Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
A triple-double ... standard
So the Jyllands-Posten says it ran the provocative Muhammad cartoons as a statement about free speech and religious liberty? Well, um ... they seem to have revised an earlier position on the matter.
Danish paper rejected Jesus cartoons

Gwladys Fouché
Monday February 6, 2006, The Guardian UK

Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have caused a storm of protest throughout the Islamic world, refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ, it has emerged today.
The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.

In April 2003, Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted a series of unsolicited cartoons dealing with the resurrection of Christ to Jyllands-Posten.

Zieler received an email back from the paper's Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, which said: "I don't think Jyllands-Posten's readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them."
The illustrator said: "I see the cartoons as an innocent joke, of the type that my Christian grandfather would enjoy."

"I showed them to a few pastors and they thought they were funny."

But the Jyllands-Posten editor in question, Mr Kaiser, said that the case was "ridiculous to bring forward now. It has nothing to do with the Muhammad cartoons.

"In the Muhammad drawings case, we asked the illustrators to do it. I did not ask for these cartoons. That's the difference," he said.
What's the difference? I sure don't see it. ... Thanks to an anonymous but astute reader for the tip, which also came with a link to this article, which digs deeper into the Muslim side of this story, which clearly Westerners, with our secular societies and arms-length religiosity (particularly in Jesus-free Europe) do not understand. ...

The bottom line here, I think, is that the Muslim world is in many ways looked at with one or both of the following two emotions by "the West": fear and loathing. Fear because of the ongoing scourge of terrorism (most of which is political terrorism within the Near East and Middle East region, but more and more of which is directed at Western symbolic targets, and against our troops in Iraq...). Loathing mainly because of one big thing: immigration into Europe. Those two combine mean that the Islamic religion is looked at as inferior, unworthy, violent and almost ridiculous, by many people in the West. And so, no problem to mary Muhammad to the bomb. Unfortunately, many Muslims also look upon the West with fear and loathing, and increasingly, with impotent rage. And while most in the Muslim world lack the means to fight and defeat "The West" by means of war, they have 1.8 or so billion of their bodies to put on the line. And with so many unemployed, angry, repressed politically and pissed off about Palestine, Iraq, and on an done, this can't end well.

(I once asked James Zogby why there seems to be so little sympathy for the Palestinian plight here in the U.S. He said it was a combination of bad P.R. on their part and anti-Arab racism on ours...)

Western commentators should give up trying to lecture the Muslim world about adopting secular values of free speech and democracy. As Pat Buchanan says all the time, we really should just leave them the hell alone, do business on the oil and whatever else we're trading, and let the Muslim world develop on its own. Unless some country over there attacks us or our interests, teaching them to be good, secular democrats is really none of our concern.

Of course, that doesn't mean that this mass violence is any less of an outrage -- like the Watts riots and other failed protest outbursts in the U.S. after MLK was killed, it shows a certain amount of immaturity in the Islamic political movement, and it's counter-productive. I also happen to believe it's being fueled by Islamist radicals who have a more nefarioius goal: igniting the war to end all wars between the West and the Muslim world, or perhaps overthrowing a Mideast government or two... Either way, this is a situation going nowhere but for a ride in a certain handbasket...

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Tags: , , , , , , Jyllands-Posten,
Mohammed, Christianity
posted by JReid @ 6:42 PM  
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