Monday, February 20, 2006

Lurpak Again

I can't believe the Danish cartoons controversy is not only still going on, it is being used as an excuse for a lot of wanton violence, rioting and needless deaths. 11 in Pakistan, 16 in Libya, etc. For what? To make a point - 'we are upset'. Possibly more accurately, 'our Imam told us to be upset'.

Abu Ardvaark did an interesting post on the topic a few days ago. He described a report he had seen on Al Arabiya TV about "a new petition issued by 41 leading Islamist personalities on February 13 calling for a resolution of the cartoons controversy through the passage of an international law criminalizing insults against Prophets (Mohammed, Jesus, and Moses are the ones named)".

I posted this comment in reply to that:

"No, no, no!

You cannot bind secular countries into observance of the sensibilities of the gazillion religions and sects that exist on earth. So why would you single out one for special treatment?

I appreciate that many people were whipped up into a frenzy of 'I am offended'. But the solution now demanded is just utterly unworkable. It seems to me, and I say this with the greatest of respect to all true Muslims, that many extremists in the Islamic world are trying to use this issue to inflame conflict. And if the ridiculous notion of criminalising blasphemy against all religions were to come to pass, I would be looking for another planet to live on.

The 'offended' are now demanding apologies from the Danish government AND people. Come on! Regret has been been expressed, but you will absolutely not get a full apology from a Government whose laws unequivocally state that it cannot be held responsible for any offence committed by its subjects.

How hard is that to understand? I believe that both the cartoonists and the newspaper have apologised: these are the people responsible, so why not just accept that and get back to normality?

Islamists may mock 'freedom of speech', but it is a right that has been fought for over centuries in the West and it will not be compromised by a bunch of religious fanatics."

Also, I note with regret that our supermarket chains here in the Emirates are still boycotting Danish products. It would be interesting to see what would happen if one of these chains was brave enough to put these products back out on display. I for one would be filling my freezer with Lurpak. I already have a lifetime's supply of Lego (the greatest thing ever invented for kids of all ages).

What gets me about this is that foreign media are saying 'people of the Emirates are fully supporting the boycott of Danish goods' when what they actually should be saying is that 'people of the Emirates are being denied the chance to buy Danish goods'. Bit of a difference. Boycotts don't work the way you want them to. Arla Foods, the innocent victim in all this, are losing $1.5 million every day in the Gulf. Quite soon they will have to decide whether to tough it out, or close down their Middle East operations, resulting in the loss of 800 jobs in Saudi Arabia and 200 in the UAE. Did Arla Foods draw or publish the cartoons? Did they have anything to do with them at all? No they did not.

Does any right-thinking Muslim think this company should be penalised in this way for something they had nothing to do with? Or, for that matter, the government and people of Denmark? Somebody tell me...

(Oh, and I just found this - please read it).

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Blogger jelsted said...

Couldn't agree more

3:00 pm  
Blogger jelsted said...

Totally agree

3:02 pm  
Blogger sheikha cheryl said...


3:13 pm  
Blogger nzm said...

Good post, Keefie - and good response of yours in AA's blog.

Also found this on India Uncut Blog

A simple, yet plausible, reason.

4:57 pm  
Anonymous Dammami said...

"For what? To make a point - 'we are upset'. Possibly more accurately, 'our Imam told us to be upset'."

You hit the nail on the head there.

Because guess what? An Egyptian newspaper published the cartoons in October 2005, and there was no backlash against Egypt. Why? Because Imam didn't feel like burning stuff then...

"...I say this with the greatest of respect to all true Muslims, that many extremists in the Islamic world are trying to use this issue to inflame conflict."

And it frustrates me to no end that no one sees this! Even when you show them DAMNING EVIDENCE that Danish Imams have dileberately manipulated them and lied to them just to get things going.

I just have one things for all those foaming at the mouth about this: Exactly _what_ are you upset about?

Is it because the cartoons are disrespectful? Last I checked disrespect was not a crime...

Or is it because the cartoons are haram? Well, if they are haram, then I guess Allah will send all Danish infidels to the darkest depths of Jahannam IN THE AFTERLIFE!!! He will deal with them! Allah doesn't need you defending him with your stupidity.

5:11 pm  
Blogger Jin said...

Well said Keef! Blinding blog as per usual!

5:13 pm  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Not sure whether it is coincidence or not, but flying with Alitalia last week, the first thing they put down on the napkin (yeah, this was "magnifico" class) was a invidual serving of Lurpak. Before anything else: cutlery, glasses, condiments.

