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Pakistan Court Orders Facebook Ban Over Mohammed Images 949

Posted by timothy
from the certainly-should-block-wikipedia-too-then dept.
jitendraharlalka writes with this excerpt from Al Jazeera English: "A Pakistani court has issued a ban on the social networking site Facebook after a user-generated contest page encouraged members to post caricatures of Prophet Mohammed. The Lahore High Court on Wednesday instructed the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to ban the site after the Islamic Lawyers Movement complained that a page called 'Draw Mohammed Day' is blasphemous. ... 'We have already blocked the URL link and issued instruction to Internet service providers,' Khurram Mehran, a spokesperson for the PTA, said."
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Pakistan Court Orders Facebook Ban Over Mohammed Images

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  • Censorship (Score:0, Insightful)

    by micronix1 (590179) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:01PM (#32270656)
    They should block Google too then.
  • Seems reasonable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:03PM (#32270674)

    A theocracy would probably want to ban intentional mass blasphemy, especially when it was done for commercial purposes.

  • LOL.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:04PM (#32270690) Homepage Journal

    LOLMohammad?

    Someone has had to have done that somewhere, right?

    I don't get it. I mean, sure, I respect the Muslim religion, just as I respect Christianity, Buddhism*, etc.

    But fuck man, relax. It's just those heathen bastards (who are gonna go to hell according to you anyway) so let them have their fun. Please, tell me, exactly HOW does this defile Mohammad? Dude's been dead for a long time. Trust me, he don't give a damn.

    *Has this been deemed an official religion?

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:06PM (#32270706) Journal

    There is no such thing as a reasonable theocracy.

    -jcr

  • Blasphemy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash@omnifar i o u s.org> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:08PM (#32270724) Homepage Journal

    How anybody who isn't a member of a religion could be committing blasphemy within the framework of that religion is beyond me.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:09PM (#32270734) Homepage Journal

    I don't share the view of the extremists, but how does not drawing the Prophet Mohamed hurt anyone?

    I don't share the view of the extremists, but how does DRAWING the Prophet Mohammad hurt anyone?

  • Re:Where is it? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Edisman (726822) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:09PM (#32270742)

    Here [facebook.com]

    Also, a little background, courtesy of Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

  • Bomb me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeadJesusRodeo (1813846) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:11PM (#32270760)
    -
    ( ) - Hi! I'm the Prophet Mohammed! I KILL YOU!
    -
    |
    /|\
    |
    / \

    Now kill everyone on Slashdot for Allah because of my "art".
  • Re:Blasphemy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bragador (1036480) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:12PM (#32270772)

    They believe they have the truth. So, even if you don't believe, you would be sinning against their prophet and Allah. For them, you are simply blind. You don't have the right to a different opinion since yours would be false.

    It's the same thing with Christians that follow the rules by the book.

  • by Cheezymadman (1083175) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:12PM (#32270780)
    There isn't even such thing as a reasonable theist.
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:14PM (#32270802)

    I don't agree with how Thunderf00t is conveying his message but he has made an important point. Islamic Censorship has gone way way too far. I support free speech, and secular, rational thinking. I do think that religion is sort of the Human biological equivalent of a computer virus, or malware. (Most Windows users on the face of the Earth are infected with malware of some sort. Equivalently, most Human brains are infected with a Malware called Religion. The virus is different in different parts of the world, but its still a virus.

    Computer malware makes computers function in ways it shouldn't to propagate the virus. Religion makes Humans behave in ways or experience things in ways they shouldn't. Computer viruses are created by malicious Humans to steal money, and cover commit other crimes. Religions exist to steal money, and rationalize the committing of other crimes that would not normally be acceptable in secular culture.

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:14PM (#32270806)

    I can definitely understand iconoclasm - the desire to prevent mere symbols from being more important than the core idea. Applied to Islam, it would be a prophet's desire that his message not be cheapened by allowing it to be tied too deeply with its imperfect messenger.

    What I don't understand is how that is turned around and transformed into these series of death threats (and actions, and laws) that in effect make the depiction of the man more important than the depiction of the beliefs he was supposed to represent.

    Is that really the first priority for those who want to spread the ultimate revealed truth of the universe - playing image police against every person who is not a believer? Seems a rather silly priority to have in the context.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:17PM (#32270842)

    How about a photo? Like maybe Andreas Serrano's "Piss Christ".......as far as I know, Serrano is still walking the streets (no bodyguards) without fear of being beheaded.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:18PM (#32270856) Journal

    To answer your *, yes, Buddhism pretty much is a religion. Though you'd be hard pressed to find any idol or deities associated with it. It aims to answer the same basic questions and tries to guide you in the same aspects of life.

    And also yes, Mohammed has been depicted quite a few times before, but not usually without reprimand or on such large scales. There was a cartoonist who depicted him, with a bomb for a turban, and that caused quite an uproar, as you can imagine. Not too long ago either.

    It is just religious fanatics who are threateningly upset by it. If someone went around to all the Jewish homes in New York and put Ham on the door handles, you bet it'd make the news. That's kind of whats happening here, it's just one of those things that would be like being disrespectful on purpose.

    I can understand their anger, but not normally their reaction. Can't act like Christians are any less barbaric, they are some of the strongest supporters of the military, and the military is occupying the middle east.

    Disclaimer: You can spare the "I'm Christian and I don't support the military" and the likes kind of comments. This is all generalization, and stereotyping. I know not everyone feels the same way, and neither do the Muslims. There are quite a large number of Muslims who don't really care if you draw Mohammed, its your undoing to them.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:22PM (#32270916)

    I respect the Muslim religion, just as I respect Christianity, Buddhism*, etc.

    I don't. Adults having imaginary friends sounds more like a serious mental condition that needs professional treatment, not respect.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:23PM (#32270928)

    OK ... I think that women should be free, not slaves. Evolution is pretty obvious, killing innocents is a sin, I could go on ...

    Why do THEY get to offend my religious sensibilities? Why should their ideas get precedence?

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by P0ltergeist333 (1473899) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:23PM (#32270930)

    Respect the status quo, never question authority or religion. Never do anything controversial. People have a right to not be offended.- Things a total tool says.

  • What does it take? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:27PM (#32270982)

    What does it take to get Facebook banned in the US? I'm totally behind that project. /me checks his Facebook account.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Domini (103836) <lailoken@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:28PM (#32270992) Journal

    How does not sharing your point of view hurt anyone?

    Enough said.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:30PM (#32271002)

    My parents taught me that sticking my hand into a fire was hot, that I'd get hurt and that I shouldn't do it. Surely these Facebook taunters learned that too?

    That's not being prudent. That's being a coward.

    Surely you're not suggesting that we relinquish our right to draw WHATEVER THE FUCK WE PLEASE, because someone is threatening us with bodily harm if we draw something that displeases them.

    It is only natural for people to resist when their most basic right of self-expression is violated.

    At this point, western democracies need to make a stand against the violence of radical Islam, even if it takes such comical form. If we fold any time they threaten us with violence, then we will live according to THEIR rules in no time.

  • Re:Blasphemy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash@omnifar i o u s.org> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:30PM (#32271012) Homepage Journal

    So, basically, everybody is Muslim already whether they like it or not?

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hrimhari (1241292) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:32PM (#32271028) Journal

    I don't support any of the two views (extremists and provocateurs), but the message you are passing is:

    "Certain religious people have some sensibility to something. If you provoke them and they kill you, it's your fault".

    It's that kind of message that encourages the provocateurs, not the sensibility. It's just disrespectful (while maybe a service) to make fun of other people's sensibilities, religious or not. But it's simply unacceptable to consider such a reaction acceptable.

