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Letters from the Muslim world; a 9/11 sampling from my inbox · zomblog

As the proprietor of the Mohammed Image Archive, I get a continuous stream of letters from Muslims around the world, offering their opinions about me, my Web site, Islam, and the West. Every now and then, when I get a free moment (not often these days), I update the Archive’s Emails From Readers page with a selection of the latest arrivals. And a few months ago I posted some representative examples of the kind of communiqués I get from Muslims in an essay I wrote about the Mohammed Image Archive.

But the letters keep pouring in. Hardly an hour goes by without at least one email from a reader somewhere in the Muslim world telling me exactly what is on his or her mind.

To mark 9/11 this year, I present below some of the emails I have received in just the last week. (All emails are unedited and appear here exactly as they arrived, except to abbreviate the senders’ full names.)

Let the dialogue begin!

From: H. Nehal
To: The Mohammed Image Archive
Subject: Suggestion

Hey, my name is H. Nehal. I’m from Pakistan. You can make this website even better if you post some of your picctures on it with you little dick in her ass, or maybe you can post some of your mother’s milky boobs. Your hairy ass’ pictures will work just ass fine.

You’re drawing our Prophet Salallaho Alaihay Wassalam, but you’re actually showing your own thinking by these pictures. Of how you think of your Gods. Our Prophet was a great person, and these pictures you’re drawing won’t do any harm to him or us, instead it might take you by surprize. Do you know there was a man who drew Mohhammed S.A.W.W’s pictures and after two weeks he died of electric shock?

If not then now you do. I hope you and your whole team die the same way. No, actually, in a much worse manner. Maybe by burning alive or drowning, as Prophet S.A.W.W said that this was the worst suffering for a dying person.

Allah sees all, and He is the one who created your filthy soul and rotten body, and He’ll be the one to cut it into pieces one by one.

You’ll rot in hell and you’ll be made to drink blood and puss. That’s what happens when you provoke someone’s religion.
Rot in hell you bastard.

Feaman-e-Allah.

From: Anees

may Allah curse you remove those pictures of our prophet.

From: sanyam S. (India)
Subject: Re - strict actions needed

I am syed hasan , the muslim leader , & Head of military forces , ISLAM . I went through your website , & I immediately want the name of the owner . The way he dealt with the beliefes of islamic & christiatnity followers are punishable under law & , the images of MUHAMMAd he published , i would not even like to split on his face . I am giving you the warning if these pics are not deleted imeediately , i will take the case to national cort , saudi arabia & also to president of USA . I have given name of your site in media of India , California & mecca . & You will consequently see thow the owner of tis site will be severely punished . I have accomodated many christians & muslims , officers & they are ready to take immediate actions . the punishment can even be death sentence on appeal of all muslims & christians . i am writing this so that if possible delete your website or give me the numbers & details of the owner , for immediate actions .
Syen hasan
Muslim legal head,
Officer of national military mecca

From: zubair m. (Pakistan)

oy dog why you make cartoon of our beloved prophet. you fuck bitch of son hramzady

From: Emre C. S.

Thanks for this great site. You made a service to humanity. I’m living in Istanbul, Turkey. Despite the false statistics and European perspective, religion here is weakening each day. Ruling class and poor people following them seems like devout muslims, but there’s a large crack in the fast growing middle-class community, which could clearly be seen since the Internet growing popular in the early 2000’s. People will learn the freedom of speech this way or another. And depiction of some 1400 years old cunning Arabian dude won’t be a problem anymore. The destruction of religion is key to the free conscious humanbeing, and sites like you are accelerating this process. I just can’t thank you enough.

From: v. vierra
Subject: stu**d

Prophet Muhammad is not as ugly as it , stu**d..
He is not as ugly as you..

From: Mr. Budin
Subject: What is your motivation??

What is your aiming by doing this exactly?? What is your motivation? You have to know that for islam and for muhammad, what your doing is nothing, you can’t make trust declined for islam, or even this religion will gone from this world by publishing that picture.. But for sure.. for the moslem community, you just doing that to insult and you will face the risk for yourself. Same as one of you will stand and try to kill us.. if we draw your leadership, your messangger, or your “God” (if you believe in God) in a bad way… You can’t claim that all of you is on the right way.. or that is your human right, by insult the others… That is really not a peacefully!!

