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Hayao Miyazaki says Charlie Hebdo drawings of Muhammad were a mistake

111 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

Famed anime director Hayao Miyazaki may have retired from making feature films, but it’s not because he’s run out of clearly defined ideas or things to say. In a recent interview, the animation icon was asked for his thoughts about the recent terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and gave, in no uncertain terms, his opinion about the decision to publish the content cited as the trigger for the incident.

Earlier this week, the 74-year-old Miyazaki sat down for an interview with TBS Radio. While discussing a host of other topics, the conversation turned to the tragic events of Jan 7, when two terrorists stormed the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, killing 12 and injuring 11 during the assault.

Miyazaki is both an outspoken pacifist and a determined creator who’s not afraid to buck the system or ruffle a few feathers in bringing his vision to the screen. That combination of personality traits does not, however, mean that he agrees with the sort of no-holds barred artistic expression that has served as the underlying principle of the French magazine’s content decisions.

The attack is being considered an act of retaliation for Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Muhammad, a practice frowned upon by many of the Islamic faith, militant fundamentalists in particular. So how does Miyazaki feel about the drawings in question?

In his own words: “I think it’s a mistake to caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture. You shouldn’t do it.”

Unlike some of his films, which end on an indecisive note or try to simultaneously hold onto two contrasting viewpoints, Miyazaki makes no attempt to soften his sentiment. That’s not to say he feels you have to treat your own culture with kid gloves, though. Following his condemnation of Charlie Hebdo’s illustrations, he continued on to assert, “Instead of doing something like that, you should make more caricatures of you own country’s politicians.”

Source: Yahoo! News Japan

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Hayao Miyazaki spends retirement from anime by…spending every day at his animation studio -- Survey: 96% of Japanese moviegoers have watched a Hayao Miyazaki film -- Miyazaki’s next project and reaction to latest Ghibli film revealed in interview with Toshio Suzuki

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111 Comments
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With all due respect, Miyazaki seems not to be aware that Charlie Hebdo was an anti-racist newspaper that lampooned most harshly the Front National, France's far-right anti-immigration party. They mocked everyone, but it's only when they mocked Islamists that they got death threats and were victims of terrorist acts.

32 ( +47 / -15 )

Agree 100% with Mr Miyazaki.

kchoze:

They mocked everyone, but it's only when they mocked Islamists that they got death threats and were victims of terrorist acts.

Mocking everyone doesn't make mocking right at all.

-29 ( +22 / -51 )

In his own words: “I think it’s a mistake to caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture. You shouldn’t do it.”

Then no one anywhere should be making caricatures about anyone because you never know just who is going to be offended.

It's ok for these islamofacists to dictate what is right or wrong? No I dont think so.

35 ( +42 / -7 )

Hear, hear, LostinNagoya!

-25 ( +6 / -31 )

In his own words: “I think it’s a mistake to caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture. You shouldn’t do it.” - Hayao Miyazaki

Painting Hayao Miyazaki into a corner; the central concept of satire is to caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture, school of thought or political action. The difference is whether the characterization is used as a counter point, as in its mocking, points up a specific and, for some, an unpleasant truth.

This is why satire is both dangerous and useful. Satire says, in no uncertain terms, the fallacy of its subject topic; and that makes people angry to hear they might be wrong in their belief or actions.

Those who are always looking for something to be offended by, or act as self appointed judge and jury of society, or claim special knowledge that prevents criticism are always the ones most disturbed by satire. That is the purpose of satire; to break through accepted, and blindly accepted, authorities of thought.

The difference at Paris, and Copenhagen: one group used drawings and discussion to examine thought, and another group used semi-automatic weapons to silence thought.

Having it the way of the zealot makes everyone the policeman and executioner for every detail of life one takes exception to.

In all their wisdom, the zealot has not grasped that his certainty is an illusion and satire is the tool that unlocks the cage around his mind, so he kills innocent people to prove he is right; that is the definition of a mad act.

Hayao Miyazaki is a nice man, and at 74 certainly wishes the world could be a more peaceful place, just as many do, however, simply publishing the list of veneration for the world to accept is no different from the goals of ISIS or any other sham inspiration that demands all act and think as they do.

(ISIS, is of course just a bunch of gangsters so their religion is profit from death of innocents, but that wasn't Hayao Miyazaki's subject.)

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Japan through Americans , themselves through the French have earned human rights for all. They shall not forget it.

Vast majority of French people are supporting 100% charlie hebdo, except french Muslims who wish notand who will never wish to adopt French culture.

Never forget intent is to make laugh, not to offend. So easy to be a coward and France and Europe in general knows exactly where this leads too.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

I think he is missing the point that, this is not about "caricaturing a figure venerated by another culture" but it is about free speech and the right to express it, be it good or bad. The same way he is free to have his opinion on this issue. There is no way to make a satirical paper without infuriating some people. Since they are not in a popularity contest, it doesn't matter that it is about this one or that one god. I choose to keep my right to have my own opinion and also to express it, as well as acknowledge that he has his opinion, even if it is not aligned with mine.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Well said Hayao Miyazaki san!

-25 ( +9 / -34 )

'They mocked everyone, but it's only when they mocked Islamists that they got death threats and were victims of terrorist acts.

Mocking everyone doesn't make mocking right at all.'

I notice you couldn't refute the statement. By the way, it isn't just 'mocking' which can send many into a childish tantrum or start issuing death threats - it can be a novel, an academic study of history or a simple comment. There are quite a few things which can send the rattle flying out of the pram, the knives to be sharpened or the Kalashnikovs to be loaded.

"Instead of doing something like that, you should make more caricatures of you own country’s politicians.” Charlie Hebdo mocks politicians non-stop - including intolerant bigots. Again, why is it okay to mock political figures and political ideas but not religious figures and religious ideas? I've never once heard anything like a convincing reason for this. Does anybody have one?

13 ( +18 / -5 )

It is wrong to murder mockers. But it is also wrong for a whole nation to venerate mockers as Hollande led France in doing. French Muslims also have some rights not to see a government-led campaign to mock Islam.

The failure to empathize is at the core of mockery. People have rights to mock. We should not necessarily welcome such activities.

-15 ( +7 / -22 )

Hear, hear, LostinNagoya!

Disagree entirely.

Mocking everyone doesn't make mocking right at all.

So what? Does that mean all mocking is wrong? Are politicians suddenly off-limits? My God, have none of you ever seen the annual White House Correspondents dinner, or just watched "The Daily Show" or SNL? Or how about the broadway Play "The Book Of Mormon" from the guys behind "South Park"? The only folks bothered by this kind of sarcasm are those who know their beliefs are not strong enough to face scrutiny -- who feel the world has to be either black or white, based on their simplistic code. For example, are people not free to "mock" Sharia Law views on things like the education of women? I am a practicing Roman Catholic, but have no problems at all with folks poking fun at the Pope or parts of the often backwards beliefs that comprise Canon Law. In fact, I often agree with them.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

“Instead of doing something like that, you should make more caricatures of you own country’s politicians.”

They have been doing this for decades, and the result is often ferocious. There shouldn't be any limit to the right of mocking and ridicule, especially when you have to deal with a concerted tentative to silence opposition to radical Islam.

The whole point of satire is to expose and denounce established authority, maybe it of a religious, political or philosophical nature. Clearly, Mr Miyazaki doesn't understand that.

To put the blame on the victim is absolutely outrageous. Mr Miyazaki, you just spit on the grave of the victims. What about the Jewish victims of the kosher supermarket? Where they also guilty of being Jews?

Mr Miyazaki has lost all the remaining respect I had for him. What about starting caricaturing Japanese politicians and fascist groups (Zaitokutai etc.), Mr Miyazaki?

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Remember that if a non-Muslim even verbally criticizes Islam/Muhammad, in quite a few countries he or she would probably be killed by either a mob or government. Education is the key as these people are still stuck in a time not dissimilar to 16th century Europe when people were killed for criticizing the church.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

I agree with Miyazaki!

It doesn't matter that they mocked everyone. Mocking is insulting to everyone. But not everyone is gonna sit down and take it.

