Just a kind request

And then there’s Rhys. He had the contested Jesus and Mo image as his Facebook profile picture for a week, then took it down. He also received a lot of bullying.

I uploaded the image to Facebook and set it as my profile picture for about a week. I then changed back to another photo and went on my usual life.

Until today. Someone who is a Muslim discovered the picture and found it offensive. He politely requested I remove the image –

“…just a kind request to either hide it or completely delete the picture…”

a request I declined because I do not follow Islamic scripture or rules. This quickly descended into a bit of a debate as to whether I should remove the photo or not before he reposted the picture onto his Facebook wall with the comment

So THIS is what our little “Journalist” is uploading… And he claims it’s “freedom of speech” ok Rhys Morgan.. We’ll see :)

That’s when the strawman arguments, ignorance and threats really began.



  1. Sunny says

    I am sure that certain Christians are offended by the image of Jesus as a cartoon figure. However, I do not see them claiming offence, running berserk, and threatening murder.

    Is that the difference between the ‘religion of peace’ and the others? If Catholics were to threaten murder as well, is everyone else supposed to accommodate them as well?

    What is the source of this extreme insecurity among the followers of this faith where even naming a teddy bear or drawing a cartoon results in calls for murder?

  2. Grendels Dad says

    The Christians who are offended are not claiming offence or running berserk, true. They are running for office.

  3. FresnoBob says

    It has nothing to do with Muslim insecurity. It’s muscle. The same kind of muscle a five year old flexes in the supermarket when mummy won’t let him have the sweeties, but muscle nonetheless.

    If only we were dealing with five year olds.

  4. says

    Its weird that we don’t get so much of that in America, we get protests and terrorist attacks against Muslims instead. I wonder why the difference in dynamic? Maybe nothing more than we’ve got such a diverse society that no one group can feel so very excluded. Maybe because we’ve got more outlets for people in general?

    My understanding is that Europe as a whole is massively bigoted against immigrants in a way that would make our bigots jealous. Maybe “liberal” colleges are the only people who even pay their concerns lip service, so they flex their one tiny muscle as much as possible, in all the wrong ways?

  5. Joaquin Rael says

    Improbable Joe – there are rampant terrorist attacks against Muslims? Wow! Because the hate crimes data utterly confounds your proposition. Most religious-based hate crimes are against …. wait for it…. Jews! With Muslims a distant distant third.

    Of the 1,575 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, in 2009 for examle 71.9 percent were victims because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias. Yes, there are occasionally hate crimes against Muslims and these are egregious and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, Jews are 10 times more likely to be the victim of a hate crime. And Muslim groups have created a noise machine to amply the few hate crimes they do suffer to create a meme in a pliant media. Then some poorly informed fool like you echos it without ever referring to the actual statistics.

    Moreover, of all hatecrimes in 2009 18.9 percent were victimized because of a bias against a religious belief and 17.8 percent were targeted because of a bias against a particular sexual orientation. Far far more dangerous to be a gay or jew (heaven forbid a gay jew) than a muslim in america today.


  6. says

    The US places far more emphasis on integration or assimilation of immigrants than does Britain or the Scandinavian countries. Australia (even more successful at integrating large numbers of immigrants than the US) also emphasizes ‘fitting in’ with the host culture, with appropriate support and extensive language programs.

    France is closer to the US model, but has a sclerotic labour market (it is geared up to protect incumbents) that is very difficult for young people to ‘break into’. Much of the car-burning of a few years ago in France had nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with youth unemployment.

    Britain’s labour market is less sclerotic, but it has relied heavily on immigrants to ‘fit in’ of their own accord, with little language support, no sense of shared citizenship and, I submit, excessive politeness. If you watch the debates unfolding on Rhys Morgan’s twitter feed and facebook page, you’ll see many of his fellow Brits chastising him for ‘making a fuss’ and ‘deliberate offence’.

    That is very English It takes quite a bit to make a Hitchens out of an Englishman; it doesn’t come naturally to us. We’d rather talk about the weather, or make tea, or something.

    Of course, when the terrorists tried to blow up Glasgow airport in Scotland, they were set upon, beaten up and set on fire.

  7. sumdum says

    My understanding is that Europe as a whole is massively bigoted against immigrants in a way that would make our bigots jealous.

    I follow American politics fairly regularly, and I don’t believe for a second our bigots put your bigots to shame. Even Greet Wilders wouldn’t want to be associated with them for fear of losing voters.

  8. says

    If you watch the debates unfolding on Rhys Morgan’s twitter feed and facebook page, you’ll see many of his fellow Brits chastising him for ‘making a fuss’ and ‘deliberate offence’.

    You certainly will. One fella on Rhys’s FB page announced:

    I don’t think anyone here is accusing you of trying to offend people. But when someone contacts you and asks you, politely, to remove something, because they find it offensive, logic and common courtesy says, you should.

    Really?! So if someone contacts you and asks you, politely, to remove a Wordsworth poem you posted because they find it offensive, logic and common courtesy says you should?


