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I will re-post what I replied to Helen on the other thread, with respect to Muslims taking umbrage at depictions of the prophet. I think it may help to frame the debate. (For the rest, and the coming epic slanging match with dear Katrin in particular, we must wait, because I really must do some work today).

It depends which Islam you are talking about. One of the primary difficulties of being a Muslim today is that one is subject to intellectual terrorism by extremists who attempt to dictate what it is to be a Muslim. In my experience, the Salafists who are the worst offenders, are about as representative as Muslims in general as Fred Phelps of Westboro is representative of American Christians.

Certain segments or tendencies of Islam have a big issue with portrayals of Mohamed. This has always been the case, and there has always been great diversity on this issue among Muslims.  Bad taste to quote Wikipedia, but the article is pretty well-referenced :

Depictions of Muhammad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The permissibility of depictions of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, has long been a concern in the religion's history. Oral and written descriptions are readily accepted by all traditions of Islam, but there is disagreement about visual depictions.[1][2] The Quran does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad, but there are a few hadith (supplemental teachings) which have explicitly prohibited Muslims from creating visual depictions of figures.

Most Sunni Muslims believe that visual depictions of all the prophets of Islam should be prohibited[3] and are particularly averse to visual representations of Muhammad.[4] The key concern is that the use of images can encourage idolatry.[5] In Shia Islam, however, images of Muhammad are quite common nowadays, even though Shia scholars historically were against such depictions.[4][6] Still, many Muslims who take a stricter view of the supplemental traditions will sometimes challenge any depiction of Muhammad, including those created and published by non-Muslims.[7]

The Arabian tradition tended to forbid all portrayal of living things. This seems to have broken down a bit in the TV age. The Turkish pictorial tradition is of course the counter-example.

But the more important thing to bear in mind is that any historical tradition or sacred law forbidding portrayal of Mohammed or anyone else could only apply, by definition, within territories governed by a Muslim political power. Postulating an obligation to accede to demands of non-depiction based on a notion of religious freedom is completely fallacious and baseless. The demand is explicitly political, conceived as such by those making it and claiming to speak for all Muslims, and it is our duty to resist it.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:25:07 AM EST
Seems to me that wiki is saying that depictions of Mohammed are forbidden within the Sunni tradition. Now, yes, you can argue that depictions are permitted within certain strains of Shi'ite tradition, but that would be a minority within a minority.

In short, well over 95% of muslims (all sunni plus, say, half of shi'ia) think such depictions are blasphemy. And you have to remember that most Sunnis think the Shi'ia are heretics and idolaters anyway, so what they think about those who want to show pictures of Mohammed is gonna be off the scale.

Also, I should point out that it doesn't matter what wiki says, if these people generally believe it is blasphemy to create an image of their Prophet, then it is blasphemous. And we are not in a position to argue, it's their religion so it's their rules.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as the fundies would have us believe. All religious and cultural traditions evolve; popular practices diverge from official doctrine (portrayal of the prophet is widespread in Iran for example).  For leftie commentators to pontificate from a position of ignorance (95% of muslims think it's blasphemous) is just a wee bit presumptuous and patronising.

Whether any particular act or opinion is blasphemous or not, with respect to any particular religion or belief, is up to the believers to decide, obviously. But by definition, that definition can only concern believers. I can not blaspheme against Islam, because I am not a Muslim.

I respect religious beliefs and religious freedoms. They concern the private domain. I will refrain from farting in church, if the church deems that blasphemous; likewise, I promise not to draw pictures of Mahomet in a mosque.

It's not for European governments to decide what is permitted or forbidden within any given religion, obviously. And for European governments to start enforcing religiously-based bans, so soon after having escaped Christian censorship, would not be a good look.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:59:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sunnis represent 90% of the ummah. All of them believe that images of Mohammed are blasphemous. That sentiment may not drive many of them to murderous frenzy, but they all agree it's wrong.

The shi'ia schism is as divided as x-tianity with loads of different sub-groups who all believe in the same thing slightly differently. Some do agree with pictures of Mohammed. Most don't. So, 95% is an under-estimate, not a wild number plucked from the air.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the population of Ireland is, what, 90% Catholic? France, 80% Catholic? And all of them believe that contraception is a sin. Smirk.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The topic of this publication is not the attitude of a strong current in Islam towards contraception or any other societal issue. The topic here is an unfriendly depiction of Islam's most important personality, as a continuation of denigrations and persecutions in western countries.  
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Weak tea.

You don't get to demand condemnation of a text on the sole grounds that it is unfriendly to a religion practiced by a persecuted minority. Your complaint needs to have some actual, you know, substance.

If the depiction is racist, then the fact that it is directed at an oppressed minority is an aggravating circumstance. But you have to demonstrate that it actually is racist before you can begin invoking aggravating circumstances.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I call the obsession with Islam racist. You seem to agree that the theory of "political Islam" somehow being so powerful to take over Europe is bullshit. This publication is unthinkable except in that context though.
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:13:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In which fictional alternative universe is anticlericalism legitimate only when there is a clear and present danger of a theocratic coup? When theocrats have become a clear and present danger, it's quite a bit too late to start with the anticlericalism.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:18:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Er, we are talking about an unknown percentage of a minority that is about 1% of the European population. That's not even a vague and hypothetical danger.

This publication has nothing to do with preventing theocracy and all that. It is just another harassment.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:36:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anticlericalism is not about preventing theocracy, it's about pushing religious influence out of the secular state and the secular public space. Theocracy is only the most pernicious form of religious influence in the public space, not the only one.

If you don't agree with pushing religious influence out of the public sphere, then that's alright. What's not alright is pretending that pushing religion out of the public sphere is a race issue just because the religion du jour is a minority religion.

(As an aside, 1 % is lowballing the figure, at least for EU-15.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
When theocrats have become a clear and present danger, it's quite a bit too late to start with the anticlericalism.

2 hours 3 minutes later:
JakeS:
Anticlericalism is not about preventing theocracy,

How very odd.

JakeS:

What's not alright is pretending that pushing religion out of the public sphere is a race issue just because the religion du jour is a minority religion.

