|Screen grap from TV2: Ahmed Akkari, former imam, former spokesman for the Islamic society|
Here's a sample of today's news media (all Danish text): Akkari: Muhammed-tegningerne var ok (Akkari: The Mohammed cartoons were OK - Jyllands-Posten), Jeg skylder måske hele Danmark en undskyldning (I owe maybe all of Denmark an apology - TV2), Ahmed Akkari: Muhammed-tegningerne var i orden (Ahmed Akkari: The Mohammed cartoons were all right - Kristeligt Dagblad), Ahmed Akkari beklager sin kritik af Muhammed-tegninger (Ahmed Akkari regrets his criticism of Mohammed cartoons - JydskeVestkysten), Akkari: 'Jeg var ung og naiv' (Akkari: 'I was young and naive' - BT).
It seems a few years on Greenland has cooled his hot temper, and he now appears older, chubbier and wiser. He has cut his old connections with the Islamic society, cut his beard, and is in the process of divorcing his wife in Lebanon.
Akkari now stands up in order to warn against the danger of radicalization. He tells about his upbringing in Denmark, how his father wanted to stay outside the big cities to avoid influence from radical elements, and how he was himself enticed when he went to high school in Aalborg.
Let me quote (and translate) a bit from this article: Tidligere imam fortryder sin rolle i Muhammed-krisen: Nu forstår jeg tegningerne (Former imam regrets his role in the Mohammed crisis: Now I understand the cartoons - BT):
Since the Mohammed crisis Ahmed Akkari has retired from the general public and the role as imam and religious spokesman. When he now in spite of this chooses to stand up, it is partly because of what he considers an ominous development. If the inrush to the extreme Muslim circles is not curbed it may have serious consequences for the Danish society, he fears.
- One reproduces a specific worldview in people, totally without nuances. Everything is portrayed black an white as a struggle between them and the rest of the world, and after all, the reality is not like that. What makes it even more dangerous is that they have started to attract young people from the street gangs and prisons. These may not have the intellectual resources to evaluate critically what they are being told. And it is people, who are already on the outskirts of the Danish society and have troubles observing its rules. That combination is a powder keg. This can end with anything, says Akkari.
As examples of the dangerous teachings, he mentions that democracy and the Western separation of religion and legislation in several radical environments is considered an attack on Islam and the correct way of living, and that it therefore should be fought.
According to the now former imam, it is precisely the concept of having the monopoly on truth, and the opposition against any other opinions, that makes the Islamic radicalization dangerous for both the individual person as well as society.
Unfortunately, Akkari refrains from mentioning specific names, specific techniques or specific examples of how these radical forces are working. Cutting the ties to the neighborhood is not without danger.
|Fogh Rasmussen by Lars Refn|
The big news story in Denmark for the last few weeks has been whether or not our prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, would get the job as NATO's new secretary general.
All 26 countries agreed on Fogh Rasmussen except for Turkey. Apparently the Turks were still mad over -- wait for it -- the Mohammed Crisis. Yes, the Turks have never been able to forgive Fogh for telling them back in 2006 that a prime minister in a free country does not have the right to throw "blasphemous" cartoonists in jail.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan from the Muslim party AKP told how he had received phone calls from leaders of Muslim countries who had urged Turkey, Europe's only country with a predominantly Muslim population, to veto against Anders Fogh Rasmussen for the post as NATO's secretary general.
In return for allowing a staunch defender of free speech to become secretary general, Turkey has made an unspecified number of counter-demands, like having a Turkish vice-secretary general, closing down the local Kurdish ROJ-station in Denmark and, oh yes, apologizing to the "Islamic world" for the cartoons, which may in fact happen today in Istanbul.
Lars Refn, no fan of Fogh Rasmussen himself, made this drawing of Fogh with a Turkish fez:
|A 500 years old Mohammed cartoon:|
Mohammed asleep while drunk
Do you remember two years ago, when Western media cowardly refused to show their audience the "terrible" cartoons, so the audience could form their own opinion? One of the most hypocritical papers was the N.Y.Times, who refused to show the cartoons they were describing (out of "respect"), but instead illustrated their article with a picture of the Virgin Mary made out of elephant dung - out of "respect" for whom?
