Offensive Cartoons on Websites

Nov 19th, 2008, in IM Posts, Internet, by

Website and blog owners scramble to delete offensive cartoons as the government, MUI and PKS bear down on them.

Faith Freedom Indonesia

The full bore anti-Islam forum site Faithfreedom, run by Ali Sina, has nine non English language versions, including an Indonesian one, or did until today.

The site has been shut down by its operators after it attracted the attention of various political and religious authorities in Indonesia, such as the Clerics' Council/Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) and the Justice Party/Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS).

Faith Freedom

Ikhwan Syam of MUI asked the Department of Communications to take action against the site [1], while President of PKS Tifatul Sembiring said the PKS may stage public demonstrations [2] [both speaking before the site shut down].

Currently the home page of this site contains a message explaining that in the interests of inter-religious harmony in Indonesia the forum has been closed:

Mulai hari ini tanggal 19 Nov 2008, admins/moderators menutup forum ini demi terciptanya keharmonisan beragama di Indonesia. Forum ini adalah milik dan dikelola oleh www.faithfreedom.org, Dr. Ali Sina. Dengan ini admins/moderators tidak lagi terlibat dalam bentuk apapun dalam forum ini, dan meminta maaf bila kehadiran forum ini telah meresahkan masyarakat Indonesia.

Specifically, the main complaint against indonesia.faithfreedom.org is that it hosted two comic strips, entitled "Muhammad and Zainab" and "Muhammad and Hafsa", in colloquial Indonesian language, which portray the prophet Muhammad in terms likely to be highly offensive to most Muslims, including in sexual poses.

An archived version of the FFI forum can be viewed here.

Blogs - Lapo Tuak

Later, the Minister of Communications Muhammad Nuh vowed to prosecute the owner of any blog, or presumably website in general, who displays insulting pictures and cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, according to the recently passed Electronic Information Act (see Internet Blocking & Regulation).

Another website which has recently come under public scutiny, Lapo Tuak Batak (means Warung Tuak), a hosted wordpress blog, had its contents removed by its operator, and now has been suspended by WordPress, see http://lapotuak.wordpress.com/. This blog also hosted the offending comic strips, and the blogger at the helm is believed have made the Indonesian translation.

Cartoons
Blurred version of cartoons (produced by Okezone).

Mutammimul Ula of the PKS complained that the contents of Lapo Tuak Batak were gross and pornographic and extremely upsetting for Muslims, but advised people not to take the law into their own hands and seek revenge. [3]

November 22nd. The Department of Communications has sent a request to WordPress.com for the latter to reveal the identity of the blogger at lapotuak.wordpress.com. Whether WordPress acceded to the request or not police enquiries would continue and a spokesman for the Department claimed that the digital forensic laboratories of the police force would be put to work to find out the blogger's, (who may go by the name "Coppertone") identity. [4]


89 Comments on “Offensive Cartoons on Websites”

Pages: [1] 2 3 »

  1. avatar diego says:
    November 19th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Later, the Minister of Communications Muhammad Nuh vowed to prosecute the owner of any blog, or presumably website in general, who displays insulting pictures and cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, according to the recently passed Information Act (see Internet Blocking & Regulation).

    Tu that Nuh guy: there are so many pictures insulting Jesus (I’ve seen some pictures depicting Jesus as gay-man in a leather-daddy suite — I have nothing against gays (I myself am a gay), but I believe Jesus is not, he’s a holy man, son of the God). I want the government of Indonesia to demand the closing of those sites, because it insults, well, Christianity. Otherwise, we, the people from christian gay association will stage a mass demonstration to show our anger.

  2. avatar El Panda says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Ya, there are so many offensive forum, web and blog against Christian.
    Why they wont shut it down too? like Fitna movie, look what they did to youtube.
    Double standard eh? Me.. not a Christian, I’m an agnostic and stupidly handsome.

