International Day of Anger.
Today is being dubbed a "Day of Anger" in Muslim countries and communities. In other words it is no different from any other day. Hopefully tomorrow will be dubbed a "Day of Getting a Freakin' Grip" but I am not holding my breath.
"We're ready for jihad!" crowds chanted as they pelted the building with eggs. One carried a banner reading: "Let's slaughter the Danish ambassador!"
Uh, (snicker) you know that the whole point of the cartoons was to criticize the tendency of large numbers of people in the Muslims world towards violence and insane behavior right. Way to miss the point guys.
What is kind of ironic is that these cartoons are actually quite lame. I mean the one about stopping jihad because heaven is running out of virgins is somewhat funny and the juxtaposition of the women in Saudi dress with only the eyes visible and the jihadi with his eyes blacked out was kind of clever but the bomb shaped turban on the prophet is just dumb. The images were obviously designed to offend and that is a completely legitimate motivation for free speech. People who feel they have the right to not be offended are the people who are most deserving of being offended.
There are certain points people bring up on this issue that I would like to address:
We should be respectful of religions and beliefs that we do not share. Wrong. We should be respectful of people's right to hold and practice such beliefs. People who demand the right to have their views respected are engaging in a fantasy and attempts to impose such respect violates people's fundamental freedom of conscience.
It is blasphemous to portray images of the prophet Mohammad. Yes. For Muslims it is blasphemous. What seems to have escaped these day of anger geniuses is that the people printing these things are not Muslims. No, seriously guys, they're not. Since most religions believe to some degree that not believing their doctrine is blasphemy, Muslims are technically committing blasphemy towards Christians every day. Do Muslim citizens want their ambassadors to western countries slaughtered? If so they can do it themselves cause we in the west have been trying to cut town on that kind of behavior for the last few centuries.
Lets boycott Danish products! Genius! You know that the people and companies of Denmark have nothing to say about what gets printed in papers right. Lashing out at innocent bystanders is becoming a real tradition for certain Middle Easter countries (Lockerbie, al-Qaida etc.) Sandmonkey has a good response to the Danish boycott call.
Even if the papers have the right to publish this material, isn't it irresponsible to do so when it could incite violence? No. Standing up for freedom in the face of threats and intimidation is the right thing to do. If terrorists, vigilantes or just plain murdering thugs are incited to kill innocent people because of this the responsibility and blame belongs to those who commit the act and them alone. The editors should not loose a second of sleep over any blood spilled in "retaliation" for their decisions. Those who call for the blood to be spilled certainly don't.
Certain groups have issued threats against tourists and foreigners who visit their country. Somewhere in the Middle East a big shipment of smart pills got stolen and replaced with stupid juice. These same countries have tourism ministries who are probably wetting themselves.
One good thing about this who situation might be if it dawns on European nations and their citizens that overlooking the conditions in Middle Eastern nations for the sake of maintaining political alliances is not a good long term strategy.
Speaking of Iran... I wonder how Tony Blair is coming with his article defending the Holocaust.