Cartoon War Leads to Role Reversal, Makes First Victim

For four months this website has been one of the few places (apart from the Danish media, of course) where information could be found on the cartoon affair. Today the story is all over the global mainstream media (MSM). Hence there is no need for us to repeat what has been mentioned elsewhere. Our readers probably already know that the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus have been set on fire, that the U.S. and British governments are pleased that their newspapers do not have the guts of some European ones, and that the venerable BBC – never hesitating to offend prudish Christians – found itself in a “dilemma” when it had to decide whether or not to show prudish Muslims twelve, mostly inoffensive cartoons [see them here, halfway down the page] – so inoffensive in fact that alienated Danish Muslim fanatics had to add three truly offensive cartoons (of their own making?) to deliberately incite Islamic hatred against Denmark.

The Brussels Journal will concentrate on facts that the MSM hardly devote attention to, such as an e-mail campaign in Belgium for a boycott of French international supermarket chain Carrefour. The reason for this call is that Carrefour has taken all Danish products off the shelves of its stores in Muslim countries, proudly declaring “Carrefour don’t carry Danish products.” In the internet age pictures of posters with the Carrefour logo proclaiming a boycott of Denmark, intended for use in Egypt, are also seen in Brussels, where the result is… a boycott of Carrefour. This illustrates how in the “cartoon war” it will be hard to remain neutral. Everyone will be forced to take sides.

Today an e-mail reached us from Poland, saying:

The notorious cartoons have been published in one of major Polish newspapers, Rzeczpospolita. The editor, Grzegorz Gauden, commented that the European press has divided into two camps: those who decided to publish and those who explain why they are not going to do it. The editorial board, while recognizing the controversional nature of pictures’ contents, totally rejected the methods resorted to by the opponents of the publication: burning of national banners, terrorist threats, etc. Free press and free states cannot give in to this sort of pressure, was the unsurprising conclusion.


The reactions [to the publication in
Rzeczpospolita] deprived me of any illusions concerning both the Polish governement and the Polish press as the whole. Mr Marcinkiewicz, Polish prime minister, claimed the cartoons insulted not only the Muslims, but also “everyone who did not accept religious and ethnic hatred.”


Thus, he “shares the feelings of everyone who felt insulted.” Even though the Polish government cannot influence the press, he said that “‘properly understood’ limits of freedom of speech” have been violated by
Rzeczpospolita in this “unnecessary provocation.”

Mr Marcinkiewicz was never thought to be a courageous or independent politician. Therefore, it shouldn’t perhaps come as a big surprise. What I found truly pathetic is that the president of national journalists’ association quickly supported his views. She said that she is personally a Catholic and it would be painful if anyone dared to laugh at her religion. It is also telling that the largest Polish national newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, failed to publish any editorial comment on the whole cartoon affair. Poland, solidarity, freedom. Don’t forget that abstract notions should always be “properly understood.”

We do not know to what extent the official reaction in Poland corresponds with those in other countries of Donald Rumsfeld’s so-called “New Europe,” but if it does then this is in line with the remarkable role reversal that we noted earlier in the different approaches of the French and German governments (which defend the right of Westerners to draw Muhammad) and the “appeasing” British and American governments (which condemn this as being “offensive”). We had never thought that we would end up on the side of “Old Europe,” but that is where we are today.

Meanwhile, Jihad Momani, the only Arab editor who had the courage to publish some of the Muhammad cartoons, has been arrested by the Jordanian authorities. Last Thursday Mr Momani’s paper, al-Shihan, published three of the cartoons, including the one of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. The cartoons were accompanied by an editorial in which Mr Momani wrote that suicide bombers and terrorists slashing throats of hostages in front of cameras cause much more harm to Islam than these drawings. Before the day was over Mr Momani had been sacked, while all remaining copies of the paper were destroyed by the publisher, Arab Printing Company.

Mr Momani was forced to offer public apologies. “I ask Allah’s forgiveness and express my apologies for the serious mistake that I made in Shihan. It was a mistake that happened unintentionally and was caused by my enthusiasm to defend our faith,” he said.

Yesterday the Brussels-based Flemish newspaper De Morgen interviewed Mr Momani over the phone. The Jordanian journalist appeared to be in a panic. According to the interview, which was published today, he told De Morgen:

“I cannot assess what severe penalties await me.”

