We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Less than twenty-five days to go!

Until the first annual Let’s Draw Mohammad Day!!!

Can you outdo the humor of Danish cartoonists? Be sure to try your hand at this global effort to raise a scream of maddened agony from people with minds too small to comprehend anything outside of their circularly reasoned unreality.

Be the first on your block to drive a Jihadi so berserk his head spins around and pops like a champagne cork!

82 comments to Less than twenty-five days to go!

  • George Wallace

    . . . And a high chair for my wife.
    (Link)

  • Oh that linked toon is pure genius :-D

  • And I got so excited about it all that I had to go all premature on it(Link).

  • YayForHumanity

    While I can see that people are unhappy with radicals and extremists etc what does it say about your own humanity that you would deliberately set out to cause other people offence, pain and anger?

    So you think it’s all a pile of BS and you don’t want them forcing their opinions on to you. Fine. But does that make it OK to cause harm to others?

    If your neighbour has an irrational fear/hatred of cats what kind of person would you be if you went out and bought a whole load just to spite him?

    I expected more from the readers (and authors) of this blog. Shame on all of you.

  • So let me get this: mocking Hitler or Stalin or Mao wouldn’t be OK either?

  • Oh, and BTW: why this presumption that anyone here is unhappy with radicals or extremists? Personally I’m unhappy with fascists, but maybe it’s just me.

  • Surellin

    My take – if the neighbour with the fear of cats insists that neither you nor anyone else in the world have a cat, then you are entitled to call BS on him. Especially if he insists that his demand is a philosophical matter rather than a neurosis.
    Second observation – the masthead of Sundays “Day By Day” cartoon is a pre-drawn MoToon, easily printed or xeroxed. Just a thought for those of us whose hand-drawn Mohammads might be indistinguishable from, say, a random vegetable.

  • Alice

    Yayfor humanity: “what does it say about your own humanity that you would deliberately set out to cause other people offence, pain and anger?”

    Yay — stop spouting your racist bilge! Where were you when the racist Islamists you support were threatening to kill — and actually killing — artists who offended them? Where were you when racist “artists” were causing pain to those of another religion by photographing a crucifix in a jar of urine?

    Or is your racist view that only Islamists should be treated with kid gloves, while all the sub-human non-Islamists can be pushed around with impunity?

    Yay — you are a despicable hate-filled Racist! No humanity in your soul.

  • Yeaforhumanity,

    Personally I have no interest in either Islam or in offending anyone. Problem is, they insist in going apeshit unless they get special treatment. Any and all belief systems need to have their feet held to the fire on occasion, and I find it deeply offensive to my personal principles that muslims claim exception to this. And not only do they claim exception but members of the faith commit violence and murder in order to try and force or intimidate the rest of us to adopt their absurd principles.
    Joining on on this is just my way of telling these bigots to eff of and stop forcing their opinions down our throats.
    They want to use logic and reason, then fine. They want to use threats and intimidation? They can sit on it and rotate.

  • jerry

    If what I read and hear is true, those ‘other people’ are taught and believe to a degree that I as an infidel should be killed. You either submit and join them or die. There is no other option.
    This is a far cry from from and ‘irrational fear/hatred of cats’.
    More like like an irrational hatred of ME.
    But stick to your childish passive beliefs and continue the Jimmy Carter delusion of ‘if we’ll all just be nice then they won’t hate us’.
    There are a few places in this world I like to see you try that approach. I’d give odds on how long you’d stay alive and I’m sure you wouldn’t like the odds !!

  • Michael Staab

    To Yayforhumanity,
    Ideas are perhaps the most offensive, painful, and most divisive concepts that we deal with. So what is really being censored, a word or an idea? The answer is both.
    If you capitulate to the demands of the offended the certain casualties are ideas and progress.

  • Ian Bennett

    But does that make it OK to cause harm to others? (YayForHumanity)

    I’m not clear what harm is being caused. Mockery, for sure; but then religion, of any form, is a ripe and fitting target for mockery, as are its followers. God doesn’t exist; those who deny this are worse then delusional because their denials deliberately ignore reason. They are not blind, but their eyes are closed. They deserve mockery, and they should expect to be taunted.

  • Besides, Ian, the real problem with Islam (at least in its radical form) is not it being a religion, but it also being a political philosophy – a fascist one.

  • Kevin B

    There seems to be a concern troll going around shaking his saddened head at “sites like this which I once found enlightened but now I see are just as bad as the rest”.

    Ho hum.

  • Kevin B

    And to finish off my comment, I was told quite early in life that:

    “If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined the circus.”

    Advice to live by, I think.

  • YayForHumanity

    We mock Hitler in order to destroy the idea he stood for. Is this the aim? From Ian Bennett’s post it would seem like it might well be.

    And Kevin, I’m not a troll but admittedly that is impossible to prove so well played on labelling me thusly and making it easy to ignore my point.

  • YayForHumanity: yes, that is precisely the aim.

  • Stonyground

    YayForHumanity, I didn’t notice your point being ignored, from where I am sitting it appears to have been ripped to shreds.

    If you don’t want people to laugh at your beliefs, don’t have funny beliefs.

  • YayForHumanity

    Stonyground – there is a huge difference between laughing at a belief and going out of one’s way to cause offence for no real reason. One hardly has to offend Muslims in order to protest against Islamists.

    And I know my point wasn’t being ignored by everyone, just that Kevin B’s first post here in which he called me a troll did not address the point.

    Alisa – thanks for coming clean and vindicating my original point.

    Oh and I missed this earlier – Alice – nothing I have posted here can be construed as racism in any way unless the person reading it wishes I was racist. I apologise for not fitting in to your neat boxes.

  • Laird

    Any belief system which can’t stand up to a little ridicule isn’t worthy of anyone’s respect, let alone solicitude.

    Muslims have been given carte blanche to say anything they like, however offensive, to or about non-believers. It’s long past time that they were repaid in kind. Time to take the gloves off.

