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February 09, 2006



At some level there is a "clash of civilizations." If a Saudi Arabian newspaper ran a cartoon about Jesus, MLK, the Virgin Mary, the Holocaust or whatever - do you really think anyone in the US or Europe would care? I don't think many Americans would be "genuinely offended", unfortunately for most Americans the Middle East just doesn't matter. Maybe a few wing-nuts would muster some outrage on their blog but that would be the extent of it. By the same token, if a Cambodian or a Paraguayan newspaper had run these cartoons, I can't imagine people in Afghanistan would be protesting. This tells me that the clash is not one of religions - it seems to be more about a group of people who feel humiliated by the West socially and economically trying to get attention.



Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey has scanned images from the Egyptian newspaper Al Fagr that printed the cartoons in OCTOBER 2005 during Ramadan. And guess what? There were no spontaneous protests. No flag burning.

Why do bloggers have to do the real researching while our so-called reporters are sitting on their asses or hiding under their desks?

It was also bloggers who located the original photo of a Frenchman in a pig-calling contest that was used to suggest that a man was trying to insult Mohammed.

The MSM have become disgusting SURRENDER MONKEYS.




In an update, Sandmonkey said that Al Fagr has now pulled the cover of that issue from their website. However, you can still find the images on his blog entry for the subject and at his flickr account (on his sidebar).

Listen, the day that your beloved Al-Jazeera covers the fact that an Egyptian newspaper printed the cartoons way back in October of 2005 is the day I'll give some respect to that news outlet.

What do you think? Will Al-Jazeera investigate the October printing of the cartoons in an Egyptian newspaper?

Let's see, okay?

P.S. Don't you get tired of being Al-Jazeera's lapdog? And how much dhimmi tax are you required to pay?

Heh heh.


the aardvark

Um, did you read what I wrote about al-Jazeera and the cartoons? It wasn't very nice.

And the so-called MSM have hardly been "surrender monkeys" - they have generally played a deeply unconstructive role in fanning the flames of "clashing civilizations."

Leftist Boddhisatva

What I haven't seen said that I think needs to be said, is that the "cartoon riots" should not be interpreted with the lens of free speech. Rather, I believe they represent pan-Muslim dissatisfaction with the extent of the power that the Western World has over their lives: be it the oil corporations or the western-backed corrupt governments. The mocking cartoons for many emphasize this, by mocking the one aspect of their lives which was relatively free of Western influence, albeit not free of Western prejudice.


I think you are wrong ther Boddhisatva, because unlike the Iraq war, regimes really had to work to get protests numbers up to an acceptable level. I really don't think the average man on the street really cares about this. It may be hurtful, but it does not really affect their lives.
By the way, all the oil in the ME is nationalized and is in the control of host governments. Western oil companies have very limited footholds in the area, and all in downstream operations (ie refining etc.) None have major oil concessions. Of course average citizens do not share in this bounty. they would probably be better off if indeed western oil companies could compete for resources.



Um, did you read what I wrote about al-Jazeera and the cartoons?

Hold it! You mean that you actually want me to READ what you've written!

What kind of torture is this?!

You're trying to place in your Own Private Gitmo!

If you send me your effigy, I'll burn it indeed.

Heh heh.

Okay, okay, let me take a look at what the Snout has written.




And the so-called MSM have hardly been "surrender monkeys" - they have generally played a deeply unconstructive role in fanning the flames of "clashing civilizations."

This is a damned lie, Marc.

A fricking Egyptian newspaper prints the cartoons back in October of 2005. Nothing.

And today very few news outlets here in the US or Europe have reprinted those cartoons OUT OF COWARDICE!

Fanning the Huntingtonian flames?!

Are you nuts?

I've NEVER seen so many instances of craven apologies and mea culpas and expressions of "sensitivity."

THE TERRORISTS, many of them packed into those protest mobs, ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU AND ME AND YOUR WIFE AND YOUR SON.

Jeezus, Marc. Your dhimmitude is showing. It ain't pretty.


the aardvark

I never thought I'd actually hear somebody say "your dhimmitude is showing" with a straight face... um, was your face straight? I couldn't quite tell, because the previous comment was kind of funny...



I have several faces, the oldest an Ur-Mask that allows me to shape-shift into a variety of interriverine spirits.




BTW, I'm a teacher like you. There's a stack of papers on the coffee table right now to vouch for me. Yes, yes, I'll get to them in a second.

I like the "aardvark" schtick, but your blog is a little boring.

Why don't you try to loosen up a little bit?

Hedges and balanced evaluations are fine for journal articles, right?

But do we need our blogs to be guarded also?

C'mon, tell me what you really think?

How much pain did you feel when Kerry couldn't escape the Flip-Flop characterization?

How did you feel when Mrs. Alito struggled to hold back tears after her husband had been hatcheted repeatedly for days?

How did you feel as a Democrat?




One more point before I tie my leg to the coffee table and pull out my red pen.

Yes, I am an abrasive jerk at times, but in general I agree with your views on the state of Arab discourse. I do think, however, that you need to take a closer sniff at the stench rising from the reporting on the Great Cartoon Bait and Switch Operation pulled off by the Traveling Danish Imams.

I realize that you're a solemn chap and not really personally or emotionally invested in the Humor Racket, so I'll go easy on you for now, okay?


Leftist Boddhisatva

Wow, a real troll.

