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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cartoon Violence

If anything positive has come out of this whole Muslim cartoon controversy it is that, at least for the time being, Denmark has overtaken the United States as the biggest pariah in the Islamic world. Thanks to President Bush’s disastrous war in Iraq, America replaced Israel as the number one target for Islamist hatred. We’ve had a few good years as number one but it’s time to hand over the torch. Our status cost us hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Denmark usurped us with a couple of humor-free editorial cartoons.

Now Americans can shout “Don’t shoot, I’m an American,” when they are being attacked by an angry mob hell-bent on punishing an infidel. There are even reports of Danish kids sewing American flags on their backpacks.

In an extremely bold act of unmitigated cowardice, the Swiss company, Nestle, reminded its Middle East customers that they were not to be confused with Danes. Way to stay neutral in the battle over freedom of expression. Don’t forget to turn the light out when there isn’t any free expression to defend.

I think that the whole affair is just an excuse for mobs in Muslim countries to go on a homicidal rampage, burn a few effigies and embassies, and shout death threats until they are hoarse. I don’t think that they have television over there to keep people occupied, and from looking at the crowds it is pretty obvious that they don’t have any women, at least none that they are willing to let out in public. Look at the mobs, dudes only. If they paid more attention to their women they wouldn’t get into so much trouble. Instead of rampaging through the streets they could be home painting the kitchen.

I think the most interesting aspect of this issue is how it has divided many Americans. We have heard from staunch conservatives who see this as another opportunity to point out how Muslims are our enemy. Other conservative Christians oppose the cartoons as blasphemy. There are liberals who view the cartoons as an unpardonable breach in cultural sensitivity while other liberals defend the cartoons as an expression of free speech. As a devout liberal atheist, I think the cartoons are unpardonably unfunny. They are dumber than Dilbert, weaker than Family Circus, and more poorly drawn than Peanuts.

If Muslims want to see an offensive cartoon, a really outrageously offensive cartoon, they should check out the South Park Kids version of the Aristocrats joke in the movie, The Aristocrats. Show that to the mob in Damascus and I guarantee that they would stop dead in their tracks and shout, “Sweet Jesus, that’s offensive,” and they would immediately apologize to Denmark for overreacting.

Perhaps Muslims should get their revenge by drawing a series of cartoons mocking some people’s lack of belief in an afterlife to provoke radical atheists. We are a rather thin-skinned lot so I’m sure that it wouldn’t take much for us to do a little rampaging and burn a few effigies.

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