Category Religion

Muslim Groups Urge Peaceful Response to New Charlie Hebdo Cover

From Mediaite:

The Muslim Council of Britain issued a statement signed by 53 Muslims leaders criticizing the magazine’s cover but calling for a peaceful reaction to its publication. (The MBC has long worked with the British government in the aftermath of radical violence.)

“Most Muslims will inevitably be hurt, offended and upset by the republication of the cartoons,” the Council wrote. “But our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the gentle and merciful character of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy as was the character of our beloved Prophet (peace and Blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond.”

Likewise the Council for American-Islamic Relations decried to cover but maintained the ability to do so peacefully and respectfully.

“Just as Charlie Hebdo has the right to publish, we have the right to peacefully challenge negative portrayals of our religious figures,” CAIR’s director said in a statement. “The answer to speech one disagrees with should not be violence, but should instead be more speech promoting tolerance and mutual understanding.”

Church Cancels Woman’s Funeral Because of Video of her Kissing a Woman


DENVER – Family and friends of a Denver woman who died Dec. 30 say they are outraged by a pastor’s decision that forced the family to move their loved one’s funeral from New Hope Ministries to a funeral home across the street, at the last minute, because the family refused to edit a video showing Vanessa Collier kissing her girlfriend.

Global News Outlets Divided Over Whether to Show Charlie Hebdo Cover

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The issue of whether to display the new cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which depicts a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, has split media outlets in the U.S. and overseas.

The image, showing Muhammad crying and holding up a “Je Suis Charlie” sign under the headline “All is Forgiven,” was blasted across the Internet Monday ahead of the magazine’s publication, the first issue of Charlie Hebdo since terrorists attacked its offices, killing 12 people.

But many news outlets, including NBC News, NPR, Britain’s Daily Mail, The New York Times and the Associated Press, chose not to show the cartoon, choosing instead to describe its content to their audience. At issue is whether the news value of the image outweighs its potential to offend. Depicting images of the Prophet Muhammad is considered a sacrilegious act by many Muslims. Outlets that chose not to show the cartoon, or cropped or blurred the offensive images, cited cultural sensitivity and standards of decency as reasons.

Many chose to only briefly show the Charlie Hebdo cover, as the BBC did on its Newsnight program, but it kept the image offline. Others, including Britain’s The Guardian and The Independent newspapers, ran the cartoon but included a warning that it could offend some readers.

In France, there was no such hesitation. The Charlie Hebdo cartoons were splashed across the front pages and in primetime across all networks.


From Mediaite: Which Networks are Showing the New Charlie Hebdo cover.

“CNN will not show you the new cover which depicts the Prophet Muhammad because it is policy not to show potentially offensive images of the prophet,” Carol Costello announced Tuesday morning, while MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart said, “NBC News and other networks have made the editorial decision not to show the cover.” CNN maintained the policy was subject to change.

By contrast, Fox News displayed the cover during a reportorial segment on its release:

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Newspaper Edits Female World Leaders Out of Charlie Hebdo March

From Mediaite:

Yesterday’s historic march across Paris included over 40 world leaders expressing solidarity for France after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, but if you read this Haredi newspaper, you’d believe that none of them were women.

The image that ran on the front page of the Israeli newspaper edited two female world leaders out of the image, originally provided by wire service GPO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. A third woman in a blue scarf who we can’t identify was also photoshopped out.

Charlie Hebdo’s First Cover Since the Attack


The first cover of Charlie Hebdo since the deadly Jan. 7 attack that left 12 dead is here, and it’s a doozy.

Liberation reports that the French satirical newspaper’s “survivor issue” cover will feature an image of the Prophet Muhammad holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign, along with the words “Tout est pardonne,” or “All is forgiven.”

The new issue of Charlie Hebdo hit newsstands on Wednesday, Jan. 14, with an estimated print run of more than 3 million copies, far higher than paper’s normal run of 60,000. It will also be translated into 16 languages.

