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 Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Heavy Costs of JOURNALISTS' Insensitivities and Arrogance


Other Breaking News

  • IRAN: Iran Newspaper holds HOLOCAUST Cartoon Contest

    Iran's biggest-selling newspaper,Hamshahri, announced yesterday that it was holding a contest for cartoons of the Holocaust in response to the publication in European papers of caricatures of the prophet Mohammed."It will be an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust," said the graphics editor of Hamshahri, Farid Mortazavi. "The Western papers printed these sacrilegious cartoons on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let's see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons," he said.

    Mr Mortazavi said today's edition of his paper would invite cartoonists to enter the competition, with "private individuals" offering gold coins to the best 12 artists - the same number of cartoons of Mohammed that appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Read
    here for more

  • Image hosting by Photobucket
    Thousands of protesters from the Prosperous Justice Party rally outside the Menara Rajawali building, which houses the Danish Embassy, in Kuningan, South Jakarta, to demand an apology for the publication of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. (JP/Mulkan Salmona)

    Related articles:

  • Ordinary CITIZENS Paying the Price for JOURNALISTS' Religious Insensitivities and Callousness

  • A Sobering Thought :The Border between Freedom of Speech and the Sacred

    News Compass note: CNN has put out a statement saying "CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam."

    Read here full article

    A boycott of Danish goods called by Muslim leaders over the publishing of cartoons of Prophet Mohammad is dealing a blow to the nation's businesses.

    Oil giant Iran became the latest nation to impose penalties, saying on Monday it would cut off all trade ties with Denmark. Reuters reported that Iran imports $280 million worth of goods from Denmark a year.

    A report on the state-run news agency IRNA said Iranian Commerce Minister Massoud Mirkazemi had stopped trade with Denmark, but certain types of machinery and medicine would be allowed in for another three months.

    Iran has withdrawn its ambassador to Denmark as well.

    Qatar's Chamber of Commerce said it had halted dealings with Danish and Norwegian delegations.

    In Bahrain, parliament formed a committee to contact Arab and Islamic governments to enforce the boycott.

    Iraq's transport ministry also said it was severing ties with the Danish and Norwegian governments, a move that includes terminating all contracts with companies based in those countries.
    France Soir -- a newspaper that published the cartoons of Mohammed -- was evacuated for nearly three hours Monday after receiving a bomb threat.

    Non-Danish companies have rushed in to tell consumers about the origin of their products in a bid to keep them on supermarket shelves.

    Switzerland's Nestle, Italy's Ferrero and New Zealand's dairy co-operative Fonterra were among the companies putting out newspaper ads showing their products were not made or imported from Denmark, according to Reuters.

    Danish-Swedish dairy company Arla Foods told Reuters it was losing $1.8 million of sales a day in the Middle East. Its products were removed from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

    "Not a single sachet of a Danish product is left on our shelves," the director of a Kuwaiti supermarket told Reuters.

    Danes Feel Threatened.

    The cartoons of Mohammed first appeared in a Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in September. The paper said it had asked cartoonists to draw the pictures because the media was censoring itself over Muslim issues.

  • The Danish paper issued an apology in late January after weeks of quieter expressions of outrage and diplomatic efforts to avoid the widespread violence.

    The Danish government says it does not control what is in the country's newspapers and that courts will determine whether the newspaper that originally published the cartoons is guilty of blasphemy.The government has also expressed apologies for the offending drawings.

    Denmark advised its citizens to leave Indonesia on Tuesday.

    "The Foreign Ministry recommends that Danes already in Indonesia leave and that those interested in coming postpone their plans," said Geert Aagaard Anderson, Denmark's ambassador to Indonesia, who said there was little security in place to protect his citizens.Danish missions in the country have been temporarily closed.Protests have been held in the capital, Jakarta, and at least two other cities, with demonstrators throwing rocks and setting fires at several Danish consulates.

    Anderson said he did not know exactly how many Danes were in Indonesia. Close to 250 have registered at the embassy, he said, but the number was likely much higher.Read here for more

    Malaysian Muslims will march to the Danish mission here later this week in protest against the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, an opposition Islamic party official said. Read here for more

    Many of the 5.5 million people of Denmark have been shocked by the extreme scenes of violence they've been witnessing across the Middle East directed towards their government. It is not accustomed to seeing its flag burned in the streets. Most say this is an over-reaction, a matter of freedom of speech and the paper did nothing wrong by printing the cartoon.

    They are concerned this issue may make Denmark a target of Muslim extremists in the future. The country already has troops in Iraq and that has led to some insecurity, they believe. They've also been threatened on the air waves by members of al Qaeda, but this has really taken on a new dimension. People in this quiet northern kingdom are feeling quite insecure now.

