AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Releasing my monsters

I’ve been biting my tongue and keeping my hands tied behind my back to avoid mentioning the damn two words on this blog, but the monsters in me begging for freedom of expression and death to self-censorship have won- I can’t remain quiet any longer. WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING TO THE WORLD!

First there was the boycott, which I was strongly against because I couldn’t understand why we should punish a whole country as well as freedom of speech for some irresponsible and naive cartoons drawn by people who are obviously so ignorant about Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. I also found it unneeded for governments to help ignite the anger in the citizens who didn’t see the cartoons anyway. Then, although I personally didnt think it was necessary, the newspaper apologized. There we go, I thought, they apologize although we misreact. Thank you, end of goddamn story.

Not. Why? Because for some reason, an apology wasn’t enough for us. I looked at friends and family in horror as they told me that the boycott should last for months regardless of the apology because a half-ass apology is not enough. I sat shocked as I read urges written by people I respect that they are not satisfied- “Shu howeh 7a yenda7ak 3aleina bi kelmetein?”

Then things went out of hand. Embassies are being burnt down. People are being killed. Qura’ans are being torched. Much worse cartoons of the Prophet drawn out of spite rather than ignorance are appearing here and there. Anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world is increasing. Islamophobia in the Western world is escalating.

I’m compelled to scream, “Are you happy now? Is this what you wanted when you said an apology is not enough? Property being burnt, people being killed?” But no, I won’t scream, for even the monsters of someone as hotheaded as myself aren’t that untamed.

It’s comically ironic how we are protesting against freedom of speech, but as they say, “Faqed il 7aq la yo3teeh”. It’s ironic how we manage to stand united over cartoons but watch silently as attrocities are committed against our fellow brethren. Yet most ironically of all, we are standing against the teachings of the Prophet we are defending.

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20 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    thanks for the nice post..but isnt boycotting also a freedom..i think boycotting is a civilized way of expressing your denial about what happened

  2. So true, the well known saying : majnoon yerme 7ajar, 100 3agel ma betal3o!

  3. She

    This whole episode is disturbing on so many different fronts – I don’t even know where to begin. I’m not a big believer in organized religion, and if there is a God or two out there somewhere, I cannot imagine that what we are seeing today, in the name of religion, is what he intended. If nothing else, this situation only proves just how much misunderstanding there is in the world, and how great the differences are between cultures. It’s sad.

  4. to be honest, i see your strong point of view, your critical thinking way of expressing your views,there is a point,and again i don’t know if Prophet Mohammad were here what his reaction will be, i don’t think he will do as we did, he might continue his journey of Islam,

  5. Tayeb if an apology is not enough? What is? can anuone answer this question? what will satisfy the angry crowds? what are they supposed to do to make up for that horrible mistake that a miserable person was responsible for? Did he know that be making the decision to publish the notorious cartoons, he will be opening a gate to hell? I don’t think that he was this far sighted or he did not anticipate such reaction, either way; what happened happened, but WHEN DOES IT STOP AND AT WHAT COST????

  6. You know what I found to actually work? Repeating that its a cartoon. I don’t think people actually stop and think that all of this madness is over a cartoon. Let me demonstrate:

    “They insulted the Prophet.”

    “It’s a cartoon.”

    “we have to make them pay.”

    “It’s a cartoon.”

    “I know it’s a cartoon. Still, they have insulted us. We have to retaliate.”

    “They made a cartoon. You wanna burn their embassy. Over a cartoon. People are dead, because of a cartoon. It’s a CARTOON.”

    “Don’t oversimplify this. This is about more than a cartoon. They are conspiring against Islam.”

    ” I am not oversimplifying, it is that simple: There is no They, and it’s a cartoon. It’s a Cartoon. You are losing it over a cartoon. It’s a freakin CARTOON.”

    Try it. It’s amazing how it shuts them up. Most of our people, I found out, are very rational people once they start using their brains to think. It may take you 5 minutes of repeating that it’s a cartoon for them to realize how silly this is, but they eventually get there.

    Do it on one to one basis though. The moment there is more, all that is needed to ruin the magic effect of this rational appraoch is someone else saying “NO. They are insulting the prophet.We have the right to do this!” and all your effort is lost because of group think and mob mentality.

    Sad, because, like, it’s a cartoon. A drawing. A cartoon people. Grow up!

