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Censorship

Bangladesh Blocks Facebook Over Muhammad Cartoons 562

Posted by kdawson
from the try-syndication dept.
lbalbalba writes with a BBC story about Bangladesh following Pakistan in censoring Facebook. "Bangladesh has blocked access to Facebook after satirical images of the prophet Muhammad and the country's leaders were uploaded. One man has been arrested and charged with 'spreading malice and insulting the country's leaders' with the images. Officials said the ban was temporary and access to the site would be restored once the images were removed. It comes after Pakistan invoked a similar ban over 'blasphemous content.' ... Thousands of people joined anti-Facebook protests in Bangladesh on Friday demanding the site be blocked over the contest. A telecomm regulator there said, "Facebook will be re-opened once we erase the pages that contain the obnoxious images." And how do they propose to do that?
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Bangladesh Blocks Facebook Over Muhammad Cartoons

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  • by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1 AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday May 30, 2010 @05:46PM (#32401024) Journal

    Let's totally unplug all backwards theocracies from the internet.

  • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @05:53PM (#32401078)

    The point of the ban is to try and force non-muslims to accept Muslim rules.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:15PM (#32401266)

    That's a bad idea as internet access has a serious western influence on these countries, for better or for worse.

    Every time I see a story like this it makes me want to find the part of my state with the highest Islamic population and then decorate the streets so they cannot walk ten feet without seeing a cartoon making fun of Mohammed. It would be a way to say "welcome to the ridicule and derision Christians and Jews and others are expected to put up with." Psychologists call this "systematic desensitization" when it's used for phobias and other irational fears. In the case of Islam everyone would be better off for it. It would absolutely not be an attack against Islam. It would merely establish parity between Islam and all other major religions.

    It's time for Islam to learn what Christianity learned hundreds of years ago. Not everyone is going to adhere to your religion and fighting crusades, jihads, or holding inquisitions won't change that and is not the correct solution. All that does is convince every non-adherant that you're really a bunch of barbarians who use force because you don't actually believe in your faith or the power of its message. If your goal is to spread your religion, this is extremely counter-productive and will produce unyielding resistance to it. Realistically, every time an Islamic terrorist makes something go "ka-boom" do you think the rest of us say "wow, that Islam sure has some great points, I better convert today!" or do you think we say "yup, what a bunch of primitive savages." It does not help that the more moderate Islamic leaders rarely or never condemn the murderous actions of their extremist brethren. It's as though they are afraid to, or they agree with the extremists, and either case means that the extremist minority gets to dictate the entire course of Islam. Again, that's not a selling point if you want to win converts.

    For all religious people, Islamic or not, here's a novel concept: practice your religion as you see fit to the extent that you don't coerce others against their will. If others do things that you consider blasphemous, say a quiet prayer for them in your own privacy wishing that they come to understand things as you do. If they don't, consider it the will of an all-knowing and all-powerful God and leave those people the hell alone. If they do, celebrate that your prayers had an effect. I know that has the serious drawback of not giving you an excuse to force others to behave as you think they should, but you can get over that.

  • by matunos (1587263) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:18PM (#32401296)

    No need. They are unplugging themselves.

  • by CompassIIDX (1522813) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:38PM (#32401458)
    Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to contact the FBI about some naked cartoon images that might not be of legal age.
  • Re:Idiots (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:41PM (#32401474)

    Another principle-related thought experiment: Would the number of abortions increase if men were not obligated to pay child support?

    Without a doubt the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies would decrease. Abortion is a rather inefficient form of birth control when compared to any alternative but without a doubt it is used for this purpose.

    I've always thought it would be interesting if a state had the balls to try an idea. The idea would be to allow men to file a document with the state government stating that they have no intention of having children and any pregnancies involving their DNA is against their express will. Then exempt all men who file this document from ever paying any child support except on a purely voluntary basis. Make it very easy for women to look up whether a man has filed such a document, like with an online database indexed by name and address or telephone number. Make it a crime for a man to lie about whether he has filed such a document. That way a woman who does not wish to take birth control or who expressly wants to have children can choose not to sleep with these men if she wants financial support for any children. That way men are protected from an 18-21 year committment on the basis of a woman lying about whether she has swallowed a pill. That way children are protected by being less likely to be raised by an irresponsible single mother with all the well-documented detrimental effects this produces.

    I propose that this would not result in many children growing up in poverty. Instead, it would result in fewer unwanted pregnancies. It may result in less casual sex for men who are not married and do not wish to become fathers, but that may not be such a bad thing. It also compensates for the biological fact that women have far more control over whether a pregnancy occurs and then whether it is brought to term than men do and for the medical fact that women have about a dozen non-surgical forms of birth control available while men have one. Whoever has more control and more options should bear more responsibility. That's fair if you see women as the equals of men. It's unfair if you see women as inferior, helpless beings who are unable to make sound decisions based on risk and consequence who therefore need to forcibly take a man's money to pay for their lifestyle choices.

    Naturally with the system as it stands today, no one cares about the unfairness to men that a pregnant woman can choose to get an abortion and terminate her pregnancy against the wishes of the would-be father. That's considered A-OK. Likewise no one cares that in the reverse case, a woman can bring a pregnancy to term even if the father wishes her to have an abortion and the father still has to pay. That's also A-OK. The message is pretty clear: men don't matter, they just exist to provide a wallet and a bank account so women can do whatever the hell they want. What we get for that are bastard children, broken homes, and divorce/custody courts that actively discriminate against fathers. We also get ridiculously absurd laws like the one on California where a man who dates a single mother can be made to pay child support for her children even if he proves beyond all doubt that he is not the father. Just try passing a law that puts such an unfair obligation on women and you will be tarred and feathered. It's time for this madness and this double standard to stop.