  • The failed middle eastern
    Nations got their freedom
    And the people ate it up with a spoon.
    Then a “Sunni” was a Nissan, a Shi’ite was a fossil
    And when Mohammed blew up they said “who?”

  • Laird

    Mike, was that supposed to be a limerick?

  • It turns out that the originator of this idea, one Molly Norris, was just kidding! From the WSJ today:

    “After the massive response to the cartoon Norris posted this on her website:

    I make cartoons about current, cultural events.

    I made a cartoon of a “poster” entitled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” with a nonexistent group’s name – Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor – drawn on the cartoon also. I did not intend for my cartoon to go viral. I did not intend to be the focus of any “group.” I practice the first amendment by drawing what I wish. This particular cartoon of a “poster” seems to have struck a gigantic nerve, something I was totally unprepared for. I am going back to the drawing table now!”

    Once again I find myself disagreeing with James Taranto, this time respectfully (see earlier posting by me). He thinks this is a bad idea (i.e. a bad idea to take seriously), because it will piss off peaceful Muslims and make enemies of them.

    I, on the other hand, think that all Muslims, however peaceful, say that they worship a thoroughly nasty collection of printed writings. If they believe what these writings say, they already are enemies. If they really are peaceful, and don’t believe what these writings say, they should stop saying that they do.

  • Alice

    Brian M: “I, on the other hand, think that all Muslims, however peaceful, say that they worship a thoroughly nasty collection of printed writings.”

    Brian, I have no time for racist stooges such as the inappropriately-monikered YayForHumanity. Since you don’t fall into that despicable category, let me simply & respectfully disagree with you about “all Muslims”.

    I have lived with Muslims at home & abroad, have friends who are Muslims. The defining characteristic of Muslims is that they are, first & foremost, people. Many good people, the occasional bad person — just like Atheists, or Christians, or Buddists. I have met Muslims who are very devout and equally peaceable. It makes as little sense to tar every Muslim with one brush as it would to suggest that every liberal is as creepily disgusting as YayForHumanity.

    The acid test of human behavior — Would I rather be dropped on a random street corner at midnight in Barack Obama’s community-organized Chicago or in any of a dozen Muslim cities? Personally, I would rather take my chances in the Muslim city.

  • Radical Islamofascists have decided to deny us our freedom of expression, under penalty of death.

    I, for one, regret that I have only one life to give.

    This is only mockery by extension.

  • Laird, allow me to try my hand at limerick-ing – full authorization to our hosts to remove if deemed inappropriate:

    There once was a prick named Mohammed
    Who wanted to rule the world, dammit!
    But his mug was so homely
    That he ordered “Words only!
    Up yours, should you paint me, I’ll ram it!”

    I tried for a follow-up with:

    Then there were all of Mo’s homies
    Known for their charms and bonhommies
    They did not want his up theirs
    So they ordered their heirs:
    ………………….

    … but I could not finish it.

  • Alasdair

    YayForHumanity

    “We mock Hitler in order to destroy the idea he stood for.” – actually, we mock specific ideas of Hitler cuz some of his other ideas actually are worthy of support … trains running on time – check … entire ethnic groups cleansed wholesale – ummm not kosher … using crematoria for non-consenting humans – very not cool …

    Trying to ban *everything* with which Hitler is/was associated is acting/being just as fascist as Hitler himself was …

    If you don’t want to see any cartoons of the Prophet (pbuh), then don’t look at them, don’t support the things where they are published …

    Personally, I prefer to see folk drawing cartoons of the Prophet, as compared to people sawing the heads off other people with blunt knives … it’s an easy choice for me to make … you know, shows more humanity

  • Laird: No, I based it loosely on the famous nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle“, from which we get the phrase “over the moon” as a synonym for very pleased.

  • Nuke Gray

    I have just one question- who is Mohammed Day? And what has he done?

  • Alice: “The acid test of human behavior — Would I rather be dropped on a random street corner at midnight in Barack Obama’s community-organized Chicago or in any of a dozen Muslim cities? Personally, I would rather take my chances in the Muslim city.”

    While I agree with the overall drift of what you say, I’d be careful. I have been robbed in a Muslim city (Algiers), smack in the middle of Ramadan, in broad daylight. Granted, I was 13, and all that was taken from me was a tennis racket and a can of Schwepps… but I have not yet been robbed in Philadelphia, which is like Chicago, only worse, outside of Center City, where police are plentiful. And that was before the civil war in Algeria, when diplomats and their kids enjoyed a rather privileged status, and fanatics were rare.

    I guess it depends on what you’re packing :)

  • Sunfish

    Mohamed Day? I think he was Doris Day’s bastard son.

    In other (relevant) news,,,

  • Ian Bennett

    YayForHumanity, I would, indeed, be pleased at the destruction of Islam, along with any and all other religions, simply because they are, themselves, inherently destructive. If you do anything because god told you to, you justify anyone else doing anything else because god told them to. Refraining from eating meat on Fridays because god said so is morally identical to firebombong abortion clinincs because god said so, mutilating your 12-year-old daughter’s genitals because god said so, and flying 747s into tower blocks because god said so. And you cannot get away with blaming “just the extremists”; moderates of any religion are responsible for the actions of all followers because they provide and maintain the context in which the extremists operate. Debate, discussion and negotiation will religionists is impossible because the prerequisites for those is reason, which religionists lack. Until we get an epidemic of reason, common sense and rationality, religionists will always have some excuse for whatever they feel like doing. So, yes; I want to destroy religion.

    Rant over. (For now.)

  • Ian Bennett

    “negotiation with religionists”

    Damn!

  • YayForHumanity

    Ian – thanks for being open and honest. Just a pity that something has screwed your sense of reason. I consider myself a Libertarian and have always thought that Libertarians were unique in seeking to avoid the labelling of people and groups and seeking to avoid the bundling of huge groups of people together as if they were all identical. You and others on this site appear to not seek that same aim.

