What is wrong with Channel 4’s censorship of Jesus and Mo?

Feb 4, 2014

What is it about the decision by Channel 4 News to censor a Jesus and Mo cartoon that makes it wrong? In essence the decision is wrong because it implies that the request that no depiction of Mohammad be shown is a reasonable one, whereas by all normal standards of the secular West the request is totally unreasonable.


You are likely familiar with the story, of how students at the London School of Economics advertised their Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society by wearing T-shirts that are utterly innocuous in their content, save that they depict the prophet Mohammad. The LSE demanded that the T-shirts be covered up but subsequently apologised for their heavy-handed action.

The issue featured on the BBC's The Big Questions leading to the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim, tweeting the cartoon and stating that he was not offended by it. Less tolerant Muslims are now calling for his deselection and even threatening his life. In the resulting publicity Channel 4 News showed the cartoon but censored it owing to the "offence" it might cause, while the BBC's Newsnight refused to show it at all.

What heinous outrage lurks beneath Channel 4's black oval?

What heinous outrage lurks beneath Channel 4's black oval?

First, we need to continually remind everyone that freedom of speech does not stop at speech that offends someone. Anyone saying that they believe in free speech "except when it crosses the line to being offensive" does not believe in free speech. Indeed, it is only speech that someone objects to that needs protection.

Second, TV programmes and newspapers routinely include material that is offensive to some. Broadcasters receive a regular stream of complaints from people offended by bad language, sexual content or explicit violence. Yet the broadcasters don't try to please everyone, they instead include warnings about such content so that the viewer may choose not to view.

Third, satirical cartoons and critical comment are routine in the Western world; every major politician is regularly lampooned in ways that people could, if they chose, find offensive.

Fourth, religious taboos are rules that one may impose on oneself, but not on others. That basic principle is the very core of religious freedom in a secular society. Some might choose not to eat pork or cheeseburgers and others might choose not to write the word "God" or switch a light switch on the Sabbath. It would, though, be utterly wrong for anyone to impose such religious taboos on a wider society.

Yet that is essentially what is happening. Some factions of Muslims (but not all) are demanding that everyone observe their taboos, and the British newspapers and broadcasters are acquiescing, either from a misguided desire to avoid offence or out of fear of repercussions. By acquiescing they send the tacit message that the demand is a reasonable one. That encourages others to accede to the same demand, and gives the impression that those who don't are being uncouth and irresponsible. It also emboldens those asking for the censorship, encouraging them to make more demands. Lastly, siding with the Muslims who want censorship undercuts those Muslims who accept the free speech of a liberal society, people who should be the natural allies of a free press.

The broadcasters have been uttering weaselly words about avoiding offence and about the nature of the cartoon being "not integral to the story". If this were about any other religion or any other issue they would not take that line. In every other news item about controversial images they show the image and allow the viewer to form their own opinion. As just one example the footballer Nicolas Anelka is in trouble for a "quenelle" gesture that is offensive to Jews, and yet the video of his gesture has been widely broadcast on news bulletins.

Why is this different? It's different because Channel 4 and the BBC feel that they are obliged to observe an Islamic religious taboo, one demanded by some parts of a minority religion. It would be as if the BBC refused to write the word God simply because a few Jews avoid doing so. This is against every principle of secular freedom. It would be understandable for a specifically Islamic media outlet to adopt Islamic mores, but Channel 4 and the BBC are nationally funded organisations, there for all of us.

The adoption of this censorship is as wrong as if they allowed a minority fringe group to dictate permissible sexual content or bad language in television drama, or if they allowed a fundamentalist Christian sect to dictate the permissible portrayal of gay characters, or if they allowed an extreme racist group to censor the use of black actors.

Jesus and Mo uncensored.

We are surely well passed blasphemy laws, and should not accept new ones demanded by fringe minorities, however vocal. Satirical cartoons lampooning important persons are normal in our society and thus self-imposed censorship is a betrayal of our long tradition of a free press.

Channel 4's excuses include the suggestion that leaving Jesus visible in the censored cartoon would not offend because Jesus "is commonly depicted in cartoon form". There is the solution. This attempt to impose an Islamic taboo on the whole of society has to be met by those who believe in secular free speech taking every opportunity to flout it.

@coelhellier blogs at coelsblog.wordpress.com

Written By: Coel Hellier
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107 comments on “What is wrong with Channel 4’s censorship of Jesus and Mo?

  • What if the Prophet’s, PBUH, likeness was depicted by millions of those little black oval “censorship dots”? Would an image of the Prophet, PBUP, using “censorhip dots” amount to the same thing as that based on a “normal” pen/cil, paintbrush, or digital image editor? What would be the difference, if there is one?

    Answers on the head of a pin, please.



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  • 3
    Reckless Monkey says:

    What we need to start doing from now on is drawing little black ovals and labelling them as Mohamed. Include blurred and pixelated blobs and label them as Mohamed. Smiley faces anything and everything until they just get over it.



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  • Well whoever of whatever faith does not like it. They should find a cliff and have a leap of faith!

    This is unjust. What have we been fighting wars for in the west to be able to have the freedom to speak etc.

    I would not do such a thing in their country because i abide by their rules. But for them to bring their delusional views over to UK That is just not on
    As Kenny Everet used to say put them all in a field…….!

    Aaarrrggghhhh. Makes me mad that ch4 did this



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  • If channel 4 are going down the road of censoring anything that may offend people, can I request that they censor all religious broadcasting as it offends me? No? Thought not.

    One law for all.



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  • 8
    JeffMunroe says:

    As an animator that revels in the humour of Family Guy and the likes of South Park, I have to say that as far as I’m concerned, either everything is ‘holy’, or nothing is. Islam is not ‘hands off’, certainly not by any death threats or otherwise. What’s odd is that there are images of ‘Mo’ in ancient literature both descriptive and drawn or painted by Islamic believers in ancient ‘holy’ writings and mosques.

    There is nothing forbidden in the Koran about images . . . only in the hadiths, which are created BY followers of two factions, Sunni and Shiite, that split off into ‘two camps’ following his death . . . both claimed to have the ‘words of Mo’ as their guide.

    But then, Joseph Smith claimed he was talking to God when he created Mormonism. And, L. Ron Hubbard was channelling another official religious figure called Xenu.

    Me? I have no intention of stopping to lampoon all facets of life, including if not especially religion. I proudly wear my ‘Stand Out’ t-shirts I ordered from the Dawkins website a few months ago, and so far apart from dirty looks, the only comment I actually received was one of support from a fellow Atheist that stopped me in a store and applauded my efforts to spread the fact that it’s okay to be an Atheist in the middle of BC’s Coastal Bible Belt.

    Christians, Sikhs, Muslims . . . oh my. It’s fun to be me.



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  • Censorship is never a good thing. However, this situation has nothing to do with free speech. Freedom of speech protects your right to speak your mind without government persecution. It does not dictate what private organizations can say, should say or don’t say. Having the right to censor your content as a private organization or individual is just as important to free speech as anything else. If you don’t like it, change the channel.



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  • 10
    Tintern says:

    Funny how, if it were any other issue, Channel 4 and all the others would be all over the “moderate” or “official” or “respected” leaders/spokespersons to submit to a grilling or at least some pat observations. However, when it comes to this issue they, like the others, tend to just state their postiion and move on. Where are the interviews with these people, giving the official position that this is nonsense? Why isn’t there file footage of them queueing around the block at the TV and newspaper offices to go on camera or in print to condemn this en masse? Well, propoganda reaps what it sows. The outlets fell over each other to hand the power of fear of violence to the bad guys in line with their masters’ orders and, surprise surprise, they lapped it up. Why couldn’t Channel 4 have censored Big Brother for intellectual retardation instead and done something constructive? As we’ve seen, guaranteed publicity for bad behaviour guarantees continued bad behaviour.



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  • 11
    AsylumWarden says:

    Jon Snow put Shafiq down brilliantly – “You’re a member of the Liberal Democrat party – this is neither Liberal nor Democratic.”

    What was telling was that every time Snow asked him why not let democracy decide, or who it was who elected him (Shafiq) in the first place, he dodged answering the question.



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  • 12
    naskew says:

    A number of people have commented that channel 4 are censoring their broadcasts to please one particular group. Damn right they are and I do not blame them for one moment for doing so. However my reasoning is not as such that they might otherwise offend the delicate sensibilities of the religious fanatics ‘affected’ by the cartoon. No the reason it is the right thing to do is that these fanatics have proven time and time again that they are very much prepared to resort to violence. The men and women at channel 4 should no more be required to put themselves in harms way that any other person.

    The people who are clearly to blame here are the minority who ruin it for the rest of society. The government needs to call the Muslim religious leaders to task and demand that they publicly instruct their followers that this reaction to a cartoon is not acceptable. If they feel unable to do so then I seriously wonder if we should continue to treat Islam as a valid religion within the united kingdom.



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  • 13
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #12 by naskew:

    A number of people have commented that channel 4 are censoring their broadcasts to please one particular group. Damn right they are and I do not blame them for one moment for doing so. However my reasoning is not as such that they might otherwise offend the delicate sensibilities of the religious fa…

    Exactly. The broadcaster has no right to be brave and stand on principles if those principles put their employees in danger.

    But lest this slip by unnoticed, the employer/Channel 4, should always publicise that they are protecting their employees and offer an apology to the general public that they cannot fully fulfill their role in reporting the details of the news. The oppression and the censorship should never be allowed to seem normal.

    I wonder, indeed, if every occasion of such self-censoring might not be matched with an enquiry to some chief cleric for clearance to publish. “Will our employees be safe if we publish this news in full?”. The answer will become part of the news…



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  • 14
    naskew says:

    In reply to #13 by phil rimmer:

    But lest this slip by unnoticed, the employer/Channel 4, should always publicise that they are protecting their employees and offer an apology to the general public that they cannot fully fulfill their role in reporting the details of the news.

    The obvious danger here is that it falls into the extremists hands. That is to say that each time a newsworthy story, relating to a specific religion, is censored we end up broadcasting a warning to everyone to be careful not to offend that religion.

    I wonder, indeed, if every occasion of such self-censoring might not be matched with an enquiry to some chief cleric for clearance to publish. “Will our employees be safe if we publish this news in full?”. The answer will become part of the news..

