Thursday, October 04, 2007

Another Motoon crisis

This would be somewhat boring if it weren't for the terrible repercussions. An innocent cartoon published in a newspaper in Bangladesh led to the slaughter of nine Christians in Nigeria. (Hat tip: Kim Møller at Uriasposten)

This from Blogcritics Magazine:
Recently, a 20-year-old Bangladeshi Muslim cartoonist sketched a cartoon that appeared in a Bangla newspaper. It was intended to caricature the local culture where everyone tends to add “Muhammad” before their name. In the cartoon, when an elderly Muslim priest asks a little boy carrying a cat, what was its name; the boy answers, ‘Muhammad Cat.’ This created outrage among Bangladeshi Muslims. The leader of Khelafot Andolon (Caliphate Movement) Maulana Ashraf stated that: “the cartoon indicates disgrace of the Muslim prophet by naming a cat ‘Muhammad'. Similar to the Danish Cartoon incident prophet Muhammad has been defamed in Muslim majority Bangladesh.” The head cleric of Bangladesh’s National Mosque, said: "This is a grievous offense, this is dangerous."
But of course it is... Naming a cat after the most admirable man ever to have walked on the face of the earth... Blasphemy! Blasphemy I tell you!

Muhammad the Cat flees Mekka in 622 AD

I haven't been able to find the actual drawing, but according to this blogger the transcript of the heresy reads like this:

The text of the cartoon is a conversation between a boy and an aged person.
* Boy, what is your name?
- My name is Babu.
* It is customary to mention Muhammed before the name.

* What is your father's name?
- Muhammed Abu

* What's this in your lap?
- Muhammed cat

No wonder the religion of peace has its followers in an uproar.

But it gets a lot worse:
GENERAL Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mr Samuel Salifu has condemned the killing of Christians in Tudun Dankande local government area of Kano State.

He called on the state government to bring the perpetrators to book, warning that Christians would no longer condone any attack on them.

Salifu who spoke with newsmen in Kaduna weekend said that reports reaching him from Kano state said there was trouble in Tudun Dankande local government area of the state Friday where nine Christians, including a youth corper serving in the area were killed and their property destroyed over an internet cartoon said to have emanated from a 20-year-old Muslim boy from Bangladesh.

"Information available to me is that almost all the churches within that local government area have been razed down and shops belonging to Christians had also been burnt including their houses. We have been told that they have been ejected and their property brought down and burnt.
Seems like the Christians in Nigeria has all about had it with all this insane violence:
He [Salifu] said Christians and their leaders were getting worried because both the Christian leaders and Muslims had been holding series of meetings within and outside the Nigerian Inter Religious Council (NIREC) to see how to bring about peaceful coexistence between followers of the two religions. Salifu regretted, however, that "the more we continue to meet with Muslim leaders the more some of these people attack our people.

"It is clear that the cartoonist is from Bangladesh and he is a Muslim, so why should they now visit their anger on Christians unless they are lunatics and if you call them this type of name, they say they are angry, but they go killing.

"They cannot control their anger, they take knives and slaughter. When you tell them what they are doing is wrong, they will turn round and start to kill. Very soon, there would be a lot of blood shed unless they stop this nonsense because the church is getting fed up.

The hapless cartoonist - needles to say, have been thrown in jail, the entire press in Bangladesh has apologized profoundly - needles to say to no avail, and meanwhile churches are burning in Nigeria, thousands of miles away.

These people are mad. As in frothing around the mouth mad. As in rabid. As in certifiable.

If only...

Commenter Atheist has kindly pointed me to the blasphemous cartoon: