UPDATE: Check out what a Syrian blogger has to say, and he says it with lots of interesting links. I hope he keeps this up.
I swear, this is out of control. The "Muslim world" demands we respect it, take it seriously, etc. etc. -- how can you take folks seriously who riot and burn the Danish embassy in Damascus, just because a Danish newspaper prints editorial cartoons that the "Muslim world" deems blasphemous? And check these pictures out. More all over the blogosphere--just find a good post and start clicking the links. And you have to like this response to an Australian imam:
Odd that this concern over maintaining the peace doesn’t limit Muslim commentary on other religions or communities. The Islamic Bookstore in Lakemba, for example, sells vicious anti-Semitic tract The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as well as various anti-Christian titles (Crucifixion – or Cruci-FICTION?). Sheik Khalid Yasin, a regular guest lecturer in Australia, declared that “there’s no such thing as a Muslim having a non-Muslim friend” and denounced modern clothes as the work of “faggots, homosexuals and lesbians”; Christians, he said, deliberately infected Africans with AIDS. Yasin wouldn’t merely draw cartoons of homosexuals—he’d have them put to death in accordance with Koranic law. One Imam told Australian students that Jews put poison in bananas. Local Iraqis voting in their country’s elections were shot at and otherwise intimidated by Islamic extremists whose banners announced: “You vote, you die.” These friends of free speech were also observed photographing those who dared to vote. Sheikh Feiz Muhammad told a supportive Bankstown crowd last year that women deserve to be raped if they wore “satanical” garments, including anything “strapless, backless, [or] sleeveless”, and also “mini-skirts [and] tight jeans.”Mark Steyn:
All of this is far more hateful and moronic than those twelve Danish cartoons, not one of which depicts the Prophet eating babies, poisoning fruit, or infecting Africans with AIDS. Far from being against hate-speech, many Muslim spokesmen seem to be aggressively for it; until, of course, someone contemplates publishing harmless drawings of some old beardy guy. At that point Sheik Fehmi El-Imam warns that we risk “disturbing the peace”.
Warning politely declined, Sheik:
Jyllands-Posten wasn't being offensive for the sake of it. They had a serious point -- or, at any rate, a more serious one than Britney Spears or Terence McNally. The cartoons accompanied a piece about the dangers of "self-censorship" -- i.e., a climate in which there's no explicit law forbidding you from addressing the more, er, lively aspects of Islam but nonetheless everyone feels it's better not to.
That's the question the Danish newspaper was testing: the weakness of free societies in the face of intimidation by militant Islam.
UPDATE: Here's more from the Post:
The unrest in Lebanon, mired in its own political uncertainty, was the latest turn in a controversy that has spread worldwide following the publication of the cartoons in Denmark and other Western countries and showed no signs of ebbing Sunday. Demonstrators took to the streets in Afghanistan, Iraq, the West Bank and New Zealand. A day earlier, protesters burned the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria after charging past security barriers.This is crazy crazy crazy. Insane. But there appears to be a more moderate reaction in Turkey. Read that one, and breath ever so slightly easier.
The Islamic Army in Iraq, a Sunni Arab insurgent group, issued an Internet statement calling for attacks on Danish companies and nationals. The group urged followers to "catch some Danish people and cut them into pieces." There are about 500 Danish soldiers in Iraq.