Bill Donohue: If Someone Kills the Piss Christ Artist, It Will Be His Own Fault

Sigh. Donohue once again pulls out the victim blaming card from the bottom of the deck. Having an opinion contrary to other people’s beliefs, whether it be issued as an intentionally provocative work of art, blasphemous cartoon, or infidel snowman, must never be considered as a call to have violence inflicted upon yourself. This is a big problem I am currently having with the people who are saying “The Charlie Hebdo artists shouldn’t have been killed, but…” Stop! Take out the conjunction and put an exclamation point after killed.

(via Joe My God)

Saudi Cleric Condemns Snowmen as Anti-Islamic

A lot of people are accusing the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo of being assholes for not respecting people’s religious beliefs. But let’s be honest, some of these beliefs are just impossible not to mock:

DUBAI (Reuters) – A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric has whipped up controversy by issuing a religious ruling forbidding the building of snowmen, described them as anti-Islamic.

Asked on a religious website if it was permissible for fathers to build snowmen for their children after a snowstorm in the country’s north, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid replied: “It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun.”

Quoting from Muslim scholars, Sheikh Munajjid argued that to build a snowman was to create an image of a human being, an action considered sinful under the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Sunni Islam.

(via Boing Boing)

Iranian Blogger Soheil Arabi To Be Executed For Posting ‘Insults’ On Facebook

From The Huffington Post:

A man in Iran has been sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet of Islam” on Facebook.

Soheil Arabi, a 30-year-old blogger, was convicted in August after admitting posting “offensive” material on eight Facebook pages, under different names, including one titled ‘the generation that no longer wants to be the burnt generation’.

Arabi admitted posting the material but said that he wrote it “in poor psychological condition” according to the International Campaign for Human Rights In Iran.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that Arabi now faces “imminent execution” by hanging after the Supreme Court upheld the sentence.

And since we’re on the subject of blasphemy: Greek blogger sentenced to 10-month prison for insulting religion:

An Athens court sentenced blogger Filippos Loizos to ten months prison suspended for 3 years, after found him guilty of “insulting religion”. The blogger was known as Elder Pastitsios, who was making fun of the almost mythical monk Elder Paisios.

Philippos Loizos, 27, was arrested in September 2012 on charges of “malicious blasphemy and insulting religion” through Facebook. The arrest came “after thousands of e-complains from residents of different countries of the world”, so the police press release. The 27-year-old had created a page on Facebook named “Geron Pastitsios” (Elder Pastitsios), an mock name for Greek Athos monk, Elder Paisios (1924-1994), famous about his prophecies on Greece, the Greek nation and the Orthodox Christianity.

Student in Egypt Gets 3-Year Jail Term for Insulting Islam

The idea that I’ve been seeing around the web lately that only the terrorists, who are not even real Muslims, are the ones who hate freedom needs to be re-evaluated when you see stories like this.

Cairo (AFP) – An Egyptian court has sentenced a student to three years in jail for announcing on Facebook that he is an atheist and for insulting Islam, his lawyer said Sunday.

Karim al-Banna, a 21-year-old whose own father testified against him, was jailed by a court in the Nile Delta province of Baheira on Saturday, lawyer Ahmed Abdel Nabi told AFP.

“He was handed down a three-year prison sentence, and if he pays a bail of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($ 140 or 117 euros) the sentence can be suspended until a verdict is issued by an appeals court,” Abdel Nabi said, adding that an appeal was to be heard on March 9.

Abdel Nabi said his client’s father had testified against his son, charging that he “was embracing extremist ideas against Islam”.

Banna’s name had appeared in a list of known atheists in a local daily after which his neighbours harassed him, said Ishaq Ibrahim, a researcher on religion and beliefs at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

Maher, Salman Rushdie on Islam: ‘When There’s This Many Bad Apples,’ Orchard’s Rotten

From Mediaite:

Maher went down a line of terrorist attacks since 9/11, and both he and Rushdie agreed this is more than a “mutation” in the Muslim religion. Maher brought up his infamous debate with Ben Affleck, wherein Sam Harris called Islam “the motherlode of bad ideas,” and Maher claimed, “The terrorists and the mainstream share a lot of these bad ideas.”

Rushdie was personally bothered by the “I’m for free speech, but…” brigade, coming out in defense of Charlie Hebdo… sort of. He told Maher the West must not “give a fucking inch” when it comes to free expression and standing against such radicalism. Besides, he asked, “what would a respectful political cartoon look like?”

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