    The government of Denmark is more concerned about is the damage to the international image of their country: a country that they like to see as extremely tolerant and one that has respect for all religious groups. And this row has put a big dent in that image.Read here for more

    Some other European papers later published some of the cartoons, as a way of covering the controversy and also, some papers said, as a matter of freedom of expression.

    Two small weekly Jordanian newspapers also reprinted the cartoons and, according to Jordan's Petra News Agency, arrest warrants issued for the editors-in-chief.

    Two protesters were killed and 13 others injured, when Afghan police fired Monday on about 2,000 protesters who tried to enter Bagram Airbase, a U.S. base north of Kabul, The Associated Press reported.

    In Tehran, demonstrators protested outside the Danish Consulate and the Austrian Embassy. Austria is currently serving as president of the European Union.

    Other protests Monday took place in Amman, Tel Aviv, Gaza, Indian-controlled Kashmir, the Indian capital of New Delhi and Kut, a city in southern Iraq where about 5,000 people congregated, burned flags and burned an effigy of the Danish prime minister.

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    Comments 4


    Anonymous claus from Denmark said...

    Hi there

    Most of the Muslims in the world are living in the dark corner of Islam. But I have seen lots of moderat and progessiv Muslims, REAL Muslims who have seen this as a wakeup call and that Islam need to reform itself.

    And I fell sorry for everybody living in free countries and all peacefull Muslims, but what we now have to watch is radical "Muslims" desperat attempt to stop Islam reform itself to a secular religion.

    And becouse I'm Danish, I would like to clarify things a bit.

    In Denmark we have a long tradition for satirical drawings. Since religion in Denmark is regarded fairly much as a private matter, we often make fun of religious icons. At one point a Danish artist depicted Jesus on the cross with an erect penis. Imagine what would happen if someone did something similar to a Muslim icon like Mohammad!

    In this case, the drawings of Mohammad was published with the intent of starting a debate on self censorship and freedom of speech, when the issue is related to Islam and Muslims. A relevant debate, I shows!

    Now, Jyllands Posten - the newspaper that published the drawings - is indeed a right-wing liberal newspaper. However the term "right-wing" here in Denmark is perhaps not what you'd expect from ex. an American point of view. Right-wing here in Dk. is basically just conservative.

    A delegation of local Muslim leaders, with the Danish Muslim leader Abu-Laban (he's banned in Egypt, because they regard him as a terrorist, btw) in front then visited a bunch of countries in the Muslim world, to speak their case.

    They brought with them the 12 drawings plus a bunch of other drawings and photos, wich noone really know how they came about, since they we're certainly not printed in any Danish newspaper.

    It seems to me, that this hole case now basically is living a life of it's own, that not really is about these 12 drawings, so much as it is a case of Islamic cultures and traditions clashing.

    What puzzles me, however, is the fact that Denmark for the past 25 years has been one of the main contributors in the efforts of creating a sovereign state of Palestine.

    The Danish government has helped financially, politically and in all sorts of other ways. We have granted asylum to a massive amount of palestinians, and even tjetjen muslim rebels (to the clearly expressed dissatisfaction of the Russians).

    So It´s not Denmark or the Danish who having a problem and we WIIL pay the price for our freedom and we WILL share it with all, also real (peacefull) Muslims.

    God´s peace

    7:35 PM
    Anonymous Concerned Citizen said...


    You have to agree that the cartoons are provocative and deliberately meant to provoke.

    The response from angry Muslims' around the world to the extent of setting on fire buildings is uncalled for and cannot be condoned.

    But this explanation or condemnation of the Muslims extreme anger does not account for the inculcated belief of Muslims since the advent of Islam and their religious fervour, which the Western journalists such as those in the Danish newspaper, failed to understand, with regard to the protection of the image and descriptin of Prophet Muhammad. They will die for that.

    Journalists are expected not to reinforce prejudice but to expose the negative attitudes and behaviour of society. The Mass Media has a social responsibility to society and communities they serve.

    As for Denmark, it is reported ( that a group of Danish Muslim clerics had approached the Danish Prime Minister to respond to the issue, knowing that if the Danish Govt is hands-off on the cartoons,there is an undercurrent of distress.

    But he refused. And the rest is history.

    It is indeed extremely UNFAIR that ordinary Danes and other European citizens, have to pay the price for the arrogance, insensitivity and callousness of these callous journalists.

    The Journalists have ABUSED the principle of freedom of expression to provoke. They, as journalists, should know the consequences of such extreme religious provocation and they should bear the FULL responsibility of the fallout and the consequences we see today.

    The Danes should focus on their journalist and bring them to account for their actions first and then seek to address the extreme response of the Danish Muslims.