But there was a time when the N.Y.Times were free of censorship. A 100 years ago, in November 1908 (PDF-file) the paper featured an almost full-size picture of a print by Lucas von Leyden illustrating the sad story of Mohammed's friend getting murdered and the drunken Mohammed getting the blame. From the article:
The famous print of the year, 1508, is an illustration of the story of the Prophet Mohammed and the Monk Sergius. Mohammed, when in company with his friend Sergius, drank too much wine and fell asleep. Before he awakened a soldier killed Sergius and placed the sword in Mohammed's hand. When the prophet wakened the soldier and his companions told him that while drunk he had slain the monk. Therefore Mohammed forbade the drinking of wine by his followers.
|While Mohammed sleeps, the murderer places a sword in his hand.|
It's a sad story indeed. According to the N.Y.Times, Mohammed was a drunkard, who didn't even know whether he had killed his good friend.
The N.Y.Times even informs us that parts of the Holy Quran were made up by Mohammed. Wine, we're told, is forbidden in the Quran, not because Allah wills it, but because of Mohammed's moral hangover.
It's a sad story indeed that the N. Y. Times were less fettered by censorship a hundred years ago than today.
The picture in the article isn't very clear, so click at the one to the left instead.
Erik Abild Soerensen, one of the 12 cartoonists that back in 2005 contributed to Jyllands-Postens cartoons of the prophet Muhammed has died at the age of 89.
This is a rather old story, actually it goes back to 1831. From USINFO:
The December 13, 2004, issue of the London-based, pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat contains an article stating that Cairo’s Al-Azhar Islamic Academy wishes to ban a book critical of Islam authored by the alleged grandfather of President George W. Bush, who was also named George Bush.
Reuters carried a story on the controversy on December 13, 2004, describing the book’s author as an ancestor of the current president.
Reverend George Bush published his "Life of Mohammed" in 1831, and as could be expected, the good reverend did not mollycoddle the "impostor" Mohammed: "All therefore that can now be expected is such a selection and arrangement and investment of the leading particulars of the Impostor's history [. . .]"
Once he got warmed up he started quoting the apocalyptic prophecies - first there was the little horn from Daniel:
"The result, therefore, of the whole inquiry must be, that by the little horn, described in this chapter of Daniel, is symbolized the spiritual kingdom of Mohammedanism."
The locusts from St. John's Revelation was another symbol of the "Saracens":
"In the Revelation of John, this deficiency is supplied ; and we are furnished with two distinct and accurate paintings, both of the Saracenic locusts under their exterminating leader, and of the Euphratean horsemen of the four Turkish Sultanies.
[. . .]
And there came out of the pit locusts upon the earth. Arabia has long been noted for giving birth to prodigious swarms of locusts, which often overspread and lay waste the neighbouring countries ; and it is remarkable, that in a genuine Arabian romance, the locust is introduced as the national emblem of the Ishmaelites. The symbol, therefore, of the locusts issuing out of the smoke strikingly represents the armies of the Saracens, the martial followers of the prophet, first engendered, as it were, amid the fumes of his religion, and then marching forth, at his command, to conquer and to proselyte the world."
The original 1831 edition can be read online or downloaded from The Internet Archive: Life of Mohammed. The book doesn't contain any images, but a later reprint from 1900 with a frontispiece can be downloaded from Muhammadanism.
The book was recently reprinted at least twice, so George Bush is now the cause of at least three Mohammed cartoons. In case you're wondering, the Rev. George Bush, A.M. was the cousin of Obadiah Bush, who was the great-great-great grandfather of president George W. Bush.