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

"French Muslims also have some rights not to see a government-led campaign to mock Islam" - comments

"The only folks bothered by this kind of sarcasm are those who know their beliefs are not strong enough to face scrutiny" - comments

Firstly, there isn't a government-led campaign to mock Islam. Second, faith excludes scrutiny. Third, there's a good buck to be made selling hate and that's why so many innocent people will have to put up killing for sacred truth. The sacred truth of the almighty, wealth.

These nut job murderers aren't doctors and skilled laborers. They're poor people with fear and nothing else. The Fagins of hate will use the poverty of the ignorant to fuel these attacks as long as there's profit in it. The ignorant will do what they're told because they're poor and ignorant. Satire isn't their strong suit.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Ya because a cartoon is worth murdering 12 people...I don't see Christians,Jews or Japanese for that matter killing people for silliness like this...Check yourself Ojisan Miyaki

15 ( +16 / -3 )

Sadly ISIS ain't with you on the pacifist thing, Miyazaki-san. ISIS uses pacifists to fuel their campfires. The world needs to be rid of them, not appease them.

11 ( +12 / -2 )

Jerseyboy

what would you feel if someone make fun or write some stupid carricatures of the holocaust victims in Auschwitz and the victims of 9-11?

annual White House Correspondents dinner

Making fun of politicians is fine, but making fun of Religious figure is a different thing, I am not a religious person but for many people they take religion seriously more than politics. For many people, religion is life. And criticizing them for that is like criticizing gay people for being born that way. Plus why would the world should always adjust to American standards?Americans are fine with it so the world should be the same?

Again, they can write whatever they want (they did) but it's really insensitive of them if they expect that no one will get offended by what they've done. Unfortunately this is the world we're living.

I condemn what those terrorists have done, violence is always not an option. However I think that Charlie Hebdo kinda crossed the line too.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

I think everyone takes this whole freedom to say whatever to whoever thing too far. I am against all religions but I think people need to acknowledge who they are mocking and be prepared for the consequences .

-15 ( +7 / -22 )

Agree with Miyazaki. It seems that Charlie Hebdo did too much beyond the limit and should have downplayed caricatures little bit.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

The point is not "was it a mistake". The point is, "should they be killed for it". Refusing to see this distinction implies agreement with their killing.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

"He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh" - Quote from the Koran.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

CanadianNTokyo

Ya because a cartoon is worth murdering 12 people...I don't see Christians,Jews or Japanese for that matter killing people for silliness like this...Check yourself Ojisan Miyaki

Indeed killing because of a silly cartoon is not right, however this incident could be avoided if Charlie Hebdo handled their freedom of expression in an appropriate way.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Argument without facts is the fun house mirror room of confusion. Below appears the summary of satire twelve innocent people were shot to death with automatic weapons for in their place of work.

Charlie Hebdo gained notoriety in 2006 for its portrayal of a sobbing Muhammad, under the headline "Mahomet débordé par les intégristes" ("Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists").

In 2007, another cartoon was published with the text "Charlie Hebdo must be veiled!"

In 2011, headlined by a cartoon reading "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter,"

In a more recent issue, the magazine published a cartoon depicting a member of the Islamic State group beheading Muhammad.

Respect and manners are essential in any interaction. Hayao Miyazaki's, “I think it’s a mistake to caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture. You shouldn’t do it.” is just such an example.

Above, the banal satire hardly raises an eyebrow. Paired with silly parody drawings, these timid revelations are far more tame than many widely viewed advertisements using titillation or farce.

What the civilized world clearly knows: killing for cartoons shows a primitive mind, or one so ignorant as to avoid any possibility of explanation beyond the prejudice instilled by calculating manipulators. These are the people with easy access to guns and too willing to pull a trigger for any offense.

Some will kill next because they find adverts offensive and violate their special being codes. And many have killed children in their schools for the same reason. Then they will kill those whose very existence violates their special being codes. The Egyptians are looking after those zealots right now. And some think a cartoon is the offense? Please.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

This is actually opinion shared by many Japanese, probably due to widespread of Shinto and the "dont mind others business" galapagos culture. Too bad, because freedom is freedom and should never be opressed

5 ( +9 / -4 )

what would you feel if someone make fun or write some stupid carricatures of the holocaust victims in Auschwitz and the victims of 9-11?

noipikantoku -- where have you been the last several years? Several people/groups have indicated that they felt that 9/11 was a direct result of the U.S. policy that favors Jews over Arabs, and that "we had it coming", and Iran's leader has stated that the holocaust never happened. People are entitled to their opinion, no matter how ignorent.

Making fun of politicians is fine, but making fun of Religious figure is a different thing, I am not a religious person but for many people they take religion seriously more than politics. For many people, religion is life. And criticizing them for that is like criticizing gay people for being born that way. Plus why would the world should always adjust to American standards?Americans are fine with it so the world should be the same?

Again, simplistic nonsense. For one thing, in many countries, especially the U.S., the line between politics and religion is almost non-existent. Or have you not heard the phrase "the Christian right"? And if you don't think Japanese politics has strong religious ties, then you are just blind to the obvious. Hell, the LDP's biggest partner -- Komeito -- has its roots in Buddism. Finally, these are not "American standards" as you state. In case you missed it, Hebdo is a French publication, and the lastest attack on free speech happened in Denmark over the weekend.

Free speech is a universal belief and to say religion is off limits is just ignorent, since that form of satire has existed in western cultures for centuries -- as far back as 400 BC.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

I don't have a problem with either the cartoons or Miyazaki's opinion of them

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is going to cause some right wingers' heads to explode, as the venerated director/animator speaks against what many have come to proclaim as their cause. While I think that people should have the RIGHT to do what Hebdo did, I agree with Hayao that that does not mean they should, and in fact they should not. That goes for mocking of anything considered precious to others.

johninjapan: "The point is, "should they be killed for it". Refusing to see this distinction implies agreement with their killing."

Ridiculous statement. There is no way Hayao or anyone else agrees with the killings if they say Hebdo should not have done the drawings. There's no "you support Hebdo's drawings or you support his murder", except in the logic of someone very ill and who can't see any distinction.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I wonder what the reactions from posters would be if murderous racists stormed into Charlie Hebdo and opened fire with assault weapons incensed by their caricatures in the publication. Charlie Hebdo had it coming?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Jerseyboy

noipikantoku -- where have you been the last several years? Several people/groups have indicated that they felt that 9/11 was a direct result of the U.S. policy that favors Jews over Arabs, and that "we had it coming", and Iran's leader has stated that the holocaust never happened. People are entitled to their opinion, no matter how ignorent.

That is not my argument, My question is, If someone make funny cartoons of the Victims of 9-11 and Auschwitz victims will that be ok with you? my argument is, You cannot just make fun OF ALL things, yes there should be freedom of expression, but there are appropriate ways on how these should be done to be fair with everyone.

Again, simplistic nonsense. For one thing, in many countries, especially the U.S., the line between politics and religion is almost non-existent.

you tried to divert the argument again, My question is, Do you suggest that the whole world should be like the U.S. and the other countries you mentioned? because you always use how the way it is in the U.S. Unfortunately the whole world is not the U.S. and doesn't have American thinking. So are you suggesting that all people in this world should be like all the countries you mentioned above?

Indeed Hebdo is French, but its too arrogant to think that all people should think the way the writers in hebdo do. Unfortunately you are sharing this world with millions of other people with different beliefs and upbringing, and that is the reality. Indeed Freedom of expression is a human right, but people should also be respectful and considerate of others, there is always an appropriate way to all things . People can always express themselves and at the same time be fair.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

the funny thing is, the quran never explicitly states that muhammad should never be drawn or pictured. it has been suggested in a few hadiths that religious figures, including moses and abraham, should not be drawn. this a contentious issue among scholars of islam.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

very well said Hayao Miyazaki!I guess many of people out there realize that freedom of expression has a limit!

rickyvee-the funny thing is, the quran never explicitly states that muhammad should never be drawn or pictured. it has been suggested in a few hadiths that religious figures, including moses and abraham, should not be drawn. this a contentious issue among scholars of islam.

