• "Death To Denmark"

    From Steve Asher@3:800/432 to All on Sun Feb 12 21:19:35 2006

    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
    like it.

    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."


    Source: Ether Zone - http://etherzone.com/2006/stra020906.shtml

    Cheers, Steve..

    * Origin: Xaragmata / Adelaide SA telnet://xaragmata.thebbs.org (3:800/432)