  • by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:46PM (#32401518)
    So we punish the citizens for the crimes of their corrupt leaders? Better would be to subvert their leaders and try to give them proper access anyway.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:53PM (#32401558)

    Christians and Jews

    What? If you do something they don't like in the wrong part of the US or Jerusalem expect a lynch mob to be chasing you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:03PM (#32401634)

    I'm certain that if Muslims made fun of Christians tightly held cultural and religious beliefs there would be outrage from Christians.

    You really need to read some newspapers from the Middle East. Seriously.

  • by stonewolf (234392) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:04PM (#32401640) Homepage

    that islam is having a very hard time dealing with the 16th century. I hate to image what will happen if it/they what ever, it actually comes into contact with the 21st century. Oh, yeah... that was what happened in 9/11/2001 and just a while ago in Times Square.

    The question is which happens first? Either 1) these so called islamic "civizations" learn to accept basic concepts like "human rights" or 2) they finally become a real danger. By real danger I mean they actually set off a nuke in a western city, release a ton of nerve gas, set off a dirty bomb, start the black death 2.0, or do a bunch of little things that just really piss us off. Like say, killing the South Park guys.

    If 1 happens first, then cool. Everyone gets to live. But if 2 happens, what then? Do we keep trying to bottle them up and worrying about whether it is safe to have lunch in the park today? Or, do we just start killing them? I think that is going to be a major test of *our* so called civilization.

    My bet is that our great great grandchildren will be ashamed of what we do. But, I'm also betting that there are going to be very very few great great grandchildren who are raised as moslems.

    IMHO, the belief in absolute truth is the greatest enemy of humanity. The belief in absolute truth is absolute evil.

    Stonewolf

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:10PM (#32401704)

    Banning burkas is wrong. Banning websites is wrong. Banning ideas, books, clothing, all of this is wrong. I don't think banning does anything other than irritate and piss people off who might have been peaceable before. If you know a group of people like to wear burkas and you ban it, you just pissed them off and it makes them feel like you just banned THEM. The same can be said if you have millions of people who smoke weed legally and suddenly it's banned. It's the same as if this website were banned.

    It's wrong because it fans the flames of hatred against US policy for no real gain politically, culturally, diplomatically, militarily. This accomplishes what?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:17PM (#32401758) Homepage Journal

    That's a bad idea as internet access has a serious western influence on these countries, for better or for worse.

    Not if they're going to block anything that might offend their backward beliefs. And it's not a "western" influence that the internet brings, but an influence that is dangerous for any society, East or West, that seeks to maintain control over the population. At least until corporations have locked down the last dingy corner of the Internet, which might be sooner than you think.

    But let's face it: backward religious beliefs that exploit human desire for meaning are poisoning societies everywhere. Not that mysticism or faith in the supernatural are themselves poisonous, but the minute such beliefs become organized, they are co-opted by people who would pervert them for political purposes.

    Pictures of Mohamed? The leaders of Bangladesh are happy enough to use the Internet to fuel their explosion in high-tech industries and end-user support facilities, but they believe they can keep out anything that's "offensive" to their culture. Little do they know that they're way too late. I'm willing to bet that the first thing a Bangladeshi teenager does when first encountering the Internet is to look up pictures of Mohamed. Right after they look up 2 girls, 1 cup and Hentai.

  • by victorhooi (830021) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:21PM (#32401798)

    heya,

    Well, actually no...haha...you're completely wrong.

    As a Christian, I can tell you people make fun of us all the time. Heck, they've been doing it for around, what, 2000 years? And the Jews have probably suffered a lot longer. Thing is, every religion gets made fun of

    I mean, seriously, has your head been under a sand. What do you think Raptor Jesus is? (http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Raptor_Jesus) Or say, the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Or how about all those bestselling books alleging Jesus was gay, or he had a family with kids, or some other ridiculous nonsense....

    I actually find some of these funny, and a little comical (well, the FSM I think is actually clever/ironic, the Raptor Jesus meme is just a bit insipid/childish, but hey, it's the 4chan crowd, they're mostly 12-year olds kids).

    You can either act like tantrum-throwing little kids, like some Muslims here are, or you can grow up and act like an adult, and shrug it off. It's not personal, they just don't believe the same things as you. And for a Christian, it just means they miss you on having God's awesome grace - so you should just pray for them, and be loving to them.

    It's things like these that make Muslims look like backward primitives...*cue somebody declaring a fatwah against me*

    Cheers,
    Victor

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:22PM (#32401806) Homepage Journal

    So, when most of the US population believes God and magic exist

    It's not belief in God and magic that's the problem.

    It's religion, which, when you come right down to it, has less to do with God and Magic than it does with power and control.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:24PM (#32401830) Journal

    here's a novel concept: practice your religion as you see fit to the extent that you don't coerce others against their will.

    That would hold true for all religions. Fortunately, about 90% of Christians and 100% of Jews in America don't care what religion you are and consider their relationship with their god to be a personal matter. The other 10% are just annoying as hell, but are not likely to stone you or blow themselves up. Muslim, however, seem to be a different thing altogether.

    If you think something is a sin, (alcohol, for instance) why can't Muslims simply choose to not drink alcohol and leave everyone else alone? The answer, of course, is that it appears the majority thinks everyone must become Muslim. Parts of the Koran specifically say to convert or kill infidels, although other parts say to respect other's beliefs and leave them alone. While most would likely prefer to convert the infidels with words, and only a minority with force, the problem is that they feel they must convert us at all. The idea of "live and let live" just isn't in their vocabulary.

    It is going to take something big to see change or a large amount of time, and frankly, I don't think the rest of the world is going to be patient enough to allow a large amount of time.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:25PM (#32401854)

    Mockery is the best response to religion. Let them unplug themselves.

  • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:31PM (#32401908)

    It's scary how many people in Western countries think Muslims are beyond reproach though. I was in an IRC channel a few months back (don't ask me which, I sure as hell don't remember) and I was playing around with different screen names. While doing this, I found out that the names Jesus and God were banned, so a friend suggested I try Allah - that was allowed. After I change it to that, some Muslim starts foaming at the mouth about how he's going to hunt me down and kill me for "insulting" his god merely by making my screen name Allah (despite the fact that I didn't say a single unkind or inappropriate thing while I had that name on). As you would expect, everyone in the room told him to STFU and asked him to stop being an irrational lunatic, right? Wrong, they vilified me and defended the Muslim threatening to kill someone just over a damn screen name.

    The Muslim extremists have already won - politicians are too cowardly to stand up to them because they might lose a few votes and most citizens are afraid to stand up to them because they might be called "mean" or "racist".

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:36PM (#32401928)

    here's a novel concept: practice your religion as you see fit to the extent that you don't coerce others against their will.

    That would hold true for all religions. Fortunately, about 90% of Christians and 100% of Jews in America don't care what religion you are and consider their relationship with their god to be a personal matter. The other 10% are just annoying as hell, but are not likely to stone you or blow themselves up. Muslim, however, seem to be a different thing altogether.

    If you think something is a sin, (alcohol, for instance) why can't Muslims simply choose to not drink alcohol and leave everyone else alone? The answer, of course, is that it appears the majority thinks everyone must become Muslim. Parts of the Koran specifically say to convert or kill infidels, although other parts say to respect other's beliefs and leave them alone. While most would likely prefer to convert the infidels with words, and only a minority with force, the problem is that they feel they must convert us at all. The idea of "live and let live" just isn't in their vocabulary.

    It is going to take something big to see change or a large amount of time, and frankly, I don't think the rest of the world is going to be patient enough to allow a large amount of time.

    The Christian right is behind the banning of homosexuality. Look it up, Sodomy was a crime. Adultery was a crime. They used the law to make being anything but Christian illegal.

    So no you cannot say these people aren't still trying. They want to ban abortion and gay marriage now.

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:39PM (#32401982) Homepage Journal

    Sad sick puppies.

    Very, very true. While we're tossing around analogies, please let me tell you a fairy tale called The Infantada:

    In a house lives a handful of hateful, ill-tempered little boys who are immature even for their young age. They scream and cry and throw tantrums because of their own puerile insecurities, and they are perpetually angry. They are angry even when they don't yell, but the voice of rage is often most frightening when it is spoken softly rather than screamed.

    Their Mommy often tries to comfort them while being fair and firm, but they kick her in the shins and throw rocks at her. Then they move into their Auntie's house because Auntie gives them more money and candies and tolerates their bad behavior. They kick Auntie in the shins and throw rocks at her, but she patiently continues to appease them in the hopes that they will show as much love to her as she does to them. Boys, after all, will be boys.

    Months later, the police show up to Auntie's house. She is lying naked on the floor, dead, her face disfigured with sharp knives and caustic chemicals found under the sink. The officer asks the little boys what happened, and they all shrug. It had not mattered who murdered Auntie, because all of those boys were equally complicit.

  • by Progman3K (515744) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:43PM (#32402014)

    Granted maybe half a million of those are picture of Muhammad Ali, but there are literally millions of images of Muhammad on the Internet...

    Makes you wonder how you could possibly remove them all... Of course you cannot.

    And the more noise made about it, the more images there will be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:47PM (#32402040)

    What a load of bullshit!! When your enlightened western nations started prosecuted Jews they fled to Muslim countries like Turkey where they were allowed to live in piece. Muslims lived in piece with Jews/Christians and other religions for more then a thousand years in Egypt. If I remember correctly it was the crusaders and the inquisition who had a problem with people with other religions.

    Your post itself is an example of this intolerance many in the west have of others. Muslims can't just have different beliefs. They have to be evil!! What a load of crap!!

    Only an idiot like you would ever consider it a civilised action to make fun of people that are held in great esteem and a barbaric action to get angry about it. FYI Muslims get just as angry when Prophet Jesus or Moses are insulted. It seams that just because you cannot comprehend the affection and respect Muslims hold for prophets you can only justify their actions as being barbaric.

    Argh I waste cycles just replying to you....

  • by thenextstevejobs (1586847) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:47PM (#32402046)
    I think you're missing the point. I don't think anyone here has a problem with Muslims finding cartoons offensive. I can't relate to their offense at this, but that's no surprise. The problem is this being used as a reason to block access to a huge website like Facebook such that no one in the country can access it.

    If we made a website declaring Jesus Christ was a homosexual, wouldn't this anger Christians in this country and don't you think that certain individuals would want the website banned?

    Given your example, I quickly searched Facebook to see if there was any results for "Jesus is gay". Lo and behold, there is a group with 200 people who like "Jesus is Gay" as well as an app which has a picture of Jesus open-mouth kissing Satan. I'm not someone who wants to throw the US in your face as the shining example of everything good and warm and fuzzy, but I am sure fucking glad this country isn't banning Facebook because of content such as mentioned above.

    So lets not be hypocrites here, the majority of Americans support censorship for cultural reasons

    I just find it hypocritical that people can switch from being for free speech in one instance but then when it's free speech that can apply to America suddenly we have to crack down and censor.

    I seriously don't know what the fuck you're talking about. We have all kinds of nutjobs here in the US who want all kinds of shit taken down, banned, etc. Last I checked I could still pick up a copy of 'Howl' at the bookstore.

    Are we for censorship or not?

