Monday, February 20, 2006

Kurt Westergaard and courage

Update Feb 12th 2008: A terrorists' plot to kill Kurt Westergaard was stopped and the would-be assassins were arrested.

Update Jan 1st, 2010: The Danish police had to shoot another Islamic mental cripple who wanted to kill the cartoonist in his apartment.

Google only returns 18,000 hits if you search for Kurt Westergaard but this Danish citizen is already one of the most valuable people in the world. You may ask: how do you want to quantify the value? Well, in U.S. dollars.

He drew something that has arguably become the most provocative cartoon in the history of the humankind. What was the cartoon about? An authoritative person with a turban and a timebomb in it. You might think that the drawing depicted a generic fat person. But one billion of people immediately (i.e. after 4 months) knew: it was Him! The Holy Prophet (PBUH & SAW).

It is apparently completely legal in many countries of the world to order a murder. A Pakistani cleric offers you 1 million dollars. An Indian wild killer who also happens to be a minister of an Indian province is more generous. He offers you 11.5 million dollars plus 200 pounds of gold (which costs about 1.5 million dollars, as fas I can count) for the job: you will probably have to cut Kurt's head, too. Add other bounties that are offered by similar "people" and organizations and you will see that Kurt Westergaard has probably exceeded Osama bin Laden himself whose price is only 25 million dollars.

Some people may start to be afraid but Kurt Westergaard is not. In a new interview, he is confident that he has done the right thing to protect the freedom of press and speech and equal standards for different groups of people. Unfortunately, Westergaard is hiding these days and must be protected by PET, the Danish secret service.

This guy's courage is nontrivial and somewhat impressive.

Incidentally, America's finest news source informs that Hamas started to advocate peace and they proposed a giant summit with all Jews in the world where a final solution of the Middle East conflict may be found. A related event is that if you draw one of the three best cartoons of the previous "giant summit", Ahmadinejad et al. will give you 25,000 dollars.

Last disclaimer: if you're an English-speaking Muslim who decided to earn millions of dollars by doing the dirty job and who has found this web page using a search engine, let me inform you that you will be killed if you try and the heaven has run out of virgins. Moreover, the house you call the heaven is crowded with people like you and I am not sure whether this is where you want to spend the eternity.

Europe in 2015

And the future of Europe? Click it.


  1. Lubos:

    Gold price has raised and 200 ponds of gold is now more likely worth $1.76 million.

    I say Kurt is stupid. For his silly insistance of freedom of speech on a dozen silly cartons, a couple hundred people world wide have died and quite a few dozen buildings burned, as well as loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of export business to his country. He wanted a little bit freedom of speech, but now even a little bit of freedom of walking on the streets has become a luxury that he can't afford any more. What for? His life and professional career is destroyed. One can not live a normal life while hiding like that.

  2. Quantoken, freedom of speech is a hard problem. I do think that there are better causes for freedom of speech than this particular Muslim offence.

    "Pride comes before a fall." Normal decent Muslim's don't have too much excess pride and don't blow people up because of stupid "jokes". But you always get some fanatics who want to get kudos from being seen to be martyrs to their religion.

    What about Bruno being burned alive for saying that the stars are not just lights on a crystal sphere around the earth, but are separate suns?

    Was he stupid for getting himself burned alive 17 February 1600? Nobody has named 17 February Bruno's Day! He hasn't really helped science by offending the Catholic Church and being martyred to science.

    But at least he didn't start a war in which other people were killed. That's the problem. If the radical Muslim's would direct their anger at who is responsible, that is one thing, but it is worse for innocent people to attacked in "revenge".

    My school teachers used to punish the whole class if one person did something wrong, in the expectation that we'd all punish the guy responsible. But usually the person responsible just made a mistake, and we felt sympathy for him and just anger towards the teacher. I mean, that is how the Nazis worked. If someone sabotaged the Nazi war machine, instead of looking for the culprit, they would shoot innocent people in "revenge". That's what is really wrong with the Muslim fanatics, they get the wrong people.

  3. The entire thing is not about freedom of speech - we have that already in Denmark - but about self-censorship.
    The simple fact that Kåre Bluitgen was completely unable to find an illustrator for a children's book about Islam (noone would illustrate out of fear of the exact situation Kurt Westergaard is facing right now) is quite simply unacceptable. This is supposedly a free society, yes? If we truly believe in everyone's right to say and do what they want, then someone did indeed need to draw the prophet.

    I'll admit, it could have been done in ways less provocative to the average muslim, but bear in mind that these drawings were caricatures drawn by a man who draws that exact sort of thing for a living. Pretty much everyone and everything else has been the target of caricatures like these over the years - so why should Mohammad be an exception?

    Don't get me started on the rioting either, that's quite simply the most ridiculous reaction I have ever seen. People yelling and screaming, throwing rocks and molotov cocktails, burning flags along with the occational embassy... bah. The Norwegians are most likely wondering what they did wrong to have their flag burnt on live tv, just like the Swedes probably want their embassy back.

    The muslims didn't even know what it was they were protesting against. This can hardly be considered a surprise either. Did they reprint all the drawings for all people to see and be outraged against? Of course not, it's illegal! But someone said something about knowing someone's cousin who lived in Denmark and saw drawings in the paper one morning. And that was enough to light the fire?

    If you think this is about drawings, think again.

  4. As the last commenter alluded, this is indeed more about a few simple drawings. To my mind, it's about the danger of religion in politics.

  5. Funny how easy it is to offend people world-wide and claim it is for the protection of free speech. Well, if that were true then why is one persecuted if they deny the holocaust, gee, I don't see any nazi cartoons widely displayed either now do we? If you can justify your reasons for deeply insulting an entire religion then please say what it is, I'd like to know. Is it hatred, why? To answer your questions about Islam all you will need to do is read the Qur'an (please read a legitimate one and not one from your local bookstore), and without prejudice. Too easy for people to point fingers and blame religions, the thing is Jew, Christian, and Muslims all believe in God (Allah), therefor it is a Sin to judge each other using religion. God gave life, not any persons right to end any life, period.

  6. Sorry dead links above here it comes again:

    Fresh interview with Kurt Westergaard

    Murder plot to kill Muhammed cartoon artist Kurt Westergaard - DR February 2, 2008 - English translation of transscript of TV interview

    More interesting older interview with Kurt Westergaard and Imam Kasem Said Ahmad - English translation of transcript

    Kurt Westergaard would do it again - Interview with cartoonist Kurt Westergaard September 24 2006

  7. Gasp:

    I have read the Qur'an (an "official" one from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to the United States) and have found it anachronistic and deeply mired in intolerance. In fact, it's a dangerous PR mistake the faithful make by pushing solely the Qur'an on the uninitiated reader without offering any help on interpretation or how the book's purpose and meaning have changed (or haven't) over time.

    As for your reference to Holocaust-denial or Nazi cartoons, these are not the same as a caricature of Muhammad, or Jesus, or whomever, that is a deliberate attempt at humor

    Consider this: when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for example, asserted that the Holocaust was a "Zionist myth," were there mass riots in the United States or the United Kingdom protesting his statement and killing Muslims?

    When you've divined the answer to that, then we'll talk about "religions of peace" and "who's to blame."