Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the “image problem” for Islam posed by the ongoing cartoon rage:
The global cartoon rage, which continues to increase its death count every day — a priest in Turkey, an Indian sailor in the U.A.E., a Danish lawyer in Moscow, plus protestors in Afghanistan and elsewhere — points out a key problem for the world’s Muslims. For them, Muhammad is even more important than Allah. Cartoon rage demonstrates that definitively. Muhammad is the center of the religion. His sayings, his acts, his silences, his everything, are essential to fleshing out the 80% of the Qur’an that is comprehensible. (The remaining 20% is susceptible of being understood, it seems, if one follows the advice of Christoph Luxenberg and reads parts of it as remnants of the Ur-Qur’an, a text in Aramaic, or Syro-Aramaic, or Syriac, the Aramaic of Edessa, which must have been the language employed for the first versions of the Qur’an since at that point Arabic was not yet a written language.)
And here he is, Muhammad, the model for all time, for all mankind. Uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil — as far as Muslims are concerned. It is for his “honor” that Muslims are ransacking KFC”s and setting Ronald McDonald afire.
But Muhammad is not the model for all mankind as far as Infidels are concerned. Those not completely brainwashed by the cult of personality par excellence that Muslims have built around Muhammad will make up their own minds about him, based on their own readings of the Hadith and Sira.
And there is no mistaking what Muhammad was really like, or at least how he is portrayed in the earliest Muslim sources. The Hadith and the various biographies of Muhammad simply do not differ in the essential details of his life. They do not differ over either his acts or his reported sayings. There are only differences in the judgments upon Muhammad made by Muslims and by non-Muslim scholars such as Sir William Muir, Arthur Jeffery, Tor Andrae, and Maxime Rodinson.
Muslims are in a quandary. The Qur’an, the Hadith, the Sira are now a click away. Any inquiring Infidel can read them, or read as much of them as he can possibly endure. Any Infidel can go to the Muslim websites, of the ask-imam.org variety, and see what kinds of questions Muslims ask and what answers are given. And the more Infidels do this, and the greater the number of such Muslim sites appear in Western languages for possible converts, and also for Muslims now living in the West, the greater access to such material there will be also for the Infidels.
This knowledge can’t be prevented from being spread. And American Infidels will be watching keenly to see how Muslims behave in Western Europe. We will be watching to see what damage they inflict there on Infidel laws, customs, manners, and what greater degrees of unpleasantness and tension they introduce in daily life, what greater expenses will be required for monitoring and other security measures, and what greater sense of physical danger is felt by those Infidels in Europe. In other words, we — in the United States and Canada — will be able to draw certain conclusions. In this respect we will be aided by reports from Europeans as to how Muslims accommodate themselves, or refuse to accommodate themselves, to Infidel laws and ways. We will see to what extent they express heartfelt, not feigned, and permanent, not temporary, loyalty to the Infidel nation-states in which they have been permitted to settle with such casual negligence.
Infidels are now alert, and more are becoming more wary every day. Not thanks to any government. Not thanks to journalists on television and radio or in most newspapers. Thanks, in the main, to Muslims themselves: to their displays of violence, hysteria, and hate, as in the demonstrations and attacks worldwide that have been prompted by, or have taken as their excuse in some cases, those utterly anodyne cartoons.
It’s an impossible situation for the world’s Muslims. Infidels, in every land, have started paying close attention to what is happening to Infidels in other places, at the hands of Muslims within their own countries or even within Muslim lands. What happens to the Copts, the Maronites, the Assyrians, the Hindus in Bangladesh, the Christians in the Moluccas, the Buddhists in southern Thailand, is now being reported on, and watched, everywhere in the Infidel world.
This is the first time in history that Muslims have had the opportunity to settle behind enemy lines. But it is also the first time in history that those Infidels, in all conventional military respects far more powerful and likely to remain so, have had the ability to monitor Muslim behavior everywhere, and to make judgments based on that behavior.
“Image problem” doesn’t begin to cover it.