Added: If you're wondering why I'm suddenly so interested in a book from 1831, it's because of the latest output from the rumor mill - Christian and Muslim leaders unite against anti-Muslim cartoons:
In our research we discovered that the first one who intentionally published a picture demeaning the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was one of the forefathers of the current US President, George W. Bush. That was in his book titled “Life of Mohammad,” published in 1831 in which he called for “destroying the empire of Islam to establish the Empire of God represented in a Jewish state exclusive for Jews in Palestine”. The book made dangerous accusations against the Prophet (pbuh) and set the tone for a new ideology geared to stir conflict between religions. It is the same ideology of the current President Bush who during his recent visit to Israel voiced support for the Jewish state.
As already stated, the Reverend Bush was not a forefather of the Current president of U.S. of A., and the 1831 edition does not contain any illustrations at all. Once again precious hours of my life has been spent on chasing another Islamic wild goose.
However, the reprint from 1900 does contain a portrait of Mohammed, although it could hardly be considered "demeaning".
|Kurt Westergaard at work (movie still from "Bloody Cartoons")|
Murder plot against Danish cartoonist (Jyllands-Posten, English article)
Early Tuesday morning, Danish police arrested several people with a Muslim background suspected of conspiring to kill Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist with Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten.
Apparently the would-be murderers are two Tunisians (who will be deported) and a 40-year old Danish citizen of Moroccan descent, who'll be released after interrogation. The police have known about the plans for at least 3 months: Interview with artist. Running from murder plans (Danish text, my translation):
"When I came home, three bodyguards were standing with guns. We were told that we could do whatever we wanted. As long as we disappeared from our homes."
[. . .] the threat has never been as concrete as the information that the Security and Intelligence Service (PET) brought to him 3 months ago: "They want to kill you. They will do it here in your home. They know where you live. And they know your home well enough that they have been able to draw a basic plan over the design of the house."
Speaking of Islamofascists - do you remember the Iranian rioter who was shown "red-handed" in front of the Danish Embassy in Iran during the riots in 2006?
Danish journalist Karsten Kjaer has made a documentary where he travels around the Middle East, interviewing all the muftis and imams who were behind the riots. It turns out - surprise, surprise - that none of them had ever seen the cartoons.
Karsten Kjaer located the old man (who turned out to be pretty pleasant when he isn't busy burning down Danish embassies). He hadn't seen the cartoons either - he had simply been told by the government's Basij Forces that "the infidel Danes have insulted our Prophet".
Karsten Kjaer proceeds to show him the terrible Kurt Westergaard cartoon, and the old man hides his face from fear: His eternal soul is clearly in danger:
But when he actually sees Kurt Westergaard's cartoon, he relaxes again: Mohammed looks like an Indian Sikh:
Indeed. Who is to tell whether a given cartoon "is the Prophet Mohammed". Just like this famous poster shown below: Karsten Kjaer bought it at a religious supermarket in Iran, where he was told by his governmentally assigned guide that it was the last Mohammed-poster for sale. According to the guide, the supermarket stopped selling Mohammed icons and posters after the Mohammed crisis. Something about Shiite Muslims respecting Sunni dogma. Or something.
Other people will tell you the poster is not a picture of Mohammed, but instead his cousin Ali. So who's to say whether Westergaard's cartoon is an image of Mohammed, Ali or an Indian Sikh?
You can see the movie here: Bloody Cartoons (English dialogue and sub-titles). See below
Added: In case you never saw the original page back in September 2005, Jyllands-Posten has put it online here: Jyllands-Posten's twelve cartoons (PDF-file)
Added: The above link to the movie is only to a short teaser. The whole movie can be streamed from this address: mms://wms.dr.dk/storage/PP/dril/dmb/03-10-2007/51729_320x240x500K.wmv. Alternatively, you can go to Denmark's Radio, click "2" and then click "Se filmen".
I have been asked in the comments section, about why I made this Blog.
In the beginning was the Word, and the word was Danish. When I created my Blog back in May 2004, it was in Danish, commenting mostly on the Danish Church - hence the name Bibelen, which means "the Bible" in Danish.
|Icons like these were sold in Iran until after the Mohammed crisis.|
My Blog had almost come to a stand-still - with no posts in September 2005 (when the cartoons appeared in Jyllands-Posten), and neither did I post anything in October and November.
