‘The Blanket’ Lambasted By Former Contributors Over Cartoons

The decision by ‘The Blanket’ editors, Anthony McIntyre and Carrie Twomey, to publish the much-publicised Danish cartoons which sparked protests across the Muslim world has provoked a public rebuke from former contributors Brian Kelly, Barbara Muldoon and Eamon McCann, to the on-line publication.

  • Paul

    It’s official then, the left have abandoned the values of the enlightenment and are now full time lapdogs and asswipes of the most reactionary forces on the planet – all in the name of anti-Americanism. Eamonn McCann, Muslim champion? When the U.S. intervened in Bosnia to stop the slaughter of Muslims he was moaning about that too.

  • Shore Road Resident

    You can only imagine the delight at Daily Ireland when this arrived in the post.
    Such are the inevitable squabblies of the left, but it is a terrible disappointment to see Eamonn McCann’s name at the bottom of an letter that frankly would be laughed out of any self-respecting Students Union. McCann is capable of superb clarity of thought and great honesty. But this is gutless tripe. Not one of the issues relevant to the question are even raised, let alone argued. Instead, names and named and reputations rubbished, then everyone is called a racist. Petulant, infantilem, nasty and worst of all – just plain stupid.

  • heck

    God, I must me loosing my mind –but I actually agree with shore road resident on this one.

    The right of free speech should be absolute. I am p-o-d about the “glorifying terrorism” crap coming from Westminster. (Just imagine a bunch of jack booted PSNI men raiding my pub on a Friday night because we have a few beers and sing the “boys of the old brigade”)

    If I demand the right of free speech for my self then I should grant it to others -even if I detest what they say.

    it seems too many people have the “British disease” hypocrisy. They condemn Muslims for wanting to censor things they find objectionable -claiming they believe in free speech-and then trying to censor things they find objectionable.

    What’s next –launching an illegal war and then objecting to the people who fight back–because you are opposed to violence.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh Lord lift me out of this, the racist thing again! How can an attack on a religion with adherents of every race in every continent be described as racist? Is attacking Catholicism racist?

    So McCann believes in non-sectarianism then? Good so he will be vehemently opposed to religious fanatics who want to have laws implemented that impose their vicious Jew hating, homophobic, women abusing religious intolerance then won’t he? He’ll want to see secular democracies set up which give the right to vote and education to women then won’t he? He’ll oppose censorship of the press by religious fundamentalists won’t he?

    C’mon. . . these are things he’d support, wouldn’t he. . ?

  • And I disagree with all of you, as usual.

    The continuous republication of the cartoons is not a exercise of freedom of expression but a gratuitous provocation for no good purpose. As long as The Blanket adds to the debate about Islam with new material, fine. But adding the cartoons is just to make sure that all Muslims get provoked in the process no matter what the merit or demerit of the new material

    And any writer should be free to express his opinion, and take action about previous efforts if he or she thinks that a publication they have contributed to has forsaken its mission or trust. It called freedom of expression.

    And you guys never get beyond just personal attacks in the matter.

  • TAFKABO

    Incredibly petty and self indulgent, not to mention hypocritical, tripe.
    They dare to pose as defenders of free speech whilst at the same time as reacting to an example of the same?
    They have the sheer audacity to bemoan an article, or series of articles) which they (mistakenly) claim is contributing to sectarian hatred against a group of people, and they publish their hissy fit in the most sectarian and hate promoting rag these islands have seen since the National Front stopped publishing?

    Well, as someone who has enjoyed many things written by Eamon Mccann in the past, this is the last time I’ll take anything he says seriously.

    More power to the Blanket.

  • Jacko 92

    “While the quality and the political integrity of The Blanket have been visibly deteriorating for some time …”

    Such a cheap little dig from such “principled” people.
    Besides, who are they?
    We all know McCann, but the other two are hardly household names on the writing front.
    I reckon The Blanket was doing them a favour by carrying their stuff in the first place.
    Who will notice they’ve stopped “contributing” to anything?

    McCann himself is a joke.
    Still spouting the simplistic, black and white worldview most people leave behind them at university.
    Eamon is the Wolfie Smyth of Northern Ireland politics – the other two must the the current members of his Derry Popular Front.
    Totally pathetic.

  • TAFKABO, if you would take the time to read the substance of the dispute rather than just going on with your vitriol, you would know that it concerns the continuing publication of the cartoons, so it makes no sense to claim that the signers of the letter are protesting any articles.

    Your vitriol shows that the enlightenment passed you by, as you are a person with a closed mind – what freedom of expression was intended to mitigate, if not stop – stating that you will never take seriously anything new Eamonn McCann says, would not even consider looking at anything Daily Ireland printed, and will back The Blanket no matter what.

  • Rory

    I must say I’m with Trowbridge H. Ford on this one. It is perfectly correct to uphold the right to free speech while criticising the exercise of that right in circumstances where the only purpose is to inflame passion and stir up anger.
    Such criticism does not deny the right to free speech. Indeed it is in the careless exercise of that right for meretricious purpose that most danger to the very right itself lies.

    I can enjoy a Friday night in a pub, singing “The Boys of the Old Brigade” as well as the next man but I would find it wrong and distasteful to jeeringly chant such ballads at a small section of Unionist tipplers merely to gloat at their annoyance.

    With freedom, as with power, must come responsibility. A call for the exercise of responsibility is to be applauded not condemned.

  • Mick Fealty

    Interesting Rory. You appear to be identifying motive as the reason why something should or should not be done. If the response of the wider Moslem community is anything to go by, it’s not the motive they question but what they view as the offensiveness of the original expression itself. If that priniciple holds, then people shouldn’t sing the ‘Boys of the Old Brigade’ for fear of causing possible offence to any unidentifyied Unionist who may be within earshot.

  • As a contributor to The Blanket, and one who would in no way want to play a positive role in pushing forward the coalescing of a principled, anti-sectarian left in the North of Ireland, I find most reaction to this odd. And this thread doesn’t seem any different.

    The cartoon (singular as of today) printed was not done so with a ream of anti-Moslem rhetoric. It was done so with reasoned argument, not just to provoke violent reaction. And there is the rub. Violent reaction. To a cartoon. Hello?

    Considering (I think it was) T. H. Ford accused me of an unthinking rant, I can’t accept that what I wrote, or what was printed, was anything other than considering the absurdity of the backlash against cartoons.

    Of course there is responsibility. Should you be held to not doing anything because you think those with a grudge will get violent? What next? A new religion that takes (violent) offense to the depiction of moving images? So we ban cinema because showing a flick is deemed inflammatory?

    As I said in my article, the slight preceived my Islam at these is no different in intent to the slight that brave multitude took to Robert McCartney.

    Where does it stop? When does it stop? Who gets to say what we should and shouldn’t see? I hope no one. Ever. (*yawn* I am aware of abusive and violent imagery, all that stuff. Don’t be at that. You know what we are discussing here.)

