Pharyngula

Violence is not free speech

i-2a3638440e52793fb97ed4e968df186b-dog_mohammed.jpeg

Lars Vilks, the cartoonist who drew Mohammed as a dog, has been attacked while lecturing on free speech. He was not seriously harmed. There is a video clip showing the attack, the chanting spectators, and the police quelling the mob.

That’s ugly. Muslims everywhere should be embarrassed, and should be repudiating the behavior of those thugs. Peaceful protest is one thing, but there is no offense in a cartoon that justifies leaping up and punching someone.

Here’s something even uglier:

An al-Qaeda front organisation then offered $US100,000 ($A110,730) to anyone who murdered Vilks – with an extra $US50,000 ($A55,365) if his throat was slit – and $US50,000 ($A55,365) for the death of Nerikes Allehanda editor-in-chief Ulf Johansson.

I think it’s only appropriate that Vilks’ sketch of Mohammed as a mangy cur should receive wider circulation because of the vileness of their response.

Comments

  1. #1 Brownian, OM
    May 11, 2010

    I wonder how many elderly grandmothers this video will comfort?

  2. #2 Travis
    May 11, 2010

    How sad. I find the cartoon to be pretty lame and boring but I will defend his right to draw it and their right to publish it as long as I am breathing.

    It is a shame how many people do not understand how to respond to things they disagree with and want to suppress free expression in this manner. I think I will have to post this myself.

  3. #3 kaz
    May 11, 2010

    Googly moogly!

    I can sign in and comment.

    Violence over a cartoon? What is next? The Green Lantern is issued a fatweh?

    I fear for our society since it seems to come down to rhetoric and hate speech no matter which side is rational and humanist

  4. #4 aratina cage
    May 11, 2010

    I’m surprised at how mild the police response is to the attacker(s?) and the unruly mob of bloodthirsty, delusional Allahbots.

  5. #5 FossilFishy
    May 11, 2010

    Religion of peace, my fucking ass.

  6. #6 triften
    May 11, 2010

    Did that guy in the vest slip a knife back in his pocket? Orange shirt, black puffy vest, right about 0:14… *shrug* maybe it was a cell phone.

    What tools.

  7. #7 Haley
    May 11, 2010

    The woman screaming Allah Akbar scares me the most. If I were in the room I’d be as close to the ground as possible in case someone started shooting…

  8. #8 MarkL
    May 11, 2010

    Hey, you’re free to glorify Allah with your speech.
    what more do you need?

  9. #9 mfd512
    May 11, 2010

    Yellow jacket, nice scarf, bag and maybe schoolbooks in hand, shouting repeatedly “Allah Ackbar”.

    I bet in her immigration interview she came across real nice, educated, maybe a grad-student. Just no way to tell.

  10. #10 FossilFishy
    May 11, 2010

    #6 Pretty sure it was a cell phone, the way he was looking down at it before he put it away.

  11. #11 delphi-ote
    May 11, 2010

    On the bright side, that was some seriously excellent crowd control!

  12. #12 Ströh
    May 11, 2010

    The Swedish newspaper SvD covered the story here.

    Here is a translation courtesy of me:

    Vilks attacked at lecture.

    The artist Lars Vilks was assaulted during a lecture on art at the University of Uppsalas Philosophical Department this afternoon.

    – The man was sitting on the first row and then suddenly charged me. He headbutted me and I slammed into the wall and got my glasses knocked off, Vilks tells TT.

    According to Vilks, the man belonged to a group that had attempted to disrupt the lecture.

    After the assault, Vilks was rushed to safety.

    – I’m not injured, but a bit shaken, he says.

    At first everything was calm, but then a man who sat on the front row, slighty above Vilks, launched himself at Vilks. He was immediately joined by two other individuals. All of them aimed punches towards him, says Tor Jonsson, UNT:s photographer on-site, to UNT.

    The atmosphere turned hostile when Lars Vilks began showing a video containing sexual content.

    – The atmosphere was very aggressive, says Tor Jonsson.

    The Uppsala Police watched over the lecture.

    – The threats towards him are well known and on top of that we did an extra risk assessment, says Tommy Karlsson, commanding officer at Uppsala County Police, to SvD.se

    According to Pernilla Björk, communications director at Uppsala University, SÄPO [Swedish special security forces dealing with political threats] and special bodyguards were also present.

    The lecture started at 16.30 [GMT+1]. Shortly after that the attack took place.

    – A large group of people rushed forward, Tommy Karlsson says.

    Two officers were also injured.

    – The police have taken two people into custody, a man and a woman about 20-years old, on suspicion of attacking an officer of the law.

    A third person has also been arrested on suspicion of disturbing the public order. [Rough juridical translations]

    Some 40 demonstrators was on site for the lecture – but they were not behind the attack.

    – They demonstrated against Vilks being allowed to lecture but never entered the lecture hall, says Veronika Berglund, acting head of camp security.

    Lars Vilks was one of several speakers on a theme called “Boundaries for freedom of speech in art”.

    Among previous speakers is artist Anna Odell.

    – We find it very sad that a lecture such as this would lead to violence. We respect the right of people to object, but the university is a place for discussing hard topics, says Pernilla Björk, communications director at Uppsala University.

    Sofia Ström

    Obviously this is completely reprehensible and will only fuel the fires of our neo-fascists. This video will go viral – muslims chanting Allah Akhbar whilst attacking a helpless man and battling Swedish police at one of our greatest monuments for enlightenment is simply too good not to…

    I may not be a fan of Vilks but considering what he is forced to go through he has my support anyway.

  13. #13 hankroberts
    May 11, 2010

    The guy who comes up and looks like he hits the policewoman in the back of the head around 0:38 wins some kind of award for stupidity.

  14. #14 Pluto Animus
    May 11, 2010

    I especially love the woman who screams, “Allah u akhbar!!!” over and over again like a maniac.
    Not exactly, “The whole world is watching,” is it?

  15. #15 Ströh
    May 11, 2010

    @4: After the riots during the EU Summit in 2001, Gothenburg, Swedish police forces learned their lessons and began training officers to control crowds with the least provocation possible. Focus is on subduing actively violent targets while keeping non-violent targets non-violent. So far it has worked and seemed to have done so this time as well.

    @7: Thankfully handguns are so few and far apart in Sweden that such a scenario remains unlikely.

  16. #16 Tink
    May 11, 2010

    This is why I hate them so much: they make me want to kill them.

  17. #17 Love F
    May 11, 2010

    Wow. I am seriously embarrased of the scene at my university (I’m in the not-as-violent math dep.). On the other hand, the university should be cheered for bringing such a “controversial” speaker. I will have too see what happens on campus now…

  18. #18 MarkL
    May 11, 2010

    What sort of people are these? Are they educated bigots, or know-nothings?

  19. #19 NitricAcid
    May 11, 2010

    I think the cartoon is wildly inappropriate.

    Based on the video, that cur should be frothing at the mouth.

  20. #20 Al B. Quirky
    May 11, 2010

    Typical Muslims.

  21. #21 MikeG
    May 11, 2010

    Once again, Al B. graces us with his shining wit and insight.

  22. #22 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 11, 2010

    My word – in Sweden, of all places.

    Anyone want to place bets on:

    1. Whether the university will issue a caustic, well-deserved rebuke to the thugs, re-asserting its commitment to free speech without mealy-mouthed concessions to how it “understands” some people “might be offended”?

    2. Whether any major “muslim organizations” will step forward to condemn this?

    3. Whether newspaper editorial writers will do so?

    4. Whether Index on Censorship (cough*cough) will have the guts to reprint the cartoon (if it deigns to comment on the matter)?

    I wish I could be more optimistic, and I’ll happily-nay, joyously!-concede I’m wrong if it turns out that way.

  23. #23 MrFire
    May 11, 2010

    This is why I hate them so much: they make me want to kill them.

    Well, not ever acting on that thought, or even condoning that thought, will be how you win.

  24. #24 dsmwiener
    May 11, 2010

    This is only the beginning. We are dealing with a clash of civilizations, and one will win and one will loose.

    I think, in the long run, our modern, liberal, western civilization (or some blended variant) will emerge victorious, but it is going to be a long, hard battle.

    Because, really, the other side is insane.

  25. #25 Ströh
    May 11, 2010

    @22:

    As for one, it leans towards condemnation. The university supports peaceful demonstration but no-one in their right mind could support this.

    As for two, possibly but probably not.

    As for three, quite likely. I will be happy to scan the papers tomorrow.

  26. #26 ehlsever
    May 11, 2010

    To spread the blasphemy around, here’s one of my favorites I found a million years ago, from where, I have no damn clue. Maybe it’s as used up as YATTA!, but I haven’t seen it anywhere else. I present, ‘Jesus Fuck on a Flying Racecar Pony‘.
    http://i40.tinypic.com/121r71s.jpg

  27. #27 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010
  28. #28 mxh
    May 11, 2010

    Josh @#22.
    1. No.
    2. No way.
    3. No.
    4. No.

    The whole things is pretty bad. If you want to alienate non-muslims any further, you should repeatedly yell Allah-u-Akbar at a public gathering. I know that the muslim world doesn’t see things the same way as the west, but if you’re going to live in the west, or do business with the west, you can at least try. You don’t see anyone from the west going to the muslim world and making a scene like this.

  29. #29 sbreedlo
    May 11, 2010

    At some point we have to acknowledge publicly that Islam is a profoundly violent religion that is unwilling to hear any criticism or satire directed at it.

    But we must also acknowledge that not all religions are like this. The followers of any religion can be violent and cruel, just as the followers of any secular group, be it political or otherwise, can be violent and cruel, but there is something profoundly different about a religion whose sacred texts repeatedly call for the destruction of those who don’t follow the religion.

    I am tired of hearing the media say that Islam is peaceful, in its basic nature. Peaceful Muslims exist, but they are necessarily departing from their text, just as violent Christians are necessarily departing from theirs.

  30. #30 Glenn G
    May 11, 2010

    Why didn’t the police shoot? For all they knew he could have been a suicide bomber or had a gun, and you can never be too sure with people who are offering money for this guy to be “slaughtered like a goat.”

  31. #31 Rorschach
    May 11, 2010

    On a somewhat related note, I found it quite surprising at the GAC that Dawkins(or even PZ) had no security arrangement, there was no bag checks or anything before you got into the lecture hall, and anyone could have gotten up on stage, or thrown a knife or whatever.
    It struck me as a bit naive, to say the least.

  32. #32 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo:

    Peaceful Muslims exist, but they are necessarily departing from their text, just as violent Christians are necessarily departing from theirs.

    Um, Christians include the Old Testament, not just the New Testament as their text. Together, they comprise the Babble.

  33. #33 Geoffrey
    May 11, 2010

    @Glenn G

    Why didn’t the police shoot?

    Cause they’re not ‘merican[/sarcasm]

  34. #34 atomjack
    May 11, 2010

    Well, strange gods, maybe you read Swedish, but I don’t…irony, I guess?

    I wondered about the Swedish police’s seemingly ineffectual response, but then my training comes from the US Marine Corps- they teach crowd control and baton use to the US Navy petty officers (which I was, many a moon ago). They aren’t known as a “kinder and gentler” training group. But, all in all, good training for going into parts of town I never would have frequented, looking for drunk and combative sailors on shore leave.

    The muslims in the crowd don’t drink, but act worse than drunken sailors. Drunk on allah, I guess. Pathetic. They are not going to win, as you say, dsmwiener.

  35. #35 Crommunist
    May 11, 2010

    @sbreedlo

    Actually, your assessment of the fundamentals of Islam is a bit clouded by recent events. While Europe was in the dark ages and Christianity was running a bloody swath over the “civilized world”, the Muslim world was doing all right. Islam isn’t really any more fundamentally violent than Judaism or Christianity. Now’s just their “terrible twos”. And your claim that other religions aren’t like this is just false. Jews are vandalizing mosques in the West Bank, Christians are killing people in Africa, Sikhs are threatening members of Parliament in Canada, Hindus are two breaths away from annihilating the entire planet with nukes… Islam isn’t really any worse than anyone else.

    In fact, if you look at the scripture, Islam is essentially cribbed from Jewish and Christian writings. Mohammad is essentially Joseph Smith – stealing chunks of the Bible and adding in new bits as he saw fit – but a few hundred years earlier. Their problem isn’t just that their religion is BAD, it’s stolen from two OTHER bad religions.

    Now, if they had stolen from Bad Religion instead, Mohammad could have made some kick-ass punk albums.

  36. #36 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    I think it’s only appropriate that Vilks’ sketch of Mohammed as a mangy cur should receive wider circulation because of the vileness of their response.

    How clever, PZ.

    Here’s another one. Since the Jewish War Veterans reacted violently to Nazi provocation, we should hold more Nazi rallies. To teach them a lesson!

    Lars Vilks is just another asshole with jihad envy:

    Vilks reminded his audience that the drawing had been meant as a provocation. The art and culture communities in Sweden repeatedly criticize the United States and Israel, he said, whereas Muslim countries are rarely even questioned.

    He deserves no sympathy.

    You know that the context of these anti-Muslim cartoons from northern Europe is nothing more admirable than anti-Asian racism.

    Defend his right to be a racist asshole, of course. That’s what we do, and you know I’m a First Amendment absolutist right beside you. But that is not a reason to promote his work, not even in retaliation.

    What a day, when PZ Myers promotes Nazism.

  37. #37 Kirk
    May 11, 2010

    At this wikipedia

    On 28 August the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, commented on the drawings during a press conference. He was quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency as saying: “Religions call for friendship, equality, justice, peace and respect for divine prophets. The Zionists only pretend to believe in religion. They are telling lies. They are perpetrating oppression against the Europeans and putting at risk the prestige of Europe.”

    It’s a short video, and I don’t always notice everything, but I missed the behavior showing friendship, equality, justice, and peace.

    But I do think that the violent people in the video do believe in religion. They aren’t pretending.

  38. #38 Glenn G
    May 11, 2010

    @36:

    I cannot even begin to point out how stupid that post is.

  39. #39 kenbob48
    May 11, 2010

    The cartoon should be made into a t-shirt.

  40. #40 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 11, 2010

    What a day, when PZ Myers promotes Nazism.

    Yes because this is exactly like Nazism.

    I think that’s a bit over the top.

    Disagree with promoting the cartoon, fine. I have no problems with that and don’t necessarliy disagree. But hyperbole like this?

    Come on.

  41. #41 Rorschach
    May 11, 2010

    What a day, when PZ Myers promotes Nazism.

    Jewish war veterans=islamic extremists ? What utter nonsense.

  42. #42 PZ Myers
    May 11, 2010

    Are you serious? Drawing a cartoon is now equivalent to being a Nazi?

    Tone it down a bit. Maybe you should suggest that drawing a cartoon of a dog is equivalent to shooting just one Jew. A more moderate response, you know.

  43. #43 Ströh
    May 11, 2010

    @34: the Swedish police differ from their american counterparts in that they approach situations like these as a series of objectives.

    The first objective was to defend Vilks. This was accomplished.

    The second was to arrest the perpetrators. This was accomplished as well.

    The third was to avoid unnecessary provocation and bloodshed which could incite violence now or in the future. Also accomplished.

    Looking at it this way I hardly see how the response could be seen as ineffectual. The USMC is worlds apart from Sweden.

    @ 30: Opening fire in a crowded room filled with innocent bystanders and fast-moving targets at arms-length? Bad idea. Really horribly bad idea.

  44. #44 Leah
    May 11, 2010

    At heart, all religions harbor this kind of hostility for non-believers.

  45. #45 Glenn G
    May 11, 2010

    @43:

    Good point. Still, I would have liked to see a bit more than tackling if I was in the room.

  46. #46 The Other Ian
    May 11, 2010

    “What is next? The Green Lantern is issued a fatweh?”

    Spider-man recently made a deal with the devil to get rid of his wife. I’d call that blasphemy against the canonical Spider-man.

  47. #47 aratina cage
    May 11, 2010

    @4: After the riots during the EU Summit in 2001, Gothenburg, Swedish police forces learned their lessons and began training officers to control crowds with the least provocation possible. Focus is on subduing actively violent targets while keeping non-violent targets non-violent. So far it has worked and seemed to have done so this time as well.
    -Ströh #15

    Yes, it did work well. They acted professionally and bravely in a very tense and chaotic situation. It is really good to see a video of police not tasing someone who won’t listen or beating a nonviolent protester.

  48. #48 Ströh
    May 11, 2010

    @ 45: They did use pepper spray on the the guy in the orange jacket at 0.17. Apart from that they did have their batons out, but had they started to use them the whole thing could easily have escalated out of control.

  49. #49 sbreedlo
    May 11, 2010

    John Morales and Crommunist, I have to believe that you haven’t read any of the texts. It is easy enough to google a quote out of context (particularly from the OT) that is violent, but the overall message of Judaism (and thus Christianity) is radically different from that of Islam.
    Conservative Muslim scholars from the Middle East (which is important, because the ones in the west are of a totally different breed) say that the Koran is around 60% violent.
    The overall message of the OT is that the Jews were to be a “kingdom of priests” through whom God redeemed the world. Other than in a couple instances, God did not command the destruction of a non-believing people (except defensively). Those instances are the exception rather than the norm. The norm is that the Jews were to welcome the foreigner and make them a part of society.
    The Christians were profoundly different, in that the final revelation of God’s redemption through Christ removed any necessity of Christians fighting others.

    Crommunist, I know that Christians didn’t follow their texts much of the time in the Middle Ages. My point was that for a Muslim to be peaceful, they have to ignore their texts, and for a Christian to be violent, they have to ignore theirs.
    You are overlooking quite a bit of violence perpetrated by Muslims in the Middle Ages, though. Almost all groups, whether religious or political, had a propensity to solve their disagreements, both internal and external, by violence during certain centuries.

    The fact that the Koran borrows heavily from the Old Testament does not matter in this discussion, because it misses the central points, which is where the analysis of who is really violent, peaceful, etc must take place.

  50. #50 BlueIndependent
    May 11, 2010

    What’s Arabic for “Allah is shit”? The religious continue to make the case for the dissolution of faith daily.

    Note too that the auditorium appears to be pretty empty, and that it appears the audience is split about in half over the proceedings. It looks to me like many were waiting for Vilks to do something they could crow and throw about.

  51. #51 jcwelch
    May 11, 2010

    #45

    Glenn, it may not be the USMC, but a big swede holding an asp with sanction and a bad look on his face? Ima sit very still, very quiet, and look more harmless than Bob Ross with a fresh bong.

    I’ve seen how hard an asp can hit. Rather be tased.

  52. #52 stuv.myopenid.com
    May 11, 2010

    What the fuck, strange gods. Godwin called, to see if he could have his false equivalency back.

    I mean, really. Off the meds today?

  53. #53 mxh
    May 11, 2010

    Nice point Crommunist… the problem isn’t Islam specifically, it’s what religion allows you to do. You can take any holy book (or any regular book, for that matter) and pick and choose and twist what it says to fit whatever you want it to say. If you do it with religion, you suddenly have millions of followers or at least millions of people who wouldn’t say anything against you because you took it from their holy book (hence, moderate muslims never say anything against extremists). The reason why Christianity lacks suicide bombers is because in Christian countries, religion takes a back seat (relatively) to secular principles of tolerance and nonviolence and that for the most part, Christians have better standard of living that they don’t want to give up (by blowing themselves up). Have you ever heard of a muslim prince being a suicide bomber?

  54. #54 BlueIndependent
    May 11, 2010

    “…What a day, when PZ Myers promotes Nazism.”

    How the F is Vilks criticizing Islam = racism?

    Islam is independent of race. Or do you not know that? Because if you don’t I can direct you to a white former Muslim.

    This is not even in the same universe and Nazism.

  55. #55 sbreedlo
    May 11, 2010

    mxh, the majority of suicide bombers and Islamic extremists have come from educated upper classes. See Bin Laden, Osama.

    Christianity lacks suicide bombers because they are told to “turn the other cheek” and leave revenge to God. The secular authorities are tolerant and nonviolent precisely because (or inasmuch as) they based their societies on truths derived from a Judeo-Christian worldview. See Founding Fathers, America.

    The secular institutions that have sought to eradicate Christianity have been the most violent the world has ever seen. See USSR and Nazi Germany.

    Your talking points, while widely voiced, have little to do with reality.

  56. #56 mk
    May 11, 2010

    @strange gods…

    PZ is an outrageous douchebag… and always has been. (BTW, I almost always agree with his take on religion. Weird, I know!) This post from him was predictable.

  57. #57 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    No, drawing a cartoon is not like being a Nazi.

    Being a Nazi is like being a Nazi.

    And that’s what these anti-Muslim/anti-immigration movements in northern Europe are. They are fascists. Openly. Fascists.

    Are we to pretend now that this has no context? That is has no relation to the white supremacist movements spreading across Europe, led by the likes of Geert Wilders?

    It’s a bit too much to ask.

  58. #58 mxh
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo, christians have never been violent in the past? They’ve never used their religion to promote violence before? As far as I know, bin Laden never blew himself up, he’s using Islam to promote his own fucked up view of the world. If he couldn’t find poor, misguided muslims he wouldn’t have his army.

    … and please don’t give me that founding fathers crap. They were secular, they tried their hardest to avoid the “Judeo-christian” world view. Nazi’s were catholics. Your talking points have even less to do with reality.

  59. #59 MikeG
    May 11, 2010

    Wow, SGBM, based on your track record around here, I can’t dismiss that comment as easily as I would like. (I know, (negative?) argument from authority or something…)

    But, I have to disagree with you on this. An implicit provocation is what he intended, as did all of the Mohammad artists with their cartoons. It worked, too. That is the point of art, and the cartoon was a “way of testing the limits of art” as the rest of the quote says. This is no different than Piss Christ or any other blasphemous art. That he did not come from that religious tradition does not mean that he cannot comment upon it in however crass a manner as his art allows or his vision demands.

    Was it insulting? Fuck yeah.
    Was it inflammatory? Fuck yeah.

    Was it the same as the people who killed six million of your people showing up to provoke a bunch or your veterans? Wow, uh, no.

    Was it excusable for the Jewish War Veterans to react violently? Uh, again, no.

    Was SGBM way the fuck over the top? Fuck yeah.

    (Also: I don’t see where the anti-asian racism is admitted or implied, but if I missed something, please post a link or something.)

  60. #60 Capital Dan
    May 11, 2010

    Gutless savages. It’s astounding that people so ill-equipped to handle even the most ridiculous criticism of their superstitions can somehow manage to find their way into higher-education.

  61. #61 atomjack
    May 11, 2010

    @43-

    I’m not complaining about the Swedish police’s handling of the situation- just remembering what it was like for me many years ago. Looks to me like they handled it well, just differently from what I was trained to, 35 years ago. Times change, thankfully.

  62. #62 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    Jewish war veterans=islamic extremists ? What utter nonsense.

    I gave no hint of what I was referring to. I apologize.

    The JWV organized to beat the shit out of peaceful Nazi demonstrators in the streets of Skokie. I sympathize with the JWV. But it was violence, and if violence should be met with a heightening of the circumstances that led to violence, then the proper response of a civil society to the JWV’s conspiracy would be to organize more Nazi rallies.

    Yes, it’s of course nonsense. It’s supposed to be a reductio ad absurdem, cast in an easily understandable situation with the sympathetic Jewish War Veterans.

  63. #63 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo:

    The Christians were profoundly different, in that the final revelation of God’s redemption through Christ removed any necessity of Christians fighting others.

    Not so. I direct you to the history of Christendom, as originated by Emperor Constantine and established by Theodosius I.

    Look at what they do, not what they say — need I remind you that Islam is “the religion of Peace”? ;)

  64. #64 MikeG
    May 11, 2010

    …And by your last comment, there may be some context I have missed, but really, Nazis?

  65. #65 ehlsever
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo @ #49:

    words words words words words

    Christianity is fundamentally nonviolent? Where’s the nonviolence in “you will burn in a lake of fire for eternity”?

  66. #66 Blind Squirrel FCD
    May 11, 2010

    @55

    The secular institutions that have sought to eradicate Christianity have been the most violent the world has ever seen. See USSR and Nazi Germany.

    Natzi Germany sought to eradicate Christianity? News to me.

    BS

  67. #67 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 11, 2010

    The whole things is pretty bad. If you want to alienate non-muslims any further, you should repeatedly yell Allah-u-Akbar at a public gathering. I know that the muslim world doesn’t see things the same way as the west, but if you’re going to live in the west, or do business with the west, you can at least try. You don’t see anyone from the west going to the muslim world and making a scene like this.

    I beg to differ. Do you remember the Trijicon sights, and folks like that charming Sergeant who launched into a long tirade on how Christianity is the strongerest religion?

    What about the guys who shot up reporters?

  68. #68 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    @strange gods…

    PZ is an outrageous douchebag… and always has been. (BTW, I almost always agree with his take on religion. Weird, I know!) This post from him was predictable.

    I disagree that he is an outrageous douchebag. I’m not a patient person, and I couldn’t have bothered to stick around if I thought that about him.

  69. #69 Fortknox
    May 11, 2010

    Nothing new here…

    Just another example of insidious multiculturalism and the damage it does to progress and enlightened western civilization.

  70. #70 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo, PS: if you want to test your theory, try slapping a Christian’s cheek — see if they turn the other one, as they profess.

    (Note: I don’t recommend this!)

  71. #71 mk
    May 11, 2010

    Oh boy, now that’s kinda funny. He’s a Nazi, but not an outrageous douchebag. Got it.

  72. #72 sbreedlo
    May 11, 2010

    mxh, my point was never that Christians hadn’t been violent or weren’t violent. My point was that Islam is necessarily violent (by its own sacred texts) and Christians who are violent are necessarily departing from what they are command to do and be by their sacred texts. Read them.

    Obviously bin Laden hasn’t blown himself up. Thanks for clearing that up. The point is that the terrorists (whether they are suicide bombers, trainers, or planners) are disproportionately from the privilege classes in those societies. It is the poor in those countries who are pushed around by the relatively educated and wealthy terrorists groups.
    If you honestly believe that the Founding Fathers tried to avoid a Judeo-Christian worldview, you have been poorly taught and have not bothered to read The Declaration of Independence. The whole reason that we have freedom, and thus the right to self-governance, is that we were created that way by the Creator. Yup, the word is there in the original. Although they didn’t want a state established church (because they had seen the ugliness that it could create), they claimed that our constitution was only suitable for a moral and religious people. And what was the only religion present in the colonies? You guessed it, Christianity!
    Many weren’t Christians, and the revolution itself is against direct commands in the Bible (obey the governing authority), but to claim that they avoided a Judeo-Christian worldview is to ignore all facts. Literally. All of them.

    The Nazis were no more Catholic than the Pope is Muslim. Your history needs refreshing. The Nazis were prone to killing Catholics. I have seen the detention cells in the concentration camps where they held them. I know that there is a theory that Pope Pius was in league with Hitler, and if it is true, which is doubtful, it is because Pius left Catholicism, and not because the Nazis followed Catholicism. The Catholic church was responsible for saving the lives of more Jews during the Third Reich than any other group or person.

    I would agree with your assessment of bin Laden’s view of the world. The problem is that it cannot be separated from Islam. He isn’t using Islam. He is following it.

  73. #73 Mattir
    May 11, 2010

    It was a stupid cartoon, but people should have total freedom to draw stupid cartoons. The problem that people should have been protesting is that the cartoon is not funny – surely there are jokes about Mohammed?

    It would be great if Islam would have the dialogue with modernity and science that the liberal versions of Christianity and Judaism have had. I still tend to agree with those who say that these liberal versions of religions legitimize the fundamentalist crazies, but it’s possible that they’re a useful bridge towards a more secular, less religious future. Even though some people have done it, I suspect it’s hard for a whole society to go from total hard-line fundamentalism to secular atheism.

  74. #74 MikeG
    May 11, 2010

    Wait, how does one inexcusable action done by a sympathetic group toward group 1 excuse inexcusable actions by another group toward group 2? Further, how does that make the victim of the second inexcusable action exactly the same as the victim of the first in any way? How does 1=2?

    We have some weird thinking going on here.

  75. #75 Pikeman85
    May 11, 2010

    Er, the Founding Fathers were clearly deists.

    And this just makes me want to celebrate “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day (5/20/10)” that much more.

  76. #76 AJ Milne OM
    May 11, 2010

    Mohammad is essentially Joseph Smith – stealing chunks of the Bible and adding in new bits as he saw fit – but a few hundred years earlier. Their problem isn’t just that their religion is BAD, it’s stolen from two OTHER bad religions.

    I’m pretty certain Smith did directly borrow some inspiration from Mohammad as well. And effectively said as much. Tho’ not quite framing it explicitly himself as working the tried and successful con in new turf, natch. This would probably have required (a) a level of honesty and (b) a capacity for self-examination and reflection which generally are absent in that breed. Not to mention rather incompatible with their goals…

    … regardless, in some ways, I almost want to thank Smith for ripping off Mohammad’s playbook so relatively thoroughly…

    I mean, being somewhat more recent an example of that kind of slimy, he provides such a nice little window into what a man who’ll tell a pack of howlers like those is generally probably like to have around. There’s a low-rent soap opera quality to the whole sordid tale of Smith–two bit con-man who just keeps spinning ‘em, bringing more and more suckers in, mostly just staying ahead of the folk who’re catching on to his last bit of bullshit. Now he’s off to try to build a nation, now he’s conveniently receiving a ‘revelation’ that sure, he can take the young babe he’s had his eye on to bed. Cheers! More nookie for Joe/Mo, and God sez it’s all cool, sure he does…

    I kinda figure: that probably was Mohammad, more or less, some centuries earlier. Seein’ as that earlier figure’s nation building worked out better (granted–we probably can’t write Utah off yet as winding up as a member state at the UN, and technically the fair comparison would be done some centuries later than this date), and it’s been a bit longer since Mo was around to make the gossip columns or the police blotter, he does come off as a little less obviously greasy, but let’s face it: a con’s a con–there’s a certain evident sameness about the breed, across the centuries…

    So that unpretty picture of a pathologically manipulative slimeball surfing the waves on his own sea of blarney, getting away with just whatever the hell he can, you can bet: that was Mohammad, more or less, in his day, too–along with any number of other nasty little televangelist-cum-Messiah types with more ambition than honesty.

    Now, if they had stolen from Bad Religion instead, Mohammad could have made some kick-ass punk albums…

    … note to self: when starting tax-exempt cult/soon-to-be state religion, consider Bad Brains for hymnal material as well.

  77. #77 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    Oh boy, now that’s kinda funny. He’s a Nazi, but not an outrageous douchebag. Got it.

    I did not say, and do not believe, that PZ is a Nazi.

    I can see I’m going to regret this.

  78. #78 MarkL
    May 11, 2010

    So every time Fred Phelps shows up at a soldier’s funeral, should we post a video and comment on the condition of Western civilization?
    Look, I find the video MILDLY disturbing, mostly because of the screeching of that one woman.
    This demonstration was not violent. Maybe without the police it would have been—I don’t know.
    But as demonstrations go, it seems almost weak tea (tea bag?).

    I think people are going way overboard in interpreting what they see here.
    Now, the fatwa against Wilks is another story.
    It’s because of the existence of the fatwa, and the recent killings of Van Gogh and others that this particular scene is frightening.

  79. #79 howard.peirce
    May 11, 2010

    I live in a place where the Police see their job as reinforcing existing power structures and enabling the strong to overcome the weak.

    Watching this video, the thing that struck me most was seeing the police act to enforce public order and defend civil rights and the rights of individuals.

    They used minimal violence to contain greater violence. As an American, the closest thing I’ve seen to this is the RCMP Up North. I’m sure that Canadians have a different story, but the RCMP is still a far cry from all the power-drunk Sheriffs here in the States.

    Humans being humans, and society being society, there’s always going to be a need for moderate institutional violence to counter extremist deadly violence. It’s about mitigation.

    As the say, the Perfect is the enemy of the Good.

  80. #80 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    Just another example of insidious multiculturalism and the damage it does to progress and enlightened western civilization.

    you’re right. we should go back to the Enlightenment Values of the Founding Fathers and simply exterminate all the heathen brown people and then take their stuff.

  81. #81 Pierce R. Butler
    May 11, 2010

    The stance and build of Vilks’s MohammeDog reminds me of this picture of Kanellos, a much nobler and more inspiring canine whose paw I would love to shake.

  82. #82 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo:

    but to claim that they avoided a Judeo-Christian worldview is to ignore all facts. Literally. All of them.

    Facts?

    I refer you to Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli.

  83. #83 thedoogster
    May 11, 2010

    And what was the only religion present in the colonies? You guessed it, Christianity!

    I think some of the surviving indigenous people might disagree with that.

  84. #84 Sastra
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo #49 wrote:

    The Christians were profoundly different, in that the final revelation of God’s redemption through Christ removed any necessity of Christians fighting others… I know that Christians didn’t follow their texts much of the time in the Middle Ages. My point was that for a Muslim to be peaceful, they have to ignore their texts, and for a Christian to be violent, they have to ignore theirs.

    You’re picking out one of many interpretations and claiming that it’s the clear meaning of the text. No. It’s one of many Biblical interpretations — which each side claiming the other side is distorting sacred scripture to force it to conform to man’s ways. The Pacifists, and God’s Warriors, are both sure they’re on God’s side.

    The basic message of all 3 Abrahamic religions is that man sins when he fails to submit to God. The purpose of life is for the obedient to sort themselves from, and be sorted from, the rest of humanity — which will then be purged. This Big Picture is not really an inclusive message of love. If you want to wax rapturous over grace and salvation, you need damnation to make it important.

    A religion which focuses on the saved vs. the damned will eventually breed violence, again and again. Jesus told his followers to be meek and gentle primarily because vengeance is best left to God. And, God uses people to live out his will. It doesn’t take much to connect the idea of purging the damned, with obedience, and believe that God still speaks.

  85. #85 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    Wait, how does one inexcusable action done by a sympathetic group toward group 1 excuse inexcusable actions by another group toward group 2? Further, how does that make the victim of the second inexcusable action exactly the same as the victim of the first in any way? How does 1=2?

    Did I say that violence by the JWV was or was not excusable?

    Did I say that violence by Muslims in Sweden is or is not excusable?

    What I take issue with is the simplistic reasoning that if X objects to Y violently, we should retaliate by doing more of Y.

  86. #86 mxh
    May 11, 2010

    Wow, sbreedlo, it’s hard to argue when you spit out so many talking points and ignore history (just because the Declaration of Independence says “Creator” doesn’t mean that the founding fathers wanted to base the nation of “judeo-christian” principles). All I’ll say is that I bet you I could easily find promotion of violence in the bible.

  87. #87 mk
    May 11, 2010

    @ strange gods…

    I did not say, and do not believe, that PZ is a Nazi.

    OK, so he acts like a Nazi… but calling him a douchebag… now that’s just wrong! Heh-heh. Man, you are strange.

    At least I stand by my convictions.

  88. #88 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    SGBM,

    I can see I’m going to regret this.

    You should already; you invoked Godwin’s by writing “PZ Myers promotes Nazism” because he defended free speech.

    I know that you know better than that!

  89. #89 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo

    The overall message of the OT is that the Jews were to be a “kingdom of priests” through whom God redeemed the world. Other than in a couple instances, God did not command the destruction of a non-believing people (except defensively).

    Bollocks. Impossible to believe you’ve ever read the OT.

    The Christians were profoundly different, in that the final revelation of God’s redemption through Christ removed any necessity of Christians fighting others.

    More bollocks. (Metaphysical word salad bollocks too). When have Xtians not fought each other? Ah, “not true Xtians”, I suppose.

    I know that Christians didn’t follow their texts much of the time in the Middle Ages. My point was that for a Muslim to be peaceful, they have to ignore their texts, and for a Christian to be violent, they have to ignore theirs.

    Yet more bollocks. Xtians in the Middle Ages behaved exactly as they did before and after the Middle Ages.

  90. #90 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 11, 2010

    Wait, how does one inexcusable action done by a sympathetic group toward group 1 excuse inexcusable actions by another group toward group 2? Further, how does that make the victim of the second inexcusable action exactly the same as the victim of the first in any way? How does 1=2?

    Nice run with the goalposts. Notice that I was responding to a claim that the west was pristine in this regard, and that hte problems originate with Muslims.

    I stuck strictly to the stupid shit we’ve done in their countries. I’m not even beginning the bullshit we’ve done to them on home turf.

  91. #91 shirakawasuna
    May 11, 2010

    @strange gods before me

    “Are we to pretend now that this has no context?”

    No.

    “That is has no relation to the white supremacist movements spreading across Europe, led by the likes of Geert Wilders?”

    Yes.

    “It’s a bit too much to ask.”

    Your delusions about the connection between blasphemous art and *white supremacy* are noted.

  92. #92 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    You should already; you invoked Godwin’s by writing “PZ Myers promotes Nazism” because he defended free speech.

    No, I have no problem with defending free speech.

    And it’s quite possible to defend even the free speech of Nazis like Lars Vilks without repeating and promoting it.

  93. #93 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    [OT]

    Pierce @81, not Beast-lord Roofdrak?

  94. #94 Rorschach
    May 11, 2010

    And that’s what these anti-Muslim/anti-immigration movements in northern Europe are. They are fascists. Openly. Fascists.

    Some are, some aren’t.
    I know you think this is a racism issue, and you know I disagree on that, but with this I just think you have it totally the wrong way around : Free speech should be and must be defended, and noone has the right to not be offended.And people who react with violence to free speech, even if it’s lousy cartoons, should be told what we think of that, or told to go back home.It’s got nothing to do with racism or white supremacy.Not for me, anyway…

  95. #95 Crommunist
    May 11, 2010

    If you feed the sbreedlo, the sbreedlo gets larger. The larger the sbreedlo gets, the more vociferous its defence of Christianity. The more vociferous the defence, the more we feed the sbreedlo.

