Looney Toons: "Death to Everyone!"
The insanity rages on.
Over the past two days, nearly 30 people have died in Nigeria, Libya and Pakistan in the midst of more cartoon-inspired riots, and now -- surprise, surprise -- a Pakistani cleric has promised $1.025 million and a new car (the trusty Bob Barker-as-terrorist approach) to whoever kills one of the Danish cartoonists who dared sacrilege by illustrating the Prophet Muhammad.
AP reports on the bounty offered up by Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi:
"'This is a unanimous decision of by all imams of Islam that whoever insults the prophets deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man to his end, will get this prize,' he said.
"Qureshi did not name any cartoonist in his announcement and he did not appear aware that 12 different people had drawn the pictures."
Slam! Looks like the joke's on Qureshi, who evidently will have to cough up $11 million more if he doesn't want to look like, you know, a total cheapskate.
While I admit there's really little on this subject that hasn't already been said, indulge me (it's my blog, after all): I'm starting to wonder more and more if the Bush administration didn't totally have its head up its proverbial ass when it decided to open the floodgates of democracy throughout the Muslim world.
Hamas wins the Palestinian elections. Iraq is going the way of Iran in a theocracy of anti-Western fundamentalists. And now it is abundantly clear that hundreds of thousands of enraged Muslims would rather rip the entrails from untalented Danish cartoonists than they would, say, like to settle the score with a really offensive comic strip, those precocious rugrats of "Family Circus." Oh, if only Bill Keane had disgraced the prophet ...
I'm still waiting for moderate Muslims to sound off. Where are they? Even the presumably peaceful Islamic protests occurring in Great Britain these days are a joke. Why are they still protesting the cartoons? What about, um, protesting the bloodshed over the cartoons?
The lunatic outrage over some offensive cartoons is spurring the worst kind of moral equivalence. AP notes another pathetic example of how no one in the Western world seems capable of condemning the rioting without also tsk-tsking the cartoons in question:
"In Islamabad, visiting former President Bill Clinton criticized the cartoons but said Muslims wasted an opportunity to build better ties with the West by holding violent protests.
"'I can tell you, most people in the United States deeply respect Islam ... and most people in Europe do,' he said."
Can the world stop groveling its apologies for the actions of a Danish newspaper? Yes, they were tasteless. Guess what? Take a cursory look at popular culture today and tell me that rude, offensive stereotypes aren't also heaped upon blacks, Jews, Asians, Latinos, American Indians, homosexuals and more.
Surely there is a method of protest better than bloodthirsty violence when it comes to proving the fallacy of cartoons suggesting Islam is a bloodthirsty religion.
Call me crazy, but torching embassies, killing people and calling for the destruction of Denmark (on the To Destroy List: Israel, America, Denmark ...) just seem to muddy the issue.