From: arif c. (Germany)
Subject: Stop Drawing Sketches of Muhammad S.A.W.W (P.B.U.H)

There are many other ways for freedom of speech. I ask you not to play with the emotions of Muslims and remove all the related stuff from your web site.

Thanks.

From: Mahmoud Anwar D. (Italy)
Subject: Please read my massage about Islam

I hope you read this message and think of it

First , I’d like to say that Prophet Mohamed is the Messenger of Allah and all that brought by him is the obvious right as Allah told us , and what happened is just a grudge and hatred for what Allah gave to him . Prophet Mohamed in the hearts of all Muslims and we love him greater than our parents, children, and mothers…

1. I only need a reply - not for me but for you - to the following questions, is the freedom of opinion means verbal aggression, attack on the beliefs of Muslims and prophets and Islamic faith?

2. Can you do such verbal aggression, or just hint for it, in Zionism or in hateful Secular despite of their odious works and the genocide of Muslims and Coptic that happened in Palestine?

3. Does your hatred to Prophet Mohammad require all these attacks that were of such magnitude?

Finally, I hope you, before talking about Prophet Mohamed, the Messenger of Allah, just to know his biography, life, and the revelation that he was sent for at the following link in Arabic, English and French :

http://www.rasoulallah.net/v2/document.aspx?lang=en&doc=221

MAHMOUD ANWAR D.

From: A. Pribadi (Indonesia)
Subject: what can’t be done by america

i think the cartoons are disrespect islam,

oh yes, if you’re worried about your friends in South Park because of the threat of death, it’s nothing compared to the threat of death from your government in Muslim countries, so do not cry baby okay? because that’s life.

i know that america is a facists country, they can be hero by killing million innocent people at hirosima, and i believe that america will be the first country who will drop the nuclear in the name of peace…., and your american friends will happy til crying that their government stop the war. Hey I think it’s good idea if you could make it as a cartoon….

From: islamwill liveforever (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

You draw or post pictures liek you know islam or the prophet Muhammed may peace and blessings be upon him. whoever drew the cartoons, honest to god di dyou reserach islam and teh prophet Muhammed may peace and blessings be upon him? If you lie you know Allah (GOD) the Almighty is watching:) You should only excersie your freedom of speech when you know what you are depicting is not false pretences, were you not taught to lie as a child? and you think teh Prophet is bad, well the tables have turned:)
For the non muslims, do net be mislead by what the media potraying islam as, they are just threatened because it is teh fastest growing religion in the world:) And if Muhammed peace and blessing be upon him was a bad man then why was he ranked as NUMBER one by Michael Hart in his book Prophet Muhammad - The Most Influential Man in History, that is food for thought:) and you want to disrespect Muhammed peace and blessings be upon him when he is mentioned in all the different religions scriptures?? You do not believe me, then watch:
Muhammad Prophesized in Religious Scriptures of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Budhists and Parsis and Quran, Bible and Science - Dr Zakir Naik vs Dr William Campbell on the website
http://www.ilovezakirnaik.com/videos/index.htm, the British only banned Dr Zakir Naik from the UK because they are afraid of being told the truth:)
May you all be guided to the right path
Aameen Thumma ameen.

PS: zombie time you better post this and try not to pick and chose the comments you put:) let the public know the truth about islam do us all a favour. ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY IS WATCHING YOU:)

