Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cry the beloved profession


On Dec. 13, the notorious Council for American-Islamic Relations will hold a panel on “Islamophobia and the Political Cartoon.” The event will feature Peter Gottschalk, a professor of religion at Wesleyan University, and his former student Gabriel Greenberg, who have authored a book on this subject entitled “Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy” (“in the spirit,” according to Publishers Weekly, “of Edward Said’s “Orientalism”).

“The discussion,” unsurprisingly, “will focus on how political cartoons often stereotype Muslims,” – with an eye, no doubt, toward greater “sensitivity” and “restraint” (read: “self-censorship”) among American newspaper editors. The latter, of course, are already so imbued with these “virtues” that only three major U.S. papers – the Philadelphia Enquirer, the Austin American-Statesman and the Rocky Mountain News of Denver – had the journalistic integrity to print any of the Danish caricatures of Muhammad in February 2006, when the vicious Muslim reaction to them was front-page news.

In and of itself, such an event must be disheartening for defenders of press freedom. But what really strikes a chill is the venue in which it is to be held: the First Amendment Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. That no one in the National Press Club should have perceived the ghastly irony of this is a measure of the depths to which American journalism has descended.

UPDATE, Dec. 1:

Asked in a Nov. 19 interview at politicalaffairs.net (“Marxist Thought Online”) whether he thinks there is “a relationship between this negative cartoon imagery and other expressions of Islamophobia, such as religious and racial profiling and violent hate crimes,” Peter Gottschalk replied, “Yes, I do. ... What is happening with these cartoons is that a stereotype is being perpetuated that is not just about the physical appearance of Muslims – they are usually assumed to look like Arabs and dress like Arabs – but also a set of characteristics, that is, that the men are violent, the women oppressed, and that the religion itself is prone to extremes of both violence and oppression. ... There is today a kind of latent Islamophobia that works unconsciously among many Americans.”

In other words, Americans’ apprehension about Muslims’ “characteristics” are not due to the very real violence perpetrated daily worldwide by Muslim men by citing Islamic scripture, dogma and traditions, nor to the very real oppression suffered daily by Muslim women subjected to forced marriages, beatings (mandated by Qur’an 4:34), female genital mutilation and honor killings, but rather to a “stereotype” generated “unconsciously” by “latent Islamophobia.” Such is the quality of the arguments that will increasingly be used in coming years to suppress your right not only to criticize, analyze and satirize Islam, but even to gain true knowledge of it.

Welcome, LGF readers!

3 comments:

Omar said...

All the machinations of CAIR and other Islamic apologists are bent on obfuscating the fact that Islam is, at its core, a brutal, expansionist, totalitarian political doctrine. The idea that such an ideology should be above cartoon criticism, or any other form of criticism for that matter, is beyond obscene.

Ezyduce said...

Our Muslim community is not calling for her head, but neither is any major Muslim leader rushing to her defense. Such indifference only feeds negative stereotypes and suspicions.
Is it any wonder almost half of Americans believe Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence against nonbelievers?

A Sudanese demonstrator carries a sword as he attends a protest in Khartoum on Friday denouncing a verdict handed down to a British school teacher accused of insulting Islam.
Sudan jailed the British teacher for 15 days for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammed. But that's not enough for Muslim mobs.
Thousands of Sudanese brandishing machetes and clubs demanded the woman's execution. "Kill her, kill her," one large group chanted as they piled out of a mosque.
British Muslims also want Gillian Gibbons punished more severely, according to the BBC. She avoided the more serious punishment of 40 lashes only after the British embassy pleaded for mercy.
This comes just weeks after a Saudi court sentenced a rape victim to 200 lashes plus six months in jail.
Washington, in typical understatement concerning such Islamic outrages, called the bear jihad an "overreaction." But it seems Muslims always overreact to perceived slights, whether it's rioting over cartoons of Muhammed, beauty pageants or mishandled copies of the Quran.
Is violence integral to Islam? It's a valid question. When the pope raised it, Muslims proved him wrong by threatening to cut off his head. Message: Don't call us intolerant or we'll kill you.
If this sounds "Islamophobic," a favorite retort of the Muslim-rights group CAIR, straighten us out. We looked for a condemnation of the Sudanese troglodytes on its Web site and came up short.
We did, however, find "Action Alerts" calling on Muslims to boycott radio host Michael Savage for intolerance. Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and the Washington Times were also singled out for attack.
Meanwhile, CAIR is hosting a panel discussion at the National Press Club on "Islamophobia and the Political Cartoon." Apparently CAIR, like other Muslim groups, condones violent reactions to free speech.
CAIR encourages Muslims in America to improve the coverage of Islam in the media. It says they should break the stereotype of Muslims as terrorists, and that of Islam as "archaic, barbaric, irrational" and a "religion of violence."
Well, what are you waiting for? Condemn the Islamic court's punishment of an innocent teacher. Certainly CAIR doesn't agree that naming a toy animal after the Muslim prophet is a crime just because it could be considered by the most extremist hard-liner to be an insult. Or does it?
The vast majority of Americans would change their negative view of Islam if Muslims would strongly condemn such extremism. But for some reason, they won't do it.
Until they do, they can't complain about Islamophobia.

This problem is NOT going to go away and with no reaction on the part of our society it will
dam well get worse. What are we waiting for ? Problems such as are already happening in England & France ? Intelligent responce to this problem requires we act NOW. Stop all immigration of Muslims immediately and Deport every one of them that shows the silghtest inclination to act as those depicted in the accompanying picture >Start with the CAIR butt heads NOW<

moderationist said...

The stunning silence of muslim leadership in the West shows beyond a doubt that it is the leadership that is part of the problem, and it is engaged in behind the scenes preaching hatred and violence, while showing a smiley phony face.