Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Dream of a Consequence-Free Moon

Alternate title: "What 'Freedom of Speech' looks like
when you don't have shit to say"

Rasheed, Muhammad. "The Dream of a Consequence-Free Moon." Cartoon. The Official Website of Cartoonist M. Rasheed 23 May 2018. Pen & ink w/Adobe Photoshop color. 

Batton Lash - Remember Charlie.

Eva Hopkins - Good one, Batton..!

Batton Lash - Thanks, Eva... I just wish I didn't have to do it. >:(

Eva Hopkins - The murder of those cartoonists/editors/writers by terrorists was horrible. Us marking the day & not letting them be forgotten, is necessary.

Batton Lash - You bet, Eva! I'd like to see all freedom-loving cartoonists and writers post something in memory of the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff members.

Eva Hopkins - Haha. ;) As you were typing this, I shared the album of portraits I collected about this time last year.

We are on the same page.

Lou Mougin - Remember Baker...they left their childhood on every acre...

J James McFarland -

Dean LeCrone -

William H. Foster III
- Sadly, you have to be.

Robin Snyder - Good work, Bat.

Chuck Dixon -

Matt Cossin - Wow, powerful image, Batton!

Jeff Thurman - Nicely done!

Robert Williams
- Just shared to Rooftop. Thanks for posting it...

Shawn Thompson -

Ed Gauthier
- Ya also gotta wonder if the WIVES of those middle-east mutts will get to enjoy 27 "virgin" whoopee partners, too - or is it only the GUYS who get to cheat in heaven on their spouses?

Jeff Thurman - There's some research that indicates "72 Virgins" may be a mistranslation. The actual phrase may be 72 Raisins, or Grapes - intending to infer that devout, teetotaling Muslims would be given all the wine they wanted. I just love the idea that, after all their deeds and misdeeds, Bin Laden and the rest of these Jihadi chuckleheads arrive on the other side and are handed a small box of Sun-Maid Raisins to get them through eternity.

Muhammad Rasheed - The "72 Virgins" thing was invented as a joke by the GOP talking heads, who along the way forgot it was a joke they made up. Similar to how Sarah Palin's "see Russia from my house" thing came from Tiny Fey's exaggeration.

Batton Lash - And we heard it through the grapevine, Jeff!

Muhammad Rasheed - It shows good draftsmanship, etc., on the technical side, but I fail to see how insulting the vast majority of people who aren't terrorists has to do with honoring the slain.

Robert Williams - I think the intent is not to insult the moderate Muslim but rather to send a message to the radical Jihaddist that fear tactics do not work and that there is more ink than there are bullets and bombs in the world-therefore, as history shows, the forces of darkness can never stay on top for too long. I think I've got that correct....

Batton Lash - Bingo, Robert!

Muhammad Rasheed - But that's literally the equivalent of slandering Jesus Christ to "send a message" to savage radical Christians.

How do you think the normal Christians would feel about that? Do y'all even think this stuff through? I mean really...?

Batton Lash - So, if I'm insulting jihaddists, I'm insulting you? Muhammad, have YOU really thought "this stuff" through? Frankly, "y'all," it's been open season on Christ (and Christians) for cartoonists, satirists, comedians, writers, etc. for decades. I may not agree regardless of who or what is being mocked, but the bottom line is that artists have the right to call it as they see it. I don't recall "radical Christians" shooting up the various galleries that exhibited "Piss Christ" or, for that matter, Mormons opening gunfire on any theater performing "Book of Mormon." And I can't recall the last time a cartoonist was shot by a "radical Christian" for mocking Jesus in a cartoon. Can you? Let me ask you, Muhammad, rather than wringing your hands over something that's a Free Speech matter, what have you done to reach out to the Mulsim community to discuss the problem of radical Islam?

Robert Williams - And I don't recall any statements from Muhammad about any of the shootings in rthe name of islam in either San Berdino or Paris recently. The Moderate Muslim; if he exists at all; need to stand up and take back their religio, unless they are not afraid of the radicals in their midst.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Robert... You don't recall it because you don't frequent my blog, right? hahaha

Was that supposed to be your money shot intellectual moment? Try harder, please.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Batton... Disrespecting the founder of my religion is insulting to me as a follower of that religion, just as someone disrespecting the Christ (or Paul) is an insult to the Christian. I even used the word "literally" to help with the point. Instead of insulting the sacred belief system of a major Abrahamic world religion in a bizarre and fundamentally divisive idea of "activism," perhaps it would be a whole lot more intelligent to insult (if you must) the terrorist mindset itself and what actually differentiates the extremist from the normal citizen. At the very least such a performance would demonstrate a rudimentary level of understanding in what you claim to be protesting against.

Your "open season on Christians" rant is a strawman here. As a practitioner of the religion of Al-Islam (and yes, I'm considering this an Oprah-style 'Teachable Moment'), and a believer in the One God of Abraham, I would never insult the Christ Jesus, son of Mary. The Nazarene messiah of the children of Israel is as much a sacred part of my belief system as he is to the Christian, though for differing reasons granted. An artist who doesn't believe in the mission of either figure wouldn't be "calling it as he sees it" (which implies truth & insight) but would be projecting his prejudiced atheist opinions against the faith, providing zero value to anything.

Serrano's gallery showings may not have been shot up, but he did receive "hate mail & death threats" and it could have went there, clearly. Domestic terror from that particular extremist demographic is very real and documented, and actually has a higher terror body count than the demographic this cartoon is designed to provoke. What sets those crazies off differs from what sets their counterparts off, because they think differently culturally. Your concept that your murderous crazies are somehow superior because their killing sprees aren't triggered by disrespectful Jesus 'toons is problematic from an integrity perspective. To me.

I haven't done anything to reach out to psychopatic killers led by CIA/Mossad-trained mercenaries. lol What I am doing is as my Lord commands in His scripture. Did you reach out to your drunken dudes in Oregon to stop them from disrupting lives and shooting each other?

Batton Lash - Talk about strawmen! I'm done, Muhammad. (CIA-trained mercenaries... sheesh!)

Muhammad Rasheed - @Batton... I'll interpret that as a commitment to doubling-down on divisive, uninsightful knee-jerk cartooning. Wheeeeee!