Now you are arguing that there is something like "political Islam". That there were attempts of Muslims to do something in the political sphere, which must be prevented, and that the Islamophobian rag had reacted to this project/conspiracy/attempt. You will have to point out what this is, if you want to convince me.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:34:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I detest quote mining, Katrin. Your second quote goes, in full:
Anticlericalism is not about preventing theocracy, it's about pushing religious influence out of the secular state and the secular public space. Theocracy is only the most pernicious form of religious influence in the public space, not the only one.

-------
Now you are arguing that there is something like "political Islam".

Of course there is. It's not a serious problem in Europe (except as useful idiots for Christian crackpots who want to establish a precedent of treating religious apologetics as permissible political arguments).

But that doesn't mean it's not there and it doesn't mean it's not a problem at all. There is a number of perfectly habitable halfway houses between "exist only in the fevered imagination of Pentecostal fundamentalists" and "is an existential threat to European Civilization.TM"

One of those halfway houses is "I don't ordinarily pay attention to it, but if someone starts making apologetics then I'll debunk those apologetics."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 02:49:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. So you believe in "political Islam" and although it is not a serious problem in Europe, it is a problem for you. Hahaha. But you don't believe in Muslims under your bed, I hope.

And what do you say is the aim of this, er, political movement or whatever you call it? And with what power would it try to achieve its aim?

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:07:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course I have a problem with political religion, and of course there are Islamic preachers preaching politics from the pulpit.

You're the one who is advancing the notion that partisan religious politicking must represent a cohesive, almost conspiratorical, political movement. It's not, nor does it have to in order to be a problem (for the same reason that Ponzi scammers and snake oil salesmen do not need to be organized in a cohesive lobby to be a problem).

Politicizing the pulpit is an authoritarian persuasion strategy that uses appeals to in-group identity to advance whatever garbage the preacher cannot advance by honest means. Nothing more, nothing less. And like all such authoritarian in-group identity based persuasion strategies, it is corrosive of democracy and public participation in the governing of society.

Most of the garbage being peddled also happens to be reactionary garbage. But that's a predictable consequence of the authoritarian in-group persuasion strategy, not an indication of a unified conspiracy.

Tl;dr: Identity politics is an authoritarian cul-de-sac. Islamic identity politics is no worse, but it certainly isn't any better either.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 05:14:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
Of course I have a problem with political religion,

I gathered that you have, but I don't know why ("of course" is no explanation).

JakeS:

You're the one who is advancing the notion that partisan religious politicking must represent a cohesive, almost conspiratorical, political movement.

No, but if you argue that there is a coherent thing as "political Islam", then you must prove that there is a coherent movement. Especially (but not only) because you are not in a political vacuum, but surrounded by voices that talk of "political Islam", "Eurabia" and the like. You want to say something else than they do? Then make that clear.

Even then you are wrong: there are attempts to use religion (in this case Islamic religion) arguing different political points. It is lazy to claim all these points were the same and it is lazy not to argue the political points but the religious angle advancing them.

JakeS:

Politicizing the pulpit is an authoritarian persuasion strategy that uses appeals to in-group identity to advance whatever garbage the preacher cannot advance by honest means.

Such as the following I assume. "People often speak of God being even-handed. God is not even-handed. God is biased in favour of the weak, of the despised."

There are of course many ways to make above point, not only the theological one, but I don't think any of these ways is dishonest. Are you sure that you object to politicising the pulpit in general, or is it certain political aims you object to?

JakeS:

Most of the garbage being peddled also happens to be reactionary garbage.

Possibly. No idea. Have you no arguments to argue against reactionary garbage then, only against the channel used to transport it??

So far I have treated the points where you are only wrong, but nothing worse.

Additionally there are two other issues. All these anti-Muslim campaigns target a community that is discriminated, poorer, less educated, without equal chances on job market, market for flats and so on. It is spied upon, its members are targeted by "security" services as collectively suspect. At the same time this group is victim of hate crimes, murders, arson of mosques and so on. And you find it perfectly okay to take their religion on top of that and ridicule it, humiliating the people who believe in it. I resent this inhumanity in its own right AND because it is another de-solidarisation. There is nothing leftist in supporting an alienation of these people.

by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 06:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even then you are wrong: there are attempts to use religion (in this case Islamic religion) arguing different political points. It is lazy to claim all these points were the same and it is lazy not to argue the political points but the religious angle advancing them.

I spend most of my time here and elsewhere arguing the political points.

But when you insist that "because my faith says so" is a valid argument, I'll point out that you are peddling authoritarian identity politics. Attempting to hitch progressive policies to authoritarian identity politics has a distinctly mixed track record.

There are of course many ways to make above point, not only the theological one, but I don't think any of these ways is dishonest. Are you sure that you object to politicising the pulpit in general, or is it certain political aims you object to?

I object to politicizing the pulpit in general, for the same reason I object to tame journalists and fake research: They all depend for their effect on mechanisms which are anathema to informed democratic debate.

Of course, like tame journalists and fake research, I'm not going to go out of my way to criticize people who use them to advance policies I agree with. That should not be construed as approval in principle, merely a cynical cost-benefit analysis.

[snip a long paean to the virtues of identity politics]

Identity politics is bullshit. It never has worked and it never will work.

Where racism is a problem, fight for emancipation. When you have an unemployed underclass on the labor market, fight for full employment. When you have an overbearing political police, fight for democratic accountability. When you have a hate crime problem, fight against discrimination.

But don't pretend that promoting the customs, class markers and idiosyncrasies of the victims of discrimination into a "separate but equal" minority culture does jack shit for any of that. Separate but equal never is.

And in particular, don't pretend that promoting unmerited respect for religious bullshit does jack shit to promote social and political emancipation. If you want people to accord respect to beliefs that have done nothing to deserve respect, then that's your prerogative. But don't pretend that you're fighting some sort of class war - at least not as anything but a useful idiot for the bad guys.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 08:17:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
Where racism is a problem, fight for emancipation. When you have an unemployed underclass on the labor market, fight for full employment. When you have an overbearing political police, fight for democratic accountability. When you have a hate crime problem, fight against discrimination.

