The whole world has become a cartoon
War is being waged against Muslims on numerous battlefields, and for Muslims to turn their attention away from their plight to the merits or otherwise of a cartoon or two in a Western paper is utter folly. Sadly, today’s Muslims always rise to provocation and when doing so rarely consider their response beforehand so that their reaction appears all emotional. A re-run of the Satanic Voices scenario the purpose of which is skilfully discussed in the intellectual response given in the book Satanic Voices by Islamic Party of Britain leader David Musa Pidcock.
If secularists want to insult and challenge God let them play with fire and get burned. In this respect the Muslim response should be modelled on that of Abdul Mutalib who negotiated the return of his seized camels with Abraha, the Yemeni general who was leading his army with an elephant to attack the Kaabah, the holy house in Makkah: “Let the Lord of the Kaabah look after His house, I shall look after my camels”. Let the Muslims of today defend their people first.
There is no doubt that the offensive cartoons are part of the propaganda which accompanies warfare. They serve to ridicule and humiliate the enemy. They are no innocent expressions of so-called freedom of speech. Muslims nations were therefore right to withdraw their ambassadors, but will they do the same now that other, more powerful nations than Denmark, have joined the fray?
Western media only defend freedom of speech when it suits them. Let the editors of Jyllands Posten, France Soir or Die Welt publish a cartoon ridiculing Jews. We all know they won’t. Prince Harry had to publicly apologize for wearing a Nazi uniform at a fancy dress party. Let the Arab press publish front page cartoons about gas supplies running low due to the stream of Jews entering German camps instead of cartoons about virgins running out due to a stream of suicide bombers, and watch how Western countries would withdraw their ambassadors and threaten sanctions. The editor of Die Welt waffles about the right to cause offence and satirise religion when his country imprisons people for the merely scientific questioning of facts relating to the Holocaust. The German chancellor Merkel wanted the Iranian president Ahmedinejad censored as an outlaw for stating that Israel was illegitimate and that if Europeans wanted to atone for the Holocaust they should give the Jews some of their own territory instead of making the Arabs pay the price. Freedom of speech? There are so many contradictions, the whole world is beginning to look like a cartoon.
The provocative cartoons were intended as an attack against Muslims and that which they hold sacred. Art cannot be taken as an excuse for abuse. When Muslims boycotted Danish goods and when the Egyptian owner of the French newspaper France Soir sacked his editor, those were the right responses. They were saying to the perpetrators: Put your money where your mouth is, attack us if you want to, but be prepared to pay the price. The Jewish lobby have very successfully ostracised anybody whose anti-Zionist views they did not like as anti-Semitic and ensured corresponding sanctions. Let the Muslims do the same.
Western economies would collapse if Muslim governments would collectively challenge them on how much they were willing to pay for the price of their secular freedom of speech or freedom to insult. They would quickly learn that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. How about a “cartoon levy” on fuel to be used to restore the image of Islam? Western governments succumb to China’s demands for censorship because their principles only go skin-deep when it comes to business.
Western demagogues only provoke Islam because they know that Muslim governments are spineless and that their protestations are nothing but hot air. Nobody defended the right of French Muslim women to wear their scarves. Nobody challenged Europe when its court denied Turkish women the same right. Will they now withdraw their ambassadors from France and Germany? Unlikely - and this is why those countries felt they had to come to the aid of the beleaguered Danes. They know that if they stand together, Muslims will be divided.
When the United States prepared to attack Iraq they first softened up their target by words and economic sanctions. Since then they have put all of Islam into their sights and hope to destroy one Muslim nation after the other. Maybe their cartoons have spelt this fact out more clearly and maybe they can provide a wake-up and rallying call for Muslims the world over, but only if it is clearly understood that you don’t defend God or his prophet by continuing to do business with their enemies.