Malaysian Islamists using cartoon row to silence independent media

I've commented on how I believe that the riots...I mean "protests" Pakistan by hardline Islamists are more about their desire for political influence within Pakistan than piety.  (Zahir, who recently returned from Pakistan, told me how many of the Islamists he interviewed not only hadn't seen the infamous cartoons, but didn't even know they were from Denmark.  Some spoke about the "American cartoons"!) In a similiar vein, this report leaves the impression that … [Read more...]

Mob rule & what passes for piety among the mullahs

This article in IPS, "PAKISTAN: Cartoon Protests Cripple Local Trade", would make me laugh if it weren't so tragic and painfully familiar. More examples of the reduction of Islamic piety to nihilistic hooliganism: The once popular Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet here, which was torched and looted on Feb. 15, during a massive rally joined by 75,000 protesters, now stands draped, incongruously, with banners carrying verses from the Quran. At least three persons were killed and … [Read more...]

Cartoon Body Count tracks deaths resulting from the Satanic scribblings.  Its list of violent incidents (with links to reports) is particularly helpful for getting an overview of how this mayhem has played out around the world. [Hat tip: Jeff Yang at, who was kind enough to mention Akram's Razor, as well.  I'm not exactly a regular topic of media discussions, anyway, but this is the first time I've found myself mentioned in a discussion of Asian-Americana (e.g., Margaret … [Read more...]

“Denmark’s Cartoon Blowback”

Professor As`ad Abu Khalil memorably named his blog, a refreshingly stimulating and bittersweet antidote to the mainstream American media's bland coverage of the Middle East and Islam, the "Angry Arab News Service".  Given how much of my blogging has been dedicated of late to this wacky cartoon crisis, I'm starting to wonder if I should follow suit and christen this blog "The Angry Danish American Muslim News Service".  (Finally, a niche where I'm the expert!)  … [Read more...]

The Ugly Duckling and the Cartoons

Haven't gotten a chance to read it yet completely, but the Danish Institute for International Studies has put out an intriguing analysis of  the cartoon controversy entitled "The Danish Ugly Duckling and the Mohammed Cartoons".  (The ubiquitious metaphor of the "ugly duckling", if you didn't already know, comes from the timeless tales of Denmark's greatest storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen.  He also wrote other classic and deeply symbolic fairytales like "The Little Mermaid", … [Read more...]

More on the Danish “children’s book” author

A commentor demanded, quite understandably, some links to substantiate my point in the last post on the cartoon affair ("Jyllands-Posten's acrobatics & Salon piece") that  the author of this infamous "children's book" is a well known Muslim-basher rather than a harmless kiddy book author, as Jyllands-Posten keeps implying in its propaganda.  The reason I did not provide more info initially is that there isn't much out there on this … [Read more...]

The cartoon riots compared to America’s race riots

A scholar explores how recent American history proves the wisdom (and ubiquity) of self-censorship in a healthy multi-cultural society.  ----------------------------- February 17, 2006Op-Ed ContributorThe Silent TreatmentBy ROBERT WRIGHT THE American left and right don't agree on much, but weeks of demonstrations and embassy burnings have pushed them toward convergence on one point: there is, if not a clash of … [Read more...]

Jyllands-Posten’s acrobatics & Salon piece

Salon has a great piece, aptly entitled "Rotten judgment in the state of Denmark", by an American-based Danish academic, Jytte Klausen.Here's an excerpt: This all would have been very well if the paper had a long tradition of standing up for fearless artistic expression. But it so happens that three years ago, Jyllands-Posten refused to publish cartoons portraying Jesus, on the grounds that they would offend readers. [...][...] The paper wanted to instigate trouble, just not the kind of … [Read more...]