Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Mohammed Cartoon Video Broadcast by Danish State Television

For the past couple weeks I have been away from my computer, and really the last month I’ve been swamped. So coming back I needed a topic to talk about, something important, with the potential to be Earth shattering or to be a flash in the pan. Something no one was talking about and everyone should be. Wow, I came back on the right day. There were so many intriguing stories in the news that many smaller stories were falling through the cracks. My attention was drawn by this headline, from 4 hours ago:

Muslims Angry at New Danish Cartoons Scandal

My heart sank as I read that one. I supported the right to publish the Mohammed cartoons last August, though I feel that often the issue was exacerbated by a certain amount of insensitivity to the Islamic community as a whole. I was happy when the protests began to cool down, and felt at many times like it could have been a spark-plug issue to a larger-scale war that the world seems to be moving towards. I also felt like certain governments were pushing the all-out war agenda. Thus, I had no desire to hear the issue was alive again.

The issue was revived after the airing on Danish state television of an amateur video showing members of an anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party holding a contest to draw images mocking the prophet. The video is from a youth group summer camp, and the participants had been drinking. The cartoons depict a camel with the head of Mohammed and beer cans for humps and an equation showing a Muslim man + a bomb = a terrorist.

The organization of the Islamic Conference, the largest international Muslim body and a representative of 57 nations, strongly condemned the airing of this video on the Danish state television. "The running of the footage affected the sensibilities of civilised people and religious beliefs of one fifth of humanity," the OIC said. Just hours after the footage was shown, the Danish foreign ministry cautioned travelers to avoid 10 Middle Eastern And other reaction?

Indonesian Muslim groups have said they were insulted by the video and Egypt's largest Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, denounced what it called "new Danish insults". In Iran, the president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad commented: "If someone enjoys an iota of humanity and wisdom then he will not insult and offend the shining holy presence of Muhammad," according to national television.

Think back to the protests that spread across Europe and Asia this past winter over twelve more benign cartoons. However, that was a public contest versus an amateur video the youth of a right wing group produced. Still, the fact that part of the video was shown on the state television raised the stakes. Plus, only a segment was shown; the content of the remainder of the tape are still in question.

It’s hard to say whether broadcast of this tape will turn into an issue or not. But tread carefully; it is a tumultuous time in our history, and perhaps it’s the wrong time to stomping on the collective feelings of our growing adversary.

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Image above is from The Guardian of a Danish Islamic man at prayer.

Posted by Scottage at 3:35 PM / | |