The Danish Cartoon Kerfuffle

The following article was written by Richard Dawkins. It is proof that islam is not a religion of peace, and it is a demonstration that a muslim need not be a terrorist as such to be an islamic warrior. To all you American morons who continue to tell us that islam is peaceful, get your head out of your ass and look around. I have no respect for muslims and I have no respect for idiots who tell us islam is peaceful in spite of abundant proof that it most certainly is not. Fuck you and fuck muhammad. Peace that, muslims.

 

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The case flared up in February 2006 – a ludicrous episode, which veered wildly between the extremes of comedy and tragedy. The previous September, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Over the next three months, indignation was carefully and systematically nurtured throughout the Islamic world by a small group of Muslims living in Denmark, led by two imams who had been granted sanctuary there. In late 2005 these malevolent exiles traveled from Denmark to Egypt bearing a dossier, which was copied and circulated from there to the whole Islamic world, including, importantly, Indonesia. The dossier contained falsehoods about alleged maltreatment of Muslims in Denmark, and the tendentious lie that Jyllands-Posten was a government-run newspaper. It also contained the 12 cartoons which, crucially, the imams had supplemented with three additional images whose origin was mysterious but which certainly had no connection with Denmark. Unlike the original 12, these three add-ons were genuinely offensive – or would have been if they had, as the zealous propagandists alleged, depicted Muhammad. A particularly damaging one of these three was not a cartoon at all but a faxed photograph of a bearded man wearing a fake pig’s snout held on with elastic. It has subsequently turned out that this was an Associated Press photograph of a Frenchman entered for a pig-squealing contest at a country fair in France. The photograph had no connection whatsoever with the prophet Muhammad, no connection with Islam, and no connection with Denmark. But the Muslim activists, on their mischief-stirring hike to Cairo, implied all three connections . . . with predictable results.

The carefully cultivated hurt and offense was brought to an explosive head five months after the 12 cartoons were originally published. Demonstrators in Pakistan and Indonesia burned Danish flags (where did they get them from?) and hysterical demands were made for the Danish government to apologize. (Apologize for what? They didn’t draw the cartoons, or publish them. Danes just live in a country with a free press, something that people in many Islamic countries might have a hard time understanding.) Newspapers in Norway, Germany, France, and even the United States (but, conspicuously, not Britain) reprinted the cartoons in gestures of solidarity with Jyllands-Posten, which added fuel to the flames. Embassies and consulates were trashed, Danish goods were boycotted, Danish citizens and, indeed, Westerners generally, were physically threatened; Christian churches in Pakistan, with no Danish or European connections at all, were burned. Nine people were killed when Libyan rioters attacked and burned the Italian consulate in Benghazi. As Germaine Greer wrote, what these people really love and do best is pandemonium.

A bounty of $1 million was placed on the head of the Danish cartoonist by a Pakistani imam – who was apparently unaware that there were 12 different Danish cartoonists, and almost certainly unaware that the three most offensive pictures had never appeared in Denmark at all (and, by the way, where was that million going to come from?). In Nigeria, Muslim protesters against the Danish cartoons burned down several Christian churches, and used machetes to attack and kill (black Nigerian) Christians in the streets. One Christian was put inside a rubber tire, doused with petrol and set alight. Demonstrators were photographed in Britain bearing banners saying Slay those who insult Islam, Butcher those who mock Islam, Europe you will pay: Demolition is on its way, and Behead those who insult Islam. Fortunately, our political leaders were on hand to remind us that Islam is a religion of peace and mercy.

In the aftermath of all this, the journalist Andrew Mueller interviewed Britain’s leading moderate Muslim, Sir Iqbal Sacranie. Moderate he may be by today’s Islamic standards, but in Andrew Mueller’s account he still stands by the remark he made when Salman Rushdie was condemned to death for writing a novel: Death is perhaps too easy for him – a remark that sets him in ignominious contrast to his courageous predecessor as Britain’s most influential Muslim, the late Dr Zaki Badawi, who offered Salman Rushdie sanctuary in his own home. Sacranie told Mueller how concerned he was about the Danish cartoons. Mueller was concerned too, but for a different reason: I am concerned that the ridiculous, disproportionate reaction to some unfunny sketches in an obscure Scandinavian newspaper may confirm that . . . Islam and the West are fundamentally irreconcilable. Sacranie, on the other hand, praised British newspapers for not reprinting the cartoons, to which Mueller voiced the suspicion of most of the nation that the restraint of British newspapers derived less from sensitivity to Muslim discontent than it did from a desire not to have their windows broken.

Sacranie explained that the person of the prophet . . . is revered so profoundly in the Muslim world, with a love and affection that cannot be explained in words. It goes beyond your parents, your loved ones, your children. That is part of the faith. There is also an Islamic teaching that one does not depict the prophet. This rather assumes, as Mueller observed: that the values of Islam trump anyone else’s – which is what any follower of Islam does assume, just as any follower of any religion believes that theirs is the sole way, truth, and light. If people wish to love a 7th-century preacher more than their own families, that’s up to them, but nobody else is obliged to take it seriously . . .

Except that if you don’t take it seriously and accord it proper respect, you are physically threatened, on a scale that no other religion has aspired to since the Middle Ages. One can’t help wondering why such violence is necessary, given that, as Mueller notes: If any of you clowns are right about anything, the cartoonists are going to hell anyway – won’t that do? In the meantime, if you want to get excited about affronts to Muslims, read the Amnesty International reports on Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Many people have noted the contrast between the hysterical hurt professed by Muslims and the readiness with which Arab media publish stereotypical anti-Jewish cartoons. At a demonstration in Pakistan against the Danish cartoons, a woman in a black burka was photographed carrying a banner reading: God Bless Hitler.

In response to all this frenzied pandemonium, decent liberal newspapers deplored the violence and made token noises about free speech. But at the same time they expressed respect and sympathy for the deep offense and hurt that Muslims had suffered. The hurt and suffering consisted, remember, not in any person enduring violence or real pain of any kind: nothing more than a few daubs of printing ink on a newspaper that nobody outside Denmark would ever have heard of but for a deliberate campaign of incitement to mayhem.

I am not in favor of offending or hurting anyone just for the sake of it. But I am intrigued and mystified by the disproportionate privileging of religion in our otherwise secular societies. All politicians must get used to disrespectful cartoons of their faces, and nobody riots in their defense. What is so special about religion that we grant it such uniquely privileged respect? As H L Mencken said: We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that is wife is beautiful and his children smart.

 

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If you think islam is peaceful, it's because you don't know shit about the religion. If you want to stay stupid, fine. If you want to learn, read this.

 

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Comments (4)

  1. stevehayes13

    And this is just one example. Islam is anti-human rights. It is theocratic barbarism. And if you say so, you will be labelled an Islamophobe.

    May 22, 2017
    1. den_of_iniquity2

      They can call me an islamophobe, and it doesn’t bother me a bit coming from barbarians and their profoundly ignorant myrmidons. I’m not afraid of islam or muslims, and my post clearly shows that. I despise islam and I don’t trust or respect muslims. What’s the proper word for that? Honest.

      May 22, 2017
      1. stevehayes13

        Fear of Islam sounds perfectly rational to me.

        May 22, 2017
        1. den_of_iniquity2

          That’s a very good point. It’s not the epithet they intend it to be. We need more islamophobes.

          May 22, 2017