Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Picture These Shoes

Remember (how were you allowed to forget?) the purportedly toileted Koran that raised such a stink? People died in the conflagration of outrage that followed this leak by you-know-which-journal in you-know-which medium. It’s Rumsfeld’s fault, probably. Everything else is.

Well, here’s an interesting comparison. Vikrant_Camberleykar, a commenter on Jihad Watch, posted a link to the Times of India. The story showed a pair of shoes… one has to resist the temptation to break into Manolo-speak here… and on these shoes were an image.

Do not put an image of my God on a shoe!

The story was not about the riots and death which followed the outrage of these shoes. No. No outrage at all. Instead, readers were urged to begin a letter-writing campaign to the manufacturers of the shoes, asking that they cease manufacturing these desecrations:
    “It has come to the notice of Hindu Human Rights Group that you are currently marketing shoes with the pictures of our sacred and highly revered Hindu god Lord Rama printed on them,” said a letter sent to Minelli by Web-based activist group Hindu Human Rights Group.
"We wish to point out to you that Lord Rama thus illustrated is actually worshipped by millions of Hindus across the world. It stands to reason that such a display of contempt for the spiritual beliefs and practices of a billion Hindus worldwide is causing a sense of fury and outrage in the Hindu community and we have received numerous complaints from Hindus in France."
So do you think perhaps the Hindus could begin giving demonstration lessons in civilized outrage to the Muslims? Supplying them with pen and paper perhaps, and several templates of letters expressing furious indignation or even threatening boycotts? Learning that lesson would be one giant leap forward for mankind.

Here's the severe warning:
    “Hindu Human Rights ask that you withdraw this line of shoes from circulation and sale immediately so as to prevent further unwarranted stress and distress to Hindus worldwide. Naturally, we also expect you to publish a fully apology to the Hindu community,” the website adds.
Faster, please. We’re not nearly there yet and we’re running out of water. And shoe leather.


Rune said...

A fairly large Danish shopping chain had the somewhat questionable idea to start selling plastic sandals with a motive of Jesus. (Sandals) They reluctantly agreed to, after a storm of mailed protests and public debating, withdraw the sandals. But at no time did anyone go tearing through the streets calling down death and destruction on everybody with another view - and Israel.

Islam has saddled themselves with a major image problem, and many people are slowly coming to the realisation that it is not lack of education, culture, tradition or whatever that is at the heart of it – but Islam itself.

Dymphna said...


The darn things look like flip flops, not sandals. You're actually walking onJesus, rather than having him atop your foot, as Lord Rama is. the 'good' old days this would have been worth a charge of sacrilege and you would've had to hire a Canon Lawyer real quick. But that was back when heresy had some kick to it...

Makes you wonder: what if some enterprising, anything-for-a-buck entrepeneur thought of inscribing Alluh Akbar -- or whatever -- onto a pair of thongs. Imagine the riots, the deaths, the rage of the Arab Street...

Imagine the rest of the world changing the channel.

a4g said...

The poor Hindus haven't figured out that if you want really sympathetic coverage in the NYT, etc., you've got to really come out swinging.

I wonder if it is a window into the soul of the left, that they see the violent Muslim response as an expression of fiery True Belief that they (the left) accept unquestioningly, even adoringly. The patient, contemplative perseverance of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus they demean and ignore as the ignorant grunts of the morally unsophisticated.

Strange that a group that prides themselves on 'nuance' is so lustfully enamoured in the face of raw, unchained violence and power.

Dymphna said...

But a4g, that's the point. It's not in the Hindu nature of things to be so bloody-minded as that.

My point was exactly that it won't merit any MSM coverage precisely because it doesn't bleed...

Islam got as far as it did because it arose from a warrrior culture, a culture so anachronistic now that it's essentially doomed. Loud, mind you, but doomed. They will make a whole lotta noise on the way out -- and you can fully expect them to slam the door as they leave.

The Hindus behind the letter-writing campaign just want that twit to remove his sacrilege from the shelves.

As for the Left,they'll go with anything fiery, noisy or bloody. It's bread and circuses for an essentially empty mind. Besides, think about it: if you are prohibited by your culture from using aggression in appropriate ways, what is there to do but to project onto others?

The peecee group has outlawed dodge ball at recess. Some idiot doctor in England is asking for knives to be banned -- just to name two egregious examples. The Muslims are the lot onto which they can project all the things these blunted souls dare not do or even feel...Psych 101, courtesy of ~D.

BTW, go to the Watcher's Council for this week and look at Sundries Shack's fisk of current journalism. His conceit, using the Magic Eye toy, is excellent.

a4g said...

if you are prohibited by your culture from using aggression in appropriate ways, what is there to do but to project onto others?

Fascinating statement.

