Cultural terrorism? Give me a break |

Cultural terrorism? Give me a break

Please do me a favor and put this newspaper down.Wait, wait, wait! Not where you can no longer read it. That would be self-defeating (not to mention boneheaded). Just for a moment so you can grab a pen or a pencil. Now, indulge me, if you will, and draw a small circle between the word “Pope” and “Commentary” above (look up just a tiny bit). From the bottom of the circle, draw a short line straight down and then split it into an inverted “V” at the bottom. Next, draw a proper “V” where the bottom of the letter intersects somewhere near the middle of the straight line.Follow me? Great! Now write the word “Allah” anywhere close by, and then line connect the word ending with an arrow pointing toward the general vicinity of your freshly drawn stick figure.There, thank you. Now you too have become an enlightened enemy of Islam. And you, of course, deserve to die.Wasn’t that easy? What a way to start the morning, eh?Not content to relegate their supernatural superstitions to Sunday’s (like most sedate religions), those following the Islamic version of Zeus have now determined that drawing mere caricatures of the prophet, even if meant as respectful, lead to idolatry (not to mention punditry), and therefore are punishable by death.A more narcissistic faith has never existed.It seems a Danish newspaper published a cartoon of “Allah” wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, along with 11 other drawings of the self-inflicted prophet submitted by Danish amateur artists (it was a contest of sorts). Therefore, the international community of Muslims have determined the Danes now deserve their very own jihad.Last Monday gunmen seized an EU office in Gaza and demanded an apology and a trade boycott of all Danish products, including their popular cream cheese, butter and cookie brands. Denmark-based Arla Foods has been hit the worst in an almost immediate standstill of sales in the Middle East, where they employ about 1,000 Muslims and have annual sales of $430 million. Two of its employees in Saudi Arabia were beaten by angry customers simply because they answered, “Yes” when asked of their Danish heritage.Danish aid groups have since pulled workers out of Gaza, citing the threat of hostilities. The Danish Red Cross evacuated two employees from Gaza and one from Yemen. In Iraq a roadside bomb targeted a joint Danish-Iraqi patrol near Basra. Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Denmark. Libya said it was closing its embassy in Denmark. A bomb threat was called in to offices of the offending newspaper. The Egyptian parliament’s Economic Committee suddenly refused to discuss a $72.5 million loan from Denmark to Egypt, with newspapers quoting lawmakers as saying they do not wish to cooperate with a country that has insulted the prophet.All because of a cartoon.There apparently is no limit to Islam’s ever-growing excuses for violence and murder and also, I suppose, a convenient refusal to pay bills.Danish government officials have expressed regret over the commotion but have refused to get involved, citing freedom of expression. In defense of their Scandinavian brothers, a Norwegian paper reprinted the offending cartoons. Sweden, reiterating its role as the “Frozen French,” refused to even comment on the issue.Now the jihad has spread to Norway. I began this column when the story broke last Tuesday. By the time I finished Sunday night, the flames of Muslim hate and threats of violence had spread throughout Europe, including France.”This is cultural terrorism!” shouted Emirates’ Mmnister of justice and Islamic affairs, Mohammed Al Dhaheri.Say what?What would this guy think if someone claimed an image of Allah in a piece of toast or a water stain under a bridge? Would they eat the toast and bomb the bridge?Stupid, stupid, ignorant people.Living life as a free thinker, unburdened by the ridiculous restraints imposed by belief in the supernatural, allows me to approach life’s challenges with logic and reason. I enjoy the beauty of this world, the love of my family, the camaraderie of my friends, and the knowledge of living each day to the fullest because this is our one and only shot at doing so. But if this cartoonish nonsense does not open people’s eyes to the downright foolishness of such ancient and archaic superstitious beliefs, I am very afraid nothing will.Oh, and about that stick figure named “Allah” that you were nice enough to draw. Give it a few facial features. You know, two dots for eyes, one dot for a nose, a straight line for one of those endearing Muslim smiles, and maybe even a beard. For extra effect, how about a gun in one hand and a knife in the other? Doesn’t make any difference, since the damage is done already. If you’re going to offend some imaginary deity, might as well go all out.For that matter, scratch out the name below my photo and scribble down “Allah.” How’s that for cultural narcissism? Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at Vail, Colorado

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