Pharyngula

Islam is a weakling’s religion

i-c1e2f06da6b4ec68c2bcec7d063b96f6-mohammed_dog.jpeg

After all, some Muslims fall apart into frightened hysterics when someone draws a cartoon. It’s happened again; a couple of Muslim kooks have been arrested for threatening to murder a cartoonist. Lars Vilks’ crime was drawing Mohammed as a dog.

Although it could have been greed that motivated them.

In 2007, a group linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 (£66,000) reward for killing Mr Vilks, and a 50% bonus if he was “slaughtered like a lamb” by having his throat cut.

Either way, they’re pathetic criminals.

Comments

  1. #1 drewy813
    March 16, 2010

    Good Lord Man! You’re still awake, browsing the internet for random godless material too?

  2. #2 PZ Myers
    March 16, 2010

    It’s early evening in Melbourne.

  3. #3 drewy813
    March 16, 2010

    My attempts at sarcasm, even electronically, are always a failure.

  4. #4 Janet Holmes
    March 16, 2010

    And a lovely warm sunny evening it is too!

    That is the ugliest cartoon I’ve seen in a long time. Hardly deserving of death though. I’m glad you said it was a dog cause I doubt I’d have known otherwise.

  5. #5 Vilding
    March 16, 2010

    I would have liked to support Lars Vilks, but he is too bad a cartoonist. :)

  6. #6 Owlmirror
    March 16, 2010

    Well, as long as you’re up anyway, can you check to see if this NMcC bears any relationship to the other NMcC’s who have posted here?

    I suspect a morphing troll, but hey, I could be wrong.

    (Hm. Also, it might be a hacked account.)

  7. #7 Fil
    March 16, 2010

    “Slaughtered like a lamb” heh?

    This sounds like a job for….Hannibal Lecturer! (both halal and kosher catered for).

    Btw PZ, how are you enjoying the local brews? I’m disobeying the Qur’an by sipping a nice Cascade Pale Ale atm.

    *Makes atheist happy face* :-)

    Burp.

  8. #8 Usagichan
    March 16, 2010

    Godless but not Dogless –

    Still, you have to pity the Islamic God, as its omnipotence has been curtailed so far as to require such pathetic proxies to help with the smiting.

  9. #9 AtheistWithRage
    March 16, 2010

    Long time reader, first time poster. Just wanted to say about this kook religion, is how can they be mad about a supposed image of Mohammed, if NONE of the followers are able to identify, let alone even have seen him?

    Its pretty sickening that this is what modern humans are reduced to, scared of the dark, boogeyman under your bed superstitious insanity.

  10. #10 JohnnieCanuck
    March 16, 2010

    Also there is absolutely no way anyone could identify it as Mo, beyond the artist’s claim that it is.

    I suppose it could be just a dog acting as a body double.

  11. #11 great.american.satan
    March 16, 2010

    I still wonder if an Apostasy Challenge on YouTube is doable. How hard or easy is it to convert to Islam? How many times to pray facing east, say the magic words, whatevah? Gotta go to a mosque or not?… Might be worth it, if it’s easy enough, to get the death penalty from those *rooster*hounds.

  12. #12 Al B. Quirky
    March 16, 2010

    Good, you posted the cartoon. RD was suggesting that we mustn’t insult the Muslims, out of abject fear. If we were all Sharia-compliant, yellow-livered chickens like RD, we’d be an Islamic theocracy.

  13. #13 baldywilson
    March 16, 2010

    50% bonus if he was “slaughtered like a lamb” by having his throat cut.

    I’ll take this as an admission that halal animal slaughter is unnecessarily cruel…

  14. #14 arkestrate
    March 16, 2010

    Wait, that’s the cartoon?
    It looks a lot like the dog-with-a-human-face from the Invasion of the Bodysnatchers remake, if drawn in a car 15 minutes before classes start ( I know of what I speak).

    Great.American.Satan: I can’t say for myself – as I was brought up a Muslim, but not one now – but from what I’ve seen, it’s not too difficult to become one.

    AtheistWithRage: Good question. From what I understand, the initial rationale was that having images of Muhammad around would have promoted worship of him, rather than of god. Though to be honest, after living in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan for some time, I get the impression that this has happened regardless…

  15. #15 Lotharloo
    March 16, 2010

    Sacrilege used to have quality … sigh, good old days.

  16. #16 arkestrate
    March 16, 2010

    Lotharloo: Indeed. Heathens today, I don’t know…

    *trundles off with his Godless Walker 5000*

  17. #17 negentropyeater
    March 16, 2010

    I showed this cartoon to my dog and he didn’t like it.

    There’s no way any member of his species is to be compared with a pathological nutbag who thinks he heard voices from someone floating up in the air with six hundred wings covered with jewels, pearls and rubies.

  18. #18 Rorschach
    March 16, 2010

    @ 12,

    in your attempt to make RD look bad you happened to misquote and in fact quote-mine him, accidentally I’m sure.What he said was :

    “I don’t think we should go out of our way to insult Islam because it doesn’t do any good to get your head cut off. But we should always say that I may refrain from publishing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed, but it’s because I fear you. Don’t for one moment think it’s because I respect you.”

    If we were all Sharia-compliant, yellow-livered chickens like RD, we’d be an Islamic theocracy.

    Who’s this “we” you speak of?
    I agree with RD that there is no point in needlessly inciting islamic fanatics, the thing is, even if you don’t intend to, they will fabricate something anyway, see the Danish business, they are not going to play fair, these people are unhinged lunatics.
    That’s exactly why they do not deserve any respect.(and I’m not talking about any person that was brought up in an islamic country, but the people who send out suicide bombers, issue fatwas on cartoonists or novelists and stone their daughters)
    And I am 100% positive that RD is opposed to the spreading of local Sharia courts in the UK and any other country with significant muslim immigration.

  19. #19 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 16, 2010

    Moron at #12

    You obviously weren’t there because those of us that were know you’re completely talking out of your arse. When Dr Dawkins talked about Islam it was in response to someone in the audience who asked a question along the lines of ” When do you think it will be that we can openly criticise Islam without fear of death?”.

    Dr Dawkins response was, and may always be, one of the most poignantly moving statements I have ever heard in my life and I’m not ashamed to admit I teared up. My dear friend that was sitting next to me was similarly moved.

    There was nothing yellow livered or chicken about what he said but an honest and open statement that demonstrated power and truth by a great orator… Uulike youself who seems to be a knob who talks utter bollocks and demonstrates your foolishness with every word you utter.