Robert Williams - There is no place in a secular society for an idealogogy which requires a choice between mass subjegation or enslavement/death. Go in pieces

Muhammad Rasheed - Are you suggesting that Al-Islam requires such a choice, Robert? Provide your proof, please, if ye are truthful.

Michael Scotti - If I may... A short anecdotal story. My wife and I were in Egypt, the guy who arranged all our security, drivers, and guides was taking us to the airport. He said to us that 9/11 was done by the Jews. He said there were no Jews there that day and that not one Jew died that day. He said this with a straight face, and he truly believed it. At the time, my wife objected to his misinformation. I regret to say I didn't risk our safety by trying to change his mind. I should have spoken out... But the point here is that we all have a place in keeping our extremists in check. Just as we prosecute the religious zealots who murder abortion providers. We need to not just marginalize the people that silently back them but root them out for closer scrutiny. This is the same thing that needs to be done in the Muslim world. Educate those that have these backward viewpoints and monitor the people that silently tolerate those with extremist views. If an educated man (like my handler) can claim these lies were true, then it points to the need for widespread change in the Muslim world, so they can join the rest of us in modernity, which includes respecting our hard won right to free speech even if such speech insults, upsets or is even blasphemous to any religion.

Muhammad Rasheed - As an American, I certainly do not want to lose my right to free speech. What I want to know is how does insulting the founder of this world religion supposed to be helping the cause? What are the goals of this cause, and how are these types of images helping you achieve them as opposed to creating more divisiveness?

Please explain how you all plan to eventually (I hope) control the savage and murderous right-wing terrorists of America, and perhaps your Islamic counterparts will be able to use these methods to good effect if they somehow manage to prove to work for you at some mysterious time in the future.

Michael Scotti - @Muhammmed... A cartoonist by virtue of his craft can only approach a single aspect of an issue on a per image basis. If insulting Islam was his goal, then that is more a window into his/hers own ignorance or intolerance. For instance, just as in any free speech society, a person is free to refer to a person of color by using the “N” word and by doing so shows us an insight into their racist character. But looking at Bat’s submission, he is not insulting all of the Muslim faith; the shadow does not depict a Muslim wagging his finger at the offending artist, if depicts what is clearly an armed man looking to either do harm to the central character or at the least intimidate same to stop what he is doing. This is clearly a call to arms about freedom of speech. (And a brilliant rebuttal to the Charlie Hebdo attacks) The fact that you are upset with the depiction of your Messiah is pointing to your belief that your religious tenants are more important that Bat’s freedom of speech.

So your question of how this is helping the cause… It clearly does help by desensitizing those that would silence such speech. Let each person say what they will, and let their peers judge them by the content of what they say. The ignorant and abusive I fear will never by fully vanquished but will be marginalized over time. The faithful should not need to have every tenant of their respective religion upheld by every other person for them to feel included in the society. The very notion of faith means that in spite of non-believers the true believers still maintain their faith. I bristle at all the people that insist that public displays of their faith are a right. It isn’t! Why do the truly faithful need to see reminders everyway they go to maintain and reinforce their specific beliefs. Why does the Muslim faith (or any faith) insist that their tenets trump the rights and freedoms of all others? Anyone secure in their own faith carries that within, and only insecurity forces that which should be internal to be expressed in other ways.

Controlling the right wing terrorists… As I stated in my previous answer, we all owe it to our respective societies and communities to monitor and marginalize our own extremists. I would like to think that it is through people like you and I respectfully stating our viewpoints to each other though public forums others can see both sides of a discussion and make a rational decision on what nuanced side they come down on. But we both know that the people that need to hear this the most probably will not be persuaded by our words. We cannot solve this problem in just one generation; these are problems that will only be solved with education. That would mean educating the young not to judge a person by the color of their skin or the faith that was handed to them by their family. It would mean teaching young people at the appropriate age to think for themselves and teach them the differences between all the major religions so they could decide for themselves which faith (including Atheism) makes the most sense to them. All religions offer at their core one central unifying aspect. They pretend to tell us what happens after we die. They offer that by following their dogma, death is denied. The more the person fears death the greater the depth of their beliefs. If we teach the young that no religion truly knows what happens to our souls after death and that we need to cherish the one thing we are assured of; the life we are currently living, then we wipe away the need for such extreme behavior and the need to prove that our faith is truer than yours. That is how we solve the extremist problems in the world…

Lastly, I would ask you to comment on Cat Stevens. When Salman Rushdie published the Satanic Verses the Ayatollah issued a fatwa calling for all good Muslims to kill him. That was an extremist position that was denounced by a great number of Muslims. However, the singer did not denounce that fatwa. Instead, he focused on trying to explain what a fatwa was, and even said that he, because of his devout beliefs did not have an option to not follow the edict! Cat Stevens is man that enjoyed all the benefits afford to him from success, including the freedom to speak his mind whenever he choose to. Yet he refused to follow the common core of decency and disavow the fatwa as legitimate. Do you agree that Mr. Rushdie deserved to be a hunted man because of his writing? I ask this since it is easy to pick on a cartoonist who as I stated earlier, can only approach a single aspect of an issue on a per image basis, so some nuisance may be missed against the larger point to be made. So does your viewpoint still hold water when Rushtie looks to explore aspects of Islam through a longer and much more nuisance form?

Or is that off limits as well?

Robert Williams - It all boils down to this- if you can't laugh at yourself then a secular democracy is simply the wrong type of government for you. Rather than force us to change (which is not likely to happen) you should accept our culture and assimilate. Can you laugh at your God (whom you say ids the same as ours) the way we do? Try this with your God...

Sam Kinison - Jesus didn't have a wife

Muhammad Rasheed - @Michael... That sure is a whole lot of words just to miss my point again and again.

It's kind of awesome, really.

Michael wrote: "A cartoonist by virtue of his craft can only approach a single aspect of an issue on a per image basis."

*snort* I can name off a few hall-of-fame cartoonists from Mad Magazine alone that have approached hundreds of aspects of a given topic within a masterfully wrought work. If the best the cartoonist can do is deal with a single aspect of a topic, one would think he would have the time to properly research that little bit lying within his artistic cross-hairs to provide more insight than the equivalent of putting Groucho Marx glasses on the prophet.

