There’s been something that has been bugging me about the Cartoon War, some aspect that was just wrong, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Finally, while I slept last night, it clicked in my head — the fundamental question that so few seem to be addressing:
Do we have the right to not obey Islamic law?
As civilized, decent human beings, we certainly are obligated to take into account the sensibilities of others when we decide whether or not to take certain actions that may offend them. Indeed, that is the crux of the argument of the apologists, and it is a valid argument.
But the power of that argument — as persuasive as it may be — ends at the point of compulsion. We SHOULD respect them, and SHOULD consider them, but is has no duty assigned to it.
The Islamist world is not inflamed over a dozen cartoons published by a single newspaper in Denmark. (To be perfectly honest, they’re more inflamed by three counterfeit cartoons passed off as legit by a group of Danish Imams than the original Dirty Dozen, but that’s irrelevant to this point.) They are outraged because that newspaper carefully considered whether or not to respect Islamic law, and chose not to. Following that, the Danish government considered whether or not to enforce Islamic law against the newspaper — and came to the conclusion that they could not.
Now, the rest of the world is being presented with the Islamic demands that we not depict Mohammed. On the surface, it’s a silly issue, and some commentators, satirists, and cartoonists have had a field day with that (when they’re not facing their own threats). But underneath the giggles is a simple, fundamental issue: the Islamists are demanding that their religious laws hold sway worldwide, and are using every weapon at their disposal — economic threats, violence, and appeals to liberal guilt, just to name three — to get the non-Islamic world to submit.
And let us never forget: Islam does NOT mean “peace.” It means “submission.”