What are the boundaries? - If I say in my webpage Humor and Jokes... "...There are religious jokes, actually 1 Jewish joke & 3 Christian jokes, so no Muslims will be offended - In this way, I hope to avoid flag and effigy burning, the throwing of shoes and issuing of fatwas. There is also a political joke and a joke about lawyers...."
I intend to be funny with a wry dig at religious extremists and I hope it will still make them laugh. But if Orthodox Muslims feel this is insulting, I will remove the words immediately, as it is not my intention to be rude. So I need some Muslims to tell me what you think, please.
personally i would write whatever i thought was funny. worrying about what one religious group thinks is wrong. if they can't handle humour, then they shouldn't read it.
The trouble is, people don't know what they are going to read until they have actually read it, so it's not just a question of saying they have an option of Not reading it, because by then it's too late.
It isn 't a question of whether they can or can't handle humour full stop.It's a question of how they feel about that particular attempt at humor. My experience via my friends who are Muslims is that, just like some indiginous English people but not others, many of them do indeed have a good sense of humour, but they still find certain things offensive.
if people can get offended by what they read, then it is better for them to shut themselves up in their homes.
The Muslims tend to take their Religion and Culture much more serious than most of us westerners do. And are a very proud people as a whole. (the Middle Eastern people) And insulting either of those two things is deemed very disrespectful to them. While they might not turn to violence, they are most probable to become very vocal about the perceived insult. And while I agree with the other posters, in that all religions should be treated as equals and each person has a right to free speech, sometimes to save yourself personal grief over the issue it might be best to avoid certain topics (muslim or other) when adding a humorous or satire aspect to it.
Just my two cents.
That is my view too. I just wanted to find out how far is too far. We all have our individual sensibilities - for instance I intensely dislike humour which relies on lots of vulgarity and swearing - like Russell Brand, who seems to be really popular amongst young people. Yet Jo Brand (no relation, funnily enough) also swears and I still find her hilarious. I've even been to one of her comedy classes many years ago,when I was learning stand-up comedy and she explained how she felt that, because people are a bit sniffy about women comediennes, she had to keep pushing the boundaries in order to shock.
Would it get your point across if you are less direct in your words? For example, you could say:
"...There are religious jokes, actually 1 Jewish joke & 3 Christian jokes, so no other religions will be offended - In this way, I hope to avoid flag and effigy burning, and other acts of religious extremism. There is also a political joke and a joke about lawyers...."
To me, it's not a question of what you have a right to do or whether religious extremists ought to have a sense of humor. Rather, it's a question of how your words will be perceived and whether that perception will achieve your goals or not.
I think making fun of others is bullying. It it as bad as killing someone. Absolutely not. Thank God I am seeing Imams speak out against terrorist groups killing in the name of allah. If I know my "joke" will cause some idiot(s) to get made and start killing others, I won't tell it.
Could the right to laugh and joke about something that could lead to the death of innocent people be that important?
"Could the right to laugh and joke about something that could lead to the death of innocent people be that important?"
That is an excellent question. I (VERY) highly value my right to laugh and joke about something. Honestly, is life worth living if you no longer have the right to laugh and joke? I think there are reasonable people who don't have much of a sense of humor, who would say, "yes, life is worth living, even without laughing and joking." I would want to disagree with them, and I might even want to laugh and joke about THEM. The problem with all my laughing and joking is that I could be doing it in private, or I could be doing it in a small group, or I could be publishing it or doing it on the internet where anybody in the world may see it. I don't have any simple answers to this.
A joke at the expense of someone else is not a joke. What if your obese child's friend tells fat jokes or kids joke about using your paralyzed child for 3rd base so he can be in the baseball game? Younger African Americans (and Hispanics, and whites, and others) like to use the "n" word. Older African Americans know the pain of using that word. If you care about someone, you shouldn't want to hurt them. My niece has mild retardation and Turner's Syndrome because my sister used drugs. I don't want people calling others "re***ds" or stumps.
The examples you gave are what they call "punching down". What about "punching up"? That is, making a joke of someone in a higher position than you. For example, making fun of the King, or the President. Or the leader of North Korea. I don't think they allow people in North Korea to make fun of their leader.
True. We know that terrorist kill innocent people in the name of allah. So you tell the joke. Laugh about it. The terrorist gets made and kills my niece. Would you tell the joke if you knew that my niece would get killed.
