Why I'm not linking to the Prophet Muhammad Cartoons

Following my post last week (Cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad) I’m getting a lot of hits from Yahoo and an increasing number from Google (always a few days behind Yahoo) from people looking for the Prophet Muhammad Cartoons. I have made the decision not to post a link, though a lot of bloggers have and…

Following my post last week (Cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad) I’m getting a lot of hits from Yahoo and an increasing number from Google (always a few days behind Yahoo) from people looking for the Prophet Muhammad Cartoons. I have made the decision not to post a link, though a lot of bloggers have and in fact there is now even a well known blog collecting the names of blogs publishing the cartoons themselves.

I think a lot of people, Western Christians being well represented amongst their number, haven’t quite realised how offensive these cartoons were to Muslims. To quote a comment on the Religion in the Media weblog ‘GetReligion‘:

The cartoons weren’t simply depictions of the Prophet Muhammad; they were cruel drawings of him with extreme racially Semetic characteristics (drawing on Europe’s prior history of anti-Jewish prejudice) inferring extremely offensive and prejudiced sentiments.

If a series of cartoons were printed denying and mocking the Holocaust or depicting Martin Luther King Jnr. in virulent anti-Black messages the world would be rightfully outraged, and media personalities would barely dare to make a peep about ‘free speech’.

The other thing that is frustrating me somewhat is the tendency of people to judge an entire race or religion on the basis of that group’s extremists. Just because some Muslims have reacted with violence doesn’t make Islam a violent religion. Tempted as I am to name and shame the sites where I’ve seen this sort of view advanced I’m not going to give them the benefits of the extra two visitors a link from my blog would provide.

Some more balanced reflections from UK bloggers:
Faithful Progressive: Michelle Malkin & Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani: Two Responses to Cartoon Issue (Link via 42)
Richard Sudworth – imagine!: To Blaspheme or Not To Blaspheme? (Link via Bigbulkyanglican)


  1. The problem is that all things are offensive to someone, most religions offend other religions just by the assumptions thay make, and if you have some sort of firm view on something (like not being able to depict something, someone or mention a name or word) then you have to expect others who don’t hold the view to break these beliefs.

    Although I think these cartoons (well only one of them actually, I did look them up myself and one was ok in my opinion) are needlessly offensive I still think the papers have a right to publish them, and face the consequences of certain parts of their readership being offended and losing those readers.

  2. Neil, rights do not stand on their own… they come attached to ‘responsibility’… I am all for free speach/expression but too often the media publishes/produces things which are deliberatley offesnsive to boost sales… a) this is not a good and responsible use of free speech b) The timing is not onle insensitive but could not be more provocative… it is interesting to see those supporting the papers right to print know complaining about the banners at the recent demonstrations… would they also have supported the Nazi’s right to publish anti-semitic cartoons?… As the Bible says… everything may be permissable but it is not necessarily helpful!

  3. I dont want to come into this dialogue either it was ok or not …but One thing every Human must keep in mind that ….no body has right to insult any religion or respected Personalities of that religion….I condemm all the unhuman actions and hurting anybody is a sin ………and that cartoon hurt whole muslim community ….Please stop fighting …this fight will one day kill all of us….Its a request from an earthling who wants to live in peace…..

  4. As a fellow cartoonist, my blog and site visitors have gone through the roof over the last few days too.

    I thought about it, but in the end decided to link to the cartoons, but not publish them on my site.


    As a cartoonist, I think it highlights the power the image has over a culture. We need to be sensitive to that and show how it can go horribly wrong.

    As a Christian, they made me think why I don’t get so offended when I see Jesus portrayed in many, MANY, more cartoons in heretical ways.

    And I wondered why a simple (and badly drawn in most cases) cartoon is taken so seriously. Surely the ‘gods’ have a sense of humor too.

    There’s lots of other arguments for free speech, communication through the arts, religious tolerance and so on, but the above were the big ones for me.

  5. Thanks everyone – these are all good points. It’s not an easy one and I fully respect people who come to a slightly different conclusion over the issue than I do.

    Matt – thanks for dropping in. At a time whn I’m not supposed to be doing some work I’ll have a proper look around your site.

  6. Yeah, it’s a difficult one, I think they have the right to print the cartoons and that’s great, but IMHO I think they are muppets to the nth degree for acually doing it!

    I agree that Muslims being violent doesn’t make Islam a violent religion (any more than my driving makes Christianity a suicidal religion) but I think it’s fair to say, on the basis of this and many other events that there Islam can be interpreted to be violent by some, but not by others.

  7. You have made a correct choice of not putting the cartoons here. It would have been very immoral and sick to do such an evil thing.

    People are already upset with the West all over the world.

  8. With two people you cannot do anything, One who abuses you while standing on the other side of river and another one is the person who refuses on your face to pay you back. Pbulishin such cartoons is similar to the First one who abuses while standing on other side of the river. It would be a great expression of freedom if we see cartoons of Cardinal and Popes making it out with their students/pupils – Thats also a good test for the westerners to find out how much of a fundamentalists they are?

  9. I’m afraid that Islam itself, should you read the Qur’an and aHadith, is indeed a violent religion. There are over 149 overt surahs that command violent acts to be committed on non-believers or Muslim apostates. I suggest that you do read it.

    These commands are current until such time there is word-wide submission to Allah. Unlike the Bible, these are not historical accounts but current commands.

    The more peaceful Muslims are living by the earlier Mecca surahs, but the correct interpretation of the Qur’an uses nasikh, the principle of abrogation whereby the later Medina surahs, where they contradict earlier ones, over-ride and nullify them. The Medina surahs are the ones that incite violence. They over-rule any more peaceful contradictory Mecca surahs.

    Please become informed so you do not fall for the taqiyya (holy hypocrisy) of the imams and mullahs.

    I have not published or directly linked to the Muhammad cartoons on my site either, but I am well educated on the subject of Islam.

  10. I am too sad about what they say about Islam…Islam is agod religion for all the world…you can’t say that it is a violant religion becaus you didn’t know any thing about it…and I hope from evry one to be faith with himself at first…and you can read alot of books about Islam…

  11. I’m sad about Islam too, Human, and that so many are deceived by this ideology. You don’t know me so it is quite irrational for you to say that I don’t know anything about Islam.
    I can provide evidence that Islam is a frighteningly violent religion with an aggressive and imperialist agenda of world-wide dominance and universal submission to Allah. This is true about Islam whether you put your head in the sand and deny it or not.
    If you care to discover the truth, then click on my name to visit my website for credible and authentic resources on the subject. No M cartoons there, but plenty of verified facts.
    It takes courage to face up to the truth.

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