I am doing that, and it's why I object to Charlie Hebdo's continuation of the cartoon campaign vilifying Islam. And don't pretend you can treat their cartoons without the context of previous cartoon campaigns and in fact the whole campaign against Muslims.

JakeS:

But don't pretend that promoting the customs, class markers and idiosyncrasies of the victims of discrimination into a "separate but equal" minority culture does jack shit for any of that. Separate but equal never is

That's a disingenuous way to put it. You are prescribing a majority culture when you rant against minority culture. Prescriptive culture ALWAYS is narrow and authoritarian, but you try to tell us that the defence of cultural diversity was authoritarian.

By the way, it's no longer class markers. As long as it was, there was no problem.

JakeS:

If you want people to accord respect to beliefs that have done nothing to deserve respect, then that's your prerogative.

No, no, that's not my intention. That's why I am so freely attacking all those anti-religious rants that use the disguise of anticlericalism, cultural wars, and so.

JakeS:

I spend most of my time here and elsewhere arguing the political points.

Did you get my point at all, I wonder? You are attacking persons who could be your allies. You prefer the attack on religion and the religious to a broad movement. That's how leftists have shot themselves in the foot over and over again.

by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are attacking persons who could be your allies. You prefer the attack on religion and the religious to a broad movement.

Eh, no.

I'm responding to people who are demanding special deference and recognition for their religion, above and beyond what is given to vegetarians, cat lovers, Dungeons&Dragons players, or any other practitioners of private eccentricities.

If your vision of a progressive coalition is one that throws everyone who doesn't pay at least lip service to some officially sanctioned religious movement gets thrown under the bus, then yeah, I'm not going to help you build your dream coalition.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 08:37:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
False. My vision of a progressive coalition respects every human being and their human dignity and not only the atheist ones. Apparently I won't find it here.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 03:12:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you decide to stick around you'll find most of us do have respect for human beings and their human dignity.  You'll also find it can get ... h'mmmm ... "forthright" very quickly, sometimes.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 04:16:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Forthright" isn't what I mind, but that people enjoy the harassment of a minority... And these poor people are now under observation: if they react violently to these mindless provocations it just shows that more harsh measures must be taken against them. If they protest, they are self-segregating and don't integrate and more harsh measures must be taken. If they don't do anything, it shows that the harsh measures of the past are functioning, and more of them just make sure... How can anyone support this? I don't get it. I am horrified.
by Katrin on Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 06:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree with you on the harassment of a minority angle being the main issue, but I think it didn't help your cause and set the tone of the debate that you made some less nuanced categorisations. In particular, when pushing the line that Charlie Hebdo is a racist magazine: anyone familiar with France will know that CH is not some French equivalent of Sarrazin and does in fact repeatedly risk retaliation by regularly attacking the rich and powerful, and these readers will react with that in mind. I think it would have been a different debate if, instead of assuming a non-existent editorial policy, you'd kept focus on how this particular campaign is part of and cannot be viewed isolated from a broader obsession with Islam that can be considered at least implicitly racist (a point you made here and later Migeru here).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not the first time Charlie Hebdo does that. No accident then: they are consistently making fun of humans of a persecuted minority. It reeks of an editorial policy, doesn't it?
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:45:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm responding to people who are demanding special deference and recognition for their religion

Who, specifically? Surely not anyone here in this debate.

above and beyond what is given to vegetarians, cat lovers, Dungeons&Dragons players, or any other practitioners of private eccentricities.

All of those combined don't receive the amount of deliberate provocation in public which Muslims do in France. Surely you won't blame Muslims for that. Or, let's look at another country: where is the witch-hunt against animal rights activists in the Netherlands since the Fortuyn murder that matches the one against Muslims since the Theo van Gogh murder?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 05:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
All these anti-Muslim campaigns target a community that is discriminated, poorer, less educated, without equal chances on job market, market for flats and so on. It is spied upon, its members are targeted by "security" services as collectively suspect. At the same time this group is victim of hate crimes, murders, arson of mosques and so on. And you find it perfectly okay to take their religion on top of that and ridicule it, humiliating the people who believe in it. I resent this inhumanity in its own right AND because it is another de-solidarisation.

this...

making common cause with thevalues we do agree with in aby religion fosters mutual trust.

there is much that is admirable in religions, it just has to separated from its sinister siblings, like bigotry, hate, and pre- and post-hoc justifications for immorality.

secular states are to be heartily encouraged because they help wean humanity off superstition and absolutist certainties by leveling the playing field for democratic discussion about social justice, you know that stuff religions talk about, when they're not dressing up in sancti-drag and giving pomp a new bad name.

mostly just talk... but it beats recycling the crusades, for fun and profit, not.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 08:25:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I do.

I had just now on my ballot a party calling themselves party of scripture loyal christians.

Political christianity in action.

fundamental christians - check

political action - running in state election should count - check

So there is political christianity.

And so there is political islam. And in Japan there is a influential party formed around a buddhist sect.

Is is not helpful to deny this.

There is still the question what to do. "driving them out of the public space" - should we ban the party I mentioned.  

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:29:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That party has about 3800 members (out of a population of 80 million). In the last Bundestag elections they got 40 K votes, which amounts to a staggering 0.1%.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't say.

But it is political christianity. Do you want to deny that?

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:48:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
But that doesn't mean it's not there and it doesn't mean it's not a problem at all.

Pffft

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:52:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this now supposed to be some kind of argument?
by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They would probably get 10 times as many votes after a campaign to humiliate all Christians by cartoons and other methods.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 06:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No they wouldn't. There is satirical treatment of christianity in Germany all the time. You just have to read the last few editions of Titanic.
by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:03:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And since Christianity is the majority religion in Germany, and there is no persecution, the satire can function as a criticism of certain currents in Christianity. Charlie Hebdo's continuation of anti-Muslim cartoon campaigns during a period of persecution of Muslims is an attempt to beat that minority into submission.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:29:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you define : "No longer firebomb us" as submission, you have moved the goalposts.

And even a minority religion can be the target of satire or do you want to make all jewish comedians unemployed?

