An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mohammad Cartoons

I had written a post a few days back on this topic, but due to some problems at Blogger, that post is now irretrievably lost! Let's hope at least this post is retained!

My view on this issue is quite simple:
a. The cartoonists have the right to portray Mohammed.
b. The Muslims have the right to protest peacefully. (Say, by writing letters, boycotts etc.)

The right to protest peacefully however does not include: setting fire to embassies, damaging property, rioting, threatening people and nations with death ... you get the idea ...

The silence of the Indian (pseudo)secular-fundamentalist brigade is quite deafening, yet not inexplicable: either way they speak on this issue, they will be exposed. For instance, if they support the cartoonists, they will be targetted by the Islamic fundamentalists; if they support the Islamic fundamentalists, they can no longer assume the self-righteous airs that goes with being the self-proclaimed "defenders of artistic freedom" (you know, the (pseudo)secular-fundamentalists who rose as one to the hypocrite M F Husain's defence when he produced obscene paintings of various Hindu deities?)!

Nevertheless, even in such situations one comes across fantastic explanations of Islamic fundamentalism in The Hindu. Tabish Khair writes:

As a reaction to European imperialism and, later, a political development of the west's fight against communism and socialism, Islamic fundamentalism is a quintessentially modern phenomenon.

Wow, this is breath-taking inanity, blissful ignorance at best, and willful white-washing at worst! Hey, Mr. Khair, why don't you read about what Islamic fundamentalists have been doing to India since the early days of Islam?!

This has got to be the I-F APOLOGIA of the century!

Please also head over to the following websites:
a. Atanu's Deeshaa: Excellent analysis of the need for freedom of speech
b. Do a google search for Muhammad Image Archive, and you will be led to an archive of images of Muhammad (duh!) over the past centuries. Go have a look before someone takes the site down! The site's author brings up an important point:
While the debate rages, an important point has been overlooked: despite the Islamic prohibition against depicting Mohammed under any circumstances, hundreds of paintings, drawings and other images of Mohammed have been created over the centuries, with nary a word of complaint from the Muslim world.


  • At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was expecting a longer critique on both the issues.


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