Despite global warming, temperatures in London were a modest 3°C, so the chaps pictured above, peacefully exercising their right to free speech, kept it cool and only asked for curtailing free speech for Scandinavians. In Beirut and Damascus however, lying further south, the passion understandably flamed, and so did the Danish embassies in those cities. In the Gaza Strip, angry Paleostinians apparently couldn't tell a Danish Embassy from a German Consulate and so the latter was sacked. On Saturday, Pakistan summoned the ambassadors of Denmark and several other European countries to protest the Jylland-Posten cartoons. On the same day, Iranian President Ahmadinejad asked for severing the economic ties with Denmark and other countries where the Muhammad caricatures were published. For once, I agree with Ahmadiejihad. I think we should all presto start to boycott Iraniun PC's, limousines, air conditioners, cosmetics, lingerie, private jets, tanks, dvd players, sound systems, cell phones, furniture, cookies, motorcycles, porn movies and what not.
Oh well. An awful lot of Internet chatter on the matter, I just picked two reactions. The first is from Mark Steyn, brilliant as always:
But if you frame the issue in terms of multicultural "sensitivity," the wimp state will bend over backward to give you everything you want -- including, eventually, the keys to those skyscrapers. Thus, Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, hailed the "sensitivity" of Fleet Street in not reprinting the offending cartoons. No doubt he's similarly impressed by the "sensitivity" of Anne Owers, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, for prohibiting the flying of the English national flag in English prisons on the grounds that it shows the cross of St. George, which was used by the Crusaders and thus is offensive to Muslims. And no doubt he's impressed by the "sensitivity" of Burger King, which withdrew its ice cream cones from its British menus because Rashad Akhtar of High Wycombe complained that the creamy swirl shown on the lid looked like the word "Allah" in Arabic script. I don't know which sura in the Koran says don't forget, folks, it's not just physical representations of God or the Prophet but also chocolate ice cream squiggly representations of the name, but ixnay on both just to be "sensitive."
And perhaps the British foreign secretary also admires the "sensitivity" of those Dutch public figures who once spoke out against the intimidatory aspects of Islam and have now opted for diplomatic silence and life under 24-hour armed guard. And maybe he even admires the "sensitivity" of the increasing numbers of Dutch people who dislike the pervasive fear and tension in certain parts of the Netherlands and so have emigrated to Canada and New Zealand.
Very few societies are genuinely multicultural. Most are bicultural: On the one hand, there are folks who are black, white, gay, straight, pre-op transsexual, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, worshippers of global-warming doom-mongers, and they rub along as best they can. And on the other hand are folks who do not accept the give-and-take, the rough-and-tumble of a "diverse" "tolerant" society, and, when one gently raises the matter of their intolerance, they threaten to kill you, which makes the question somewhat moot. One day the British foreign secretary will wake up and discover that, in practice, there's very little difference between living under Exquisitely Refined Multicultural Sensitivity and Sharia. As a famously sensitive Dane once put it, "To be or not to be, that is the question."
Amen to that. The second one is from Samizdata:
The enemy is out in the open, in our streets, and damn are they ugly. And moreover they are not attacking Israel (some foreign country who the Guardian says "do bad things") or America (some other foreign country the BBC says is run by BushMcHitler and "do bad things"), they are attacking tolerant non-colonialist non-military superpower non-zionist DENMARK and screaming that they want an Islamic veto over free speech in secular/Christian societies and they will kill anyone who upsets them. Holy.Fucking.Shit.
OK, let's kut the krap, time for those Japanese lessons. We begin with a quote from the late Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Supreme Commander of the Japanese Fleet and 12/7 mastermind. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the good Admiral said:
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
Now, in Japanese this reads like:
Now hold it, Ahmed!!! Don't shy away from these seemingly impossible Jipponese characters!!! It really isn't that difficult! For starters, just like you folks are heading backwar - uh, writing backwards, so do Japanese write from bottom to top. Keeping that in mind, if you tilt your head to the right, then you should start to see some basic logic in that scripture! Just do it Ahmed!
PS.: OK OK, I know that quote isn't really from Yamamoto. It may be fake. Still, it's almost certain to be accurate.