The Guardian, Muslim rioting and ‘Cause & Effect’.

An official Guardian editorial on Oct. 1, In praise of the political cartoon‘, commended the Egyptian newspaper Al Watan for “publishing… pictures with the message that the west misunderstands Islam“, which the editorial contrasted with “Charlie Hebdo‘s senselessly inflammatory caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.” 

Charlie Hebdo is a French satirical magazine which printed a set of cartoons on Sept. 19 featuring Muhammad which included more than one depicting him naked.

The magazine’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, explained that they were “using its freedom of expression to comment on the news in a satirical way.” The news he’s referring to is rioting by Muslims throughout the world, beginning in mid-September, in response to the low-budget anti-Islam film ‘Innocence of Muslims‘.

In addition to praising the Egyptian cartoons, about the West’s apparent misunderstanding of Islam, the Guardian editorial contrasted such attempts at greater understanding with “…Charlie Hebdos caricatures which, “produced a week of protest, embassy closure, legal complaint and, most gravely, 19 dead [and 160 injured] in Pakistan.”

What the Guardian is referring to is violent rioting, on Sept. 19, in Pakistan’s largest cities – on a day of government-sanctioned protests over the film and cartoon.  According to a New York Times report on the violence, most of the deaths occurred in Karachi, where “protesters burned effigies, stoned a KFC and engaged in armed clashes with the police that left 14 people dead and more than 80 wounded by evening.”

Regardless of the details of the deaths, however, to claim that the Hebdo cartoon – of a man who Muslims believe was a messenger and prophet of God – “produced” the Pakistani deaths is absurd.

The editors of a French satirical magazine do not have blood on their hands.  

Citizens of Pakistan, Israel, America, or adults of any faith in any other nation in the world who possess moral agency, can freely chose to engage in senseless rioting over a religious or political insult  – thus risking death or injury – or they can choose not to.

Is such an intuitive understanding of ’cause and effect’, and individual moral responsibility, even debatable?

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10 replies »

  1. Egyptian political cartoons: good
    French political cartoons: bad (senselessly inflammatory)

    But, the Guardian is right in one sense, i.e., there is a long tradition of cartoons in Arab newspapers. See Elder of Ziyon for some of the “senselessly inflammatory” ones.
    Here’s a taste

    • There were more audience members than protesters. But hey – why not just make a defammatory comment aboiut 300 million people?

      What deluded dickheads recommend this crap?

      • pretzelberg please don’t take this as an attack, but, if by 300 million you refer to Europe your figure is way out.
        The 27 countries of the E.U. have a combined population of 502 million, and as I’m sure you’ll agree there are a few European countries who are not in the E.U.

        • Gerald Pretzel knows about Europe as he knows about the ME and anything else he is posting about. His level of knowledge and intelligence can be evaluated on the base of his above post.

      • The audience members were mostly elderly Jews as you can see on the videoclip. Anything you can add about the arrests and indictments? The reports of the local media? The condemnation of this act by the local politicians?

  2. It sounds a bit like people who blame domestic violence on “the woman must have provoked him”, or child sexual abuse on “children can be very manipulative and seductive”. Disgusting, illogical, morally-inverted victim-blaming.

    If someone humourously suggests that your religion is brittle and insecure and reacts with violence to the tiniest bit of dissent, and you react with, well, VIOLENCE, then not only is the satirist not at fault, but they have been proved 100% CORRECT by your subsequent behaviour.

    It’s really not rocket science.

  3. Definetely Al Guardian on leaving the world of Western civilisation. Hopefully Hebdo honours the editors of Al G. with a package of caricatures on their pilgrimage to Mecca.

    • The world those less educated figures want to live in was depicted by Orwell:
      “two plus two equals five”