    PERPETUAL MOTION! NOBEL PHYSICS PRIZE, PLEASE!

    @Howard.peirce

    The RCMP is the Canuck version of the FBI. I don’t know how often the Feds bother to beat people up in the US, but the comparison of Mounties to sheriffs is a couple of degrees of magnitude off. Our local cops are definitely brutal on occasion, depending largely on the municipality. But yeah, we likea da RCMP up here. Except when they catch us speeding on the highway. Then they’re a bunch of syrup-sucking hosers, eh?

  96. #96 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    I know you think this is a racism issue, and you know I disagree on that, but with this I just think you have it totally the wrong way around : Free speech should be and must be defended, and noone has the right to not be offended.And people who react with violence to free speech, even if it’s lousy cartoons, should be told what we think of that,

    Hey that’s me, I’m totally against free speech.

    Jesus.

    Never mind.

  97. #97 mxh
    May 11, 2010

    Crommunist, that’s why I stopped.

  98. #98 OurDeadSelves
    May 11, 2010

    And what was the only religion present in the colonies? You guessed it, Christianity!

    Um, no.

    http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/ushistory/13colonieschurch.htm

    I even made it easy on ya– it’s a site for kids.

  99. #99 shirakawasuna
    May 11, 2010

    *wonders how long it will take for a certain someone to realize that Naziism is not on par with light blasphemy*

  100. #100 MikeG
    May 11, 2010

    But if Y is one of the reasons that our society has been able to pull itself above barbarity and achieve some sort of tenuous enlightenment?

    If X (anyone) objects to Y (non-violent speech) with violence, more speech by all parties is the only answer. It does not turn anyone into their enemies to talk. It does not turn cartoonists into Nazis.

    “Here’s another one. Since the Jewish War Veterans reacted violently to Nazi provocation, we should hold more Nazi rallies. To teach them a lesson!”

    Drawing more cartoons and having Nazi rallies does not make the perpetrators one and the same. Having peaceful Nazi rallies, much as I hate it, is their right in the US. The reaction from their detractors, no matter how sympathetic does not change: A) the rights of the people to draw/protest nor B) the drawers into the protesters and vice-versa.

    “What a day, when PZ Myers promotes Nazism.”

    What a day when SGBM can’t see the difference between protected free speech and the ideology behind it.

  101. #101 onimelman
    May 11, 2010

    I decked a man once for a holocaust joke. It wasn’t the right thing to do, and I wasn’t proud of it, but it sure was satisfying.

    Maybe it’s just cognitive dissonance talking, but I’d like to think there’s a line drawn somewhere between joking about dead relatives and skewering a sacred cow.

  102. #102 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    Crommunist,

    The larger the sbreedlo gets, the more vociferous its defence of Christianity.

    Yeah. And the more it reveals itself, and the more we deride it. :)

    This. Is. Pharyngula!

  103. #103 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    May 11, 2010

    How the F is Vilks criticizing Islam = racism?
    Islam is independent of race. Or do you not know that? Because if you don’t I can direct you to a white former Muslim.

    Most Muslims are not Arabs. All these cartoons (even when not of Mo) depict Muslims as Arabs. So where are the cartoons of white Muslims? Vilks and his ilk are racists. Very naive to think otherwise.

  104. #104 Sastra
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo #72 wrote:

    If you honestly believe that the Founding Fathers tried to avoid a Judeo-Christian worldview, you have been poorly taught and have not bothered to read The Declaration of Independence. The whole reason that we have freedom, and thus the right to self-governance, is that we were created that way by the Creator.

    The language of the Declaration of Independence reflects a belief in finding values through the study of nature, as opposed to finding values through special revelation. “Nature’s God” is deliberately vague, and the term was carefully used to avoid implying that the country’s laws were going to be grounded on divine sanction and mysticism. Remember, they were rebelling against Kings who represented the will of the divine King. They had to explain that they were not pitting themselves against God, as their enemies said.

    Tell me something: is the message of the Bible one of self-governance? Humans need to learn to follow their own rational minds, and ignore the authority of God? No. The entire Christian religion is one of learning to submit to just authority. The United States was instead built on the idea of reason, and mutual consent between equals.

    Most of the founders were ‘theistic rationalists.’ God was invoked as an authority in the same way one can invoke God as the authority for anything — including laws of nature, or inequality between men. They based their reasoning on philosophers and statesmen, arguments and consensus — not a holy text. The real authority for the Constitution was We The People.

  105. #105 Apolipoprotein E
    May 11, 2010

    @ ABQ

    Typical racist sentiment. You probably pass off violent acts from Christians as being not “truly so” and if they happen in a non-White country, you’d say it’s the peoples fault and not the religion.

    @ sbreedlo

    Wrong. Christians who have followed their text are currently the ones responsibles for marginalizing women and gays and justifying violence against them.

    @ SGBM

    I understand that you don’t find Vilks to be a good person, and you are probably right in that he does express views typical of xenophobia. However, you must admitt that he still has the right to degrade Mohammad without violent or legal reprocussion.

    @ to all fanatical Muslims

    Why would Allah, who is the supposed creator of the universe, be so offended by the depiction of his profet? Don’t you think it’s petty, even human, that he has such feelings? Isn’t he suppose to be beyond us, according to your religious text? This publicity does not speak well for your religious doctrine. Allah and Yaweh, two beings that I would never praise even if they existed.

  106. #106 MikeG
    May 11, 2010

    Rutee, SHoD,

    Eek, I think we got some wires crossed, and my lack of identifying who the heck I was talking to caught me in the butt. Sorry.

    I was responding to SGBM’s Nazi / Jewish Veterans comment.

  107. #107 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    What a day when SGBM can’t see the difference between protected free speech and the ideology behind it.

    You’re apparently the one who can’t tell the difference.

    Lars Vilks is a racist and a fascist. Now listen closely, MikeG. I support Lars Vilks’ right to be a racist and a fascist. I do not want any government to silence him.

    At the same time, I do not think it’s a good idea for other individuals to reprint his racist, fascist anti-immigrant propaganda. Perhaps for the purposes of critique, it’s necessary. But for the sake of punishing people who objected to his racism? No, that’s not a good idea.

    See, it would have been perfectly possible to write this blog post in support of Vilks’ right to protected free speech, without reprinting and promoting the content of that immigrant-baiting speech.

  108. #108 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    see, this is why we have the Godwin rule. Because SGBM used Nazis in his argument, everybody has apparently become constitutionally incapable of understanding the argument.

    which is that while all free speech needs to be protected, not all of it should be promoted. And racism/xenophobia is one of those instances where it shouldn’t be promoted, whether it’s anti-jewish or anti-muslim.

  109. #109 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 11, 2010

    @SGBM:

    Here’s another one. Since the Jewish War Veterans reacted violently to Nazi provocation, we should hold more Nazi rallies. To teach them a lesson!

    and. .

    What a day, when PZ Myers promotes Nazism.

    Whoa, Nelly. SGBM, you’re one of the best and most cogent commenters here, so please understand this isn’t coming from an “anti-SGBM” place. But this is so out of character, and so ridiculous, I urge you to rethink it.

    Context matters. We are not discussing a religious or ethnic minority in imminent danger of being gassed, shot or starved. We are discussing the violent and unchecked tendencies of a group of religious radicals who have clearly demonstrated they are willing to murder-or try to murder-people who make any criticism of their beliefs.

    Please, please tell me you understand the difference?

  110. #110 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    I understand that you don’t find Vilks to be a good person, and you are probably right in that he does express views typical of xenophobia. However, you must admitt that he still has the right to degrade Mohammad without violent or legal reprocussion.

    Admit it?

    I’ve been yelling it since my first comment on this thread.

  111. #111 Tabby Lavalamp
    May 11, 2010

    Bah. Once again P.Z. Myers goes out of his way to offend Muslims. I’d like to see him try this crap with a Catholic some day, but I bet he wouldn’t have the guts!
    .
    .
    .
    Wait. What?

  112. #112 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 11, 2010

    @Jadehawk:

    which is that while all free speech needs to be protected, not all of it should be promoted.

    Indeed. It’s also why reasonable people shouldn’t lightly make comparisons between Nazis and PZ’s legitimate criticism of fucking thugs who attacked a cartoonist.

  113. #113 Ichthyic
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo should read this, and give us some time away from his inanity while he/she does so.

    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/bible_quran.html

  114. #114 Crudely Wrott
    May 11, 2010

    @62:
    Thanks, Strange Gods, for some explanation. I was confused for a moment there. Think I rebooted twice.

  115. #115 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    Context matters. We are not discussing a religious or ethnic minority in imminent danger of being gassed, shot or starved. We are discussing the violent and unchecked tendencies of a group of religious radicals who have clearly demonstrated they are willing to murder-or try to murder-people who make any criticism of their beliefs.

    ironic that you mention “context matters”, and then miss it entirely. The JWV were in no danger of being gassed by the demonstrators they attacked; and muslim immigrants are in fact a religious and arguably racial minority in Northern Europe, and one regularly attacked by the dominant culture.

  116. #116 Sastra
    May 11, 2010

    strange gods before me #107 wrote:

    At the same time, I do not think it’s a good idea for other individuals to reprint his racist, fascist anti-immigrant propaganda.

    By drawing Mohammead as a dog, the cartoonist is committing blasphemy. This is a pointedly blasphemous cartoon. The immediate purpose and context, is to promote the ability to insult a sacred icon.

    If PZ had reprinted a racist, fascist anti-immigrant speech, I’d agree with you. This cartoon, in itself, is not. And it’s the specific issue.

  117. #117 mxh
    May 11, 2010

    Ichthyic, nice link.

  118. #118 Ichthyic
    May 11, 2010

    and as to the NT being specifically “nonviolent”…

    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/nt_list.html

    “But you ask me what the scariest things are in Christianity: this infatuation with biblical prophecy and this notion that Jesus is going to come back as an avenging savior to kill all the bad people.”
    – Sam Harris

  119. #119 ashleyfmiller
    May 11, 2010

    I am so confused by this equating of disliking someone’s violent ideology to race. Muslims aren’t all arab, disliking someone else’s culture because of the bad things it does isn’t xenophobic, and regardless when is it ever OK to threaten to kill someone for being an insensitive prick? Arguing that Muslims deserve some sort of special treatment as compared to Christians or Jews or Hindus is retarded (it’s satire!) and hypocritical. If someone’s being some sort of ist (ideologicist?) it’s those douchebags.

    (((:~{> Muhammed approves this message

  120. #120 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 11, 2010

    ironic that you mention “context matters”, and then miss it entirely

    Then educate me, Jadehawk (and can the sniping, please). I don’t know what the “JWV” is, even though I’ve gone back through the thread. I’ll admit to being ignorant (and I’m happy to be corrected, really), but I don’t understand what this has to do with a group of thugs attacking a cartoonist at a lecture.

    Really.

  121. #121 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    It’s also why reasonable people shouldn’t lightly make comparisons between Nazis and PZ’s legitimate criticism of fucking thugs who attacked a cartoonist.

    he didn’t; he called the cartoonist a nazi, and called PZ out for promoting his shit instead of just defending his right to spew it.

  122. #122 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    Context matters. We are not discussing a religious or ethnic minority in imminent danger of being gassed, shot or starved. We are discussing the violent and unchecked tendencies of a group of religious radicals who have clearly demonstrated they are willing to murder-or try to murder-people who make any criticism of their beliefs.

    The Jews in Skokie in 1977 were not in imminent danger of being gassed, shot or starved.

    And no, I don’t see any evidence in that video of anyone trying to murder Lars Vilks.

    I made a mistake in bringing up the JWV and Vilks’ Nazism at the same time. People may wonder how the two are related. They aren’t. The example of the JWV was only to say that violence is not automatically to be countered by heightening the circumstances that led to violence. That Vilks is a Nazi is unrelated to this. Too much Nazism in one comment. My bad.

  123. #123 Apolipoprotein E
    May 11, 2010

    @ SGBM

    I conceed that you did. I also think that Vilks is racist. I’m worried though; I noticed that people like ABQ are so ready to committ genocidal acts against all Muslim. While I do think the religion of Islam is a stupid religion, justifying mass violence against them is morally reprehensive. I think that people like Vilks and ABQ are appologist for violence themselves. Even so, they do not deserve violence either. Voilent Fundamentalist, Racist appologist? I sometime harbour the sentiments of Mariang Makaling: Humanity is simply wicked and best avoided.

  124. #124 eigenperson
    May 11, 2010

    @101 onimelman

    I decked a man once for a holocaust joke. It wasn’t the right thing to do, and I wasn’t proud of it, but it sure was satisfying.

    Maybe it’s just cognitive dissonance talking, but I’d like to think there’s a line drawn somewhere between joking about dead relatives and skewering a sacred cow.

    I’m afraid there isn’t such a line. Dead relatives are the secular Western version of sacred cows.

    When someone makes a joke about dead relatives, the only way it can harm someone is through causing offense to those who hear it and have an emotional connection to the subject. The same is true about cartoons of prophets.

  125. #125 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 11, 2010

    I am so confused by this equating of disliking someone’s violent ideology to race.

    Easy:
    In Europe, Islam is often used as an acceptable punching bag stand in for the scary brown people who follow it.

    WHenever PZ endorses european racists for their anti-Allah rants, he fails to acknowledge any of this. See: Pat Condell, Kurt Westergaard…

    We didn’t start the conflation. We’re dealing with people who do it.

  126. #126 idiotiddidit#5116d
    May 11, 2010

    I’m sure there will be MANY rabid right wingers who will point at this video and very excitedly exclaim that you can’t trust Muslims, fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke, Muslim idiots don’t understand we in the west have free speech and if they don’t like it, they can go back home.

    The thing I find funny is that if I were to burn a US flag on the 4th of July to celebrate my freedom of speech as a US citizen, the right wingers would get at least as upset as the folks in this video.

  127. #127 eigenperson
    May 11, 2010

    re #124: Argh, quote fail :/

  128. #128 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    ashley @119, nice emoticon!

  129. #129 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    he didn’t; he called the cartoonist a nazi, and called PZ out for promoting his shit instead of just defending his right to spew it.

    That’s correct. Thanks for the clear summary, Jadehawk.

    I’m not doing a very good job of contributing more light than heat to this thread, I’m afraid.

    see, this is why we have the Godwin rule.

    And now I will never forget.

  130. #130 Feykaald
    May 11, 2010

    SGBM

    The JWV organized to beat the shit out of peaceful Nazi demonstrators in the streets of Skokie. I sympathize with the JWV. But it was violence, and if violence should be met with a heightening of the circumstances that led to violence, then the proper response of a civil society to the JWV’s conspiracy would be to organize more Nazi rallies.
    Yes, it’s of course nonsense. It’s supposed to be a reductio ad absurdem, cast in an easily understandable situation with the sympathetic Jewish War Veterans.

    Since the reaction to it was violent then we should hide it from sight? So in your view is it ok to ban anything that elicits a violent response?

  131. #131 Mr T
    May 11, 2010

    If you honestly believe that the Founding Fathers tried to avoid a Judeo-Christian worldview, you have been poorly taught and have not bothered to read The Declaration of Independence.

    Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you’re right. Then why would they have a “Judeo-Christian” worldview, and not simply a Christian one? Why not “Abrahamic”, to include Islam into the worldview? Why not an even more vague “Monotheistic”? Why not “Deistic”, as many actually were? Why not just plain “Secular”?

    Exactly what leads you to this conclusion, other than your clear bias as being some nonspecific “Judeo-Christian” type of person?

    Here a few quotes from Thomas Jefferson you may find enlightening, who I believe had something or other to do with the Declaration of Independence…

    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

    “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”

    “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”

    “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”

    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”

    “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

  132. #132 shirakawasuna
    May 11, 2010

    I keep seeing Lars Vilks called a Nazi. I keep seeing people calling for ‘context’ where it’s apparently racist to depict Muhammad in any demeaning way.

    I’m waiting for anyone to actually defend those accusations. Guilt by fabricated associated doesn’t cut it.

  133. #133 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 11, 2010

    @Jadehawk:

    he didn’t; he called the cartoonist a nazi, and called PZ out for promoting his shit instead of just defending his right to spew it.

    OK. I admit I don’t know much about this cartoonist. Please point me to a place where I can learn more. I’m not being facetious, I’m being serious. I will admit I’m getting very close to pissed off about the glib bitchery I’m getting. Honestly, just help me educate myself.

    @SGBM

    I made a mistake in bringing up the JWV and Vilks’ Nazism at the same time. People may wonder how the two are related. They aren’t.

    I ask, once again, who the hell is the JMV? Seriously – I’m trying to be open and honest, and to learn about things I don’t know. But I’m getting severely pissed off at the snide toss-off remarks and lack of explanations.

    What may seem obvious to you is NOT obvious to me. That may be because I’m ignorant. If that’s the case, I’ll happily shut my mouth and read whatever you recommend so that I’m less ignorant.

    But cut the condescending crap.

  134. #134 Sastra
    May 11, 2010

    Rutee #125 wrote:

    In Europe, Islam is often used as an acceptable punching bag stand in for the scary brown people who follow it.

    But the problems with the religion of Islam is one of the major reasons Muslims are “scary.” It has to be addressed.

  135. #135 Ichthyic
    May 11, 2010

    The thing I find funny is that if I were to burn a US flag on the 4th of July to celebrate my freedom of speech as a US citizen, the right wingers would get at least as upset as the folks in this video.

    or the folks in THIS video…

    http://www.tvtubex.com/Futurama/A-Taste-of-Freedom_51704.html

    Ah, Zoidberg eats the flag, good times.

  136. #136 speedweasel
    May 11, 2010

    Hey strange gods,

    You need to lock your computer when you’re AFK. You don’t want some random idiot to walk by and post drivel under your name do you?

  137. #138 MarkL
    May 11, 2010

    SGBM’s comments are completely clear. Some people are not reading before responding!
    This thread is pretty useless.
    Predictably, it gives some right wing know-nothings an opportunity to spout off about the war with Islam.

  138. #139 Pierce R. Butler
    May 11, 2010

    Watching how the Uppsala cops brought a volatile situation under control with professionalism and a minimum of force provides me with an excuse to present a study in contrast, namely the case of how University of Florida (“don’t tase me, bro!”) police dealt with the nonviolent Kofi Adu-Brempong.

  139. #140 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    Then educate me, Jadehawk (and can the sniping, please). I don’t know what the “JWV” is, even though I’ve gone back through the thread. I’ll admit to being ignorant (and I’m happy to be corrected, really), but I don’t understand what this has to do with a group of thugs attacking a cartoonist at a lecture.

    Well, it was probably a shitty analogy on my part.

    PZ said “I think it’s only appropriate that Vilks’ sketch of Mohammed as a mangy cur should receive wider circulation because of the vileness of their response.”

    I take issue with this claim. So I give the example of the JWV, the Jewish War Veterans, an organization in the USA. In response to the Nazis’ planned march in Skokie in 1977, the JWV plotted to assault them. If the proper response to violence is to give wider circulation to whatever instigated the violence, then the proper response should have been to hold even more Nazi rallies. That’s it. It’s just a reductio ad absurdem.

  140. #141 kaylakaze
    May 11, 2010

    Where are the Rodney King cops when you need them?

  141. #142 MikeG
    May 11, 2010

    SGBM:

    Lars Vilks is a racist and a fascist.

    I have not seen that from this thread. It is entirely probable.

    Now listen closely, MikeG. I support Lars Vilks’ right to be a racist and a fascist. I do not want any government to silence him.

    That was understood. Not only from this thread, but from your history here.

    At the same time, I do not think it’s a good idea for other individuals to reprint his racist, fascist anti-immigrant propaganda. Perhaps for the purposes of critique, it’s necessary. But for the sake of punishing people who objected to his racism? No, that’s not a good idea.

    The part I’m having trouble with is the branding of his work as “racist, fascist, anti-immigrant propaganda”.

    The reposting of his work is important for the purposes of critique, not only about the work itself (rather crude and infantile, IMHO), but for critique of the reaction to it. Again, much like Piss Christ, it evoked not only the outrage of offended targets, but of people who claimed that it was just too rude/bigoted.

    I think that speech is too important to bow to the thugs, whomever they may be. When something as stupid as a poorly-drawn cartoon can instigate violence against the cartoonist, perhaps the reprinting of the cartoon is a useful thing.

    That said, I know nothing of Vilks aside from this drawing. He could be a world class douche for all I know. But I’ll side with the reprinting or douche’s works rather than polite self censorship.

  142. #143 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    Since the reaction to it was violent then we should hide it from sight? So in your view is it ok to ban anything that elicits a violent response?

    *sigh*

    one more fucking time: there’s a difference between protecting someone’s right to free speech, and calling for active support and promotion promotion of said speech.

    Racists/xenophobes have every right to say/draw whatever the fuck they want, and their right to do so should be defended. But their racism shouldn’t be actively supported.

  143. #144 strange gods before me ?
    May 11, 2010

    I ask, once again, who the hell is the JMV? Seriously – I’m trying to be open and honest, and to learn about things I don’t know. But I’m getting severely pissed off at the snide toss-off remarks and lack of explanations.

    What may seem obvious to you is NOT obvious to me. That may be because I’m ignorant. If that’s the case, I’ll happily shut my mouth and read whatever you recommend so that I’m less ignorant.

    But cut the condescending crap.

    I don’t intend to be condescending to you, and I’m sorry if I came off that way. I took longer to respond to you because I’ve already been unclear and I want to be careful to be clearer.

  144. #145 MikeG
    May 11, 2010

    OK, with that craptacular blockquote fail, I apparently need sleep. Perhaps my thinking will be clearer in the morning.

  145. #146 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 11, 2010

    @SGBM:

    PZ said “I think it’s only appropriate that Vilks’ sketch of Mohammed as a mangy cur should receive wider circulation because of the vileness of their response.”
    I take issue with this claim.

    I can understand that, but I really do think context makes a difference. We are in a social context in which many people are terrified of poking any fun, or any satire, at Mohammed. This is not because they’re afraid of some made-up, mythical, stupid, non-existent “Jewish cabal,” but because they’re afraid of the very real threat of an Islamic extremist trying to blow them up

    That’s a non-trivial difference, and it cries out for comment.

    In response to the Nazis’ planned march in Skokie in 1977, the JWV plotted to assault them. If the proper response to violence is to give wider circulation to whatever instigated the violence, then the proper response should have been to hold even more Nazi rallies. That’s it. It’s just a reductio ad absurdem.

    Reductio ad absurdum situations have their place, but this one is not apt.

  146. #147 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    We are in a social context in which many people are terrified of poking any fun, or any satire, at Mohammed.

    that is not at all the European social context, in which these images were created.

  147. #148 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 11, 2010

    @Jadehawk:

    that is not at all the European social context, in which these images were created.

    OK. I’d be glad to learn about the social context in which they were created.

  148. #149 Mr T
    May 11, 2010

    The example of the JWV was only to say that violence is not automatically to be countered by heightening the circumstances that led to violence.

    It’s a fucking cartoon. It should not lead to violence, ever. If it does lead to violence, don’t blame the fucking cartoonist, or his or her fucking publisher, or anyone else who reprints the fucking cartoon for whatever fucking reason. The violence is the fault of the fucking person who commits the fucking violence, no matter the fucking height of the fucking circumstances.

  149. #150 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    I’m really really trying to think of an appropriate parallel in an American context, but I’m totally failing. The closest I can think of is some massive desecration of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Teabaggers as a form of protest against Hispanic immigrants, but that doesn’t quite work on the same level.

  150. #151 david.utidjian
    May 11, 2010

    sbreedlo @ #72:

    If you honestly believe that the Founding Fathers tried to avoid a Judeo-Christian worldview, you have been poorly taught and have not bothered to read The Declaration of Independence. The whole reason that we have freedom, and thus the right to self-governance, is that we were created that way by the Creator.

    (emphasis added)

    Um, no. The DoI does not say “the Creator” rather it says “their Creator” I happen to know who my creator is… my mum and dad. You may believe (as I am sure you do) that what they meant by “their Creator” is a bit more esoteric than just your parents and I don’t have a particular problem with that. I do know and can positively demonstrate that my Creator was my parents. The term “their Creator” conveniently covers both cases. In fact it covers all cases of whatever you believe your Creator to be.

    So no, the word “the” was not in the original.

    You go on to say:

    Although they didn’t want a state established church (because they had seen the ugliness that it could create), they claimed that our constitution was only suitable for a moral and religious people.

    Are you saying that they thought that religion(s) are not to be trusted?
    Yet, it is only suitable for the religious??? WTF?? Where does it say that in the CotUS, the DoI or the Federalist Papers?
    You aren’t really making any sense to me. Could you clear that up?

    Then you say:

    And what was the only religion present in the colonies? You guessed it, Christianity!

    The only religion? What about no religion?

    Followed by:

    Many weren’t Christians,…

    So… Christianity was the only religion present in the colonies AND many weren’t Christians. Does that make sense to you? Please explain?

    … and the revolution itself is against direct commands in the Bible (obey the governing authority), but to claim that they avoided a Judeo-Christian worldview is to ignore all facts. Literally. All of them.

    I don’t see any one claiming that the framers of the CotUS were trying to “avoid” the Judeo-Christian worldview (whatever that was at the time) so why are saying they are? I doubt very much that the Judeo-Christian worldview some sort of consistent thing that we can look at and understand.

    -DU-

  151. #152 csreid
    May 11, 2010

    Jadehawk, SGBM:

    Perhaps I’m not aware of the larger context to which you refer, but it seems to me that this cartoon is no different than poking a eucharist with a rusty nail. Both are blasphemous and intentionally inflammatory, with the intended result being ridicule of a ridiculous religious tradition.

    SGBM, I don’t think this is comparable to the JWV scenario you mentioned. The Nazis were a real, tangible thing. Millions of people were killed. I don’t know that a picture of Mo has ever killed anyone.

  152. #153 Rorschach
    May 11, 2010

    Racists/xenophobes have every right to say/draw whatever the fuck they want, and their right to do so should be defended. But their racism shouldn’t be actively supported.

    While we’re all explaining things to each other, maybe someone can explain to me how they manage to turn a case of calculated blasphemy via a badly done cartoon, into this allegation of racism and fascism.
    It doesn’t matter if the guy’s a nazi or not, isn’t this about the violent reaction the cartoon provoked, and what that shows about that religion and its adherents?

  153. #154 John Morales
    May 11, 2010

    This is simple.

    Cartoon: Purportedly Mohammed, depicted as a dog.

    Supposedly, depictions of Mohammed are blasphemous.
    Supposedly, dogs are unclean creatures in Islamic tradition.

    Hence, the cartoon is doubly blasphemous.
    It’s a direct protest towards the (unreasonable) beliefs of a particular subset of a religion; to exhibit it is a direct confrontation of it.

    PZ: I think it’s only appropriate that Vilks’ sketch of Mohammed as a mangy cur should receive wider circulation because of the vileness of their response.

    Conclusion: PZ is not endorsing Vilks’s views; he’s exemplifying his ongoing contention that “nothing is sacred”, and that confronting self-censorship and unwarranted respect towards religious beliefs is a worthwhile protest.

    Therefore, I think SGBM and Jadehawk are mistaken in their interpretation that PZ is here promoting bigotry; rather, he is being consistent in his anti-accomodationist stance.

  154. #155 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    It’s a fucking cartoon. It should not lead to violence, ever. If it does lead to violence, don’t blame the fucking cartoonist, or his or her fucking publisher, or anyone else who reprints the fucking cartoon for whatever fucking reason. The violence is the fault of the fucking person who commits the fucking violence, no matter the fucking height of the fucking circumstances.

    congratulations, you sure showed up that vile, cowardly strawman!

  155. #156 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    with the intended result being ridicule of a ridiculous religious tradition.

    no, the context and intent is to provoke a visible and more and more discriminated against minority.

    if it could be stripped of that context, it would be ok. But when talking about European cartoons, that just can’t be done. Support for European xenophobes because you happen to superficially agree on a single issue is stupid.

  156. #157 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 11, 2010

    @Jadehawk:

    The closest I can think of is some massive desecration of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Teabaggers as a form of protest against Hispanic immigrants, but that doesn’t quite work on the same level.

    I think it doesn’t work for several reasons:

    1. Latino immigrants in the US really are under extraordinary and scary legal pressure.

    2. Islamic radicals (NOTE I’m not, not, not talking about everyday muslim citizens; I’m talking about those who openly express that they want to harm or kill people for printing their opinions) are something else entirely.

    It’s just not the same thing, I’m sorry. There is racism in the US – a fucking boatload of it. But it’s no good to conflate that- while ignoring the natural human empathy we should feel when it’s directed to ordinary people who just want to immigrate-with legitimate outrage against radical religious thugs.

  157. #158 chaseacross
    May 11, 2010

    No cartoon, even one that was deliberately provocative, warrants this kind of response. It seems clear that these “protestors” planned to deliberately disrupt the event using violence. Unacceptable! If it were a Holocaust denial preserntation and the local Jewish student group had done something similar, it would still be just as unacceptable.

  158. #159 Mr T
    May 11, 2010

    vile, cowardly strawman!

    Yeah, I sure did. If I still need to understand the actual claim being made, then simply calling my interpretation of it a strawman, and leaving it at that, will not help. How am I supposed to interpret the following from SGBM?

    violence is not automatically to be countered by heightening the circumstances that led to violence.

    They’re not being forced to commit violence, at least no by someone else’s cartoons, or art, or speech. They can choose nonviolent alternatives.

  159. #160 Citizen of the Cosmos
    May 11, 2010

    I wonder why religious fundamentalists would want to even set foot at a university.

    Sadly, this event will probably be milked for all it’s worth by the “nationalist” (read: racist) parties for the upcoming election.

  160. #161 Jadehawk, OM
    May 11, 2010

    1. Latino immigrants in the US really are under extraordinary and scary legal pressure.

    uh, this is precisely why it does work, because anti-immigrant and anti-muslim laws (and selective enforcement thereof)are proliferating in Europe now.

    It’s just not the same thing, I’m sorry. There is racism in the US – a fucking boatload of it. But it’s no good to conflate that- while ignoring the natural human empathy we should feel when it’s directed to ordinary people who just want to immigrate-with legitimate outrage against radical religious thugs.

    it’s not us doing the conflating, it’s the creators of those cartoons themselves. the point is to not pretend like, in a European context, these two can be looked at separately. What you get when you do that is support for racists like Pat Condell, and then surprise when they finally make it obvious even to an American that they’re being racist.

  161. #162 shirakawasuna
    May 11, 2010

    @Jadehawk, OM

    “no, the context and intent is to provoke a visible and more and more discriminated against minority. ”

    This is exactly the kind of thing you need to defend. There is nothing to indicate that Lars Vilks’ cartoons are anything but blasphemy, unless you have further information about his actions in the past or statements. Otherwise, you are inserting your own context, not appealing to one which is already there.

    Condemning the man with a manufactured association is exactly what makes comments like yours look like hyperbole. When one goes even farther and attacks PZ or others for supporting the blasphemy (and throwing that manufactuered context on them as well), they just look like condescending assholes.

  162. #163 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    If I still need to understand the actual claim being made, then simply calling my interpretation of it a strawman, and leaving it at that, will not help.

    because I’ve already explained it multiple times, in multiple ways: defending free speech is something separate from actively promoting speech that is used by racists, with racist motivations. And calling for greater promotion of this cartoon is doing the latter, not the former.

    They’re not being forced to commit violence, at least no by someone else’s cartoons, or art, or speech. They can choose nonviolent alternatives.

    right, and? point me to anyone saying that they’re being forced to violence, or to anyone defending this violence, please.

  163. #164 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 12, 2010

    @Jadehawk:

    it’s not us doing the conflating, it’s the creators of those cartoons themselves. the point is to not pretend like, in a European context, these two can be looked at separately. What you get when you do that is support for racists like Pat Condell, and then surprise when they finally make it obvious even to an American that they’re being racist.

    No, I get to decide for myself what I believe, regardless of what Condell, or you, or anyone, says. I get to – and I do – differentiate everyday between racist reactionary attitudes and legitimate fears about dark ages attitudes that oppress women, gays, queers, and children.

    I’m a grown-up that way.

  164. #165 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    May 12, 2010

    I think it’s only appropriate that Vilks’ sketch of Mohammed as a mangy cur should receive wider circulation because of the vileness of their response.

    Put it on a billboard!

  165. #166 John Morales
    May 12, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    if it could be stripped of that context, it would be ok. But when talking about European cartoons, that just can’t be done.

    You’re saying no European can blaspheme via a cartoon. Period.

    How is that not advocating self-censorship?

  166. #167 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    This is exactly the kind of thing you need to defend.

    I need to defend the claim that muslims are the subject of massive racist/xenophobic/anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe?

    I think not.

  167. #168 strange gods before me ?
    May 12, 2010

    Lars Vilks’ own words:

    Misstaget är att man proklamerat det mångkulturella samhället. Kan man integrera muslimer på ett bra sätt? Man har ingen idé om hur man ska integrera dem.

    “It’s a mistake to have a multicultural society. Can Muslims even be integrated? We have no idea how to integrate them.”

    That’s not a critique of extremists, that’s an outright assertion that Muslims qua Muslims cannot live peacefully in the West, and then that assertion is used to say that we cannot even have a society which accepts immigrants from other cultures.

    It’s the same anti-immigrant bullshit we hear from Geert Wilders. So enough of this “how do you know he’s xenophobic?”

  168. #169 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    No, I get to decide for myself what I believe, regardless of what Condell, or you, or anyone, says. I get to – and I do – differentiate everyday between racist reactionary attitudes and legitimate fears about dark ages attitudes that oppress women, gays, queers, and children

    wtf?

    i said you can’t take something created within a context, brush it off, and pretend like the context didn’t exist. It’s entirely fucking irrelevant to what you personally think about anything and how you personally differentiate anything.

  169. #170 pcarini
    May 12, 2010

    I’m really really trying to think of an appropriate parallel in an American context, but I’m totally failing. The closest I can think of is some massive desecration of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Teabaggers as a form of protest against Hispanic immigrants, but that doesn’t quite work on the same level.

    Except in this case “massive desecration” is a shitty cartoon and “by Teabaggers” really means one person. Sure. If this happened and the immigrants responded with violence, I’d support the republishing of the offending image. I’d share that, and probably only that, common ground with the teabagging asshole.

    The misunderstanding here seems to be that many of us see only a blasphemous image and have a hard time seeing any implied racism in it. The creator may have had racist reasons for making it, but it’s not immediately obvious from looking at it. (unless you’re the sort of ass who equates religion with race, which is nobody here as far as I can tell)

    It’s a couple of steps too far to say supporting one example of a person’s art means you support their other endeavors also:

    – Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite whacktard, but I still like Die Hard.
    – Roman Polanski’s legal problems are well known — if I watch The Ninth Gate with a friend, does that mean I support date-rape?
    – James Brown was arrested more than once for assaulting his wife, does that make I Got You (I Feel Good) bad?
    – If somebody has a soft spot for 80’s music, does that mean that they tacitly support cocaine use? How about almost any popular music and just about any drug?
    – Can I like Christopher Hitchens’ books on religion (or even recommend them to a friend) and dislike his stance on Iraq?

    I support these and other people on a piecemeal basis, because for the most part I’m unaware what their other issues may be. If I find out, I may have a lesser opinion of the person, but the things I liked that they made are just as likable.

  170. #171 Rorschach
    May 12, 2010

    the context and intent is to provoke a visible and more and more discriminated against minority

    This is where I have the problem, you assert this, but I frankly don’t see much evidence for this being a widespread phenomenon in Europe, beyond the sort of baseline xenophobia that runs in any society.
    I don’t think it has anything to do with discrimination against a minority, or racism, to insist that said minority plays by the rules and abides to the laws of the society they find themself living in.
    It doesn’t make Pat Condell a racist to say that we shouldn’t allow Sharia law or honor killings in the UK.(Which doesn’t mean I agree with everything he says, e.g. the veil issue)

  171. #172 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 12, 2010

    Jadehawk, I’m on your side, politically. I hate racism and xenophobia. Most of what’s going on in the US is nothing but irrational fears about brown people. It’s ugly, and it’s scary.

    Some of the same shit may be going on in Europe, and to the extent that it is (and I have no first-hand experience), I condemn it.

    But that is not the same as legitimate disgust at people who don’t value the same basic rights that most of us value in the west. Those include:

    – Universal, sex-blind enfranchisement
    – The rights of women to marry and divorce freely
    – The rights of children to be free of abuse
    – The rights of women to dress as they please
    – The rights of queers to live their lives and marry according to their desires, without flak from the state
    – The rights of children to competent, secular education
    – The rights of citizens to practice their religions (or whatever bullshit they believe in) without interference from the government
    – The rights of citizens not to be molested by, or legislated against, by said bullshit

    I’ll defend these values until the day I die, because I do think they’re superior to any other values. Yes, I recognize there are complications in implementing them, but that doesn’t invalidate them.

  172. #173 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite whacktard, but I still like Die Hard.

    and do you also like and promote that anti-jewish movie he made?

    seriously, you gonna make such comparisons, at least get them right.

  173. #174 shirakawasuna
    May 12, 2010

    @Jadehawk, OM

    “I need to defend the claim that muslims are the subject of massive racist/xenophobic/anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe?

    I think not.”

    No, you need to defend the claim that this is the context of this cartoon and Lars Viks’ actions. Just because you can detect racism in some blasphemy does not mean all islamic blasphemy by white European dudes is racist, nor that it is *the* context you get to assign to cartoons.

    No one claiming racism has yet been able to show any actual connection between the cartoon and racism.