  20. #20 negentropyeater
    March 16, 2010

    you happened to misquote and in fact quote-mine him, accidentally I’m sure

    Al BQ just can’t help it. The damages caused to his brain by years of self-delusion seriously incapacitate his reading comprehension :

    I don’t think we should go out of our way to = I think we shouldn’t

    But we should always say that I may refrain from = We should always refrain from

    Don’t for one moment think it’s because = Because

  21. #21 alistair.coleman
    March 16, 2010

    Wait…what? That’s supposed to be Mo?

    I had it down as 80s Brazilian footballer Socrates, directing traffic in his spare time. Even sports stars have a sense of civic pride, you know.

  22. #22 Fil
    March 16, 2010

    :-(

    This is my cartoon of Mohammed sleeping on a bed and dribbling like Homer Simpson as he dreams about paying taxes.

    It’s not very good, but it IS the prophet.

    Get upset.

  23. #23 MadScientist
    March 16, 2010

    Hah, you should see what happens when people draw allah – or as some may prefer to spell it, llh.

  24. #24 Colin
    March 16, 2010

    Never mind about the Muslims – PETA might issue a fatwa of their own for desecrating a dog so badly with a pencil.

    (Hmm, I could perhaps rephrase that last bit…)

  25. #25 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmDptxaQuvU_VC8_ZuwihN-CExf8Xhwh9c
    March 16, 2010

    What does it say about their god if it can’t defend its own honour? Surely it could throw a few lightning bolts, or make the cartoonist utterly incompetent at drawing or something. I find their lack of faith disturbing.

    Oh, wait…

  26. #26 Arnold T Pants
    March 16, 2010

    My personal favorite is the Mohammad-bomb-turban cartoon. The irony of “You depict my religion as violent, so I will try to kill you” seems to be lost on a lot of people.

  27. #27 Summer Seale
    March 16, 2010

    #11

    To convert to Islam, you just need two (or maybe three, I forget at 6:10am at the office) witnesses, and to say the Shahada in front of them (La Illah, Illah Allah….rasoul Mohammed etc..), the first line of the daily prayer of Islam: God is great and Mohammed is his prophet.

    And then you are considered a Muslim convert.

    So, it’s pretty easy. In fact, it is so easy that apparently just listening to the first line of the daily prayer in public might even be considered by some (other religions especially) as having been converted.

    Nonsense, really. But easily done. So if you want to do that on youtube, be my guest. =)

  28. #28 AndrewTheEternal
    March 16, 2010

    @Rorschach,19 & Bride of Shrek,20:
    Would either of you be so kind as to suggest where I mind be able to find a video of Dawkins saying that?

    I have been looking for one since I heard about it in the Everlasting Thread. I suspect that it loses some of its power without Dawkins’s delivery, and I found it powerful in its honesty as it was.

    More on-topic, I honestly wonder how much of the drive for this was zealotry, and how much of it was al-Qaeda desperately attempting to appear like a relevant force again.

  29. #29 Rorschach
    March 16, 2010

    Videotaping was not allowed, apparently there will be a DVD out eventually.

  30. #30 great.american.satan
    March 16, 2010

    summer seale- That’s the second time I’ve heard that. If it checks out, I expect the first three viewers on Youtube could be witnesses enough, and I’m halal gravy. Then I renounce Islam, draw Mohammad eating his own dooky, and I’m death sentenced. Hell yes!

  31. #31 Vilding
    March 16, 2010

    @:-{>
    ^ Muhammad (PBUH)

  32. #32 Armand K.
    March 16, 2010

    @Summer Seale, #17
    You realize, of course, you just converted to Islam.

    I mean, you wrote the first line of the prayer, and virtually every regular visitor of Pharyngula is a witness. And I really see no reason why posting on a blog should be less valid as conversion than text messaging is for divorcing. (They accept in some countries –the UAE and some other, I think– divorce/repudiation by SMS, under sharia law.)

  33. #33 great.american.satan
    March 16, 2010

    @Vilding- Lulz. I am so beheading you when I convert to Islam. Then I’m going to apologize when I go apostate. I’m so confused anymore!
    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkP_OGDCLY0

  34. #34 Summer Seale
    March 16, 2010

    O no! I used the banned word “f***” so my comment got held! So I’ll repost without my usual pirate-mouthed charm! =)

    #30 Yea, it’s true. It’s easier than any other religion I know of to convert to. I also think that the entire idea of conversion is stupid to begin with. As if repeating a magical line can get you in good with an entire philosophical and universal ethos….Right.

    I’ve posted on here (or RD forums, I forget) before that this is why I give Judaism slightly more respect – because you can’t go out and convert people in Judaism (I’m not Jewish). And it’s extremely difficult to convert to it. Not that there aren’t tons of problems with that too, but I just like the fact that I don’t have Jews in my face telling me how great it would be to become one of the tribe. That never happens and it can’t happen, so I can sorta put that aside and take care of the ones who are in my face for the most part to begin with – Christians telling me about the “Good News” and Muslims telling me how bad it is to be an infidel.

    #32 Yes, I do realize that by their standards I have just converted. I also couldn’t care less and I laugh at the very idea. I’d say it in public 10 times a day and renounce it just to piss them off, if it actually did. But 1) I don’t really care enough to do it and 2) I have other better things to remember ten times a day instead of some stupid magic sentence that is supposed to draw attention from their great Djinn in the sky. =)

    I’ll say it again, in fact: Allah is great and Mohammed is his prophet.

    And now I’ll renounce it in front of everyone: I piss on Allah and his prophet.

    In fact, I’ll go one even further:

    {(Allah is great and Mohammed is his prophet.) (I piss on Allah and his prophet.)} x Infinity ^ Infinity.

    Ha.

    Screw’em.

  35. #35 AnthonyK
    March 16, 2010

    I am reminded of the story, as told on the BBC, of the journalist who spent a year walking across Afghanistan, in 2001. He almost got killed, once or twice, but clearly survived – to tell a fascinating tale.
    At one stage, he was staying in a village where they “gave” him a semi-wild dog which served as a valuable companion for some time.
    “Is it a pet?” he asked of the tribal leader.
    “Oh no,” came the reply, “the Koran says that dogs are unclean”
    “Really, where does it say that?” he said, knowing something of Islam, and being unaware of this particular ruling.
    There was a hurried discussion between the assembled men, then a final admission:
    “We’re not really sure,” came back the reply, “because even though we know the Holy Koran by heart….it’s in Arabic and we don’t understand Arabic – but it’s in there, we know it.”
    So although they had learned the whole of the Koran, rocking back and forward, Madrassa style (about 8 years, apparently) it meant nothing to them.
    Now that’s what I call wasted learning.

