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I Support Denmark

Wednesday, February 8, 2006, 23:51 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Unless you live in a cave (and even if you do, if it’s Osama bin Laden’s cave), you have heard all about the worldwide Muslim protests in response to cartoons published by a Danish newspaper. Jyllands-Posten (site in Danish) called upon artists to create their own depictions of the Muslim prophet Mohammed—something that is prohibited by Islam as a purported form of idolatry. The purpose of the exercise was to deliberately do something prohibited by Muslims in order to show that in Denmark, freedom of speech is not restricted by the religious beliefs of any one group.

To understand why this was risky business, you should understand that Denmark is like many other European nations in having become something of a magnet for Muslims who have no desire to live in pluralistic western cultures. Why such people migrate to pluralistic western countries is a mystery, unless you consider the possibility that it is a stated goal of middle eastern Islamists to impose Islam upon the rest of the world.

That possibility also explains the horrifying violence now being perpetrated by followers of the “religion of peace”: armed attack on a NATO base in Afghanistan, firebombing of the Danish embassy in Iran, and the burning of Danish and Norwegian flags in Nigeria, to name but a few.

Do Muslims have a right to be offended by the cartoons and express their opinions? Of course they do. People of other religions have done so, such as when Roman Catholic Christians objected to the display of a crucifix submerged in a jar of urine or a depiction of the virgin Mary smeared with feces, or when Buddhists objected to the destruction of ancient Buddha statues by the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Such protests generally take the form of complaints to the sponsors of offensive exhibits, letters to the editor, calls for boycotts, pressure from international diplomats, or public demonstrations in which people chant slogans or hold signs. Criminal activities such as assault, vandalism, and death threats, in the rare instances when they happen, are overwhelmingly condemned by other members of the offended religious group. That’s the way responsible, reasonable religions react.

Not so with the Islamist extremists who more and more frequently are allowed to speak unanswered for all Muslims. Nor does it require insults to unleash the lethal wrath of the extremists. Keep in mind that the depictions do not involve fabricated accusations against Islam. One drawing, depicting Mohammed wearing a black turban with a lit bomb fuse coming out of it, reflects the increasingly frequent practice, approved of and even encouraged by Muslim clerics and government leaders, of attacks against so-called infidels. Another drawing that refers to the 72 virgins purported to await martyrs in the next life merely reflects the belief that suicide bombers are martyrs and will be similarly rewarded. It seems to me that these cartoons would not be offensive to people who condone bombings and suicide attack. Those who do not condone such violence would do better to protest the violence rather than the artists who depict what is already happening.

Socialists in the United Kingdom are among those predictably defending the extremist over-reaction to the cartoons, which they contend shows the “growth of Islamophobia” throughout the world. But they and other apologists for the rioters probably haven’t seen the cartoons, most of which aren’t the least big derogatory of Muslims, their religion, or their so-called prophet.

For their edification, for the information of my curious readers, and in solidarity with Jyllands-Posten and the Danish people, I present all 12 cartoons in question. In the event that I should meet an untimely and violent demise, direct the police to the nearest mosque.

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