Spencer’s Boss, mouths off.
Far-right activist David Horowitz has been out promoting his new book, Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion, and told conservative talk show host Steve Deace yesterday that President Obama, much like professor Cornel West, is taken seriously simply because he is black. During an incoherent rant, Horowitz asserted that Obama “would never be president if he weren’t black” as no one with the same “curious background and radicalism would ever have been nominated, let alone elected president if he weren’t black.” “Part of the racism of our society is if you’re black you can get away with murder,” Horowitz concludes.
Cornel West is just symbolic of the corruption of our culture and not unlike Obama who would never be president if he weren’t black, no white person with his resume and his thoughts and curious background and radicalism would ever have been nominated, let alone elected president if he weren’t black. So Cornel West is an empty suit who has twenty honorary degrees and he’s taught at all these prestigious universities but is basically an airhead, most people who’ve seen him on TV they’ve noticed. Part of the racism of our society is if you’re black you can get away with murder.
Later, Horowitz repeated his smear of Huma Abedin and said that she is a “Muslim Brotherhood operative” and the “chief adviser to the American government right now on Muslim affairs.” Not only is patently it absurd to claim that Abedin is a secret agent for the Brotherhood but she is also not a policymaker.
After attacking Obama as someone who “sympathizes with our enemy” and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, Horowitz said that conservatives are much nicer and more open minded than liberals. But he couldn’t even make that audacious claim without attacking Obama: “we don’t set out to destroy the character of people. Obama is a Communist.” Not only is Obama a Communist, Horowitz explained, but so are his advisers David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, whom he says all serve this “evil cause” with religious zeal.
Obama basically sympathizes with our enemy and Hillary Clinton’s chief adviser, the chief adviser to the American government right now on Muslim affairs is Huma Abedin, who is a Muslim Brotherhood operative. The Muslim Brotherhood, for people who don’t know, that’s the organization that created Osama bin Laden, it’s the parent organization of Hamas, and it’s agenda — well they’re already doing it in Egypt — is to turn it into an Islamic, fascist state, meaning that everybody is under Islamic laws, this seventh century law.
People have to stop thinking of them as liberals. Conservatives are liberal people, we believe in two sides to a question, we don’t shut people up, when we have channels on television there is more than one viewpoint, we don’t set out to destroy the character of people. Obama is a Communist. Stanley Kurtz has written a really good book called “Radical-in-Chief” and his entire life has been spent in the same left that I came out of, which is the radical, Marxist left. Only it’s even worse. [David] Axelrod, his family is all—they’re communists. Valerie Jarrett, I mean literally members of the Communist Party. And I know as somebody who came out of the left, you know if you’re involved with an evil cause and you leave it, you denounce it, you tell people, particularly if you’re a political person, you warn people. These people are really dangerous but they haven’t done that, they are still committed to this cause. I think that’s the main thing, people have to suddenly awaken and realize, and that’s one reason I wrote this book “Radicals” because it’s a portrait of this mentality, it’s a very religious mentality.
Sheila Musaji discusses the fact that not two, but three more films are in the works.
by Sheila Musaji (TAM)
Daniel Greenfield noted appreciatively on David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine that Ali Sina and Mosab Hassan Yousef have upcoming films on Prophet Muhammad. He even includes a picture of what seems to be a poster advertising one of the films “Muhammad: The True Story of a False Prophet” and at the bottom “in theaters this summer”. Not surprising that he would approve since he also published Is It Time for ‘Make Your Own Mohammed Movie Month’? encouraging more films like “Innocence of Muslims. Daniel Pipes and Pamela Geller have also encouraged publishing more cartoons/films etc. until as Pipes said Muslims “become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.” Daniel Pipes added an update to his article A Muhammad Cartoon a Day noting that “The Los Angeles Times tells about two ex-Muslims, Mosab Hassan Yousef and Ali Sina, who have plans to make big-budget derogatory films showing Muhammad on screen. To which I can add a third ex-Muslim with the same intent, Imran Firasat.”
Mosab Hassan Yousef has gone through a number of ideological changes in the past few years.
Yousef’s conversion to Christianity was through the preaching of Father Zakaria Botros Henein.