  36. #36 Summer Seale
    March 16, 2010

    Here’s a link on how to convert to Islam:

    http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/204

    I got the quote mostly right. It’s: “There is no God but Allah, Mohammed is his prophet.”

    ?La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah.?

    So I revise my former insults above to the appended version.

    And I am also grateful, as an amateur scientist, for being corrected by Islamreligion.com in my quest to ascertain how best to become a Muslim apostate.

    I stand corrected and thank them for this guidance in the matter. =)

  37. #37 Armand K.
    March 16, 2010

    @AnthonyK, #35

    I’ve often said that Islam today is not much different from Christianity when it had its age… about, say, the 13-1400s. (“Holy wars” — check; conquest holy lands + terrorism –chech; killing/torturing the infidels — check; exterminate the Jews — check; keep people ignorant — check; keep people slaves of clergy — check; and so on.)

    That’s just one more example to support that point of mine. In that period, the Bible was (of course) in Latin in Europe, and virtually nobody except some priests and monks understood what it said, but they all “knew” all sort of things were “in there, somewhere”. (Not that many were allowed to have a Bible or learn to read, but that’s another kettle of fish.)

    @Summer Seale
    I should renounce Islam ASAP myself… According to their standards I’m probably a convert myself, given that I recited a few times that verse (sura?). It was for purely illustrative purpose, but I think that really doesn’t make any difference.

  38. #38 Summer Seale
    March 16, 2010

    #37

    Shahada. Sura is a verse from the Koran. Shahada is the declaration. =)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahada

    And yes, renounce it post-haste! =)

  39. #39 Abdul Alhazred
    March 16, 2010

    These Muslim fanatics are all very “pathetic”, but they will kill you. Any reasonably well educated person can refute their claims, but they will kill you. And your family.

    It’s war. Moral victory is for losers.

  40. #40 Armand K.
    March 16, 2010

    Hum, I remembered I something else just after I hit ‘submit’.

    Growing up in a mildly Catholic medium, I’ve often encountered ‘good’, practicant Catholics who would recite all sort of prayers in Latin, without understanding one jot of what they meant. They knew, of course, the German/Hungarian/Romanian (whichever was the case) translation of the prayers, but they didn’t understand the Latin itself. They weren’t, from this point of view, very different from the Afghani you mentioned.

    And I just wonder, those Catholic priests (including Pope B-16) that advocate the reinstatement of the Latin liturgy… do they really want to generalize again a situation in which people can’t tell what the priest is muttering in the altar (or behind it, according to the old ritual)?

  41. #41 Fred The Hun
    March 16, 2010

    alistair.coleman @ 21

    I had it down as 80s Brazilian footballer Socrates, directing traffic in his spare time.

    Harumph!! That would be Dr. Socrates MD to you, you unworthy heathen!

    As a native Brazilian getting all worked up for the soon to be held “WORLD CUP” even the slightest of off color remarks about anything Brazilian at this time will force me to send 200 non virgin, semi naked Brazilian maidens, with percussion instruments to relentlessly play and dance Samba for days on end under your windows!

    Actually there is a striking (no pun intended) resemblance ;-)

  42. #42 Judy L.
    March 16, 2010

    I think the offensive part is that, according to legend, Mohammed was a cat-person. I wonder if there would be death threats if someone drew Mohammed as a kitty?

  43. #43 Armand K.
    March 16, 2010

    @Summer Seale, #37

    Shahada. Sura is a verse from the Koran. Shahada is the declaration. =)

    Indeed. Please forgive my ignorance. I stand corrected. (But… isn’t it a sura too?)

    Anyway, I need first take care of my expired Catholicism. There’s no easy way out of the RCC when you aren’t some celebrity. I did my best, but they just don’t pay enough attention to me to see that so many things I said and did deserve an excommunication.

    And speaking of them (again): the way in is almost as easy as for Islam. All it takes is some water and the mantra “I baptize you in the name of Father, the Son and the Ghost, amen”. I doesn’t even have to be a priest who says it; under certain conditions any Catholic can baptize, and the baptism is equally valid from the POV of the church.

  44. #44 TheCosmicFrog
    March 16, 2010

    Ireland is getting plenty of coverage in your blog these days PZ. Good (or bad, even?) to see!

    Aaron, Galway Skeptic Society

  45. #45 Summer Seale
    March 16, 2010

    #43

    Lars, a Norwegian from Cook County in northern Minnesota, was an older, single gentleman who was born and raised a Lutheran. Each Friday night after work, he would fire up his outdoor grill and cook a venison steak.

    Now, all of Lars’s neighbors were Catholic, and since it was Lent, they were prohibited from eating meat on Fridays. The delicious aroma from the grilled venison steaks was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest.

    The priest came to visit Lars, and suggested that Lars convert to Catholicism. After several classes and much study, Lars attended Mass, and as the priest sprinkled holy water over Lars, he said, “You were born a Lutheran and raised a Lutheran, but now you are a Catholic.”

    Lars’s neighbors were greatly relieved. But when Friday night arrived, and the wonderful aroma of grilled venison filled the neighborhood, the priest was immediately called in and, as he rushed into Lars’s yard, clutching a rosary and prepared to scold Lars, he stopped in amazement and watched.

    There stood Lars, clutching a small bottle of water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat, and chanted: “You were born a deer, and raised a deer, but now you are a walleye.

    (From http://www.jumbojoke.com/born_a_lutheran.html but I heard it once on the radio a few years ago and it stuck with me. =) )

  46. #46 Stephen Wells
    March 16, 2010

    @39: inasmuch as we are currently alive, it seems that the “kill all the infidels” project is not actually working that well, now is it? Our ongoing task as rational people is to ensure that the set of “smart, capable people” and “religious maniacs” should have a very small intersection, thus limiting the damage the fanatics can do.

  47. #47 Fred The Hun
    March 16, 2010

    Abdul @ 39,

    Any reasonably well educated person can refute their claims, but they will kill you. And your family.

    All the more reason to ridicule them and fight back. This is not something that can be tolerated.

    Look at the history of the struggle for civil rights in the US or the fight for gay rights or the right to have an abortion. There has been plenty of blood spilled. Just because violence is threatened by some fanatical group has never been a good enough reason to let them have their way. To do so is the cowards way out and only makes matters worse in the long run.

  48. #48 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    March 16, 2010

    Why are Muslims afraid of bacon?

    Just asking…

  49. #49 Abdul Alhazred
    March 16, 2010

    I’ve often said that Islam today is not much different from Christianity when it had its age

    As if a religion were a developing organism? Please.

    You want a metaphor from nature? The development of a religion, like evolution, has no preferred direction.

