From Steve Asher@3:800/432 to All on Sun Feb 12 21:19:35 2006
"DEATH TO DENMARK"
AND OTHER CARTOONISH ISLAMIC INANITIES
By: Greg Strange
Remember the old Looney Tunes cartoons that so many of us grew up
watching? Warner Brothers never failed to delight us with its gallery
of delightful characters and their wacky antics: Bugs Buggy, Daffy
Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety and Sylvester, the Road Runner and Wile E.
Coyote, and all the rest.
But none of those silly cartoon characters can hold a candle to the
wackiness of the real, live, living and breathing loony tunes who are animatedly running amuck throughout the Islamic world and elsewhere
since a Danish newspaper made the mistake of printing a series of
cartoon caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.
Ordinarily, one could live to a ripe old age and never hear the words
"Death to Denmark" being chanted by an angry mob. ThatAEs because that
tiny, inoffensive, liberal northern European country basically minds
its own business, never bothers anyone and wouldnAEt intentionally hurt
the proverbial fly. But that was before the great cartoon kerfuffle of
2006. Now, Danes, as well as all civilized peoples, are wishing that
those mindless death chants were the worst of it.
Given that any representation of Muhammad at all in art is forbidden
by Islam, it's not particularly surprising that caricaturing him
wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse would stir up a
hornet's nest. The only surprising thing is the degree and longevity
of the ruckus.
The situation as it stands now is that thousands have gone on the
rampage in cities around the world, rioting, burning infidel flags,
torching infidel foreign embassies, calling for the severing of
infidel heads and generally raging at infidels at large, shouting
things like "Death to the infidels," "Infidels must die," and, as has
already been noted, "Death to Denmark (which happens to be an infidel country)!"
Some also carried placards with none too subtle messages, like
"Annihilate those who insult Islam," and, my personal favorite,
"Europe, take some lessons from 9/11." A gratuitous repartee to
that might be, Islamic world, take some lessons from 9/11 yourself
-- they're called Afghanistan and Iraq, but that wouldn't be very
sporting or tolerant.
On the other hand, perhaps the time for tolerance -- or at least an
extreme degree of inappropriate tolerance -- is over. It needs to be
said that this cartoonish commotion isn't happening because something
is rotten in Denmark, but rather because something is rotten in a
large swath of the planet stretching from Casablanca to Khartoum to
Karachi to Kubang. That swath happens to be predominantly Muslim and
that can't be simply a coincidence. And despite the platitudes of multiculturalism, which in the West have become something akin to
gospel in recent years and whose main tenet is that all cultures are
pretty near equally worthy of respect, the West may finally be
starting to wake up and smell the coffee as it boils over onto its
Lord knows, the West has gotten wake-up calls galore over the past
couple of decades about Islamic extremism, but has persistently hit
the snooze button, rolled over and gone back to sleep. Now it's like
an alarm that can't be turned off. The only way to block it out would
be with earplugs. Or intellectual blinders, the likes of which rule
over some who are so stupefied by the exalted ideal of
multiculturalism as to be incapable of perceiving reality. But when
the foreign embassies of innocuous countries like Denmark and Norway
get torched by Islamic mobs gone bananas over something as
inconsequential as a few cartoons, the virulent cultural pathology of
Islam is on display for all the world to see.
In this day and age, newspaper cartoonists, however opinionated or
tasteless their drawings might be, should not have to go into hiding
for fear of their lives as those Danes reportedly have. There's a
cartoonist in the newspaper I subscribe to who ticks me off almost
every day. It's Bush this and Rumsfeld that, every cartoon, every day.
Can't the guy do a negative cartoon about the other side just once?
It's not like he doesn't have plenty of material to work with: Ted
Kennedy, Howard Dean, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi,
Robert Byrd, Michael Moore. Come on, already. ItAEs a ready-made
gallery of caricaturables that nobody could invent.
But being a good citizen of the West who is well-adapted to modernity,
part of which is the ability to tolerate opinions with which I
disagree or even abhor, I'm not overcome with the need to riot, burn
down the newspaper office or behead its chief cartoonist. The problem
for the modern world today is that such simple and basic tolerance has
yet to be inculcated in the Islamic world and that would seem to make
it and modernity largely incompatible.
As the exercise lady with the crew cut used to say in the old
television infomercial, it's time to stop the insanity. And not just
the insanity of Islamic extremism, but also the insanity of stupidly
placating the insanity of Islamic extremism. So for instance, when a
Muslim complains to Burger King that a swirly looking thing on the lid
of its ice cream cones resembles the word "Allah" in Arabic script and
is therefore offensive, rather than pulling the item off the menu, he
ought to be told to buy his ice cream cones elsewhere if he doesnAEt
Or instead of a hospital deleting ham from the Christmas day menu
because it might offend some pork-averse Muslim, the choice of ham
ought to remain on the menu for the benefit of people other than
Muslims. Or instead of a school banning books with stories about pigs
from the classroom because they might offend Muslim children . . .
You get the idea. In other words, stop bending over backwards to
placate members of the world's most intolerant culture because it only
works against you in the long run. The ultimate paradoxical conundrum
of multiculturalism is that its indiscriminate and/or overindulgent
application actually encourages more intolerance and, therefore, could
simply destroy itself in the end.
And then one day we all wake up and . . . Poof! No more
multiculturalism, and it's back to intolerance the world over. Who
knows what they'll be rioting about then. Perhaps something even more
inane than cartoons.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with
this notice and hyperlink intact."