From: A. Javeed (India)

assalamo Alaikum Wa Ramato Allahi Wa Barakatoho

72 Signs of Kiyamah [Judgment Day]

1. People will leave prayer.

2. People will usurp Ama’naat.

3. Lying will become an Art.

4. There will be murders on the slightest of disagreements

5. Interest will become common.

6. There will be very tall buildings

7. People will sell religion for the world.

8. People will treat relatives badly

9. Justice will become a rarity

10. Lies will be considered truth

11. Clothes will be of silk

12. Persecution will become common

13. Divorces will become common

14. Sudden deaths will increase.

15. The usurper of Ama’naat will be considered honest and honorable.

16. The keeper of Ama’naat will be called an usurper of things given to him for safekeeping

17. Liars will be thought of as honest

18. Honest people will be thought of as liars

19. False accusations will become the norm.

20. It will be hot in spite of rain.

21. Instead of wishing for children, people will pray that they not have children

22. People from bad backgrounds and with bad upbringing will live a life of luxury (material, not peaceful).

23. Good people, when they try to practice, will be cut off from the world

24. Previously good people will also usurp Ama’naat.

25. Leaders will become persecutors.

26. Ulema and Qaris will commit adultery.

27. People will wear clothes of animal skin.

28. But their hearts will smell and will be dead.

29. And will be bitter.

30. Gold will become common.

31. Demand for silver will increase.

32. Sin will increase.

33. Peace will become rare.

34. Ayaats from the Quran will be decorated and calligraphy will become.

35. Mosques will be decorated.

36. And will have tall Minars.

37. But hearts will be empty.

38. Alcoholic drinks will be consumed.

39. Punishments ordered by the Shariah will be revoked and will not longer be implemented.

40. Women will order their mother around.

41. People who are with naked feet, naked bodies and against religion will become kings.

42. Women will trade along with men.

43. Women will imitate men.

44. Men will imitate women.

45. People will swear by things other than Allah and the Quran.

46. Even Muslims will be prepared to give false testimony, without being incited to it.

47. Only people one knows will be greeted with the salaam.

48. The knowledge of the Shariah will be used to earn worldly things.

49. Acts, which earn the Akhirah, will be used to earn the world.

50. Assets belonging to the nation will be considered and treated as personal treasures by the rulers.

51. Ama’naat will be considered ones personal asset.

52. Zakaat will be considered as a penalty.

53. The lowest and the worst man in the nation will become its leader.

54. People will not obey their fathers.

55. And will mistreat their mothers.

56. And will not hold back from harming their friends.

57. And will obey their wives.

58. And the voices of the men who commit adultery will be raised in mosques.

59. Women who sing will be treated with great deference.

60. Instruments of music will be kept with great care.

61. Alcohol will be drunk on the highways.

62. People will be proud of their acts of persecution.

63. Justice will be sold in the courts.

64. The number of men in the police force will increase.

65. Instead of music, the Quran will be used to gain pleasure for its tune and style (qirat), not for what it preaches, its meaning or for rewards in the Akhirah.

66. Animal fur will be used.

67. The last of the Ummat will curse those before them (clearly seen today in people who call the Prophet’s companion’s names).

68. Either Allah will send a Red Storm upon you.

69. Or Earthquakes.

70. Or your faces will be changed.

71. Or a rain of rocks from the skies. Asteroids? Meteors.

72. Lies will become a habit of the rulers and the rich.

From: kosti
Subject: Deeply Appreciative

Your website is a treasure of art and a monument of freedom. It’s both beautiful to behold and defiantly and powerfully brandishes the freedoms of expression and information-sharing.

I wish you health, safety, and an inextinguishable passion to continue with your work!

25 Responses to “Letters from the Muslim world; a 9/11 sampling from my inbox”

  1. 1Kevin on Sep 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm:

    Unlike the first email guy, I would like to thank you heartily for not posting photos of your hairy ass :).

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  2. 2blangwort on Sep 12, 2010 at 8:16 am:

    Freedom of speech in this country is a fact that these people have never understood. It doesn’t matter what they think about the images of Mohammad.

    I wish nothing but peace for all of these deluded fools. They need to realize, however, that it is highly unlikely the world will see things as they do. This inflexibility shows that their belief system and perception of the world is lacking.

    We have endured an endless, vile series of threats against our country, our leaders, our symbols, and our beliefs from this crowd. And for the most part, we do not care. It wasn’t until recently that we were able to see the feelings and hatred fomented among so may Muslims. And now it is out in the open.

    Their ugliness is showing.