    Circa 1200 CE, the Islamic world was much more tolerant and respectful of secular learning than Christian Europe of that time. Indeed, the Renaissance in Islam helped precipitate the Renaissance in Europe.

    In the war of religion against reason that ensued, wherever the religion was Islam, reason definitively lost.

    There is no reason to suppose that Islam will evolve into Unitarianism in a few centuries. I suppose it could happen, but …

  50. #50 Alverant
    March 16, 2010

    arkestrate, if the idea to object to drawings of Mo is to keep people from worshiping the drawing then I would say this attempt won’t draw any worshipers worth keeping.

    I’d say something about how the artist should have his hands broken to keep him from trying to draw again (I can’t call this an actual drawing). But someone would think I was serious. Someone with this little talent shouldn’t be threatened by religious nuts. Art fans maybe … but it would still be wrong.

  51. #51 Ströh
    March 16, 2010

    I think we need to clarify things here a bit: Lars Vilks is a swede, as am I, and as media have taken this case for a spin for years I know a bit about it.

    First off it’s not a cartoon: it’s a concept picture for a sculpture, namely a “roundabout dog”, which Vilks made some years ago when such things had become an underground trend for some reason. Here’s a Wikipedia link to the phenomenon.

    As for the would-be murderess behind the threat she seems a bit unhinged.

    As for Vilks: as much as I support his freedom of speech I don’t find this as a very constructive way to use it. Islam is backed into a corner at the moment and ridicule will only lead to radicalization. Constructive criticism would be much more effective.

    This is obviously not the situation with Christianity in the US of course, it should be met with ridicule and provocation just to pull it down from its high horses and societal privilege.

  52. #52 Ströh
    March 16, 2010

    Sorry about the html fail, it’s supposed to be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihad_Jane

  53. #53 KOPD
    March 16, 2010

    How come you only ever talk bad about Christians? You’d never say anything about… Oh.

  54. #54 Sili
    March 16, 2010

    But … but … but … you never make fun of Muslims!!

    A score of insulted Protestants told me so.

  55. #55 Martin
    March 16, 2010

    Armand K. @43:

    And speaking of them (again): the way in is almost as easy as for Islam. All it takes is some water and the mantra “I baptize you in the name of Father, the Son and the Ghost, amen”. I doesn’t even have to be a priest who says it; under certain conditions any Catholic can baptize, and the baptism is equally valid from the POV of the church.

    That’s just to become a Catholic, and it’s even easier than you described. Any adult – who doesn’t even need to be Christian – can perform a valid Catholic baptism. The only requirement is that he/she be acting with sincere intent.

    Don’t some of the Protestant sects simply require that one “accept Jesus Christ, etc.?” No baptism needed?

  56. #56 xhakhal
    March 16, 2010

    Lars Vilks’ recent threats of assassination has made sure Swedish media blew up with people pretending to protect free speech and freedom of expression, but really only thinking it OK to be mean to muslims…
    While our freedom of speech is the most important, basic right in a democracy like Sweden, it’s difficult to take any one of these people seriously:
    1. Lars Vilks himself doesn’t have anything to say, he’s just in it for the attention.
    2. His defendants mostly doesn’t think it’s OK to be equally mean to Jews of Swedes in media, only to Muslims, and that makes it difficult to respect them – they think he’s a champion of free speech for his dog of Muhammed, but few EVER mention his Judensau as well.
    “It’s not PC to mention the Judensau – think of the poor Jews! What if they’re offended! We can’t have that! We CARE about Jews! Muslims, however…”
    3. Lars Vilks’ right to express himself is not greater than the right of those who thinks he’s a douche.

    My own thoughts on the matter is that while Lars Vilks didn’t do anything inherently wrong – he’s still a douche, and his mother should have raised him better. But then again his public image in Sweden isn’t limited to the rondellhund of Muhammed, so I should make clear that it’s not this particular drawing that makes me think he’s a douche.
    It’s the fact that he’s… well… a douche >_>

  57. #57 shonny
    March 16, 2010

    Posted by: https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384 Author Profile Page | March 16, 2010 9:46 AM

    Why are Muslims afraid of bacon?

    Just asking…

    Orthodox jews are too, – a case of same shite, different bucket?

  58. #58 shonny
    March 16, 2010

    You can see a real douche bag by having a look in the mirror, xhakhal.
    Yes, most Europeans aren’t very critical of Jews, and in particular not of Israel, but even if they are joked about, Jews don’t come around to kill you.
    Unless you are a Palestinian, of course.

  59. #59 Darreth
    March 16, 2010

    Pardon me for thinking, but what is it with the omnipotent Allah who can’t prevent a CARTOONIST from drawing his prophet as a dog.

    Just sayin’.

  60. #60 dnbarabash
    March 16, 2010

    Martin @55

    Don’t some of the Protestant sects simply require that one “accept Jesus Christ, etc.?” No baptism needed?

    Isn’t that a canonization of No True Scotsman&trade? It seems like it would make it impossible to have a “true” conversion for the sake of apostasy/blasphemy, and thus, it’s no fun )-:

  61. #61 AnthonyK
    March 16, 2010

    the Renaissance in Islam

    Alas, no. Whatever might have been the glory of Islamic cultures in what, for Christians in Europe, was still the dark ages, there never was a rennaisance, far less an additional “enlightment.”

    Islam is still in a hell-hole of stupidity and ignorance. Thanks, theology!

  62. #62 ckitching
    March 16, 2010

    Why are Muslims afraid of bacon?

    If you have bacon, what do you need God/Allah for?

  63. #63 fr0gfish
    March 16, 2010

    The artist has an even better drawing (better shock value, that is. Artistically they aren’t very impressive, as Vilks freely admits). It shows Muhammed cutting a jewish mans throat, while a nazi officer looks on approvingly. For the sake of balance, the jew is eating a baby. Good stuff.

    http://www.vilks.net/?p=138

  64. #64 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 16, 2010

    Lars Vilks’ right to express himself is not greater than the right of those who thinks he’s a douche.

    What right of those who think he’s a douche is he stepping on?

  65. #65 Rey Fox
    March 16, 2010

    It certainly is perplexing. This American woman who is supporting terrorists is not targeting any governmental bodies whom Muslims may have some legitimate or semi-legitimate grievance against, but rather…a cartoonist.

    It’s almost as if all this religious fervor were nothing more than a ruse and that Muslim clerics merely use it to distract attention away from the actual corruption of people in power. Nah, surely not.

  66. #66 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 16, 2010

    How come you only ever talk bad about Christians? You’d never say anything about… Oh.

    Yeah, PZ how come I’ve never seen you hate on the Taoists?

