Agam's Gecko
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Map of Cartoon Riots
Locations of Toon Jihad to date (click on image)

he killing and mayhem over cartoons show no sign of ending soon. The weekend slaughter in Nigeria alone is now standing at 28 deaths, including one priest and some children. Many of the Nigerian survivors are in very serious condition, and the lives lost to this senseless activity may well increase further. The image at left was clipped yesterday from a page on Lasting News, which is updating it daily.

Let's remember that the Danish drawings were part of a debate in that country over intellectual intimidation which involved the lack of willing illustrators for a children's book intended to promote understanding of Islam and tolerance. The source of the intimidation can be traced to the earlier killing of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, who directed a film written by a courageous woman named Ayaan Hirsi Ali. This short film is still available for viewing, but if you want to see it you may want to move fast before certain groups find out and force its removal. I have less than full confidence in Google's committment to free expression these days. The film is titled "Submission I" -- and it's terribly regretted that Theo will not be able to collaborate on Part II. Wai to Thrutch for the tip.

And just who is this Ayaan Hirsi Ali, you may ask (if you haven't been paying attention to the whole 'submit to Islam or die' thing prior to Cartoon Wars)? She really ought to be a household name by now, but if you don't know of her yet, watch the movie and read her defence of the right to offend in a current article she sends home from Berlin. How does Berlin figure into this? Read it and see. Wai to the Expat in Southeast Asia.

I've said it before, that the real reason for the refusal of most western media to let their viewers and readers know precisely what started all this fuss (the drawings themselves), is not sensitivity but plain old fear. Here's one admission:
Out of fear of retaliation from the international brotherhood of radical and bloodthirsty Islamists who seek to impose their will on those who do not believe as they do. This is, frankly, our primary reason for not publishing any of the images in question. Simply stated, we are being terrorized, and as deeply as we believe in the principles of free speech and a free press, we could not in good conscience place the men and women who work at the Phoenix and its related companies in physical jeopardy. As we feel forced, literally, to bend to maniacal pressure, this may be the darkest moment in our 40-year publishing history.
Wai Tim Blair for Phoenix Nixes Mopix...

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