  • elfinto

    Surely if riots takes place in many countries across the world and people die as a result then we are entitled to know what these riots are about. Without being able to see the offending cartoons it is impossible to be able to form a judgement about the motives of either the cartoonists or the protestors.

    Unless people such as Anthony McIntyre have the courage to re-publish the cartoons then we are denied the change to form such judgements. In a democratic society such censorship cannot be justified.

    Unless I am mistaken Eamonn McCann was not to be found protesting outside the BBC when it showed ‘Jerry Springer – the Opera’ a program that many Christians found offensive. I would question why he has different standards for Muslims. I would also question how he has decided that these cartons are so offensive that they must not be seen. Has he seen the cartoons? If so where?

  • (I am obviously not awake yet, my post was full of typos. Meh.)

  • TAFKABO

    TAFKABO, if you would take the time to read the substance of the dispute rather than just going on with your vitriol, you would know that it concerns the continuing publication of the cartoons, so it makes no sense to claim that the signers of the letter are protesting any articles.

    On the contrary, the Blanket not only published one of the cartoons, but they went further and allowed the person who drew the published cartoon to explain their position.This was, in my opinion one of the best ways of opening up a rational and reasoned debate on the issue.Unfortunately, instead of people taking the time to read the article that accompanied the cartoon, and givinfg their reactions to the words printed, they instead chose to take a stock knee jerk stance against the cartoon itself.
    I’m not surprised that some people have chosen to “not see” the whole article that accompianied tha cartoon, because it rather make s a ockery of the argument that this was simple provocation to stir up hate.
    I’d dearly love to know how Eamon McCann squares his views on the liberation of women with his vitriol against a woman (the cartoonist) who has chosen to stand up and be counted, in order to promote what she sees as the basic human rights of women around the globe.
    The Blanket went further than most other publications in trying to encourage and add to the so called debate around the issue, this is why they were perfectly right to republish.

    Your vitriol shows that the enlightenment passed you by, as you are a person with a closed mind – what freedom of expression was intended to mitigate, if not stop – stating that you will never take seriously anything new Eamonn McCann says, would not even consider looking at anything Daily Ireland printed, and will back The Blanket no matter what.

    Oh dear.

    Well, I’ve explained my reasons for disagreeing with Eamon McCann, feel free to offer a rebuttal.
    As for the rest of that paragraph, I don’t know where you get the idea that I said I will back the Blanket no matter what.

    I will back anyone who not only pays lip service to the notion of free expression, but who also understands why it exists as a right, not for the nice things people say, rather the things people some take offence at, and also why provocation should not only be allowed but insisted upon in any truly free and liberal society that wishes to flourish.

  • Nicholas Pugachev

    Well done Anthony McIntyre.

    Eamon McCann has really lost the plot on this one.

  • Rory

    I’m afraid I find your arguments as to motive a wee bit tortuous, Mick. Motive in such cases surely only applies to those who offer offence not to the subjects of that offence.

    For example if one were to say that “All Irish Catholics are feckless, drunken overbreeders steeped in Papist ignorance” they might then go on to argue that the motive for so saying was to encourage them to raise themselves from such an abysmal state. Truly noble motive, no doubt, but if that man were later to be found lying blood-soaked in a ditch it would hardly cause much surprise. Some might even go so far as to say ” Well, what do ye expect? He brung it on hisself”.

  • TAFKABO

    Some might even go so far as to say “ Well, what do ye expect? He brung it on hisself”.

    What’s interesting about this line of argument is that on the one hand we have people objecting to a cartoon or collection of words on the grounds that they might offend a person or a groups sensibilities.But on the other hand they go out of their way to understand and rationalise brutal bloody murder.

    “Mixed up and confused” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    Now, if I were truly a racist or sectarian person, then I might concievably hold to the views that some people are no more than uncivilised brutes that can only react with threats and violence to that which offends them.But since I consider myself reasonable and elightened, I naturaly expect and insist upon all other persons and groups to react in a reasonable, ratonial and measured way, when things happen that they don’t agree with.

    I’m still waiting for one of the people who argue aginst the publication of these cartoons to explain to me why we ought to expect a violent reaction to them.
    Don’t they also agree with me that the Islamic world is made up of intelligent civilised people ?

  • I find it hard to think of a better example of persons being unwilling to change their mind about their mistaken ideas, TAFKABO, than your response where you still can only talk about the article, acting as if persons like McCann and me have not read it. The complaints of the letter writers in The Daily Ireland and me on this thread is about the repeated publication of THE CARTOONS.

    And if you don’t think that your advocating more power to The Blanket constitutes going along with whatever it does, you obviously don’t know the difference between force and thought.

  • Rory,

    I was picking up on this section of your own piece. I probably should have quoted it at the time.

    You made a distinction between your wish/right to freely express yourself in song and the concern that it shouldn’t be done, “…merely to gloat at their annoyance”

    It’s not a trivial distinction. Vast amounts of bandwidth on Slugger have been consumed with people from one group telling people from a second group just why the second group’s political representatives have done one thing or another.

    The bottom line is that motive is hard to establish absolutely clearly in any case.

    To be fair to McCann et al they are not calling for a fatwa, simply distancing themselves politically from the site. There’s an important distinction between that and what some of our regulars on Slugger have down (more especially in the first flush of this story) and that is to ascribe inferior motives to the writing rather than meeting the serious content head on.

    Apart from the obvious ad hominem aspect, it leads to an intellectual weak discourse.

  • *bzzzzz*

    if you don’t think that your advocating more power to The Blanket constitutes going along with whatever it does

    troll alert! (Oh, wait, you all knew that already)

  • TAFKABO

    I find it hard to think of a better example of persons being unwilling to change their mind about their mistaken ideas, TAFKABO, than your response where you still can only talk about the article, acting as if persons like McCann and me have not read it. The complaints of the letter writers in The Daily Ireland and me on this thread is about the repeated publication of THE CARTOONS.

    And I have explained that the publication of the cartoon was not done in a vaccuum, but came with an article that seeks to explain, and indeed justify the reasons for publishing.
    Now, you don’t have to agree with the argument, I accept that;But what you are doing is insisting that we start from the premise that the cartoons should never have been published.
    You seem to take exception to me on the grounds that I don’t conduct the argument based upon the context and groundrules laid out by yourself to begin with.
    Forgive me if I decide not to play that game.
    I’m trying to have a debate, but I don’t get the impression that you wish to reciprocate.

    And if you don’t think that your advocating more power to The Blanket constitutes going along with whatever it does, you obviously don’t know the difference between force and thought.

    You have lost me with this statement.
    The Blanket prints many different articles, some of which directly contradict each other, coming as they do from people with differing perspectives.
    I fully support the Blanket in their desire and willingness to give a voice to all these people, but simpl logic dictates that I can’t support every single thing all those people say.

  • BogExile

    ‘…you still can only talk about the article, acting as if persons like McCann and me have not read it.’

    I’m not convinced McCann read the letter he gave his name to let alone the article. Like TAFKABO, I have enjoyed McCann’s refreshing and articulate rage against the machine.