    As Danes, there is nothing much that can be done to what Muslims in other countries do. But certainly there is much can be done with Denmark ie politics, the religious extremism and the code of conduct of Danish journalists

    2:40 AM
    Blogger Mai said...


    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a mercy to all human beings, regardless of their religious background. We, as his followers, must live and spread this message today at a time when hatefulness and ugliness towards each other has become the norm.

    The statements of the world well-known personalities about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), like Sir George Bernard Shaw, Michael H. Hart, Encyclopedia Britannica, Thomas Calyle, Mahatma Gandhi, Lamar Tine and Prof. Rama Krishna Rao etc.


    ".... A mass of detail in the early sources show that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men." (Vol. 12)

    Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.

    "If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."

    "I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion, which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."

    "I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."

    He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.

    "HIS NAME IS MUHAMMAD" May Peace of God Be Upon Him (pbuh) He was born in Arabia in the year 570 C.E. (common era), started his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, Islam (submission to One God) at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three.

    During this short period of 23 years of his Prophethood, he changed the complete Arabian peninsula from paganism and idolatry to worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since - and IMAGINE all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.

    MICHAEL H. HART in his recently published book on ratings of men who contributed towards the

    benefit and upliftment of mankind writes:

    "My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels." (M.H. Hart, THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York, 1978, p. 33) Lamar tine the renowned historian speaking on the essentials of human greatness wonders:

    "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls.... his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was two-fold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words.

    "Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is MUHAMMAD. As regards all the standards by which Human Greatness may be measured, we may well ask, IS THERE ANY MAN GREATER THAN HE?"

    (Lamar tine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp 276-277)

    The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one-sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields, such as religious thought or military leadership. The lives and teachings of these great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and place of their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity to reconstruct accurately the lives and teachings of these men.

    Not so this man. Muhammad (pbuh) accomplished so much in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior in the fullest blaze of human history. Every detail of his private life and public utterances has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticities of the record so preserved are vouched for not only by the faithful followers but also even by his prejudiced critics.

    Muhammad (pbuh) was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father - all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life - but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (pbuh) to achieve such incredible perfections.

    MAHATMA GANDHI Speaking on the character of Muhammad, (pbuh) says in YOUNG INDIA:

    "I wanted to know the best of one who holds today's undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to this friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life."

    THOMAS CALYLE in his HEROES AND HEROWORSHIP, was simply amazed as to:

    "How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."

    "The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."

    "A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world's Maker had ordered so."


    "Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him." (D.C. Sharma, THE PROPHETS OF THE EAST, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12)

    EDWARD GIBBON and SIMON OCKLEY speaking on the profession of ISLAM write:

    "'I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, AND MAHOMET, AN APOSTLE OF GOD' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honor of the Prophet has never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion." (HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRES, London, 1870, p. 54) Muhammad (pbuh) was nothing more or less than a human being. But he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God,' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.

    The famous poetess of India, SAROJINI NAIDU says:

    "It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: 'God Alone is Great'... I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother." S. Naidu, IDEALS OF ISLAM, vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, 1918, p. 169)

    In the words of PROF. HURGRONJE:

    "The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations." He continues: "The fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations."

    The world has not hesitated to raise to divinity, individuals whose lives and missions have been lost in legend. Historically speaking, none of these legends achieved even a fraction of what Muhammad (pbuh) accomplished. And all his striving was for the sole purpose of uniting mankind for the worship of One God on the codes of moral excellence. Muhammad (pbuh) or his followers never at any time claimed that he was a Son of God or the God-incarnate or a man with divinity - but he always was and is even today considered as only a Messenger chosen by God.

    K. S. RAMAKRISHNA RAO, an Indian Professor of Philosophy in his booklet, "Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam," calls him the "PERFECT MODEL FOR HUMAN LIFE." Prof. Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by saying: "The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."

    Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of MUHAMMAD (pbuh) have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not a claim of Muhammad's (pbuh) followers but also the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.

    The least you could do, as Muslims or non-Muslims, as thinking and concerned human beings, is to stop for a moment and ask yourself: These statements/comments sounding so extraordinary and revolutionary come from renown and intellectually honest and internationally recognized persons of their times who were not Muslim. Isn't it time for all Muslims and non Muslims to respond to this tremendous challenge and put in some effort to know him, follow him and emulate him in our day to day life? It will cost us nothing but it may prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in our lives.


    Courtesy: Abdullah AM []

    Compiled, edited and adapted by Khalid Latif

    7:47 AM
    Blogger News Compass said...

    Girl On the Bridge

    Thanks for the posting. That is enlightening to know.

    8:07 AM

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