Bin Laden wants blasphemers for trial 

Copyright Danish Islamic Society
© Dansk Islamisk Trossamfund / © Danish Islamic Society
Bin Laden has released a new tape where - among many other things - he request the people responsible for the Danish cartoons be handed over:

Bin Laden called for a global Muslim boycott of American goods similar to the recent ban on Danish products after the publication there of caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. He said the artists who drew the offending cartoons should be handed over to him for trial and punishment.

Copyright Danish Islamic Society
© Dansk Islamisk Trossamfund / © Danish Islamic Society

Mr. bin Laden is right, some of those cartoons were very blasphemous indeed - showing Mohammed as a pedophile demon - and I agree totally: Those who made them should be handed over for punishment.
Slay those who insult Islam
Yes, I PhotoShopped this image. This is what Muslim protesters would look like if they had any honour

The people behind those cartoons are members of The Danish Islamic Society and their names are Kasem Said Ahmad, Abu Laban, Ahmed Akkari, Abu Bashar and Shaykh Raed Hlayhel .

Please don't be gentle with them, Mr. bin Laden, after all these imams showed a pedophile Mohamed.


Mohammed in Hell 

The story has now been picked up by the mainstream media, but they repeat the same error they did when covering the Danish Cartoon Jihad: They refuse to show the cartoon(s), and thus create a lot of false information.

So far it seems that The Guardian is the only paper that gets the story straight: Opus Dei paper prints prophet in hell cartoon

A cartoon depicting Muhammed in hell has been published by an Italian magazine close to Opus Dei, bringing angry criticism from Muslim groups and disapproval from the Vatican.
Cartoon from Studi cattolici
The drawing in Studi cattolici takes its inspiration from Dante's Divine Comedy, in which the 14th-century poet imagines being guided through hell by the Latin poet Virgil, and sees the prophet cut in two as his punishment for spreading division. In the cartoon, Virgil points out another figure to Dante, saying: "And that one there with his pants down, that's Italian policy towards Islam." The caption uses a play on words to suggest Italy has chickened out in its attitude to Muslims.

An Opus Dei spokesman said the magazine was not an official publication of the conservative Roman Catholic fellowship, and the edition had not been checked in advance. The spokesman said Opus Dei's founder, St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902-75) "would have given up his life for the sake of respecting other people's religious freedom".

The Italian section of the World Muslim League said the cartoon was "in extremely bad taste". Souad Sbai, a member of the Italian government's Islamic consultative council, said: "This sort of provocation doesn't get us anywhere." The Vatican's expert on Islam, Father Justo Lacunza Balda, deplored the cartoon: "This really doesn't seem to me like the way towards dialogue and mutual understanding."

In February, amid the furore of a Danish newspaper publishing cartoons of Muhammed, 14 people died in riots in Libya after cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli, appeared on TV wearing a T-shirt with one of the cartoons, and had to resign. Italian TV is viewed in Libya.

So to sum up:
Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri - with hat

The cartoon quotes Dante (which every Italian school boy and girl knows by heart). The cartoon doesn't show Mohammed. All it does is making a comment on current politics.

People, who cry "blasphemy" and call it "extremely bad taste", are once again proving that they are using their religion as a political tool.

BTW, unfortunately The Guardian repeats another old error. The Italian minister, Roberto Calderoli, who was fired, did not wear a Danish cartoon. See The Carnival is over. It could also be argued whether the riots in Tripoli were caused by a minister's choice of underwear, or by old hate between Italy and its old Colony, Libya.


Cartoon of Muhammad in hell 

For many years, the Vatican has followed a surprisingly pro-Islamic, anti-Western course. Some may remember how the Vatican were among those who criticized Jyllands-Posten for publishing the 12 cartoons.

This is slowly changing, however. John Paul II spent his later years getting the Jesuits away from revolution and back to religion. One sign was the beatification of Marco d'Aviano:

Marco d'Aviano, known as a fiery orator, persuaded European Christian monarchs to lift [i.e. repel] the Ottoman siege in Vienna in 1683. A biography records that during the fighting, d'Aviano brandished a crucifix at the Turks, shouting, "Behold the cross of the Lord: Flee, enemy bands!"