    Religion is free to tell their believers what they cannot do. But they cross the line when they want non-believers to abide to their laws.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:34PM (#32271052)

    It's amazing that a bunch of punk kids from Australia, US and UK can have this kind of impact, lol.

    Its not them per se, its a slow news day so they got lots of publicity from CNN and Fox at which point it became front page news and the ultra-conservatives couldn't ignore that. That's kinda the way "news" works - its designed to either make you mad or make you sad. This one has been a vicious circle where one group gets to get mad about what another group does in response to news making them mad.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by melikamp (631205) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:34PM (#32271056) Homepage Journal
    What I cannot wrap my head around are the instances where radicals want people in other countries, with different laws, to obey a radical Islamic law. WTF? How would they feel if the United States used violence to make them obey laws they don't care about? Oh, nevermind...
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:38PM (#32271104)

    How about a photo? Like maybe Andreas Serrano's "Piss Christ".......as far as I know, Serrano is still walking the streets (no bodyguards) without fear of being beheaded.

    On the flipside, Michael Moore had to hire a handful of bodyguards after he released Fahrenheit 9/11.

    Or how about Jesse Helms stating that Bill Clinton had "better bring a bodyguard" if he comes to North Carolina?

  • De-facto worship (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:44PM (#32271194)

    The actual problem is that an image of Mohammed might lead to Mohammed worship instead of worship of Allah.

    Of course worship of Mohammed is exactly what has happened. Anyone held in that much reverence is de-facto being worshiped.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:52PM (#32271310)

    It's not to get a rise out of htem, it's to demonstrate to a small minority of radicals that their extreme religious beliefs do not trump the free speech of others, and that the attempts of extremists to kill and censor such speech will not be tolerated by the world community.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:54PM (#32271344)

    One right we absolutely don't have is the right to not be offended.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:54PM (#32271346) Journal

    If you know he's imaginary, why would you need him anymore? Why does our hypothetical Christian need an imaginary friend to tell him not to be an asshat?

  • Re:Blasphemy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by masmullin (1479239) <masmullin@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:56PM (#32271370)

    Christians that follow the rules by the book

    Define this please. I find that Christians who claim to follow "the book" are in fact, not following "the book." I find that the MORE they claim to follow the book, the less they actually are.

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:59PM (#32271406)

    Funny thing is, you really have to either admit that the Quran is open to some interpretation, or admit that marrying kids is okay. Some people say that, because sometimes at the time the first digit was left off when it was known (ex a 23 year old marking their age as 3 when it was known that they were in their twenties), so some say Aisha may have been 19. I don't know if that's true or not though, so take that with a grain of salt. Also, some might say that, because such things were products of their time, it should be viewed in the context day. For the hardline theotards though, that's reinterpreting the Quran, which is a big no-no, but you never hear then really caring that their profit is a pedophile. The finer points of logic are often lost on people like that. Muslims can believe whatever they want, but they should think about it. Do you modernize and moderate your faith, or is you god's number one dude a pedophile? Those are your only two options, pick one.

  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@NospAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:00PM (#32271420)

    That may explain why they are like that, but it does not excuse it. Christian atrocities were unacceptable then, and Islamic atrocities are unacceptable now.

    Also, cultural relativism should kindly go fuck itself.

  • by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:01PM (#32271428) Homepage


    What I don't understand is how that is turned around and transformed into these series of death threats (and actions, and laws) that in effect make the depiction of the man more important than the depiction of the beliefs he was supposed to represent.

    There's something about the human brain that makes it prone to crazy fanaticism. It doesn't matter if it's Islam, Christianity, or PETA. I really think it's more about the group dynamics and such that bring it about rather than the actual thing people are being fanatical about. Rational thought doesn't really enter into it. It's about defending and maintaining your group, not the actual offense.

  • Re:Blasphemy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:03PM (#32271452)

    Idiot.

    I'm not an apologist for either, but before you equalize the two religions, try this- (Note- To be able to complete this experiment, you'll have to perform these steps in the correct order.)

              * Go to the Vatican. Start yelling that God doesn't exist. Bring a drawing of Jesus and spit on it.

              * Now go to Mecca. Start yelling that Allah doesn't exist. Bring a drawing of the prophet and spit on it.

    Don't forget that the acts taken against you in Mecca will be state-sanctioned as well.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:03PM (#32271472) Journal

    I'll never understand why respecting someone else's religious views (or lack there of) is such a bad thing?

    I don't know that I'd call it a bad thing, but I, personally, tend to respect things which deserve respect, because I, y'know, actually feel respect for them. I don't respect things just to spare someone's feelings.

    Everybody Draw Mohammed Day is only being done to prove those Muslims who who are offended by it.

    Actually, no, it's about freedom of speech, and about proving that chilling effect no longer works when we have the courage to stand up to them. Here's a much better explanation [youtube.com] from the guy who started it.

    when someone gets hurt or killed those who are on the receiving end of the violence will act as though they are surprised by it.

    Surprised? No, but disappointed as hell. Whatever happened to "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

    No one should have to suffer a death threat for writing a book, drawing a picture, or saying something you don't like.

    Don't poke a bear with a stick - it never ends well.

    No one's poking anyone. We are provoking, yes, but with words.

    And the people we're provoking are humans, which means they're capable of coming up with fair retaliation -- like, say, blaspheming against our respective religions -- instead of killing people.

  • We could just as well as said 'draw jesus fucking magdalene' or jesus jacking off cartoon - or the three wise men making out with mary.

    Indeed -- but the point here is that if that's what it was, there would be no death threats, riots, or banning of websites from entire countries (except maybe Ireland or Rome).

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:09PM (#32271548)

    One word... tolerance.

    Bill Maher said it best on that one.

    Let us not become so tolerant, that we tolerate intolerance.

    There is nothing I could possibly add to that.

    Grow up, boy.

    Join the real world, take your head out of your ass and looking around you - if you do that you'll see most Muslims are normal people like you and me just getting on with their day who don't give a toss about insignificant little bigots like you.

    So asserting my constitutional rights makes me a bigot now?

    What does the rant above make you?

    Oh, and while we're on the subject of religious violence, just how many gun-toting Christians are there in the US?

    Plenty. Yet if I draw a Jesus taking a load in the face, I can walk down the street reasonably sure that I'm not going to get shot.

    How 'bout that?

  • Re:Blasphemy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sznupi (719324) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:09PM (#32271552) Homepage

    Islam isn't that far from Christianity...
    Same thing doesn't manifest itself the other way around in other discussions probably simply because, all things considered, most people here don't really give a frak about Islam; it's virtually not present in their lives. But sure, just different manifestations of the same mechanisms, if it makes you happier; is that disclaimer really needed with every post about some mythology?

    PS. Don't pretend that Christians (at least some groups of them...the rest giving those groups power) don't do censorship, also in supposed "free speech land". Can you see any tits on streets? Daytime TV? What about those "too violent" games or need to shield children from harmfull cults?

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:14PM (#32271606) Journal

    One word... tolerance.

    Good point. Radical Muslims should really be more tolerant of those who do not follow their religion, and are therefore not bound by its rules.

    Grow up, boy. When you get to middle-age like me you begin to understand that life is about tolerating and making allowances for others and not letting insignificant bits of crap ruin your day.

    We're still talking about the Muslims who get so worked up over a cartoon that they want to kill someone over it, right?

    Join the real world, take your head out of your ass and looking around you - if you do that you'll see most Muslims are normal people like you and me just getting on with their day who don't give a toss about insignificant little bigots like you.

