Thursday, February 16, 2006

Muhammad cartoon, really funny?

In NY Sun: "How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims" below, Pipes concludes by saying:"For everyone's sake, it is important that Muslims begin more successfully to negotiate their path to modernity, not to isolation."

We "westernized " Filipinos always expect the other side to do the adjustment (since we are always right, as we believe so). And Pipes is obviously and primarily concerned about the impact of protests on western economic interests.

Of course, Pipes speaks as a secular person, apparently a so-called neocon Republican, westerner recognizing individual freedom, the separation of church and state, women's rights, etc. However, all these things he talked wrote about are only understandable and have meaning only to us who are also westernized; but which are not appreciated and meaningless to the non-westernized Muslim.

For the non-westernized Muslim which is the majority in the Islamic/Muslim world (note that among Muslims, only the Turks are truly westernized) the perception is that the West is "evil". That the failure and shortcomings of today's Islamic countries are due to their adoption of foreign/western notions and practices; that they moved away from authentic Islam. Ergo, they lost their former greatness.

Let us remember that. as modern historians acknowledge, the Muslims saved the now so-called "western world" by keeping and cultivating the accumulated knowledge from antiquity, and those of the Greeks, Romans,etc. during the Middle Ages, while people of the western world aka Christian world were killing each other in their battles/wars among themselves.

To the Muslim, there is no church and state, Islam has no comparable hierarchy of pope, bishops, priests, etc.; that is, no intermediary between the Muslim believer and God. Thus, there is no canon law and civil law; there is only one law, the Sharia. They never had divisions and deadly conflicts like the Christians had: schism, Reformation, counter-reformation, Inquisition, etc. Though Sunni and Shiite fight each other on basis of political leadership, and it is not due to any disagreement in any Islamic scripture/teaching.

To the non-westernized Muslim, the Middle East (primarily) is the Muslim world; it is not Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, etc. To attack one country is seen as an attack to their whole Muslim world, To all Muslims any perceived attack will be opposed until the "enemy", i.e. the west (now), is defeated.

Without going to any more details -as I leave that to the seriously interested to do research and verify for himself- and whether one sees it as bin Laden\'s or whoever ideas, the bottomline is that the Muslim world, mainly in the Middle East, does not like the West, the western culture as we know it. We may not see the rationality of it through our westernized lenses but that's the reality then and more so now -- a blowback or backlash to everything that the non-westernized Muslim does not like, remembers, does not forget and therefore fights against, violently.

My personal opinion is to let them be; respect their sensibilities if only for the sake of common sense (see what we get) since our "freedom of expression," etc. does not hold water to them in the recent particulars, i.e. cartoons, according to us.

( I wonder how we so-called Christians would react if someone or a Muslim would make a cartoon of Jesus Christ getting or giving a blow job or making it with Mary Magdalene. Shall we also find it humorous as we did on these Danish cartoons? NOTE: Always remember that the KORAN and thus the Muslims honor Jesus Christ, recognize him as a great prophet and forerunner of Muhammad; the only difference being the latter as the last and greatest prophet. Muslims never disrespected Christ himself).

Since 9/11, though our retribution in Afghanistan was seen as justified by much of the world; our uncalled for invasion of Iraq is not seen in similar vien. In fact, the Iraqi invasion became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Iraq was not cuddling terrorists before the invasion, now we have them and we are in a quagmire.

My blogsite dollar counter as of today shows: $240,967,404,768.00 spent in Iraq (Bush projected $80 billion for war and reconstruction and today, the war is not over and reconstruction has not completely happened and we\'re not even talking of the dead and wounded US and "coalition of the willing"soldiers, Iraqi soldiers, and civilians dismissed as so-called "collateral damage."

And the loss and decline of social programs at home, i.e. school closings, services for the poor and old, fundings for disaster-relief, etc. are attributable partly to this unilaterally declared invasion/war and tax cut for the already wealthy.

Since last year, all the lies and manipulations by the Bush regime are being publicized; we see the daily attrition of mostly young soldiers (many from poor families) die or get maimed. Thanks to Bush-Cheney and their ilk (don't forget to throw in Colin Powell) manipulating us, plus our contentment from conspicuous consumption and other distractions with the consequent inattention and ignorance.

