Saturday, February 04, 2006

Cartoon Islam

Is this cartoon Islamophobic?
Does it incite religious and racial hatred?
Should it be banned?
Does it cause offence?
Is it insulting to Muslims?
Does it stereotype followers of the Islamic faith as hateful, violent and intolerant?
Does the cartoon cause offence and exceed the boundries of responsible free speech?
Should a newspaper or TV programme be allowed to publish/broadcast this cartoon?

In fact, the above cartoon is only a cartoonised version of real-life Muslim extremist protestors who were demonstrating against cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed on Friday, February 3, 2006 in central London (see original screen images below).

The cartoon above was not created by a graphic artist. It was created by running a Photoshop filter over a screen grab of live TV footage of the protest. The captions were literally cut and pasted from placards carried by the marchers.

Why are some Muslims and their appeasing liberal/left allies getting so het up about fantasy cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, while ignoring real-life murderous insults and threats by Islamist fundamentalists (depicted in the photo below) in London, Europe and many other parts of the world?

One cannot help but reflect on the irony, as journalist Sarfraz Manzoor did on BBC News 24, that it is perhaps not the best way to protest the way one is depicted in a cartoon by behaving the way one was depicted in the cartoon. “In a way it confirmed the stereotype,” said Manzoor. “The reaction is doing more damage than the original offence.”

Of course, the vast majority of Muslims, while being offended by the cartoons (much like I imagine most Christians were over Piss-Christ) , will no doubt be exasperated with the “rampaging mobs and hysterical nutters” (as Sunny of the progressive Asian blog ‘Pickled Politics’ described them).

Legislators will be in a bind now about whether to prosecute those wielding slogans inciting racial hatred and violence like “Slay those who insult Islam”, “Butcher those who insult Islam” and “Europe will pay, demolition is on its way”.

I’m sure it’s mostly bravado, and the protestors will discover that they too are the beneficiaries of free speech.

On the other hand, the BBC is in a flap over whether to show the cartoons or not. Anyone interested in seeing the original cartoons can find them on Iranian communist Maryam Namazie’s blog.

The loathesome BNP, it doesn’t take a sage to predict, will waste no time in exploiting these TV news images. But in a weird way (or perhaps not so weird), they speak the same language as these protestors. It’s the clash of un-civilisations.


Post a Comment

<< Home