    That might well work in an ideal world, however we would either quickly run out of clerics or the clerics would simply comment that if it were down to them it would be no problem but to be on the safe side they would advise against publishing. But I agree that such guidance when published with the story should quickly give us all a flavour of the religion in question.



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  • 15
    Katy Cordeth says:

    A few points:

    The issue featured on the BBC’s The Big Questions leading to the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim, tweeting the cartoon and stating that he was not offended by it. Less tolerant Muslims are now calling for his deselection and even threatening his life. In the resulting publicity Channel 4 News showed the cartoon but censored it owing to the “offence” it might cause, while the BBC’s Newsnight refused to show it at all.

    I haven’t seen the edition of The Big Question in question, but it sounds to me like Maajid Nawaz’s political enemies are trying to make hay from this incident. This is the sort of thing western politicians do all the time; the only difference here is it’s being done in the context of Islam. In the murky world of politics it’s common to descend on a perceived breaking of a cultural taboo by one’s opponent and exploit it for all it’s worth.

    If Nawaz had his life threatened, there may be other motivations than the desire not to cause offence at play. It’s odd that Channel 4 News is the object of this article’s disdain while the BBC barely gets a mention.

    First, we need to continually remind everyone that freedom of speech does not stop at speech that offends someone. Anyone saying that they believe in free speech “except when it crosses the line to being offensive” does not believe in free speech. Indeed, it is only speech that someone objects to that needs protection.

    Bigots should be free to call black people nigger, Jews kike, Asians paki, homosexuals faggot then, should they, and not be on the receiving end of society’s opprobrium?

    Second, TV programmes and newspapers routinely include material that is offensive to some. Broadcasters receive a regular stream of complaints from people offended by bad language, sexual content or explicit violence. Yet the broadcasters don’t try to please everyone, they instead include warnings about such content so that the viewer may choose not to view.

    In the UK there exists the 9 p.m. watershed, put in place to protect children from the saltier language their elders sometimes indulge in and to shield them from scenes of a sexual or violent nature. Broadcasters may include warnings about such things, but these are in addition to the rules already in place. If BBC1 showed an episode of Game of Thrones at four o’clock on a Monday afternoon, issuing a warning beforehand wouldn’t get it off the hook with Ofcom.

    Third, satirical cartoons and critical comment are routine in the Western world; every major politician is regularly lampooned in ways that people could, if they chose, find offensive.

    Not heads of state though. Lèse-majesté laws exist on the statute books in plenty of western countries. In Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Poland it is illegal to insult foreign heads of state publicly. In 2005, Marxist tabloid publisher Jerzy Urban was sentenced by a Polish court to a fine of 20,000 złoty for having insulted Pope John Paul II, a visiting head of state. In 2005, 28 human rights activists were temporarily detained by the Polish authorities for allegedly insulting Vladimir Putin, a visiting head of state. The activists were released after about 30 hours and only one was actually charged with insulting a foreign head of state. In October 2006, a Polish man was arrested in Warsaw after expressing his dissatisfaction with the leadership of Lech and Jarosław Kaczyński by passing gas loudly. Wiki

    The cognateness of the Prophet and living politicians doesn’t stand up. If Mohammad were alive today he would receive the same protections in law everyone else enjoys. Satirists have to tread carefully in their lampoons: regular viewers of Have I Got News for You will know the show employs lawyers who ensure what’s broadcast is in no way slanderous.

    We have this weird thing in the West where when a politician dies we go all respectful as we recognize they are no longer able to defend themself. We gloss over their faults and even the crimes they may have committed. Their reputation doesn’t exactly become off-limits but we look with disdain on authors who rush out a hatchet job of a book secure in the knowledge that the dead cannot call Carter-Ruck.

    Fourth, religious taboos are rules that one many impose on oneself, but not on others. That basic principle is the very core of religious freedom in a secular society. Some might choose not to eat pork or cheeseburgers and others might choose not to write the word “God” or switch a light switch on the Sabbath. It would, though, be utterly wrong for anyone to impose such religious taboos on a wider society.

    Yet that is essentially what is happening. Some factions of Muslims (but not all) are demanding that everyone observe their taboos, and the British newspapers and broadcasters are acquiescing, either from a misguided desire to avoid offence or out of fear of repercussions.

    Yes, and it’s what’s been happening since time immemorial in western countries. Homosexuality has been legal for less than half a century in secular Britain, and gay rights are still a thorn in the side of the country’s official church; a church with unelected members in the House of Lords who do their best to ensure their religion’s taboos remain enshrined in law.

    I’m not sure what’s so bad about not wanting to cause offence. When did basic politeness become so distasteful to some? Oh, I know.

    It should hardly need saying that when organisations like the National Secular Society kick up a stink about trivialities like this, they’re enabling those on the other side of the argument: “Meanwhile, the Muslim Association of Britain is now attempting to work this controversy up into a similar level as the Danish cartoon controversy by issuing a condemnation of the cartoon.”

    Was the MAofB inspired by the NSS to issue one of its routine proscriptions and keep the flame under this thing flickering? Who can say. If the MAofB were ignored, would it wither away? Almost certainly.

    The broadcasters have been uttering weaselly words about avoiding offence and about the nature of the cartoon being “not integral to the story”. If this were about any other religion or any other issue they would not take that line. In every other news item about controversial images they show the image and allow the viewer to form their own opinion. As just one example the footballer Nicolas Anelka is in trouble for a “quenelle” gesture that is offensive to Jews, and yet the video of his gesture has been widely broadcast on news bulletins.

    I haven’t been following this quenelle business, but I gather some Jewish groups have chosen to interpret the gesture as an inverted Nazi salute all on their own; a bit like when the Anti-Defamation league decided the lunatic David Icke was really talking in code about Jews whenever he spoke about eight-foot alien lizards in people costumes running the world, or when FOX News idiots arrived at the conclusion that anyone who used the expression happy holidays hated the Baby Jesus. The quenelle gesture itself is essentially neutral.

    Broadcasters do not “in every other news item about controversial images show the image and allow the viewer to form their own opinion.” Remind me not to switch on the news for the duration of the Rolf Harris trial if they start doing.

    We are surely well passed blasphemy laws, and should not accept new ones demanded by fringe minorities, however vocal. Satirical cartoons lampooning important persons are normal in our society and thus self-imposed censorship is a betrayal of our long tradition of a free press.

    We shouldn’t accept laws if these are unjust or illogical, but any argument which states they shouldn’t be enacted if those demanding them are a minority is a weak one. Homosexuals are a minority; until fairly recently, politically vocal gays were a fringe minority. If a cause is just, the number of people who would benefit from legislation shouldn’t be a consideration.

    Channel 4’s excuses include the suggestion that leaving Jesus visible in the censored cartoon would not offend because Jesus “is commonly depicted in cartoon form”. There is the solution. This attempt to impose an Islamic taboo on the whole of society has to be met by those who believe in secular free speech taking every opportunity to flout it.

    Yeah. All right. You can keep this thing going if you like. You can kick up a stink if you enter hospital and there’s a Bible next to your bed, too; or if the stewardess who hands you your overpriced, watered-down gin and tonic dangles her crucifix in your face as she does so. But be aware that you may simply be adding fuel to a fire which would die out if otherwise left unattended; that religious fruitcakes thrive on conflict and publicity; and that respecting a silly taboo which harms no one could actually win you some friends, and make minorities feel more welcome in a culture which they often perceive as hostile to them.

    I know many here are loath to make any display of capitulation to the invading Musselmen hordes, holding the view that ‘if you give ’em an inch…’ Such individuals are, of course, idiots; ill-equipped for the realities of a rapidly increasing planetary population, and preferring the idea of a global race war to any notion of compromise with the brown devils.

    Here’s my suggestion: a very firm ‘no’ to genital mutilation, subjugation of females in general, and blowing yourself to bits; ‘yes’ to respecting the harmless stuff like no images of the Prophet, and not banning headscarves. We’ll even toss in ending extraordinary rendition and drone strikes on wedding parties, as a show of good faith.

    There could be the solution you seek, Coel. It don’t even have to be a final one.



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  • 16
    SomersetJohn says:

    In reply to #7 by jel:

    If channel 4 are going down the road of censoring anything that may offend people, can I request that they censor all religious broadcasting as it offends me? No? Thought not.

    No. you can’t request that.
    But what if all of us DEMANDED that they censor them because they offend us. What if they received hundreds, or better still thousands of complaints every time they dragged some priest or shaman in front of the OB cameras after some flood, fire or murder. Include in the complaint that this (whatever this is) is exactly as offensive as showing the cartoon of Mo is. maybe they will get at least part of the message.



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  • 17
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #16 by SomersetJohn:

    In reply to #7 by jel:

    If channel 4 are going down the road of censoring anything that may offend people, can I request that they censor all religious broadcasting as it offends me? No? Thought not.

    No. you can’t request that. But what if all of us DEMANDED that they censor them because they offend us. What if they received hundreds, or better still thousands of complaints every time they dragged some priest or shaman in front of the OB cameras after some flood, fire or murder. Include in the complaint that this (whatever this is) is exactly as offensive as showing the cartoon of Mo is. maybe they will get at least part of the message.

    Make ourselves as annoying as those Christians who threaten to boycott the sponsors of Spongebob Squarepants if Spongebob and Patrick don’t put an end to their romance, or the Harry Potter movies because they promote witchcraft.

    Count me out. Whiny atheists are even more irritating than strident ones.



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  • 19
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    ‘yes’ to respecting the harmless stuff like no images of the Prophet

    So the tradition that has kept our islands fairly peaceable, the satyrical cartoon aimed at anyone and everyone, that says none shall have respect until it is earned, that has been tolerated in far more tyrannical times, is to be suspended?

    Not by me.



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  • 20
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #19 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    ‘yes’ to respecting the harmless stuff like no images of the Prophet

    So the tradition that has kept our islands fairly peaceable, the satyrical cartoon aimed at anyone and everyone, that says none shall have respect until it is earned, that has been tolerated in fa…

    Not everyone. The dead get a pass.

    Again, the target of that cartoon’s satire was a living person. It just seems like dirty pool to mock a dead man, someone who can’t answer back. I don’t see the point in lampooning a corpse, other than to cause offence.

