A christians response to the Danish Cartoons of Islam

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    I found this article quite interesting, and I think it may well prove to be of some interest to the posters here.

    - The affair of the Danish cartoons has not only again exposed the fragility of relations between the West and Islam; it has also laid bare the West’s own double mind on how to relate to Islam. (See the cartoons in question.)

    The controversy is really a clash between two sacred modern values: freedom of expression, and religious tolerance. And it is has been interesting to play ‘which way will they jump’ as different media commentators line up to have their say. Leading Australian cartoonist Bruce Petty was on the radio this morning, and as he was being introduced I thought to myself, “Which way will he jump? Probably on the publish-and-be-damned side.” But no. Petty thought there were limits, and that it was wrong needlessly to offend people. He was pleased that Australian newspapers had decided not to publish the cartoons.

    As Christians, we also have conflicting thoughts on the issue. On one hand, we can understand the Muslims’ pain. We know what it is like to be sneered at and mocked, and to have our Saviour caricatured and ridiculed. It hurts. Some of us may have been among the protesters outside Life of Brian or The Last Temptation of Christ. As Ian pointed out in his post yesterday, while we value free and open debate on all subjects, we would prefer the discussion to be loving and respectful. Misrepresentation and insult hardly advance understanding.

    On the other hand, Ian’s quote from Islam in our Backyard also shows why Christians might also support the cartoonists. If we support free and open public argument about religious belief, it is very difficult to proscribe the form in which the argument takes place. A cartoon is an argument, stated in the extreme. Like all arguments, it may be false, but it is a legitimate and often effective form of communication. Sometimes the best way to oppose an idea is simply to point out how absurd it is (as Isaiah does in his bitingly satirical portrait of the stupidity of idol worship in Isaiah 45). And this is what cartoons do best.

    Newspapers must be quite free to publish cartoons challenging the absurdites of Islam, just as they must be (and are!) free to publish cartoons satirising the absurdities of Jews, Christians, atheists, right-wing politicians, left-wing politicians, and everyone else besides. The decision as to whether to publish them must be an editorial one, according to what the paper wants to say.

    There is a further question. Granted that the Danish paper was exercising a perfectly legitimate right to publish the original cartoons, should other papers now also publish them, thus maximising the offence to Muslims everywhere? If we acknowledge that the papers ought to be free, in principle, to do so, should they use their freedom in this instance to publish? Or should they, for the sake of Muslim sensibilities and public order, decline from publishing?

    It sounds to me rather like the situation that confronted the Apostle Paul with respect to circumcising his Gentile proteges. He was quite free to have them circumcised or to not have them circumcised. And indeed he did have Timothy ‘done’ (in Acts 16) for the sake of not offending the Jews among whom he was hoping to minister. However, in Galatians 2, Paul takes the uncircumcised Titus with him to Jerusalem, and “does not yield in submission even for a moment” to those false legalistic brothers who were apparently insisting on Titus being circumcised. Circumcision is neither here nor there—that is, until someone attempts to compel circumcision.

    Considering the cartoons purely on their merits, I doubt whether many Western mainstream newspapers would have published them. Their editiorial decision would probably have been No. But as soon as pressure is placed upon them not to publish, regardless of artistic or editorial merit, then they can hardly be blamed for asserting their freedom, as the Apostle Paul did. “We wouldn’t have bothered publishing these cartoons — until you told us that we MUST NOT publish them. Now, we must.”

    So which way will I jump?

    As I argued in Islam in our Backyard, our society needs a great deal more vigorous, open, public debate about religious truth claims—including those made by Islam. I think we need to go a lot further than the publishing of a few rather lame cartoons. Islam is essentially a Judaeo-Christian heresy cult that has grown very big and very old, and that now enslaves more than a billion people in spiritual darkness. Out of love for Muslims, and everyone, we should refute it with all our energy. We need to do much more than caricature Mohammed. We need to show why he was a false prophet, whose revelations did not come from the true and living God.

    http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/
     
  2. saturneptune

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    Ben W,
    Very good post. Yes, we as Christians put up with a lot of mocking some of our most sacred ideas. Some of it is much worse than a cartoon of a prophet. Some of it is about as insulting to God and Jesus as one could get. Yet, as much as we are offended by this, we are not burning building, rioting and the such. Here is a witness better than anything we could say.

    At the same time, I see no purpose in intentionally making fun of another faith, regardless of their beliefs. Yes, we do have freedom of the press. Doesnt it seem though to help maintain calm, restraint is called for. After all, we have Americans over there in harm's way. What purpose does the cartoon serve? Certainly nothing positive.
     
  3. mountainrun

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    I think the purpose of the cartoons was to point out that Moslems advocate violence and killing.

    The Moslem response was... violence and killing of course, proving the cartoonist correct.

    MR
     
  4. DeclareHim

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    MR is absolutely correct. The Muslim religion is about violence someone puts a cartoon in a paper that angers them they reduce themselves to violence.
     
  5. donnA

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    DH! You've got the first not picture of a person I've seen on the BB! WOW! I didn't know we could do that. I wish we could load our won avatars with being subject to deletion if unappropriate.
     
  6. Ben W

    Ben W
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    All this from a "religion of peace"! :rolleyes:
     
  7. mioque

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  8. webdog

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    I don't know about anyone else, but I am getting my moltov cocktails ready for the opening of the "Davinci Code".... :mad: ;) [​IMG]
     
  9. Salamander

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    They're offended by those????? Maybe they would best be offended by their "leader" eating a porkchop?
     
  10. shannonL

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    Jesus said paraphrasing : When they reviled him he reviled them not.

    I guess Mohammad says if they make fun of me in a cartoon start blowing stuff up.

    I love it when politicians make a distinction between Islam and Radical Islam. Yeah I think if you skim through the Quran you'll find that it is all radical. Thankfully some Muslims are like some baptists. They just warm a pew and never get involved.
    Islam is one of the very few if not only religion in the world that is basically anti christian. Think about it .
     
  11. William Wallace

    William Wallace
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    By there rioting and ransacking of property the Muslims said louder than words "we like it when you call us the Religion of peace and we'll kill anyone who says otherwise".
     
  12. Ransom

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    mountainrun said:

    I think the purpose of the cartoons was to point out that Moslems advocate violence and killing.

    The cartoon issue began when a children's author was unable to find an illustrator for a book on the life of Mohammed. The purpose was to highlight a culture of self-censorship in the media around Islam.

    The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten solicited editorial cartoons about Mohammed from 40 cartoonists. It received 12 - thereby proving their point about the media walking on eggshells where Islam was concerned.

    The point of the exercise wasn't to highlight the fact that Islam is a violent religion. Only three, perhaps four, of the 12 cartoons even suggest that; the rest are either completely benign or self-referential commentary on the newspaper's little "PR stunt."
     
  13. Salamander

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    I was listening to the dreaded Neil Bortz the other day taking a call from a "peace-loving" muslim. The guy expressed his opinion that the world didn't need Jesus Christ as His being too loving and nothing really was being accomplished! :mad: He then went on to express his lost soul's opinion that muhaamad knew the world needed a conqueror to straighten this whole mess out by force.

    That would be just as the Bible states that the efforts of the flesh can only accomplish failure.

    Islam will fail as a work of the flesh, that is all Islam is. It began as the effort of the flesh when Sarai suggested that Abraham go in unto Hagar the bondwoman to beget Ishmael.

    Ishmael takes every opportunity to pervert judgement and always tries to impress the conscience of others as his being "peace-loving", byut he has always used that strategy to get into the camp and start slashing the innocent bystanders in a fit of rage. And all in the name of "love"
     

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