Friday, February 10, 2006 

Muhammad Cartoon Interpreted

Revealing expressions in the heart of European media
posted in response to Cartoon + Interpretation at

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The Danish Cartoon

This guy looks like a desi - South Asian - bouncer. That explains why he has a ferocious public profile. May be he's a low-ranking sepoy guarding the armament depot - and his headgear is part of the uniform along with other such British colonial curiosities. Can't think of a rebellious British Muslim ex-colony that has gone that way though?

Anyway, the insignia on his turban is a fine piece of Arabic calligraphy of 'there is no god but god, Muhammad is his messenger' - the basic Muslim confession or 'kalma' - probably commissioned by a sultan who is keen on art. And trying to muster an army that will look good in his defence - king of kings, god's shadow on earth. That discounts the subject being a Sikh - who wouldn't wear that, even if he had to quit the army. So its likely this guy's sultan has a tiny monolithic kingdom gone psychotic under threat - but that doesn't explain the art - aesthetics must have been the Sultan's childhood passion - he's making a statement.

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Sultan Mehmet II

It is doubtful if the subject is very independent-minded - and most likely values loyalty over practicality - which is why he is loaded with a lit bomb on his head and doesn't realize it. He's either a conned neocon, or he's gotta be a masochist spy who loves it - in Europe.

The explanation that makes momentary sense, is that a ferocious looking muslim, like a live bomb about to explode, looks good in Europe.

But the final one has to be that Muhammad's aesthetic is about to ferociously explode in Europe.

Oh how prescient - by about 1400 years.

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Tughra of Suleiman I


[imgs: Jyllands-Posten, Topkapi Palace]

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 

Cartoon Jokes - Standing Apart From The Bomb

Now for some humorous violence from four artists.

1. Frederic Madre interprets KW's drawing at telling us what the artist really wants to say:

This person . . . seems a bit pissed off that someone has planted a bomb into his hat. [click & scroll down]

2. 0f0003 | maschinenkunst on syndicate`They want to know whether Muslims are extremists or not`:

There were security barriers too, without which,
the Beatles would almost certainly have been crushed
by the throng of screaming women.

3. Ghalib, writing in urdu in 19th century India, with resonance to one of the cartoons, says

Aisi jannat ka kya karein ghalib
Jis mein lakhon baras ki hourein hein

With a jannat like this what would we do Ghalib
Which has houris a million years old !

4. Abhi's illustration on The Sepia Mutiny [click] author-itorially and self-consciously censors the cartoon by substituting text for the bomb - because 'I do not want to fuel the controversy but rather disscus it'. I suppose Abhi implies that the keyboard is mightier than the bomb - and not necessarily a better fuel - but I have my doubts. [click]

Also, Abhi fails to mention in his conclusion about muslims idolizing Muhammad in cartoons, that we need better pictures please!

These can perhaps be all color, which will then not have to be censored, making them censor-proof like this one here.

Now does black stand for punk, modern, or itself?

[imgs: AP & Smithsonian]

Saturday, February 04, 2006 

Extreme Timing ~ Cartoons

Freedom and extremism in media

Chromatius opined in The Muslim Cartoon "Controversy":

Why have they picked this moment to anger millions of Muslims in the name of 'freedom of speech'? This moment to make it an 'issue' and drive it to the top of the news agenda?

The timing is meant to:

1. Promote the idea of the 'Clash of Civiliations'

2. Promote Bin Laden's agenda of extremism

3. Hence also promote the neo-con/crusader agenda, meaning more action (regime change, neutralization) in the muslim world - possibly against hamas, iran, syria, lebanon

4. Punish the neutrality of Europe (minus UK) in the iraq war in Muslim perceptions

5. Divert attention of Muslims from US to Europe

6. Get Europe on board "against" the Muslims

7. To try to give a blow to neutrality, rationality, internationalism, and political realism

8. It is the parting attempt of a failing extremist world policy

9. It is a country coming to terms with the new world, with its glass house broken

It is a strategy ultimately designed to fail today like the war in iraq, although something similar worked successfully before the 1492 reconquista in Spain.


Do I smell the emergence of new nuances of freedom to come from the ashes that confront us?