    I’ve heard, Phil, that your great grandmother was a total whore.



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  • 21
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #20 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #19 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    Not everyone. The dead get a pass.

    So no Jesus in there either? (D’oh! He’s not dead!)

    No, you know, with the hair like this and a moustache like that?

    Does Britannia (her with the armour but always sitting down) get a pass?

    Mother Teresa?

    I don’t see the point in lampooning a corpse, other than to cause offence.

    Mere offence? Offence just for the sheer fun of it? Or satire because the corpse stands for something?

    You are confusing my great grandmother with my great uncle Philip, who made all his own dresses.



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  • 22
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #21 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #20 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #19 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    Not everyone. The dead get a pass.

    So no Jesus in there either? (D’oh! He’s not dead!)

    No, you know, with the hair like this and a moustache like that?

    Does Britannia (her with the armour but alwa…

    Darn straight Jesus gets a pass. I argued that point on this thread. Kings of satire the Monty Python boys recognized the truth of Jesus’ blamelessness when they made Life of Brian: the fruitcakes looking for a messiah were the objects of ridicule in this movie, not Brian and Jesus.

    Britannia gets the same pass as Uncle Sam. I hope that in some alternate dimension, those two are locked in a passionate and eternal embrace as befits their ‘special relationship’.

    Mother Teresa… well, she’s achieved sainthood and is lauded by the RCC as a paragon of virtue, so it’s perhaps proper that she was traduced by Christopher Hitchens, even if it was post mortem.

    Sorry about the great grandmother thing by the way. I’m sure she was a sai… er, that she was lovely.


    Late, just-in-time edit: No fair altering your post after I’ve already responded to it.



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  • 23
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #22 by Katy Cordeth:

    even if it was post mortem.

    Erm?

    And you’re quite sure Jesus was a singular person and really really existed, but only like it says in only those four out of thirty five gospels.

    Or is it the idea of Jesus, the dead idea of Jesus or the idea of a dead Jesus….

    But whatever in some sense he’s now dead and can’t defend himself?

    My aspie head hurts.

    Remember I have to trust to you hyper pro-socials to intuit harms for me. You’re quite sure that it is harm, a real quiver and a clutch at the heart, a tearing up when Mo is pictured next to JC? And not perhaps a little like the farmer the other day actually saying to my mate “Get orffa my land!”?



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  • 24
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #22 by Katy Cordeth:

    Late, just-in-time edit: No fair altering your post after I’ve already responded to it.

    Sry. Distracted by daughter and friends just arrived…



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  • 25
    Bob Springsteen says:

    In reply to NUMBER 22 by Katy Cordeth. Darn straight Jesus gets a pass: Jesus an OK guy?? Anyone claiming you can’t hold Jesus responsible for the Inquisition and the Witch-craze owes it to himself to reread the New Testament. Old Testament Law called for the killing of apostates, heretics, gays, witches, and adulterers. At several points in the Gospels, Jesus can be read to endorse the entirety of Old Testament Law (Mathew 5:!8-19). All of the crimes committed against humanity by Christians were the result of the teachings of a pschopath named Jesus. To say Jesus wasn’t responsible for the witch-craze is a bit like saying Hitler wasn’t responsible for the Holocaust.



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  • 26
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #25 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 22 by Katy Cordeth. Darn straight Jesus gets a pass: Jesus an OK guy?? Anyone claiming you can’t hold Jesus responsible for the Inquisition and the Witch-craze owes it to himself to reread the New Testament. Old Testament Law called for the killing of apostates, heretics, gays, witches, and adulterers. At several points in the Gospels, Jesus can be read to endorse the entirety of Old Testament Law (Mathew 5:!8-19). All of the crimes committed against humanity by Christians were the result of the teachings of a psychopath named Jesus. To say Jesus wasn’t responsible for the witch-craze is a bit like saying Hitler wasn’t responsible for the Holocaust.

    Oh great, yet another Mithras apologist rocks up at RDnet.

    Yawn

    Take responsibility for your man’s actions, all you Mithracites.



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  • 27
    Light Wave says:

    Islamic law which modern Muslims enforce… forbids the depiction of ‘living beings’ among the Islamic art world – however that was intended to be for Muslims to abide by – It was never intended to spread outside their countries…..so if the non muslim world – accept’s the threats and intimidation for depicting – our modern idea of a particular historic human -Then we kind of let the ‘bullies’ win…It just doesn’t feel acceptable to me – as an artist – to be told that I am forbidden from depicting something …The shithead in me makes me wanna go and depict exactly that….because I will not be told what to do and what not to do…I do not submit to or accept Islamic laws….Even after all that – I see that Muslims think they have a right to ask us or insist that we not depict their prophet..but We are also entitled to push them beyond their comfort level just to see how much they will bend Its not a Christian/ Muslim thing its an Atheist/ Religion thing……
    As Chris Hitchens said…religion can break but it does not often bend……



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  • 28
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #23 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #22 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #23 by phil rimmer:
    In reply to #22 by Katy Cordeth:

    even if it was post mortem.

    Erm?

    And you’re quite sure Jesus was a singular person and really really existed, but only like it says in only those four out of thirty five gospels.

    Or is it the idea of Jesus, the dead idea of Jesus or the idea of a dead Jesus…

    But whatever in some sense he’s now dead and can’t defend himself?

    If I may refer the honorable gentleman to yet another earlier comment I made…

    My aspie head hurts.

    Remember I have to trust to you hyper pro-socials to intuit harms for me. You’re quite sure that it is harm, a real quiver and a clutch at the heart, a tearing up when Mo is pictured next to JC? And not perhaps a little like the farmer the other day actually saying to my mate “Get orffa my land!”?

    I’m sorry Phil, I wasn’t aware you had Aspergers. Have you mentioned it before? I might have thought you were joking. Those with weird mental afflictions I don’t fully understand are not allowed to share the same sense of humor as me and like the same stuff. It’s just too… too… disconcerting.

    As silly as it may seem to us, many if not most Muslims are raised not just to revere Mohammad but to love him. That was what I was getting at when I insulted the memory of your relative: I was trying to provoke a visceral response; the sort of response normal people would… sorry, this aspie revelation has thrown me and I don’t know how to deal with it. My bad. What I meant was…

    Ooh, I think that’s my kettle boiling…

    And I’m not hyper pro-social, whatever that means. I prefer to think of myself as an undiagnosed borderline sociopath, thank you very much.



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  • In reply to #12 by naskew:

    A number of people have commented that channel 4 are censoring their broadcasts to please one particular group. Damn right they are and I do not blame them for one moment for doing so. However my reasoning is not as such that they might otherwise offend the delicate sensibilities of the religious fa…

    You nailed the real issue- terrorism. As in ‘compromising ones principles as a result of being threatened’.

    Terrorism wins.



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  • In reply to #12 by naskew:

    A number of people have commented that channel 4 are censoring their broadcasts to please one particular group. Damn right they are and I do not blame them for one moment for doing so. However my reasoning is not as such that they might otherwise offend the delicate sensibilities of the religious fa…

    A valid religion<

    The definition is so elastic as to mean anything the inventor of the religion wants it to mean.
    ‘Specially the ‘Religion of Peace’, that most moronic of all oxymorons.



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  • 32
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #28 by Katy Cordeth:

    No worries.

    I’m not very aspie and I’m very highly trained, almost housebroken, in fact. I thought myself quite normal until I started doing tests for it. I can identify emotions in faces better than most but it takes a long, long time, several minutes. Within thirty seconds I’m as good as the average Jane, but they do it in a second. So perhaps just a bit slow. This might explain why I was a terrible actor and the acting perhaps explains why I’m not a terrible aspie. I write four of these post things for every one I actually post, lest I get it wrong……and I’m paranoid about wrongly imputed motives….dunno why.

    I’ve trailed this here and there as part of an initiative to get people to be a little more self aware and declare their biases up front in discussions. We are hugely variable (bad manufacturing tolerance) and it helps discussions to be aware of these cognitive biases. I firmly believe that remembering we are not the cognitive norm nor cognitively all the same we can talk together with more understanding.

    Though at quite the other end of the empathy spectrum, hyper pro socials (super empathic people) can appear quite sociopathic in defence of those they think attacked. You think people attacked way, way more often than I do.

    Now, though I’m determined not to send this, I will. Every post is a little experiment

    What I meant was…
    Ooh, I think that’s my kettle boiling…

    🙂



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  • 33
    phil rimmer says:

    In reply to #28 by Katy Cordeth:

    As silly as it may seem to us, many if not most Muslims are raised not just to revere Mohammad but to love him.

    As kids we are taught to love the little baby Jesus. Nuns come over all peculiar. The God of Love seems a bit less brittle in this love thang than his drinking buddy. It clearly isn’t insulting a loved one. JC has the lovable example of turning the other cheek. He just comes across as, well, less petty or vain. The difference I contend is not in anyway the nature of the prophet so much as the nature of a rather macho, high honour culture (fostered, I contend, entirely by clerics as a purity filter) in which he is nurtured.



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  • 34
    alaskansee says:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    I’m not sure what’s so bad about not wanting to cause offence. When did basic politeness become so distasteful to some? Oh, I know

    Nothing at all, I can hardly believe anyone would suggest that there is something wrong WITH NOT causing offence. Who was it? Are they a regular contributor? Probably the same half wit that would suggest that there is something wrong WITH causing offence.

    What has society come to, eh Katy? If it’s raining I wear boots if it’s sunny I wear sandals how complicated can it be? I hate these people that think there’s only one paradigm and only one way to do anything, let me at them!



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  • 35
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #34 by alaskansee:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    I’m not sure what’s so bad about not wanting to cause offence. When did basic politeness become so distasteful to some? Oh, I know

    Nothing at all, I can hardly believe anyone would suggest that there is something wrong WITH NOT causing offence. Who was it? Are they a regular contributor? Probably the same half wit that would suggest that there is something wrong WITH causing offence.

    It was from this bit in the OP, alaskansee:

    “Yet that is essentially what is happening. Some factions of Muslims (but not all) are demanding that everyone observe their taboos, and the British newspapers and broadcasters are acquiescing, either from a misguided desire to avoid offence or out of fear of repercussions.”



