I just feel like I have to vent about this… it’s driving me a bit nuts. 8p One of these days I’ll make a blog which I’ll update maybe once a month, knowing me. Feel free to entirely ignore it.
There have been two main arguments for the deplorable behavior of the Muslims after a Danish newspaper published a set of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in ways both positive and negative. The first is the racism card - the cartoons show the Muslim faith as terrorist. The second is that any group - whether it would be Christians whose Jesus was lampooned or Jews whose Torah was smeared - would have been just as angry.
Truth be told, the cartoons are borderline racism. Islamophobia is a more politically correct racism than most others… but it’s also more excusable than others, because there’s a decided lack of religious and political figures who publicly dispel the stereotypes (e.g. by decrying suicide bombings). Painting all Muslims as terrorists, or Islam as a terrorist religion (which is patently false) is easy when there is no strong, straight message to the contrary.
In any case, let’s say it was a racist cartoon. That in no way excuses the behavior of the Muslims afterwards. Sure: if a cartoon was published which denigrated Jewish or Christian beliefs, there’d be an uproar. The government would be notified, possibly hate crime charges would be laid. Picketing would occur. A boycott of that newspaper would probably ensue.
But there would be no rioting in the streets. There would be no cries of “Death to Denmark”. There would be no calls to boycott products from the entire country of Denmark. Countries would not recall their ambassadors. Presidents would not make public statements. A “day of rage” (an idea which is solely Muslim; most peoples try to keep their rage down, not publicize it) would not be created. In short, there would be a backlash against the publication, not against an entire country (and by this time, an entire continent).
Arla Foods, Denmark’s primary exporter, which has a very large business in Saudi Arabia, had to lay off more than a hundred workers yesterday. I’m wondering how many of those workers were Muslim? How many Muslims lost their jobs because a bunch of wacknuts decided they were angry at the entire Denmark for daring to allow a private newspaper to print these cartoons? (Another thing Muslims can’t seem to wrap their minds around - Western governments gasp do not control every press in the country!) If I were the president of Arla, I would probably be excused for actually finding employees with Muslim-sounding names and firing them first. But that’s another hallmark of Muslim righteous anger - who cares if other Muslims get hurt as long as the infidels go with them? Most of the victims of Iraqi suicide bombings have been other Iraqis.
And how ironic is it that they’re going nuts about these caricatures when there are things being said in official Arab newspapers which echo ancient anti-Semitic canards? Not just anti-Zionistic (which is still racist, but more acceptable) but Nazi-era propaganda? Pictures of hook-nosed Jews controlling the world, quotes and TV series based on the long-discredited “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” taken as fact… hell, Iran is now sponsoring an entire conference specifically dedicated to Holocaust denial. You can dish it out but you can’t take it, huh?
I have no problems with individual Muslims, nor even the religion of Islam, which in and of itself is not violent. But it drives me crazy when people (such as the Toronto Star’s Haroon Siddiqui) try to pass off as “reasonable” what the legendary, amorphous creature known as the “Muslim street” is doing. (The “street” is probably mainly egged on by Arab dictators - the cartoons appeared in September, but the outcry didn’t start until Egyptian politicians took jabs at them.)
I don’t agree with using violence for any religious purpose. There was a picture in the paper a few days ago of Jews in Hebron throwing stones and pieces of concrete against Israeli police who came to evict them - a stark contrast against the inspiring conduct of the Gaza settlers half a year go. Those pictures embarrassed and shamed me. Almost no rabbi would go on the record praising them for their acts - and there would be plenty who would decry them. My problem is that Muslims and their leaders simply fail to realize that the more they froth at the mouth and try to bully people into doing what they want, the less anyone will take them seriously. The aforementioned Siddiqui was shocked that so many people would jump to defend the paper in this instance. The reason is simply that people don’t like bullies. Had there been such a reaction in the Christian world, I can promise you the same thing would have happened.
This happens time and time again - something bad happens to Muslims, the reaction goes completely out of whack (like the whole Koran-dunking incident last year) and everyone sort of shakes their heads and goes “Well, they’re Muslims, they’re entitled, you’d do the same thing.”. No, we wouldn’t, and no, they shouldn’t be entitled. They’re like kids throwing tantrums to get their way - only when they throw tantrums, people often die.
I’d honestly be interested in corresponding with a Muslim and seeing what he thinks about the way his fellows are acting.
Phew… that was a long one, and I don’t even care if no one reads it, but I had to get it off my chest.