Sunday, February 12, 2006

Loony Toons Explained

Because Mohammed has been graphically represented and lampooned in a series of cartoons published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Muslims across the world have staged dozens of protests---some peaceful and some destructive—demanding some kind of satisfaction for what they see as disrespectful and downright slanderous commentaries on their faith.

The Western media has attempted to explain what’s going on by latching on to four themes:

It’s about freedom of expression
It’s about journalistic responsibility
It’s about cultural sensitivity
Muslim’s are a prickly bunch .

Cue crusty old Robert McGlaughlin: "WRONG!"

What it is actually about is STUPIDITY and POLITICS! (isn’t everything these days?)

The "issue" arose after Danish writer Kare Bluitgen complained he was unable to find an illustrator for his children's book about the Prophet because he said no one dared break an Islamic tenet banning the portrayal of his image.

Kare Bluitgen is an idiot.

Jyllands-Posten asked cartoonists to "draw the Prophet as they saw him", as an assertion of free speech and to reject pressure by Muslims groups to respect their sensitivities" (Read more of this well detailed BBC report

Jyllands-Posten's editors aren't very bright either.

Here’s some telling information about the naievety of the Danish author and the Danish press, from an interview with Danish TV2’s Allan Silberbrandt on Hardball. (No kudos to Timmeh! ; he still demostrates his own special brand of asshole-ocity in the rest of the interview).

SILBERBRANDT: Well, it came about because a publishing house wanted to publish a book for children about Islam. It turned out that they could get nobody to do a drawing of the Prophet Mohammed.
MATTHEWS: Because that‘s considered blasphemous, right?
SILBERBRANDT: Yes. And then in Denmark they said well that can‘t be. Why shouldn‘t we be able to publish a drawing of Mohammed. You have to understand that Danes are not a very religious people and maybe that‘s part of the problem. So they said that‘s OK too, let‘s see if anybody dares, and they did.

That some Muslims would find mere depictions of Mohammed objectionable should have been clear from the outset (despite the benign context for which they were commissioned). The fact that one depiction morphed Mohammed with a bomb was absolutely guaranteed to cause outrage (what the hell, they could have also pictured him naked and eating a ham sandwich).

So that’s the STUPIDTY part, what about the POLITICS?

For a long-winded insight into the real political underpinnings of this turn of events the Daily Kos offers up some context and details (scroll to the second half of the article).

But the real kicker comes from Egyptian e-blogger Sandmonkey who gets to the point much more succinctly than Kos and with a good deal of "authoriteh!". offering some very telling scans of an Egyptian newspaper that also published the cartoons as a straightforward news story back in October 2005 (no calls for boycotting Egypt or the resignation /dismemberment of Al Faqr's editors thus far).

Approximately 180,000 Muslims live in Denmark. When the cartoons were first published Muslim elders and notables expressed their displeasure and concerns and Jyllands-Posten responded with an explanation of the intent behind the publication of the cartoons and apologies for any percieved offense. The Danish muslim communtiy accepted the explanation and the apology and did not go ape-shit in any way.

In summary this whole furore is a politically motivated, manufactured distraction from the fact that the Saudis have once again criminally mismanaged the Hajj---just like Bush distracting the US public from the fact that his criminal mismanagement facilitated 9-11 and continues to endanger US citizens and sew the seeds of further acts of violence and destruction around the world.

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, it’s an essential act of demagoguery. But a just a Danish ( and quite delicious).

Fun facts about Denmark.

Denmark continually kicked the asses of the Anglo Saxons over several centuries but were smart enough to integrate rather than completely occupy the British Isles. The Danes were superb sailors and boat builders. They set foot on the US continent centuries before Columbus stumbled across a nearby island that he thought was India. Danes also traded in the Mediterranean with Arabs and Romans.

Danes are incredibly tolerant of other peoples and cultures--except for the Swedes. You'll have to ask them--apparently they have good reason. All Danes eat dinner at 6.30 pm sharp, no exceptions. It's the law.

Denmark is a socialist country with a constitutional monarchy which makes no sense whatsoever except to the Danes. and they defend both institutions vigorously.

"Millionaire" is a foreign concept in Denmark. But when Danes retire they all have a comfortable place to live and complete health benefits courtesy of their taxes .Grannies aren't forced to buy cat food to live on---but they do like their fish.

On the whole Danes are freakishly reasonable and thus an embarrassment to almost every other nation in the world. Thank goodness there are only 5 million of them!




KEvron said...

they're learning much from chimpco, the arab world is. "alert level 'yellow', everybody!"


Carl said...

One point: the Danish prime minister was asked to meet with ambassadors from Muslim nations after the Saudis fired up the protests and refused.

That was probably not a particularly intelligent bit of statesmanship.