Why I’m Publishing a Picture of Mohammed

Illustration showing Mohammed (on the right) preaching his final sermon to his earliest converts, on Mount Ararat near Mecca; taken from a medieval-era manuscript of the astronomical treatiseThe Remaining Signs of Past Centuries by the Persian scholar al-Biruni; currently housed in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris (Manuscrits Arabe 1489 fol. 5v)

Illustration showing Mohammed (on the right) preaching to his earliest converts, on Mount Ararat near Mecca; taken from a medieval-era manuscript of the astronomical treatise “The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries” by the Persian scholar al-Biruni; currently housed in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris (Manuscrits Arabe 1489 fol. 5v)

It’s unclear who attacked a French satirical magazine today, but it has faced threats for publishing images of Mohammed and the gunmen appear to have shouted that they avenged the prophet. I hold the right to freedom of speech and expression significantly higher than the need to accommodate religious sensitivity, so here, in solidarity with satirists the world over, is an image of Mohammed.

I note that relations between the west and the population of majority Muslim countries would be significantly improved by an end to illegal, pointless wars of aggression in the Middle East by our government (Iraq), the support of military governments that took power from democratically elected ones by force and whose courts are sentencing demonstrators to death en masse (Egypt) and the deeply stupid policy pirouetting on Syria and destructive power vacuum caused in Libya by NATO’s bombing.

Here’s a simple five-point step to getting that underway. 

1 – Close Guantanamo Bay.

2 – Release the Chilcot Report.

3 – Arrest Tony Blair for war crimes.

4 – Put Jack Straw on trial for complicity in the extraordinary rendition of Libyan rebels

5 – Launch a public enquiry into the UK’s role in torture, following the release of the CIA report and make sure those complicit are brought to justice.

That has got nothing whatsoever to do with freedom of speech here in western Europe meanwhile and I hope the French police bring these disgusting attackers to justice fast. If anyone is offended by the beautiful image above, tough luck.

As the New Yorker has so eloquently put it today:

B6wIyiDIgAAAaW7

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s