And no, I reserve the right to critisize the political ideology of islamism. Even if islam the religion is a minority somewhere. That still makes e. g. Mursi a islamist and your misguided denialism doesn't changes that.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
If you define : "No longer firebomb us" as submission, you have moved the goalposts

"Us"? There is no "us", I am not a racist. I don't want to be included in that "us". There is absolutely nothing I have in common with the issuers of that stuff.

And no, that's not the definition anyone here uses.

eurogreen:

Nothing from French Islamists so far, nor from any "official" French Muslim source

There. "Nothing". That's total submission.

IM:

And even a minority religion can be the target of satire or do you want to make all jewish comedians unemployed?

These cartoons aren't made by Muslim comedians. They are made by non-Muslims who are issuing a message to Muslims. The equivalent of antisemitic jokes.

IM:

And no, I reserve the right to critisize the political ideology of islamism.

Islamism would be a completely different topic. These aren't Mursi cartoons, they are Mohammed cartoons. The message is "Look what a crazy asshole they revere" and "they" clearly is Muslims, not Islamists. Misguided denialism yourself.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:08:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you want to imply that I am a racist? Nuts.

But nice that you defend the right of islamists to firebomb others. But that is okay: After all you just quite forcefully othered publishers of satirical magazines and other undesirables.

I think the publishers and writers of this magazine, even if you have for some idiotic and clueless reason decided to declare them heretics, have a right to be not firebombed. That is quite reasonable demand.

If you can't even see that, you have a problem.

And then you are indeed no longer any part of "us", that is of a left dedicated to   Enlightenment values.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:24:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
But nice that you defend the right of islamists to firebomb others.

Do I? Can you point to the post where I did? Are you so desperately out of arguments that you take to misrepresentations?

IM:

But that is okay: After all you just quite forcefully othered publishers of satirical magazines and other undesirables.

The publishers of satirical magazines must be held accountable for the dissemination of hate speech like anyone else.

IM:

you have for some idiotic and clueless reason decided to declare them heretics

Again: I challenge you to point to the post where I did. You can't. You have invented this claim.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have just called them racists. Earlier you have called them xenophobes. Accusations, I may add, that you have invented out of thin air.

"The publishers of satirical magazines must be held accountable for the dissemination of hate speech like anyone else."

A picture of Mohammed isn't hate speech. And vigilante justice like firebombing isn't the right way to hold someone accountable.

If you really think for some unscrutable reason that they are engaging in hate speech, sue them. That is the proper way to deal with it. Perhaps you could transmit this way of procedure to your new allies on the islamic right?

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:55:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
You have just called them racists. Earlier you have called them xenophobes.

Accusations that I have argued. And where did I call them heretics? Where?  If I was arguing heresy or the like, the debate would be completely different. So why the fuck are you claiming that?

IM:

A picture of Mohammed isn't hate speech

That depends on the message the picture transports. If pictures can't be hate speech, a cartoon of a banker with hooked nose and vile smirk wouldn't be either. Are you arguing that?

IM:

And vigilante justice like firebombing isn't the right way to hold someone accountable.

My own prehistoric activities in front of the Axel-Springer-House don't belong to the wisest things I ever did, but they were a way to hold that media concern accountable. Anyway, all firebombing in reaction to the publication we are discussing here has been invented by you and Jake. When will you get that there was no firebombing?

IM:

If you really think for some unscrutable reason that they are engaging in hate speech, sue them. That is the proper way to deal with it.

With what right are you telling me to shut up? Where is your defence of free speech? If I decide it is the proper way to argue against this hate speech, how come you have the last word on it?

IM:

Perhaps you could transmit this way of procedure to your new allies on the islamic right?

And now you have not only run out of arguments, you have come completely unglued.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:25:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Accusations that I have argued. And where did I call them heretics? Where?  If I was arguing heresy or the like, the debate would be completely different. So why the fuck are you claiming that?"

that is called a metaphor. Racists and xenophobes are surely heretics to the left.

"That depends on the message the picture transports. If pictures can't be hate speech, a cartoon of a banker with hooked nose and vile smirk wouldn't be either. Are you arguing that?"

No. Do you argue that every depiction of a banker is hate speech?

Furthermore:

>Controversy arose over the publication's February 9, 2006 edition. Under the title "Mahomet débordé par les intégristes" ("Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists"), the front page showed a cartoon of a weeping Prophet Muhammad saying "C'est dur d'être aimé par des cons" ("it's hard being loved by jerks").<

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo#1992.E2.80.932010

That is not hate speech but rather defending Mohammed against his islamist fans.

"My own prehistoric activities in front of the Axel-Springer-House don't belong to the wisest things I ever did, but they were a way to hold that media concern accountable. Anyway, all firebombing in reaction to the publication we are discussing here has been invented by you and Jake. When will you get that there was no firebombing?"

In the early hours of November 2, 2011, the newspaper's office in the 20th arrondissement[8] was fire-bombed and its website hacked.

And regrading Springer - do you really compare the most powerful german media comglomerate and a small satiric paper?  bY the way, how did your protest work out?

"With what right are you telling me to shut up? Where is your defence of free speech? If I decide it is the proper way to argue against this hate speech, how come you have the last word on it?"

I have not told you to shut up. I just think you are wrong. That is called having an argument.

"And now you have not only run out of arguments, you have come completely unglued."

You have just argued that a fire-bomb is sometimes a valid way of protest, so I am not so sure who is unglued here.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:40:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To clarify:

"These cartoons aren't made by Muslim comedians."

So this paper has just to find a muslim cartoonist? A little affirmative action and everything is fine?

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:27:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you forgetting so quickly what you have just written? I was rejecting your "And even a minority religion can be the target of satire or do you want to make all jewish comedians unemployed?"

You compare the anti-Muslim campaign to the work of Jewish comedians instead of comparing them to antisemitic jokes, which would be the appropriate parallel.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:51:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"what anti-muslim campaign? "

I just see a satiric magazine standing up for freedom of speech. Attacked by islamists, who you defend for some reason.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:58:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And yes it is totally legitimate to satirise minority religion.

South park e. g. made fun of mormons and scientologists. That was funny legitimate and not oppressive or persecution. And South Park is probably a lot more influential then Charlie Hebdo.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:00:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Islamism would be a completely different topic."

