Like a lot of the blogosphere, the topic that has been taking over Jordanian blogs in the past two weeks is the infamous Danish cartoons:
Ameen Malhas of Banzeen says, “Freedom of speech must be protected. We moan and whine when Muslims are attacked in other countries because of actions ‘fringe elements’ have taken, but we’re so willing to attack other people when their innocent actions OFFEND us. We need a plan of action, we need to escape this cycle of doom, not only is the world moving forward without us, we’re actually regressing.”
Tololy says, “Prophet Mohammad to Muslims is the guide that ushered light into their lives, by delivering the message of Divinity to peoples of all races and times. Understanding the reverence and respect Muslims have for their Prophet is essential in untangling this web of reactions.”
Lina of Into the Wind says, “May be the solution is not a short-term action that we take in direct response to this, but a continuous effort to build our societies, to work for more awareness, more openness, more cultural and political development, to have a generation of young people who are not just either apathetic or reactive.”
Basem of Don't Call Me Sheikh says, “Alas, the perpetuating apartheid & occupation against a sovereign nation for half a centaury and the killing of hundred of thousands in Iraq & Afghanistan were not good enough to shake the masses, but few drawings depicting utter blasphemy were…”
Wael Attili says, “Well, I know some people are calling for freedom of speech, but those people should know that the rage is not about freedom of speech, it's about intention.”
Mazen of Cacopolis says, “A warning to my own people: this mentality of self-victimization and cultural sensitivity leads to dangerous places. Atrocities committed against ones own and others seem to always be preceded by such a conviction in victimhood.”
Eman of AquaCool says, “Ah, I didn’t know that we: “the officially backward intolerant airheads”, would provoke so much hatred towards us, simply because we said: we don’t accept this! I still see no problem in us expressing how we felt in a peaceful way.”
Ahmad Humeid has several insightful posts on the topic, as well as several suggestions as to what would have been a better reaction to the cartoons from the Muslim world, of which I will leave you with:
- Apply to the Ministry of Culture in Denmark to organize a big exhibition about the Life of Prophet Mohammad and Islamic History. The Saudi and other Arab governments would finance this event and promote it in a big way in the Danish media.
- Invite 100 Danish children to come and live with Arab and Muslim families to learn about life in today’s Arab and Muslim world.
- Invite the editors of the Danish newspaper to a well publicized cultural debate in Doha, Qatar or Copenhagen.
- The embassies of Arab and Muslim nations could commission a website in Danish about Islam, contemporary muslim thinkers and life in today’s Islamic world. A dedicated staff would respond to incoming questions and request for information.
- Subtitle the movie ‘The Message’ in Danish and try to get many movie theaters and cultural centers in Denmark to show it.