The row over the Danish cartoons continues to run and run, albeit at a somewhat lower level of intensity:
- There have been riots in Pakistan, after weeks of protests.
- A Pakistani cleric has announced a bounty of $1 million to whoever kills the cartoonist who depicted Mohammed. He appears unaware that there were several cartoonists! This is in addition to the Taleban's bounty of 100kg of gold.
- There have been denial of service attacks and other attempts to hack/disrupt Danish websites and other websites that supported the cartoons. The hosters of Michelle Malkin's blog have also been under this sort of electronic attack, and she has received threatening emails:
From: naser jianpour (email@example.com)
Date: Feb 10, 2006 12:04 PM
Subject: we will kill you
I am Iranian I am a mosleme .
We will kill you( every )
down with you( Crectian & jowe.)
world is mine.
From: monalisa monalisa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Feb 4, 2006 5:55 PM
Subject: you are filth
the dishonourable the mean the prostitute I'am a müslim and turkish I kill
you devil you are goto the hell shit the whore
From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Feb 11, 2006 9:41 PM
you have one day to delete all pictures of mohammed from your server, or i hack this site and delete all files on this server. ok
mohammed have never a face. dou you now.
for ever islam
- Bill Clinton has condemned the cartoons (twice). The reports do not indicate that he has said anything about those issuing death threats, rioting and burning embassies or the climate of fear and intimidation that has been created by Islamists who try to suppress any perceived insult or criticism of Islam.
- A female journalist covering an anti-cartoons protest in Turkey was stoned by the protestors who say they provoked her by not wearing a head scarf! Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin.
- Some interesting comments have been made on a BBC web page featuring a selection of commentators:
- Dr Yunes Teinaz of the London Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre states "Freedom of expression is not a licence to attack a culture or religion". If we take this seriously, then he is suggesting that two huge areas of human behaviour and beliefs should be off-limits to criticism or ridicule. It seems to me that for freedom of speech to be worthwhile and to mean something, no area of human behaviour of beliefs should be held to be immune from criticism. I see no reason for privileging cultural and religious beliefs by holding them to be immune from criticism or even ridicule. I also disagree that the cartoons were in any way racist as he also suggests.
- Munira Mirza, a journalist, makes an important point:
British newspapers should publish the images. Muslims should be able to see them and judge them for themselves, that's why we have freedom of speech.
Many Muslims want the same freedoms as everyone else to debate, criticise and challenge their religion.
They want to be able to say: "Hey we're not children, we can handle criticism, we don't need special protection - we're equal."
- Karen Armstrong, an author of a biography of Mohammed, claims that the cartoons were "criminally irresponsible", yet fails to make any mention of the responsibility, criminal or otherwise, of those who have sent death threats to anyone who dares to criticise or insult Islam or Islamists, those who have been rioting, those who have toured the middle east stirring up anger with extra pictures that Jyllands-Posten had not solicited or published, those who have been torching embassies or those who have been offering bounties for the heads of the cartoonists concerned. These cartoons are no worse then those that appear regularly about world leaders and politicians or figures from other religions in Western media. I don't see why lampooning Mohammed should be held to be criminally irresponsible when these other cartoons are not.