The Danish cartoon controversy: A contrast in protests

Here at SM headquarters we have quite an intricate system for vetting which stories make it to our website. Most of our stories are unearthed by the army of ex test-monkeys (retired from military, space, and medical research) that we house in our basement. They are the ones who scour the internet all day and feed important stories to our bloggers, while we spend most of our time at our full-time jobs. We also have the tipline, by which dedicated readers send in tips. Later, in our conference room, we ask ourselves three main questions about a prospective post:

  1. Can I do this story justice/am I knowledgeable and interested enough to write about it without sounding ignorant?
  2. Does the story have an angle highlighting South Asians?
  3. Does the story have an angle of interest to North Americans?

The reason you haven’t seen us post on this topic before is because not all of us were convinced that we could answer yes to all three questions. After attending the SAAN Conference this past weekend (which will be summarized in my next post), I have become convinced that we have missed the relevance this issue has to our community, and that the answer to all three questions is yes. I am speaking of course of the controversy surrounding a Danish newspaper’s decision to publish a picture of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb as his turban.

Arab foreign ministers have condemned the Danish government for failing to act against a newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
At the Arab League conference in Cairo, they said they were “surprised and discontented at the response”.

Islam forbids any depiction of Muhammad or of Allah.

The Jyllands-Posten newspaper published a series of 12 cartoons showing Muhammad, in one of which he appeared to have a bomb in his turban. [Link]

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p>I see great irony in this situation that doesn’t seem to have registered in the press (as far as I know). Muslims around the world are protesting this cartoon (often violently) because it is forbidden in Islam to depict the Prophet, especially in such a vulgar manner as this. Muhammad, in his boundless wisdom, wanted to make sure that his image would never be used or treated as an idol, and that men would never worship him as one. In Christianity for example, many most sects now worship Christ as God, instead of seeing him as only a mortal prophet. It was the message of Islam, and not Muhammad the man, that was to better the world. By violently protesting this cartoon, it could be argued that Muslims around the world are acting as if an idol has been desecrated. Using violence to protest this “desecration” legitimizes that which the Prophet cautioned against in the first place. He has become an idol to be defended and avenged in the eyes of many. Part of the reason that we haven’t already written about this issue is that it hasn’t had nearly as much impact in the U.S. as it has had in Europe and the rest of the world. Do Americans even care or understand what this is all about? Why am I not hearing more about this from the desi community? Before I go on, I want you to take a careful look at some pictures. Don’t read text that follows the pictures until you guess which country each was taken in:

1.
2.
3.
4.

Give up? 1) London, 2) New Delhi, 3) Philadelphia, 4) Tehran
It’s almost funny to see the signs held up by protesters in Philly, as compared to the blood-thirsty mobs portrayed in the rest of the pictures. “No to hate” and “Distasteful,” vs. “Behead those who insult Islam” and flag burning.
Muslims offended by the [Philadelphia] Inquirer’s decision to reprint a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad that has inflamed the sensibilities of their co-religionists across the world picketed the newspaper this morning…

Most American newspapers have decided not to reprint the cartoon. Newspapers in Europe have, as a gesture of free press solidarity with Jyllands-Posten, run the caricature as well as 11 others pillorying the prophet. One image depicts Muhammad halting a line of suicide bombers at the gates of heaven with the cry, “Stop, stop, we have run out of virgins…”

One demonstrator, 54-year old Aneesha Uqdah of Philadelphia, argued that precedent exists for newspapers to withhold some information to prevent harm: “If a woman was a rape victim, you wouldn’t publish her name,” she said…

The demonstrators carried signs that read, “Freedom of Speech, Not Irresponsible Speech,” “No to Hate” and “Islam = Nonviolence…” [Link]