    Any Muslim who is a normal person like me won't give a shit about any cartoon. Anyone making threats over a cartoon simply needs to learn not to take themselves so seriously.

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    Well, western democracies block cartoon image of children [wordpress.com], so I guess the great karma circle is now complete. Or else it's a death spiral of censorship. Either way, the outrage brigade gets what they want and the rest of us will just have to accept a more restricted web whether we live in Karachi or California.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:20PM (#32271706)
    They are not comparable. There is a difference between receiving "death threats" from random lunatics and having an organization of lunatics out to kill you over art. Look at the South Park controversy, there is a big difference no one tried to put a car filled with explosives over Piss Christ.

    And also, the main reason why Piss Christ was so controversial is because it received taxpayer funds, had it been purely funded by private means, there would be little to no controversy.

    There is a big difference between a website (Revolution Muslim) advocating (in essence) murder of the cartoonists and a few mentally unstable people giving idle threats. There is a big difference between a few wasted drops of ink and a car appearing at your headquarters filled with explosives.

    So, no, they are not comparable.
  • by Phantom of the Opera (1867) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:21PM (#32271720) Homepage

    Let me break it down for you:

    If you do not know that they are imaginary, then you are a loon. Because they are, in fact, imaginary to everyone else, including the members of your own religion, who imagine them differently. Still, this case is relatively harmless.

    If you do know that they are imaginary, but still go through the motions, then you are just like the pope and most of the clergy: you don't really believe jack shit, except that you deserve to get your cut for telling people what you know are lies. For example, pope's complete disregard for the New Testament ethics is plainly evidenced by his treatment of celibacy, contraceptives, priests who molest children -- you name it. They are all case 2, and we know they are in it just for the money and the power. What's the harm, you say?

    You are thinking too concretely. Please note the difference :

    • I believe that unicorns exist
    • I believe that the idea of unicorns exists

    Now consider :

    • I believe the Ideal Gas Law is true.
    • I believe the Ideal Gas Law is a reasonable model for simple cases.

    If I said 'Santa is generous', I think most people would agree, and not be mislead into thinking that I actually believe there is a Santa. I can believe 'Santa is Generous' without needing to believe that Santa is a real person.

    Too subtle? Too nuts?

  • "Simple" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:22PM (#32271756) Homepage Journal

    My God is real.
    Your God is not real
    My God doesn't want people to do X
    This applies to everyone because they're believing in the wrong God.
    Doing Gods work gets me into heaven.
    These people insult God, therefore killing them means I'm protecting God.
    Therefore God owes me a seat.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interval1066 (668936) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:25PM (#32271788) Homepage Journal

    "So because no one can rule out complete solipsism people have to take claims about God seriously?

    If I had a dollar for every theist who asked me to disprove God... And another for every time I have to explain logical fallacies and critical thought...

  • Appease much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:25PM (#32271790)

    I'll never understand why respecting someone else's religious views (or lack there of) is such a bad thing?

    Because many religions (particularly christianity and islam) actively seek to impose their worldview on those who do not share their beliefs. It is a key part of their belief system that they expressly do not respect the fact that I don't believe in their god. According to some of them I should be put to death for not converting to their irrational worship. Adults who believe you should respect their imaginary friends and will hurt you if you don't is not something I'm particularly inclined to respect. If they keep their crazy beliefs to themselves they'll never have a problem with me. But there always seem to be those who can't resist trying to convert the unbelievers by any means necessary.

    Disrespecting their religious views just to get a rise out of them is counterproductive, and when someone gets hurt or killed those who are on the receiving end of the violence will act as though they are surprised by it.

    Surprised? I don't think anyone is surprised at how crazy religious zealots get. That is also not a compelling argument for appeasing them or their crazy irrational beliefs.

    Don't poke a bear with a stick - it never ends well.

    Depends on who is doing the poking.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:34PM (#32271908)

    So they don't like caricatures of Mohammed, is it *REALLY* that important you somehow earn the right to be able to do it?

    Yes. That is part of freedom of speech it isn't the freedom to say "lets all be happy in our current situation, the USA is the best and Obama/Bush are gods!" that isn't freedom, every country gives you the "freedom" to say good things. Freedom of speech means that I can say fuck Obama, Bush, the USA, the UN, Jesus, Moses, Mohamed, Buddha, The war on terror, communism, capitalism, socialism, etc. that is freedom of speech.

    Why is it that Muslims get a free pass? You know what? I could draw a cartoon of Jesus screwing Moses and I doubt I'd get any thing more than a few laughs, a few angry e-mails and such. If I push it forth I /might/ get a death threat. I'm sure as hell not going to get a car laden with explosives parked outside my house though. I'm not going to get killed, I'm going to get perhaps a boycott of any further art I draw, etc.

    http://reason.com/archives/2010/05/14/the-poet-versus-the-prophet [reason.com] is a very interesting article. Why is it that every, single, other religion has embraced tolerance other than Islam? If Islam is so tolerant then why aren't the Islamic leaders doing more to embrace it?

    And how about if a group of Muslims in Afghanistan started posting cartoons on Facebook of injured American or British soldiers? Are you going to sit back and laugh about it because "It's their right" to do so?

    I wouldn't laugh at it, I would respect their right to free speech and do nothing. I don't believe in censorship of any kind, they have their right to post what they want, I post what I want, if I don't like it -gasp- I don't have to look at it.

    Grow up, boy. When you get to middle-age like me you begin to understand that life is about tolerating and making allowances for others and not letting insignificant bits of crap ruin your day.

    So we should "tolerate" the fact that Islam can get a free pass of criticism but every other religion we can do whatever?

    Join the real world, take your head out of your ass and looking around you - if you do that you'll see most Muslims are normal people like you and me just getting on with their day who don't give a toss about insignificant little bigots like you.

    Yeah, most are. However, their leaders are advocating religious violence. I don't see the current Pope saying we should have a mass genocide of non-catholics but yet Islamic leaders are basically saying the same thing.

    Oh, and while we're on the subject of religious violence, just how many gun-toting Christians are there in the US?

    I don't see Christians making death threats and attempting to carry them out on cartoonists who make fun of Jesus or any other biblical figure.

    In short, out of all the religions in the world at the present age, it is only Islam that advocates violence for such stupid, insignificant things as cartoons.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:37PM (#32271932) Journal
    Which is really just an extension of the principle that, any time power is concentrated in a small group of people, it will go bad eventually.
  • by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:40PM (#32271978)

    But going out of your way to say "fuck you, here's what we think of your religion" just to try to provoke a group of extremists who are prone to violence doesn't make much sense.

    It makes plenty of sense in the same way that mass protests against a misbehaving government make sense. If you tell them "the emperor has no clothes" just by yourself they might kill you. If thousands or millions say something is crazy, irrational and wrong then it is harder for those in power to push back. There is power in groups of people who are unwilling to be cowed by those in power. This demand that we "respect" their religious idol is an attempt to coerce MY behavior and I'm not willing to be coerced. When hundreds of thousands of people point out that they are being a bully and aren't going to take it any more then the crazies lose power.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:40PM (#32271980)

    I'll never understand why respecting someone else's religious views (or lack there of) is such a bad thing?

    Making some reasonable effort to show respect isn't always bad, but always respecting everyone's views is simply not possible. For example, I cannot show complete respect for a radical Christians's views that all adulterers should be stoned to death without disrespecting another radical Christian's views that the old testament laws don't apply anymore and that stoning adulterers is wrong. Incompatible world views exist, it's simply our choice as to which one's we're going to upset with our activities. Heck, a PETA member might even argue that poking that bear will end well for the bear when it gets a man-sized meal, so go ahead.

