Don't Call Us Violent (Or We'll Kill You!)Where to begin? It's becoming a familiar pattern, isn't it? Someone speaks critically of Islam or Muslims, perhaps raising the issue of the violence they seem to perpetrate around the world. Next, violent protests against said critics erupt among Muslims in every nation. And thus the critic's point is proven.
The latest fiasco in this cycle is the uproar over some cartoons published in a Danish newspaper. Islam alledgedly forbids any visual depiction of it's revered founder and "prophet." There is, by the way, no such injunction in the Quran. In fact, over the centuries many Muslim artists have created portraits of Muhammed, often commisioned by Muslim rulers. Many such works can be viewed in museums in Muslim countries. In fact one likeness is a sculpture on the building of the U.S. Supreme Court, honoring the "prophet" as a great lawgiver. Some of the cartoons did make reference to Islam's reputation for violent extremism. Of course, Mohammed's mild-mannered devotees worldwide were suitably incensed and began protesting, rioting, burning, killing. The usual.
As George Neumayr writes in National Review, "Only radical Muslims would consider rioting a rational rebuttal to descriptions of Islam as violent. … Western society falls silent lest its criticism of Islam result in an explosion of anger validating the criticism. ...Islamic protests … are designed to stifle legitimate criticism of radical Islam's undeniably violent history and designs — criticism that receives fresh evidence from the wildly intemperate anger it stokes."
A few interesting points to ponder: First, the cartoons at the heart of this latest Muslim firestorm were published in September. Why has it taken four months for this protest to take shape? (And how did Danish flags become available so widely, ready for burning? Could it be a conspiarcy?)
Second, last November, a delegation was formed by Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, a Palestinian decribed as "one of Denmark's most prominent Imams." This group toured the Middle East, discussing the issue of these cartoons with senior officials and prominent Islamic scholars. The stated purpose was to "internationalize this issue." Sounds legitimate. Until it is revealed that the delegation fabricated additional cartoons, including one that shows Mohammed with the face of a pig. These were included in a booklet with the authentic cartoons from the Danish newspaper. Why? To deliberately intensify the controversy and offense. To maliciously provoke more outrage in the Muslim world.
Third, these fabricated cartoons were created by the delegation. And in Abu Laban's own words "mockery against Mohamed deserves the death penalty." So, why has there not been a fatwah issued against Abu Laban?
Finally, in a classic double standard Abu Laban has praised the Muslim boycott of Danish products on al Jazeera, but has condemned the same boycott on Danish TV.
"If I needlessly offend my neighbor, shame on me," writes Jonah Goldberg. "If, in response, he burns down my house and threatens to murder my entire family, who cares what I said in the first place?" Of course, this was never about the cartoons. It's not even about being offended or apologies. It is about violent, hatefilled extremists trying to intimidate the entire world into handling them with kid gloves.
So, while Abu Laban saves his own skin through political doublespeak, he fosters the belief that Muslims are violent radicals. And the death toll continues to rise.