MoonDawg's Den: Cartoonish Outrage

MoonDawg's Den

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cartoonish Outrage


In late September the largest daily newspaper in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten, printed 12 different cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad "as part of an ongoing public debate on freedom of expression, a freedom much cherished in Denmark" (UPDATE: accidentally uploaded the wrong cartoon from J-L in this post; the correct one is now displayed). Unfortunately for the newspaper, freedom of expression is little cherished in many parts of the Islamic world, and the publication of the cartoons sparked outrage in Denmark and in several Muslim nations, with street demonstrations, boycotts of Danish exports, death threats to the 12 cartoonists, and bomb threats against the newspaper's offices.

The international outrage increased in recent weeks as several European newspapers, in a surprising display of intestinal fortitude, republished the offending cartoons to show solidarity for press freedom (although in typically feckless French fashion, the editor of a French newspaper that printed the cartoons was fired this week when things began to get too hot). Even more bravely a Jordanian paper, al-Shihan, printed some of the cartoons, with the paper's editor imploring, "Muslims of the world be reasonable". Yeah, that's gonna happen.

Our thin-skinned Muslim friends are upset because Islamic tradition prohibits depictions of Muhammad. Well, boo-freakin-hoo, Achmed. At least your religious icons haven't been immersed in urine or portrayed as a nekkid chick or covered in elephant dung.

You didn't see Christians taking to the streets by the thousands for such things - why? Because Western culture embraces the idea of tolerance - tolerance for thoughts and ideas that may be contrary to your own. But in some (not all) Islamic cultures, tolerance extends as far as the edge of the sword used to convert, subjugate, or kill any non-believers (Bin Ladin is fond of quoting the Koran on the subject: "slay the pagans wherever ye find them"). It is useful to be reminded that intolerance is an aspect of militant Islam that must be prevented from becoming entrenched in the majority of Muslim societies - if it isn't already.

UPDATE: Via Michelle Malkin, I've learned there's a blogosphere campaign to support Denmark against Islamic censorship (click the image).

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