Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Monday, February 20, 2006

Comments on Rhino Cartoon.

I saw the Mohammad cartoons in the Rhino Times this past week. First chance I've had to reflect on them in our local paper. First, I believe the cartoons themselves are shameful and should be rebuked by all. This is my primary comment. This is plainly disrespectful to one of the three or four primary religions in the world. Even if you are not Islamic or are fervent in fighting global terrorism, the cartoons are truly distasteful.

Secondly, on the Rhino, (and while this fervor certainly spikes readership)I am not in strong opposition to the cartoon being printed. While I am sensitive to members of the local Islamic community and denounce the cartoon, the paper was very restrained in its editorializing and I believe they wanted to make a point. I don't think Willie and John wanted to print the article to stick it to local muslims. They took the position of printing a distasteful cartoon, rather than drawing the reasonable conclusion not to print it (which many media organizations decided). Each position seeks to make a point. One seeks to show a wide audience the ugly truth. The other seeks make a point by not exercising it's power to show it to a wide audience. Whether that point was right or not is yet to be seen.

My hope is that the energy generated by the cartoon's printing in the Rhino will generate some MUCH NEEDED dialogue within the ecumenical community. I was pleased to see Rabbi Guttman and Rabbi Havivi make a joint statement in the News and Record about it. While I am not taking issue with the Rhino as they did, I believe the Rabbi's statement tells us that the leadership in the local Jewish community believes the cartoon is wrong. I agree.

6 Comments:

  • I think I'd feel better if I heard the local Muslim community voicing outrage over murders committed wrongly in the "name" of Islam. Only by speaking out for the wrongs committed by our co-religionists can we also demand the respect for our religious tenets. Respect isn't a one-way street.

    I'm not sure yet how I feel about the publishing of the drawings; I am sure that they are not the original drawings commissioned for a children's book. They are politically-inspired additions to the original pool of non-insulting drawings.

    There have been historic representations of the Prophet Muhammed; why are these getting the press and the violence?

    By Anonymous Sue, at 6:31 PM  

  • The News and Record wrote a piece on the local Muslim community prayer and protesting the cartoon's publication in the Rhino. The article doesn't mention anything more encompassing than a Rhino boycott so to speak demanding they apologize and do not publish any other cartoons.

    I think this "story has legs" and will be running through the papers for weeks.

    I understand why they are upset. In the world we live in today, the intertwined political and religious zealotry, and war on terrorism exacerbate the tensions we all feel about the direction we are going across the global.

    Indeed, that was a global statement.

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 6:55 AM  

  • I'm with Sue on this one. Without consistency in expression of outrage, this amounts to intimidation. There can be no dialogue in such an environment. "Our people can murder yours in the name of our prophet, and I express no outrage, but show a cartoon of our prophet and my people will burn down your embassy or threaten your life." There is no future in that. Sometimes an ugly old rocker says it best, "I won't back down."

    By Blogger Joel, at 1:07 PM  

  • In the current state of things in Iraq between Sunni and Shiite Muslims coupled with the US Occupation of Iraq, the rise of the new Iranian President, and Hammas gaining power in the Palestinian territories---outrage, intimidation and true dialogue get complicated in this environment.

    I appreciate the Rhino allowing a local Muslim to write a counter article in the Rhino. That, in my opinion on a local level, represents a value of dialogue by the very group that printed the article. Again, I'm not trying to dialogue with those committing violence in Europe. I'm just encouraging a dialogue with local folks about it....

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 8:22 PM  

  • Hatice Dogan wrote a piece in today's News and Record in the Religion section about the cartoon.

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 8:56 AM  

  • Irshad Manji is a Muslim woman who's quite critical of extremist groups in Islam.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:12 AM  

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