  • by The Hatchet (1766306) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:42PM (#32271990)

    morality can easily exist without religion. In fact its better. In the bible, people are punished terribly and painfully for even the slightest sin, or possibly forgiven for the worst sins if they can make jesus orgasm. Oh, and if you don't, you get tortured for eternity. And people think Gitmo was bad. Hitler ain't got SHIT on God. God is perhaps the most unethical proposed existence I have ever heard of.

    Human rights? They are fought by religion, and protected by the same people who work to protect truth, science, and logic.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alien1024 (1742918) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:44PM (#32272022)
    Like some have stated here, there are many schools of Buddhism and their beliefs vary, but in general Buddha is not seen as a deity. It may refer to the historic Gautama Buddha, the concept of Buddha nature or a human that has attained supreme enlightenment. None of these are deities. Other beings in Buddhism, such as the Devas, are closer to what is referred to as deity in other religions, but not quite.
  • Re:What A Mess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by White Flame (1074973) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:45PM (#32272030)

    I'll tell you exactly why: There is a strong sense of condescension behind political correctness and "tolerance".

    I think the whole concept distills down to "Oh, we civilized people should be tolerant of others, but these $OTHER_FOLK are less civilized/human and therefore we can't expect them to understand tolerance."

    It's a back-handed, dehumanizing degrading of those they claim to "tolerate", while they smugly hide behind politically correct terminology.

    Either that, or a pure self-hatred of progress and its "costs", thus deferring to anybody seen as more primitive to literally take over with their more-in-tune-with-the-universe ways. Which again is still a degrading insult in how they relatively view their target of "tolerance".

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:48PM (#32272078)

    It offends their religious sensibilities. I'll never understand why respecting someone else's religious views (or lack there of) is such a bad thing?

    Then why is it that every single other religion has grown out of these stupidities and don't resort to violence in the 21st century.

    Why is it that I can make cartoons of Jesus all I want, make fun of Buddha, criticize Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism), declare that the big bang was a myth, prove Zeus never existed, and any other religious symbol other than those related to Islam and various small, irrational cults and have nothing more than angry letters?

    There is a difference between respect and cowardice. And my respect ends when a religion tramples over human rights to make a point.

    Every other religion has earned the right to have respect other than Islam and a few small cults. They don't trample over human rights and don't resort to violence. Why Islam gets a free pass is only because of cowardice.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Spoonman (634311) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:49PM (#32272084) Homepage
    I guess we can shut down all the schools of theology, monasteries, and the philosophers who study religion can find new pursuits.

    An idea I can get behind. Ending the wasting of time, money and lives studying things that don't exist or matter would really make the world a better place.
  • by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:52PM (#32272112)

    Grow up, boy.

    I'll jump in since I'm WELL past the age where I could be described as a "boy" you condescending prick.

    When you get to middle-age like me you begin to understand that life is about tolerating and making allowances for others and not letting insignificant bits of crap ruin your day.

    Bullshit. There are sometimes things that cannot under any circumstances be tolerated. There are some world views that simply cannot peacefully coexist. There are those who will attempt to conquer, destroy, enslave and humiliate. I should just tolerate this? I think you are the one who needs a dose of the real world.

    Oscar Wilde actually said it best "everything in moderation, including moderation". That applies to tolerance too.

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by warrior389 (314070) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:58PM (#32272184)

    You mean just like Saint Joseph the pedophile, husband of Mary the Mother of Jesus. Just seems like you're implying that Islam is unique in this. It was common at the time for girls to marry around 13.

  • by Phrogman (80473) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:04PM (#32272230) Homepage

    Between that and the Anti-Choice movement folks who post abortion doctors home addresses and schedules on websites, just in case any of their viewers want to go sniping that day. Hatred is hatred, and just as unacceptable for Christians as it is in Muslims.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by st0rmshad0w (412661) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:18PM (#32272416)

    I'll never understand why respecting someone else's religious views (or lack there of) is such a bad thing?

    It is MY belief that I should be free from anyone else's "religious" bullshit and that if they choose to try to push it on me that I should be free to kill them in the manner that I deem fit.

    So you can respect MY beliefs as well.

    Anyone who wants to do me harm for NOT cowing to their beliefs is going to meet a miserable end if they want to get into my face about it. Period. Full stop. End of fucking story.

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:39PM (#32272664) Homepage Journal

    It was common at the time for girls to marry around 13.

    By your standard, then, we can all agree that he was a pedophile [wikipedia.org] because

    Muhammad is said to have asked her to arrange for him to marry both. Traditional sources dictate that Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad but the marriage was not consummated until she was nine or ten years old.

    You know, I have to give the old goat props in that he invented a much more viral religion than Ronnie Hubbard. You get to marry kids (if you're into that sort of thing), if anyone disagrees with you then it's probably because they're infidels and you may kill them and take their stuff, and you can beat your wife [youtube.com] to keep her in line as long as you do it right. Ron aimed for the idle wealthy. Hammy snared the disenfranchised, uneducated masses. They don't make nearly as much on average, but there's an awful lot more of them.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:44PM (#32272718) Homepage Journal

    If you brought Catholics from a few centuries ago back to the future they would have lots of fun with car bombs too.

    First, ever heard of Ireland? Second, with that notable exception (which wasn't motivated by religion anyway), Catholics have moved past that. I have no love for the Catholic church but they're not relevant to this conversation.

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:46PM (#32272740)
    But there is a big difference. I'd like to think that humanity as a global race has changed and become much more enlightened over the years. This isn't the 1400s anymore, things have changed. We've realized things through the aid of science and exploration that humans with different beliefs are equally human and that the most prosperous countries are that with a diverse religious population.

    Language and transmission speed hindrances are now nearly gone, I don't have to rely on Marco Polo's journals to tell me what life is like in the far east, I can easily go to a Chinese website, open up Google translate and have a good idea of what its saying in an instant. Things need no longer be exaggerated to help fuel a cause, if I want to know what life is like in Israel I only need to hop on the internet and not listen to a local Bishop retelling what a person said that said what the Pope said who heard it from a traveler who heard it from a peasant.
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:12PM (#32273034)
    Again, there is still a difference.

    People who disagree with abortion view it as murder. People who disagree with the Mohammed images at most can say its "blasphemy". If your going to go after someone, it makes a whole lot more sense to go after someone who you view is a murder than someone who is "defaming" someone who has been dead for centuries.

    There is no comparison in this day and age between Islamic violence and violence from almost every other religion.
  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:14PM (#32273068)
    I think we can all agree that there's a big difference between depictions of child molestation/rape and cartoons poking fun at a religious figure. I don't agree with the banning of the former. While horrid, sick, and depraved, there is still the fact that nobody was harmed in their creation.
  • Re:What A Mess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:22PM (#32273152) Journal

    If a woman goes out in the street, not wearing a tent-like burka, it's totally her fault when she get raped, and we should beat her to death for being such a slut? Thats the actual law in some countries! You seem to be OK with that line of reasoning, so I guess it's no surprise that you're defending a religion stuck in the middle ages.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:35PM (#32273274) Homepage Journal

    And if you consider a right to draw religious cartoons as being important, then can I suggest you get yourself a better hobby, because you clearly have far too much free time in your day.

    If you don't see that the right to draw religious cartoons is important, then you don't understand free speech at all.

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:38PM (#32273318) Journal

    In the society in which Muhammad and Aisha lived, marrying at 7 and consummating at 10 was not uncommon, either.