That depends. If they had a gun to her head, and were waiting for me to tell the them the joke, then no, I would not tell the joke. But if I wanted to tell the joke on the internet, and had no idea who might see it or what they might do, then I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that I do not want to live in a world without any laughter.
There are many thinks to laugh about without putting others in jeopardy.
That is true. I might want to laugh about how the people who play the accordion make me think of the devil. I might come up with a joke that is so hysterical about accordion players that I feel compelled to publish it on HubPages. But before I click "Send", however, I might think to myself, "How would I feel about this if I were an accordion player. It might make me feel hurt or angry. Screw them, I'm not addressing the joke to them, I'm publishing for the entire world to laugh at. But what if there is this one guy on the other side of the world who does nothing but repeatedly google the words "accordion joke" all day long, and his apartment is filled with accordions. I don't think this guy is somebody I can try to understand or reason with. However, there is the distinct remote possibility that this guy might see my joke, get on a plane to America and shoot your niece. I think it might be best to let the authorities deal with this guy, and worry about what he may have done in the past or may do in the future, and then I can go on about living my life like a normal person."
If it is not your niece that time, it will be someone else's niece the next time.
Some New Guineans had the habit of cannibalism and it affected their sensibilities if it was criticized, so shall we not (or to be precise, should the Europeans not have)?
Do not equate criticizing a person especially based of physical traits, to criticizing an idea especially one that is in the public domain.
Cannibalism is murder and it is wrong. I don't think this statement is in context with making jokes about things that can get someone killed.
Wrong for you, not them.
Second, they eat their dead do not kill to eat. They think it as a sign of respect for the dead. So shall we concur?
BuddiNsense, thank you for enlightening me. So is it better to eat the dead or bury them or burn them? There have been stories of survival where people had to eat the flesh of their dead friends and comrades. I cannot imagine what it takes to do that and hope I don't have to experience it.
It is NOT funny!
It is not funny, but that is beside the point.
If it is offensive for you to be asked to eat your ancestors, it is offensive for them if they are asked NOT to eat theirs.
There is a saying, If you can't ignore an insult, top it; if you can't top it, laugh it off; and if you can't laugh it off, it's probably deserved.
So people get offended if the criticism is deserved. Some religions sensibilities are offended if it told them that women are equal to men, so shall we keep women inferior? Humor is the best way to counter and if some are offended, so be it.
Our discussion reminds me of a Scripture in the Bible:
Romans 14:21 NIV
New International Version
It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
I agree with nightworks, but I'd go a step further and ask why you are so interested in not offending one group? Do not all religions deserve the same level of courtesy? Why worry about offending one and not another?
I am not MORE worried about offending one religious group rather than others - it's just about assessing how far I can go WITHOUT offending them, just as I wouldn't make holocaust jokes or rape jokes.
That was not your stated purpose in your OP. You specifically mentioned fear of violent repercussions.
If it is simple courtesy that prompted you to ask the question, that's another thing entirely. And commendable.
Simple courtesy (public school education, nudge-nudge), so commendable. But also curiosity. And fear? Not really - it would save my family the expense of having to take me to Dignitas in Switzerland
I'm not sure what your public school comment refers to. I'm a product of both public and private schools. I never noticed a difference in the definition of courtesy.
But, as you say, there is a remote possibility of ramifications that could be costly.
I think it a valid question, because some religious groups are more easily offended than others. What may be seen as gentle humour by one religion may be seen as blasphemy by another.
I agree that on one level it is a valid question, but at what point do their rights at being offended outweigh another person's right to free speech? How much more consideration do they deserve than the next person? I simply believe that to bow to the will of the mob is not the right thing to do. Those prone to violence will always find a reason for it. One religion should not be allowed to claim greater rights than another.
Well, the only reason to really worry about muslims more than others is because they are the ones who become violent when offended. Christians don't blow up newspapers who publish jokes about Jesus, and Jews don't get violent when someone draws a picture of them. Muslims often do these things though, and they seem to think the rest of us must bend to their will.
Who is brave enough to publish a cartoon depicting muhammad these days? No one, because people are afraid of being threatened or killed. Sad but true.
