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February 10, 2006

Images Of Mohammed, Religious Humor Not Forbidden

In a Wall Street Journal article a couple of days ago, Amir Taheri pointed out that claims by those organizers of Islamic mega-vandals over the Danish cartoon episode that depictions of Mohammed and jokes about Islam are banned by Koranic principles are a politically motivated fabrication.

The Muslim Brotherhood's position, put by one of its younger militants, Tariq Ramadan--who is, strangely enough, also an adviser to the British home secretary--can be summed up as follows: It is against Islamic principles to represent by imagery not only Muhammad but all the prophets of Islam; and the Muslim world is not used to laughing at religion. Both claims, however, are false. There is no Quranic injunction against images, whether of Muhammad or anyone else. When it spread into the Levant, Islam came into contact with a version of Christianity that was militantly iconoclastic. As a result some Muslim theologians, at a time when Islam still had an organic theology, issued "fatwas" against any depiction of the Godhead. That position was further buttressed by the fact that Islam acknowledges the Jewish Ten Commandments--which include a ban on depicting God--as part of its heritage. The issue has never been decided one way or another, and the claim that a ban on images is "an absolute principle of Islam" is purely political. Islam has only one absolute principle: the Oneness of God. Trying to invent other absolutes is, from the point of view of Islamic theology, nothing but sherk, i.e., the bestowal on the Many of the attributes of the One.

The claim that the ban on depicting Muhammad and other prophets is an absolute principle of Islam is also refuted by history. Many portraits of Muhammad have been drawn by Muslim artists, often commissioned by Muslim rulers.

The reasons for the recent violence by mindless animals was, therefore, just another excuse to do what they do best: Destroy property and injure innocent people, protected by the safety of numbers provided by fellow scum in their cowardly mobs.

This is an excellent piece, Read on.

Posted by Seth at February 10, 2006 03:55 AM



As you probably saw, the Wall Street Journal hit the nail on the head again in yesterday's editorial Clash of Civilization, which exposes that the cartoon controversy is principally an effort by Muslim extremists to take control of defining Islam by intimidating and silencing their Muslim theological/political opponents. The secondary aim is to intimidate the West into silence and to preclude any criticism, on a one-sided basis.

Eugene Volokh blogged a new cartoon wrinkle here. The comments are also worth reading (so far). It seems that many in the Akron community (and probably elsewhere) don't see what is going on even as they are ever more rapidly sliding down the "slippery slope".

If violence or threats of violence by Islamic extremists are allowed to trump speech, where will this end when other groups jump into the fray with their grievances? Wake up,frogs: the water temperature is almost at the boiling point.

Posted by: civil truth at February 12, 2006 05:59 PM

C.T. --

The WSJ editorial was on point.

Our capitalist culture attracts businessmen, small and large, from all over the world, and most of them raise their children as Americans.

They, and even their nonwealthy countrymen, find acceptance and opportunity here they won't find in Europe, so while there are Islamofascists in this country, it's taking them longer to incite their young than it does elsewhere. Despite the best efforts of CAIR and others, there are as yet no mobs out burning cars. I'll go no further than as yet, though, if for no other reason than the Constitution protects inciters to the same extent that it does the rest of us, giving them an edge. When domestic policies abet the goals of the inciters, well...

Posted by: Seth at February 12, 2006 09:48 PM

Seth, we're having a "Cheney is so evil that..." contest over at the new Three Bulls! I know you probably love the guy, but your hyperbolic over-the-top comment from way back was so amazing, i'm sure you could come up with some good ones, so we thought we would invite you. Cheers!

Posted by: Pinko Punko at February 13, 2006 01:06 PM

Pinko --

I came over and took a gander at the first 11 entries, I got the best chuckles from the initial one and the first entry. Yup, I do like Cheney a lot(I even worked offshore for Brown & Root many years ago, LOL), though I could have a little fun.

Unfortunately, I have a powerful flu at the moment that's turned my thought processes to mud, hence my recent paucity of posts. I may come visit again later and have a go if I'm feeling any better. :-)

Posted by: Seth at February 13, 2006 02:55 PM

Feel better soon Seth!

Posted by: phin at February 16, 2006 08:12 PM

Thanks, Phin,

I'm about back to normal, or at least as close to "normal" as I've ever been. That was a tough bug.

Posted by: Seth at February 16, 2006 10:12 PM