My landlady in Strasbourg and I were watching French news this morning. The story about the Iranian President’s oh so predictable comments about Israel was being shown. She turned to me and said,
You know I was taking my daughter to school the other day and I noticed the driver was North African, to pass the time of day I asked him if he was observing Ramadan.
“Yes” he said,
“How long does it go on for?”, I asked
“About 40 days.”
“That must be tough. I guess you might wish you were Jewish at least their fast is only for one day?”
“Jews are not human, he replied.
“You know”, she said to me, “he was a young man, born here in Strasbourg, the home of France’s oldest settled Jewish community, I worry for my children.”
Then there's this case of jihad against a Danish newspaper, for daring to draw cartoons depicting Muhammad:
The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten is being protected by security guards and several cartoonists have gone into hiding after the newspaper published a series of twelve cartoons (view them here) about the prophet Muhammad. According to the Islam it is blasphemous to make images of the prophet. Muslim fundamentalists have threatened to bomb the paper’s offices and kill the cartoonists. . . .
The publication led to outrage among the Muslim immigrants living in Denmark. 5,000 of them took to the streets to protest. Muslim organisations have demanded an apology, but Juste rejects this idea: “We live in a democracy. That’s why we can use all the journalistic methods we want to. Satire is accepted in this country, and you can make caricatures,” he said. The Danish imam Raed Hlayhel reacted with the statement: “This type of democracy is worthless for Muslims. Muslims will never accept this kind of humiliation. The article has insulted every Muslim in the world.” . . .
The affair, however, has also led to a diplomatic incident. On Thursday the ambassadors of eleven Muslim countries, including Indonesia, a number of Arab states, Pakistan, Iran, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, complained about the cartoons in a letter to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. They say the publication of the cartoons is a “provocation” and demand apologies from the newspaper.
Jyllands-Posten was also included on an al-Qaeda website listing possible terrorist targets. An organisation which calls itself “The Glorious Brigades in Northern Europe” is circulating pictures on the internet which show bombs exploding over pictures of the newspaper and blood flowing over the national flag of Denmark. “The Mujahedeen have numerous targets in Denmark – very soon you all will regret this,” the website says.
Ah yes, the Religion of Peace.