Can you give the link of the hadiths for us to read to verify your words, if not, it is just an assumptions

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

"Following his (Hayao Miyazaki) condemnation of Charlie Hebdo’s illustrations," the elephant in the room is the content and form of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The scientist, academic, journalist and politician must see the offense. The faithful must, take it on , well, faith. So even the offense is couched in the rumor of the offense.

Repetition of course, but, if these cartoons are relegated to the "unseen" all opinion is the twice told story dependent on the previous interpretation of the last viewer. Again, the zealot cannot stand any transgression, as others have stated, because their own belief is the Swiss Cheese of logic. (Apologies to the Swiss and their marvelous cheese.)

Islam has so much beauty and so many inspired minds; how destructive another generation learns of the faith of Muhammad as maniacs who kill for wanton pleasure and a quest for ignorance. Sad. So sad.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

smithinjapan

well said!

I don't understand why would some people think that Miyazaki agrees with the killings of the hebdo writers. ridiculous.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I do like the irony in some people saying Miyazaki should not have such an opinion as it is an affront to their free speech.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What most people miss is the fact that the exposed and educated muslims don't do these murders. Its done by the poor and uneducated ones. And those with mental issues. We are supposed to keep quite. Keeping quite won't solve any problem. Lets talk, draw and discuss it in the open.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@jerseyboy.

Denial of the Holocaust may be ok in the US and Iran, but in 15 European countries it is illegal to question it. And rightly so!

@Alex Einz

Most decent Jews would not condone 'any insult is ok' freedom of speech. Should we lay down our arms?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is the problem with the world today. Everyone has to be PC and make sure that they don't hurt anybody's feelings or offend anyone. Well guess what there ate about 1000 different cultures on this world spread out over around 200 or so countries.

So then whose point of view do we take? Let's all live by Shiria Law where you get stoned and or killed for almost anything and everything. Or the Christian's where you get ostracized or ridiculed for not having the exact same beliefs as whatever other group of Christians you are closest to because even Christians can't figure out which rules and values are right so there are hundreds of different kinds and a lot of them don't even like each other.(baptists, Pentecostal, catholic, Mormon, etc, etc, etc.) all they can agree on is that they are all better than everyone else. Maybe the atheists who have to make sure that any and every religious person on earth knows that do not believe in god and that they think YOU are stupid if you do.

The point is that everyone's views on anything is going to offend someone else somewhere. So why can't we just grow up and accept that everyone else has their own beliefs and have the right to have them. When confronted with effigies or tokens of said religion we should not be a cry babies because someone says "Christmas" or if someone puts up a cross, a manora, a Buddha, a star of David, a flying spaghetti monster, or whatever where you might see it. people should have the right to have their beliefs and tokens of it even in public.

At the same time people should also have the right to make cartoons or television shows that might take a jab at your beliefs because hey you can choose not to watch. People also have the right to say I don't believe what you believe and have you accept it and vice versa without having to deal with crap about it. Instead of wiping the world of any vestige of religion, (except what is popular in your culture) Why don't we just grow a lightly thinker skin and STFU.

BTW FYI Christmas and Christmas trees are no longer a Christian holiday, may non Christians through out the world celebrate it. (like it or not.) Because, who doesn't like spending time with their family and getting/giving presents.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I also agree with Miyazaki - the point is NOT 'freedom of speech' (cmon, we already know we have that in the West).....the point IS that Muslims are now living alongside Christians, Jewish people, etc in Western countries, and we all need to get along.

If we show respect to everyday Muslims when we can, we are encouraging harmony between our cultures, and that alone makes it worth it. And this makes it easier for us when we do need to lay down the law (eg. regarding anti-Western preaching, FGM, forced arranged marriages, honor killings, etc).

Perhaps most importantly, It also means less incentive for Muslim youth to turn militant. If you truly want to end a conflict, sometimes one party needs to be the 'bigger man', exercise some maturity, and reach out. No doubt ISIS and the like are beyond reach (after all they're more warlords using Islam for their own agenda than anything else), but there are many more Muslims on this planet who don't yet side with the extremists, and it's not going to hurt us to show them some respect.

(PS. please note, this opinion does not in any way condone the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office - rather, contrary to what so many people apparently think, I'm saying that this is not a black-and-white, right-or-wrong matter....just because the extremists were wrong to attack that office, does not mean we should continue to treat Islam as Charlie Hebdo did).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What most people miss is the fact that the exposed and educated muslims don't do these murders.

You are misinformed. These sorts of atrocities are rarely committed by the poor. Most of these murderers are relatively well off - some are even wealthy. Many are highly educated. Poor people generally worry about eating, not creating terror.

That's one reason they are such a problem. Education and money do not provide a cure to this form of psychopathy.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The law of the land should be above all religious beliefs.

Charlie Hebdo was not doing anything illegal, according to French law. If you feel the law is wrong then vote for politicians that can change the law at the next election. At least in France, people have the choice.

By the way, I don't think Charlie Hebdo should have published the drawings but that's just my opinion and I respect their rights to freedom of expression.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"Instead of doing something like that, you should make more caricatures of you own country’s politicians.”

I'm surprised that Miyazaki missed the bigger point. Limiting us to make caricatures of only our own countries divides us and drives us apart. This issue is bigger than nationality. Can't we satirize ourselves (as humans) in an effort to better humankind?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I disagree, religion is a mental condition and its creations should be mocked constantly

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Regardless to whether I agree with Mr Miyazaki, his view doesn't seem to be tempered by insular 'Island Mentality' at all. I feel he is putting forward an experienced worldly opinion. I hope no one is saying freedom of speech is important, but you're probably wrong if you are from a small place that has a religion.

@commanteer

You seem well-informed. In history, as we know it, cases of atrocities by mob rule are rare? We should get together and do away with the well-to-do. Hang on, I don't have the train fare!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I disagree with him.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

'That goes for mocking of anything considered precious to others.'

Smith, you often attack and mock people's political beliefs and the mindset of certain reactionary people in Japan. That is your right and it is one you seem to enjoy exercising. Aren't the beliefs you attack precious to some? So it is okay to savage political or cultural beliefs but not 'precious' ones? I have asked this question so many times and nobody yet has offered a reason why this should be the case. Can you tell us which ideas are so 'precious' they are above criticism or ridicule?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

commanteer Feb. 18, 2015 - 10:27AM

"These sorts of atrocities are rarely committed by the poor. Most of these murderers are relatively well off - some are even wealthy. Many are highly educated. Poor people generally worry about eating, not creating terror."

This is documented where? Does the cleric don the suicide vest? No, the sixteen year old girl does. Does the Imam stalk the discussion group in Copenhagen? No, the loser knife attacked does. Does Osama Jack Arse Lad fly the plane? No, some no use, no value piece of waste does.

So, appreciate the satire, what is the reference for this? Answer, none.

The poor and ignorant are the only humans who will be on the tip of the spear. Highly educated people may see killing the Mothers and Fathers of innocent children isn't what Allah had in mind. Or burying innocent women and children alive. But these are your "Many are highly educated"? (ps, So anger making this lie proposed)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I can completely understand why Japanese would feel this way,since they live in a society where freedom is not tolerated.Cartoonists,Comedians,Artists have no boundaries,nor should they.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

From the subliime:

I do like the irony in some people saying Miyazaki should not have such an opinion as it is an affront to their free speech.

... to the ridiculous

I bet he also agrees with that 'reporter' who says Japan should implant a kind of apartheid to divide foreigners immigrants from Japanese as it was done in South Afrrica (Sankey Shinbun)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Jimizo

No one has given you a CONVINCING reason, but maybe I'm your 'Man'. I equate politics with the general way we live together. Issues of wealth distribution, healthcare, environment etc. They directly involve us all. The biggest thing about religion is that it's deeply personal, regardless of the religion (perhaps), and involves respect for your loved ones, most importantly the deceased ones, in some cases. Death touches us all, indisputably, regardless of religion. Sometimes we only care about the death of ours, not others. Some may believe 'you insult mine, I'll deprive you of yours in revenge to teach you a lesson' but that can also be cultural, not religious. Anyway, manners and respect are not really necessary for politics but they are for most restaurants and others' personal beliefs. Sorry for the long post, but I didn't have time to make a short one!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

people who don't consider others' beliefs and thoughts are no different with extremists Islam or Christians!

noypikantoku -- No, actually they are the exact OPPOSITE. The extremists believe you can think and express only what they tell you is acceptable, while people who believe in free speech feel it is OK for you to think and express anything you want. And you don't get killed for doing so.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The old man's entitled to his own opinion. And that's all it is-one person's opinion, nothing more and nothing less. People can disagree with his opinion, and frankly I think that they should. He's probably fine with people disagreeing with him.