  67. #67 Jon A
    March 16, 2010

    Great Dane? Or is that too obvious a gag? :-)

  68. #68 xhakhal
    March 16, 2010

    Shonny, I’m not sure if you realise this, but I was talking about an existing piece of art from the same artist, being equally offensive to Jews. This piece of art is not defended by his fans – because that’s a SENSITIVE issue – but bashing on muslims is A-okay in the Sweden of today. This is hypocritical – and while I still don’t think that Vilks did anything inherently wrong with either of them, I think his fans are hypocrites if they only (as they so often do) defend his right to bash muslims, but not his right to bash Jews.

    If they really wanted to stand up for free speech, they’d value his right to offend anyone, not only to offend the currently unpopular.

  69. #69 Brownian, OM
    March 16, 2010

    I see how this works. When accommodationists and faitheists say ‘religion brings comfort’ to its adherents, they fail to mention it does so at the expense of someone else’s comfort.

    So Jihad Jane is helped through the rough patches of life by knowing Lars Vilks has to fear for his. It’s like, some immutable law of the universe or something. Let’s call it “the Conservation of Fear” or something like that.

    Neat-o! Now that I see the light, I honestly can’t figure out why PZ, Dawkins, and the rest of you are complaining.

  70. #70 xhakhal
    March 16, 2010

    What right of those who think he’s a douche is he stepping on?

    It was a comment on the current debate in Swedish media; where people who think Vilks is a douche are criticised as being ‘against free speech’. I’m sorry for having been unclear :)

  71. #71 great.american.satan
    March 16, 2010

    I have to agree with Xakhal, even while my ardor for the idea of an Apostasy Challenge goes undimmed. Yes, Islam still has more visible representatives with an apocalyptic medieval worldview than Xtianity, but that’s more an accident of geography than relative merit. It makes me a bit uncomfortable that people pick on Islam so much worse than the others. I’ll trash Islam and piss on Mohammad and use the suras for toilet paper, but I won’t say that’s any more special than my willingness to mushroom-stamp the nearest icon of Jeebus.
    As for Alhazred, I know better than to be afraid of moslem hitmen, because I’m way off the radar even if I got a million hits on Youtube. Note PZ isn’t the one risking 2 years in the pokey for ripping up bibles. It’s geography and context.

  72. #72 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 16, 2010

    It was a comment on the current debate in Swedish media; where people who think Vilks is a douche are criticised as being ‘against free speech’. I’m sorry for having been unclear :)

    Ok, I actually agree with this to some extent as long as the people criticizing him recognize his right to be a “douche” in their view.

    Free speech is not a guarantee of not being criticized for said speech.

  73. #73 Randomfactor
    March 16, 2010

    But … but … but … you never make fun of Muslims!!

    He isn’t allowed to. It’s a special case: Muhammad called allah-allah-outs-in-free.

  74. #74 Utakata
    March 16, 2010

    I would of made the image a little more chibi…with Mo chasing after a cat girl into oncoming traffic. Nyaaa!

    …yeah, I know…I’m weird. :(

  75. #75 broboxley
    March 16, 2010

    #25 the literal answer is because it causes “mischief” among the faithful and that is a reason to murder to keep the peace in a muslim world

    this was per a head mullah from Iran when I emailed him that question. Mischief is the english term used but I suspect it has a loaded meaning in arabic

  76. #76 rienee
    March 16, 2010

    #68, xhakhal

    If they really wanted to stand up for free speech, they’d value his right to offend anyone, not only to offend the currently unpopular.

    So you are saying that everybody who stands up for free speech in Sweden says it’s ok for Vilks to offend muslims but not jews? Is that true or is this a straw man that you are building?

  77. #77 fr0gfish
    March 16, 2010

    If they really wanted to stand up for free speech, they’d value his right to offend anyone, not only to offend the currently unpopular.

    Well I’m Swedish and I vale his right to offend anyone, even me. Vilks has offended jews plenty of times, but jewish communities generally aren’t as sensitive to this kind of thing as muslim communities are. Lets not forget that the only reason this is even an issue is that certain muslims took it upon themselves to feel victimized. They could have just ignored him. So can you.

  78. #78 Al B. Quirky
    March 16, 2010

    Vilding@31

    close, but you forgot the ‘cigar’

    *–@:-{

  79. #79 xhakhal
    March 16, 2010

    So you are saying that everybody who stands up for free speech in Sweden says it’s ok for Vilks to offend muslims but not jews? Is that true or is this a straw man that you are building?

    No, I’m saying that most of the people defending Vilks in the media are hypocrites of this orientation.
    But defending Vilks is not the same thing as defending/standing up for free speech, which is something that’s been lost along the line of that debate.

    @frogfish, that’s entirely true too, of course. I am just a bit -more- tired of his fans than of Vilks himself. Vilks is only one person after all – much easier to ignore than his many fans and defenders :D Or adversaries for that matter.

  80. #80 James F
    March 16, 2010

    arkestrate #14:

    It looks a lot like the dog-with-a-human-face from the Invasion of the Bodysnatchers remake, if drawn in a car 15 minutes before classes start ( I know of what I speak).

    I wish I could find the real clip, because for my money it’s one of the most unsettling scenes in sci-fi films. You’ll have to settle for this parody dog food commercial.

  81. #81 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 16, 2010

    Off topic:
    This might send shivers down the spine of the parynguloid central:

    Wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas launches tea party group.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/14/nation/la-na-thomas14-2010mar14

  82. #82 IaMoL
    March 16, 2010

    Is Vilks using his Etch-O-Sketch to render his cartoons? He’s obviously from the William Steig school of cartooning, but with even less fine motor skills.

  83. #83 Knockgoats
    March 16, 2010

    There’s no easy way out of the RCC when you aren’t some celebrity. I did my best, but they just don’t pay enough attention to me to see that so many things I said and did deserve an excommunication.

    And speaking of them (again): the way in is almost as easy as for Islam. All it takes is some water and the mantra “I baptize you in the name of Father, the Son and the Ghost, amen”. I doesn’t even have to be a priest who says it; under certain conditions any Catholic can baptize, and the baptism is equally valid from the POV of the church.

    - Armand K

    Since converting to Islam surely constitutes leaving the RCC, and converting to Catholicism means apostasy from Islam, if you can find 3 witnesses and a sincere Catholic, you could spend all day (or all year) converting and apostasising back and forth between the two. But tell the Guiness Book of Records to send an observer!

  84. #84 Stephen Wells
    March 16, 2010

    @68: as and when some bunch of Zealots issue death threats against Vilks for this other piece of work you speak of, you might have a point. For now, let’s concentrate on the actual death threats and that not being an OK thing.

