Thursday, February 23, 2006

What is so goddamn offensive about it?

source: Yahoo! News

I need some help here from my fellow bloggers/readers/whatever. Maybe I was born stupid, but can someone explain to me what is so goddamn offensive about the above comic strip?

I saw this strip a few days ago and waved it off-hand. These kind of strips are normal here so why should I care? It was just another bloody strip. Today I logged into a Malaysian blog portal and lo and behold, a crisis has erupted in the state when a daily decided to print the cartoon. Not once. But twice!

Jolly. Another small incident that was sensationalise by bloggers to a national political level! I needed understanding (I am slow you see) so I logged into the BBC and searched for any newspiece related to "Malaysia cartoon episode two". None. So I waited a few hours for Jonathan Kent to summarise it for me. He did not.
I sulked for a few minutes before deciding to pull up a couple of blogs and read about what happened. The mass media hasn't caught wind about this so one-sided blogs had to make do for the time being. One of them striked me as very boring but it did contain loads of readers comment.

Here is the short version of what happened. Daily published cartoon. When criticism found their way to a couple of police stations (they do not have organisations like the Press Complaints Commission - correct me if I am wrong) editor decided to reprint the cartoon the next day. An excellent offensive move sir, but not a wise move in that country. This wasn't taken lightly by the government and punishments are being debated now (this is where your tax money goes to - debates on issues that are of no interest in the country). A sort of mini episode within the blogosphere exploded when a personal attack was launched by a famous blogger (attacking mainstream media is his kind of thing).

Eh-hem. Anyway back to the real issue that I earlier raised. Can somebody tell me what is so goddamn offensive about the cartoon above? Because I am stumped. I mean really really really stumped. I understand that the infamous Muhammad cartoon may have offended a few people but this???

A pint of Carlsberg to the first person to answer.

More here.


And here. Here too.

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Jeff said...

Well it's not offensive at all if you ask me. But I can understand why these people are up in arms. The first wave of cartoon controversy already created some really angry muslims. Now that it is dying down, anything, no matter how mild like that cartoon above, opens up the wound again.

Inevitable said...

Same here, I don't find it at all offensive.
If same thing happen to another 'region', I don't think we will have the same uproar as what we are having now

Jee said...

Fire of a match is basically harmless.. but it is extremely harmless when you are in a room full of gas and fuel.

Same case, the comic is probably non-offensive but definitely not appropriate in the critical moment.

My 2 cents..

Jee said...

okie I made a full out of my first comment.. here it goes again..

Fire of a match is basically harmless.. but it is extremely DANGEROUS when you are in a room full of gas and fuel.

Same case, the comic is probably non-offensive but definitely not appropriate in the critical moment.

T-Boy said...

It's a whole load of crap. Sure, the Prophet cartoons were offensive because they went against what many Muslims believe in, including me.

But the flap over this one is basically belly-aching by a bunch of over-sensitive pussy-boys with the world's biggest entitlement complex who insist that the world be extra-nice to them because they're Muslim.

Yeah, and Jeff's been bringing it up as well, but the fact is he's only doing it because the idea of landing NST into trouble gives him a boner, and he just loves bitching about how the NST deserve what they're getting and how guilty they are.

In short: wank, wank and more wank. Everyone's trying to look good in this one by kicking the NST, who aren't very popular on the best of days, and who deserve their unpopularity, sure. But still.

I'm cranky, can't you tell?

Spot said...

I'd say that the offense being taken is in the continued disrespect shown to one of the TWO issues in the caricature saga.

Islam does not permit the pictorialisation of the Prophet. This cartoon is presumably being seen as deliberately rubbing salt into the wound.

desiderata said...

it became "offensive" when certain players/parties/fighters stationed at different corners of the ring allow the play/party/fight to be continued OUTside the ring. Personal agendas were entangled with the ONe and only ONE isue at hand.

Well, there is NO refree around -- I tred, butt GOD disMISSED me ouyright -- He wanted a She!

Your father! said...

It may be not offensive to you or alot of other people. But you have to respect the beliefs and sensitivities of people with other religions. If there are mutual respects then the whole world will be alot safer and peaceful for everyone.

Jon said...

From my understanding the cartoon above is a satire on the people who are protesting, and not a direct insult on Muhammad. Looking at the cartoon I tried to see any caricarture of a Prophet but could not. Maybe I need to check my glasses.

So why is this so offensive to the people who are claiming to be offended? Are we now not allowed to criticise the behaviour of certain people (which this strip appears to be)?

Are you going to tell me that the next person to caricarture Osama bin Laden as terrorist (well he is!) deserves lampooning because it insults your faith.

Lighten up a bit. This is nothing. This will only offend people who deliberatedly wanted to be offended.

@ your father! (I know you are not)

That may be true but unfortunatedly some religion offends me as well. Do I make a national fuss about it? No. Because I respect them.

Jon said...

I just wish that bloggers would try to reach out to the print media.

Isn't that too hard to do? In the UK the process has already begun a long time ago with many politicians and print editors having their own blog.

I won't be writing anything more on this subject and leave the fighting to other prominent bloggers. Doing so will only invite flamers here. This issue should not even exist in the first place.

The action of a few seems to be an attempt to bring world criticm towards the daily. Sort of a cry for help. But the world has already moved on.

T-Boy said...

Spot: I'm surprised people use the "rubbing salt to your wound" argument.

Speaking metaphorically: the wound is on your belly. Why are you complaining about someone who rubs a little salt on your back?

QUIK! said...

I just wanted to point out that that JeffOoi can be such a bitch. Is he the defender of the universe? F off is what I say. Don't get me wrong I read his stuff quite often, but this is just annoying me.

That's all!

Spot said...

T-boy - quite honestly, I don't know either, nor do I care. They just do.

I personally don't see why the edict against pictorialisation should apply to non-Muslims. That, of course is distinct from the issue of pictorialising with deliberate intent to fingersalute (the manner of depiction) and go "f*ck your beliefs", which really, is rather rude.

This second cartoon is pretty much along the same lines, ie the malice behind the manner of depiction, just that it's going "nyeh nyeh nyeh". Milder, but still possibly rude.

Which is not to say that people (yes, you, Jeff) should take that as an excuse to get their panties in a twist.

Spot said...

P/S- Personally, I quite like the wry sarcasm behind this particular cartoon.

I realise I said "malice" in relation thereto earlier...only after the publish button was hit did the correct word pop up.

People who get all bewailing and ululating tend not to get the difference btwn childish malice and parody.

Jon said...

What a bunch of pussies! (refering to the NST's apologies)

What a bunch of retards! (refering to Adjudication Panel for England's ruling on Red Ken)

T-Boy said...

Jon: NST's reaction is perfectly natural. After all, some of the people who protest are, in any case, potential customers.

Given the choice of alienating their consumer base by acting like unrepentent twerps, they've apologized.

The only pussies in this whole debate are the same people who got their pwecious widdle feewings huwt by that nasty nasty cartoon. Mommy, make it stop!