Michael Scotti - Please excuse my ignorance... Could you please tell me what your point is?

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael wrote: "But looking at Bat’s submission, he is not insulting all of the Muslim faith"

That's your ignorance talking. You have Christmas trees in your Photos folder, and your last name sounds like it may be Italian, both of which make me think you are Catholic. Are you honestly saying that blasphemous images of Jesus made to "get back" at the right-wing fringe wouldn't offend YOU? Muhammad is the final prophet-messenger of the One God of Abraham, through whom was revealed the scripture that closes the canon on sacred scripture. He was anointed as a gift to mankind to show us how to walk the Word of God out to God's satisfaction. To think that I, as a follower of this  prophet wouldn't be insulted at disrespect in the guise of a babbling fake activism such as you just provided, is baffling.

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael wrote: "The fact that you are upset with the depiction of your Messiah is pointing to your belief that your religious tenants are more important that Bat’s freedom of speech."

Can this possibly be a serious statement? My religious tenets say: "Believe in God, Do good, Reject evil, Repent after mistakes." The tenets of my sacred belief system...

...versus "Freedom of Speech."

Is this a real comparison? Or am I being punked?

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael wrote: "So your question of how this is helping the cause… It clearly does help by desensitizing those that would silence such speech."

Insulting the founder of my religion and believing this act will somehow make savage murderers -- who only pretend to care about that founder -- magically see the error of their ways, is insane, Michael.

Michael Scotti - Don't confuse tradition or culture with religious belief... I'm a proud and devout Atheist... But this is not about me personally... You did not address what I wrote with any seemingly good response.

"Believe in god, Do good, Reject evil, repent after mistakes, kill anyone that criticizes my messiah..." you left the last part out who is "punking" who?

Muhammad Rasheed - Why am I not surprised that your grand comeback would involve you doubling-down on prejudice/bigotry?

lol You're awesome, Mike.

Michael Scotti - The bottom line is that Bat has the right in our free society to insult your messiah, as do I to speak as I please about Joseph Smith, Jesus, or Budda... You need to accept that as the cost of living in a free society. Your religion is forcing you to live in the 7th century in certain regards.

Muhammad Rasheed
- Of course he has the right to insult whoever he wants. At no point was that ever my contention. *sigh* Let me try again:

QUESTION: How is insulting the founder of a world religion, and insulting a billion people, helping cure 20,000 people of insanity? Please explain. Finally.

Michael Scotti - As I stated earlier... His commentary that you and people of your faith deem insulting helps to desensitize those and make them used to living within a free and open society.

Muhammad Rasheed - How? How does insulting their most cherished beliefs... by a people they consider their foreign interventionist enemy... cure the insane of their affliction?

Muhammad Rasheed - Because basic common sense says that it will only add to the divisiveness [you all blame on Obama] and provocations of the socio-political climate.

Michael Scotti - It is not our job to cure their problem with accepting the rules of a free society. It is just our right to say what we please. Muslims have to educate themselves to solve extremism and have to monitor their own. It isn't our job to change our way of life because their beliefs are rooted in the 7 the century. And I am campaigned for Obama and am a die hard fan...

Robert W. Cox - interesting dialog, I only wish Dr Martin Luther King was still here,instead history was changed by assassin's bullet........I was in that meeting with Hilliary Clinton in 1962 when Dr. King spoke to the Chicago Sunday Evening Club @ Orchestra Hall on WTTW-TV channel 11. But in all honesty I won't be voting for Hilliary because I dont think she got the memo that night.......wait

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael wrote: "It is not our job to cure their problem [...] It is just our right to say what we please."

Okay, at least we've FINALLY gotten to the root cause of this issue. All the "desensitizing" talk was babbling nonsense as I suspected. The bottom line is that these insulting 'Mohamed' cartoons represent you all mooning the extremists. You're picking a fight and hoping your buds in Oregon and their ilk will save you from a dirty bomb going off in the middle of your lodge meeting or whatever.

Hmmm... Or...!

OR maybe you don't WANT to be saved? Have you heard about the "death by cop" concept where criminals will deliberately pick a no-win fire fight with the cops because they think going down in a hail of lead is an awesome and sexy way to die? Is that what this is you all are doing?

Do you consider the slain Charlie Hebdo cartoonists to be martyr/heroes? I think I solved it. This is the ONLY angle that actually makes sense of these cartoons. You think they are your True Enemy, and you want to have World War III -- against them. THAT'S why you INSIST that the extremists are representative of "true Islam" because you want a worthier foe for your 'good vs evil' fantasy.

Muhammad Rasheed - Micael wrote: "It isn't our job to change our way of life because their beliefs are rooted in the 7 th century."

1.) The west changed their ways of life with an exploitative, interventionist foreign policy, and busted their societies back down to 7th century ways of life. Did you see how they lived BEFORE all of this foreign-born strife? BEFORE 1948? Before Eurocentric powers seized them as mere playing chips on a field and sold their lands to secular greed?

2.) Everyone's beliefs are rooted in the distant past, including the belief that there is no God.

Muhammad Rasheed(what does campaigning for obama have to do with this topic? i thought we were talking about free speech, coded political cartoons, and arab extremists?)

Michael Scotti - Let see if I get the points you made straight... You say that the desensitize argument makes no sense because in your estimation, we're just trying get attacked? Two points here, (again you're not getting it) first, that regardless of content we have a right to do this without fear of reprisal, second, if we change or soften the message (no matter how inflammatory) then we have surrendered to the threat. No one wants to be involved in a war with these fools, but changing our way of life to suite them is not something we should be willing to do.

The west changed their way of life... The main conflict here is within Islam itself between the Shira and Sunni, and the moderate Muslim who need to live in a modern and just world. There are plenty of sins that the West has committed against these peoples, that is a given, but until they have their own house in order we can't begin to help them in any real way.

(Obama reference was to the fact that I don't believe in or propagate the diverseness against the President)

In closing, you're whole point here is that it is the content of the speech that needs to be addressed, my point is that no matter what the content, we have a right to say it. To alter that content, irregardless of how crass, vulgar, or vile it is, is to succumb to the backwards beliefs of this religion and has to be avoided not because of threats against us but in spite of those threats.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Michael...

