Muhammad Cartoons @ Your Library

...in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) where a decision was made by the director of the Public Library, Zenon Zuzak, to allow library patrons to view the cartoons on their own. Story from the Saskatoon Homepage.

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What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

The library director at this place seems to be ethically challenged or some kind of fool if he said that, as the article states, "The Library Director said the cartoons contained were not hateful or demeaning." I know some pretty stupid people, and even they would see plainly that such cartoons are indeed hateful and demeaning. If Zenon Zuzak does not think the images of Muhammed are not hateful, I wonder what Zuzak would deem as hateful?

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

Yeah, the cartoons are not, well, flattering. They are derogatory and discriminatory. But I think people should be able to see them and make their own opinions. Why not? Do we need to be protected from information, good bad or indifferent? That seems to be the current trend of our times and I don't like it. I never like being left out of the loop.

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

I'm ok about exhibiting them so long as derogatory cartoons about highly revered religious figures from other religions are shown. If you wish to abuse a religion, you can't focus on only one - all must be fair game and immune from being, as you say, "protected." This will, of course, never happen, as the library director, in this instance, who did this is not stupid, which means he could only be doing this on behalf of a conscious personal agenda based on religious prejudice. Or another way to put it: had he admitted that the cartoons were offensive but he was obliged to exhibit them on free speech grounds and was willing to show equally offensive images against other religions on simlar grounds, and did so - such would be the only other motive. Since he did not do that, it's obvious he has a prejudiced agenda. But of course, I'm sort of joking with my solution, as allowing equal opportunity for expression of religious prejudice is all absurd. Not all information is "unprotected," e.g., yelling fire in a crowded theater when ther isn't one is a typical example. Religious and other forms of intolerance seem to have significantly, even radically ramped up in the last few years, and librarians should not be so stupid as to stimulate and fuel hatred and fanaticism and rage that has emerged from that ramping up, thereby heaping more scorn on an institution - libraries - that is suffering more than enough trouble trying to survive due to other reasons than covertly religiously bigoted directors who hide under the banner of "free speech." That a library director chose to join his colleagues in the newspaper industry to help fuel religious hatred bodes ill to the future of various institutions in this world, and not only libraries. BTW, I am pleased you brought this article to our attention, and please continue to post such articles at LISnews.

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

"That a library director chose to join his colleagues in the newspaper industry to help fuel religious hatred bodes ill to the future of various institutions in this world"

You're overreacting. A magazine issue should NOT be pulled because of a lousy cartoon. Did you pull Vanity Fair when Demi Moore was picture nude on the cover? What about when an article is critical of Scientology? What about MAD magazine?

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

Your response seems to demote or glom everybody to the same level: Jesus, Demi, Charles Manson, Ghandi - they're all on the same level to you. Demi Moore in the nude or Mad magazine are not going to provoke riots and murder. Messing with revered religious figures and symbols is risky and potential fatal business for victims and perpetrators. Not that I like it, but that's reality. Any librarian with a smidgeon of common sense is going to stay away from screwing with religious figures based on what in the end amounts to phony abstract principles, because they're applied in an inconsistent manner, especially when the revered religious figures are, as in this case, revered by a billion people. One wonders how tranquil and non-overreacting you and others would be if some dumb librarian posted exhibits of hateful images of Martin Luther King or Jesus or Moses.

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

I wonder what Zuzak would deem as hateful?

Something is not hateful just because I am a hypersensitive, reactionary, shit-head. "Hateful" is in the intent. If anyone is being hateful in that controversy, it is the screaming extremists who are demanding murder and that the rest of the world be blinded, deafened, and muted because they are too spineless to accept responsiblity for their own pettiness and spite. The originators of those cartoon were not being hateful in crafting them. Most of those cartoons don't even have any apparent meaning, and the rest can be interpreted subjectively. Which means they can mean one thing to me and something entirely different to everybody else.

