Motivation for writing the letter below came from reading (with some trembling) this article by Bruce Walker. It is worth your time and pondering: “Democracy and Freedom”, Bruce Walker (American Thinker)
Postings regarding the suit:
“Defamation Case . . .” (Atlas Shrugs)
“Defamation Case . . . “ (Vlad Tepes)
OPEN LETTER REGARDING THE SUIT AGAINST THE PUBLISHER OF THE DANISH MUHAMMAD CARTOONS
Dear Faisal Yamani, Esq.
I will be following your suit against the publisher of those Danish Cartoons with interest. Will do so with care and much thought.
I am writing from protest, to express my support for the publisher of the Muhammad Cartoons and the artists, especially Kurt Westergaard. In short, I am, by this letter, throwing my hat into the resounding ring of Liberty.
Any collective (maybe especially Islam’s own ummah) falls under God’s judgment if it denies and tramples upon the sovereignty of the human person. The personhood of an individual is defined and secured, not by his participation in any political or religious collective (which is secondary, if that), but by his standing upon his Original Solitude before God from which he was created.
Hence the gift of Liberty.
Your suit against the artists and publisher of the Danish Muhammad Cartoons disregards this foundational truth of human personhood. It rebels against God’s original covenant with man.
Any human fellowship worth the nod must take this as its foundation and starting point. Any collective, any community, any nation-state, receives its nature and justification from the consent of the human person. When such seeks to usurp that prior and greater sovereignty it does the work of Satan.
That is the lesson of Eden: God walking in the cool of the evening with our first parents – not the collective, not no ummah!
The publisher of the Danish Cartoons, and the artists, did God’s work in trumpeting the sovereignty of the human person over the collective will with its whoring after tyranny and crushing totalitarian oneness. In their evening walk with God, both publisher and artist heard their calling to defend the primacy of the human person against the collective with its sneaking, snaking threat to hack a stony byway through the arid desert of submission. The collective knows nothing outside the wreckage of its demand of crushing submission; it knows no liberality, no joy. The human person is fodder to its totalitarian ways and means. In its arrogance, the collective takes a try at God, pouncing on the goodness of his grace, shackling his easy-going evening strolls, bottling up the liberality of his conversation with lost coins and sheep. These past 1400 years, has Islam’s ummah been such a collective?
In answering this question there was much work to be done with pen and ink.
In fact, I have my own questions.
I, too, am an artist. Can’t help but take a serious look-about at your attack against the publisher of the Danish Cartoons. Will the outcome, or, simply, the very act and process of a suit, forestall or modify what’s sitting in my own studio?
Here I am all pumped up and rearing to go with my own series, “The Muhammad Paintings Collection”: a collection of seven major works with their sketches and drawings.
Living off the fat of American Liberty, will (or should) the proceedings in London forestall or dampen this project of mine?
The central piece is titled, “The Genesis of 9/11: the massacre of the Jews of Medina by Muhammad”.
This work is a painterly investigation into the tap root that, volcano like, spewed such horror into that sparkling bright Tuesday September morning. In locating the perfect image for that day (and, therefore, my painting) I’ve settled upon the linkage between it (that is, 9/11) and Muhammad’s attack against the Jews of Medina. His words and deeds on that other fateful day spawned its evil imitation in New York City.
The fit is perfect in all ways: in its politics, historical continuity, in its theology. 9/11 was in no way the missionary act of Muslims, but it was a missionary spawn of Muhammad’s Median words and deeds. At Medina Muhammad fine-tuned and tidied-up Islam’s political theology.
So what did happen in Medina, and how is it the mother of 9/11? That is the pivotal image that aches for the copulating craft of oil and canvas.
This is the thought that crouched in my mind on that eventful September morning. Though crouching raw and impressionistic I trusted its instinct. The thought needed investigation, the image its evacuation.
Of all the events in the Prophet Muhammad’s career, Medina settled, for all time, Islam’s theology and, above all, its political ideology. To dismiss the historical and theological linkage between 9/11 and Medina is to diminish Islam’s fundamental convictions and character.
The result of all that investigation and evacuation?
It came down to the who and what of the Prophet Muhammad, to that man’s very words and deeds. And through him, since we have no other source, to the words and deeds of Allah himself (if such a god who refuses to show his face can speak and act). It came down to locating the outcome (theological, political, cultural) of Islam’s temptation to match its political, cultural totalitarian oneness with Allah’s. It came down to Islam’s warring fear against the sovereignty of the individual human person: mine, yours, our neighbor’s down the street, all standing upon their Original Solitude before God. (The phrase belongs to Pope John Paul ll.)
It is that standing, mankind’s Original Solitude, which matters, for it is the origin of each person’s being. It is the foundation and fountain of his dignity. It is the scooped out place of his liberty as an individual man or woman. It is why God made Adam and Eve before any devilish busybody could cobble together notions of collectives and ummahs.