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  • 36
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #33 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #28 by Katy Cordeth:

    As silly as it may seem to us, many if not most Muslims are raised not just to revere Mohammad but to love him.

    As kids we are taught to love the little baby Jesus. Nuns come over all peculiar. The God of Love seems a bit less brittle in this love thang than his drinking buddy. It clearly isn’t insulting a loved one. JC has the lovable example of turning the other cheek. He just comes across as, well, less petty or vain. The difference I contend is not in anyway the nature of the prophet so much as the nature of a rather macho, high honour culture (fostered, I contend, entirely by clerics as a purity filter).

    Nuns come over all sorts of things; mostly candles if the stories I’ve heard are true. I think it’s less to do with the religion itself and more about… well, basically more about luck. The West lucked out: won a few more battles, discovered more oil mines, and the rest was history.

    If things had played out differently, if the Crusades had gone in another direction, or if God had tilted the world a bit so that the horrid, arid, sandy parts were less horrid, arid and sandy, who knows how different things might have bee… actually, Hitlers to that. Things would have been almost exactly the same; only the locations would have changed.

    It has nothing to do with white Jesus, also known as Jesus, being somehow nicer than brown Jesus, aka Mohammad, and everything to do with circumstances.



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  • 37
    Bob Springsteen says:

    In reply to NUMBER 26 by Katy Cordeth. These are the words spoken by Jesus according to scripture: “If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth……. and thrown into the fire and burned (John 15:6). All the great biblical scholars acted on this order. St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Martin Luther all killed heretics, witches, and apostates. Even John Wesley lamented the end of the witch-craze in the 18th century. In his Journal he wrote “The Lord called us to hunt down and kill witches.” Katy, I bet it was your mom who told you Jesus was nice.



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  • 39
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #38 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #36 by Katy Cordeth:

    and everything to do with circumstances.

    And nothing to do with being “Loved”….

    No, nothing at all. If you were to give everyone in a Muslim country a penthouse apartment, a flat-screen television, half a million quid and a lifetime’s supply of jammy dodgers, I guarantee they would forget about Muhammad within a month.



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  • In reply to #39 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #38 by phil rimmer:

    In reply to #36 by Katy Cordeth:

    and everything to do with circumstances.

    And nothing to do with being “Loved”….

    No, nothing at all. If you were to give everyone in a Muslim country a penthouse apartment, a flat-screen television, half a million quid and a lifet…

    Not related…but I just signed in so that I could ‘like’ your comment on another thread and it disappeared! Something about ‘political bedfellows’?



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  • 41
    Stuart M. says:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    …preferring the idea of a race war to any notion of compromise with the brown devils.

    Oh, so now Islam has become a race. Well, let’s just roll down the shutters here at RDF. Islam is a religion, not a race.



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  • 42
    Blasphemyman says:

    What’s surprising is that Channel 4 performed Undercover Mosque and another Dispatches program showing that consanguinity amongst Parkistanis,caused serious pathology?



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  • 43
    almostvoid says:

    I have historical books-authors who claim that Jesus is a fabrication based vaguely on generations later a vague claim indeed that an exorcist of that name may have existed. the rest is heresay. so why continue with the myth that wasn’t?



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  • 44
    Bob Springsteen says:

    In reply to NUMBER 39 by Katy Cordeth. “If you were to give everyone in a Muslim country a penthouse apartment, a flat-screen television, half a million quid and a lifetime’s supply of jammy dodgers, I guarantee they would forget Muhammed within a month” : And I guarantee there would still be a multitude of rich, middle-class, university educated Islamic young men willing to blow themselves to bits for the belief that they will spend eternity “eating out” their 72 virgins in paradise.



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  • 45
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to x by Nitya:

    Nitya, the comment in question was on this thread.

    I wasn’t even aware it had gone until I read your post a few minutes ago; I didn’t think it contravened any site rules, it wasn’t particularly snarky, which is usually what causes the mods to remove my comments, and it didn’t seem off-topic.

    Oh well, I’ve never been one to make a fuss about this sort of thing. Hey ho.

    At least I’ve learned that some people here are a little sensitive when it comes to the term ‘religious right’ and don’t like being reminded that their political, rightist views are closely linked with some of the more extreme religious factions; to the extent that they wish for the term to be used no more at our little oasis.

    Honestly, what with Richard and Sam Harris and their efforts to do away with the dread word Islamophobia and now this, I’m starting to think New Atheists are control freaks. 🙂



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  • 46
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #41 by Stuart M.:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    …preferring the idea of a race war to any notion of compromise with the brown devils.

    Oh, so now Islam has become a race. Well, let’s just roll down the shutters here at RDF. Islam is a religion, not a race.

    Isn’t it odd though that the same individuals who used to belong to the National Front and its satellites have now changed the focus of their attention mostly onto Muslims? Right wingers have put their animosity to blacks, gays, Jews etc on the back burner – for the time being – and are able, almost with society’s approval, to vent their angry little spleens on the country’s Islamic communities.

    I’m sure it’s purely coincidental that the overwhelming majority of Muslims happen not to be white, and the British National Party and the English Defence League (whose own founder left the party because it was too bigoted) are equal opportunity xenophobes.

    The issue of whether Islamophobia can be considered racism has been discussed here ad nauseam.

    Here are a couple links for you to peruse:

    Yes, Richard Dawkins, a Muslim baby is a Muslim baby. Because that’s just how it works

    Calm reflections after a storm in a teacup – Polish translation below



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  • 47
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #44 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 39 by Katy Cordeth. “If you were to give everyone in a Muslim country a penthouse apartment, a flat-screen television, half a million quid and a lifetime’s supply of jammy dodgers, I guarantee they would forget Muhammed within a month” : And I guarantee there would still be a mult…

    The point is it’s not religion that causes religious wars but social inequality and injustice. I wish people would get it into their heads that religion is just a tool.



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  • 48
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #37 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 26 by Katy Cordeth.

    These are the words spoken by Jesus according to scripture: “If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth……. and thrown into the fire and burned (John 15:6). All the great biblical scholars acted on this order. St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Martin Luther all killed heretics, witches, and apostates. Even John Wesley lamented the end of the witch-craze in the 18th century. In his Journal he wrote “The Lord called us to hunt down and kill witches.”

    >

    >

    “Leo… I called him a few days ago – he’s living out in Coachella. Because I did look up the Yeager file, and there’s not much in it. Left a message – he hasn’t called me back.”

    “Not much in the file because there wasn’t much to know – or was Green right about Riley?”

    “Maybe both, he said. ‘No, Leo was no workaholic…

    “Still, there wasn’t much to go on. She told her roommate she was going to the library and never came back. Like I told you before, Leo figured it for a psycho sex thing, and I can’t say I argued with him. He even made some crack about it turning into a serial killer, and by that time he’d be playing golf in the desert and growing skin cancer. Let’s see what he says when he does call back. Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about Gretchen’s trip to Duke’s place. What do you think – collecting for services rendered?”

    “Gretchen’s never been picky about what she sells”

    That was a brief, random excerpt – page 274 – from the paperback edition of Jonathan Kellerman’s novel Flesh and Blood.

    If, two thousand years from now, millions have died because of what Milo Sturgis says in this book, the green-eyed, pockmarked detective genius still wouldn’t be deserving of blame, because… he wasn’t real.

    Katy, I bet it was your mom who told you Jesus was nice.

    I’ve no idea what my parents think about Jesus; I was raised by the help until I was old enough to be sent to boarding school.



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  • 49
    Bob Springsteen says:

    In reply to NUMBER 47 by Katy Cordeth. “The point is it’s not religion that causes religious wars but social inequality and injustice” : Study the Koran and the hadith and you will discover that they teach that one day you and I will either convert to Islam, live in subjugation to a Muslim caliphate, or be put death for our unbelief. This world is filled with poor, uneducated, and exploited peoples who do not commit acts of terrorism, indeed who would never commit terrorism of the sort that has become so commonplace among Muslims. This world is full of young Islamic people prepared to kill infidels and themselves purely for GOD’s sake.



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  • If the newspapers and broadcast media would be frank enough to state that they censor things like that because they are afraid of violent repercussions, it would sit better with me. But to say even that about the Religion of Peace is offensive. So they censor their reason for censoring. It’s Lose-Lose.



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  • 52
    Mark Drake says:

    I am severely offended by many t.v show’s, which are broadcast in the U.K, clearly showing people putting their elbows on the table at dinner time.
    Black oval shapes or fuzzy white square blocks, I demand censorship to (impose) respect my beliefs.

    “Thou shall place no elbow upon thy table.” – Grandma Drake 5:30 (pm)



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  • 55
    guy.sturino says:

    I agree with the article re: censorship, however, I have a problem with the cartoon.
    A little background – a monsignor opens a high school auditorium session with, “I don’t mind you calling the sisters “sis” or the fathers “pop”, but when you call Jesus Christ and the apostles “JC and the boys” you have gone too far!” I don’t think the cartoonist or the readers blinked at “Jesus and Mo”, but in the interest of interfaith healing (which is a valid concern for an atheist) “JC and Mo” would have been much more appropriate. Consider the image of a conversation between “Mr. Penobscot and Benny”.
    It’s no wonder that the west has a well earned reputation for subtle condescension.



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  • 56
    DanDare says:

    In reply to #9 by madman:

    Censorship is never a good thing. However, this situation has nothing to do with free speech. Freedom of speech protects your right to speak your mind without government persecution. It does not dictate what private organizations can say, should say or don’t say. Having the right to censor your cont…

    Except they did not censor their own content, they censored something produced by someone else. Furthermore, how can anyone judge the images “offensiveness” if its not shown?



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  • 57
    DanDare says:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    Bigots should be free to call black people nigger, Jews kike, Asians paki, homosexuals faggot then, should they, and not be on the receiving end of society’s opprobrium?

    Bigots should be free to call black people nigger, Jews kike, Asians paki, homosexuals faggot AND the should be on the receiving end of society’s opprobrium. However it should not be against the law or be on the receiving end of censorship.

    As the news article was about the cartoon and its ability to offend some or not offend others it was an integral part of the story and should be shown.



