateur blogger Six Days to say what he likes. The lives of editors and journalists are threatened. They are prominent, and risk their jobs, lives, and families. Nevertheless, some journos still stand up for what they believe. Tim Blair published the pictures on his blog. This is an act of great courage. My respect for him continues to grow. Sadly this is not enough. It is important that his actions be recognised for what they are, and Australia be seen as taking a stand. Sadly, the arbiters of this are the offended Muslims themselves. Unless the Muslim world is condemning us over the cartoons, we have not done enough to stand up and be counted! They seem to think that governments are responsible for what newspapers print, but they have chosen to ignore the blogosphere.
Janet Albrechtsen has also taken a clear and principled stand. (and is blonde and Danish to boot!) She refers to the Caliphate of Victoria as "Victoristan" in the article, when all the other blogs call it "Brackistan". Hmm... Hi Janet!
Closer to home, Victoria's religious vilification laws are working in ways that make the place look like an Islamic state-in-waiting. Recall the two Christian pastors hauled into a Victorian court and threatened with jail time for daring to criticise Islam. Publish these cartoons south of the Murray in Victoristan and you too might be charged with religious vilification. It's a state overflowing with rights. But freedoms - such as free speech - are thin on the ground.
Andrew West of all people has shown an unusual degree of sense. (Cannot find a link to his article, but it makes me want to hug the annoying leftie) [Update: Thanks for the link, Manny!]
The cartoons that have so offended Muslims around the world were not worthy of publication in the first place. They're not really funny and are little more than a gratuitous provocation. But the violent opposition of Muslim zealots now demands that the media in western liberal democracies publish and be damned.
There is an uncompromising first principle at stake here: Muslims, and the adherents of any other faith, living in liberal societies must accept that, in such societies, a critique of religion, however juvenile and insulting, is not only permissible but intrinsic to democracy. You must have the right to tell me that what I believe is bunkum (as so many do on this site so often!).
But no Aussie newspaper will publish the cartoons. Nope, not the Australian or the Bulletin. Not the Daily Telegraph or Herald Sun. Nor even Quadrant. At least not yet.
I urge Tim Blair, Janet Albrechtsen, Andrew West and all other good folk of the journalistic profession that still have a shred of integrity to take out a full page ad in a major newspaper, and publish the cartoons IN THEIR NAMES. If refused, write an article about it. OR BETTER YET:
[Hat Tip: Pajamas Media]
The editorial staff of the alternative weekly New York Press walked out today, en masse, after the paper's publishers backed down from printing the Danish cartoons that have become the center of a global free-speech fight.
Editor-in-Chief Harry Siegel emails, on behalf of the editorial staff:
New York Press, like so many other publications, has suborned its own professed principles. For all the talk of freedom of speech, only the New York Sun locally and two other papers nationally have mustered the minimal courage needed to print simple and not especially offensive editorial
cartoons that have been used as a pretext for great and greatly menacing violence directed against journalists, cartoonists, humanitarian aid workers, diplomats and others who represent the basic values and obligations of Western civilization. Having been ordered at the 11th hour to pull the now-infamous Danish cartoons from an issue dedicated to them, the editorial group consisting of myself, managing editor Tim Marchman, artseditor Jonathann Leaf and one-man
city hall bureau Azi Paybarah, chose instead to resign our positions.
Read the whole thing. If only there was more of this.
I leave you with something that is unfortunately not a cartoon at all, but so clear, twisted and bizarrely comical that it qualifies as one. If I showed it to you six months ago you would not have believed me,particularlyy if I said it was a photo from the centre of London. The scariest bit is not the terrorist (yes terrorist. Read the placard. A terrorist is one who promises unexpected deadly violence if his demands are not met. This guy definitely qualifies.). Watch what the copper on the left is doing. That's right. Nothing...
Kufr Aleikum.
[Update 9/2/2006] Egyptian Paper Printed Cartoons in October!
Yep, it gets even more bizarre!
Looks like Dar-al-Islam should also... Boycott Egypt ??? [Hat Tip: LGF] Egyptian Sandmonkey has found that prominent Egyptian newspaper Al Fagr had printed all of the cartoons all the way back in October, during Ramadan to boot ! So where were the rampaging mobs ? Sad thing is, Murbarak probably will apologise to his co-religionists and punish the journalists responsible... A principled stand in support of Al Fagr should be organised NOW.
Al Fagr should be lauded by the free press of the West, and their example followed. Yes, I do realise that they probably had no intention of being brave, and are probably regretting their decision and shaking in their boots. Nevertheless, this precedent must be exploited, and these people protected as best we can manage.
Goodbye, Kufr Aleikum, Happy Ashura
So goodbye for the day, Kufr Aleikum good readers and, Happy Ashura, The Shia commemoration of the slaugher of Imam Hussein and his companions. With Shia, your Islam is even martyrer ! (Is that a word?)
Six Days is celebrating Ashura by blogging and going to work (bugger I am running late...).
Others celebrate it in more traditional ways. I leaves you with these piccies of Ashura festivities. They can't drink, they can't mess with loose women but these guys sure know how to mass-self-mutilate in a frenzied rage, and they have all these cool implements!
Its good clean family fun ! Kids and mums can join in too!
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