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Friday, February 03, 2006
  The Muhammad Cartoons
I am somewhat bemused at the entire Muhammad (pbuh) cartoon incident. I really don’t know what to make of it. I hadn’t formed a solid opinion to the incident although I watched as the controversy grew from a few news articles at the bottom of Google News to front-page headlines.

I am a Muslim myself (in case you have come across this blog through a blog search engine), and I cherish my Muslim identity and think of it as an essential part of who I am. That being said, my reaction to the whole thing has been one of cynicism. I’m always going to be a lot harsher with us Muslims for our weaknesses than the non-Muslims who might make such weaknesses evident.

There is no Muslim economic superpower. No Muslim country holds much real clout in world affairs. Saudi Arabia had the potential to be a leader of the Muslim world if it weren’t governed by a small bunch of corrupt leaders who don’t have a voice of their own in the face of American influence. So when a newspaper of a small European country whose most famous exports are butter and chocolates publishes these inflammatory and outright racist cartoons, they don’t really care what effect it may have on Muslim sensibilities. Do you think if there were a similarly insulting set of cartoons about Jews, that the butter-exporters would have let the matter linger for so long? No, and the reason is not that they like the Jews more than Muslims, but simply because the Jews are far more influential in world affairs. They have enormous clout. Why? Not because they have magical powers, but because as a collectivity, they are the most highly educated and accomplished of people in the world. Even though their numbers are tiny, these people are so ingenious and hard-working that entire governments will be moved into action if someone offends them.

Do you think if somehow the Chinese were pissed off at the butter-exporters, that there would not have been an immediate apology followed by some prompt head-rolling? That’s not because the Chinese have magical powers either, but because they have clout when it comes to world affairs. The Americans can never push the Chinese around, and it’s only because the Chinese have elevated themselves to a level where they cannot be pushed around.

Yes, it hurts to have our prophet insulted, but rather than bring ourselves down to a level where we have to fight with the government of these butter-exporters for an unqualified, no-nonsense apology, without any ‘freedom-of-the-press’ bullshit, we should focus internally and examine our weaknesses. Why is it that there is no credible Islamic voice in world affairs? Why is it that when a 1st world country decides to walk all over us, we are powerless to resist? There must be something wrong with us! How much longer are we going blame our problems on the west before we look to put our own house in order? I guarantee you that if we had economic and military influence today, it wouldn’t take two shakes of a cow’s teat to get an apology from these butter-exporters and a law passed soon after that banning incendiary and racist publication. They don’t care what we think and will never care unless we are as educated, as rich, and as powerful as they are. Then they’ll listen and then they’ll care what we think. Then we’ll be able to tell them what they can do with their damn butter.
Completely agree with you there!!!
Just watched a report on CNN regarding this incident...the anchors seemed well...amused by the muslim world's reaction and over them wanting more than a "formal apology"...
good notes, doc...and that's what we do, don't we? be furious and unreasonable....plus 'they're just islamic fundas, what do ya expect, Chuck?' "Sure, they are boss! They'd blow up at anything!"

that's what they think abt us, but the funny thing is if u think abt it, they're really scared of us because of that too...and that can have its good sides if we just knew how to use it...
You know, it's interesting that I was way in the south of Boston once with friends, a place that non-whites don't frequent. We were eating in a restaurant, and everybody around us kept sneaking glances at us...sometimes staring at us. At first, I thought they were just rascists, but then I realized it was fear that I saw in their eyes.
That "first impression" sort of thing exists everywhere, and I believe it's what's driving all this. As you said, we have to figure out what to do about it.
Hasnain, why were they staring at you? Were you wearing a borka or something? I am just curious.
No Leilouta, but we were the only brown guys in the restaurant :)
dear brother

you are right that the muslim world does not have a voice coz where were all the islamic countries when the ruling TALIBAN blew up BUDDHA's statue in AFGANISTAN. did any of the muslim countries snap its relation ?????

when people living in authoritarian muslim world understand that opinion of a individual or group doesnot construe political opinion of the country, so why any government needs to APPOLOGISE??!!!

muslim countries have abundant resources of oil and gas which they can use to sideline any country but the problem is that they use the power to kill other sects be it shia, shunni, kurd or ahmedias. this happens in all islamic country and not to talk about relegious minorities.
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Recent med school graduate from Peshawar, Pakistan. Started blogging when in throes of final year exams. Currently studying for USMLE Step 1. Aiming for the 2008 Match. I blog about my studies, my worries, and my thoughts on life. I live in Islamabad.

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