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  3. 3Render on Sep 12, 2010 at 11:08 am:

  4. 4Randy on Sep 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm:

    I was very disappointed with this posting. Why didn’t you include their return email addresses and ISP’s? I could always use a few pen-pals! :)

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  5. 5Ron L on Sep 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm:

    Such wonderful examples of:
    1) Muslim moderates
    2) Muslim understanding of freedom of speech
    I’m convinced!

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  6. 6Bakunin on Sep 12, 2010 at 7:03 pm:

    random letters from weirdos = the opinion entire Muslim world. Yep, I’m convinced! Thanks for confirming my irrational hatred for anyone brown/doesn’t practice some form of protestant Christianity ( luckily that extends to Mexican Catholics and there heathen whore of a Pope).

    I wish the same standards you applied to Muslims applied to conservatives and anti-abortion christian extremists…. oh well, to be angry and hypocritical, seems to be the American way.

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  7. 7germaninspain on Sep 12, 2010 at 10:52 pm:

    Interesting selection of emails. Is it representative by tone and number? I mean in the emails I recognize many points of view of befriended muslims. The palestinian radical, the alcohol drinking tunisian or turk, … From the radical idiots (each religion has) to the moderate individuals (that are in my opinion the quiet majority), I think almost every point of view is represented.

    Concerning freedom of speech, I do not really agree. Yes, in the US as well as in most part of the first world you have freedom of speech with some local exceptions (in Germany it is forbidden to deny the holocaust, in Belgium and Netherlands you better don´t insult the king / queen, …), but being it legal to say whatever you want, does it give you the moral and ethic rights to say it? Did you post the images of Mohammed with the intention of informing or of provoking? Is it really necessary?

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  8. 8blangwort on Sep 13, 2010 at 3:24 pm:

    @germaninspain the point of freedom of speech is precisely to tolerate those who advocate the very worst, most disgusting points of view. We tolerate Holocaust deniers. We tolerate the KKK. We tolerate NAMBLA. We do so because once you set precedents of squelching ideas, even abhorrent ones, you risk becoming a totalitarian state.

    I prefer to keep that judgment out of the hands of a government. Except for credible threats, yelling fire in a crowded theater, or other such immediate risks to life and limb, we allow all speech. Yes. It IS necessary.

    Personally, I find the Quran burners to be abhorrent. I would rather they kept the insults among themselves. Nevertheless, they have a right to insult others. It is not smart. I’ll grant that much. It is quite counterproductive, I’ll grant that too. I find it to be as disgusting as the infamous “Piss Christ.” But it is their right. And I will fight to protect that right.

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  9. 9Stone K on Sep 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm:

    I did enjoy the emails that demand you stop drawing pictures of Mohamed. Now which were yours? The 500 year old ones or the 100 year old ones?

    @Bakunin - Lol You are a joke. And your ignorant, baseless and racist comment proves it. Go live (or stay) in the lands that are barely out of the cultural stone age if you cant stand freedom.

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  10. 10McGuirk on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm:

    Bakunin, you’re an idiot. To begin with, it’s ‘their’, not ‘there’. I know, you’re so much smarter than all of us here, but apparently you have problems with there/their/they’re.
    If you’d like to talk about being hypocritical, how about all the angry and violent environmentalist, liberals, anarchists, etc.? So sorry to insult your friends.
    As for the sampling, it’s hilarious to see that the overwhelming majority of those letters you’ve posted are basically threats of death or damnation (or threats to go to the media, which will promptly not give a damn). Hilarious look at those who practice the ‘religion of peace’.
    And you may actually need to worry about the threat to go to the president; he’s a bit of an appeaser, you know.

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  11. 11germaninspain on Sep 14, 2010 at 12:32 am:

    @ blangwort – Yes, I see your point as well as I understand the theory of freedom of speech, but as an European I also believe in negative rights, yes, I have freedom of speech, but also the freedom (and probably civil duty) to remain quiet, specially if I know that it will not change a thing but scare and make angry many people with possible outbreaks of violence. In my opinion it is a matter of social responsibility to choose to speak or remain quiet. Finally it is freedom of speech, not duty of speech.