  174. #175 Citizen of the Cosmos
    May 12, 2010

    Mel Gibson was in Die Hard?

  175. #176 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    I’ll defend these values until the day I die, because I do think they’re superior to any other values. Yes, I recognize there are complications in implementing them, but that doesn’t invalidate them.

    splendid. and this has what to do with a racist making a racist statement, the specific expression of which happens to take the outward form of an anti-religion statement?

  176. #177 fly44d
    May 12, 2010

    I especially disliked the guy in the red shirt in the background chanting until his scared and crying daughter needed to be picked up.

  177. #178 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 12, 2010

    @Jadehawk:

    wtf?

    i said you can’t take something created within a context, brush it off, and pretend like the context didn’t exist. It’s entirely fucking irrelevant to what you personally think about anything and how you personally differentiate anything.

    If that’s what you meant to say, OK. Just don’t tell me that I’m “brushing it off” when I refuse to accept the “context” of someone-like Condell- that you don’t like. And yeah, that’s what it sounded like you were saying, so don’t act surprised.

    If you want to pay attention to what I “personally think,” then don’t lecture me about context, or tell me what I’m brushing off.

  178. #179 pcarini
    May 12, 2010

    and do you also like and promote that anti-jewish movie he made? seriously, you gonna make such comparisons, at least get them right.

    And there’s my point exactly. I don’t support Gibson, nor do I “like and promote” his anti-Jewish film, but I can still like Die Hard. I like the movie, not the man.

    Similarly, I can like the cartoon for being blasphemous with supporting its creator. Hell, for all I know Die Hard is full of all sorts of anti-Semitic symbolism that I’m just too dense to pick up on.

  179. #180 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    No, you need to defend the claim that this is the context of this cartoon and Lars Viks’ actions.

    already taken care of by SGBM above. will you kindly fuck off now?

  180. #181 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 12, 2010

    @Jadehawk:

    splendid. and this has what to do with a racist making a racist statement, the specific expression of which happens to take the outward form of an anti-religion statement?

    Whoa. You’re accusing me of making a racist statement or defending one? Really? Really?

  181. #182 pcarini
    May 12, 2010

    Mel Gibson was in Die Hard?

    D’oh, movie fail on my part. Let’s make it Mad Max instead.

  182. #183 csreid
    May 12, 2010

    I think I will choose to remain undecided on the subject until sufficient information arises for me to make a good decision. Frankly, I feel an ever-present urge to staple a depiction of Mohammed to ever post I come across, and in general I stand fully behind blasphemy of this sort.

    On the other hand, it doesn’t sit right with me to give support to any person who would say what SGBM quoted in #168.

    My opinion is swayed with every post, which tells me that I don’t have a firm enough stance on this. I’ll leave the discussion to the intellectual titans of Pharyngula.

  183. #184 SkepgineerChick
    May 12, 2010

    One question… These “peaceful” people who die in the name of Allah while killing many others; Are they really sure those virgins they are promised are even women?

  184. #185 Geoffrey
    May 12, 2010

    @pcarini

    I’m guessing you probably meant Lethal Weapon.

  185. #186 pcarini
    May 12, 2010

    One question… These “peaceful” people who die in the name of Allah while killing many others; Are they really sure those virgins they are promised are even women?

    Yes, they’re female. The thing they don’t know is from which species, genus, etc.

  186. #187 Crudely Wrott
    May 12, 2010

    I’m signing out and going to sleep now. As my head hits the pillow I will be reflecting on the limitations and uncertainties in communication.

    This thread has made me aware of the excuses that one party will make for another. Perhaps I’ll dream of Al Sharpton shaking the hand of Benito Mussolini.

    Upon awakening I’ll marvel at the cunning use of blatant examples of evil to justify some lesser offense. Or to indict someone’s free speech. Or to raise this one up while putting that one in its place. Or perhaps I’ll just go fix the fence.*

    Yes, that’s what I’ll do. I much prefer it in light of the alternatives.

    *really–that’s what I get to do first thing tomorrow

  187. #188 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    Whoa. You’re accusing me of making a racist statement or defending one? Really? Really?

    no not really. I’m saying that what you said had precisely nothing to do with what we’re discussing here.

  188. #189 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    May 12, 2010

    I’m saying that what you said had precisely nothing to do with what we’re discussing here.

    Sigh. Whatever.

  189. #190 John Morales
    May 12, 2010

    SkepgineerChick, see for yourself: 72 Virgins.

  190. #191 Commissar Claw
    May 12, 2010

    I rarely post but really do enjoy reading the articles and comments here. I have three points:

    1) After a hard day at work it really makes my day to see smarmy christianists get ripped to shreds when they post here. I always picture some clueless Ned Flanders clone happily typing away at a post fully expecting the responses to be, ?Tell me more of this Jeebus you speak of, I have never in my long and sinful life heard this name before.? Hours later he checks back in and is horrified to see people challenging his deeply held convictions, ?They? they?re disagreeing with me? quoting biblical verses? calling me names? mocking me in verse? but? I?m white and christian? they can?t do this to me.? Then his head explodes in a cloud of confetti and individually wrapped hard candies.

    2) This second point is for the bigoted cobags that show up every time there?s a post on muslims or islam here. We?re not on your side. Just because we think it?s wrong to murder rape victims, cartoonists, authors, stage magicians, and assorted other people doesn?t mean we want to engage in ethnic cleansing with you.

    3) A Cuttlefish post automatically makes any thread better. You are the bacon of the internet.

  191. #192 pcarini
    May 12, 2010

    @Geoffrey: You’re right. I’m not actually into that whole genre, I was just (poorly) using it as an example. I did like “Mad Max”, though, and I’m going to have to look extra closely next time it comes on.

  192. #193 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    Sigh. Whatever.

    indeed. fuck only knows why you seem to think I was talking about you (instead of just to you) in 176, and not, you know, the racist this whole thread has been about.

  193. #194 Mr T
    May 12, 2010

    Jadehawk, I was responding to what SGBM wrote. If your views don’t differ from his, then explain this:
    Art inherently has a broader context than that of its original creator or society. Every person necessarily has their own perspective. Thus, for example, I enjoy some of Wagner’s music (probably even that which he thought somehow promoted anti-Semitism, etc.) even while I utterly despise Wagner’s beliefs. Should I not promote Wagner’s music because he was a total fuckheaded bigot? Absolutely not. On the other hand, a lot of Wagner’s music is garbage that last way too fucking long. That’s a good reason not to like it.

    This cartoon, stripped of whatever context of racist elements in Europe, is still just an image to be evaluated on its own terms as an image, and not on any particular idea which you or anyone else takes from it and decides is The Subject of the Cartoon? from which all other proposed subjects must be interpreted.

    Jadehawk:

    point me to anyone saying that they’re being forced to violence

    I was responding to what SGBM wrote:

    heightening the circumstances that led to violence

    This is minimizing their responsibility for their own actions, and implying that such “circumstances” compelled them to act in this way, or that we should be afraid that they will act violently again unless we avoid (at all costs?) such “circumstances”. If I’m reading too far into this, then my apologies.

  194. #195 BlueIndependent
    May 12, 2010

    @ Jadehawk and SGBM:

    No, sorry. The racism angle is still not justified. You quoted two lines from Vilks, and nothing else. Further, even if he is racist, how does the Mohammed-as-dog image imply that at all? Because it came from a racist? Was the Mohammed-as-cherrybomb a few years back also racist simply through guilt by association? The images in question are mocking unfounded beliefs. It would be one thing if Vilks added the words “sandnigger” or “towel wrapper” or “haji” to the images.

    But that’s not the case.

    Further, I don’t think anyone is implying Europeans are not or cannot be racists. Europe has serious race relations issues, but it’s not just with Middle Eastern peoples. There are still issues vis a vis Jewish relations, there are obviously stereotypes of Asians (see the Spanish Basketball team eye slant incident from 2008’s Olympics)…the list is probably as endless as it is here.

    Now your point may be that Vilks is only doing this because it allows a racist freedoms to hide behind speech while intending something different. But sorry, even if Vilks is a hood-wearing white supremacist here in the US, people don’t get to riot in auditoriums over it. The danger here is that you are treading into waters that tie the religion to the ethnicity, and that’s simply not logical or true.

  195. #196 Mr T
    May 12, 2010

    sorry, about the editing mistakes…. I meant to insert a quote from Jadehawk at the beginning of #194, talking about its “context”, and the first lines that actually printed were unintended.

  196. #197 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    This is minimizing their responsibility for their own actions, and implying that such “circumstances” compelled them to act in this way, or that we should be afraid that they will act violently again unless we avoid (at all costs?) such “circumstances”. If I’m reading too far into this, then my apologies.

    you certainly are, since the argument isn’t that the violence was inevitable, but that the cartoons led to it (or if it makes you feel better, led to them choosing violence), and that that alone isn’t sufficient to call for promotion of the cartoon and the cartoonist, especially when the whole thing is so deeply immersed in racism and xenophobia.

    Art inherently has a broader context than that of its original creator or society.

    yes, once that social context is no longer relevant. but not usually while it’s still being used for its original purpose.

    Besides, it’s not like this cartoon is being promoted for its artistic value.

  197. #198 shirakawasuna
    May 12, 2010

    @strange gods before me

    “That’s not a critique of extremists, that’s an outright assertion that Muslims qua Muslims cannot live peacefully in the West”

    No, it’s an assertion that integration of Muslims (largely immigrants or second-generation) is a difficult issue. How is it that I don’t speak Swedish yet can parse the words more clearly? Also, he said, ‘integrate in a good way’, not simply integrate at all. The integration of any immigrant population is a difficult situation. In the face of intransigent religious belief, it becomes even more difficult.

    “and then that assertion is used to say that we cannot even have a society which accepts immigrants from other cultures.”

    Did you read the next sentence? The rest of the article? I have trouble seeing how you could make these assertions without willingly ignoring what he said. Again, I don’t even speak Swedish. He didn’t say society can’t accept immigrants. However, he did (extremely briefly) criticize the idea of having a multicultural society.

    Europe in general doesn’t know how to deal with significant minorities which don’t conform to almost all of their norms. Sometimes those Europeans are racist or xenophobic. Sometimes they’re simply stating basic facts. I could personally argue that the integration of Muslims (largely immigrants) holding to the beliefs and customs they prefer is impossible. There must be concessions from both societies, which requires changing custom as well as responding to the views of highly religious immigrants (per democracy). If I were European, that would apparently make me a xenophobe (or am I already one somehow?).

    There are two issues going on simultaneously. Immigration and religious conflict. If you can’t separate the two when parsing what someone is saying, you shouldn’t lecture others about context. Incidentally, Lars Viks is constantly speaking of art and taboo.

    I’ll wait for the inevitable claim that I’m covering for a xenophobic racist, sans evidence.

  198. #199 Jadehawk, OM
    May 12, 2010

    But sorry, even if Vilks is a hood-wearing white supremacist here in the US, people don’t get to riot in auditoriums over it.

    and absolutely no one is saying otherwise.

  199. #200 shirakawasuna
    May 12, 2010

    @Jadehawk, OM

    “already taken care of by SGBM above. will you kindly fuck off now?”

    Like I said about condescending assholes….

    Enjoy getting rightly dismissed for a complete lack of cogency and kneejerk sensitivity (combined with a penchant for attacking others).

  200. #201 Mr T
    May 12, 2010

    yes, once that social context is no longer relevant. but not usually while it’s still being used for its original purpose.

    We do have our own interpretations, no matter if the original one is still “relevant” or not. I can only assert this, because it’s so patently obvious. I don’t understand what point you could be trying to make here anyway.

    Besides, it’s not like this cartoon is being promoted for its artistic value.

    Yeah, it certainly is, whether you realize that fact or not. This is not to say that there aren’t other reasons, such as racism or blasphemy, behind the support of this particular piece of art. I honestly don’t know and don’t care why every person supports it, and I don’t think you know either.

  201. #202 hznfrst
    May 12, 2010

    How come the non-muslims in the room didn’t go to the guy’s defense and beat the living crap out of these assholes?

    I wish I was there, with a ham sandwich to shove down their subhuman throats!

  202. #203 chaseacross
    May 12, 2010

    @hznfrst

    Trolling much?

  203. #204 hznfrst
    May 12, 2010

    Even more do I wish that so many of you would stop equating hatred of islam with racism!

  204. #205 hznfrst
    May 12, 2010

    What does that mean, chaseacross? I’m serious – I’d be running down these dogs and holding them for the cops.

  205. #206 circleh
    May 12, 2010

    I have blogged about the problem of Islam in general, as seen here:
    http://circleh.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/muslims-get-a-life/

    I hope you enjoy it and can comment on it.

  206. #207 pcarini
    May 12, 2010

    Even more do I wish you wouldn’t use the same language they do (“subhuman”, or “animals”) to justify reciprocal violence.

    The cops handled this situation as well as could be hoped for, without giving the muslim community any additional justification for getting violent. Allowing any reprisal to happen in that situation would have been completely unacceptable.

  207. #208 Danish
    May 12, 2010

    How come the non-muslims in the room didn’t go to the guy’s defense and beat the living crap out of these assholes?

    Because there was plenty of police already handling the situation?

    Because it was chaotic and police would have been justified in treating any “counter-violence” by non-muslims exactly like the violence by muslims?

    Because fighting violence with violence is not the right way?

  208. #209 windy
    May 12, 2010

    Did you read the next sentence? The rest of the article? I have trouble seeing how you could make these assertions without willingly ignoring what he said. Again, I don’t even speak Swedish. He didn’t say society can’t accept immigrants. However, he did (extremely briefly) criticize the idea of having a multicultural society.

    This was my impression of the article as well. I think your reading is closer to what was said.

    (In the bit quoted by sgbm, he says it was a mistake to ‘proclaim’ a multicultural society, not to ‘have’ one.)

    Another journalist asked Vilks to explain his remarks about multiculturalism. He says he is against the idea of multiculturalism being imposed from above, not against having a mixture of cultures:

    “Om mångkultur vill jag också tillägga att kulturerna har vi och det är ett berikande inslag. Men när kommandat “Nu skall vi ha mångkultur” utgår från de vise i regeringen då är hållbarheten begränsad.”

    It’s not very clear what he would like to happen instead, but at least going from these few remarks quoted here, it’s not enough to conclude that Vilks wants all Muslims gone.

  209. #210 Scott
    May 12, 2010

    You seem to be missing the simple point, hznfrst, that if you were born into the same orthodox Muslim environment that I’m assuming these people were, you would probably have a similar reaction (i.e. you would be a “subhuman”). The problem isn’t the people, it’s the ideas they’d been forcefed as children and that get reinforced socially.

  210. #211 evogene
    May 12, 2010

    Typical, very typical. There is something that always puzzled me, even as an ex-muslim, why do they keep saying God is greater, it doesn’t make any sense mathematically, greater than what, and is he exactly greater or greater and equal to, I will never find an answer to that question.

  211. #212 xhakhal
    May 12, 2010

    I live in Uppsala and was this close to try to attend Vilk’s lecture. I really dislike the man and his attitude, but I figured it’d be interesting you know.

    Now I’m glad that I didn’t. But this tape makes me really happy about the city police force <3

  212. #213 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    I need a little help here. Ever since reading that Pat Condell came out in support of the UKIP (I believe it was on teh Thread), folks have been accusing him of being racist and xenophobic. Now, I’m fairly ignorant of UK politics in general and UKIP’s platform in particular, but I have watched every one of Pat’s videos regarding Islam over the last couple days. Can someone please point out to me a single instance where he espouses racist or xenophobic rhetoric?

    He’s against Sharia law (aren’t you?), subjugation of women (aren’t you?), and violence towards “infidels”, gays and puppies (aren’t you?).

    Maybe I’m just dense, but from watching his videos I can’t see where these accusations are coming from. Please point me to something specific he’s said that can be construed as racist/xenophobic rather than just standing up for free speech and basic human rights.

    Pat’s latest video.

  213. #214 FossilFishy
    May 12, 2010

    Because I’m having a little trouble following this, I’m going to paraphrase to see if I’m getting it right:

    Jadehawk and SGBM seem to be saying that because of the racist nature of the society in Europe promotion of anti-muslim cartoons such as this is unwarranted because it will sustain and enhance that racism. They are also saying that not promoting this cartoon is not the same as suppressing free speech.*

    That seems fair enough, but in order to accept the first premise I’d need more detail on just how racist European society is. So far all I’ve seen are assertions of that racism, no citations. SGBM’s quote of Vilks goes to the cartoonist’s intent and as such is not a demonstration of the cultural context. Vilks is just one data point after all and his intent wouldn’t matter if he were the only racist in his culture.

    As to the premise that not promoting the cartoon is in no way a suppression of free speech seems a pretty clear distinction to me. No one is saying that the artist shouldn’t be allowed to publish it, just that it shouldn’t be actively promoted.

    *Once again this is a paraphrase, if I’m incorrect I’m happy to hear where I got it wrong.

  214. #215 Raskolnikov35
    May 12, 2010

    It just makes me fucking sick to hear people conflating racism with an attack on an ideology. How in the hell can you be racist against Muslims? Most Mulims, by far, are not even Arabs. Most Muslims can’t even read the Koran in its original language because they CAN’T EVEN READ ARABIC!
    Let’s consider for one second the vast diversity of Muslim populations. The largest population of Muslims is in Indonesia. Indonesians are decidedly un-Arabic. How about Pakistan with 60 million Muslims? They don’t look very Arabic either. How about Chechnya? Not very Arabic looking. How about Somalians and other sub-saharan Muslims? North Africa? Do we need to go on?
    Let me repeat. It is absolutely impossible to be racist against Muslims. That can’t possibly make any sense.

  215. #216 MadScientist
    May 12, 2010

    Yet another case of “We have no respect for the laws of the country which has accepted us, we want them to bow down to our superstitions!”

  216. #217 Midnight Rambler
    May 12, 2010

    Jadehawk @161:

    uh, this is precisely why it does work, because anti-immigrant and anti-muslim laws (and selective enforcement thereof)are proliferating in Europe now.

    Do you not see that it is precisely because of incidents like this – and particularly the tacit acceptance of such extremism by the broader Muslim community – that is moving support for these laws from the xenophobic, racist fringe to the mainstream? If not then you’re ignoring reality.

  217. #218 The Rubber Ducky
    May 12, 2010

    I admit I only skimmed through most of the replies here, but what bothers me is the exaggerated response from many Muslims to what seems to me to be some pen strokes on a piece of paper.

    It’s a CARTOON! Just a small cartoon. None of which were drawn by any politically important person, but by…a cartoonist, whose job it is to satirize. Just like all the other Danish cartoonists who also drew Mohammed in various ways.

    Why should anybody want to kill a person over a drawing? It’s this kind of craziness that helps cast Islam in an unfavourable light. (as well as the Sharia laws, oppression of women, etc etc…)

  218. #219 MadScientist
    May 12, 2010

    @Ras #215: You missed the muslim Bosnians – I find many of them indistinguishable from the nearby Austrians. I asked a friend from Sumatra about learning Arabic because someone else had told me that muslims must learn Arabic. She told me they spend many hours learning to scrawl and imitate Arabic text and to make noises as if they were reading out loud, but they are merely chanting and have no idea whatsoever what they’re saying. It reminded me of my grandmother who chanted prayers in Latin – it was peculiar because I understood it but she didn’t; one day she asked me what language it was: “is it Spanish?” “No”, I said, it’s Latin. So she had been chanting these Latin verses for over 80 years and didn’t know what she was saying or what language it was. The (catholic) mass was largely in Latin in those days too – so the vast majority of people never understood a goddamned word and it was only the schooled folks like myself who understood anything. My Latin really sucks these days though – it takes too much effort to practice.

  219. #220 hitblade
    May 12, 2010

    “Dagen efter beskedet om en mordkomplott mot konstnären Lars Vilks valde flera svenska tidningar att publicera hans uppmärksammade teckning av profeten Muhammed som rondellhund.”
    http://svt.se/2.27170/1.1921341/medier_publicerar_wilks_teckning

    The day after the death threats several swedish newspapers chose to publish his cartoon! :D Sweet. Expressen and I think Dagens Nyheter, hopefully more.

    “Bilden visades även i SVT:s Kulturnyheterna på tisdagen.” The state TV network showed them of course.

    “Rondellhund” – roundabout-dog, is a meme where people build dogs and put them in roundabouts.

  220. #221 speedweasel
    May 12, 2010

    I cant be bothered to read 220 analogies on what PZ was endorsing with his suggestion that the cartoon should receive wider circulation, but to me it seemed like he was endorsing the Streisand effect.

    Apologies if this has been pointed out already.

  221. #222 werewolf07
    May 12, 2010

    For a normal man, I mean the man in the street, not the erudite and the philosophical, the reaction when somebody blackens his beloved wife or someone whom he considers as a great friend would be to hurt the perpetrator with means that is available to him (pure human nature, its in their DNA)

    On the other hand the erudite and the philosophical know the above fact very well and to maintain peace will desist from hurting the feelings of the man in the street like some stupid cartoonist.

  222. #223 uuaschbaer
    May 12, 2010

    The movie Lars Vilks tried to show: clicketiclick

  223. #224 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    The movie Lars Vilks tried to show: clicketiclick

    Well, no wonder people lost their shit. There must be fortyeleven reasons to be offended in the first 30 seconds alone. I’m personally offended that they didn’t burn down the entire venue after showing that filth. Honestly, penises and clerics on the same strip of cellulose? (OK, maybe not cellulose but what’s the diff between reel2 and digital?)

  224. #225 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    Oops, cellulose should be celluloid.

    *shrug*

  225. #226 uuaschbaer
    May 12, 2010

    I’m personally offended that they didn’t burn down the entire venue after showing that filth.

    I hope this is a joke. The point obviously was that free speech (by any meaningful conception of it) allows offensive material to be publicized. I’d rather have dinner with the maker of this video than any violent, aggressive or threatening person you could think of.

  226. #227 John Morales
    May 12, 2010

    uuaschbaer, yeah, it was a joke.

  227. #228 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    I hope this is a joke.

    Yes, it was. I’m with you all the way.

  228. #229 hitblade
    May 12, 2010

    WOW. I just watched that thing, and it was quite bizarre. I have no idea what it is like to be offended by something like this. I have never been offended by any piece of “art” (in the broadest possible meaning of the word). It boggles my mind. Can anyone explain this to me? Can you explain what “offended” means, cus I have no clue.

  229. #230 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    May 12, 2010

    sympathetic Jewish War Veterans

    Funny. I don’t find people who beat the shit out of peaceful demonstrators “sympathetic”. I wonder what’s wrong with me.

  230. #231 Numad
    May 12, 2010

    “It is absolutely impossible to be racist against Muslims. That can’t possibly make any sense.”

    You’re just giving it more thought than the racists do, that’s all.

    I mean, you have those that don’t “consider for a second the vast diversity of the Muslim populations” and do THINK that all muslims are arab, essentially. So their expression of hatred against muslims is racism, it’s just directed incorrectly.

    Then there are those that just hate themselves some “darkies” or “wogs” of all types, which is a factor of modern racism that is really common, and who use “muslim” as shorthand.

    It’s not intellectually rigorous, but it’s not like that’d ever give those sorts pause.

    That’s not to say that equating attacking islam with racism is a sound thing to do on principle. But some people who “attack islam” are doing it out of racism and xenophobia.

  231. #232 the bill
    May 12, 2010

    Sorry, can’t keep up with whether this has been pointed out above, but:

    Now, if I put my “Arrest the Pope” shirt on and walked down the street to the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and attended Sunday Mass, I would be acting like a jerk, attempting to irritate the church attendees just because I felt like being jerkish. I might have a serious message ? the Catholic hierarchy has become an immoral defender of child rape ? but that doesn’t mean I should hammer every Catholic in my town with that message all the time, especially not when they are engaging in activities that have nothing to do with pedophilia, no matter how silly they are.

    Provocateur that I am, I wouldn’t do that. It makes the message simply random and made with the sole intent of being rude.

    The gratuitously-offensive ‘let’s bait the Mohamedans for their primitive beliefs because we’re sophisticated post-Medieval Westerners’ cartoons are, I suggest, a perfect example of just such a ‘being a jerk’ phenomenon. (Furthermore, this cartoon is third-rate. And the video is no better. One wonders if this is an attention-seeking strategy for otherwise nondescript work.)

    This doesn’t justify the violence of the reaction, but honestly, what is the point of being deliberately and gratuitously polarising? This guy’s practically begging for outrage, and then, surprise surprise – he gets it!

    A little bit of good taste and civility goes a long way in reconcialiation, and I assume that’s what we’re looking for with the Islamic world. Bloody-mindedly rubbing people’s noses in things, on the other hand…

    Even if I was an Islamic sceptic or liberal I might feel outraged on my culture’s behalf, that yet again arrogant Westerners were deriding us. I’d also feel this guy was undermining my position in trying to persuade people of the need to engage with the West.

    Full marks for the folks who’ve had the courage to go against the flow here. That’s real free-thinking. And, yes, I’m every bit as Atheist, pro-science and liberal as the rest of you.

  232. #233 WowbaggerOM
    May 12, 2010

    hitblade wrote:

    I have no idea what it is like to be offended by something like this.

    Yeah, I’m feeling the same way. I can’t think of anything that someone could draw a picture of that’d make me want to even got to the effort of protesting their appearance let along want to cause them actual, physical harm.

    Then again, I can’t think of a way that I could justify believing in their nonsensical archaic monster-god – or, for that matter, the similar archaic monster-god (but who, deep down, really just wants to forgive us but couldn’t without a faux ‘sacrifice’) that the Christians believe in either. A great deal of these cognitive processes will undoubtedly remain a mystery to me – something for which I’m happy to say I am profoundly grateful.

  233. #234 John Morales
    May 12, 2010

    the bill,

    The gratuitously-offensive ‘let’s bait the Mohamedans for their primitive beliefs because we’re sophisticated post-Medieval Westerners’ cartoons are, I suggest, a perfect example of just such a ‘being a jerk’ phenomenon

    What makes you think it was gratuitous?

    Full marks for the folks who’ve had the courage to go against the flow here. That’s real free-thinking. And, yes, I’m every bit as Atheist, pro-science and liberal as the rest of you.

    Free-thinking, maybe. But did you look into it before forming an opinion?

  234. #235 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    Obviously, it should go without saying that this guy should not have been attacked. No one is denying that he has a right to free speech, like everyone else, that ought to be respected and protected. So too does Fred Phelps have a right to free speech; so too do Muslim extremists have a right to free speech. I’m a free-speech absolutist, and there is no circumstance in which I would condone violence towards someone merely because of the views they are expressing.

    But Jadehawk and strange gods are also perfectly correct. Like most vocal Islamophobes in Europe, Vilks is a vile far-right racist.

    Fundamentally, what non-Europeans often don’t get is that most anti-Islamic rhetoric in Europe is a cover for racism and xenophobia. It’s a veiled way of attacking Asian immigration. Some of the far right may hide behind criticism of Islamic beliefs and practices; but what they really mean is that they don’t like foreigners. It’s a fashionable way of hiding one’s bigotry; and it’s disappointing to me how often otherwise-decent people are taken in by this. I’ve often been heartily sickened by the way some Pharyngulites speak approvingly of bigoted scumbags like Pat Condell.

    This isn’t to say there aren’t legitimate criticisms of Islam to be made. There are. And we should certainly call out the gross abuses of human rights which occur in many Islamic states. But Muslims in Western Europe are (despite the scaremongering of the far right) a tiny, and often viciously oppressed and persecuted, minority group. They are not a threat to “our freedoms” or “our civilisation”; that’s just bullshit. Xenophobia and irrational anti-immigration sentiments are far bigger threats to freedom in Europe than Islam could ever be.

    Those of us who are real liberal atheists and secularists should not ally ourselves with vile far-right xenophobes who use anti-religious rhetoric as a cover for their bigotry; and when the likes of PZ Myers do so, I will call them out on it.

  235. #236 christophe-thill.myopenid.com
    May 12, 2010

    Yes they should reproduce the cartoon bit with “Mohammed” ‘s head replaced with the face of the puncher. Those guys deserve to be maced.

  236. #237 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    Can you explain what “offended” means, cus I have no clue.

    It means you have had your brain bound with strips of ignorance and superstition, much like the feet of a poor Chinese girl. You may be able to walk, but you’ll have to contort yourself to be on tippy-toes in order to not be uncomfortable (offended).

  237. #238 uuaschbaer
    May 12, 2010

    Thank God, you never know; I’ve seen worse. Unsurprisingly, It already started to puzzle me when I read his other posts.

  238. #239 uuaschbaer
    May 12, 2010

    Post #238 was addressed to John Morales #227 and I’d like to say the same to boygenius in response to post #228.

  239. #240 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    Walton,

    I’ll ask again, please show me a quote from Condell that is racist, bigoted or xenophobic. I spent many hours watching his videos over the last 2-3 days and I just don’t see it. Am I blind?

  240. #241 superheadcat
    May 12, 2010

    So, Vilks is a vile far-right racist and vocal Islamophobes, hiding his bigotry under the cover of anti-religious rhetoric, such as this cartoon. Is that an established fact?

    Among all people, I would like PZ to dig deeper and clarify this.

  241. #242 MadScientist
    May 12, 2010

    @werewolf#222: I don’t know if you were trying to be funny or something, but you sound like a fucking coward of a pussy to me. Fuck allah and mohammed, and fuck you too, you waste of space.

  242. #243 Mikko
    May 12, 2010

    @#36

    islam/muslim isn’t a race

  243. #244 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    I’ll ask again, please show me a quote from Condell that is racist, bigoted or xenophobic. I spent many hours watching his videos over the last 2-3 days and I just don’t see it. Am I blind?

    No, just non-British, and lacking in understanding of the British context. And you’ve missed the point of my post.

    Of course Condell doesn’t make videos full of open racist slurs and post them on YouTube. Neither does Nick Griffin. In the real world, evil people are not always stupid.

    Pay attention to the fact that Condell lives in Britain – a country where observant Muslims make up less than 3 percent of the population, and are vastly outnumbered both by Christians and by atheists. In those circumstances, don’t you think it would be rather odd for a sincere secularist to spend all his time attacking a minority religion which is already oppressed and discriminated against, while not directing equal criticisms towards the various forms of prejudice and stupidity more prevalent among the other 97 percent of the population?

    Islam is not a significant threat to freedom in Britain. Rather, the biggest threats to freedom in Britain are the ignorance, xenophobia and irrational fear of immigration stoked by the right-wing tabloid press. This is something to which Condell and his ilk are contributing.

    Basically, Pat Condell’s attacks on Islam are the British equivalent of Tom Tancredo’s rants against illegal immigration. In both cases, they are making a point that on its face seems to be rationally defensible; but to anyone steeped in the relevant cultural and political context, the clear subtext is “I don’t like foreigners.”

  244. #245 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    @werewolf#222: I don’t know if you were trying to be funny or something, but you sound like a fucking coward of a pussy to me.

    Ah, don’t you just love this kind of gendered sexist language and testosterone-fuelled idiocy? It’s refreshing when the Islamophobes show their true colours.

    @#36

    islam/muslim isn’t a race

    Everyone’s favourite far-right trope. Sure, Islam is a religion and not a race. This is an excuse that European Islamophobes do so love to trot out, when they’re using criticism of Islam as a cover for their anti-Asian bigotry. Because of course, when the Islamophobes rant against Islam, it’s just chance that the majority of the European Muslims they’re attacking happen to be of Asian descent. The Islamophobes aren’t racist. Oh no. They’re just “concerned about preserving Western culture,” apparently.

  245. #246 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 12, 2010

    @#36

    islam/muslim isn’t a race

    Neither is hispanic. Hey, what a convenient situation, in both cases racist bigots behave rationally and understand that their frothing rage for other races is inappropriate to the situation at hand!

    Walton’s saying most of the big stuff in more, longer words and with more context.

  246. #247 MadScientist
    May 12, 2010

    @Josh#22:

    1. I’d hope Uppsala will condemn the thuggery; it is one of the oldest and best known universities in the world and cowing to goons sure wouldn’t look good.

    2. I’d bet no muslim groups condemn the attack; if any they will cry about not getting any respect.

    3. Editorials and Opinion columns are likely to be a mix of “we must respect the bullshit so we will not be attacked by these assholes”, “see – all mohammedans are evil, send them all back to wherever they came from”, and numerous others, sometimes sensible.

    4. The what now?

  247. #248 John Morales
    May 12, 2010

    Walton:

    In those circumstances, don’t you think it would be rather odd for a sincere secularist to spend all his time attacking a minority religion which is already oppressed and discriminated against, while not directing equal criticisms towards the various forms of prejudice and stupidity more prevalent among the other 97 percent of the population?

    What makes you think he hasn’t?

    I haven’t watched all his videos, but I’ve seen him rant against Christianity, Judaism, religion in general, accomodationism etc.

    Check your facts, before you say he spends “all his time attacking a minority religion”. Sheesh.

  248. #249 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    Walton,

    What about Sharia Law? I think you’re making a false equivalency here.

    Tancredo is a blatant racist. Condell, not so much. The Hispanics aren’t coming to the US and demanding their own judicial system like the European Muslim immigrants are.

    Why does a 3% minority get to have their own special, mysogenistic judicial system.

  249. #250 Mikko
    May 12, 2010

    @#245

    if criticism of Islam is racism then I’m going to be a proud racist

    (i will never respect your religion)

  250. #251 uuaschbaer
    May 12, 2010

    @#245
    Pay attention to the fact that Condell lives in Britain – a country where observant Muslims make up less than 3 percent of the population, and are vastly outnumbered both by Christians and by atheists. In those circumstances, don’t you think it would be rather odd for a sincere secularist to spend all his time attacking a minority religion which is already oppressed and discriminated against, while not directing equal criticisms towards the various forms of prejudice and stupidity more prevalent among the other 97 percent of the population?

    Not trying to hijack the conversation but Condell probably criticizes Islam because everybody else is scared. People will go out of their way to not-critisize Islam because they don’t want to be seen as discriminatory too. That has undesired consequences and is extremely pathetic as well. And in that way it is relevant to the almost the entire population. If almost the entire population of Britain were doing something else that’s stupid, like being homophobic for instance, then it would be a good idea to rectify those prejudices and it would be wrong to say that anybody who tries that is prejudiced himself but in favor of gay people. Or another (better) example: the Vatican abuse scandals. Should people not change public opinion to disapproving of the Vatican by criticizing the Vatican for what it did simply because the people in question are a minority? Is it anti-Catholicism to do so because there are other problems among the larger part of the population? Presumably most people in the Vatican are white, so it would be racism to say anything bad about about the Vatican according to your reasoning.

    Besides al these things have cultural relevance. It is a new issue about which people haven’t made their minds up yet.

  251. #252 windy
    May 12, 2010

    Bloody-mindedly rubbing people’s noses in things, on the other hand…

    Um, whatever this artist’s previous sins may be, these offended people freely chose to attend a lecture by him. Damn those universities, rubbing people’s noses in things!

  252. #253 uuaschbaer
    May 12, 2010

    Sorry my last post was addressed to #244 not #245. By Walton anyway.

  253. #254 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    Tancredo is a blatant racist. Condell, not so much. The Hispanics aren’t coming to the US and demanding their own judicial system like the European Muslim immigrants are.

    Another right-wing myth. No one is “demanding their own judicial system”.

    Everyone in Britain is subject to the jurisdiction of the ordinary secular judicial system. However, people are free in Britain – as they are in any country – to settle their civil and family disputes outside of a formal court, if both parties so choose. Jewish people may choose to make use of a Beth Din, and, likewise, Muslims may choose to make use of a “Sharia court”. This is no different, in law, from two parties choosing to settle a civil dispute via third-party arbitration instead of going to court.

    But this does not mean anyone’s rights have been abrogated. The “Sharia courts” do not have any kind of compulsory jurisdiction. If you are a Muslim and you want to sue another Muslim in the ordinary secular courts, you have every right to do so. Everyone is equally entitled to the protection of the secular law.

    It’s also worth re-iterating that this applies only to private civil disputes, not to criminal allegations. Criminal prosecutions are the sole prerogative of the secular judicial system, and everyone is subject to the same criminal law. If a “Sharia court” were to purport to impose any sort of criminal penalty, or to shield a criminal from the jurisdiction of the police and ordinary courts, it would plainly be acting illegally, and its members would themselves be subject to prosecution.

    And I also note that while the Jewish Beth Din, and other religious community courts, have been operating as private arbitration bodies for decades, no one has ever panicked about them being a “threat to our freedoms”. The right wing only starts freaking out when Muslims are involved. What does this tell you about the Islamophobes’ real motivations?

    (The only religion in England that does have its “own courts”, in the sense of being part of the formal legal system, is the Church of England: there is a Consistory Court in each diocese, and the “Court of Arches” for the province of Canterbury, which administer the system of Anglican canon law. They don’t have the powers that they used to, but they do make decisions about the defrocking of priests. Funnily enough, though, I don’t see any of the Islamophobes ranting about how Anglican church courts are a threat to our freedoms.)

  254. #255 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    @#245

    if criticism of Islam is racism then I’m going to be a proud racist

    Says it all, really.

    (i will never respect your religion)

    Bwahahahaha! It’s amusing how the Islamophobes assume that everyone must have some ulterior motive for opposing their bigotry.

    I’m not a Muslim, nor have I ever been one. I’m a former Christian, now an atheist and a trenchant critic of religion.

    But I call out veiled racism and xenophobia when I see tit.

  255. #256 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    But I call out veiled racism and xenophobia when I see tit.

    Sorry… embarrassing (and hopefully non-Freudian) typo. That should of course read “when I see it”.

    (That said, Mikko certainly would deserve to be called a tit, if I used that term in its usual insulting sense. But I prefer to avoid using gendered insults.)

