Saturday, September 15, 2007

Does Anyone Really Believe Censorship Isn't Happening?

Lars Vilks published cartoons, showing the prophet Mohammed (first strike) in a disrespectful way (second strike) in July, 2007. Now, Al Qaeda in Iraq is offering $100,000USD for the head of Lars Vilks (yer out!).

It reminds me of May, 2006, when Muslims were offended by other cartoons. Some headlines then were "Al-Qaeda Threatens 3 EU States over Mohammed Cartoons," and, showing great compassion, " Algeria cartoon publishers jailed." The latter news account said that "according to Algerian law, both journalists now face between three and five years in jail for 'insulting the prophet'." The article was quite calm. I'm glad the journalists didn't lose their heads.

The 2006 flap was over cartoons in a Danish paper, re-published in Norway and elsewhere. All twelve cartoons are displayed in the Brussles Journal's "Danish Imams Propose to End Cartoon Dispute." The Journal's slogan is "defending freedom of speech in Europe."

As of early 2006, the imam's idea of ending the "cartoon dispute" involving Jywallands-Posten, the infidel paper which posted the cartoons was that "Jyllands-Posten admit that publishing the cartoons was wrong and make amends for it." In a way, the demand is very moderate, assuming that no beheadings are involved in making "amends."

As a devout Catholic, I'd be satisfied if all anti-Catholic cartoons were so restrained and polite as the ones the imams were fussing about.

Back to Lars Vilk.

Samples from the latest cartoon flap are displayed (as of today's date) at Wikipedia's "Lars Vilks Muhammad cartoons controversy"

I'll admit that portraying a Mohammed with a dog's body is quite disrespectful. But, as an American, I'm used to seeing over-the-top depictions of leaders and cultural icons.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has a different attitude. "Al Qaeda: $100G To Kill Swedish Cartoonist" was the way put it. "The leader of al Qaeda in Iraq offered money for the murder of a Swedish cartoonist who recently produced images deemed insulting to Islam and promised a new offensive in Iraq during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in a statement carried by Islamist Web sites Saturday."

While looking for these anti-Islam cartoons, I found a very helpful page. It included links to the "Swedish Dog," sites which published the 2006 cartoons, and a list of newspapers that reprinted Jyllands-Posten's Mohammad cartoons.

Here's an excerpt.

"Islamic World News أخبار العالم الاسلامي

"Islamic Studies دراسات اسلامية
14 سبتمبر, 2007
حرية التعبير والإساءة إلى رسول الإسلام
(The Arabic phrase after the date translates as
"Freedom of expression and offend the Prophet of Islam" (World Star Dictionaries, Translators and Encyclopedias, and Google translation service))

" Lars Vilks Cartoons :: Swedish Dog Mohamed Cartoon Draws.

" الموقع الخاص بالفنان الذي رسم محمد ("The relative to site the artist who Mohammed drew" (")

" Lars Vilks Cartoons :: Swedish Dog Mohamed Cartoon Draws."

And so on. "Swedish Dog" is repeated fairly often.

Reading "Islamic World News أخبار العالم الاسلامي", remember that this, unlike sites and blogs which criticize Islam, is not a hate site, and does not promote violence or racism.

Meanwhile, is Australia, Australian Christian Lobby head Jim Wallace, is a non-Muslim who disapproved of pastors Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot being convicted of inciting "hatred against, serious contempt for or revulsion or severe ridicule of" Muslims.

The infidel preachers claim that "they had merely informed Christians about Islamic teachings, based on the Koran and other Islamic texts."

Wallace said that the finding against the pastors probably meant that Australians

It's hard to for me to verify any of this, since most of the online references to both Wallace and the Mohammed cartoons matter have been removed from the Web, or been re-edited.

Having grown up in a country which supports free speech, I have misgivings about censorship, and regard propaganda skeptically.

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

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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.