    You yourself start making exceptions “yelling fire in a crowded theater, or other such immediate risks to life and limb, we allow all speech.” – so what is good and what not? This is the point when subjective judgment comes into play, and before any individual, for whatever reasons, makes his own decision, I prefer it to be regulated by the state, that finally (laugh if you want) is the representation of the people. Would freedom of speech really be endangered by a law forbidding to burn religious symbols of any (accepted) religion (of the territory)?

    Take the media and the Quran burners. Would we be where we are if the media had not focused on this news? Before you say it, yes, this pastor also advertised on internet, but internet is contrary to what many believe not the ideal medium to make real propaganda unless you have a big network and a great number of followers, which I think this group in Florida did not have. Also, for economic reasons internet is not so expanded in the Muslim countries and if, the majority of users will be of an open minded spirit and I doubt that Muslims in the rest of the world are searching for topics like “Quran burners” daily just to be sure that nothing burns.

    It is a matter of responsibility to choose, and the media in general use (abuse?) freedom of speech to do what they want and as an excuse to present any news, finally they live from selling them. Is it really of general interest to give publicity to the Quran burners of Florida, the tree sitters of Berkeley or any random group with weird ideas? As difficult as it may be, the media in general should refrain themselves from time to time and choose about what they inform, there should be some kind of voluntary censorship (we are already voluntarily applying “political correctness”, which I consider as a very dangerous form of censorship, mainly because it is supposed to be voluntary) to prevent excesses or give publicity to individuals or groups with dangerous ideas that in some cases are even illegal.

    Sure, freedom of speech is a great idea and ideal, but it requires individuals to make a sensible use of it, if this premise is not given (I recommend zombies essays about education), it can become as dangerous to democracy as censorship and also lead to a totalitarian state. Take the nazi movement of the early twenties. They grew thanks to the right of freedom of speech, the right to expose any weird, racial and paranoid idea until they had and accumulated followers and power until they were able to revoke freedom of speech.

    Would you still defend freedom of speech if holocaust deniers / the KKK / NAMBLA where brainwashing a society and increasing power thanks to it? I agree that letting people like this speak openly about their ideas is the best deterrent for them to expand, but I hope you see that there is an inherent danger in unlimited freedom of speech as there is in censorship. Somewhere in-between there is a balance, the really difficult thing is to reach and keep this balance.

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  12. 12blangwort on Sep 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm:

    @germaninspain, this is a question of whether one trusts a government to know what is right, or not.

    So Would I still defend freedom of speech if radical groups were brainwashing a society and increasing power? Yes. Personally, I don’t want a commission of Public Truth to certify that my version of the truth is acceptable. If you follow your argument to its logical conclusion, that’s what I think you’d end up with.

    Let’s take Holocaust Denial. What if someone made an allegorical play that hinted at it? Is that OK? What if someone cited this notion as a possible version of many truths? At some point you have to draw a line and ask whether any of this is a good idea. What does such prohibition do? Why it gives the perpetrator free publicity!

    We tolerate “Truthers” who insist that the September 11, 2001 attacks were an inside job. They can scream and demand all they want. Most just don’t care. But if you squelch their speech in any way, why, its A CONSPIRACY! “THEY” don’t want you to know this. Now you have a real problem on your hands.

    Look, I would love to see these groups dry up and blow away. However, I know that the more we try and prevent them from forming, the harder they’ll work to buck the system. I would rather that these groups spend their money to purchase time on radio stations and publish their ugliness than to not be able to do so than use their skills to terrorize the public by other means.

    In other words, it keeps them busy. It provides plenty of examples so that I can show my children what a radical nut case looks like.

    If someone incites a riot, If someone yells fire in a crowded Disco, and people get hurt, why they’re criminally liable. If someone makes a credible death threat against another, that is also against the law. The difference between your point of view and mine is that I’m speaking of an immediate threat of violence as a result of said speech. I believe your point of view is different only in that it may be strategic instead of a tactical problem. We can deal with strategic problems. However, we can not act fast enough to handle most tactical situations engendered by “free speech.”