It is possible that the authorities arrested Mr Momani today in order to protect his life from assassins, but it is also possible that they will prosecute him for blasphemy. During the interview he also told the Brussels paper that he still holds the opinions he defended in his editorial.

“The frenzied reactions to the publication of the cartoons is out of all proportions and does the Muslim cause more harm than good. […] I could have published the editorial without the three illustrations, but I chose not to do so. Look, it has been five months since the cartoons were published in Denmark. […] I wanted to show the people why they were so furiously protesting in the streets, as these are only a few silly pictures. I thought it might defuse the situation a bit if people saw the actual cartoons.”

Mr Momani said he is himself a Muslim and realizes perfectly well that the cartoons can be offensive.

“These pictures are really insulting to us. I myself was not happy when I saw them […] But to react to them in such an extreme way is a big mistake and can be as foolish. That is what I wanted to make clear.”

Mr Momani had not imagined that the publication could lead to his dismissal. He said he felt let down by the Jordanian government.

“I feel hunted down. I am very disappointed in our government. There are thousands of ordinary Muslims who completely agree with me, but this inquisition is being inflated to a religious war by certain people, and certainly by those with power. That is a dangerous and foolish thing to do.”

The jailed Mr Momani is the first victim of the Cartoon War. His fate should concern all of us – including the timid American press.

More on the Cartoon Case (see links at end of article)

Hi Done

I think you are right you can burn Danish flag in Denmark, but not flags of other countries. There was a debate about including the Danish flag.

Hi balder ..

It's legal for danes to burn their own flag - but not legal for danes to burn flags from other countries and destroy religous symbols (like the "Koran").

I don't like seeing the

I don't like seeing the Danish flag burning, but I accept that you have a right to do so. Personally, I wouldn't choose to express my opinion in that way, but I guess that's how it's done in the Middle East. And it's okay, it's the freedom of speech.
But pure violence, threats of killing people and burning down embassies, in which people live og work, is not acceptable no matter what.
That's an evil and cruel thing to do, and I think deep down inside you know that.

Koran splashing at Gitmo

Nermin: once again this was another 'trumped up' story by the Muslims.  There was no 'Koran splashing'.  And if there was...SO WHAT?  okay?  No one cares about your Koran.  Want to make something of it?

to mr devil

th e pentagom admitted it go an d search if want to be assured.i know very well taht you donot care about our quran...and you donot deserve to care for it.

to armyscout43 seven eleven up your mom ass

there where you find teh seven eleven up your mom ass to pour your beer..befor uniting the wooooooooooooooorld against muslim strait out your shit in irak asshole win that war they blowing your soldiers asses to pieces poor soldiers i feel pitty for them....there in irak they are indeed pissing on your bible or the tora adn shuffeling the cross up the american woman prisioners sorry pussy and the soldieres asses and they are feeding the bible papers to teh camels....staright out irak first and then unite the world against muslim...
you should be proud by your american lousy drug addict society and HIV mentality sick bastard lastest news from haven they found your jesus HIV postive
asshole

Moderate your language bashar - and think ...

A lot of american's don't support the war in Iraq.

The amerian media - have not shown the 12 cartoon's.

The one who are showing those drawings directly to muslims - are "The Danish Islamic Community" who have travelled the Middle East with false Mohammed drawings, which are far worse and far more blasphemous than anything ever published in a Danish newspaper.

Maybe muslims all over the world - should demonstrate against "The Danish Islamic Community" instead ... And demand an excuse from "The Danish Islamic Community" for publication of those pictures in BBC

paul i respond with the same tone they are talking

why i can not respond tell me i think you are dan ..i am also dutch why i can not say anythink you are telling me muslims should ask the muslims of denamrk to excuse their act why then dan and us europpean do not appologuze for these pictures pictures we in holland can not say anything about gay marriage threesome marriage and i have the right to say my opinio icual to muslims icual to everyone people they respond me the way they want i do not feel upset i respond again..that is freedom of speech why other people can not accept read it or not ...isnt so in the europpena constitution yes or no???we do not accept the dan flag burning but they have to accept our mokery

Nermin

Then sit down and be quiet and stop lying. Lying doesn't improve the situation; but then you know that don't you, Nermin. Tell us, Nermin. What does you Imam tell you to do on Friday nights. Go out and stir up trouble in the land of the infidel? Tell lies and set them one against the other if you can. But you can't, can you Nermin? Because infidels like me see right through your tactics and those of your fellow Muslims. When you stand in judgment, and you will, you will have an awwwwful lot to answer for, Nermin. You and your imams.