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  • 58
    genedooley says:

    1) I’m mad at myself for feeling excited as if I were 12 and got to see a dirty picture.
    2) I can only imagine how much the boss at Channel 4 News doesn’t want to feel responsible if the news station were to get bombed and his friends and colleagues died. Indeed, the fundamentalist muslim terrorists have unfairly put us in an unfortunate position. What choice do we have but to continue to chip away at their perceived “rights” in order to help them understand Coel’s fourth point?



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  • 59
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #43 by almostvoid:

    I have historical books-authors who claim that Jesus is a fabrication based vaguely on generations later a vague claim indeed that an exorcist of that name may have existed. the rest is heresay. so why continue with the myth that wasn’t?

    I suppose it is the faith-thinking concept of “history” that they may not have spotted that Mo lived quite some time later than the Jesus stories!

    http://www.jesusandmo.net/

    Sometimes the other Mo features.. Some think his stories are dated from earlier times as well:-

    http://www.jesusandmo.net/tag/moses/

    Some just have no sense of humour!



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  • There is no necessity to keep clashing with religious folks for eternity. Leave them alone to their lives and let us live ours. I dont find any particular honor or decency in criticising or hurting their religious feelings. Live and let live. Secondly, Though we do know how Jesus would have looked like (though his existence is definitely questionable) from countless paintings and depictions of him across the world which all seemed to be consistante in the way he looks and dresses, any depiction of prophet Mohammed would be factually and literally wrong and would definitely be biased by the cartoonists prejudices, which is not what we want as an intellectual. So I think it was right of Channel 4 to censor it.



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  • 61
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #49 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 47 by Katy Cordeth:

    “The point is it’s not religion that causes religious wars but social inequality and injustice”

    Study the Koran and the hadith and you will discover that they teach that one day you and I will either convert to Islam, live in subjugation to a Muslim caliphate, or be put death for our unbelief. This world is filled with poor, uneducated, and exploited peoples who do not commit acts of terrorism, indeed who would never commit terrorism of the sort that has become so commonplace among Muslims. This world is full of young Islamic people prepared to kill infidels and themselves purely for GOD’s sake.

    The Koran was written at a time when Islam was on its way to becoming a major economic and military superpower, so its arrogant tone can perhaps be forgiven. Is it right to use words written a millennium and a half ago as evidence that this is what modern-day Muslims in western countries think? Are they not allowed to evolve as a people, the way Christians for the most part have?

    The Bible also contains all sort of horrid stuff, including about how gays, adulterers etc should be put to death. Many if not most Christians believe it to be the literal, infallible word of God, and yet Westboro Baptist types do not represent the Christian norm.

    All these writings do is give license to those who would commit atrocities. What they don’t do is create the desire to commit harm. That’s where the ‘social inequality and injustice’ bit comes in. Stop using the Middle East as the West’s gas station, stop enabling Israel and giving it carte blanche to behave as dickishly as it pleases toward Palestinians, stop destabilising peaceful regimes and making friends with dictators @ @ @, stop making human gifts to these friends, stop using wedding parties for target practice. Stop doing these and the myriad other things that make that part of the world despise this part of the world and the situation will quickly improve.

    Lee Rigby’s killers didn’t cite the Koran or the Hadith as motivation for this soldier’s murder:

    London Woolwich murder – Full speech of killer Michael Adebolajo.

    Are they the exception to this suggestion that Islamic terrorism is “purely for GOD’s sake,” or the norm?



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  • 62
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #60 by prism:

    There is no necessity to keep clashing with religious folks for eternity. Leave them alone to their lives and let us live ours. I dont find any particular honor or decency in criticising or hurting their religious feelings. Live and let live. Secondly, Though we do know how Jesus would have look…

    Many of the visual representations of Jesus that I’ve seen in portraiture depict him as blond and blue-eyed. This apparently is what he may actually have looked like. It’s far from the Nordic ideal with which we’re familiar.



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  • 63
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #57 by DanDare:

    In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

    As the news article was about the cartoon and its ability to offend some or not offend others it was an integral part of the story and should be shown.

    Really. I don’t feel it necessary to see the images that were contained on Gary Glitter’s hard drive to know he’s a monster.



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  • 64
    Kalevi says:

    Some atheist cartoonist should make a series about the adventures of a censorship blob, in parody of this silliness.

    By the way, this is my first post on this site, I think, so hello, RD community!



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  • 65
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #64 by Kalevi:

    Some atheist cartoonist should make a series about the adventures of a censorship blob, in parody of this silliness.

    By the way, this is my first post on this site, I think, so hello, RD community!

    Hello



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  • Actually it may be that this ridiculous ‘Black Egg’ censorship may actually help us in highlighting the absurdity of such a silly religious rule and to the disproportional reaction by fundies to it. Like a kind of reverse psychology.

    Eventually ‘moderate’ muslims, at least in western societies, may start to grow tired of, feel patronised, be embarrassed and even insulted by this Black Egg taboo, which implies that they are knee-jerk reactionists who can only reply with rage and violence to innocuous depictions and valid criticism of their religion.

    It wont work on the fundies of course, as they are largely a lost cause in most cases anyway, but we may be able to skim off some of the fringe waverers.



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  • In reply to #66 by adey5:

    Actually it may be that this ridiculous ‘Black Egg’ censorship may actually help us in highlighting the absurdity of such a silly religious rule and to the disproportional reaction by fundies to it. Like a kind of reverse psychology.

    Eventually ‘moderate’ muslims, at least in western societies, may…

    In fact this partially redacted cartoon only goes to show that Christians today, and other religionists are largely a lot more mature and reasonable in their reaction to blasphemy.



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  • 68
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #60 by prism:

    Though we do know how Jesus would have looked like (though his existence is definitely questionable) from countless paintings and depictions of him across the world which all seemed to be consistante in the way he looks and dresses, any depiction of prophet Mohammed would be factually and literally wrong and would definitely be biased by the cartoonists prejudices, which is not what we want as an intellectual.

    Most of them seem to present Jesus as a white European based on notions agreed 500 years or more later! Strange given the geographical locations of supposed events.

    Depiction of Jesus

    The depiction of Christ in pictorial form was controversial in the early church.[1][2] The depiction of Jesus in art took several centuries to reach a conventional standardized form for his physical appearance, which has subsequently remained largely stable since that time.
    Most images of Jesus have in common a number of traits which are now almost universally associated with Jesus, although variants are seen.

    The image of a fully bearded Jesus with long hair did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity, and much later in the West. Earlier images were much more varied. Images of Jesus tend to show ethnic characteristics similar to those of the culture in which the image has been created.



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  • I bet Mo nearly dropped his glass of milk and honey and had to stop halfway through shagging one of his virgins as he relaxes in paradise, when he heard of this cartoon. Poor guy.

    Seriously, if the club of islam says they cant draw their prophet (it doesn’t) that’s fine, but if we are not members of that club, why should we have to follow their rules? After all, according to their religion, we aren’t gonna get any of the supposed benefits (ie eternal life and a booze-fuelled sex orgy in heaven) and we get all the disadvantages (eternal torture in hell), so we have nothing to lose as we are already doomed by not believing, how much worse can our future be? If their allah is gonna send us to be tortured forever, then is this not punishment enough for us, or do they not have enough faith that this will happen?

    How does our supposed insult of Mo in any way affect his afterlife?



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  • 70
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #68 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #60 by prism:

    Most of them seem to present Jesus as a white European based on notions agreed 500 years or more later! Strange given the geographical locations of supposed events.

    “The image of a fully bearded Jesus with long hair did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity, and much later in the West. Earlier images were much more varied. Images of Jesus tend to show ethnic characteristics similar to those of the culture in which the image has been created.

    Even depictions of seminal moments in Jesus’ life tend to be filtered through the cultural sensibilities of the artist responsible. Peruvian painter Marcos Zapata’s 1753 rendering of the Last Supper shows Jesus and pals dining or about to dine on roast guinea pig, a delicacy in South America but unheard of in Roman occupation-era Jerusalem.

    rdf richard



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  • This article is really quite foaming at the mouth, with a grammar error near the end to prove it. Islam, even just the Sunni part, is a very large and respected minority. Indeed, a majority of reasonable people might agree with the BBC that depiction of the prophet is likely to be unjustifiably offensive to too many people. The strong rhetoric for free speech, such as “utterly wrong for anyone to impose such religious taboos on a wider society,” is right as an ideal, but not fully compatible with the give and take of good will and practicality. You should consider whether the more unreasonable taboo here is flouting people’s right to be unreasonable. There is certainly a place for that, but if you do not recognize any right in such a “fair” decision, people like me may not be enthusiastic about your opinion on balance.



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  • In reply to #47 by Katy Cordeth:
    The point is it’s not religion that causes religious wars but social inequality and injustice. I wish people would get it into their heads that religion is just a tool.

    That tool wouldn’t work if people wouldn’t believe in it.



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  • 73
    aimee.robinson.1238 says:

    Well, I thought Jesus and Mohammad met in heaven when Abraham took Mohammad and his black flying horse to see Allah. So aren’t the two like Bro’s now? I would have guessed the reaction would be better if they were shaking hands.. I shake hands with Christians and I am Atheist, Big Deal. I shook A Harrie-Krishna’s hand once in Balboa Park in San Diego, then he danced away.



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  • 74
    rudi.affolter says:

    Funny but I have never noticed any warnings by TV companies before religious programmes that the content may offend some people. As an atheist I find them highly offensive and so chose not to watch.



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  • 75
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #64 by Kalevi:

    Some atheist cartoonist should make a series about the adventures of a censorship blob, in parody of this silliness.

    By the way, this is my first post on this site, I think, so hello, RD community!

    Welcome – and exercise your sense of humour!

    http://www.atheistmemebase.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/091-Dont-force-your-beliefs-on-me.jpg

    http://www.atheistmemebase.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/033-Beware-of-Dogma.jpg

    http://www.atheistmemebase.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/085-money-well-spent-650×650.jpg



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  • 77
    Bob Springsteen says:

    In reply to NUMBER 61 by Katy Cordeth. Did the two Islamic men who killed Lee Rigby do it for God’s sake? : According to eye witnesses of the attack, the assailants shouted “Allahu Akbar”. During his trial Michael Adebolajo described himself as a “soldier of Allah.” On 9/11 why did nineteen well-educated middle-class men trade their lives in this world for the privilege of killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children? Because they believed that they would go straight to paradise for doing so. It is rare to find the behaviour of human beings so fully and satisfactorily explained. Why are wooly-headed liberals reluctant to accept this explanation?



