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The Cartoon Controversey -a Global Intifada?

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]

Submitted by Ed Gordon (Israel), Feb 19, 2006 at 14:26

More than two weeks after a series of twelve provocative cartoons appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the resulting storm it has created appears to be far from abating; and is spreading far and wide in the Islamic world, including some very violent flare-ups in Pakistan and Libya. On a scale even greater than the storm created by the publication of novelist Salman Rushde's book The Satanic Verses, the escalating violence has resulted in scores of deaths and injuries, as well as widespread destruction of both diplomatic and privately owned property, from Indonesia to Lebanon.

While many agree that the editors of the newspaper could have used a bit more discretion before publishing the illustrations, the resulting violence may well be the beginning of a reaction of another kind that has been building up for years. This is particularly evident in the aftermath of the Al Qaeda sponsored attacks against American and other Western targets that goes back to the mid 1990's and escalated with the events following September 11, 2001 and the American led invasion of Iraq. Many European leaders, while trying to play down the rise of Islam and Muslim populations in their own countries, now are beginning to see a phenomenon that has spread to their own capitals as well. The recent rioting in France, and bombings in London, and Madrid, were clear indications that radically instigated acts of Islamic sponsored terrorism and hooliganism were already present in the E.U. In the aftermath of the publication of the cartoons, and acts of solidarity by other European media as well, Europeans living in Muslim dominated countries are likely to be targeted for even further acts of violence in the future.

A critical analysis of the cartoons themselves indicate that, for the most part, they are far less offensive than cartoons published in the past by Arab and Islamic newspapers against other religious groups, including Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and other religious denominations. Jewish organizations, such as the Anti Defamation League of the Bnei Brith Organization, are constantly noting anti Jewish cartoons being published almost daily by newspapers in Muslim and Arab capitals including Cairo, Beirut and Amman. These illustrations are often so hate filled and violent in nature that they make the ones published by Jyllands–Posten appear very mild indeed; almost to the point of being even non-comparable!

There are currently less than 15 million Jews living worldwide, as compared to more than 1.3 billion Muslims. Desecration of Jewish religious institutions by Muslims, including a number of synagogues in Gaza following the Israeli pullout in August, 2005, not to mention ones in France, Belgium and other European countries as well as in Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey; have all been linked to a growing surge of Islamic linked violence that has been on the rise in recent years. Notwithstanding that Israelis have been experiencing the violence of the Intifada Palestinian uprisings, particularly since the beginning of the Second Intifada of September, 2000, non Muslim Europeans are beginning to experience an Intifada of a different kind being instigated against them as a result of events occurring in the past few years; with the incident in Denmark now seen as the catalyst for even more such acts.

Apologies by the Danish government and even statements by such notables as British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, have done little to placate the anger and hostilities by representatives of a group composing more than one fifth of the Human Race. Islam, and which may destined to be the worlds' dominate religion by the end of this century; is growing stronger while many other religions are loosing members.

With a large amount of world petroleum reserves located in Muslim dominated lands; and with countries like Iran and Pakistan possessing or desiring to possess nuclear weapons, a global Intifada or Jihad , whatever one wants to call it, is a not a very optimistic outlook to current events, as they are now being portrayed. Religious sectarian violence has been a part of human experience since the dawn of religion. As this type of violence is made more prominent by members of the world's fastest growing religion, it doesn't bode well for those who dare to offend Islam's growing membership rolls, as the staff of the afore-mentioned newspaper were so unfortunate to find out.
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