A carnival of stupidity

Fantastic piece by Neal Acherson on OpenDemocracy.Net about the Islamic cartoon fiasco. Made me feel ashamed that I hadn’t dug below the synthetic outrage of British media coverage. Excerpt:

The most curious thing about the affair is why the fuse burned so slowly. It was on 30 September 2005, more than four months ago, that Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen published the cartoons of Mohammed (heavily unfunny, but extremely rude). The newspaper was barging into an already running story, about the reluctance of Danish illustrators to contribute to a life of Mohammed for children. Jyllands-Posten is a rightwing paper, in tune with the present Danish government in its resentment of Muslim immigrants, and it meant to make trouble. There followed some small demonstrations, and several death threats to the cartoonists.

None the less, the trouble could have been contained. The fatal element was the insistence of the prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on posturing as a friend of liberty who knew how to stand up to repressive aliens. He brushed the protests from Danish Muslims aside. He then refused to receive the ambassadors of Islamic nations, who were demanding the prosecution of the newspaper. They reported back to their own publics on “Danish intransigence”…