  7. years and years ago ma friend jesus suggested that if someone slapped your right cheek then turn the left one for him

    another friend of mine “gandhi” used jesus’ advice in his struggle to get the british out of india..and it worked..other way wouldnt work :)

    now guys imagine this….denmark is the number 1 target of al-QA3EDA and other terrorist orgnisations…if they decided to attack denmark then many innocent will lose thier live over silly cartoons..would mohammed be happy then…i bet no…many may lose thier lives including children and people who are against these cartoons and who knows…maybe muslims

    this problem is getting bigger and bigger because of both muslims and european people…someone must turn his right cheek now
    not necessary the muslims..denmark can do it first
    someone should be responsible and DECIDE TO SAVE LIFE

    anyone who try his/her best to stop this noise is a life saver…please all do your best

    i was watching a movie..starring nicole kidman and the script was amazing..its about revenge and forgivness in afriqa …take this quote from the movie

    ” Everyone who loses somebody wants revenge on someone, on God if they can’t find anyone else. And in Africa…In Matobo, the Ku believe that the only way to end grief is to save a life. If someone is murdered, a year of mourning ends with a ritual that we call “the drowning man trial.” There’s an all-night party beside a river. At dawn, the killer is put in a boat. He’s taken out on the water and he’s dropped. He’s bound, so that he can’t swim. The family of the dead then has to make a choice. They can let him drown or they can swim out and save him. The Ku believe that if the family lets the killer drown, they’ll have justice but spend the rest of their lives in mourning. But if they save him, if they admit that life isn’t always just, that very act can take away their sorrow. Vengeance is a lazy form of grief”

  8. Thanks Roba, your posts really ignite thoughts and feelings in a positive way.

    I don’t want to repeat what i posted lately. But i want to say that what really concerned me is not the way we dealt with the cartoons or the Danish government, instead it was the frustrating way we dealt with each other arguing and discussing this issue.

    Most of the people were saying or shouting ;) “we should do this and that” And insisting that they have the solution and the only one too, all other people are wrong !!

    Does any one seriously thinks that all people around should think, feel, react and believe exactly the same way as him?

    Sandmokey: I think you are totally right, it’s a cartoon, until the point you asked us all to grow up :p no seriously, ia gree that its only cartoons but I think if we ignored the cartoons, then god know’s what’s next maybe a movie or a series or a TV show full of insults like these in the cartoons.

    I, too don’t agree about the firing and killing and other violent acts. In my opinion, we should learn from this whole issue how to know more about the prophet, his life and his teachings specially those about communication skills.

  9. Oh no, they could insult us in a movie or a TV series? The Horror. What was I thinking? We have to do something. Let’s Boycott TV and burn movie theathres. THAT will teach them not to mess with us. :P

    Seriously though, are we really that sensitive that we can’t handle redicule? We really that thin-skinned that we have to resort to all of this crap over a cartoon? Violence is the option of those who can not reason or defend themselves with rational dialogue, so why is it that we are always using it? What does that say about us, or, for good measure, the islamic religion?

    Let’s go eye for an eye on this. They make a cartoon, we make a cartoon. They make a movie, we make a movie. Not they make a cartoon, we boycott a country, bomb churches in another, attack embassies in 4 others, and kill a priest in a 5th! No matter how offended they may be, the reactions don’t even come close to the action. And then we wonder why they redicule us. A7eih!

  10. Sand monkey: thanks for your reply, you got me all wrong, i know how much Muslims and Arabs and many other cultures have been insulted in movies…but this time is was the prophet in that cartoon,and I don’t agree to a boycott for TV and movies :)

    and definitely, replying to them the way you suggest is not the right thing to do, this will lead to a war of cartoons and silly thing you don’t want and you mocked in the first place, yet I still agree that violence is not the right choice too.

    Also, to be honest we wont be able to catch up in replies and when we do I think this will only fuel anger , right ?

    I mean replaying on their insult by another insult will lead definitely to the burning of all the embassies.

    Old Romans used to say: “A Word is the first Gate to A War”.

    Thanks Sandmonkey for your thoughts and reply.

  11. NEVER GO EYE FOR AN EYE MA FRIEND..NEVER

    otherwise 3000 years of wisdom since mahavira will go whooffff with the wind

  12. Anonymous

    Just for the record: No koran has being torched, at least not in Europe; at least not in public. The rumor has been spread about burning korans by the same people who spread the caricatures (+ extra caricatures that have never been published).

  13. The unpleasant thing about this whole affair is the sense of proportions, as has been said by many:

    People are rioting, some are dying, attacking Christians in Lebanon and Iraq and police stations in Afghanistan over these cartoons.

    In the meantime, I see that Olmert has now declared that Israel intends to keep all of Jerusalem and (for good measure) the Jordan valley; which is *outrageous* as far as I can see …
    (Not to mention the stories of Muslims kidnapped by the US and brought to Yemen or Syria to be tortured – another good thing for the Islamic street to unite against? But not so convenient for the powers-that-be, of course).
    But the cartoons seem to drown all these – let’s say – *real* things out. It’s so sad. People are letting themselves manipulate by extremists spewing hatred – you wouldn’t believe some of the things the extreme right here in Europe are actually saying :-(
    I hope people will soon begin to realize that this is a pseudoconflict, a dead end – so it might all end up calming down again, please.

