February 06, 2006
AUSTIN BAY has more thoughts on the Cartoon War.
UPDATE: Virginia Postrel writes:
My response to this nonsense is to wonder why Muslims don't grow up. If your co-religionists are going to take political stands, and blow up innocent people in the name of Islam, political cartoonists are going to occasionally take satirical swipes at your religion. Those swipes may not be nuanced, but they're what you can expect when you live in a free society, where you, too, can hold views others find offensive. If you don't like it, move to Saudi Arabia. Or just try to peacefully convert people to Islam. As Fred Barnes points out, the current cover of Rolling Stone is offensive to (hypersensitive, paranoid, publicity-seeking) Christians, but they aren't threatening anyone with physical violence.
Once they see how easily media and government officials are intimidated by such threats, of course, that may change -- which is yet another reason why appeasement is a bad approach.
Victor Davis Hanson, meanwhile, wonders if Europe is finally waking up: "The Madrid bombings, the murder of Theo van Gogh, the London subway attacks, and the French rioting in October and November seem to have prompted at least some Europeans at last to question their once hallowed sense of multiculturalism in which Muslim minorities were not asked to assimilate at home and Islamic terrorists abroad were seen as mere militants or extremists rather than enemies bent on destroying the West. . . . More importantly, despite distancing themselves from the United States, and spreading cash liberally around, the Europeans are beginning to fathom that the radical Islamists still hate them even more than they do the Americans—as if the fundamentalists add disdain for perceived European weakness in addition to the usual generic hatred of all things Western."
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Tamara Mady emails:
Coming from an all Muslim family, I'm forced to listen to the sense of perceived injustice of Muslims concerning the depiction of their revered prophet. It's quite sickening.
I tell my family that that's just how things work in a free society: while I don't agree that the newspaper should have done something so culturally insensitive, they do have the right to do that, and attempting to make Danish society pay as a whole for it is utterly ridiculous.
It doesn't matter, I'm told. It literally means nothing to them, because in their world, everything should revolve around them and their culture, and God made the world for Muslim Arabs to control.
And this is the kind of mindset the Danish people are contending with.
Given the tremendous weakness of the Muslim -- and particularly the Arab Muslim -- world this is an extremely unfortunate view to hold, and one that is likely to have serious consequences if it is not unlearned.
MORE: Even in the satire wars these guys are outgunned.
STILL MORE: Related thoughts from Dr. Sanity.