    Anyway, I don't see why this particular side of Islam is raised so much. It's really nothing but an appeal to emotion, dressed in such a way as to be a surefire flamebait in today's pedo-witchhunt climate.

    There are much better, rational reasons to denounce Islam. Let's focus on them. The whole "Muhammad is a pedophile" meme is childish and does a disservice to the cause.

  • Re:What A Mess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:42PM (#32273372)

    It offends their religious sensibilities. I'll never understand why respecting someone else's religious views (or lack there of) is such a bad thing?

    Respect is not carte blanc. If I go to someone's place of worship or home, I'm going to have the decency to respect their religion and customs; wear a hat, take off your shoes, be a part of the group singing the song, etc. But that begins to wane once we're out the door. If they want to come over to my house, I'm going to want that same level of respect. As a good host, it'd be respectful for me to provide hamburgers as well as the pork ribs that I think really makes a good BBQ. And I'm not going to be offended if someone must pass on my killer baby back ribs that's one of my specialties. But we're not going to dump out the rack of ribs because someone's religion prohibits pork and it's ludicrous to listen to any such demands.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:47PM (#32273420)

    morality can easily exist without religion. In fact its better. In the bible, people are punished terribly and painfully for even the slightest sin, or possibly forgiven for the worst sins if they can make jesus orgasm. Oh, and if you don't, you get tortured for eternity. And people think Gitmo was bad. Hitler ain't got SHIT on God. God is perhaps the most unethical proposed existence I have ever heard of.

    Human rights? They are fought by religion, and protected by the same people who work to protect truth, science, and logic.

    What is the basis for morality without a Higher Power? Why should I follow your morals if the physical is all there is?

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:51PM (#32273470) Journal

    I simply don't believe that the right to attack someone else's religious beliefs is particularly important

    The right to freedom of speech and expression is important.

    This includes the right to "attack someone's religious beliefs", because it cannot be excluded without ruining the whole concept, and because "attack" is so vague and ill-defined as to be effectively a blanket restrictions.

    Muslims are "offended" by any depiction of Muhammad. This includes historical representations used for educational purposes (have a look at all the death threats etc in talk page history of WP article for Muhammad sometime). They are also, apparently, offended by "revealing dresses" that modern western women wear (e.g. exposing legs or navel...).

    Someone, somewhere, might be offended by me shaving my beard (that'd be Muslims too, actually - at least Salafi consider shaving beard to be haraam), or by the fact that my t-shirt is blue.

    Clearly, the only reasonable approach is unrestricted freedom of expression.

  • by sayfawa (1099071) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:59PM (#32273532)
    While I agree with you completely, I don't think that's the big reason why morality without religion is better than with. The big reason is that a grown person should be able to tell between right and wrong without the threat of punishment by a glorified Santa Klaus hanging over their heads. If they can't, that just shows them to be immature at best, dangerous at worst and, ironically, immoral in either case. What happens when their deity tells them to do something horrible? Oh wait, we already know.
  • Re:Blasphemy? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:04PM (#32273584)

    I find all forms of religion equally insane

    says Jedi Alec

  • by lennier (44736) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:07PM (#32273622) Homepage

    Fear the Libertarians! If they get their way, the government will leave you alone! Oh, the Horror!

    It's not the government we fear - it's the people who have the guns. Being private contractors makes Xe/Blackwater suddenly nice guys?

  • by HertzaHaeon (1164143) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:20PM (#32273792) Homepage

    There is a evolutionary basis. Altruism and the morality that comes from it is a beneficial trait to evolve.

    There is also a rational basis. Treating others well makes it likely they will return the favor. Cooperation and selflessness creates a better, safer, more prosperous and kinder society for everyone.

    What's the basis for following religious morality? Fear of eternal punishment? Hope of eternal reward?

    If the physical world is all there is, you'd think killing or mistreating someone would be worse than in a world where an eternal soul exists. Kill someone in reality and you destroy that person forever. In the fantasy world of religion, the person continues to exist and so why it's such a big deal to kill remains unclear.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:42PM (#32274002)
    It makes sense to anyone rational that murder would be worse than blasphemy. The entire point of laws are to protect people's rights from being violated. What right is violated in drawing anything? Humans have a right to live, murder violates that. There is no right not to be offended. There is, however a basic human right to have the right to offend. Such a right is needed in a free society.
  • by dskoll (99328) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:52PM (#32274112)

    Preservation of freedom of expression is worth offending billions of people.

    Protesting against freedom of expression is not worth killing a single person.

    That is the fundamental difference between Western philosophy and (apparently) Islamic philosophy. The Muslim protesters seem to value shutting down someone's speech over life itself.

    Congratulations to whomever came up with Draw Muhammad Day. It's time to stop being subservient to hyper-sensitive extremists.

  • Here we go, maybe we should put this in all our sig's and webpages we maintain:

    Smiley Muhammad ibn 'Abdullh:
    [[:->

    ASCII Muhammad ibn 'Abdullh
          ____
        (____)o
        (_____)
        | o o |
        W ^ W
        WWW

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ragnathor (955771) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @10:16PM (#32274286)

    It was common at the time for girls to marry around 13.

    By your standard, then, we can all agree that he was a pedophile [wikipedia.org] because

    Muhammad is said to have asked her to arrange for him to marry both. Traditional sources dictate that Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad but the marriage was not consummated until she was nine or ten years old.

    Your pedophile reference really doesn't make sense - even a century ago it was common all across Asia for girls to marry right when they hit puberty.

    You get to marry kids (if you're into that sort of thing), if anyone disagrees with you then it's probably because they're infidels and you may kill them and take their stuff, and you can beat your wife [youtube.com] to keep her in line as long as you do it right.

    Like any religion, there are people across the whole spectrum. Plenty of Muslims completely disagree with everything you just said. There is a big difference between the Koran, that essentially all Muslims believe is the word of God, and the Hadiths which is a much longer text written by some scholars 200-300 years later documenting Muhammad's life. Many Muslims think the latter is utter bullshit.

    Granted, there are also those who follow the Hadiths completely without room for interpretation and believe the things you mentioned, but my point is Islam, like any religion, had a wide spectrum of followers. Look at the middle ages - Islam was seen as much more progressive than Christianity at the time.

  • by schon (31600) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @10:22PM (#32274328)

    So.. you're saying it's OK for an organized religion to illegally harrass, threaten, and murder people.. as long as the person they're targeting has committed a "sin" that's not recoginzed as such by the law of their country.

    Just because they believe it's murder doesn't make it so. I don't give a fucking rat's ass what their rationalization is - it's still wrong.

    Your entire argument is "well, it's not the same because it's different", when it's obviously not different.

    Fuck you and your apoligism.

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @10:27PM (#32274374)

    I think we can all agree that there's a big difference between depictions of child molestation/rape and cartoons poking fun at a religious figure.

    What? I fail to see ANY difference. What, you don't think no one has has ever felt that blasphemy was horrid, sick and depraved? I'm pretty sure those terms have been applied to all kinds of blasphemy from all kinds of religions.

  • I don't *believe* in Free Speech because it already exists...

    Do I really have to rephrase this?

    The idea of freedom of speech is that everyone should have a right to freedom of expression. Freedom of speech is worthless if we accept physical retaliation for that expression. Then it's not much of a right [oglaf.com] (NSFW), is it?

    If I went into the office tomorrow and my boss told me he'd cut my salary by 20%, I'd go and say something to him about it. A consequence of my saying something might mean I lose my job completely...

    And your boss very likely has the right to do that.

    Muslims do not have the right to kill people. In fact, death threats are one of the few areas of speech which, as far as I can tell, aren't protected.

