Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cartoony Jihady

So... how messed up is the Cartoon Jihad currently going on between Denmark and the entire Muslim and Arab world? Mightily messed up. I'm hoping that there will be cooler heads prevailing somewhere, somehow, but I fear it's just escalating with no end in sight.

I was hopping mad the other night when the Danish and Norwegian embassies were burned in Syria, and the Danish embassy in Lebanon. In fact, I agreed with a rightwinger on the Franken blog, and I did a Reaganesque, "There they go again" move as well. Until, that is, I stepped back and actually learned more about this tragic episode and I spoke with a friend from the Czech Republic who firmly put the blame on the Danes.

Did you know that the paper that originally published the cartoony jihady mess actually rejected a series of cartoons three years ago that depicted Jesus Christ in a negative light because they felt that their readers would be offended and that they were not funny in the first place?

Hmm... I guess it's ok for JC but not Mohammed?

Though at the same time, don't buy the argument that Mohammed isn't portrayed in art... 'cause that doesn't wash, either. (Hattip to Buckeye, though the worldwide traffic to the site has jammed it up right now.)

And now for something completely different, Iran has sponsored a contest to 'test' the boundaries of free speech by focusing on Jews, because of course, all Jews are Danes... or at least two of them, as Jon Stewart said the other night. Why is Iran dragging Israel into this? Your answer is as good as mine because mine is non-existent. (OK, not really, but it's late and this post is not becoming incoherent.) I've seen a few cartoons (hattip, Duncan!) from an Islamic point of view that depicts Jews as babykillers and blood drinkers, but I don't see the Syrian embassy in Tel Aviv being burned to the ground... if, of course, there were a Syrian embassy in Tel Aviv, that is.

In a nutshell, people are pissed off not at the stupid cartoons (only one of which is actually remotely funny and thought-provoking is stretching it, too), like Danish racism (yes, it exists); provocation on the part of the original conservative newspaper publishing the cartoons; political wrangling by Syria and Iran (most Arab countries had peaceful boycotts and protests, the pressure currently on these two countries exploded into violence); hot-blooded rhetoric and yes, the U.S. stirring up the hornet's nest with the war. There's a few other things, too, but I can't think of them and it's late. Time to sleep.

I applaud the effective boycotts of Danish products by many Arab and Muslim countries in protest, though if they are waiting for the Danish government to apologize for something that technically they can't apologize for, Denmark is in big economic trouble. I deplore the rioting violence, as I hate riots and I'm not a fan of violence, either, unless it's a big chase car scene on celluloid. I am sorry that the newspaper elected to run the cartoons in September, and wish that they hadn't been brought back up into the limelight now, but hell, they never should have run in the first place. What's good for JC should be good for Mohammed, too, yes?

This insanity has all got to stop. Christians, Jews, and Muslims better learn how to sit down and get along with each other again, or I fear we're headed into a horrible phase... brought on by a Cartoony Jihady (among other things).

Since I'm a believer in thinking for oneself (no matter if I do it or not), here's a link to the cartoons. Come to your own conclusions, but unlike me when this first broke, please know the facts before, like me, jumping up and down.

Oy... does this need work.. too late, must sleep... will fix later...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is true. In fact, a friend of mine made the statement that Denmark is not a "Muslim" country, and their reights to publish are in tact. To which I say, "So he H*** what?!"
Bottom line: With freedom (of the press, economic, religious, or what have you) comes responsibility. The Danish press, who along with the rest of Europe holds itself in such high regard, is obviously lacking in that erudition. As a person who has lived with, loved, and dealt with Europeans on a personal level, I am familiar with this blindness and disregard for the "other" in European culture. The fact of the matter is that they DON'T CARE about their foreign population. They have seen them as a "problem" ever since the first Turks landed in Germany as "gastarbeiter" - "guest workers" to clean up and rebuild Germany after the war.
These folks have been there for three generations, supported the economy, have become "more German than the Germans", as they are fond of saying, and have never ONCE been offered citizenship or any other agency in European government without suit.
The Turks don't complain so much (because they're "more German than the Germans), but why should one expect generations of disenfranchised European Muslims to sit back in a modern day Apartheid and not respond to a disresptful, and USELESS bashing of the main thing they hold dear: their religion and cultural tradition?
What makes the "intelligencia" so rigid and blind to the fact that not everyone has to hold the same religious values, color, food, identity, etc as they do to be valid? And worse, why is the criticism of them tantamount to condoning violence? Where is the critical thought? Where does the problem of their racism come in to this political situation. Where is the European restraint and responsibility?
The boycott was a good thing. It showed restraint in protest, but no one listened. So then it got nasty, which indeed gave the Danes a reason to say "There they go again..."

the atheist