Other people hold the opinion that in this modern age, no religion should feel entitled to legitimize violence over non-believers, no matter what the reason. Doesn't matter whether one writes a book like Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses or draws a picture of someone's "holy" leader, people can be upset but should absolutely NOT feel they have a right to use violence in response! I personally hold this opinion. Maybe this rather dull Japanese writer disagrees with me, which is all right-I can take it.

This reason why we both can still live with each other, while we must not tolerate the violent proclivities of either a God or its misguided followers is this: neither Miyazaki nor I will seek to hurt the other just because we disagree.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

'The biggest thing about religion is that it's deeply personal,'

One problem with religion is that many of its followers don't keep it personal. The deaths of Charlie Hebdo journalists attest to that. People can believe in the supernatural all they like in their personal lives, but many can't seem to stop telling those of us who don't share that religion what we can or cannot do or attempt to have these ideas infringe on politics. This is an outrage to a secular democracy like France which clearly doesn't care for people attempting to intimidate it with 'deeply personal' beliefs. An attempt to stifle freedom of expression is an overtly political act and when this happens you have to accept your 'deeply personal' beliefs are now subject to public scrutiny.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Agree totally with Miyazaki on this one... See again? there are limits to freedom

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Vinny21Feb. 18, 2015 - 10:31AM JST

Charlie Hebdo was not doing anything illegal, according to French law.

I am not so sure of it. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffamation_en_droit_fran%C3%A7ais

On the other hand, in the US, from Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation

At the federal level, there are no criminal defamation or insult laws in the United States.

In Japan, I think the caricature would be classifed as insult by criminal code.

It seems the definition of defamation varies from country to country more than I imagined.

Brandon ShermanFeb. 18, 2015 - 10:23AM JST

The point is that everyone's views on anything is going to offend someone else somewhere.

Not really.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

In his own words: “I think it’s a mistake to caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture. You shouldn’t do it.” RESONABLE & WISE !!

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

you tried to divert the argument again, My question is, Do you suggest that the whole world should be like the U.S. and the other countries you mentioned? because you always use how the way it is in the U.S. Unfortunately the whole world is not the U.S. and doesn't have American thinking. So are you suggesting that all people in this world should be like all the countries you mentioned above?

noypikantoku -- please stop misrepresenting what I stated just to suit your anti-U.S. bias. In my response to your post I mentioned at least four countries -- U.S., Japan, France, and Denmark. How is that in any way suggesting that the whole world should be like the U.S. or should think the same way? In fact, if you know history, you will know that the principal of free speech is something the U.S. borrowed from Great Britain, and was adopted in France about the same time as the U.S. revolution. And, yes, I am suggesting that the world should be more like the countries that have free speech as an inherent part of their culture.

I also agree with Miyazaki - the point is NOT 'freedom of speech' (cmon, we already know we have that in the West).....the point IS that Muslims are now living alongside Christians, Jewish people, etc in Western countries, and we all need to get along.

If we show respect to everyday Muslims when we can, we are encouraging harmony between our cultures, and that alone makes it worth it. And this makes it easier for us when we do need to lay down the law (eg. regarding anti-Western preaching, FGM, forced arranged marriages, honor killings, etc).

Dewulf -- that's right. And if a Muslim chooses to live in the UK, France, or Denmark for example, they need to accept the traditions and culture of that country, including a strong belief in freedom of thought and expression. Sure, "encouraging harmony between our cultures" is a valid goal. But expecting citizens of a country to change their basic culture, so everyone can sit around and sing Kumbaya together and no one will be offended by anything is just wishful thinking. If the "Christians, Jewish people, etc." could handle the level of satire going back centuries, why can't the newest citizens? Besides, who is ISIS, a lawless group terrorizing people in multiple countries, and beheading people simply because they are Christians, to tell anyone what is acceptable in France or Denmark?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

CH3CHOFEB. 18, 2015 - 12:36PM JST

Charlie Hebdo was not charged with defamation so I assumed that what they did was not illegal.

jerseyboyFEB. 18, 2015 - 12:39PM JST

Good post.

You should respect the law and culture of the country that you are living in. You have the right to disagree but should not expect the country to change its basic culture to fit your needs.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

LostinNagoya Mocking everyone doesn't make mocking right at all.

I completely agree with this statement. Just because other people do it, doesn't mean it is right. You have a right to express satire through caricatures of persons venerated in other cultures. You also have to accept the consequences of those actions.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

It's not Miyazaki's fault, I highly doubt conversations like these is common in Japan, in other countries, they have to deal with the subject more and have come to the conclusion that if one group wants something censored then everyone else wants something censored. But I don't think that Japan, which deals very little in the middle east wars, have had much to talk about when it comes to the conversation of islam and censorship

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Jimizo

The secular democracy doesn't care for being intimidated? Does it condone the intimidation of people with strong personal beliefs? They didn't start attacking the State. Their personal beliefs were attacked first. Regardless of the sick retaliation, you seem to have it upside down. The separation of church and state means the State allows people to have their religion without fear of intimidation. That there was retaliation attests to the fact that they DID 'keep it personal'. The fact is CH took advantage of the State's freedom (which they obviously detest by trying to silence political parties and religions with the powerful weapon of ridicule) to provoke others' deeply personal beliefs, which they were NOT imposing on others. Breath taken. But I could be wrong. Gochisosama for the food for thought!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Miyazaki's sentiment seems rather naive.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Hayao Miyazaki says Charlie Hebdo drawings of Muhammad were a mistake

I have a lot of respect for Miyazaki but this is one case where he got it wrong

4 ( +8 / -4 )

" In his own words: “I think it’s a mistake to caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture. You shouldn’t do it.” "

Then no one could cartoonize anything any more. We are not allowed to cartoonize the galactic Lord Zenu venerated by Scientologists? Seriously?

Miyazaki does not realize that this is a case of one particular culture claiming special rights for itself. That this is not acceptable should be obvious:

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Jerseyboy

everything extreme is not good. even for self expression, it's too selfish to think that one can say whatever he/she wants without considering others'. Wether we like it or not, we are now in a generation where Muslims, Christians, Jewish, Aethist etc. all live together.So People should know how to consider each one another's feelings and belief and know how to live together fairly.

I am not saying not to speak out the issues, discuss what needs to be discussed , but there is always a way on how to discuss all kinds of things without offending others.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Miyazaki-san is wrong that it is a "mistake" and right that he gives his opinion and wise recommendation with a "should". Also for those who do not know much about Islam, please don't comment too much. Experience shows that Islam is not accepting law above religion, so going against the universal declaration of human rights article 4. Needless to say there is no Islamic republic following those rights. Last, it is indeed a secular shared opinion to have free spreech in France since it is "made in France".

Many of us being ignorant, let s read again that idea:

The universal declaration of human rights:

Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Do you feel now the problem of saying it is a "mistake"?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Everybody seems to agree that Charlie Hebdo was an anti-racist newspaper that championed free speech but when one of their staff made a comment that was vaguely anti Jewish, they sacked him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jerseyboy

noypikantoku -- please stop misrepresenting what I stated just to suit your anti-U.S. bias. In my response to your post I mentioned at least four countries -- U.S., Japan, France, and Denmark. How is that in any way suggesting that the whole world should be like the U.S. or should think the same way? In fact, if you know history, you will know that the principal of free speech is something the U.S. borrowed from Great Britain, and was adopted in France about the same time as the U.S. revolution. And, yes, I am suggesting that the world should be more like the countries that have free speech as an inherent part of their culture.