    As a member of a much persecuted religion I think I know what happens when large groups of people are bundled together as one person, especially when that person is defined as ill or evil or dangerous etc. The results are almost always bloodshed and evil.

  • Ian Bennett

    YayForHumanity, you say that my sense of reason is screwed, but I wonder what you would offer as the reasonable basis of your religious belief. Religion, by its very nature, is irrational; it not only ignores reason, it denies reason. It is my power of reason that enables me to see this.

    Regarding my “labelling of people and groups”, I refer to people who hold religious beliefs; if those people happen to follow a formal religion, as you say that you do, surely it is they themselves who are bundling themselves together. My criticism applies to holders of any religious belief, not just followers of organised religion; but even individual religionists are identical to each other in as far as they hold beliefs which are insupportable by any logical means.

    Libertarians are by no means “unique in seeking to avoid the labelling of people”, but surely the issue is the use to which that label is put. You are “a member of a much persecuted religion”; this does not mean that you share every characteristic with every other member of that or any other religion, but it does mean that you hold beliefs which cannot be rationally supported, and you can thus be grouped with them in that context. It is a grouping which you embrace, not one which I impose on you.

  • manuel II paleologos

    Refraining from eating meat on Fridays because god said so is morally identical to firebombong abortion clinincs because god said so, mutilating your 12-year-old daughter’s genitals because god said so, and flying 747s into tower blocks because god said so.

    What are you trying to do – make Yayforhumanity think he’s right? I don’t eat meat on Fridays and if you think that’s the moral equivalent of killing people then you’re frankly an idiot.

    Yayforhumanity is wrong simply because his analogy is stupid. It would indeed be wrong to annoy my neighbour solely for the purpose of annoying him. That’s not what this is about. I’ll be drawing my Mo picture because said neighbour is trying to kill me, and more importantly is trying to kill Parker & Stone, and this is an easy way to make him look like a chump.

  • James Waterton

    Yayforhumanity:

    To use your analogy – I agree that if you have a neighbour who has a visceral dislike of cats, then buying a bunch of cats simply to cause him discomfort is ugly behaviour.

    HOWEVER, if your neighbour has insisted that others living around him also not keep cats, and has issued threats of violence – and made good on them – to those who ignore him, then I think that widespread defiance is actually quite a useful opening counter-tactic to his anti-social behaviour.

    As a libertarian, you should recognise that in a free society, you – nor anyone else – has the right not to be offended. This is a free speech issue, and if you want free speech to continue to exist, it must be impossible for certain interest groups to carve out their own little exceptions to it. The message to Muslims trying to limit free speech must be that the harder they struggle to yoke it, the stronger and more defiant it gets. So the more MoPics floating around to remind them of their failed ambitions to muzzle people, the better.

  • Ian Bennett

    manuel II paleologos, if the reason that you don’t eat meat on Fridays is that god told you so, then what basis do you have for criticizing others for killing people because god told them so? Either you do as god says – whatever god says – or you deny god.

  • Ian Bennett

    To clarify; in doing those things because god said so, the religionist seeks to absolve himself of moral responsibility for them – he has to do them, he has no choice. The immorality lies in claiming that god (or the Easter Bunny or the ghost of Napoleon Bonaparte; same thing) is responsible. “A big boy did it and ran away.” To the religionist, whatever god says is right, and it would be immoral not to comply.

    Above all, we ought to submit to the Divine authority rather than to our own judgment even though the light of reason may seem to us to suggest, with the utmost clearness and evidence, something opposite. (Descartes)

    the real distinction between right and wrong, is independent of what we happen to think. It is rooted in the nature and will of God. (Robert Mortimer)

  • Alisa

    You are right about the personal inclination of most Muslims to be decent people, and I am sure entirely right about all the ones you have had dealings with. I too know plenty of Muslims, and know of plenty more, who are just the nice people you describe.

    But my accusation stands. A group of mostly decent people, nevertheless go through the motions of worshipping what are, I repeat, thoroughly nasty and belligerent and divisive written ideas. Until these nice Muslims stop doing this, and say they have stopped, and don’t then get murdered or even threatened with murder, this will go on being a huge problem for the world. Because some naturally belligerent, nasty Muslims (of whom there are also a great many, but that’s a different argument) will inevitably be inclined to take what these writings say seriously. Kaboom.

    I used to think that the best answer to this problem was for all of us infidels to leave well alone, be entirely nice to nice Muslims and nasty only to the seriously nasty ones, and hope that Koran-worship would just fade away. But I now think that some of us at least should challenge Muslims on this point, all Muslims, even the nice ones, especially the nice ones. Along the lines of: You’re a nice person. So why do you keep on saying that you agree with these nasty ideas?

    I want a world in which a large number of nice Muslims at least get the point of this criticism, and seriously think about it. I do not think we live in that world now. I think the nice Muslims, who are, I entirely agree, excellent people at the level of their personal conduct, have got away with doing something very nasty, largely unchallenged, on account of them otherwise being nice.

  • what does it say about your own humanity that you would deliberately set out to cause other people offence, pain and anger?

    What it says is that I and others like me do not like to stand idly by when confronted by illiberal values. I will tolerate any who tolerate me but tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.

    So you think it’s all a pile of BS and you don’t want them forcing their opinions on to you. Fine. But does that make it OK to cause harm to others?

    Harm? Me expressing my views of them is not ‘harm’, it is just my opinions. If that offends them, I should care why exactly? Moreover if their values cause them to regard the expression of my views with such pain, perhaps they should examine their own beliefs and meta-context. I do not give a flying fuck what they say about me… I suggest they cultivate a similar mind set regarding my views.

  • Dom

    ” I will tolerate any who tolerate me but tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.”

    I don’t really like that, because usually the phrase “The only thing I don’t tolerate is intolerance” is usually uttered y people who simply want to push their views on others. It is said, eg, by people who want the BSA to accept gay leaders, etc. I’m sure PdeH didn’t mean anything like this, but I’m surprised the phrase got out.

