The Eternal Flame of
Shhhhhhh, we're told.
Don't protest the Ground Zero mosque. Don't burn a Quran.
It'll imperil the troops. It'll inflame tensions. The
"Muslim world" will "explode" if it does not get its
way, warns sharia-peddling imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
Pardon my national security-threatening impudence, but
when is the "Muslim world" not ready to "explode"?
At the risk of provoking the ever-volatile Religion of
Perpetual Outrage, let us count the little-noticed and
Just a few months ago
in Kashmir, faithful Muslims rioted over what they
thought was a mosque depicted on underwear sold by
street vendors. The mob shut down businesses and clashed
with police over the blasphemous skivvies. But it turned
out there was no need for Allah's avengers to get their
holy knickers in a bunch. The alleged mosque was
actually a building resembling London's St. Paul's
Cathedral. A Kashmiri law enforcement official later
concluded the protests were "premeditated and organized
to vitiate the atmosphere."
Indeed, art and graphics have an uncanny way of
vitiating the Muslim world's atmosphere. In 1994,
Muslims threatened German supermodel Claudia Schiffer
with death after she wore a Karl Lagerfeld-designed
dress printed with a saying from the Quran. In 1997,
outraged Muslims forced Nike to recall 800,000 shoes
because they claimed the company's "Air" logo looked
like the Arabic script for "Allah." In 1998, another
conflagration spread over Unilever's ice cream logo --
which Muslims claimed looked like "Allah" if read
upside-down and backward (can't recall what they said it
resembled if you viewed it with 3D glasses).
Even more explosively, in 2002, an al-Qaida-linked
jihadist cell plotted to blow up Bologna, Italy's Church
of San Petronio because it displayed a 15th century
fresco depicting Mohammed being tormented in the ninth
circle of Hell. For years, Muslims had demanded that the
art come down. Counterterrorism officials in Europe
caught the would-be bombers on tape scouting out the
church and exclaiming, "May Allah bring it all down. It
will all come down."
That same year, Nigerian Muslims stabbed, bludgeoned or
burned to death 200 people in protest of the Miss World
beauty pageant -- which they considered an affront to
Allah. Contest organizers fled out of fear of inflaming
further destruction. When Nigerian journalist Isioma
Daniel joked that Mohammed would have approved of the
pageant and that "in all honesty, he would probably have
chosen a wife from among them," her newspaper rushed to
print three retractions and apologies in a row. It
didn't stop Muslim vigilantes from torching the
newspaper's offices. A fatwa was issued on Daniel's life
by a Nigerian official in the sharia-ruled state of
Zamfara, who declared that "the blood of Isioma Daniel
can be shed. It is abiding on all Muslims wherever they
are to consider the killing of the writer as a religious
duty." Daniel fled to Norway.
In 2005, British Muslims got all hot and bothered over a
Burger King ice cream cone container whose swirly-texted
label resembled, you guessed it, the Arabic script for
"Allah." The restaurant chain yanked the product in a
panic and prostrated itself before the Muslim world. But
the fast-food dessert had already become a handy radical
Islamic recruiting tool. Rashad Akhtar, a young British
Muslim, told Harper's Magazine how the ice
cream caper had inspired him: "Even though it means
nothing to some people and may mean nothing to some
Muslims in this country, this is my jihad. I'm not going
to rest until I find the person who is responsible. I'm
going to bring this country down."
In 2007, Muslims combusted again in Sudan after an
infidel elementary school teacher innocently named a
classroom teddy bear "Mohammed." Protesters chanted,
"Kill her, kill her by firing squad!" and "No tolerance
-- execution!" She was arrested, jailed and faced 40
lashes for blasphemy before being freed after eight
days. Not wanting to cause further inflammation, the
teacher rushed to apologize: "I have great respect for
the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend
anyone, and I am sorry if I caused any distress."
And who could forget the global Danish cartoon riots of
2006 (instigated by imams who toured Egypt stoking
hysteria with faked anti-Islam comic strips)? From
Afghanistan to Egypt to Lebanon to Libya, Pakistan,
Turkey and in between, hundreds died under the pretext
of protecting Mohammed from Western slight, and brave
journalists who stood up to the madness were threatened
with beheading. It wasn't really about the cartoons at
all, of course. Little-remembered is the fact that
Muslim bullies were attempting to pressure Denmark over
the International Atomic Energy Agency's decision to
report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for continuing
with its nuclear research program. The chairmanship of
the council was passing to Denmark at the time. Yes, it
was just another in a long line of manufactured Muslim
explosions that were, to borrow a useful phrase,
"premeditated and organized to vitiate the atmosphere."
When everything from sneakers to stuffed animals to
comics to frescos to beauty queens to fast-food
packaging to undies serves as dry tinder for Allah's
avengers, it's a grand farce to feign concern about the
recruitment effect of a few burnt Qurans in the hands of
a two-bit attention-seeker in Florida. The eternal flame
of Muslim outrage was lit a long, long time ago.
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