USA, UK, JAPAN, etc. all countries and the people in this world have different thoughts, culture and upbringing, unfortunately your ideal world of everyone should be all open minded is never going to happen. So the only way to avoid troubles is to try to not offend others, be considerate and settle things in a way that will be fair to both parties. Freedom of expression should have limits!

In U.S., all drawings representing or making fun of stereotype black people and other ethnicity are condemned, is this violating the freedom of expression and creativity? Aren't people free to draw whatever they want?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Love them or hate them, but can we all stop lying that Charlie Hebdo promoted free speech. They promoted 'anything goes' as long as it didn't disagree with them. Is that free speech? They described themselves as 'Far-left wing'. Anyone like their country? You must be a Nationalist. Charlie would silence you. Even far-left wingers will readily admit you have no right to speak if you are A, B or C etc. If you respect them for attacking Islam, so be it. But please understand that politically they were Extremists, too!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Charlie Hebdo, Miyazaki, any artist can do whatever they please to whomever they want and no one should be able to forbid them from expressing themselves, but just be aware of the possible consequences for your actions, right or wrong.

Is it reasonable you should die for satire? No way. Is it possible you could die? Yes, very, sadly. That's on you the artist, what are you willing to put up with after your art is published?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Jimizo: "Smith, you often attack and mock people's political beliefs and the mindset of certain reactionary people in Japan."

I attack politics and politicians yes, and things that I don't agree with that are proposed and done. I don't take someone's personal beliefs and start mocking them simply to provoke them or because I can. You mention 'reaction' but fail to take into account that what I am talking about is reaction -- I don't start it, but comment on or criticize it. If there's a thread about politicians wanting to change the constitution, I'll talk about that. If there's an element of culture being discussed, I'll talk about that (either agreeing with or disagreeing), etc. Yes, I 'mock' certain mindset's when what they do is an affront to others (I rarely care if it is an attempted affront to me, personally), but again, that's a reaction. I don't walk up to people and suddenly just start mocking something I know they consider precious and know that mocking them will provoke anger. Huge difference.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Miyazaki say it is a mistake to caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture, but nowhere above does he say is it a mistake for someone to kill an artist for depicting something they don't agree with. Sounds almost as though he thinks the blame for the Charlie Hebdo shootings lies with that magazine's editors and artists!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WillB's Salman Rushdie quote says it best. I include again here, because my comments start with this quote as a basis: "The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

Rushdie experienced this firsthand, when he was subjected to a fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeni and had to be put under police protection as a result of publishing The Satanic Verses. Would Miyazaki suggest that Rushdie should not have written and published this book?

Living in a free society requires that we permit people the freedom to offend and to, equally, permit ourselves to be offended. Indeed, the idea of restricting speech because it might offend is highly problematic because then free speech as a principle ceases to exist. Why should religion be accorded a special protection and people restrict their speech so as not to offend? Why not race? Gender? Political views? Nationality?

For Miyazaki to say that he himself wouldn't "caricaturize the figures venerated by another culture" and to self-censor his own expression, that is his choice. I have some issues with self-censorship depending on the reasons for self-censorship, but will leave that to the side for now. And for him to say that what others have done, such as Charlie Hebdou, is offensive to certain people is also fine, as it is a fact. However, to say that others shouldn't do it because it is a mistake is to impose his own standards regarding expression on others. And, in a world where this can be done, who gets to decide what is acceptable and not acceptable?!

Beyond these basic ideas, Miyazaki's comments are also problematic. He says that one should not caricaturize figures venerated in another culture, but that it is OK to do caricatures of your own country's politicians. So:

What is "another culture"? Islam is a religion, not a culture and not a country. Charlie Hebdou is a French newspaper and France is significantly impacted by Islam, with a significant Muslim population. So, why is not OK for them to do this according to Miyazaki's reasoning? Equally, if I am an English citizen of Indian descent, for example, what is my culture?! What am I allowed to caricature and what should I not caricature? Conversely, if Miyazaki is OK with caricatures of one's own country, is he OK with a Japanese news organisation doing caricatures of the Japanese Imperial Family, such as Princess Masako behind prison bars? Or is that he has an idea of who can be venerated and who can't?

I think I get his basic point, which that we should show respect to others, including others that are different from us. Fair enough, if that is his points. However, inevitably, our own beliefs and ideas may give rise to speech and actions that will, as a result, offend others. Should we self-censor what we do and say just because others might be offended? Absolutely not.

Beyond that, for writers, artists and others, the idea of challenging orthodox thinking and using what some may consider offensive speech and satire to do so has long been recognised as a valuable tool that needs to be protected.

I would ask Miyazaki this question. In the U.S., as an example, there are many that, for religious reasons, are deeply offended by gay marriage. When a company chooses to run an ad that features a gay couple kissing in celebration of getting married, that image may be deeply offensive to these religious people. Should the company not run the ad because it would cause offense to these individuals' deepest held religious beliefs? The answer should be "of course not." If that is the case, why is this OK and the Charlie Hebdou cartoons a mistake?

One final thought, also a Rushdie quote: "Self-censorship is a lie to yourself; if you are going to be trying to seriously create art, to create literary art, and you decide to hold back, to censor yourself, then you are a fool to yourself and it would be better that you kept your mouth shut and did not speak." Food for thought.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

No-one should be afraid to lampoon a culture or religion - what kind of people get so upset about a drawing that they want to KILL? Good grief, it's pathetic.

If Monty Python can make an entire film sending up Jesus then I'm sure Islam is mature enough to allow some cartoonists to draw political drawings of Mohammed.

As much as I admire Miyazaki, running scared of Islamic nutters isn't doing him any favours.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm all for mocking politicians, but what happens if you live in a theocracy? In that case mocking politicians will be equated to mocking their religion and you will be murdered for it, as is the case in various dumps around the world.

If I claim to be a prophet, does that mean I cannot be mocked? Anyone can make that claim and nobody else can prove the truth of it. If we are to have any freedom of expression at all it must include the ability to mock "religious" figures. I believe there are not, and never have been, any prophets and those who claim to be prophets are frauds. You are free to believe what you like, but don't tell me what I can and cannot do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Such comment from Miyazaki san is showing his ignorance of the story. As previous comments say, Charlie Hebdo is well known for their anti establishment, tjis is what they are known for and what they do best and this is why they are called satire newspaper. Criticizing the extremism of religion through caricature should never lead to murder. If Muslims were really offended, they would have already killed so many people as France is violating the islamic precepts in so many ways already : selling alcohol, authorising people to have sex before getting married, selling non hallal meat, having women,unveiled and so on and so on.... These brainless terrorists only use this as a pretext as real Muslims are only concerned about their relationship with their god and do not consider violence as acceptable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some already get angry when they see a drawing or some other image of the prophet. They state that it is forbidden to even depict the man. But who decided that the prophet cannot be depicted? And when?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

zonesurf

1.What is "another culture"? Islam is a religion, not a culture and not a country.

You are wrong, RELIGION is culture, Religion has big influences to many countries' cutlure. take Mexico and Philippines as an example where most of their culture are obviuosly based on their religion.

Living in a free society requires that we permit people the freedom to offend and to, equally, permit ourselves to be offended

What!? Freedom to offend? Are you kidding me? will you let someone wear a Swastika shirt in the streets of America or draw stereotype stupid racist carricatures(black skin and thick red lips) on commercial ads? ...freedom to offend correct??? unlimited freedom of expression and creativity right?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

'Charlie would silence you.'

How exactly did they 'silence' anybody? Which group were silenced? I don't see how satirising is silencing. However, I do see how murderous fanatics carrying automatic weapons silenced some French citizens living in a free, secular republic. The people of France shouldn't give an inch to those attempting to enforce insane blasphemy laws practiced in theocratic, backward hellholes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

noypikantoku

"Freedom of expression should have limits!"

What should be the limits and who is going to decide the limits ? It is all relative, what may be considered as offensive to some maybe acceptable to others. If there is limits on freedom of speech, then it is no longer freedom.