Cartoon War

I mentioned on another thread but I'll mention it here, that more 'disinformation' is being weilded in the cartoon wars.  Muslims in demonstrations are holding placards and shouting that 'if a Koran is burned there'll be consequences' [paraphrasing].  But until that meme surfaced, no one was talking about or thinking about burning a Koran.  What for?  But that's what Muslims do when they are angry.  Grab a Bible or a flag or something and burn it.  So they are projecting a scenario and making a threat BASED ON AN EVENT THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED.

Should some unnamed, unknown person in a crowd just happen to have a Koran on them (who could that be, I wonder since non-Muslims rarely have Korans) that gets burned, then fingers will be pointed, blame assigned and loud voices demand concessions, apologies and more death, even, for an imagined sin which may end by being 'staged' to make it happen. 

That is contrived and evil behaviour and I hope the Muslims are not going to do or say anything so foolish.  Non-Muslims just don't HAVE copies of the Koran or even the Bible on them as a matter of course, to be burned.  It would be very sinister indeed if that happened and any non-Muslim was accused of such a thing.

Please, no more censorship of intelligent thought!

I was initially quite annoyed when I heard about the attack on the Dutch embassy I must say. If we Europeans have the freedom to create cartoons depicting Jesus, Buddha, and anyone else we want to, religious figures or otherwise, why on earth should we censor ourselves and not create cartoons about Mohammed? Although I can understand, to a degree, why the Muslims are upset, pictures of their religious figure being blasphemous and so on. I think that it needs to be stressed to these people what freedom of expression really means. They need to know too that people aren’t going to be forced into censorship due to their threats of violence and burning of embassies.

The more I read about this the more ridiculous it becomes too! Now westerners are being accused of burning the Koran as well? You’re right foreigndevil, that just isn’t the style of westerners/western journalists. We are criticised and threatened for creating artwork and intellectual expression which somehow offends the global Muslim community. It is they who seem to want to solve problems by burning stuff…

Ik was aanvankelijk vrij geërgerd toen ik over de aanval op de Nederlandse ambassade hoorde ik moet zeggen. Als wij Europeanen de vrijheid hebben beeldverhalen te creëren afschilderend Jesus, Boedha, en iedereen anders wij willen aan, de godsdienstige cijfers zouden of anders, waarom ter wereld wij niet tot beeldverhalen over Mohammed leiden moeten censureren en? Hoewel ik kan begrijpen, aan een graad, waarom de Moslims verstoord zijn, beelden van hun godsdienstig cijfer dat lasterlijk etc. is. Ik denk dat het moet worden beklemtoond aan deze mensen werkelijk welke vrijheid van meningsuiting betekent. Zij moeten ook weten dat de mensen niet in censuur gaan worden gedwongen toe te schrijven aan hun bedreigingen van geweld en het branden van ambassades.

Meer las ik over dit belachelijker het ook word! Nu worden de westerlingen beschuldigd van eveneens het branden van Koran? U bent juist foreigndevil, die enkel niet de stijl van westerlingen/westelijke journalisten zijn. Wij worden gekritiseerd en voor het creëren van kunstwerk en intellectuele uitdrukking bedreigd die op de een of andere manier de globale Moslimgemeenschap beledigt. Het is zij die problemen schijnen willen oplossen door materiaal te branden…

to foreign devil

that is because we read that danish people will burn quran in streets of denmark..
by the way ,it i svery naive that you say danish donothav ecopies of quran is that the only barrier or defend not to burn or do so.
can u tell me from where the american brought quran whcih is abused an dflushed in guanatomo jail..donot tell me that the kind nice americans were bringing quran copies to the detainee to help them in spending their time in decent way...then at a moment they got it from their hands and flushed abused them....

Nermin

You did not 'read' that anywhere that Danish people will burn the Koran. You are either telling a lie, practicing taqqiyah or you read it in a Muslim publication. Non-Muslims would have to buy a copy of the Koran to burn it. They just don't have them lying around. Do you understand? No one is going to buy a copy. And you can't burn something you don't normally have handy.