1.) The desensitize argument makes no sense because you are wrong. You want to believe that the people doing the killings are not radicalized extremists, but actually the Average Joe Muslims, in order to fuel your WW3 fantasy of the Good West vs the Evil Muslim World. You want to believe that "moderate Muslims are a myth" and the making of these cartoons is the "right thing to do" because it is somehow educating them, and you are willing to sacrifice your life so that their cultures will become more tolerant in later generations as the result of your martyrdom.

2.) You definitely have a right to express yourself however way you wish, but you do NOT get to do so without fear of consequence. You SHOULD be afraid that the irresponsible usage of your Freedom of Speech very well may provoke a cobra into biting you. That is a reasonable potential consequence for being a jackass. You do not get to wave your naked backside in the face of a people who hate you because of the wrongs committed upon them by your government, and somehow believe you have the right to not have to fear for your safety because you deliberately provoked them in the aftermath. You have a right to be a jackass, sure; you do not have the right to determine how someone else may respond to your jackassery. This is a matter of applying wisdom to your use of Freedom of Speech. Unless your ultimate intention is to provoke these people to war, then you lack wisdom.

3.) You're telling me that your "way of life" involves the cartoonist equivalent of waving your naked backside in peoples' faces. Basically you are protesting the fact that they have a recent history of killing people that they find waving naked backsides in their faces as their own way of life. lol They have an over-the-top reactionary response to the mooning way of life, and you have a bullying weaponized mooning way of life. It sounds to me like a classic case of the Irresistible Force versus the Immovable Object, extremist ideology versus extremist ideology. You don't want to change your way of life in the sacred right to moon whosoever you want, and they don't want to change their way of life because they feel they are in the right by virtue of maintaining the defensive position.

4.) What does you all mooning people have to do with the shia/sunni relationship? Or even the Ishmael/Isaac relationship either for that matter? This is more nonsensical babbling that y'all tell each other in your bars and lounges. I'm not drunk so it's not going to make sense to me. Quit it. The modern instability of the middle east that we've grown to take for granted was not present before the world wars when the Eurocentric Super Powers decided to expand their empires. You can't help them at all since they are in the position they are in precisely because of the west's greed-fueled meddling. I agree with the libertarians and want to withdraw ALL troops, cease our empire building, and let those areas finally heal from our bs. Will it heal overnight? Of course not. Will it get worse before it gets better? Yup. And the sooner we leave them alone, the sooner they will heal.

5.) The religion itself has no backwards beliefs. Nothing in the Qur'an tells me to kill you for mooning me with your insulting cartoons. But there are foreign ethnic groups who hold onto the redneck-like trait ('Murica!) of being easily provoked to violence over imagined slights... groups who have been radicalized by greedy and aggressive alien powers. Your weird fantasy that you should be able to insult whosoever you wish without fear of retaliation is an immature child's way of seeing the world and lacks the wisdom of the Golden Rule.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Michael... Regarding your Cat Stevens question.

1.) According to Stevens, at no point did he encourage the vigilantism [implied in the fatwa's application outside of the Ayatollah's legal reach], and that his comments were not accurately reported. He admitted that a couple of the things he said, including the idea that instead of burning an effigy of the author he'd hope it was the real thing, was only a reflection of his British dry wit and wasn't serious. Also, he decided to quit his music career because of all the conflicting opinions from Muslim figures about what he should do with his career. Since Islam doesn't have a priesthood, he relied on his own understanding and judge the matter from a position of peace, not singing at all to avoid any internal conflicts he had about it. Because of this, the idea that he uncritically sided with the shia Ayatollah's opinion is both ridiculous and out of character. Also as a new Muslim, it is unlikely he would have had the stones to publicly proclaim whether the fatwa was "legitimate" or not. I don't find your opinions or questions on that topic to be particularly reasonable.

2.) There's nothing in the Qur'an that commands Muslims to physically attack when we are only verbally insulted or criticized. I'm also an American who advocates for the right of free speech. With both of these concepts combined within my personal ideological makeup, I would never seek to deny the right to insult whoever an artist wishes to insult, and I personally wouldn't physically attack the artist because it wouldn't be right for me to do so. If an unhinged and sociopathic madman felt personally provoked -- for whatever reason -- by what the artist expressed, then attacked and killed him, it would literally have nothing to do with me. My opinion would be 100% irrelevant. The artist had the right to express his opinion, and the other party had no right to physically attack him. That was between them. I could offer advice to the next artist, and suggest that if they insist upon using expressions that make them potential targets for groups searching for easy political targets, they may wish to practice better situational awareness and beef up security.

Muhammad Rasheed - Robert wrote: "Try this with your God..."

No, thank you. I reject the idea that the One God of Abraham has a mind on the same level as an immature and spiritually narrow-minded human. That's insane. It would be counterproductive to everything I want and care about to deliberately incite such a Being to wrath... the Being that not only created mathematics from scratch, but on Mt. Sinai He killed two uncouth Levite priests who wouldn't stop eating to stand up while He was addressing them. I guess you feel that, since y'all are in the business of provoking folk anyway, why halfass it? "Hey, let's provoke the One who feels that eternal hellfire is a reasonable punishment for pissing Him off! Who's with me?!" lol Yeah, you can count me out. Maybe you can get Johnny Knoxville to join instead...?

There is room under the American government for all different types of cultures, Robert. Muslims have been over here since before the nation's founding so I reject your uninformed assimilation comment, too. The angry, militant extremist figure, who was birthed out of war-torn lands that got that way directly from greedy western interventionist policies do not represent me. I am offended that you keep insisting that he IS me, but I am not surprised at your ideologically shallow one-trick-pony way of seeing people who are not you.