  • YayForHumanity

    A couple of people have suggested that my analogy fails because Muslims seek to ban others from doing things. Yet this is entirely untrue. Some Muslims seek to impose Islamic law on others. The vast majority do not. Yet the aim of this event is to deliberately offend people including those who have not in any way sought to harm anyone.

    How can that be justified without crossing the line into declaring that all Muslims are identical and denying that individuals exist who all commonly agree with the basic tenets of Islam?

    PdH – the point above applies to your post too but also something more. You say that you are not causing harm you are merely stating your opinion and if harm is caused that is unfortunate. But this is demonstrably untrue. There is surely a clear distinction between performing an action that can indirectly cause harm but where the harm caused was never intended and an action that is performed with the sole intent of causing harm. The entire purpose of this event is to cause harm to Muslims – if you were not sure that harm would be caused you would not be doing it.

    I’m slightly wary of using another analogy but they do come in handy. If someone you know does not like a certain type of music that you love it is not wrong for you to continue to listen to it in his presence. If, though, you don’t like it either and play it only to annoy him – well, I think we’d all agree that makes you a bit of a shit.

  • Ian Bennett

    But I enjoy making fun of religion.

  • Dale Amon

    The simple answer is that it is my right to say anything I choose, any time I choose only excepting places owned by persons who limit certain forms of speech on their property.

    If I choose to post a cartoon or choose not to post a cartoon on my own property or in any location that is protected under the First Amendment or some of the even stronger State Constitution freedom of speech laws, that is my business and if someone takes offense tough.

    It may be impolite to ’cause emotional distress’ but it is my freedom to do so. I am not threatening violence or coercion in my speech. I am not suggesting theft of property or the taking of any liberty from anyone. I am merely exercising my Right to say whatever I feel like saying.

    Simple Free Speech is indeed a weapon against those who would limit it. I would ordinarily not give a rat’s ass about cartoon caricatures of a religious founder, although I might well laugh soundly at those brilliantly done like “Life of Brian”.

    Would anyone here say that a similar Monty Pythonesque piss-take of a different religion should be off limits? That people who created such a comedy would be fair game for murder or threats of violence from 13th Century morons? Of course not.

    The question becomes: How do we fight back? How do we prevent limitation of free speech by threat? If one group gets its way, it will not be long before others try the same and pretty soon you will have no freedom left.

    This cartoon idea is brilliant because it is a non-violent statement to those of a violent mindset. We are telling them that every time they chop off one head, 10 more will regrow in its place. We are telling them our freedom of speech will be exercised despite the worst they can do. Perhaps they will grow up enough to realize the best way to minimize the humor about their leader is to simply ignore it or to peacefully issue a statement deploring it… which is what Christian and Jewish leaders do when there is a book or movie they feel goes against their beliefs.

    This is a war for the First Amendment and we *are* going to win it.

  • yayForHumanity

    Dale – The problem (well one of them anyway) is that in your “war” this weapon will end up damaging far more innocent people than guilty ones.

    The other problem is that it isn’t effective at all. The Islamists are seeking to polarise the world and make Muslims believe there is an “us versus them” situation in existence. This will make their job easier.

    But that is besides the point. Do you not feel even slightly bad for deliberately causing harm to people who have never sought to cause you any harm?

  • Slartibartfarst

    Committing what Muslims consider to be a blasphemy punishable by death – be it making fun of Mohammed or drawing caricatures of him, and on a worldwide basis too – what could be the consequences? What could possibly go wrong?

    Apart from the short-term instant gratification of having thumbed our noses at, and ridiculed Islamic beliefs, it might not actually achieve anything more than act as confirmation (if any were needed) that, for the longer-term, something needs to be done about the Dar al-Harb (the world of heresy) – and starting sooner, rather than later. This could be akin to Hitler’s “The final solution”, again, but on a much bigger scale, this time around.

    We are Dar al-Harb. It’s a classic dichotomy – the only other world is Dar al-Islam (the world of Islam). You are either one or the other. Allah in the Koran dictates that members of Dar al-Harb must generally either submit to Islam or be killed – except the Jews, who must just be exterminated, of course. In this, Allah does not mince his words.

    By confronting dar Al-Islam (Islam) in the manner we are about to, we risk being the catalyst for causing unnecessary social instability through the violent revolt of Islamic minorities worldwide. I wonder, is this going to be a “good thing”? Is it worth focussing our attention on creating this?

    The Victorian Prime Minister William Gladstone probably had the focus right. He once once brandished the Koran in the House of Commons, announcing with great authority and prescience “so long as there is this book, there will be no peace in the world”. On another occasion, Mr Gladstone referred to the Koran as “this accursed book”.

    If he was right, then it is that book that should probably be the focus. For example, why do we continue to allow this life-hating ancient Arabic Mein Kampf to be published and used in our societies to indoctrinate and condition the thinking of children and adults in Islamic mosques, schools and universities? It would seem to be that it is the Koran and its use as a so-called “customary religious scripture” that needs to banned/prohibited. (Together with the Sharia law that supports it and which is being incrementally introduced into British and other societies.)

    If you think that banning is possible, then reflect on the fact that it was announced in 2009 that the bicentenary of the birth of the Prime Minister William Gladstone is to be celebrated by spending £500,000 on the establishment of an “Islamic Reading Room” in Hawarden, Flintshire.

    The St Deniol’s Library in Hawarden, which is funded by the national lottery, houses Gladstone’s own collection of over 32,000 items. According to St Deniol’s website, “a principal aim of the Gladstone 200 Campaign will be to build and resource an Islamic Reading Room at St Deiniol’s which will enable Christians and others to reach a deeper understanding of Islam and its place in the contemporary world. We want to increase the depth and scope of the collection so that it is a useful resource for Islamic scholars as well.”

    Doesn’t this look a little bit like checkmate?

  • Sunfish

    Some Muslims seek to impose Islamic law on others. The vast majority do not.

    And when the “Some” does what they do, the “vast majority” stands up for what’s right, right?