In 2010 he published a book Son of Hamas. The title refers to the fact that he is the son of a senior Hamas figure, although he became a spy for the Shin Bet. At this time, Pamela Geller called Yousef “a brave heroic apostate out of Islam”. He faced deportation hearingsdue to some claims in his book. At this time, Alex Nowrasteh on David Horowitz’ Newsreal Blog said “Mosab is also the most valuable source of intelligence on Hamas that Israel has ever produced.” Debbie Schlussel wrote about Yousef saying “I am very suspicious of Youssef. I don’t know how much he actually aided Israel as a spy … And even if he did as much as he claims, so have many other anti-Israel Jew-haters Israel recruits as spies. There are no swans in the sewer. . . and the sewer is the general habitat of informants.”
In June 2012, Yousef visited Israel and spoke at the Israeli Parliament where he read a statement – he says he is now “free, loving, and forgiving” “truth and forgiveness are the solution for the Middle East’s problems”. He visited Israel as a guest of Likud MK Ayoub Kara. During that visit he announced that he was making a film on Prophet Muhammad that would reveal his “real nature” to Muslims.” While in Israel he also spoke at an event in Jerusalem hosted by Media Central, a pro-Israel press relations organization. Yousef isworking with Israeli film producer and actor Sam Feuer. Feuer will produce both a feature film adaptation of Son of Hamas as well as the Muhammad movie. Feuer said the movie has already interested sponsors and a major screenwriter who is in the process of creating the script.
The link Daniel Pipes provided about the film being made by Imran Farasat is to Farasat’s site in Spain, announcing that he will make a film and that it will be released in 2012 in 4 to 5 languages. Based on the site, and on limited google searches, Farasat is a Pakistani ex-Muslim now living in Spain. He seems to be a very marginal character who will produce something to be released on YouTube.
All of this adds credence to Justin Raimondo’s speculation about an Israeli connection behind at least some of these films.
The Scottish Defence League (SDL) held a static protest outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, while Unite Against Fascism organised its own counter-protest. Police said that around 60 people attended the SDL event, which lasted for around 45 minutes. The majority arrived by coach.
Meanwhile Unite Against Fascism said its march from the City Chambers on the Royal Mile to the Parliament attracted over 300 people. Police put the figure at around 250.
Lothian and Borders Police created a “sterile” area outside Holyrood, with the two groups separated by barriers and accompanied by police officers. Members of the public were kept away from the area.
Speaking after the event, Luke Henderson, co-ordinator for Unite Against Fascism, said: “The march was absolutely fantastic and we were very happy that we had a great turn out. Our march had representatives from the many diverse communities that make Edinburgh a vibrant and open city.”
Update: See also “Scotland and Islam”, Sunday Herald, 30 September 2012
Police clashed with members of the English Defence League during protests in Walsall town centre today.
During speeches given by leaders of the EDL, the crowd surged towards police lines on Leicester Street. Officers with riot gear used batons and shields to hold back the demonstrators. Scores of missiles – including bricks, bottles and litter bins – were hurled at police.
At 3pm officers cleared Lichfield Street with a shields charge as members of the EDL were herded on to buses to transport them away from the town centre.
West Midlands Police said they have no power to ban a static protest and the right to protest peacefully was a sign of a healthy democracy.
The anti-Muslim Movie Festival that we are likely to encounter in the upcoming months and years is just beginning. The Islamophobia machine has whet its appetite, and those who thrive off of instigating civilizational and cultural conflict are salivating at the chance to incite another conflagration. The Innocence of Muslims is not the first anti-Muslim hate movie produced, it is just another in a long line, but the Geller’s and Spencer’s of the world see an opportunity, will their counterparts in the Muslim world, the loony and extremist fringe oblige? One prays not.
The following Guardian article details Geller and Spencer’s production of an upcoming “Muhammad movie,” but that’s not the only one, there are reports that former Mossad agent Musab Youssef, who bills himself the “Son of Hamas” is also working on a movie about the Prophet Muhammad. (h/t: Jai)
By Ben Child (The Guardian)
Protests have erupted across the Muslim world after clips from a film depicting Muhammad appeared on YouTube. Now, according to the LA Times, there could be more provocation to come: the newspaper says it has uncovered evidence that at least two further film-makers are planning movies which will show the prophet on screen.
Innocence of Muslims, the film currently at the centre of a religious firestorm, has caused anger for its depiction of Muhammad as a womaniser and paedophile, but has also upset worshippers who believe that it is blasphemous to depict him on screen. The Times says two further film-makers are both planning to do just that. Just as worryingly for US relations with the Muslim world, both are ex-believers who no longer embrace Islam and both are raising funds for their biopics in the United States.
