Most of the trouble was created by two imams who lived in Denmark, in fact, two imams who had been given asylum in Demark by the Danish government (nothing new there then). These two imams, in late 2005, took a dossier to Egypt – a place which was guaranteed to stir things up a lot in the Offending-Islam Game. This dossier was also sent to the entire Muslim world, including, importantly in this case, Indonesia. What’s worse, this dossier contained blatant falsehoods. (Falsehoods can stir things up a lot better than truths.) For example,
i) It contained false allegations on the mistreatment of Muslims in Denmark.
ii) It said that Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper which published the Mohammed cartoons, was a Government-run newspaper. It wasn’t.
iii) The dossier contained fifteen cartoons - three more than those published by the Danish newspaper. They had no connection at all with Denmark. These imam additions were actually more offensive than the original cartoons.
It took five months, after the initial publication, and more stirring for things to start getting really hairy. For example:
i) There were demonstrations in Pakistan and Indonesia in which the Danish flag was burned. The demonstrators demanded that the Danish government apologise for the cartoons; even though it had nothing to do with them.
ii) Embassies and consulates were trashed.
iii) Danish goods were boycotted.
iv) Danish and other Western citizens were physically threatened.
v) Christian churches in Pakistan (with no Danish connections) were burned down.
vi) Nine people were killed when Libyan rioters attacked and burned the Italian consulate in Benghazi.
vii) A bounty of $1 million was placed on the head of ‘the Danish cartoonist’ by a Pakistani imam (there were twelve original cartoonists).
viii) In Nigeria, Muslims protestors burned down several Christian churches and used machetes to attack and kill Christians in the streets. One Christian was put inside a rubber tyre, doused in petrol and set alight.
ix) Demonstrators in Britain were photographed with banners saying ‘Slay those who insult Islam’, ‘Butcher those who mock Islam’, ‘Europe you will pay: Demolition is on its way’ and ‘Behead those who insult Islam’ (yes, that word, ‘insult’, again).
Of course, all this was nothing new. Remember the ‘Rushdie affair’? What did that well-known moderate Sir Iqbal Sacranie have to say about Rushdie and the fatwa against him? He said that ‘death is perhaps too easy for him’. Was this the sort of moderation New Labour liked about Sir Iqbal? Is that why they knighted him?
On the other hand, the spineless British newspapers dared not reprint the cartoons of Mohammed. Sir Iqbal praised them for this pious piece of multiculturalism and the ‘embracing’ of violent ‘diversity’. That’s a surprise!
Isn’t it strange how very offended Muslims get when any non-Muslim dare criticise Islam, the Koran or Mohammed? Isn’t it strange how little offended Muslims get when they see what their fellow Muslims are doing to Muslims in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq? That is because the logic is simple:
i) It is absolutely wrong for non-Muslims to kill Muslims.
ii) It is absolutely right for Muslims to kill non-Muslims.
iii) It can even be OK for Muslims to kill fellow Muslims (depending on the sect and/or tribe the particular Muslim is a member of), as is the case in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and virtually every other Islamic country.
So Muslims are not that offended when other Muslims kill other Muslims. They are not really against offensive cartoons either. Not when those offensive cartoons are aimed at, say, the Jews! The Arab media, for example, offer a daily dose of anti-Semitic cartoons for rabid Muslims to gloat over. And even the far left in Britain are not averse to such cartoons and effigies; as I saw on recent marches over Gaza (over Operate Cast Lead), which included effigies of Jews with massive noses and cartoons of other Jews eating Palestinian children. Never mind cartoons then, what about the Muslim in Pakistan, wearing a burka, who was photographed with a banner which said ‘God bless Hitler’? That's a bit worse than a few cartoons, isn’t it?
But forget the Jews. The Muslims don’t like their religion being insulted and Muslims don’t like to be offended. However, many Muslims are often keen to insult Christians and Christianity. That is one truth about ‘embracing diversity’ and ‘respecting minorities’ that we must accept. For example, an imam in Bradford dismissed the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as