Friday, February 03, 2006

Website publish picture of cartoon artist

On http://www.no4denmark.org/ someone has published a picture of one of the cartoon artists. Also a picture of the editor of the Norwegian magazine "Magasinet" can be found there. I don't read arabic, so I cannot say what the text says, but I don't have any hopes that the text accompanying the pictures speak of inviting those people on a cup of coffee if you bump into them on the streets of Denmark or Norway.

In Norway an imam has declared war on Denmark because of the 12 cartoons and the Danish embassy in Indonesia was stormed this morning by demonstrants.

I had muslim friends in the past, but being the technical guy I am, I never discuss religion or politics, so I never asked them about their prophet or how they felt about him - and I don't plan to do this in the future either, since discussions revolving these matters never change anyones mind anyway - people just drift apart a bit more. The political or religious beliefs of a friend doesn't really matter to me - I am not going converse or hang out with their prophet or their political leader anyway, so it is the person that matters. Should be obvious to anyone.

I am completely baffled by the violent reaction to these cartoons. I could tell you, that I was personally offended by the cartoons, but that wouldn't be true. Deeply in my heart I wasn't offended, simply because I am not a muslim. Did I then feel sympathetic with the muslim community in Denmark? No, not initially and there wasn't any good reason to be sympathetic. Why should I? Carricatures are a natural part of the western media and culture and why should the muslims be spared. The loooong debate following the publications from october to december however did make me realize how sacred the prophet is to a muslim and how hurt they were by what they felt was a constant battering of muslims. It made me think and my personal gain from this was a better understanding of the muslim culture, but I am still not offended or outraged by the cartoons. The result of the cartoons was that I was slowly building a sympathy towards them and their viewpoints. Not on a religious level or on a political level, but more on a human level - the images of "Allahu Akbar" beheadings and angry mobs slowly faded in my mind.

Then it went international and we saw the flagburning and the flagtrampling and the deaththreats and so on. A boycott is a great way to let someone know you don't agree with them, but no - they had to go radical.

The carricature showing Mohammed (PBUH) has never been a more true. He is now showing his darkest face and muslims raging through the streets have delivered proof of this.

One could argue that if you don't want a war, then don't draw cartoons of him (would anyone have believed that such a sentence would make any sence just a week ago). Well, to me the pictures have prooven their point and I am glad they are out. I am very happy we had a sexual revolution in Denmark, that we can drink alcohol, that gays are left alone in the streets, that girls can show their breasts on the beach, that my wife can commit adultry without being stoned to death (cross fingers ;) ), that I can tell my friends our primeminister is an idiot without being jailed and we could go on and on. No religious nut should be given the power to change this just because it is written in some old book. I don't care if this religious nut is christian or catholic - I just wan't to live my short life on this planet as I please and in such a way that I can live with myself too, so don't bother me - this fight over personal freedom was fought a long time ago in Europe and it shouldn't be necessary to repeat it.

Another thing I am noticing here in Denmark, which is so strange it makes a UFO hovering over my house seem like a childrens puppet theater, is that the socalled political left wing and their sympathies lies with the muslim right wing and the political right wing lies with the muslim left wing. I haven't really got any idea who should have their sympathy where, but the lines are so clearly drawn out that it's almost weird. Could it become more bizarre?

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