The Cartoon Jihad

Steven Laib stevenlaib at SBCGLOBAL.NET
Fri Feb 3 07:46:12 MST 2006


I thought you folks might want to read this.

Steve Laib
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Muslims Against the Cartoon Jihad
  By Kamal Nawash
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 3, 2006

Protests have spread across the Muslim world over the publication in 
European news papers of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad as a 
terrorist.  Outrage over the cartoons has ignited demonstrations from 
Turkey to the Gaza Strip, and prompted a boycott of Danish products 
throughout the Middle East.

In Pakistan, hundreds demonstrated on Thursday, chanting "Death to 
Denmark" and burning Danish and French flags.  In Egypt, President 
Hosni Mubarak warned that the decision by some European papers to 
publish the cartoons could encourage terrorists.   Consequently, 
 government ministers from 17 Arab nations have asked the Danish 
government to punish the newspaper for what they called an "offense to 
Islam" and some countries have even pulled their ambassadors from 
Denmark.

The controversy intensified on Wednesday when a French news paper, 
printed a new drawing on its front page showing  Jewish, Muslim and 
Christian holy figures sitting on a cloud, with the caption "Don't 
worry Muhammad, we've all been caricatured here".

The response by Muslims to the cartoons is absolutely pathetic and 
depressing but revealing.  The reason Muslims are responding with anger 
and threats of violence is because most Muslims live in countries where 
democracy and freedom of speech are alien concepts. 

Moreover, the Muslim world suffers from a lack of visionary 
leadership.  In this particular case, when Muslim leaders, including 
American Muslim leaders, realized that Muslims are furious they joined 
the chorus of fury rather than explain to their people that they must 
be reasonable and that freedom of speech is healthy even if it is 
insulting.  What is even more disgusting is that most American Muslim 
organizations, who should know better, have joined the chorus of 
instigators rather than taking this opportunity to teach their members 
about the importance of freedom of speech and tolerance.

One would think that Muslims have learned a lesson from the mishaps of 
the radical Iranian spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomeini when in 1989, 
he called on Muslims to kill British author Salman Rushdie for alleged 
blasphemy in his book, The Satanic Verses.   The childish and stupid 
reaction by Khomeini caused an otherwise poor book to become a number 
one seller.  Similarly today, the stupid reaction by Muslims has caused 
many more news papers to publish insulting images of the Prophet 
Mohammed.

When will Muslims wake up and realize that their intolerance of 
opposing opinions is keeping them in the dark ages?  When will Muslims 
realize that respect must be earned and not forced through violence and 
coercion?  When will Muslims realize that individual liberty and 
freedom of expression are fundamental human rights?  When will American 
Muslim organization provide solutions to Muslims rather than instigate 
problems?  The Free Muslims Coalition hopes that the answer to all 
these questions is soon.

For more information visit:  www.FreeMuslims.org

Kamal Nawash, 202-776-7190, 301-905-6438, president at freemuslims.org.



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