Unless it is forbidden by the law of the land, people should be free to express their opinions, no matter how unpopular. Other people can condemn/disagree - that's their freedom of speech as well.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

zones2surfFeb. 18, 2015 - 04:42PM JST

WillB's Salman Rushdie quote says it best. I include again here, because my comments start with this quote as a basis:

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

The statement is contradictory in that it puts freedom of thought immune from criticism.

Professor Fabrice Epelboin at Sciences Politiques said an interesting thing in an interview with a Japanese magazine, criticising current French movement. http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/58902?page=4

A famous French entrepreneur said in a national broadcast, "The problem in France is the Muslims." If he had said "Jews," he would have been in a deep trouble. But he would not face any punishment for "Muslims."

The French establishment would not abandon freedom of speech, even though its application is based on double standard, and even though their freedom hurts minority Muslims.

The freedom of speech is important, but it has its limits when in conflict of other rights.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

@noypikantoku:

Actually, religion is not culture. Religion may help define culture, but it is not culture, in and of itself. You yourself said "religion has big influence to many countries' culture". Agreed. And it may largely contribute to a any given country's culture. But so do other things. As such, when one speak's of another "culture", how does one define culture? I recognise that some may use the term "Islamic culture", which I assume you think may be the case here. However, that term itself is disputed and there is not agreement on it, particularly as Islam is present in so many countries and has different traditions depending on the country and the form of Islam practiced.

Of course we have the freedom to offend. Absolutely. For the examples you mention, yes, absolutely. Would I be offended? Possibly. Would I voice the fact that I was offended and condemn what they said, wore, and did? But I would absolutely respect their right to offend. Otherwise, who gets to decide what offends or not. Otherwise we a reduced to not being able to do, say, wear or write anything for fear of offending someone.

I recognise that there are many in the world that don't believe this and part of the problems in the world is because of that. Because people believe they shouldn't have to be offended. And when they are, they do more than just take offence and voice their offence. They commit acts of violence. Or, in places like Turkey, as an example, they lock up their political opponents. media members, etc. for using "politically offensive" speech.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When Charlie Hebdo is seen as having mocked Muslims through depicting their prophet, we must understand the deep and nuanced French culture that that mockery comes from to understand it's not really mockery. And besides, freedom of speech requires us all be equally valid as targets of mockery.

...except for when ANA is seen as having mocked white gaijin through an ad featuring Japanese actors with blond wigs and comedy giant noses, because that's absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped right now. No amount of understanding the Japanese cultural context for this offence can ever make it acceptable.

No doubt any number of charming fellows from the peanut gallery are champing at the bit to attach a thoroughly imaginary "let's defend the terrorists for committing murder!" claim to this post, but the fact is we're all part of a double-standard here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Never forget intent is to make laugh, not to offend.

Completely missing the point. These cartoons are not visual whoopee cushions. The point of satire is to ridicule those who set themselves up for ridicule by abusing their power or acting hypocritically. Satire is a way of leveling criticism, and it's necessary for any healthy, progressive, pluralistic society.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Jimizo

Charlie supports the Far Left. The Far Left is infamous for silencing dissension. The Far Right, too. ANY extremist group, in fact. Charlie wants a One Party government. They are against religion; it has to be silenced. They have their own 'No Go' areas for satire. I agree with what you say in regard to the fanatics. The French shouldn't give an inch to those who choose violence.

@harvey pekar

Well said! My motto is 'No Freedom Without Responsibility'.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There are what, roughly 1 BILLION or so Muslims in the world, and from my point of view, at least 999 Million of then are tolerant people who pray to their God and follow their religion in peace.

There are what, roughly 1 BILLION plus or so Christians in the world, and from my point of view at least 999 Million of them are tolerant people who pray to their God and follow their religion in peace.

It's always the 10% who screw things up for the rest and try to dictate what is right and wrong.

Religion has never been the problem, PEOPLE are the problem. There is no arguing with the nutcases from either side because if they were to have to face the fact and question their own beliefs, warped as they may be, their reason for existence would cease to valid.

Religion is their excuse, because it makes it easier to do without thinking. Consider that a moment, life is sure a heck of a lot easier without having to make decisions, and these idiots can not face indecision.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

nopikyantu:

" What!? Freedom to offend? Are you kidding me? will you let someone wear a Swastika shirt in the streets of America or draw stereotype stupid racist carricatures(black skin and thick red lips) on commercial ads? ...freedom to offend correct??? unlimited freedom of expression and creativity right? "

Actually, you can wear a Swastika shirt in the streets of America. That you don´t get much sympathy for that is another issue, but the moment you would get DEATH THREATS for it, you would deserve sympathy. Freedom of speech that is limited to "permitted speech" is no freedom.

Incidentally, in Germany, you would not be allowed to wear that swastica shirt, but that is a matter of local law, and enforced by the police, and in a legal way which can be discussed. And not be self-appointed religious judges and executioners.

What islamists want to to is enforce ISLAMIC BLASPHEMY laws on everybody else, including non-muslims in non-Shariah countries. Explain how that is a good thing.

Ironically, if I was to apply your and Miyazawas standard about not insulting anybody, do you realize that the Koran is chock-full of condemnations of Jews, Christians, and Polytheists? Did you ever read the thing? Please do. If I said about muslims what the Koran says about non-muslims, all sorts of hate-speech laws would come down on me like a ton of bricks. But somehow, that is OK, but a satirical magazing printing a cartoon is not??

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not all French people like Charlie Hebdo. But there is a point they all understand, in as much as they cherish liberty: it is their duty to fight for the right of Charlie Hebdo to say things or draw cartoons they do not like. Because if today I succeed in forbiding something I don't like from being printed, tomorrow someone else will succeed in forbiding something I like from being printed. And soon there will be nothing to be seen or read or..only the silence. And seing unpleasant things in CH is the price I have to pay in order to garantee my liberty. That's basic democracy. And it is obviously beyond Miyazaki's understanding and completely foreign to Islamists. Silence fits them well. Back to the Middle Ages.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Smith I notice you skirted my question about what ideas should be regarded as so precious they are above scrutiny or ridicule. Why are the people who tell us about 'precious' ideas so incredibly vague and reticent to tell us what falls into the 'precious' bracket and what the limits of free speech should be? If you mean religious, say religious, not 'precious'. It never ceases to amaze me how people find it so difficult to be straight about what they mean in these debates.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why should we afford more respect to the Muslim religion than to any other religion in the world? Because they kill people for mocking them? Because they live in Western countries now, even though nobody forced them to? Either we mock everybody or nobody, that is the choice we have. If you don't like that, don't come to a Western country! One thing many Muslims don't understand is that they are making themselves the target of mockery with their overreaction and they deserve it. They are like the short-fused child on the playground getting teased by everybody. Mocking is not kind maybe, but most of the times it is deserved.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@CH3CHO:

Apologies, overlooked your comments back to me. Appreciate them and wanted to revert.

Actually, the Rushdie statement is itself not contradictory. I doubt Rushdie would ever argue that freedom of thought is immune from criticism. Of course, I won't dare speak for him and he may well have spoken to this idea, but here is what I would say. Freedom of thought allows for the ability to say and criticise anything you want, including to criticise the idea of freedom of thought. I think Rushdie would welcome that debate in society, to convince society of the rightness of his premise and to allow those opposed to make the case for restrictions. There is a difference between criticism of freedom of thought in such a manner and the arbitrary restriction of freedom of thought. I would imagine Rushdie would welcome the former but be vehemently opposed to the latter. Certainly that is my position.

Regarding the French "double standard" that you mention, I am aware of it. In the wake of World War 2 and the Holocaust, many countries in Europe put in place laws specifically to target anti-Semetic speech, denial of the Holocaust and the like. Is there, in fact, a double standard in place as a result? Potentially. I certainly would not claim to be the expert on this specifically. Here is what I would say, though. In a free and democratic society, where laws have been put in place to restrict speech, there is, equally, the ability to remove such restrictions. And I would argue that such restrictions be removed to the extent possible. What I mean to say is that I am not necessarily defending the current laws and application of them in France, if only because I would need to study this subject in much more detail before rendering a full opinion.