    But this letter is just Dave Spart on Speed. You wouldn’t have to chage a jot of it to get it in Private Eye.

    This was the first opportunity I had to look at a Cartoon which is apparently justification for murder and mayhem in the name of protecting the ‘honour’ of an apparently merciful world religion.

    Having seen it in all its anodyne glory, it just confirms my view that ‘faith’ is no more than a thin disguise for hysterical and homicidal prejudice by mentally and morally defective people.

    I wonder if McCann would react in the same way at the constant and grotesque anti-semitic caricatures which pervade muslim websites and media.

    McCann is himself becoming ‘fashionable’ in witlessly leaping on this censorship bandwagon. I’ll nit take him seriously again. More power to the Blanket.

    BogExile – neither here nor there.

  • Stray Taoist, please explain.

    TAFKABO, as I recall, the publication of the article, and the cartoon together are more provocative than publishing each alone. The cartoon I saw showed two black-covered ladies, only with their bright eyes showing, while in between them was a frightening-looking, white-robed male, with black, blinded eyes, and a gigantic, murderous sword.

    While the article or the cartoon might have had some merit alone, together they constitute a polemic against male-dominated Islamic societies in which everything right is reversed and in black and white – a example of medieval and some academic disputation. And all in the name of The Enlightenment!

  • TAFKABO

    Trowbridge.

    Since the article was written by a woman from one of those societies, with her own experience of being genitally mutilated, not to mention spending a large amount of her life living in fear of death from hyseterical mysogynistic fundamentalists, I rather think she is entitled to a voice.

    You, on the other hand, seem to be arguing that she be silenced, lest we upset the very same people that oppressed her from birth and mutialed her body.

    And the cartoon was quite clever in the way it made its point.
    You seem to have missed it though.

    Perhaps when I become as “enlightened” as you, then I can also deny oppressed women a voice?

  • sohnlein

    Here are some interesting articles on the subject of the cartoons, from people living outside the goldfish bowl 😉

    http://www.google.com/u/opendemocracy?as_filetype=pdf&as_ft=e&sitesearch=www.opendemocracy.net&q=muslim+cartoons&submit.x=6&submit.y=4

  • ingrammartin

    Anthony.

    Spot on mate, do not be scared by being alone in a viewpoint! after a while you get used to it.

    Marty

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Touch of the Isaac Hayes from Eamon Mc Cann, obviously some cows are more sacred than others when being led to slaughter.

  • BogExile

    Pat,

    I don’t like your view point but I defend to the death your apparent taste in purile US cartoon entertainment 🙂

  • Rory

    Just a wee minute there, please, BogExile. “South Park” might be about schoolboys but puerile it certainly ain’t any more than Swift’s writing on Lilliputians was midget brained. He who attacks Kenny and the boys attacks me (and that goes for Homer too!).

  • Felix Quigley

    There is a major contradiction in the publication by Twomey and McIntyre of these cartoons and it is this.

    For many years McIntyre has set up his Blanket website as the main supporter of the Islamofadscist attack on Israel.

    It seems that now Brian Kelly has split with McIntyre over the issue of the publication of the cartoons. (McIntyre is of course correct to publish these)

    But in many editions of the Blanket and in many articles McIntyre AND Kelly have together been in support of Palestinian terrorism against Israel. McIntyre has in many articles also referred to Israelis as being “Nazis” and to Israel as being a “Nazi” state.

    Now the question arises for McIntyre and Twomey:

    Will they withdraw these references to Israel as being Nazi? I doubt that.

    And above all what is the position of these political opportunists to the election of Islamofascist Hamas by the Palestinian people. That is the same Palestinian people who are so beloved of McIntyre and Twomey?

    As described by “In No Uncertain Terms” (Mortimer Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report, March 20 2006), a video message on Hamas’ Web site says:

    “We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of the Jews.”

    “In No Uncertain Terms” adds that Khaled Mashal, the top leader of Hamas, added, “The nation of Islam will sit at the throne of the world… Muhammed is gaining victory in Palestine [and] Iraq. …The Arab and Islamic nation is rising and awakening. …Tomorrow we will lead the world.” Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, elaborated, “We are part of the great world plan whose name is the world Islamic movement.”

    About a month afterwards they publish these cartoons. Have they also revised their position of support towards Islamofascist Hamas and the Islamofascist palestinians who hate Jews. I doubt that very much! So it is really all a bit of a sham!

    Something for Mick fealty who promotes McIntyre and excludes other sites to consider also!

  • TL

    As I’ve said, the Blanket had the right to publish the cartoons, there was just no reason to do it. It isn’t newsworthy and it borders on irresponsible.
    South Park presents some of the best satire out there…and it’s funny as hell.
    TL

  • BogExile

    omigod, they killed Gerry!

  • BogExile

    And while i’m on the subject, is it just me or does Hank from that superior cartoon satire, ‘King of the Hill’ bear more than a passing resemblance to David Trimble?? Is there something we should be told?

  • TL

    I’ve never thought of that Bog. Wow, I’m going to have to consider the possible ramifications of Hank Trimble.
    TL

  • mickhall

    TL

    Two points to your post, you seem to be suggesting if something is no longer in the mainstream media, it is not worthy of debate, a bit 1984 do you not think. In the main big corporations own the media, if we acquiesce to what you are saying, surly we allow them to set the agenda for what we discuss, I think not

    Secondly when the Republic of Ireland President, Mary McAleese went to Saudi Arabia last month and said “Ireland [and its people] abhors the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed” I would respectfully suggest for some people she placed this matter back onto the political agenda. Or was she hoping what she said in Saudi would not be repeated back home?

    regards

    Regards to all

  • TAFKABO

    If we’re talking about cartoon resemblances, then may I present the Simpsons Mr Burns and Reg Empey for consideration?

    Back on topic.

    The point about the Blanket that I was making is that it offers a voice to all and sundry, this is why you see conflicting views.That’s something to be applauded if you ask me.

    Since no one has answered a single point I have raised, let me pose the question once more.
    Has the female author of one of the cartoons, who is currently under a personal death threat from Islamic extremists, who endured genital mutilation against her wishes.
    Has this woman a right to satirise those who oppress her or not?
    Has she a right to publish, or be the subject of an article explaining her reasons for drawing the cartoon in the first place, and if she has the right to make her point, then why hasn’t she the right to repeat the point, again and again?

    A simple yes or no answer will suffice.

  • Rory

    I agree, BogExile. I always thought Hank had a wee bit of the Trimble about him. Those glasses, that slightly querulous, anxious look; that failure to fully comprehend what’s going on right under his nose and then his annoyance when it’s all spelt out for him.

    But who is Barney in Moe’s Bar (and no easy shots like Charlie K, please)?