The newspaper names the first film-maker as Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian who moved to Los Angeles several years ago. He told the LA Times he had already cast a “prominent Hollywood actor” in the title role of his $30m (£18.5m) film, titled simply Muhammad. “My goal is to create this big mirror to show the Muslim world the true image of its leader,” Yousef says, adding that the film would feel similar to the Mel Gibson drama The Passion of the Christ. The film-maker was reportedly inspired to convert by the radical Egyptian Christian Zakaria Botros Henein, who has described Muhammad as a paedophile and buffoonand who may have also influenced the makers of Innocence of Muslims.
The second film-maker is named as Ali Sina, a Canadian atheist who was raised as a Muslim in Iran. He says he has secured $2m (£1.2m) for a film that will portray Muhammad as a cult leader in the style of David Koresh or Jim Jones. Sina hopes to shoot next year if he can raise an extra $8m. He has been planning his film for a decade but says it only recently became a possibility due to technical advances in film distribution.
“We can bypass theatres completely and sell the movie online with a profit to a large number of people, especially Muslims,” Sina said. “They can download it and watch it even if they are living in Karachi or Mecca or Medina.”
Perhaps the best known film about the life of Muhammad is The Message, a 1977 film by Halloween producer Moustapha Akkad; described as the story of Islam, it was ultimately financed by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi after Hollywood refused to fund it. Starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas, the film avoided any depiction of Muhammad on screen. Scenes were occasionally shown from the prophet’s perspective but he was not seen and his voice was not heard. Even so, the film drew anger among Muslims who had heard a rumour that Quinn was playing Muhammad. In March 1977, the film was named as a grievance (among others) by an armed group who took 149 hostages and killed a radio journalist and a police officer during a standoff in Washington, DC.
At least 51 people, including the US ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over Innocence of Muslims. So far, only clips from the film have been aired and it is not clear whether a full cut exists.
A beautiful message of solidarity and understanding from Marcia Kannry, a Jewish Jihadi and founder of the Dialogue Project! I urge everyone to write to them and thank Ms. Kannry for her effective and bold statement.:
On Yom Kippur, I am fasting and reflecting. I am a Jewish Jihadi.
Jihad is an Islamic process of reflection and struggle to bring thoughts, words and actions in alignment with prayer and best ethical practices. So too as Jews we practice sleichot (asking for forgiveness), and teshuva (return to good), offering compensation, asking forgiveness from the humans whom we have offended.
Indeed the Jewish month of Elul, comes from a Semitic language of ancient times called Akkadian – and it is also the month of Eylul in Arabic. Our roots are interwoven as is our spirituality. I ask my Muslim brothers and sisters to forgive those Jews whose fear and ignorance only points outward, rather than inward as this day of Yom Kippur asks us to do. To my fellow Jews — G’mar Hatima Tova.
The Dialogue Project
Danios has been writing a series on Understanding Jihad which rebuts Robert Spencer‘s lies, decontextualized and selective usage of Islamic texts and history to advance myths regarding Jihad. The series is unfinished, but has been credited for bringing much needed facts and perspective to the understanding and meaning of Jihad.
One aspect that is yet to be covered is how the majority of everyday, regular Muslims relate to Jihad, and what it means to them. Today, in response to Geller’s racist ad campaign calling Muslims and Arabs “savages” whilst juxtaposing “Supporting Israel” with “Defeating Jihad,” Muslims (and non-Muslims) have taken to Twitter to relate what Jihad means to them with the hashtag #MyJihad (h/t: Fred A.). Here’s a description from the Facebook page about the impetus for the campaign,
There has been a lot of commotion recently in broadcast and social media about hate ads placed in the NY Subway by islamophobe Pamela Geller that states:
“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
What many on both sides of the debate are missing is that at the heart of the problem is the blatant misuse of the word “Jihad” as if it were an acceptable synonym of say “terrorism.”
Islamophobes aside, many Americans remain confused about this.
The best response to the hateful ad campaign is to convert it into an opportunity to get to the heart of the problem and to reclaim the word “Jihad,” a word many Muslims have shied away from and left to the ravaging of the ignorant in both the Muslim extremist and anti-Muslim extremist circles – both of whom seem to ironically agree on a bloody definition for the word. I love Jihad! Not Jihad the perverse way Bin Laden & Pam Geller define it. But: the struggle against ignorance, injustice & hate. It is the struggle against the darkness in ones own soul. It is the struggle to be patient in times of adversity etc.