Not to pick, but, but there are those who claim to be "Christians", who think it is ok to picket a funeral of a fallen soldier, or shoot and kill a doctor because he preforms abortions. And not to many years back there were some very violent organized crime type criminals who was of the Jewish and Chatolic faiths. There is violence associated with almost all religions in some form or another and at some time or another.
There is no comparison between someone nut killing an abortion doctor and embassies all over the world being attacked and bombed because of a stupid series of cartoons. No comparison. More than a hundred people were killed in those protests, which burned flags from many countries simply because they were primarily Christian, even though they had nothing to do with the cartoons.
Well at one time in history, the "christian" movement kill anyone who wouldn't convert. And the OT is full of the Israelites completely destroying whole cities. So maybe the islamic types are just slow in catching up to the christian and jewish types. Just saying...Religious history tends to repeat itself.
Yes I am not ignorant of history. But the world is a little more advanced than it was in the dark ages, so one would hope for a more modern mentality. But I guess we'll just have to keep hoping, and praying. I am sick and tired of hearing how peaceful islam is though, when will there be evidence of that?
You got the extremists of each religion. Overall, most muslim types (and the teachings) are geared towards a peaceful nature.(Of sorts). And I agree, one would think in modern times that people wouldn't resort to violence anymore, but it happens. There is more than religion involved with these particular groups though. It is also an attempt at the militant political side as well. It just so happens that they claim to be muslim.
Islam is one of the most common religions in the developing world, which has a much higher population of uneducated and illiterate people, who are easy prey for rabble-rousers seeking to create unrest for political gain.
When the Christian world had a similar percentage of illiterate people, we were holding things like Inquisitions and witch hunts, so it's hardly unique to Islam.
I didn't say it was unique, just unique in a modern world. How can any population not know anything about the world outside of their community? And even if they are totally deprived of any type of news, do they just believe that blowing up strangers is the best thing their god can come up with? Seriously?
If you've been told one thing your entire life, it can be difficult to even see contradictory evidence in front of your eyes, let alone acknowledge it.
For a US example, consider the FLDS. There's no way in the world they aren't aware that society at large considers marrying and having sex with a 12 year old girl to be rape and child abuse, but they keep doing it anyway (and marrying off their daughters at that age) because that is what they've been told all their lives that God wants.
Good point, but here is the thing. What about the people who live here in America and then fall into the trap of communicating with some nutjob overseas and then being convinced to take a bomb onto a plane full of people? Or someone serving in our military who shoots up a base full of people? Or a recruiting station?
And when that happens, why don't the "peaceful" muslims living here, in the land of information, speak out in a real way to put a stop to it? What is their problem? If they really think we are going to believe that they are peaceful when they refuse to stop that kind of behavior, they're fooling themselves.
Political correctness is eventually going to wear on the American people as more of them are killed or threatened by these guys, and then the peaceful muslims will end up regretting not acting sooner. Islam in general will be known to be evil unless the 'peaceful' muslims don't begin acting now.
And if they insist on not being criticized or caricatured, as the rest of us are regularly, others are going to get sick of tiptoeing around them. They need to step into the modern world and grow some thicker skin.
I think you have understood the phenomenon correctly.
KK Trainor and kerryg make valid points.
Pussyfooting around is what has led us to this sorry state with News International as well, but we have to distinguish between making disrespectful statements (including the caricature of someone who they think should not even be depicted, never mind mocked) and joking about the excessive over-reactions of people who are very cross indeed.
I think Muslims respect Jesus, Moses and Mary; they cut no jokes at them as they think it is disrespectful to them. The same respect they desire for their religious persons.
Well they certainly don't show that respect when they randomly kill Christians. I would rather thay joke about Jesus than kill people.
I think I did not say that Muslims could kill the Christians; they have no right to kill Chrsitians or others.
I realize you did not say that, but it is a reality that they do kill Christians pretty often. They also kill others, and I don't understand the prevelance of violence in muslim countries. And often it is in countries with no American troops or any sort of war going on. Even in Indonesia and India there are always these bombings and it's always attributed to muslims. What is this accomplishing?
The Muslims should always be peaceful; it is a wrong which some of them are doing against the teachings of Quran.
I respect your words, but you have to realize that according to some within your faith this is the teaching of the Quran.