Late December I got curious about all the hubbub about these cartons. Everybody talked about them, but nobody had seen them, so I wanted to see them for myself in order to form my own opinion - and let me tell you: They were hard to find! I searched for days, and being stubborn and technically minded I did at last succeed in finding them. But the point is: If you wanted to become offended back in December 2005, you had to work hard for it!
Having found the cartoons I then decided to post them in Danish to show my fellow Danes how harmless and bland these cartoons were - half of the so'called Mohammed cartoons don't even show Mohammed. I actually believed, that displaying them would defuse the anger. Yup, naïve.
To my surprise I discovered that the cartoons brought on a great number of visitors from the entire world. So I started retro-fitting some of the old posts into English. To my dismay I also received countless death threats in the comments section. So much for my contribution to world peace.
I started following the case around the clock - literally. I discovered that Danish imams were spreading false rumors in the Middle East, while on the other hand it was very hard to see why the cartoons were offending, since they in no way break Islamic law. Did I mention that Danish Islamic Society has repeatedly stated that the cartoons published in Weekendavisen were much more offending than those in Jyllands-Posten?
|One of the drawings produced by the Danish Islamic Society.|
I'm still waiting for 1,300,000,000 Muslims to explain why it was okay for the imams to publish and distribute these images.
Then came the revelation: Danish imams were spreading offensive images of Mohammed as a pedophile child molester. That's right, the double-tongued imams were talking about peace home in Denmark, while spreading offensive material of their own production in the Middle East and even showing them on the B.B.C.. And it wasn't only the Danish imams, the the Egyptian Foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, had 15 meetings with the Danish Foreign minister, where he assured that all was dandy - while Egyptian diplomacy helped giving the Danish imams access to spread their lies, distortions and false blasphemous Mohammed cartoons at all the major congresses in the Middle East.
For a while I thought that if only we could tell the Muslim world how the imams had fooled the Danes with their double dealings - and how the Danish imams had produced Mohammad cartoons that were far more offensive than anything ever published in a Danish newspaper, then the riots would fall down. That's why I worked arond-the-clock - investigating, translating, discussing and writing.
Yup, still naïve!
Well, eventually the rioters found themselves some new victims, an incautious word by the Pope, a Bangladeshi cartoonist, a Swedish artist, and currently it's a school-teacher who foolishly let her pupils name their teddy bear after a class mate called Mohammed.
Bottom line is, if you're a Muslim and if the cartoons offend you, don't blame Jyllands-Posten, who only posted them once, don't blame me, who knew nothing about them until the orchestrated riots had gone on for months, but blame the lying imams, who duplicated, published and distributed the cartoons all over the world, and who repeatedly and insistently have pushed their pedophile Mohammad cartoons into yours and mine faces.
The French/Algerian journalist, Mohammed Sifaoui, who caught the Danish imams on candid camera, has written a book about the cartoon crisis - Dessins et Manipulations.
According to Sifaoui, the affair over the caricatures has demonstrated, how Islamists try to subdue the Western democracies with their religious dictates. But the affair has also functioned as a thermometer for courage and cowardice in the Western countries.
The front page is illustrated by Ramo, a Muslim artist of Algerian descent. The left side shows three imams producing fake Mohammed cartoons. One of them has made a drawing of Mohammed as a pig and says, "I have one, which will make trouble". The imams don't bear any physical resemblance to Kasem Said Ahmad, Ahmed Akkari or Abu Laban.
On the right hand side "Mohammed expresses himself at last" and says, "The first ones to insult the Muslim religion are those, who kill innocent people in the name of Islam."
|Akkari hiding behind the Danish flag.|
Luckily, the Danish embassy which was burned down in February is functioning again. But it turns out that one of these
Danes, Swedes lead evacuation race (CNN)
The Danes got a test run in crisis management earlier this year when newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad triggered violent protests against Danish embassies in Muslim countries.
One of the Danish Muslims who spearheaded the rallies against the prophet drawings, Lebanese-born Ahmad Akkari, was among those evacuated from Beirut on Thursday.
