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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent


Arguing the case supporting The Blanket's right to publish the controversial cartoons about the Islamic prophet Mohammed


Dr John Coulter • 20 March 2006

I fully support the right of the media generally and The Blanket in particular to publish the cartoons about the Islamic prophet Mohammed because this is not about having a go at Muslims; this is about defending the freedom of the Press.

The real insults to Islam are radical Muslims who scream their lungs out calling for the beheading of those who made the cartoons and publish them.

Let's be clear – so-called radical Islam, as it has been dubbed, is not a religion in the proper sense of the term, aimed at developing a spiritual peace among its followers.

Radical Islam is a violent cult whose followers believe fanatically in their warped interpretation of the Koran.

The big challenge is not just to defend the freedom of the Press, but also to prevent democratic, moderate Muslims from being eradicated by modern-day followers of the Middle Ages Islamic tyrant and butcher, Saladin.

Radical Islam is growing in popularity because it is founded on two key pillars – violence and fear.

The primary purpose of the Danish cartoons was to depict how Mohammed's memory has been hijacked by Islamic radicals to justify suicide bombing.

Other faiths have protested in the past about events they found offensive. Sikhs successfully prevented a play being shown in Birmingham because the setting for a rape was depicted in one of their temples.

Unfortunately, the same mass outcry cannot be said about the Christian faith when people produce films and images which insult Jesus Christ. Any Christians who oppose such expressions are written off as Bible bashers lacking a sense of humour.

What about the Monty Python classic, The Life of Brian, with the notorious crucifixion scene of those hanging on the Cross singing 'Always look on the bright side of life'?

Then there's the equally offensive flick, The Last Temptation of Christ, which showed Jesus having a dream of an affair with a woman whilst being crucified. There have also been films suggesting Jesus was a homosexual.

And what about the legion of British TV sitcoms where Christian clergy have been portrayed as bungling buffoons? Dad's Army, Oh Brother, Father Ted, Vicar of Dilby to name a few.

There was also the offensive tee shirt depicting Christ holding a piggie bank with the slogan 'Jesus Saves' – a slur on the 'born again' section of Christianity.

In all these cases, Christians exercised their right to a muted democratic protest – but they did not issue global threats for TV and film producers to be butchered and murdered.

The core value of the Danish cartoons was to warn about fundamentalist strains in religions, using Islam as an example.

Fundamentalists believe it's their opinions which are right; there is no room for debate because everyone else is wrong. That is not a faith or a religion – that is an evil, brainwashing cult.

Unfortunately, the Christian faith contains such nutters. A respected Protestant cleric once told me how he'd tried to confront a fundamentalist aged in his mid 30s who claimed to have found six verses from the Bible justifying him having a relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Whilst there will always be those who develop perversions of the Bible and the Koran, the hard fact within Islam is the fanatical wing is fast becoming the majority voice.

Democratic governments have the moral duty to protect society from such extremists, just as the free Press has the right to publish cartoons telling the public about the views of insane radicals.

It is not to provoke headline-grabbing stories these cartons should be published. The right to publish them must defended by all free-thinking journalists.

It is in the public interest to publish them so we might get a glimpse of the warped mentality posing as faith which believes in putting human no-warning bombs on buses and trains.

This is not a war against Islam – it is a fight against the lunatic excesses of fundamentalism in any faith.

The Americans have the controversial Camp X Ray. The real question which many citizens may be asking as this month marks the third anniversary of the Iraq war is – if British troops continue to be stationed in Iraq, at what point will the Blair Government be forced to take action against the supporters of the radicals and insurgents living in the United Kingdom?

Will we see a return to the British security policy of the early 1970s in Northern Ireland and the re-introduction of selective internment?

Will it be a case that the longer coalition forces remain in Iraq, the closer the day that to ensure the protection of the greater good, the perceived evil few must be removed from our streets until they are no longer a threat?

In World War Two, British fascist Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts were interned along with many Nazi sympathisers.

How close are we to a situation in the UK that the right to publish cartoons, the right to freedom of worship, make speeches and legal protests can only be guaranteed if we remove those in our society who advocate physical harm, promote hatred and call for murder against those they have branded 'the enemy'?















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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

26 March 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Profile: Taslima Nasrin
Anthony McIntyre

For Freedom of Expression
Taslima Nasrin

Muslim News Interviews The Blanket

Who Fears to Speak
Richard O'Rawe

Dr John Coulter

Cartoons and Caricatures: An anarchist take on the cartoon row
Jack White

Taslima Nasreen (2000)
Anthony McIntyre

Who Said
John Kennedy

The Key
John Kennedy

Getting Away With Murder
Mick Hall

Will the Real Army Council Please Stand Up
Geoffrey Cooling

Upcoming New York Events
Cathleen O'Brien

The Letters page has been updated:

Controversy over the publication of cartoons

Stereotypes Must Be Challenged Openly


Message for Dr. Coulter


Excellent Work


Swift Satire Poetry Competition

Freedom of Speech index

19 March 2006

Profile: Irshad Manji
Anthony McIntyre

How Muslims are Caricaturing Ourselves
Irshad Manji

The Clash of the Uncivilized
Imam Zaid Shakir

Misunderstandings Abound
Mick Hall

A Vital Question Not Easily Washed Away
Malachi O'Doherty

Zen and the Heart of Blasphemy
Liam Clarke

Gerry Peacemaker
John Kennedy

John Kennedy

Closer to Home
Anthony McIntyre

Drawing a Line Under the Past
David Adams

It's Our Easter, Too, You Know
Dr John Coulter

'The Way Ireland Ought to Be'
Michael Gilliespie

Former Hunger Striker leads 1981 Commemoration March in St. Pat's Day Parade
Deirdre Fennessy

Corn Beef & Lunatics
Fred A. Wilcox

The Letters page has been updated:

New Convert


About the Possible Posting of the Muslim Cartoons

Well Done

A Muslim's Response

Straight Talk vs Orthodoxy

Freedom of Speech index



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