Thursday, October 09, 2008

Muhammad Look-Alike Contest Promises to 'Be a Blast'...

A Muhammad look-a-like competition is slated to take place during the Frankfurt Book Fair, and it has already offended and outraged people far beyond Germany. But Titanic, the monthly satirical magazine behind the inflamatory event, insists: "It will be a blast."

Titanic, the German satire magazine, is never far from polemics, but its latest action takes its reputation for controversy to new heights: It is staging a Muhammad look-a-like competition -- and has invited the Turkish President Abdullah Gül to take part.

Turkish newspapers were quick to react to the "unbelievable competition," which is to be held parallel to the Frankfurt Book Fair, where Turkey will be the guest country this year. The popular Turkish daily Sabah drew parallels with the infamous Muhammad cartoons published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005, which sparked death threats and protests across the Muslim world, with some escalating into violence.

According to its Web site, however, Titanic is going ahead with its look-alike contest: "Come along to the most dangerous event of the Frankfurt Book Fair ... It will be a blast," it wrote. The competition, to be held on Oct. 18, is set to take place on a specially built stage at the state-funded Caricatura Museum in Frankfurt. Achim Frenz, head of the museum, said it was designed to test of the boundaries of "jokes and fun." The museum's Web site comments: "Of course it is a sin to represent the prophet. For this reason, we are trying to do something exceptional."
Nine participants are expected to take part, including Osman Engin, a Turkish-German satirist, and Hans Zippert, a prominent columnist for the conservative daily Die Welt. During the competition there will be readings from the Koran and participants will be encouraged to mimic the Muslim prophet. "Of course you can never create a picture of the prophet," the magazine claims in a flyer advertising the event, "but you can try to emulate him."

Titanic, the German equivalent of Britain's Private Eye, has a track record of inflamatory stunts, including hoax bribery faxes sent in 2000 to delegates of the FIFA soccer world championship committee, urging them to support the German bid for the 2006 World Cup. In return for their votes, Titanic offered gifts of a cuckoo clock and Black Forest ham. Titanic also founded its own political party, Die Partei (the party), which lists the rebuilding of the Berlin Wall as one of its goals.


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  3. pinky3:56 AM

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  4. Dhivehi Christian5:01 AM

    I wonder if the Mohamed look-alike contest will make provision for Mohamed behave-alike conduct. If it does, there will be lots of aging Muslims, in addition to Prime Minister Gül, who may be willing to co-habit with 9-year old girls.

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