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> Religious Freedom Versus Freedom Of Speech, the unstopable force meets the immovable
Astarael
post Feb 3 2006, 10:16 PM
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The cartoons had indeed been out for a while, but then someone republished them in an Islamic newspaper. It was a stupid thing to do because now the cartoons have gotten a lot more publicity and everyone is furious. The Muslims have every right to be angry at the people who drew these, but I'll agree that some of them are getting far too violent.


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Mata
post Feb 4 2006, 01:35 AM
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Do they have a right to be so angry? I'm really not sure. Certainly it was culturally insensitive, but surely the same can be argued of the extreme reactions that a minority of Muslims have had: they are living in a culture where religion is just as fair game as politics or celebrities. They should be sensitive that this is an area of the world where jokes about religious leaders are usually considered risque but basically a given a fair judgement on whether they are actually funny or not.

I'm not saying that it was right for them to be published, but I also think that death threats are massively disproportionate to the seriousness of the offence. There is not currently a law against satire, but there is a law against threatening violence against another individual. Some Muslims are making themselves criminals because they don't like the way western media works... Which I guess really isn't news to anyone.


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artist.unknown
post Feb 4 2006, 09:26 PM
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Well, it must be pointed out that it wasn't one cartoon, but an entire series, none of them positive, which can only lead one to deduce that the paper was being deliberately incendiary. Personally, I would not purposely aggrieve a highly volitile segment of the population. I'm all for freedom of speech, but our political cartoons are typically published with the tacit understanding that the other side will draw equally rude caricatures--a sort of merry battle of the pen, if you will. We are irritated but not outraged by political cartoons. We have this history. They don't. It's a cultural gap.

I believe it was insensitive for the cartoons to be published, but that doesn't mean that I condone the reaction. The reaction was out of proportion and probably doesn't reflect the feelings of the majority of Muslims. But that doesn't mean that just because we want the Muslim community to get on with it and assimilate doesn't mean that they have or will any time soon. We certainly aren't going to encourage them to accept our culture when it attacks their beliefs. So while I think the threats of violence are deplorable, and I stand for freedom of speech, I don't think you need to kick a sleeping dog just to prove a point.


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Astarael
post Feb 4 2006, 10:07 PM
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The Muslims who are giving death threats and having violent protests are overeacting, but I can certainly understand why some Muslims are angry about the slap in the face to their religion. Some Christians have had similar reactions in the past, recently about The Da Vinci Code because some see it as blasphemy. When something blasts a religion, the people of that religion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm. It would probably be best if the Muslims calmed down and the newspaper delivered a qualified apology, perhaps saying that they didn't mean to offend and weren't so aware of the cultural gap, but that they stand on their right of freedom of speech. There's no need for the newspaper to grovel, but an apology would certainly ease some of the tension.


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Jonman
post Feb 4 2006, 11:48 PM
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QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 4 2006, 11:07 PM)
When something blasts a religion, the people of that religion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm.
*


I'd like to paraphrase that to:
"When someone blasts an opinion, the people who hold that opinion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm"

Let's face it, religion is essentially an opinion. There is no right or wrong, as much as many of us would like there be me. But once you extract the spiritual hoo-haa out of it, it really brings it down to earth.


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trunks_girl26
post Feb 5 2006, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE (Jonman @ Feb 4 2006, 06:48 PM)
QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 4 2006, 11:07 PM)
When something blasts a religion, the people of that religion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm.
*


I'd like to paraphrase that to:
"When someone blasts an opinion, the people who hold that opinion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm"

Let's face it, religion is essentially an opinion. There is no right or wrong, as much as many of us would like there be me. But once you extract the spiritual hoo-haa out of it, it really brings it down to earth.
*



Ah, but there tends to be a big difference between a religious opinion and any other opinion. People wouldn't stake their lives on the outcome of the Superbowl, for example, because it's not a life or death situation, but when one is dealing with religion, it is, simply because revolves around their continued living (by that I mean whatever they believe happens after death). Granted, there's no reason for them to act anywhere near as violent as they have, but I'd have to agree with AU on this one- knowingly printing those was like throwing a fox into a henhouse and expecting none to be eaten.


