Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Cartoon Crisis

Radical Muslims are rioting to protest cartoons depicting Mohammed in a Danish newspaper. Call it the cartoon crisis.

The bad news is that this distracts the world from the real cartoon crisis: for the last five years, there hasn't been a decent cartoon on TV on Saturday morning.

Seriously, the truth is out there. Whether it's the timing, the location or the very nature of the response itself, it's very clear that Muslim outrage has been manufactured by demagogues and dictators who need a crisis to justify their power and distract from their own issues.

But we will offer one more observation. Why was there no protests of similar magnitude in response to recent, well-publicized art exhibits featuring images that some Christians found offensive (like a crucifix in a vial of urine)? Why did some Christians speak out, a few demonstrate peacefully, but most ignore the issue?

Or to put it differently, why would a newspaper editor be more likely to fear a violent response to an image offensive to Muslims than one offensive to Christians?

We'll put it offensively: for all their faults, many Christians recognize that at the center of their faith is a man who dies on a cross for the sake of people who don't deserve it. So they take that man seriously when he says that one should count oneself blessed when persecuted, that one should pray for one's enemies.

Islam lacks this narrative. There's no cross in the theology of Islam.

When Christians fight, it's an aberration. For the rest of the world, it's business as usual.

3 comments:

John E. Hensel said...

Perhaps the best, and most appropriate, response to the cartoon crisis.

Dustin said...

Wow. Took the words out of my mouth.

Dynitta said...

This gentle readers eyebrow was raised to learn that the Danish representative to the United Nations was just recently named as the Chairperson for the security counsel. This gentle reader also finds it quite ironic that it is now the Dane's that are targeted as haters of Islam!! One is left to scratch ones head as one gives pause, "Did not our humble President just discuss the current issues of security we will all face in deciding what is to be done with Iran and Syria and weapons of mass destruction?" One wonders exactly how long it will take these two nations to claim the unfair and biased views of the security counsel because of its head. And how many others, those within the UN that ran to apologize to the Muslim nations, even Bill Clinton on behalf of the American people, will not vote strongly against these two countries for fear that they may be "picking on" the poor Muslim community, yet again. Inquiring minds would love to know.