Saturday, February 11, 2006

The cartoons....

I thought I'd like to do a quick blog post about *those* cartoons. What a mess, eh? Anyway, through the wonders of google searching, I managed to find said cartoons, which depicted Muhammad as a suicide bomber. I love satire, especially religious & political satire. I think it can cut to the heart and force us to see things in a different way. The pen of a satirical writer/artist is a powerful and dynamic tool and can be used so positively. These cartoons were not satire, they were just plain old hatred and they say more about Islamophobia in the West that any newspaper would want to publish them than about Islam.

Anyway, I applaud the several thousand Muslims and political leaders who gathered today in London to voice their protest at the cartoons. Such a wonderful and peaceful public expression of Islam does the whole of our society good imho. I've resolved to keep a lookout for future events, as I would like to join and express my own solidarity with them. Christian Peacemaker Teams recently issued a very thoughtful statement...

We, the members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq, are disturbed by anti-Muslim cartoons from twelve different artists published in September by Denmark's daily paper the Jyllands-Posten. The publisher claims the freedom of speech to publish the cartoons, but we believe they are only spreading hate and bigotry.

To those who believe and act as if terrorism is an essential part of the Islamic faith, we say No! Stop! We cannot stand by and remain silent when our gracious Muslim brothers and sisters are being defamed.

Some members of all religious and cultural groups have taken up the way of violence, killing innocent civilians for political causes. We as Christians would not want others in the world to see our faith as one which advocates dominating and oppressing the poor and weak of the world. Yet, the Christian leaders of our countries have been carrying out such domination and oppression.

Those of us working in Iraq see the suffering and pain that acts of terror cause. Terrorism is wrong. It is hypocritical to label Muslims as terrorists when our own countries have been the greatest perpetrators of terror and violence around the world.

Instead of spreading prejudice and lies about another faith, we call on artists, publishers, religious leaders, and on all people to put their creative efforts into exposing and seeking to eradicate the deeper injustices that foster the use of terror. We must open our hearts and minds to listen and learn from the riches of each others' cultures and find ways to build bridges in our fractured world."


Lorcan said...

"and find ways to build bridges in our fractured world."
The sad thing is there are Quakers who are quiet willing to kill for their images. Quakers just kill by isolation and hatred.

Kenn Chaplin (mail: kenngc at sympatico dot ca) said...

I absolutely agree that these cartoons were Islamaphobic. Under the guise of free speech - and we know how certain powerful people like to enforce freedom - a religion's defined line in the sand has been crossed. Whatever we may think of such religious practices/restrictions it is very disrespectful and arrogant to fly in the face of these beliefs so directly.