Monday, February 13, 2006

WorldNetDaily: The cartoon wars

Patrick J. Buchanan weighs in again--and once again he manages to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt about his loyalties to the civilization that is the foundation of his liberties.

First, he should get his facts straight. The riots started five months after the fact, and were over cartoons that were not the originals, but were substitutes. Sometimes I wonder which is worse--plagiarism, or publishing your own work under another person's name in order to bring that person into disrepute. That's what those Muslim clerics from Denmark did.

Second, I've seen the original cartoons. The one showing the crescent moon wrapped in his turban as though it were a pair of devil horns was just plain silly--a total cliché. Nor did I get the point of the cartoon showing Muhammad being so tall that his pack donkey was toy-like standing next to him. The intimation that Muhammad was a criminal and therefore had to cover his eyes while his wives covered everything but their eyes, lost something in the translation. Thus those three cartoons were no worse--and should be regarded as no more powerful--than your normal everyday Internet flame.

But the one of him saying, "Stop! We have run out of virgins!" is dead on-target--along with the one depicting Muhammad's head as a bomb with a short fuse. It goes directly to what a literal reading of the Koran and the Hadith demand. The only question in my mind right now is how many Muslims take their holy books literally, and how many have "spiritualized" them, and therefore want no part of the violence done in Allah's name.

Which brings me to my third criticism of Pat Buchanan: that he simply will not admit that the Koran and the Hadith literally exhort their readers to commit murder and treason against non-believers. Ostensibly he looks at Islam and sees an ally against the wretched decadence of secular society. But what he can't get through his head is that after Hollywood runs red with blood, he's next--and so am I. (Which is why I remind everyone that pork chops, pork barbecue, and so on have become regular staples in my diet.)

He and I might agree that some kind of testimony against secular society is called for. But here's the difference: a good Christian pastor tells his flock that Jesus probably would shun the movies, if not completely, then almost completely--in that movies these days push sin to sell tickets. Even a literalist Christian pastor would say no more than that. (If a pastor did, he'd be going beyond the Bible.) But a literalist Muslim pastor is going to have a Molotov-cocktail-making lab in his mosque basement, instead of a fellowship hall, and there he is going to recruit a cadre of special acolytes to go out and firebomb the local cinema (perhaps even while it is occupied), and then plan to descend on Hollywood with scimitars and daggers to clean the place out. Which religious tradition do you prefer?

Choose this day Whom ye shall serve. That goes for Pat Buchanan and for all my fellow citizens.


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