Friday, February 10, 2006

Finally, those images of Muhammad!

Of course, you've all been anticipating this, wondering when Gypsy Scholar will have the galls to post some of the actual images of Muhammad.

Well, here they are, from page 17 of the Jyllands-Posten. No wonder Muslims are outraged. They must have been instantly infuriated upon seeing these blasphemous images.

Well ... no, they weren't.

And this isn't the Jyllands-Posten.

It's the Al Fager.

And it was published on October 17, 2005.

No outrage until months later. Some Egyptians who recall the images from Al Fager are asking why all the fuss now. I have the above image from Freedom for Egyptians, who has blogged on this: "Egyptian Newspaper Pictures that Published Cartoons 5 months ago" (h/t Sandmonkey).

According to the Egyptian woman who writes Freedom for Egyptians, there has been:
No Danish Treatment for an Egyptian Newspaper

I promised you in my previous
post to bring you the images of the Egyptian newspaper, Al Fager (as pronounced in Egyptian Arabic) that published the Danish Cartoons five month ago on Oct 17, 2005. Here is below the front page where the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) cartoon from Jyllands-Posten was published.

A closer look. The text says in Arabic that a special reportage is inside. Mind you that this is the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. While Muslims are worshipping in this holy month, not a single protest was called in Cairo against Denmark or the newspaper.

Here is an image for page 17 where the whole report was published with 6 cartoons as published in Jyllands-Posten.

The two Egyptian editors, Ahmed Abel Maksound and Youssera Zaharan, from Al Fager newspaper. And from their names I could tell you that they are Muslims and there is no news on arresting them as the case in Jordan few days ago.

Here is the front page with a closer look on the date , Monday October 17, 2005.

Two days ago the editor in chief of Al Fager Adel Hammouda wrote an article expressing his surprise why this war is suddenly launched after 4 months. He indicates as I said in my previous post that it is politically motivated to hide more corrupt issues behind. And he is not apologizing for publishing the cartoons as the Danish newspaper did. Instead, he is proud his paper was first to publish.
As Egypeter ironically asked, posting the question to her blog, "Does this mean I have to boycott Egyptian goods and stop eating molokhaya and stop wearing Egyptian cotton underwear???"

I think that it means that we ought never to believe the Islamists when they tell us how offensive something is to Muslims. What the Islamists really means is:
Submit, dhimmi, to our Islam.
The so-called 'volatility' of the "Arab Street" is a myth. These riots that we've seen have been organized by Islamists and by Muslim states using the 'blasphemy' issue for political purposes.

Even some Muslims, like Reza Aslan, who finds the cartoons offensive, "Depicting Mohammed: Why I'm offended by the Danish cartoons of the prophet" (Slate, February 8, 2006), admit that images of Muhammad exist in the Muslim world:
In fact, the Muslim world abounds with magnificent images of Mohammed.
Aslan tells of finding a Muslim icon in the Iranian city of Qom:
Not long ago, as I was strolling through the sprawling bazaars of the holy city of Qom in Iran -- a city often referred to as "the Vatican of Shiism" -- I came across a cramped, catacomblike shop that sold religious trinkets to tourists. Hanging in the shop's window was a poster depicting what looked like a beautiful young girl with large, bright eyes and a cherubic face lit up by some unseen source of light. The girl wore a loose headdress, like a turban she had carelessly let unravel, from which peeked thick strands of lush, black hair. She looked skyward, her rosy lips parted in a shy smile.

I was thrilled, thinking I had found a poster of the Prophet Mohammed's beloved daughter, Fatima, whose veneration in Islam (particularly Shiite Islam) is matched by that of the Virgin Mary in Catholicism. Most stores in Qom carry prints depicting heroic Muslim figures like the prophet's son-in-law, Ali, or the prophet's grandson, Husayn. But a portrait of Fatima is exceedingly difficult to find.

I rushed into the store and breathlessly asked the shopkeeper how much he wanted for the poster of Fatima hanging in his window.

He clucked his tongue in disgust and shook his head.

"That is not Fatima!" he cried sternly. "That is the Prophet Mohammed!"
This sort of 'girlish' image of Muhammad can be seen online at Mohammed Image Archive: Miscellaneous Mohammed Images (scroll to bottom).

Concerning such images, Aslan notes:
While some Muslims object to these well-known and widely distributed depictions, there has never been any large-scale furor over them for the simple reason that although they depict the prophet, they do so in a positive light.
The word "never" is too strong, since there have been iconoclastic movements in Islam, such as the Wahabi Islam of Saudi Arabia, which has destroyed images, but Islamists have largely ignored these many positive depictions.

And until recently, the Islamists have ignored how foreign infidels depict Muhammad. Why? Well, the foreign infidels weren't dhimmis -- those non-Muslims who submit to the rule of Islam -- so they couldn't be easily silenced. One of the Islamist aims in this controversy is to 'dhimmify' Europe.

Well, I think that we should 'demystify' the Islamists, and with the help of bloggers like Freedom for Egyptians, we can.


At 10:33 AM, Blogger Indigo Red said...

Fine coverage of the cartoons you did here. I posted the cartoons at my site and was swamped with hits, mostly from the Scandinavian and ME countries.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Indigo. I also looked at your site, which I found quite interesting.

I've noticed a lot of Muslim countries visiting my site and the sites of others blogging on this issue. I hope that they're learning some things that will bring them to reflect if they're not already reflecting.

I've had visitors from Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia staying at my site for half an hour or longer, so they must be finding something of interest.

Or maybe they're just trying to track me down to shut me up.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Scottage said...

Hey Gypsy,

Excellent posts you've had on the cartoons. I printed one of the cartoons, and a number of posts on it, and it is just shocking how many Middle Eastern people have been hitting the site.

Along the lines of what you post here, I was shocked to read that in many countries, most of the people protesting had never seen the cartoons. They had either been instructed to protest by the radio or received false cell phone messages telling them to protect Islam at certain places at certain times.

So was it a warning shot, or a trial run?

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Scottage, your blog looks as though it will be presenting some interesting material soon. I hope that I have the time to read it all.

One problem that the Islamists face is the split between Sunni and Shi'ite. While they may make common cause, they don't trust each other. Moreover, the Sunni Islamists in Iraq have been killing Shi'ites there through their suicide bombings.

And in the controversy over the cartoons, whenever someone has dismissed the claim that Islam prohibits images of Muhammad, by noting that Muslims have also made images of the Prophet of Islam, Sunni Islamists will in turn dismiss those images as originating with the Shi'ites (which ignores the fact that such images exist all over the Muslim world).

The two branches of Islam consider each other heretics, so any strategy to oppose Islamists would include seeking for ways to divide them along their sectarian lines.

A lot of what is going on among Islamists amounts to opportunistic tactics in a long-term, if vague strategy for spreading Islamism among Muslims and Islam among infidels.

I don't think that there's an overall conspiracy but more of a meme that has captured the minds of various Islamists who will cooperate without central coordination. That's their strength and their weakness.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Scottage said...

It's a very good point you make, Gypsy. Certainly no factions foudn in the Middle East have every shown any long term trust for each other, though they've all been allies with each other when politically expedient. In some cases (like Lebanon) those alliances can change day to day, depending on who seems to have the best chance of winning the battle of the day.

That being said, I think you're right that any strategy that had a chance of success would have to include attempts to divide the groups. Additionally, I think that the nature of the developing military power may be cooperation without central coordination, and that this strategy will have strengths and weaknesses. However, one of the biggest weaknesses is that things can get out of control quickly, and chaos can ensue.


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