  • TL

    Mick,
    I never suggested it isn’t worthy of debate. It certainly is, however reprinting the cartoons wasn’t necessary for that debate to continue.
    As a matter of fact I think the current debate about east/west relations is critical. Printing the cartoons doesn’t further the debate, it only creates an opportunity to further polarize the segment of the population that finds offense in their content. I respect Anthony and The Blanket and have contributed a few times. However, I don’t feel printing the cartoons accomplished anything but publicity.
    TL

  • TAFKABO

    I repeat.

    By not printing the cartoons again, we capitulate to threats of violence.
    Anyone who believes that by not printing the cartoons again, we help the problem go away is sorely mistaken.
    By ceasing to print the cartoons after the protests, we only embolden those who took a calculated decision to use the cartoons as a pretext for anti western protests.
    By continuing to publish the cartoons, and others like them, we force the majority of of moslems to confront the irrational fundamentalist minority within their communities.
    Unfortunately, I fear that the craven response by some governments and churches will only ensure that the next crisis is just around the corner.

  • TL

    TAFKABO,
    I don’t think the reprints force average Muslims to do anything. What it does is play on their fears. Fears of both the fundamentalists and the west. They feel caught in the middle.
    I agree with anyone’s right to print that material, I just don’t buy the theory that rehashing it over and over brings us closer to closing the divide between cultures.
    TL

  • TAFKABO

    TL

    What I would like to see happening is an understanding that if you are offended, you take it through the proper channels.
    We already saw this when British Moslems came out to have a peaceful demonstration after that disgraceful one where a few nutters carried those hateful placards calling for people to be killed.

    The majority moslem community took charge, held a rally in which they ensured the nutters were drowned out by the peaceful majority.
    I think they made their point in a positive way.

    When it comes to promoting hatred, I won’t deny that the religion of Islam, or rather so called anti-islmaic sentiment is often used as a convenient cover for some pretty vile racism.
    But because this is true, it doesn’t mean we should be afraid to criticise, where criticism is justified.
    I’m stunned that anyone could argue that those cartoons promoted more hatred of Islam than the violent reaction to them did.

    The people doing the best job of promoting a hatred of Islam are extremist moslems, and what’s more, they know full well what they are doing.

  • Paul

    Eamonn McCann and others on the green, peacenik left have made themselves a laughing stock by making bedfellows of the most reactionary forces on the planet. Their political allies now include womenhating, homophobic, antisemites who believe that they alone know the will of God, and what’s more that they have the right to murder anyone who doesn’t agree. They really should have a hard look at where their anti-American obsessions have taken them and who they are now sharing platforms with. I know for a fact that if anyone in the west were to come out with anything vaguely resembling the rubbish spouted by militant Islamists then Eamonn McCann would be chorling with glee as he ran to his typewriter to totally shred them. There would be a polemic bloodbath. But they are now our Muslim comrades in the fight against the great Satan, so nobody is even allowed to offend them
    I don’t know my scriptures but isn’t there something about “by their friends you shall know them”?

  • The answer, TAFKABO, is yes, she has the right to do all these things, but no, she does not have the licence to do them in combination and repeatedly as that makes for a polemic which only provokes hatred and violence.

  • TAFKABO

    Trowbridge H Ford

    You say she has the right to do it, but she doesn’t have the licence to do it in combination and repeatedly?

    What does that mean exactly?

    How many times do you think she should be permitted to have her say?
    For my own part, i think she has the right to say whatever she wants,as often as she wants, until her concerns have been met.

  • Millie

    Of course the Blanket has the right to publish the cartoons but why do so? Can no-one see they were meant to vilify not just a religion but a perceived ethnic group, and the fact the same Danish paper refused to publish similar anti-Christian cartoons a few years back says it all. The Nazi’s didn’t just persecute Jews because of their religion, even Jews who’d converted to another religion were still regarded the same.

    If people regard the publication of these cartoons as a principled stand in support of free speech then they should have no objection at others categorising the Irish conflict as fundamentalist Christianity gone mad. In that way every person killed during the Troubles can be said to have taken a bullet for Christ and the Irish are nothing but primitive and superstitous warmongers.

  • Busty Brenda

    ‘spot on mate’

    martin ingram what is your position on the publication of the cartoons?

    Secondly I don’t think Trowbridge h. ford is saying that women should not be allowed to have their say.

    For my own part I do not want to be told what I can read and what I cannot read by a bunch of old religious relics, but wasn’t there another way of doing this?

    couldn’t McIntyre and Twomey have published the profiles and allowed the authors under threat to make their contributions unhindered without poking fun at their religion. For some, particularly muslums their religion is there core identity, why poke fun at a whole races religion to do it, and anger a whole race of people.

    There was another way to do this but of course the way that brought the most notorious media attention was the way they chose. They didn’t have to they could have done it another way.

  • lib2016

    The best way to combat fundamentalism is to invent a secular version complete with a commandment to be as abusive as possible about the ideas of those with whom we disagree?

    I think not.

  • TAFKABO

    and the Irish are nothing but primitive and superstitous warmongers.

    Sounds about right to me.
    We often heap far more importance on some petty squabbles than they merit, none more so than our own.
    It’s not te denigration of conflicts that keep them going, it’s the unmerited and uneccessary elevation to the position of Noble struggle thatcauses the damage.

    Call it for what it is and shame the perpetrators, be it the nutjobs of Norn Ireland, or the mysogynists of the Middle East and north Africa.

    Remember the motto of Spitting Image, if we all spit tegether we can drown the bastards.

  • Jacko 92

    Busty Brenda
    “why poke fun at a whole races religion”

    What particular race are you talking about?

    Get over yourself, Islam is not a race but a religion.
    Many people within the “whole race” I suspect you are refering to are not Muslim but adhere to many different religions. Just as people from many different racial backgrounds are Muslim.

    It is an activley prolitising set of beliefs – that alone means Islam stands to be challenged just like any other religion or set of beliefs people try to sell.
    Some of the actual beliefs that are being propogated and the actions that are being carried out in the name of Islam, DEMANDS that it be challenged and even ridiculed.

    “Wolfie” McCann and his two colleagues from the Derry Popular Front are almost as ridiculous as the clowns that are promising a heaven full of virgins to suicide bombers.
    And nearly as stupid as the eejits who take them up on it.

  • Paul

    Lib, I don’t think the cartoons published were “as abusive as possible”. They actually failed to raise much ire when they were published, so the Danish Imans came up with a few others, much more offensive and abusive, which they added to the originals when they went to the Middle East to try to get people irate. I believe these included one of the prophet portrayed as a pig.

  • TAFKABO

    I believe these included one of the prophet portrayed as a pig.

    It wasn’t even that, it was a copy of a photgraph in which some french bloke was wearing a pig mask, for some fancy dress carnival or somesuch.
    The image was presented as if it was supposed to be a rendering of the Prophet when it was never any such thing, and it was never published in the Danish newspaper.

    I’m still waiting for the people spouting here about stirring up hatred to even address the fact that this whole row was manufactured by extremist Islamic clerics.