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

Free speech overpowers jihadists and rioters. I cannot foresee the future nor control the actions of reactionary idiots in another country.The issue isn't the images - it's the violent reactions of fools. If I see something objectionable I don't throw rocks and start fires. I certainly don't attack foreign embassies and consulates. The actions of the rioters are as much complaints that the Danish government was not despotic and did not shut down a newspaper and punish a cartoonist for exercising free speech and free thought.If a Library displays parodies or ridiculous image of Martin Luther King or Jesus I don't expect a riot to occur. Demonstrations, complaints, and discussions but not riots.The self-censorship you are encouraging is bowing is not in consideration of other cultures, but in consideration of avoiding critical thinking.

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

Oh, it's clear the intent was to offend. One doesn't need a degree in art history to see that. Because a whole lot of people "interpreted" enough of the cartoons to notice they were offensive and demeaning. Since you aren't a member of their religion or willing to put yourself in their shoes for a moment, you of course can't understand why they are offended. It's a such a devious dummy-wammy: create deliberately offensive, hostile cartoons of a revered religious figure, then critisize targets of your calculated offense for their *inevitable* nasty reaction. Provoke them, then accuse them of being the bad guys when they react. The trouble with this strategy is that sometimes, when you shit on somebody, they are going to throw all of it back in your face with interest. Ask all the dead husbands of abused wives who decided they weren't going to take it anymore.

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

See my resposne to fang-fang after this, as I think replies also to your post. One thing I'd add to that post: this reaction to the cartoons should be seen, I think, as a "last straw" symbolic response to abuses happening to Muslims in various parts of the globe, e.g., the recent French riots, the abuses against apartheidized Palestinian, the Iraqi and Afghani wars, and so on. They are not just reacting against mere cartoons, but against western-originated oppression occurring to their populations in many places. The anger this provoked and some of the violence at least, was not all from jihadi and fundy wackos but also from ordinary Muslims who have suffered and had enough of western abuses and humiliation. The really bad news is not that the riots occurred, but rather they signal a willingness of the non-extreme elements of the Muslim population to increasingly sign up and sympathize with the radical fundamentalist factions of the religion. Cynical observers of this phenomenon will say that of course, that's what the western political elites want. Why they'd want it is a whole other story.

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

After reading "western-originated oppression" in your post I assume we are at a fundamental disagreement. Most U.S. foreign policy can rarely be described as fair to all parties but to say people are lashing at at foreign oppression is baloney.

Any Middle Eastern Muslim who blames "The West" for all their problems is being foolish. French riots and the invasion of Afghanistan as western oppression? You're way off base on that one.

Re:What Would it Take to be "Hateful"?

Oh, it's clear the intent was to offend. (...) Because a whole lot of people "interpreted" enough of the cartoons to notice they were offensive and demeaning.

ROFL!!

Oh, you poor, sad, child!

You think that something is offensive because of majority opinion? Are you serious?!

1: Offensive is a purely subjective determination. What offends you does not necessarily offend anybody else.

2: There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere. Ultimately, everything is offensive.

3: I am not going to find something offensive just because you or somebody else does, and NO ONE is under any compunction to do so. People who are offended by something solely because somebody else is, is being not a human being, but a sheep.

4: Since the cartoons are 'offensive to Islam', they have not been reprinted in most Islamic cultures. Hence: the overwhelming majority of the 'offended' haven't seen them and don't even know what they being offended by.

Since you aren't a member of their religion or willing to put yourself in their shoes for a moment, you of course can't understand why they are offended.

Oh? And upon what evidence or witnessed actions do you conclude that I am not a Muslim? The fact that I am not a reactionary terrorist? Upon what evidence do you conclude I have never been offended by material critical of my sacred cows?

What leads you to state that I am unable to put myself in their shoes or understand how someone might be offended? Truly offended; not this faux offense that is merely self-righteousness run rampant.

Do, please, tell. I could use a good laugh.

Ask all the dead husbands of abused wives who decided they weren't going to take it anymore.

Non Sequitur: Your statement is not coordinated with your argument. There is no relationship between being a victim of spousal abuse and throwing a shit fit because you think your petty prejudices are exempt from criticism.

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