  14. What happened last Saturday in damscus is utterly shameful.. and STUPID…

    The destroyed the embassy of CHILE!! YEAH, LATIN AMERICA!!! well, u can say they’re not so great with geography…

    It’s stupid, and it’s even more stupid to see governments involved in such crimes… it’s hidious!!

  15. Thanks for the post, Roba.

    I always used to get told “sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me”. Ignoring the name-calling and ridicule makes those doing it look pretty moronic. Overreacting to it (with sticks and stones) makes both sides look stupid – and guarantees that the sticks and stones will get bigger in the future.

    Look at the irony on both sides. Danish neo-cons say “Islam is intolerant” – with a series of seriously intolerant cartoons. And some misguided Muslims say “don’t call us violent” – while reacting violently to the cartoons. (I know it’s not quite that simple.)

    And, incidentally, I don’t think ‘naive’ is the right word for the cartoons – this moronic newspaper knew what they were doing. But, if anyone should pay, it’s just these morons. Hurting innocent people wins no-one prizes.

  16. Anonymous

    The paper did NOT publish the 12 cartoons in order to offend as many muslims as possible.
    Why do you have difficulties in accepting that fact?

    Besides, I´m having a hard time trying to understand why so many muslims around the world are demanding respect from non-muslims when they so obivously don´t have any respect for others countries laws and way of life.

    When I see what is going on around the world in the name of Mohammed and islam; it is very difficult to believe in islam as the religion of peace.

    Most of the 12 cartoons were not disrespectful or insulting in any way. Some of them were quite funny and the one with Mohammed with a bomb in his turban has proven itself to be correct judged by the reactions in the muslim world.

    A Dane

  17. Another Denmark exists:

    “A Denmark that wants to live in peace with the Muslim world. There is another Denmark, which hopes for and believes in respect and tolerance between religions and different groups of people. As a Dane I have no responsibility for what a single and privately owned Danish newspaper chooses to publish. Even so, I strongly condemn the actions of Jyllands-Posten that have offended muslims around the world, and I understand the importance of an apology from the newspaper.

    We all have a responsibility for treating each other, our religious faiths, and convictions with dignity and respect. By publishing the caricatures of Muhammad, the newspaper Jyllands-Posten failed their obligation to exercise with care and consideration the right of freedom of speech.

    I condemn all kinds of discrimination, prejudice and racism, whether it is directed against Muslims, Jews, Christians or other groups in a society. Therefore, I reject the hostile and prejudicial way of speaking that has marked several Danish,political parties and media within recent years.”

    Check out the link, and spread it, if you please:

    http://www.anotherdenmark.org

  18. Anonymous

    Dear Egypt are you now satisfied?

    Today we can read in the Danish newspapers that the Egyptian government already in October 2005 has been very active in spreading lies against Denmark. They copied and distributed the book from the Danish imams containing the fake drawings which have never been published in Denmark. Furthermore they spread the nonsense that the Muslim religion was not acknowledged in Denmark, that the Muslims were forbidden to have a mosque and a burial place. The fact is that 19 different Muslim movements are acknowledged and that we have several mosques and burial places. The only thing is that until now the Muslims have not collected enough money for a new and better mosque.

    Confronted with this the Egyptian ambassador yesterday has left Copenhagen and we will have to do without her….

    Until now:
    – demonstrators in Pakistan ask for a World War 3
    – demonstrators in Pakistan want the drawers handed out for punishment (they will probably not survive), and they have offered a reward
    – several people have died
    – embassies have been burned
    – people have claimed that all Danes should die
    – a lot of Danish flags have been burned
    – innocent Danish companies have been boycotted
    – our Prime Minister has been symbolically shot and burned several times
    – the world has become more unstable

    And this is just because of cartoons for which the newspaper long time ago have apologized. I wonder if the Egyptian government now is satisfied.

    I went to Egypt last year and had a marvellous trip while sailing on the Nile and admiring Tut Ank Amon’s remains in Cairo. Now Danes are no longer safe or welcome in Egypt but I hope that other people from the western countries dare to visit the country. Because to Egypt tourism is crucial to their economy. I can only wish you a good trip…

    By the way: the Americans saved the Abu Simbel temple from being flooded by Lake Nasser. The Italians saved The Filae Temple by moving it to a new and higher island, the Polish have rebuilt the temple of Hatshepsut, the Frenchman Champollion decoded the hieroglyphs, the British excavated Tut Ank Amon’s and so on. So I hope that at least people from these countries will be welcome in Egypt.

    Best Regards from Denmark

  19. Thanks for being sane in a insane world. The fires are dying down, but the shame lingers on.
    30th of March 2006, spring is coming to Denmark at last. It can only get better

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