Consequences of the Muhammad Cartoon Scandal
The Great Muhammad Cartoon Scandal has been very educational. One thing it has taught me is that many, many Muslims around the world simply don't have any real understanding of Western culture or the Western mindset.
Many Muslims don't seem to understand that the angrier they get the more we want to continue creating and spreading cartoons. If they laughed at them or ignored them then the 12 original cartoons would have been restricted to Denmark where a few readers of one newspaper would have seen them. Now that protests and riots have spread around the globe the offending cartoons have been reprinted in most European countries and are on countless Internet sites, where they will be available forever.
The effect of their anger has been to spread the images they are angry about. Countless millions have seen what they didn't want anyone to see.
Another consequence of this scandal has been to prove the severest critics of Islam right. If Muslims cannot handle cartoons in a Danish newspaper how can they be expected to function in a open, modern democracy? If these 12 rather mild images can lead to such outrage, are we not in a clash of civilizations? A clash of peoples and worldviews? This is not about economics or politics. It about two irreconcilable views of human nature and society.
This scandal has driven another nail into the coffin of the myth of the "Moderate Muslim." For years we have been told that most Muslims do not support the fanatics, that the terrorists have "hijacked Islam." So where are these moderate Muslims? They are harder to find than Bigfoot. In fairness I had one Muslim commenter who did not like my cartoons but said he supported my right to post them. But that's one guy.
Meanwhile CAIR is trying to intimidate people who publish the 12 Danish cartoons. I have read countless stories in the global press about this scandal and have yet to read a quote from a prominent Muslim leader or organization supporting the right to publish cartoons mocking Muhammad. If you find any please leave a link in the comments. Can Muslims support free speech even if it criticizes or ridicules Islam, Muhammad and the Koran?
Finally, notice how the West interprets freedom of expression: the right to speak and draw. In Gaza and Kuwait and Denmark Muslims support the freedom to threaten people, to issue bomb threats, to assault people. Threats or cartoons? Which society would you rather live in?