    El Panda

  3. avatar ultratupai says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 3:38 am

    YAWN!!! Another cartoon controversy. So what. There are just TOO MANY other things to worry about than this no matter how offensive or extreme it is.

  4. avatar billitone says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 9:33 am

    I don’t get it why people should feel offended by those cartoon.

    I thought cartoon is there for us to laugh at ourselves. It’s enlightening, a religious thing.
    Is there really a need for us to defend God or the prophet?

    Double standard? Seems like so.
    On the other hand, Christian way of life is showing that to forgive is better than to forbid.

  5. avatar TONI says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I guess that the government has done this taking in account the next elections. It wants to attract votes from radicals muslims, that’s all.

  6. avatar Maj Frukt says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Bravo Indonesian government! It seemed they have more power than I thought. It’s funny how YouTube and WordPress are afraid of them.

    Usually, the news like this makes me angry but lately it started makes me laugh to see how ridiculous our beloved country has turned out to be.

    Anyway, does anyone care to send me that cartoons? My husband and I are very curious about it.

  7. avatar monyetmerah says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Maj Frukt,

    Usually, the news like this makes me angry but lately it started makes me laugh to see how ridiculous our beloved country has turned out to be.

    The government is glad to make such a fuzz on this small news, it diverts the attention from the bigger issues that we have in Indonesia.

    Wake up Indonesians!!!

  8. avatar funny says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Screw the poverty, lack-of-education, corruption, economy, and all other issues.

    It’s all about the cartoons baby!!!!

  9. avatar baniadam says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Let’s think with clear and open minded..

    What do you think this person posted this comics that contained offensive matters at his/her blog?
    my opinion the objective is only one, to burn anger’s or to provoke any moslems who read it. If the contain of that blog is only for limited group or member, he/she would not input it at a media that is free to acces for everyone…

    This SARA or translated as Tribal affiliations, religion, race and societal groupsthing’s is a sensitive case in Indonesia, most of conflict that made great devastating in Indonesia caused by this.
    We have a diiffrent way to translate the meanings of “freedom“, It is a “fully-responsible freedomness“. Indonesians people are emotional one, if this matter rise into conflict, who will take responsible for it??
    That’s why our government has a great concern to control this matter, thats why being tolerate and respectful to each other has a deep meaning in Indonesia. Insulting a person or a group is not a way or reflecting how a mature and educated person act.

    “Nations are equal in respect to each other, and entitled to claim equal consideration for their rights, whatever may be their relative dimensions or strength or however greatly they may differ in government, religion or manners.”
    James Kent

  10. avatar Rama Treiz says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    It seems to me that fanatical muslims are allergic to any form of humor, or something since they get so antsy about trivial stuff like this. It’s not like the cartoons are drawn on pig skin, and the pictures are colored by alcohol or anything like that.

  11. avatar rima says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Rama, it’s not only the fanatical muslims, it’s ALL muslims.
    You can find the mildest, most moderate Muslim but when it is their prophet that is being ‘insulted’, they get angry.

    Yet they say the prophet is a man, just like them.

    I never see Christians run amok at the sight of Jesus being made fun of. Even Conan O’Brien made fun of Jesus with his series of Jesus figurines. Nobody got angry and demanded NBC close down the late night show.

    Muslims have a very different way of thinking and believing in something. It’s strange and illogical. I should know, I used to be one of them. (Yes, I used to hate America, the jews, western culture, infidels etc etc etc..)

  12. avatar billitone says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    In Detik.com, a priest said the cartoonist is crazy. Then, HTI said the cartoonist deserves dead-penalty. Now, who’s the real clown?

    Something is wrong about me being a moslem, I don’t get angry when someone made fun of the prophet, Muhammad or Jesus.

  13. avatar rima says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    @billitone: It seems there are a very small group of muslims like you billitone, who don’t get offended at all when people make fun of your prophet and belief.

    I stand corrected, not ALL muslims but MOST.

  14. avatar billitone says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    …glad that you stand corrected, rima. Else, I’ll get angry…ups.