    I think I've said pretty much everything I want to, and I'm not going to dig up all of your responses. Instead, I should remind you: "Those who would sacrifice essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither."

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by witherstaff (713820) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:10PM (#32274700) Homepage

    Why not just hit the highlights? You either believe in the superstition in whole or you've simply made up your own re-interpreted derivative work that is uniquely yours and shouldn't be labeled as the original belief.

    I guess one could always say... What do you expect from people who believe they are a product of incest not once, but at least twice. Adam, Eve had 3 sons. Eve was the first Cougar. Then god decided his populous game was going badly and flooded everyone out so the boat people got busy with each other. With that muddled of a gene pool it's surprising we've lasted this long.

    Since Rationality and reason don't mix with religion I like the sound byte idea, play to the emotions. Otherwise if you just want to give a believer a headache ask any christian how free will can exist when the future has already been written in Revelations. Obviously not even your butterfly related actions can ever change the outcome in Revelations. Since there is no free will, how is there morality, or even sin or redemption, as you're just following a script?

  • Spoken like somebody who has the freedom to not give a rat's ass about all fellow humans.

    Everyone has that right. That's not what I'm exercising here, though, or why would I champion freedom of speech for everyone, even those I disagree with?

    Essentially, some asshole effectively killed the party for everybody in that country,

    Essentially? Effectively? That's a lot of weasel words... And which asshole would that be? The guy who spawned the Facebook event, or the asshole who actually blocked it? No one forced them to block Facebook -- they did that on their own. They would've been entirely free to block only parts of Facebook, or to instead launch their own Draw Jesus Day event -- they could've handled it any number of ways other than outright censorship.

    To what end? What have they achieved?

    Good question.

    The event has proved that entire countries are on the run -- censoring just to protect themselves from ideas they don't like.

    Or if you mean the asshole who blocked Facebook, well, not much. Those who really want to see it will find ways around, and in the meantime, they've blocked their countrymen from a site which is presumably useful and popular. They also haven't censored the vast majority of the Internet, so one wonders what they hope to accomplish by blocking just this one instance of blasphemy -- there are even Mohammed ASCII-art drawings on Slashdot now.

    Do you honestly think they should block Slashdot? Would you honestly blame the ACs for "ruining it" if that happened?

    Just because you are free in your country does not mean you have any right in fanning the conflict between the citizens of a country and it's ruling theocracy.

    Are you serious?

    No one said "Rise up and overthrow your government." Someone posted something on Facebook, and the government chose to block it. The government thus chose to pursue a course of action which might lead to increased tension between it and its citizens.

    How is this in any way my fault for speaking my mind half a world away?

    And why is it so difficult to wrap your mind around this concept: Words and ideas have only the power you give them. If Islam didn't get its panties in a wad every time someone makes fun of Mo', those words and cartoons would have no power.

    Think about it -- you probably felt a bit of anger there at the way I worded the above paragraph. I did that deliberately, to illustrate a point: They're just words. They do not even have the power to make you angry, if you do not allow it.

    And I'll present this as evidence that I do care about my fellow humans. I used to be very angry, often. I let my anger control me. I've broken free from that, and I am much better for it. I am happier, healthier, and I make better decisions when I do not let anger guide me. At least right here, in this moment, I am trying to share that with you. I hope you, or someone reading this, is in a position to share that with those who are in a position to change the political situation in Pakistan.

    Quite often the same folks who do shit like this, and turn around and claim they're making any kind of contribution to society.

    Because clearly, all I do all day is draw Mohammed? Is that really what you think?

    I have a summer internship starting soon. In the mean time, I'm preparing to go to a convention, where I'll be speaking about some software I've developed. I'm also learning a martial art, and looking for another to practice over the summer. In the fall, I will be going back to school.

    Or is it that you think drawing Mohammed contributes nothing to society? Political cartoons have a long history of contributing to the discussion [usnews.com], and one of our most respected news sources is one w

  • by HertzaHaeon (1164143) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @11:57PM (#32275026) Homepage

    Convincing others that you're treating them well while all the time stealing more for yourself, and quietly impregnating your friends wives is a much better evolutionary strategy. Being nice most of the time, but backstabbing occasionally is also more rational, but less "moral".

    It seems that we also have evolved a sense of cheating and fairness, so it's not necessarily like that. We have the capacity to understand that everyone backstabbing is less beneficial than everyone cooperating, and also the capacity to spot backstabbers.

    I don't disagree completely with you, however. Altruism and egoism are present in everyone. A morality that acknownledges this and deals with it seems much more realistic, fair and productive than one that is hypocritical about it. It's very possible to act in self-interest and still be a benefit to others, and it's also possible to claim to be altruistic when you're really not, like Mother Theresa.

    What makes it worse? If the physical is all there is, then all killing a person does is remove a roadblock/annoyance/competitor/aggressor. So what? The above has been answered from a sociopath's point of view. I'd rather have a sociopath neighbor who believes in eternal punishment and reward than a sociopath neighbor who is unencumbered by those weights.

    I'd rather not have a sociopath neighbor. A secular society that encourages altruism is likely much better to deal with that problem than a society based on superstition and punishment. Many negative behaviors have been condoned by religion and many sociopaths think they're doing god's work. If you're the wrong kind of person and the sociopath kills you for the right religious reason, you'd still be screwed and the sociopath would think he's being rewarded.

    I don't think I have to explain why forever erasing your one and only existance is worse than not erasing your existance at all.

    Finally, you reason based on a world filled with sociopaths? Usually atheists are the ones blamed for cynicism and a bleak world view...

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @12:13AM (#32275150)

    Being against child molestation is logical morality. Very, very, very few people will believe that raping a child is acceptable.

    Big freakin deal. Since no child is molested in the process of drawing a cartoon all of that is irrelevant.
    You might as well claim that all those movies out of hollywood are horrid and depraved since murder - an act certainly worse than molestation - is so frequently depicted.

  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @12:13AM (#32275160)

    What is the basis for morality without a Higher Power? Why should I follow your morals if the physical is all there is?

    Why doesn't your dog kill and eat your family the moment your back is turned?

    Answer: What religious people call "morality" is nothing in the world but social instinct. Your dog doesn't need an invisible sky fairy to get along in the world, and neither do you.

  • by Tanktalus (794810) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @12:35AM (#32275290) Journal

    Denying holocast in Germany and a few other countries is a crime. It offends the victims, it has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Cartoons of Prophet Mohammed is akin to this, but no problem, who cares about these terrorists, freedom of speech must prevail, 1.6 billion be dammed.

    First off, Germany probably doesn't have the free-speech ideals that the US has. I don't think anybody vigorously defends a near-absolute position on free-speech the way the US does. When you get a "Western" distaste for censorship, you may be getting a bias from the US.

    Second, Germany doesn't have "denying the holocaust" as a crime to protect the victims of it. They have it as a crime to give them some way to lock up the wackos who would try to restart white/aryan supremacy political groups. These groups are perfectly legal in the US, as long as they don't actually harm anyone while espousing their stupidity. If you want to start a white-supremicist party in the US, you can. I doubt you'll get elected, but you can certainly start it and run.

    The same country that so vigorously defends your right to run a white-supremicist party (as long as you don't physically harm anyone, or encourage others to physically harm someone) will also defend others' rights to create cartoons of anyone they feel like, whether that is their President, or your Prophet.

    The same people who create cartoons of Mohammed will also create cartoons of Jesus. Judaism doesn't seem to have the central figure to pick on, so I've never really noticed cartoons of David or Elijah. However, to your 1.6 billion Muslims, I raise 300 million to 1.9 billion Christians to be offended. Jesus also preached against idolatry, and yet I've never heard an outcry calling for any cartoonist's death over their pictures. Respecting others' right to disagree, even if it's pathetic behaviour, is a good thing to have. Islam does have some problems here.

