Tuesday, September 2, 2008

November 8, 2007

One of these days, while looking for Toronto Hindu community websites, I found one where “our successesful campaigns”(sic!) are reason for community pride. These campaigns deal with a list of issues which bothered the Hindu community in 2003. The incriminated apologized so the community became at ease. Among the offenders, there was a Seattle based toilet seat manufacturer; this came up with a design depicting Lord Ganesh and Goddess Kali on the toilet inside cover.

February 2001: FoxNews Withdraws India map without Jammu and Kashmir

31 January, 2003: Maxim Magazine Apology for Gandhi Bashing

27 April, 2003: American Eagle Apologize for Lord Ganesha flip-flops

11 July, 2003: ‘OM’ Socks, Apology from the President, Gold Medal Hosiery

9 October, 2003: Apology by Toronto Star for Insulting Durga Image Toilet Seats with Ganesha & Kali Pictures withdrawn

I understand that, for a Hindu, it is an offensive gesture. Imagine the illustration of Jesus, Virgin Mary or, if you are an atheist, the image of a cherished writer, composer or painter in such a posture.

Not that our reaction would be similar to that of some Muslims.

Not that the Hindus reacted like the Muslims did when the Danish newspaper published the “offensive “caricatures.

The Hindus didn’t rush out in the streets, in strident crowds, burning flags, shouting “peaceful” slogans (see the Muslims’ slogans during their rallies), offering rewards for killing those incriminated or attacking churches and priests. Hindus proved to know better than the Muslims themselves a Muslim saying:”The ink of the scholar is closer to god/ more valuable than the blood of the martyr”.

After Sweden has taken a bold step in publishing Lars Vilks drawings, rewards were offered by two Islamic leaders for killing the artist and the newspaper editor. Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq, has offered 50,000 in an audiotape posted on an Islamist Web site to anyone who killed the editor of the newspaper that published the drawing .

Driven by the religion of peace, he even suggests an increased reward if the body is … slaughtered.

The head of an al Qaeda-led group in Iraq has offered a 100,000 reward for killing the Swedish cartoonist whose sin of drawing Islam’s prophet Mohammad triggers fueled reactions. He even threatened to attack major Swedish companies.

What we should acknowledge is that Islam and Mohammad are given unmerited absolute attention. This interest made Muslims believe that their presence in our societies is without equal, extremely important or even… vital.

They should be remembered that they are only one of the numerous religious communities in the western societies and that we do not owe them anything. On the contrary, they owe us a lot.

They should be remembered that their presence in our world bears nothing exceptional, with one notable exception: the terrorist fear instilled in the mainstream society. They are not more hardworking, educated or intelligent than other cultural or religious communities.

They should not be the exception to create the rule.

Weak voices say that not all Muslims are terrorists and that these fundamentalists are only an undersized group and they do not represent Muslims.

Very well, this is obvious, only that since a fundamentalist imam represents Muslims and the imam declares war on west, I believe that the Muslim community, if disagrees with such a position, must amend him. Instead, “moderate” Muslims (what exactly is the meaning of “moderate” when applied to them?) come in front and try to tell us that Islam is peace.

What about those imams who deliver daily speeches of hatred? Whom are they representing?

It has become a question of ultimate courage and symbol of “expression of our freedoms” to caricature/draw, with or without any aesthetic value, their prophet. I believe that it is an immature method to state and prove western values, our freedoms. There are by far much more imperative issues to deal with, to open and discuss, topics like teacher’s lack of authority, global warming, GMO, human-animal embryos, lenient laws in rape, pedophilia, first degree murder and the list could go on.

Our society must reconsider certain “values”, examples of “emancipation” like teenage pregnancy and parenting or encouraged trendy interracial adoptions. Instead, the western mind is obsessed with drawing Mohammad.

Be more serious, gentlemen.

Posted by Madi Lussier at 6:40 AM  


Post a Comment