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How can you, as an average American citizen, not agree with the level-headed logic of the woman in the quote above? Common sense alone would convince most Americans that the cartoon is inappropriate, partly because there is nothing American’s admire more than peaceful protestors willing to risk jail and personal injury for a cause which they believe is just. Such truth and justice is infectious. The civil rights movement was based on such Gandhian principles, which were adopted by Dr. King. Most South Asians in America have adopted this ideal ideal as well. No matter how much Muslims in America, including South Asian Muslims, disagree with this cartoon, I cannot imagine them violently protesting it like in Europe and around the world. Almost every non-white American has experienced racism or intolerance in their lives. The way we deal with it is the polar opposite of other minority populations around the world. We fight every bit as hard as those elsewhere, but our battles are guided by the belief that America can be changed by its own citizens for the better. We don’t instinctively burn flags or cry out for blood. We get angry, we get focused, and then we work for our cause. By contrast, look at this nutjob in London. He felt that he could make his displeasure for a Danish cartoon known…by dressing up as a suicide bomber. He not only hurts his cause, but he endangers (through stigma and suspicion) the lives of all those he thinks he is defending:

Speaking outside his home in Bedford, Mr Khayam, 22, said: “I found the pictures deeply offensive as a Muslim and I felt the Danish newspaper had been provocative and controversial, deeply offensive and insensitive.

“But by me dressing the way I did, I did just that, exactly the same as the Danish newspaper, if not worse. My method of protest has offended many people, especially the families of the victims of the July bombings. This was not my intention.”

Downing Street today described the behaviour of some Muslim demonstrators in London over the last few days as “completely unacceptable”. Some demonstrators carried placards calling for people who insult Islam to be killed. [Link]

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Fareed Zakaria writes in the latest Newsweek about how the Bush Administration may have misjudged their ability to affect change in the Islamic world:
There is a tension in the Islamic world between the desire for democracy and a respect for liberty. (It is a tension that once raged in the West and still exists in pockets today.) This is most apparent in the ongoing fury over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a small Danish newspaper. The cartoons were offensive and needlessly provocative. Had the paper published racist caricatures of other peoples or religions, it would also have been roundly condemned and perhaps boycotted. But the cartoonist and editors would not have feared for their lives. It is the violence of the response in some parts of the Muslim world that suggests a rejection of the ideas of tolerance and freedom of expression that are at the heart of modern Western societies. [Link]
So where do I stand on this issue. After much thought I decided that I must stick to the principles I believe in as an American, most importantly the freedom of speech. Freedom means the right to publish hate-speech, as long as it doesn’t incite violence against someone. In this case, the newspaper has apparently incited violence against itself. You should not have to fear for your life, or the lives of your countrymen abroad, simply for drawing a picture. I am not being a hypocrite or inconsistent with past beliefs. I also support the right to place Ganesh on a beer bottle, and Rama on shoes, or any other “blasphemy” you can think of. I may protest things that offend me, but never through violence. This behavior you see around the world is not Islam. It would seem that many Muslims have just decided to turn their backs on the teachings of the Prophet and return to the pre-Islamic roots of some of their cultures. Especially under poor socio-economic conditions, a false sense of justice, blood feuds, intolerance, and tribalism has taken over. These pre-Islamic norms are what must be protested.

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There are about a dozen other angles to this story that I am going to leave for the readers. I caution however that we need to keep this dialog constructive going forward. I will be moderating the comments a lot more closely, so please keep it clean and flame free.

243 thoughts on “The Danish cartoon controversy: A contrast in protests

  1. Wow, this raging debate really makes me wonder what that new movie Comedy in the Muslim World will do.

    erm, probably nothing, as it contained minimal comedy or muslims.

  2. Anji: Sorry just to clarify: I wasn’t suggesting history is a four-day loop :) I was commenting on the amnesia we all seem to suffer from when we’re heaping the crap on another group – especially one that shares such a close history with our own.

    As for the “never”… granted, it’s a strong, pessimistic word. But it’s going to be a long ass time before we’ve shaken that colonial legacy and the world’s no longer a eurocentric, north v. south “us” v. “them” place – I’m sure we’ll all be dead a few times over by the time we’re all a big happy family…. And when that day comes and even if it feels like it’s already here, it would be nice if we don’t just dump our less sparkling, less fortunate cousins in the dust on our scramble up that mythical progress mountain.

    I’m not directing these comments at you in any way – it’s the lack of empathy that I hear all too often in connection to Muslims from the non-Muslim desi community that makes me want to scream.