I tucked in out of sheer love for freedom of speech.

10:09 pm  
Anonymous little_dubai said...

Keefie, I can understand your point of view as a non muslim, it makes complete sense, but for muslims like my self, we look at it in a different way...most of us know that Lurpak didnt have anything to do with the cartoon other than the fact its made in Denmark, but by boycotting them, its an effort to make a statement..while I did not get the sense (at least in Saudi) that there is an effort from the government to make initiate this boycott protest issue...I must agree that diverting the citizen attention from the current issues to this could be put as an arguement for why the government did not interferre with the boycott rather than allowing it to happen.
I feel that the boycott it self was initiated by individuals and its because they felt they were insulted through having their prophet insulted..and all happened months after the fact..but I heared of it just after the fact...and I know lots who have...
I am not sure if many of the muslims will actually go and buy the butter even if it was I would also be intersted to see what happens if it was... I said previously in your previous post about this same issue..we need to respect our self before asking others to respect us..and to those many who might be protesting these day who have yet to follow their religion diligently..I think they should intiate a change within them selves before asking them from others...
I love your blog

3:45 am  
Anonymous little_dubai said...

and Dammami I think you are getting carried away..Keefi made a good point...but Im not sure about your arguement...
the cartoons made of the prophet are disrespectful..regardless of what you think of the reaction and the "Imams'consiparacy"..I think we should try to separate these two things...
Cartoon-->no good..
Dying for the cartoon-->no no good.
Protesting in a civilized way------>GOOD
Dismissing the muslims feelings regarding the cartoon->NOOOOO will make them more angry...
Accusing certain government to take advantage of the situation to distract their people from the mess they are causing-->good thought...
While you are at it...with the consipracy theory...maybe those government paid the Danish News paper to draw these cartoons and get the satisfactory results we are seeing these days..(just kidding)...
I agree times areas of conflicts are used to inflame peoples emotions...just like (I will throw this in) what is happeneing between the Sunni and Shiat in Iraq...

7:17 am  
Blogger grapeshisha said...

Aside, but on the same theme, did anyone see the editor's response to why he published the cartoons.

What I find ironic the common goal for freedom of speech.

10:11 am  
Blogger grapeshisha said...

And now a Saudi paper is closed down???

11:45 am  
Blogger nzm said...

GS - from the article, I'd guess that they were trying to find any excuse to close it down, given that the content was considered to be against the views of the Saudi establishment.

But I think that it's pretty silly to publish them in the heart of Islam - for whatever reason.

As we all know, the best intentions are often misconstrued!

12:42 pm  
Anonymous little_dubai said...

GS I read the article..and to be honest..It almost feels its written by a teenager defending him self after being in trouble...
That stand up comedian who stated he was ready to stand up an urinate on the bible is one other problem..Holly books are holly no matter what..
In any case..I just hate to bring this in, but would...cause...any insult to the jews are not tolerated either..the focus is usually on Islam..what about the English Author who questioned the Holocust? why freedom of speech is not defending him? He is getting prosecuted as we speek?
This Denamrk newspaper talks about challenging Islam! Why Islam? is it because we are under the spotlight with all the wars that are happening these days..that have agenda's other than "Oil, Deomocracy, and Terrorist"...

5:16 pm  
Anonymous little_dubai said... previous post was for Dammami not GS...

8:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let them close their business in the UAE because these 200 jobs that you are talking about are occupied by cheep labor and probably not even a single one of them is for locals. For that matter, I wish all of the MNC's leave this country TODAY along with the poor people whom they bring here to exploit in the country and never give anything back to the indigenous population!

10:56 am  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Anon @ 10.56.

never give anything back to the indigenous population

Just think about it for a nansecond: who built your house, your roads, your infrastructure? Who caters to your every whim? Who maintains your lifestyle?

Don't ever say that expats never give anything back - we give everything!

And be careful what you wish for - if all the expats left Dubai it would become a dysfunctional ghost town overnight.

11:24 am  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

I had to delete a comment from Balushi for obscenity, but this is the decent bits of it:

And be careful what you wish for - if all the expats left Dubai it would become a dysfunctional ghost town overnight.

Then do yourself and us a favor and Leave!

Then will see.


We Muslim have the Upper hand in everything But we are JUST not realising it and enforcing it. Sad but true!

9:33 pm  

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