A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Something Good

I was actually afraid to do a round-up of Arab reactions to the Denmark cartoon fiasco, afraid that I will get depressed at the reactions, but now that I did get to doing it, I’m actually smiling.

I will quote a few people before redirecting you to the round-up on toot’s blog, starting with Haitham Sabbah:

“My answer is from within the same concept. Why do you think that ALL Muslims condemn ALL of Denmark? You see my point? ALL? You think ALL in Denmark think we ALL condemn Denmark! This is not true. This is not the case, and was not the case. What you see on TV, read in newspapers, etc… is part of the truth. Muslims and Islam don’t call for hate and violence. And those you see and hear are only part of the Muslim world.”

I will also quote Abu Aardvark:

“The cartoons crisis does not “prove” that there is a “clash of civilizations”: it provides an opportunity for those on both sides who want a “clash of civilizations” to help make it come true. The appropriate response to such cynical mobilization is not to embrace it but to deflate it…I’ve been dismayed by how the media has handled itself on all sides. Al-Jazeera has not been particularly constructive…Even if its coverage of the story itself could be defended in purely professional terms – it is, after all, now a big story, and I haven’t seen any other networks, Arab or Western, abstaining from coverage.”

And the Egyptian Sandmonkey:

“Now while the arab islamic population was going crazy over the outrage created by their government’s media over these cartoons, their governments was benifitting from its people’s distraction. The Saudi royal Family used it to distract its people from the outrage over the Hajj stampede. The Jordanian government used it to distract its people from their new minimum wage law demanded by their labor unions. The Syrian Government used it to create secterian division in Lebanon and change the focus on the Harriri murder. And, finally, the Egyptian government is using it to distract us while it passes through the new Judiciary reforms and Social Security Bill- which will cut over $300 million dollars in benefits to some of Egypt’s poorest families. But, see, the people were not paying attention, because they were too busy defending the prophet by sending out millions of e-mails and SMS-messages, boycotting cheese and Lego and burning Butter and the danish Flag.”

Now, you can proceed to reading the round-up of some Arab reactions here.
If only sane logical voices can reach the international media rather than the hate fests.


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  1. Mirror

    alright..thats it…i got an idea…am not gonna pay the internet bills for the next three months.. i hope that next time i am online i will find 0 articles about this thing

  2. haha mirror wallah ma3ak 7a2! khalas last post on this space i promise :P

  3. Hi Roba. Been reading your blog for a while.

    Can I say that what you wrote – a few weeks ago about the prophet representations through history – was one of the most interesting and actually meaningful things said on this?
    I find the cartoon thing depressing, but mainly boring: a chance for the all the world’s cliches and streotypes to go on a rampage. Everybody’s behaving like caricatures, and not funny ones.

    Well here’s my comment, maybe you’ll be interested.

    In 1997 there was Israeli settler who decided to draw a caricature of the prophet and a pig (riding a pig, eating a pig, dressing up as a pig, can’t remember but extremely offensive) and post them around Hebron/alKhalil.
    She and her husband were arrested the next day and sent to prison for two years by the Israeli court. The whole story was condemned by almost everybody, including the right-wing prime-minister Netanyahu. It was very simple, an instinctive reaction: you don’t play with such explosive-offensive stuff. I can’t remember anyone demonstrating for her ‘freedom of speech’.
    (see more in the first part of

    I am writing this not because I want to portray the Israeli authorities as sensitive/humane/nice to muslims/whatever, but to show that even in Israel nobody has been as stupid, insensitive and offensive as some of these Danish cartoonists.

    As one Israeli cartoonist wrote last week: it’s very easy to laugh at somebody else, but that’s just cheap and vulgar, and at the end of the day bad cartooning – much more difficult to laugh at yourself.

  4. kinzi

    Roba, I felt the same way. Not really wanting to read what the latest thing was.

    This week when I was blogging with some Christians (who one would think are quite smug and happy about this furor – but are not at all), they were really trying to understand.

    Mink, yes, there are stupid people in every society…and it is better to poke fun at ourselves!hey were having a hard time understanding that there are Muslims who are like them, and I’ve been repeating the mantra “go visit Jordanplanet and read their opinions”. So one blog linked Big Pharoah’s Ten Commandments, and they got it!

  5. I published a Syrian roundup on my blog.. I encourage you to read it.. I think it’ll make you happier ;)

  6. The cartoons themselves could be read not as caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (for indeed we do not know what the Prophet actually looked like) but were really caricatures of the everyday ‘Muhammad’ of the contemporary Arab-Muslim world. This is perhaps one of the reasons that the cartoons caused so much pain to so many Arabs, who already have to labour with the painful realities of life.

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