    And how is it “harmful” for people to draw pictures? Is it more “harmful” to draw motoons than it is to compare Jews to dogs or to submerge the image of my Lord and Saviour in a bucket of waste bodily fluids? Could you possibly define the word “harm” as you’re using it here, such that hurt feelings from pictures are harmful when violent outbursts from heavily-armed spoiled children are apparently not?

    And why are one of the groups singularly incapable of butching the f*** up and moving along? I mean, it sounds as though that’s to be expected of the rest of the world.

    At any rate, they worship a god who’s raped children, beheaded people of other religions, called for women to be stoned to death for being the victims of rape, allowed children to be burned to death because they were not properly dressed to be allowed to leave a burning building, etc. People who worship violence and evil should perhaps not be so thin-skinned as to get all butt-hurt in the face of a cartoon drawing.

  • YFH – perhaps Dale will respond to you himself, but I’m going to spend a few minutes to explain this to you politely and clearly largely because I just realized the Inter-Barcelona game is tomorrow night and not tonight.

    Firstly, on your point about “causing harm” to innocent Muslims who just want to get on with recognizably normal lives, I think you underestimate these Muslims. They may well just ignore the whole thing and get on with minding their corner shops. Consider for a moment the advantages you presumably obtain in your own life of choosing not to pay attention to certain things or certain people.

    Secondly, you can have no reliable idea of the proportion of genuinely offended Muslims to those who don’t really give a shit. I don’t know what you do for a living but I’d wager telepathic communication was not listed as a prerequisite qualification when you took the job.

    Thirdly, although I agree with you that the Islamic Fascists are trying to persuade other Muslims to join them, I don’t think that this will make their job easier – on the contrary, I believe it will have the opposite effect. Consider, for example, how many terrorist attacks have occurred in the U.S. and Europe since 9/11 and then consider how many could have occurred. Now no doubt that can be partly explained by the efforts of the police and the intelligence services, but if I was an Islamic terrorist I wouldn’t target landmark government or commercial buildings I’d target people at random – in the supermarket, at the gas-station, in the park etc. Far more terrifying – far more effective. But this – with two notable exceptions in London and Madrid – hasn’t happened. Why is that? Could it be that most Muslims can be as disgusted by the Islamic Fascists as we are? I think so, and I think further ridicule will only strengthen that sentiment among “ordinary” Muslims.

    Fourth, I agree with the point some other commenters made that it is good for us who value our freedom to challenge “ordinary” Muslims because, pace your point about an “us versus them situation”, I think this actually is an “us versus them” situation – we’re right and they’re wrong it’s as simple as that. The “ordinary” Muslims surely know this deep down but they’re scared. But look – they have to tear the bandage off sometime or other. I say let the fresh air and sunlight get to it.

  • Brian, I’m sure you meant to address Alice, not me.

    Ian Bennet: your collectivist instinct gets in the way of the clear thinking of which I’m sure you are perfectly capable.

  • Alice

    Alisa — I took it as the highest possible compliment (to me) when Brian mistook me for you.

    As to that despicable troll-like YayForHumanity — the kindest remark one could make is that he is exactly the kind of woolly-minded self-satisfied preening cowardly liberal that George Orwell had in mind with his comment (possibly apocryphal) about those who are able to sleep comfortably in their beds only because rough men stand ready to protect them from harm.

  • Nuke Gray

    YFH,
    Many films portray materialism as a fact, and treat religious views as laughable. Christians and Jews don’t burn the theatre down, or kill the producer! Why can’t Muslims just limit their protests to the same things that Believers do- write protest letters, not see it themselves, etc? Why are their protests always very violent? Is it because Mohammed was a violent person, so they are being true to their role-model, just as thuggish nazies are being true to Hitler?

  • Thank you Alice, the feeling is mutual:-)

  • Nuke Gray

    Imagine how stupid IanB. must be feeling now! The recent news release of Noah’s Ark seems to have found something up there on Arafat, and the photo just released seems to show a timbered room! Whilst I have never been a strict fundamentalist on which parts of Genesis are meant to be literal and which are allegorical, I had thought that Noah’s ark was an allegory.
    Ian, my belief in the Bible is based on facts!!! Are your beliefs? Are you ready to change yours when new facts are uncovered?

  • Alice,

    YFH is an islamic activist. His approach is a little more sophisticated than Slartibartfast of fond memory, (remember him?). His approach is a little less obvious than Slarti, but still, the aims are the same.

    These guys are becoming more sophisticated, and getting a much better idea of which buttons to push, but no point comparing him with liberals, that is just a facade.

  • James Waterton

    A couple of people have suggested that my analogy fails because Muslims seek to ban others from doing things. Yet this is entirely untrue. Some Muslims seek to impose Islamic law on others. The vast majority do not.

    Really? So when Muslims overwhelmingly support the outlawing of weaselly-named “hate speech” – often simply criticism of their religion (and the Motoons would fall into this category, no doubt) – what is that, exactly?

  • Slartibartfarst

    Committing what Muslims consider to be a blasphemy punishable by death – be it making fun of Mohammed or drawing caricatures of him, and on a worldwide basis too – what could be the consequences? What could possibly go wrong?

    First off, it is a given that Muslims are directed by Allah (who speaks in the Koran) to make their religion the dominant one in any society/culture that they find themselves. This is what is meant by “Islamic supremacy”.

    Apart from the short-term instant gratification of having thumbed our noses at, and ridiculed Islamic beliefs with silly caricatures, it might not actually achieve anything more than act as confirmation (if any were needed) that, for the longer-term, something needs to be done about the Dar al-Harb (the world of heresy) – and starting sooner, rather than later. This could be akin to Hitler’s “The final solution”, again, but on a much bigger scale, this time around.

    Western civilisation is Dar al-Harb. It’s a classic dichotomy – the only other world is Dar al-Islam (the world of Islam). You are either one or the other. Allah in the Koran dictates that members of Dar al-Harb must generally either submit to Islam or be killed – except the Jews, who must just be exterminated, being beyond forgiveness for their sins. In this, Allah does not mince his words.

