What denigrating Anne Frank (actually, for the anti-semitic holocaust-denial crowd it’s probably seen as denigrating Hitler) has to do with defending Mohammed, or Islam in general, I am unsure. If the point is tit-for-tat for the Danish cartoons, the reaction of the West will determine if it was effective. We’ll see how many Arab embassies are burned, or writers for The Arab-European League have contracts issued against their lives. I think Islamofascism is the prohibitive favorite to win this one.
My comment begins with Darcey’s quote from The League’s article Important points on the Cartoon riot, which is headed by a cartoon denying the holocaust:
The issue for us is not about depicting the prophet or any other theological consideration. It’s about stigmatizing a whole population of more than one billion Muslims through portraying their symbol as being a terrorist, megalomaniac, misogynic and a psychopath. This is Racist, xenophobic and calling for hatred against Muslims.
This puts the situation precisely backwards. It is not a few newspapers who are disrespecting Islam. They have simply taken the Islamofascist death-cult at its word.
Islamic fundamentalists have stigmatized a whole population. Islamic fundamentalists have defined their prophet by their words and deeds. Symbols represent some thing or idea, not the other way around.
Muslims who disagree should be unambiguously in the forefront of defending their religion from the demonstrated racist, xenophobic, terrorist, megalomaniacal, misogynist, psychopathic, murderous, and virulently homophobic actions of some of their co-religionists.
The question of “symbol” seems central here. If millions of hyper-visible Muslims constantly commit, or approve of, or condone – beheadings on tape, persecution of women, death for homosexuals; if they celebrate having the “Children bomb”, if they claim to have done these things in the name of Allah – what does that eventually do to the symbols of Allah?
One possibly instructive example of change in symbolic meaning would be the swastika. It was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck. Hitler changed that.
If Islamofacism isn’t stopped, this is the fate of Mohammed, Mecca and the Quran.
Jyllands-Posten raised the question of Mohammed as a symbol. So far, the answer is not encouraging.
Update: 1:22PM 12-Feb-06
I know you are, but what am I? – Here is a collage of Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II’s head with a bikini clad body. Presumably a younger body. An Arab newspaper thought this was a clever insult. These guys are pathetic.