Maybe you should limit people to one comment a day (or in my case two :D ).

Best, as always.


You strike me as the kind of person we should all be terrified of.





Heh heh.


Aw, did I really SCARE you?

Hey, check out my blog:

Iraqi Bloggers Central.

We'll soon be celebrating our 2-year anniversary.

If you don't know the Original Psycho Sicko American, that's me, Jeffrey -- New York.

Nice to meet you too.



Lefftis Bottle-zaftig,

No, no. I'm troll-ISH. I believe there's a difference.

Let me check the mirror and see if my face is straight.



What a peculiar person. Frankly I can't follow the blithering.

Regardless, as at Aqoul, I agree the media in general (and this includes blogs, so let us leave aside this idiocy with respect to "main stream media") have done a terrible job here.



see what happens when you give your url out over the air?


any curiosity i might have had about your site was killed by your comments here. sorry, no hits from me

Nur al-Cubicle

Cerebus to the courtesy phone, please. There is a disturbance requiring an earth pig snout punch.


What a peculiar person. Frankly I can't follow the blithering

He sounds rather like a clever spam bot. The kind that scrapes words from the entry, strings them together with similar-sounding phrases and then throws in a link for advertising.

Guess this means his blog is going to be all about Viagra and penis enlargement. Boring.


I am an Arabic speaking American who watches Al Jazeera on a daily basis and I have to agree with Jeffrey- the day they cover the fact that these cartoons were printed in an Egyptian paper during Ramadan of 2005 is when I'll take them more seriously.
Also you should have highlighted Qaradhawi's khutba last Friday during which he spoke of the "alleged" Holocaust and quoted Garaudy. This is of course to be expected of him being an apologist and inciter of human bombs.
Lastly, I'm so sick of Al Jazeera using that good Jew/bad Jew tactic by inviting Hamas's Jewish lawyer Stanley Cohen for an interview on prime time. I admit there's some good stuff on A.J., but on the whole it makes you just want to puke.

the aardvark

I admit that I really don't understand the point of this argument that AJ should report that an Egyptian tabloid ran the cartoons last fall. With all due respect to the Sandmonkey, so what? I mean, it's kind of interesting as an historical footnote - and kudos to the ES for picking it up and scanning it - but not much more than that. Egyptian tabloids do lots of things, often offensive (much more anti-Semitic than anything I've ever seen on al-Jazeera) and nobody ever pays much attention.

I'm not defending al-Jazeera here - I've said my piece about the negative role AJ has played in this whole stupid affair - but I'm genuinely baffled by this argument. Judging a news station by whether or not they pick up a minor observation by a blogger seems an odd standard. Has any other Arab (or other) TV station reported it? What did they say about it?



I entirely agree that it's not fair to fault them for not picking up something off of a blog. But I think a broader critique of the media (in this case, both Arab and English) for failing to historically situate/question the timing of this response is in order. An Egyptian paper printed the stuff during Ramandan, at a time when one would imagine that people would respond. They really didn't. All this underscores Ashraf's point about the importance of looking at the _differences_ in Arab/Muslim responses as indicative of no unified cause of this "rage." The media is NOT doing this. The Egyptian thing isn't really a story all by itself. But I think it IS a part of a story about conflict framing, timing, and tipping points.

I would never go so far as to pin my ENTIRE evaluation of a television station on whether it picks up this Egyptian thing, though, and I don't think anyone else should, either. I don't like AJ very much, but this has little to do with it, and they really shouldn't be singled out.

the aardvark

Stacey -

Yes, I agree with that - that's why I've been treating this from the start as an issue of political mobilization by extremists hoping to set off a clash, rather than as a "free speech vs religion" question. The interesting question is exactly as you say: why, at this moment, did the shinola hit the fan? The Egyptian tabloid is just a negative counterfactual: well, last fall it did not hit the fan. A data point on the way to figuring out why last month it did. So it's interesting in that regard - and that's why I'm glad the ES dug it up - but doesn't seem to have much to do with AJ.



The Egyptian tabloid is just a negative counterfactual.

I teach conditional sentences a couple times each year.

When thinking about the past, we English speakers have two choices. We can either think hypothetically or counterfactually.

Past Hypothetical: If John left at nine, he should be there by now. (We believe that John probably did leave at nine and then reason from that assumption.)

Past Counterfactual: If Bill had studied for the test, he would have passed it. (Here the past perfect form of the verb signals that Bill had NOT studied for the test. Because it is "against the truth," we call it "counterfactual."

Okay, let's go to the cartoons.

The first problem for you and your loose usage of "negative counterfactual" is that the printing of the cartoons in Al Fagr is a FACT and cannot be refuted.

You could attempt, however, some verbal contortions.

Okay, let's try this one:

If Al Fagr had not published those cartoons, then the current overheated outrage around the Muslim world over the publication of these same cartoons in a Danish newspaper would make more sense.


If Al Fagr had not published those cartoons, then Al Jazeera wouldn't look so stupid right now because they refuse to address anything that might call into question Arab solidarity and kowtowing to the Islamofascists at their elbow.

Let me hear your "negative counterfactual," Marc.

Oh, and by the way, a word to the newbies like you who want to stop by Sandmonkey's Arab Parallel Universe. No one calls Sandmonkey "ES." We call him Sandmonkey or Sam or Sandman or something like that.


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