Jihad is not savage, except in the minds of those who are too lazy or too careless to wish to understand a well-documented 1400 year old concept in both Islamic literature and Muslim life.
My Grandma’s Jihad was against diabetes and MS while bedridden for seven years. #MyJihad is against bigotry and hatemongering. What’s yours?
1. Tweet #MyJihad and tell us what your Jihad is.
Also this will be more than a twitter campaign. There will be an ad campaign as well in public transportation in various cities. The best tweets will be used as ads, so tweet away.
2. Donate and help us get physical ads on billboards.
Non-Muslims welcome, tell us about your Jihad too!
Anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge of the Arabic language and Islam knows that Jihad literally translates to “struggle.” Hence, the preponderance of involved Twitterati are relating the concept of Jihad to their everyday struggles and tying it to a spiritual dimension rooted deeply in their faith. It is clearly an attempt to reclaim the meaning of Jihad from the extremists and absolutists in both the “West” and the “East,” who feed off of each others hate.
An interesting interaction involving perennial anti-Loon Ahmed Rehab and hate monger Robert Spencer underscored how such campaigns can be effective tools in turning the hate machine’s propaganda on its head:
Robert Spencer made the mistake of tweeting at Ahmed Rehab with what he thought was a wisecrack and witty side-busting tweet, but ended up receiving a rhetorical Jiu Jitsu flying kick which left him floored. The question still stands Spencer, are you going to “watch” yourself now as part of your “Jihadwatch?”
The sick servile minds of the Islamophobes know no depths of depravity that they aren’t willing to revel in; EDL Review takes them to task for circulating lies in the Islamophobic looniverse.:
Islamophobic sites like IslamVersusEurope, BaredNakedIslam and Vivienco, have been posting and regurgitating a story claiming that a 53-year-old ‘Muslim’ inhabitant of El Ejido abused, and raped a female horse (click on the names for their articles). But the story has been manipulated and has been a petty attempt to demonise Muslims.
First of all, it’s extremely strange that these sites have provided no or little source or reference to the story they are mentioning. Secondly, the author fails to give the name of the rapist, and only gives the initials ‘M.A’. Why? Is it so we don’t find out that this incident never even happened? Thirdly, earlier news reports (like this) only say the man was ‘African’. There was no mention of his faith.
A real-looking picture of a dead horse has been added into the manipulating articles, giving the impression it’s the same horse that was ‘raped’. As you can see, BaredNakedIslam even claim it is.
But this picture isn’t even of the incident! It’s a four-year-old picture that has been used previously in a Spanish news article titled ‘Wild horses cause three accidents in recent days Carnota’ (here), explaining how some Spanish workers were injured when crashing into horses on a road!
Clearly, these websites have been manipulating people by twisting things for their biased agenda. Only the gullible have been believing them without checking their accuracy, like the English Defence League (EDL) Surrey Division.
On today’s edition of Happening Now, Fox News obscured language in Islamophobic billboards created by conservative blogger Pam Geller’s American Israel Defense Initiative, deeming the language “so inflammatory we’re not going to show it to you.” While Fox seems to have finally drawn a line on Geller‘s bigotry, the network has promoted her for years.
The ads, currently posted in NYC subway stations, read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel/Defeat Jihad.” Fox blurred the word “savage” when showing the ad to viewers:
The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority initially refused to run the ads, on the grounds that it violated their policy against accepting advertising that demeans individuals or groups on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin. Geller’s group sued the MTA and in July a federal judge ordered the agency to run the ads, saying that the content was protected speech.
During the segment, Fox’s panelists agreed that they “hate” the message in the ads, while they avoided mentioning the obscured text. Despite Geller’s claims to the contrary in the accompanying video package, Fox described the billboards as “anti-Muslim” in their on-air chyron.
It seems odd that Fox would suddenly exhibit this sort of sensitivity.
The network has regularly featured anti-Islam commentary as a part of its regular programming and has often invited Geller as a guest despite her long and well-documented history of bigotry.
While she was campaigning against plans to build the Park51 Islamic community center in New York, Geller appeared on Fox several times to make bigoted comments about the center and Islam.
She described the center as a “mosque” that “basically embodies the very ideology that inspired those attacks on 9-11.” She also said ”I don’t know why” the developers of the center “want to stab Americans in the eye with that.” Geller also compared construction of the center to building a “Ku Klux Klan shrine” near a black church in Alabama.