    I'm always against censorship. I don't see the hypocrisy that you're accusing vague swaths of Slashdot with for having regarding this issue. I am completely against governments limiting the materials available to their citizens based on ANYTHING, including religion, even if its the state religion, even if 99.99% of the population follows this religion.

    Really bothers me that you're at +4 right now. Is everyone's brain dead this weekend?

  • by mrsquid0 (1335303) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:48PM (#32402058) Homepage

    Like Kansas and Texas?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:54PM (#32402112)

    Psychologists call this "systematic desensitization" when it's used for phobias and other irational fears

    Why would Muslims have to be desensitized? its not a phobia to desensitize, it is in fact a very important Islamic principle : that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shouldn't be given a pictorial representation. Its just done in order to protect another major principle of Islam - No Idol worship.

    It would absolutely not be an attack against Islam. It would merely establish parity between Islam and all other major religions.

    What you suggest will definitely be an attack against Islam when its done knowingly that doing so violates one of islam's basic principles.

    It's time for Islam to learn what Christianity learned hundreds of years ago

    Why should Islam learn from Christianity or Judaism? Islam is a separate religion with its beliefs and Christianity with its own. I don't know whether Christianity is tolerant with insulting their Prophets but Islam definitely prohibit that. Take for example in the country where I live (India) it'll be very insulting to name an animal as 'India' and people were outrageous when Bush name his cat as India, later US promptly gave an explanation that its named after an Red Indian and not Indian subcontinent. People understand such sentiment of others and they respect it. But why don't Muslims deserve to have such sentiments towards our Prophet(PBUH)?

    Islam doesn't revoke any one's fundamental rights by asking them not to draw pictures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), you can still draw whatever you want, just leave him alone. He is our Prophet and we love him more than any one else and we feel it as an insult if somebody makes fun of him. Wouldn't everybody feel the same way if somebody draws an insulting picture of his/her parents? For Muslims our Prophet is more than our parents.

    For all religious people, Islamic or not, here's a novel concept: practice your religion as you see fit to the extent that you don't coerce others against their will

    Did you say this for your own selves? Please don't coerce us to accept what you find okay according to your beliefs or principles.

    If others do things that you consider blasphemous, say a quiet prayer for them in your own privacy wishing that they come to understand things as you do

    In addition to praying, Islam asks us to show some action. That's what I have done here by explaining it...

    If they don't, consider it the will of an all-knowing and all-powerful God and leave those people the hell alone

    Do we deserve this right too? Please leave our Prophet (PBUH) alone..

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:57PM (#32402132)

    GP is a Troll, so don't mistake this for advocating his point of view.

    I'm interested in the idea that you think there are cultures out there in the world that aren't organized around greed, selfishness, and making money. Where in the the world does such a thing exist? I'll grant you small, isolated communities - but any system large enough to have an economy at all revolves around greed and selfishness.

    Many of the tribal cultures such as in Africa or the Native Americans had an economy based on sharing. It was basically a kind of socialism based around take what you need, and share the rest with the group. They also had sharing with other tribes according to gift giving rituals, very much like how we have Xmas rituals.

    They did not have a concept of greed and this is one of the main reasons tribal cultures did not develop the level of technology and sophistication, or the kinds of weaponry. Greed is something which had to be taught to people. When you barter it's a lot more difficult to be greedy. When you live off the land and everyone has plenty of food and water theres no reason to be focused on greed.

    Greed came about in Europe because of scarcity. At some point in time it made sense to be greedy because of the harsh environment. There was no tropical environment so there were entire tribes of Europeans who existed in a life where they basically were Vikings, or Pirates, and would survive by killing other tribes and robbing them with advanced weapons. This loot and plunder mentality is where greed came from. It came from the fact that some cultures were experts at making weapons, and this is because their survival didn't depend on farming but depended on killing human and non-human animal.

    The cultures which could farm the land did not have to live like this. They simply worked the land and the land gave them unlimited food supply. The cultures who had no food had to go from place to place killing, looting, plundering, and over time they became specialists in this way of living.

    It's just a fact that some cultures never developed good weapons because they never needed them. They never had big wars because they never faced the type of desperate situations where killing was the only way to survive. So these cultures never developed the concept of greed.

    Selfishness is a part of every culture, greed isnt.

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:03PM (#32402188)

    In Jerusalem the danger is rock throwing groups for violators of the sabbath.

    ....aren't Jews not supposed to do any work, like, you know, picking up and throwing rocks, on the Sabbath?

  • by ChinggisK (1133009) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:07PM (#32402216)

    I'm certain that if Muslims made fun of Christians tightly held cultural and religious beliefs there would be outrage from Christians.

    You must be new here. In threads on this site discussing Christianity it is almost guaranteed that someone will refer to the Christian God as the 'sky-daddy' and Jesus as the 'undead zombie Jew'. Christians and Jews are constantly ridiculed, we get over it.

  • by biryokumaru (822262) <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:11PM (#32402250)
    Yes. The whole "Islamic Terrorist" idea is obviously a conspiracy on the part of western translators. Good eye!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:12PM (#32402264)

    IMHO, the belief in absolute truth is the greatest enemy of humanity. The belief in absolute truth is absolute evil.

    Would you say that that is absolutely true? ;)

  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:52PM (#32402568)

    According to that there is no tracking of it so we don't know if thats why they were killed.

    "The annual FBI Hate Crimes Statistics report documents assaults motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and disability. Yet, it does not track murders based on victim's gender identity or expression. If it did, the murders in this category would outweigh every other category except race."

    How do they know that if it's not tracked that way?

    Besides, I doubt theres a lynching in there which is the focus of this discussion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:02PM (#32402632)

    You can either act like tantrum-throwing little kids, like some Muslims here are, or you can grow up and act like an adult, and shrug it off. It's not personal, they just don't believe the same things as you. And for a Christian, it just means they miss you on having God's awesome grace - so you should just pray for them, and be loving to them.

