Archive for the “Islam” Category

Muslims and their religion

Newsweek's 'Muslim Rage' cover photo, via the Los Angeles TimesThe Muslim world continues to impress the planet with its reasoned maturity and calm demeanor.

Or, maybe not … !

It seems a lot of Muslims are still violently furious over “Innocence of Muslims,” a movie that had been specifically produced and promoted precisely in order to enrage them. The latest expression of their fury happened in Tehran, Iran. Since they no longer have an American embassy to attack — due to their own past actions — Iranian mobs cast about for another to assault. According to the AP via ABC News, they chose to launch their sanctimonious rage at the French embassy (WebCite cached article):

Dozens of Iranians angered over an anti-Islam film made in the U.S. and caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in a weekly in France have attacked the French Embassy in Tehran.

Please, by all means, Muslims, continue raging and fuming and stomping and beating and burning and killing over a movie. Please, don’t stop on our account. Absolutely it’s necessary for you to do all of that … and more. After all, none other than al-Lah himself requires it of you. You simply must keep it up until there’s nothing left for you to attack. Nothing less than all-out annihilation of anyone who dares “dis” your prophet could satisfy your al-Lah.

As alwaysCover of Charlie Hebdo, newspaper in France. Speech bubble reads "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!" — as a reminder to Muslims to stop calling attention to things they don’t like, and to give them a reason to let their outrage fester — I’m adding a gratuitous Mohammad cartoon to this post. Enjoy!

Listen up, little children who call yourselves Muslims, and figure out what the Streisand effect is. Most of the planet would never have heard of “Innocence of Muslims” if you hadn’t pitched fits, rioted, rampaged and killed over it. Your juvenile behavior single-handedly caused a lot of folks to find out about something they’d never otherwise have known existed.

Say it with me, and say it slow, so that you can absorb it: It’s. Time. To. Fucking. Grow. The. Hell. Up. Little. Crybaby. Muslims. OK? The rest of us grown-ups would appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Photo credit, top: Newsweek, via the Los Angeles Times; middle: Wikipedia.

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Today's issue of the Swedish daily Metro shows images from Swedish and Saudi Arabian IKEA catalogs for next year in which women have been deleted from identical photos. (Photo: Henrik Montgomery, AP, via USA Today)Pity the poor Saudis. The homeland of the prophet Mohammad is populated by (mostly Wahhabist) Muslims who — for some reason that my all-too-rational-mind will never comprehend — can’t handle the fact that women exist. In order to avoid knowing they’re around, they force them to shroud themselves in burqas, and limit their ability to get around (such as preventing them from driving, leaving home without a male, etc.). The desire never to see a woman … ever … leads to all sorts of ridiculous outcomes. One of these, as the Wall Street Journal reports, is the intentional removal of women from photos used in the IKEA catalog there (WebCite cached article):

Representatives for Swedish furniture giant IKEA on Monday said the company regrets removing women from some of the photos in catalogs shipped to Saudi Arabia. The move sparked criticism from government officials in Sweden and raised questions about whether some IKEA franchises can violate values that most company stores abide by. …

A comparison of the Saudi catalog to a standard version of the catalog showed that several women photographed in the standard version are missing from pages of the Saudi version. Otherwise, the photos throughout the catalog appear to be virtually identical.

The discrepancy was first reported by Metro, a free newspaper in Stockholm. A spokeswoman for the IKEA Group—which handles the catalog for the furniture company—said the move is in conflict with company values and IKEA is reviewing its procedures as a result.

Here’s a sample of the difference between the original artwork and its Saudi rendition:

A woman photographed in the standard version of the IKEA catalog, left, is missing from pages of the Saudi version, right / IKEA, via the Wall Street Journal.

A woman photographed in the standard version of the IKEA catalog, left, is missing from pages of the Saudi version, right / IKEA, via the Wall Street Journal.

IKEA’s corporate response was — as one might expect — to express some regrets:

“As a producer of the catalog, we regret the current situation,” Ylva Magnusson, spokeswoman for IKEA Group, which runs 298 of 337 IKEA stores world-wide, said. “We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalog is in conflict with the IKEA Group values.”

This response clearly implies they were taken by surprise. And perhaps they were. But while IKEA Group has stated that IKEA stores in Saudi Arabia are run by a franchise, not directly by them, they did produce the catalog for the franchisee … so they really ought not be acting as though they’re caught up in something that’s out of their control. They had control of it … full control. They produced the catalog. They could have refused to cave into rigid Saudi misogyny … but they chose not to.