Michael Scotti - Muhammad, in this, my final posting to you on this subject…

1) The desensitizing I’m referring to is not meant to “teach” the extremists to be more tolerant. It isn’t even the main point. It is a by-product of an artist expressing his viewpoint. All people have to acknowledge the lunacy of their viewpoints and the artist using his medium expresses his point through that. If what he says provokes the extremist, so be it. We cannot walk on eggshells just so their archaic religious sensibilities are not insulted. Is it better to make your point without upsetting anyone? Yes it is, but what isn’t OK is to have to moderate one’s speech based on the threat. I fully understand that the “Average Joe Muslim” is not in this same ballpark. I have many friends and co-workers that are Muslim and they denounce the violence done in the name of the teachings of Muhammad. They also understand the need to mock these extremists, and do not, as you have done numerous times in these exchange, reference the idea that words and comments can result in, Martyrdom, WWIII, provoke these people to war, etc… Which leads me to believe that YOU, want to use there threats to silence speech you find insulting to your religion. 

2) I don’t care about fear of consequence. That is the cost of living in a free society. If something that is said provokes these extremists to start a war, so be it. That speaks more to their intolerance than the subject matter.

3) So the answer is they get to dictate what I can say because they are more extreme in their beliefs? This from someone who enjoys his freedom of speech? I would think as someone who publishes his work on a regular basis, this would make the hair on the back of your neck stand on edge. Or is that trumped by your not wanting to have your namesake depicted or mocked in the public arena? 

4) You brought up the interventionist past that the West has had in the Muslim world. We can not begin to help them recover from our past sins until they get their own house in order. That is what I said. (Try and follow the plot here, this is getting old)

5) Nothing in the Qur’an says that the depiction of the Messiah is forbidden, but the Hadith does. So do you as a Muslim reject the teachings in the Hadith and all the oral history that goes with it, or just whatever suites you at the time. I fully understand that all religions do that, just wondering how someone that professes their faith to any religion can discount whole portions of it and still say their adhere to the beliefs. The “backwards beliefs” I referred to are fully evident in the writing that make up the Hadith but I guess you choose to believe that they have no bearing on the overall religion. 

Finally, you chose not to comment on the fact that a very prominent Muslim (Cat Stevens) refused to denounce the Fatwa calling for Rushdie’s murder. We can insinuate in our little exchange here that Mooning people is less important a right of free speech because it lacks sophistication… I get that. But when a learned man offers a well written book that asks the reader to view Islam though a different viewpoint and is then sentenced to death by a Fundamentalist Muslim leader of millions of people, and a leading public figure REFUSES to denounce it. You can certainly see why some people believe that the adherence to those extreme views may be more prevalent that what appears on the surface. Maybe not actively, but what is worse is when people tacitly go along with something by being silent. The same goes for you. By objecting to the depiction and the making fun of the (so called) messiah, you perpetuate the feeling that you support the viewpoint that this portion of our free speech should be curtailed. 

It was pleasure trying to educate you to my viewpoints, I suspect that your next rebuttal will remake the same points that I have already rebutted, but guess what… That is called free speech…

Muhammad Rasheed - @Michael... I was actually planning to mostly use my rebuttal to point out where you were off in interpreting my comments/views, and also on helping you understand how the hierarchy of Islamic religious texts actually function.

It's been a pleasure trying to educate you on my viewpoints, too. It's awesome when people are game for a REAL discussion. [salute]

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael wrote: “The desensitizing I’m referring to is not meant to ‘teach’ the extremists to be more tolerant.”

These cartoons of yours, which are the functional equivalent of putting Groucho Marx glasses on the prophet, is supposed to show a people exploited by western powers that their beliefs are lunacy. The cartooning equivalent of mooning someone, or thumbing your nose at someone, by the vilified “rich American infidel” is supposed to show THEM that THEY are wrong. Wow.

Michael wrote: “If what he says provokes the extremist, so be it.”

Isn’t that the mindset behind mooning people? “So what! Look… Nah nah nah!”

Michael wrote: “We cannot walk on eggshells…”

There’s a difference between walking on eggshells and not being an asshole to people, Michael. The atheist doesn’t believe in the Golden Rule? Wisdom says that, even though I do have the power to make something foul and ugly that will serve to amuse my peers and anger you, I won’t do it because I don’t want someone pushing my own buttons.

Michael wrote: “…just so their archaic religious sensibilities are not insulted.”

This isn’t religious, it’s cultural.

Michael wrote: “Is it better to make your point without upsetting anyone? Yes it is…”

I win.

Michael wrote: “…but what isn’t OK is to have to moderate one’s speech based on the threat.”

The Eurocentric ethnic groups have a history of being disrespectful assholes to the people they feel are beneath them in the social order. You all have been doing that bigoted bullying for centuries, and yet here… when someone gives pushback… you want to pretend to be on higher moral ground about your behavior?

You admit to me it IS wrong to deliberately upset people for nothing when making a crass point, and then you spin around and try to defend the wrong. That’s entitlement, right? It smells like it.

Michael wrote: “...Which leads me to believe that YOU, want to use there threats to silence speech you find insulting to your religion.”

No. I want you all to be SMARTER in how you choose to mock them, since the Average Joe Muslim also doesn’t want to have to suffer from having his most cherished beliefs profaned. Mock the ‘extremist’ aspect; don’t go after the other part. That’s just shallow and dumb and... uncouth. Cartooning is better when used as a scalpel, not as a shotgun.

Michael wrote: “I don’t care about fear of consequence. That is the cost of living in a free society. If something that is said provokes these extremists to start a war, so be it. That speaks more to their intolerance than the subject matter.”

It also alienates others that didn’t have anything to do with it. That’s what makes it dumb. If these ‘Je Suis Charlie’ were more sophisticated and did more than moon the ENTIRE Muslim world, I would not feel this way and could join in. But like THIS it comes across more like a good ole boy club that’s excluding me. As I said quite a few times now, I am an American, and I do advocate for free speech. That is absolutely a worthy cause. But I’m reluctant to be a part of this Cartoonist Activist Movement that should be tailored for me because most of the ‘toons reflect a negative viewpoint that is all too familiar to me as a BLACK American. And it’s hurtful.

Michael wrote: “So the answer is they get to dictate what I can say because they are more extreme in their beliefs?”

They don’t get to dictate what you say. YOU dictate what you say and you should do so based on decency and the Golden Rule.

Michael wrote: “This from someone who enjoys his freedom of speech? I would think as someone who publishes his work on a regular basis, this would make the hair on the back of your neck stand on edge. Or is that trumped by your not wanting to have your namesake depicted or mocked in the public arena?”

