Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cartoon Controversy: Who's Offending Whom?

Jane Biran, writing from Jerusalem to the International Herald Tribune on February 9, 2006, put the issue exactly right:
One wonders if the Prophet Muhammad would approve of rioting, grievous bodily harm and arson.

If the answer is yes, then a depiction of his followers as violent is justified.

If no, then some of his followers are causing offense to him on a daily basis.
So ... would Mohammad approve, or not? Which is it?

The cartoon "Islam the Tolerant" (February 04, 2006) in the upper right comes from the ironic hand of Canadian cartoonist J.J. McCullough, who notes:
As you can tell from MY cartoon, I personally find it quite ironic that the Muslims are so offended by the [Jyllands-Posten] drawings, considering they were, on par, considerably milder than a lot of the hateful artwork that comes out of the Arab world.
For a sampling of the sort of cartoons that McCullough is referring to, see the Anti-Defamation League's webpage on "Anti-Semitic Incitement: Political Cartoons in the Arab Media." In particular, see this cartoon from the newspaper Akhbar al-Khalij (6/10/2002), in Bahrain, which presents the U.S.A. being controlled by a Jew in stereotypical Orthodox-Jewish garb, who is presented casting a spell translated by the following caption:

The Jew on the right says: "Say: 'I hate the Arabs'!", and the American on the left repeats: "I hate the Arabs, I hate the Arabs".
I'd post the image here, but I haven't yet figured out how to put images at various places in my blog entries. (Help on this would be appreciated.)

Muslims will note that these anti-Jewish images do not caricature any Jewish prophets. Fair enough, but for many non-Muslims, an irrelevant point. Even the starkest Jyllands-Posten image, that of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, is tame compared to these anti-Jewish images from the Arab media.

The violent Muslim reaction worldwide provokes Biran's question: Would Muhammad approve ... or not? A lot of us are wondering.


At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm certain Mohammed would approve.
As for pictures, I recommend downloading "Hello" or a similar program affiliated with Blogger. Hello allows you to post pictures to the internet. When you post them, Hello automatically resizes the images to very convenient dimensions. Each picture is it's own post, although you can copy and paste the code produced in order to gather the images into one post. You can write text in between the pictures in a post. (This method also has the advantage of not "hotlinking" to images on other people's servers, which is considered by many to be tantamount to bandwidth theft.) Hope this helps your worthy blog. Cheers.

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blast it, I hate it when I use the wrong "it's."

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nathan, thanks for the suggestion about "Hello." I'll look into it.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another suggestion that worked for me when I used Blogger is once you have the pictures in your post (even though they're in the wrong place) switch to the html editor and just cut the line of code for the picture you want to move and then paste it into the correct place in your post.

Regarding your post, you pose a question that I hope many Muslims are pondering right now. I wonder if there are little WWMD (What Would Muhammad Do?) bracelets floating around. Of course, looking at this, I see an interesting alternate in the initials that I hope is meaningless.


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