  256. #257 Mikko
    May 12, 2010

    @#255

    well then i’m a racist and antisemite thank you and have a nice day

    and fuck you!

  257. #258 hznfrst
    May 12, 2010

    You seem to be missing the simple point, Scott #210, that all the brainwashing in the world does not excuse the behavior of these grunting cretins at that lecture!

    Until there are serious consequences for ignoring the rules of civilized society, such as getting arrested by the cops or more roughly dealt with by citizens who’ve simply had enough, they will continue their attacks until their not-so-subtle attempts to undermine the West lead to open, declared warfare.

    I would rather err on the side of caution and put severe restrictions on all muslims until such time as they no longer present a threat, which could be forever from the looks of things. I can deal with the squeaks of outrage from the politically correct for as long as it takes, because these spineless hand-wringers amuse me no end.

  258. #259 John Morales
    May 12, 2010

    Walton:

    Another right-wing myth. No one is “demanding their own judicial system”.

    Not openly since Islam4UK was banned in January, anyway.

    Then again, in the words of a certain pundit: “In the real world, evil people are not always stupid.” :)

  259. #260 hznfrst
    May 12, 2010

    Wow, this Walton character is really a get!

  260. #261 Flea
    May 12, 2010

    Islam is the religion of Peace. As Bill Maher said:

    “Yeah, they blow you up. There’s a piece of you over there, there’s a piece of you over there, there’s a piece of you over there.”

  261. #262 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    Walton, thanks for the information about the UK legal system. I do have to wonder about this:

    However, people are free in Britain – as they are in any country – to settle their civil and family disputes outside of a formal court, if both parties so choose.

    When women are routinely not given the right to choose in the Muslim culture, are they really free to settle their disputes fairly? What kind of pressure is imposed on Muslim females to go the Sharia route rather than the secular route?

  262. #263 MadScientist
    May 12, 2010

    @Walton #244: Yeah, we’ve got similar yahoos in Arizona – while I was there there was always talk about the chicano threat, but folks like me would tell people they’re crazy or stupid or both – I think the people who believed there was any threat were a piddling minority. Now news stories claim that 70% of Az are bigoted and terrified of the Mexican Invasion. I’m gone 25 years and Az turns into the Paranoid Pussy State.

  263. #264 John Morales
    May 12, 2010

    Walton:

    @#245
    if criticism of Islam is racism then I’m going to be a proud racist

    Says it all, really.

    Yeah, says you’ve missed the point.

    Try reading it again.

  264. #265 dutchatheist
    May 12, 2010

    http://www.dumpert.nl/mediabase/33434/98ff6c9b/allah_ho_gaybar.html

    The ‘movie’ they were watching. This was probaly primarily at this event the reason they got angry.

  265. #266 rusty
    May 12, 2010

    Perhaps the guy that attacked Vilks was an art critic.

  266. #267 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    boygenius,
    This has been discussed here a number of times. See the thread containing this and other comments of mine and others who recognise that Condell is a stinking racist shitbag:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/07/the_latest_from_condell.php#comment-1804264. Condell characterises Muslim immigration as “invasion”. He calls all those who disagree with him “self-haters”, “America-haters” and “pimps”. He says “we have nothing to be ashamed of” – but who is this “we”? He pretends concern for oppressed Muslim women, but never suggests any measures to help them, let alone recognises that they might themselves have political agency. As I said in that comment:
    “If you actually want to help oppressed British women from Muslim backgrounds, support one of the organisations such as Southall Black Sisters , or Women Against Fundamentalism , which are led by such women (among others), and which campaign against both sexism and racism. No such suggestion in Condell’s video, no suggestion that such oppressed women might want to act for themselves, and that his audience might help them directly. Now, why might that have been?”

    Condell’s support for UKIP thoroughly confirms everything I’ve said about him. You can view UKIP’s immigration policy here. Of course UKIP says it is not racist, but here are some choice quotes:

    By late century, mass immigration could have reduced British people to a minority in their homeland.
    Clearly, people of the wrong colour are not British according to UKIP, even when born here, or this makes no sense whatever.

    For example, it has become common for brides to be brought into the UK from
    the Indian subcontinent and married off to UK-born Asians. Many have little say in the
    matter, and sometimes are forced to marry. But UK immigration officials rarely if ever
    investigate such abuses. Yet individuals trying to bring fiancés and spouses from
    developed countries like Canada and Australia are often forced to undergo intrusive
    investigations.

    So according to UKIP, the treatment of spouses and fiances should differ according to whether they come from predominantly white and English-speaking countries or not – because “investigating such abuses” is bound to be “intrusive”, is it not?

    The Labour Government?s policy of mass immigration has been deliberately imposed
    in order to create a more ?diverse? and ?multicultural? society without consulting the
    British people.

    Racist paranoia based on one unconfirmed claim by a former speechwriter for Tony Blair.

    UKIP would repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and withdraw from the European
    Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    Rather places Condell’s commitment to freedom in doubt.

    Figures issued by the Office of
    National Statistics in 2008 showed that one in four babies born in the UK have a foreign
    father or mother… Also, the
    foreign-born population is growing whilst the British-born population is declining.

    Which is a problem why, exactly? UKIP pretend half-heartedly that their concern is “overcrowding”, but if that were true, they would welcome the compensating decline of the “British-born” population.

    Demographers at Manchester University have
    claimed that white people in Birmingham will be overtaken by those of other ethnic
    origins by 2027.

    Terrible, eh? Note that this is not fear of a majority Muslim population, but of a majority non-white population. IOW, it’s racism pure and simple.

    In addition to mass immigration, Britain has seen a phenomena never seen before in
    living memory – mass emigration of native Britons.

    on current demographic trends, the native
    British population will be an ethnic minority in their own country within two to three
    generations.

    “Native Britons”; “the native British population”. Just roll those phrases around your tongue for a while. Then tell me a man signed up to supporting this policy isn’t a racist.

  267. #268 Birger Johansson
    May 12, 2010

    FYI, Islam was more tolerant (and pro-science) until ca. the eleventh century. Then the mysticist sufis and the fundamentalists crushed the more progressive moslems in a two-front ideological war.

    -Among mainstream moslems, the-live-and-let-live majority is rarely heard above the megaphones of the nutters -indeed, the moderates are targets for “islamist” wrath. The fatwah against Rushdie did claim the lives of several moderate imams who stood up against it.
    It is essentially the same thing as the brownshirt street thugs intimidating the majority. In moslem countries, the thugs usually get a free pass because the (undemocratic) governments use them to harass the democratic opposition.
    -I am told that a modernization of Islam will probably come from the west, where moslems can live under the protection of a secular police under democratic control. Preaching a modernized interpretation in Teheran or Riyadh is a ticket to prison or worse.

  268. #269 echidna
    May 12, 2010

    Walton@254,

    I also note that while the Jewish Beth Din, and other religious community courts, have been operating as private arbitration bodies for decades, no one has ever panicked about them being a “threat to our freedoms”

    What I find very unsettling about Sharia law, and Islam in general, is the low regard it has for women – and this attitude, if nurtured, will bleed out into the general population. The Jewish Beth Din is not comparable.

    Women in burkas are making a statement of invisibility, whether they realise that or not. I have noticed that outside the areas where the burka is common, these women are invisible not only to men, but to women as well. At the university I hang out at, the women in burkas that I have spoken with are incredibly lonely because people, including women, do not feel able to approach them with any kind of confidence.

  269. #270 darvolution proponentsist
    May 12, 2010
    One question… These “peaceful” people who die in the name of Allah while killing many others; Are they really sure those virgins they are promised are even women?

    Yes, they’re female. The thing they don’t know is from which species, genus, etc.

    Well, there’s that whole bit about them being big-eyed voluptuously-breasted and what-not. If we were to grant that the promised virgins are sexually attractive hominids of some type, certainly creed is still a potential problem.

  270. #271 eMel
    May 12, 2010

    Another right-wing myth. No one is “demanding their own judicial system”.

    Nobody?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/6334091/Muslims-want-sharia-law-in-Britain-claim.html

  271. #272 JustALurker
    May 12, 2010

    Now news stories claim that 70% of Az are bigoted and terrified of the Mexican Invasion. I’m gone 25 years and Az turns into the Paranoid Pussy State.

    Hey, I live in Az and I not part of any of the bullshit that has been happening. I am actively opposed to it and voted accordingly. Not my fault the majority here are racist fuck wits. That majority also holds me in the esteem of a lazy welfare queen, not matter the fact I have always held two full time activities, either work or school. Please don’t hate all people in AZ =(
    People are upset and trying to correct it. A big public protest and of course the Viva Los Suns are prime examples.

  272. #273 MadScientist
    May 12, 2010

    @sbreedo #29: You’re mistaken – it is the peaceful christians who are ignoring their bible. The violent christians are the ones true to their cult.

    @Glenn G#30: I don’t know where you’re from, but in every town I’ve been to the police are trained not to shoot unless their culprits have guns or have other weapons and make threats and the cops responding don’t believe they can disarm the culprit without serious harm. So even running with a knife in their hands isn’t good enough excuse to shoot someone. Despite that there are still reports of cops shooting naked unarmed people and mentally unstable people who are armed with a knife but otherwise easily disarmed by anyone with appropriate training, but for the record I haven’t been anywhere yet where the cops are taught to shoot first.

  273. #274 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    When women are routinely not given the right to choose in the Muslim culture, are they really free to settle their disputes fairly? What kind of pressure is imposed on Muslim females to go the Sharia route rather than the secular route? – boygenius

    A real concern, and I am opposed to the decisions of such courts being legally binding if both parties have agreed in advance to use them. But where is the concern about women from ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, subject to exactly the same kinds of sexism and pressure? Why, as Walton asks, has this only become a concern when it concerns Muslim courts? And why is the falsehood that shariah has been instituted in the UK repeated so frequently? Finding out the actual facts is not hard, but of course this falsehood fits racist ideology.

  274. #275 JustALurker
    May 12, 2010

    crap. sorry for blockquote fail. I was responding to MadScientist 263

  275. #276 MadScientist
    May 12, 2010

    @JustALurker #272: I don’t hate Az or all it’s inhabitants – that would be plain stupid. I’m shocked though that in 25 years it’s gone from a fairly sensible society in general (despite the various news stories every year about some whacko or other) to a (claimed) majority of people terrified of some imaginary bullshit. Then again my old buddy in Phoenix tells me I just wouldn’t recognize the place and I met a young woman from Prescott who told me it’s a growing town and I wouldn’t recognize it either. At first I couldn’t believe she was really from Prescott – I said “Hey, when I left, everyone there was my grandma’s age or older; there must have been all of 2 people of child bearing age” but apparently there have been a lot of immigrants from other states since then. Maybe the 70% who can’t sleep at night knowing there are Mexicans out there are folks who came from some other states?

  276. #277 JustALurker
    May 12, 2010

    276

    Ah, sorry for jumping the gun. I made an assumption and made an ass out of myself. My fail, apparently I’m really sensitive to being lumped in with these lunatics and jump at any chance to distance myself from them. At least now I recognize and will think 3 times (since twice isn’t working) before commenting so I don’t make the accusation again. And you make a relevant point about how AZ has changed.

  277. #278 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    I would rather err on the side of caution and put severe restrictions on all muslims until such time as they no longer present a threat, which could be forever from the looks of things. I can deal with the squeaks of outrage from the politically correct for as long as it takes, because these spineless hand-wringers amuse me no end.

    Crypto-fascist authoritarianism like the above is far, far more scary, and more of a threat to civil liberties and human rights in Western society, than Islam could ever be.

  278. #279 Aegis Linnear
    May 12, 2010

    @sbreedo #72: Did…you miss the sections of the Bible that dictate the stoning to death of disobedient children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) or mention Moses commanding the slaughter of women who aren’t virgins and enslavement of those who are (Numbers 31:1-18)?
    A Christian wouldn’t have to ignore their sacred texts to be violent. The New Testament has its moments but *come on*, this is brutal. There’s another part, I can’t remember where, that involves non-believers’ babies being beaten against the ground until they come apart and pregnant women being ripped to pieces at God’s command – if anyone knows where that is in the Bible, could I ask for a hand with the reference?

  279. #280 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    It is a sad day when the response to a badly drawn cartoon is so needlessly aggressive. Yelling “Allah Ackbar” is not much of an argument, and it does not improve with repetition, contrary to the apparent opinion of the lady in the video.

    I do not know all that much about the politics of Lars Vilks, but what I do know leads me to believe that he is something of a Far Right xenophobe whom I would hesitate to hold up as a hero of free expression. Having said that, whatever his politics he really should be able to demonstrate his inability to draw a man-dog thing effectively without a rection like this.

    The attitudes of men like Vilks should not be encouraged and still less lauded (this is one of the reasons I am so pleased that Nick Griffin and his abominable BNP fascists got such a drubbing at the polls recently). We should condemn their racism and fear mongering. As Knockgoats pointed out @ 267, the likes of Pat Condell are no better. It is all too easy to use the genuine and legitimate concerns over militant Islam as a smokescreen for racial hatred and the kind of “ethno-cultural purity” arguments that would be condemned for the bigotry that they are in any other set of circumstances.

    We should condemn the racism of Vilks, but we should make it clear that we are condemning his intolerence and gross, generalised stereotyping of Islam because it is racist, not because we have been intimidated into doing so by the Fundie Nutballs for Allah. If we fail to make this distinction, then any action we take or words we utter to condemn Vilks’ racism may be interpreted as an acquiescence to the tactics of violence and fear employed by radical Islamists, and few things encourage a bully as much as acquiescence

    If that is allowed to stand, the kind of reaction we see today to the poorly-drawn cartoons of Vilks may tommorrow be elicted by simply saying “well, I don’t believe in Allah or prophecy so, to me, the ‘Prophet’ Mohammed was just another man…”

    Neither side in this is blameless. Wilks’ offensive but non-violent intolerence is not directly equivilent to the violent response amongst some of the radical Islamic movements but, on the other hand, a handfull of extremists trying to shout the house down hardly makes the broader Islamic community a legitimate target for the kind of paranoid Islamaphobia that you sometimes see in the media, and that is being propogated by men like Vilks and Geert Wilders.

    We need to take a step back and get this whole affair into perspective. The threat is extremism, not Islam itself. Vilks is free to draw offensive cartoons, and people like us a free to call him a bigot for doing so. This is the way it should be in a free society.

  280. #281 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    We need to take a step back and get this whole affair into perspective. The threat is extremism, not Islam itself. Vilks is free to draw offensive cartoons, and people like us a free to call him a bigot for doing so. This is the way it should be in a free society.

    QFT. A good summation.

  281. #282 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    The Jewish Beth Din is not comparable. – echidna

    Crap. Orthodox Judaism is as misogynist as Islam: every day, the Orthodox Jewish man thanks God for not making him a woman.

  282. #283 jafafahots
    May 12, 2010

    “You don’t see anyone from the west going to the muslim world and making a scene like this.”

    Yeah, we use a different method – cruise missiles, military invasions, blowing up houses and wedding parties, shit like that.

    We don’t paint Jesus on the bombs, but our ex-president did call it a “crusade” and our media regularly portrays us as a “Christian” country at war with their religino, so they could be excused if they had that mistaken impression.

  283. #284 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    Walton @ 281;

    Glad you approve.

    One question, what does “QFT” actually stand for? I never was much good at online acronyms.

  284. #285 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    see, this is why we have the Godwin rule. Because SGBM used Nazis in his argument, everybody has apparently become constitutionally incapable of understanding the argument.

    which is that while all free speech needs to be protected, not all of it should be promoted. And racism/xenophobia is one of those instances where it shouldn’t be promoted, whether it’s anti-jewish or anti-muslim. – Jadehawk@108

    QFT
    Vilks himself has stated that his cartoon was a deliberate provocation. He must be delighted that these violent morons have given him what he wanted. Cue false equivalences with Crackergate (Catholics are not a threatened minority) in 3, 2, 1…

  285. #286 Flea
    May 12, 2010

    what does “QFT” actually stand for?

    Quantum Field Theory

    Quantitative Feedback Theory
    Quoted For Truth
    Quantum Fourier Transform
    Quality Family Time
    Qualified Funeral Trust
    Quality Face Time
    Quantitative Fluorescence Technique
    Quit Freaking Talking
    Quite Freaking True

  286. #287 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    Flea @ 286;

    Thanks, that was very… comprehensive. ;-)

  287. #288 Louis
    May 12, 2010

    I think Walton has a good position on all of this. I’m distinctly uneasy about Pat Condell (esp. post his revelations re: UKIP) and many of his ideological chums. I’ll explain why.

    The problem, as Walton has stated, is that European racists (I’ll take the British Nationalist [BNP] as a classic case in point, but you could easily take the FPO/BZO in Austria or the FN in France or whatever) have a “new” and “exciting” method of hiding their racism: criticism of islam. This has a big history in Europe in general, jewish people were often derided by the claim that their religion required them to do unsavoury things, however, since judaism is more closely linked to a specific ethnic group, the racist connection was a little more obvious.

    This is what is happening now with muslim immigrants/citizens of European nations. The less pleasant elements of the media in Europe play the “islamic terrorist” card very heavily, as indeed to politicians, both to create fear and sell papers and to create fear and sell civil liberties restrictions. The BNP have used this tactic about as far as it can be used. Documentaries, secret filming, and good old fashioned investigative journalism (remember that?) have all exposed this facade for what it is. The “anti islam”/”criticism of religion” rhetoric rapidly slips away when they think they aren’t being watched, and the “send them back where they came from”/”nasty darkies”* rhetoric replaces it. UKIP (The UK Independence Party, effectively the breakaway, disenchanted right wing of the UK Conservative party) is not hugely better, it just wraps its anti-immigrant rhetoric in more upper class accents and slightly better suits. If you’re middle class and a bigot vote UKIP, if you’re working class and a bigot, vote BNP. Simple really.

    As an aside, this is why, as mentioned on the “Shame on Poland” thread that “anti-religious discrimination” laws have sprung up/been reinforced across Europe. Don’t get me wrong a powerful christian (catholic or otherwise) religious lobby finds these laws to be particularly accomodating also, so they’ve thrown their weight behind them, but in many cases these laws have begun as (esp in the case of the UK) cobbled together, hasty legislation to curb the excesses of burgeoning far right racist/neo-fascist anti-immigration parties. Don’t think for a second these laws have not been met with opposition by equally large, vocal and powerful groups who recognise the establishment of religious privilege these laws entail. Like I said before, this is a live issue across the EU at the moment, these laws are not settled or accepted by any means, not just by egregious racists like the BNP (in fact they are comparatively the smallest and least significant element of any opposition to these laws), but by comedians, journos, politicians, academics, free speech activists, civil libertarans and so on.

    So please, when discussing the Mohammed cartoons, or indeed any anti-islamic commentary in Europe, remember that the waters have been extremely muddied by a vocal segement of various European nations (that may or may not be a tiny minority, depending on the specific European nation) that is profoundly racist.

    However, and this is a very big “however”, all this has a chilling effect that is spectacularly difficult to unpick easily. This is also where I (possibly) depart from SGBM’s and Jadehawk’s lines on this (or at least what I percieve them to be, please correct me if I’m wrong) and indeed many of the so called “politically correct” (a term I fucking hate, but one that suffices for this purpose as it is the caricature most often used in the UK) stances on this issue. Criticism of islam/mockery of islam/insulting islam/acts that would be considered blasphemy under islam =/= racism. Now I know Jadehawk and SGBM are not suggesting that these things are necessarily racism, but it is the line frequently heard here in Europe, and it is the result of the chilling effect of confusing critique of islam with racism here in Europe.

    As far as I know (again correct me if I’m wrong) neither SGBM or Jadehawk (or anyone) have demonstrated that these cartoons are specific examples of racist agitprop. Now, that doesn’t mean it isn’t the case, in fact it likely is given the original commission and a few other things around their genesis. As I’ve said above, European racists often hide their racism under this guise of religious criticism of islam. It may be that Lars Vilks is one of the white supremecist, neo-fascist scumbags that seem to have proliferated of late (due, IMO, to the disproportionate coverage they get in the media. We also get disproportionate coverage of the hysterical nutter elements of European islam….hmmm I wonder why that is, could there be some agenda? No surely that’s not it). It may also be that Pat Condell is another of these crytpo-racists (IMO also likely the case) given the specific distribution of the targets of his output**. But you see the problem: it’s bloody hard to tell.

    I once had a bit of a letter ding dong with some bloke in the National Secular Society over just this issue. I said that the comments he was making re: islam were indistinguishable from the unevidenced, uneducated and downright racist comments that people from the BNP make. He retorted (rightly) with the comment that his comments weren’t uncommon amongst NSS members and I replied that this was precisely the problem. The waters of criticism of islam have become so muddied in the EU that when one DOES criticise islam one absolutely has to do so whilst waving a massive anti-racist flag. The anti-racist disclaimer one needs to criticise islam is larger than the critique itself!

    It’s absolutely right that anyone should be free to openly criticise islam, as SGBM and Jadehawk certainly agree. It’s absolutely right that these cartoons should be published (again as all agree) even if they are from unambiguously racists sources and created with unambiguously racist intent (which AFAIK is not the case, but I’m wlling to be corrected). Promotion is, I agree, a separate subject. What isn’t good enough is simply saying that because some racists use thee methods to disguise their racism it follow that all (or some specific) incidences of such critiques are racist. That’s a classic poisoning of the well.

    Someone (I can’t be arsed to check who) upthread said that people aren’t afraid of getting blown up/killed if they criticise islam. Erm, they fucking well are. The Salman Rushdie fatwah and Theo Van Gogh murder (and many similar incidents) are very fresh in people’s minds thanks. Add to that the fact that a large segement of the press/public/political class see criticism of islam as covert anti-immigrant racism, and you have two powerful chilling effects. Again, as mentioned above it is for precisely this reason that awful religious discrimination laws have been passed. BTW I’m not saying that all possible religious discrimination laws are awful, just the slapdash ones we have are. Criticising islam in Europe is not easy (boo hoo poor us!).

    I would also disagree with The Bill in #232 that these cartoons are necessarily an expression of a culturally superior attitude (even though this specific incidence probably is). They can come from an indifference to/disagreement with the irrational blasphemy codes of a specific religion. The “I deny the holy spirit” youtube vids are a good example, I understand why people did them, I remain unconvinced that they are completely necessary but I have no need to deride them on the grounds that they are somehow uncivil and thus bad. Sometimes a lack of civility is a positive thing. A lack of conventional civility can be a means of protest, it can draw attention to unexamined problems. Again, this is by no means always the case and is situational as all these things are, I just dislike the blanket condemnation of tactics because they might be something bad.

    Ok tl;dr as usual, that’s enough from me!

    Louis

    *Incidentally, as one of those nasty darkies myself, there was a humourous conversation one night prior to the election (in the pub shockingly) with members of my family and my wife’s family about voting BNP. The BNP apparently once said they’d repatriate people from foreign climes with £50000 in their pockets. We thought this was a marvellous idea (despite most of us being British born and bred), and, given some of our incredibly mixed heritage, were trying to figure out the best one of our many ancestral lineages to claim in order to maximise sun, sea, sand and exciting cocktails!

    **There are a few “almost litmus tests” that, while not perfect, are occasionally useful. If you read/hear someone talking about “broken Britain” for example, you can almost guarantee you are talking to an uninformed idiot. The same goes for people who focus solely on the most extreme elements of islam in Europe, it’s not a definitive test, but it’s pretty indicative. The recent kerfuffle over “sharia law comes to the UK” is a good case in point. If memory serves, and I’m more than happy to be corrected if I’m wrong, these “sharia courts” were nothing more than the quasi-informal arbitration meetings that other religions, notably judaism, have had for decades, where both sides went in agreeing to be bound by the decision rather than taking the issue further to a proper UK court. The hysteria over this issue was….ummm….hilarious in a tragic way.

  288. #289 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    KG:

    A real concern, and I am opposed to the decisions of such courts being legally binding if both parties have agreed in advance to use them.

    (emphasis added)

    What do you mean by this? Typo? Do both parties have the same influence or power to make that decision? How is this different than the Orthodox Jewish women being pressured into using the Beth Din courts? Why haven’t you [UKans]been calling this a travesty?

    But where is the concern about women from ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, subject to exactly the same kinds of sexism and pressure?

    To be honest, I was completely unaware that this existed. It is equally as wrong as the pressure for Muslim women to submit to Sharia law.

    Like I said, I’m pretty ignorant of what’s going on in the UK. I guess I’ll have to read up a bit.

  289. #290 windy
    May 12, 2010

    The threat is extremism, not Islam itself.

    I think I read on some blog somewhere that non-extremist religions are part of the problem, since they promote irrational thinking and the view that some ideas are above criticism. Do you think all those people acting out in the lecture hall can be classified as Islamist extremists?

  290. #291 shonny
    May 12, 2010

    Posted by: strange gods before me ? Author Profile Page | May 11, 2010 10:13 PM

    No, drawing a cartoon is not like being a Nazi.

    Being a Nazi is like being a Nazi.

    And that’s what these anti-Muslim/anti-immigration movements in northern Europe are. They are fascists. Openly. Fascists.

    Are we to pretend now that this has no context? That is has no relation to the white supremacist movements spreading across Europe, led by the likes of Geert Wilders?

    It’s a bit too much to ask.

    Being a fuckwit is being a fuckwit, and in this case remaining one. And an ignorant one to boot.

    Yes, there are some very small groups in Northern Europe that one might call Nazis who don’t like muzzies, but most of us don’t accept Muslims’ demands because muzzies expect to be given special consideration, like the right to not be offended.
    Till they learn that no such considerations are given in most European societies, they have to live with that, or continue being ostracised for their feistiness.

  291. #292 hznfrst
    May 12, 2010

    Walton #278, you really are a knee-jerk moron. It doesn’t matter if being anti-islam encourages racists, because the problem is *islam* which is *not* a race! How many times must we repeat this before you get it?

    I live in the USA, which has plenty of racists, but I am on their side when it comes to illegal immigration for entirely different reasons. When you accuse me and Pat Condell of being racists you reveal a serious lack of depth to your thinking. But hey, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so let’s deal with the shit that is islam first, then we can fight each other.

  292. #293 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    I think I read on some blog somewhere that non-extremist religions are part of the problem, since they promote irrational thinking and the view that some ideas are above criticism.

    There’s no such thing as an idea that is above criticism.

  293. #294 windy
    May 12, 2010

    But Jadehawk and strange gods are also perfectly correct. Like most vocal Islamophobes in Europe, Vilks is a vile far-right racist.

    Would you happen to have some more solid evidence for this than SGBM’s quotemine?

    I think you are right to be concerned about Condell as a propagandist. But Vilks sounds more like one of the noobs that periodically wander in here to complain about ‘political correctness’.

  294. #295 Kristjan Wager
    May 12, 2010

    That seems fair enough, but in order to accept the first premise I’d need more detail on just how racist European society is.

    Last year, I tried to explain the Danish situation in this blogpost.

    Generally speaking, ‘Muslim’ is a code-word for immigrant from the Middle East, and many European countries have laws specifically targeting immigrant minority groups.

    Walton #278, you really are a knee-jerk moron. It doesn’t matter if being anti-islam encourages racists, because the problem is *islam* which is *not* a race! How many times must we repeat this before you get it?

    No hznfrst, he would be a moron if he was stupid enough to buy into the claims by the right-wingers that they are targeting a religion, not a marginalized group of people.

  295. #296 Kristjan Wager
    May 12, 2010

    Blockquote fail – the following should have been blockquoted in my last comment.

    Walton #278, you really are a knee-jerk moron. It doesn’t matter if being anti-islam encourages racists, because the problem is *islam* which is *not* a race! How many times must we repeat this before you get it?

  296. #297 windy
    May 12, 2010

    There’s no such thing as an idea that is above criticism.

    I agree. What did you think I was saying?

  297. #298 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    boygenius@289,

    Sorry, I was unclear. Cases only come before these courts if both parties agree. Their decisions are then enforceable in the civil courts, provided they are not contrary to civil law. This is the same for any form of mutually-agreed arbitration, but I think that this should not be so in the case of either sharia courts or Beth Din, precisely because of the social pressure that can be put on parties to agree to use them.

  298. #299 Laurent Weppe
    May 12, 2010

    @mxh

    You don’t see anyone from the west going to the muslim world and making a scene like this.

    That’s because “our” nutjobs are lobbying in favor of the preemptive nuking of Teheran without leaving the western world. That does not makes them less threatening.

    @Crommunist

    Jews are vandalizing mosques in the West Bank, Christians are killing people in Africa, Sikhs are threatening members of Parliament in Canada, Hindus are two breaths away from annihilating the entire planet with nukes

    You can also add “racist mighty whiteys are proclaiming themselves champions of secularism in France”. Technically everything can be used to justify violence with a little spin and a lot of hypocrisy.

    @strange gods before me

    You know that the context of these anti-Muslim cartoons from northern Europe is nothing more admirable than anti-Asian racism.

    While I agree completely with this statement, (actually, I would go even farther and say that anti-muslim racism is the antisemitism of the 21st century, and that far-right extremists in Europe have the desire to commit another genocide today, with another target than the Jews), this does not excuse in any way what happened to Lars Vilk: see how the european fascists have turned Theo Van Gogh into a martyr for their “cause”: even without taking free speech into account.

    And by the way, there was absolutely no point in doing a Godwin here.

    @PZ Myers

    Are you serious? Drawing a cartoon is now equivalent to being a Nazi?

    While strange gods was unquestionably wrong about this one, keep in mind that the cartoons have become an emblem to the europeans nazis of today: when you see this cartoon, you may see only a jab at religions, when they see this pictures, they see it at a validation of their idea that Muslims are no better than dogs and should be treated and killed like dogs.

    This is a big and too often overlooked reason of the ambivalance of many Europeans about the caricatures: I know what the fascists see in these pictures, and know that these pictures make them feel vidicated, and I know that it makes them more dangerous.

    @BlueIndependent

    Islam is independent of race. Or do you not know that? Because if you don’t I can direct you to a white former Muslim.

    The fact that Islam is independant of race is irrelevant.
    Why?
    First, because judaism is not a race, and the antisemites never gave a shit about that.
    Second, because far right activists in Europe are treating muslims like it was a race. Just like the antisemites, they do not give a shit about reality: for them, if you have muslims ancestors, you are a Muslim, and you are a target, period.

  299. #300 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    windy ‘ 290;

    I think I read on some blog somewhere that non-extremist religions are part of the problem, since they promote irrational thinking and the view that some ideas are above criticism. Do you think all those people acting out in the lecture hall can be classified as Islamist extremists?

    Firstly, I agree with boygenius @ 293; there is no such thing as an idea that is above criticism, and I would oppose any who would claim that there is.

    Secondly, I may have failed to express myself clearly in my earlier post. I did not mean to imply that the people acting out in the lecture hall were necessarily extremists, though I do think that their debating style could use a little work. I do not see people yelling and milling around as a particular threat to society. Even such scuffles with the police, while reprehensible in most circumstances, hardly constitute an existential threat.

    The point I was trying to convey was that the broader Islamic community is not a threat to the freedoms of Western cultrures. Moderate Islam can be compatible with the core values of a free society. However, the kinds of people who murder those they disagree with or plant bombs in tube stations or fly planes into buildings in the name of whatever cause are most certainly a threat. They are no less nor more of a threat if their justification happens to be Islamic.

    Islam is not threatening in and of itself to the well being of Europe, America or the World at large anymore than any other irrational religious belief like Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism. The problem comes when people start conflating the fringe with the mainstream, especially where such conflation is willful and undertaken for propoganda purposes.

    Religion, in all its myriad forms, is the problem in so far as it often attacks the very idea of a rationalist understanding of the Universe and needlessly complicates inter-cultural relations with theological baggage. This needs to be addressed, but it is not something that is a unique failure of Islam.

  300. #301 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    It doesn’t matter if being anti-islam encourages racists – Krsitjan Wager

    Only racists think encouraging racists doesn’t matter. It is quite possible to be anti-Islam without encouraging racists.

  301. #302 Spiro Keat
    May 12, 2010

    Misstaget är att man proklamerat det mångkulturella samhället. Kan man integrera muslimer på ett bra sätt? Man har ingen idé om hur man ska integrera dem.
    “It’s a mistake to have a multicultural society. Can Muslims even be integrated? We have no idea how to integrate them.”

    And he is right! The Dutch have a long history of tolerance to anyone and almost anything.

    Because of the enormous numbers of Islamic immigrants welcomed into Holland, who are now there in sufficient numbers to have a political influence, the hard line Islamists are pushing to have their Book as the Way of Life for Holland.

    Again, because the Dutch government have bent over backwards to accommodate the religion of these people, they have heaped appeasement on appeasement to such an extent that the people of Holland are getting really scared of where it will lead.

    To call people who can see their culture being swamped and destroyed, in their own country, racist, is grossly unfair. They welcome the people with their legendary openness but they reject the fundamentalist faction which is seeking to take over.

  302. #303 Kristjan Wager
    May 12, 2010

    Only racists think encouraging racists doesn’t matter. It is quite possible to be anti-Islam without encouraging racists.

    knockgoats, that part was not by me – it was something by hznfrst which I quoted (blockquote fail)

  303. #304 Spiro Keat
    May 12, 2010

    What I should have added, of course, is that the Islamic extremist element makes it almost impossible to integrate them into any non Islamic society.

  304. #305 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 12, 2010

    Not sure if this was addressed as I don’t really have time to go back and read through everything right now but

    The problem that people should have been protesting is that the cartoon is not funny – surely there are jokes about Mohammed?

    Cartoons do not have to be funny to make a point.

    Take on of America’s first political cartoons by Ben Franklin.

    Not funny, but get’s the point across.

  305. #306 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 12, 2010

    on = one

  306. #308 Copyleft
    May 12, 2010

    “Sure, PZ’s willing to diss Christians, but I bet he wouldn’t have the guts to go after….”

    Whoops! Carry on. Everyone, please bookmark this topic for handy reference the next time some sad Christian apologist tries the “you wouldn’t dare snark at Muslims” routine.

    As for the silly Nazism argument: No, it’s not racist to declare that devout Muslims are dangerous lunatics. After all, devout followers of ANY religion are dangerous lunatics.

  307. #309 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 12, 2010

    “It is absolutely impossible to be racist against Muslims. That can’t possibly make any sense.”

    You’re expecting rational thought from racists?

  308. #310 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    Kristian Wager,

    Profuse apologies.

  309. #311 donnysch
    May 12, 2010

    The guy in the vest takes his sun glasses off his head with his left hand passes them to his right and puts them in his pocket. No knife, but ready for action.

  310. #312 Mike in Ontario, NY
    May 12, 2010

    This might be the first video I’ve ever seen where I was *hoping* for the police to start cracking heads with batons. Too bad none of them were tasered.

  311. #313 Kristjan Wager
    May 12, 2010

    Too bad none of them were tasered.

    Tasering is potentially lethal – do you really wish for people to get killed?

  312. #314 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    Tasering is potentially lethal – do you really wish for people to get killed?

    Come now, Kristjan, these were Muslims, not people.

    [/Pat Condell]

  313. #315 Androly-San
    May 12, 2010

    Those were some seriously tame police officers. Had that shit happened here there would have been some serious (and well deserved) beat downs going on.

    @313: Generally… no. It doesn’t seem like we’d be missing much in this case though :P

  314. #316 Walton
    May 12, 2010

    Gregory @#284: “Quoted For Truth”. Or at least, that’s what I always use it for.

  315. #317 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmVT1LBhwmO9ej9LNg7a5e9d-AVJ8ezfmE
    May 12, 2010

    - Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite whacktard, but I still like Die Hard.

    Because Die Hard starred Bruce Willis?

  316. #318 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    Walton @ 316;

    Thanks. I am now that much more net-savvy when it comes to the groove-speak of you young ‘uns.

    *dodders of, leaning heavily on his walking stick, complaining about everything being better when he was young*

  317. #319 la tricoteuse
    May 12, 2010

    mxh @ 28

    Forgive me if someone’s already mentioned this but…could starting a couple of wars be construed as “making a scene”? Just asking…

  318. #320 DLC
    May 12, 2010

    @ 318 : And when you get home, just you make sure and stay off my lawn! /caneshake.

  319. #321 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    DLC @ 320;

    Exactly. Today its lawns, tomorrow its public fornication! The young have no respect these days…

    Oi! Get off my lawn! I have a garden hose and I am not afraid to use it! /caneshake

  320. #322 Mikko
    May 12, 2010

    @#312

    Tasers are illegal in Sweden

  321. #323 Mattir
    May 12, 2010

    @ RevBigDumbChimp

    I think the most effective political cartoons do use humor, if only to convey what the cartoonist’s reasoning. The cartoon in question shows Mohammed as a dog, but provides no clue as to why the cartoonist sees Mohammed as a dog or what it is about Islam that he doesn’t like. That’s why I think it’s a failure as a political cartoon – it’s shocking (at least to Muslims) without containing any actual information as to why the viewer should agree with the cartoonist.

    My earlier post raised Dawkins’ concern about liberal religions providing cover for extremist ones. I do tend to agree with that stance, but I still think that liberal, non-literal-interpretation religious sects may be a necessary step on the road to a society of non-theism. I also think that such religious sects need to be far, far louder about condemning literalism and its associated ills in other religious sects and combating the “it’s the Magic R-Word, you can’t challenge it” ethos that protects extremist religions generally. Think what it would be like if a mainstream liberal Protestant denomination took such a stance against the crazy fundamentalist types, for example. (They should have the courage to follow the excellent example of Barry Lynn, the Presbyterian minister who’s the head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.)