I've always suspected that those who cannot differenciate between wanton violence and righteous anger are akin to a recovering alcoholic-- they know they cannot control themselves, and dare not open the bottle for fear of the djinn. Perhaps in the madness of the muslim street, they can salaciously dwell on the sweetbitter burn of the bloody nectar that is their drug, dreaming of the drunken "freedom" of Chicago 1968.

krishna_kirti said...

Awful. Just awful. Puting Lord Rama's picture on shoes--cow's leather, no doubt.

I was travelling in India at the time the Babri Masjid (Mosque) was torn down. That was 1993. For those unfamilliar with the Babri Masjid, it is a mosque built on top of one of Hinduism's holiest sites, the birth place of Lord Rama.

After the incident and things had settled down somewhat, I was in Bombay (when it was still named that) taking a cab to some place, and the driver happened to be Mohammedan, and I was dressed like a sadhu. But since I am Anglo-American by birth, he gave me some modicum of respect. He started talking to me, describing some of the places in Bombay, and then we passed by a rather large mosque on the water front and he offered his respects to it while driving. He then started complaining to me about how us Hindus tore down their mosque in Ayodhya (the Babri Masjid) and how they are upset and how wrong it was of us to do that. I then reminded him of how there was once a Hindu temple on the site which was destroyed by invading Mohammedans and that us Hindus feel pretty much the same way. He did not dispute my claim, nor did say anything further.

Later on, there were retalitory bomb blasts in Bombay which claimed between 800 - 1200 lives with many more wounded. That was believed to be engineered by Muslim underwood don Ibrahim Dawood, who as far as I know has been sheltered ever since in Dubai.

This was swiftly followed by brutal retaliation metted out by the Shiv Sena in Bombay (of which some would say is the local Hindu underworld equivalent but far better connected politically--it is in fact a political party), which in riots killed many Muslims and burned many big businesses owned by them.

Don't underestimate the Hindus to stick up for their honor. And the Babri Mosque will not be the last to be torn down either. There is a mosque built over Krishna's birth place in Mathura, and I believe there is also one in Kashinath. The mosques on these sites are also slated for destruction. When the conditions are right, they will also come down.

Minh-Duc said...


I am a Buddhist and remember when the Taliban blew up those Buddha statues, many Buddhist were upset. My Patriarch wrote an op-ed, surprising, scolding those Buddhists who were upset over the statues. He stated that instead of being upset about destruction rocks, they should be upset about the cruel and inhumane treatment of women in Afghanistan.

Until prominent Islamic scholars become more concern with people than abstraction, it will difficult to be convinced of the "religion of peace."

Yashmak said...

I seem to recall reading about a new theme park planned in India. The theme of the park is basically the pantheon of Hindu gods and goddesses.

I don't recall hearing about large-scale Hindu outrage over that. . . must be different somehow.

Dymphna said...


You said Until prominent Islamic scholars become more concern with people than abstraction, it will difficult to be convinced of the "religion of peace".

You have just hit the nail on the head. It is abstraction that forms the basis of Islam. The proper forms for washing, praying, whatever. It's all about the form, not about the person.

The religious meaning of the Bamiyan statues aside, they were part of our human heritage and what was done to them was evil in the extreme. It is not the destruction, it is the motive behind it. These are the people who forbid singing and music. How demented and twisted is that??

People like this must be stopped. We did stop the Taleban, now we must stop their imitators...the ones who blow up children and kill women for bringing shame on them.

On thing they did prove:evil is not an abstraction; it is very concrete and it lies in the actions of those who would reduce thousand year old statues to rubble and to those of us who stood by and let them do it. What will our descendants say?

Dymphna said...


The point of this is exactly that there isn't some mythical "Hindu Street" ready to fly into a rage over manufactured, invented, made-up and so-called "atrocities" committed against the Koran. It's simply a book...pieces of paper written on and sewn or pasted together. There are millions of copies and if one gets destroyed, it can simply be replaced...

unlike, say, the thousand year old statues at Bamiyan that a bunch of crazies blew up and reduced to rubble. A thousand years of heritage, gone.

Did you hear any Muslim outrage about that? It was much, much worse than whatever was supposed to have happened to that book. If it happened. The destruction of the statues is a known fact, pictures, witnesses and all. Where's the riot? Where's the outrage? Do you care?

My point in doing this post is to illustrate that when Muslims, hypersensitive as they can be, think someone has dissed them, they go bananas. OTOH, when a worse desecration is done to a Hindu image, the Hindus write letters and ask that the shoes be removed and not be sold.

Do you see the difference? Do you think there may be something wrong with the Muslim picture? I do. They need, as the saying goes, to get a life.

Yashmak said...

"Do you see the difference? Do you think there may be something wrong with the Muslim picture? "

I think you misinterpreted the tone of my comment. Please don't assume that because we disagree on one small aspect of the Islamic issue, that we disagree on ALL of them. I completely agree with you that other religions seem capable of taking in stride things which certain Islamic groups do not.