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Wookiee
post Feb 5 2006, 01:09 PM
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QUOTE (beleraphon @ Feb 3 2006, 01:52 PM)
A danish newspaper printed some cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad - Muslims do not have pictures of their holy people, its against the faith to show anything like that.
These cartoons were less than flattering as well - making observations about the recent violence that has been carried out 'in the name of Islam' by some groups.

Try the BBC news site for more infomation.
*


Thanks, I did actually know what was going on in the world. I was just a little perplexed by Norway and Sweden being dragged into the flag-burning and death-threatening. And, y'know, generally perplexed by how f*cking nuts these reactionary fundamentalists are.

The marches in London were absolutely amazing. Placards saying, "DEATH TO THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM" and "EUROPE YOU WILL PAY / YOUR 9/11 IS ON ITS WAY".

The Danish embassy in Beirut was torched today.

I know it's not all Muslims, but Mohammed on a pogo-stick, these people are complete ballbags. There is something to be said for religion breeding ignorance, and this can be equally applied to fundie Christians like George Bush or Fred Phelps, crazy warmongering Jews like Ariel Sharon, but these demonstrations are totally bananas and sickeningly stupid.

Dear crazy Muslims. Get yourselves and eductation. Love Pete.


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Jonman
post Feb 5 2006, 03:46 PM
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QUOTE (trunks_girl26 @ Feb 5 2006, 01:04 AM)
QUOTE (Jonman @ Feb 4 2006, 06:48 PM)
QUOTE (Astarael @ Feb 4 2006, 11:07 PM)
When something blasts a religion, the people of that religion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm.
*


I'd like to paraphrase that to:
"When someone blasts an opinion, the people who hold that opinion have the right to be angry but not to threaten others with harm"

Let's face it, religion is essentially an opinion. There is no right or wrong, as much as many of us would like there be me. But once you extract the spiritual hoo-haa out of it, it really brings it down to earth.
*



Ah, but there tends to be a big difference between a religious opinion and any other opinion. People wouldn't stake their lives on the outcome of the Superbowl, for example, because it's not a life or death situation, but when one is dealing with religion, it is, simply because revolves around their continued living (by that I mean whatever they believe happens after death). Granted, there's no reason for them to act anywhere near as violent as they have, but I'd have to agree with AU on this one- knowingly printing those was like throwing a fox into a henhouse and expecting none to be eaten.
*




That's precisely my point. People are staking their lives on an opinion. Which bebaffles me completely.


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Calantyr
post Feb 5 2006, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE (Jonman @ Feb 5 2006, 04:46 PM)
That's precisely my point. People are staking their lives on an opinion. Which bebaffles me completely.
*
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Mata
post Feb 6 2006, 01:26 PM
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bryden42
post Feb 6 2006, 06:43 PM
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Mata, That rules!

Wow, when i started this topic I had no idea how topical it would be. So a lot of what has been said here brings the argument a little closer to this:

Does anyone have the right to enforce their own oppinion over anothers either verbally, visually, or physically?

Does an article of religious dogma have precedence over Law?

Does Law have precedence over religious dogma?

Who wins in a face off between public majority opinion and religious opinion?

If I were to choose a religion it would probably be Taoism, Now Taoism suggests that the path of least resistance is probably for the best and as such this kind of ridicule of say Lao Tse, would not meet with this kind of reaction but this is my opinion, do I have the right to say to, for example, a muslim that they should not react in the way that they have? or is this forcing my point of view upon them? where do we draw the line? can we ever arrive at common concensus? (what is so common about concensus? I never bloody see it! smile.gif ).

anyone?


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Witless
post Feb 6 2006, 08:28 PM
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All those questions remind me of a documentry I saw once asking "is religion really the root of all evil". Quite a harsh title.. I was expecting a huge religion bashing session.
I was right.. to a degree.. but he brought up a lot of contravershal issues, among them were "evil people will often do good things, but to get a good person to do something evil, we need religion". It's a quote from long ago, I don't entirely agree with it. BUT.. I do agree religion can scew people's perspective a lot.. to the point of believing things so strongly and becoming so sensitive about things, they can easily lash out wildly.

