I'm very proud of Jon because the above headline is the headline he wrote for a story that is one of the more frightening in today's news. Apparently Muslim groups the world over are calling for an apology from a Danish newspaper for running some political cartoons portraying Muhammad in a controversial light, including the on the left. Apparently, Muslims worldwide have been called to boycott any and all products that come from Denmark until this Danish newspaper makes some kind of statement expressing regret and apologizing for offending the higher sensibilities of the Muslim community. Apparently MUSLIMS are forbidden to depict Muhammad in any way. Much like Jewish people are not allowed to depict God in any way. It's the same precept. But I don't know a lot of Jewish people who riot when God is depicted in renaissance paintings or in movies like OH GOD or graffiti on the subway. It's understood that if you do not want to depict God in any way, shape or form, then it is your choice not to. But if someone else wants to . . . so be it.
Basically, Muslims are being asked worldwide to speak out against the freedom of speech. The same freedom that many Muslims take advantage of to criticize Europe, America and anyone else's culture that is offensive to the orthodox Muslim way of life.
Now. . . granted, the above image is controversial. It shows a man - not necessarily Muhammad - wearing a bomb in his turban. Clearly, the cartoonist is criticizing violent Muslims. I understand that all Muslims are not violent . . . but lately there have been, on a global level, a lot of violent incidents either caused by or involving Muslims committing violence in the name of their religion.
What really scares me is that this Danish newspaper is going to be intimidated into making a statement against running these images. What's ironic is that we've all seen footage of radical Muslims burning Western icons in effigy in small radical pockets in the world. If these radicals can burn effigies of President Clinton and President Bush, I don't see why a Muslim leader can't be drawn in a way that suggests that Muslims are violent. To the right are Pakistani Muslims burning the American flag. That's offensive to me. I'm not boycotting all products from Pakistan or refusing to patronize Pakistani owned newspaper stands or refusing to eat in Pakistani restaurants because NOT ALL PAKISTANIS feel this way.
Here is a link to an article that displays all of the images.
Here is a link to the BBC's article, which not surprisingly expresses regret for featuring the pictures in an editorial about the story. They won't even use the word terrorist when referring to Muslims who blow things up in the name of causing terror.