God’s particular affection crosses men and women here, not within the strangling crucible of collectives and ummahs. This paradox is paramount: the sovereignty of lost coins and sheep settling dearer to God’s heart than collectives and ummahs; of God laying down his own sovereignty as he picks up humility; the building of true human fellowship upon the foundation of the sovereignty of human personhood and the humility of a laying aside God. Within this intersection Liberty is both a gift and a stewardship. Regarding such Liberty, no totalitarian collective or ummah possesses the right to define or has the authority to pull asunder.
How do we know this?
We know because God has buried a hard truth within the heart of that paradox – his particular affection for Israel, his election of the Jew. Here, in his midst of his Chosen People God scooped out Liberty’s greatest, most fruitful habitat. Here, in Israel’s heart, God deep rooted his particular affection to bloom into a universal canopy. We know God loves Tom, Dick, and Harry – Debbie, Mary, and Alice – because he chose Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac. Nineveh was saved because Israel the Jew carried the message.
[How the Christian falls into and under Israel’s election is another conversation. For now we shall simply confess, with St Paul, that “salvation is of the Jews” – even in Arabia.]
So, i the midst of Arabia God had planted his particular affection for all to see – he settled the Jew in Medina. Muhammad saw this but rebelled against God’s universal witness of himself in the singularity of his election of Israel. Muhammad refused to read the great sign of Liberty.
Muhammad refused the knowing that the Danes knew.
Any human fellowship or community worth man’s care and participation begins here, with God’s particular affection, with his own choosing, with his own settling habitat in the midst of his people. God gives first his particular affection so the nations of the earth be blessed. The universal in servitude to the particular, the nations in service to Israel.. All this images Genesis, the creation of mankind – when Adam and Eve stood within their Original Solitude before God – and no other.
Muhammad erred in enthroning on earth God’s Oneness (imitating here what cannot, should not be duplicated in this world’s politics and culture). God has laid aside the prerogatives of his Oneness for the riotous delight of creation’s multiplicities. At the heart of creation God placed creation’s crown – the human person. No collective, no ummah can dethrone what God stood up as the delight of his eye and the love of his heart. God scooped out a Garden of Liberty for his walks with man in the evening coolness. Why would anyone, except Lucifer, wish for something other, or more. Is it not enough that God showed his face? He has such an easy look about him. Why insist that God straddle that Garden Path armored up on a stead snorting the smoke of tyranny, stomping all under its leaden hoof?
Muhammad erred in assuming that what God wanted, on earth, was a hard, brittle, cruel, faltering, insulting replication of his Oneness – an interior unity no man has seen.
The Jyllands-Postem and Kurt Westergaard are guilty of no offense before God or man. They simply took up residence in the Garden of Liberty, did what comes by nature to those who know their dignity, their worth, their standing upon their Original Solitude. Such is their by grace and right. No collective, no ummah, no community organizer, can damn what God called good.
Noone, no political machinations of state or religion, can dethrone the human person of his sovereignty. Each man or woman standing within his Original Solitude comes first, has priority over any standing before and with others – certainly before the collective, compulsive power of state or religion. In point of fact, any fellowship or community of men begins here. The individual’s Original Solitude is the guarantor of the gifts of fellowship. Mankind’s founding upon his Original Solitude is his crowning – one the collective cannot offer, nor dare snatch away. History shows us that Collective Man wears crowns poorly. This includes any assumed collective power of political Islam.
As for myself, I come to this.
After nine years of careful thought and directed prayer, it is time to express the raw thoughts of that fateful day – to witness to the truth of the Falling Towers. Since I do poorly with words, oils on canvass will do.
At this stage the paintings are sketches and drawings. Frankly, much of the collection sits as images and notions in my head, waiting for their incarnation in paint and canvas.
As I stated, it will be interesting, watching your ordeal in London, to see what happens to those images and thoughts of mine. Will London call judgment upon my calling as an artist – even here in California?
Nothing should happen! There should be no fallout, no modification, no termination of my own calling and duty.
I am an American sitting and working under the protection of the Constitution of the United States – history’s ‘almost’ most glorious human fellowship.
Why the glory? Because America was founded upon the covenant of mankind’s Original Solitude. America got governance right!
Like ancient Israel, America understood that, with both God and man, the Particular comes first; that outside and without the grounding of the Particular the Universal falls into tyranny, Oneness into crushing totalitarianism.
In view of your attack in London, upon Liberty, what action should I take? No problem. No question. I will continue the work I began. I will do what God does, place his affection upon the Particular, and damn the Universal. I will simply proceed with the work at my easel, as you beaver away in London.
Exhausting work for the both of us – but, in the mind, I think you who wins. For God has already tossed the wreath of victory on what he has already crowned – the personhood of man and woman. It will set that has my prize.
Good-by. Good luck. We already know God’s will.
In time I will be planning exhibitions. Should I come to London to exhibit my collection I’d be happy to give you a private viewing. Afterward we could have a nice chat over coffee.
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