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Danish Cartoons

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    Posted: 10 February 2006 at 7:55pm
 I wish we could understand each other .. 

I understand why the Muslim world hates Denmark. When I look in the newspaper, I find that journalists around the world did NOT do a good job investigating reliable sources of information, or explaining the situation properly. It is very complex and at the same time so very simple. Please read this if you want to try to understand what is going on in Denmark. I am terribly sorry about the situation, and I wish we could learn to understand each other better. I do not expect Muslims to understand Danish culture, but I ask you to try. I know it is not easy. 

Please try to understand that freedom of speech, in this matter, is not used as an excuse to spread hatred. I am amazed to see newspaper expressing this point of view. The law about freedom of speech is made to prevent war and hatred, by allowing information to flow freely. Danes believe that all persons living in Denmark should be able to ask critical questions regarding all subjects, in order to improve understanding and adapt to changes in society. 

The Danish newspaper, Jyllandsposten, never intended to express hatred towards Muslims. It is true that many Danes are afraid of Muslims, because of some of the noticeable cultural differences, but that does not mean they feel hate. The article expresses concern about the fact that many Danish artists were too afraid of treating the subject of Islam, in the same manner as they treat any other subject in the Danish society. 

It is deeply rooted in the Danish mentality that it is healthy to talk, debate, laugh, listen and criticise everything we see, that we do not understand. We believe this is the best way to reach an understanding. We criticize our parents, our teachers, our prime minister, all of our politicians, the royal family, our friends, our husband, our wives, our children, the government, the school system. In short: Everyone and everything. Yet, we still respect them and they respect us back. Furthermore, there are no controversial questions, not even if it involves sensitive subjects, such as how much money our queen earns. It is a common belief in this society that it would not make sense to prevent people from having their own opinion, so please do not think we are trying to do that. When it comes to showing respect, an essential point is that those who have a traditional Danish upbringing do show their respect differently from other cultures. The respect is present, but it might not be visible for those who have a limited insight in the Danish culture. 

The article in Jyllandsposten said that Danes should not put self-censorship upon themselves because of fear of the unknown. I believe the point the journalist was trying to put forward, was that Danes should not be reluctant to address the problem of fear. In order to feel comfortable we need to understand each other. The intention of publishing the article was not, in any way, to express hatred. The article did not criticize Muslims, and, as I understand it, the article expressed the point of view that Danes were becoming a victim of their own fear. I believe the newspaper did not foresee that so many Muslims would feel so strongly about the drawings, before printing the paper. The reason is that most Danes have not read the Koran. Furthermore, most Muslims in Denmark consider their religion a private matter. They do not talk publicly about it, or the strong reactions that might follow from certain initiatives, such as the drawings. What I find important in this debate is that the text in the article did not show disrespect towards Muslims 

No one talks about the text in the article, and I do not understand this at all. The ridiculous cartoons which many of us find very childish and ignorant, are what has become representative for Denmark. The Muslims we meet at work, or at the university, are happy in our culture and they do not feel hate. They do not feel the need to tell us about the rules of the Koran and we do not feel the need to tell them about the Ten Commandments. Those who are not integrated in the society do not meet Danes on a regular basis. Many can not speak Danish and if they do not work or educate themselves, they might not meet responsible adults who can show them, that they are indeed respected in this society, regardless of their religion. Many young Muslims in Denmark draw attention to them selves by acts of crime, but if they are frowned upon it is not because of the colour of their skin or their religion. It is because they simple do not respect the law. Danes who do not respect the law are also frowned upon, and may also find it difficult to feel accepted. 

Danes read the article and do not find it disrespectful. Why? Because this is how Danes normally treat each other. It is possible that some Danes, at the time, found that some of the drawings were amusing, because the cartoonists were making jokes about themselves, and their own ignorance towards the rest of the world. Danes call it self irony when they make themselves look stupid with the purpose of creating a lighter atmosphere. We do this because it is supposed to make people laugh at you, and not get offended by the words you say. One of the drawings had a text which said something along the lines: "Do not pay attention to this. When it comes down to it, this is just a drawing made by a doubting farmer from Jutland." You cannot translate a text word by word and expect to get the same meaning out of it, because the same words have different meanings in different cultures. I have seen very bad translations due to this fact. You should know that Danes from Copenhagen always make Danes from Jutland look very stupid and ignorant. While those from Jutland say that Danes from Copenhagen are superficial and arrogant. We make jokes about ourselves as well as our friends. It is only jokes, and we tell them when we feel comfortable, or try to feel comfortable, in a given situation. It is a way of breaking the ice and often a reassurance of the fact that, the relationship or the bond is strong. It does take a while for foreigners to understand this, and evidently misunderstandings frequently occur due to this cultural trait. 