How can you pretend to have the higher moral ground while being a nondiscerning dick to the ENTIRE Muslim world? That’s the essence of my point here.

Michael wrote: “You brought up the interventionist past that the West has had in the Muslim world. We can not begin to help them recover from our past sins…”


It’s an “interventionist past” that has continued all the way up to NOW. The unrest in the middle east is our fault and continues because we are still over there maintaining the empire at their expense.

Michael wrote: “…until they get their own house in order.”

Their house is in disarray because we destroyed their civilization in the world wars and deliberately kept them in that state. And it has gotten worse and worse for them, while we have grown richer & richer. At their expense.

Michael wrote: “That is what I said. (Try and follow the plot here, this is getting old)”

I know exactly what you said and disagree completely.

Michael wrote: “Nothing in the Qur’an says that the depiction of the Messiah is forbidden, but the Hadith does. [...] The ‘backwards beliefs’ I referred to are fully evident in the writing that make up the Hadith but I guess you choose to believe that they have no bearing on the overall religion.”

This is another teachable moment, so bear with me, please. :) You need a lesson in the hierarchy of Islamic religious texts so you will understand me.

One of the best things about the religion of Al-Islam, and in my opinion gives it a serious leg up over Christianity, is a clear separation between the categories of its religious literature. There is:

1.) The revealed Word of God
2.) The actions and opinions of the prophet/messenger who originally received that message and preached it
3.) The interpretive writings of the scholars of the faith.

#1 is the Qur'an itself in Islam, the source of the religion and God's actual message to mankind. It is the most important anything in Islam.

#2 is the hadith, and is the reported sayings of the Prophet Muhammad outside of the Qur'anic revelation... everything that he said regarding his personal opinions about life in general supposedly remembered from the people around him. This is the second most important group of writings in Islam because it’s only the opinions of Muhammad the man and are not from God, and also because they weren't compiled until centuries after the prophet's death and were infected with all types of political corruption, which includes an era when people would simply make up hadiths for their own agendas. ALL of these are grouped together in the body of hadith with no serious efforts having been made to separate them into authentic and nonsense.

#3 is every other book with Islam as the topic by whomever.  "Whomever" being of more or less importance depending on what groupie-fans you talk to.

In the Qur’an, God commanded the believers to obey Him and “this prophet” who was preaching the message to them. The messenger’s job is to instruct the people in scripture and wisdom, and demonstrate to them how to walk out the Word of God in their lives. Consequently, the prophet would only COMMAND that which his Lord commanded, while anything that came from Muhammad the man, he merely suggested. Therefore any hadith that claimed Muhammad “commanded” something that was conspicuously NOT reflected within the Qur’an was a false hadith. Too easy.

By their nature, the false hadith are political and are NOT of the religion, but only reflect shitty & backwards cultural traits the people did not wish to let go. If it were up to me, the entire body of hadith would be meticulously cross-referenced to the revealed scripture of the Qur’an, and any of them that could not be supported within the Book, would be publicly labeled as such for all the world to see and discarded.

Robert Williams - Rooftop Reviews: The Quran's Greatest Hits

Muhammad Rasheed - @Robert... Here:  Why don’t more moderate Muslims denounce extremism?

Robert Williams - Rooftop Reviews: "The Missing Martyrs" by Charles Kurzman

Muhammad Rasheed - Robert, anti-Islam folk who walk around with a folio of cherry-picked Qur'anic quotes used to vilify my faith come a dime-a-dozen on social media.

Is this a formal challenge to me to show you each of them in context?

Muhammad Rasheed - Michael wrote: “Finally, you chose not to comment on the fact that a very prominent Muslim (Cat Stevens) refused to denounce the Fatwa calling for Rushdie’s murder.”

That’s one way of putting it. Another more accurate way is to admit I said that as a new Muslim, Stevens didn’t feel that he had the authority to say anything like that, and that there were far more qualified people doing so.

Michael wrote: “We can insinuate in our little exchange here that Mooning people is less important a right of free speech because it lacks sophistication… I get that. But when a learned man offers a well written book that asks the reader to view Islam though a different viewpoint and is then sentenced to death by a Fundamentalist Muslim leader of millions of people, and a leading public figure REFUSES to denounce it.”

The shia are not “fundamentalists,” and certainly not the ayatollah figure who is making pronouncements at odds with the Qur’an itself. Considering the role that he and his people placed him in, he SHOULD’VE known better, but he did not. He was clearly a wingnut, and there were far more qualified Islamic experts than Stevens who denounced it at the time. This is winding up to be a strawman.

Michael wrote: “You can certainly see why some people believe that the adherence to those extreme views may be more prevalent that what appears on the surface.”

I just chalk it up to them being predisposed to being ignorant towards anything not in their comfort zone. For the record, I do take the time to have “teachable moments” which I consider doing my part. Unfortunately I do expect you to double-down on believing the nonsense you’ve written about Islam though. We’ll see. lol I noticed that Rob is shameless in his preference for foolishness.

Michael wrote: “Maybe not actively, but what is worse is when people tacitly go along with something by being silent. The same goes for you.”

Interesting, considering that’s not my reputation. lol

Michael wrote: “By objecting to the depiction and the making fun of the (so called) messiah…”

This is an atheist talking, y’all. Smh

Michael wrote: “…you perpetuate the feeling that you support the viewpoint that this portion of our free speech should be curtailed.”

Then the people who think that way should stop being ignorant. *shrug*

I will continue to object to uncouth, shallow, disrespectful images of my SACRED BELIEF SYSTEM in the guise of activism.

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Case Study Into the Madness of Crowds & Their Popular Delusions

Muhammad Rasheed - Bill Cosby Trying to Buy NBC From G.E. (Oct 1992)

Jeremy Travis - This article is from nineteen-hundred and ninety-two. It's that long ago that I have to refer to it like a date in the distant pass. The relevancy is completely lost now, some two decades and three years, a Black-owned network, and Black president later.

Muhammad Rasheed - Jeremy, the time period claimed for the rape allegations were also in the "distant past." Except for three of them, all the rest of the allegations were first reported in the 2000s under Troiani's group law suit package hoping to score $100 million from the comedian. Of the three, one was made during the height of Cosby's popularity in the '80s, while the other two were made in the '90s. To me, the theory that he is being attacked by rivals to ruin him is a lot stronger than the rape allegations themselves, which fail to hold up to any amount of scrutiny.

