Today's Blogs

Sparking Boycotts in the Muslim World

Bloggers are alarmed by Muslim anger over the publication of caricatures of Mohammed. They are also saddened that drug smugglers now are using puppies as mules.

Rage Against the Cartoons: Across the globe, Muslims are outraged by the recent republication of cartoon drawings of the Prophet Mohammed in newspapers around Europe, leading to protests, boycotts, and death threats and raising questions about the tension between free speech and religious tolerance. The caricatures, first published in September by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, are drawing ire as Islamic law prohibits any sort of depiction of the prophet. Today, Fatah-affliated gunmen surrounded the EU commission offices in Gaza and threatened to kidnap Europeans. (The BBC offers a helpful timeline.)

At Mental Projections of a Desi, Jawwad, a South Asian Muslim living in Ireland, details why the cartoons are offensive: Not only was the prophet depicted, he was portrayed as a terrorist. “Hopefully out of ignorance rather than malevolence, something deeply painful to the entire Muslim world was published in a Danish newspaper. That in itself was an irresponsible use of the freedom of the press, which in no country anywhere is an unlimited freedom allowing journalists to vilify, libel or lie,” he writes. American Muslim Michelle Mashraqi also takes offense at the cartoon and its depiction of Mohammed as a terrorist: “[W]hy are you questioning the backlash from the Muslim world? … The press is very disrespectful if they see the outrage as Muslim’s rebuking free press. It’s about respecting our religion.”

After a tidy and thoughtful summary of the issue, Mike Tidmus in the Netherlands devolves into diatribe: “This incident makes it abundantly clear that Islam probably has no place in Europe if it can’t stand the freedoms. Muslims might be better advised to go back to their sandy little oil kingdoms and continue killing each other and hating the Jews and the excesses of Western civilization and uppity women and gay people”

Helen at the conservative CaribPundit believes that this Muslim outrage has a nefarious purpose: “It is the softer jihad whose purpose is to advance the Islamic cause by forcing Westerners to submit to Islamic values which contradict Western ones—free speech and freedom of the press, both of which are in short supply in the Muslim world.” At the American Thinker,right-leaningThomas Lifson takes a similar view, viewing the Muslim outrage as an attempt to impose global sharia.

On Tuesday, conservative British expat Andrew Sullivan weighed in: “There’s a real struggle here—between the non-negotiable right of people to write or portray what they think or believe, and the refusal of some religious fanatics to allow them. … I see nothing wrong with them. Yes, they’re blasphemous to strict Muslims. So what? Free countries do not ban blasphemy. Compared to the real blasphemy of extremist Muslims murdering innocent civilians, these cartoons are pitifully tame.”

In response to a widespread Muslim boycott of Danish goods that has already led to layoffs of Danish factory workers, many bloggers are advocating a “buycott.” Rutgers University research associate Judith Apter Klinghoffer of the History News Network is spearheading the effort, with Michelle Malkin also joining in, asking readers to help “fight the bullies of Islam.”

Read more about the outrage over the drawings.

Puppy mules: During a recent DEA raid in Colombia, authorities discovered that a veterinarian had surgically implanted packets of liquid heroin into several puppies, mostly Labrador retrievers. The cartel, which also uses human mules, hid a total of three kilos of heroin in six puppies. After the drugs were removed, three puppies died from infection. Another three have been adopted by the Colombian police.

Daniel McQuade of Philadelphia Will Do pauses to ponder why animal cruelty is often taken more seriously than human cruelty, before writing “[W]hat the hell, drug smugglers? Is this your response to heroin being illegal? “Oh, we’ll just put it in cute little puppies, that’ll show them!” I mean, I guess a drug-sniffing dog wouldn’t notice the drugs inside a puppy, but it’s just cruel.”

At Kinshasha On The Potomac, Jeff is horrified: “In world where terrorists slaughter innocents, strife and disease ravage whole continents and our way of life seems to be under increasing stress both from without and within, there should be a few things that are sacrosanct. Like puppies.”

Read more about drug-smuggling puppies. Last year in Slate, Brendan I. Koerner wrote why Labradors are America’s favorite dog.