The Cartoon Controversy

I have been hearing about the Danish cartoon controversy for a long time now. But today I decided to check out what the controversy was about exactly. Why is it people are threatned by it?

This is why.

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12 thoughts on “The Cartoon Controversy

  1. While I’m all for unlimited freedom of expression, this seems to be a deliberately offensive act against one particular religion. Definitely in bad taste, though it obviously does not justify the violent reaction from Muslims across the world.

  2. I’m all for freedom of expression too. But how on earth does this have anything to do with freedom of expression? This is hateful propaganda , being paraded as ‘freedom of speech’
    i visited the page that your blog gave a link to. I think it is just some lunatic’s attempt at cheap publicity. Not even lunatics, however, are licenced to say all that is said on this site.
    If i stretch my sense of liberty to its utmost max, i can still just somehow overlook the cartoons, but absolutely nothing can forgive the comments on the comment board, as well as the comment at the end of the page that calls Mohammed the ‘loony prophet of 1.2 billion muslims’.
    Conspicuous is also the obvious overuse of muslim-sounding names who ostensibly publish all those hate comments against islam.
    The whole thing lacks a single iota of intelligence. Such ridiculously exxagerated and misleading comments have been made, that i wonder if it is worth time and effort paying attention and in the process spending time and effort into reading this crap and then getting agitated over it.
    Thanks for the link.

  3. i had not seen the entire bunch of cartoons. just saw one and felt that as always religious fundamentalists are blowing things out of proportion. now thanks to you i saw the whole lot. and realized my mistake. this is not freedom of expression…this is a nasty and disgusting attempt to ridicule a religion. really bad taste!

  4. I also wrote about this yesterday. Sure, all art has to be practised responsibly. One has to take care not to hurt people’s sentiments. But, at the same time, how can you curb artistic freedom? How can you stifle creative expression and the right to speech? Just because you don’t agree with my words/paintings, you don’t have to respond with violence. Aren’t there other ways? Can’t you retaliate with words/paintings? The trick, I think, is to separate deliberately malicious stuff from the rest of it. Honestly, when I saw the cartoon, my first reaction was to laugh. Not because I don’t respect Islam but because it was funny. Someone mentioned here in the comments section about some idiots who’ve posted some really offesive remarks on the message board. Well, what can one say? They are not worth our time. And, let’s not forget, god doesn’t need us to protect his/her name or religion. There’s a reason why s/he is god, right?

  5. i wonder what a certain mr. hussain would say in this regard.

    artistic freedom v/s religious sentiments. good topic to break your heads on.

    mr. hussain regularly paints hindu gods and godesses in various states of nude and copulation and it all goes well with the secular brand of artistic freedom. the latest volley being an obscene image of ‘mother india’. of course he has apologised for that, till he comes out with a new cheap publicity stunt.

    why don’t u people debate on things closer home. things that directly affect people around u.

    muslims arund the world are right in condemning the absurd cartoons. artistic freedom doesn’t guarantee a license to hurt people’s sentiments. never.

    the thing is, muslims can voice their comments rather vociferously. what we tolerant breed of people are doing is a matter to ponder upon.

  6. Aquamarine – Absolutely. Religion means tolerance. And nothing justifies the reaction that the cartoons have brought forth. Nothing. However, i think it is very important to realise that today, people are hypersensitive about issues such as these. Everything’s changed post 9/11.
    Note, after Liya and some gulf nations voiced anger over the cartoons, they were REPRINTED in a french daily.
    Tolerance doesn’t mean allowing your sentiments and the ideas you love to be stepped upon, ridiculed, and denigrated like this.

    Ghostoftomjoad – The tragedy is that a lot of BS gets passed along under the aegis of this thing called ‘creative freedom’.( I might sound right wing, and heaven knows why i’m getting so het up about the issue- i’m not even a muslim, but thats not the point).
    Look at the consequences. As you say, one has to be careful about not hurting religious sentiment. Doubly so today, where emotions are at an all time high. The least everyone can do is act responsibly. Especially the media.
    AND. Nobody’s protecting God. God, unfortunately has long been forgotten in this ‘holy’ mess. What the average Muslim protester is ‘protecting’ , in most cases, is his love for this idea called God. In other cases, he’s protecting himself and his community from being potrayed as insignificant, able to be stepped upon.
    The reaction it has brought about is despicable and in no way even close to justifiable. But this does bring to the forefront this issue of ‘creative freedom’ and how far we can go with it, doesn’t it?