  3. by posting that picture, minus the bombs, you just offended millions of muslims around the world…if you wanted to give a objective view, you shouldn’t have posted even that much, this is such a pro-hindu anti-muslim, pro india site it sickens me…as a muslim i am very offended by the fact that you posted that picture on the main page, and i think sepia mutiny is stupid for letting you…lets see how much violence erupts in hindustan when someone makes a picture of ganesh with a dick in his mouth or something…people don’t understand because they aren’t targets…this site is really not that HIP and really subpar

  4. Just in case anyone’s interested in seeing the views and frankly-psychopathic behaviour of one of the UK’s most well-known Islamist fanatics (he was also at the forefront of that demonstration in London a few days ago — Abhi has supplied some photos of the placards involved at the top of this webpage), when you have some spare time please try to check this out:

    The name of the person concerned is Anjem Choudhary — He was interviewed as part of a group discussion on a very high-profile BBC programme called ‘Newsnight’. Please note in particular his behaviour towards the women on the panel, his total lack of manners, and inability to stop ranting even when the questions aren’t directed at him or when the anchor asks him repeatedly to stop talking. This is what we are having to deal with.

    Click here.

    (You’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the new page and click where it says “Click here to launch the Newsnight media player”).

  5. brownfrown,

    word on the many many lives. but that does not nor should it stop the eternal struggle for turning the world right side up in our speck of a lifetime and celebrating the victories as they come. especially as so many suffer in real ways under the academic dichotomy you talk of. and solutions do not mean free to be you and me holding hands. they can mean many things.

    the “diaspora” is a complex thing. we struggle to leave the coloniast past behind and forge new identities, and i dont think its fair to put the onus of understanding or action on people simply because of their past especially since that past was a struggle. granted, there is a path for liberating understanding; but there is an infinite amount of vision opportunity achievements available since it is just a mere speck.

  6. by posting that picture, minus the bombs, you just offended millions of muslims around the world…if you wanted to give a objective view, you shouldn’t have posted even that much, this is such a pro-hindu anti-muslim, pro india site it sickens me…as a muslim i am very offended by the fact that you posted that picture on the main page, and i think sepia mutiny is stupid for letting you…lets see how much violence erupts in hindustan when someone makes a picture of ganesh with a dick in his mouth or something…people don’t understand because they aren’t targets…this site is really not that HIP and really subpar

    Noo York, your comment is really just an ill-conceived rant. First of all SM has AT MOST two Hindu bloggers. We are not “pro” anything but we are anti-ignorance. In actuality I am not sure really if any of our bloggers are Hindu. I for example don’t believe in any form of organized religion. Second, this is my site so I don’t need anyones permission to post anything I want to. Also, I don’t care who I offend. As a lover of freedom I have the right to cause offense or temper that offense as I see fit. If there is a picture in India where “Ganesh has a dick in his mouth” I will STILL support the artist and harshly condemn any protestors that use violence. I’d probably post the picture on this site as well.

  7. I am not particularly fond of how religion is practiced in the pre-dominanatly Muslim countries, nor am I am a religious fanatic. But those cartoons are a distinct dis-respect for that religion. How else will the ignorant and illiterate masses react? You can discuss or argue a point with an educated person, not with uneducated masses who can be manipulated by fiery speeches from hardheaded radicals. I would be offended too if they portray Ganesha, Krishna or even Jesus Christ in a disrespectful fashion. but am I going to go postal? probably not…..better sense prevails.

    One has to realize that unemployment,ignorance, illiteracy and hopelessness is not a good thing. There is a lot of anger that is waiting to burst out in one way or the other. Why would a mother sacrifice a child as a suicide bomber? whhy would a 25 year old (who has some sort of reasoning power) walk into a crowd and blow himself up? Human life has no value, it is just another number for the statistician.

    Considering the current situation with War, Nuclear power struggle, terrorism etc, just a bad decision to publish this, unless someone is looking into a crystal ball and seeing anything good coming out of this.

  8. On PBS NEWS hour discussing this story, one of the commentator mentioned that the Danish News-paper in question had rejected some cartoons in past, that were “offensive” portrayals of Christianity.

    I dont know if that is true or not. If true, shows the huge hypocracy of the “free speech” papers of Europe.

    For the record, I personally think its in-appropriate to print cartoons that indirectly calling all muslims terrorists, at the same time I also strongly condemn the violent reactions by muslims all over the world. By violent reaction they are in a way justifying their portrayal.

