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A voice of reason from Egypt

The Big Pharoah has some rather rational things to say about the ‘Satanic Cartoons’.

The reaction of the Arab/Muslim public points out the fact that we still do not know what a free press is. In our countries, we are used to see total government control over the media. Even our so called independent media (Al Jazeerah, Al Arabiyah, etc) are linked to one government or another.


I can’t end the post without saying: when will we grow up?? The Da Vinci Code did not harm Christianity, 12 cartoons won’t harm Islam either!!


9 comments to A voice of reason from Egypt

  • If one is confident in one’s religious conviction, nothing anyone could say, write or draw would really matter. I do not view hair-trigger rioting and protests as signs of strength, but rather “We got this big red button in our psyches! DO NOT PUSH THE BIG RED BUTTON!”.

    And since when is the government of Denmark responsible for whatever a privately owned newspaper says anyway?

  • hm

    IMHO the second from last paragraph disqualifies this particular blogger from being a “voice of reason”.

    5. The Jyllands-Posten case is one of those cases that you hate yet you cannot do anything about it. I really wish it hadn’t published such terrible cartoons. Even if the case highlighted something in Denmark (the editor said “the cartoons were a test of whether the threat of Islamic terrorism had limited the freedom of expression in Denmark), it only widened the huge current gulf between Islam and the West. Muslims around the world believe that the Westerners have nothing to do except plotting against Islam. The Jyllands-Posten case gave us another reason to believe this myth.

    However, and admittedly, with expectations where they are, the piece exceeds them.

  • hi, thanks for that linking. as a muslim blogger in the west, i have my own take on the cartoons on my blog.


  • guy herbert

    Big Pharoah’s point about not knowing what a free press is is well made, but I suspect in a lot of countries it goes deeper even than the assumption the government can censor. You see this in Chinese reactions to western news-stories sometimes as well as Arab countries. Because all media in many countries is controlled by the state, it is easy for people there and even governments to operate on the assumption that what appears in the press is an expression of government policy.

    This model means the state of Denmark is supposed to have insulted the prophet directly, failure to censor on what seems such an important question being not just blameworthy but entirely incomprehensible.

  • As I recall, the response to DaVinci Code was mass fisking (some of it for sale in published form), not demands for government censorship as in the case of the ‘Satanic Cartoons.’

    Pardon me while I go out to shop for some Danish ham.

  • Radical Sceptic

    I can’t end the post without saying: when will we grow up?? The Da Vinci Code did not harm Christianity, 12 cartoons won’t harm Islam either!!

    I disagree with this popular liberal sentiment. The Islamic extremists are quite right, tolerating the mockery of their religion will vitiate its potency. They have seen how years of mockery and open challenge has enfeebled Christianity and they are not minded to allow the same thing to happen to their religion.

    Lets not pretend that mocking and challenging Islam won’t diminish it, it will. False doctrines cannot possibly survive open criticism, only true theories can withstand that.

  • Here’s a post from an American Muslim on the subject.

    Incidentally, I think Radical Sceptic is right. As a non-Christian, I’m quite glad it happened, but it’s unwise to pretend that it didn’t or think that nobody else will have noticed.

  • Verity

    Voice of reason from Egypt:

    The Egyptian owner of France-Soir to the managing editor who published a Mohammed cartoon or two: You’re fired.

  • sara

    one neednt generalize about whether the middle eastern broadcasting news are biased or lack the credibility.

    i dont need to prove that, i guess the death of many of our journalists these past months in lebanon, goes back to their will to have freedom of speech.

    it may lack in some countries, i agree but not all.

    let’s be clear on one other thing, many countries no matter in what continent they are do have censorship from government.

    i wouldnt call mr pharouh’s opinon a voice of reason at all, and i dont think he represents the voice of the middle east.