08 February 2006


I want to try this again.

The recent uproar over the political cartoon among Muslims worldwide has me perplexed. I don't understand how they can honestly think we, as westerners, would not only understand their outrage but, their compleatly over-the-top response. It's a wonder that they wonder why we think of them and their religion as a bunch of backward savages. I know I am risking a little jihad on my ass by printing such a statement but, I really don't get it. I see, time and again, Muslim spokespersons on the telly, reassuring me that their religion is one of love and respect. That the events of 11 September were unrelated to how a true Muslim would act. That taking life is fundamentally wrong according to their traditions and beliefs. That we should understand them as a good people and a religious people. And yet...

Here we are. Riots and killings and retribution. Over a cartoon. A cartoon printed in a secular newspaper. An opinion. A thought. No one died when this cartoon was conceived. No one was killed in order to bring this cartoon to the printer. No one died when they looked at it. But, people are dying now, and probably more to come. It's considered a huge insult to the Muslim community and maybe we should be more tolerant of how they feel. Depicting their holy prophet in any form is considered sacriledge according to some interpretations of the Koran for it may lead down the path of idolatry .

Wait? What? That's the reason people are dying. Because they are afraid of having a Mohammed creche on their front lawn, like Catholics and their Mary statues? As far as I know, unless you pick the plaster statue up and bash someone over the head with it, idol worship never killed anyone. But, Muslims are killing and threatening and rioting over that very premise. And now, they are printing up holocaust cartoons in retaliation (which is rather childish). Now, let me work this out, Muslims are buying into the neo-Nazi skinhead propaganda that the Jews control the world's free press and they are the ones who are responsible for the cartoon, when you boil it down. That's right, it's the Jew's fault. Again. Who woulda thunk that neo-Nazis and Muslims would be such comfy bedfellows.

My point is, why are westerners the ones who must "understand" the Muslim way? Why are we accountable for their actions? Why can't Muslims understand the western/secular world? To us, it was a cartoon. We don't have the same religious point-of-view to cloud our vision. We have separated our belief in a higher power and the state. Which is why we are not freaking out over every little insult and calling for a global Crusade over a cartoon (like the one I included at the top). It was a mistake. The newspaper made a mistake in depicting their sacred prophet as a terrorist.

But let me ask this; Is terrorizing the nations of the world in the name of Mohammed and Islam productive to changing the minds of us heathens? Or is it simply validating the cartoon?

1 comment:

  1. A couple of points about your comments Mortimer:

    1. The violence that you see erupting throughout the world in response to the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad is wrong by Islamic standards.

    2. Your belittling comments about the Muslim belief that creating images of Prophet Muhammad is prohibited as a preventative measure to idol worship fails to consider that such a slippery slop does in fact exist.

    3. There are 1.3 billion Muslims living in the world today. That is about 1 in 4 or 5 people. Only a very small fraction of these folks are rioting. To suggest that the actions of this minority of Muslims somehow represents the beliefs and values of all Muslims is wrong. It is as wrong as saying that actions, sayings and beliefs of white supremacists represents the views of all white people.

    4. There has long been a nexus between extremist Muslims and neo-Nazis.

    5. The voices of mainstream Muslims are rarely heard b/c news is a moneymaking venture and moderate voices don't sell.