John Paul, however, proposed d'Aviano not as a model of resistance to Islam, but as an apostle of Europe's Christian identity. The European Union is currently preparing a constitutional document, and the Vatican has insisted that the document must include a reference to the Christian roots of the continent.

Now, after having criticized the Danish cartoons, the Vatican in their "Studi Cattolici" has published a Cartoon of Muhammad in hell:

Rome - An Italian magazine close to the influential Catholic conservative Opus Dei group has published a cartoon showing the Prophet Mohammed in hell, sparking outrage among Muslim associations in Italy.

The drawing is published in the March issue of Studi Cattolici.

According to the Italian news agency Ansa, the cartoon shows the Italian poets Dante Alighieri and Virgil on the edge of a circle of flames looking down on Mohammed, whose body is cut in half.
Mohammed in Hell
Mohammed in Hell, by Gustave Doré

"he's cut in two because he has brought division to society"

"Isn't that Mohammed?" Virgil is shown asking Dante.

"Yes, and he's cut in two because he has brought division to society," replies Dante.

Cartoons by 12 artists, first published in a Danish newspaper in September and later reprinted in a number of other mainly European dailies, sparked Muslim protests worldwide.

Studi Cattolici editor Cesare Cavalleri said: "I hope the publication of this drawing won't lead to attacks, because if that happened it would only prove the idiotic positions of Islamic extremists.

"Sometimes a politically incorrect satirical cartoon can do some good. It's only a reference to a passage in (Dante's) Divine Comedy.

"In any case, Mohammed was sent to hell by Dante."

The cartoon drew immediate fire from Italy's Muslim community.

Roberto Piccardo, an official of the union of Italian Muslim communities, said: "With all the efforts made in the Christian and Muslim world for inter-faith dialogue, there are nevertheless always minorities that inflame things and cause provocations."

Mohammed in Hell
Mohammed in Hell, Church of San Petronio, Bologna

I have been unable to find the new cartoon so the above is taken from the Mohammed Image Archive.

This is far from the first time the Catholic Church has angered Islamists by showing Mohammed in Hell. The picture to the left is a fresco from the Church of San Petronio, Bologna - and in 2002 Al-Qaida plotted to blow up the Bologna church fresco.

As Marta Salazar points in the comments section, Opus Dei now distance themselves from the cartoon. In the mean time, I found the cartoon on the Danish Blog Polemiken.

Dante: "Isn't that Muhammad?"
Virgil: "Yes, and he's cut in two because he has brought division to society,"
"But the women there, with her trousers down, is the Italian politician in charge of Islam."

So the two first lines of the text are simply the original ones by Dante Alighieri - and Mohammed is not drawn - with or without his entrails hanging out. Compared to the old illustrations on the Divine Comedy this Catholic cartoon is positively tame.

The joke - ha ha - lies in the mentioning of the Italian politician with her trousers down - whoever she may be. She is only person who could feel insulted.

*sigh* They don't make blasphemy like they used to.

Added: It would appear the translation was wrong - it's "Italian policy", not "Italian politician". I'll make a new post and start over.


The Seventh Man 

Much have been said and written about the six Danish imams, who recently participated at the conference in Bahrain. But hardly any attention has been paid to the seventh participant, who was not an imam but a medical doctor.

Mr. Jihad Al-Farra is head of the Muslim Council of Denmark, a group which is virtually unknown in Denmark, and whose members can be counted on one hand. Nevertheless he was interviewed on Al-Jazeera.net this Friday.

Imam or not, Mr. Jihad Al-Farra regurgitates the usual imam-lies (Jyllands-Posten, page 11):

Al-Farra's anger is directed towards the government, which "isolates the Muslim organisations and is selective in its contact to Danish Muslims". He believes that [foreign minister] Per Stig Møller hasn't spoken the truth about the government's approval of Islam as a religion.

"Because of great pressure on the Danish government, it was said that there is three or four approved Islamic organisations, but this is not the same as state recognizing Islam as a religion" he adds.