However, the commotion about Jyllandsposten is the worst misunderstanding I have ever seen in my life. I hope you realize that Danes are not racists or against any religion at all. Otherwise I would not be able to write this. Please do not listen solely to the bad things that lead to hatred and intolerance, but also try to listen to the good things Danes say about Muslims and other cultures. You should know that in Denmark the law gives you the right to have any religion you like, to speak of whatever you like (as long as your intention is not to encourage violent acts), to educate yourself, free of charge and to go to the hospital for free. This includes all nationalities living in Denmark. Faith is something that comes from inside, and we believe no one will be able to take it away from you. That is the reason why the Danish law accepts different religions in a society build upon Christian values. To us, belief is personal matter, and that is why the law assures you the right to keep your faith. Thank you very much for your time. 

Jørgensen
Denmark



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Angel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2006 at 9:27pm
Great post  I believe that some of the things you say are similar in other places.
~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ZEA  J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2006 at 11:00pm

Hi visitor, wellcome to the forum

you said Danes read the article and do not find it disrespectful,and then you ask why? let me tell you why, because majority of Danes are not muslim OK.    Now answer this question,if you really bellieve in free press, why do you  think the same newspaper refused to publish catoons about jesus(paece be upon him) few years ago?

By the way, in islam, it is not permisable to drow eny of the other prophets including jesus(pbh)

"You will never attain piety and righteousness,(and eventually paradise)until you
spend of that which you love."(Al-Imran:92)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shams Zaman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2006 at 10:50am

Dear brother! Jørgensen!

Most of us know the western society and Denmark is also included in it.

You said: “Danes believe that all persons living in Denmark should be able to ask critical questions regarding all subjects, in order to improve understanding and adapt to changes in society”. 

By publishing these cartoon and degrading a holy personality which questions were you seeking for and which kind of understanding was being promoted except for hate, anger, fury, bloodshed, damage to property, lose of lives and emotional injuries?? Is this all what should be promoted by the use of freedom of speech.

 

So was the newspaper trying to promote harmony by repeatedly publishing the cartoons?? They did it in September as well but missed the attention and they did it again to test the limits?? Your say that; The Danish newspaper, Jyllandsposten, never intended to express hatred towards Muslims, is not at all convincing. The publishing was well planned and I know why it was done. This is the endeavour to make the East and West to engage in the clash of civilizations.

 

You said; It is deeply rooted in the Danish mentality that it is healthy to talk, debate, laugh, listen and criticise everything we see, that we do not understand. We believe this is the best way to reach an understanding. We criticize our parents, our teachers, our prime minister, all of our politicians, the royal family, our friends, our husband, our wives, our children, the government, the school system. I am sorry if you do it to your parents as well. That is why they are dumped in the old houses once they are considered no more of financial value. We do criticize some of these things like the Mullahs, teachers, governments, ministers, etc. But religion, God, Prophets (all) and the holy Books (all) are completely excluded from any kind of fun or disrespect. However we do healthy debates on these things and among various religious factions but in decent and polite manner. Fun has its limitations and if fun is required there are other things to make fun of. The cartoons could have been about some religious fanatic like Osama or some other religious person. Why it had to be our Prophet who is dear to us more than our lives, children, parents, property and family.

 

Yet, we still respect them and they respect us back. A new kind of respect is here. Sorry this counts as disrespect in Islam. In west there is no respect for God, Prophets, Holy Books or religion. Why?? Because these are fun spots!

 

The intention of publishing the article was not, in any way, to express hatred. The article did not criticize Muslims, and, as I understand it, the article expressed the point of view that Danes were becoming a victim of their own fear. I believe the newspaper did not foresee that so many Muslims would feel so strongly about the drawings, before printing the paper. The reason is that most Danes have not read the Koran. Brother whether you read Quran or not, whether you consider Islam at a religion of peace or not whether you consider Muhammad as the Messenger of God or not whether you believe in God or not, we Muslims are not at all concerned about it. What we are objecting to is that you can’t humiliate a personality who is dearest to me in such a shameful and disrespectful manner. And an ordinary Dane should not justify it in the name of freedom. If publishing these cartoons is freedom of speech then the violence should be considered as the Freedom of Action. What’s wrong with that???