  9. As I just recently posted about this issue….here http://pretenpret.blogspot.com/2006/02/jesus-is-magic.html.

    I also agree in freedom of speech. But there is a fine line we walk when allowed freedoms of any sort. This cartoon issue although highly distasteful, squeezes by the technicality we call “freedom of speech”. But if there is a retaliation by the Muslim’s with their own cartoons, how can this be condemed?

    And yes, I disagree with the Muslim’s response of violence and death.

    Also unfortunately, when reducing a religion to such levels under the cover of “freedom of speech”…it is us Muslims that end up cowering from the backlash of the small minded and dim witted who use such cartoons to generalize our religion. I’m from Texas believe me I’ve experienced it!

  10. One has to realize that unemployment,ignorance, illiteracy and hopelessness is not a good thing. There is a lot of anger that is waiting to burst out in one way or the other. Why would a mother sacrifice a child as a suicide bomber? whhy would a 25 year old (who has some sort of reasoning power) walk into a crowd and blow himself up? Human life has no value, it is just another number for the statistician.

    With all the socio-economic factors thrown around, do people take into consideration that such demonstrations have a very political agenda too? Mob dynamics are exteremly interesting. A 25yr old man by himself won’t do something, but in a crowd of 10000, he becomes a diffent person. In nations where masses are somewhat ignorant, powerbrokers and irresponsible leadership use these incidents as way to hold on, consolidate, or rise to power. Why isn’t there anger over bad infrastructure, over jobs, over economic opportunities (which still draws masses from the middle east and elsewhere to the west), etc.? The feudal lords (Kings and mullahs) ultimately don’t like the spotlight on them. Despite what people say about the west, its leaders are scrutinzed far more diligently and viciously by the public and media.

    If you want to be a big boy, then you have to start acting like one. What you see in the middle east is a lack of political and civic maturity, it will come in due time. The west just has to stick to its guns (pun intended) when it breaks down to upholding the fundamentals (free speech, civil rights, civic responsibility, education, etc)

  11. RC – Yeah I watched the PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer segment as well, and the spokesperson is, to my recollection, the director of Electronic Intifada. I’ve tried verifying his statement that the Danish newspaper rejected previous submissions depicting Christ in an irreverent manner, to no avail. Though I haven’t looked up Electronic Intifada though. You know…being brown and all.

  12. the nyt has great coverage today, confirming reports that rc mensioned of censorship. why cant we agree that there is a racialist angle here, as ali g would say? what’s so wrong in admitting that

    interesting quotes from nyt:

    “If you have black hair, it is really difficult to find a job,” said Muhammad Elzjahim, a 22-year-old construction worker of Palestinian descent whose parents moved to Denmark when he was 2 years old. He said he had studied dentistry for three and a half years only to find that “it was for nothing, because I couldn’t find a job in my field.”

    ….

    Flemming Rose, the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, which first published the cartoons, insisted last week that his interest lay solely in asserting the right to free speech over religious taboos. “When Muslims say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission,” he said.

    Yet, The Guardian reported Monday that three years ago, Jyllands-Posten rejected several cartoons satirizing the resurrection of Jesus, saying they were not funny and would “provoke an outcry.” The editor who rejected those drawings, Jens Kaiser, dismissed comparisons with the Muhammad cartoons, saying the paper had never asked for the cartoons of Jesus.

    ….

    In some assessments, the situation rewards those at the extremes. “Islamic fundamentalists and European right-wingers both enjoy a veritable gift that can be used to ignite fire after fire,” said Janne Haaland Matlary, professor of international relations and former deputy foreign minister of Norway.

    http://nytimes.com/2006/02/08/international/europe/08islam.html?ei=5094&en=82254c07c2c36af3&hp=&ex=1139461200&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print

    and an interesting arts analysis on the history of images provoking violence:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/arts/design/08imag.html

  13. i was at the grocery store yesterday picking up some dal and uncle bens; when a hand full of muslims came in and trashed the pastries sections..there tossed all the danishes on the ground..and ran over them with their shopping cart; what a crazy mess..chesse, jelly, and frosted sugar all over the place. PLEASE STOP THE VIOLENCE.