"My impression is that the transportation has been safe and that no one has been suffering," Akkari told Denmark's TV2 channel as he boarded a Greek ferry chartered by Denmark.
Ahmed Akkari has Danish citizenship since he only received a suspended sentence for violence in 2001. His wife and daughter are not Danish, but have now received a temporary residency permit.
So Akkari and his family are going to Denmark. This time Akkari is neither burning the Danish flag - nor trampling on it - but hiding behind it.
Added: Fixed typo, 30,000 Canadians - not "30,0000" (thank you, Unright@Fark).
Added: According to Danish Television (Danish text), 5,300 people have been evacuated. 47 of these weren't Danish citizens but have received a 90 days temporary residency permit (this group includes Akkari's wife and daughter). Among the evacuated are at least 10 criminals, who were expelled from Denmark for a period of no less than five years, but who have been granted a visa.
Imam Ahmed Abu Laban said he has felt humiliated in the aftermath of the cartoon controversy, which led to riots around the world, and that he would leave Denmark to return to Gaza with his family, the Jyllands-Posten newspaper wrote.
"I have recently felt that I am being viewed as a simple terrorist. No human being can accept that. It is an extreme humiliation," Abu Laban was quoted as saying. "I have taken the decision to leave Denmark."
Abu Laban, who settled in Denmark as a Palestinian refugee in the 1980s, has repeatedly accused Denmark of being disrespectful of Islam and Muslim immigrants.
"I believe that the Islamic cause has been a test for the Western democracies. I believe it has been proven that the Western democracies have no room for human rights," he was quoted as saying.
[ . . ]
|Goodbye, Cruel Denmark|
Actually Laban has "threatened" to leave Denmark for several months now, and it appears that he hasn't fully made up his plans yet. When EkstraBladet phoned the Laban household last night, his daughter said she was aware of her father's statements, but that it still wasn't finally decided.
JyllandsPosten adds (my translation)
Abu Laban says that he has done all he could and has worked around the clock to create dialogue between Danes and Muslims.
He adds that he could have done the opposite of working for a dialogue:
"I could have created a rebellion. I could have created a Hell here in Denmark. I could make Muslims strike hard. But I have behaved myself with a very high standard for Islamic behaviour [. . .]"
Speaking of Hell and other threats: Spokesman Kasem Ahmad (see here and here warns against possible unrest: There may come "a reaction" against Danish politicians Naser Khader and Pia Kjærsgaard, because they wanted Laban to leave. (Danish text): "There are somebody who's paying a high price for Abu Laban leaving. Maybe there wil come a reaction from people who can't control themselves."
Fathi El-Abed, deputy chairman of Democratic Muslims, disagrees: "I believe anybody in their right mind can see that Abu Laban has pushed himself out of society. He has been in Denmark for more than 20 years without understanding the society he lives in. And then he accuses the society of not understanding him."
Another expert, Helle Lykke Nielsen, fears (Danish text) that Abu Laban's absence will give room for more extreme Muslim leaders from the younger generation". Hey, Laban is a Salafist and member of the Muslim Brotherhood - how can you get more extreme than that?
Abu Laban wins Bad Democracy Award
Imams accused of doublespeak
The Laban-Akkari Dossier
Imam Abu Laban has many tears
Danish imams on candid camera
Creating Outrage (mentions Laban's terror connections)
Danish Imam Who Faked Cartoons, Linked to Terror, Cheered 9-11 (Gateway Pundit)
Update: It turns out that Laban is not about to leave: (Danish text)
Imam Abu Laban has no plans to leave Denmark voluntarily. Abu Laban says so now, after several media Thursday reported that he has given up on Denmark and is on his way to Gaza with his wife and youngest children.
However, should his residency permit be revoked, he would be prepared to leave at once.
- I have never said I wanted to leave Denmark voluntarily. But if the law says I have to leave, then I'll leave of course, says Abu Laban to Ritzau´s bureau.