So in response to Bryden's brain melting post,
Yeah I think we should have the right to say our opinion without fear of reprisal... but whether or not we'll ever be able to get away with that. History says no.. never, But I have hope that will change!


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Calantyr
post Feb 7 2006, 06:01 PM
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The first 'religious war' wasn't faught until.. Cyrus the Great I think. A man who fist started the idea of killing opponents because it was Gods' will.

However he was also the first person to set down a charter on human rights. Religion really does cut both ways.

To some degree or another there is ALWAYS a system where a person or persons impose their will on others. Even in the most open and equal society you still have people forcing others to accept their opinion. Look at the US. The worlds standard in democracy. It still has to abide by the tyranny of the majority.

Is it right? Well I suppose so. If you lay out all the facts why something has to be a certain way, give ample time and resources for people to sway opinion, and above all make it a transparent process... why not? If people can see the way by which a decision was made and it's reasonable, I suppose it has every right to be imposed. People may not like it, but if it's for the best...

I mean look at parents. They often do things that their children do not agree with. But when they are old enough to have the resons why explained to them...?

Religion should not have any standing in temperal law, but it always does. Gay marriage still is not on an equal footing with straight. Why? There is no reason why except through religion. Religion has the habit of forcing people to do things, hate things, and ostracise groups not out of valid reason. It can be used as an excuse to do things where our morality would normally scream out in protest.

During the Rennaisance, explorers to the new world wanted the natives to be classified as having no souls so they could be used and exploited as we would do animals of labour. Thankfully this was rejected, but can you imagine how much more horrific things would have been if this religious standpoint was used?

The reasoning for having a monarchy is rooted in religion as well. Somehow the royal family was chosen (at some point in the distant past) to rule by God. Since then it has become custom, but it's original reason is still there. However secular we try to say our society is, there are always throwbacks like this.

In my opinion religion should be used on the personal level, not impossed on entire groups of people. By all means believe what you want to believe and have freedom to practice it, as long as it does no harm to others. Just don't try to impose your beliefs and quaint little customs on others. I like a world where the rules are based on scientific facts, reason, logic, and proveable theory. Not because some bearded guy sitting on top of a cold mountain said so.


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Mata
post Feb 7 2006, 06:52 PM
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The problem with that approach is that religion is never about a single person; religion does not address the personal experience, instead it addresses the way that a person relates to others. There are aspects of internal discourse in all religions that I know of, but they all also define the nature of a person by their acts towards others. To put that more clearly, people don't say about a saint 'inside he had a really strong conviction in the divinity of Christ', instead they talk about the person's physical acts in the world. Religions are all based on the way that people interact with society, and this can cause problems.

Religions are like virii: they need to infect and spread to survive. Without conscious will, the meme of a religion propogates and ensures its continued existence. It does this by over-ruling contrary ideas that it encounters. In the example of Christianity, this has happened through the perversion of existing traditions into a Christian framework and bribery, but in Islam it is often through the promise of a strict system of justice (and bribery again). Christianity survives through adaptation to social climates, so the Christianity of Africa is very different to the Christianity of California, which is different to that of Kentucky. Islam appears to go about things a different way: while there are regional differences, there is a single goal (the return of the caliphate, a state ruled by the laws and ideals of Islam). In this way Islam present an appealing unified front to those searching for a strict set of rules, and those rules are taught as being of a higher importance than the laws of government.

Due to the need to spread, religions cannot operate only on the personal level for their continued existence in society: a person that finds God but has no need to convey this to others will not establish a religion. This means that eventually every religion will meet with the problem of governmental-law. In the case of Christianity in the west this was simple: the laws of the land over time came to reflect Christian ideals, but now with Christian ideals and a multicultural society we face the conflict between a Christian-law system and an Islamic set of beliefs that contradict what is legal in the Christian system. Which leads us to the current state of affairs.