  322. #324 Gustav Nyström
    May 12, 2010

    The problem that people should have been protesting is that the cartoon is not funny – surely there are jokes about Mohammed?

    It’s not very important, but it should be noted that Lars Vilks isn’t actually a cartoonist – that drawing is an idea sketch for an art installation.

  323. #325 Birger Johansson
    May 12, 2010

    Re @323, 324
    The cultural context is that Swedes have started to put up home-made sculptures of dogs in the middle of traffic rundabouts, as a grass-roots reaction to the impersonal monotone urban landscape.
    As to why it was chosen as an idea for an art installation, I assume it is because of the perceived antagonism between “dog” and “islam”.

    The last few years Swedish artists have gotten aggro from the Vatican because of the exhibition “Ecce Homo” (behold the man) juxtaposing images of Jesus with images of gay people and homo-eroticism. In this context a roundabout dog with a Muhammed motif is pretty tame.

    As a secular Swede who watches South Park, I tell everyone who worries about “giving offense” to watch the episode where the local catholic priest goes to the Vatican and discovers that *all* the cardinals are kiddyfiddlers! My personal religious episode is “Woodland Critter Christmas” (the cute satanist animals heralding the birth of Antichrist).

  324. #326 Rebelest
    May 12, 2010

    sbreedlo wrote:

    …just as violent Christians are necessarily departing from theirs.

    I’m completely astounded when freethinkers, non-believers, etc., express this absolutely erroneous conclusion that Christianity is a non-violent religion.

    Have you ever cracked open and read a bible sbreedlo? If you have how could you possibly make such an absurd claim?

    Oh, and this is from the New Testament that some others of you seem to think is non-violent:

    Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

    Jesus was a violent, megalomaniacal fascist…as portrayed in the “Wholly Babble.”

  325. #327 mikerattlesnake
    May 12, 2010

    While it is unfortunate that our stance on religion sometimes allies us with xenophobes or racists (often because of our own ignorance of context), there is a simple solution:

    When people stop getting attacked and killed over cartoons, these racists will lose any and all support from us.

  326. #328 Citizen of the Cosmos
    May 12, 2010

    314

    Are you suggesting that Pat Condell does not recognise Muslims as people? He is vocal against extremism, but then everyone should be.

  327. #329 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 12, 2010

    I think the most effective political cartoons do use humor, if only to convey what the cartoonist’s reasoning. The cartoon in question shows Mohammed as a dog, but provides no clue as to why the cartoonist sees Mohammed as a dog or what it is about Islam that he doesn’t like. That’s why I think it’s a failure as a political cartoon – it’s shocking (at least to Muslims) without containing any actual information as to why the viewer should agree with the cartoonist.

    My comment was meant to say that the dog cartoon was good, only that political cartoons can and are effective without humor.

    Granted, I’d prefer them to be funny but it’s not a necessity.

  328. #330 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 12, 2010

    Oh Mohammed fucking dog.

    My comment was NOT meant to say….

    sigh

  329. #331 John Scanlon FCD
    May 12, 2010

    Commissar Claw #191,

    You are the bacon of the internet.

    I can’t help hearing that in the voice of Les Crane (though for some reason I actually first heard it in the voice of Laurence Olivier).

    You have a right to be here.

    As for those other guys…

    [schoolyard mob]

    Fight! Fight! Fight!

    [/schoolyard mob]

  330. #332 KOPD
    May 12, 2010

    In Europe, Islam is often used as an acceptable punching bag stand in for the scary brown people who follow it.
    Whenever PZ endorses european racists for their anti-Allah rants, he fails to acknowledge any of this. See: Pat Condell, Kurt Westergaard…

    Should Islam be treated with kid gloves, then?

    This isn’t to say there aren’t legitimate criticisms of Islam to be made. There are.

    Just not with cartoons, apparently.

  331. #333 Spiv
    May 12, 2010

    Gregory Greenwood @ 300

    “Islam is not threatening in and of itself to the well being of Europe, America or the World at large anymore than any other irrational religious belief like Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism. The problem comes when people start conflating the fringe with the mainstream, especially where such conflation is willful and undertaken for propoganda purposes.”

    I think I’d still put these on a graph, most likely Buddhists at the bottom (whose fundamentalists are more likely to burn themselves to death in protest of violence) and Islam on top (who have a much larger and vocal following, and whose fundamentalists seem bent on ridding the world of all religions not their own by any means possible).

    If we go purely by the texts of each it’s impossible to conflate them. It’s all pacifism vs. stoning people to death and whatnot. The closest theravadan thing I can think of is some stuff about using a minimum of force/intimidation toward a young child to help shape them in to respectful adults. Still not even on the level of “spare the rod spoil the child.”

    Fringe violence? I won’t pretend that there are any cultures free of some violence and delusional thinking. Samurai, for example, were zen buddhists. They tested their swords on condemned men. I’m not sure how they justified such horror, but I’m sure they are not the only ones. So perhaps it’s simply a lack of power…

  332. #334 irenedelse
    May 12, 2010

    @ Spiro Keat, who choose well his name:

    What I should have added, of course, is that the Islamic extremist element makes it almost impossible to integrate them into any non Islamic society.

    Wow, a troll makes a discovery: extremists>/i> ruin it for everybody! Gee, you can’t integrate them in a moderate, liberal society? That’s news! On a par with “Dog Bites Man”, even.

    Hey, maybe that’s why they are called extremists? You know, compared to the majority of law-abiding, ordinary Muslims, who don’t threaten or attack random annoying cartoonists? Just like (looking among the previous threads for examples) the majority of American kids don’t go out of their way to be jerks to their Mexican-American schoolmates on Cinco de Mayo… But you betcha there’s also a minority who do so!

  333. #335 Martin R
    May 12, 2010

    I published my own likeness of somebody named Mohammed in 2006.

  334. #336 rident
    May 12, 2010

    The sidewalk chalkers should have drawn stick dogs.

  335. #337 toth
    May 12, 2010

    Shorter strange gods/Jadehawk: “There is anti-Arab racist sentiment in Europe, therefore anyone promoting anti-Islamic sentiments is a racist”

    Are you guys for real?

  336. #338 InfraredEyes
    May 12, 2010

    Those were some seriously tame police officers. Had that shit happened here there would have been some serious (and well deserved) beat downs going on.

    Because nothing says “civilized society” like police brutality.

    As for Condell, if he supports UKIP then he is, by definition, a racist. It really is that simple.

  337. #339 la tricoteuse
    May 12, 2010

    Also, not that this is remotely relevant, but it’s interesting anyway: When I was watching the UK election coverage and they were reading results, I noticed that the UKIP candidates were, almost without exception, angry, pinched-looking people. They just looked like miserable, awful goblin-like creatures, pruned by the strength of their hate. I was amused.

  338. #340 Duckbilled Platypus
    May 12, 2010

    #302:

    And he is right! The Dutch have a long history of tolerance to anyone and almost anything.

    Eh? This is Sweden we were talking about.

    Because of the enormous numbers of Islamic immigrants welcomed into Holland, who are now there in sufficient numbers to have a political influence, the hard line Islamists are pushing to have their Book as the Way of Life for Holland.

    Yet they still haven’t formed a central political party. AFAIK they’re mostly voting for the the existing parties. Also, any examples of where they have in particular tried to push their books?

    Again, because the Dutch government have bent over backwards to accommodate the religion of these people, they have heaped appeasement on appeasement to such an extent that the people of Holland are getting really scared of where it will lead.

    It’s just like reading Wilders’ electoral programme, but somehow I keep missing relevant data. Please enlighten me – what are the heaps of appeasement?

    To call people who can see their culture being swamped and destroyed, in their own country, racist, is grossly unfair.

    What particular parts of my culture are swamped and destroyed? Seriously.

    Sure, there are hardliner idiots in this country or in fact in any country, and sure, they’re trying to be as vocal as they can, but so far they’re nothing more than an obnoxious nuisance rather than a success. Most muslems are careful enough not to put those people into power, either – it’s not as if they’re not enjoying the substantial freedoms that a democracy has to offer.

  339. #341 secularguy
    May 12, 2010

    At #168, strange gods before me mistranslates the snippet from an interview with Vilks by a Swedish tabloid paper.

    sgbm‘s mistranslation:

    It’s a mistake to have a multicultural society. Can Muslims even be integrated? We have no idea how to integrate them.

    My own, strictly literal translation:

    The mistake is that one1 [has] proclaimed the multicultural society. Can one1 integrate Muslims in a good way? One1 has no idea about how one1 should integrate them.

    Bye the way: Vilks is not a “cartoonist”; he’s an art theorist and conceptual artist with a long history of investigating the limits of art.

    ??
    1) They, we, you, or some other.

  340. #342 Q.E.D
    May 12, 2010

    Hitblade @ 229 re. Muslim claim of “offense” (christians do it too)

    I have no idea what it is like to be offended by something like this.

    I have also been mystified by the constant cry from religious people that they are “offended” or that something is “offensive”. Why is it a compeling argument that whatever they claim offends their religious sensibilities should be prevented?

    Offend: verb 1. cause to feel hurt or resentful. 2 be displeasing to. 3 commit an act that is illegal or that goes against an accepted principle

    Religious people appear to assume that there is an “accepted principle” that is violated when they feel “hurt” or “resentful” because something rubs their religious worldview the wrong way.

    How is this convincing to anyone who doesn’t share that worldview already? What kind of argument is that?

    If all I have to do is explain that I am truly offended by something for it to be stopped, I have short starter list of things I demand religious people stop offending me by:

    Seeing Little muslim girls laughing in the sunshine and realizing that they will be made to put a bag over their heads for the rest of their lives.

    the pope who commands poor, ignorant, needy people in the developing world not to use condoms with the predictable result that they die terrible deaths and leave orphaned children behind

    suicide bombers who murder innocent civilians

    “Honor” Killings

    catholics who said and did nothing when children were being beaten, abused and raped.

    priests, cardinals, bishops and popes who knowingly and actively covered up for the priests who beat, abused and raped children – so they could continue doing same to more children.

    Wait, I have this all wrong, there are no images of a crucifixes in jars of urine, no pen and ink picture of mohammed as dog, no images of any kind on my list. My list involves people being actually harmed.

    Religious “Offense” – I still don’t understand and I’m clearly doing it wrong.

  341. #343 shirakawasuna
    May 12, 2010

    @232

    “This doesn’t justify the violence of the reaction, but honestly, what is the point of being deliberately and gratuitously polarising? This guy’s practically begging for outrage, and then, surprise surprise – he gets it!”

    Right, that’s the point. You draw a simple insult or parody and the extremists come out of the woodwork wanting your pain. Note that unlike the hyperbole listed above, these cartoons are not celebrating the deaths of millions of innocents (i.e. Nazis) but are simply insulting a religious figure. This happens routinely, most obviously concerning Christianity in these countries, with no such reaction. And you don’t get the immediate accusations of racism along with it, distracting from the real issue.


    A little bit of good taste and civility goes a long way in reconcialiation, and I assume that’s what we’re looking for with the Islamic world. Bloody-mindedly rubbing people’s noses in things, on the other hand…”

    Mockery of a religious figure, or blasphemy, is not being bloody-minded. Appealing for sympathy for Muslims when the issue is physical violence against religious mockery is being bloody-minded. The point of these cartoons is simple… push boundaries, see what happens. Christians and others can get just as vocal about their offense, but you rarely see organized violence getting serious excuses like you do here.

    “Even if I was an Islamic sceptic or liberal I might feel outraged on my culture’s behalf, that yet again arrogant Westerners were deriding us. I’d also feel this guy was undermining my position in trying to persuade people of the need to engage with the West.”

    And you’d be much quieter than the extremists making death threats. You’d also often be missing from those deriding the violent responses, or would very quietly mention that it’s wrong before appealing for sympathy. You would have a claim to what ‘real’ Islam is, but you would be in the minority.

  342. #344 Robert H
    May 12, 2010

    Spiv@333

    I think I’d still put these on a graph, most likely Buddhists at the bottom (whose fundamentalists are more likely to burn themselves to death in protest of violence) and Islam on top (who have a much larger and vocal following, and whose fundamentalists seem bent on ridding the world of all religions not their own by any means possible).

    I am offended, sir, offended that you did not put Christianity at the top of your list! Where did we fail? I thought for sure the Bible quotes on the sniper rifle was a game clincher. The scoreboard reads: Dead Muslims 150,000+. Dead Christians 5,000 (not counting Arab Christians who are really just Muslims anyway). What do we need to do to be Number One?

  343. #345 shirakawasuna
    May 12, 2010

    @244

    Again the appeal to context…

    See, someone like Tancredo uses actual euphemisms (and mostly euphemisms) to cover the xenophobia (and some racism). He appeals to ‘American values’ without actually saying what they are, or when he does say what they are he’s appealing to a fiction. When he attacks immigrants, it’s vague and basely insulting (they’re ‘illiterate’, ‘stupid’, etc).

    When you see Pat Condell making a vitriolic attack on Islam in the UK, he has specific issues and arguments, despite the anger. I certainly wouldn’t align myself with everything he says – he can be wrong and make nonsensical points – but at what point do you differentiate an actual appeal to civil rights (which would be ‘traditional’) from xenophobia and racism? Is it where he conflates mental illness and wearing a veil? I can understand that. It’s over the top. On the other hand, it’s nothing you couldn’t find in criticisms of other religious practices having no relation to race. But because it’s an attack on a minority, it’s viewed as racist. And racists *do* align themselves with such messages.

    However, I do see real, tangible examples of this ‘PC’ nonsense that gets ranted about (and then they get called racists). Do you criticize those examples? Do you think it’s ridiculous to sanction Shariah courts? Do you think it’s wrong to appeal to barbarous practices, regardless of which culture is promoting them?

  344. #346 https://me.yahoo.com/a/NNElX.lopoxuMge1_bGvXqFvnkbkcEId0Nbpsg--#c96d1
    May 12, 2010

    PZ you claim to be a scientist yet you seem to be averse to asking the question Why? Here are some questions for you.

    e.g. Why was the cartoon published in Denmark?

    Why do Muslims get offended by attacks on something that is important to them?

    Why do you conflate the actions of some Muslims with all Muslims? This is a particularly important question PZ. If you do not know where you are going, look at recent history when a particular ethno-religous group was dehumanised.

    Why do you think the US can murder hundreds of thousands of people without consequence?

    I don’t expect answers. Just start asking why things happen.

  345. #347 Pierce R. Butler
    May 12, 2010

    A metacomment, if I may.

    This thread started with a post about provocation and a violent response, then grew even more heated with a long-time commenter going over the edge with a Nazi slur against our esteemed host. From there, amidst many (c)rude words, emerged multiple accusations of racism, xenophobia, bigotry and (gasp!) naïveté. An open-ended verbal brawl, by anyone’s measure.

    Quite recently, at another sciblog, where the original post’s theme was a paean to online civility, I took a (relatively) mild poke at a tangential line defending a Pentagon PR contractor.

    Soon I was floundering in a flame war, with the advocate of civility getting quite bent out of shape at my rudeness, my making uninformed assumptions about people’s politics and my seizing any excuse to attack people. Knockgoats arrived and attempted a rescue, only to be proclaimed as lowly a cur as myself; trying to rise above such a vile comparison, he was unambiguously put in his place, with firm declarations that an end to patience with our creepy McCarthyism had been reached.

    Yet, despite the use of much stronger language and personal whacks – and the near-total absence of grown-up supervision – this thread has resumed some degree of equilibrium and constructive dialog, whereas the one about civility ended with a prolonged blast of self-righteousness, and the riff-raff back in the fetid alleys whence we sprung.

    It will take somebody smarter than me to sort out the relative value of civility and its opposite – &/or thin-skinnedness &, dare I say, tolerance – for success in online communication (not to mention western/Muslim interaction), to be sure. (Which makes this a piss-poor metacomment, huh?)

  346. #348 Louis
    May 12, 2010

    Where was that, Pierce? I’d like to while away a few minutes chuckling at….erm….I mean reading that.

    Louis

  347. #349 Spiv
    May 12, 2010

    RobertH: He specified Euro/merica/western world!

    … @ 346:

    e.g. Why was the cartoon published in Denmark?

    We went over that in this thread, and discussed its context in dutch culture with the dog thing at roundabouts.

    Why do Muslims get offended by attacks on something that is important to them?

    I’m going to say using the word “offended” to describe “physically attacking someone, plus putting a price on their head and offering extra incentive for particular execution methods” doesn’t pass the giggle test. Call it what it is.

    Why do you conflate the actions of some Muslims with all Muslims? This is a particularly important question PZ. If you do not know where you are going, look at recent history when a particular ethno-religous group was dehumanised.

    We know this. We’ve discussed this over and over. But fact is, Islamic fundamentalists seem to be the big voices out there right now, and while we see a lot of whine and cry from other religions when someone says something critical, we don’t see such violent responses in such volume.

    Why do you think the US can murder hundreds of thousands of people without consequence?

    Why do you think islamic extremists can murder thousands of americans and not expect us.gov military toys all over your backyard? And no, I do not believe america is an innocent responder in this. But silly assed simplifications like the one you posted above are either ignorant, malicious, or indistinguishable between ignorant and malicious. Difference is I know I’m being intentionally silly about it.

  348. #350 hznfrst
    May 12, 2010

    Kristyan #295, I happen to be very left-wing, so don’t be assuming anything else about my politics just because I happen to agree with the right about islam, and once again for reasons other than racism (because islam is not a race, remember?).

    It may be true that in the UK the majority of critics of islam happen to be racists, but that is not true here in the USA. Here the fascists have Latinos to pick on instead, not for flogging their equally fucked religion of catholicism but for being here illegally.

    I happen to think that immigrants should follow procedures and wait their turn like decent people and that illegals should be unceremoniously kicked out, and guess what – I get called a racist for that too!

    You guys are just plain nuts and very likely trolls from the comments you’re leaving, possibly even muslims yourselves trying to give secularists a bad name. Prove that I’m wrong if you can.

  349. #351 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawn2QbW-ZsfxuQcIE3sg3Zi9KFWRVw5V-hQ
    May 12, 2010

    As stated in #341, SGBMs translation is poor, and the question is valid since, as far as I am aware, no country in western Europe has successfully integrated its Muslims immigrants in a good way.

    Any society must have certain basic ideas which everyone in it must accept, and in my view there are certain tenets in both Islam and Christianity which seem compatible with a modern secular society, although I give every individual the benefit of the doubt in this matter.

    Also, why should valid critism of a any idea/religion/etc be withdrawn or withheldbecause other parties may benefit from the truth.

  350. #352 BlueIndependent
    May 12, 2010

    Those who challenge others to ask why also need to spend more time thinking through the implications of their admonishments. Who cares why the cartoon was published in Denmark? What is your implication here? Why do Muslims get offended? I know why they get offended, but sorry, you’re basically blaming the victim here. You’re saying that expressing disrespect for someone else’s belief is the fault of the expresser, not the people actually swinging fists. Sorry to get lucid, but that’s like blaming the rape victim for “dressing improperly”. Vilks was speaking his mind in a type of institution devoted to such acts. He wasn’t running into the local Mosque defacating on a green crescent. You appear to fundamentally misunderstand where the marketplace of ideas exists, and what the foundations of Western society are.

    With respect to conflation, have you not read what PZ posted? Did you not see: “Muslims everywhere should be embarrassed…”? Where did PZ strike every Muslim from his “qualifies as human” list? Does every mention of Muslim (or any other form of) extremism have to be followed by a legal disclaimer saying the commentor doesn’t actually think all Muslims are terrorists?

    PZ knows why things happen, and if you had spent any time on this blog you would realize a lot of people here get that as well.

  351. #353 martha
    May 12, 2010

    That blond cop with the longish hair who had to hold down a protester–he’s hot.

    Anyone who criticizes the beliefs or actions of another group will have their motives be suspect, sometimes for good reason, sometimes not.

    All we can do is try to support what we say with facts. Fact is the the Bible and the Koran are very violent books that treat outsiders and women like shit and if your group follows them to the letter I don’t want your group moving to my town and influencing public policy. I just don’t. I prefer Muslims and Christians that rationalize away the immorality of their religions.

    Illegal immigration in the US is a serious problem and we should also be able to talk about that without being called racist, even if some who want to stop illegal immigration are racists. The Arizona law will not work as it will result in an unfair burden on citizens and legal immigrants that are perceived as Hispanic. But something has to be done and the discussion should be about what might work. The problem is that illegal immigrants have been a source of cheap labor so we are schizophrenic about the issue.

  352. #354 Steven Mading
    May 12, 2010

    Posted by: Haley | May 11, 2010 8:54 PM
    The woman screaming Allah Akbar scares me the most. If I were in the room I’d be as close to the ground as possible in case someone started shooting..

    Every time I see Allah Akbar in print, I keep thinking “Allah, It’s a trap!”

  353. #355 Pierce R. Butler
    May 12, 2010

    Louis @ # 348 – umm, I was trying to exercise a teeny bit of discretion by not pointing fingers, particularly since an explicit link might draw other almost-as-coarse hooligans to the blog of a basically decent, if naïve, person whom I think sincerely stresses over each comment, however ephemeral.

    That said, a Sciblogs search for my name, Knockgoats’s, and some of the phrases describing my regrettable personal tendencies (that is, just the ones mentioned in my comment, not, uh, you know…) ought to produce a very short list once you omit the Pharyngula items.

  354. #356 Anti_Theist-317
    May 12, 2010

    I do not know how to do it. Would anyone else like to help? It is doubtful. But, I will put it out there. I would like to donate $20 to anyone who stops Lars from being killed because of ‘the hit’. If he is killed my $20 will go to the person who is directly responsible for giving information which leads to the arrest of the killer.

    If the killer is jailed for 10 years I will give $21.

    If the killer is jailed for 20 years I will give $22

    If the killer is executed I will give $25

    If the execution is public I will give $26.

    Sorry Lars, it is not I do not value your life. But, I am poor. At least I am trying?

    Anyone to help?
    t_schwartz317@sbcblobal.net

  355. #357 Louis
    May 12, 2010

    @ Pierce #355:

    Gotcha. Nice one, Centurion. I shall merely read the results of my searches and not post further additions to the list of your disgusting qualities. You hideous, hideous person, you.

    ;-)

    Louis

  356. #358 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 12, 2010

    Every time I see Allah Akbar in print, I keep thinking “Allah, It’s a trap!”

    hahaha

  357. #359 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    Spiv @ 333;

    I think I’d still put these on a graph, most likely Buddhists at the bottom (whose fundamentalists are more likely to burn themselves to death in protest of violence) and Islam on top (who have a much larger and vocal following, and whose fundamentalists seem bent on ridding the world of all religions not their own by any means possible).

    What about the Buddhist/Islamist violence occuring in some parts of the world? Some of the Buddhist groups are shocking violent both in their attitudes and their methodology. It is one thing to be all self-righteous about hypothetical pacifism, entirely another to live up to those principles in practice.

    Also, while Islam’s extremists may be extra nasty this does not make mainstream Islam a threat any more than fundie extremist Christian groups that want to overthrow the US government means that all US Christians harbour treason in their hearts. I was talking about the relative threat of the mainstream of the religions. The relative threat level presented by their respective fundies is a seperate issue.

    If we go purely by the texts of each it’s impossible to conflate them. It’s all pacifism vs. stoning people to death and whatnot. The closest theravadan thing I can think of is some stuff about using a minimum of force/intimidation toward a young child to help shape them in to respectful adults. Still not even on the level of “spare the rod spoil the child.”

    What about the Christian Old Testasment? Its a horror show of ethnic cleansing, the butchery of civilians and the murder of unbelievers liberally garnished with misogyny, homophobia and justifications for slavery.

    As for Buddhism, we should look at the reality of Buddhist theocratic government as experienced in Tibet before the Chinese annexation. I am not saying that the actions of China were anything other than an illegal occupation, but the fact remains that the Dalai Lama’s rule was autocratic and trampled all over the human rights of Tibetans. Law enforcement was brutal to say the least and the monasteries dripped in gold while the people lived in crushing poverty, and all this was done under the aegis of ‘pacifistic’ Buddhism.

    Religion is innately harmful since it devalues reason and privileges fairy tales that are then used to justify every kind of oppression, bigotry and injustice imaginable. Heaping all the world’s woes on the shoulders of one religion misses the point that even if Islam was to disappear tommorrow it would not be long before another faith became equally problematic. The mentality of religion is the problem, not the idea that one nasty religion is somehow giving all faith a bad name.

    You can have faith or you can have reason; you cannot have both. That is the intellectual struggle of our times.

    Fringe violence? I won’t pretend that there are any cultures free of some violence and delusional thinking. Samurai, for example, were zen buddhists. They tested their swords on condemned men. I’m not sure how they justified such horror, but I’m sure they are not the only ones. So perhaps it’s simply a lack of power…

    Here you are on to something. I think it a near certainty that, if they could amass the necessary resources and powerbase, the fundies of pretty much any religious stripe would happily start murdering any and all who do not share their delusions, and filthy unbelievers like the bulk of the Pharyngulite horde would be at the very top of their pious hitlist.

  358. #360 ashleyfmiller
    May 12, 2010

    OK, even if we accept that the cartoonist is racist, which I have not seen proven very conclusively, or if we accept that it’s implicitly racist because it was made in Europe where muslims are treated poorly because of their immigrant status, how does that make it wrong to promote the cartoon and discussion of the circumstances?

    The cartoon itself is simply blasphemous. There’s nothing racist in the cartoon itself, spreading it in support of blasphemy is in support of just that. Furthermore, when someone has ideals, like supporting freedom of speech, it’s important to support the rights of people you don’t agree with. Finally, people can agree on some things and disagree on others, supporting one thing someone says doesn’t mean you support all the others; it’s intellectually dishonest to claim that supporting this cartoon is somehow supporting every racist person in Europe.

    I appreciate that you claim you’re not supporting censorship, but is your chastisement of PZ for promoting a blasphemous cartoon of a maybe racist not attempting to do just that?

  359. #361 Cliff Hendroval
    May 12, 2010

    I’ve only watched one or two of Pat Condell’s videos, so I don’t know this for sure, but I take it that since he’s such a whacking great racist he has dozens where he complains about Indians and Jamaicans, right?

  360. #362 Katharine
    May 12, 2010

    You should see some of the comments on reproductions of this video.

    I’ve gradually strengthened my opinion that most humans are fucking scary. I’ve actually become a lot less outgoing because of the fact that quite frankly I’m not sure what’s simmering under the surface of most people’s crania anymore and how much they can or want to hold it back.

    Oh, sure, I’m perfectly at ease around intelligent folks. It’s the dumb ones I’m scared of.

    I’ve had to take bumper stickers off my car because it’s been vandalized.

    I’ve been in several situations where I knew I was surrounded by idiots and I actually had a small amount of fear for my physical safety; I had to be extremely careful about everything I said, lest some asshole teabagger/christian or muslim fundamentalist/altmed fuckbag/other inane freak decide to go batshit.

    My sense of physical safety has decreased somewhat.

    I’d like to be more vocal, but the fact of the matter is that I’d also like to not have to incur hospital bills, too-steep property damage bills, or even worse, die.

    Maybe I should get a concealed carry permit.

  361. #363 Steven Mading
    May 12, 2010

    “- The atmosphere was very aggressive, says Tor Jonsson.”

    Then, said Tor Johnson, the real scary part of their plan began – Grave robbers from outer space!

    Oh, sorry, wrong spelling for Tor Johnson.

  362. #364 enzotonius
    May 12, 2010

    Muslims have long used the accusation of “racist” to cow opponents in the West into submission. My wife is a Persian atheist, I loved once when a Muslim tried to call her a racist and told him to go to hell in Farsi.

  363. #365 David Marjanovi?
    May 12, 2010

    With all the interruptions today, it took me all day to read this thread and write this comment, and I actually wanted to work.

    I’m surprised at how mild the police response is to the attacker(s?) and the unruly mob of bloodthirsty, delusional Allahbots.

    Why? There is no mob. It’s not like the entire lecture hall stood up and stormed forward, it’s, like, 5 people at the most.

    As you can see, the police response is entirely sufficient.

    The woman screaming Allah Akbar scares me the most. If I were in the room I’d be as close to the ground as possible in case someone started shooting…

    Shooting!?! This isn’t cinema, and it’s not the USA either.

    Yellow jacket, nice scarf, bag and maybe schoolbooks in hand, shouting repeatedly “Allah Ackbar”.

    And getting the ll wrong. Evidently she doesn’t know Arabic at all.

    This is only the beginning. We are dealing with a clash of civilizations, and one will win and one will loose.

    I think, in the long run, our modern, liberal, western civilization (or some blended variant) will emerge victorious, but it is going to be a long, hard battle.

    Bah. Western civilization is like the Borg: you touch it, you’re assimilated. A few try to react with Lovecraftian madness instead, but that has never worked and never lasts long.

    Why didn’t the police shoot? For all they knew he could have been a suicide bomber

    Then he wouldn’t have jumped up and charged at Vilks. He’d have kept sitting calmly and simply pressed the button.

    or had a gun

    It’s not America. People don’t simply have a gun.

    The overall message of the OT is that the Jews were to be a “kingdom of priests” through whom God redeemed the world.

    World? What world? Only in the youngest parts of the OT. In older parts, Yahwe is the god of Israel the same way that Chemosh is the god of Moab.

    Just another example of insidious multiculturalism and the damage it does to progress and enlightened western civilization.

    you’re right. we should go back to the Enlightenment Values of the Founding Fathers and simply exterminate all the heathen brown people and then take their stuff.

    Thread won.

    There is something that always puzzled me, even as an ex-muslim, why do they keep saying God is greater, it doesn’t make any sense mathematically, greater than what, and is he exactly greater or greater and equal to, I will never find an answer to that question.

    Easy: not merely “the greatest”, not merely the greatest you can imagine, not merely infinitely great, but greater. Still greater.

    Do you not see that it is precisely because of incidents like this – and particularly the tacit acceptance of such extremism by the broader Muslim community – that is moving support for these laws from the xenophobic, racist fringe to the mainstream? If not then you’re ignoring reality.

    I live in Austria, lived in Paris for 5 years, and… you’re wrong. Such events are extremely rare because such cartoons are almost never made. What are you thinking of?

    European racists (I’ll take the British Nationalist [BNP] as a classic case in point, but you could easily take the FPO/BZO in Austria or the FN in France or whatever)

    Unlike the FPÖ, the BZÖ is now a very small party that hasn’t said much about immigrants in the last few years (at least not since the FPK split off and almost-joined the FPÖ…) and now seems to wander off to become a libertarian-light party. (If so, it’ll die off like the previous one we had.)

    Shorter strange gods/Jadehawk: “There is anti-Arab racist sentiment in Europe, therefore anyone promoting anti-Islamic sentiments is a racist”

    Come on. Let me do it: “There is xenophobic sentiment against Muslim immigrants* in certain European countries, therefore anyone from those countries who deliberately trolls Muslims is knowingly and deliberately trolling immigrants, and that’s racist”.

    Really, even the most secular Turks know they’re meant when the FPÖ rants about how “the Viennese don’t want a second mosque to be built in Vienna”.

    * Different ones in different countries: Algerians, Tunisians, Moroccans, Malinese, Senegalese etc. in France; Indonesians in the Netherlands; Pakistanis in the UK; Turks, Kurds from Turkey, and the occasional Chechen in Germany and Austria**; Somalis in Sweden and, I think, Denmark…

    ** The Bosnian Muslims have always been very secular, it seems. As in: keeping the first and the last day of Ramadan…

    You guys are just plain nuts and very likely trolls from the comments you’re leaving, possibly even muslims yourselves trying to give secularists a bad name. Prove that I’m wrong if you can.

    You’re making yourself ridiculous. Have you ever read any thread here that wasn’t about Islam? (I can’t remember commenting you on one.) Maybe start here to figure out who the most popular regular commenters are.

    I would like to donate $20 to anyone who stops Lars from being killed because of ‘the hit’. If he is killed my $20 will go to the person who is directly responsible for giving information which leads to the arrest of the killer.

    If the killer is jailed for 10 years I will give $21.

    If the killer is jailed for 20 years I will give $22

    If the killer is executed I will give $25

    If the execution is public I will give $26.

    All EU countries have abolished the death penalty, and so have all that imagine ever possibly joining in the future (I remember thinking this was the obvious reason when Albania, communist till shortly before, did it in 1994). This even holds for Switzerland, where each canton has abolished it separately.

    The USA is the freak here, you know.

  364. #366 windy
    May 12, 2010

    Come on. Let me do it: “There is xenophobic sentiment against Muslim immigrants* in certain European countries, therefore anyone from those countries who deliberately trolls Muslims is knowingly and deliberately trolling immigrants, and that’s racist”.

    Non sequitur much?

  365. #367 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    I appreciate that you claim you’re not supporting censorship, but is your chastisement of PZ for promoting a blasphemous cartoon of a maybe racist not attempting to do just that? – ashleyfmiller

    What sort of fucking moron are you? Criticism is not censorship, shit-for-brains.

  366. #368 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    I haven’t watched all his [Condell's] videos, but I’ve seen him rant against Christianity, Judaism, religion in general, accomodationism etc. – John Morales

    And when was the last time?

  367. #369 David Marjanovi?
    May 12, 2010

    it’s intellectually dishonest to claim that supporting this cartoon is somehow supporting every racist person in Europe.

    Not any particular racist person, but racism itself.

    I’ve only watched one or two of Pat Condell’s videos, so I don’t know this for sure, but I take it that since he’s such a whacking great racist he has dozens where he complains about Indians and Jamaicans, right?

    He has publicly stated his support for the UK Independence Party. Search this page for “UKIP” and read.

    Maybe I should get a concealed carry permit.

    No, you should move to a place where there are no teabaggers and no such thing as a concealed-carry permit. Otherwise, you’re making me afraid that one day you’ll get a panic attack and shoot aimlessly in all directions.

    If that means emigrating, do it. Ichthyic went all the way to New Zealand and loves it, right, Ichthyic?

    Muslims have long used the accusation of “racist” to cow opponents in the West into submission.

    And? Has it ever worked?

    (Wee bit of context: Persians don’t look foreign in most of Europe.)

  368. #370 Spiv
    May 12, 2010

    Gregory Greenwood @ 359:

    Oh no no, we misunderstand each other. I’m certainly not suggesting that any one religion is the whole problem, and equally ridiculous would be the suggestion that any religion isn’t potentially a gateway drug to crazy, even if it were explicitly written to try and get past that stuff. Buddhism is a good example of just that: despite having stuff written up and down about not believing in supernatural and magical powers, societies are still rife with beliefs in spirits, witches, magical medicines, and whatever else.

    Plus I was actually thinking christian when I said “…stoning people to death.” Not that the babble holds exclusive rights to stonings. We’re on the same page, at least in part.

    What I am suggesting is that they are not necessarily equal, at least not for this little slice of time we’re living in. You do make a good argument for christian fundies who are putting together little treasonous militias and whatnot- they could well vie for top banana. And I do mean bananas.

    “Religion is innately harmful since it devalues reason and privileges fairy tales that are then used to justify every kind of oppression, bigotry and injustice imaginable.”

    This I will take some (unpopular around here) exception to, but with two concessions: one is that “I are one,” so and am well aware of my biases and so should you be. So take that as you will. Two is that in the case of buddhism “reason” and “adapting to changing information” are, supposedly, the rare place where that one religion and science occasionally pretend to intersect. Of course some take this to heart, some treat all things written just as fervently as if they were “the word of gawd.”

    However I’ll bet we could gather a collection of people from each religion who would happily tell you they adapt as info changes too. So back to my biases. Likewise one should point the spotlight on themselves, even as a scientist, from time to time and ask this same question.

    As for xenophobia? again there’s no tribe, religion or not, free of guilt. It comes up here in mildest form even; in your own post, you clearly would like to rid the world of all religion. But these are shades of gray: obviously what you mean and what a fundy may mean are very very different means and ends.

    For buddhist theocracy: Note that this is still an issue in Dharamsala. Intimidation toward those that disagree, threats to some, and poverty issues. There is a lot of question about whether this is actually sponsored by the DL, or the actions of his followers who think of him as more than a fully human leader. It hardly matters though, and if he’s aware of these things at all then his inaction puts him on par with the pope.

  369. #371 David Marjanovi?
    May 12, 2010

    Non sequitur much?

    No, because it’s impossible to overlook that sentiment if you actually live there.

  370. #372 windy
    May 12, 2010

    The Swedish police report that there was no physical contact between Vilks and the crowd

    Only because a security guard *jumped between* Vilks and the man rushing at him. Apparently everything happened so fast that initial reports were conflicting.

  371. #373 Katharine
    May 12, 2010

    No, you should move to a place where there are no teabaggers and no such thing as a concealed-carry permit. Otherwise, you’re making me afraid that one day you’ll get a panic attack and shoot aimlessly in all directions.

    Planning to move anyway once I can, but I’m kind of stuck in my current geographical location until I finish undergrad.

  372. #374 ashleyfmiller
    May 12, 2010

    What sort of fucking moron are you? Criticism is not censorship, shit-for-brains.

    People are saying he shouldn’t have posted it because it’s racist. If the point is not to get him to take it down or prevent him from posting something similar in the future, what is the point?

  373. #375 windy
    May 12, 2010

    No, because it’s impossible to overlook that sentiment if you actually live there.

    Your argument still does not logically follow. Try substituting something else that ends up affecting only immigrants, like:

    “(1) There is xenophobic sentiment against Muslim immigrants in certain European countries, therefore (2) anyone from those countries who advocates strict punishments for parents engaging in FGM is knowingly and deliberately targeting immigrants, (3) and that’s racist”.

  374. #376 David Marjanovi?
    May 12, 2010

    Try substituting something else that ends up affecting only immigrants, like:

    Point taken, thanks.