  85. #85 ckitching
    March 16, 2010

    Wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas launches tea party group.

    Uhg. I think the U.S. really needs some real vocal socialists and/or communists to show the teabaggers what “far left” really means. “Far left” is not failing to give you ever bigger tax breaks. “Far left” is abolishing private property for the good of the state. “Far left” isn’t bailing out private enterprise whose failure would cause severe economic turmoil. “Far left” is seizing failing private enterprises and establishing a state monopoly. You can’t even see the “far left” from the Democrat’s party platform.

    Unfortunately, the media doesn’t give any attention to the crackpots on the far left, but willingly devotes time to the crackpots on the far right. Greenpeace shows up and gets treated like fringe nutcases they are. Teabaggers show up, and they get treated like a legitimate grassroots movement despite the appearance of astroturf with legitimate concerns despite the fact none get beyond mindless slogans.

  86. #86 Al B. Quirky
    March 16, 2010

    Rorschach#19

    Your agreeing that we should refrain from publishing Motoons out of abject fear (RD used the word ‘fear’), or as you quaintly put it ‘needlessly inciting islamic fanatics’ makes you also another gutless, Sharia-compliant, yellow-livered chicken.

  87. #87 Celtic_Evolution
    March 16, 2010

    Your agreeing that we should refrain from publishing Motoons out of abject fear (RD used the word ‘fear’)

    Dawkins used many other words critical to the context of the use of the word “fear” (as has been pointed out to you already several times)… but why bother with those when you can be a sniping, fear-mongering, quote-mining assclown?

  88. #88 iamtheonlyjosie
    March 16, 2010

    Oh for the love of all that is whatever: why must only poor, unfunny artists make fun of Islam?!

    I’d have an easier time defending them if they actually had a point but when people offend for the sake of offending, it might be a freedom of speech issue but it’s not really the best example case. And I know that it shouldn’t matter but when certain Muslims get so offended by these things, it seems simply inflamatory to do it just for shits ‘n giggles.

    Now, Salman Rushdie on the other hand, is a fatwa recipient I can really get upset about.

  89. #89 QuarkyGideon
    March 16, 2010

    Wow if islam is peaceful I must be a pucking pacifist.

  90. #90 IaMoL
    March 16, 2010

    Oh for the love of all that is whatever: why must only poor, unfunny artists make fun of Islam?!

    I assume then you’ve been appointed arbiter of all things funny or politically relevant. Congratulations. I agree the man’s draughtmanship leaves something to be desired, that is in evidence. As for whether he’s being funny/canny/ironic/politically relevant, perhaps you should introduce yourself to the word subjective. Or do all evaluations pass through you now? I can never keep up with who’s in office these days…

  91. #91 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 16, 2010

    What is the point of the cartoon?

    If I wasn’t told it was Mohammad’s head on the body of a dog I wouldn’t have guessed it. A cartoon which has to be explained is just the artist wanking.

  92. #92 shonny
    March 16, 2010

    Posted by: xhakhal Author Profile Page | March 16, 2010 1:34 PM #68

    Yeah, sorry, xhakhal, jumped in a bit quick.

    Also, have a healthy dislike of Israelis as in Israel appears to be a stronghold of ex-Waffen-SS soldiers, using the same Lebensraum policies, and truly the same methods, even extended, by killing 100 civilians for every Israeli killed. Waffen-SS generally limited themselves to 10 civilians executed for every soldier killed, at least here i western Europe.

    And the Israelis do not like it much when their atrocities are pointed out, because according to them, it is to defend themselves. Which is why they can use, with seemingly no repercussions, phosphorous – and cluster bombs, both banned by the international community in general.

    But it is pretty good to smoke out the muzzie crazies, and here in Norway we ain’t gonna be as passive as you’ve been in Denmark and Sweden!
    Politicians are seeing the writing on the wall: if they want to be elected, then they better be aware of the growing lack of sympathy for muzzies and Islam.

  93. #93 https://me.yahoo.com/a/NNElX.lopoxuMge1_bGvXqFvnkbkcEId0Nbpsg--#c96d1
    March 16, 2010

    It’s an amazingly poor cartoon. It could be anyone – PZ possibly, arguably JC or even Yahweh. The question that should be asked is why now? Who would possibly want to focus attention on those ‘oh so irrational crazy muslims’? What is the diversion intended to distract us from? Who benefits?

  94. #94 iamtheonlyjosie
    March 16, 2010

    Goodness me, I’m getting called out on using hyperbole to make a point all over the place at the moment:

    IaMoL:

    I assume then you’ve been appointed arbiter of all things funny or politically relevant. Congratulations. I agree the man’s draughtmanship leaves something to be desired, that is in evidence. As for whether he’s being funny/canny/ironic/politically relevant, perhaps you should introduce yourself to the word subjective. Or do all evaluations pass through you now? I can never keep up with who’s in office these days…

    Right, you are correct. Some things are funny that I don’t think are, other things aren’t funny that I think are funny. But it seems in the majority of these “oh no someone drew mohammad” cases that make the international headlines, the drawing is juvenile and as I said, needlessly inflamatory. Perhaps I just look for something more interesting in my cartoons or perhaps it’s a case of cultural confusion, but I don’t think it’s useful to draw something for the sake of annoying people. I absolutely don’t think it’s ok for fundies to blow people up but stuff like this and the Danish one from a few years ago is the equivalent of drawing a RCC priest assaulting a child. Sure it might not be inaccurate but it isn’t clever and it isn’t useful. If we want to have any meaningful dialogue with religious groups (of all kinds) we would be much better off treating them with at least a little respect.

  95. #95 broboxley
    March 16, 2010

    @iamtheonlyjosie #94 if you think religion is irrational why do you want to have meaningful dialogue with religious groups? that a little like me discussing my potential offspring of a bad bestiality incident with PZ, why would he give a rats ass?

  96. #96 IaMoL
    March 16, 2010

    If we want to have any meaningful dialogue with religious groups (of all kinds) we would be much better off treating them with at least a little respect.

    How do I say this… there is no bridge to be built because one side is made entirely of mystical vaporous magical thinking, there is no meaningful dialogue to be had. Yes, I tend to like and love individuals who are theists, but religion, in and of itself, has no ultimate common goal with those who aren’t going to swallow the Kool-ade. Even the most progressive religion will only buy the science of evolution and neurology to a point, the point at which their deity and irrationality can no longer hide in the ever diminishing gaps of evidence based knowledge.