  15. avatar Cukurungan says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I stand corrected, not ALL muslims but MOST.

    It is only a fake Muslim who does not get angry when their GOD and prophet insulted and even the fake Muslim have no objection to parade the naked death body of their own parent in order to cheer-up their Bule master

  16. avatar Geordie says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I think it must be remembered that satirists are visual columnists and thery’re work is simply opinion and as such, is there anyone out there who would deny anyone their opinion? I suspect not, not if it also meant that one’s own point of view would be similarly policed.

    My own view is that IF parody of a thing is indeed a sin, then surely it must be the case that parody of ALL things are equally sinful as somebody’s bound to be pissed of with you, well, taking the piss?

    What I see in the pages of IM are people hugely committed to their faith (a thing I deeply admire) and are willing to stand up for what it represents against all-comers; another good thing in my opinion. That confidence, however, is not shared by all who are equally inclined towards Islam and, as evidenced by this latest furore, will simply fall back upon the tired, old backstop of blasphemy and, more recently, Islamaphobia. Quite apart from Islamaphobia being a misnomer, I’m not irrationally frightened of Islam but I do have what I believe to be a healthy wariness of anyone who can be become so exercised over someone’s opinion of the Prophet (pbuh) (this more often than not), Islam and, to a lesser extent surprisingly, God.

    The thing is, how can Muslims hope to change anyone’s opinion by silencing it? True, some opinions are expressed more forecfully and less respectfully than others but as banaidam quoted from James Kent:

    “Nations are equal in respect to each other, and entitled to claim equal consideration for their rights, whatever may be their relative dimensions or strength or however greatly they may differ in government, religion or manners.”

    Respect, therefore, cuts both ways and slieghts, be they real or perceived, should be accomodated. By silencing me because you don’t like what I say or the way I say it may be expedient but, I wonder, is it likely to cause me to question my opinion’s appropiateness or simply reinforce it?

  17. avatar Geordie says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Cukurungan said the following: -

    It is only a fake Muslim who does not get angry when their GOD and prophet insulted and even the fake Muslim have no objection to parade the naked death body of their own parent in order to cheer-up their Bule master

    I get the reference regarding being angry, or not in the case of fake Muslims, when God and the Prophet are insulted but I’m struggling to see the relevance to this topic about fake Muslims having no objection to: -

    parade the naked death body of their own parent in order to cheer-up their Bule master

    Care to elaborate please?

  18. avatar hary says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Dear Baniadam, you say ” let’s not discuss topics that evoke emotions” . If we took your advise, the women would never have got the vote, and we would still believe the world was flat. An emotional topic requires responsible discussion, NOT silence.
    Dear Cuku, you say ” parade the naked….Bule master” . Like Geordie, I am waiting to hear what you mean and what you refer to.

    To all Muslims, do remember that Jesus is also a prophet in the Al Koran. Perhaps these same angry Muslims should also take up the cudgels against cartoonist making fun of Jesus.

    To all readers, it is a pity that the reaction to the cartoon has masked the point that the cartoon was trying to make, that Islam is intolerant of non- Muslims. This is incorrect. Islam recognises both Judaism and Christianity as valid truths. They are khitibayah, or people from an earlier revelation. Islam does not even allow forced conversion. Unfortunately, many Muslims choose to ignore the Prophet’s acceptance of Abraham and Jesus. In practice, this results in hatred of anything Jewish, and to a certain extent Christian, in the Indonesian context.

  19. avatar diego says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Dhimmitude has crept in to Indonesian christian bodies…:

    Sementara anggota DPR asal Partai Damai Sejahtera (PDS) Tiurlan Hutagaol yang juga seorang pendeta mengutuk komik tersebut. “Nggak usah dilayani, dia itu sakit jiwa, orang sinting,” katanya kepada detikcom.

    kartun-nabi-muhammad-versi-indonesia-lets-jihad

    Who was that christian guy, what was the word? Dhimwit?

