News from the BBC today on another case of “Muslim outrage” drew a bit of a knee-jerk from me (“Muslims offended over a triviality. Gee, that’s a first”), but when I stopped and thought about it, I began to wonder if I was being fair. So, being a curious kind of guy, I thought I’d examine the issue a bit.
Today’s story is fairly typical of the genre: Person does something largely harmless / a little bit humorous but somehow connected to Islam, Muslim Outrage™ ensues.
In this case, Naguib Sawiris (a very rich Christian from Egypt) Tweeted some cartoons of Micky and Minnie Mouse in conservative Muslim garb (Micky robed and bearded, Minnie in a Niqab with just her eyes showing). Cue howls of anger from high profile Muslims, formation of facebook groups calling for a boycott of his company, grovelling apology, etc. etc. I should say at this point that I searched at length for these cartoons so that I could repost them here, but I’ve so far been unable to find them anywhere.
Reading around various media reports on this story, it’s easy to get the impression that the response to this “incident” (for want of a better word) is a general Muslim one, but if you dig a little deeper it seems like the screaming and shouting in Egypt is being orchestrated by the Salafi minority. Salafi are an ultra-orthodox group who reject all religious debate, claiming that religious matters are beyond debate or apologetics because the Q’ran says so. If it’s in the Q’ran, it’s literally true, and that’s the bottom line, ‘cos Stone Cold Mo said so; they reject any form of politics but Islamic theocracy, and any form of law but Sharia.
So, to wrench this ramble back on course, are media reports portraying general Muslim outrage over yet another triviality a fair and accurate reflection? In truth, I don’t really know – But the balance of evidence suggests that it’s probably not.
Over to you, UFers. What do you think of Islamic reaction to things like this, and how it’s portrayed. Better yet, are you in Egypt? Is it the powder-keg we’re lead to believe? I’d love to hear from you.