February 03, 2006

Earth to Islam: Grow up

I recently received the following "Action Alert" via email from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

CAIR today called on imams and khatibs [prayer leaders and teachers, respectively] nationwide to offer Friday khutbas [sermons] focusing on the significance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Muslims worldwide.

That call comes as newspapers in Europe continue to publish intentionally provocative and insulting cartoons of the prophet, and Muslims worldwide express their outrage through boycotts and protests. Some media outlets, such as CNN have made an editorial decision not to show the cartoons.

[Full Text]

The background of this story, in case you are not aware: in September, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten solicited political cartoons featuring the "prophet" Mohammed following the inability of the author of a children's book about Islam to hire an illustrator. Twelve cartoonists obliged, and the paper published the submissions.

If the subject of these editorial cartoons had been the figurehead of any other religion, the incident would have passed in relative silence. (Well, maybe the Scientologists™ would have threatened a lawsuit over unflattering depictions of L. Ron Hubbard.) However, in Islam, images of the "prophet" are specifically forbidden, so Jyllands-Posten has touched off a diplomatic furor, along with the usual rioting, guns in the streets, bomb threats against the paper, demonstrations outside EU offices in the Middle East, and so on.

The reaction in the West has largely been bemusement: the Danish prime minister at one point refused to meet with Islamic diplomats, citing freedom of the press and saying the matter was out of his hands. More recently, newspapers in Norway, Germany, Spain, and even Jordan (!) have reprinted the horrible, dangerous cartoons, and so naturally the outrage has spread. Even the French paper France Soir got in on the act, saying "no religious dogma can impose itself on a democratic and secular society." But, true to form, the next day they surrendered by firing the managing editor. (France can't afford to have any more cars torched, I guess.)

Meanwhile, of course, the most scurrilous anti-Semitic cartoons continue to be published in Islamic countries.

Dear Islam: In the West, religious dogma does not control public policy. Islamic dogma certainly does not. In short, these pathetic attempts to extend your jurisdiction over secular governments are only so much wishful thinking. If I wish to declare Madman Mo (may pigs sit on his face) a false prophet and a demented kiddy-diddler, that is my right under law. No number of delusional fatwas is going to change that. Suck it up, crybabies.

Meanwhile, I'm going to suck up a pint of Tuborg or Faxe, and maybe some Havarti and some back bacon.