    Tobacco companies. Cancer – and all those company execs & employees contribute to charities and they have loving relationships with their families but they’re still up to selling cancer. It’s like forcing the Tobacco Companies to put themselves out of business with a smile but they’re using every dollar they can to lobby and obstruct their demise. They lie, they obsfucate, they ignore all data to what they want to believe because their existence, their future is being phased out and they’re going to fight it until the very end.

    Sure some religions are charitable and do help the needy, but their altruism is arguable ultimately, especially when it’s tied to their survival and propagation of dogma – all bent on eradicating apostasy, which is the entire point of religion: sect versus sect and all sects against those who refuse to believe in the concept of deities,superstition and mysticism.
    So no, there is no middle ground to be found. Pointing out the obvious is not baiting and I won’t stand by with bated breath, assuming believers really respect my lack of belief either.
    Of course I’ll treat religious landmarks with the same respect I reserve for museums and any historical monument, but not for the idea that it’s supposedly sacred, holy, or that it’s underlying fairy tales deserve respect. Religion and it’s gods are all human constructs and have outlived their purpose. To hell with them. (see what I did there?)

  97. #97 herr doktor bimler
    March 16, 2010

    Seems only fair to mention that for all this talk of a murderous conspiracy, one of the men “was charged with sending a menacing text message” while the other “was charged with an immigration offence.” Of the seven people originally arrested, most have been released without charge.

  98. #98 https://me.yahoo.com/wmdkitty#83021
    March 16, 2010

    *perks*

    Did someone mention Alhazred?

    What’s the Mad Arab got to do with a cartoon?

  99. #99 llewelly
    March 17, 2010

    wmdkitty | March 16, 2010 8:49 PM:

    Did someone mention Alhazred?

    What’s the Mad Arab got to do with a cartoon?

    There are some secrets you do not want to know.

  100. #100 davric
    March 17, 2010

    Jan Guillou debated Vilks on tv the other night. One of his lines was that good artists don’t need protection of their right to express themselves, but bad cartoonists like Lars Vilks do.

    Another point he made was that attacking the Muslim faith is one of the easiest and most trouble-free things you can do in Europe right now, because the right-wing crazies have switched to Muslims as their targets rather than Jews. Interestingly enough, though, they’re doing the same things to mosques and Muslims as they used to do to synagogues and Jews (throwing pig’s heads into mosques, burning them down, murdering Muslims).

    When the Danish cartoons were published (by a right-wing Danish newspapers with links all the way back to the pro-German Danish Nazis), Guillou came up with a great line, that he’d believe it was about freedom of expression the day the same newspaper published a cartoon of Jesus being butt-f**ked by George W Bush who was being butt-f**ked by Dick Cheney.

  101. #101 Usagichan
    March 17, 2010

    davric @100

    good artists don’t need protection of their right to express themselves, but bad cartoonists like Lars Vilks do.

    Not sure of your point here – are you saying that just because the drawing is poor, it is reasonable for Muslims to threaten the life of the artist? Or had the art been ‘better’ that there would have been no threat to the artist?

    Muslim faith is one of the easiest and most trouble-free things you can do in Europe right now, because the right-wing crazies have switched to Muslims as their targets rather than Jews.

    Is the artist somehow linked to the far right groups attacking Muslims? Or are you saying that because something unrelated to the artist is threatening Muslims they should have be free to resort to violence against anything they feel insulted by?

    And yes, I know you are paraphrasing Jan Guillou, but I have chosen to assume you present his arguments because they coincide with your views – If not, perhaps a little personal thought might clarify your argument…

  102. #102 george.wiman
    March 17, 2010

    A Christian friend of mine, sharing this post on his Google items, said this:

    Honor stems from what you are and what you do, not from what other people think of you. The Prophet is no more honorable for all the folks who treat him with courtesy, and no less for all the folks who treat him with disdain. To pretend otherwise is to pretend to have power over the Prophet’s honor, which, in fact, dishonors him, doesn’t it?

    Seemed to cover it.

  103. #103 unrelatedwaffle
    March 17, 2010

    I feel I must defend the art. It’s just a gesture drawing. The face is pretty decent for all that, too.

  104. #104 davric
    March 17, 2010

    usagichan @101

    Guillou’s point was that if Vilks had produced great art, he wouldn’t have had to rely on the protection of freedom of expression for his defence – people would have just said, “What a great piece of art”.

    Interestingly enough, there was a major controversy in Sweden about 10 years ago (before the Muslims were targets of general aggression) about an exhibition of photographs which depicted scenes from the life of Christ with iconic homosexual supporting characters. Christ himself wasn’t depicted as gay, but everyone else around him was. As you might expect, the very same journalists and politicians who now want to go to the barricades to speak up for Vilks’ right to caricature Muslims were the ones calling for the exhibition to be banned ? on the grounds of blasphemy! The exhibition was entitled ‘Ecce, Homo!’, by the way.

    The wikipedia article can be found here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecce_Homo_(exhibition)

    and some of the photos can be seen here:

    http://www.ohlson.se/utstallningar_ecce.htm

    Vilks’ doesn’t have any formal links to right-wing groups – he’s just a publicity-seeker – but he’s using the increase in neo-Nazi scare stories about Muslims taking over Sweden as a way of getting more publicity for himself.

    At the very same time as the Vilks’ story broke again, a right-wing newspaper in Malmö tried to stir up feeling against the ‘mayor’ of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu. Reepalu was asked about the ‘all these anti-Semitic attacks’ (the evidence for which – if you discount people who criticise the policies and actions of the state of Israel – has to be believed in before it can be seen). Reepalu started by condemning any racial attacks strongly ? but mentioned that the Israeli attack on Gaza didn’t make the situation any easier ? and the ‘the left is anti-semitic’ circus was in town. Once again, it was the exact same journalists and politicians seeking to turn all statements about Israel into statements about Jews ? and claiming that the Jewish faith was exempt from critical comments because Israel is on ‘our side’.

    In other words, in its context, this Vilks story is just another right-wing smear.

  105. #105 davric
    March 17, 2010

    BTW, if you’re wondering what a ’roundabout dog’ is, it’s an anarchistic phenomenon that’s hit Sweden in the past few years, where anonymous people have started putting all sorts of home-made sculptures on roundabouts (traffic circles). These emphatically don’t have the approval of the ‘authorities’, and are often quite creative in their form and function. You can see some photos of them here:

    http://images.google.com/images?client=safari&rls=en&q=rondellhund&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

    Typical of a prat like Vilks to try to co-opt a popular movement like the ’roundabout dogs’, just to make himself look good.

  106. #106 Gregory Greenwood
    March 17, 2010

    Davaric @ 100 and 101;

    One of his lines was that good artists don’t need protection of their right to express themselves, but bad cartoonists like Lars Vilks do.

    and

    In other words, in its context, this Vilks story is just another right-wing smear.