I don't look at Islam any differently than I look at Christianity. Every time a good Muslim or Christian says that their text doesn't support violence, I have to wonder. That didn't help the dead abortion doctor, or the people killed by a terrorist bomb.
As long as the peaceful within your religion do nothing to curb the violence the entire religion is responsible. Why isn't more done? Instead of talking, why aren't those who preach violence in mosques stripped of their rights to preach?
The longer Islam refuses to stands against the violent within their religion with more than empty words the longer the violence will continue.
If you think that the peaceful should take on to violence then you are wrong as violence will always breed violence.
Did Jesus resort to violence?
Jesus did not resort to violence. He was put on the cross by the violent people; he only prayed. His prayers were heard and he was saved a death on Cross by the Creator God. Jesus migrated and went to far off lands to spread his peaceful message.
I didn't suggest you be violent. What I suggested was that those who preach violence be removed from the religion. They preach in the name of Islam, therefore the violence is part of Islam. And Islam will always be considered a violent religion as long as this is allowed to continue around the world.
I did particularly ask Muslims to respond and tell me what they thought about what I had written, so that I could rephrase it if necessary to avoid being rude as opposed to funny (a very narrow boundary line).
So far I think, judging by people's names, ibneahmad is the first and only Muslim to reply. and still has not actually replied to the question I asked, simply commenting on other's comments. So please, ibn, if you are there, tell us what you think about my original question.
Emile makes an excellent point that the peaceful Muslims could do a lot more to stop the behaviour of the militants in their midst if they were so-minded - or are they, too, afraid of the repercussions on themselves and also their families?
No religion deserves more respect or consideration than another. As far as I'm concerned, all religions have no basis is reality. For this reason, I regularly argue with the Christian evangelical and creationist. However, whilst I find a lot of their beliefs to be nonsense, I do not fear such believers. There aren't that many Church of England members for instance who go around blowing themselves and others up to prove a point. And I have never heard of a Mormon flying planes into buildings. So, it maybe cowardice on my part, but I would never personally have the courage to question the beliefs of a Muslim. Look at what happened with the Muhammed cartoon affair. In the West we are used to humour, even against religion, but the reaction in the Muslim world to the cartoons was extreme, and many died as a result. So, more care needs to be taken with some religions, because humour is not considered acceptable or is even understood.
I get your point and I know my attitude on this might be seen as cavalier. It isn't meant to be. But, zealots will forever look for violent outlets. If we continue to scurry around this point they will find another to take offense at.
I would only make fun of the religion I left, I don't consider it courteous to make fun of another. But I refuse to offer more courtesy to Islam than I am willing to give to anyone else. Religious or otherwise.
Emile says "at what point do their rights at being offended outweigh another person's right to free speech?" - But this is not a question of asserting my right to free speech. I have many rights which I don't necessarily assert with regard to free speech: I have the right to be rude and nasty, but I don't go around asserting that right, unless I have something which needs to be said when I am attacked (or in a particularly bad mood!). I have the right to report people for law-breaking, but don't assert that right.
So yes, I have the right to offend religious people, and will probably use that right at some stage, but on this particular occasion, writing a humorous article, I do not want to offend religious Muslims just because I have the right to do so.
Sherlock says quite rightly that "What may be seen as gentle humour by one religion may be seen as blasphemy by another". Of course, but don't forget that the wording I was suggesting didn't even touch on blasphemy, as I was not proposing to mention the prophet Muhammed, or a superior power - I was merely mentioning flag-burning,shoe-throwing and fatwas, much as I might say to an Englishman "don't go writing strong letters to your MP" or "Don't throw your rattle out of the pram"......a wry prod, not a burning insult.
I checked the constitution and all 27 amendments and no one in this country is guaranteed to never be offended. This type of mentality leads to morons attempting to shut down a radio station or TV station because they dont feel they should have to change the station. If a person has the constutionally protected right to burn a flag, I believe they also have the right to tell a joke. I personally love politically incorrect humor. If it becomes acceptable to stop a joke from being told due to it being offensive, I will be contacting the ACLU to begin preceedings to shut down all churches in this country. I find a lot of these people offensive and what goeod for the bigot is good for the atheist..
But you aren't upset when muslims kill people because of a stupid cartoon? Or does it need to happen here for it to matter? It bothers me no matter where it happens because it's ridiculous and someone should stand up to them. Why aren't the so-called 'peaceful' muslims more outraged by this? Because they obviously don't mind it happening. Otherwise they would have shut those people down long ago.