  14. Something nobody has alluded to (except ALM in his new incarnation in one of the comments):

    Cartoons or caricatures by definition are supposed to slightly grotesque, otherwise, they would not be cartoons or caricatures in the first place.

    Maybe, to be to sensitive and politically correct, we should ban the art of cartooning/ caricaturing, totally or have cartoons about love, peace, and justice only. Not…

    Then Jyllands-Posten problem, Tom Toles et al. will go away.

  15. why cant we agree that there is a racialist angle here, as ali g would say? what’s so wrong in admitting that

    I don’t think people are arguing with the racial angle. They are arguing with the fact that despite whatever an independentant publisher may put out, the violence and reaction isn’t civil. The KKK, neo nazi groups, and other racist organizations publish literature and is offensive. The free speech pushes such groups into somewhat civil discussions and eventually highlights their logical fallacies. When they break the law (violence), they are pursued.

    Civil and non violent protest disarms facist groups. But it takes discipline, commitment, and above all good leadership. The middle east has many soldiers that are willing to put their foot forward for whatever cause, but not many good leaders to help navigate that energy and focus it where it needs to be.

  16. “Civil and non violent protest disarms facist groups. But it takes discipline, commitment, and above all good leadership. The middle east has many soldiers that are willing to put their foot forward for whatever cause, but not many good leaders to help navigate that energy and focus it where it needs to be.”

    Very well said, Gujudude

    It takes a Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela

  17. I’ve tried verifying his statement that the Danish newspaper rejected previous submissions depicting Christ in an irreverent manner, to no avail.

    here is the link:

    It is an offensive cartoon and it is in bad taste that the european newspapers re-published the cartoons over and over. But, so what? That doesn’t justify all the ruckus created by islamists in parts of the world. This is a generalized statement: but, I’ve felt that muslim response to any perceived injustice often exceeds the original ‘crime’ itself. There is no reason to have this danish cartoon to be publicised all across the muslim world just to give a perception that Islam is under attack. I am happy to see some saner view points too from the muslim world.

  18. I’ve tried verifying his statement that the Danish newspaper rejected previous submissions depicting Christ in an irreverent manner, to no avail. here is the link:

    Be that so, I heard today on NPR that the Danish newspaper’s editor has contacted the Iranian newspaper which now has an ongoing contest for publishing 12 cartoons of the holocaust. He wants to run the holocaust cartoons in his paper on the same day the Iranian newspaper prints them.

  19. I don’t think that there is a big anti-muslim conspiracy here – i just provided the link because someone was asking for it. Iran doesn’t even have the right to protest this when its president openly says that Holocaust never happened.

  20. Thanks.

    I think he was making a rhetorical point of:

    If the Holocaust did happen and if it was as bad as the West claims it was, then why dont they give Holocaust survivors space in the West.

    I havnt heard him denying the Holocaust itself. I might have missed his denial though as hes pretty crazy and I can see him denying the holocaust.

  21. From the Salon Article found at:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/02/08/denmark/index1.html

    The Danish government has protested that Danish Muslims and the Islamic countries have conspired in a misinformation campaign regarding both the paper’s motives and the law of the land. Among the examples of preposterous misinformation are that the paper is run by the government, and that the government can do anything to regulate what is said or not said. While radical Islamists have exaggerated and exploited these themes to incite violent protest, the painful reality is that there is some truth to them. The paper is related to the government, not by ownership but by political affinity and history. And Denmark is no paragon of free speech. Article 140 of the Criminal Code allows for a fine and up to four months of imprisonment for demeaning a “recognized religious community.”

  22. Pardon me if I’m posting too much on this, but I want to point out a statement:

    The Danish right has only recently been converted to the free speech principle, and has its own idea of how to use it. In the past two years, the Danish People’s Party has twice proposed to eliminate the blasphemy paragraph. Two of the party’s members, Jesper Langballe and Soren Krarup, both pastors in the Lutheran National Church, have described Muslims as “a cancer on Danish society” in speeches in parliament. They want to be free to say it outside parliament too. The paragraph was not removed in part because of opposition from Lutheran clergy, who do not all share the two pastors’ views.