    Insert an argument about victimless crimes or some other matter of degree here.

  375. #377 Dr. Mabuse
    May 12, 2010

    Many people seem to know Lars Vilks intimately enough to label him a xenophobe, Nazi, and/or fascist.
    How these labels are applied speaks more about the people doing the labeling, than of Lars Vilks.

    Which brings me to strange gods before me.

    Lars Vilks’ own words:

    Misstaget är att man proklamerat det mångkulturella samhället. Kan man integrera muslimer på ett bra sätt? Man har ingen idé om hur man ska integrera dem.

    ‘It’s a mistake to have a multicultural society. Can Muslims even be integrated? We have no idea how to integrate them.’

    The above is a piss-poor translation, which make me believe that the translator had an intent of casting Lars Vilks in poor light. With such a translation, it isn’t hard to believe that Vilks is a xenophobe. But that is not what he said.

    This is my translation:
    The mistake is to proclaim the multicultural society. Is there a good way to integrate muslims? We have no idea how to integrate them.

    The context of the word “good” in the second sentence is: well-founded, effective, efficient. I based that on reading the rest of the Swedish paper article, and having watched a half-hour long interview with Lars Vilks about his art, done even before he drew that roundabout-dog sketch. (Jihadists aren’t his sole target of ridicule.)
    Back then, Lars said that he claimed “ownership” of the on-going controversy around any piece of his work, the controversy itself as part of his art.

    Since you are squabbling about this picture, and some are labeling him xenophobe, Nazi, or Fascist… Realise that you are participating in a piece of Lars Vilks’ art.

    (I am too)

  376. #378 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    Not trying to hijack the conversation but Condell probably criticizes Islam because everybody else is scared. – uuaschbaer

    Total crap. You have obviously never read the British tabloid press.

    “The mistake is to proclaim the multicultural society. Is there a good way to integrate muslims? We have no idea how to integrate them.” – Dr. Mabuse

    I fail to see any significant difference between this and the other translation. In both case, the meaning is clear: “wogs out”, as a more honest racist would put it.

    Realise that you are participating in a piece of Lars Vilks’ art.

    So fucking what?

  377. #379 hankroberts
    May 12, 2010

    Sigh. In the old text days on Usenet, nobody knew you were a dog.

  378. #380 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    Yes, there are some very small groups in Northern Europe that one might call Nazis who don’t like muzzies – shonny

    Given the vile antisemitism you have displayed here on a number of occasions, I guess we should listen carefully to your views about who is and is not a Nazi.

  379. #381 windy
    May 12, 2010

    I fail to see any significant difference between this and the other translation. In both case, the meaning is clear: “wogs out”, as a more honest racist would put it.

    Sort of like if PZ were more honest he’d admit he wants to put religious people in re-education camps, and if SC were more honest she’d admit she’s anti-semitic. Since no other interpretation is possible. /s

  380. #382 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    Are you suggesting that Pat Condell does not recognise Muslims as people? – Citizen of the cosmos

    Yes, in effect. See my comments earlier in the thread about his complete failure to recognise that Muslim women might actually have political agency themselves.

  381. #383 Katharine
    May 12, 2010

    I fail to see any significant difference between this and the other translation. In both case, the meaning is clear: “wogs out”, as a more honest racist would put it.

    Er, I read the second translation as ‘it’s a mistake to think we’ve figured out how to have a functioning multicultural society yet’, as in It Would Be Absurd To Think Everything’s Post-Racist When There Are Idiots Around.

  382. #384 uuaschbaer
    May 12, 2010

    Total crap. You have obviously never read the British tabloid press.
    The issue is not exclusive to Britain. And it is public opinion that one should be concerned with not some unimportant tabloids.
    Incidentally, there is no reason to say “total crap” like that and ignore the whole argument I made, in fact it’s damn well curt. Criticizing a minority doesn’t make anybody racist by definition. And criticizing public opinion isn’t criticizing a minority, that’s criticizing a majority. It may be true that Condell is racist, but he is not only for criticizing a minority. Or their beliefs, thoughts or habits. And better yet: even if he was a racist, that doesn’t change whether his arguments are good. Sure he may have an ulterior motive to employ the arguments but his personal convictions are immaterial.
    People should jolly well make up their own minds and that’s why refutation of specific arguments is what is needed here, not declarations of racism.

  383. #385 Knockgoats
    May 12, 2010

    Shorter strange gods/Jadehawk: “There is anti-Arab racist sentiment in Europe, therefore anyone promoting anti-Islamic sentiments is a racist”

    Are you guys for real? -toth

    Sure they’re for real. And you’re a liar, since neither said those words, nor implied that.

  384. #386 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    Spiv @ 370;

    Oh no no, we misunderstand each other. I’m certainly not suggesting that any one religion is the whole problem, and equally ridiculous would be the suggestion that any religion isn’t potentially a gateway drug to crazy, even if it were explicitly written to try and get past that stuff. Buddhism is a good example of just that: despite having stuff written up and down about not believing in supernatural and magical powers, societies are still rife with beliefs in spirits, witches, magical medicines, and whatever else.

    Sorry, my mistake.

    Plus I was actually thinking christian when I said “…stoning people to death.” Not that the babble holds exclusive rights to stonings. We’re on the same page, at least in part.

    Yes. it is unfortunate that stoning appears to be something of a staple among Abrahamic religions at one point in their development or another.

    What I am suggesting is that they are not necessarily equal, at least not for this little slice of time we’re living in. You do make a good argument for christian fundies who are putting together little treasonous militias and whatnot- they could well vie for top banana. And I do mean bananas.

    There are plenty of Christian fundies who are, as you say, bananas*. Indeed, they are extra-strength 100% proof crazy. The difference between the likes of them and militant Islamists is not, in my opinion, a difference of kind so much as a difference of degree. The difference is largely infrastructural. If fundamentalists Christians had access to the monies, materiel and training capacity of groups like Al Qaeda then I am certain that they would pose a comparable threat to global security. It is not as though they are averse to indiscriminate violence.

    This I will take some (unpopular around here) exception to…

    You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, and I for one do not take exception to your belief in anything. I may think you are wrong, but that is not the same as taking exception.

    in the case of buddhism “reason” and “adapting to changing information” are, supposedly, the rare place where that one religion and science occasionally pretend to intersect. Of course some take this to heart, some treat all things written just as fervently as if they were “the word of gawd.”

    (Emphasis added). This is the essential point. Science, undertaken properly and rigorously, never pretends to intersect with anything. It deals solely with the observable, quantifiable Universe. It is the closest we can come (as innately subjective human beings) to an objective search for truth.

    Conversely, religion does not concern itself with reality at all. It is predicated upon unevidenced claims of the supernatural from which it derives its (pseudo) moral authority. Many Buddhists are taught that Buddah was born from a slit in his mother’s side, and this is taken as not referring to a proto-ceasarian procedure but to some kind of miraculous event that seperates him from the, presumeably ‘impure’, process of conventional partuition.

    If religion is to maintain its moral authority it must inevitably come into conflict with an unflinching scientific examination of the Universe that leaves less and less space for the ‘god of ther gaps’.

    As for xenophobia? again there’s no tribe, religion or not, free of guilt. It comes up here in mildest form even; in your own post, you clearly would like to rid the world of all religion. But these are shades of gray: obviously what you mean and what a fundy may mean are very very different means and ends.

    With respect, I feel that you have engaged ina false equivilency here. I would not exactly weep buckets if the harmful fanatsies commonly termed as religions were to fade from human civilisation, but I am not about to harm anyone to ‘rid the world’ of religion. Religion is not like ethnicity or gender. It is something that a person chooses to follow and can choose to abandon. Religion could fall from the world without a single drop of blood spilt if people would only look to the utter lack off evidence for godhead. It is not xenophobic to identify an unevidenced and, historically and contemporarily, manifestly harmful mythology as an unevidenced and manifestly harmful mythology.

    Scientific understanding and the application of knowledge and reason are squeezing out mysticism and obscurantism in all their forms; it is an inevitable side effect of replacing the ignorance that religion thrives upon with actual knowledge. Many religions started as a means to explain supposed ‘acts of god’ like plagues or hurricanes, but in an age of the Germ Theory of infection and Climatology respectively such mystical explanations are superfluous, and indeed can be very harmful when people like Bill Donohue try to claim that natural disaster is a punishment from god upon a society tolerant of homosexuality or mixed race marriage.

    Religion was the explanation born of fear and ignorance. Science provides a better explanation born of knowledge and careful research. I think it is time for religion to step aside. Where it does not, horrors can and do often follow. I would never use violence to achieve this end, however. There is no atheist horde champing their missahpen fangs in anticipation of eating the babies of believers and burning down their churches with salvoes of petrol soaked, ignited communion wafers. We point the way to an alternative that we believe is better that the mysticism of a bygone age, and that is all. We do not seek to compel anyone to think as we do.

    * Gaarghhh! Horrible Gwen Stafanni song flashback moment!

  385. #387 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 12, 2010

    For those of us who think that we think every attack on islam is an example of racism, let me set the record straight right now:
    Many claims against islam are effectively special pleading, ignoring existing white people doing similar. Claiming Islam is misogynist is true. However, doing so but ignoring the misogynism of Christianity, or Judaism, or anything else? Racism.

    Look above at the call that Islam wants its own legal system. We have people who do the SAME THING, but are white. Therefore, they’re okay. Hell, the Anglican-based churches actually have some form of limited legal power. Nobody seems to mind when white people have their own religious based arbitration service, but as soon as brown people who worship a different god ask for one, it’s a threat to our freedoms.

    Should Islam be treated with kid gloves, then?

    Not at all. Notice that I’ve said nothing about PZ’s attacks on Islam. Or for that matter, Walton’s. Or Jesus and Mo (Well, I called it unfunny and lame, because it is both).

    What we should not do is support racists, even if they’re using dog whistles that aren’t tuned to frequencies that we, as Americans, are used to picking up.

    See, someone like Tancredo uses actual euphemisms (and mostly euphemisms) to cover the xenophobia (and some racism). He appeals to ‘American values’ without actually saying what they are, or when he does say what they are he’s appealing to a fiction. When he attacks immigrants, it’s vague and basely insulting (they’re ‘illiterate’, ‘stupid’, etc).

    And you missed WAlton’s posts on the British versions of the euphemisms. Take out your dog whistle radio and change the frequency.

    Non sequitur much?

    That sentence was long, but it worked perfectly. You’re just an illiterate.

  386. #388 windy
    May 12, 2010
    Non sequitur much?

    That sentence was long, but it worked perfectly. You’re just an illiterate.

    if so, I must be a rather persuasive one: see #376.

  387. #389 Mr T
    May 12, 2010

    What we should not do is support racists, even if they’re using dog whistles that aren’t tuned to frequencies that we, as Americans, are used to picking up.

    I wholeheartedly agree that we shouldn’t support racism. But if we don’t recognize something as racist but as blasphemy or as a matter of defending free speech; then there’s no reasonable criterion that we could use to determine whether or not it should be supported for whatever (hopefully legitimate) ends we think it suits us.

    Another problem is that Vilks may not even be a racist. The best case I’ve seen is that he is guilty by association to actual racists in Europe, and this could apparently extend to others who would also support his art for entirely non-racist reasons. Many following this line of argument seem not to be terribly concerned with his own personal context as being an artist testing the limits of free speech; instead there is a lot of focus on a (possibly separate) context of racist xenophobes in Europe.

    There doesn’t seem to be anything racist about the sketches themselves. They do, however, demand that secular society confront the kind of special treatment for religions which they desire, and that statement is what I support — not any of the artist’s personal beliefs. That way lies utter madness. Evil people will continue to like and support beautiful things, and use them to their own evil ends. We should not stop doing what we do, as long as they’re for the right reasons.

  388. #390 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 12, 2010

    @388:
    One of our sarcasm meters is busted. I’m going to bet on you, but hey, could be me.

    Your ‘convincing’ argument also misses that a lot of the arguments made shouldn’t affect only immigrants.

    “The immigrants are trying to institute Sharia Law!”
    “You mean like how the white people already had religious arbitration courts with strong in group pressure to rely on them when possible?”

    If you want to use FGM as your example, it’s only comparable if FGM was perfectly fine when white people did it, and it’s only the brown people’s FGM that’s a problem. But no. FGM was always a problem. To bring this back to a real world example where *I* will call racism:

    If you say:
    “Abolish /all/ religious arbitration courts” is not racist. I could, if I were really snippy, cynically point out you only found out about them because of the brown people’s, but now that you KNOW about them, you are against the white people’s too. Then you know, that’s not racist. It’s a little retarded, since you’re picking a dumb battle (We allow voluntary arbitration)

    But if you go:
    “OMG! Islam is trying to institute Sharia law in the UK! Stop it!”
    And don’t bother to say anything about the actual legal courts given to the anglican church (However small they may be overall)?

    Racism. Period.

  389. #391 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 12, 2010

    I wholeheartedly agree that we shouldn’t support racism. But if we don’t recognize something as racist but as blasphemy or as a matter of defending free speech; then there’s no reasonable criterion that we could use to determine whether or not it should be supported for whatever (hopefully legitimate) ends we think it suits us.

    That’s something I’m having a stumble with myself. A stopped clock is still right twice a day, after all.

    It seems to me we should be clear that they’re horrible people who just happened to be right about one thing. For instance, an appropriate response to Westergaard may be “Westergaard’s right to criticize the extremist bombers! They’re horrible people! Too bad he makes a special exception for the extremists he’s used to and only minds the immigrant ones”

    You know, make it clear we’re onto his stupidity and not uncritically support what he’s saying.

  390. #392 superheadcat
    May 12, 2010

    Ok, context is important. I got it.

    I’ve never been to Europe, and have not heard about Lars Vilks before. There is no way, no how, whatsoever, for me to comment on the “context” in Europe.

    But I’ve lived in US for more than 13 years, and have paid keen attention to PZ’s blog for quite a while, so I am ready to be educated about the “context” here.

    Could anyone explain to me the context here (i.e., in this country, at this time, on this Internet blog) that would make PZ’s action of posting this cartoon an act of supporting racism.

    Heck, if you read the bounty al-Qaeda put up for Vilk’s head, PZ literarally had put his life on the line here. I certainly hope that is worth more than supporting racism.

  391. #393 Pierce R. Butler
    May 12, 2010

    Gregory Greenwood @ # 386: There is no atheist horde champing their missahpen fangs in anticipation of eating the babies of believers and burning down their churches with salvoes of petrol soaked, ignited communion wafers.

    Dammit, the picnic & party have been canceled again?

    * pouts *

  392. #394 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 12, 2010

    Could anyone explain to me the context here (i.e., in this country, at this time, on this Internet blog) that would make PZ’s action of posting this cartoon an act of supporting racism.

    Well, we’ve explained what’s going on in Europe repeatedly with nary an acknowledgement.

    Hell, he’s expressed shock and awe that Pat Condell was a racist when he supported the UKIP. Despite being told it like 30 times in comments, at least.

    It’s ignorant, if not intentionally supporting racism. We can call PZ out for his mistakes.

  393. #395 superheadcat
    May 12, 2010

    That is why in my previous post I hoped PZ can clarify this Vilks character.

    But, still, PZ posted a fucking cartoon on this thread! I just don’t see the link between this and racism.

    Is it simply because that cartoon is produced by Vilks, PZ is supporting racism for posting it?

  394. #396 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 12, 2010

    Is it simply because that cartoon is produced by Vilks, PZ is supporting racism for posting it?

    Well, it’s also the omission of “I hate your motive for doing what you do”, because that motive is racism. He could acknowledge the badness of their reasons why while still supporting the message “Islam is not sacred.”

    We call the Tea Party racist for not shouting down the racists who agree with them. I think the least we can do is ask for an acknowledgment of, and combat of, that racism even when it agrees with our message.

  395. #397 windy
    May 12, 2010

    One of our sarcasm meters is busted. I’m going to bet on you, but hey, could be me.
    Your ‘convincing’ argument also misses that a lot of the arguments made shouldn’t affect only immigrants.

    What on earth are you babbling about? Me and David were discussing the subset of cases where a criticism only applies to immigrants, not cases where a double standard exists.

    Hell, he’s expressed shock and awe that Pat Condell was a racist when he supported the UKIP. Despite being told it like 30 times in comments, at least.

    That may be, but Vilks and Condell are in fact two separate persons living in two separate countries. So how does someone else’s hypocrisy on religious arbitration courts demonstrate that Vilks’ drawing is nothing but a racist dog whistle?

    Speaking of the European context (from #299):

    While strange gods was unquestionably wrong about this one, keep in mind that the cartoons have become an emblem to the europeans nazis of today: when you see this cartoon, you may see only a jab at religions, when they see this pictures, they see it at a validation of their idea that Muslims are no better than dogs and should be treated and killed like dogs.

    Since when do Swedes think dogs are creatures that need to be summarily killed? Especially with a ‘rondellhund’ (cute, whimsical, silly) this association seems to be a stretch.

  396. #398 Falyne, FCD
    May 12, 2010

    No one said PZ was supporting racism. They said he was calling for it’s promotion.

    I’m with SGBM, Jadehawk, and Walton on this one. It’s entirely possible for both of these statements to be true:

    1.) Free speech should be sacrosanct. No one should face physical danger for the words that they’ve said, and any who would attack physically over words is a jackass, and should be condemned.

    2.) It’s a fallacy to say that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That is, the sheer fact that a speaker is being attacked by jackasses is NOT in and of itself an indication that their message should be wider broadcast.

    That is, just like Jewish groups attacking neo-Nazis doesn’t prove that the latter’s views are worth promoting, nor does Muslim groups attacking this guy make him worthy of promotion.

    SGBM called out this sentence of PZ’s:

    I think it’s only appropriate that Vilks’ sketch of Mohammed as a mangy cur should receive wider circulation because of the vileness of their response.

    I don’t know enough about Vilks per se, but I’m perfectly willing to believe that some
    European anti-Islam sentiment can be a cover for xenophobic bigotry, and allying ourselves with anti-Islam activists should be done with care and discretion.

  397. #399 Gregory Greenwood
    May 12, 2010

    Pierce R. Butler @ 393;

    Dammit, the picnic & party have been canceled again?

    Yup. Apparently our headlining band, “Cthulhu and the Elder Gods”, can’t make it for at least another month. Don’t look at me, P-ZED was the one who said he could fit a personal appearance into the busy world-devouring schedule our tentacled overlord.

    Don’t worry, the succulent babies will keep ’til then…

  398. #400 superheadcat
    May 12, 2010

    I think there is a bit of “guilty by association” here. And also, I don’t buy that PZ has to mention racism when the purpose of this thread is clearly “these fundy nutjobs are really giving Islam a bad name”.

    Here is an analogy: I went through Nazi Germany’s government document, and notice that they considered smoking hazardous to health and had an education program promoting that. I don’t believe that fact would obligate me to having to mention “Nazi is bad” whenever I promote anti-smoking messages.

    I certainly would not call myself “support Nazism” for not mentioned “Nazi is bad” whenever I promote anti-smoking messages.

  399. #401 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 12, 2010

    Here is an analogy: I went through Nazi Germany’s government document, and notice that they considered smoking hazardous to health and had an education program promoting that. I don’t believe that fact would obligate me to having to mention “Nazi is bad” whenever I promote anti-smoking messages.

    What about when you’re passing on anti-smoking messages that were specifically written by the nazi government though, with attributed quotes? I don’t ask for the clarification when he’s just talking about islam. If you’d like proof, go back to the latest thread on drawing muhammed with chalk, and notice I do not have any “But what about…” objections.

    I’m asking for it when he’s quoting racists who’s dislike of immigrants causes them to say things against islam that he agrees with.

    What on earth are you babbling about? Me and David were discussing the subset of cases where a criticism only applies to immigrants, not cases where a double standard exists.

    You don’t appear have a long standing dialogue on the matter in this thread. You raised a single example.

    That may be, but Vilks and Condell are in fact two separate persons living in two separate countries. So how does someone else’s hypocrisy on religious arbitration courts demonstrate that Vilks’ drawing is nothing but a racist dog whistle?

    True, it doesn’t. I’ll get back to that in a second. Unfortunately google is polluted with everyone’s blog posts on this incident, and I am not inclined to search further for some statements from /him/ specifically. I’ll see if SGBM has any on hand for us, because I’m lazy.

    The reason I mentioned Condell is that, perhaps surprisingly, I was worried that this would turn out EXACTLY like previous cases (Condell, especially, but Westergaard too). PZ makes no effort to learn about their views before promoting them uncritically. He has subsequently retracted on Condell, post learning of his UKIP support, but that didn’t come until just before the British Elections, well after these things were made available for him to learn in his own comment threads (Which I know he does not read that closely, granted).

  400. #402 windy
    May 12, 2010

    Well, we’ve explained what’s going on in Europe repeatedly with nary an acknowledgement.

    Are any of you explainers actually from Sweden or otherwise familiar with it? Just curious.

  401. #403 John Scanlon FCD
    May 12, 2010

    superheadcat,

    …the context here (i.e., in this country, at this time, on this Internet blog) that would make PZ’s action of posting this cartoon an act of supporting racism.

    The context is actual geography. Where the fuck is ‘here‘? The readers and commenters on this blog are practically everywhere on the planet (as is PZed, quite frequently). What makes you think that you in the US are the centre of everything?

    I’ve lived in US for more than 13 years

    Let us know when you turn 14 and we’ll sing Happy Birthday.

  402. #404 Spiv
    May 12, 2010

    Gregory Greenwood @ 386:

    First, thank you for the quality and well reasoned discussion thus far :)

    The difference between the likes of them and militant Islamists is not, in my opinion, a difference of kind so much as a difference of degree. The difference is largely infrastructural. If fundamentalists Christians had access to the monies, materiel and training capacity of groups like Al Qaeda then I am certain that they would pose a comparable threat to global security. It is not as though they are averse to indiscriminate violence.

    I can’t really argue this in that particular case; there is indeed something ingrained in the abrahamic religions that just loves to hate/stone foreigners to death. I would like to think better of them, but in the same sense I cringe at the thought of finding out. I would like to think this isn’t universal to all belief systems, because in my own case I have a hard time drawing a line at where something is “religion” and “philosophy.” I check that box on the census form, but there’s also a good possibility that I fall squarely in to the philosophical only category. After all I view all figures in buddhism as fully human, and fallible in both historical time-frame and logic. Likewise for every person that scribed down such obvious nonsense as “immaculate” births and whatnot.

    Point being that somewhere in there, we’re going to have to make some judgement about such things. If I call myself a buddhist, and it’s as a philosophy, what’s the difference between that and Hume or Nietzsche’s views on ethics? Or Young or Roger’s on self improvement and behavioral improvements? Are you willing to take Hitchens’ stance that science is the appropriate tool to give us insight in to the human spirit? Or is there still a place for philosophy in the utopian un-theistic future?

    (Emphasis added). This is the essential point. Science, undertaken properly and rigorously, never pretends to intersect with anything.

    I think you read me wrong there; science does not pretend anything. It (hopefully, but given the fallibility of humans) does just as you say: deals with evidence and hard truth. My point being that buddhism pretends to emulate this. I’ll be the first to admit that it is much, much more fallible, and I frequently find myself handing stacks of research papers to fellow buddhists trying to get them to wake up from the woo they want to believe. The goal is the same though: truth. And we are very lucky to have science off doing their best to find it in the most rigorous of ways; we just have to make sure we listen and adapt as the new info gets handed down.

    Conversely, religion does not concern itself with reality at all. It is predicated upon unevidenced claims of the supernatural from which it derives its (pseudo) moral authority

    If religion is to maintain its moral authority it must inevitably come into conflict with an unflinching scientific examination of the Universe that leaves less and less space for the ‘god of ther gaps’.

    I think this gets to the heart of where we maybe should draw that line between philosophy religion. Christianity claims ultimate moral authority as handed down from a god. Islam claims ultimate moral authority as handed down from a god. Hinduism claims ultimate moral authority as handed down from gods. Scientology claims ultimate moral authority as handed down from..uhm..some alien shit or something.

    Buddhism claims they’ve got some good ideas about how you could live your life that should hopefully result in a better world. They claim Siddhartha as its originating philosopher, give him a fancy title, but (generally) as regular old human being.

    There are always those who want to make their founders to be more than they were: think of all the ridiculous stories you were taught about George Washington in gradeschool.

    With respect, I feel that you have engaged ina false equivilency here. I would not exactly weep buckets if the harmful fanatsies commonly termed as religions were to fade from human civilisation, but I am not about to harm anyone to ‘rid the world’ of religion. Religion is not like ethnicity or gender. It is something that a person chooses to follow and can choose to abandon. Religion could fall from the world without a single drop of blood spilt if people would only look to the utter lack off evidence for godhead. It is not xenophobic to identify an unevidenced and, historically and contemporarily, manifestly harmful mythology as an unevidenced and manifestly harmful mythology.

    And many christians would say similar things: IE that they would be ecstatic if everyone just ‘found’ jeebus of their own accord, after all it is a choice. They even let women and black people call themselves christian.

    While you’d cringe at the thought of blood being spilt to rid the world of religion, you may or may not speak for every atheist out there. Many might view such means as being for “the greater good,” or have some exception in which they feel they are defending themselves of something.

    I’m having trouble putting these two together, could you elaborate?

    “We point the way to an alternative that we believe is better that the mysticism of a bygone age, and that is all. We do not seek to compel anyone to think as we do.”

    and

    “It is something that a person chooses to follow and can choose to abandon. Religion could fall from the world without a single drop of blood spilt if people would only look to the utter lack off evidence for godhead.

    To me the highlighted part is asking others to adopt your philosophy. While I’m fine with this, scientific thinking is a process of learning to see and think in terms outside of our human biases. Double blind studies, statistical analysis, peer review, etc are all modes of thinking that are directed at using evidence against what we might believe to be true. IE pitting empirical validity against face validity.

  403. #405 superheadcat
    May 12, 2010

    “No one said PZ was supporting racism” by Falyne

    sigh. don’t you just hate this kind of sweeping generalization?
    at least one, David Marjanovi?, in post 369, when responding to ashleyfmiller’s post 360 that “it’s intellectually dishonest to claim that supporting this cartoon is somehow supporting every racist person in Europe”, mentioned “Not any particular racist person, but racism itself”

  404. #406 Love F
    May 12, 2010

    Whoa! I actually read 403 comments.

    Being a lifelong swedish citizen, I might shine some light on the immigration issue here. We have an issue. It’s not really problematic, but there are areas such as Rosengård in Malmö, where some violent young thugs throw stones at ambulances and firemen, because they’re from the outside community.

    But the real problem is that the only people talking about the problem is the racists, bacause talking about any problem with immigration labels you a racist.

    There are obviously going to be problems when large amounts of people move with to little preparation and free will. Language is one problem, housing another. Not talking about it will not solve the problem.

    Another problem I have is the anti-muslem vs. anti-jewish comparison. Sure, orthodox jews have been a pain in the ass for jews for as long as there has been jews, as is the situation in any religion. The diffreance is that the last (pre WW2) time a country was run by jews was long gone. Jews were perfect to project hate on, because while everybody knew about them and most mildly dispised them due to church lies, they had no orginization to defend themselves with.

    Muslims are in a different situation. The worst case scenario for the muslims is mass deportation, which is bad enough, but radical muslim groups are currently doing ethnic clensings in Iraq.

    Also, I’m no artist, but can someone with some artistic skills please produce a picture like

    PZ uses squid to rape childern, on top of skeletons of babies, in an academic surrounding. With a crowd of Pharyngulites praising him.

    I’d like to see what it takes to get anyone on Pharyngula to want to hit anyone for the sake of a cartoon.

    See, I have a clue, it’s when nobody else makes the picture, leaving *me* to produce it. The result will be fugly.

  405. #407 superheadcat
    May 12, 2010

    john @403,

    son, this is the first time i read your post, and i decide to respond in civil manner, although you are extremely juvenile in your post and owe me an apology.

    “context” came to this thread precisely because SGBM mentioned what s/he considers Vilks as a person, and the political atmosphere in Europe recently and currently. Being quite ignorant about those issue s/he raised, I refrained from commenting until further learning. although i feel his/her assertion that “PZ promotes nazism” quite over the top.

    but here in US, in 2010, PZ post a message on a blog, resulting in someone considering him “support racism”. this is something i am curious about, because i think i have enough knowledge about the place and time of this particular PZ post to conclude that the contexts here and now are different from those depicted by SGBM in Europe. Thus I tried to have a discussion with others regarding the “context” here.

    son, there is much you need to learn. for example, “context” is not merely “geography”. also, i know there are people who think that they in the US are the centre of everything, but you were not talking to one. it is quite infantile to fantasize about those who you hardly know anything about.

  406. #408 John Scanlon FCD
    May 12, 2010

    Fuck off, Dad.

  407. #409 superheadcat
    May 12, 2010

    “I’m asking for it when he’s quoting racists who’s dislike of immigrants causes them to say things against islam that he agrees with.” Rutee @401

    i think that is fair, and would agree with it. now only if i learn more about this Vilks guy.

    nothing against other posters who share information about Vilks as a person. simply since i’ve followed PZ long enough to know what to expect from him, i would realy like him to clarify this Lars Vilks.

    hey, it is the 3rd time i made the plead, in this one thread…

  408. #410 John Morales
    May 12, 2010

    Well, the topic sure has shifted. Seems that everyone agrees that “Violence is not free speech”, but now the discussion centers on whether supporting free speech by (alleged) racists is supporting racism.

    As to whether Vilks and Condell are racists, I don’t know. From what I know of their corpus, I certainly cannot make that determination. Yes, commenters I respect are asserting this (and, in the case of Condell, asserting that his support of UKIP establishes this — which I reject), but I don’t consider their case established.
    In particular, none of the Condell videos I’ve seen¹ makes me think “racist”.

    Finally, I still consider that PZ, in this post, is seeking to promote the Streisand Effect (cf. #221) moreso than supporting Vilks specifically.

    ¹ KG @ 368, from a quick perusal of his channel page, 4 videos ago: Is Satan a Catholic? which is anti-Catholic (and the last two relate to the election).

  409. #411 scxin
    May 12, 2010

    As a Swede, may I ask – WTF is the point of dissecting Vilk’s hypothetical political views? He may be a total sicko advocating the forcible eviction of everyone not-Swedish, not-white and not agnostic from Europe, but does that really matter in this context?

    He drew a concept drawing for a roundabout dog. It was not hate speech, libel or slander.

    People want to kill him for what he said.

    Whoever he is or whatever he has said at other times, that’s the issue here. Calling PZ a “racist” (however hyperbolically) for publishing the drawing or for lambasting the people threatening Vilks isn’t really pertinent to the isssue, right? Right?

    And BTW, once/if Lars Vilks start spouting any of his (allegedly) somewhat dubious opinions on immigration and integration – I’ll be there too, bitching away. :-)

  410. #412 superheadcat
    May 12, 2010

    scxin, my impression of the position now of those who have an issue with PZ here is: since Vilks is a racist and fascist, thus when PZ promotes a legit opinion of Vilks in this particular thread, PZ should have also mention that he is a racist and fascist, who happens to have a legit opinion in this particular case.

    if the premise holds, i really can’t disagree with their position.

  411. #413 KOPD
    May 12, 2010

    I’m trying to keep up with this thread, but it’s growing quickly, with many large posts. I’ve seen it repeatedly asserted that Vilks is a racist and that his racism was the motivation for drawing the cartoon. What I want to know is whether that is based on the fact that he drew this cartoon, or was he already known to be a racist. Perhaps I missed a post where this was explained, but it just seemed to me that his motives were being assumed to be racist, which is a bit of a circular argument (he drew it because he’s racist, he’s racist because he drew it).

  412. #414 windy
    May 12, 2010

    I did not mean to imply that the people acting out in the lecture hall were necessarily extremists, though I do think that their debating style could use a little work. I do not see people yelling and milling around as a particular threat to society. Even such scuffles with the police, while reprehensible in most circumstances, hardly constitute an existential threat.

    I agree that this does not constitute a threat to the existence of society as a whole. But public lectures about controversial things are a part of society. These protesters put a stop to this event and knowledge of this will probably have a chilling effect in the future, so they have already harmed one part of society.

    I understand the impulse to point out that this is not such a big deal, in order to not encourage backlash against immigrants. But I was struck by a blog post by a Swedish immigrant politician who writes that watching the video she feels like she was being attacked personally. Maybe by letting this be framed as ‘immigrants’ versus ‘racists’, we are doing a disservice to secular immigrants?

  413. #415 boygenius
    May 12, 2010

    windy, way back at #297:

    There’s no such thing as an idea that is above criticism.

    I agree. What did you think I was saying?

    Sorry, it was late and I misread the meaning in your comment. I blame the one or three too many IPA’s.

  414. #416 Dr. Mabuse
    May 13, 2010

    Knockgoats wrote:

    I fail to see any significant difference between this and the other translation. In both case, the meaning is clear: “wogs out”, as a more honest racist would put it.

    Ok, either I’m not as good a translator as I think myself to be, or the context is lost in the translation.

    If you can’t see the difference between:

    It’s a mistake to have a multicultural society. Can Muslims even be integrated?

    and

    The mistake is to proclaim the multicultural society. Is there a good way to integrate muslims?

    then let me help you by explaining the context:
    In the first, the piss-poor misrepresenting translation, Lars Vilks is portrayed as a xenophobic bigot who does not want to have a multicultural society.

    In the second (and in the Swedish article), Lars is actually commenting on the failure of politicians and liberal activists who has proclaimed that we have a multicultural society, when the truth is that we haven’t. We have failed to find a way to integrate all but the most liberal muslims into our country, therefore we don’t have the multicultural society. Wishing for it doesn’t make it presently true.
    In the second sentece, the question, he is rhetorically asking for a way to better way to fully integrate non-liberal muslims (or muslims unfamiliar with our democratic values) into Swedish society.

    //Dr. Mabuse
    Skeptic Friends Network

  415. #417 Q.E.D
    May 13, 2010

    Katraharine @ 363

    Maybe I should get a concealed carry permit.

    Katahrine, if you are feeling uncomfortable about you physical safety amongst the religiots may I suggest taking up a martial art instead of a gun [NB: I am NOT interested in participarting in a gun debate so please forgive me if I ignore 2nd Ammendment "guns are awesome" posts]

    The kinds of intimidation you appear to be experiencing does not seem to require a deadly force defence. It is probably better handled by your having the confidence to defend yourself, being aware of your surroundings and puting on a good Nikajo (wrist lock).

    Check out Yoshinkan Aikido. Women can control, throw and pin much larger men because the art is based on redirecting an attacker’s momentum and working against joints to take the attacker’s balance.

    To find a dojo near you: http://www.aikiweb.com/

    Here is what Aikido looks like (when done by one of the leading women in the art) Chiemi Nakagawa

  416. #418 Q.E.D
    May 13, 2010

    @ 417 URL fail re self defense against scary religiots.

    Here is what Aikido looks like (when done by one of the leading women in the art) Chiemi Nakagawa

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1YNPrr9Auo&NR=1

  417. #419 John Morales
    May 13, 2010

    Q.E.D, all looks very nice on the mat, with a willing partner. Not quite so nice in the real world.

    I really don’t recommend a false sense of confidence, which is all you’ll get unless you practice full-contact and actually fight.

  418. #420 Q.E.D
    May 13, 2010

    John Morales @419

    Warning OT

    John, in the only “real fight” I have ever been in, the other guy ended up on the floor in a headlock where I kept him until the police came. There were tens of witnesses who all saw him attack me with a grab and a punch. No one saw me throw any punches they just saw me defending myself and controlling him without breaking him.

    I agree that full contact is a seriously instructive experience. Just don’t tell me Aikido doesn’t “work” in a “real fight.” The oither way Aikido “works” is cultivating the skills, awareness and mind set to not get into fights.

  419. #421 Gregory Greenwood
    May 13, 2010

    Spiv @ 404;

    Apologies for the tardy response.

    Are you willing to take Hitchens’ stance that science is the appropriate tool to give us insight in to the human spirit? Or is there still a place for philosophy in the utopian un-theistic future?

    I do not believe in a “human spirit” in any paranormal sense. If by “spirit” you mean social psychology or sense of ethics the I believe that rigorous research may give us some understanding of what is going on. I am a body/mind monist, so I believe that the evidence supports the notion that consciousness is a product of neuro-chemistry. Human social interaction can be studied, and I can see a place for philosophy in the understanding of such things as human concepts of morality, just so long as science, that deals with the quantifiable, is not conflated with philosophy, that does not.

    Also, what is this “utopian un-theistic future” you speak of? At no point did I suggest that a post-religious human society would be utopian. I think it might help mankind overcome long standing feuds and hatreds as well as make it easier for humans as a species to view the reality of the Universe, but this is not a Utopia. I do not doubt that a fully atheist society would still have ll kinds of social problems. There would no doubt still be racism, misogyny, homophobia, crime, war, all the old problems. It is possible that dealing with these issues may prove easier without religion confusing the matter with claims that “X is god’s will, and therefore is an unalloyed good even if it causes social group Y to be disenfranchised/oppressed/exterminated.”

    There are always those who want to make their founders to be more than they were: think of all the ridiculous stories you were taught about George Washington in gradeschool.

    Umm…I am actually a Brit (usually the spellings are a give away. Also we call a “trunk” a “boot” and a “hood” a “bonnet” in automobile parlance), so I never went to ‘Grade’ school and I mostly studied European history. Having said this I can see the danger in the corruption of the historical account over time. I happen to think that the likelihood of such a scenario increases exponentially when you confer quasi-mystical properties on historical figures.

    Buddhism claims they’ve got some good ideas about how you could live your life that should hopefully result in a better world. They claim Siddhartha as its originating philosopher, give him a fancy title, but (generally) as regular old human being.