  9. says

    Joaquin Rael, you should try reading for comprehension, instead of for “here’s some angry shit I want to post, just looking for a comment vaguely related to my personal gripe that I’m going to attach to like a barnacle.”

  10. says

    I find nearly everything associated with Islam(and Christianity, and Judaism, and all the rest) offensive… would anyone treat my takedown requests seriously? NO! I’d be called a bigot and attacked for it.

    But why?

    It isn’t about the offense, I guess. It is about preserving the privilege of religions to be free from criticism at pretty much any cost. Or maybe for these particular people, preserving their belief in their own “inclusiveness” to the extent of engaging in a sort of bigotry against the critics of religion. After all, if Muslims are offended and the person offending them gets threats of violence and expulsion, who is the real victim? The fact that the school would be complicit is troubling.

  11. says

    This is only the beginning folks. They won’t stop now. If we value our freedoms, we’d better get this in hand soon, or we will be living in a totalitarian theocracy. The story on the National Secular Society homepage that you link, Ophelia, about the threat of violence to a group gathered for a talk on Sharia law at Queen Mary College, London, is truly frightening. The man in this instance should be charged and tried for uttering death threats, and appropriate steps taken to protect society from such as he. However, it only takes a very small number of radicals to bring freedom to a standstill, as this demonstrates, and this is simply going to get worse. Islam is not compatible with democracy and free expression, and it is foolish, I believe, to think otherwise. That we are allowing this type of thing to grow up in our midst without sharp checks to attempts to control speech is truly worrying. It is absolutely essential that we be allowed to offend by saying what we like about this violent and theocratic religion, otherwise, we will find, too late, that our freedoms are simply gone. It has happened before. It can happen again. It is happening. Logic chopping over the issue of offence is futile and meaningless. These people will kill over offence. This cannot be tolerated, and must be stopped. Now we need to find out how. I think it is going to cost a lot.

  12. evilDoug says

    I sometimes use the expression “nothing succeeds like success” – usually in reference to a kid who has “turned around” in school performance after he or she did well at something, and then continued to do well. I would use it here, too, but not happily. The bullies have succeeded. They will be emboldened to whine sooner and louder at each future opportunity. They will be more likely to actively seek out opportunties to be offended. As Eric said, it must be stopped.
    This sort of thing has changed my view of Draw Mohammed Day from one of vague indifference to one of regarding it as an important event in preserving civil liberties. It must be made clear that Sharia does not control and will not be allowed to control the lives and activities of non-Muslims in non-theocratic countries. The longer we allow the attempts at coersion to succeed, the harder it will be to stop them.
    Though we may respect the rights of others to harbour their beliefs, we are under no obligation to respect those beliefs in the slightest. I will extend respect, by which I mean general decency and consideration, to anyone – I do not expect anyone to have to earn my respect at that level. However, I will withdraw that respect in a picosecond it someone commits an act of forfeiture. Those who have treated Rhys so shabbily, from his fellow students to his school’s administration, have committed just such acts.
    Time after time, I find myself thinking of the last lines of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Salute

    And every prophet or poet with gun or shiv and any enforcer
    of spiritual enlightenment with force and any
    enforcer of the power of any state with Power
    And to any and all who kill & kill & kill & kill for Peace
    I raise my middle finger
    in the only proper salute

    This is such a time.

  13. dirigible says

    “when someone contacts you and asks you, politely, to remove something, because they find it offensive, logic and common courtesy says, you should”

    I find that offensive. Please remove it.

  14. ttch says

    If I were in Rhys position (and had more guts and energy than I do), I would take this opportunity to use my Facebook page to link to scholarly articles on the history of Islam, the life of Mohamed, and problems regarding the compilation of the Qur’an. Just make sure every entry is by a bona fide Ph.D.

    If enough material isn’t available online, I suspect many authors would approve a request to allow hosting on Rhys’ page of individual articles for a limited time.

    How can University professors oppose a compilation of scholarly articles?

    Oh, I know: They’ll find a way.

  15. Roger says

    For a Muslim any image of the Prophet is blasphemous irrespective of how it portrays him – so surely one who reposts it to his own Facebook page is much more culpable an deserving of a fatwa than a mere infidel.

    Talk about motes and beams (although I very much doubt that line of Jesus gets reproduced in any form in the Koran)….

  16. HaggisForBrains says

    I’m tempted to suggest that we all post this image of Jesus & Mo on our Facebook pages in an attempt to create an “I’m Spartacus” moment. I’ve haven’t already done so myself out of fear of reprisal, since I only set up a Facebook page to try to keep in touch with my sons’ generation, and as such, did not see the need to keep my details anonymous. I’m not sure now how to change this (I’m a bit old for all this technology, not to mention self-defence), but as a craven coward offer this suggestion to those of you who have more courage than I have.

  17. HaggisForBrains says

    Actually, I’ve managed to reset my privacy settings (I hope), and posted the J&M picture on FB. Who will join me?

  18. Blueaussi says

    HaggisFor Brains, I’m with you! I have a FaceBook page that I got just to keep up with my nephew, but I can do that!

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