A final point related to the above. Much has been said regarding the fact that freedom of speech is not unrestrained and that laws have been put in place that have the effect of restricting speech. This includes libel and slander laws, hate speech laws, laws regarding the disclosure of confidential information and the like. Again, I am an advocate for minimising such restrictions by law where possible; however, the point regarding these laws is, typically, they are not intended to restrict speech for the sole reason that the speech in question would offend. Rather, there is another principle involved. Hate speech laws are the most troublesome and, indeed, I believe society should ponder carefully the ramifications before enacting such laws.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think it is permissible, even mandatory, to mock that which makes itself a mockery.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

I don't believe Miyazaki, because of his life in the Japanese culture/education system, allows for this statement to be understood. It is of ignorance that Miyazaki made his statement, but it is typical of a culture that prioritizes the idea of 'shoganai' and doing the best within the bordered circle, without true originality or 100% success as the goal, and because those things obscures, and perhaps obliterates pure truths, things such as Rushdie's statement are ultimately meaningless to the Japanese society. They cannot understand it. This is part of the very basic grey area that is the Japanese culture. It changes to fit whatever standard is the trend, and ultimately, dismisses integrity. Rushdie's statement is non negotiable. If it is a nail sticking up, it will not be hammered in, to fit with the less difficult, less confrontational group of ideas, where all the nails are hammered back in, to a nicer conformity.

Miyazaki may be one of the more creative nails in Japan, but his words show his viewpoint is just another nail, driven in to fit with the rest, and just another nail cannot understand that self integrity and freedom of thought are completely non negotiable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission." John F. Kennedy

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To paraphrase Voltaire, I disagree with what you said — but I will defend your right to say it with my life.

I found Charlie Hebro offensive. However, they offended the phonies and extremists more. And there are extremists hiding under every faith. We need to keep the extremists off balance and disrespected.

We savvy International readers can respect an opinion we disagree with. Miyazaki is very consistent in his. Bless him and may he surprise us with many more years of animated goodness.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm not sure what mocking really accomplishes whether it be a person, their beliefs, their looks, or whatever. Sure, it makes you feel superior to the object of your mockery and may help to turn the tide of public opinion against the object of your mockery, but it can also cause real hurt in the lives of those you mock.

That said, I will vote for freedom of speech 100% of the time, but that doesn't make mocking right or a good thing to do in my eyes. The attackers were terribly wrong to react as they did too of course, but, even if it is permissible under freedom of speech, I still maintain that mocking really serves no healthy purpose and usually does more harm than good.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

WilliB:

Ironically, if I was to apply your and Miyazawas standard about not insulting anybody, do you realize that the Koran is chock-full of condemnations of Jews, Christians, and Polytheists? Did you ever read the thing? Please do. If I said about muslims what the Koran says about non-muslims, all sorts of hate-speech laws would come down on me like a ton of bricks. But somehow, that is OK, but a satirical magazing printing a cartoon is not??

So Koran is offensive and your response to that is to insult muslims too? that is the most selfish thing I've ever read, and if people will think like you, then there will never be peace.Youre like a boy who likes to point fingers and blame others.

About reading Koran, That depends on your interpretation, I know a lot of muslim friends, NON of them condemn me or insulted me, So I don't need to find a reason to condemn, mock or insult them.

Tell me What is wrong with considering the feelings of others'? indeed we have issues with Islam extremists, but have Charlie Hebdo writers considered the feelings of the muslims who are doing good (which is the majority)? I condemn the killings or any form of violence, but I also condemn insulting others without consideration. RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION is more effective than mockery.

Vinny21

What should be the limits and who is going to decide the limits ? It is all relative, what may be considered as offensive to some maybe acceptable to others. If there is limits on freedom of speech, then it is no longer freedom.

There is no handbook for this, however it is a moral responsibility of each person to know when are we reasonable and when are we crossing the line. Like manners, people should know when we are making sense and when are we being rude.

We are living in a world where opinions and thoughts are different, and to think that ALL human beings should think the same is impossible, to force everyone to agree with ones' opinion is chaos. So all people should be considerate and compromise, if we want peace.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

'What should be the limits and who is going to decide the limits ? It is all relative, what may be considered as offensive to some maybe acceptable to others. If there is limits on freedom of speech, then it is no longer freedom.'

There is no handbook for this, however it is a moral responsibility of each person to know when are we reasonable and when are we crossing the line. Like manners, people should know when we are making sense and when are we being rude'

What is it about this debate that makes people so exhaustingly evasive? I can't help but get suspicious of those who will not give a straight answer to a straight question. If you think insulting religion ( or just particular aspects of particular religions ) should be off-limits, just say it. If you think insulting all or particular monarchs or monarchies should be off-limits, just say it. I'm not expecting a textbook, but surely as someone who proposes sensitivity towards particular things, the onus is on you to give us some examples. I'm a person who is not easily offended and I genuinely want to know,

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There are what, roughly 1 BILLION or so Muslims in the world, and from my point of view, at least 999 Million of then are tolerant people who pray to their God and follow their religion in peace.

Large percentages of Muslims around the world support legal penalties for apostasy, including the death penalty. They also support theocratic policies like Sharia. "Tolerance" and "moderation" are relative terms.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nessie:

" Large percentages of Muslims around the world support legal penalties for apostasy, including the death penalty. They also support theocratic policies like Sharia. "Tolerance" and "moderation" are relative terms. "

Exactly. The opinion polls among the muslim population, even (and especially living in the West) are scary. And with radical mosques sprouting everywhere, the situation is getting worse. A parallel society is being created, and not one that we should look forward to. In addition, the this population tends to vote as one group, so as it grows, politicians will have to pander to the demands coming from the mosques.

The excuse about the "vast majority" is grossly misleading.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Jimizo

I'm not expecting a textbook, but surely as someone who proposes sensitivity towards particular things, the onus is on you to give us some examples.

Why is it hard for you to categorize the difference between CRITICISM and INSULT? ...

e.g.#1

let's say your mom is my neighbor, Your mom has some attitude problem

I wrote you an email about it and express everything negative about her and the problems she caused to other neighbors, ask you to talk to her about it.. That is freely Expressing my thoughts to you openly , or write an article about your mom on a local newspaper expressing all the problems. these are examples of open CRITICISMS .. freedom of expression

I draw a picture of your mom naked with her legs spread wide open with degrading words describing how evil she is and post it all over the neighborhood.. That is an INSULT. still freedom of expression,

Which one would you prefer among these 2?

e.g.# 2

I draw pictures of ISIS , AL QAEDA and other extremests committing crimes against humanity to criticize their inhumane activities and unfair actions ... that is a CRITICISM

I draw pictues of Mohammad Naked doing some disgusting actions ( i cannot write on JT) to crticize the actions of these extremists and terrorists is an INSULT... as it degrades ALL MUSLIMS even the non extremes as mohammad is an important figure to all of them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

nopikynatu:

" So Koran is offensive and your response to that is to insult muslims too? that is the most selfish thing I've ever read, "

I am not insulting anything. I am simply pointing out the double standard: If Mohammed cartoons should banned because they offend some Muslims, then half of the Koran should also be banned, because if offends Jews, Christians, and Hindus. You can´t have it both ways. Not if you want to have equality under the law.

" About reading Koran, That depends on your interpretation, I know a lot of muslim friends, NON of them condemn me or insulted me, So I don't need to find a reason to condemn, mock or insult them. "

No, actually the Koran content is pretty clear. You should read it yourself. I would not mind posting some quotes, but I am pretty sure the moderators would remove them as "offensive/vulgar".

" I draw a picture of your mom naked with her legs spread wide open with degrading words describing how evil she is "

Your mom is a person, and insulting persons is subject to slander/libel laws. That is not something that should ever apply to historical/fictitious figures or belief system. What the islamist are asking for is selective submission under islamic blasphmy laws.

By the way, you can google for "piss Christ" or "Madonna in cow dung" art. I am pretty sure that all that is offensive to Catholics, and there have been lots of protests, however you have NOT seen Catholics calling for the murder of the artists in question. That is the point you insist in missing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

'I'm not expecting a textbook, but surely as someone who proposes sensitivity towards particular things, the onus is on you to give us some examples.

