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Thursday, February 9, 2006

Mohammed Cartoons Reprinted—In an Egyptian Newspaper.

Posted by on February 9 at 7:39 AM

Henry, a Stranger reader, just sent me this link. I’ve never heard of this blog before, and some folks will find it offensive (the author, apparently an Egyptian, calls himself “Sandmonkey”), but… uh… gee… it seems that an Egyptian newspaper reprinted the Danish cartoons in October of 2005.

ImagesInEgypt.jpg


Sandmonkey writes:

Guess we will have to Boycott Egypt now as well, huh?

Now while the arab islamic population was going crazy over the outrage created by their government’s media over these cartoons, their governments was benifitting from its people’s distraction. The Saudi royal Family used it to distract its people from the outrage over the Hajj stampede. The Jordanian government used it to distract its people from their new minimum wage law demanded by their labor unions. The Syrian Government used it to create secterian division in Lebanon and change the focus on the Harriri murder. And, finally, the Egyptian government is using it to distract us while it passes through the new Judiciary reforms and Social Security Bill- which will cut over $300 million dollars in benefits to some of Egypt’s poorest families. But, see, the people were not paying attention, because they were too busy defending the prophet by sending out millions of e-mails and SMS-messages, boycotting cheese and Lego and burning Butter and the danish Flag. Let’s not even mention the idiots who went the usual route of “It’s a jewish conspiracy”, spouted the stupid argument about the Holocaust, or went on a diatribe with the old favorite “There is an organized campaign-headed by the west and the jews- to attack and discredit Islam, and we have to defend it”. They proved, once again, that the arab world is retarded and deserves no better than its leaders.

UPDATE: I just clicked into AndrewSullivan.com, and I see that he’s got the Egypt story up already. Sullivan links to another blog—FreedomForEgyptians.blogspot.com—with even more images from the Egyptian newspaper that published the cartoons.

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Sullivan writes:

So we now discover that the hideously offensive and blasphemous cartoons—so blasphemous that CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, won’t publish them … were reprinted last October. In Egypt. On the front frigging page. No one rioted. No editor at Al Fager was threatened. So it’s official: the Egyptian state media is less deferential to Islamists than the New York Times. So where were the riots in Cairo? This whole affair is a contrived, manufactured attempt by extremist Muslims to move the goal-posts on Western freedom. They’re saying: we determine what you can and cannot print; and there’s a difference between what Muslims can print and what infidels can print. And, so far, much of the West has gone along. In this, well-meaning American editors have been played for fools and cowards.

UPDATE 2: In a story in today’s Seattle Times about The Stranger’s decision to republish four of the cartoons (we used them as illos for a piece Bruce Bawer wrote for The Stranger about the controversy), reporter Janet I. Tu quotes local Muslims who are upset about our decision to show the cartoons to our readers:

Jamal Rahman, a Muslim and minister with Interfaith Community Church in Ballard, said republishing the cartoons is an “unnecessary provocation.” …At the same time, many local Muslims said they find horrifying the violent demonstrations, in which seven people have died in the past two days. “If it’s the image of Islam they’re trying to protect, they’re doing exactly the opposite,” said Jeff Siddiqui… a real-estate agent. “Some morons in the Middle East decide they want to burn some buildings—talk about walking into the arms of the enemies.”

Still, they found it dismaying that The Stranger would be publishing four of the cartoons in this week’s edition and on its Web site.

Janet I. Tu needs to call these folks back—both sound sensible and reasonable (the folks burning buildings are, as Siddiqui says, “morons”), and for the record they have every right to their opinions about what The Stranger decided to do—and ask them how they feel about the Egyptian paper that re-published the images long before The Stranger. Are they dismayed about the Egyptian paper too?


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Ted Rall a political cartoonist and essayist has this article.
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0208-20.htm

This certainly puts things in a very different light.

I've instructed my attorneys to seek damages for trademark infringement against this "SandMonkey."

Hey Dan, I noticed that the Stranger has published the cartoons in todays paper along with your internationally syndicated dirty mind which was pointedly offensive to fundamentalist Christians.

YEAH for the Stranger, I hope you have one of those creepy white SUV's marked "Federal Protective Services, Homeland Security" keeping you safe.

I can sorta see the point that maybe the cartoons shouldn't have been published -- but that's history. It's been done and we need to stand firm behind free speech. But how does this play out? What's the best/worst/most likely etc scenario?

More to the point, the question now is what to do next week i.e. Do tou continue to publish cartoons until they say 'uncle?' How do we confront Islamic bullying without further inflaming matters? How do we know when the point is understood and accepted?

Here's a story in the NYTimes that gives a better persective on this story. This story is about politics, not free speech or religion.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/09/international/middleeast/09cartoon.html?hp&ex=1139547600&en=578cb46567d732ae&ei=5094&partner=homepage

If Janet I. Tu calls her interviewees back, maybe she should also mention the Stranger's never shy history of printing covers inflammatory to Christians and just about everyone else.

Dan,
You asked "where are the riots in Egypt?". I'm reminded that the Jordanian editor who ran the cartoons was immediately fired and arrested. I just bring that up to point out that it is not completely a double-standard, i.e. the outrage has not been exclusively directed at the West.

Actually, that was Andrew's quote, sorry.

It's embarrassing to suggest work for other people, BUT this has been on my mind. How about a BLASPHEMY CONTEST so we can ALL get ourselves killed? Cartoons, lyrics, photos, short-short stories, ecumenical as the Dalai Lama hangin' on a fuckin' cross!

In the Sea Times article about The Stranger printing the cartoons, Sea Times editors said that they had a link on their web site to the cartoons but didn't post the cartoons. Are they trying to be cute? What's the difference? Seems like a cowardly technicality to me.

Wow, I knew about all those other republications, but now that this Egyptian republication comes to light, my feelings about racist caricatures are totally transformed. My whole moral universe is reconfigured.

Oh, wait, it isn't. Never mind.

Ahura, it might be a technicality, though not a cowardly one. Just because Sullivan says people who don't publish the cartoon are afraid doesn't make it so.

This isn't a battle between publishers who are "for" freedom of speech and those who are "against" it. The times has every right to stand up for free speech by refusing to hop on the bandwagon in the name of "solidarity." Maybe they don't publish the cartoons because they are stupid. Maybe they link to them because they don't oppose another's right to publish them, or because they don't object to people being able to see the cartoons that are causing all the hysteria. We have a free press, which thankfully means we have at least a little diversity of opinion. Precious little, unfortunately.

The people who are getting all bent out of shape are the ones I see reacting in fear -- fear of an Islamic boogeyman come to take away their rights. That doesn't mean the boogeyman doesn't exist, it's just that the actual threat is getting blown way out of proportion.

Not sure if this is the right place to bring this up or not, but is anyone else having trouble finding a copy of this weeks Stranger? There are none in the distribution boxes in Upper Queen Anne. Distribution problem or is there a do'ins a transpir'in in regards to the publication of the cartoons?

The racks are full in Fremont, but then we have a statue of Lenin.

From egyptiansandmonkey: "I've yet to see a single christian group get mad at the Rolling Stones for having Kanye West depicting Jesus on their cover, and you know why? because they understand that there is something called free speech and freedom of expression."

Ed. in chief Mick Jagger, that controversial scamp.

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