I hate that anyone protests at military funerals, and though I am pro life, I don't want anyone killed just because he things performing abortions is ok.
But seriously, why can't the "extremist" muslims be stopped by the majority? It's not as if they don't kill and maim on a daily basis. How hard would it be to speak out and make it a national issue? It must be because they really don't disapprove of the behavior. What other explanation could there be?
Stump Parrish - yes, I quite enjoy politically incorrect humour myself, but balanced against that is the fact that I don't see the point of upsetting people just for the sake of it. I do sometimes stand up to political aggressors in a wet liberal sort of way, by signing petitions, e.g. for the release of Gary McKinnon, the stay of execution of Sakineh, and the release of Aang Su Yi, and I do write about things I disapprove of, but that's different from offending someone's genuinely felt ideals.
KK, Part of the problem is that they live in a society that is controlled by religion. If the conservatives get their way we will see an increase in religious violence in this country. A lot of Americans forget that we exist in a different society and have freedoms those in religiously controlled country can't even imagine. I doubt if the Taliban would have very much toleance for the ACLU in their worlds. How does one begin to change anything religious fanatics do when it's the the fanatics who are the leaders of these countries? We don't see the fanatics here in America and most Muslims are just a peaceful as the christians are. Most people refuse to accept that they have the same freedoms and rights as the christians in this country do.
I just don't get it. Maybe I'm stupid. How can anyone think that their god wants them to go into a shopping center and blow up a bunch of innocent people? How is it that anyone would be that dumb? Is that who muslims are? I doubt it.
It's hard to believe that the intelligent and educated ones would not send the message, in any way possible, to their brothers and sisters to stop this ridiculous crap. Why don't they? In my mind there is no other explanation that that they just don't mind it that much. Otherwise, prove it!!!
Prove that your religion is about peace instead of just saying it!! Do something. Do something to make a difference and change the perception that the world has about your religion.
Do it now before more innocent people are murdered in the name of islam. Why would you not do this? History is no excuse. Do something. Do it now!
By its very nature humour is bound to offend someone, that's the thing with jokes whose main purpose is to highlight the ridiculous. Therefore why should any religion be spared ?
I have often wondered why many people these days take themselves and life so seriously, no matter who says what on any subject and up they pop screaming offence !
Humour like comedy is designed to poke fun and yes some will be offended by it, tough... Life's like that...
I get offended when some idiot talks another idiot into blowing himself up in the name of some nonexistent deity or his mouth piece. I get offended when I hear politicians try to defend the indefensible... or the media spread rumours and unsubstantiated facts destroying lives and reputations just to sell their cheap little rags. I get offended when some self appointed PC Guru tries to spoil my fun.
So if the opportunity presents itself to have a go at them I take it.... If it’s funny and makes people laugh so much the better.
So joke away and bring laughter and amusement to many... and to hell with the Sad Sacks that would make it crime !
Oh dear, I agree with Merlin, and with everybody else too...shall I change the wording or shan't I?
If people give it, they should be able to take it, but what if they can't or won't? Do I take the approach "Publish and be damned" or the approach "Words have consequences"?.
That's the trouble with our Western culture - we have a saying for everything....... Hmmm, I feel another article or blog coming on.
Still no response from Muslims to my original question. Why would that be? Are the militants too busy stockpiling matches and buying up cheap inflammable flags and odd shoes?
I doubt you will get many responses from Muslims they are not renown for their sense of humour plus of course it's impossible to debate something with someone who hasn't the fainest idea what you're talking about.
I have no religious leanings and as a confirmed Pagan I have written many articles,Blogs and Hubs on the subject that it was we Pagans who invented God and not the other way around.
I have traveled the world extensively and have many discussions with the faithful from the Looney Tunes Brigade to the Devout Christian, Jewish and Muslims on the subject of religion and their God.
Of all three the Muslims have the least understanding of reality, the Jewish have the best sense of humour and the Christians make a good cup of tea !
I live with my tongue permanently in my cheek and refuse to take life, theirs or my own too seriously after all none of us will get out alive. The only difference is they think they're going somewhere and I know they're not !!
Boy are they going to be Miffed !!!
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