Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Riots, Cartoons in summary

I saw the twelve cartoons months ago when they were first published. Frankly, I found few of them offensive, and the ones that could be taken as offensive made very good, very real (to any honest, rational observer), points which are actually underscored by the Muslim riots we've seen over the last week.

I just caught Michelle Malkin on Hannity and Colmes, which I typically don't watch (I hate these shows -- there's never time in a 5 minute segement, or even a 15 or 30 minute segment to do anything other than sling soundbytes back and forth -- no side ever gets to present a coherent case) -- but... I heard Michelle was going to be on talking about it and I taped it so I could watch her segement.

What bugged me the most was that the other guest asserted that these cartoons were "obviously" published to intentionally inflame the Muslim population, and that this was not challenged (at least not very well -- I'm sure Michelle would have if she had the time).

Why aren't people getting the whole story? This all started when an author was looking to illustrate a book on Muhammad... a children's book ... which was meant to foster tolerance between religions, especially towards Muslims. When the author tried to get someone to illustrate the book, there was a strange vacuum. Illustrators refused to do it for fear of losing their lives.

Now, folks, that's pretty bad. So Jyllands Posten decided to test the hypothesis that there was reason for illustrators to fear for their lives, and they solicited and published cartoons -- they didn't ask for them to be inflamatory or to say anything in particular about Islam ro Muhammad, merely that they depict Muhammad. One of them didn't even depict THE Muhammad. Just a guy named Muhammad. There are millions of those.

They published twelve cartoons, most of which are far less "offensive" -- when offensive at all -- to Muhammad or Islam than cartoons that get published about Jesus or Moses all the time. Granted, you hear some scattered vocal outrage sometimes ... every now and then, but nobody fears for their life when stating their opinions, negative or positive about Jesus by writing or drawing. The Taliban blew up ancient statues of Buddha, and nobody was killed or threatened over it. No embassies burned. No Immans were shot.

This was excactly the point.

To those who continue to defend the vile and violent reactions as "the work of a minority", "a small percentage", "one in a million" I say you have missed that point completely. A Catholic priest was murdered over it in Turkey. Buildings have burned. Death threats have been made, and made by the same people who have carried them out before on people like Theo VanGough. People are dying. This does not happen when someone "insults" Christianity, Judaisim, Hinduism, Buddhism.... Nope, the only religion it every happens with in modern times is Islam. Coincidence?

But all we get is "Yeah, but most of 'em aren't like us", and from most Muslims, the loudest voices we're hearing is "well we have every right to be outraged."


Be outraged! That is your right.

But apparently Islam fosters mindset where this behavior can be said to be condoned, encouraged or even commanded (Whoever insults the prophet, kill him!)-- and it is proven by the widespread outbreaks of violence. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR IT!!! If Islam gives you an excuse for it, then obviously your culture is incompatible with ours. We need to recognize it, and you do. If you insist on killing us when you disagree, we're going to have to send you home or kill you in self-defense. What other choice do we have -- besides converting to Islam????? Tolerance my keister!

  • 1989: Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini calls on Muslims to kill British author Salman Rushdie for alleged blasphemy in his book The Satanic Verses
  • 2002: Nigerian journalist Isioma Daniel's article about Prophet and Miss World contestants sparks deadly riots
  • 2004: Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh killed after release of his documentary about violence against Muslim women
  • 2005: London's Tate Britain museum cancels plans to display sculpture by John Latham for fear of offending Muslims after July bombings
    -- (From BBC News)
Besides, with all this simultaneous outrage coming out four months after the cartoons were first published -- and the abundance of Danish flags to burn in places like small southeast asian island countries -- one has to wonder who is intentionally inflaming people?

Update: Oh, very good video, Michelle. Point well made.

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