Last week The Onion published a satirical cartoon that was critical of Islam “No one murdered because of this image.” It’s NSFW, so click the link to see it. It shows major figures of four religions (Moses, Jesus, Ganesha, and the Buddha) engaged in rather salacious activities. There was no Mohamed, of course—that would have led to murder.
Today the Jesus and Mo artist, referring to The Onion cartoon, gets in his own licks against The Religion of Peace:
The J&M artist also recommends a nice essay from Pandaemonium on the offendability of Muslims, “Here we go again,” by Kenan Malik. The piece reprints two earlier but related Malik essays on Rushdie’s fatwa and the Danish cartoon affair.
Malik sees a “political” cause for the Middle Eastern riots, but one based not on Western oppression but internecine strife among Muslims. And I think Malik unduly neglects religion, which is, after all, being used as a lever to incite the masses:
What is clear, however, is that the violence is being driven less by religious fury than by political calculation. In Libya, Egypt and elsewhere, the crisis is being fostered by hardline Islamists in an attempt to seize the political initiative in a period of transition and turmoil. The film is almost incidental to this process. The real struggle is not between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between different shades of Islamists, between hardline factions and more mainstream ones. The insurrections that transformed much the Arab world over the past year have created a new terrain for the battle between Muslim factions for political supremacy.
Malik also said something interesting about Rusdie’s fatwa in his reprinted essay:
The fatwa helped transform the very geography of Islam. Under traditional Islamic law, no fatwa could be valid outside those areas in which sharia law applied. Muslims may have emigrated to Britain or converted in India, but a fatwa could have no validity there because these states were not under Islamic authority. With his four-paragraph pronouncement, the Ayatollah had transcended the traditional frontiers of Islam and placed the whole world under his jurisdiction. At the same time he helped relocate the confrontation between the Islam and the West, which until then had been played out largely to the Middle East and South Asia, into the heart of Western Europe. For the West, Islam was now a domestic issue.