I posted this because I came across a definitive statement from someone who proclaimed that Cosby never tried to purchase NBC. I considered the comment a bluff.

Lana Andrade - He's still a fucking rapist.

Muhammad Rasheed - How do you know?

Lana Andrade - because HE said so.

Muhammad Rasheed - Copy/paste the quote[s] where he said he raped someone, please.

Jeremy Travis - Would that even sway your judgement?

Lana Andrade - NOPE

Muhammad Rasheed
- Of course it would. That's why I'm asking for the info.

Muhammad Rasheed - Show me the quote where he admitted he raped people, please. Do so and I will join your lynch mob.

Jeremy Travis - 'Jeremy, the time period claimed for the rape allegations were also in the "distant past".'

There is a significant difference between the passage of time from incidents of sexual abuse 3-4 decades ago and an interest in purchasing a television network 2 decades ago.

Now granted, your point that he entertained the purchase of NBC is true and valid, but acting like this recent rise in the prominence of the allegations against him is to prevent that age-old purchase is ridiculous.

Tracy Lawrence - Wait, so him saying under oath that he gave woman drugs for the purposes of having sex with them AND 55 woman saying they were drugged and rape is coincidence?

Jeremy Travis - Tracy, I THINK what Muhammad is saying is that Cosby offered the women the quaaludes and they willfully accepted them only to turn tail decades later and say that they were given the quaaludes without their knowledge.

Tracy Lawrence - As a woman, that makes zero sense to me.

Jeremy Travis - As a rational human, it makes zero sense to me, too.

Tracy Lawrence - The way the current culture is, I would more readily believe that women would brag about taking drugs and bedding Cosby IF they did it willfully.

Jeremy Travis
- Exactly! Do you know the tell-all interviews they each could book had it been consentual? "I banged 'America's Dad'!" "Bill Cosby is a pill-popping freak!" "Bill, I'll tell ALL of your secrets unless you pay me a substantial amount of money."

Muhammad Rasheed - ^That is 100% what Dickerson did. Her "tell all" book bragged about her encounter with Cosby back in the day and now, with the promise of a share in the $100 million payout offered by the Hollywood Attorney, suddenly the story changed.

Jeremy Travis - Even that doesn't discount the rest of the women.

Muhammad Rasheed - It isn't about "the women" versus Cosby, it's about Troiani vs Cosby. She's dangling a piece of that potential $100 million in those women's faces because she needs their cooperation in order to win her 33% off the top of a settlement.

Jeremy Travis - So you doubt what the women are saying because of Troiani? You don't believe ANY of the allegations?

Muhammad Rasheed - I don't believe Bill Cosby gave any of them drugs without their knowledge and raped them. I do believe it is highly likely that he did grope people inappropriately in party settings, and similar, over-friendly behavior with women he found attractive, and these incidents are being blown up out of proportion to add fuel to Troiani's bs 'rape' case.

Lana Andrade - I'm not having this conversation with another black man. I refuse. This just furthers my suspicion that I cannot as a woman trust myself with one.

Lana Andrade - 50 women. FIFTY. Gotdamn.

Abdur Rasheed - Bill Cosby Accusers List: Names, Photos & Stories of His 55 Alleged Victims

Muhammad Rasheed - The significance of the "50 women" is that Troiani needs a lot of statements to score her $100 million; bodies to sway public opinion drawing from the very real evils of our "rape culture."

Muhammad Rasheed - I absolutely want the rape culture destroyed, I just do not agree with sacrificing an innocent to do it.

Muhammad Rasheed - "Just believe it!" isn't good enough.

Jeremy Travis - So then all of the women are lying?

Muhammad Rasheed - What are you using to prove that they aren't lying? $100 million is a lot of money. Lying to achieve large amounts of money has a long and distinguished tradition.

Aren't you all the ones who also argue against the evils of ‘capitalism?’

So what's the prob?

Abdur RasheedCosby Deposition

Jeremy Travis - So when they said that he drugged them before having sex with them, and he admits to drugging women in order to have sex with them, your source of doubt is where, now?

Jeremy Travis - Giving chicks quaaludes, which will knock them ALL of the way out, then having sex with them while they're out, is rape.

Abdur Rasheed
- Maybe his dick looks like a half melted candy yam and the chicks insisted on an anesthetic?

"You want to get into show business right? Daaaaaaaaahh!!!"

Muhammad Rasheed - lol smh

Abdur Rasheed - More Scandalous Revelations from Bill Cosby’s Unsealed Court Records

Muhammad Rasheed
- Jeremy Travis wrote: "Giving chicks quaaludes..."

Offering them. It was normal during the swingers era to offer them instead of, or along with, alcohol and other rec drugs. It was part of the sub-culture the era is famous for.

Jeremy Travis wrote: "...which will knock them ALL of the way out..."

That's at least the second time you've said that about the drug, which differs quite a bit from its actual function and usage... which is actually a lot closer to how youth in more modern era used ecstacy.

Daniel Leon Ackerman - date rape was the style back then. still illegal though.

Muhammad Rasheed - I'm sure it's still the "style" in many circles now a days, but that doesn't mean that Cosby engaged in it. People deliberately drink alcohol to "loosen up' in adult social situations. This is why the drugs were both offered and accepted. No one in this scandal was raped.

Daniel Leon Ackerman - have to see if court agrees with you.

Jeremy Travis - "Methaqualone, sold under the brand name Quaalude (\ˈkwā-ˌlüd\),[a] in the US and Mandrax in the UK, is a sedative and hypnotic medication. It is a member of the quinazolinone class..

The sedative–hypnotic activity of methaqualone was first noted by researchers in the 1950s. In 1962, methaqualone was patented in the US by Wallace and Tiernan.[2] Its use peaked in the early 1970s as a hypnotic, for the treatment of insomnia, and as a sedative and muscle relaxant."

A 'sedative', 'hypnotic', and 'muscle relaxant' doesn't sound like a rape drug to you?

Muhammad Rasheed -

Jeremy Travis - OK, and... ?

