Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Great Cartoon Debate

Well, I'm safely back from UCI and the Great Cartoon Debate.

About 200 Muslim protesters were outside the auditorium entertaining the attendees with chants like "REPUBLICANS STOP THE HATE, ALL YOU DO IS INSTIGATE" and signs reading "REPUBLICANS ARE THE NEW KKK." Very clever, but I don't see how that is productive and is any different from one of their own signs - "FREE SPEECH ≠ HATE SPEECH" - referencing the belief that the cartoons are hate speech so is not valid free speech.

Security was very tight and I was (for the first time in my life) frisked. I was determined to be 'weapon free' and allowed to enter. The police were very visible forming a cordon around the protesters and securing all entrances to the building. There were about 15 uniformed officers inside the auditorium and several plainclothes campus security officers guarding a mixed crowd of about 175 people. There were Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Atheists (me), conservatives, and liberals, but the Muslims and liberals were out numbered by Republicans.

The panel of four included the journalist Lee Kaplan, the Conservative black activist for the homeless Ted Hayes, an American Muslim by the name of Abed, and a black Republican who said Islam is evil (I didn't get his name.)

Kaplan was labeled an agent of Israel by an unruly Muslim man in the audience and a NAZI by another. Kaplan tried to ignore the taunts, but the Muslims were insistent. A guy got up to confront the unruly Muslims and was quickly grabbed by police and escorted out. Later the Muslim guy was removed by the cops, too, receiving a standing ovation for his ouster. Kaplan went on to say that radical Islam is an extension of Fascism and Nazism, that it's being financed by Saudi Arabia. The Muslims in the audience called out, "Liar!"

Ted Hayes was by far the most lively. When he was confronted with the "truth" about Islam and how badly Christians had treated blacks, Hayes informed the Mohammadans that it was Muslims who had captured his African ancestors, selling them to white Europeans into slavery. The Muslims cried out, "Liar, liar!" They have no knowledge of history outside of what the Qur'an and the imams tell them. At the end of the discussion, Ted said Bin Laden, HAMAS, and the others of their ilk were right in their interpretation of Islam. It is violent, advocating the deaths of all infidels or their enslavement. Again, "Liar!"

Abed the Muslim was very calm and reasonable, but didn't make much sense. Cartoons from Arab papers were displayed showing Jews grinding the bodies of babies and drinking their blood, and another showing Ariel Sharon holding the blood-dripping bodies of children. He said he thought these were possibly objectionable, but were not anti-Semitic. However, when the Mohammad cartoons were exposed he was insulted and said these were far worse than the Jew cartoons. At this point the crowd began jeering and Abed seemed genuinely surprised. Someone in the audience said, " Quiet! Let him hang himself." Abed quickly adjusted and changed his tone to be downright pleasant, the guy next door from whom one would borrow the hedge clippers. I found this to be a very Islamic thing to do. Mohammad advised to blend in when outnumbered.

The fourth panelist, a black conservative, whose name I neglected to learn, was very unabashed in his belief that ISLAM IS EVIL. Muslims, he said, were probably good and decent individuals as most people are, but ISLAM IS EVIL. Many blacks in prison are being recruited by Muslim groups, he was saying, because the young men are angry and without direction. Islam is providing direction for them and feeds on their hatred of white society and America which are to blame for their miserable lot in life. Islam is building an army from within the prisons. The Muslim audience once again yelled out, "Liar!"

I was very surprised to learn that on this hightech campus, so few people had seen the Mo Cartoons. Indeed, many were unsure as to how to even look for them on the internet. The students I asked were even unaware that hundreds of bloggers around the world had published them weeks ago. The Mo cartoons shown were the Turban Bomb, the Terrorist with the two girls, and the starry-eyed Mohammad. The full collection was published here, January 30, 2006.

The whole thing was a bit disappointing as the discussion tended to be rather unfocused and strayed from the topic frequently. It wasn't a total bust, though. The Muslim protesters were giving out freebies. I got a Qur'an out of the trip.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Scottage said...