    Bah, why did he comment on that cartoon? Can’t he just keep his mouth shut, and enjoy the show (the anger-parade of the insulted-hypersensible-moslems)? I mean, his statement can be easily taken by FPI and the likes as: the cartoon is the work of the “kafir” christians, who conspire with the “joos” and the rest of “infidels”, who envy islamic world development, to destroy islam.

  20. avatar As'ad Djamalilleil says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Faith Freedom DOES NOT meant freedom to insult other’s faith

  21. avatar Barry prima says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I should know, I used to be one of them. (Yes, I used to hate America, the jews, western culture, infidels etc etc etc..)

    Just because you in your own mind were once a Muslim does not make you an authority on them.
    A good Muslim wouldn’t hate jews, America, western culture or infidels either..an ignorant person remains an ignorant person, no matter they change from muslim to unbeliever or vice versa.

    You can find the mildest, most moderate Muslim but when it is their prophet that is being ‘insulted’, they get angry.

    Yes we do and is that something we should be ashamed about? Would you allow your parents to be insulted, your ancestors? Well I should hope any human being that has any self respect or adab would not openly accept what is dear to them being ridiculed and insulted. Muslims feel that way about the prophet Muhammad, if you were ever a Muslim you would know and empathise with that!
    Once you open the gates of ridicule in society for that which is sacred, (not just religious figures, but the human body, family etc) there is no sense of shame/dignity left in society and once that goes, what have we left as human beings?
    Once you start to ridicule the symbols of the sacred, or make them profane, they lose their value in helping people relate to the absolute. Some things are sacred simple. One they cease to be so so will man no longer himself be able to maintain that which is sacred in him.

    IF parody of a thing is indeed a sin, then surely it must be the case that parody of ALL things are equally sinful

    All things are not equal, nor do they have equal significance, its a bit like saying, if paedophlia is sinful then all sex is sinful? What a ridiculous analogy!
    How would you feel if I parodied/insulted your mom and dad, your daughter or someone close to you? Would you still respect that as someone’s opinion? Well there are some western people in an attempt to maintain a false sense of freedom would actually say yes….they are not worthy of being called human beings.

    but I believe Jesus is not, he’s a holy man, son of the God). I want the government of Indonesia to demand the closing of those sites, because it insults, well, Christianity.

    And every good Muslim would give you their support. As a Muslim it hurts my feeling when jesus or any other prophet is insulted. If a Muslim Indonesian insulted and parodied one of the Chinese sages I’m sure all those campaigning for free speech here to insult the nabi muhammed (pbuh) would feel it is inappropriate and no doubt use it as an excuse blame once again the perennial bogeyman: Muslim fanatic!

    I stand corrected, not ALL muslims but MOST.

    You are not correct about anything, nor do you take a stand for anything that is based on an intelligent observation of the world.

    Christian way of life is showing that to forgive is better than to forbid.

    So Christian life is saying jesus can be become gay, dirty, unbeliever etc???? Doesn’t christian belief also say eye for an eye, wasn’t lots wife turned to a pillar of salt??
    Also it never says better forgive than to forbid…otherwise nothing would be forbidden in Christianity would it???? I THINK CUK WAS TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHEN HE SAID:

    even the fake Muslim have no objection to parade the naked death body of their own parent in order to cheer-up their Bule master

    CHANGE FAKE MUSLIM TO FAKE CHRISTIAN IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN. How silly you are, in trying to look progressive to the white man, are willing to lose your own soul and insult your intelligence!

    Screw the poverty, lack-of-education, corruption, economy, and all other issues.

    Thats a completely different issue…what has that got to do with freedom of speech or anything? Who is diverting the attention now?

    but, I wonder, is it likely to cause me to question my opinion’s appropiateness or simply reinforce it?

    That’s as up to you..do you try to empathise with why those people are so hurt by your insult ( as opposed to opinion)…if you try to see if from their point of view you might learn something about your own culture/tradition..call it a kind of constructive criticism, but the thing is, the western media/pseudo intellectual classes quite often think that they have nothing to learn from Islam and their lies the root of the problem.

