Sunday, September 16, 2007

An excercise on Freedom of Speech

Wanna be worldwide famous in less than a week?
Draw a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace be with Him.

It seems that when you do it a fanatical mob of ignorant fundamentalist Muslims will ask for your head in several countries. Of course, such nuts are only a noisy minority that embarrass millions of moderate and peaceful Muslims.

Almost every religion has this kind of assholes among their believers. And not only religions, but also ideologies. I consider myself to be a kind of Anarchist, but i would be very uncomfortable next to certain Anarco-Primitivists. Anyway, the dangerous thing here is not only those violent herds, but also the reaction of the West to them. We are allowing them to silence us. We are allowing them to make us lose what is more precious to us: Our Free Inquiry. Our ability to discuss any subject, to make fun and criticize almost everything. We are silencing ourselves, because we are afraid of them, because we say "we respect you", but that is bullshit, we are afraid. Freedom of Inquiry and Speech are the bases on which our culture is based, they nurture
our scientific and philosophic enterprise and allow us to look at the world with curious rather than fear-frozen minds. They allow us to understand each other better despite our differences.

And I say NO MORE. From now I will post any cartoon, picture or anything that makes Fundamentalists (from any ideology or religion, it's the same if they are Objectivists or Stalinists) claim the life of somebody. If that makes me a target for terrorists, so be it. I am sick of screwing what we, collectively, are in order to save our ass. I refuse to belong to this diluted West where Freedom of Inquiry has been replaced by fear and PCness. I will fight for the West that I know and cherish, even if it is only an abstract entity. I will fight for my right to enrich my own culture with pieces of other, I will fight for my right to criticize and dissent. I will fight for my right to exist whether you like me or not. I will fight for the mental background that allows me to be here, in a third world country with serious problems and be able to express myself, free of gags so far.

Here is the cartoon that sparked such a huge affair:

It was created by Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who already has received death threats from such prestigious folks as Al Qaida. My dear Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said: "Zionists, who do not believe in religion, are behind such a dirty job [...] The Zionists only pretend to believe in religion. They are telling lies. They are perpetrating oppression against the Europeans and putting at risk the prestige of Europe." Very much in his average level of intelligence, subtlety and paranoia. Of course, to be free to express one's opinion is Oppression. Well done, Mahmoud! Daddy Orwell would be proud of you! An excellent example of blackwhite. I do not want to think what would happen if your aides ever meet George W. Bush's aides and set up a propaganda effort. I guess the worst thing since Soviet propaganda and even more annoying than the Cuban.

Let say this clearly: I am not anti-Muslim. In any case. I am a proud Atheist, but I respect other people and I do not care what other people believe as long they don't threat others with their beliefs or try to make everybody submit to them. But when you believe that you have reasons to wipe other people only because they disagree with you, I have no longer any respect for you and you can go and get screwed by a whale.

My respects to all moderate Muslims who would disagree with the statement that if I ever convert to Islam and then I repent of it, I deserve death because I am an apostate. My support to all Muslims who are embarrassed by this awful fanaticism and for all of them who think that is far more insulting to their religion make women worse than animals, forbid music and hang homosexual teenagers in the name of Ala the Merciful, rather than a cartoon. I understand how terrible is to have such people tarnishing everything we believe that is sacred, worthy and important precisely in the name of that.

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Peter Sinclair said...

And ovation.


Anonymous said...

i've just come across your blog as i was reading about Lars Vilks.

well, i'm a moderate muslim and i'll share my point-of-view.

To depict the Prophet as a dog, an animal that is deemed as filthy in Islam, is the worst insult anyone can give to the Prophet and to Islam. its an insult on many many fronts.

Even moderate muslims like myself was offended by Lars' cartoon (though i dont believe violence should be the response).

Its like turning up in a KKK outfit at a NAACP convention.

If anyone calls your mom or to your loved one with rather inappropriate words, i bet you'd want to punch him in the mouth, right?

There is a difference between freedom of speech and political correctness, or respectful tact - in politics, in religion, in ideologies.

and its unfortunate that you are propagating a huge insult on Islam on your blog.


Guido said...

I am aware that is an insult. So what?
If you have such a thin skin, you better go and stop accessing to the Internet at all. To feel offended does not means you can curb my right to free speech. Can't you god defend your prophet? Does he need fanatics and deluded people embarrassing themselves?

Many Christians felt offended when "The Life of Bryan" was released. AFAIK, they did not kill others or punched the guys of Monty Python.

You feel offended, sure, I can understand that. As an atheist, I can tell you it is tough to be insulted all the time, specially when I am told I am going to hell because I do not believe in a Sky Tyrant that makes Kim Il Yong looks benevolent. I am sorry if you are offended, but you cannot expect to live in a world where others have to shut up to avoid hurting your feelings. Why? What makes you so special that the rest of us have to remain silent, so we do not bother you? The public discourse will be severely restrained if we cannot offend anyone, after all, uncovered women, blood transfusions, homosexuality and Catholic saints all offend somebody.

"If anyone calls your mom or to your loved one with rather inappropriate words, i bet you'd want to punch him in the mouth, right? "

Mommy argument _again_? Have you people no creativity? I have been insulted here and in other places more times than I can count, I have been vilified, lies have been told about me. So, I got a tough skin and got over it. It's not so hard and you should try it.

"Its like turning up in a KKK outfit at a NAACP convention."

Sorry, but this is the Internet. This is not your house or your mosque. You have no right to come to _my_ blog and ask me not to post whatever the fuck I want to post. You are acting as the KKK going to a Catholic church and asking them to remove the saints, because he is a protestant whose feelings are hurt by idols.

There is a difference between freedom of speech and political correctness, or respectful tact - in politics, in religion, in ideologies."

Which is? That is a very lame attempt to make us not offend you. I can have tact, but when people are attacked and threatened, screw the tact. We have to show that we are not afraid and that for any attack there will be a response, your fundamentalist fellows are hypersensitive. If you look the rest of the blog you will find other posts supportive of Muslims, I have written in Spanish about Progressive Islam, I am a huge fan of Irshad Manji, but there is no way that I am going to remain silent while things like this are happening. Do you really want me to stop posting this? The make sure attacks like that never happen again.

What is unfortunate is that thousands of people are being hurt, killed and maimed because of _your_ religion.

Scott said...

A media cartoon of Muhammad is not comparable to wearing a KKK uniform at an NAACP convention. The media is a vital organ of public free speech necessary for the function of democracy, whereas a convention is a private, specialized event. Religious censorship of public media is toxic in any democracy.