  23. i put this on the other site, now im putting it here because i just figured out why the whole debate is bothering me. my whole post is there, but it boils down to this:

    We are no longer talking about free speech in a nation, a republi. We are talking about an international context. The UN Charter and subsequent international conventions adopted after WWII and reflect limitations of speech in global rights because they were borne out of WW II and the horrifying resounding reality that the persecuation of Jews and Kurds and Gypsies and entire races came both from actions and inflammatory speech, ie mein kampf, that persuaded entire peoples to kill others based purely on such racialized hatred. Thus, international law, out of the profound experience of how xenophobia can spin out of control, by words, charicatures of racialized images, puts limits on hate speech and speech that can inflame. These laws reflect a principled distinction between speech within a nation and speech between nations and peoples. These laws respect a difference between exchanging ideas and spreading hate.

  24. comment 185: I don’t see anything concerning buddhists committing violent acts. i dont see the 1st quote at all.

  25. I don’t see anything concerning buddhists committing violent acts.

    Saturday’s protests [in Sri Lanka] turned violent when [Buddhist] monks and their followers clashed near the venue with police
  26. I havnt heard him denying the Holocaust itself. I might have missed his denial though as hes pretty crazy and I can see him denying the holocaust.

    he’s not the only crazy out there…

    Northwestern University President Henry Bienen said Monday that a professor’s recent comments denying that the Holocaust happened are “a contemptible insult to all decent and feeling people” and an embarrassment to the university. Bienen commented days after tenured engineering professor Arthur Butz commented in the Tribune and in the Iranian press that he agreed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s assertions that the Holocaust is a myth. Link
  27. 230 Anji. The UN? That impotent body that today displays the map of Middle East without Israel?

    That stood by and talked and talked and talked while Rawanda was overflowing with blood and bodies of its citizens killed?

    Where it is behaves like a eunuch unable to deal with Dafur? What impact did the UN make on the Arab world on the horrendous crime being committed by their fellow Arabs in Sudan? Kofi Anan described it as “collective massacre”

    The UN failed with Bosnia Herzigovinia. It took the US and Nato forces to fight against Christian Serbs to aid Bosnian muslims.

    Go back to Soviet Times. The UN fiddled and talked and talked and talked while the Soviets carved up Germany, and swallowed Poland and Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Latvia Lithunia and Estonia.

    The UN is a standing joke. As are the UNocratics within.

    Read the UN Agenda 21 and see what the UN has in store for the peoples of the world.

  28. It appears that an Egyptian newspaper published the cartoons in October 2005. See: http://egyptiansandmonkey.blogspot.com/2006/02/boycott-egypt.html for scanned images.

    Apparently there was no protest back then. The spark was there, the fire did not result. If so, the common assumption that there is currently a lot of inflammability out there is not true. It seems likely the current ruckus has been deliberately created. If so, it is not an issue of religious sensitivities or of freedom of speech. It is rather how some governments and some non-governmental groups will do anything they can to foment trouble.

  29. One more comment – the last part of Abhi’s article is quite off the tone of the previous parts, which are excellent. Abhi here has bought into the Islamic myth of pre-Islamic jahilliya.

  30. Flemming Rose born 3/14/1956 into a Jewish family in the Ukraine has a major in Russian language and literature from University of Copenhagen. From 1990 to 1996 he was the Moscow correspondent for the newspaper Berlingske Tidende. Between 1996 and 1999 he was the correspondent for the same newspaper in Washington, D.C.. In 1999 he became Moscow correspondent for the newspaper Jyllands-Posten and January 2005 the cultural editor of that paper (KulturWeekend). He fled Denmark where he was under police protection to Miami, Florida in fear for his life where he is currently in hiding.

  31. ok, i dunno whether anyone brought up that caricatures of “Prophet Mohammed” and “Allah” were printed by two muslim countries in 2005.

    Upon googling, i came across a site that has the caricatures of both “Prophet Mohammed” and “Allah” with face blured and non-blured.

    So, when u guys do it(print caricatures of god), its not wrong?? and when non-muslims do it, its blasphemy???

    Before u guys start sending me hate-mails, let me make it clear that ive nothing against Islam and its people.

    Just wanted to bring out this topic and know ur opinion.

    Peace!!!

  32. On a related note, San Francisco State University belives that stepping on Hezbollah and Hamas flags constitutes inciting violence and creating a hostile environment. The europeans are not the only enablers of terrorism.