    That’s why it was legal for the KKK to march through Skokie IL, right through an old Jewish community some 30 years ago among quite a few holocaust survivors. They marched. They shouted. And people knew in advance that they would be there. They mostly stayed away. Some shouted epithets at them, but overall it was peaceful.

    You could attempt to squelch such radical groups. I wish you luck with that approach. Personally, I’d prefer to have the spout their hate in public while I monitor their behavior. When it turns to violence against my neighbors or my family, I’ll be among the first to exercise another right we have under the US Constitution: The Right to Bear Arms.

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  13. 13pre-Boomer Marine brat on Sep 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm:

    The third one is signed (at the end) by someone claiming to be “Officer of national military mecca”.
    Sounds like one of the Ikhwan — the Saudi National Guard.
    Nice people, who took the al-Masjid al-Haram by armed force in ‘79.
    An example of thoughtful moderation.

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  14. 14germaninspain on Sep 15, 2010 at 3:44 am:

    @ blangwort – First of all, there is no commission of public truth with varying and changing members. There are laws, approved by the parliament and revocable / changeable by the parliament elected by the people, as it last happened it the 1990´s. And these laws are applied by an independent justice. Let´s take the german law against “Volksverhetzung”, incitement of popular hatred Article 130, part 1 of the criminal law.

    I wanted to translate it but wikipedia was faster, here is the link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volksverhetzung
    it also mentions similar examples from the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Finland, so Germany is not the exception in Europe, although the laws banning any idealization of national socialistic ideas is for obvious reasons specifically German and very recent (1990´s).

    As you see, it is not the business of a public truth commission to determine what is good and what not, it is the business of state attorneys to prosecute any infractors. And an interesting historical remark. A similar law was active during the Weimar Republic, unfortunately just against “incitement for communist class struggle”, so it could not be applied against Hitler. What if it could have been applied?

    Since then, lawyers have learned of their errors and made the new law more open and flexible. Actually it is applied against the Neonazis (racism, holocaust denial), muslim radicals (calling for Yihad) as well as the radical left (calling for a revolution). In my opinion it is a very efficient weapon against any kind of violent radicalism and extremism, handed over to and wielded by an independent justice. And it can be applied also against foreigners, so should one day Mr. Ahmadinedschad touch German soil without diplomatic immunity he will be arrested and processed for all the nasty things he said about / against Israel and be condemned up to 5 years of jail.

    Could this law be used against truthers? No. Tree sitters? No. Hippies protesting against whatever they don´t like? No.

    It can not be applied against peaceful people pursuing any peaceful objectives in a democratic way, and it doesn´t matter how weird their ideas may be. As long as they expose their ideas in a peaceful way, they retain their freedom of speech. Ask for violence or hatred and you loose your freedom of speech, since Article 5 of the German constitution grants freedom of speech BUT for the exposure of banned ideas that lead to violence, hatred and so on. These are the rules in Germany.

    Is this reducing freedom of speech? Yes. Does this affect 99,5% of the people? Mostly not. Is it in the interest of the society / state? Yes, definitely, it gives the state a weapon to protect itself and society against violent radicals. This certainly does not prevent the existence of radicals, but it makes their lives and propagation of their ideas a lot more difficult.

    Would this law affect the hypothetical play denying holocaust? Arts are arts, and have their own rules. The focus of the state attorney would be: What intention is the artist pursuing with his play? Since especially holocaust denial is a very sensible problem for the German society, I guess they would ban it, but first I doubt anyone would write it. But I can´t be sure, pardon me if I can not give a clear answer.

    Then there remains your typical American distrust of the state / government. I encountered this many times before and know that we could argue indefinitely about this subject and come to no conclusion. Since generations Americans and Europeans have made very different experiences with state power. Neither side has really tried to follow the way of the other side, so no conclusion is possible. Both ways have their advantages and problems, and both societies have developed ways to live with them.

    Concerning your statement to your right to bear arms I respect it, also the use of arms to defend yourself, your family and neighbors, but think of only one thing: if the radicals are already the majority thanks to unlimited freedom of speech, it´s too late. You can shoot and kill, just to be killed yourself in the end. Personally I would prefer to prevent any radical group to become the majority. If this means I have to reduce minimally my freedom of speech, it´s a price I am willing to pay, I consider it a willing and conscious sacrifice on the altar of democracy for the sake of democracy, specially because I don´t believe that spreading hate and encouraging violence is in interest of any society or a solution at all.