  7. Adi – Mr. Hussain’s avant-garde publicity antics aren’t considered an ‘issue’ because in most cases, his paintings haven’t been percieved as offensive by a significant majority. And in cases where they have, he’s wisely and quickly apologised.
    The point is not really about offending any religion/and god – it is offending PEOPLE.
    And this isn’t really an issue very far away from home. Kashmiri students have staged demonstrations and protests. Precious time and revenue is being lost in a state that cannot afford any of it.

  8. Mriganayanii: You’re right. A whole lot of bullshit is passed around in the name of artistic and creative freedom. But, an equal amount of bullshit is passed around in the name of religion too. You’re wrong when you say this is not about god. It is. If it’s not then, obviously, the issue is simply about one community or one person’s idea of god, just as you said. In which case, what makes that one human being’s sentiment more important than another’s? And I mean this as much about the cartoon depicting the Prophet as I do about the nude painting of Hindu gods. The protests about the cartoons and M. F. Hussain’s paintings have raged because people think they need to protect the honour of their respective gods. If all those who take it upon themselves to protest so vehemently really understood religion, they would perhaps also understand that no one is big enough to insult another religion or god. Most people don’t understand what religion is and are easily exploited by others who use it for selfish reasons. There’s a reason why Marx said that religion is the opium of the masses.

  9. Ah well, it sure is in a very bad taste, but then, its all about the freedom to express. i agree, there’s nothing to be threatened at all.

  10. GOTJ – When i said that the issue isn’t about God, i meant exactly what you’ve just said – most people don’t understand what religion is.
    God is gone from their minds as they burn, kill, and pelt stones. What on earth is ‘godly’ about any of this big mess? Nothing is about God anymore – it’s all about people, the sensitivities of the masses, and the politics it gives rise to.
    I agree with Marx too. History is witness to all the evils organised religion has been responsible for. That however, is another subject for another day.
    The issue here seems to be bruised egos and sensitivities. My point is – irrespective of our personal beliefs about religion , God etc, it is imperative to know and to understand that actions have consequences. Just because people don’t understand religion doesn’t mean its all right for a bunch of ppl to say – ‘hey, lets get our kicks and rile these guys’. Remember, the cartoons were reprinted AFTER the violence errupted.
    Exactly who is trying to prove what?
    The people who’re burning down every place in sight that looks like it’s owned by a white man, are madmen. But only madmen try to agravate a madman. Madmen are just left alone. Responsible Muslims all over the world have condemned the cartoons AND the violence. Is it wrong to expect responsible behaviour from the media and the ‘more developed’ EU ? People have died because of this.
    A spade is a spade. And this is hateful propaganda, consciously meant to incite.

  11. Obi Wan: I don’t agree. A cartoon artist has the license to make fun of any and every subject. However, after the apology by Denmark, I don’t think there should be any problem. But it continues. Which means it’s not a sponteneous protest but an orchestrated one which again means that vested interests are at work.

    Mrignayanii: I think you are missing the point. There is a some sort of satire going on in the cartoons. So cartoonists should not be pulverised for that. There was a discussion about this on CNN IBN that I caught and Nafisa Ali a Muslim and an activist agrees that there is an element of humor. Also, Denmark has aplogised even though it is not their fault. It is not hateful propaganda but yes some people are projecting it as one.

    AquaM: I agree!

    Ron: Is it? I seem to think the opposite.

    GhostofTomJoad: I agree! There is an overlapping of interests here. Where does creative freedom start or end? I think artists can do anything. That is the last bastion of creativity that has not been reined and controlled. It should remain that way. My first reaction when seeing the cartoons was that there is nothing here that is offensive. I didn’t check the comments section though.

    Adi: Mr.Hussain will say nothing. He is after all an artist. He of all the people should understand what an artist’s license to portray anything is. On debating issues closer home: aren’t we doing that already?

    Mrignayanii again and GhostofTomJoad: There are two sides of issue. You guys are debating it quite well. Carry on.

    Rohit: I know! Everyone, this 19 year old said it well!

    Mrignayanii again: I totally agree!

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