I can’t help but be reminded that the very same thing having happened in conservative Jewish newspapers from time to time. The idea that God doesn’t want women ever to be seen is not, therefore, a particular problem for Saudis, for Wahhabism, or even Islam. Other religions also seem to have a beef with the fact that women exist. I really don’t get why … I guess it must go over the head of this cynical, godless agnostic heathen. Even so, forcing some one-half of one’s own society to neither be seen nor heard, sure sounds like a fucking ridiculous idea to me. And the fact that someone at IKEA, in a very modern and civilized country like Sweden, would want to go along with this religionistic absurdity, is nearly as incomprehensible and ridiculous.

Photo credit, top: Henrik Montgomery / AP, via USA Today; middle: IKEA, via the Wall Street Journal.

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Iran (as the Soup Nazi) says, "No YouTube for you!"The Muslim world continues to show us just how childish and irrational it can be, in its reaction to the movie “Innocence of Muslims” — despite the fact that none of them have even seen it. The latest example of this is that of the Iranian government (which still hasn’t gotten over the existence of Israel either). CNN reports that they’ve blocked access to Youtube and Google over it (WebCite cached article):

Iran blocked YouTube and its owner Google over the weekend because of an inflammatory movie trailer about the Prophet Mohammed that has infuriated Muslims in many countries around the world.

The sites were blocked “because of public demand,” Iran’s semiofficial Mehr news agency said Monday.

“Google and YouTube continued to carry the film clip that insulted our people’s sacred beliefs,” the agency said, citing an unnamed source in Iran’s Internet Authority.

But that’s not the only way they’ve decided to protest the movie. The AP reports via the Washington Post that Iran is also boycotting the Academy Awards (cached):

Iran’s culture minister said Monday that his country will boycott the 2013 Oscars in the wake of the anti-Islam video made in the United States that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.

An Iranian film won an Oscar in the foreign film category in February. But Mohammed Hosseini said the Islamic Republic would not field an entry for next year’s awards due to the low-budget video he dubbed “an intolerable insult to the Prophet of Islam,” the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported. Hosseini urged other Islamic countries to also boycott.

As I’ve done Jyllands-Posten Mohammad Cartoon / 'Stop, stop, we ran out of virgins!' / via AINAso many times before, I’ll respond to Iran’s expression of Muslim outrage over “blasphemy,” by posting a couple of the Jyllands-Posten Mohammad cartoons here. Clearly, Muslims need something to be outraged over, and I’m happy to oblige by providing something more for them to rampage and riot about.

Please,Jyllands-Poste'n Mohammad cartoon / 'Hm... jeg kan ikke lige genkende ham' / via AINA guys, by all means, keep stamping and fuming and carrying on about a movie you haven’t seen yet and likely never will see. I can’t tell you how impressive this behavior is!

What’s more, I find I must thank you … for giving the world such a wonderful lesson in how irrational and immature the adherents of faith-based religions can be. For many years I’ve been saying it’s a problem, and here you guys have spent the last couple weeks providing an unmistakable example of how and why this is so.

Photo credit, top: PsiCop original (based on the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld). Others: Assyrian International News Agency.

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Crying… you end up facing a situation that very well might cost millions of lives, and for no discernible, rational reason. The trifecta of Israel, Iran and the Right within the United States is rapidly reaching this point. It would have been hilariously funny, if not for the fact that it might lead to a latter-day holocaust.

First, we have Iran, which is led by a furiously religionistic cast-eyed freak known as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who can’t seem to get over the fact that a Jewish state exists, several hundred miles from his own borders. As the New York Times reports, he’s come to the Big Apple this week to spew yet more of his juvenile anti-Semitic rants (WebCite cached article):

Defying a warning by the United Nations secretary general against inflammatory remarks, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said Monday that Israelis had no historical roots in the Middle East and that the existence of Israel was just a passing phase in the region’s long history. …

At the breakfast meeting, he said that the Israelis had been around the region for only 60 or 70 years, in contrast to the Iranians, whose civilization has existed for thousands of years.

“They have no roots there in history,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said of the Israelis, according to Reuters.

This is, of course, a lie. DNA studies have shown that modern Jews do, in fact, have Middle Eastern roots. I’m sure Iran’s cast-eyed freak — and pretty much every other anti-Semite on the planet — would dismiss these DNA studies as products of the pervasive and evil “Jewish cabal” that controls the planet … but paranoiac thinking like that is par for the course, for this childish crew, so one can hardly expect otherwise.

So this is hardly the first time he’s unleashed this kind of tantrum and it certainly won’t he the last. However, this little childish antic has been compounded by another episode of juvenile religionism, and that is, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s desire to nuke Iran because it appears they may have a slim chance of someday creating a workable nuclear weapon, as NPR reports (cached):

During a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Netanyahu expressed his frustration with how world powers are handling Iran and its nuclear program.

“The world tells Israel ‘wait, there’s still time’. And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” Netanyahu said.