    By confronting dar Al-Islam (Islam) in the manner we are about to, we risk being the catalyst for causing unnecessary social instability through the violent revolt of Islamic minorities worldwide. I wonder, is this going to be a “good thing”? Is it worth focussing our attention on creating this?

    The Victorian Prime Minister William Gladstone probably had the focus right. He once once brandished the Koran in the House of Commons, announcing with great authority and prescience “so long as there is this book, there will be no peace in the world”. On another occasion, Mr Gladstone referred to the Koran as “this accursed book”.

    If he was right, then it is that book that should probably be the focus. For example, why do we continue to allow this life-hating ancient Arabic Mein Kampf to be published and used in our societies to indoctrinate and condition the thinking of children and adults in Islamic mosques, schools and universities? It would seem to be that it is the Koran and its use as a so-called “customary religious scripture” that needs to banned/prohibited. (Together with the Sharia law that supports it and which is being incrementally introduced into British and other societies.) Caricatures of Mohammed would seem to be irrelevant in this.

    If you think that banning the Koran is possible, then reflect on the fact that it was announced in 2009 that the bicentenary of the birth of the Prime Minister William Gladstone is to be celebrated by spending £500,000 on the establishment of an “Islamic Reading Room” in Hawarden, Flintshire.

    The St Deniol’s Library in Hawarden, which is funded by the national lottery, houses Gladstone’s own collection of over 32,000 items. According to St Deniol’s website, “a principal aim of the Gladstone 200 Campaign will be to build and resource an Islamic Reading Room at St Deiniol’s which will enable Christians and others to reach a deeper understanding of Islam and its place in the contemporary world. We want to increase the depth and scope of the collection so that it is a useful resource for Islamic scholars as well.”

    Doesn’t this look a little bit like checkmate?

  • Some Muslims seek to impose Islamic law on others. The vast majority do not.

    Given that imposing Islamic rule on others is a central demand under Shariah, and one of the purposes of jihad, are you claiming that most Muslims are bad Muslims? This sounds like an unfair claim. Who are you to claim that most Muslims reject core components of their faith? Don’t you think they would be upset with you if they heard the contempt you hold them in? Isn’t this islamophobic? Or is this just a bit of taqqyya? Or maybe kitman?

  • Slartibartfarst

    @CountingCats: Thankyou for thinking of me so fondly. You are very kind. I agree that YFH seems to have a sophisticated approach, but I am chagrined if you meant to imply that I might have been unsophisticated (full stop) as opposed to just relatively so.

    However, suggesting (as you do) that I am an Islamic activist is quite wrong and nothing could be further from the truth. Though I have studied the Koran to some extent (having probably read it entirely and thoughtfully from cover to cover at least 4 times, never mind the many forays into it for references), this does not make me an Islamicist. Nor does it make me an “Islamic scholar”, which term I consider to be an oxymoron, a euphemism and an affront to true scholars – same goes for “theologian”.

    Perhaps I should have apologised for being the Devil’s advocate in the past and which understandably might have caused you some confusion, but that’s it you see – the Devil’s advocate. Whatever YFH’s aim might be, my aim here is simply to understand the “cancer” (per Attaturk) of the Islamic ideology, and how to eradicate it from the body of a society once it has started to become systemic. History is now showing us an exemplary case that Attaturk’s cure applied to Turkey was clearly only to send the thing into remission as opposed to eradicate and cure.

    Since my past discussions on this, I have arrived at a realisation that the intellectually gifted Victorian Prime Minister William Gladstone was (no surprises here) way ahead of me. The root cause of the cancer is the Koran. I am unable to see, therefore, that making caricatures of Mohammed could by any stretch of the imagination be an effective remedy. At best, it is an amusing diversion – a taunt to Muslims everywhere. It could also be an unnecessarily damaging and disruptive act, and likely to achieve nothing of any constructive use.

    In my rather lengthy post above this, I try to emphasise that point.

    Having said that, I am all for the idea of making caricatures of Mohammed. Highly amusing idea, and a very healthy one too – to poke fun at such a fetid ideology as Islamism. (I can’t help being human, after all.) ;-)

    And this is a Mohammed smiley: – (((:~{>
    _______________________________________
    “Be there or be dhimmi” – 20 May, 2010.

  • G’day Slarti,

    Damn, this is regular old home week, and thanks for quoting me – “Be there or be dhimmi”

  • Slarti,

    Forgive me, I hadn’t noticed your previous posting on this thread. My mentioning you was purely coincidental.

  • @CountingCats: Yes, I lifted the quote from your web site – sorry, I did not realise that you had originated it. I would have mentioned that if I had.

    By the way, I rather liked your “Caption competition” at: http://www.countingcats.com/?p=6667
    You suggest some absolutely spot-on captions there, but they refer to things that Islam – “The Religion of Peace”™ – would probably forbid us to mention under pain of death or something.

    Re my first post above: Do you think it might be checkmate?
    I think you might have missed that post as it got held up in Samizdata Smite Control for a while. When that happens, the post seems to appear belatedly, in correct time-sequence but only after several more posts have been made in the interim. So those posters would not necessarily know about it unless they scrolled back to see if there was anything new that had appeared that they might have missed. Or maybe there’s some kind of caching delay in the servers or the Samizdata blogging system.

  • Ian Bennett

    Alisa, would you mind explaining where you see my “collectivist instinct”. (Also, thank you.)

    Nuke Gray, I’m not feeling stupid at all. Although the remains of a ship, probably as described in the legend, have been found, how does this translate into proof of the existence of god? If the remains of a small horse-drawn caravan were to be found near Mapledurham House, would that prove that “The Wind in the Willows” is true?

    My beliefs are, indeed, based on facts, specifically the fact that there is no evidence, direct or otherwise, of the existence of god. As soon as that changes, please ask again.

