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Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Backlash against the backlash

Backlash: An antagonistic reaction to a trend, development, or event.

Backlash
: Muslims massively demonstrating and rioting against the publishing of twelve "offensive" Danish cartoons of Muhammad (also translated as Mohammed, Muhammed, and sometimes Mahomet) in European newspapers.

Backlash against the backlash: The rest of the world realizing that something is fundamentally wrong when twelve mild "political" cartoons result in the death, violence and acrimony that have swept the Arab/Islamic world.

Muhammad with a bomb in his turban
The most controversial drawing shows Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, with a lit fuse and the Islamic creed written on the bomb. Led to a violent Muslim backlash:

Islamic protester: Freedom go to hell
The murderer of Italian Catholic priest Andrea Santoro was captured. The motive was the Mohammad cartoons:

Turkish security forces arrested a high school student on Tuesday over the killing of an Italian Catholic priest and Turkish television said the teenager had confessed to a crime which has shocked this Muslim nation.

The student told police he was influenced by cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad, NTV commercial television said. The report could not be immediately confirmed.

The state Anatolian news agency said the student, aged 16, had been carrying a 9 mm pistol when he was captured in the Black Sea city of Trabzon, where Andrea Santoro, 61, was gunned down on Sunday while praying.

...Turkey, with a population of 72 million, is overwhelmingly Muslim and its tiny Christian population is barely 60,000. Turkey has seen street protests against the cartoons, but they have been peaceful, in contrast to some Muslim countries...

The twelve Muhammad drawings:

Danish Muhammed Cartoons and Islamic Vitriol
[TJN]

The timeline of events that have led to this eruption.
How cartoons fanned flames of Muslim rage [Guardian]
Timeline: How the cartoon crisis unfolded [FT.com]

Two quick, cryptic observations by Daniel Drezner:
a) there's a difference between a democracy and a liberal democracy, and it's clear that the Muslims exercised by this cartoon do not distinguish between the two at all, and b) this is neither the first or the last time we're going to see protests of this nature.

related: anti-American, anti-British and anti-semitic cartoons have been standard fare in Arab media for a long time:

The Dark-Side of Cartoons [TJN]

Calculated Risk

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