    It's not tantrums nor censorship my friend, it's a defensive mechanism. In fact, I think these actions (the blocking of FB) shows that the governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh knows the sort of people they're dealing with; unlike a certain former American regime.

    By eliminating the source of their grievances (albeit, in a duct-tape kind of way), they bought some time. Perhaps the governments are just hoping for the whole thing to just go away after a couple of months. It has been proven that people have shorter term memories nowadays, especially when it comes to some Internet junk.

    The thing that quite a few of those from the glorious, righteous, and good-humoured "Western civilisation" seem to forget is that these things are sensitive to Muslims. I'm sure that when this issue dies down, yet another "artist" will get the bandwagon rolling again "in the name of freedom of speech". The thing I don't get is that aren't there other things that require such "artistic" approach other than a particular religion's prophet?

    The fact of the matter is that, most Muslims don't really care what your belief (or lack of one) is. They just want to be left alone and free to practise their religion. When someone does something like this, it's perceived as a provocation... and for what? So that some so-called artist can have their few weeks of fame.

    The funny thing is that you label Muslims as barbaric, backward primitives. Have you seen the response to these obnoxious cartoons from the birth place of Islam in Mecca and Medina? What? There are none? You gotta be kidding me! Surely those barbaric, backward Islamic Arabs would be wielding swords and beheading all westerners around them by now!

    And to touch on your "bestsellers" "poking fun" at Jesus Christ... they just reflects on the kind of society consuming such "literature", I'm sure that a huge majority of those sales came from Muslim countries. You know how they really hate religions other than Islam... yeah right!

  • by kasimbaba (1813770) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:04PM (#32402642) Journal

    I'm certainly not a scholar when it comes to the Koran, but I have read it more than once.

    ""Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." (Hadith Al Buhkari vol. 9:57)"

    This is not from the Quran, so it's irrelevant to the question.

    "Whoever seeks other than Islam as his religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he will be with the losers"

    So what? It's talking about life in the hereafter, nothing about killing infidels.

    "Slay the idolators [non-Muslims] wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.

    Like the GP said, quote whole phrases! You're only quoting less than half of 9:5, which takes the meaning totally out of context.

    Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the last Day....

    Again, incomplete and incorrect translation.

    Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah!

    Totally mistranslated.

    (Sura 9:5,29,41).

    We can argue semantics, but that seems to support my claims pretty clearly.

    You're supporting your claims with lies.

  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:27PM (#32402802) Homepage

    . Not everyone is going to adhere to your religion and fighting crusades, jihads, or holding inquisitions won't change that and is not the correct solution.

    And if they (Muslims) win their jihads?

    HINT: the world's Islamic population is increasing substantially, and not solely through birth. Jihad is alive and well in many (most) parts of the world. Social subversion goes a long way towards reaching one's goals when the status quo is one of accepting others' beliefs: it doesn't take much pressure to flip the coin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:33PM (#32402854)

    Islam doesn't revoke any one's fundamental rights by asking them not to draw pictures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), you can still draw whatever you want, just leave him alone. He is our Prophet and we love him more than any one else and we feel it as an insult if somebody makes fun of him. Wouldn't everybody feel the same way if somebody draws an insulting picture of his/her parents? For Muslims our Prophet is more than our parents.

    People in the name of Islam have threatened murder against:

    1> The creators of South Park, and Comedy Central, who showed a picture of some unknown person (who turned out to be Santa Claus) inside a bear costume, while insinuating that it was Mohammad in the costume

    2> Some people who drew pictures of various anthropomorphic things like smiling tea kettles and said those were pictures of Mohammad.

    3> The creator and the publisher of a political cartoon depicting Mohammad with a bomb hidden in his headdress.

    Then there's the stick figure thing.

    The problem here is that Western sensibilities have discovered something completely irrational. It appears that you could draw a square on a piece of paper, write "this is Mohammad" next to it, and someone would want to kill you because of it. We find it abhorrent that people could think in such a way. We get that Muslims are offended by images of Mohammad. But when a picture of ANYTHING AT ALL can be taken as a picture of Mohammad, then we see a way of thinking that is irrational, whose adherents seem to put extra effort into finding things to be offended about.

    To our way of thinking, our basic civil rights have a very clear line that cannot be crossed: my right to throw a punch ends at your nose. Or, my personal liberties should be unlimited so long as they do not cause anyone else harm.

    Now, most of us were also taught another basic belief, in the saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." We are taught that words are harmless, and that violent retaliation against mere insults is unconscionable.

    Now, it seems to be true that fundamentalists of all faiths have a basic problem in that all rules must be absolute. There can be no middle ground.

    So we are presented with a situation where a large population of people take a rule to such an absolute extreme that they threaten murder over words, thoughts, and drawings. We feel that we have to test the boundaries of this irrationality. If a drawing of a man in a turban can be a drawing of Mohammad, then what about a drawing of a person in a bear costume? A stick figure? A smiling teacup?

    Yes, we are deliberately trying to give offense. On one level, we believe such irrationality deserves it; if your buttons are that easily pushed then we believe the problem is YOURS. We learn to have thick skins. "I am rubber, you are glue, words bounce off me and stick to you." We want you to be rational. We are willing to respect your boundaries, but only IF you are willing to meet us in the middle somewhere. We want you to agree that a stick figure named Mohammad is not actually an image of Mohammed and to not take offense over it. We want to be able to represent Mohammad in political cartoons, not to offend Muslims, but as a way to talk about the issues that affect us today.