Not at all. Charlie Hebdo are defending themselves against attacks from islamists - some violent.

And that being also a defense of free speech should be supported.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 08:37:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
Not at all. Charlie Hebdo are defending themselves against attacks from islamists - some violent.

They aren't defending themselves at all. They aren't attacked. They are disseminating standard mainstream anti-Muslim racism, and Muslims have no voice.

IM:

And that being also a defense of free speech should be supported

There is no freedom for hate speech. And even though this is not hate speech in the legal sense, it functions as hate speech, which is why I criticise Charlie Hebdo's despicable publication. I note that you categorise my speech as an attack on free speech: apparently only anti-Muslim speech is free.

by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:00:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course they were attacked. In words of course too but there was also the fire-bomb. If that isn't a attack, what do you need?

"Muslims have no voice" - I am sure that the muslim media in France has a lot higher circulation numbers then the circulation of Charlie Hebdo. Not the count all the muslim ministers, parliamentarians, mayors civil servants journalist etc. in France. And the official representation of muslim organizations.

"There is no freedom for hate speech."

Define hate speech. Freedom of speech has to include undesirable speech or it isn't much of a freedom.

"And even though this is not hate speech in the legal sense, "

well, in this case where is the problem?

"it functions as hate speech,"

That assertion you should perhaps prove at some time

"which is why I criticise Charlie Hebdo's despicable publication."

You see an despicable publication, I see a rather mild satire and an attempt to assert their right of free speech.

That is at worst ill-advised. Not despicable.

"I note that you categorise my speech as an attack on free speech: apparently only anti-Muslim speech is free."

What anti-muslim speech? And categorizing an satirical publication as hate speech is an attack on free speech. I on the other hand haven't tried to suppress your speech or demanded suppression or whatever.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:21:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

We've had enough of this repetitive bickering in this thread.

You don't seem to have noticed this comment below.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 09:41:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And even a minority religion can be the target of satire or do you want to make all jewish comedians unemployed?

Jewish comedians satirise Judaism from the inside.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 11:48:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But all comedians satirize from the inside...That's what they do. That's their audience. To the extent that other cultures impinge on the inside, they satirize that too.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 01:13:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<citation needed>
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:23:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you very well know, there are no citations in the perceptual world ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:15:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bullshit.

When you say

But all comedians satirize from the inside...That's what they do. That's their audience. To the extent that other cultures impinge on the inside, they satirize that too.

you're making statements of fact. Unless we're suppose to interpret everything you say as "I just pulled this out of my ass right now".

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:23:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can do what you like with it. It's art - remember?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:31:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to ignore it as worthless.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:51:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a question: can you see why the song If you could see her through my eyes from Cabaret would have been morally wrong satire if it had historically been sung in a German cabaret in the early 1930s? Or do you think that kind of satire is okay?

(to be sure, I think it is okay for the musical to actually contain the song as a way to illustrate the state of opinion in pre-Nazi Germany, though apparently when the stage musical came out it provoked protests from Jewish groups in the US)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:15:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You answered it yourself.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:19:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't avoid the question.

Interpret the song (by itself, within the musical, and in the fictional universe of the musical) for me.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't be bothered.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:32:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I keep forgetting you don't write in English but in Triloqvistian and you never mean what you say.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:35:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the wonderful world of ET On Ice, where genius meets obstinacy, about the only thing I have to offer is my ability to skate on the thin ice of semantics.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:43:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Redefining meaning when it suits you is not skating on the thin ise of semantics, it's shattering the ice with a sledgehammer.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:49:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not as smart as you, but I am funnier.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You think you're funny, but being funnier than me is not saying much.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Salam Rushdie did write about Islam from the inside.

That didn't help him very much.

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:39:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the nexus of Salman Rushdie to our debate is what exactly?
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 02:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He wasn't satirising or criticising.

But in any case, what I-m trying to argue is that precisely because it's done from the inside it would be worthy of defence even if its intent were to provoke, which as far as I know it wasn't.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rushdie was deliberately provocative because he was describing his own cultural experience - in a sense his own commentary - on the Qur'an. He knew it was a sensitive subject since most of the world's religions protect their 'Words' very carefully, even if the bulk of their rituals are derived from regulated commentary on the 'Words', not the words themselves.

Like the Second Amendment.

But of course provocation was not his primary motive, if a motive at all. His motive was to explain how he came to be, what he had experienced. His sin was to be W*st*rn.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:30:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His sin was to be W*st*rn.

Yeah, because he was Indian-born of Kashmiri descent.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inside!
by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was criticising a culture he was part of. That has nothing to do with CH teaching the values of the Republic to the natives.
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
careful here. Now you are arguing that muslims are not a part of France.

Anyway, to Islamists it doesn't matters a whit if the critique is from the inside or outside. They are enraged anyway.

Ant you are more and more sliding into a "outside agitator" argument.

by IM on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:44:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I am arguing that Charlie Hebdo is not a part of Islam. And I say Islam, not Islamism. These cartoons  offend Muslims, not just Islamists. The latter profit by the outrage, though.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 06:33:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should probably prove that sometime.

With polls.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 07:14:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"He wasn't satirising or criticising."

If that is true that rather strengthens my argument.

I don't think critique, even provocative critique - and some people are provoked by everything don't need to be from the inside - whatever inside is - to be legitimate.

You probably know the term "outside agitator". Has a lot to do with the definition who inside or outside.  

by IM on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 03:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What specific clerical danger do you think Charlie Hebdo is reacting to? I don't see any. And Charlie Hebdo having been firebombed earlier doesn't change the fact that their earlier cartoons publication was an equally pointless act.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 5th, 2013 at 04:52:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In short : salafism. A clear and present danger in parts of my town, and most major French cities. Young dudes with wooly beards and long white robes, recently indoctrinated with tribal customs from the Arabian peninsula which bear little relation to their own cultural heritage, and who generally have very little understanding of the actual teachings of Mahomet.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And do you really find it likely that salafists will lose influence if Muslims are angered by disrespectful (note the diplomatic wording) cartoons?
by Katrin on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 05:08:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a word : yes. It's already happening.

