Throughout the Middle East the chaos continues. Over cartoons. OVER CARTOONS! How did we reach such a state of idiocy? Apparently a Danish author couldn’t get anyone to illustrate his book about Mohammed. The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten thought this sort of self-censorship regarding Islam in Denmark was rather unhealthy to the concept of free speech and asked twelve cartoonists to draw the prophet for them. It could have ended there but the Islamic Society in Denmark decided to stir things up and organized a tour of the Middle East to bring awareness of the cartoons to the Muslim street. Since the original twelve were not offensive enough they added three other fake cartoons which were not published anywhere and must have been drawn by ISD with the sole purpose of sufficiently offending Muslims to garner the rage they wanted. The first of the three additional and poorly drawn pictures shows Mohammad as a pedophile demon. The second shows Mohammed with a pig snout. The third depicts a praying Muslim being raped by a dog.
Certainly anything that takes the public’s awareness away from domestic conditions such as poverty, corruption, and tyranny and refocuses that awareness on some external threat that will stoke nationalist or religious pride is helpful to the regimes that wish to shift said awareness. That would explain the actions of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and others but the ISD seems to have started this for the sole purpose of starting this. The cartoons would have been quickly forgotten, instead they are now all over the net and many millions that would not have seen them are now fully focused on them. In reaction to the reaction Korans are now being burned and other desecrations of what Muslims hold sacred are being done. Is this what they wanted? Given the reaction to the fake story of Korans being flushed you have to think they knew how the Muslim street would react to this. They, and those others that pushed this story and called for this reaction wanted this. This is further evidenced by the fact that where the protest are being held there are lots of Danish flags ready to be burned. Obviously some logistical planning was involved, as Charles Moore points out.
It's some time since I visited Palestine, so I may be out of date, but I don't remember seeing many Danish flags on sale there. Not much demand, I suppose. I raise the question because, as soon as the row about the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in Jyllands-Posten broke, angry Muslims popped up in Gaza City, and many other places, well supplied with Danish flags ready to burn.If you think this isn’t a free speech issue think again. Jordan had an editor arrested for reprinting the cartoons. Norwegian Muslims are pushing for anti-blasphemy laws. The EU is looking to fix criminal penalties for racial or religious hatred.
Lest you think all Middle Easterners are insane here is what I’m hearing from some of their blogs:
Omid Paydar at Free Thoughts on Iran
Muslims may succeed to force non-Muslims (or even enlightened Muslims) in not offending their religion by threatening them with assassinations, bombs and bullets, but increasingly they have a harder time to sell Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance. In fact sincere respect is rarely gained through intimidation.Ammar Abdulhamid at Amarji
Syria’s back in the headlines again, indeed, something is unraveling there. But what is it exactly? Is it the regime? Is it the opposition? Or is the entire country unraveling?The Religious Policeman lampoons the Royals:
But then, perhaps we are all unraveling, all to the enjoyment of our viewers all over the world. Hey Bob, here goes the freaking region again. Don’t those people ever get tired of being mad?
Well, I guess not. We wouldn’t be true to form if we did. Besides, there is a certain intriguing, if not downright bewitching, quality to our madness that keeps the entire world fixated upon us, and we’d just die, not to mention kill, to remain the center of global attention. In some crazy way, but not so counterintuitive really, this does justify our “faith.” When you are chosen, it does not matter in the least for which you are chosen: blessedness or damnation, so long as you are chosen.
From: Royal Press SecretaryFrom Dailykos of all places comes confirmation that this is all a Saudi plot!
To: His Majesty
Date: 4th February 2006
I was perhaps too pessimistic at the end of my previous memo. Things have in fact turned out better than we might have expected.
As I reported, a number of other European newspapers did publish the cartoons. In two of those cases, the owners of those papers sacked the offending editors, thus demonstrating that jobs are at risk when we Muslims are offended! This, I am sure, is a lesson that will not have been lost on other editors. It is noticeable now that with a few striking exceptions, such as those very aggressive Germans, newspapers and broadcasters are very reluctant to show them further, and they appear not to have been shown at all in the USA.
What is also very gratifying is that officials in the West are not only accepting our right to be offended at whatever we choose, but they are also saying that the Western media should work to our standards, not theirs. It is striking how soon they forget about their self-professed "freedoms" when they witness a little righteous Muslim anger.
Sandmonkey wonders how future history books will describe the coming conflict.
A terrorist dirty bomb attack in France by Syrian terrorists prompted French President Chirac to actually "scratch that itch" and nuke Syria as he threatened with "za fwench newcleaar bombe", which enraged all the Muslim countries, led to huge unrest and revolutions, and brought to power the craziest elements the Muslim fanatic camp has to offer. Wasting no time, they declared full Jihad on Europe, and started what has become known the Western-Islamic Cartoon war."Haitham Sabbah at Sabbah's Blog wonders where this will end:
How stupid would THAT be? I bet the kids will laugh their asses off during History class. That is, of course, if such a war left any survivors at all.
Okay. This is how the Arab/Muslim world looks like today. Hot-hearted!
Does it look good? I’m afraid not. The question is; where are we heading to? I just wish to hear one unified ‘list of demands’ so that one can follow up to see how this unrest will calm down.
Unfortunately, I can’t see any. Islamic leaders and clerics are just calling for protests and boycotting products of this country and that one. Some also say apology will be enough, other say no apology will be accepted. But, where does this end, how will this stop, and what is an acceptable solution? I’m afraid I don’t know.
Linked at Basil's Blog