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  15. 15blangwort on Sep 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm:

    @germaninspain, This is a classic Left/Right argument. A Left wing believes government is the answer; a Right believes the individual is the answer. A centrist realized that the balance of these two views is essential. I congratulate you in that you do trust your government to use such laws wisely and legally. Perhaps this is a matter of scale. The larger and more regulated a government gets, the less I want to trust it.

    Fundamentally, we both want the same thing. However, I would rather let the radical groups burn themselves out and fade away. Whereas I believe you would chose to take a more activist approach. I actually do believe in my fellow citizens enough to not be too concerned about them getting “brainwashed” from some radical cult. On the other hand, where you trust your government to do the right thing, I trust our individuals to do the right thing. I’ll concede that I could be wrong. Europe does have a history of being quite civilized and yet corruptible enough that militants can seize power with very little fuss.

    I will concede that not every group out there is best dealt with by ignoring them. And yet, not every government can be trusted not to abuse it’s power. The right to self defense is an answer to both of these concerns.

    At the end of the day, a good government must fear its constituents, and the constituents must fear a good government. A healthy respect on both sides goes a long way toward building an orderly, lawful society. And a reasonable right to defend oneself and one’s property is at the heart of fostering the fears on both sides of the equation.

    I hope that is something we can both agree upon.

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  16. 16germaninspain on Sep 16, 2010 at 1:08 am:

    @ blangwort, yes I think we agree on this. For historical reasons european masses have proven to be not trustworthy and resistant to populism and radicalism, being it from right or from left. That´s the reason why freedom of speech is limited in many european constitutions.

    Concerning your left / right arfgumentation, historically in Europe it was the left that took power from the state and started decentralization policies, while the right, for nationalist and populist reasons tried to avoid or reverse this. Left / right politics change once you cross the atlantic. Or as I once had to explain in Texas - ” I am a republican. In Spain that means that I am on the far left and want to execute the king.”

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  17. 17Daniel Noe on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:35 pm:

    I just want to point out that sometimes a little provocation is necessary to finally end a problem and get it over with instead of allowing it to fester indefinitely. I would rather the mohammad pictures provoke some people than to refrain from posting them so that we must continue to walk on eggshells the next hundred years until some other danish cartoonist unknowingly blunders into an international incedent. If we allow censorship to stand, it sets a precedent. Generally, we should not all go out of our ways to provoke, but in response to islamofundamentalists of recent times, I say enough is enough. I suggest we leave a picture of Mohammad on the moon where they will never have the technology to take it down.

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  18. 18blangwort on Sep 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm:

    A Muslim is standing on the moon. Ramadan ought to be coming sooner or later. When do you celebrate it, and which way do you face to pray to Mecca?

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  19. 19germaninspain on Sep 24, 2010 at 6:38 am:

    @ Daniel Noe & Blangwort – Are you conscious that, unlike Europeans / Americans, for Muslims religion is not a personal matter?

    I agree with Daniel Noe that sometimes some provocation is useful to start a debate, the first step to solve a problem. But concerning Muslims they are not on the same level as we are on the point of religion. Historically on both sides of the Atlantic and for good reasons we consider religion to be a completely private matter. Personally we may like or dislike campaigns like Ariane Serien´s / Richard Dawkin´s Atheist Bus Campaign (“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist_Bus_Campaign) but accept it for reasons of freedom of speech, or at least a majority; many city owned bus companies in too many European cities refused to post these ads for fear of radical Christian protests or other political reasons, also Richard Dawkins is menaced to death in many Christian countries. Isn´t this censorship?

    Again, the problem is that the point of view of Muslims concerning their religion is completely different. They never had a figure like the pope to oppose, or ever seriously questioned the Kuran. They never held a synod or council to discuss and question their dogma. It may not sound good, but concerning religion Muslims are some centuries behind us.