We better think hard when we want to impose our "best" ways (in our eyes) to the world; lest we get what we want to prevent. Granting we have the best intentions (which we don't); the road may only lead to perdition .

(see also:

"D. Pipes Mailing List" <> wrote:
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 12:08:09 -0500

From: "D. Pipes Mailing List" <>
Subject: #649 Pipes in NY Sun: "How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims"
by Daniel Pipes, New York Sun, February 14, 2006

What are the long-term consequences of the Muhammad cartoon furor? I predict it is helping bring on not a clash of civilizations but their mutual pulling apart. This separation, which has been building for years, has dreadful implications."

Signs of disengagement are all around.
Trade: Boycotts now exist in both directions. Even as the U.S. government sanctions Iranian products, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his government will "revise and cancel economic contracts" with countries where newspapers published the cartoons. Several Muslim countries have suspended trade with Denmark, whileMuslim-owned stores in Canada have removed Danish products. The Pakistani medical association even announced a boycott of \nmedicines from five European countries.

Consumer items: Muslims are increasingly replacing Western consumer items with their own. They purchase the extremely modest.
Fulla and Razanne dolls rather than the busty Barbie. In France, Beurger King provides halal food, competing with Burger King, just as Mecca Cola takes the place of Coke and Pepsi. Al-Jazeera is starting an English-language channel to go up against CNN and the BBC.

Financial investments: As a result of freezes on funds and the designation of terrorist entities, Muslims have moved large amounts of capital out of the West and invested these either in their own countries or in other places around the world, such as East Asia. Middle Eastern oil exporters before 9/11 annually put as much as $25 billion into American investments; since then, the amount is about $1 billion a year.

Emigration: 9/11 caused a significant increase in obstacles to Muslims traveling to the West, so fewer Muslim business executives, students, hospital patients, conference goers, and workers are reaching there.

Tourism: Islamist atrocities such as the murder of 60 Japanese, German, and Swiss tourists in Luxor in 1997 or the abduction of 32 German and other travelers in the Sahara in 2003 had already led some Westerners to avoid discretionary travel in the Muslim world. Cartoon-related violence has prompted a Danish advisory warning citizens against travel to fourteen Muslim countries. Scandinavian tourist companies have cancelled many tours to North Africa.

Foreign aid: Muslim aggression against aid workers in Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Authority have led to the partial or complete withdrawal of European missions. In Chechnya, the Danish aid mission was expelled and the Iraqi transport ministry has rejected any future offers of Danish reconstruction money.

Embassies: From the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran in 1978 to the multiple attacks on Danish and other European embassies this month, the assault on Western diplomatic missions in Muslim countries is causing them to take on the features of armed fortresses, to be removed from the center of towns to the peripheries, and in some cases to be closed down.

Westerners providing services: Zayed University in Dubai fired an American professor,
Claudi Keepoz, for distributing the Muhammad cartoons to her students. Rampaging Palestinian Arabs caused the foreign observers staffing the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, or TIPH, to flee Hebron.

These developments suggest what the prime minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has called a "huge chasm" between the Muslim world and the West. Or, in the more bellicose wording of the influential Sunni imam Youssef al-Qaradawi, "We must tell Europeans, we can live without you. But you cannot live without us." Should the chasm widen, with its concomitant lessening of human interaction, commercial relations, and diplomatic engagement, the Muslim world will likely fall further behind than it already has.

As I wrote in 2000, "Whatever index one employs, Muslims can be found clustering toward the bottom, whether measured in terms of their military prowess, political stability, economic development, corruption, human rights, health, longevity, or literacy.

Disengagement will only worsen the Muslim predicament. Reduced contact with the world's most modern, powerful, and advanced countries would likely cause Muslims to do even worse in those indexes and lapse deeper into a condition characterized by self-pity, jealousy, resentment, anger, and aggression. Especially when contrasted with Muslim successes in pre-modern times, these traumatic circumstances help explain the crisis in identity that often causes Muslims to seek solace in radical Islam.

For everyone's sake, it is important that Muslims begin more successfully to negotiate their path to modernity, not to isolation.

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"To read the destiny of a people, it is necessary to open the book of its past" - Dr. Jose Rizal"

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