2006-02-07

Democracia x Dogma IV

O islamismo vive hoje, e em particular o Médio Oriente, tempos tão difíceis que a argumentação da vitimização e da bárbarie se afirmam sobre a racionalidade e tolerância. A encruzilhada em que mergulharam tem-nos arrastado cada vez mais fundo, e as reacções dos últimos dias são sintomáticas de quão volátil pode ser qualquer rastilho.

Nos editoriais e comentários de hoje selecciono as seguintes linhas:

"Primeiro, uma parte do mundo muçulmano está a travar uma guerra de civilizações, gostemos ou não desse facto. Segundo, o Ocidente ainda não decidiu se deve lidar prioritariamente com essa parte do mundo muçulmano ou com os que se comportam pacificamente."
Christhopher Caldwell, Financial Times

"Quando se queimam bandeiras dinamarquesas nas ruas de Gaza ou de Beirute não é por causa da maldade de Israel ou dos pecados do "Grande Satã" americano: é porque nessas ruas o que não se aceita é que a liberdade de expressão implica, como explicaram os grandes pensadores liberais desde o Iluminismo, que por vezes temos de suportar ofensas. De as tolerar, se preferirmos. A única coisa que não pode ser tolerada é a limitação da própria liberdade, é a destruição dos seus fundamentos."
José Manuel Fernandes, Público

"Haverá melhor forma de alimentar a islamofobia no Ocidente do que considerar justificáveis os actos dementes e de violência contra o Ocidente? É preciso mudar os termos da discussão e pôr fim de uma vez por todas ao politicamente correcto. (...) Mas é fácil de admitir que, depois dos atentados terroristas cometidos em solo europeu em nome de Alá e do seu profeta, estas imagens alimentem a islamofobia na opinião pública europeia. A questão excede, em muito, o debate sob a liberdade de imprensa."
Teresa de Sousa, Público

"Quando os caricaturistas dinamarqueses deformam a imagem de Maomé estão, em primeiro lugar, a pôs em causa a dimensão do sagrado. Independentemente do facto de ser Maomé, devemos pôs a questão: é legítimo caricaturar o sagrado? (...) a reacção muçulmana faz parte do confronto entre a cultura muçulmana e a cultura ocidental."
Eduardo Prado Coelho, Público

"Se alguma coisa tornou evidente o caso dos cartoons publicados pelo jornal dinamarquês Jyllands-Posten foi a reduzida visibilidade, margem de manobra e peso político dos chamados "muçulmanos moderados" não só nos países de maioria muçulmana, mas também nas diásporas dos países ocidentais.
(...) O que ficámos a saber foi que um número elevado de governantes, líderes religiosos, responsáveis políticos e órgãos de imprensa muçulmanos considera que os preceitos religiosos da sua religião devem ser impostos em todo o mundo e a todas as pessoas - mesmo àquelas que não professam a sua religião - com a força de uma lei universal e sancionados com penas de rigor medieval. (...) Estamos muito, muito longe de Voltaire.
(...) Tal como aos muçulmanos, vale a pena explicar aos políticos europeus que a liberdade de imprensa não se deita para o lixo, quando acontece estar ao serviço de ideias que não nos agradam."
José Vítor Malheiros, Público


Nota:
em comentário encontram-se textos retirados de jornais estrangeiros

2 comments:

  1. The GuardianFebruary 07, 2006

    Tuesday February 7, 2006
    The Guardian

    "We have lost our voice"
    Tabish Khair

    When I first saw them, I was struck by their crudeness. Surely Jyllands-Posten could have hired better artists. And surely cartoonists and editors ought to be able to spot the difference between Indian turbans and Arab ones. In some ways, that was the essence of the problem to begin with. It is this patronising tendency - stronger in Denmark than in countries such as Britain or Canada - that decided the course of the controversy and coloured the Danish reaction.

    One could see that the matter would take a turn for the worse when, late last year, the Danish prime minister refused to meet a group of Arab diplomats who wished to register their protest. In most other countries they would have been received, their protest accepted. The government would have expressed "regret" and told them it could not put pressure on any media outlet as a matter of law and policy. In their turn, having done their Muslim duty, these diplomats might have helped lessen the reaction in their respective countries. By not meeting them, the prime minister silenced all moderate Muslims just as effectively as they would be later silenced by militant Muslims around the world.

    Like many other moderate Muslims, I too have been silent on these cartoons of the prophet Muhammad and the ensuing protests. Not because I do not have anything to say, but because there is no space left for me either in Denmark or in many Muslim countries.

    This does not appear so to many Danes. Here the local controversy seems to be raging between two "Danish Muslim" public figures: Abu Laban, the Copenhagen-based imam who has coordinated much of the protest, and Nasser Khader, a member of the Danish parliament. Khader, liberal, clean-shaven, is posited against the bearded Abu Laban and seen as standing on the side of such "Danish" values as freedom of speech and democracy. He is supposed to represent sane and democratic Muslims. On the other hand, there is repeated talk of kicking Laban out of the country.

    In actual fact, of course, both Khader and Laban make it even more difficult for moderate Muslims to be heard. Laban is not afraid of being kicked out of Denmark, because it is not his political territory. Similarly, Khader does not depend on Danish Muslim votes for his survival in politics; he depends on the votes of mainstream Danes, and his politics are geared towards that end. The prime minister's refusal to meet the diplomats was also partly the result of local political considerations: his government is supported by the xenophobic and anti-Islamic Danish People's party.

