Caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad

by Paul I. Adujie

What if I was a Muslim?

Would I, have like this idiotic portrayal of Islam’s Prophet Muhamad?

But of course not! So, why is such portrayal acceptable to some?

In my opinion, that is all the questions that the journalists at Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten and their sympathizers all over Europe need to answer or resolve.

How would they feel, if their holy of holies is desecrated and demeaned?

It will be recalled that Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 published their silly series of cartoons which portrayed or depicted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as if with a turban, but grenade like turban, with a lighted fuse.

In essence, it suggested that the prophet was a violent symbol or an explosive representative of Islam and by extrapolation, Islam itself is violent.

Expectedly, adherents of the Islamic faith took strong exception to these calculated affront committed by these journalists in the name of press freedom. But press freedom must be exercised with a great sense of responsibility. And media freedom cannot be limitless or irresponsibly exercised.

How would Christians appreciate the portrayal of the Christian Cross and Jesus Christ if depicted and portrayed, in such depraved and violent manner? How would the Christians feel if the Cross on Christ’s shoulders is cartooned-caricatured to look like a shoulder-fired surface-to-air-missile (SAM)? Or Stinger Missile similar to the ones given to the Mujaheedeen by the CIA before Afghanistan morphed into the hands of Taliban?

And would the Jews not rightly call anyone anti Semitic if such non-Jew was caught depicting the Star of David as a weapon or tool of violence?

Why does the world, particularly, Europe expect a different sort of reaction by adherents of the Islamic faith?

The enthusiasm with which other European newspapers and publications embraced the denigration of Prophet Muhammad and the spiraling willingness to engage in these disparagement of the symbol of Islam is, to say the least, disturbing; It creates and reinforces the impression that there is an orchestrated war against Islam by America and Europe. Particularly since September 11, 2001, the appearance has been created and nurtured, to the effect that the so-called war against terrorism is actually a war against Islam. Contest between religions, Christian and Islamic civilizations.

It is therefore safe to say that this latest siege and unified attack from the European Press against Islam, is merely a continuation of a clash of cultures of Christianity and Islam.

Christianity postures as the superior culture, the superior religion and the superior civilization. And to that extent, it does appear as if there are repeated attempts to humble and defeat Islam through the contests of civilizations in wars, in portrayals and even the ridiculing of Islamic symbols as was engaged in by Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten and its copy-cat sympathizers all over Europe ballyhooed last week.

And of course, we are to pretend and feign surprise when our Muslims brethren react to lampooning of their holies? Some prefer to believe that Muslims are just being unreasonable! That is not so. Muslims are merely resisting unwarranted attacks.

Here in the US, I have witnessed protests and picketing of movies and theater plays that are satirical of Christianity or Jesus Christ, notably, Jesus Christ Super Star.

And more recently, Mel Gibson was criticized by some Christians but more severely by Jews because of his movie “Passion of the Christ” Mel Gibson had to engage in repeated explanations and at some point his movie was edited to assuage the feelings of his critics. Where was press freedom and artistic freedom as defense or superior argument when Mel Gibson was severally severely mauled by the critics?

Why is everyone now suddenly hiding under freedom of expression and press freedom as the excuse for tolerating and perpetuating what is clearly an inappropriate portrayal of Prophet Muhammad and Islam, with the subliminal auto suggestion, that Islam, its prophet and symbols are interchangeable with war, violence and terrorism in the same sentence? Why the linkage of Islam, its prophet with violence or tools of war, grenade?

Whatever happened to the Christian admonition of Do Unto others as you would have them do unto you? I thought true Christian values required that Christians have, and demonstrate respect and tolerance toward the holies of all others? Or is it The Inquisition all over again?

But why is it, that when it comes to Muslims, we pretend that their feelings do not matter or that the rest of us are not obliged to respect their feelings and religious sensibilities? And when Muslims therefore react to these shortsighted policies, we are shocked and dismayed? Or conclude that Muslims are just unreasonable?

Why can’t Christians and Jews demonstrate the same respect and care, when handling Islam and Muslims’ holies? Why can’t Christians and Jews simply put themselves in the proverbial shoes of Islam and Muslims as it were?

Christian Conservatives also known as the Evangelicals in the US currently drive and propel public policies in America foreign and domestic policies that is, however, same Christians Conservatives, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed etc who are excited agog at their policies successes at home and abroad, but are loathe to have Islamic influenced public policies in Palestine, Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan! But why is this fair?

Why is it okay for Pat Robertson to issue Christian fatwa against President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, but somehow, it is not acceptable for religious clerics in Iran, Afghanistan or Iraq to issue Islamic fatwa against a person or persons who affront their religi


I personally abhor violence, but if force be the measure of strength and if might be deemed right, who is to determine who gets nuclear weapons power and who is to determine the superiority between Evangelical Christian propelled fatwa and its Islamic version?