Glad it didnt' turn violent, Indigo, at least that's a step in the right direction.

Don said...

Indi you be VERY careful returning those hedge clippers.

Old Soldier said...

Nice synopsis. I enjoyed reading your account.

I'm curious; is the Qur'an you received written in Arabic or English?

I agree with Don; be real careful returning those hedge clippers.

Indigo Red said...

Old Soldier,

Thank you. The Qur'an I got is written in English and was originally translated in 1934.

Some of the news articles are placing the inside auditorium audience at 400, but the the capacity is 424 and there were many empty seats. I think the LA Times got the number close with 200 in the audience.

Though this event has made headlines around the world, none of it was as dramatic as the reporters are making it out to have been. The situation got a little loud at times, but never chaotic and the police only responded quickly once when one true-blue American approached one of the Muslims.

For the most part it was very elementary stuff compared to what we talk about here in the blogosphere. The audience needed a lot of education in history, religion, anthropology, and global politics and economy. I was impressed by the student turn-out, but am very distressed by the lack of knowledge readily available on the internet and blogs.

Truth is, Don, I would not borrow hedge clippers from a Muslim because I am an Islamophobe. We should all be because their doctrine and plan are very frightening.

Mike H. said...

Yeah you damned closet Islamophobes.....uh....sorry, wrong phobia. ;)

What was the mood of the muslim attendees when it was over? Surprised -- looking for a fight -- figuring they were in the wrong country?

Tom C said...

Gonna do a lil light reading before bed Indy? I'm proud of you, you behaved, and got the story. I on the other hand would have mooned someone, at the least, and punched someone in the schnoz, weather permitting. This is why I look up to you.

Don said...

Tom C is right Indi. You did a great job and I for one am glad you did so I could read this first hand account. I'm like you Tom. I tend to emotionalize where Indi will rationalize.

Indigo Red said...

Think mindset of the Muslims as they left, Tom, I'm sure was disappointment. THe unruly Muslim man who had been ejetced from the hall continued to be arguementative outside which got him alot of TV airtime.

Three of the panelists and the moderator are from the same organization that goes around the country 'debating' Islamic representatives. Though, I lean toward their views, it is quite clear they prefer to bait the Muslim panelist and interrupting him frequently. The Muslim, in truth, didn't get a fair shake.

The irony of protesting freedom of speech by using that same freedom to protest was probably completely lost on the protestors. Inside we were being told by the Muslim guy we needed to tolerant while outside we were witnessing intollerance. And they wonder why we think they are terrorists. The only intimidation I saw was from the Muslims.

Mike's America said...

When you going to have a flushing ceremony for that Koran?

You are to be commended for attending that event. There is nothing like an in person experience to expand your understanding of an issue.

It should be clear from the behavior of the Muslims who frequently shouted "LIAR" that the slightest criticism of Islam, whether true or not, will be taken as an offense and enable all sorts of intimidation if not violence.

The more I hear about episodes like this, the more I realize that it was all spelled out in the 20 year plan:


More people in this country need to wake up to the problem... But then what do we do?

Leap Frog said...

Hey thanks Indigo!

Glad you went and reported here, more and more people are in need of waking up...Now they need to be led here, we have to remember their still LSM trained... ;)

O/T but not really.

Seems the Danish political situation is still simmering hot...
-12 Muslim men, although defenders (spit) are calling them 'youth' showed up at a school of a daughter of one of the cartoonists.
Going after children at school?
...the Christian girls with their throats slit, is haunting me.
How old was the kid who killed the preist in Turkey? 14? 15?

One politician, Jens Rohde is trying to draw attention that 12 cartoonists and their families are currently living in hiding and fear, for the simple act of doing one's job. HIS opponents are now trying to intimidate him to shut up and saying he's causing more danger to the cartoonists....THAT pisses me off.

What a world where twisted angry Muslim males rule western countries free speech and free press.
The Danes need support through this.

The opposing parties from within Denmark political scene seems just as wacked out as our useless fools.

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