This whole 'controversy' about the cartoons annoys me. Flexibility is needed on both sides. Yes, it was culturally insensitive for the cartoonist/newspaper to represent the prophet Mohammed, but followers of the Islamic faith also need to show cultural sensitivity to the environment that they are living in. They are in a western society where the rules follow the (standard) Christian teaching that allows the representation of gods and prohpets. Yes, they may be offended, but they are choosing to live in this world, and they are not going to gain any sympathy by requesting beheadings for a cartoon!

Perhaps I'm being too harsh there: I'm a fan of the 'if you don't like it then try to change it' mentality, but I think that the reactions to the cartoons have been excessive. Yes, it's against Islamic law, but they're not in an Islamic state so those laws have no governance. It's been centuries in the UK since the church could prosecute those that annoyed Christianity, so why should Islamic laws be given any greater respect?

On a pedantic note to Bryden: Taoism is a philosophy, not a religion. Its systems for propogation are similar to those of a religion, but the focus of Taoism is not on worship or deities but internal peace.


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bryden42
post Feb 7 2006, 07:55 PM
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QUOTE
On a pedantic note to Bryden: Taoism is a philosophy, not a religion. Its systems for propogation are similar to those of a religion, but the focus of Taoism is not on worship or deities but internal peace.


I stand humbly corrected smile.gif


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Astarael
post Feb 7 2006, 11:41 PM
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The demand for beheadings is far too extreme. I can sympathize with a bit of righteous anger at first, but it should have settled down into most of the offended people grumbling a bit and perhaps writing occasional letters to the editor of the newspaper that published the cartoons originally. There likely would have been a few die-hard fanatics screaming about sinful the whole business was, but that sort of whinging happens every time someone gets snarky with any religion. This kind of widespread rage shouldn't be continuing for so long, and the people who stirred it up originally were being very stupid.
I just read another article about it, and apparently some protesters set the Norwegian embassy in Syria on fire. This has reached the point of unreasonable anger, and I'm not really sure what would be best to settle the crisis at this point.


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Mata
post Feb 8 2006, 04:05 PM
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It's nice to see a sensible response from some Muslims:

http://www.sorrynorwaydenmark.com/


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Astarael
post Feb 8 2006, 09:28 PM
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That's a very mature and good thing to do. They definitely have a good point about the media being attracted to raving sensational maniacs. Thirty seconds of Pat Robertson screaming something stupid is guaranteed to wind up on television over someone trying to take reasonable look at both sides.


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bryden42
post Feb 10 2006, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE
the media being attracted to raving sensational maniacs
yeah look at David Icke (sp?)


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trunks_girl26
post Feb 10 2006, 08:01 PM
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4691878.stm

What I found shocking was that an Iranian newspaper is asking for cartoons about the Holocaust. As much as I favor free speech, sometimes people take it a bit too far.


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Calantyr
post Feb 10 2006, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (trunks_girl26 @ Feb 10 2006, 09:01 PM)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4691878.stm

What I found shocking was that an Iranian newspaper is asking for cartoons about the Holocaust. As much as I favor free speech, sometimes people take it a bit too far.
*


So business as usual then?

It's a bit dumb though. Danes insult you, so you insult Jews? But then again this whole event has been void of common sense.


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Astarael
post Feb 10 2006, 09:56 PM
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Wow. So mocking the Holocaust will make everything all better rather than pissing off everyone who thinks that killing lots of people is bad. *facepalm* The cartoons were dumb in the first place, but retaliating is going to be like throwing napalm and firecrackers into an already dangerous fire. I can see the Iranians' point, though. They revere their religion, so they found a touchy subject to hurt people as much as they've been hurt. It's a lousy and immature way to deal with things, though.


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Mata
post Feb 11 2006, 01:18 AM
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On the other hand, maybe Jews will show demonstrate a sensible response to insults and not demand the death of the artist. I suspect we're long past the point where religions will look and learn from each other, but I remain an optimist even in the face of the evidence.


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bryden42
post Feb 11 2006, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE
but I remain an optimist
hmmm optimism vs realism? a whole new question.


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Mata
post Feb 12 2006, 06:39 PM
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You can be an optimist and be aware of the statistical likelihood of failure: you just hope for the best!


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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 22nd November 2014 - 09:03 PM
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