Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Swedish Dog Displays Blasphemous Images

Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist with a price on his head, showed a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad to a seminar in Stockholm on yesterday.

Why that "Swedish Dog" term in the headline? It's how "Islamic World News أخبار العالم الاسلامي refers to the Swedish cartoonist.

"Nobody has really seen this image and it has just become more and more impossible to show it, so I thought that ordinary people should be given the possibility to see it live," he told the 100 or so people at a seminar.

I wonder what number Mr. Vilks considers "nobody." The cartoon, or one very much like the famous one, is displayed on his website.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is offering upwards of $100,000 USD to anyone who kills Mr. Vilks. One of the under-reported aspects of this is how Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been corrupted. I'd have thought that more people would be shocked at how western they're acting: offering money, rather than appealing to jihadic zeal.

I hope that Mr. Vilks, and others involved in this cartoon's publication, take care of themselves. Islamic enthusiasts aren't particularly noted taking insults lightly.

Remember Theo van Gogh? A Muslim killed him after Mr. van Gogh made a film, "Submission," that followers of Islam didn't like. Muslims had good reason for disapproving of the film. At best, Muslim women in the film, whose "chadors and gowns are transparent," make the movie insulting.

However, Michael Moore has offended conservatives and some Christians in America, and he's still very much alive.

Back to Mr. Vilks and his appalling diplomatic skills.

An earlier post, "Death to the Cartoonist! Death to Swedish Dog!" discussed the Swedish cartoonist's drawing and how some Muslims reacted. Happily, a group I hadn't heard of, Muslims Against Sharia, posted a comment on that post. I'm taking the liberty of quoting their comment.

"Muslims Against Sharia praise the courage of Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Thorbjorn Larsson and the staff of Nerikes Allehanda and Dagens Nyheter and condemn threats issued by Abu Omar Al Baghdadi and the Islamic State of Iraq. Muslims Against Sharia will provide a payment of 100,000kr (about $15,000) for the information leading to capture or neutralization of Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

"Muslimer mot Sharia berömmer Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Torbjörn Larsson och övriga anställda på Nerikes Allehanda och Dagens Nyheter för deras tapperhet och fördömer hotet från Abu Omar Al Baghdadi och Islamistiska Iraq. Muslimer mot Sharia betalar 100 000 SEK (ca 15 000$) för information som leder till gripande eller oskadligörande av Abu Omar Al Baghdadi."

It's my opinion that Islam is going through a very interesting time in its history. Muslims have very serious decisions to make. But, that's for another post.

Related posts, on censorship, propaganda, and freedom of speech.

3 comments:

Cassandra said...

Islam is going through a very interesting time in its history...

You are giving a entirely new meaning to the word 'interesting'! Tell that to the victims of the 9.537 terrorist attacks since 9/11! Bit insensitive, isn't it?

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Quite a few people would call me "insensitive."

I do think that Islam is going through a very interesting time in its history.

Some Muslim leaders are on a jihad to return Islam to what they imagine are its 7th-century origins, and drag the rest of the world back with them.

Others seem to be struggling with the societal and political reforms of the 18th century.

Still others are living in the Information Age, and may want to bring their religion with them.

If this situation isn't "interesting," I don't know what is.

As for victims of terrorist attacks, that started before 9/11. I am appalled by the loss of life, and wasted opportunities, that the current jihad represents.

But, I don't focus on that.

Erich said...

Virtually all progress and reform in the modern world is Western. Muslims who pursue a path of progress and reform, on whatever level -- academic, intellectual, artistic, technological, scientific, political, legal, sociocultural -- cannot avoid the fact that they are Westernizing themselves.

To better oneself predominantly through the influence of others is already somewhat difficult for anyone to do, because it requires a laying aside of ego and a bit of humility to say, "Gee, these other people know better than me and my people how to improve ourselves".

It is, however, for the Muslim mentality doubly difficult, more difficult than it is for other mentalities, because in the Muslim mentality a sense of superiority is ingrained in culture, texts, tradition and history -- and now Muslims are supposed to swallow their pride and admit that the West is better than Islamic culture on so many levels, and they are supposed to add injury to this insult by actually setting aside many of their Islamic ways -- modelled on that supposedly best model of conduct for all times, Muhammad (the uswa hasana) -- in favor of the ways of another people whom their own Qur'an teaches are "filthy" (najis; see for example 9:28).

A tall order. And likely not going to happen without terrible, tragic dislocations and bloodshed in the coming decades -- the horrible birth pains of the surviving Muslims finally growing the hell up.

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Blogroll

Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.