- I am here in Denmark and well satisfied. In principle I would like to stay, Abu Laban stated Thursday evening in TV2's program "Go' aften Danmark".
Leaving. Not leaving. Extreme humiliation. Well satisfied.
Does anybody know what he's saying? Does he even know himself?
A Danish newspaper said today it had filed a defamation lawsuit against a lawyer representing a group of Muslim organisations which sued the daily for publishing the contentious Prophet Muhammad cartoons that sparked riots across the world.
The Jyllands-Posten sued Michael Christiani Havemann for saying its top editors ordered a cartoonists to deliberately make a "gross" drawing of the Prophet Muhammad because those solicited by freelance artists were not good enough.
Jyllands-Posten’s editor in chief Carsten Juste said Havemann’s accusations “are simply so gross and insulting that he has crossed the line for what we will accept”.
[ . . . ]
Apparently Havemann has repeated some of the old imam-lies.
According to Jyllands-Posten today (Danish text, my translation), Havemann has said, "According to what I've been told, the worst of the drawings - the one with the bomb - was produced by one of the paper's own artists, seemingly ordered by the management, because the cartoons coming from the outside apparently weren't bad enough. If this is correct it further supports one of our fundamental claims: That the purpose of the paper's action was that a religious minority in Denmark by all means had to be ridiculed."
The first lie is that Jyllands-Posten has stated that they meant to Insult, Mock and Ridicule Muslims. We have looked at this lie before.
We have also touched on the second lie before, namely that Jyllands-Posten specifically asked the cartoonists to make insulting drawings. See the page with Lars Refn's cartoon.
The actual truth is that Flemming Rose (culture editor of Jyllands-Posten) has repeatedly stated the opposite: (Why I published those cartoons): "I wrote to members of the association of Danish cartoonists asking them "to draw Muhammad as you see him." We certainly did not ask them to make fun of the prophet."
So who's lying? The imams or Rose? Fortunately the original letter from Flemming Rose to the 40 cartoonists can be found on Journalisten (Danish text) and goes, "We are writing to you in connection with last week's public debate about depicting the Prophet Mohammed and free speech in relation to a children's book by Kåre Bluitgen, where several cartoonists allegedly have said "no thanks" to drawing Mohammed out of fear of the consequences. Jyllands-Posten is on the side of free speech. We would therefore like to invite you to draw Mohammed, as you see him. The result will be published in the paper next weekend."
"draw Mohammed, as you see him" - those were the words. I hope Jyllands-Posten will get the lying imams and their lawyer.
Feb 23, 2006, 13:47 GMT
Rome - Oriana Fallaci, an Italian journalist known internationally for her books lambasting Islam, is reportedly working on a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
Giornale della Toscana, a local daily from Fallaci's home region of Tuscany, quoted the author Thursday as saying the drawing would depict the Prophet surrounded by 'his nine wives, including the child he married at the age of 70, his 16 concubines and a camel wearing a burqa.'
The unconfirmed report was immediately slammed by Italian Muslim leaders, who warned that it risked sparking angry reactions among followers of Islam.
Yesterday, Ms. Fallaci was interviewed by Flemming Rose (Sunday, Indblik page 7). At the end of the interview Ms. Fallaci says (my translation):
When the unrest started, people contacted me to get a statement, but I had nothing to say so I started making a caricature of Mohammed. It depicted a sensual exchange of glances between a she-camel and the prophet with all his wives lined up. The camel and the wives were wearing burqas, but the drawing didn't turn out well so I threw it away. I told about it at an awards handing ceremony. It triggered a scandal in Italy where a Muslim organization tried to sue me. For a cartoon which nobody has seen and which doesn't even exist.
I'm afraid that's the way it is, Ms. Fallaci:
Claus Seidel has received death-threats and is living under-ground, for making a respectful drawing of Mohammed.
Franz Füchsel has received death-threats and is living under-ground, for portraying Mohammed as a peaceful man.
Arne Sørensen has received death-threats and is living under-ground, for drawing a picture of himself.