    These points do not really alter the case. Even if Vilks transpires to be the worst cartoonist in the history of art and is a bigger Islamaphobe than an unholy hybrid of Gert Wilders and Nick Griffon, this still does not justify threatening his life, still less any actual act of violence.

    Attempting to compel a political or social consensus through the use or threat of violence should be unacceptable in any democracy (legitimate state monopoly on the use of strictly limited force excepted). This is non-negotiable. It does not matter if the group using the force or threat of force is Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Atheist or Jedi.

    Anyone who considers Vilks a racist has the right to express that opinion, just as anyone who considers those Muslims who would threaten his life over his cartoons to be equal parts insane and pathetic has the right to express that opinion, preferably without becoming the subject of a Fatwah.

  107. #107 Knockgoats
    March 17, 2010

    Politicians are seeing the writing on the wall: if they want to be elected, then they better be aware of the growing lack of sympathy for muzzies and Islam. – shonny

    While I heartily dislike Islam, I loathe fascistic scum like shonny considerably more, and as much as I do those Islamist extremists who threaten or carry out murder. He’s favoured us with his vile antisemitism more than once; evidently he’s now found what he thinks is a more popular target, like so many of his ilk in Europe.

  108. #108 davric
    March 17, 2010

    Gregory Greenwood @106

    You’re absolutely right in principle. The Genetic Fallacy (“the truth or falsity of a proposition has no connection with the identity of the person proposing it”) is still valid.

    However, in the real world you have to be careful who you get into bed with!

  109. #109 Gregory Greenwood
    March 17, 2010

    Davaric @ 108;

    However, in the real world you have to be careful who you get into bed with!

    Sound words of advice indeed. Unfortunately, I am not getting into bed with anyone at the moment…

    My personal love-life related troubles aside, I understand the point you are making, and I do not for one second wish to convey the impression that I have any sympathy for those racists who seek to use the legitimate concern over militant Islamic violence as a fig leaf for straight forward Islamaphobic bigotry.

    Having said this, however, I do not think that it amounts to ‘getting into bed’ with such people to state that threats of violence have no place in civilised discourse. As a liberal Brit (For the ease of understanding of our transatlantic Pharyngulites I use the term ‘liberal’ here in its American socio-political context as opposed to its association with the Liberal Party of UK politics), I personally detest the BNP with a passion I find hard to articulate.

    If I limit myself to expressions of approbrium directed at that group along with discussions as to the hypocrisy and bigotry inherent in their position, then all well and good. If, however, I were to seek to use force or the threat of force to compel BNP activists to abandon their activism, then I would be a criminal and a threat to the due process of democracy in the United Kingdom. Full stop. The fact that the group is manifestly racist and is somewhat to the right of Ghengis Khan is simply not relevant. If law is to have value, then the law must both apply equally to all and must also shield all equally.

    This can be a difficult pill to swallow when said rights at law are applied to people who we find repugnant due to their beliefs or political affiliations, but is all the more vital in such cases that we are carefull to avoid a situation where we seek to corrupt the law into nothing more than a means to propogate our own opinions.

    I would submit that this is not merely right only ‘in principle’, or as a sterile exercise in legal hypotheticals. It is rather the bedrock of any equitable system of law. As a citizen of a society that lacks cast-in-bronze constitutional protection of fundamental rights, I have developed an appreciation for such things.

    It is an uncomfortable fact that if you take away the rights of even so vile a man as Nick Griffin when he has committed no crime (at least under the auspices of sane, secular law), even with the best of intentions, then you unavoidably weaken the rights of all. You would still be casting away fundamental rights in the name of little more than propriety; a right not to be offended. The legal distinction between bigoted speech and the active incitement to racial violence and hatred is a subtle but important one. If this distinction is erased in order to ease the path to paternalistic censorship ‘for the greater good’, then the collective metaphorical foot is set on a path that could easily lead to laws as ridiculous and pernicious as those covering Blasphemy in Northern Ireland.

  110. #110 Gregory Greenwood
    March 17, 2010

    As an addenda to my above points, I would like to point out that the Far Right’s favoured trick of playing the peverse ‘victim card’ and claiming that they are persecuted is transparently ridiculous at this time. Griffin and his ilk are still at large and still at liberty to spew their hatred and assorted inane babble, for better or for worse (mostly for worse).

    Equally, Vilks is still at liberty to draw really bad cartoons of a Mohammed/dog hybrid under the laws of his country, threats from unhinged fanatics aside.

  111. #111 Gregory Greenwood
    March 17, 2010

    Obviously, these rights and freedoms at law are universal, however much the Right might rant about their ludicrous ‘Muslim takeover’ conspiracy theories. If a militant Muslim cleric wishes to go on at length about how all infidels are going to suffer a wide variety of highly inventive forms of torment for all eternity in hell because they have rejected the ‘truth’ of Islam, then he should be free to do so without the fear of the local skin-heads trying to rearrange his limbs or burn down his Mosque. While what he says may offend and is self-evidently fundie drivel, he is committing no crime.

    If he once advocates violence to help the process on a bit, then he should be subject to the full force of law, but not before.

  112. #112 Gregory Greenwood
    March 17, 2010

    Curse it! ‘Addendum’ is the singular. Just one post without a typo, ’tis all I ask.

  113. #113 Usagichan
    March 17, 2010

    Guillou’s point was that if Vilks had produced great art, he wouldn’t have had to rely on the protection of freedom of expression for his defence – people would have just said, “What a great piece of art”.

    An interesting argument, but somehow I doubt its validity – For example, the book “The Satanic Verses” was treated to reasonable critical acclaim, and yet was still the subject of an Islamic Fatwah.

    However, in the real world you have to be careful who you get into bed with!

    I think perhaps you should be careful of ‘getting into bed’ with anyone at all – Lest in the rush to (quite rightly) oppose the stupid and ugly prejudices and excesses of one group (in this case the rising right), you end up supporting the same ugly and stupid prejudices and excesses of another.

    I agree that it is ironic that the media defense of Vilks is being led by the same media that condemned the Ecce Homo exhibition (which in my opinion is superior as a work of art), just because his supporters are promoting ugly and unpleasant attitudes is no reason to abandon Mr Vilk’s rights – both sides must retain their rights to express views that reasonable people may find unpleasant – neither should have the right, or should have our sympathies in promoting violence to further their cause!

  114. #114 circleh
    May 5, 2010

    I wrote this about Islam last night:

    http://circleh.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/muslims-get-a-life/

    Enjoy!