I'll have another cartoon Danish, please.
Leave it to the fundamentalist imams to align me with John Bolton and Michelle Malkin. Like George W. Bush's Iraq War, which has succeeded at one thing only -- welding together secular Arab nationalists and death-cult Islamic fundamentalists, two groups that, left alone, would have destroyed each other eventually without our help -- the imams have proven that the American left and right can find common ground.
Every paper in America ought to be running those images. Instead, editors are getting sacked for doing so. For shame!
In a letter to the editor of the New York Times today, an indignant writer points out that just yesterday the Times ran a picture of the notorious Virgin-in-elephant-dung over which former Mayor Giuliani raised such a stink a few years back. Catholics were furious, a museum lost its funding. Artists got rich.
I'm all for making fun of institutional religion. More blasphemy makes the world a better place. In our country, though, blasphemy in art is so common, it's a stupid, boring cliché. Let's play "shock the Catholics!" Which makes it even more amazing that the media is shying away from these cartoons.
The angry letter-writer correctly called the Times editors on their double standard: Okay to run images that offend Christians who might protest and boycott, but not okay to run images that offend death-cult Islamists who might drive a truck bomb into the Times building.
People who can't take criticism of their theology will someday, if we survive them and their shenanigans, qualify as insane. Perhaps in a happy future, researchers might even have discovered a biochemical cause for the syndrome, and designed a pill to block the condition.
Now comes news that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - a woman mind you - has appointed two U.N. "racism experts" to investigate the cartoons for what she characterized as "disrespect for belief."
Can John Bolton please step up to the podium now and insert something offensive into the U.N. record on my behalf? Like: Waaaa! You disrespected my belief!
Every single day in New York City, my core beliefs are disrespected, from piggish teenagers who swear on the subway in front of my kids to reports on NPR in the morning about my emails and phone calls being tapped by my President.
As a woman, confronted daily with degrading, offensive images of women in sex-and-commerce America, I do understand how the power of imagery kicks you in the gut harder than the power of words. I've been disgusted and dismayed, but I've never actually thought of burning down a building. I guess you need to have God on your side to get that motivated.
We writers like to believe the pen has sword-power, but graphics really do win in the end - especially where people Can't Read.
Which is precisely why the imams, mullahs and muftis who stoked the outrage in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, deserve all the criticism the rightwing flank tosses at them. Illiteracy doesn't bother them. These men clearly care nothing about education, social reform, bringing their people up to a standard of living that approaches say, the late 19th Century. Don't get me started on the way they treat their women. Let's just say that their misogyny would, in a world where human beings were as respected as they want their "beliefs" to be, have them not only investigated by the U.N., but put out of business.
They have a single goal in mind: keeping themselves in power, through the unquestionable power of their mind-warping religion.
You can see the cartoons on http://blog.newspaperindex.com/2005/12/10/un-to-investigate-jyllands-posten-racism. Go forth, look, and forward to friends who are being blacked out by the American news media. They're cute and funny. As only the Scandinavians can be.
Thanks Jyllands-Posten, and thanks to all the editors who taking the fall for publishing these images. Keep fighting the good fight.