    I like to think of myself as an educated person, a muslim who grew up in a western society, learning values of both. From what I see, the gap between west and Islam is only going to grow with stuff like cartoons of Mohammed, these guys are akin to suscide bombers of afghanistan, working towards inciting violence (which BTW is a crime in Canada).

    It's rather offensive that you equate "cartoons" with "suicide bombers". One gives cause to offend, the other kills. That's not morally equivalent. If Islam teaches that it is, I will lose respect for that religion. I may need to dispose of the copy of the Qu'ran that I do have, since it won't be worth anything to me anymore.

    Inciting violence is a crime in Canada, sure. But merely being offensive is not "inciting violence." If I hurl curses at your mother, even if you punch me for it, it is not a crime. Punching me would still be assault. Please be more reasonable in your analogies. These are simply not comparable.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @01:30AM (#32275566) Journal
    It's all about different interpretations. There are some passages about "false idols" that some sects interpret as meaning images are not permitted (eg:sunni), other sects do not agree with those interpretations and have no problem with (non-blasphemous) images (eg:shia).

    Of course it goes without saying that the whole thing is just as rediculous as every other argument about the alleged desires of a supernatural being. It doesn't matter if we're talking about cartoons or the number of angels that can dance on a pinhead, none of those arguments deserve respect, especially when the offended party goes around advocating and participating in murder and general mahem. They are within their rights to self censor their own society and ban facebook but they can go fuck themselves if they want to use violence and threats in an attempt to intimidate the free speech society which I live in. IMHO Viacom and others who have caved in to their temper tantrums are the worst kind of cowards.
  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @01:46AM (#32275640)

    Can't you see its offending 1.6 billion people, yet you go ahead and do it.

    So? What if I want to offend 1.6 billion people?

    What's the maximum amount of people I should be allowed to offend? 1.5 billion?

    About the rest of the post, I won't even comment, as rational discussion of religion looks a bit pointless. After all, I don't know how much value have rational reasonings to someone who believes in sky pixies.

  • by bogjobber (880402) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @02:17AM (#32275764)

    Just as Taliban and Alqaeda cannot be made to understand western values, so is the issue with the west. I don't even know who is blind, the west or Islam.

    While I understand how someone could be offended by deliberate provocation on a subject as important to them as religion, I'm going to side with the people drawing silly, satirical cartoons over the people who make violent threats against those artists. It is not ok to murder or threaten someone for drawing a picture. No matter how angry or offended that picture made you feel. The only reason these artists are "inciting violence" is because the people who commit the violence are acting like silly little children.

    The fact that we even have to have this discussion is ludicrous. Grow up and understand that the rest of the world does not share your beliefs and that their criticism of your beliefs *in no way* affects your ability to live the life you desire. People are different and they believe different things. If you don't like someone publishing a picture of Mohammed, you don't have to look at it.

  • by init100 (915886) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:07AM (#32276252)

    Oh, so you think that denying the holocaust is ok as well and should in fact be encouraged in order to preserver freedom of speach, and that those offended are hyper-sensitive extremists?

    Yes, I think that denying the Holocaust should be legal. But why does that mean that it should be encouraged, and why would that help preserving freedom of speech? The evidence is clearly in favor of the Holocaust having existed, but that does not mean that it should be a crime to say that you don't believe it happened. Of course you would be ridiculed and criticized, but freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism.

    I also find the comparison somewhat ridiculous. The Holocaust was a genocide of enormous proportions, and it is understandable that people are very upset when you claim that it didn't happen. It is not in any way comparable to a few cartoons. It is not understandable that people are so upset about a few cartoons that they threaten to kill the cartoonist or even actually physically assault him, nor is it understandable that you demand that freedom of speech should be curtailed because of it.

  • by ConfusedVorlon (657247) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:47AM (#32276402) Homepage

    You state: "and west need to understand the Islamic faith and respect it."

    Why?

    Note, I'm not saying that we should not respect the Islamic faith - just asking you to justify your statement.

    There are plenty of other beliefs which originate in the 7th century and which we do not respect.

    Why is the Islamic faith a set of beliefs which do deserve respect?

  • Re:LOL.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PeterBrett (780946) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:33AM (#32276630) Homepage

    I guess we can shut down all the schools of theology, monasteries, and the philosophers who study religion can find new pursuits.

    An idea I can get behind. Ending the wasting of time, money and lives studying things that don't exist or matter would really make the world a better place.

    So you're in favour of freedom of speech and expression unless it's speech or expression you don't like? Perhaps you could explain how your attitude is any different from that of the Muslims who've got you up in arms.

  • by delinear (991444) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:42AM (#32276998)

    In all seriousness,

    How do you know your dog doesn't need an invisible sky fairy. For all we know animals may have religious beliefs

    That's why, when you buy a dog as a puppy and take it home and raise it away from other dogs it always turns out to be a psychotic killer because it doesn't have a chance to learn the religion of its fellows. Seriously, if the only thing stopping dogs killing your family is religion, then dogs must either all be psychically attuned so they can learn their religion in isolation, or their god must speak to each and every one of them personally - in which case he at least sounds a lot more pro-active than all of the human gods who haven't really done much for thousands of years.

  • by The_Noid (28819) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:49AM (#32277044) Journal

    And in that same vein, if the only reason you are behaving morally correct is because you are scared of the invisible sky fairy, then you are not a good person at all.

    The good persons are those that behave morally without believing in the invisible punisher.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2010 @06:58AM (#32277108)

    Now more to what the article is about Mohammed and his images. Problem here from a muslim perspective is not freedom of speech. According to Muslim faith images of his and other revered muslim figures are forbidden, lest they spiral into idol worship. God and god alone is to be worshiped.

    But by the very definition of your religion, those non-muslim people who are making the images are damned anyway, so why would it even matter? The only way this would matter is if muslims were drawing the pictures (and then it's their right to decide if they want to do something against their own religion) or if you suspect the mere presence of those images will lead strict musmlims astray (in which case they're not very strong in their religion). Whichever way you look at it, this is one group of people telling another group of people to stop doing something because they don't like it, and the second you start advocating killing the second group you're well into facist territory.

  • by MRe_nl (306212) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:07AM (#32277178)

    "Cold-blooded killing is just not my thing. I've killed in self-defence, I'll not deny that, but I still maintain an exaggerated respect for life in all forms. Now that we know that the only thing on the other side of the sky is more sky, the idea of an afterlife has finally been slid into the history books alongside the rest of the quaint and forgotten religions. With heaven and hell gone we are faced with the necessity of making a heaven or hell right here. What with societies and metatechnology and allied disciplines we have come a long way and life on the civilised worlds is better than it was during the black days of superstition. But with the improving of here and now comes the stark realisation that here and now is all we have. Each of us has only this one brief experience with the bright light of consciousness in that endless dark night of eternity and must make the most of it. Doing this means we must respect the existence of everyone else and the most criminal act imaginable is the terminating of one of these conscious existences."
    (from Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series.)

  • by delinear (991444) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:17AM (#32277226)

    Jesus also preached against idolatry, and yet I've never heard an outcry calling for any cartoonist's death over their pictures. Respecting others' right to disagree, even if it's pathetic behaviour, is a good thing to have. Islam does have some problems here.

    Even more interesting, Jesus is a prophet in the muslim faith second only to Mohammed, and yet images of him aren't decried in the same way. The fact that one prophet is regarded more highly than another itself shows a tendency to idolatry, the exact crime the rule against images was meant to prevent.