  • Ian: it’s in the attitude that lumps all people who happen to believe things you happen not to believe as ‘religionists’ (or any other label), without any regard to whether their actual actions have any bearing on your own life. My understanding of individualism is that anyone is free to believe whatever takes their fancy, no matter how irrational, as long as they don’t force their believes on me.

  • Ian Bennett

    Alisa, I use the term ‘religionist’ simply to mean anyone who professes a religion, regardless of their impact on me, and I think I said that such people constitute a group only in that context (in much the same way that commenters here form the group of ‘Samizdata commenters’ – it says nothing else about them). I agree that a person’s beliefs are his own affair, but I maintain that religious beliefs are inherently irrational, and potentially dangerous. It is not so much the beliefs that are forced on others, but the consequences of them.

  • Paul Marks

    I believe that Muhammed should be drawn doing things he actually did.

    I can quite see how Muslims would be offended by a drawing of Muhammed (for example) going to Disneyland – as he never did that (Disneyland not existing at the time Muhammed never went there, and more than he ever really visited Jerusalem which was not even captured by the Muslims till after his death) and such a drawing would be to deal with this great relgious and military leader with a lack of seriousness.

    So Muhammed should be drawn doing things he actually did – for example raping children, murdering people, and selling others into slavery.

    In that way Muslims will not be offended.

  • Laird

    How about if we don’t have an actual face on the cartoon character, but instead some symbol (such as “§”) and label him “the prophet formerly known as Mohammad”? Would that make everybody happy? It seemed to satisfy the copyright lawyers.

  • Ian: fair enough about terminology.

    I agree that a person’s beliefs are his own affair, but I maintain that religious beliefs are inherently irrational, and potentially dangerous. It is not so much the beliefs that are forced on others, but the consequences of them.

    All beliefs are by definition irrational – that’s what makes them beliefs, as opposed to knowledge.

    What possible problem you can have with the consequences of someone else’s dietary restrictions?

  • Nuke Gray

    Ian B., in your self-labelled rant, you mentioned some things, like genital mutilation, that gets pinned on religion. Wrong. Genital Mutilation was simply a custom, which you won’t find in the Koran or the Bible.
    And as for getting rid of religion, Lenin and Stalin and Hitler and Mao and Pol Pot all thought they’d do that, and then they’d rule the world according to their own ideas of reason and rationality! Atheists have also caused millions of deaths, and thought of themselves as reasonable people- indeed, unencumbered by humility, they have often thought that they were the wave of the future!
    And, if a boat is found on Mt Ararat, then Geologists will have a lot of explaining to do as to how they got things so wrong- most geologists seem convinced that a world-wide flood is impossible.

  • Ian Bennett

    Alisa: “All beliefs are by definition irrational”. Again, that rather depends on your definition. Although I’ve never seen it, I believe that New Zealand exists because, there are rational grounds for doing so; I do not believe that god exists because those grounds do not exist.

    It’s not the consequences of someone else’s dietary restrictions that I’m concerned about, it’s the consequences of the common reason for it – “because god said so”. If that reason is used to justify one action, it can be used to justify any, because obedience to god is a moral necessity.

    Nuke Gray, I did not say that genital mutilation is mandated in the Koran or the Bible, and am not responsible for the the fact that it sometimes “gets pinned on religion”. It is simply one example of an action unjustifiable by any rational means. The Koran does not say “You must fly 747s into the World Trade Center”, but few of us have any doubt as to the motivation of those who did so. Similarly, the Bible does not say “You must firebomb abortion clinics”, but the same logic applies. Those actions are, according to their perpetrators, mandated by god.

    Yes, those dictators did attempt to get rid of religion, by the expedient of killing believers; I’m pretty sure I didn’t suggest that method.

    Yes, atheists have caused millions of deaths, not “because god said so”, but for some other irrational reason. Non-religious irrationality is almost as bad as religious irrationality, but religion per se is always irrational as it is grounded in faith – belief without evidence.

    The fact that geologists are wrong does not make religionists correct.

    Finally, I should point out again that I am not the Ian B who regularly comments here.

  • If that reason is used to justify one action, it can be used to justify any, because obedience to god is a moral necessity.

    That greatly depends on the religion in question, but most importantly, it depends on the believer. And here’s the collectivist part: by lumping all believers as sheeple blindly obedient to their deity, you dismiss their inherent rationality and free agency, indeed their humanity. All of us have some kind of irrational beliefs. Ever been in love? Ever been hopeful against all rational odds? Just because someone else’s beliefs may be more irrational than our own, doesn’t justify dismissing their rationality altogether.

    The Koran does not say “You must fly 747s into the World Trade Center”, but few of us have any doubt as to the motivation of those who did so. Similarly, the Bible does not say “You must firebomb abortion clinics”, but the same logic applies. Those actions are, according to their perpetrators, mandated by god.

    It’s the individuals who committed these crimes, and it’s individuals who put them up to this (and that includes Muhammad, who was an individual). To paraphrase Thatcher: there is no such thing as religion (hope you can see what I mean by that).

  • Nuke Gray

    Ian Bennett, the Bible says, “Thou shall not kill”. If a person ignores this, they are hardly being true to their beliefs.
    Alisa, you might need to update your definitions. Scientists can prove the various ‘laws’ of physics, which exist and work now. When they project them backwards, this leads them to believe that the Universe started in a big bang, though they can’t prove this. How is belief irrational?

  • Ian Bennett

    Alisa, my reply to you was smitified for some reason.

    Nuke Gray: Deuteronomy 13, 7 – 10

  • Nuke Gray

    Ian Bennett, whilst it is good to know you can read Good books, the good thing about the old Testament is that it is all written down, so new prophets can’t come up with their urges. As for this verse, it is a drastic law, so a prudent heretic would leave Israel permanently before opening his mouth.
    But the Bible even has a verse for you! Can you tell me where you’ll find, “the fool says in his heart, there is no God”?

  • Ian Bennett

    Psalm 14. So what? You cannot logically use the Bible to prove the truth of the Bible. In fact, you cannot logically use the Bible to prove anything because so much of it is contradictory, as is to be expected for a book written by several different people from many different sources over several hundred years, then translated several times by even more people with various political axes to grind. It’s part unreliable history book, part fable.