I was raised as a Christian of the Catholic faith, even though I am now semi-retired Catholic, I would not intentionally or deliberately disrespect what the Catholics hold dear; Similarly, I would expect all of us, in the finest Christian tradition to show and demonstrate respect towards other peoples holies. Long Live Islam!

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Anonymous February 27, 2006 - 3:54 am

If what I see as a drawing on a sheet of paper is idiotic portrayal, what do you have to say about the killing of Nigerian citizens by their fellow citizens in reaction to a creation made by ink on a white paper. Who are the idiots and animals now. The laugh is on, unless you are as ignorant as the initiators of these primitive act in 2006 AD.

The world is waiting for you to write on the recent act of Mohamad fellowers in Nigeria against their fellow citizens. Unless, you want to confirm your cowardise.

Anonymous February 24, 2006 - 9:09 am

without doubt, every man's choice of faith ought to be respected and on that basis the caricature cannot be said to be acceptable. as important as this point maybe, it does not justify the loss of lives (including innocent ones) as being the only means of showing disapproval in such issues. In all the instances you have given paring up the christian reactions, there was no occasion of violence in the name of protecting Christ's holy name. The truth is that there are ways of strongly opposing such occasions in godliness ( which the faith is supposed to promote)than sheding blood or is religion about destroying lives (even of potential believers) or saving life. As a Christian, my response ( according to the bible) to an abuse of the Lord's name will be to pray for the person, try to reach the person and NEVER TO KILL afterall the one I worship is BIG enough to fight for himself. The truth is that if they knew better, they would not speak evil against but the do not know. Love will never kill.

Anonymous February 9, 2006 - 1:16 pm

Mrs. Lagbaja,

I am interested in what my readers think!

Reactions to my ideas are important to me…. even unfavorable and abusive reactions!

And happily, this is an interactive forum.

Responding to your comments here is in that light… and as for scoring myself? sometimes I actually do not care about the scores at all…. it is subjective….. and guess what? I strongly believe in what I have written…. Should I not be my best advocate?

But this is certainly not about me… it about ideas….. even if my opinions regarding these ideas makes me unpopular with you.

I worry NOT about popularity….. My focus is the ideas contained in what I write…. I aspire through my writing to make some points… even if unpopular.

Many thanks.

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Lagbaja February 9, 2006 - 8:05 am

Paul, why do you think you always have a right of reply for your own article. On top of that u give yourself 5! C'mon! Let me tell you, I dont hate muslims – their works speak for themselves- the evil they have been wroughting in KAno and Kaduna over the years have shown that these people are some of the most violent mammal on eart- what is the preaching of Jihad- si it not violence?? so much for reliogion of peace- keep deceiving urself!

Anonymous February 8, 2006 - 11:13 pm

Mrs. Lagbaja,

The world is a safer place because people like yourself actually have no power or control on how the world works!

You are guilty of hatred and bigotry against Islam and Muslims… and worse, you are unwilling to consider the pains of others, when such others are Muslims.

Have you ever wondered what would motivate ANYONE to become a suicide bomber in Palestine? I suppose the children in Palestine are not important to you? But for me, ALL children are are persons and all persons are important.

I abhor violence… I also understand of course that violence begets violence….. such that, actions engender reactions.

And only a fool would think that a group of people are violent for violence own sake…. or that violence is peculiar to Islam and Muslims.

You will ignore the feelings and the pains of others at your own peril.

We must consider the pain of others…. ALL others…. including Muslims or adherents of Islam.

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Lagbaja February 8, 2006 - 8:35 am

Just wondering, how would moslems feel, if the US (a largely Christian nation) obliterated that idolatrous black stone of kabba and all of Mecca and Medina in retaliation for the burned churches and other atrocities that have transpired in the wake of this cartoon?

Following is a listing of some of the more demonic actions of the adherents of the "religion of peace"

1. They have flown planes into buildings in the US, a country in which moslems have suffered no persecution, killing thousands in the process.

2. They have attacked embassies belonging to the US, with fatalities,

3. They have murdered school children, innocent passangers, wedding guests and restaurant patrons in countless suicide bombings in Isreal, a land they have no valid claim to.

4. They have kidnapped and murdered American citizens, murdered American citizens during numerous hijackings and blown up an apartment complex killing many Americans.

5. Their primitive compatriots in Nigeria have murdered their fellow countrymen for the most inane reasons, the most glaring of these, a Southerner inadvertently backing over a koran.

Islamic conventions are unequivocally primitive, misogynistic and prejudicial to non adherents. Moslems should be grateful that the United States has not wiped their backward, pre teen-marrying, child molesting asses off the face of the earth. Islam is a vile and degenerate pestilence unworthy of the dignity, religion.


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