"Offences of religions results in imprisonment according to the Danish penal code, but since Islam as a religion is not approved in Denmark, the Muslim's case against the Mohammed-drawings has been disregarded."

Let me start by once again quoting from The Danish Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs:

The Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs has approved around 100 individual religious communities including Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Old Norse congregations. 19 of these are Muslim congregations.

And to set the record even more straight:

  • In Denmark as a whole there are about 120 mosques or Muslim prayer rooms.
  • In Copenhagen and a number of other cities in Denmark parts of the public cemeteries are reserved for the burial of Muslims.
  • Muslim communities are free to establish their own cemeteries according to Danish law, and a large Muslim cemetery in the Copenhagen area is expected to open this year.

Jens Jørgen Thorsen and Jesus
Jens Jørgen Thorsen and his Jesus-movie, "The Return"

That's nineteen Muslim communities and not "three or four", and it's been so for a long time. It isn't something the Minister of Foreign affairs has done "because of great pressure".

The next part is even more stupid - the fact that Jyllands-Posten's staff hasn't been jailed has nothing to do with Islam not being approved. The blasphemy law hasn't been applied in 70 years and - believe me - in those 70 years there has been plenty of blasphemy against Christianity.

For example the Danish provocateur extraordinaire made The Return, a movie with a sexually active Jesus, who is involved in a terrorist group. Later on, Thorsen decorated the gable of a house with Jesus on the cross with a huge erection. Muslims who think Jyllands-Posten is bad, don't know how lucky they are.

It's bad enough to hear such lies and stupidity from imams - but you'd expect better from a doctor.

Abu Laban wins by a landslide 

Abu Laban wins this months Bad Democracy Award with 91% percent of the votes - thus proving that even old-hand dictators like Uganda's Museveni were no match for him.

Needless to say, Abu Laban received his honours in recognition of his contribution to the Cartoon Jihad. The following congratulatory message was sent by mail:

31st March 2006

Ahmed Abu Laban
Det Islamiske Trossamfund I Danmark
Dortheavej 45 - 47
2400 København NV

Dear Mr Laban,

The editors of openDemocracy are delighted to inform you that you have been named Bad Democrat of the Month for March 2006.

The Bad Democracy Award is made monthly to the man, woman or institution that has made the most damaging contribution to democracy that month.

Visitors to openDemocracy’s website are invited to cast their votes for one of six candidates. You emerged victorious from a shortlist that also included Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, King Gyanendra of Nepal, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni and the Barrick Gold Corporation.

Your name will now go forward to the shortlist for the grand prize of Bad
Democrat of the Year, to be decided seven months hence.

Congratulations once more.


Tom Burgis
Bad Democracy Awards

As a matter of fact I voted myself. Do I know how to pick a winner, or what?

New Plot Twist 

At last, the red tape has been done away with and Muslims have their own burial place in Copenhagen: Muslim Burial Place in Copenhagen (Jyllands-Posten, my translation)

"I'm very happy. The decision of the Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs shows that Denmark is a tolerant society and that Danish laws embrace the different groups of the society", says the chairman of Danish Islamic Burial-fund Kasem Ahmad, who is also media-chairman for The Danish Islamic Society.

The cemetery will be placed on a 50,000 square-meter ground along the motorway in Brøndby, which Danish Islamic Burial-fund has bought for 3,5 million kroner. [567,000 USD]

We have met Kasem Said Ahmad (picture to the right) before in this Blog. He preceded Ahmed Akkari as spokesman for The Danish Islamic Community. Kasem Said Ahmad was the spokesman who talked of appeasement in Denmark, while he was inciting his Muslim brethren in the Middle East with his fake Mohammed cartoons and assorted lies.
Kasem Said Ahmad
Kasem Said Ahmad is very happy

The article goes on:

Kasem Ahmad estimates that in the future several thousand Danish Muslims will be buried in the Copenhagen west-area.

"Every year more than 70 Muslims are flown out of the country in order to be buried in Muslim countries. In time this traffic will cease" says Kasem Ahmad.

