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Monday, February 6, 2006

All the Rage

Posted by on February 6 at 11:08 AM

Two quick thoughts about the riots that continue to pick up steam in the Islamic world…

First: Today angry crowds attempted to set fire to the Austrian Embassy in Tehran.

A crowd of about 200 people pelted the Austrian Embassy in Tehran with petrol bombs and stones on Monday to protest against the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in European newspapers.

The protesters, chanting “God is Greatest” and “Europe, Europe, shame on you”, smashed all the diplomatic mission’s windows with stones and then tried to hurl petrol bombs inside.

Why? Because Austria currently holds the presidency of the European Union. Danish and Norwegian embassies have already been burned down in Lebanon. The violence and the violent rhetoric continues to rise. Which leads me to wonder if perhaps it’s time for the Europe to borrow a page from Israel’s playbook—unilateral disengagement, anyone? They can’t burn down embassies that don’t exist. They can’t kill diplomats they can’t get their hands on. Just a thought.

Second: Check out this cartoon that a Belgian-Dutch Muslim group posted on their website (via


Wow—Hitler and Anne Frank in bed together. Surely that offends the Jews, the Dutch (Frank was Dutch), Dutch Jews, and anyone with any moral sense to speak of. But what, exactly, is the point they’re trying to make? That offensive cartoons are offensive? Okaaaay. But the response of the the Jews, the Dutch, Dutch Jews, and anyone with any moral sense makes all those outraged Muslims less sympathetic, no more. No one is burning down Mosques or Saudi embassies, no one is calling for the artists to be beheaded, no one is rioting in the streets of Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Miami, or Skokie, Illinois.

So the Dutch-Belgian Islamic group is actually helping to make the West’s point: it’s showing the Islamic world how grown-ups civilizations react to offensive cartoons. You say, “Gee that’s offensive. Only an asshole would draw, post, or print that cartoon.” Maybe you write an angry letter. Maybe you attend a peaceful demonstration. You don’t, by way of contrast, burn down embassies, shoot Catholic priests, and demand that the “artist” behind it be executed.

Oh, here’s a third thing: I haven’t posted any of the offensive cartoons—except for that anti-semetic doozie, above. So here’s one of the comics that has turbans in a twist: Mohammed wearing a turban that appears to be a bomb.

this one.jpg

This comic outraged the Muslim world because, as we all know, Islam means peace. So offended were Muslims by the publication of this cartoon last September, a cartoon that associates Islam with violence, that they faithful Muslims had no other choice than to riot, bomb, burn, and issue death threats.

In other news…

Via Sullivan: The U.S. Supreme Court building has images of Mohammed in it—honoring him as a lawgiver, along with Moses and others.

Via Kos: Our good buddies the Saudis appear to be stoking this.

Via GatewayPundit: Fake cartoons are being circulated to stoke Muslim anger—cartoons that have appeared in no European publications. These cartoons were drawn, one expects, by Muslims. Off with their heads!

CommentsRSS icon

I agree their actions may seem objectionable, but one simply cannot dismiss their concerns out of hand.

For example, I once had the occasion to write a positively *huffy* letter to the editor of the New Yorker in response to a particularly odious Jules Pfeiffer cartoon.

The Anne Frank cartoon is so dumb that it is completely inoffensive to me.

Why does the dailykos article keep referring to "Mohammed (PBUH)"? What's PBUH?

Thank you, Dan! Please also publish the fatwa that will shortly be issued against you.

And to the above poster, PBUH stands for "peace be upon him."

Citing Michelle Malkin? In a positive light?

Jesus Christ, are you trying to get not to read The Stranger anymore?

Oh, and turns out that your favorite Danish newspaper turned down a series of cartoons lampooning one Jesus H. Christ, saying "I don't think Jyllands-Posten's readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them."

From The Guardian.

Dear Joshua,

When I cited Malkin the other day, I qualified it with "she's a dangerous nut." FYI.

Stopped clocks, you know?

And do you mean to imply that the paper, by refusing to run anti-Jesus 'toons, is responsible for the violence in the Muslim world? If they had run those 'toons, there would not have been riots, death threats, arsons, etc. Perhaps an uproar, a la the uproar, but no embassies burning, no Catholics rioting, no beheadings demanded, no new 9/11s threatened.

The motives of the paper in question are, at bottom, immaterial (sp?). The principle at stake is what's important.

What, again, is the principle? Freedom of speech? OK. Let's grant that to media in the Middle East as well as Europe. Let's attack Islamist death threats over a cartoon at the same time that we attack the US for bombing Al Jazeera multiple times. Of course American Christians don't issue fatwas against whole nations for anti-American speech: they have the US military do that for them. (Robertson on Venezuela is just an embarassingly public example-- he was off message, but not out of touch with his base)

The "principle" is just cultural condescension and hypocrisy (our faults are irrelevant, their faults are the real issue) mobilized by both sides. This has become, as Robert Fisk called it, not the clash, but "the childishness of civilisations."

As WF writes, this HAS become "the childishness of civilisations." Did Dan really write: "it’s showing the Islamic world how grown-ups civilizations react to offensive cartoons"? This is the exact bullshit thinking that has historically driven the West's imperialism and now the USA's fucked up foriegn policy.

If it walks like a duck......


'No one is burning down Mosques'...well...technically...that ain't correct. I guess we're superior through bombing/burning for unemotional reasons? I'd imagine that a numeric tally of 'Muslims killed by Christians' vs. 'Christians killed by Muslims' would be pretty one-sided, no? I'd take a look at the 'ransom' posters of Saddam's dead kids to judge our 'adult' approach to violence.

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