    A threat of murder over thoughts is, to us, a completely disproportionate response. Everyone should learn to be offended without having to lash out over it. Expecting no one to ever give offense is just ridiculous. To us, these are things we learned before we were nine years old. It's just amazing that grown adults in other parts of the world act how we think toddlers act. Yes, in our world, creeps like the W'boro Church can symbolically urinate on the grave of a hero -- but the chance of a suicide bombing or a kidnapping or a straight up murder over it are very very small. "While I may not agree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it."

  • Re:Idiots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Johnno74 (252399) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:48PM (#32402960)

    Which makes islam a cult, rather than a religion. Admittedly the world's largest cult, but a cult none the less.

    Wait, I thought the world's biggest cult was catholicism?

    Anyway, as someone else once said:

    "I don't get the point of religious conflict. Its just like two dudes fighting over who has the best imaginary friend"

  • by wirelessbuzzers (552513) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @09:55PM (#32403020)

    To be fair, until recently there were more people in Philadelphia than in all of Utah.

  • by Sperbels (1008585) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:10PM (#32403140)

    For the record: as a non-Christian (in the 'organized religion' sense), non-Jewish believer-in-god, I sure find atheists annoying as hell. These guys need to shut the hell up and stop being so critical of every semi-religious/spiritual statement people make.

    For the record: as an atheist who doesn't go around criticizing religion, I sure find people who believe all atheists are Richard-Dawkins-wannabes annoying as hell. You people turned atheism into a dirty word. So much so that most atheists just call themselves agnostic to avoid being confused with an anti-theist.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:39PM (#32403380)

    As a Christian, I can tell you people make fun of us all the time. Heck, they've been doing it for around, what, 2000 years?

    And how conveniently did you forget about that about 800 year period where you send people off to kill and die in order to capture foreign lands where your imaginary friend had a son to control trade routes under the auspices of serving your imaginary friend. There were about six of these.

    Or there was that Spanish mob, I forgot what they were called but no body expected them. Where it was punishable by torture or death simply to have another religion or not follow the accepted religion to an appropriate level, that went for about 150 years.

    Letters of marque were written about anyone of note who disagreed with you, be they a queen, philosopher or astronomer.

    Lets not get into the involuntary immolation of wicca shall we?

    Keep playing the victim card good sir.

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:45PM (#32403418)
    God has thunderbolts and floods; he doesn't need the help of some people throwing rocks. The choice to throw is from their free will.
  • by the_womble (580291) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:53PM (#32403484) Homepage Journal

    To be fair, its not just Muslims: I live in a country where you can go to jail for insulting the Buddha.

    Its not just religions either: lots of countries have laws against insulting the flag or president, or whatever.

    The basic conflict is over a "right not to be offended" vs a right to free speech. Unfortunately things seem to be drifting (in the West as well) towards peace is more important: we can all have a "harmonious society".

  • by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @11:20PM (#32403658)

    Keep your/their religious statements off my front porch and I will stfu. ESPECIALLY on my weekend mornings!

  • by syousef (465911) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @11:25PM (#32403698) Journal

    Or how about all those bestselling books alleging Jesus was gay, or he had a family with kids, or some other ridiculous nonsense....

    No. Much more believable is that the son of the creator came down in the form of a man to get persecuted and killed which somehow saves all men from their sin (including original sin which they're at fault for even though they're born with it) and that in memory of this he comes down and inhabits a buscuit and some wine which magically become his body and blood.

  • by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @11:30PM (#32403734)
    This isn't about ridicule just for fun. This is one group of people demanding special treatment (i.e. no drawing of Muhammad etc.) on the basis of their beliefs and threatening (and carrying out - so its not an empty threat) violence against any who dont give them this special treatment. This is simply not acceptable. And this ridicule serves as a way of showing that we are united in this perspective. If this offends someone more than murdering someone in the street then they have their priorities way wrong and I dont have much sympathy for them.

    TL;DR: We aren't the students picking on the weird kid, we are the students uniting against a bully who wants to do things his way.
  • by EdIII (1114411) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @11:33PM (#32403752)

    but at least we are moving in the right direction with a little momentum and the majority of Jews and Christians are not trying to convert us all.

    Conversion is the least of our issues. I quite frankly have no problems with it and see it as an acceptable behavior in society. How can we say it is any different than the man on a soap box in the park telling us about the end times or the Great Squirrel Conspiracy (that's true btw)? As long as it is conducted in public, on public property, between consenting adults the behavior is non-threatening.

    What *is* the problem is punishment . When people use interpretations of their religion to justify vigilante actions against you, outside of society's laws, to punish you for transgressions against their religion, that is extremely concerning. Equally concerning, are the attempts to subvert and pervert the laws of society through so-called political activism to enact non-secular laws in accordance with their religion.

    Thankfully, America and Europe has largely evolved past such behaviors (like the Crusades and the Inquisition), and the people who insist on performing or advocating such actions are marginalized and punished according to the law when they act inappropriately. Society does not condone or encourage *any* of their behavior whatsoever.

    However, America and Europe have enjoyed a period of peace of prosperity that quite frankly has allowed us the luxury of evolving to this state in the first place.

    The Middle East has been without such an environment for a very long long time and is unarguably in the grips of a Dark Age. Groups and people that should be marginalized and punished for their actions are being taken seriously, they are getting their laws enacted, and are proceeding with a culture of punishment of *anybody* that offends their religious sensibilities. Intolerance and violence is breeding more intolerance and violence.

    I don't know what the solution is, but as long as angry violent men control the Middle East we are going to continue experiencing the anguish they bring upon the rest of the world.

    The problem was never Islam or the words of the Quaran. Every other religious text has passages in it, often misconstrued due to a lack of anthropological sophistication required to understand their meanings in their time, but the vast majority of other people practice these religions in the moderation required to integrate into society.