Muhammad Rasheed - You're making a big deal about the effects it has, meanwhile alcohol is also a sedative/muscle relaxant. Both drugs, and others, were offered to people during that swinger’s era and it was a normal part of the culture to do so. You took them or you didn't. Were there people who weaponized them and preyed upon women? Of course, just like there are folk who get women drunk today to prey on them. Cosby wasn't one of these latter.

Jeremy Travis - How do you know that he wasn't one of the latter?

Muhammad Rasheed - The evidence isn't leaning in that direction. The evidence is bottle-necking right at Troiani's feet.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Daniel... Well, actually I fully expect the anti-Cosby "Just Believe It!" cult to win. It's an ideology. People aren't interested in what actually happened, they just want to sacrifice Cosby at the alter of this thing.

Daniel Leon Ackerman
- i agree that public opinion has already found him guilty. courts are different.

Muhammad Rasheed - Daniel Leon Ackerman wrote: "courts are different."

Not really. If we could count on humans being able to set aside their biases and subjectivity, and strictly rule only on the facts, then we wouldn't have many of our problems.

Daniel Leon Ackerman - yep. courts are different than public opinion. they are official.

Muhammad Rasheed - People still use their subjective opinion and biases to make official decisions, as the casual search revealed.

Daniel Leon Ackerman - in this country we have difficulty convicting celebrities. my early prediction is Coz will be let off in criminal court and taken to the cleaners in civil court.

Abdur Rasheed - I'm not making a judgement either way until I have all the facts.

I DO think that it's important to keep it in perspective.

$100 million or $500 million doesn't matter if he's guilty.

If a multimillionaire raped you I would think that YOU would want to take a few days off without going in to your job at Walmart.

There are a LOT of opportunist out there and money is a pretty good motivator combined with a law firm who can make it a class action law suit and collect 33% of the total off the top before expenses.

Out of the 55 women who made these allegations if one of them is telling the truth because Dr Cosby had a moment of weakness and had sex without her consent -- as if he out of curiosity double clicked on a over the top freakshow porn site and liked it -- and then fell back on his position of "I'm Bill Cosby and she's nobody" then I really mean this part...FUCK HIM WITH A FROZEN PUDDING POP!

Being in a habit of paying women off when your rich, famous, and MARRIED isn't necessarily proof of anything.

Abdur Rasheed - I think that we should spend ZERO time worrying about our celebrity conviction rate and ALL of our energy on our conviction rate of the truly GUILTY.

Daniel Leon Ackerman - celebrities are above the law. let's ignore them.

Abdur Rasheed - How did we get there??

If YOU were a celebrity and you never broke a law in your life and somebody tried to extort you for money and kept a sample of your swimmers and had her lawyer call you and say that you raped her and she needs $200,000 or she's selling her story to the press somewhere some uninformed knucklehead is going to say, "Pfffffftttt celebrities are above the law."

The ONLY difference the the "celebrity" part that scenario is the $200,000 part and the some knucklehead heard about it part and expressed an uninformed opinion part.

That's why we don't have a Conviction System! We have and SHOULD have a Justice System.

Daniel Leon Ackerman - so many caps. are you getting worked up over this?

Abdur Rasheed - Does the emphasis of three of my words negate my point somehow?

The question should be: What is it about you that wants to see potentially innocent people locked up and disgraced just because they are well known?

I think that is a key question because it's representative of a lot of Americans and it's why we are so short sighted and progress is so slow.

Abdur Rasheed - BOMBSHELL Cosby News! What The Media Didn't Want You To See, Part 1

Muhammad Rasheed - smdh

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Gold-Plated but Flimsy Excuse

Muhammad Rasheed -

Muhammad Rasheed - The highlighted downside seems to be suggesting that people aren't more likely to hoard the fiat Federal Reserve money, and yet, isn't the 99%'s complaint that the 1% are hoarding the bulk of the world's wealth and why the concept of "trickle down" economics is a myth?
If the downside is something we experience anyway under a system that continuously devalues the dollar (and keeps us in a perpetual warring state), then how come we can't fight for a system that returns the dollar’s value so that what we make can buy more?

Jeremy Travis - So then if paper fiat currency was supposed to NOT be hoarded like gold, but it is still hoarded like gold, then why not have it be backed by gold since it is no less likely to be hoarded as compared to gold AND it's value will not depreciate over time?

Is that your argument?

Muhammad Rasheed - Sure, since that was "the" downside the author cited, other than the weight.

Jeremy Travis - If money is tied to a finite resource like gold how will it expand as the economy expands because the population expands?

Muhammad Rasheed - Define the economy 'expanding' in that context?

The sole benefit to being on the debt/credit fiat system is to fund the war machine. When tied to a finite resource, it forces govs to be more fiscally responsible, and not too quick to dive into war.

Jeremy Travis - "Define the economy 'expanding' in that context?"

Pres. Nixon took the US off of the gold standard in 1971. As of 1970, the US Census showed the nation's population being 203.3million. As of 2010, the US Census showed the nation's population being 308.7million. That's a little over 50% increase in people in the nation. Granted, not all of that number of people is a part of the economy, but assuming the number of people in the economy rose by 50% as well in 40 years, what money would those extra people be using if the gold we have is finite? Would we have to acquire 50% more gold in 40 years in order to keep up? Or does gold lose value based on their being more people in the nation using it?

Muhammad Rasheed - Gold would go up in value because of the demand for it in the markets. The gold-backed USD would purchase more for less, and cents would be able to do what dollars do now. It would just be the opposite of the current over-printing, devaluing trend.

Jeremy Travis  - So then more people in the population would make the gold standard a better model for currency?

Muhammad Rasheed - I don't see why it would be an issue. Naturally we wouldn't have to be under the same restrictions that ISIS/ISIL are under, so we can continue to use paper and electronic notes to represent the gold in the stores.

Wondering Knight - Yeah you are on to something. I was listening to the audio version of Supply Shock. It talk about how the endless pursuit of growth posits a false world of endless resources. I don't know if returning to gold is the answer but yeah chasing economic growth is really about creating empires of imaginary wealth, without giving real value to an economy, as well as so much environmental destruction.

See Also:  Defense of the Gold Standard & the Discovery of Freedom, pt 1 of 7