  • Busty Brenda

    jacko I refer you to ‘ islam race and the british identity’ a session of articles run by the guardian news paper after the london bombs. Religions, like the jews etc have a’race’ of people but others who are not of that particular race may join, hence many westerners have joined islam.

    ‘it is an actively politising set of beliefs’,

    jacko that depends upon which islam you are representing. there are different strands of it, which one do you mean? Which set of interpetations are you pointing to.

    When you ‘get over yourself’ which part of Islam is it you would like challenged?

  • Busty Brenda

    jacko can you point out to me where I said Islam should not be challenged?

    I believe I said ‘there was another way of doing it’.

    jeez some people….(roll eyes)

    what exactly is your point jacko?

  • Millie

    Since the founder of the Christian religion is in fact also a revered prophet of Islam then I assume Christianity should be ridiculed simply by association. The two religions obviously can’t be a million miles away from each other and both are characterised by improbable and irrational beliefs, yet there seems to be a complete lack of empathy amongst western Christians towards their Muslim brothers on this matter (the cartoons). Or could it have something to do with the fact that the vast majority of Muslims aren’t white. Probably.

  • Busty Brenda

    Millie,

    I don’t think the folks at the blanket are re publishing these cartoons because of a colour prejudice. davy Carlin of the ARN is a regular contributor there. No I do believe they are genuine in their endeavour of free speech, I think where the endeavour falls down is in the way they are challenging the free speech issue.

    Eamonn McCann does have a point in that perhaps inadvertently they are following a western establishment agenda. Even if it be in contradiction to all that has gone on there before. I think they way they have gone about things is tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot, since the left is where the blanket drew a lot of it’s support base from, including republican socialists. We have yet to see how it will all pan out, but I predict a ‘different’ journal to what has been before when these next ten weeks are over.

  • Jacko 92

    Busty Brenda

    Refer me to whatever you like, Islam is not a race but a religion – that is a fact.
    So get over it – no cheap brownie points to scored on that front, I’m afraid.

    Millie

    “The two religions obviously can’t be a million miles away from each other …”

    Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the three Ibrahamic religions, so they are closely related.

    But not as close as Sunni and Shia muslims are to one another – perhaps they have been murdering each other for centuries because they mostly aren’t white as well.

    “… there seems to be a complete lack of empathy amongst western Christians towards their Muslim brothers on this matter (the cartoons).”

    The lack of empathy stems from Muslims murdering innocents IN THE NAME OF THEIR RELIGION. And the rest of their co-religionists and religious leaders either cheering them on or remaining silent about it.
    In those circumstances, you sort of begin to wonder if there is a defect in the religious belief and if it should be challenged.
    The fact that genital mutilation of women, honour killings, forced marriages, rampant homophobia, beheadings and limb removal as state punishments, racism and complete intolerance of other religious beliefs are a way of life in any country that comes under Islamic rule, kind of reinforces the idea there might be a defect.

    But hey, what does all that matter in comparison to those outrageous cartoons.

  • Rory

    What is all this about challenging Islam or tenets of Islam belief or Islamic custom and practice? Surely that is only for those who are members of that faith and who are critical of certain aspects of their own faith. That must be solely their prerogative. For others who have issues with Islam the answer is surely simple – don’t become a Muslim. I, for example, find the Calvinist doctrine of predestination hard to swallow and I am not therefore tempted to join the Presbyterian Church but I have no issue with those who do, unless they intend me harm in any way, in which case it would be that intention with which I would take issue not their religious sensibilities.

    Those aspects of Islamic culture and practice, in some areas where Islam holds sway, that I find abhorrent I must leave to Muslims to address and if they ask for my opinion or advice then I will freely give it.But until such time any preaching of mine could only be but counter-productive, seen as the justification of a plundering Crusader,intent on exploitation, disguised as self-righteousness.

    Let us remember that the most backward, most exploitative of women and labour among the nations of Islam are those propped up by the US and Britain. The most secular of all the Arab countries, where women enjoyed freedom to enter the professions and greater freedom of expression were those under Ba’athist rule, Iraq under Saddam and Syria. That province of Kuwait which “we” liberated now finds itself in a quandary because the British rope makers who formerly supplied their nooses for public hangings have gone out of business and they are now having to rely on lesser quality imports. A columnist in the Kowaiti Times opined that surely if lazy immigrant workers could efficiently hang themselves from lamposts using everyday domestic nylon rope the problem should not be insoluble.

    I well remember being at a students’ union mass debate in North London only three days after the fall of the Shah of Persia. On the previous Sunday we had all marched with thousands of others clling for his overthrow and victory for the Khomeni revolution. And bang! We had a result. Complete capitualtion. The Shah gone, the vicious secret police fleeing or trembling in terror and what do we do – celebrate? Not on your Nelly. The SWP immediately put forward a motion calling for the overthrow of Khomeni, because he isn’t gay or doesn’t have any Sex Pistols albums in his collection or other serious matters. Needless to say the majority Zionist contingent at this college (which was in a predominatly Jewish area of North London) rushed to support their new found (albeit PLO supporting) comrades.

    I went to the bar, ordered a large one and put my head in my arms and wept.

  • Busty Brenda

    lol jacko, read a little more and it may help you with what ever it is you want other people to get over. Your agressive stance wins you no brownie points at all.

    ‘their religious leaders cheering them on or remaining silent about it’

    No brownie points there either jacko since this is not the case. too broad sweeping. Like I said you should read a little more.

    Your lack of empathy doesn’t sit well with any of the 3 religions afore mentioned. You are looking at a fundamentalist strand of Islam and making broad sweeping statements as if you are some sort of authority on it. Islam (not the fundamentalist strand) doesn’t condone murder and your mistake in thinking it does is proof positive that many westerners like yourself don’t understand it.

  • Felix Quigley

    Tafkabo

    You have written on this thread

    “By ceasing to print the cartoons after the protests, we only embolden those who took a calculated decision to use the cartoons as a pretext for anti western protests.
    By continuing to publish the cartoons, and others like them, we force the majority of of moslems to confront the irrational fundamentalist minority within their communities.
    Unfortunately, I fear that the craven response by some governments and churches will only ensure that the next crisis is just around the corner. ”

    I agree with you that Islamofascism is indeed a minority inside the Muslim people.

    I think however that you tend to underestimate the danger from this minority which is a very powerful minority.

    You think that publishing cartoons is sufficient.

    But you have said not a word about the threat of Islamofascist Iran to wipe out the small country of Israel.

    And you have said nothing either about the election by the Palestinians of one of the most deadly forms of Islamofascism. I am referring of course to Hamas, a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    I have pinpointed the central contradiction in the position of the Blanket.

    Because McIntyre and his wife are bitter enemies of Israel he has not said a word about the election to power of Islamofascist Hamas.

    You know, that is the Hamas which thinks that

    “We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of the Jews”.

    And not only has McIntyre and wife not said a word against that (now they are a month late publishing cartoons), neither have you!

    The big unspoken question about McIntyre and the cartoons.

