As has now been well established by the Western press, five months ago a vicious right-wing propaganda rag in Denmark, possibly edited by a cryogenically preserved Nazi collaborator, sought specifically to denigrate Islam by commissioning a series of unspeakably horrible caricatures that baselessly portrayed Islam as having a tendency towards violence and intolerance.
Now, Muslims are not normally a people to congregate in mass protest and burn flags, hurl stones or break things. But this unprovoked act of cultural aggression (coming, as it did, out of the blue and occurring in Islam’s heartland, Denmark) was simply too much to take. Therefore, after five months of consideration, it was decided to make an exception for this case, and spontaneous protests broke out.
So it’s settled then. Had not the Jyllands-Posten newspaper committed its unforgivable violation of Sharia law, everything would be peaceful in the world. What we have here is a clear case of direct cause and effect, well isolated. That’s why the protestors targeted their anger narrowly at the newspaper in question and did not use the occasion to let loose a general pogrom of anti-Western, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anti-American and anti-Moderate rioting.
Oh wait, now that I think about it, that’s exactly what happened. After a suspicious pause that lasted longer than Joe Biden’s first set of hair plugs, the offended masses erupted in anger at the newspaper, Danish foods, the Prime Minister of Denmark, all the rest of Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, the principle of Free Speech, Israel, the Red Cross, the European Union, Christian churches, their own governments, Catholic Priests, the United States, Christian children, Ronald McDonald, and (of course) Kentucky Fried Chicken.
What? The United States cannot be on that list! Our brave State Department, always at the tip of any retreating spear, issued a condemnation of the cartoons and declared that free speech carries with it the responsibility not to say anything controversial. Plus, 99% of America’s media refused to even show the cartoons without more pixilation than they would provide for a daytime broadcast of “Caligula, The Larry Flynt Cut.”
Then why would many of the crowds feel a need to throw in a chorus of “Death to America!” and burn the U.S. flag at a riot over doodles from Denmark? Perhaps it was just habit. You know, like when I always miss the turn to go to the post office because I am so used to going straight at that intersection on my way to work. Or maybe it’s because the cartoons are just a pretext for many of the professionally angry that assembled at the riots.
Yes, there were many Muslims, normal people of a non-radical bent, that were offended by the cartoons (and embarrassed by the fact Islam is afflicted by so many radicals that the cartoons hit a chord), but they were not the ones doing photogenic things to embassies and effigies.
For the radicals that used the cartoons as an excuse to party like it’s 1999, it was all just a pretext. Had the cartoons not existed they would have been in the streets about something else. And once in the streets all the same targets would have been torched.
Consider the protests in Pakistan last week. Enraged, allegedly over Danes having been Danish in Denmark, crowds rushed into the street, shouted “Death To Israel!”, “Death to America!” and, oh yeah, “Death to Denmark!”, all the while burning a seemingly inexhaustible supply of foreign flags. They then attacked a McDonald’s Restaurant, a South Korean phone company, locally owned theaters, a (British owned) Holliday Inn, and (of course) a Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Perhaps Colonel Sanders was Danish? Or maybe he was a Colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces? Sure, he was Southern, but then the Secretary of State of the Confederacy was a Jew, so burning the KFC could have been a clever blow against Zionism. And the Danes are well known as the running dogs of Zionism. It all makes perfect sense now. Those cartoons burned the KFC! It’s all our fault.
In Nigeria, gangs of Muslim “protestors” (some of which claimed to have heard of the cartoons) torched Nigerian Christian churches, purposely dousing at least one man with gasoline and burning him alive, as well as beating to death a dozen others — reportedly including a Nigerian priest and three Nigerian Christian children. Wow! Way to teach those Danes a lesson, you brave Mujahideen. Or maybe we Christians just all look alike to them.
A cartoonish freak in Turkey murdered an Italian priest. “Protestors” attacked the American embassy in Jakarta (perhaps looking for Colonel Sanders?). And Libyans used one Italian politician’s support for the Jyllands-Posten as an excuse to attack their old colonial nemesis once again. But keep in mind it was all really about cartoons from Denmark.
As retaliation for the Danish cartoons, the President of Iran celebrated a contest to solicit cartoons about the holocaust. How wonderfully non-sequitur: Post-Christian secular Danes speak freely regarding Islam? Then let’s have a contest to belittle the holocaust! That’ll learn ‘em! But then, who could resist throwing in the Jews once things got going good? And some people think President Ahmadinejad is a little flaky!
Let’s be honest, most of the media hand-wringing over the cartoons and restraint and sensitivity was simply wasted. There is no avoiding offending the radical branch of Islam. Offense is the fuel with which the movement has been built.
Thus, radical Islam is always looking for insults to freak out about. It’s the Joe Pesci of religious movements. One moment you think the world is getting along fine and the next moment some oversensitive suicide bomber has got his finger on the trigger, saying “You think my prophet is funny? Funny how? Like he’s a clown? You think he’s a clown? He’s here to amuse you? No, Anthony, he’s a big boy. He knows what he drew. How is my prophet funny?”
The pretexts under which aggressive action, reaction, and over-reaction are taken by the experienced rabble rousers of the radicalized Muslim street have about as much validity as O.J. asking Nicole "Why do you make me hit you, baby?"
Such complaints should not be an occasion for self-examination and appeasement, but one for disdain and resolve.