It doesn’t matter to Bibi, I guess, that Iran’s nuclear program is, in a word, delicate … so delicate that cyberattacks like Stuxnet and Flame have been able to derail it. Oh no. The fact that Iran’s cast-eyed freak has been rattling his saber for the last few years, is all Bibi needs to tell him that his country is only 10 seconds away from nuclear extinction at Iran’s hands. That Bibi is motivated to nuke Iran, by militant religionists within his own country, is something he’d never admit to … even though it’s true.

Now, added to all of this tension — which all by itself is sufficient to ignite a war that no rational person should wish be fought — we have a third party intruding on it, scrapping for a fight at all costs. That would be America’s Right, which is absolutely enraged that President Barack Obama insolently chose not to meet with Bibi, presumably in order to get his blessing for Israel’s nuking of Iran (cached). (Memo to the Religious Right: No, Obama does not have to meet with Bibi just ’cause Bibi asked to meet with him. The leader of the free world gets to choose who he meets with, and when. He is at no one’s beck and call … not even the Israeli Prime Minister’s.)

Because of the R.R.’s sanctimonious outrage over this, Mitt Romney, GOP presidential candidate and current commander-in-chief of the Religious Right’s political arm, is also aching to start a war in the Middle East, as CNN reports (cached):

“Tonight on 60 Minutes, President Obama called Israel’s legitimate concern about the impact of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons ‘noise’ and referred to Israel as merely ‘one of our closest allies in the region,’” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

Saul continued in the statement: “This is just the latest evidence of his chronic disregard for the security of our closest ally in the Middle East. Governor Romney’s views stand in sharp contrast to the President’s. Governor Romney strongly believes that Israel is our most important ally in the Middle East and that support for Israel is essential to extending freedom, peace and democracy throughout the region. As president, Governor Romney will restore and protect the close alliance between our nation and the state of Israel.”

It’s not true that a war between Israel and Iran could ever be in the best interest of the U.S., and there’s no valid reason Americans should ever want one, so long as there are alternatives available (cached). But in order to appeal to the evangelical Christians here … who’ve been itching to ignite Armageddon and usher in the return of their precious Jesus … Romney is forced to agitate for a war he knows would be bad for the U.S.

What a fucking joke this all is. And it’s all useless and pointless. It’s only come about because of the militant religionism that comes from the Abrahamic faiths. There’s no rational reason for any of this tension.

Isn’t it time for the world’s leaders to just fucking grow the hell up already and get over their militant religionism? I’ve had enough of your goddamn infantile tantrums, fercryinoutloud.

Photo credit: Clover_1, via Flickr.

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Protesters set a cinema ablaze on Friday in Peshawar, Pakistan. Violence there began early, and two people, including a television station employee, were killed. Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press,via the NY Times.Apparently the Muslim world hasn’t gotten over the fact that a Neocrusading Coptic Christian crank apparently dared make a movie that dissed their Mohammed. The New York Times reports that mobs of Muslims in (where else?) Pakistan have decided that wanton slaughter is a useful way to deal with that fact (locally-cached article):

Violent crowds furious over an anti-Islamic video made in the United States convulsed Pakistan’s largest cities on Friday, leaving up to 19 people dead and more than 160 injured in a day of government-sanctioned protests.

It was the worst single day of violence in a Muslim country over the video, “Innocence of Muslims,” since protests began nearly two weeks ago in Egypt, before spreading to two dozen countries. Protesters have ignored the United States government’s denunciation of the video.

It all started with good intentions, you see. The Pakistanis had organized this nice, peaceful protest in which everyone was supposed to sing Kum Ba Ya or something, but it seems to have gotten just slightly out of hand:

Peaceful protests had been approved by Pakistan’s government, which declared Friday a national holiday, the Day of Love for the Prophet Muhammad. The move was part of an effort to either control or politically capitalize on rage against the inflammatory video, which depicts Muhammad, the founder of Islam, as a sexually perverted buffoon.

Exactly how the Pakistanis went from having their gentle holiday with a peaceful protest, to slaughtering people all over the place, is a complete mystery.

At least, the Times doesn’t bother to explain it. Unlike them, I can explain it. It’s called “religiously-propagated cultural immaturity.” Time for Pakistanis … and the rest of the world’s Muslims … to fucking grow the hell up for the first time in their sniveling little lives.

Image by Lars Vilks published in Nerkes AllehandaJust in case Muslims need to be goaded into pitching more fits, I’ve added a couple of incendiary cartoons to this post. You guys really need to get hold of yourselves. Remember: I can keep this up just as long as you can. And you know what? Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoon, via Assyrian International News AgencyThere’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop me. Rage and riot all you like … but these, and other pictures that may offend you, aren’t going away. Ever.

Photo credit, top: Mohammad Sajjad / Associated Press, via the New York Times. Lower left: Wikipedia. Lower right: Assyrian International News Agency.