    Or how do you think would your pilgrim fathers have reacted if anyone had said “There´s no God” in the early 18th century? Think of Salem and the burning of witches. The Spanish Inquisition. When the Taliban destroyed the Buddha statues in Afghanistan the world was shocked for the destruction of pieces of art, but how many churches did the Protestants assault in the 16th century to free them of images of God and burn the images? We tend to forget that not three hundred years ago we were not so different and would have sympathized with the Muslims on this issue.

    With time, thanks to the birth of the individual in the American and French revolutions as well as the industrial revolution we started cutting the power of the Churches and religions, searched and found other values and finally are where we are today and are happy about it.

    Muslims were thrown from their (mostly) colonial past into the modern (democratic) industrial (today perhaps post-industrial) world without having time to evolve like we did, to adapt. By economic and political success, sheer violence and conquest or practical reasons we have imposed on their societies our values and of course they can only find refuge in their religion, it´s the only own cultural value that remains to them, that is truly theirs by right, history and tradition and attacking this value just makes them mad. Isn´t their attitude at least understandable?

    The arguments I read concerning the issue of the pictures on Zombie´s blog just consider “our” point of view, they don´t take account of the Muslim reality and feelings. I said it before, in my opinion provocations like this are just fuelling the radicals and preventing any advance or liberalization in the Muslim world. They just force every Muslim to take sides, and the radicals are closer than we are (and also more dangerous). Muslims must take these steps on their own, we can´t force them to do that. If we really consider ourselves to be more advanced and civilized, we should take account of those who are not and give them time and help them were we can and when we are asked to, we can not expect that Muslims to change their mind and points of view in a second just because we want them to.

    And no, I don´t agree or support the ideas that we should give in and give them all they ask for, we have to show determination and if necessary force and most of all demand from them that they treat us as seriously as they want to be treated. The question is how do we do this. All efforts of the last 50 years have failed, so what now?

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  20. 20germaninspain on Sep 24, 2010 at 6:42 am:

    @ Daniel Noe: Putting the image of Mohammad on the moon probably just would make them seriously develop missiles and A-bombs (Pakistan has both, for example) to erase it. OK, the first one goes to the moon. Where goes the next?

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  21. 21zombie on Sep 24, 2010 at 9:11 am:

    Daniel Noe + germaninspain

    I really like the “Mohammed on the Moon” idea. It would cause a permanent global meltdown of Islamic extremism.

    But there’s no way Pakistan or any other Muslim country could develop the technology to send anything to the moon, much less a nuclear missile, much less with the accuracy to pinpoint a specific spot on the moon. Maybe in 100 or 200 years, but not anytime in the foreseeable future. Hell, even the US and the Russians, the only two countries to ever reach the moon’s surface (the Soviets crash-landed an unmanned craft on the moon once), can no longer even begin to afford a second moon-landing program.

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  22. 22tarpon on Sep 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm:

    Can’t you say it’s art?

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  23. 23germaninspain on Sep 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm:

    @ zombie: Have you read about the danish rocketeers?

    -> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11178034

    The objective is to build an orbital rocket with pieces bought in the equivalent of a Home Depot. The second launch failed because of a defect hair dryer. The science is there, the know-how is there, and mentioning the funding: the arabs have enough oil to pay for more than one space program. Just give them a reason.

    Seriously, think about it as you like, but respect, specially for other peoples believes, should be considered.

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  24. 24Daniel Noe on Oct 1, 2010 at 11:52 am:

    Germaninspain, of course I’m aware of the situation. If religion was a personal matter for them, zombie wouldn’t even be posting this and we would all be talking about TARP bailouts or British Petroleum or something. I was just wondering if deliberately provoking them might be better strategy than what we’ve been doing. Obviously, all-out appeasement is not an option.

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  25. 25Shin_E on Jul 31, 2012 at 8:10 am:

    U receive insults everyD and you post them for fun?????? don’t u have any self esteem???
    pfff I pity u people so much…..whatever u do, whatever u say won’t have any effects on muslims..we are strong because we are living the truth, we KNOW the truth while u are the ignorant ones…

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