    If Buddhism dropped all mysticism, then it could claim to be a life philosophy, but then you run into doctorines of reincarnation and the like. As long as these endure there will be a conflict between a scientific worldview and a Buddhist world view. Perhaps, if you like, Buddhism could be viewed as a non-parsimonious philosophical world view (what we Pharyngulites term “woo”) rather than as a religion, but this still puts it on a par with homeopathy.

    As a rule, I am no more hostile to Buddhism than any other religion and, most of the time, many of its adherents appear to be a fairly peaceable bunch. What they believe is their business so long as no one else is harmed, but this does not mean that Buddhism is intellectually compatible with a rationalist worldview, merely that the two are not at one another’s throats in the same way that fundamentalist Christianity and Rationalism tend to be, at least not yet.

    And many christians would say similar things: IE that they would be ecstatic if everyone just ‘found’ jeebus of their own accord, after all it is a choice. They even let women and black people call themselves christian.

    A couple of important points. Firstly, the evidence does not, and has never, lead to a conclusion that Jesus, if he existed at all, was any kind of divine or semi-divine entity. In short the evidence does not support the ‘zombie-jesus’ hypothesis of Christianity. Pretty much all the scientific evidence accumulated by humanity does point to a rationalist, non-supernatiural worldview. Many fundmentalist Christians seek to twist and abuse science to support their chosen mythology. All they prove is that they either do not understand how to apply evidence to reach a conclusion, or they are prepared to lie to support their entrenched religious privilege.

    Secondly, Christisnaity has a long and bloody history of ‘helping’ unbelievers to ‘find’ Jesus. Preferred methods including torture and genocidal warfare. Even today Christian groups are quick to seek to use law to marginalise those who do not share their beliefs and oppress women, persons of dual or multiple heritage and homosexuals. Modern atheists do not tend to use such tactics to promote atheism. Those few who would try to do so are nowhere near as organised, well funded or ubiquitous within atheism as their equivilents are among Christianity.

    While you’d cringe at the thought of blood being spilt to rid the world of religion, you may or may not speak for every atheist out there. Many might view such means as being for “the greater good,” or have some exception in which they feel they are defending themselves of something.

    All true. Hiowever, contrary to the usual theists claims about Nazism and Stalinism, there are few cases of atheists attempting any kind of violent ‘atheist revolution’. I suppose that, at a real stretch, you could cite Napoleon, but that really would be pushing the definition of atheism a bit far. To this point at least, atheism has little history of violence, certainly when compared to the bulk of religions in the world’s history.

    We do have our crazies, but they rarely seem as crazy, and certainly are not as dangerous, as their religious opposite numbers.

    I’m having trouble putting these two together, could you elaborate?… To me the highlighted part is asking others to adopt your philosophy. While I’m fine with this, scientific thinking is a process of learning to see and think in terms outside of our human biases. Double blind studies, statistical analysis, peer review, etc are all modes of thinking that are directed at using evidence against what we might believe to be true. IE pitting empirical validity against face validity.

    The highlighted part is actually only pointing out that, since there is zero evidence for the existence of any deity, it seems perverse to cling to an idea of godhead and still more so to seek to pass laws effecting everyone in its name.

    If people were capable of looking past their confirmation bias when it comes to religion, they could hardly help but see that there is no scientific evidence for god, no reality-based reason to believe in it. I am not asking anyone to believe as I do “on faith” so to speak, and still less compelling them to. I am only asking that they look reasonably and objectively at the evidence. If they do so, I am confident that any reasonable person would come to the obvious conclusion that god is no more than a human social construct, Marx’s “oppiate of the people”.

    Your description of science seems fair to a layman me, but you are forgetting that the godhead idea ws constructed to be unfalsifiable. God is conveniently omnipotent, but undetectable. Omnipresent, yet leaves no trace. Omniscient, yet eternally silent. No positive evidence for god is presented, yet the demand made of science is still “you scientists must disprove god, or goddidit by default”. Religion demands that science proves a negative, something that is the next best thing to impossible.

    Let me give you an example. I do not believe in vampires. I am assuming that you do not either (unless you are akin to Piltdown Man, A commentator who used to frequent this blog and once tried to convinve me and some other regulars that demons were literally and non-figuartively real. He also believed in werewolves and thought that feudalism was the ultimate form of governance. I kid you not).

    Non-belief in vampires is pefectly reasonable. All the current evidence indicates that a state of being ‘undead’ is bio-chemically impossible.

    If, however, one was to get pedantic you could argue that science has simply not yet discovered the mechanism by which vampires exist, or even that this mechanism, like god, is “beyond science” or truly supernatural. The obvious counter is that there is no scientifically verified history of vampirism. No specimins have ever been recoved, no pathology identified, no forensic evidence, no verifiable records, no case history of vampires at all beyond mythology.

    However, a pedant could argue that all this proves is that vampires are good at hiding themselves. Perhaps the old myths about vampires being able to “compel” people, to control minds and alter memories, are true. For such beings hiding from modern society might be easier than you would think. Perhaps the vampires already control our society. Perhaps a conspiracy runs the government, law enforcement, the military, the scientific establishment and the media. Such a conspiracy might be able to hide all evidence from the common citizen. Anyone who stumbles on the truth meets with an ‘accident’.

    This is all patently ludicrous, and yet science cannot absolutely prove, to the highest standard of total knowledge, that it is not happening. The same is true of god. Whatever science discovers in the direction of red shift indicating that the Universe is 14 odd billion years old, not 6,000, or that evolutionary biology can explain all the features of life without a need for god, the religious can always say that “god just made it look that way he is omnipotent, you know.”

    There can never be a equal contest between science and religion, because religion has been constructed in order to make claims not amenable to scientific analysis. Claims that, while unevidenced in their own right by their believers, apparently require an absolute standard of proof to disprove. This is the religious obscurantism that we sometimes refer to.

    Scientifically, the burden of proof rests upon the party making the assertion. Religion has never been able to produce the tiniest shred of evidence in support of its claims. Until it can, there is no case for science to answer.

  420. #422 Gregory Greenwood
    May 13, 2010

    Windt @ 414;

    I agree that this does not constitute a threat to the existence of society as a whole. But public lectures about controversial things are a part of society. These protesters put a stop to this event and knowledge of this will probably have a chilling effect in the future, so they have already harmed one part of society.

    Undeniably this type of behaviour is not to be encouraged. You are right when yo say that delibertae disruption of the social discourse is harmful to scoiety. I just felt it was important to draw a distinction between loudmouths shouting and milling about and people who are prepared to kill in order to rule through fear.

    I understand the impulse to point out that this is not such a big deal, in order to not encourage backlash against immigrants. But I was struck by a blog post by a Swedish immigrant politician who writes that watching the video she feels like she was being attacked personally. Maybe by letting this be framed as ‘immigrants’ versus ‘racists’, we are doing a disservice to secular immigrants?

    I see your point, and it is dangerous to conflate all immigrants with the religious groups who form part of the migrant community, but that is exactly the conflation that racists seek to acheive. They want to frame the issue as “migrant =/= suicide bomber in training”. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people in Europe who are all too ready to swallow that line out of the fear created by the 7/7 bombings and the Madrid train bombings and the like. Ironically, the Far Right racists and the Islamist fundies might actually be in a strange form of unconscious alliance, which is rather ironic.

  421. #423 Gregory Greenwood
    May 13, 2010

    “Ironically, the Far Right racists and the Islamist fundies might actually be in a strange form of unconscious alliance, which is rather ironic.”

    Ahh, I appear to have been hit with the tautology stick today…

  422. #424 Youngie
    May 13, 2010

    Gregory Greenwood @421
    Despite your tautologies in other posts ;), I feel the need to say that your post @421 may be the most well constructed argument for rational ‘status quo’ I have ever encountered. Bravo.
    With your permission, I would like to use your post in arguments with my theistic friends.

  423. #425 Knockgoats
    May 13, 2010

    People are saying he [PZ] shouldn’t have posted it because it’s racist. If the point is not to get him to take it down or prevent him from posting something similar in the future, what is the point? Ashleyfmiller

    Of course that’s the point. But trying to persuade someone not to post something is not censorship. you evidently don’t know what the word means.

    The issue is not exclusive to Britain. And it is public opinion that one should be concerned with not some unimportant tabloids.
    Incidentally, there is no reason to say “total crap” like that and ignore the whole argument I made, in fact it’s damn well curt.
    – uuaschbaer

    You were talking about Condell, who is British. Those “unimportant tabloids” have a joint circulation of several million every day. you claimed everyone but condell is afraid to criticse Islam. That is total crap, so I said so – it was meant to be curt.

    Sort of like if PZ were more honest he’d admit he wants to put religious people in re-education camps, and if SC were more honest she’d admit she’s anti-semitic. Since no other interpretation is possible. – windy

    That’s either stupid or dishonest. In both the cases you cite, there was no reasonable interpretation of anything said that supports the accusations – I’d like to see you try to defend the contrary claim. I concede it’s possible that Vilks is not a racist, just a self-important, self-indulgent shit who doesn’t care that racists will profit politically from his actions.

    As to whether Vilks and Condell are racists, I don’t know. – John Morales

    Then as far as Condell is concerned, it’s because you don’t want to know: quite sufficient evidence has been posted on this thread alone. How could anyone but a racist urge people to vote for a party with the line on immigration I linked to and posted extracts from?

    Calling PZ a “racist” (however hyperbolically) for publishing the drawing or for lambasting the people threatening Vilks isn’t really pertinent to the isssue, right? Right? – scxin

    Right. Maybe that’s why no-one has done so?

    In the second (and in the Swedish article), Lars is actually commenting on the failure of politicians and liberal activists who has proclaimed that we have a multicultural society, when the truth is that we haven’t. – Dr Mabuse

    Sweden is a multicultural society, in that people from very different cultures are part of it. I’m basing my belief that Vilks is a racist on the “multicultural” quote (and I concede there are alternative interpretations), on his reported statement that he drew the cartoon to “examine the political correctness within the boundaries of the art community”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lars_Vilks_Muhammad_drawings_controversy (whining about “political correctness” is characteristic of racists and other bigots), on his complete failure, AFAIK, to make any attempt to distance himself from racism despite it being very much a live issue in Sweden, and on experience of other similar figures (Condell, Westergaard, Theo van Gogh, Wilders…). As I concede above, on that evidence it is possible he’s just a jerk – like the Californian schoolboys PZ rightly told off in a recent thread.

    I suppose that, at a real stretch, you could cite Napoleon, but that really would be pushing the definition of atheism a bit far. – Gregory Greenwood

    Napoleon was certainly not an atheist! He is reported to have said to the mathematician and astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace:
    “M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.”
    Laplace answered:
    “I had no need of that hypothesis.”
    Napoleon restored many of the privileges of the RCC – although that may have been purely for political reasons.

  424. #426 Steven Mading
    May 13, 2010

    Many X are Y.
    Bob is Y.
    Therefore Bob is X.
    When you understand the basic simple rules of logic that dictate why the above syllogism is invalid, you’ll understand what’s so fucking dishonest about using the vacuous argument that because many racists point out the massive pile of things that are wrong with Islam that must therefore mean that the act of pointing out the massive pile of things that are wrong with Islam makes you a racist too. As if racism was the only possible motivation for doing that.

  425. #427 Knockgoats
    May 13, 2010

    you’ll understand what’s so fucking dishonest about using the vacuous argument that because many racists point out the massive pile of things that are wrong with Islam that must therefore mean that the act of pointing out the massive pile of things that are wrong with Islam makes you a racist too. -Stephen Mading

    Since no-one at all has made that claim, it’s you that’s fucking dishonest.

  426. #428 David Marjanovi?
    May 13, 2010

    I’m with comment 398.

    Realise that you are participating in a piece of Lars Vilks’ art.

    That’s his problem, not mine.

    Could anyone explain to me the context here (i.e., in this country, at this time, on this Internet blog) that would make PZ’s action of posting this cartoon an act of supporting racism.

    Huh? This blog is not in a country. It’s, you know, on the Internet. It can’t be localized more precisely than to this planet.

    Are you new on the Internet?

    Since when do Swedes think dogs are creatures that need to be summarily killed?

    Since when, in fact, do Nazis think dogs are creatures that need to be summarily killed? Hitler famously had a German (duh!) Shepherd named Blondie.

    No, it’s completely obvious why Vilks chose to draw a dog: because Islam has an official disgust of dogs. There is nothing racist in the cartoon itself, that’s why we keep arguing about the rather ugly context.

    See, I have a clue, it’s when nobody else makes the picture, leaving *me* to produce it. The result will be fugly.

    Go ahead, do it. It could even be funny. :-|

    Well, actually… looking at that rape imagery would make me sick. But “sick” isn’t the same as “aggressive”.

    i think i have enough knowledge about the place and time of this particular PZ post

    There is no place.

    It’s omnipresent.

    Finally, I still consider that PZ, in this post, is seeking to promote the Streisand Effect (cf. #221) moreso than supporting Vilks specifically.

    Of course. We’re talking about the unintended consequences.

    Check out Yoshinkan Aikido.

    I recommend Wing Tsun.

    there are few cases of atheists attempting any kind of violent ‘atheist revolution’. I suppose that, at a real stretch, you could cite Napoleon, but that really would be pushing the definition of atheism a bit far.

    There are several faitheist quotes by Napoleon in PZ’s quote collection. He clearly wanted the common people, or maybe everyone except himself, to believe… and… he never started a revolution. :-)

    Piltdown Man [...] also believed in werewolves

    WTF. Where did he get that craziness from? Not the Bible, not even church tradition…

    Ironically, the Far Right racists and the Islamist fundies might actually be in a strange form of unconscious alliance, which is rather ironic.

    That’s actually a common phenomenon in general. The first thing off the top of my head is how we agree with the fundies of several religions that there is a clash between science and religion and disagree with the moderates on this. And in politics it’s common to find the extreme right and the extreme left becoming very similar.

  427. #429 Gregory Greenwood
    May 13, 2010

    Youngie @ 425;

    Despite your tautologies in other posts ;), I feel the need to say that your post @421 may be the most well constructed argument for rational ‘status quo’ I have ever encountered. Bravo.

    Thank you for the kind words. There is one little point, though. The post @ 421 was by Q.E.D, and dealt with the relative merits of martial arts as a means of self defence. Mine was the one @ 422 that dealt with rationalism versus woo.

    With your permission, I would like to use your post in arguments with my theistic friends.

    Consider such permission granted. Furthermore, I say good luck to you. In my experience, such arguments often fall on deaf ears, but not always.

    I consider everything that I post on Pharyngula to be in the public realm. If anyone wants to borrow anything that I say then they should feel free to go right ahead. Assuming that I have said anything worth borrowing, of course. :-)

  428. #430 Gregory Greenwood
    May 13, 2010

    David Marjanovi? @ 429;

    There are several faitheist quotes by Napoleon in PZ’s quote collection. He clearly wanted the common people, or maybe everyone except himself, to believe… and… he never started a revolution. :-)

    You are right once again. What would I do without you? :-)

    WTF. Where did he get that craziness from? Not the Bible, not even church tradition…

    I think you may have missed the discussion. It was a couple of months before PZed righteously smote him with the Banhammer. Piltdown kept going on about some passage in the babble (Revelations, I think) where it states that the devil will confer upon his followers the power to assume the form of beasts. From there, talk of literal lycanthropy became depressingly inevitable…

  429. #431 Gregory Greenwood
    May 13, 2010

    David Marjanovi? @ 49;

    That’s actually a common phenomenon in general. The first thing off the top of my head is how we agree with the fundies of several religions that there is a clash between science and religion and disagree with the moderates on this. And in politics it’s common to find the extreme right and the extreme left becoming very similar.

    Ah yes. The circle of insanity. Go far enough toward either political extreme and they start sounding rather similer. Whether ‘Glorious Fatherland’ or ‘Workers Utopia’ the semantics doubtless seem unimportant when you are facing the firing squad.

    Your point of the similarity between ‘New Atheists’ and religious fundies on the existence of a conflict between science and religion and their distance from the ‘moderate’ accomodationalist position is a fair comment, and I see where you are coming from. Just be careful that you are not quote mined to ‘prove’ that atheists are all extremists who are no different from fundamentalists. ;-)

  430. #432 Spiv
    May 13, 2010

    Gregory Greenwood @421

    I’ll try and shorten this one up a tad, we’ve certainly expanded to many avenues quickly…

    …I believe that rigorous research may give us some understanding of what is going on. I am a body/mind monist…Human social interaction can be studied, and I can see a place for philosophy in the understanding of such things as human concepts of morality, just so long as science, that deals with the quantifiable, is not conflated with philosophy, that does not.

    And all these philosophies and moralities should be compatible and adjustable as new evidence comes out. One of my degrees is in psychology, and frankly the power brain chemistry has over a person’s thoughts and actions makes a good case for a largely if not completely physical mind. I think we’re still a little young in this particular “soft” science just yet to be doing more than treating certain ills, but in time I suspect that will change.

    Also, what is this “utopian un-theistic future” you speak of?…I do not doubt that a fully atheist society would still have ll kinds of social problems…It is possible that dealing with these issues may prove easier without religion confusing the matter with claims that “X is god’s will…

    Only in metaphor; I think it’s been pretty well established that at best, we can make things “better.” But probably no such thing as utopian. Yes, agreed that a logical approach might help the moral zeitgeist move along at a speedier clip should we take absolutes and unfounded authority out of the mix.

    Umm…I am actually a Brit (usually the spellings are a give away. Also we call a “trunk” a “boot” and a “hood” a “bonnet” in automobile parlance)

    (redface) my apologies; although if this were an automotive discussion I suspect I’d still have confused the issue right up until someone used the word “aluminium” or “maths.” My lotus seven has a bonnet, not a hood ;)

    If Buddhism dropped all mysticism, then it could claim to be a life philosophy, but then you run into doctorines of reincarnation and the like. As long as these endure there will be a conflict between a scientific worldview and a Buddhist world view.

    And this is an issue with the catch-all term of “buddhism.” It comes in many forms, but only one name. Many zen traditions and westerners use the word “renincarnation” only to refer to the continuation of life as your decomposing corpse feeds the worms/daisies/bacteria/vultures. As I said, I often find myself at odds with other buddhists who cling to “traditional” (bunk) medicines, or glorify other historical (and now provably wrong) things. Most are surprisingly receptive, which is not something I can say about other religionists I’ve encountered.

    this does not mean that Buddhism is intellectually compatible with a rationalist worldview, merely that the two are not at one another’s throats in the same way that fundamentalist Christianity and Rationalism tend to be, at least not yet.

    I think we agree here largely; or in the very least that there are a great many buddhists who are not also rationalists. But because there are many who are both, it is not true that they must be incompatible either. Which is not something I could say for abrahamic religions, since as you point out farther down the basic premise of an infallible, paranormal god is the undercarriage for the rest.

    …the evidence does not, and has never, lead to a conclusion that Jesus, if he existed at all, was any kind of divine or semi-divine entity. In short the evidence does not support the ‘zombie-jesus’ hypothesis …scientific evidence accumulated by humanity does point to a rationalist, non-supernatiural worldview.

    And such is the advantage of being correct. Truth prevails and all that. Can we manage to change “J.C.” to “Z.J.” for the rest of the world? At least it would give me something to giggle about when dealing with xtian fundies. I mean besides the passionate absurdity.

    All true. Hiowever, contrary to the usual theists claims about Nazism and Stalinism, there are few cases of atheists attempting any kind of violent ‘atheist revolution’.

    I’ll just note that buddhists are also blamed for the Nazis, on account of the swastika and all that. And Stalinism, apparently, because of the cognates of Pravda and Prajna.

    atheism has little history of violence, certainly when compared to the bulk of religions in the world’s history.

    Nor would I accuse any war or atrocity that was not specifically religiously motivated of being atheist sponsored, but essentially all conflicts in the eastern world pass part of the blame onto buddists (in part because their leaders often are). It may seem plainly obvious that many (but not all) of these conflicts are political or other. This is no different than passing the blame to atheism for every conflict in a country run by a nonreligious leader. It’s unfair. Again, not that buddhism is indeed blood free.

    The highlighted part is actually only pointing out that, since there is zero evidence for the existence of any deity…
    …they could hardly help but see that there is no scientific evidence for god, no reality-based reason to believe in it. …I am only asking that they look reasonably and objectively at the evidence. If they do so, I am confident that any reasonable person would come to the obvious conclusion that god is no more than a human social construct…”

    Roger that.

    …godhead idea ws constructed to be unfalsifiable. God is conveniently omnipotent, but undetectable…eternally silent. No positive evidence for god is presented, yet the demand made of science…

    We both agree strongly that this is an absurdity of religion in which exists some concept of omnipotence. Vampire stories are crafted in this way on purpose for suspension of belief: and it it would be perfectly valid to argue that many, if not all religions (buddhism included) were crafted by either charlatans or well meaning liars using this construct.

    There can never be a equal contest between science and religion, because religion has been constructed in order to make claims not amenable to scientific analysis.

    One would hope their beliefs could stand on their own without requiring the supernatural to explain them. And in some places they do. Where they do not, we should be extremely critical and suspicious, prepared to toss the errors. Clearly some are more willing than others.

    Off the top I’d suggest “dependent origination” holds up pretty well, and serves a reasonable purpose. Evolutionary theory has been kind to it (I would never suggest that dependent origination is in any way scientific; it was a guess about the reliance of life on previous life and its surroundings, but a good one. Not unlike Democratus’s ‘atoms.’), but it takes what “is” and makes a few leaps to what “ought” to be as a result; the line “life does not begin at conception, it began millions of years ago and has continued ever since” is one I’d heard long before it was mentioned on Pharyngula.

    The danger of course, is that if the guess is wrong, and we derive some “oughts” based on a falsity. Christianity’s “magical godworld -> children of Ham -> ought -> slavery” comes to mind. One must be willing to drop their “oughts” the moment the evidence points elseware. One must also be careful to not stand in the way of finding new evidence, as we are seeing with anti-evolution, and what it would do to, say, medical research if funding were dished out according to YECs.

    Scientifically, the burden of proof rests upon the party making the assertion.

    Agreed.

  431. #433 Gregory Greenwood
    May 13, 2010

    I should also extend my acknowledgements to Knockgoats @ 426.

    Everytime I come here I learn something new…

  432. #434 Gregory Greenwood
    May 13, 2010

    Spiv @ 433;

    And all these philosophies and moralities should be compatible and adjustable as new evidence comes out.

    Agreed.

    One of my degrees is in psychology, and frankly the power brain chemistry has over a person’s thoughts and actions makes a good case for a largely if not completely physical mind.

    I would go a little further, and say that it makes the case for a wholly physical mind. If not, then surely brain injury should not be able to alter personality, and yet it can.

    I think we’re still a little young in this particular “soft” science just yet to be doing more than treating certain ills, but in time I suspect that will change.

    With respect, Psychology may be described as a ‘soft’ science since it does not deal solely with the strictly quantifiable. Neural physiology and bio-chemistry, not so much. They are as subject to the stringent evidential requiremens of science as any other field.

    This is not at all to belittle the importance of Psychology as a disciplne. It is of vital import in helping us to understand the mental process and in driving society to be more responsible in its treatment of those with atypical psyches. It helps us determine why we are who we are.

    (redface) my apologies…

    There is no need to apologise. I am in no way offended by being mistaken for an American. After all, my paternal grandmother was a New Yorker, so I guess I must still have few Stars and Stripes alleles somewhere… ;-)

    Most are surprisingly receptive, which is not something I can say about other religionists I’ve encountered.

    Definately an improvement over “burn in hell, heathen” at any rate.

    I think we agree here largely; or in the very least that there are a great many buddhists who are not also rationalists. But because there are many who are both, it is not true that they must be incompatible either.

    If Buddhism went far enough down the path of rejecting mysticism that it was fully compatible with rationalism, then it could hardly be called a religion anymore. While you seem perfectly happy for Buddhism to be redefined as a philosophy, I wonder if the majority of is adherents would be quite so ready to adapt.

    Can we manage to change “J.C.” to “Z.J.” for the rest of the world?

    If only, if only…

    I’ll just note that buddhists are also blamed for the Nazis, on account of the swastika and all that. And Stalinism, apparently, because of the cognates of Pravda and Prajna.

    I hear that Hindus sometimes catch some flack over the supposed origin of the symbol the Swastika was based upon. The Christian fundies are always trying to blame someone for Nazism. They see it as the unbeatable argument. If you are not Christian you =/= proto-nazi.

    Ironically, there is ample evidence that the Nazi’s were far more connected to Catholicism then they ever were to atheism of Buddhism…

    The danger of course, is that if the guess is wrong, and we derive some “oughts” based on a falsity. Christianity’s “magical godworld -> children of Ham -> ought -> slavery” comes to mind. One must be willing to drop their “oughts” the moment the evidence points elseware. One must also be careful to not stand in the way of finding new evidence, as we are seeing with anti-evolution, and what it would do to, say, medical research if funding were dished out according to YECs.

    Agreed.

  433. #435 Dr. Mabuse
    May 13, 2010

    Knockgoats writes:

    Sweden is a multicultural society, in that people from very different cultures are part of it.

    Sweden is not a multicultural society (especially in Lars Vilks part of the country), in that we still have segregated communities with arabic immigrants who occasionally have their daughters and sisters murdered because they decide to wear a short skirt and take a native Swedish boyfriend to have sex with. Sweden is not a multicultural society, in that some immigrants don’t bother to learn our language because they believe that this will contaminate them. And in that the locals think there are too many of them coming here fleeing the war/s in Balkan and Mid East.

    The funny thing is that children of several such families are giving testimony that they weren’t this religiously strict or fanatical when they were living in their own country. They seem to go overboard in an attempt to preserve their cultural identity from back home, in fear of losing it if they start assimilate into ours.

    I’m basing my belief that Vilks is a racist on the “multicultural” quote

    To be logically consistent, you’ll have to label me a racist too, because I agree with it. And I resent you for labeling me that way. I happen to be a second generation immigrant myself. I however, am totally assimilated into the Swedish culture.

    (and I concede there are alternative interpretations)

    My interpretation is based on me and Lars Vilks being countrymen, me having been able to follow Lars Vilks career as an artist from before the Muhammed sketch, and having witnessed the segregation and its unfortunate consequences like troubled youths setting fire to their own school and the throwing bricks and stones at the firemen and ambulance when they come to the rescue, or radical islamists physically assaulting people whom they believe have offended them.

    By the way, my first post to this blog gave some more information on the roundabout-dog, some context to the sketch that Lars Vilks made. Unfortunately, it’s withheld awaiting moderation. I suppose you’ll understand why, once you get the chance to read it. (the part about there being impostors)

    As I concede above, on that evidence it is possible he’s just a jerk

    And I will concede that there are alternate interpretations, based on your posts, than that of you being an idiot. But I promise I will re-evaluate my conclusion if I see evidence on the contrary.

    My personal opinion is that contrary to many posters beliefs, Lars Vilks is neither racist, fascist, nor nazi. I hold my opinion to be more reliable than most of yours based on me having been more exposed to Lars Vilks and his ideas.

  434. #436 coughlanbrianm
    May 13, 2010

    Just sent this to the Rektor at Uppsala Uni. rektor@uu.se – Why not chime in too.

    Hi Rektor Hallberg!

    Forgive the presumption of my writing in English, but I’m pretty certain your English is at least as good as mine, while my Swedish is rather rudimentary.

    I’m writing to ask if you plan to re-schedule the Vilks lecture? I sincerely hope you do plan this, as I cannot think of a worse outcome (other than actual deaths) for this incident than the University bowing to the threat of violence and cancelling the lecture.

    The exercise of freedom of speech is a precious good that humanity has finally stumbled upon after many millenia of experimentation; we now see that bad ideas wither in the harsh light of public exposure and critique, while good ones thrive. This, in no small measure, accounts for the unprecedented political and technological success of the last 300 years. Please don’t contribute to the erosion of free speech by submitting to the threat of violence by a minority of fanatics.

    Regards,

    Brian Coughlan

  435. #437 Knockgoats
    May 13, 2010

    I however, am totally assimilated into the Swedish culture. – Dr. Mabuse

    I think you don’t get what “multicultural” means. If everyone is totally assimilated, that is not a multicultural society – it is, by definition, unicultural! A multicultural society is one where two or more cultures coexist without complete assimilation. We’ve had one in the UK for at least half a century; it’s not without problems, but nor has it led to the dire results racists such as Enoch Powell predicted. Large-scale immigration by people with different cultures is, I think, considerably more recent in Sweden (and Denmark and to some extent the Netherlands) – hence the recent rise of racist parties in those countries. For a multicultural society to be successful there must be a degree of tolerance for different values, rather than an insitence that all immigrants must fully assimilate. Maybe you should try it?

  436. #438 Knockgoats
    May 13, 2010

    Unfortunately, it’s withheld awaiting moderation. I suppose you’ll understand why, once you get the chance to read it. (the part about there being impostors) – Dr. Mabuse

    Posts are only held for moderation here if they have too many links – and they rarely get out of it, because PZ doesn’t have time to go through them. Repost it, breaking it up into parts with no more than 3 (IIRC) links. It will then get through, I promise you.

  437. #439 Knockgoats
    May 13, 2010

    BTW, Dr. Mabuse, it’s rather dishonest of you to truncate the reasons why I believe Vilks to be a racist: it ius not the single quote alone, as your post suggests.

  438. #441 mfd512
    May 13, 2010

    Large-scale immigration by people with different cultures is, I think, considerably more recent in Sweden (and Denmark and to some extent the Netherlands) – hence the recent rise of racist parties in those countries

    1)If recent immigration results in the recent rise of racist parties in Sweden, what accounts for the continued rise of racist parties like the BNP in the U.K?

    2) Do Swedes have the right not to be multi-cultural, and encourage full assimilation of immigrants, if they choose? Should they be castigated for this?

  439. #442 David Marjanovi?
    May 13, 2010

    Napoleon was certainly not an atheist! He is reported to have said to the mathematician and astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace:

    Probably never happened.

    (But, of course, se non è vero, è ben’ trovato.)

    Since no-one at all has made that claim, it’s you that’s fucking dishonest.

    I think he was just too lazy to read 426 comments in a row, and stupid enough to think he could add to the thread nonetheless.

    Democratus

    Democritus :-)

  440. #443 David Marjanovi?
    May 13, 2010

    with no more than 3 (IIRC) links

    Four.

    I was just * discussing similar differences with respect to “assimilation” on Jadehawk’s blog.

    Link doesn’t work. Do you mean this?

  441. #444 Paul
    May 13, 2010

    @444

    Yarr. Thanks David. One of these days I’ll install or write a script to handle HTML tags.

  442. #445 uuaschbaer
    May 13, 2010

    You were talking about Condell, who is British. Those “unimportant tabloids” have a joint circulation of several million every day. you claimed everyone but condell is afraid to criticse Islam. That is total crap, so I said so – it was meant to be curt.

    Condell’s audience isn’t exclusively British and his opinion can be about things outside Britain. When he criticizes Islam he doesn’t need to limit his critique to Islam in the country he lives, indeed, that is wholly unnecessary.
    It was very obvious that by “everyone” I didn’t literally mean everyone, I was talking about the prevailing opinion. It would be extremely illogical if I would’ve meant it literally.

    The point I am making is that Condell’s choice of subjects isn’t indicative of racism. It would be equivalent of accusing a person who criticizes violence, but never lying, to be pro-lying. It would be equivalent of accusing a person who critizes the history of legal fraud done by party A but never the history of psychological abuse done by party B to be pro-party B. It is desperate and it smells fishy to make such a claim.

  443. #446 Mr T
    May 13, 2010

    Knockgoats:

    For a multicultural society to be successful there must be a degree of tolerance for different values, rather than an insitence that all immigrants must fully assimilate.

    That is why a multicultural society must have a degree of tolerance for free expression, including images of Mohammed, statues of Mohammed as a dog in the middle of a street, and all other non-harmful forms of free expression.

    Paul:

    “Is there a good way to integrate muslims?” This is a rather racist implication [...]

    The question (rather than the statement you seem to be making out of it) that Vilks asks is just as much about whether some Muslims will be willing to participate in said tolerance. It doesn’t simply imply there is doubt whether he will tolerate them, but also doubt that they will tolerate him.

  444. #447 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 13, 2010

    That is why a multicultural society must have a degree of tolerance for free expression, including images of Mohammed, statues of Mohammed as a dog in the middle of a street, and all other non-harmful forms of free expression.

    You don’t fucking get it; No one has said “He shouldn’t be allowed to show his image”. We said “He’s a dick because of the reasons he showed his image”.

    Good fucking god! We call racists in the USA dicks all the time and don’t say to each other when we’re talking about our own country, “Hey, you can’t say that they’re assholes! It’s a violation of Freedom of Speech!” We correctly call it the proper use of Freedom of Speech. Calling Vilks an asshole is not saying “He does not have a right to make his statement.” Fucking Cult of Free Speech. But hey, maybe you’ll figure that out and I won’t get into a long thing with you like I did with Gregory that one time before someone else noticed what was going on and corrected it.

    The question (rather than the statement you seem to be making out of it) that Vilks asks is just as much about whether some Muslims will be willing to participate in said tolerance.

    Possible interpretation. Disagree with its correctness; Most muslims (Unless you’re willing to argue that the 5 people in that audience are all muslims) don’t appear to agree with their violent actions against.

    To be logically consistent, you’ll have to label me a racist too, because I agree with it.

    Well, I have no problem with doing so, but I don’t think you understand what multicultural means, so it’s possible you’re not.

    And I resent you for labeling me that way

    Too bad? If you want me not to, you could start with “They can keep every part of their culture not based on limiting the rights of the women”.

  445. #448 GeorgeFromNY
    May 13, 2010

    Coupla things,

    1) ‘Multiculturalism’ does not and cannot mean anything goes; every society must have a workable consensus on acceptable conduct in order to function and endure.

    Accordingly, the idea that all the varied ways of life can be knit into a harmonious rainbow tapestry of tolerance, peace and kittens is a fantasy. A noble fantasy, sure, but a fantasy nonetheless.

    2) Some people do not belong in modern Sweden (or, for that matter, modern anywhere). Not because they’re color X, speak language Y or their folks were born in land Z – but because of what they believe and what they’re willing to do about those beliefs.

    The goons who attacked Vilks do us, and modernity, one favor. Like their WASP counterparts in verminous Phelps clan, they drop the mask and show us what we are really facing.

    People such as this have ZERO interest in ‘multiculturalism,’ mutual respect or an open and egalitarian society.

    You cannot meet them halfway because that halfway point would lie amidst the wreckage of every worthwhile post-Enlightenment achievement.

    3) Pat Condell and Lars Vilks are ‘racists’ in one way and one way only: Both men refuse to bend the knee at the altar of PC race politics and cultural suicidalism (what we called “White Guilt” in the 1970s).

    Both men loudly call out Islamists on their bullshit pose of being persecuted minority ‘Others’ and excoriate those who fall for such an obvious ruse.

    They refuse to be, in the words of that old joke about liberals, “the man who won’t take his own side in a fight.”

    I have yet to see one scrap of evidence that either man believes in malevolent biological determinism indexed by skin color and ancestral origin (you know, actual RACISM).

  446. #449 Mr T
    May 13, 2010

    You don’t fucking get it

    No, I think I do fucking get it. I also wasn’t implying that Knockgoats doesn’t fucking get it…

    No one has said “He shouldn’t be allowed to show his image”.

    No one in this thread has said that, but many would, both Muslims and non-Muslims. That is something which needs to be addressed in a tolerant, multicultural society. I’ve got no problem saying Vilks is a dick or an asshole, whether or not he’s a racist. Whatever floats your boat. If he weren’t being attacked and censored for being an asshole (not by you, but by others who aren’t so tolerant), this would be a non-issue.

  447. #450 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnTjMw3glk7YkbcN8kO4fqJmdAzcMTAtBQ
    May 13, 2010

    As a Scandinavian, I just have to add my two cents to this thread. There are a few things I think are being overlooked here … perhaps because most of the posters are Americans, I don’t know. Anyway.

    I don’t remember anymore who said what here. This thread is just way too long to keep track of properly. :-) Sorry.

    But Muslims in Western Europe are (despite the scaremongering of the far right) a tiny, and often viciously oppressed and persecuted, minority group.

    A tiny minority, you say. 3% in the UK. Yees … but the problem is that they tend to mostly live in the same areas. So that while in a country as a whole they may be a tiny minority, that will usually mean that there are no Muslims at all, or hardly any, in most of the country, and then in some places there are huge numbers. I live in Oslo, Norway, and in this city we’ve got 20% Muslims. Hardly a ‘tiny’ minority. As for them being ‘viciously oppressed’, please, give me a break.

    Europe in general doesn’t know how to deal with significant minorities which don’t conform to almost all of their norms.

    Either that, or the minorities either can’t or won’t fit in. If people are going to live in a society, and we’re going to have that be a functioning society, then everyone will have to conform to some extent, like it or not. Immigrants do NOT have to conform to ‘almost all of our norms’ here in Norway, but there are some basic values of this society that cannot be given up or changed … and many Muslim immigrants resist these very values. (Whereas our welfare money they are happy to accept.) I single out Muslims, because they are the only ones who have trouble with this. We have lots of other immigrant groups in this country, but the problem isn’t with immigrants in general, it’s with Muslims.

    There must be concessions from both societies, which requires changing custom as well as responding to the views of highly religious immigrants (per democracy).

