Islamists turn out to be the Best publicists ever in history for a Mohammed Image


History once again repeats itself.

Back in 1989, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwā calling for Salman Rushdie’s death due to his book The Satanic Verses, and as a result tens of millions of copies were sold. It earned Salman Rushdie $2 million in the first year alone, and also became an all-time best seller for the publisher. Without the assistance of the Ayatollah nobody would have ever heard about the book.

Charlie Hebdo would normally have a circulation run of at most 60,000 copies, but now today’s edition, featuring a front page cover image of Mohammed, and content that spends 16 pages mocking the Islamists, has a print run of over 3 million, including translations into other languages, and that will simply not be enough to meet the demand, as reported by the FT

Gérard Biard, the editor in chief, said that editions would be available in Arabic, English and Spanish, as well as French for two weeks, with further editions planned in Italian and Turkish. 

The image itself is also being carried by almost every form of media, both print and broadcast, within almost every non-islamic nation on the planet as they report the story. Yes, some have still chickened out, but for the first time in history many have not, and so as not to be left out of this moment in history, here it is …

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Hey guys, welcome to the Streisand effect

..the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely

To those of you that are Muslim, be aware that this is not about you, but rather is a direct response of defiance to the Islamists, so if you take offence at this, then you need to go have a conversation with the Islamists, because it is they who have triggered and caused this.

It is clearly not intended to offend all Muslims, but rather is a very clear message that is now being sent as a reply to an abhorrent intolerant violent Islamist ideology, a shaking of the fist along with a loud “Non”, and a bold refusal to be intimidated.

Other Reactions …

Time reports that …

France’s lower house of Parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved extending French airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

The vote was 488 to 1.

Meanwhile the Mayor of Rotterdam has advised the Islamists to “f*ck off” … literally, these where his exact words

It’s incomprehensible that you turn against freedom like that, but if you don’t like this freedom, for heaven’s sake, get your suitcase, and leave … And if you don’t like it here because you don’t like the humorists who make a little newspaper – if I may dare say so – just f*** off,

It might also be worth mentioning that the Mayor of Rotterdam, the chap who has told the Islamists who are not happy living in the west to “f*ck off”, is a Mr Aboutaleb; he is both a Muslim, and also the son of an Imam.

None of This is New

Tom Holland the historian writes about the history of the banning of images of Mohammed, and relates one very interesting story …

a story preserved in the oldest surviving biography of Muhammad implied a rather more punitive take. So punitive, indeed, that some Muslim scholars – who are generally most reluctant to countenance the possibility that the earliest biography of their prophet might be unreliable – have gone so far as to question its veracity.

The story relates the fate of Asma bint Marwan, a poet from the Prophet’s home town of Mecca. After she had mocked Muhammad in her verses, he cried out, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” – and sure enough, that very night, she was killed by one of his followers in her own bed. The assassin, reporting back on what he had done, was thanked personally by the Prophet. “You have helped both God and His messenger!”

… and so if you accept that story as accurate, then those who assert that this latest incident were not truly Islamic might need to rethink that claim.

I should however also point out that the bible itself, a book regarded as the ultimate moral guide by some, contains explicit instructions on whom you may buy and sell, and how you may beat your slaves (it is apparently OK as long as they do not die within several days of the beating). Today, our modern culture has worked out that such guidance is abhorrent bullshit, and so it is ignored. When it comes to the observation that the Qur’an contains literal directives towards violence, then there also needs to be a similar leap of insight. Those that embrace such words as truth should be encouraged to interpret them as metaphors or even abrogated and reject the idea that they are literal directives, and so it should also be viewed as complete abhorrent immoral bullshit when read literally.

Personally, I much prefer to deploy reason as the best means we have for working out what is and is not moral, but I do also need to recognise that many will continue to lean upon ancient texts. For them, the nurturing of a better more moral way of reading such texts is vital if we truly wish to see things change, because the currently popular stance of claiming that everything abhorrent is “not true Islam” is to simply bury our heads in the sand and changes nothing.

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