  22. avatar ET says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Is my gravatar also offensive to muslims?

  23. avatar diego says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Guys, let’s go back to everyone’s favorite game: “who started first?”.
    Round 1, fight,

  24. avatar fullmoonflower says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    @ ET

    not really…

    I just think that you better put The Rolling Stone’s symbol than that red lips and pink tongue…
    First time I saw that tongue, I thought that was an avatar of a toothless monkey is biting a banana :D…

    xixixixi :lol:

  25. avatar fullmoonflower says:
    November 20th, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    @ Diego…

    wow!!! good referee! :-D

  26. avatar Barry Prima says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Is my gravatar also offensive to muslims?

    No Et, please try harder….so we can insult you back.

  27. avatar foolosophy says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 6:09 am

    hang on… have you guys seen the comic strip before commenting? i don’t see any connection to christianity in the drawings. The comic strip is about The Prophet.
    And no one can explain why The Prophet has lots of wives claiming that he married all of them because Allah told him so.. but his household was not harmonious.

  28. avatar roy_sianipar says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Hello every human soul in here……….
    Thanks a lot for posting about offensive cartoon of who ever……Muhammad or budha Jesus or me my self.
    I’m really concern about you all guys sound like bunch of indo Blood living in modern world. But still left your mind in asia. Just like my soul left in lake toba sumatra.
    THE INDONESIAN government tried their trick just the way they trick the whole world about killing field in during the communist party followers and continue to ambon massacre and east timor and papua and aceh and lots more. Remember people who did the murderer never been taken to justice.

    I did remember PKI or communist memebers taken away from their home and killed all of them on the river bank and pushed away to the running water. Who gave the order? Army /police and together with public figures, so it all involved .WHO DO you BLAME to day?

    Western gov knew who was responsible and why they get away with human right abused in Indonesia?. Indo gov really scared if the three islamic terrorist just shot dead. So they twisted to other side of issues. Trying to please the peasant. Indo people fed them with holy quran and holy bible then the gov reps busy with dirty deal with foreigns Dollars bribes and corruption business.

    Islam /christian got away with so many sinners since they arrived from arab or from some where unknown destination country. I’m only concern with the real native of indonesian. Why they are all bloody silly and always adopted new cultures instead of the original and progress with it. Why have to be islam or christian or budha why not stay loyal to their own which they own by their own heritage copy right. Loyal to their own ass lickers always born with licking some one else ass.

  29. avatar baniadam says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    the contex is about SARA..

    This kind of comic or cartoon are not a funny one, it is an insult to moslems faith, you cannot make a joke to someones or a group’s faith. We can make a funny cartoon for Politics, government policies etc, and that is not suitable for SARA issue.

    We cannot make a same threatment compare to the genders and how flat the world issue or others issue. Just i told before this is SARA issue, even though for that both issue we have to use logic and civilize way to talk about it, and how about for SARA or more specific for faith?? Offcourse more than that.

    If you want to talk about SARA, please use it more respectful and educated in carefully way, thats how civilize people do. Thats how our prophet David, Jesus and Muhammad (PBUH) teach us to do. Unless the objective is just like i told u before, to make a chaos. This way is the suitable one

    my point is, please people we have to learn from tragedy happened in ambon and poso…

  30. avatar Pena Budaya says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    The website is down but the comics are still spreading in various websites with English version. I haven’t seen the Indonesian version as published in the website yet but I assumed it is the same as the English version. In fact I have seen a video version of the comic with narrator.

    Baniadam,
    What do you mean? Do you think that after this comics, the Indonesian muslims will attack the Indonesian non muslims who are innocent and clueless about the creation of the comic? We have no ideas who create this comic yet! It could be anyone who produces this (when I listened to the English accent of the narrator of the comics, the person is certainly not a European nor North American natives).

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