    There must be concessions, but these must come primarily from the immigrants. Call me a racist or a xenophobe or whatever you want, but in Norway it is Norwegian culture that should and must dominate. If immigrant culture clashes with Norwegian values, then the former must change, not the latter. That is only right. All the more so since it is Norwegian culture that has created the great society that these immigrants all flock to. You don’t see a lot of Norwegians moving to Somalia, let me put it that way.

    Muslims have long used the accusation of “racist” to cow opponents in the West into submission.
    And? Has it ever worked?

    YES!!! It works all the time!! There is such a fear in this country of being labeled a racist, it’s crazy. It kills off so much important debate, because Muslims will pull out the racism card, and then you can’t go anywhere with that debate anymore, because now you’re a racist and racists are bad. This has actually led to racism being largely ignored in this country – yes, really – because it’s being so overused that it’s rapidly losing all its meaning. People tend to often just assume that it’s just being thrown out pointlessly again … as usual. It totally works. Some ridiculous but true examples:

    A hospital in this country had a system of using drawings of farm animals to indicate which rooms were which in the children’s ward, since many of the patients were too young to read. One animal used was the pig. Some Muslims parents complained about this – that the pig was ‘dirty’ and they felt oh so uncomfortable having it there, they were offended by the presence of this drawing – and it was removed!! >:-(

    Personally, I feel that racism should have been called on these Muslims, since the pig is a sacred animal in pre-Christian Norwegian culture … but racism is meaningless anyway now, so why bother.

    Here in Oslo, if you’re blind and have a seeing eye dog and you need a cab – and blind people tend to need cabs more than those of us who can see – you need to actually specify that you have to get a driver who will allow your dog into his cab. Because most cab drivers in this city are Muslims, and quite a few of them refuse to allow these ‘dirty’ animals into their cars. o_O

    Please note: denying entry to seeing eye dogs is illegal in this country. But these people think that the law ought to be broken for them, because it’s their religion. Fuck that shit. But they do actually get away with it as often as not and blind people may be left stranded.

    This isn’t to say there aren’t legitimate criticisms of Islam to be made. There are.

    But how can we make that criticism? These people so often take any criticism as offensive. So how are we supposed to get anywhere without offending them?? That is a dead end.

    And now someone may trot out the old argument that ‘not all Muslims are extremists’, etc. But that is the very core of the problem – that the extremists are the small group that will take their hurt feelings into violent action like in this case discussed here, but the so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims (whose existence as a concept I tend to doubt) actually feel the same way and support the extremists. In this country this spring we had a protest against some cartoons (different ones) published by a major newspaper … literally thousands turned up. At this protest an extremist made threats of violence. Another protest was held in his home town against this guy, to show how Muslims so disagree with his statements. There are hundreds of Muslims in that town, but something like 8 people showed up. o_O Blame the extremists all you want, but the real problem is that the silent majority support the views expressed by this minority.

    Someone no one in this discussion has touched on is what is actually being insinuated by this no-drawing-Mohammed BS. I wonder if no one else has really seen it, it’s so obvious to me … ? This is a situation where members of a religious group want a restriction imposed by their religion to apply to those who do not follow that religion. IMO that is where the real danger here lies. Muslims aren’t allowed to depict the so-called prophet in art, so fucking what? I’m not a Muslim, what do I care? Why should that rule be binding on me? What’s next?

    And there’s really no use being ‘conciliatory’ here, because these people* don’t understand conciliatory. They will see it as submission and, seriously, we cannot submit to this kind of thing. What’s next??

    As for racism, please, pull the other one, it’s got bells on. Muslims are some of the worst racists around where I live. The only people who have ever called me a ‘Norwegian whore’ in public** have been Muslims. Someone who thinks it’s OK to shout ‘whore’ at me on the street because my skin is white and I ‘dress Norwegian’ (tank top and knee length skirt on a hot summer day) is a racist and can fuck off back to whatever stone age hellhole he crawled out of. I am not the racist for wishing him gone. But he may well turn around and call me a racist for calling him on his own racist behavior. It’s freaky weird. And my country would be a better place without it.

    *By ‘these people’ I mean all Muslims who will stand behind the statement I support free speech, but there’s got to be limits … ie, Muslims who do not support free speech. And that is a hell of a lot of them.
    **No, I’ve never been called one in private, fortunately. ;-)

  448. #451 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 13, 2010

    Whoops. Meant to say “Those 5 people were all muslims” in the sense of “All of Almer Kogan is dead, but not all of the classification of dead people is Almer Kogan”, not “They were not muslims.”

    If he weren’t being attacked and censored for being an asshole (not by you, but by others who aren’t so tolerant), this would be a non-issue.

    Fair enough then. My apologies. I agree that those who /do/ say that are problematic in every sense of the word.

  449. #452 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 13, 2010

    Either that, or the minorities either can’t or won’t fit in.

    We’re doing a much better job here in the Americas. And I do mean the Americas, plural, as Brazil and a few other South American countries take immigrants from asia and the middle east. And of course, there’s CANADAAAAA (On strike!) I think it is entirely fair to look at Europe as at least contributing to the problem.

    I live in Oslo, Norway, and in this city we’ve got 20% Muslims. Hardly a ‘tiny’ minority.

    Hardly a takeover majority either.

    That is only right. All the more so since it is Norwegian culture that has created the great society that these immigrants all flock to. You don’t see a lot of Norwegians moving to Somalia, let me put it that way.

    I certainly can’t imagine any other factor besides culture that could possibly lead to economic success, myself, so you’re obviously completely correct.

    YES!!! It works all the time!!

    It’s worked so well in this thread, after all, what with those of us who don’t condone racism saying “Just reprimand his motives”.

    I am not the racist for wishing him gone.

    No, you’re a racist for wanting everyone who shares a skin tone and national origin with him gone, because they all think the same.

  450. #453 mfd512
    May 13, 2010

    Good luck Norway. Look to immigration control as your answer.

    Hardly a takeover majority either.

    So Rutee, would you mind if Norway enacted a policy to freeze their muslim population at 20% before it reached ‘takeover majority’ levels? Or was that a red herring phrase in your post?

  451. #454 Walton
    May 13, 2010

    mfd512,

    Good luck Norway. Look to immigration control as your answer.

    And you call yourself a libertarian? :-/

  452. #455 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 13, 2010

    Ah, the ‘libertarian’ now arguing for illiberal immigration control.

    As I said, MDF is A TROLL.

  453. #456 Leisha Camden
    May 13, 2010

    No, you’re a racist for wanting everyone who shares a skin tone and national origin with him gone, because they all think the same.

    OMG you can read minds!!!1

    What an amazing ability. I envy you.

    /sarcasm

    What a debating technique. It is pretty amazing, actually. What are you gonna do with that in a serious discussion? o_O

    Now I’m remembering why I hardly ever comment on this blog. Just thought it might be interesting to get some input from someone who actually, I don’t know, doesn’t live an ocean away from the place where what’s being discussed actually happened. But I see what you did there – you think my post is worthless, so you responded with a worthless post. How clever of you.

    I’m kind of curious to know how ‘other factors than culture’ can produce a society, since everything either is culture or creates culture … I guess you’re thinking of our oil, but guess what, Saudi Arabia has as much oil or more as we do, and discovered it at about the same time, yet with ours we have created an increase in living conditions for all and what the UN considers the best country in the world to live in, yet in SA the average standard of living has gone down since they found their oil. I guess that’s just blind dumb luck. Sheesh.

  454. #457 mfd512
    May 13, 2010

    Ive been called a Libertarian. Id call myself more of a reactionary.

  455. #458 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 13, 2010

    OMG you can read minds!!!1

    What an amazing ability. I envy you.

    /sarcasm

    If you don’t, you’re not. This isn’t complex. If you’re kneejerking because one jackass was brown, you’re being racist. You’ll note that, for good reason, I did not disagree with your assesment that he was a racist.

    I’m kind of curious to know how ‘other factors than culture’ can produce a society, since everything either is culture or creates culture

    They’re moving there for economic opportunity. Economic opportunity is not solely the result of culture. I didn’t say society for a reason.

    I guess you’re thinking of our oil,

    No, not really.

    yet in SA the average standard of living has gone down since they found their oil. I guess that’s just blind dumb luck. Sheesh.

    Nope. Poor distribution of wealth pushing most of the money into the hands of nobility. Good thing I didn’t just mean oil, right?

    But I see what you did there – you think my post is worthless, so you responded with a worthless post. How clever of you.

    And I’m the one who’s mind reading.

  456. #459 Walton
    May 13, 2010

    Ive been called a Libertarian. Id call myself more of a reactionary.

    Fair enough: I haven’t really been following the other thread in which you’ve been involved, so I mistakenly thought you were a self-identified libertarian.

    Your expressed view is still utterly wrong (though I haven’t got the mental energy to smack it down right now, and others are already doing so), but it is certainly correctly characterised as reactionary, so at least I can’t accuse you of being inconsistent with your own ideology.

  457. #460 mfd512
    May 13, 2010

    Liberty is definitely the thing, but the state ultimately guarantees it. Its that whole state-individual spectrum thing we were discussing earlier.

    On related topics, I think its wrong to ban burkas and minarets. Kinda missin the point.

    But immigration is a proper function of the state. Seems foolish to me to allow immigration to the point of a ‘takeover majority’, if I may borrow your apt phrase Rutee, of a people who don’t share your views on liberty. Id go out on a limb and guess if that happened, my, and your, liberty would be reduced.

  458. #461 Mr T
    May 13, 2010

    Fair enough then. My apologies.

    No apologies necessary, Rutee. I think we’re largely in agreement. The devil is in the details.

    —–

    I wish it were easy to know where to draw the line of what is racist and what isn’t, but it’s a fuzzy concept.

    Condell could very well be a racist. I don’t know enough about him, and since his videos are thoroughly annoying and anger-filled, I have no desire to find out.

    I don’t think there’s good reason to call Vilks a racist, but I could be wrong. I do think he’s an artist who’s taken on a possibly intractable issue, and in a lot of ways I think he’s failed to make it clear that he’s trying to be on the right side (if that is the case).

    It’s a shame, but many artists take their works too far without considering what else is happening outside their myopic, naive little artworld. This tends to place many firmly in “asshole” territory, but it would be a mistake to assume an artist’s motivations are the same obvious ones we see in the rest of society. It would also be a mistake to assume that they aren’t. They don’t get a free pass to say or do anything without judgment, but it’s often the case that they’re misunderstood.

    Anyway, I think he should distance himself from racism as much as he has distanced himself from censorship. Perhaps he’s tried harder to do so, and I’m simply not aware of it. Maybe he could sketch a roundabout dog of Hitler, but then again some people may not like seeing Hitler in public, or the implication that Mohammed and Hitler belong in the same category of images on the face of a roundabout dog, or assume he’s somehow glorifying racism because “dogs are man’s best friend”. The point is, anything he does could be misinterpreted, and we should be careful not to make too many assumptions.

  459. #462 Leisha Camden
    May 13, 2010

    Poor distribution of wealth pushing most of the money into the hands of nobility.

    But this is their culture. This argument comes back to culture. Ie, my culture is better than Saudi culture, because mine is egalitarian thus creates a better society for the vast majority, and theirs is and does the opposite.

    You read my mind and I posted an opinion. I think that your post sucks and you know that I’m a racist. See the difference?

    I’m not kneejerking because that one jackass was brown, but because all of them who’ve done that, and everyone I’ve ever heard of doing that, was brown. Every single gang rape I’ve ever heard of in this country was perpetrated by Muslim boys or men. (The worst one had Somali attackers and a Somali victim, but she was from a different clan than them, so, basically racism again.) Over the past three years, every reported rape carried out in public by an assailant unknown to the victim in this city was perpetrated by a non-European immigrant … which in Norwegian parlance is almost guaranteed to mean Muslim. Not a lot of them, not most of them, but every single one. That does NOT mean that all Muslim men are rapists, but it also does not mean that I am a racist or a xenophobe if I am more worried by a Middle Eastern man walking behind me through the Palace Gardens at midnight than I am by a Swede. It’s not based on racism, it’s based on statistical fact.

    Interesting story that you’ll probably just make fun of (feel free): My cousin is a cop, he used to work here in Oslo, but he quit that job and moved back to the northwest. Because, he told me, the job was making him a racist. He said that it was making him ‘a racist in his heart’, although he wasn’t a racist ‘in his head’. He worked undercover for the narcotics division at Oslo PD. And the job made him a racist because the whole scene was nothing but immigrants. Afghans, Pakistanis, Somalis, Iraqis (gee, I wonder if these groups maybe have something in common?) … these were the people that he was actually seeing with his own eyes smuggling and selling drugs. Not an ethnic Norwegian to be seen anywhere. He knew, rationally, that he was only seeing a minority – a small minority – of the immigrants that are here, and that the vast majority of them are not running around in the middle of the night selling heroin to 13-year-olds. They’re at home watching the news at seven and helping their kids with their homework. He knew that. But that’s just not how the human mind works. So he quit the job and left town.

    But of course, lest I forget, I’m sure they’re only dealing drugs because they can’t get proper jobs and are feeling left out of mainstream society. It’s probably all our own fault anyway for not being inclusive enough.

  460. #463 Ewan R
    May 13, 2010

    Seems foolish to me to allow immigration to the point of a ‘takeover majority’

    Surely though if you are allowing immigration to the extent that something which someone would call a ‘takeover majority’ is real, then you are explicitly giving the immigrants rights as voters, which at least to me suggests you are considering them as citizens. Once they become citizens then they are no longer “them” but become “us” – unless you are a bigot. At least in my eyes – using the US as an example – a naturalized 1st generation Indian (of the muslim faith lets say)is as much a US citizen as a direct descendant of one of the founding fathers – to limit further Indian (or muslim) immigration into the country to prevent Indian or muslim “takeover” utterly smacks of racism, particularly as in doing so you are explicitly attempting to prevent US citizens of a particular prior nationality or religion from being able to have meaningful power in the democratic system.

  461. #464 mfd512
    May 13, 2010

    Ewan,

    I didnt fully understand your post, but yes of course I think new immigrant citizens should have full rights and be fully integrated into society as much as they can be.

    Many countries limit immigration. They set a number and try with various methods to hit it. Sometimes they target certain skills. The resulting immigrant cohort is not racially balanced.

    New Zealand, one of my favorite places, has a pretty tough test that I took once and didnt pass. Too poor and uneducated. Standardized tests, as Rutee can no doubt fill us in at great length, are tools of oppression wielded by racist overlords. I wonder if he’ll stand up for me?

    Ewan, when it comes to immigration its about from where, and how many, and how fast. The further the cultural distance, the smaller number, over the longest period of time, you can take and hope to keep the current culture of your country.

    Many people, some on this blog I suspect, dont much care for the culture of their countries. Ive got some problems with mine, Ive got much bigger problems with Somalia’s.

  462. #465 Paul
    May 13, 2010

    Over the past three years, every reported rape carried out in public by an assailant unknown to the victim in this city was perpetrated by a non-European immigrant … which in Norwegian parlance is almost guaranteed to mean Muslim. Not a lot of them, not most of them, but every single one.

    I find it disturbing that you can trot out such a heavily caveated statement merely to point out how bad the Muslims are.

    – you’re ignoring unreported rapes. Understandable, you can’t really quantify your unknown unknowns. I can’t comment further without being familiar with your culture.

    – You’re ignoring “non-public rapes”. Perhaps the mighty white Swedes prefer to perform their rapes comfortably indoors, and are educated and cool-headed enough to realize doing that sort of thing out in the streets makes it a hell of a lot more likely they’ll be arrested/prosecuted.

    – You’re ignoring rapes where the victim knows the perpetrator. Considering these are the vast majority of rapes, this seems rather wrongheaded and makes the statistic you’re mentioning not all that interesting or useful.

    The fact that you ignore those things so you can trot out “ALL CRIME IS CAUSED BY MUSLIMS” really makes you look horribly racist (possibly on a perfectly subconscious level like your ex-cop relative). Seriously, if you need to caveat a statement that heavily to reach the fantastical point I don’t see how you can use it in good faith to demonstrate anything meaningful.

  463. #466 Knockgoats
    May 13, 2010

    yet in SA the average standard of living has gone down since they found their oil – Leisha Camden

    Where did you get this piece of crap from? Pulled it out of your arse? There’s a lot wrong with Saudi Arabia but this is total bilge.

  464. #467 Knockgoats
    May 13, 2010

    I see we’ve got the out-and-out racists here in force now. What a surprise.

  465. #468 https://me.yahoo.com/a/rP5Mvs1irpL7zdcuHfSykG4w.6KYcR8-#b536e
    May 13, 2010

    It is really interesting to see all these Americans explain about the social context in “Europe”. Not sure what country it is you’re picturing, but it certainly isn’t Sweden (or Norway, where I live).

    Just one point, something none of you have mentioned (I can’t believe you are unaware of it, so I wonder why?): Muslim immigrants are different from the majority population in Sweden in that they are much, MUCH, more religious. So it’s not racist special pleading to point out their religion-based misogyny and ignore other groups; the Christian groups that hold similar views are tiny and insignificant in comparison.

  466. #469 mfd512
    May 13, 2010

    Hey Walton #461

    Its a pleasure to disagree with someone so civil. Im glad we share that value across our cultures and You’re welcome as an immigrant, or visitor, in my country anytime. We can disagree some more over coffee, sans headbutts.

  467. #470 windy
    May 13, 2010

    That’s either stupid or dishonest.

    No, just exaggerating out of exasperation.

    I concede it’s possible that Vilks is not a racist, just a self-important, self-indulgent shit

    Well it didn’t seem that you accepted different interpretations before, it meant “wogs out” and that was that. So, thank you for softening it somewhat.

    Sweden is a multicultural society, in that people from very different cultures are part of it.

    Vilks seems to agree with you about that, per what I quoted in #206:

    Om mångkultur vill jag också tillägga att kulturerna har vi och det är ett berikande inslag.

    “About multiculture I would also like to add that we have [different] cultures, and that is an enriching element.”

    Men när kommandat “Nu skall vi ha mångkultur” utgår från de vise i regeringen då är hållbarheten begränsad.

    “But when the commandment ‘Now we shall have multiculture’ goes forth from the wise people in the government, the sustainability is limited.”

    So, he is opposed to the proclamation of multiculturalism as an official goal. Perhaps a (not perfect) analogy:
    “It is a mistake to proclaim that America is a religious nation”
    does not necessarily mean
    “faithheads out!”

  468. #471 Mr T
    May 13, 2010

    mdf512:

    Ewan, when it comes to immigration its about from where, and how many, and how fast. The further the cultural distance, the smaller number, over the longest period of time, you can take and hope to keep the current culture of your country.

    Many people, some on this blog I suspect, dont much care for the culture of their countries. Ive got some problems with mine, Ive got much bigger problems with Somalia’s.

    I don’t give the slightest fuck if we “keep the current culture” of my country (the US). I don’t consider myself a part of the “majority culture” anyway, but I certainly don’t have an irrational fear of other cultures or feel it would be desirable to maintain the status quo of the current US culture (as if such a monolithic thing even exists). I’m interested in basic human rights. You can shove your culture right up your xenophobic ass.

  469. #472 windy
    May 13, 2010

    Just one point, something none of you have mentioned (I can’t believe you are unaware of it, so I wonder why?): Muslim immigrants are different from the majority population in Sweden in that they are much, MUCH, more religious. So it’s not racist special pleading to point out their religion-based misogyny and ignore other groups

    Imagine if the video had featured creationists busting up a lecture about evolution, or abortion protesters, how many more people would be absolutely shitting bricks over the violence? Oh, but they wouldn’t be a “persecuted minority”. Apparently the most important thing in judging people’s actions.

  470. #473 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 13, 2010

    Imagine if the video had featured creationists busting up a lecture about evolution, or abortion protesters, how many more people would be absolutely shitting bricks over the violence? Oh, but they wouldn’t be a “persecuted minority”. Apparently the most important thing in judging people’s actions.

    …Well, if you mean “Of the Christian persuasion, in the US” they most likely wouldn’t be persecuted minorities. But I’m pretty sure those folks in the video were creationists, at least. And at any rate, I’m positive nobody in this thread thinks violence against Vilks was appropriate.

    But I suppose it’s easier to strawman then read anyone’s position on the matter. What with even those of us cautioning against an uncritical promotion of the guy saying “Just offer a proper disclaimer, for the love of pie”

    New Zealand, one of my favorite places, has a pretty tough test that I took once and didnt pass. Too poor and uneducated. Standardized tests, as Rutee can no doubt fill us in at great length, are tools of oppression wielded by racist overlords. I wonder if he’ll stand up for me?

    Nice job assuming a stance based on your own assumptions. You just did a fucking fantastic job there. Trolling. Get better at it.

    It is really interesting to see all these Americans explain about the social context in “Europe”. Not sure what country it is you’re picturing, but it certainly isn’t Sweden (or Norway, where I live).

    Funny story: I’m the only American doing it, unless I’ve mistaken SGBM. And that’s only because my girlfriend is Danish and loves telling me about both her country and her neighbors, which she regularly travels to. David is Austrian, Knockgoats, Walton, SGBM are British.

    But of course, our english is good, just like yours, so we simply must be Merikan while you give yourself an obvious free pass.

    But this is their culture. This argument comes back to culture.

    Really? Really? You’re going to tell me, from a continent that was formerly of feudalism and monarchies, that their culture uniquely spawned a wasteful and overprivileged nobility. That’s amazing, and you’re an amazing individual.

    You read my mind and I posted an opinion. I think that your post sucks and you know that I’m a racist. See the difference?

    Wanna correct me? Repeat after me:
    “There is no problem with immigrants per se.”

    You have NOT been doing yourself any favors on this count. See the next two paragraphs below and the paragraph above. It’s not looking good for you. Like, at all.

    I’m not kneejerking because that one jackass was brown, but because all of them who’ve done that, and everyone I’ve ever heard of doing that, was brown.

    Yes, I suppose every racist against white people was not!white. And you’ve never heard of a white racist at all, I’m sure.

    Even then, the plural of data is not anecdotes. I’m sorry you’ve had a shitty experience thus far, but it does in fact not reflect on the whole of the immigrants. Unless every single immigrant approaches you that way, I’m afraid it just doesn’t speak the wide ranging message you seem to be expecting.

    Over the past three years, every reported rape carried out in public by an assailant unknown to the victim in this city was perpetrated by a non-European immigrant … which in Norwegian parlance is almost guaranteed to mean Muslim.

    Wow, that’s an amazing list of incredibly relevant qualifiers to rape, and then it ends in ambiguity. I don’t know how I’m going to argue with evidence like that, it’s just that good.

    But of course, lest I forget, I’m sure they’re only dealing drugs because they can’t get proper jobs and are feeling left out of mainstream society. It’s probably all our own fault anyway for not being inclusive enough.

    Honey, you’re talking to an American. That is NOT the unsupported line of dismissal you want to take about a drug dealing minority in your country, at all. Maybe you’re right to take it, but you’re gonna wanna add to it somehow.

    So, he is opposed to the proclamation of multiculturalism as an official goal.

    Has this position been long standing, prior to ‘muslims’ showing up in Sweden?

  471. #474 windy
    May 13, 2010

    In those circumstances, don’t you think it would be rather odd for a sincere secularist to spend all his time attacking a minority religion which is already oppressed and discriminated against

    It is odd. In the same vein, it is also rather ironic when sincere anti-racists and anti-fascists express so much horror at some non-violent artist from a small northern European country who has expressed dislike of multiculturalism (*GASP!*), when their own governments are already engaged in racist and fascist acts of aggression against Muslims as we speak. I’m sure they oppose them, it just gets a little absurd sometimes. Anything Vilks has said doesn’t come close to the Nazi-level rhetoric of calling a predominantly Muslim country a “festering sore in the world”.

  472. #475 mfd512
    May 13, 2010

    I don’t give the slightest fuck if we “keep the current culture” of my country (the US). I don’t consider myself a part of the “majority culture” anyway

    Announcing you dont give an eff about the culture of the US and following it up with an announcement you’re not part of the majority doesn’t make you much of an pro-immigration spokesman. Just sayin.

    Basic human rights != culture.

    Many different countries with quite different cultures around the world meet basic human rights for their people.

  473. #476 Mr T
    May 13, 2010

    Announcing you dont give an eff about the culture of the US and following it up with an announcement you’re not part of the majority doesn’t make you much of an pro-immigration spokesman. Just sayin.

    Don’t be an idiot. I’m not even trying to be a pro-immigration spokesman. Please take your anti-immigration spokesman hat off for a moment and try to be a rational, ethical human being. If you’re opposed to particular groups immigrating because you’re afraid of losing your cultural purity, then you deserve nothing more than ridicule. If you have better reasons which aren’t quite so prejudiced, use those instead.

    Basic human rights != culture.

    Yeah, and I’ll go even further: basic human rights are more important than culture (that includes yours).

    Many different countries with quite different cultures around the world meet basic human rights for their people.

    That’s right. So… do you think Muslims, as “a people”, don’t (or can’t or wouldn’t) meet these standards?

    Seems foolish to me to allow immigration to the point of a ‘takeover majority’, if I may borrow your apt phrase Rutee, of a people who don’t share your views on liberty. Id go out on a limb and guess if that happened, my, and your, liberty would be reduced.

    How about that, it seems that you do. That’s a problem.

  474. #477 Dr. Mabuse
    May 14, 2010

    Knockgoats writes:

    I however, am totally assimilated into the Swedish culture. – Dr. Mabuse

    I think you don’t get what “multicultural” means. If everyone is totally assimilated, that is not a multicultural society – it is, by definition, unicultural! A multicultural society is one where two or more cultures coexist without complete assimilation.

    I never said that everyone was supposed to totally assimilate into Swedish culture. They should join our society instead of standing apart from it. Not live in isolated islands. This also mean following the laws of the land, such as not physically attack someone who has offended your prophet.

    Posts are only held for moderation here if they have too many links – and they rarely get out of it, because PZ doesn’t have time to go through them. Repost it, breaking it up into parts with no more than 3 (IIRC) links. It will then get through, I promise you.

    I’m pretty sure it does not contain too many links, but other trigger words, like the name of a French 16th century con-artist dabbling in astrology.
    How do I retrieve and edit posts held for moderation?

  475. #478 windy
    May 14, 2010

    Just sent this to the Rektor at Uppsala Uni. rektor@uu.se – Why not chime in too.

    There is also a petition started by local students:
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/larsvilksuppsalauniversitet/

    —-

    How do I retrieve and edit posts held for moderation?

    You can’t, but looks like it is posted now.

  476. #479 windy
    May 14, 2010

    And at any rate, I’m positive nobody in this thread thinks violence against Vilks was appropriate.

    No, but many are downplaying the violence and threats. That usually gives a bad impression, as if they’re saying “of course the violence against Vilks was inappropriate, but it was no big deal really!”

    But I suppose it’s easier to strawman then read anyone’s position on the matter. What with even those of us cautioning against an uncritical promotion of the guy saying “Just offer a proper disclaimer, for the love of pie”

    I wasn’t describing a position, I was proposing a thought experiment. Would the same people be as nonchalant if this was religiously motivated violence in some other context?

    And how about a disclaimer from the cautioners to the effect that it is possible to be concerned about the BROADER IMPLICATIONS of this case without being a racist?

    According to reports the event ended with 30-40 people cheering that they managed to stop a public lecture at a university. That’s the most disturbing part, really.

    Even then, the plural of data is not anecdotes. I’m sorry you’ve had a shitty experience thus far, but it does in fact not reflect on the whole of the immigrants. Unless every single immigrant approaches you that way, I’m afraid it just doesn’t speak the wide ranging message you seem to be expecting.

    I was not aware that a woman who felt threatened or harassed by a patriarchal subculture was required to survey every single member of said group before voicing concerns.

    I can just see the next discussion about women in science: “Your professor groped you? So what! Sorry you’ve had a shitty experience so far, but we can’t talk about a systemic problem until every single professor approaches you that way!”

    If you wanted to seriously address Leisha we could discuss confirmation bias, but do you really think this sneering dismissal helps combat racism?

  477. #480 Dr. Mabuse
    May 14, 2010

    windy writes:

    According to reports the event ended with 30-40 people cheering that they managed to stop a public lecture at a university. That’s the most disturbing part, really.

    The most promising part was that there was a protest outside the building, by a group apparently not connected to the perps inside. A group of people who were offended, but exercised their right to peacefully protest, instead of committing violence.

  478. #481 mfd512
    May 14, 2010
    That’s right. So… do you think Muslims, as “a people”, don’t (or can’t or wouldn’t) meet these standards?

    Seems foolish to me to allow immigration to the point of a ‘takeover majority’, if I may borrow your apt phrase Rutee, of a people who don’t share your views on liberty. Id go out on a limb and guess if that happened, my, and your, liberty would be reduced.

    Liberty != basic human rights

    Muslims can feed and house their people adequately and still get worked into a violent lather over cartoons.

  479. #482 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    May 14, 2010

    And how about a disclaimer from the cautioners to the effect that it is possible to be concerned about the BROADER IMPLICATIONS of this case without being a racist?

    Um, you’re going to ask for things already given? If you insist:

    This isn’t to say there aren’t legitimate criticisms of Islam to be made. There are. And we should certainly call out the gross abuses of human rights which occur in many Islamic states.

    That took me about two seconds. That was Walton, but I’m pretty sure another two seconds each will find an SGBM one, a Jadehawk one, and a Me one.

    I can just see the next discussion about women in science: “Your professor groped you? So what! Sorry you’ve had a shitty experience so far, but we can’t talk about a systemic problem until every single professor approaches you that way!”

    I apologize, but if she was trying to talk about the patriarchal bs, she should have probably not chosen to dwell on the supposedly widespread racism instead.

    If she wants to claim that the problem was that her professor was a male, full stop, and not the way we’ve ingrained male dominance into the system, then I think you’d react badly too. That is,
    “Of course your professor groped you; He’s male, it’s what they do” is not equivalent to any of the finer points regarding a male-oriented society that produces misogynists and the objectification of women.

    If you wanted to seriously address Leisha we could discuss confirmation bias, but do you really think this sneering dismissal helps combat racism?

    Probably not. I sort of stop caring after a certain level of annoyance, and “OMG BROWN PEOPLE COMMIT ALL RAPE” followed by a small print disclaimer that (Based solely off of US figures, granted) knocks off something like 80% of all rape, generates that level of annoyance.

  480. #483 Ratio
    May 15, 2010

    That’s ugly. Muslims everywhere should be embarrassed, and should be repudiating the behavior of those thugs. Peaceful protest is one thing, but there is no offense in a cartoon that justifies leaping up and punching someone.

    Being a Muslim coming from half-around the globe from Sweden, I am totally embarrassed with the overreaction of the students causing physical hurt to Vilks. But I am more embarrassed not to respond if continuous insults to the genuine beliefs of others are done in the name of science or political achievements without considering the sensitivities of others. I would definitely reprimand Vilks if I were in the room that day. If Vilks need to see what kind of respond a cartoon can generate, he can do it with his own face on a dog’s body and picture it having sex with his neighbour’s wife. Then show the cartoon to his neighbour. It will not be difficult to see how his gentle neighbour can turn aggressive in an instant. So I think Vilks must have known the effect of his insults but he wanted a more global recognition of his ego by offending millions of muslims to achieved it. And he got the publicity for a price since nothing is free.

    Freedom of speech will have its price too and it is called responsibility. You are free to speak but others must also be free to respond proportionately. Of course cartoons are meant for humour but there is always a limit to everything. Do it once or twice, people can forgive, but continuous insults will bring any sensible human to react in order to stop it from causing more stress. Its natural. Like the saying goes, the best way to win a war is not to start it. While the scientific world looks to science for the betterment of humankind, here there is a so-called ‘experiment’ on how muslims will react to insults of their beloved prophet and faith in Islam. Is that what the western world is trying to teach. What is the point to achieve here Mr. Lars Vilks? Lessons on ego & superiority?

    Call me a racist or a xenophobe or whatever you want, but in Norway it is Norwegian culture that should and must dominate. If immigrant culture clashes with Norwegian values, then the former must change, not the latter. That is only right. All the more so since it is Norwegian culture that has created the great society that these immigrants all flock to. You don’t see a lot of Norwegians moving to Somalia, let me put it that way.

    This really smack of racism. My Norwegian friends must be very embarrassed to see this post coming from their countryman. So ignorant and naive. Keep this kind of thinking you will end up living in a cave while others have move forward. From where I come from we adapt, absorbed and enriched our culture from immigrants coming from Asia, India, China, Middle East, South East Asia, Europe and Far East. We never lost our traditions, identity or things that we like to do or eat. Migrants brought in new exposures, commerce and trade, technology, politics with systematic governance and all there are that the world can offer. For hundreds of years until to this day we are continuouly being flocked by migrants and we embrace them without any biased feeling to our fellow mankind. Those who came were hindus, buddhists, muslims, christians, atheists, etc. And who are the majority population residing here? Yes they are Muslims. And who are the muslims? They are malays, chinese, indians, arabs, europeans and many other indigenous races. The key word for peace and order is respect. We have so much respect for the different cultures that we have government-funded schools for chinese, indians and arabic schools besides the national school. National language is Malay and people are free to speak their own languages wherever they are. Mosques, churches, temples are everywhere you turn to. Adzan prayers are called 5 times a day with loudspeakers, churches and temple bells rings without fear. You can eat pork and drink alcohol here as long as you are not a muslim.

    Personally, I feel that racism should have been called on these Muslims, since the pig is a sacred animal in pre-Christian Norwegian culture … but racism is meaningless anyway now, so why bother.

    Muslims as being racists? You really need to crawl out from your cave now. For ‘puritan’ scandinavian countries facing immigration problems, racism is very real. We have learnt a painful lesson on the 13th May 1969 when the politics of race and hatred reared its ugly head. Freedom of speech without responsibility had lead to many innocent people being hurt and killed for the selfish sake of race. Its totally unnecessary. When one culture claims superiority over another, that’s where the end begins. We have learnt from our experience for the sake of our future generations. The race card is now being dismantled progressively and despised by many in this country as it has lead to nowhere. We are living in a borderless world now. Colour and creed is no guarantee to success. Face the problem rationally instead of pointing the fingers to others or brushing in under the carpet. Ask ourself why a person or a group of people behave the way they do. For every action there will be a reaction.

  481. #484 windy
    May 15, 2010
    This isn’t to say there aren’t legitimate criticisms of Islam to be made. There are. And we should certainly call out the gross abuses of human rights which occur in many Islamic states.

    That took me about two seconds. That was Walton, but I’m pretty sure another two seconds each will find an SGBM one, a Jadehawk one, and a Me one.

    I was not simply asking if it’s OK to criticize “Islam”. Why the hell would the proper response to this case be to criticize “Islamic states”? Is it possible at all to be legitimately concerned about Islamic intolerance in Sweden, for example? Walton doesn’t think so.

  482. #485 windy
    May 15, 2010

    I would definitely reprimand Vilks if I were in the room that day.

    It’s not your business to interrupt and “reprimand” public speakers you don’t like, you illiberal idiot. If you feel offended by something you are free to leave and make a complaint later.

    Freedom of speech will have its price too and it is called responsibility. You are free to speak but others must also be free to respond proportionately.

    A proportionate response to drawings and videos would be drawings and videos. Not violence.

    You can eat pork and drink alcohol here as long as you are not a muslim.

    So why can’t you draw Mohammed as long as you’re not a muslim?

  483. #486 Ratio
    May 15, 2010

    It’s not your business to interrupt and “reprimand” public speakers you don’t like, you illiberal idiot.

    You’re so quick to make conclusions. I did not write I will disrupt the public speaking. I am sure there could be a Q&A sessions after that and that is when I could reprimand him. Would that be a fair statement to you?

    I agree with you and as written that proportionate respond is the order.

    So why can’t you draw Mohammed as long as you’re not a muslim?

    No living person in the world now knows how Prophet Muhammed looks like. For all I know he may not be wearing a turban and has as good looks as you are. Its the perception of being continuosly insulted that many muslims felt offended. Simply put, imagine if it is your beloved father being humiliated and laughed at in a very provocative manner, would you not respond? or you prefer to join the crowd?

  484. #487 windy
    May 15, 2010

    I did not write I will disrupt the public speaking. I am sure there could be a Q&A sessions after that and that is when I could reprimand him. Would that be a fair statement to you?

    Of course. Sorry for the assumption, but your post did not give the impression that you criticized the interruption as well as the violence.

    No living person in the world now knows how Prophet Muhammed looks like. For all I know he may not be wearing a turban and has as good looks as you are. Its the perception of being continuosly insulted that many muslims felt offended. Simply put, imagine if it is your beloved father being humiliated and laughed at in a very provocative manner, would you not respond? or you prefer to join the crowd?

    If they’re laughing at a cartoon that’s supposed to be my father, but none of them knows what my father looks like, why should I care?

  485. #488 Ratio
    May 16, 2010

    My dear windy, I did gave the impression that I am totally embarrassed with the ‘thugs’ abusing Vilks. To write in great length will be a waste of space and I hope intelligent people reading this thread can understand my stand.

    If they’re laughing at a cartoon that’s supposed to be my father, but none of them knows what my father looks like, why should I care?

    As I understand it, the cartoon drawn by Lars Vilk was meant to be the Prophet Mohammed. But if what Lars Vilk meant was just another different arab Mohammed and not the Prophet Mohammed then I should’nt be here. This will just be another racial slur on arabs.

    My assumption is that the crowd knows exactly how your father looks like and they make fun of it repeatedly. In the above case since we do not know how Prophet Mohammed looks like thus we are dealing with the perception of intent of the cartoonist instead of the cartoon.

  486. #489 strange gods before me ?
    May 20, 2010

    I was wrong to say that PZ was promoting Nazism. Lars Vilks’ racism is not Nazism. I spoke hurtfully to PZ, without cause, and I am sorry for that.

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