I think the arson incident was a watershed : French Muslims asked themselves whether they had more in common with the arsonists or with CH. To caricature a bit, the split is between those who can take a joke and those who prefer civil war.

I probably give too much importance to this incident, bearing in mind the political transformations in North Africa going on at the same time. Most French Muslims still have family ties with North Africa. Everyone was against the old regimes (this was undoubtedly a watershed moment for many French non-Muslims, who found themselves in tune with the hopes and aspirations of those of Muslim heritage), and now the great majority find themselves in favour of liberal democracy and its associated freedoms as opposed to theocracy. This helps to put things in perspective.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:37:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How odd that you focus so much on that magazine and the arson. What about the day when the "burqa" ban came into force and there was the hunt on women with headscarves? I'll never forget the horror of my twitter timeline of that day. But then, it was only women who got attacked, not a building.
by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 06:51:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
has poured ridicule on the wearing of burqas, (and a feminist columnist described the burqa as "social death for women")

But they didn't advocat a ban on burqas, as far as I can remember. That was legislated by Sarkozy's government.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 07:40:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How odd that you focus so much on that magazine

Well, after all, "that magazine" is the subject of this thread. How odd that you should keep trying to assimilate it with right-wing governmental provocations against Muslims.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 08:04:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You seem to have missed the point of my response to Helen, which is satirical in nature.

  • Most Islamic scholars consider the depiction of the Prophet to be blasphemy. Therefore 95% of those who identify as Muslims think it is blasphemy.
  • The Pope declares that contraception is a sin. Therefore 100% of people who identify as Catholic think contraception is a sin.

So I guess we should ban advertising of contraception eh?  

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:09:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that picturing the prophet as such is the core of the problem here. Just another unfriendly publication making fun of Islam seems to be a more accurate description of the problem. And if this was an isolated incident, it would probably not be a problem at all. It isn't, though. It is one incident in a long row of persecutions and humiliations.
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, it is not established that the depiction of the prophet is unfriendly. I intend to report on that tomorrow, if I can find a copy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm glad you claim to respect religion and religious freedom, but you sound as if you do it on your own terms, without regard to their point of view.

Their view is; if you respect our religion, don't show pictures of Mohammed.

So : You can show pictures of Mohammed (or at least agree to them being shown)
OR
you can respect their religion.

Me ? I don't respect religion. At all. But I don't go around starting fights for no reason at all either. And this is a fight without cause

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:18:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember when Rushdie's Satanic Verses came out and I was talking to some Muslims in an airport somewhere.  They asked me how I would feel if someone insulted Jesus Christ in a book.  I told them I wouldn't care.  They couldn't believe that I would feel that way.

There's some cultural way of looking at things involved here.  

by stevesim on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:31:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you have people who take their religion seriously enough to start fires at newspapers, then I think that's a rather good reason to pick a fight.

Whether it's a smart fight to pick if your objective is to push back against religious nuts and/or drive religion back into the purely private sphere... that's less obvious. On one hand, it worked against the Catholic Church. On the other hand, the political context vis-a-vis Islam is different.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:36:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess you would be shocked if you knew of what I have done in front of the Axel Springer house at some time...
by Katrin on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
Whether it's a smart fight to pick if your objective is to push back against religious nuts and/or drive religion back into the purely private sphere... that's less obvious. On one hand, it worked against the Catholic Church. On the other hand, the political context vis-a-vis Islam is different.

that is a good point. what worked for us in europe was satire, derision, mockery, but it was our religious preceptors we were mocking, on the front lines in a culture civil war, during which the evil rule of a bunch of delusional powerfreaks had their hold on the public's faith was justly wrested from them, after centuries of abuse and murder and the same tool may not work the same way twice.

if a muslim charlie hebdo opened up an office in kabul and published there it may be a better equivalent.

this is their affair to sort out, one of many schisms in islam we have little or no control over. they can pray here like they want, but they are not allowed to import any and all aspects of their culture willy-nilly, and it's not racist to want it that way, imo, though many will surely howl that it is. it can be patiently explained that they are guests here and have to respect that, no matter how alien they perceive our ways to be.

what we can control is how far we let religion into our own politics, any religion...

i'll believe we've done that when the house of lords in england stops giving seats to clergy, and the vatican has to pay property tax in italy, to pull two examples i know about.

meanwhile we'd be better off abstaining adding fuel to any fires we don't want burning.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jan 6th, 2013 at 07:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they are not allowed to import any and all aspects of their culture willy-nilly, and it's not racist to want it that way, imo, though many will surely howl that it is.

The re-islamisation of French citizens of maghrebo-islamic origin is not a matter of re-importing North African customs into France, but largely a matter of importing stylised versions of 9th-century Arabian Peninsula customs. The niqab, for example, is not a North African custom, and its recent introduction into North Africa is the subject of a great deal of social conflict (see Tunisian universities, for example). The Christian equivalent might be for Roman Catholics to start dressing like Romans. Wearing a niqab in public is inherently ridiculous in Europe, and it is neither racist nor religious persecution to ridicule it.

it can be patiently explained that they are guests here and have to respect that

No they are not guests : in their vast majority they are French by birth, and are completely free out of republican principle to practice their inherited or chosen religion as they see fit. What they have to respectis French law and secular custom (laïcité). In practice, there are many obstacles : it's exceedingly difficult to get a permit to create a mosque in France, and I deplore that. (There is, to my mind, a large surplus of Catholic places of worship with respect to effective demand, but every time I suggest that some should become mosques, I get funny looks.)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 03:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The re-islamisation of French citizens of maghrebo-islamic origin is not a matter of re-importing North African customs into France, but largely a matter of importing stylised versions of 9th-century Arabian Peninsula customs."

They are not allowed to import dress styles, only first class citizens are allowed that. Muslims have to adapt to the culture that is prescribed to them. On top of that their identity is mocked and ridiculed by caricatures of their religion.

by Katrin on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 06:28:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Religions evolve. Nothing says we have to genuflect before the most reactionary traditions of a religion merely because we do not ourselves belong to it.

