Earlier this week PBS Watcher left a comment here that he had posted the Danish cartoons and urged others to do the same. I have taken them from the blog L’ombre de l’Olivier, where he introduces them with the comment: to show support and nail my colours to the mast. Well said.
Here they are. The source of the brouhaha. To be honest, there are none that are particularly witty, many that are mediocre or incomprehensible, and some that try to be as respectful as they can (poor dears, don’t understand that any depiction is unacceptable). It’s actually pretty pitiful, both for the Danish cartoonists who scarcely made any use of the satire their medium favors, and the Muslims who consider this an assault on their religion. How the mighty have been brought low by cowardice and insecurity.
Ultimately this is not about respect or lack of it, it’s about bullying the Europeans into behaving like dhimmi, it’s about a classic type of kind of zero-sum honor — my honor is gained by your disgrace — and this from people who do not hesitate to show the most hateful contempt for others. If the Muslims succeed in getting the Europeans to back down on this one, they’ve won a huge victory over a cowardly foe.
We lose face, they get more aggressive. As Daniel notes, they are playing this not as the hurt objects of an unfortunate cultural misunderstanding, but as the offended and provoked objects of legitimate provocation. Maybe Europeans might begin to reconsider their cheap sympathy for suicide bombing based on the impression that if they reacted so violently, then the Israelis must have done something to them.
Let’s hope they’ve finally gone too far. Go Europe. Please?
#1: Muhammad and turban: the source of the problem — a realistic depiction with an explosive message.
#2: Clever but tame.
#3: Muhammad as Salahadin, showing the ego-strength not to go ballistic with every challenge to his honor.
#4: Persecution and the art of writing — predictably nervous.
#5: Is the line up supposed to make identification uncertain, to put Muhammad in with the rest of the great prophets? Or is this about multi-cultural Islam?
#7: I don’t get this one either. Is this a way of avoiding the problem? Why PR Stunt?
#8: Fearful asymmetry. My personal favorite.
Muhammad the misogynist (he wasn’t too bad, certainly compared with his epigones in the 21st century).
#10: Not a very happy guy, but also very neutral.
#11: Muhammad the Viking? I don’t get his one either. Is this a friendly gesture? How far the mighty warrior has fallen.
#12: Schoolkid named Muhammad. Also avoiding the problem.