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The Globalization of Jihad: From Islamist Resistance to War Against the West - The Cartoons

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The Globalization of Jihad: From Islamist Resistance to War Against the West
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The Cartoons
A Clash of Civilizations
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THE CARTOONS

The recent controversy over the Danish cartoons underscores many of these points.

In the West, democracy is synonymous with free speech and the freedom of expression. In the Muslim world, however, democracy does not override religious values and understanding. Instead, it accommodates religious norms and traditions. Whatever pertains to belief is beyond democracy, particularly when it relates to the holiness of God and the Prophet Muhammad. To attack these core beliefs is not free speech, it is a stab at the heart of all Muslims that no government would ever accept.

However, it is not the Muslim heads-of-state that are inciting the riots we see spreading throughout the Muslim world today. Rather, it is the Islamist extremists who are throwing oil on this fire and fanning its flames. They are trying to blow this incident out of all proportion to incite hatred of the West. The intention is not simply to condemn the cartoons, but to demonstrate “Muslim Power.

The U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim American Society (MAS), called on Muslims everywhere to use their economic power to punish countries where the cartoons were published. “I don't think we would have received such a prompt response for a meeting if the Danish economy wasn't losing millions of dollars daily due to the boycott of Danish products throughout the Muslim world,” asserted MAS spokesman Mahdi Bray. [8]

This is why we see the worst rioting occurring in countries with an official national policy of opposition to the West. In Egypt, Yemen, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, demonstrations occurred, but there was no violence. It was only in those countries actively challenging the West, in those countries where an active al-Qaeda infrastructure continues to operate, that real violence flared.

Here, too, we see the extremists trying to widen the conflict beyond its religious connotations. Consider this passage from a recent tract:

The cartoon-gate affair in Denmark highlights more about European fears of Islam and Muslims than it does about attitudes of Muslims. The fear is shaped by the liberal fanaticism, capitalist greed, imperialism, racism, arrogance, all fused with the prejudices inherited from the dark ages.[9]

The extremists tried to keep this controversy alive for as long as possible in order to increase animosity toward the West and build support for their radical agenda. Indeed, they inflamed the situation more and more, hoping for a big blowup. All of this serves their interests and their ends, to demonstrate Islam as an effective political ideology and antidote to Western values. Head of Qatar’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Works, Dr. Ahmad Abdul Aziz al-Haddad, promoted the boycotts as a good way for the population at large to express their views saying, “This is the power of the Islamic people. The power to boycott.”[10]

Why, one should ask, did the groups who focused so hard on these cartoons, keep silent in the face of the destruction of the ancient monuments of Islam in Islam’s heartland. When Wahabi preachers invoked iconoclastic policies to erase the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, to alter the Prophet’s Mosque beyond recognition, to destroy the ancient Seven Mosques of Madina, and to obliterate all traces of the graves of his Companions, not one word was spoken. The reason is that reacting to the tragic obliteration of these religious, historical artifacts did not benefit their political agenda; the cartoons did.