    So much for Denmark, where complacency and smugness have reached extraordinary heights. In Muslim countries too we meet a similar string of local considerations. Surely the tensions between Hamas and Fatah played a role in the disturbances on the West Bank? Surely, some of the reactions - especially in Syria - were the working out of Islamic and pro-Iraqi frustrations on one of the allies of the US's invasion of Iraq?

    One could, of course, follow the Qur'an's injunction against portraying Allah or Muhammad without forcing it on people who do not share one's faith. But then the question arises: why should people who do not share one's faith bother with images of one's prophet? For the sake of freedom of expression, said Jyllands-Posten. The only thing expressed by the cartoons, however, was contempt for Muslims.

    But why, you might ask, should Islamic fundamentalists be worried about respect from a west that they mostly find unworthy of emulation? The answer to this lies in the histories of Islamic fundamentalism and European imperialism, aspects of which are horribly interlinked. As a reaction to European imperialism and, later, a political development of the west's fight against communism and socialism, Islamic fundamentalism is a quintessentially modern phenomenon. Hence, in their own way, Islamic fundamentalists are much more bothered about the opinion of "the west" than a person like me!

    The Danish government should have apologised long before it did - but was right not to act against Jyllands-Posten. Freedom of expression is necessary not because it is a God-given virtue, but because if you let the authorities start hacking away at it you are liable to be left with nothing. But along with the right to express comes the duty to consider the rights of others. This applies as much to Jyllands-Posten as to the mobs in Beirut.

    Between the Danish government and Islamist politicians, between Jyllands-Posten and the mobs in Beirut, between Laban and Khader, the moderate Muslim has again been effectively silenced. She has been forced to take this side or that; forced to stay home and let others crusade for a cause dear to her - freedom - and a cultural heritage essential to her: Islam. On TV she sees the bearded mobs rampage and the clean-shaven white men preach. In the clash of civilisations that is being rigorously manufactured, she is in between. And she can feel it getting tighter. She can feel the squeeze. But, of course, she cannot shout. She cannot scream. Come to think of it, can she really express herself at all now?


    Tabish Khair is assistant professor of English at Aarhus University, Denmark, and author of The Bus Stopped


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoonprotests/story/0,,1703944,00.html

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  2. The GuardianFebruary 07, 2006

    Friday February 3, 2006
    The Guardian

    "The freedom that hurts us"
    Sarah Joseph

    The battle is set, of religious extremism versus freedom of speech. These are the lines drawn, or so we are told, in the escalating tensions worldwide surrounding the printing of images of Muhammad in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe.
    Although the media is only now picking up on this story, my inbox has been receiving messages about these cartoons for weeks. The messages range from high-pitched to very thoughtful, but not one of them says, "Yeah, whatever ... "

    There's no apathy surrounding this issue. This is because of the love felt for the prophet and religious norms in Islam. But also because it feeds into profound feelings of disempowerment, fear and insecurity among Muslims that Europe would do well to understand. In Britain, we should realise that Muslims here will be angry if the pictures are gratuitously published in British papers - not just because of the insults to Muhammad, but because it makes them feel disempowered. Protesting is the only way to regain some self-respect.
    First, the easy part. Any depiction of Muhammad, however temperate, is not allowed. There are but a few images of him in Muslim history, and even these are shown with his face veiled. This applies not only to images of Muhammad: no prophet is to be depicted. There are no images of God in Islam either.

    So there is hurt and anger, and the messages I receive reflect that. In response, they suggest different approaches. One is through lobbying: distributing the phone numbers of the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the Danish ambassador, Denmark's parliament and everything else Danish, and urging Muslims to make their feelings known. We also have the boycott approach - "the only language the west understands" - listing every Danish product that one can buy. I also get messages from the great optimists, suggesting we use the controversy to explain the real nature of Muhammad, who returned insults with kindness. Indeed, Muslims would do well to remember that.

    I have also been receiving other messages. These are the most worrying, and the ones of which Europe must take note. These are the messages of resignation. The messages that discuss exit strategies. The messages that question the very future of Muslims in Europe.

    Why such hand-wringing over a few cartoons? The key is in the images themselves: Muhammad with turbaned bomb, Muhammad declaring that paradise had run out of virgins for suicide bombers, Muhammad with sword and veiled women. Muhammad in every Orientalist caricature. Muhammad as a symbol for Islam and Muslims. These are the stereotypes that, as Muslims, we face daily. The looks on the tube, the suspicion, the eyes on the bags we carry. There is no denying the feeling of being pushed against a wall, of drowning in the stereotypes that abound. This is no way to live, and it is certainly no springboard for making a major contribution to the society you live in.

    The messages to my inbox of resignation, of fear, come with good reason. Some countries that have reprinted the images - Spain, France, Italy and Germany - have a nasty history of fascism. Just last week we had Holocaust memorial day. The Holocaust did not occur overnight. It took time to establish a people as subhuman, and cartoons played their part. Does Europe not remember its past and the Nazi propaganda of Der Stürmer?

    Now the great shape-shifter of fascism seems to have taken on the clothes of "freedom of speech". If these cartoons were designed to provoke Muslim fundamentalists, maybe they have done more to reveal the prejudices of Europe. Europe has a history of turning on its minorities. Will that be its future too?

    Sarah Joseph is editor of emel magazine

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