The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Salam Aleykum

I should probably let sleeping dogs lie (well, they're definitely not sleeping), but I couldn't help but disagree with so much of the total B.S. concerning the cartoons of Muhammed. I'm sure the 3 or 4 readers of this blog are intelligent enough to see through B.S., but on the off chance that someone stumbles upon this blog, I wanted to make sure my (hopefully cogent) points are not unknown.
Reasons why the current controversy is total baloney:

(Before I proceed, I must take great care to point out that when I says "muslims," I'm referring to those unintelligent, parochial ones, not enlightened, civilized ones).

1) Those Muslims who say that the controversy is about depictions of Muhammed are full of it. Not only do depictions of Muhammed have a long history in the Muslim world, but you can go to a market in Tehran and easily buy posters with his likeness.

2) Those who complain that the depictions are offensive are wrong for two reasons: one, there is nothing really wrong with them (they're not particularly funny, but not offensive either), and there have been many, even worse depictions in the media in past years. So why the sudden call to arms?

3) Even if Islam forbids depictions of Muhammed (which, as I've pointed out, it doesn't), that is part of Islamic Law, so that doesn't apply to anyone who is not Islamic. In the Old Testament the Hebrews were exhorted (repeatedly) to refrain from worshipping idols, etc. Does this mean that a non-Jew is not allowed to do that?

4) Despite what some people say, Christian figures have been subject for years to depictions. I'm sure this gets some hardcore Christians riled up, but they don't go and bomb embassies. There have been scores of movies and other media with depictions of Christ or other Christian figures which would be considered blasphemous. I'm told some "artist" out there has placed a crucifix in a cup of urine. How that is considered art I'll never know, but it must be allowed. As an Arab professor at Johns Hopkins U (whose name escapes me) has been saying, if you wish to live in a liberal, pluralist, free society, you have to be willing to get offended sometimes. That's the "price" of a free society.

5) Let's not forget the double standard that unfortunately exists with many muslims: they are allowed to slander Jews and gays (don't get me started on the plethora of anti-Judaic cartoons in Arabic newspapers), but they ave diplomatic immunity. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Above all else, however, this should be a wake-up call to the world, especially enlightened and civilized Muslims everywhere: there are serious problems in the Muslim world, and I blame the Muslim leaders especially. Don't let corrupt muslim leaders lead your bretheren down a blind path (witness what has happened to Iran). There were reports of Imams circuating fake cartoons of Muhammed in the Middle East, just to rile the people up (who are often young, uneducated and unemployed, by the way).

This whole controversy, and its response, does seem very suspicious: how on earth does someone get near an embassy in Syria without police clearance? Someone is probably letting this happen.


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