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A Muslim protester shouts slogans during a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia (9/17/2012). Beawiharta / Reuters, via the Washington Post.The steady parade of incredible childishness continues, around the Muslim world. The poor little things just can’t handle the fact that some insolent, Neocrusading Coptic Christian living in California dared make a movie that mocked their precious prophet Muhammad. Things had settled down a bit since the height of the fury late last week, but the Washington Post reports things have kicked up again, including in Beirut, Lebanon (WebCite cached article):

Tens of thousands of people hit the streets of Beirut to protest the controversial video mocking the prophet Muhammad on Monday, a massive rally organized by the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah that was also an attempt to show the party’s strength.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, made a rare public appearance around 6 p.m. local time and led the crowds in chants pledging martyrdom to the prophet Muhammad.

“The world should know our anger will not be a passing outburst but that this is the start of a serious movement that will continue all over the Muslim world to defend the Prophet of God,” he told the crowd, who roared their approval as he spoke. Nasrallah also warned the U.S. that if the full anti-Islam movie is released, rather than the short clip that has been posted on YouTube, there will be “dangerous consequences.” The video supposedly promotes a full-length film.

The WaPo notes that different Islamic factions are trying to one-up each other in this effort to protest the movie “Innocence of Muslims”:

Sunni leaders, not to be outdone by their Shiite counterparts, also announced more protests on Monday. The controversial Sunni sheikh Ahmad Assir, who is based in the city of Sidon, announced a demonstration for his followers later this week.

Yes, guys, that’s the way to show the world how wonderful your religion is! Get into a pissing contest with your rival sects to show which of you can be more immature and violent. Well done, Muslims! You must be so proud! Why, I am just so impressed by all of you … it makes me want to run right out and start worshipping al-Lah along with you!!!

NOT … !

Photo credit: Beawiharta / Reuters, via the Washington Post.

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Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (C) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California September 15, 2012. Bret Hartman / Reuters, via the (NY) Daily News.America’s Neocrusaders are a strange and sometimes conflicted lot. They rage and fume at what they view as the excesses and extremes of Islam, and want to ban it from the US (if not eradicate it everywhere), but frequently they’re guilty of more than a few excesses and extremes of their own. An example of this is Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL, a Christofascist crank I’ve blogged about many times, who turns out to have run afoul of the authorities in Germany during the time he tried to missionize there.

A more recent example, though, is the character who appears to have created and promoted the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims.” The New York Times reports that he’s had criminal convictions, and has been questioned about the way he marketed his video (WebCite cached article):

One of the men behind the anti-Muslim film trailer on YouTube that has sparked violent protests at Western embassies across the Middle East, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was taken in for questioning by federal probation officers early Saturday morning, law enforcement officials said. …

In June 2010, Mr. Nakoula was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for orchestrating a check-kiting scheme.

Though he served only about a year in prison, part of his sentence also prohibited him from using the Internet for five years without permission from his probation officer, court record show.

The incendiary, amateurish video, which depicts the prophet Mohammad as a buffoon, a womanizer, and a child molester, was first uploaded to YouTube in June and translated to Arabic and uploaded several more times in the week leading up to the Sept. 11 anniversary.

Authorities are questioning whether or not Nakoula had used the Internet in order to produce and/or promote the movie, and thus violated his probation. He certainly had been deceptive, while producing the film:

Mr. Nakoula, the former owner of a gas station near his home, apparently used a series of pseudonyms while making and discussing the film, even when dealing with some of the actors, who believed they were making a film called “Desert Warriors.”

One actress said she had no idea Mohammad was even a character in the film, which was produced in 2011 in the remote hills of Los Angeles County.

In addition, as part of the bank fraud scheme for which he was convicted in 2010, prosecutors also alleged that Mr. Nakoula possessed at least 15 credit and debit cards in the names of other people, along with at least five identification documents that were not issued lawfully.

I question the degree to which Nakoula’s cast and crew could have been this ignorant of the content of the movie they were making … but it is possible, I suppose, for some — i.e. those with small parts or minor production involvement — to have been unaware of its true nature.

The bottom line is, people who complain about the evils of Islam, have no moral ground to stand on, if it turns out they have questionable pasts, themselves. They are, in short, hypocrites. In the case of Christians who fit this description, they’re guilty of disobeying the founder of their own religion, who clearly and explicitly ordered them never to engage in hypocritical behavior of any kind, at any time.

Photo credit: Bret Hartman / Reuters, via the (NY) Daily News.

P.S. I love how this character is willing to produce a film that insults Islam, and is enough of a publicity hound to work hard at promoting it as widely as he can … yet he doesn’t have the courage to show his face, and feels the need to parade around dressed up like a bandito in some campy old Western. Yeah, he’s a hypocrite all right. In multiple ways.

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