The official political position of the Catholic Church is one of blatant sexism. The fact that civilized society is explicitly non-Catholic (on account of being secular) does not mean that it must encourage and cannot condemn and discourage such barbarism.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:59:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't accept theocracy as a legitimate concept, and therefore I reject all the syllogisms based on it.

Religion is by definition unsuited to democracy, and in my opinion, to good government. Private opinions are not a good basis for telling others what to do.

Religions, as opposed to singular opinions on the nature of the universe, are universally political tools for the evil type of politician.

I hope the internet is increasing understanding of this truism.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 09:41:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The predominant culture in europe is Christian, irrespective of the level of observance. Meanwhile, muslims and those of Islamic culture, for all the frothing of both the right wing and centrist press, represent less than 1% of europe's population.

The barbarians at the gates are far more likely to be those who bend a knee to a cross than those who bow to Mecca. Fred Phelps and his band of miserabilists may be extreme but there is no discontinuity between them and their fellow x-tians, they are simply at one end of a grey scale. They are all united in their belief in the Man Who Isn't There and that the voice in their head or that of their leaders is far more real than that of any actual tangible individual.

We only have to look at the USA to see where the anti-knowledge, anti-rationality crowd can take us. They are well funded and have made frightening inroads into the UK conservative party and the British education system.

Terrorists who claim christian religious justification have been loose in N Ireland for decades.

All in all, I don't think muslims are a problem. In the UK the biggest problem is the genuflection our elites pay to x-tians.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All in all, I don't think muslims are a problem.

Nor do I! Muslims are not a problem at all. (who do you think you are arguing against?)

Even Islam, as such, cannot be a problem unless we let the extremist activists redefine the public space. Then it will be a problem we have created.

In order to have freedom of religion, you need to create and defend a public space where people can be free from religion. The extremist Muslim activists wish to re-Islamise and ghettoise their target populations, separating them from mainstream society. If you think I'm exaggerating, you haven't been around.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 11:06:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:

Even Islam, as such, cannot be a problem unless we let the extremist activists redefine the public space. Then it will be a problem we have created.

But we already have. We have let extremist activist conservative newspaper owners define publishing pictures of Muhammed as free speach and opposition to publishing pictures of Muhammed as support of violent oppression of free speach. They did so by creating a controversy in Denmark, and then ignoring to report on non-violent protests against that controversy. When economic measures won fare and square, they used their power to over-rule the outcome by republishing in so many newspapers that the protesters economic measures could not win. Then they defined the conflict as violent by giving ample room to any threat or physical violence used.

Before 2006, depictions of Muhammed was in general not used in history books and such. There was not and is no particular need to create a picture of a man if no one knows what he looks like and the people who think he is important thinks it is wrong to depict him. This was ratehr uncontroversial and if mentioned at all used as a way to introduce the reader to religions, icons and iconoclasm.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:46:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
implicit here. I know nothing of the history of Islam in Denmark, but I have the impression that it's largely a matter of first-generation immigrants, who come from countries where Islam is the established religion, and can not be publicly criticised. It is therefore unsurprising that they are surprised and shocked at public satire. The Danish papers know this, and it is no accident that it was a right-wing paper that published the original cartoons.

Publishing the same cartoons in France, though provocative, does not have the same context. Most adults in France who are of Muslim heritage are grandchildren of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. They know the rules (which are different from those in Denmark, which as far as I know has a less anti-clerical culture). Practising (as opposed to nominal or cultural) Muslims are undoubtedly hurt by caricatures of Mahomed, just as the small minority of practising Christians are hurt by caricatures of Jesus. But they understand that they are a legitimate part of public discourse. Those who have tried, and failed, to remove it from public discourse are a well-identified evangelical fringe.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 04:05:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know nothing of the history of Islam in Denmark, but I have the impression that it's largely a matter of first-generation immigrants, who come from countries where Islam is the established religion, and can not be publicly criticised. It is therefore unsurprising that they are surprised and shocked at public satire.

That is an unkind characterization of the reaction.

Danish Muslims overwhelmingly did not react to the cartoons. They did react when they were later subjected to book burnings and other racist attacks "justified" by the boycott that a handful of fundamentalist nutcases had ginned up with a doctored portfolio of cartoons (including, amusingly, an image of a Breton wearing a plastic pig nose at a pig faire).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 at 07:10:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't pass on the concept that a country where expression of disbelief in ANY religion is banned is an acceptable, respectable, good thing.

Banning of so-called blasphemy is like coughing blood. Always a bad thing.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 09:47:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny.

I would make that precise argument re: book-burning.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 08:50:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Meanwhile, muslims and those of Islamic culture, for all the frothing of both the right wing and centrist press, represent less than 1% of europe's population."

Muslims in France alone represent 1% of the entire EU population.
Muslims are actually 8% of the EU population, and 7% of Europe's (of which 5.7 million are in the European part of Turkey, and 25 million in Russia).

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_en_Europe

Hard to say how many more you'd get by adding "those of Islamic culture", especially since this kind of categorisation always adds up to more than 100% -they lead to non-exclusive categories.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 08:56:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Muslims in France alone represent 1% of the entire EU population.

You can't actually know this, of course, because France doesn't do statistics on religion. It would be interesting to know how many inhabitants of France would declare themselves Muslim, if the question was asked in the census (which it isn't), and how that would compare with the number of "those of Islamic culture", which I suppose approximates to those descended from north African ancestry.

And you're right about non-exclusive categories. I arrived in France as an atheist Protestant. By assimilation, I'm now pretty much also an atheist Catholic; and most likely I'll end up an atheist Muslim.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 09:18:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France doesn't do statistics on religion

France doesn't do censuses, but it does do surveys.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 09:27:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.
Indeed, that would be the reason why the figure for France is given as an interval, while it's given a specific value for other countries.

Whichever way you look at it, 1% is not remotely close to the truth.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 10:08:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"a specific value for other countries"

Nope. There are no exact figures. For Germany there are several specific values. In other words no reliable data, because we don't know how the question of the survey was framed. 3% "feel" they are Muslims. How many members of Muslim communities is that? And what do people mean when they say they are religious? I remember a poll of immigrants who had just arrived (and which I can no longer find). Almost all Poles and Iranians answered they were "very religious". Additional questions and their answers showed that the "very religious" Poles don't necessarily attend a Mass every year, let alone several times, while the "very religious" Iranians didn't necessarily have a prejudice against eating pork.