 

You say: No one talks about the text in the article, and I do not understand this at all. The ridiculous cartoons which many of us find very childish and ignorant, are what has become representative for Denmark. What I have to do with the text, once you have done more than that?? If you publish a nude photo on the cover of the book and then you say well I don’t support the pornography in the text of the book what would that mean???

 

What an information and logic you have given once you say: You should know that in Denmark the law gives you the right to have any religion you like, to speak of whatever you like (as long as your intention is not to encourage violent acts), to educate yourself, free of charge and to go to the hospital for free. This includes all nationalities living in Denmark. Faith is something that comes from inside, and we believe no one will be able to take it away from you. That is the reason why the Danish law accepts different religions in a society build upon Christian values. What a funny logic you have given. By this formula it would be perfectly alright to abduct and kill the foreigners in Iraq and Afghanistan. If a government a little more radical than Taliban would surely make it a law as well so should they be considered as free to do such a thing?? Is there no word like “Universal Morality”?? Should we consider the human right violations or suppression on the freedom of speech as perfectly in order to the local tyrannical law??

 

There are some universal values and universal laws which do not change with the boundaries and borders. And respect for the religious beliefs is one of those. Otherwise violence on the same pretext can be considered as legitimate outside Denmark.

 

Shams Zaman

Pakistan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ketchup Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2006 at 11:18am

They say your average news paper readers memory of articles is aprox 13 weeks.  If there hadent been any protests is it at all possible that these pictures would have been forgotton about or atleast shugged at then filed away?  It looks like they were only reprinted because of all the noise that they generated... people like to know whats going on.   Say the whole point of the news article and pictures was to open up the "fear" debate and gain an understanding?  Lets assume knowledge can be gained by discussion.   The very actions of the protesting muslims has only increased the fear against them in my opinion.. and possible hatred.   Basically they have done themselves no favours what so ever.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote syedtoronto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2006 at 8:46am

Hello Mr. Jorgensen

You said

“ The law about freedom of speech is made to prevent war and hatred, by allowing information to flow freely. Danes believe that all persons living in Denmark should be able to ask critical questions regarding all subjects, in order to improve understanding and adapt to changes in society.  “

Give me a break, if what you said is right than I suggest your country is failed and the freedom of speech is not working for right reason. My case in point is IRAQ, do you know IRAQ and the so called finding WMD war ? Every human being who have a little conscious knows that the genocide of Iraqi people by western forces which Denmark is part of it is illegal and inhuman and all based on naked lies.

So the rationale you present for freedom of speech fall flat.

Now about

“ It is deeply rooted in the Danish mentality that it is healthy to talk, debate, laugh, listen and criticize everything we see, that we do not understand. We believe this is the best way to reach an understanding. We criticize our parents, our teachers, our prime minister, all of our politicians, the royal family, our friends, our husband, our wives, our children, the government, the school system. In short: Everyone and every ”

For Muslims the honor and nobility for Prophet Mohammed(PBH) is not comparable to any living or dead human being on earth, we love him more than our parents, (if I get a chance Inshallah, I will inform you why we do that), the pathetic cartoons by filthy Danes was almost declaration of war against Muslims, the good thing for Danes is we don’t have an Islamic country to attach you right away, but the bad news is you now have to go to each and every 1.5 Billion Muslims to ask forgiveness, because now instead of a responsibility of a nation it’s the responsibility of every Muslims to humiliate the haters of Mohammed(PBH). And you know every well even the so called most powerful nation on earth is not immune to Muslims anger.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ak_m_f Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2006 at 8:51am
another cartoon thread? how many we have now ? 3?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liberty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2006 at 8:54am

Almost a declaration of war against Muslims.

You want to have a war with an entire nation because of something one newspaper published?  If that were a justifiable reason for war, then any nation could find reason daily to go to war.

Think of all the anti-Jewish statements and anti-US statements made is Islamic publications.  Any time a German published an insulting comment towards the French and they went to war.

Soon only the countries with the strongest militaries would survive!

 

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