Muslim Outrage, Cartoons, And CAIR
Cartoons of Prophet Met With Outrage:
Depictions of Muhammad in Scandinavian Papers Provoke Anger, Protest Across Muslim World
The caption under the January 31, 2006 Washington Post article reads as follows:
"A shelf in a Saudi supermarket has been emptied of Danish products in protest over cartoons in a newspaper in Denmark that depicted the prophet Muhammad as a terrorist."[Go here to Democracy Frontline to see some of the objectionable cartoons with some eighty-eight comments, and a follow-up article is here.]
[Update: And here are some cartoons from the Arab world.]
"PARIS, Jan. 30 -- Cartoons in Danish and Norwegian newspapers depicting the prophet Muhammad in unflattering poses, including one in which he is portrayed as an apparent terrorist with a bomb in his turban, have triggered outrage among Muslims across the Middle East, sparking protests, economic boycotts and warnings of possible retaliation against the people, companies and countries involved.Update from Infidel Bloggers Alliance:
"The cartoons were published in September in a conservative, mass-circulation Danish daily, Jyllands-Posten, and were reprinted three weeks ago in Magazinet, a small evangelical Christian newspaper in Norway. But the reaction has been widespread, and fallout over the images reached new levels Monday, with the European Union backing Denmark in the dispute and warning that a boycott of Danish products -- already being felt by some companies -- would violate World Trade Organization rules.
"Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador from Denmark and Libya has closed its embassy in Copenhagen, the Danish capital. Kuwait called the cartoons 'despicable racism.' Iran's foreign minister termed them 'ridiculous and revolting.'...
"People are inclined to see Islam and political extremism as two sides of the same coin," [Ulf Hedetoft, a political scientist at Aalborg University and director of Denmark's Academy for Migration Studies] said....
"The newspapers have issued explanations but have couched their apologies. 'We are sorry if Muslims have been offended,' Jyllands' editor in chief, Carsten Juste, told the Associated Press, adding that the newspapers actions were 'within the constitution, the Danish penal code and international convention. . . . It is not a dictatorship like Saudi Arabia that is going to dictate our editorial line here in Denmark.'...
"'The question here is how far do you show sensitivity and self-control over issues without falling into self-censorship,' said Medhi Mozaffari, a professor at Aarhus University in Denmark, who defended his government's stance not to apologize.
"'It's unthinkable that the prime minister would make an apology,' he said. 'This is Islamists putting democracies on trial to see how far they can be pressured.'"
"Newspapers across Europe are reprinting the Jyllands-Posten cartoons: 'Newspapers across Europe have reprinted caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to show support for a Danish paper whose cartoons have sparked Muslim outrage. France Soir, Germany's Die Welt, La Stampa in Italy and El Periodico in Spain all carried some of the drawings....'"As I expected, CAIR has now jumped aboard the ban-anything-offensive-to-Muslims train and on January 31, 2006 released a statement:
"...[CAIR is] seeking meetings with the Danish and Norwegian ambassadors to the United States to discuss the publication of cartoons in those nations that Muslims worldwide view as 'intentionally insulting' to the Prophet Muhammad and Islam...."It's no surprise that CAIR is taking this position. Last summer, CAIR was actively involved in engineering the firing of radio talkshow host Michael Graham. And according to Gindy and LA Sunsett, CAIR is after another radio host, Bill Handel, who in his usual style, made fun of the stampede at the Haj. Mr. Handel is noted for his acerbic satire, but let him mention something about Islam, and here comes the CAIR cavalry riding over the hill to defend the honor of Islam.
CAIR does not limit its rescue operations to radio hosts or to featured cartoons. CAIR also launches campaigns against letters to the editors. One example is here, and others can also be found on the CAIR web site.
Maybe the cartoons are insulting. Lots of things offend lots of people. But suppression of freedom of the press and freedom of speech is even more offensive. Beyond offensive! If those ideals are compromised, we will see the fall of Western civilization.
CAIR presents itself as a moderate-Muslim organization, a champion of civil rights. I don't see it.