Why is it hard for you to categorize the difference between CRITICISM and INSULT? ...'

Let's stay with your idea of criticism and insult. Can a novel written by a distinguished writer about Islam be regarded as criticism or insult? I'd like to ask if you've read that book which led to a death sentence and translators being murdered.

Is a progressive Muslim cleric in the UK declaring his belief in evolution a criticism or insult to Islam? Some Muslims thought so and sent him death threats.

Is the release of a Lego Star Wars set in which Jabba's Lair allegedly resembled the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul a criticism or insult to Islam? Turkish Muslims in Austria thought so and the product was withdrawn under pressure.

Is the naming of a teddy bear 'Mohammed' by an unwitting British teacher a criticism or insult to Islam? Clearly some Muslims thought so and wanted her severely punished.

I could go on.....

Don't fool yourself into believing that refraining from the crude will be enough. Any reasonable person would not regard any of the above as criticism, never mind insult. Your view on the Muslim cleric declaring his belief in the fact of human evolution in particular would be appreciated.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

WilliB

If Mohammed cartoons should banned because they offend some Muslims, then half of the Koran should also be banned, because if offends Jews, Christians, and Hindus. You can´t have it both ways. Not if you want to have equality under the law.

My argument is more about consideration if we are insulting others before we express something and finding a way to criticize but not being disrespectful or limit what we express... not about banning cartoons. Everyone can express what they want, but it doesn't mean what they express is always right! but at least if we put limits to it then there's less trouble.

Your mom is a person, and insulting persons is subject to slander/libel laws. That is not something that should ever apply to historical/fictitious figures or belief system. What the islamist are asking for is selective submission under islamic blasphmy laws.

Well unfortunately for some people Religion and Mohammad is more precious than their mothers and I don't want to go that way and divert the argument if its right to think that way or not...

By the way, you can google for "piss Christ" or "Madonna in cow dung" art. I am pretty sure that all that is offensive to Catholics, and there have been lots of protests, however you have NOT seen Catholics calling for the murder of the artists in question. That is the point you insist in missing.

Who says I agree with the killing of the writers!? I stated over and over again that I am against of any violence... My point is Try not to insult others when one is expressing itself! not supporting to murder anyone who criticize your religion.

Jimizo

Is a progressive Muslim cleric in the UK declaring his belief in evolution a criticism or insult to Islam? Some Muslims thought so and sent him death threats.

Is the release of a Lego Star Wars set in which Jabba's Lair allegedly resembled the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul a criticism or insult to Islam? Turkish Muslims in Austria thought so and the product was withdrawn under pressure.

Is the naming of a teddy bear 'Mohammed' by an unwitting British teacher a criticism or insult to Islam? Clearly some Muslims thought so and wanted her severely punished.

these things you mentioned above are indeed over reaction, The purpose of those things you mentioned above is different and misinterpret by the critics. but there are things that are obviously "Insulting" like drawing mohammad naked in an awkard body position and there is only one purpose for that kind of picture.

Don't fool yourself into believing that refraining from the crude will be enough. Any reasonable person would not regard any of the above as criticism, never mind insult.

You are just assuming, a reasonable person will not kill and will just move on or will stay quiet when they see these kinds of things, but don't say that they will not get offended and feel insulted by them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

noypikantoku

My argument is more about consideration if we are insulting others before we express something and finding a way to criticize but not being disrespectful or limit what we express... not about banning cartoons. Everyone can express what they want, but it doesn't mean what they express is always right! but at least if we put limits to it then there's less trouble.

Based on your argument, then the things that we can express will be fairly restrictive as a criticism to some people maybe considered an insult to other.

For example, if a person was to say that "a certain religious book is out of date and has no place in modern society". To this person, it is his personal opinion but his comment may be considered as offensive by others. Should he just keep quiet and not exercise his freedom of expression because it may upset somebody.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nopikantou:

" Who says I agree with the killing of the writers!? I stated over and over again that I am against of any violence... My point is Try not to insult others when one is expressing itself! not supporting to murder anyone who criticize your religion. "

No, that is fair enough. But you keep criticizing those who were murdered for their cartoons. I didn´t see you getting equally worked up by "Piss Christ" artwork, or by the rabid antisemitic cartoons published during the holocaust denial cartoon contest sponsored by Iran, or for that matter by cartoons depicting GWB as a monkey. I could go on.

There are plenty of rude cartoons out there, but we are only discussing those that were answered with murder. But are those not precisely the cartoonists that we should protect? Instead, you single them out for criticism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WilliB.

If Mohammed cartoons should banned because they offend some Muslims, then half of the Koran should also be banned, because if offends Jews, Christians, and Hindus. You can´t have it both ways. Not if you want to have equality under the law.

No, actually the Koran content is pretty clear. You should read it yourself. I would not mind posting some quotes, but I am pretty sure the moderators would remove them as "offensive/vulgar".

As I said previously - it isn't possible to have an 'intelligent' discussion with someone already set in his ways. Half the Quran should be banned, because it offends Jews, Christians, and Hindus? HALF?! Even if you had said a quarter, or 10%... You might claim to have read the Quran from cover to cover but no one is going to believe you (except, of course, fellow islam-bashers).

As long as you cherry pick verses in the book to suit your purposes, you will never understand. Muslims - some of us at least - take the book as a whole and not cherry pick. ISIS cherry picks, by the way - one reason why I do not consider them Muslims. I suppose if you were a Muslim (oops, 'Muslim') you may well be among them.

As for charlie hebdo - they can print what they want. Doesn't bother me. Muslims who react to this have nothing better to do.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This guy still thinks people listen to his piffle.. Shut up and draw.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kikai:

" Half the Quran should be banned, because it offends Jews, Christians, and Hindus? HALF?! Even if you had said a quarter, or 10%... "

I said the Koran should banned IF YOU APPLY THE SAME STANDARDS as you apply when you demand that Mohammed cartoons should be banned. I was making a point about consistency; maybe you missed that?

In the event, I do not advocate the banning of anything. But IF we ban things, then we should apply the same standards equally.

" As long as you cherry pick verses in the book to suit your purposes, you will never understand. Muslims - some of us at least - take the book as a whole and not cherry pick. "

Actually, the opposite is the case. Cherry-picking is typically done by apologists, who quote some tolerant Mekkan verses, without telling us that these are abrogated by the later, Medinan verses. But I assume you know that. In the event, ISIS is not cherry-picking, they follow radical Wahabi Sunni islam to the letter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyone can have free speech, sure - but that person better be prepared to be held responsible for what they say or do. Don't start nothin' and there won't be nothin'. At the very least, a person should consider the feelings of others before spouting off at the mouth (or pen).

Yes, it's extreme to go and kill someone over a cartoon. And while the rule of "don't start nothin, then there won't be nothin'" applies, the other rule of "the punishment must fit the crime" should apply too. But unfortunately, that's all subjective...

So, in the end, I guess it makes the most sense to be aware of how badly you're offending someone from their point of view and not your own - because it might end up costing you your life. C'est la vie.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

williB

I said the Koran should banned IF YOU APPLY THE SAME STANDARDS as you apply when you demand that Mohammed cartoons should be banned. I was making a point about consistency; maybe you missed that?

Indeed you did. In fact I agree about the consistency bit. But let's focus on how you said it. You said - "If Mohammed cartoons should banned because they offend some Muslims, then half of the Koran should also be banned, because if offends Jews, Christians, and Hindus. You can´t have it both ways. Not if you want to have equality under the law." Half. HALF. You were exaggerating for effect, I suppose? Nah - just another Islam basher. Nothing wrong with being an Islam basher. After all, if you think the religion is evil, and is the cause of so much strife, why not hate it?

That being the case - you being an Islam basher/hater/whatever - as mentioned previously I see no need to continue this argument.

Actually, the opposite is the case. Cherry-picking is typically done by apologists, who quote some tolerant Mekkan verses, without telling us that these are abrogated by the later, Medinan verses. But I assume you know that. In the event, ISIS is not cherry-picking, they follow radical Wahabi Sunni islam to the letter.

Sigh.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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