I'll warn you now, that there will be at least one picture in this post that will turn your stomach. I will put it as far down in the post as I can so as not to disgust my more sensitive readers, but just know that there IS a reason behind it. It'll definitely lower my rating for this blog to an R-rating, at least for this post, and for that, I apologize.
I've been debating whether to write this post for about three weeks. Probably since the manufactured cartoon controversy started up. Muslims are saying that to depict Muhammed in a drawing, picture, painting, sculpture, etc is a sin, which is apparently punishable by thousands of them marching on your embassy, burning your flag, and vowing to desecrate everything YOU think is holy. The interesting thing is that I've actually read a couple different places that have said that depicting Muhammed is NOT actually a sin, that this is a misinterpretation of the Koran (much like the 72 virgins?).
Now, I understand that the depiction of him with a bomb as a turban would be contstrued as offensive, but again, we're talking about the people who have had plenty of posters and art of Jews depicted as vampires, animals, and other such offensive things.
So, let's just take a quick look at what we can agree upon is offensive.
Is this offensive?
I think that most logical human beings who know the utter carnage that occurred at the World Trade Center agree that what happened here is offensive, but the picture itself isn't necessarily offensive. The Palestinian reaction to this incident was offensive, the mass celebrating in the streets as well as prayers that more carnage would happen to America.
How about this?
Now I think that no matter what you think of President Bush, this depiction of the Jews as his master is offensive, as well as the derogatory image of the Jewish man in the picture, with the huge nose, etc.
By the way, the text in the cartoon is "Say you hate the Arabs", and the parrot responds "I hate the Arabs, I hate the Arabs". At least, that's the translation I've been given.
This cartoon would NEVER be printed in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, or other PC-type press, because it IS offensive, however, it was in many Arab papers when it came out. So they obviously didn't find it offensive.
How about this?
Yep, this is the cartoon. This is the one that people are rioting over, killing people over, and vowing to incite further violence over.
Now I can see being upset over the bomb as a turban, and can even see that people would be upset at such a 'wild-eyed' look in his eye. After all, this is their primary prophet, and it is pretty derogatory to him.
But let's be frank, is this offensive? Hell no. It's a bloody cartoon. It's one man's opinion. It's not something that's sanctioned by an entire population of people. It's one guy. A Danish guy who makes his living drawing political cartoons. While I agree with his depiction and I'm sure many others do as well, it's still an opinion, worth just about as much as the ink it's printed upon.
But muslims everywhere lost their goddamned minds and vowed to revolt, threatening violence, performing violence, and generally making asses of themselves, AND proving this guys' opinion as correct. When upset, the first thing that pops into the standard muslim mind is a bomb. Not saying that's right, just pointing out that through acting like general idiots, you've just proven his point.
Then you have the politically correct idiots here in the states and elsewhere who were offended by the activities at Abu Ghraib. Folks who think that a little rough treatment with Iraqi prisoners was a violation of the highest degree and the ultimate insult. Remember, these people were prisoners, accused of rape, murder, robbery, and other acts of violence against their own people. These were not prisoners of war, for the most part. Some were, but many were not. Many of them were criminals, who were only abused after starting riots where guards were hurt. Not justifying some of the stupidity that occurred there, merely trying to instill a sense of proportion. That having been said, here's my question.
What's more offensive, the picture on the right or the picture on the left? One on the left represents actions that have received more press, more media coverage, more outrage, and more general scorn heaped upon the United States than I can remember. The one on the right, was the butchering of an innocent American, who happened to be Jewish, who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, by gutless cowards who don't dare to show their faces on video, and received about three to five days of media coverage.