Fox also gave Geller a platform to promote her book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and was given airtime to promote and fundraise for her campaign suggesting that honor killings and terrorism are representative of the Islamic faith. During one of the appearances, she claimed that President Obama “was giving seminars in sharia finance” a week “after he nationalized some banks.”
Fox networks have also hosted Geller to push bizarre conspiracy theories. Hours after Obama released his long-form birth certificate last year, Geller appeared on Eric Bolling’s now-defunct Fox Business program to analyze a poster-sized version of the document and decide whether it was “Photoshopped.” (Sample analysis from Geller: “This whole border is suspect.”)
And that’s just what she’s said on Fox. Geller has a long history of bigoted and hateful comments: describing Democrats as “National Socialists,” claiming that “Jews refuse to get on Obama’s trains,” describing President Obama as an “anti-semite,” and alleging that he “was involved with a crack whore in his youth.”
Fox is not new to the world of Pamela Geller and their sudden sensitivity — after playing a substantial role in mainstreaming her bigotry — rings hollow.
Mona Eltahawy arrested after painting over American Freedom Defense Initiative poster that equates Muslims with savage
Mona Eltahawy, the prominent Egyptian-American writer and activist, has been arrested in New York after spraying paint over a controversial poster on the subway that has been condemned for equating Muslims with “savages”.
The posters were put up in the city by the anti-Muslim American Freedom Defense Initiative, led by Pam Geller. They were approved by a US court, which ruled that they were “political” statements and protected by the first amendment, which guarantees free speech.
The poster states: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” Between two Stars of David, it adds: “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
Eltahawy was arrested after a supporter of Geller’s initiative attempted to prevent her defacing the sign with a purple aerosol.
The posters are now displayed in 10 New York stations – including Grand Central and Times Square – after a court ruled that the local transport authority could not refuse the ads.
In a video posted online of the incident by the New York Post, Mona Eltahawy can be seen attempting to paint over the poster before she is tackled by a woman with a camera, who is identified as Pamela Hall.
“Mona, do you think you have the right to do this?” Eltahawy is asked. “I do actually,” Eltahawy replies, adding: “I think this is freedom of expression, just as [the ad] is freedom of expression.”
As the scuffle continues two police officers appear to then arrest Eltahawy, who says: “This is what happens in America when you non-violently protest.”
Eltahawy, who has written for this paper, was later charged with “criminal mischief” and “graffiti”.
During the Arab spring, Eltahawy was arrested in Cairo and suffered an assault by riot police which left her with two broken arms.
The Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) had originally ruled it would not permit the posters because they were demeaning, but was compelled to take the $6,000 (£3,700) ad after Geller’s group went to court.
Last month US district court judge Paul Engelmayer ruled that it is protected speech under the first amendment.
“Our hands are tied,” New York subway spokesman Aaron Donovan said. “Under our existing ad standards as modified by the injunction, the MTA is required to run the ad.”
The posters have attracted widespread condemnation including from Jewish figures. Among those who have spoken out against them is Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, of Rabbis for Human Rights — North America, who wrote for CNN online: “As a rabbi, I find the ads deeply misguided and disturbing … The coded message makes clear who the savages are: those who support jihad, which in Geller’s mind includes all Muslims. She has called Islam ’an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the Earth’.
“As a Jew, I know the extreme to which baseless hatred can lead. And the Jewish community has been in the past a target of hatred in the United States. Geller’s message ignores the positive contributions that our Muslim friends, neighbours and colleagues make to our country every single day.
“It is also unfortunate that Geller chooses to frame her message of hatred as one of support for Israel.”
As head of a group called Stop Islamization of America, Geller, a rightwing blogger, helped spur a long campaign two years ago to remove a planned Islamic community centre near the World Trade Centre site, which she called the “Ground Zero Mosque”.
Geller’s group has also placed posters in other stations north of New York City that read: “It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism.”
On Friday, Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool (pbuh) [love of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Day] was observed throughout Pakistan. Many demonstrators carried signs with red hearts bearing the Prophet’s name and inspiring slogans (“Our leader Muhammad” and “Honor Our Prophet”). This positive theme had great potential, but unfortunately, was marred by more violence.
A thousand peaceful protests can be overshadowed by a single protest turned deadly, especially with the media so eager to highlight episodes of violence. Loons can hardly contain their glee.
