Yah, it’s offensive, blah, blah, blah. There’s almost too much media reaction to the original offense — except for the insane response by legions of enraged primitives. Thanks, Richard, for use of the cartoon.
Muslims are as wise, and dumb, as good and as bad as any other religion. Islamic rule has been tolerant, has fostered the sciences and has created art forms that are as breathtakingly beautiful now as when they were created many centuries ago. Now that I’ve gotten your attention (or at least confusion), lets deconstruct what’s going on.
- Muslim laws apply to Muslims. Otherwise Jews would get upset about non-Jews eating non-Kosher, Hindi would massacre anyone coming out an American McDonalds, and Southern Baptists would really Crusade to convert non-believers by forcing everyone to adopt their moral standards. Oops, that latter’s already happening… Shi’ites have pictures of Mohammed, as do other Muslim sects. I guess it’s not as much fun to torch one’s own embassy.
- Protesters, at most charitable, are being manipulated. Less charitably, they’re taking any excuse to rage against The Machine. Danish imams went on a pilgrimage to other Arab nations, taking with them portfolios not only of the offending, but also of much more henious ones that were never published, ones with bestiality, just to name one ugly. This was a calculated terrorist attack, one that has resulted in several deaths by this writing, millions of dollars in damage to innocents’ property, and uncounted millions in lost revenue by companies that probably despise the cartoonist even more than some Arab nations. The French, who have been far less sympathetic towards the inroads Islam has made, and the plight of the millions of young Muslims discriminated against for generations, seemed to have escaped this directed wrath for the most part.
- Terrorist countries are using this incident for their secular gains. Get serious, Assad — your idea of a good time during Ramadan is more along the lines of a trip to Paris than a delicious fast during the summer heat. Syria is a secular dictatorship, run by a clan in the same manner as the Saud family runs Saudi Arabia. Not like the Jordanian Hashemites, who have the good sense to run the country as if it were a democracy in terms of how they treat their subjects. So Syrian “protests” are no more spontaneous than their Syrian handlers allow. Because Hamma, as Thomas Friedman pointed out, still rules: cross an Assad and you get dead quickly and brutally.
- Glass houses, stones. Oddly enough, one doesn’t hear many protests about the almost continuous stream of vituperative calumny and calls for the genocidal murder of, for example, Jews. Oh, right, I forgot: we don’t count. The cartoons (pictures are good for the vast majority of illiterate Arab Muslims) are the perfect medium to showcase the Jews and their sins.
Okay, picture time.
Yes, there were more cartoons. Like compulsive haters, I could put up a whole pack of these, and just keep people wound up (but Spongebob should do for this rant).
The point of all this is freedom. Western freedom to express ones views, and the freedom of terrorists to use whatever is at hand to advance their instilling terror in others.
The more terrorists and their uneducated lackeys burn things, the more they rant, the more irrational they behave, the more they distance themselves from the community of nations.
Maybe Iran wants this. I think Iran needs this. Remember Salman Rushdie and the death sentence imposed against him? Iranian. Certainly Iran is benefiting from this. (Note to self: how bad are the protests in Saudi Arabia relative to terror-held countries?)
Western nations need to keep centered on the freedom of speech, the value of real democratic freedom, and a careful, watchful eye on a part of the world that really doesn’t like any of us very much.