  • heck

    what is all this nonsense about Islam. Try looking at the middle east situation from a muslim point of view.

    There are two christian leaders, Bush and Blair, who launched and illegal war and invaded an arab country. One of them, bush, claims god told him to do it, and the other, blair, is claiming only god can judge him. One US marine corp general claimed that the west would win because the christian god was more powerfull that the muslim god.

    Where are the christian leaders protesting this “violence”. Where is the outrage in the christian west at the “violence” carried out in their name.

    Just replace the word islam or muslim with christianity and christian and the arguments are just as valid.

  • Felix Quigley

    Somebody above has said that McIntyre is doing this for publicity. I myself rather doubt this. But if he does want some publicity then let him come out clearly and oppose the Islamofascism which is now a majority inside the Palestinian Arab movement.

    That would really set the cat among the neoleft and left republican pigeons.

    However do not hold your breath on that one.

    McIntyre for most of his life has been among the bitterest enemies of Israel. On his site he has entertained the most hardened Islamofascists.

    He has told us that there was a massacre taking place in Jenin by the Israeli Army. There was not. But McIntyre never apologised to Jews and Israel for his misleading statement (lies) on Jenin.

    And the lie still stands there in black and white on the pages of Blanket along with many assertions that Israelis are Nazis.

    No this is a cabal of McCann, McIntyre and Kelly and many more directed towards the destruction of Israel. Those are the aims of the Islamofascists. They all share the hatred of Israel. And if you follow the words of Dr Martin Luther King that is the same as hatred of Jews.

    So he will have some changing to do.

    No I think in their hatred of Israel and support for the Islamofascist Palestinians and Hamas McIntyre and Kelly will stay together.

    This is an episodic split… a momentary difference only!

  • TAFKABO

    Felix

    I don’t think you quite grasp my position.
    As a member of the unionist community, I don’t need to look to the middle east to have a big difference with McIntyre.
    His support and participation in the physical force republican tradition gives me more than enough scope for disagreement.
    What I admire in the man is his adherence to the idea that either everyone has free speech, or no one has it.
    The Blanket provides a platform for all sorts of opinion, the point is not to agree with them all, simply to listen.

    As for the the issue of Israel and it’s right to exist, free from threat and attack, that’s a whole other argument, and one that we would probably agree on more than you might think.

    But we’re not talking about that here.

  • Jacko 92

    Rory
    “For others who have issues with Islam the answer is surely simple – don’t become a Muslim.”

    When the human rights of individuals are being violated and abused in the ways that I have described – then it should be an issue for us all.

    If your neighbour beats his wife and abuses his children – do you not speak out?

    “unless they intend me harm in any way”

    You didn’t notice the bombings in London, Madrid, Manhatten etc. You didn’t notice that the vast majority of Muslim leaders didn’t condemn them and the few that did heavily qualified and lent excuses of the “ah but” variety to a limp “they were wrong” line.
    That is, when you could hear them above the imams dancing with glee, conferring martyrdom on the perpetrators and encouraging other eejits to do the same.
    But then it is obvious by your “don’t become a Muslim” line that by “me” you literally mean if it isn’t happening to you then, who cares.

  • Jacko 92

    Gone to get drunk on green beer, bye.

  • Felix Quigley

    Heck

    Yours is a gross siomplification!

    The Iraq nightmare is going to leave an Islamofascist type state in the South of Iran. (Do not forget the Kurdish people must declare their independence sooner or later in the North. If any people deserves nationhood it is them but the Arabs and Turks have long denied them)

    We then have an Islamofascist belt stretching from Iran through southern Iray, through Palestine and into Syria.

    Out of the Bush War Islamofascism has emerged hugely stronger.

    Bush can pray all he likes but that is the resuult.

    Come to think of it the Arabs have a very poor record on this issue of minority rights – ask the unfortunate Black Muslims of Darfur and numerous other minorities which Islam does not recognise.

    The best example of course is Israel. Note from the example of Gaza that the Arabs require above all land which is Juidenfrei.

    But the response of the Islamofascists of Gaza towards the few thousands of Christians left is also a scandal. And homosexuals and women are not very happy with the new Palestinians either.

    Hamas and Hezbollah are working with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At a terrorist conference in Damascus, they said that the Palestinian conflict would become a focal point in “the final war between Islam and the West.” .

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the Palestinians that Iran’s financial aid was conditional on continuation of the terror campaign against Israel.

    That IS Islamofascism in action. You cannot separate it from the Palestinians and from anti-Semitism.

    No I am afraid that the issue of Islamofascism despite what some of the lightweights on this site are trying on can never be contained inside the issue of the cartoons and “free speech”.

    I am puzzled though at Mick Fealty’s interest in this very belated issue and his complete ignoring of other Irish sites which are covering the issue of the murder of Milosevic by NATO. Is his friendship with McIntyre clouding his judgement?

    McIntyre seems to me to be a man totally at sea politically and Mick is heading down a very slippery slope on that one.

    I will be covering this issue of McIntyre and the cartoons on http://www.isill.blogspot.com over the coming weekend and I have at present an article on the Death (now murder) of Slobodan Milosevic.

  • TAFKABO

    I must write to the Times, and tell them I’ve just spotted the first Cuckoo of spring.

  • Felix Quigley

    Cheers Tafkabo

    No I think you are wrong here.

    The issue of McIntyre and the cartoon publishing is interesting only in this respect (I mean the thing is growing whiskers by now) Well it is still an issue but many sites were in on it from second one.

    It is the CONTRADICTION in McIntyre and the Blanket that is the crunch.

    Here is a man who is blazing the trail for free speech (a month or more late) with Mick Fealty in kind of a supporting role.

    But this great pilgrim for free speech cannot utter a word about the nature of Free Speech in Iran or in his beloved Palestine where the Palestinian Arabs have just elected into power the most extreme Islamofascists of all.

    What has the great McIntyre to say about that? Nothing so far.

    What has he to say about the Palestinian Arabs persecution of Christians in the Gaza…nothing. Ditto with Homosexuals and with women.

    I mean NOTHING!

    Come to think of it the Irish Feminists have nothing to say either prompting somebody to call them by the apt title FEMINAZIS

    And if he does I can tell you that ALL the shit will hit the fan because hatred of Israel is what unites this neoleft in Ireland.

    I read McIntyre and the Republicans differently to you.

    There is a fascist content there all right but it does not centre on physical force though that is there. It centres more on the mindset that does not allow the Protestants to have their own little state and to be happy with it. That is still mcIntyre’s position as I read his articles.

    And there are parallels there too – ask the Berbers as to how they were treated by the majority Arabs.

    No, Tapkabo you make a mistake if you tie this down to “cartoons”. It is not about free speech so much as about power.

    The main thing to ask about this cartoon issue is what kind of ideology is Islam. I tend to think that it has within it the seeds of Islamofascism. It is still an ideology within the Muslim masses who eventually must break from this ideology if they are to be free.

    Now I am off to put together some material on McIntyre for my site. Will pick you up again!

