A year of se­lec­tive Is­lamic out­rage

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

Ibe­gan with the Dan­ish car­toons. It ended with the fly­ing imams. This was a ban­ner year for the Re­li­gion of Per­pet­ual Out­rage. Twelve tur­bu­lent months of fist-wav­ing, em­bassy­burn­ing, fatwa-is­su­ing may­hem, in­tim­i­da­tion, and mur­der re­sounded with the ul­u­la­tions of the ag­grieved. All this in the name of de­fend­ing Is­lam from “in­sult.” Let’s re­view.

In late Jan­uary, masked Pales­tinian gun­men took over a Euro­pean Union of­fice in Gaza City to protest the pub­li­ca­tion of a dozen car­toons about Is­lam, Mo­hammed, and self-cen­sor­ship in the Dan­ish news­pa­per the Jyl­lands-Posten. They stormed the build­ing, burned Dan­ish flags, and spear­headed an in­ter­na­tional boy­cott of Den­mark’s prod­ucts across the Mus­lim world.

The rage was man­u­fac­tured pre­text. The car­toons had been pub­lished four months ear­lier with lit­tle fan­fare. It wasn’t un­til a del­e­ga­tion of in­sti­gat­ing Dan­ish imams toured Egypt with the car­toons — plus a few in­flam­ma­tory fake ones, in­clud­ing an old im­age of a French hog-call­ing con­test par­tic­i­pant de­cep­tively por­trayed as “anti-Mus­lim” — that the fire started burn­ing. Think the main­stream me­dia will re­mem­ber that? Not likely. They fell for the ruse and were slow to ac­knowl­edge it af­ter Amer­i­can blog­gers and Dan­ish television ex­posed the scheme.

What was re­ally be­hind Car­toon Rage? Mus­lim bul­lies were at­tempt­ing to pres­sure Den­mark over the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency’s de­ci­sion to re­port Iran to the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil for con­tin­u­ing with its nu­clear re­search pro­gram. The chair­man­ship of the coun­cil was pass­ing to Den­mark at the time.

Alas, West­ern jour­nal­ists, an­a­lysts, and apol­o­gists were too clouded by their cow­ardice and con­cil­i­a­tion to see through the smoke. More than 800 were in­jured in the en­su­ing ri­ots, and 130 peo­ple paid with their lives. The in­no­cents in­cluded Ital­ian Catholic priest An­drea San­toro, who was shot to death in Turkey on Feb. 5, by a teenage boy en­raged by the il­lus­tra­tions. The Mus­lim gun­man shouted, “Al­lahu Ak­bar!” as he mur­dered Fa­ther San­toro while the priest knelt pray­ing in his church. Sev­eral brave mod­er­ate Mus­lim edi­tors who stood up to the mad­ness were jailed, fined, and con­victed of crimes re­lated to in­sult­ing Is­lam. The Dan­ish car­toon­ists re­main in hid­ing.

The world soon tired of Car­toon Rage, but the “peace­ful” Mus­lim ragers were just warm­ing up. They found ex­cuses large and small to riot and threaten West­ern in­fi­dels. In In­dia, they protested the mag­a­zine pub­li­ca­tion of a pic­ture of a play­ing card show­ing an im­age of Mecca and also burned Valen­tine’s Day cards. An in­sult to Is­lam, they screamed. In Spain, they protested a Madrid store for sell­ing a post­card with a mosque on it with the words “We slept here.” An in­sult to Is­lam, they protested. In Pak­istan, they burned down a Ken­tucky Fried Chicken restau­rant, a Pizza Hut, and top­pled Ron­ald McDon­ald. In Jakarta, they smashed the of­fices of Play­boy mag­a­zine. You know why.

In June, the trial against li­on­ess jour­nal­ist Ori­ana Fal­laci for in­sult­ing Is­lam com­menced in Berg­amo, Italy. She had been charged by pro­fes­sional Mus­lim rager Adel Smith of the Mus­lim Union of Italy of “vilipen­dio” — vil­i­fy­ing Is­lam — in her post9/11 books slam­ming ji­had. A judge had re­fused to throw out the case. She faced a pile of death threats and ac­cu­sa­tions of “Is­lam­o­pho­bia” for speak­ing truth to Is­lamo-power.

Ms. Fal­laci’s death from can­cer dur­ing the fifth an­niver­sary week of the Septem­ber 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks pre­empted the trial in Italy, but her pass­ing did noth­ing to pre­empt the eter­nal rage of the per­pet­u­ally ou­traged. The day she died, the griev­ance-mon­gers were shak­ing their fists and call­ing for the head of Pope Bene­dict XVI for his speech that made ref­er­ence to a 14th-Cen­tury con­ver­sa­tion touch­ing on holy war and ji­had. For en­gag­ing in open, hon­est in­tel­lec­tual and spir­i­tual de­bate, he was con­demned, lit afire in ef­figy, and tar­geted anew. The ragers bombed Chris­tian churches in Gaza City and Nablus. They mur­dered Ital­ian Sis­ter Leonella Sgor­bati, an el­derly Catholic nun shot in the back by a So­ma­lian ji­hadist stoked by Pope Rage. “Whoever of­fends our Prophet Mo­hammed should be killed on the spot by the near­est Mus­lim,” a So­ma­lian cleric had de­clared. The Vat­i­can made nice with Mus­lim lead­ers.

New out­rages are al­ways in bloom. In late Septem­ber, it was a Ber­lin pro­duc­tion of Mozart’s “Idome­neo” that fea­tured the de­cap­i­tated head of Mo­hammed. A week later, it was a banyan tree at­tacked by In­done­sian Mus­lims who wanted to dis­prove its mys­ti­cal pow­ers. A few days af­ter that, it was for­mer Bri­tish for­eign sec­re­tary Jack Straw, who had the au­dac­ity to make the very ob­vi­ous ob­ser­va­tion that full Mus­lim veils im­pede com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween women and Western­ers. Of­fen­sive! Dis­turb­ing! An in­sult to Is­lam!

Not to be out­done, a del­e­ga­tion of ex­tor­tion­ist imams boarded a U.S. Air­ways flight in Min­neapo­lis in Novem­ber and tried to man­u­fac­ture an in­ter­na­tional hu­man-rights in­ci­dent. They clam­ored for a boy­cott and threat­ened to sue.

The good news: The fire did not catch here this time. The bad news: As Ori­ana Fal­laci warned be­fore her death: “The hate for the West swells like a fire fed by the wind. The clash be­tween us and them is not a mil­i­tary one. It is a cul­tural one, a re­li­gious one, and the worst is still to come.”

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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