  • by DigMarx (1487459) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:41AM (#32277402)

    I don't see how that has anything to do with racism in modern Rastafari faith. Haile Selassie wasn't a Rasta either, but his positive (and anti-racist) influence on the movement is patently obvious. There are a vocal few who claim to follow Rasta who also propagate hatred against gay people and/or whites, but in general the movement is pacifistic and vehemently anti-racist. Garvey died in 1940, a time when the KKK still rode strong in the US. It's short-sighted to look at his beliefs through modern eyes, and it's equally short-sighted to paint modern Rastafari with the same brush.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:49AM (#32277472)

    I am a Muslim...Problem here from a muslim perspective is not freedom of speech. According to Muslim faith images of his and other revered muslim figures are forbidden, lest they spiral into idol worship. God and god alone is to be worshiped.

    I'm agnostic, but I respect your beliefs. I have absolutely no problems with anything any religious members choose to believe. That said, I do have a problem with people of any religion trying to impose their beliefs on people who do not share that religion.

    Look, if images of Muslim figures are forbidden, then don't place any at your house. If you want to boycott all websites that contain such figures fine. All movies and TV shows that contain such figures, fine. All newspapers that publish such figures? Ok. Somebody should start up a website and keep a list of places Muslims should not visit, this should be discussed among your community, etc. That would respect your doctrine among Muslims while not interfering with the lives of any non-Muslims.

    This isn't just aimed at Islam. Quite a few fundamentalist christians want to dictate what should and shouldn't be on TV. I tell them that it's their house, and they can learn to use the V-Chip, preventing them from seeing any objectional content. But stop trying to enforce your rules on people who don't share your beliefs.

    Can't you see its offending 1.6 billion people, yet you go ahead and do it.

    And what happens when something that is dictated by Muslim beliefs clash with something that is dictated by Christian beliefs? How do you keep from offending one another while still each holding true to their own beliefs? Do you fight it out? In fact, it's my understanding that Jesus is an important figure in Islam, as you consider him a prophet. So your belief of no images would clash with Catholics'.

    There's only one solution to the problem of offending people. Don't get offended. For the record, I'm against laws that prohibit holocaust denial as well. If the idiots want to talk, let them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:30AM (#32279042)

    From what I see, the gap between west and Islam is only going to grow with stuff like cartoons of Mohammed, these guys are akin to suscide bombers of afghanistan, working towards inciting violence (which BTW is a crime in Canada).

    You're not the first Muslim to present an argument like that and I have a question I'd like you to answer:

    There's no doubt that the cartoons have resulted in violence but that has been by Muslims and there's also no doubt that there has been violence against Muslims due to idiots equating all of you with terrorists but how much violence against Muslims have the cartoons as such incited non-Muslims to?

    IMNSHO the answer is: None. The cartoons don't incite violence. What incites hate and violence, is Muslims that react with violence. And it doesn't exactly help the situation, if Muslims hold signs like "behead those who insult Islam" or exercise their right to free speech with the most ironic sign all [flickr.com]. If your reaction was to shrug it of and be mature, it would make the cartoonists look bad instead.

  • by SoTerrified (660807) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:36AM (#32279152)

    Now more to what the article is about Mohammed and his images. Problem here from a muslim perspective is not freedom of speech. According to Muslim faith images of his and other revered muslim figures are forbidden, lest they spiral into idol worship. God and god alone is to be worshiped.

    Do you, or any Muslim, actually think the images of Mohammed are going to be worshiped? Because that's the part that makes no sense in all this.

    If the Qur'an said "Don't make images of Mohammed" then I can kinda understand. But it says "Don't make images of Mohammed because you shouldn't worship images." Guess what! Not one of the drawings of Mohammed is going to be worshiped. I guarantee you this. So any Muslim with half a brain should be able to look at a drawing of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban and say "No one's going to worship that, so no problem."

    Ahh, but the reality is that Muslims do not want a picture of Mohammed being mocked. Nothing about that in the Qur'an, but that doesn't stop many from twisting the words of Mohammed around and using it to incite religious fervor.

    And it's for this reason I support the Facebook page. Freedom of religion is important. But it's also important that Freedom of religion not be allowed to override freedom of speech and thought.

  • Re:Mohammed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @10:47AM (#32280366) Journal

    One thing to note about that: the average age of the onset of puberty has become younger over the years, probably due to sufficient nutrition.

    ... in the last 2 centuries or so (there is no data before that).

    I do understand your point, but I think that puberty seems like a pretty reasonable divider between "definitely a child" and "might possibly be an adult, depending on local culture".

    Agreed.

    However, we really can't say anything about Aisha in that respect. Age of puberty varies with many factors, of which nutrition is a very important one, but also race, and even social aspects. Speaking of nutrition, Aisha was a daughter of Abu Bakr, so she was raised in a rich merchant family. Of course, 10 is still rather lower than average even under these conditions, but an "average" is just that...

    My point, anyway, is that we do not have anywhere near enough information on it to judge it for good or bad in any reasonable way. It may well be that Muhammad was a true pedophile by strict definition of this word - attracted to prepubescent children. Or it may be that Aisha was well-developed for her age.

    In any case, the "Muhammad is a pedophile!" cliche does not even attempt to touch upon all this complexity. Its sole purpose is to evoke an instinctive negative emotional reaction in the listener by pushing one of the most sensitive societal norm buttons.

  • Godwin'd already? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday May 21, 2010 @10:44AM (#32294094) Journal

    Well, that was fast. You're seriously going to compare drawing a few cartoons with signing orders for genocide?

    Alright, first of all, examples of speech which is not protected are things like orders and threats. Actually telling someone to do something from a position of authority counts as an action, as does paying someone to do something (hiring a hit man). And while I'm not sure I agree with this part, death threats are not protected speech in the US.

    The significant difference here is whether the speech has force and authority behind it. If you have a gun to my head, and you demand that I hand over my wallet, I can still refuse, but it would be stupid of me to do so. Make that demand without the force, and I can simply ignore you.

    Even this doesn't immediately place all blame on Hitler. If the people he was speaking to were a bit more cautious and discriminating, there would have been no Nazi party, and he would have been dismissed as a lunatic. Indeed, the Nuremberg trials held that the Superior Orders defense is not sufficient -- in other words, while Hitler may have been guilty of giving orders, that doesn't mean every member of the Nazi party was simply, innocently following those orders.

    Furthermore, Hitler had no power except that which people gave him. Had cooler heads prevailed early on, there would have been no Nazi party, and he would have been dismissed as a raving lunatic. It's also worth mentioning that there are still neo-Nazis in the US, and they're still allowed to freely express themselves, so long as it's merely expression -- rant all you want, but without an army to back it up, it's just ranting.

    Let's tie this back to what I actually said:

    No one can be forced by mere words to do anything they don't want to.

    But Hitler had a lot more than mere words, didn't he? And he was doing a lot more than simply expressing himself -- he was giving orders and making threats, two things which are not considered protected speech.

    Now, if Hitler was dismissed as a lunatic, and the Nazi party was never formed, does that make Hitler a good person? Of course not. The fact that I think certain speech should be protected does not mean I agree with that speech or think it's moral.

    But that is the real difference here, isn't it? There may be many people in the US who think this "Draw Mohammed day" thing is immoral. The execs at Facebook itself might even think that. But no one is going to block that speech merely because they think it's immoral. Pakistan did.

I don't have any use for bodyguards, but I do have a specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants. -- Elvis Presley

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