  • brian kelly

    even leaving aside the always-dependable felix quigley, i have never in my life read as much rubbish as i have seen on this thread, much of it unadulterated racism parading as informed comment. i hope _the blanket_ are comfortable with the fans they’ve won. i feel like ghandi when he was asked what he thought of western civilization–that it would be a good idea. ditto on ‘the enlightenment’–lots of you would stand to benefit from one.

    90% of this thread confirms everything that has been asserted about anti-musilm prejudice/racism. i won’t split hairs over the issue of whether muslims are a race, because its a pedantic point being raised to distract from the issue. the simple fact is that the ‘most reactionary forces on this planet’–fundamentalist zealots led by mssrs. bush and blair and supported by bertie ahern, and their friends in israel–have slaughtered somewhere in the vicinity of 130,000 iraqi civilians over the past three years, and another half million in the decade before that. of all the countries in the region, iraq was the least prone to religious fundamentalism, the one with the most secular status quo. if this is a war against ‘islamofascism,’ then the carnage in iraq makes no sense whatsoever. and of course it’s NOT.

    it is a matter of fact and not speculation that the ‘west’ brought together, trained, and armed the first viable ‘jihadists’, in afghanistan. in palestine, it was the israelis who promoted hamas as a right-wing alternative to left-wing and secular elements. that is a matter of record. it is a matter of ‘fact’ that the only nuclear power in the region is israel, a state that has never hesitated to transgress ‘national’ boundaries, and that it obtained much of its technology from the apartheid regime in south africa.

    for the sentient among you can not see the forest for the trees and still believe that this is a free speech issue, stay tuned. more to come elsewhere.

    for those who think mccann has been dragged into this, or that he’s lost the plot, what_ever, he will be speaking on the cartoons controversy on wednesday night at queen’s.

  • Rory

    What is all this “Islamofascism” and “Israeli Nazism” business? Israel is a ruthlessly expansionist state of dubious legitimacy but it is most certainly not a Nazi state. Palestinian and other Islamic allies who support their resistance to Israel’s ruthless expansion are certainly pretty ruthless in the pursuit of that resistance, but they are most certainly not Fascist.

    It is not so very long ago that Facism and Nazism had to be faced and defeated at great cost. Please let us not demean the struggle to make that defeat possible by bandying about inaccurate vituperative terminology against those with whom you disagree merely for dramatic effect. Most contributors to this site seem to be able to rise above such temptation and I am sure that others, carried away in the heat of argumentative passion, will think better.

  • Jacko 92

    brian kelly

    So, one of Wolfie McCann’s, Derry Popular Front, Trotsky foot-soldiers emerges from the woodwork at last.
    Give us a discourse on Islamic beliefs and practices “Ghandi” regarding women, other religions, state punishments, forced marriage, honour killings, the sanctity of life etc.
    Oh, incidentally, have you the figures for how many Muslims have died at the hands of other Muslims in Iraq?
    No, I didn’t think you had noticed.

  • Rory

    Jacko,

    I think you may be missing out on the big picture here. All of the reprehensible activities that you concern yourself about within the Islamic community are not really your responsibilities. You have no burden of moral responsibility upon yourself to right these perceived wrongs in a community that you can neither understand, nor, it seems, wish to try to understand.

    You may instead like to address your energies to the wrongs that are commited by your leaders in your name in this democratic capitalist society where the voice of the electorate is paramount. That is after all what we try to sell to Islam instead of its terrible undemocratic wicked ways, is it not?

    Either you agree with the mass bombings, the slaughter night after night from on high of defenceless people such as would make Guernica seem like a Sunday stroll in the park, or, taking issue with such strategy, you strived to call your leaders to account.

    Now, you, Jacko, a trumpeter for the values and decencies of the West against backward, barbaric Islam, what course did you then take to stifle the cries of the mothers of Iraq for the torn apart bodies of their children or to quiet the wails of the orphaned infants for the milk and comfort of their slaughtered mothers’ breasts?

    Tell me, please. For I would like to know.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve just received this from reader Henry. I take it he meant it to be posted here on Slugger:

    Dear Slugger heads, sorry not to have posted some thoughts up for quite a while but I couldnt resist what Kent Brockman on ‘The Simpsons’ calls ‘My Two cents.’

    Speaking of ‘The Simpsons’ tonight’s triple bill included taking the piss out of the Catholic Church, the Presbyterians, Lutherans and in an earlier edition theIrish on St.Patrick’s Day – how appropriate!

    The day before we saw Homer watching a trailer on TV for Mel Gibson’s ‘The Salad of the Christ’ where Jesus is a bleeding raddish being whipped mercilessly by Roman soldiers. Of course there were hysterical riots on the streets of Rio, Madrid, Lisbon, Boston or Madrid or even as Homer called it ‘that nice part of Ireland we Catholics own.’ Christians like the Jews can of course ‘take it’. They have learned to live with the Enlightenment and all that flows from it.

    Imagine if the SWP and Eamon McCann were asked by outraged Catholics to support their campaign to take such blasphemous, hurtful images off the airwaves, Internet, newspapers and even yes, radical websites like say for instance The Blanket. You all know what the comrades’ answer would be – sod off! And yet that is exactly what their stance is regarding Islamist outrage about the Danish cartoons.

    Eamon, no its not about racism or even imperialism. What its really all about is an opportunistic alliance between the ultra left and some of the most reactionary, medieval fascists who want to dominate and rule and oppress others in the world today. Which side are you on? certainly not that of freedom, tolerance and open debate.

    Please note (especially Felix): The sentiments above do not necessarily reflect my own views.

  • Harry Flashman

    Heck

    You ask where the protests from Christians were about Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq to which I reply – in Simpsons mode – D’uh! There have been hundreds of thousands if not milions of people regularly protesting day in and day out in the streets of the west against the Iraq war, perhaps you missed them. I know I certainly missed the millions of Muslims marching through the streets opposing Islamic terrorism.

    Brian Kelly

    Those 130 000 dead Iraqis? Well leaving aside the dubious figures let’s concentrate on the fact that probably 90% of them were murdered by the sort of Islamic nutters who are getting their panties in a twist about these cartoons.

    And for the 547th time, NO it is not a semantic issue, Islam is NOT a race! Got that? NOT a race! It’s a religion, a socio-political belief system and as such is as ripe for a piss take as any other such as and not exclusively Catholicism, vegetarianism and even Derry Trotskyism.

  • Jacko 92

    Rory

    Are you on medication?

  • arthur

    I dont think it’s right to post the cartoons, a lot of irish aid workers do work in muslim countrys & the fanatics of islam will now see irish people as legitimate targets.

  • Jacko 92

    arthur
    “I dont think it’s right to post the cartoons, a lot of irish aid workers do work in muslim countrys & the fanatics of islam will now see irish people as legitimate targets.”

    The cartoons reflect a reality then Arthur?