Bob Katzenelson has received death-threats and is living under-ground, for drawing a picture of Kåre Bluitgen.
Lars Refn has received death-threats and is living under-ground, for drawing a picture a school-boy named Mohammed.
Denmark is supposed to apologize for the fake Mohammed cartoons produced by the imams.
Denmark should also apologize for a picture of a chair, which according to the imams is even more blasphemous.
Denmark is also supposed to apologize for cartoons, which which only exist in the mind of the imams.
And the Vatican is busy apologizing for a cartoon without Mohammed.
The good news is that all this apologizing is not in vain: Denmark scores poorly as global brand
However, Denmark may be through the worst and inching back to more normal relations with the Muslim world.
One sign was that the Arab League has said it backs Copenhagen's plans to stage a culture festival titled "Images of The Middle East" this year, the newspaper Information reported.
After a lot of apologizing the Arab League will graciously allow Denmark to stage a festival praising the culture of the Middle-East. Allah be praised.
Added: The interview is available in Danish at Snaphanen
|© Dansk Islamisk Trossamfund / © Danish Islamic Society|
Bin Laden called for a global Muslim boycott of American goods similar to the recent ban on Danish products after the publication there of caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. He said the artists who drew the offending cartoons should be handed over to him for trial and punishment.
|© Dansk Islamisk Trossamfund / © Danish Islamic Society|
Mr. bin Laden is right, some of those cartoons were very blasphemous indeed - showing Mohammed as a pedophile demon - and I agree totally: Those who made them should be handed over for punishment.
|Yes, I PhotoShopped this image. This is what Muslim protesters would look like if they had any honour|
The people behind those cartoons are members of The Danish Islamic Society and their names are Kasem Said Ahmad, Abu Laban, Ahmed Akkari, Abu Bashar and Shaykh Raed Hlayhel .
Please don't be gentle with them, Mr. bin Laden, after all these imams showed a pedophile Mohamed.
So far it seems that The Guardian is the only paper that gets the story straight: Opus Dei paper prints prophet in hell cartoon
A cartoon depicting Muhammed in hell has been published by an Italian magazine close to Opus Dei, bringing angry criticism from Muslim groups and disapproval from the Vatican.
The drawing in Studi cattolici takes its inspiration from Dante's Divine Comedy, in which the 14th-century poet imagines being guided through hell by the Latin poet Virgil, and sees the prophet cut in two as his punishment for spreading division. In the cartoon, Virgil points out another figure to Dante, saying: "And that one there with his pants down, that's Italian policy towards Islam." The caption uses a play on words to suggest Italy has chickened out in its attitude to Muslims.
An Opus Dei spokesman said the magazine was not an official publication of the conservative Roman Catholic fellowship, and the edition had not been checked in advance. The spokesman said Opus Dei's founder, St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902-75) "would have given up his life for the sake of respecting other people's religious freedom".
The Italian section of the World Muslim League said the cartoon was "in extremely bad taste". Souad Sbai, a member of the Italian government's Islamic consultative council, said: "This sort of provocation doesn't get us anywhere." The Vatican's expert on Islam, Father Justo Lacunza Balda, deplored the cartoon: "This really doesn't seem to me like the way towards dialogue and mutual understanding."
In February, amid the furore of a Danish newspaper publishing cartoons of Muhammed, 14 people died in riots in Libya after cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli, appeared on TV wearing a T-shirt with one of the cartoons, and had to resign. Italian TV is viewed in Libya.
So to sum up:
|Dante Alighieri - with hat|
- The cartoon does not postulate that Mohammed has been cut in two - this was done 700 years ago by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy.
- The cartoon does not show Mohammed cut in two - in contrast to a score of drawings in the last 700 years. See the Mohammed Image Archive for examples.
- All the cartoon does is to add a reference to the current Italian policy regarding Islam.
- Nitpicking: Dante (to the left) is the guest, who asks the questions. He's wearing the same hat on the cartoon as on the picture to the right. Virgil (with Roman laurels) guides Dante around in Hell and answers the questions. Most newspapers got it the other way around.