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  • 79
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #77 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 61 by Katy Cordeth:

    Did the two Islamic men who killed Lee Rigby do it for God’s sake?

    According to eye witnesses of the attack, the assailants shouted “Allahu Akbar”. During his trial Michael Adebolajo described himself as a “soldier of Allah.”…

    Here is the transcript of Adebolajo’s to-camera rant. It mentions Allah, naturally enough, but the actual message is clear: the attack was because of British activity in Muslim countries and the killing of innocent Muslims:

    “The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers and this British soldier is one, he is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

    “By Allah we swear by almighty Allah that we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone.

    “So what if we want to live by the Shariah in Muslim lands, why does that mean that you must follow us and chase us and call us extremists and kill us? Rather you lot are extreme, you are the ones, when you drop a bomb, you think it hits one person? Or rather your bomb wipes out a whole family. This is the reality.

    “By Allah, if I saw your mother today with a buggy, I would help her up the stairs, this is my nature, but we are forced by the Koran and Sura At-Tawba, and many many ayah throughout the Koran that we must fight them as they fight us, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

    “I apologise that women had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same.

    “You people will never be safe. Remove your governments, they don’t care about you.

    “Do you think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start busting out guns, do you think politicians are going to die? No, it’s going to be the average guy like you and your children.

    “So get rid of them, tell them to bring our troops back, so we can, so you can all live in peace. Leave our lands and you can live in peace, that’s all I have to say. Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you, As-Salāmu Alaykum.”


    …On 9/11 why did nineteen well-educated middle-class men trade their lives in this world for the privilege of killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children? Because they believed that they would go straight to paradise for doing so. It is rare to find the behaviour of human beings so fully and satisfactorily explained. Why are wooly-headed liberals reluctant to accept this explanation?

    I don’t know why wooly-headed liberals do anything. Why do wooly-headed conservatives insist on blaming a fourteenth-century book for events in the present day, to the exclusion of all other factors? “No, Islamic terrorism and hatred of the West isn’t about our presence in Muslim nations and all the other stuff mentioned in comment no. 61; it’s all down to koranic instructions to turn the planet into a caliphate and the promise of eternity in paradise. It’s right there in black and white.”

    If it’s all about getting to Heaven, which can be accomplished just by killing non-Muslims, why do you suppose those nineteen hijackers targeted the Twin Towers and the Pentagon particularly? Out of all the places in the world inhabited by the five billion or so human beings who don’t subscribe to that faith, they chose those locations. Weird.



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  • In reply to #79 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #77 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 61 by Katy Cordeth:

    I don’t know why wooly-headed liberals do anything. Why do wooly-headed conservatives insist on blaming a fourteenth-century book for events in the present day, to the exclusion of all other factors? “No, Islamic terrorism and hatred of the West isn’t about our presence in Muslim nations and all the other stuff mentioned in comment no. 61; it’s all down to koranic instructions to turn the planet into a caliphate and the promise of eternity in paradise. It’s right there in black and white.”

    So how do you explain say a bible belt? There are religious fanatics in countries that aren’t being invaded or extremely poor. What about inside fight in Egypt? Nothing to do with religion either?



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  • In reply to #79 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #77 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 61 by Katy Cordeth:

    If it’s all about getting to Heaven, which can be accomplished just by killing non-Muslims, why do you suppose those nineteen hijackers targeted the Twin Towers and the Pentagon particularly? Out of all the places in the world inhabited by the five billion or so human beings who don’t subscribe to that faith, they chose those locations. Weird.

    Weird? Not weird, disingenuous, I think. You CANNOT be unaware that the targets chosen were symbols of the power and wealth of the Great Satan; Defence HQ- Pentagon; Political HQ- presumed White House or Capitol; Financial/Symbolic HQ- Twin Towers. I don’t know how many Infidels were killed in the attack but Allah must have been delighted.

    Of course the Soldier of Allah quoted the Islamic ‘party line’ about “infidels occupying our lands” and indiscriminate bombing [even deliberate targeting ] of innocent muslims, ‘get your soldiers out of islamic lands and all will be fine’, etc, etc ad nauseam.
    Whilst there is truth in what he claimed, it’s a fact that when infidels leave muslim lands the death rate climbs–

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/us-iraq-agree-more-equipment-needed-fight-al-qaeda-iraq-v21277035

    and not just Iraq, all over Islam, the body count accelerates. Pakistan is becoming a failed state, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria… I could go on. Anyway, the Religion of Peace goes about its Good Works, aided by gullible, easily indoctrinated fools like Adebolajo and Adebowale. And still the west persists with the LIE that “it’s nothing to do with Islam”. NO of course it’s not.



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  • 83
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #81 by Fritz:

    In reply to #79 by Katy Cordeth:

    Weird? Not weird, disingenuous, I think. You CANNOT be unaware that the targets chosen were symbols of the power and wealth of the Great Satan; Defence HQ- Pentagon; Political HQ- presumed White House or Capitol; Financial/Symbolic HQ- Twin Towers. I don’t know how many Infidels were killed in the attack but Allah must have been delighted.

    The point is: how did America come to be the Great Satan, with Britain as Satan Jnr? Why not France or New Zealand? Did extremist Muslims have a conference where they randomly stuck a pin in a map of the world and decided that would become the main focus of their rage, and the US just got unlucky?

    The view that the West is the innocent victim of an aggressive, psychotic religion determined to take over the world, and bears no responsibility for the ongoing war of/on terror is such a common one, not just on this site but elsewhere. That to me is disingenuous. What happened to taking responsibility for your own side’s failings? It’s not treacherous or self-loathing to admit your own part in a debacle.

    Of course the Soldier of Allah quoted the Islamic ‘party line’ about “infidels occupying our lands” and indiscriminate bombing [even deliberate targeting] of innocent muslims, ‘get your soldiers out of islamic lands and all will be fine’, etc, etc ad nauseam. Whilst there is truth in what he claimed, it’s a fact that when infidels leave muslim lands the death rate climbs–

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/us-iraq-agree-more-equipment-needed-fight-al-qaeda-iraq-v21277035

    Al-Qaeda fills the void created by political instability and the damage war does to a country’s infrastructure. What are you saying, that when western forces enter Muslim countries to bring peace and democracy – ha ha – they should never leave?

    and not just Iraq, all over Islam, the body count accelerates. Pakistan is becoming a failed state, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria… I could go on. Anyway, the Religion of Peace goes about its Good Works, aided by gullible, easily indoctrinated fools like Adebolajo and Adebowale. And still the west persists with the LIE that “it’s nothing to do with Islam”. NO of course it’s not.

    I’m afraid I’m going to persist in my view that religion, in this case Islam, is nothing more than a tool used to subjugate the masses and keep them obedient. What was that line about the opium of the people? I don’t think the institution of the Roman Catholic Church is particularly religious either: it exists only to exist and maintain its grip on power.

    What is it that characterizes all those countries you mention? That’s right, they’re totalitarian. There may be some here who believe totalitarianism is a good thing, if not for the people who have to live under these regimes then for the rest of us (after all, Saddam was a tyrant but he kept a lid on religious extremism in Iraq; the Taliban were given short shrift by his Republican Guard).

    I take the opposite view: get rid of tyranny, in whatever form it takes, give people social justice, and you’ll find that religious extremism withers and dies.



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  • In reply to #83 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #81 by Fritz:

    In reply to #79 by Katy Cordeth:

    I take the opposite view: get rid of tyranny, in whatever form it takes, give people social justice, and you’ll find that religious extremism withers and dies.

    This isn’t the opposite view but a fairy tale, how exactly do you archive that when you can choose between Islamist, and totalitarian secular dictator? How do you give people social justice? What about people who don’t want it?



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  • 85
    Bob Springsteen says:

    The Mirror Newspaper reports that a football fan has been charged for ripping up a copy of the Koran during a Championship clash between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough back in December. When did the nation start operating under Sharia Law?



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  • In reply to #83 by Katy Cordeth:

    The view that the West is the innocent victim of an aggressive, psychotic religion determined to take over the world,

    Did I say the West is an innocent victim? NO. However,

    the aggressive, psychotic religion determined to take over the world,

    we can agree on. Shocked that you would say that…

    Britain as Satan Jnr

    Liitle Satan or Lesser Satan has been accorded to Britain but more often to Israel- you know, the place Islam wants to eradicate? Sometimes even the Soviet Union, in its day.

    Why not France or New Zealand?

    France- where Islamists burn over 1000 cars every New Year’s eve- another Islamic tradition. And where Marseille with 40 % muslim population is rated as the poorest and most dangerous city in France. Even NZ has its muslim problems and no doubt more to come.

    What are you saying, that when western forces enter Muslim countries to bring peace and democracy – ha ha – they should never leave?

    In hindsight it was a mistake of huge proportions to have invaded these places. I think it was done with good intention but no knowledge of Islam, which has no truck with democracy or human rights. In future I hope we leave the Islamic hell-holes to their own devices and concentrate on limiting the damage done by Islam in democratic societies. Al Quaeda gets a mention- what about the other 100 or so “extremist” Islamic groups, don’t forget them.
    PS- I see nothing funny in your remark.

    I’m afraid I’m going to persist in my view that religion, in this case Islam, is nothing more than a tool used to subjugate the masses and keep them obedient.

    Agreed- 100% However the Islam- Catholicism comparison is classic moral relativism, even though I have nothing positive to say on Catholicism either.

    I take the opposite view: get rid of tyranny, in whatever form it takes, give people social justice, and you’ll find that religious extremism withers and dies.

    How do you propose to achieve this, when Tyranny IS the religion and there’s no real prospect of getting rid of the lunatic religion?

    You will I expect take issue with my equating Islam with tyranny, since you appear to deny it. I can only refer you to Islam’s stated aims as
    per its Holy books and scholars at Al Azhar university, the world authority on Islam. Don’t accept what I say, go to the source and find out for yourself.

    Are you claiming that you don’t know any of this about Islam, or you do but don’t believe it??