    “[A] prudent heretic would leave Israel permanently before opening his mouth.” Does god’s law only apply in Israel?

  • It is often forgotten by its detractors that the Bible effectively describes mans journey out of savagery into civilization. Indeed, from the Old Testament to the New, the people of God were continually challenged to advance beyond their contemporary world, as God used his word to, amongst other things, coax mankind out of the cave and into a world where the complexities of existence could be better understood. This is the very reason behind the dynamic nature of the Bible, and why God’s revelation of His word would not have been accepted by man, were it to have been revealed all at once, in pre-historic times.

    Ian Bennett believes the savagery of the Old Testament, indeed the very early part of it, somehow undermines the compassionate teachings which would follow. The trouble with this view is it assumes that mankind and human understanding is static, undeveloping, the same today as 8,000 years ago. This is obviously false.

    To illustrate my point, imagine if Jesus Christ had delivered the Sermon on the Mount in Noah’s time. How well would “blessed are the meek” have worked in a savage world of men barely socially developed above that of animals? It would be many generations before even the Code of Hammurabi, with its primitive notions of justice.

    Indeed, if Moses had taught the 600,000 men of Israel to “turn the other cheek” during the retaking of the patriarch Abrahams land from the many pagan savages (and I do not use the term savage lightly – the Ammon worshippers of Molech were children sacrificers, just to name one example of the charming residents of that region), how long would God’s chosen people have lasted?

    Even the understanding of God within the Judeo-Christian is dynamic. Abraham is believed to be the first to recieve the monotheistic revelation. This was not because God was slacking before then, it is just because God understood that such a revelation would have been meaningless to earlier generations, who were still pre-occupied by the mysteries of language, fire, and pooping.

    In closing, God’s relationship with man was dynamic during mans formative years by necessity. Man couldn’t have fathomed the compassionate teachings of Christ any earlier than God chose to reveal them. A careful front to back reading of the Bible reveals a very logical, cohesive progression into a full understanding of God’s will. God is pretty smart, after all.

  • Laird

    “a very logical, cohesive progression into a full understanding of God’s will.”

    So that progression complete now, is it? There’s no room for further development? I think the Muslims would disagree; after all, they believe that Jesus was merely one in a long line of prophets, with Mohammad being the last one. That certainly seems consistent (or at least, not inconsistent) with your argument. Are they correct? Or, do you at least allow for the possibility that they might be correct?

    And you appear to claim to know precisely what is the will of God. Right. Very impressive.

    There’s a reason that hubris is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

  • Fair enough. I only intended to describe a reason for the apparent disconnect between the passage of the Bible cited by Ian and the later teachings of Christ.

    I certainly do not know the will of God. I do not know very much at all about anything. It is merely my belief that what we can know about God’s will can be found in carefull study of the Bible. Moses knew God face to face. We can only glimpse God through his Word.

    I have trouble with any sect which claim to be derived from one primary set of writings, but then goes on to ignore so much of what is presented within them. I see a very clear cohesion between the old and new testaments. Other folks see a cohesion between the Bible and, oh, the book of Mormon or the Koran. I do not, but they are welcome to their perspective.

    Just so long as that perspective does not threaten to cut my head off – which is why we are here talking about this.

  • Slartibartfarst

    Interesting site I just came across.
    See: http://www.masada2000.org/tatiana.html

    Seems like a simple young Russian/Jewish girl living in Hebron in 1997 became, perhaps understandably, pissed off at the Arabs/Palestinians bombing and shooting into her home town. As a sign of protest, she drew a cartoon depicting Mohammed as a pig standing on the Koran whilst he wrote in it.

    It’s not clear from the post what crime she was believed to have committed, but In 1998 she was apparently given 2 years’ prison sentence for committing what the presiding judge considered to be some kind of racist act or atrocity akin to what the Nazis did during the Holocaust.

    The mind boggles that the Jewish authorities and legislature could have been such dhimmis, but there we are – and bugger the principle of “freedom of speech”, I suppose.

    I must admit, until I read this, I had always thought the actions of the Israelis demonstrated them to be a pretty hard-headed and rational bunch, with a strong sense of moral integrity/justice, but this one – if true – has me at a complete loss. I wonder, under what circumstances could it be justifiable and make sense?

  • Ian Bennett

    Ian Bennett believes the savagery of the Old Testament, indeed the very early part of it, somehow undermines the compassionate teachings which would follow. The trouble with this view is it assumes that mankind and human understanding is static, undeveloping, the same today as 8,000 years ago. This is obviously false.

    Given your poor grasp of my opinions, it’s odd that you are so well-informed on god’s.

    It is merely my belief that what we can know about God’s will can be found in carefull study of the Bible.

    And what we can know about Christopher Robin’s will can be found in careful study of The House at Pooh Corner.

  • Slartibartfarst

    Leave Mose Jefferson and other Bible-thumpers alone!
    He has stated:
    It is often forgotten by its detractors that the Bible effectively describes mans journey out of savagery into civilization.
    In the children’s book, The Lorax, the Onceler invents a Thneed. What’s a Thneed? The Onceler states:
    “A Thnead’s a fine something that all people need…”
    - and he goes on to say that it’s a hat, it’s a scarf, it’s a bicycle seat cover, etc.

    The Bible is much like that. It’s whatever you want it to be. It’s a Thneed. So, when Mosse says:

    “the Bible effectively describes mans journey out of savagery into civilization”

    - let him believe it! The Lorax is a great story and the Bible is a collection of great stories. For all we know, people may well be reading The Lord of the Rings centuries from now, in much the same way as they read the Bible today. There might even be a church of Hobbit, for example. Well? Why on earth not? What about Heaven’s Gate?

    Even adults need to believe in fairies, it seems. They surely have a right to believe in and think whatever they want. Don’t go about destroying peoples’ harmless fantasies.