The only thing we know is that Muslims are a tiny minority in Europe (even if your 5% are accurate, which we can't know).

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 10:37:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Islam en France - Wikipédia Islam in France - Wikipedia
En 2012, Michèle Tribalat a estimé, à partir de l'enquête Trajectoires et origines réalisée par l'INED et l'INSEE en 2008, à 4 millions le nombre de musulmans déclarés (soit 6,8 % de la population de France métropolitaine) et à 4,8 millions le nombre de personnes dont au moins un parent est musulman, soit respectivement 34 % et 41 % de l'ensemble de la population d'origine étrangère (sur deux générations uniquement). Quant aux naissances, toujours d'après l'enquête Trajectoires et origines, pour les enfants nés en 2006-2008, un peu moins de 20 % d'entre eux auraient au moins un parent musulman[93].In 2012, Michele Tribalat was estimated from the survey Trajectories and origins conducted by INED and INSEE in 2008, 4 million the number of Muslims reported (6.8% of the population of metropolitan France ) and 4.8 million the number of people with at least one parent is a Muslim, or 34% and 41% of the total foreign-born population (over two generations only). As for births, still according to the survey Trajectories and origins, a little less than 20% of children born in 2006-2008 have at least one Muslim parent [ 93] .
Les musulmans sont en moyenne plus jeunes et environ la moitié des musulmans de France ont moins de 24 ans. Selon Justin Vaïsse, à Paris, les musulmans représentent un tiers des jeunes de moins de 24 ans. Les villes françaises ou vivent le plus grand nombre de musulmans sont Roubaix, dans la banlieue de Lille (50 % de la population), Marseille (25 %), Besançon (13 %)[94], Paris (10 à 15 %) et Lyon (8 à 12 %)[95]. Ces jeunes d'ascendance musulmane se déclaraient en 1992, à 30 % sans religion (si les deux parents étaient Algériens), voire à 60 % (si un parent seulement était Algérien)[96].Muslims are on average younger and about half of Muslims in France are less than 24 years. According Justin Vaïsse , in Paris, Muslims represent a third of young people under 24 years old. French cities which are home to the largest number of Muslims are Roubaix, in the suburbs of Lille (50% of the population), Marseille (25%), Besançon (13%) [ 94] , Paris (10 to 15%) and Lyon (8 to 12%) [ 95 ] . Young people of Muslim ancestry reported themselves in 1992, 30% no religion (if both parents were Algerians) or 60% (if only one parent was Algerian) [ 96] .

If your point is that the number of Muslims in France, or in Europe, is negligible, that's clearly not the case. They are a significant group, and a growing one, because of differential demographics. That's not a bad thing, but it's a fact. Depending on where one lives, their presence may be invisible, or not. The idea of a separate-but-equal social status, which seems to be the thrust of your argument, hasn't worked out well anywhere, as far as I know. We need to sort out common standards for living together.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 10:50:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
They are a significant group, and a growing one, because of differential demographics.

They are definitely a significant group. Definitely not a group with a lot of influence or power though. This means that Muslims are not the danger that Islamophobes claim they are. They are not even able to defend themselves against the many harassments the majority invents.

Conclusions from demographics, not socioeconomics, to religious membership are bullshit. It is possible that the proportion of Muslims in the population grows, but by no means sure.  

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:20:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here is what was meant to be the first part of my post:

eurogreen:

The idea of a separate-but-equal social status, which seems to be the thrust of your argument

It is not my argument, not even remotely! Have you read my posts at all?

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:22:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
We need to sort out common standards for living together

Yes. Agree completely. That's why I am arguing against a one-sided diktat that bans all personal freedom that is somehow related to the exercise of religion.

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:36:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have said :Katrin:
Laws force the women among them to go naked according to their perception, or else they won't be allowed even to learn.

The law in France forbids religious dress in public schools (this is also the case in Turkey and in Indonesia). Dress codes in school are different in various countries; many impose uniforms; the right to impose a dress code is not generally disputed. Completely covering one's hair is apparently sanctioned by the Koran (just as wearing a veil is prescribed for Christian women by the Bible) but is applied in various interpretations, or not at all, by Muslim women in various parts of the world, in accordance with the laws and customs of the countries they live in.

Should children of Muslim families be allowed to choose whether or not to respect French law or custom on this point? Is the notion of choice actually operative here? Is it indeed a matter of personal freedom? In individual cases, that's possible. But sociologically, it's clear that the desire of Muslim families to send their daughters to school with distinctive dress is a question of marking them out as inaccessible, in order to favour endogamy within a community of Muslims (cf the work of demographer Emmanuel Todd on this subject).

I don't think that a cultural tendency towards endogamy actually favours personal freedom.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:04:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The law in France, as in all European countries, shows real creativity in finding new ways to discriminate against Muslims. Giving the prevention of endogamy as a justification for a ban on the headscarf is hilarious (and perfidious). I note that your theory only speaks of the intentions of parents, not of the freedom of the girls.

I don't believe we can hash out the headscarf debate in less than 300 posts, Eurogreen. Do we start or not?

by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:23:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not in this thread, please.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:39:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL
by Katrin on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:53:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The initial misstep is Eurogreen's, since whether to wear a headscarf is rarely the woman's, but patriarch's choice.

Peculiar to hear katrin advocating patriarchal values, but since she's taken a losing position, any port in a storm.

The immigrant minority always faces a choice of getting along or not.

This particular one seems to want self-segregation without adopting any values of the welcoming society. Seems like a misreading of human nature. And I'm not talking about France, or Europe, or the West at all, but the idea of religious freedom, including especially the freedom FROM religions that limit choice.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The point about self-reported "religiosity" is well taken.

The USA tends to show "higher than real" levels of religiosity on this question because "religious" is interpreted as "a good person."
Likely the same holds for more "conservative" parts of the population (which should be mostly anyone immigrating to Central/Western Europe.)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 11:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Either:

Or:

(from)

by Nomad on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 12:21:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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