  • brian kelly

    jacko:

    i don’t know what ‘wolfie’ means, i don’t live in derry, and i’m not part of your woodwork.

    on islam and other religions, the enlightenment, all that, try this excellent piece:
    http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9680

    i’m no expert on the history of islam, but i do know that its record of ‘tolerance’ is certainly no worse than any strand of christianity. i’m only recently back from spain, and throughout andalucia you will find incredibly beautiful cities that were once the only cultural and intellectual refuges in europe, cities dominated by muslims but in which jews and other religious minorities lived without fear of persecution. so far as i can tell, all of that changed when christianity went on the offensive.

    we could begin to discuss henry’s analogy if 1) catholics were on the bottom in socio-economic terms throughout europe; 2) were subjected to intense surveillance and police/government harassment; 3) had been rounded up in the hundreds and sent to guantanamo without charge or trial, and subjected there to torture; 4) had been kidnapped off the streets of leading european capitals and subjected to extraordinary rendition across the world (mainly to these ‘feudal regimes’ that all of you seem to despise when it suits) without charge or trial; 5) had been subjected to widespread torture by a government that declared unilaterally that the geneva conventions were no longer valid, and the photos of just a fraction of these incidents released (under intense pressure) to the world press; 6) had been informed 50 years ago by the world’s leading imperial powers that, say, italy was to be divided and one half of it settled by people from elsewhere, and later informed that most of the other half would be gone too, and that they and their descendants would spend the next several generations in refugee camps under the military control of those who had been settled on their land; 7) in retaliation for, say, a bombing by irish republicans in london, portugal was to be subjected to ‘shock and awe’ by the world’s only superpower, and occupied afterwards on an indefinite basis (this doesn’t exactly fit because portugal has no oil); 8)said superpower then decided to extend their debacle to spain, and colluded with the military leadership of the italian settler population to coordinate the bombing raids;

    and then…

    a right-wing danish newspaper with solid anti-immigrant and anti-catholic credentials, close ideological ties to the ideologues running the ‘shock and awe’, and a record of sympathy for fascism commmissioned a set of cartoons depicting catholics as uniformly backward, bomb-toting fanatics.

    then we might begin talking about analogies…

  • TAFKABO

    Brian.

    Are you arguing that there be no legitimate criticism of the ills of Islamic societies until your preferred list of grievances are dealt with first?

    Should women simply stop protesting about forced circumcision until such time as you give them permission to complain about it?

    Maybe you, like Trowbridge, think that the women who drew the published cartoon, has the right to complain, but she should be lambasted for excercising that right?

  • arthur

    i don’t know what ‘wolfie’ means, i don’t live in derry, and i’m not part of your woodwork.? what you talking about “wolfie” i didn’t write that i dont know what it is either could be something to do with wolves! and i dont live in derry i live in glasgow! and your not part of my woodwork? i’ve been awake for 5 hours so i’m not still half asleep what the **** are you talking about. and regards to puting irish aid workers lives at risk the irish dont usually get their heads sawes off when kidnapped they get set free most of the time because of irelands stance regarding wars against countrys, maybe i’m overeacting about the threat against people. arthur

  • brian kelly

    tafkabo

    i’ll have an extended artcle in print shortly that takes up much of this. suffice to say that there are lots of questions to be answered about the ‘cartoonists’ and their role in all of this. at least one of them was a supporter of the ‘islamists’ in afghanistan when they were up against the soviets (and which produced the taliban regime), and also a supporter of the contra war in nicaragua. so there are some glaring inconsistencies there. i don’t take their freedom-fighting credentials at face value.

    strangely omitted from mcintyre’s first profile is this woman’s political affiliation. an immigrant herself, she is apparently the immigration spokesperson for the right-wing dpp, which has made its recent gains largely by whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment in what has become the most right-wing country in europe. this would certainly explain the invite from jyllands-posten, which has been singled out by eu commission for its race-baiting and immigrant-bashing.

    a strong supporter of women’s reproductive freedom, and an atheist for most of my life, i have less time for religion of any stripe than most posterrs out here. but in light of all the evidence (and it is out there), it is clear to me that none of this has anything to do with women’s liberation and very much to do with softening up liberals for the next phase of the bush-blair assault.

    think about it another way: george bush’s republican party led the fight to put down the equal rights amendment in the us; they are committed to overturning abortion rights, and are probably close to being able to accomplish this; they have denied funding to agencies in the developing world that provide birth control and advice to women, or that distribute condoms to help reduce the risk of contacting aids; they have further gutted public services in the us (partly to pay for their war) and transferred much of the work that secular agencies used to do to ‘faith-based’ programs that are allowed to proselytize while they deliver ‘charity’; they want to introduce prayer in secular, state-run schools. why are THESE fundamentalists entrusted with the mission of ‘liberating women’ in the middle east? it may make sense to you, but i can’t see it.

    read the article i linked to in my post above, and particularly the last few paragraphs. i would endorse that approach to salvaging the legacy of the enlightenment and sharing it with the muslim world. shock and awe sure as hell won’t do the job.

    my last post here. i’ll send mick a link when the article is out.

  • Jacko 92

    brian

    Will we find your “extended article in print” (can’t wait, myself) in the Trotskyites Weekly in the “My Problem with Totalitarians is That No-One Will Let Me be One” section?

  • mickhall

    Brian,

    I agree with much if not almost all of what you write in the post above, however I feel you and your comrade were mistaken to withdraw from writing for the Blanket at this time, especially when the cartoons are still being published. As you could have played an important role in challenging both there content and the Blankets decision to publish them. After the kerfuffle [and debate] is over would have been the time to remove your self form the Blanket if you still felt the same. As it is, imo you have left the field of battle whilst it is in full swing. Yes you may well publish your work on this matter elsewhere, but it will not be the same readership, especially in the USA where as you well know there is a real anti islamic sentiment building.

    Regards

    Mick

  • Colm

    Wolfie was the name of a character in A british TV comedy some years ago called ‘Citizen Smith’ played by Robert Lindsay he was an overgrown left wing student activist who kept making clenched fist signs and thought the revolution was just round the corner.

  • brian kelly

    jacko:
    now you’ve really got me rattled. ho hum. no more happy pills tonight, okay chum?

    others:
    i made a mistake about the queen’s meeting, which will be sponsored by the belfast anti-racist network. the lineup is:

    eamonn mccann
    eilish rooney
    jamal iweida
    phil scraton

    it will be held on THURSDAY evening at 7pm, and not wednesday as i had previously thought, in the peter frogatt center at queen’s.

    mick:

    appreciate your thoughts, but respectfully disagree. i’m well up for the debate, but the blanket is a write-off so far as i’m concerned. your own work there shines, but deserves a much better home.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    One almost wonders where the SWP will find an online home now, what with withdrawing from any website that publishes more than one point of view…

  • DK

    “george bush’s republican party led the fight to put down the equal rights amendment in the us; they are committed to overturning abortion rights” etc…

    Isn’t this a fine example of whataboutery that we have come to love on Slugger.