The cartoon quotes Dante (which every Italian school boy and girl knows by heart). The cartoon doesn't show Mohammed. All it does is making a comment on current politics.
People, who cry "blasphemy" and call it "extremely bad taste", are once again proving that they are using their religion as a political tool.
BTW, unfortunately The Guardian repeats another old error. The Italian minister, Roberto Calderoli, who was fired, did not wear a Danish cartoon. See The Carnival is over. It could also be argued whether the riots in Tripoli were caused by a minister's choice of underwear, or by old hate between Italy and its old Colony, Libya.
This is slowly changing, however. John Paul II spent his later years getting the Jesuits away from revolution and back to religion. One sign was the beatification of Marco d'Aviano:
Marco d'Aviano, known as a fiery orator, persuaded European Christian monarchs to lift [i.e. repel] the Ottoman siege in Vienna in 1683. A biography records that during the fighting, d'Aviano brandished a crucifix at the Turks, shouting, "Behold the cross of the Lord: Flee, enemy bands!"
John Paul, however, proposed d'Aviano not as a model of resistance to Islam, but as an apostle of Europe's Christian identity. The European Union is currently preparing a constitutional document, and the Vatican has insisted that the document must include a reference to the Christian roots of the continent.
Now, after having criticized the Danish cartoons, the Vatican in their "Studi Cattolici" has published a Cartoon of Muhammad in hell:
Rome - An Italian magazine close to the influential Catholic conservative Opus Dei group has published a cartoon showing the Prophet Mohammed in hell, sparking outrage among Muslim associations in Italy.
The drawing is published in the March issue of Studi Cattolici.
According to the Italian news agency Ansa, the cartoon shows the Italian poets Dante Alighieri and Virgil on the edge of a circle of flames looking down on Mohammed, whose body is cut in half.
Mohammed in Hell, by Gustave Doré
"he's cut in two because he has brought division to society"
"Isn't that Mohammed?" Virgil is shown asking Dante.
"Yes, and he's cut in two because he has brought division to society," replies Dante.
Cartoons by 12 artists, first published in a Danish newspaper in September and later reprinted in a number of other mainly European dailies, sparked Muslim protests worldwide.
Studi Cattolici editor Cesare Cavalleri said: "I hope the publication of this drawing won't lead to attacks, because if that happened it would only prove the idiotic positions of Islamic extremists.
"Sometimes a politically incorrect satirical cartoon can do some good. It's only a reference to a passage in (Dante's) Divine Comedy.
"In any case, Mohammed was sent to hell by Dante."
The cartoon drew immediate fire from Italy's Muslim community.
Roberto Piccardo, an official of the union of Italian Muslim communities, said: "With all the efforts made in the Christian and Muslim world for inter-faith dialogue, there are nevertheless always minorities that inflame things and cause provocations."
|Mohammed in Hell, Church of San Petronio, Bologna|
I have been unable to find the new cartoon so the above is taken from the Mohammed Image Archive.
This is far from the first time the Catholic Church has angered Islamists by showing Mohammed in Hell. The picture to the left is a fresco from the Church of San Petronio, Bologna - and in 2002 Al-Qaida plotted to blow up the Bologna church fresco.
As Marta Salazar points in the comments section, Opus Dei now distance themselves from the cartoon. In the mean time, I found the cartoon on the Danish Blog Polemiken.
Dante: "Isn't that Muhammad?"
Virgil: "Yes, and he's cut in two because he has brought division to society,"
"But the women there, with her trousers down, is the Italian politician in charge of Islam."
So the two first lines of the text are simply the original ones by Dante Alighieri - and Mohammed is not drawn - with or without his entrails hanging out. Compared to the old illustrations on the Divine Comedy this Catholic cartoon is positively tame.
The joke - ha ha - lies in the mentioning of the Italian politician with her trousers down - whoever she may be. She is only person who could feel insulted.
*sigh* They don't make blasphemy like they used to.
Added: It would appear the translation was wrong - it's "Italian policy", not "Italian politician". I'll make a new post and start over.