In fact, Daniel Pipes wants to see more violence and mayhem. A lot more, until the so-called “Islamists” are finally tamed.
In his recent article published on mainstream conduit of hate, Fox News, Pipes has dipped into the historical archive and culled together an assortment of events, including the controversies over Salmon Rushdie’s lackluster book more than two decades ago, the Danish Cartoons of 2005, the nutty antics of the infamous “Reverend” Terry Jones, Qur’an burnings, and the recent provocations by the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hedbo. He clearly relishes each and every incident that reinforces the notion of perpetual “Muslim outrage.”
According to his cynical interpretation of events, Muslims aren’t protesting because they’re defending their beloved Prophet Muhammad and their routinely maligned faith, Islam. Rather, Muslims, or “Islamists” in loon parlance, are protesting violently because they want to take over the West and abolish free speech.
Despite Pipes hateful motives and cynical exploitation of tragic events, he’s right about one thing: Provocateurs cannot be stopped by protests, and a violent backlash will only encourage more provocations. The right to free speech and exercising that right in a moral or responsible way are two different things, but it isn’t practical to legislate kindness and decency.
Many Muslims are quite understandably sickened and angered by attacks on their faith and the prophet they revere, but Islam is a religion of love and mercy, not of anger and revenge:
And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. Qur’an 41:34
And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!” Qur’an: 25:63
You are neither hard-hearted nor of fierce character, nor one who shouts in the markets. You do not return evil for evil, but excuse and forgive. The Prophet Muhammad
These outrageous provocations will not end until they cease to generate sensational headlines, or in Pipe’s own callous words, ”until the Islamists [sic] become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”
by Daniel Pipes, Fox News
When Salman Rushdie mocked Islamic sanctities in his magical 1989 realist novel “The Satanic Verses,” Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini did something shockingly original: He issued a death edict on Rushdie and all those connected to the production of his book. By doing this, Khomeini sought to impose Islamic mores and laws on the West. We don’t insult the prophet, he effectively said, and neither can you.
That started a trend of condemning those in the West deemed anti-Islamic that persists to this day. Again and again, when Westerners are perceived as denigrating Muhammad, the Koran, or Islam, Islamists demonstrate, riot or kill.
Khomeini’s edict also had the unexpected side effect of empowering individuals – Western and Islamist alike – to drive their countries’ policies.
Fleming Rose, a newspaper editor, created the greatest crisis for Denmark since World War II by publishing 12 cartoons depicting Muhammad. Florida pastor Terry Jones sowed panic among American commanders in Afghanistan by threatening to burn a Koran. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and friends prompted a crisis in U.S.-Egyptian relations with his amateurish “Innocence of Muslims” video. And the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo caused the French government to temporarily shut down diplomatic missions in 20 countries. Plans by the German satirical magazine Titanic to publish attacks on Muhammad likewise led German missions to be closed.
On the Islamist side, an individual or group took one of these perceived offenses and turned it into a reason to riot. Khomeini did this with “The Satanic Verses.” Ahmad Abu Laban did likewise with the Danish cartoons. Afghan President Hamid Karzai goaded his people to riot over burned Korans by American soldiers, and Egyptian preacher Khaled Abdullah turned “Innocence of Muslims” into an international event.
Any Westerner can now buy a Koran for a dollar and burn it, while any Muslim with a platform can transform that act into a fighting offense. As passions rise on both sides of the divide, Western provocateurs and Islamist hotheads have found each other, as confrontations occur with increasing frequency.
Which prompts this question: What would happen if publishers and managers of major media outlets reached a consensus — “Enough of this intimidation, we will publish the most famous Danish Muhammad cartoon every day, until the Islamists tire out and no longer riot”? What would happen if Korans were recurrently burned?
Would repetition inspire institutionalization, generate ever-more outraged responses, and offer a vehicle for Islamists to ride to greater power? Or would it lead to routinization, to a wearing out of Islamists, and a realization that violence is counter-productive to their cause?
I predict the latter. A Muhammad cartoon published each day, or Koranic desecrations on a quasi-regular basis, would make it harder for Islamists to mobilize Muslim mobs. Westerners could then once again treat Islam as they do other religions – freely, to criticize without fear. That would demonstrate to Islamists that Westerners will not capitulate, that they reject Islamic law, that they are ready to stand up for their values.
So, this is my plea to all Western editors and producers: Display the Muhammad cartoon daily, until the Islamists become accustomed to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.