Sunday, February 12, 2006

Responses to the controversial article on Danish cartoons

My article posted on this blog concerning the Danish cartoon controversy was itself the subject of much controversy. It was first reproduced on OnlineOpinion, which triggered interviews on ABC Radio in Melbourne and Brisbane as well as a joint interview with a Melbourne writer on Triple J's Hack program.

I was then approached by the New Zealand Dominion Post newspaper who wished to reproduce the article with some minor alterations. (Readers might recall that in New Zealand the Dominion Post newspaper, which is produced in Wellington, published all 12 cartoons.) This led to unprecedented traffic on this blog as well as some interesting feedback from readers who e-mailed me directly.

Comments to my reflections can be found on the OnlineOpinion site here. Some of the comments were quite feral, as were some comments posted on this blog. I have allowed virtually all comments to be posted so that people's prejudices and well as their views can be made apparent.

I wanted to share some of the feedback on the article which people e-mailed to me directly, and I have kept contributor's identities as vague as possible.

Thank you Irfan, this is an impressive article thatsays much that needs to be said and thought about seriously



I just saw your article ' Danish cartoons: Muslims in their own Dark Age '.

As a Catholic, I've witnessed that a successful way to promote the good side of a faith is through role models. Christians use examples like Mother Theresa from India, Mary MacKillip and other saints. Buddhists use the Dalai Lama.

For societies to appreciate the value of a group of people, they typically judge examples that they see. Thus, to help change the way Islam is perceived in Sydney or anywhere, examples of Muslim charity workers, etc need to be publicised and revered as the 'true Muslims'.



Your blog urging the muslim world to put their own house in order has been published in a New Zealand newspaper.

I have read it and wish to thank you for such a well reasoned, thoughtful expression of common sense. It has been sadly lacking in this debate up to this point.

I only wish it could be bottled up and force fed to the bigots who exist on both sides, muslim and non muslim.

Keep up the good work



Hi Irfan

I thought I'd check your blog in light of what's been happening in regards to the Danish Cartoons. I think your blog presents a balanced argument. However it's not only Muslims who get offended by this so called "freedom-of-speech".

Witness, for example, Senator Kerry Nettle's t-shirt that read "Tony Abbott Keep your rosaries off our ovaries" in regards to the RU486 debate in parliament at presnt.

To us catholics who pray to God by saying the rosary this is indeed offensive. But we are taught to turn the other cheek.

take care

Muslims are dangerous, racist people. Australia is better off without them. Muslims are 5 times more likely to be on welfare and Muslim men are responsible for 60% of crime in Sydney. These are true facts. Why do Aussies need these illiterate camel jockeys? We don't. You might be new to Australia but I remember Australia in the good old days. They were good old days - we didn't have all this racial tension that we have today. Also our standard of living was higher. Migrants are reducing Australia's standard of living. Muslims should stay in their own countries and tear them apart.

Just look at the Muslim world. It is a mess. We don't need Muslim trouble moving to Australia. White Australians have taken enough racist shit directed at them and we are now fighting back. We need justice and a return to commonsense. Both which are severely lacking at the moment due to too many migrants causing problems in Australia. There is no economic benefit to be gained with all the new Muslim and Asian migrants. They are a drain on the taxpayers of Australia.

Muslim live by the sword and they will die by the sword. Mohammed had 22 wifes and fought in 26 battles. Would you call him a good role model to young Muslims?

A Prophet performs miracles but Mohammed didn't. He only caused pain. He raped a 9 year old girl at 50. How sick! You Muslims should get better role models or better still convert to Christianity. Christianity is much better than Kaba worship.

Proud to be Aussie.



I enjoyed your comments - right on target. The big question in my mind is whether the Muslim world can pull itself out of this era of decline and despair, or whether this is a terminal decline leading in the future to a repeat of what we see across Africa today.

The fashionable hostility toward to West will only antagonise increasing numbers in the West, and pull fence sitters on these issues across to the camp of the intolerant and unforgiving. Too many moderate and reasonable people I know have crossed this threshold already, and have no respect for the Muslim world, and perceive Muslims to be violent barbarians in general.

One thing the Muslim world wants to avoid is becoming popularly perceived in the West as the new Nazis of this era. This point may be closer than many imagine - Iran was recently gone a long way to advancing this issue, after Al Qaeda's visible fondness for regurgitated NSDAP propaganda.

In a sense the incessant calls for Jihad differ very little from the call to the Crusades - the absence of centralised theological authority in Islam is perhaps the only major differentiator.

The sad reality is that the extremists in the Muslim world have become addicted to the use of the Western/global mass media as a distribution channel for their propaganda - trying to actively emulate the Giap strategy of the Vietnam era. The byproduct of this is that the West is now fed a steady daily media diet of violence perpetrated by Muslims, and outrageous Islamo-fascist propaganda and rhetoric.

I have never been a fan of the Huntingdon thesis, but it almost seems as if there are too many people out there who want it to materialise.

The media are addicted to violence, mayhem and controversy, and the Islamic fundamentalists are addicted to the global power and reach the media provide them with.

Unless there is a major grass roots movement amongst moderate Muslims to break this behaviour, it will only get worse and end up with the world perceiving Muslims largely as 21st century Nazis. Once that happens, all bets are off as to the outcome.

The Islamic world cannot win a global full scale war against Western nations and others who would join in. Whether such a conflict would be fought with nuclear or conventional weapons is immaterial. Jihadists with roadside bombs, RPGs and AKMs cannot compete with fleets of bombers. The seemingly popular belief amongst the Jihadists, Iran and others in this camp that a major conflict with the West can be won is absurd.

The West currently conducts military operations with a large number of self imposed constraints, which essentially make indiscriminate use of firepower illegal or improper. Such sentiments existed before WW2 but quickly vanished once the war with Germany and Japan escalated. The result was the large scale destruction of both nations.

A nuclear weapon used by terrorists is the kind of event which would rapidly tip the
balance in the West.

Keep up the good work,

Dear Sir,

Thank you for a vary interesting article. I found it on (a
most interesting site)

I agree with you thst the radicals have hijacked your religion. This is also being done to Christianity. More moderates need to speak out as you have done.

As Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Many Thanks and please keep up the good work.