Dear Na'eem Jeenah,
The attached article condemning a caricature of Mohammed appears on today's Media Review Network's website next to.... an anti-semitic cartoon ! Post-modern irony at The MRN ?
But I was wondering... do you like the cartoon? Does The Jew have a big enough nose? Would you feature the cartoon on The Freedom of Expression Institute website or is it too anti-semitic for The FXI ?
ps: the anti-semitic cartoon stinks so I am not showing the "artwork" on my blog. It can be viewed at.... www.mediareviewnet.com.
pps: The MRN is a close ally of The FXI. (The MRN replied to my letter in The Citizen about The FXI.)
Just an after-thought...I wonder whether the cartoon is setting the stage for an MRN review of the Walt and Mearsheimer's forthcoming book about the power of the AIPAC lobby ?
If it is, then I can only conclude that anti-semitism melds nicely into the "academic debate".
The Media Review Network website 2007/08/31 :
The Organization of the Islamic Conference yesterday condemned the publication of a blasphemous caricature of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by Swedish artist Lars Vilks in the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper.
The Swedish daily published the drawing, part of a series by Vilks, last Friday after art galleries had declined to display it. The newspaper argued the publication was in the defense of free speech.
OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu strongly condemned the newspaper for publishing the blasphemous caricature and said that this was an irresponsible and despicable act with mala fide and provocative intentions in the name of freedom of expression. He said the caricature was intended to solely insult and arouse the sentiments of Muslims of the world.
Ihsanoglu said: “The international community was well aware of the serious impact of such publications that were globally felt during the controversy that was created by the publication of similar cartoons by a Danish newspaper last year.”
He called on the Swedish government to take immediate punitive actions against the artist and the publishers of the cartoon and asked for their unqualified apology. He also called on Muslims to remain calm and to exercise restraint.
Earlier, Pakistan condemned the publication of the caricature, calling it offensive and blasphemous. “Regrettably, the tendency among some Europeans to mix the freedom of expression with an outright and deliberate insult to 1.3 billion Muslims in the world is on the rise,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Such acts deeply undermine the efforts of those who seek to promote respect and understanding among religions and civilizations,” it said.
The Swedish charge d’affaires was summoned to the ministry and a strong protest lodged with him, the ministry said.
Swedish Muslims Sue Daily Over Cartoon
SEP 3rd 2007
The following story is also reported on The MRN website. Of course, The MRN has not removed he anti-semitic cartoon from its website. Clearly, The MRN can empathize with Swedish Muslims but is unable to empathize with South African Jews!
By Hazem Mostaf, IOL Staff
The Sweden's Muslim Council has lodged a lawsuit against an illustrator and a local newspaper that recently published an offensive Prophet Muhammad cartoon, which has inflamed Muslims worldwide.
"Our (legal) action is targeting the newspaper; the Swedish government is not party in this crisis," Sheikh Zuhri Barhamon, the Secretary General of the Muslim Association of Sweden, told IslamOnline.net Sunday, September 2, over the phone from Stockholm.
Barhamon said relevant Swedish laws do not criminalize the publication of cartoons.
"But judges could rule in our favor if they found the caption offensive or immoral," he added.
On August 18, Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda published a cartoon by Swedish cartoonist But Lars Vilks, depicting Prophet Muhammad as a dog to illustrate an editorial on self-censorship and freedom of expression and religion.
Vilks said Saturday, September 1, he had no intention to apologize.
"You must be allowed to criticize religion, but I am not opposed to Islam," he told Danish agency Ritzau.
Barhamon hailed the positive stance of the government, which condemned the blasphemous cartoon all at once.
"The spokesman for the government said Sweden is standing by its Muslims (in this crisis)," he said.
Barhamon said Swedish Muslims, who make up some 500,000 of the country's nine million population, are being treated as citizens not a mere minority.
He said Swedish Muslims have remarkably displayed restraint over the crisis.
"We believe that dialogue is the one and only way to deal with crises and meet challenges," he said.
On other actions taken to respond to the daily, the Muslim activist said Muslim leaders sent strongly-worded statements and complaints to the Swedish association of journalists.
"Imams also urged Muslims after Friday prayers to collect signatures to send a petition to the newspaper, the cartoonist, police, politicians and public figures," he added.
On Friday, some 300 Muslims peacefully protested in Oerebro, a town west of Stockholm, where the Nerikes Allehanda is based.
Barhamon further said the Sweden's Muslim Council has set up an ad hoc committee to follow up the crisis and ponder the best ways to respond to the newspaper.
Mohamed Al-Khalafi, the head of the Muslim Association of Sweden, told IOL in an interview that Muslim leaders in the Scandinavian country would not internationalize the cartoon crisis.
Intelligence reports, however, have warned the government that inaction towards the offensive cartoon could trigger a massive Muslim boycott of Swedish products in the Muslim world on a scale similar to the Muslim boycott of Danish products last year, according to Hassan Moussa, the head of the Islamic Swedish Institute for Dialogue, Communication and Democracy.
In September 2005, Denmark's mass-circulation daily Jyllands-Posten printed 12 cartoons including portrayals of a man the newspaper called Prophet Muhammad, wearing a bomb-shaped turban and another showing him as a knife-wielding nomad flanked by shrouded women.
The insulting cartoons triggered a firestorm of protests across the Muslim world and strained Muslim-West ties.
The Danish government's adamancy to condemn the cartoons sparked a Muslim boycott of Danish products worldwide, costing the country's leading companies like Arla billions of dollars in a couple of months.