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  • 87
    Bob Springsteen says:

    In reply to NUMBER 86 by Fritz. Islam wants to eradicate Israel : Good Point! Article 15 of the PLO Charter calls for “the liquidation of the zionist presence.” Chilling words that could have come straight from Mein Kampf. The Middle East peace talks are reminiscent of the Munich agreement of 1938. Peace in our time???



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  • 88
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #86 by Fritz:

    In reply to #83 by Katy Cordeth:

    The view that the West is the innocent victim of an aggressive, psychotic religion determined to take over the world,

    Did I say the West is an innocent victim? NO. However,

    the aggressive, psychotic religion determined to take over the world,

    we can agree on. Shocked that you would say that…

    Britain as Satan Jnr

    Liitle Satan or Lesser Satan has been accorded to Britain but more often to Israel- you know, the place Islam wants to eradicate? Sometimes even the Soviet Union, in its day.

    ‘Islam’ doesn’t want anything: It’s an ideology. It’s like saying vegetarianism wants people to stop eating meat. Islam isn’t like Catholicism, there’s no central authority enforcing its rules, no ultimate pope-like figure who gets to have the final word on doctrine and issue bulls.

    Some Muslims may want to eradicate Israel: those who have experienced its tyranny; extremist fruitcakes; certain politicians. The rest are just as diverse as the rest of us: saints and sinners, jerks and heroes, gay and straight, smart and dumb; ordinary, boring people in other words, who are no more of a threat to societal harmony than anyone else.

    Would you say Christianity and Judaism want to kill homosexuals? It’s right there in these religions’ own holy books. Or do you recognize that just because something is written down doesn’t mean it’s believed? I can tell you right now that moderate Muslims don’t want Israel destroyed.

    Individuals desire things, ideologies do not. The Koran and Hadith may be set in stone, as are the Bible and Talmud, but people are ever-changing, God bless ’em.

    Challenge extremism in Islam by all means, but don’t try and lump every one of the billion and a half adherents of this faith into some sort of homogeneous mass. The best way for non-Muslims to help fight the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in their own community, incidentally, is by offering support to moderates. The other approach produces the opposite result.

    Why not France or New Zealand?

    France- where Islamists burn over 1000 cars every New Year’s eve- another Islamic tradition.

    According to this article:

    The act of burning vehicles is a tradition that originated in the region around the city of Strasbourg in eastern France during the 1990s as a way to mark the arrival of the New Year.

    Car torching in France does not only occur on the last day of the year. It has also been an expression of protest by despairing youths in poor French neighborhoods.

    In the fall of 2005, police figures showed that 8,810 vehicles were torched in less than three weeks during nationwide unrest triggered by poor youths frustrated with high unemployment and police harassment and brutality.

    France’s national statistics agency INSEE said on December 5, 2013 that the total number of the unemployed people in France hit a 16-year high in the third quarter of 2013 to 10.9 percent.

    Hardly an ‘Islamist tradition’ then. Muslims have a different calendar, n’est-ce pas? The part of the statement “…triggered by poor youths frustrated with high unemployment and police harassment and brutality,” seems to support my thesis that what these protesters want is a healthy dose of Vitamin Justice injected into French society.

    And where Marseille with 40 % muslim population is rated as the poorest and most dangerous city in France.

    As does the above. Again, poverty breeds violence and extremism. Or perhaps you mean Marseille is poor because of its high Muslim population.

    Even NZ has its muslim problems and no doubt more to come.

    In possession of a crystal ball, are we? If Kiwis insist on referring to the country’s Muslim population as ‘a problem’, be it on their own head. Self-fulfilling prophesies and all that.

    What are you saying, that when western forces enter Muslim countries to bring peace and democracy – ha ha – they should never leave?

    In hindsight it was a mistake of huge proportions to have invaded these places. I think it was done with good intention but no knowledge of Islam, which has no truck with democracy or human rights. In future I hope we leave the Islamic hell-holes to their own devices and concentrate on limiting the damage done by Islam in democratic societies. Al Quaeda gets a mention- what about the other 100 or so “extremist” Islamic groups, don’t forget them. PS- I see nothing funny in your remark.

    It didn’t take hindsight to know the invasion of Iraq was illegal. What good intentions did the Coalition have exactly in invading this nation; to get rid of its tyrant? Plenty of those in the world. To bring the ones responsible for 9/11 to justice? @

    The invasion wasn’t a mistake of huge proportions as far as Halliburton is concerned. And it got Bush elected for a second term – you don’t change horses midstream – so the One Percent are happy.

    Earlier on in your post you berated me for having suggested you viewed the West as blameless, an ‘innocent victim’. I honestly don’t know who I dislike more: those who deny any involvement in creating the clusterf#ck that Muslim countries have become and the resultant terrorism, or the ones who say mistakes were made and with hindsight etc etc… but it was all done with the best of intentions. As Ken MacDonald, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, wrote in the Times about Tony Blair:

    “…Since those sorry days we have frequently heard him repeating the self-regarding mantra that “hand on heart, I only did what I thought was right”. But this is a narcissist’s defence and self-belief is no answer to misjudgment: it is certainly no answer to death.”

    It’s all very well of you to say we ought to leave these hell-holes to their own devices – I believe that’s called cutting and running – and is after all what one of Lee Rigby’s murderers demanded. People do have long memories though, and promises have been made. You can’t f#ck up half the world and then play the isolationist card.

    I’m afraid I’m going to persist in my view that religion, in this case Islam, is nothing more than a tool used to subjugate the masses and keep them obedient.

    Agreed- 100% However the Islam- Catholicism comparison is classic moral relativism, even though I have nothing positive to say on Catholicism either.

    How is it moral relativism if you agree with me that religion is just a tool to keep the masses down? Because Christianity is inherently more benign than its Abrahamic sister Islam?

    It’s a bit rich to complain about the damage Islam is doing to our cherished democratic systems when it’s been America’s policy for donkey’s years to bring down democratically elected leaders of foreign powers and install friendly dictators who will do the States’ bidding.

    I take the opposite view: get rid of tyranny, in whatever form it takes, give people social justice, and you’ll find that religious extremism withers and dies.

    How do you propose to achieve this, when Tyranny IS the religion and there’s no real prospect of getting rid of the lunatic religion?

    As I’ve said before, you do it by removing the religion’s teeth. Christianity is harmless, well, mostly harmless, when it doesn’t have any actual power cf.. And you do it by supporting things like the Arab Spring. Images like this one of Tahrir Square in 2011 show that the desire to live without tyranny is a common one in ‘hell holes’ like Egypt.

    You will I expect take issue with my equating Islam with tyranny, since you appear to deny it. I can only refer you to Islam’s stated aims as per its Holy books and scholars at Al Azhar university, the world authority on Islam. Don’t accept what I say, go to the source and find out for yourself.

    Well, I’ve already said I believe religion is simply a tool to oppress the masses; I believe I even quoted Karl Marx. A tool is only ever effective when it’s used, and it’s only ever used by people.

    Are you claiming that you don’t know any of this about Islam, or you do but don’t believe it??

    I’m claiming that people should be permitted to evolve; that a sixteen-hundred-year-old book shouldn’t be an albatross around the neck of a significant portion of the world’s population who didn’t even have a say what faith they would be born into and who face a possible death sentence if they try to leave it; that atheists who infer from Islamic writings that this must be what all Muslims think are not so different from those Muslims who insist on the infallibility of these works. I’m claiming that anyone who made the statement “Muslims want Israel destroyed” would rightly be laughed at, because it refuses to recognize that people are individuals, so they’re forced to say “Islam wants Israel destroyed.”



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  • In reply to #88 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #86 by Fritz:

    In reply to #83 by Katy Cordeth:
    As I’ve said before, you do it by removing the religion’s teeth. Christianity is harmless, well, mostly harmless, when it doesn’t have any actual power cf..

    That power was removed using brutal force. You seem to believe that there is alternative to using force but you can’t say what it is, it must be something mysterious.

    .. And you do it by supporting things like the Arab Spring

    Arab spring in Egypt had ended with Islamist rule, it had allot to do with them being the best organized party but that wouldn’t lead to any social justice.



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  • 90
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #89 by Maki:

    In reply to #88 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #86 by Fritz:

    In reply to #83 by Katy Cordeth:

    As I’ve said before, you do it by removing the religion’s teeth. Christianity is harmless, well, mostly harmless, when it doesn’t have any actual power cf..

    That power was removed using brutal force. You seem to believe that there is alternative to using force but you can’t say what it is, it must be something mysterious.

    There were many factors that contributed to the diminution of Christianity’s power; force was only one of them.

    I’ve never said force shouldn’t be employed against tyrants or their regimes, I don’t know where you got that from.

    .. And you do it by supporting things like the Arab Spring

    Arab spring in Egypt had ended with Islamist rule, it had allot to do with them being the best organized party but that wouldn’t lead to any social justice.

    If at first you don’t succeed…



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  • 91
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #85 by Bob Springsteen:

    The Mirror Newspaper reports that a football fan has been charged for ripping up a copy of the Koran during a Championship clash between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough back in December. When did the nation start operating under Sharia Law?

    It’s political correctness gone mad, Bob.



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  • 92
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #87 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 86 by Fritz. Islam wants to eradicate Israel : Good Point! Article 15 of the PLO Charter calls for “the liquidation of the zionist presence.” Chilling words that could have come straight from Mein Kampf. The Middle East peace talks are reminiscent of the Munich agreement of 1938. Peace in our time???

    Here is the PLO Charter in all its glory, and here is Article 15 from that charter:

    Article 15: The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine. Absolute responsibility for this falls upon the Arab nation – peoples and governments – with the Arab people of Palestine in the vanguard. Accordingly, the Arab nation must mobilize all its military, human, moral, and spiritual capabilities to participate actively with the Palestinian people in the liberation of Palestine. It must, particularly in the phase of the armed Palestinian revolution, offer and furnish the Palestinian people with all possible help, and material and human support, and make available to them the means and opportunities that will enable them to continue to carry out their leading role in the armed revolution, until they liberate their homeland.

    I don’t see the bit about “the liquidation of the zionist presence,” you mention.



