Thursday, February 02, 2006

East is East, West is West and never the twain shall meet.

Would this be a good time to just admit that there will never be harmony in the world. That wouldn't signify the end of the world, would it? After all every part of the world has their own sense of right and wrong. Who decides on what's right for the entire world.

The values held in the west are definately what's followed in the east.

Take for example the news which has split the islamic and non islamic world the past few days. It started with the Danish newspaper printing cartoons depicting a caricature of Prophet Muhammed. This could be taken offensively, but newspapers often take potshots on all religions so there shouldn't have been much about it.

Well unfortunately, islam frowns upon any depiction of prophet muhammed as it is considered idolatory, not to mention him carrying a bomb on him. So denmark (though the government had nothing to do with a newspaper) bore the brunt of the protests with products being boycotted throughout the middle east amongst the normal stuff happening in that part of the world.

Since Western governments do not generally interfere with Free Speech (Russia is obviously excluded), they seem to be caught between a rock and an increasingly angry muslim population. It's been taken so seriously, that there has been a procession taken out of Pakistan calling for a death to Denmark and death to France (since a french newspaper reprinted the cartoons).

So that makes it an interesting conundrum. Do the newspapers back down even though they exercised their legal right to free speech while publishing a cartoon, or do muslims back down, try to see it as a joke and not a personal insult to them. This conflict may never end.

As it is humans don't need too many reasons to kill each other, do we really need to add God (if there is one) to that list.

4 comments:

bluesman said...

Ok I know everyone must be surprised on the paucity of comments, considering this site experiences millions of hits every month. Don't worry all, I have a silent agreement where no one leaves a comment, I mean who would actually want to be publicly associated with views on this blog... So let me go ahead and leave a comment.

The title of this post was 'East is East, West is West and never the twain shall meet'.... hmm maybe I was wrong.

NBC recently cancelled the show 'Book of Daniels' based on the life of a pill popping priest who has frequent talks with Jesus (and this is jesus in the typical western representation - white and long hair).

After multiple groups called for the boycott of the show, NBC finally gave in to the pressure and cancelled the show.

Though shall not take the lord's name in vain ..... damn!!!!

bluesman said...

The cartoon frenzy doesn't yet seem to die down.

Recently an Uttar Pradesh Minister (northern Indian state) announced a cash reward of 51 crore for the beheading of the danish cartoonist. Now a shariat court in the same state issued a religious decree condemning the cartoonist to death...

The schism keeps growing. Maybe its high time for non fundamental muslims to make their voice heard and stand up against people hijacking their religion.

Vir Sanghvi's article on the silence of liberal muslims (http://hindustantimes.com/news/181_1623317,00300001.htm)
is one poignant article on the issue.

Gunderson said...

I agree.

And it's rediculous that the majority (both of muslim countries and muslims themselves, from what I understand) that are more moderate just step back and chill out while everything plays out.

This is the majority that world leaders remind everyone about whenever violence happens so people don't go around discriminating against muslims everywhere, but it'd be nice if this majority actually stood up against the fundamentalists before/as they resorted to violence instead of just hanging back...

It's always made me wonder about the leaders / influential-types within these moderate communities -- wonder what they're looking to gain something by their non-action.

bluesman said...

To continue the almost comical sequence of events, The Hindu Personal Law Board today announced a Rs 51-crore reward for killing noted artist M F Husain and others, while a Congress Minority Cell leader from Madhya Pradesh offered Rs 11 lakh to any "patriot" chopping off the painter’s hands for hurting Hindu sentiments.

"Anyone who kills M F Husain for making obscene paintings of goddess Sarswati and Bharat Mata, the Danish cartoonist, those in the German company printing photographs of Ram and Krishna on tissue paper and the French filmmaker desecrating Lord Shiva will be given Rs 51 crore in cash by the board," the board’s president Ashok Pandey said in a statement in Lucknow. If UP Haj Minister Yaqoob Qureshi undertook the job, "he will be given Rs 101 crore".

"Peace will not prevail on earth unless such people are eliminated," he said and urged Qureshi to set out on the mission. In Indore, MPCC Minority Cell vice-chairman Akthar Baig in a statement said the painter had "played with the sentiments of the people and tried to disrupt communal harmony in the past by painting nude pictures of Hindu gods and goddess and now of Bharat Mata".

Freedom of speech is in full swing in India ...
(source: Indian Express)