Thursday, February 02, 2006
I know! I know!
It's because we don't feel threatened by CARTOONS.
Don't get me wrong. Political cartoons are a very accurate way of measuring the zeitgeist and popular opinion on a given person or subject. And Lord knows the role anti-Semitic cartoons have played and continue to play in the Arab world.
And yet, I haven't issued a single death threat against an Arabic cartoonist.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, muslim hordes are rioting, protesting, rallying, and threatening Europeans - any and all Europeans - because of a series of cartoons that appeared in a Danish newspaper. In Gaza, "masked gunmen" are taking over buildings, issuing statements, and announcing that they're going to "harm" any Europeans they find in local hotels.
I mean, seriously. Why are these people allowed to have guns? Why are they allowed to wear masks? Why are they allowed to keep drawing breath?
And, more important, why are we - the 'civilized' world - continuing to legitimize their infantile and murderous behavior? Coddling them with statements like, "We need to figure out how to reconcile freedom of expression and respect of faith," a gem from the head of Reporters Without Borders.
Which is a stupid name to begin with.
My faith dictates that no graven image be worshipped, but I'm not killing sculptors. My faith dictates that there's no way to 'depict' an image of G-d. But I'm not killing anyone who tries. And there have been plenty of artists who have done unspeakable things with Christian icons (Robert Mapplethorpe comes to mind immediately), and although they've been criticized, and although, in some cases, government endowments have been pulled, they haven't been threatened by masked gunmen!!
It's so infuriating!!
It's time for muslims of every stripe to acknowledge that Denmark is a sovereign, secular country. Danes are entitled to do whatever the heck they want, within legal limits. But if the limits are determined by religion, it's not a secular state anymore. Muslims may not like it, but so what!? Let Al Jazeera start airing a new morality miniseries called "Rotten in the State of Denmark: A portrait of secular infidels." Let Arab newspapers lampoon and deride the Danes and the French in cartoon after cartoon. (It'll give them a break from lampooning and deriding Jews.) But for the sake of everything that's holy, in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and every other religious system, stop threatening and perpetrating violence against innocent people.