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  • In reply to #92 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #87 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 86 by Fritz. Islam wants to eradicate Israel : Good Point! Article 15 of the PLO Charter calls for “the liquidation of the zionist presence.” Chilling words that could have come straight from Mein Kampf. The Middle East peace talks are reminisc…

    Bob, you scared me to death with your “liquidation”. Now I can breath, it’s only “elimination”. Like in “…should I not also have the right to eliminate millions of an inferior race…”.



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  • 94
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #93 by G_O_D:

    In reply to #92 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #87 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 86 by Fritz. Islam wants to eradicate Israel : Good Point! Article 15 of the PLO Charter calls for “the liquidation of the zionist presence.” Chilling words that could have come straight from Mein Kampf. The Middle East peace talks are reminisc…

    Bob, you scared me to death with your “liquidation”. Now I can breath, it’s only “elimination”. Like in “…should I not also have the right to eliminate millions of an inferior race…”

    It’s Katy, actually. Did you mean to respond to Bob Springsteen? Lols, I’ve done that.

    If I can butt in though, I do think there’s a difference between “liquidation of the Zionist presence,” and “the elimination of Zionism”.

    The former does indeed suggest violence, referring as it does, if obliquely, to the people who represent this presence, whereas the latter is about eliminating the Zionist ideology.

    Since Bob has already invoked the Nazis, as many on internet fora are wont to do, I’ll put it like this:

    “The Nazis need to be liquidated,” is different to “Nazism needs to be eliminated”.

    It’s a subtle difference perhaps, but if much of your argument hangs on the idea that Islam is dedicated to the eradication of Jews, clarity of language is kind of important.


    Edit:

    Article 24: The Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and in the right of all peoples to exercise them.



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  • So you think your Edit is relevant?
    This is Wikipedia about North Korea’s constitution:
    “It provides for civil and political rights, such as freedom of expression, the right to elect officials, the right to a fair trial, and freedom of religion.”



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  • 96
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #95 by G_O_D:

    So you think your Edit is relevant?
    This is Wikipedia about North Korea’s constitution:
    “It provides for civil and political rights, such as freedom of expression, the right to elect officials, the right to a fair trial, and freedom of religion.”

    I thought we were talking about the content of the PLO Charter, not what the PLO actually thinks. Bob Springsteen’s comment 87, citing, with quotation marks, this charter and those chilling six words, was in support of Fritz’s claim that Islam is hellbent on eradicating Israel. The proof was in these words, that was the point of Bob’s post.

    If you want to move the goalposts and jaw about the PLO itself, that’s fine with me, G_O_D.



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  • 97
    Bob Springsteen says:

    In reply to NUMBER 92 by Katy Cordeth. The PLO and Israel : Hi Katy. This chilling story is found on Page 254 of The End of Faith by Sam Harris: Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti ofJerusalem and the leader of the Palestinians throughout the war years, served as an adviser to the Nazis on the Jewish question, was given a personal tour of Auschwitz by Heinrich Himmler, and aspired to open his own death camp for the Jews in Palestine once the Germans had won the war……….As recently as 2002, Yasser Arafat, referred to Husseini as a “hero.”



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  • 98
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #97 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 92 by Katy Cordeth. The PLO and Israel : Hi Katy. This chilling story is found on Page 254 of The End of Faith by Sam Harris: Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti ofJerusalem and the leader of the Palestinians throughout the war years, served as an adviser to the Nazis on the J…

    Tuh. The rascal.



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  • In reply to #90 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #89 by Maki:

    In reply to #88 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #86 by Fritz:

    In reply to #83 by Katy Cordeth:

    I’ve never said force shouldn’t be employed against tyrants or their regimes, I don’t know where you got that from.

    Many “liberals” support Islamist rule as long as they are democratically elected.



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  • 100
    Bob Springsteen says:

    In reply to NUMBER 94 by Katy Cordeth. Liquidate or eliminate : Hi Katy. Did Mossad liquidate or euphemistically eliminate dear old Yasser?



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  • 101
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #100 by Bob Springsteen:

    In reply to NUMBER 94 by Katy Cordeth. Liquidate or eliminate : Hi Katy. Did Mossad liquidate or euphemistically eliminate dear old Yasser?

    I’m glad at least three people understand this and apparently don’t consider it a non sequitur.



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  • 102
    M27Holts says:

    In Response to Katy, in what way is the full burka acceptable yet female genital mutilation is not? Clearly cutting the external features of the vulva away is totally reprehensible and should be punished by the full weight of the law (hm… just how many people have been prosecuted in the UK for this particular offence?) However, the idea behind the Burka, leads inexorably to atrocities such as FGM, it is merely an extension of the archaic belief system that wife “belongs” to husband! Lets depict Mohammed as the true warlord and mass murderer that he really was! Oh and while we are on the subject of religious child abuse, the European union should ban all circumcision (male and female under the age of 18) unless the operation is required for valid medical reasons.



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  • 103
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #102 by M27Holts:

    In Response to Katy, in what way is the full burka acceptable yet female genital mutilation is not? Clearly cutting the external features of the vulva away is totally reprehensible and should be punished by the full weight of the law (hm… just how many people have been prosecuted in the UK for this particular offence?) However, the idea behind the Burka, leads inexorably to atrocities such as FGM, it is merely an extension of the archaic belief system that wife “belongs” to husband!

    I’m not sure your claim that severe religious apparel leads inexorably to the horrors of female genital mutilation is sustainable. To the best of my knowledge there’s no FGM in Amish communities or ultra-orthodox Jewish ones, both of which enforce a strict and modest dress code for women. Here is an image of an Israeli woman belonging to a sect called Women of Lease.

    I believe this practice may predate Islam’s arrival in African countries and was co-opted into the religion.

    Burka bans are wrong for two main reasons: the first being because they punish the victim. If you accept that for many women who wear it, it is essentially a prison for them, or rather an extension of the prison they live in at home, what happens when you take that away? Are their male relatives just going to shrug their shoulders and allow their wives to go out in western attire, or will these women remain under effective house arrest for the rest of their life?

    A young woman who has grown up in the west and only wears conservative dress at home and wonder-womans into a miniskirt and high heels when not in the company of her family may find herself being airfreighted back to Saudi Arabia or Iran into an arranged marriage with some obese friend of the family three times her age if her family cannot countenance her being made to dress immodestly in the country of her birth.

    That’s the first reason. The second is because governments have no business telling women how we may dress. And if you do give them this power, you can’t complain when they start looking at your clothing and decide you’re revealing too much ankle or boob and need to cover up.

    Lets depict Mohammed as the true warlord and mass murderer that he really was!

    Yeah, let’s all be like this clown, and damn the consequences.

    Oh and while we are on the subject of religious child abuse, the European union should ban all circumcision (male and female under the age of 18) unless the operation is required for valid medical reasons.

    I’m inclined to agree that circumcision should be banned except when it’s for valid medical reasons, such as preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, but I think we may be going a little off-topic. There are plenty of open threads about that subject if you wish to continue.



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  • 104
    M27Holts says:

    Hm, when I said that Burka leads to FGM, what I was trying to convey was that any liberal concessions to religious “sensibilities” also makes those same liberals unable to condemn any extremist action!
    Accepting the “married females faces must not be shown to any other men (excepting her husband and close male relatives)” is as morally reprehensible as accepting that the suicide bomber has a right to murder infidels because he believes his god requires that of him! That same god also requires that women are mere possessions of men?
    If I wanted to start a fire (on my desert island) and I had a copy of the Koran and a copy of “The selfish gene” then which pages would I sacrifice first to get my camp-fire going? – Answers on a postcard please!



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  • 105
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to #104 by M27Holts:

    Hm, when I said that Burka leads to FGM, what I was trying to convey was that any liberal concessions to religious “sensibilities” also makes those same liberals unable to condemn any extremist action!

    Hm, I did not get that from my reading of your post, and I’m good at getting subtext. It doesn’t follow that supporting a Christian stewardess in her right to wear a crucifix over her uniform means one is left unable to condemn a different Christian who plants an incendiary device in a planned parenthood clinic.

    Accepting the “married females faces must not be shown to any other men (excepting her husband and close male relatives)” is as morally reprehensible as accepting that the suicide bomber has a right to murder infidels because he believes his god requires that of him! That same god also requires that women are mere possessions of men?

    Hm, what a black-and-white world some of us live in. Why look below the surface of an issue when it’s so much easier to issue a blanket condemnation: this is wrong, this is right and that’s all there is to it. What about women who choose to don the veil: are they not permitted to make their own decisions re what they wear; are they in fact enabling the extremist elements of their religion? What about my hypothetical westernized teen and the woman whose prison extension is the only thing giving her a modicum of freedom and access to the outside world?

    If I wanted to start a fire (on my desert island) and I had a copy of the Koran and a copy of “The selfish gene” then which pages would I sacrifice first to get my camp-fire going? – Answers on a postcard please!

    Hm, well The Selfish Gene is 366 pages long in paperback format, whereas the Koran is about 500. Dawkins is a succinct writer who grabs your attention quickly and conveys his ideas effortlessly, whereas I’m given to understand the Koran is a hard slog and can take years to get through. The Koran has poetry, TSG doesn’t…

    It’s a tricky one to be sure, M27Holts, but I think in the interests of preserving your sanity until such a time as you can be rescued you might be better off keeping the Koran and setting fire to The Selfish Gene. There’s a chance too that any potential rescuers who arrive might be Muslim, and more likely to help you out if you show them your uncharred and well-thumbed copy of their holy book.



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  • 106
    M27Holts says:

    Aha!, I didn’t inform you that in MY desert island hypothesis, the Koran is in Arabic – (which I obviously cannot read), in this case why would I burn the book I can read rather then the one I can’t?
    And also, do the women that I see as I shop in Bolton town centre, REALLY chose to wear the Burka? Some may do, and that is THEIR prerogative. I feel that any concession to ideologies from the first millennium is not taking mankind in the correct direction! it is trying to stifle us and our hard won progress of the last 100 years (women get the vote, homosexuality is de-criminalised , people of all sexual orientation can couple up and get married, and some people can enjoy BACON sandwiches and satanic ROCK music!). I think that I’ll organise a micro-bikini and man-kini weekend for Bolton this summer (possibly for breast, cervical and prostate cancer) Who’s with ME!



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