I've been too busy to deal with this shit but now I am on it because it annoys me but not for the reasons you'll think. But before I do, some facts for ya'll, it's not forbidden in the Qur'an to draw pictures of the Prophet Muhammad (praise be unto him) only idolatry. The Hadith (the second text in Islam, rather like the Talmud in the Jewish faith), does forbid representations of the Prophet Muhammad (praise be unto him).
Having said that, representations of the Prophet Muhammad (praise be unto him) are common place in Muslim nations and also have a great history in Christian literature. Never mind the fact that in the US Supreme Court there is a statue of him...
These cartoons where first published on the 30th September 2005.
Please read that again and then ask yourself why it all exploded last week?
Nevermind the fact that some of them are racist and some of them just badly drawn, why has it taken till last week for people to start rioting over images that are 4 months old? When the pictures first came out there was barely a squeak of anger at them and it all passed away.
For the scenes we now have popping up across the globe in one of the worst moments of over-reacting I've seen for a while, we have Saudi Arabia to thank. Come with me on a journey of adventure and I'll explain why...
In January of this year the most important Muslim religious festival took place in Saudi Arabia, it's called the Hajj and every able-bodied Muslim is obligated to make a pilgrimage once in their lifetime to Mecca, which is in modern-day Saudi Arabia.
There were a number of stampedes, called "tragedies" in the press, during the Hajj which killed several hundred pilgrims. I say "tragedies" in quotation marks because there have been similar "tragedies" during the Hajj and each time, the Saudi government promises to improve security and facilitation of movement to avoid these. Over 251 pilgrims were killed during the 2004 Hajj alone in the same area as the one that killed 350 pilgrims in 2006. These were not unavoidable accidents, they were the results of poor planning by the Saudi government.
This was a huge story in the Muslim world. Most of the pilgrims who were killed came from poorer countries such as Pakistan, where the Hajj is a very big story. Even the most objective news stories were suddenly casting Saudi Arabia in a very bad light and they decided to do something about it.
Their plan was to go on a major offensive against the Danish cartoons. The 350 pilgrims were killed on the 12th January and soon after, Saudi newspapers (which are all controlled by the state) began running up to 4 articles per day condemning the Danish cartoons. The Saudi government asked for a formal apology from Denmark. When that was not forthcoming, they began calling for world-wide protests. After two weeks of this, the Libyans decided to close their embassy in Denmark. Then there was an attack on the Danish embassy in Indonesia. And that was followed by attacks on the embassies in Syria and then Lebanon.
Feel angry now at being manipulated? I hope so.