    That's the problem with Islam; The way it is practiced. No moderation and in many situations merely a framework of justifications for violence that these men are predisposed to anyways.

  • by SBFCOblivion (1041418) on Monday May 31, 2010 @12:34AM (#32404096)

    or he had a family with kids, or some other ridiculous nonsense....

    I honestly don't understand why that is classified as nonsense and even gets some people up in a tizzy (not you, others I've met). Is it only because it would mean the man had sex with someone?

  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Monday May 31, 2010 @12:35AM (#32404100) Homepage Journal

    That would hold true for all religions. Fortunately, about 90% of Christians and 100% of Jews in America don't care what religion you are and consider their relationship with their god to be a personal matter.

    Hah, that's a bit of an overestimate. Gay marriage legislation anyone?

    I guess you would prefer the Muslim government option, where they don't have gay people at all?

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday May 31, 2010 @12:42AM (#32404120) Journal

    Frankly, I don't care if it is in the Qu'ran or not. The matter of the fact is that even self-proclaimed moderate Muslims in the West, when questioned, admit that death is the right and proper punishment for apostasy. So that interpretation is mainstream.

  • Re:Idiots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kirijini (214824) <kirijini AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:07AM (#32404234)

    Wait, let me get this straight:

    You used a religiously sensitive name that caused another person to be offended and react aggressively, and other people agreed that your religiously sensitive name was offensive.

    In comparison, other religiously sensitive names, such as Jesus and God, were banned.

    Therefore, "The Muslim extremists have already won."

  • Re:Idiots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:19AM (#32404316) Journal

    The Muslim extremists have already won - politicians are too cowardly to stand up to them because they might lose a few votes and most citizens are afraid to stand up to them because they might be called "mean" or "racist".

    It's fairly obvious that it is a rather unstable situation, and it looks like the pendulum is already swinging [swissinfo.ch] the other way.

    Which is unfortunate; I fear that, if PC police will keep the lid shut tight, when the thing finally explodes (and it will, mark my words), it won't just be anti-Islamic - it will also be plainly racist, and quite possibly warring fundamentalist Christian; and violent, with another Kristallnacht and lynchings on the streets. Which would be even worse.

  • by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Monday May 31, 2010 @01:21AM (#32404334)
    Don't start this equivalency bullshit - we are giving them teapots calming to be depictions of Muhammad, in response to threats of violence. If western civilisation falls, it will be because its people lacked either a spine or a brain to defend its core ideals.
  • by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Monday May 31, 2010 @02:22AM (#32404702)
    Ignoring that your particular example is illegal, and addressing your main point, what if someone posted legal things I found offensive on my street (not vandalism mind you), I would ignore it as I do many other things I find offensive in my daily life. Would there be outrage? - depending on the thing maybe - and that's fair and good. They have a right to cause us offence, and in turn some might exercise their right to protest (personally I wouldn't give it the publicity by protesting it). If they caused property damage there might be lawsuits, but otherwise there wouldn't be a case to answer. However someone threatened them with violence for doing it, I certainly would speak out against it.

    The main point is that you don't have a right not to be offended in a free country. If someone offends you - feel free to offend them back, or you know - consider being the bigger person and exposing the other as petty. I might even support you for it. However, threaten violence and all free people ought to align against you.

    And that is what this is about. This is not about causing offence for fun, its about taking back a boundary which has been slowly eroded by extremist elements among Muslims (and rather shamefully supported by the mainstream) who have declared that drawing images of Muhammad is punishable by death. They have backed this up with murder. As we saw with the south park debacle, some in the west have caved. We are here to defend our freedom and defy those who would threaten us into submission.
  • by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Monday May 31, 2010 @02:40AM (#32404786)

    But religious freedom is a human right. They have a taboo and it involves images of Muhammad. Out of respect for the peaceful Muslims who aren't violent it's beneficial to respect Islam.

    Freedom of religion is a human right, but respect of your religion is not. As an atheist, I can tell you that much of what is said by preachers in the street is disrespectful of atheists. I find the belief that I will be tortured for all eternity very disrespectful. But I don't demand them to respect me, just like Catholics cannot demand I respect their holy crackers. Neither can Muslims demand that the image of Muhammad be sacrosanct. This is just how it works is a free society.

    In a multicultural society, there is good reason to behave respectfully to beliefs you do not share. But when such things are backed up with violence, then it crosses a line, and this is about making it very clear that such things will not be tolerated.

    It's not like the majority of Muslims are violent so why blame the entire religion

    Nobody is blaming the entire religion. Put it this way - if some atheists beheaded someone for saying "atheism is crap" or something similar - I would be the first to hold this banner. I would look down on anyone who felt it was more important to preserve "respect for atheism", then to reprint or otherwise display such as statement. In fact I would feel that this very act was doing more for this cause. Otherwise there is something very wrong with your priorities.

  • by yyxx (1812612) on Monday May 31, 2010 @04:26AM (#32405254)

    The prohibition against making images of Muhammad in Islam is to prevent idolatry, to keep people from confusing symbols of the religion with the spiritual content of the religion. Ironically, that's just what is so prevalent in Islam today: strict enforcement of the symbols and rules of Islam has turned much of the Muslim world into idolaters, people who don't worship God, but instead worship symbols and submit to clerics.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Monday May 31, 2010 @05:42AM (#32405574) Journal

    Because "marriage" is a sacred institution, meaning it is of religious value only.

    Atheists get married too. Marriage is a legally binding social contract. It is a contract pledging to share everything, good and bad, and often to create offspring with each other only. While religion adds a dimension to marriage for those who participate, it is not the source of, nor the reason for two people to get married.