I was simply comparing the item about the shoes, with another recent story about Hindu religious iconography being used in a way that to some Hindus might be considered sacreligious. I honestly don't know why the issue with the shoes caused protest, while the issue of the amusement park doesn't.

Always On Watch said...

Lots of groups can be easily offended. How they handle those perceived offenses speaks volumes.

The Hindus' reaction is one which I can respect. The Muslims' reaction to the many offensive (alleged) events makes me distrust and despise them.

Dharma said...

Namaste to all,

"The poor Hindus haven't figured out that if you want really sympathetic coverage in the NYT, etc., you've got to really come out swinging."

This is not just about coming out 'swinging' and getting that 'twit' to remove shoes off the shelf. Nor do Hindus seek 'sympathetic' coverage. Hindu scriptures clearly indicate that all channels of attaining peace with the enemy should be tried before attacking with weapons. Lord Krishna himself made this attempt in the great Mahabharat war. When the enemy refused to cooperate, this led to the great bloody battle of Kurukshetra. Do not forget that the Hindus do know how to battle, whether it be through weapons or otherwise. Shri Ram Chandra, Shivaji, Janski Ki Raani, Veer Savarkar and many more fought for Dharma.

As for the proposed 'theme park'. I do not have any objection to it at all, even as strong-minded Hindu. Why? Because the Western view of a theme park is fun fun fun for purely commercial gain. This is different in the sense that it is intended to be cultural, educational and informative. What traditions and values have the Western children got from the land of Mickey Mouse? Of course money will be made, but that is the circle of life we cannot escape. This shows the real beauty of Hinduism, it allows for children to grow up, enjoy themselves and learn about their religion and culture and become part of a peaceful and civilised society.

The world will very sooner, rather than later see a very new kind of Hindu resurgence. In fact there is a very active Hindu revivalism occurring this very minute. Hindus will stand up against those who continue to destroy humankind, who force only dogmatic views on people. We view every being as divine and will not let this divinity be destroyed by evil forces.

I see you all have a very weak and passive image of image Gandhi has succeeded in leaving behind. The image of the 'poor' and weak Hindu will no longer be.
The Hindu retaliation at Godhra in 2002 proves that Hindus are not asleep. Can you call that a 'poor' image of Hindus?
But do not forget that as soon as a Hindu attacks, we are branded as 'fundamentalist' and 'extremist'...something the Western media love to pick up on. Yet the irony on the other hand is that when we do not stand up and fight we are 'weak'!!!

We can just as effectively put our views across in an organised protest as opposed to blowing ourselves up. Why should we blow ourselves up when there is still a battle to be fought out there?

We will reclaim Hindu temples that rightly belong to us. We will stop defamation of Hinduism.
Look at the REAL history of India and you will see that Hindus fought to the very last breath for their religion.

Jay Shree Ram

Baron Bodissey said...

Dharma (or Jay Shree Ram),

I don't see Hindus as weak. Hindus have a vigorous, ancient, sophisticated civilization, and a theology which reflects it. The image of the "weak" Hindu was propagated by the British and reinforced by Gandhi's method of opposing the British. But that is only one aspect of Hinduism.

I believe that the Hindus and India are our natural allies in the fight against the Great Islamic Jihad, and regret that the US government does not do more to further that alliance.

Dharma said...

The U.S and the rest of the West are too busy forcibly converting Hindus to be concerned about building an alliance. What will they achieve by doing this? Just another mirror image of the spiritually failing West I guess. Whilst we see deliberate death and destruction on the streets they care only of outnumbering other religions with more and more Christians. These are not times to worry about which religion has the highest number of followers. The absurd conversions taking place in India are something the Hindus will no doubt fight against. Unnecessary time, money and energy is being wasted on converting Hindus in India and other developing nations when these resources can be better spent on other priorities.

If we allow the Jihadis continue the way they are, most of us will soon be wearing burkhas and I am sure many would agree no matter how common this phrase may sound. There is no logic, no rationality, no spirituality, no harmony in what they preach. One cannot and must not be forced to believe in something they do not want to believe. Hindus have never gone out imposing beliefs on others. We are teachers not preachers.

Baron Bodissey said...

Dharma, where are Hindus being forcibly converted by Christians? I hadn't heard about that. There are many vigorous Christian evangelicals attempting to convert people in India and elsewhere, but I wasn't aware of any forcible conversions.

I have been proselytized by Hindus numerous times, but always by the "Hare Krishna" people.

I don't see why any religion should aggressively target believers of another faith. It only leads to animosity and bad feelings between the different groups.

SHindu said...

Sadly, at this time, most Hindus are very weak (and oblivious). To prove this point, simply go to any so-called "yoga site." Are they teaching Hinduism? (If you find one, please post it.) Are the teachers Hindus? Also, ask around and see what people think is Karma, a Guru and Mantra, for example.