It should be obvious that with 150,000 - 200,000 Muslims in Denmark, the number of dead each year far exceeds 70. The fact is there's nothing sensational about Muslim graveyards - the majority of dead Muslims are already being buried in their new native country, Denmark. Several churches and graveyards have large sections reserved for Muslims.

So what's wrong with these sections? The article goes on to explain:

Muslim tradition prescribes that Muslims be buried without a coffin, with the faced turned towards Mecca and in soil, where there aren't also Christians and Jews.

That's the problem for Kasem Ahmad. Once a cemetery has been Christened - once it has been used for burying unclean Christians or (horror of horrors) Jews - the soil is for ever contaminated.

Can we say racist now?

The article goes on:

The Danish Islamic Community will issue a press release Saturday to Danish and international media in order to draw attention to the fact that Danish Muslims now have their own burial place.

"After the Mohammed-conflict most people think that Muslims in Denmark are treated poorly. Maybe the news about a burial place can change this", says Kasem Ahmad.

Several Danish churchyards already have special sections which are reserved for burial of Muslims.

So Kasem Ahmad is going to issue a press release because "most people think that Muslims in Denmark are treated poorly". And why do "most people" think so? Could this have something to do with the Akkari-Laban dossier, which Kasem Ahmad has distributed in the Middle East, while telling Danes at home not to worry?

Could it have something to do with the fake Mohammed cartoons spread by Kasem Ahmad?

Could it have something to do with the lies in the dossier? The lie that Islam is not an officially recognized religion (in fact 19 different variations are recognized) - the lie that there are no mosques (there are 120 - for 150 - 200,000 Muslims)? The lie that Muslims are persecuted? The lie that Denmark will publish a censored version of the Koran? The lie that Denmark will produce a movie critical of Islam? The lie that ... well, you get my drift.

Instead of issuing another press release - why don't The Danish Islamic Community go back to their friends in the Middle East and admit that it was all a lie?

Old news

Take another look at the happy flower child. Something is wrong. This is April - and sad to say - the fields are still bare and without flowers. This must be an old photo.

In fact the story is nine years old - but there has been a lot of bargaining. Does 567,000 USD sound dirt-cheap for a 50,000 square-meter plot in Copenhagen? According to this old page from the City of Copenhagen, the original price was 22 million kroner - but then it was "re-evaluated" to 2 million kroner.

This old page (you may have to look in Google cache) is from 28. October 2004 and the title is (in Danish: "Muslims burial place ready in a year".) According the article the price for the 50,000 square-meters was 3,2 million kroner.

So lets look at the time-line:

  1. 1997.xx.xx: First plans. Price for the plot is 22 million kroner.
  2. 2004.06.09: The price is "re-evaluated from 22 millions kroner to 2 millions. An amount which magically was the same as what The Danish Islamic Community were willing to pay.
  3. 2004.10.28: Article with headline "Muslims burial place ready in a year".
  4. 2005.12.03: Kasem Said Ahmad goes to the Middle East to tell how terrible racist Denmark is and that Muslims in Denmark are treated poorly - while telling Danes at home not to worry.
  5. 2006.04.08: (Yesterday) Everything is now in place.
  6. 2006.04.17: The Danish Islamic Community will issue a press release, because "most people think that Muslims in Denmark are treated poorly"


Abu Laban and Ahmed Akkari
Abu Laban and Ahmed Akkari with body guards

Let me say at once that I don't like it - not one bit. As I have written before - there's a power-struggle going on between various Danish Muslim societies. Please see what I wrote in the post about The Danish Islamic Society.

Even if The Danish Islamic Society only represent 5,000 - 10,000 Muslims (including children), they still take the rather extreme position that all Danish Muslims are members of the Society. Those "members" who dare to oppose the leaders of the Society are considered apostates, which means that they and their family are frozen out. For instance Naser Khader's nephew was fired from work, people left a party where his niece appeared, and his family has been harassed back in Syria.

In the future, extremists like Kasem Said Ahmad, Abu Laban and Ahmed Akkari will be in charge of the after-life. Not only will they be able to harass living relatives of their "enemies", they will also control the dead relatives. "Wouldn't it be a shame if we didn't have room for your sainted old mother until judgement day?".

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