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Monday May 31, 2010 @07:23AM (#32405994)

    Because "marriage" is a sacred institution

    Completely untrue. The history of "marriage" clearly shows it existed long before religion become entangled. The simple truth is, the ring which women fawn all over is actually buying them like a horse. That's the standard. That's why engagement rings are typically of value. If you deflower your horse - I mean women - either before or after marriage, then the ring is hers to keep as compensation for his loss of market value. Nothing says love like, "with this ring, I own you bitch!" And that's why the actual marriage band is typically of value, so in case you prematurely die, she has some means to care for your heirs.

    In other cultures, a wife is worth several horses or other livestock. And legally speaking, they often had less worth and legal standing than horses or livestock. Likewise, the higher the social standing of the women, generally the more a women is valued. Which is to say, a women's worth was equaled only to the social ladder, to which she extended to the husband. That is, of course, after you've paid a dowry to compensate for all those years of rearing a worthless women.

    In more modern times, in order to strengthen the family unit's cohesion, religion became entangled. Despite all the things religion has completely screwed up, this is one of those things they got right. A strong family unit enhances a village/city and culture's stability; making for a healthy society. A healthy, stable society makes for rich church coffers and filled seats. Well, okay, they got it mostly right. So contrary to the church's historically greedy angle on marriage, it did bring tangible societal benefits. This of course ignores the fact, only those in good standing with the church were entitled to marry; to which I refer you back to the filled church seats and tithing.

    Realistically, these days, marriage is very much entangled with religion. Historically it specifically means a man and a women. A marriage encourages children and a stable home life. And to a largely agricultural/hunter society, this is very important. It is because of this potential contribution I don't have a problem with society contributing something back; discounted insurance, inheritance, so on and so on.

    Historically, even during Greek and Roman times, homosexuality was not only permitted but widely accepted. Just the same, same sex marriages were simply not permitted because it provided not societal benefit. Simply put, not matter how much you put two penises or two vaginas together you're simply not going to have children. Period.

    Is it because there is no historical basis, no religious basis, and no societal benefit, why I don't endorse same sex "marriage." Just the same, I don't see a reason why they can't have some other legal procedure/classification (example, "a joining") which provides many of the same benefits; such as health insurance (no insurance discounts), and emergency legal rights with their partner. So no, I don't see this as being on equal footing with marriage but I don't see a reason to keep them completely out in the cold either.

    So next time you go pining away for old marriage principles, please keep in mind you just equated your wife to being a near useless piece of property whos only worth is a hole in the mattress, a cook, a maid, and a guardian for your heirs and bloodline; and at the end of the day, is still worth less than a horse or other livestock. The good news is, if she was not a virgin when you married her, a simple gold band is paying too much. Make sure you remind her of this fact when you present her ring.

    Please keep in mind in most of my comments I've approached this from a historical perspective. Most of the above comments do not express my own views.

  • by jlorenzatti (1064228) on Monday May 31, 2010 @09:18AM (#32406726)
    Wow.. you would think seeing a depiction of Mohammed was like saying the word "Jehovah" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYkbqzWVHZI)
  • by couchslug (175151) on Monday May 31, 2010 @11:10AM (#32407846)

    There being no God, religion must promptly devolve into idolatry even it pretends otherwise.

  • by yyxx (1812612) on Monday May 31, 2010 @12:45PM (#32408690)

    As a metaphor, God and spirituality can be positive. However, here they are simply being used as instruments of politics and power, and as such, they are negative and dangerous.

  • by Pfhorrest (545131) on Monday May 31, 2010 @04:12PM (#32410904) Homepage Journal

    The problem was never Islam or the words of the Quaran. Every other religious text has passages in it, often misconstrued due to a lack of anthropological sophistication required to understand their meanings in their time, but the vast majority of other people practice these religions in the moderation required to integrate into society.

    This is a bit of a tangent, but I've always strongly disliked this idea of religious moderation.

    And before I start off on this, let me be perfectly clear: I am vehemently opposed to religious fundamentalists of any sort.

    But religious moderation has always struck me as intellectually and (if your morals are religiously-grounded) morally dishonest. Saying that some book is the holy word of the God you claim to follow, and then ignoring or interpreting away vast swaths of it so that you can belong to that religion while still keeping up with the moral and intellectual progress of the modern world... you basically become religious in name only, or inconsistently, hypocritically religious.

    It's like saying that you want to marry some girl... except, you don't want to live together, or have kids, or any joint property or tax status, or inheritance or incapacitation rights... but you still want to have monogamous sex with her. If that's what you want, then you don't really want a marriage, because marriage is this big complex institution that comes with all (or most) of those trappings you just said you don't want. What you want is just a girlfriend. And that's fine; maybe it's even better, maybe marriage is an outdated institution and all those trappings that you want no part of are nonsense. But if that's the case, then get rid of them, and avoid that institution; don't claim to partake of the institution but then ignore many of its fundamental features.

    Likewise, many religious moderates don't want all the medieval (hell, sometimes stone-age) trappings that come with their religious traditions: the violence, misogyny, intolerance, authoritarianism, and all-around general barbarism that lies in the roots of at least the Abrahamic religions. But they want the compassion, charity, socialization, and so on that are the usual selling points of these religions. So they adopt the religions but ignore or interpret away all the parts that they don't like. Which is certainly better, from a secular ethical perspective, than dragging all that antiquated barbarism along into the modern world; but if you're going to abandon major chunks of your religion and only keep the parts that plenty of irreligious folk in the modern world have in common, then why claim to follow the religion at all? Throw it away and keep on doing what you've been doing without the intellectual dishonestly of claiming to be something that you're really not.

    The fundamentalists of a given religion are the true adherents of that religion. If you don't like the fundamentalists, then just abandon the religion; or make a new one more to your liking and be a fundamentalist of that instead. You'll be living the same way you live today, but you'll be more honest about it.

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.

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