The Danish cartoonists vs. Muslims conflict is flaring up again, with the discovery of a conspiracy by Muslims to kill a cartoonist. There are many levels of irony here; it’s simply stupid to try and protest accusations that you are violent by committing acts of violence. I’ve also noticed an interesting pattern of escalation.
The aggrieved Muslims are saying, “Mock our god and we will kill you.” They have the goal of suppressing images they consider blasphemous.
The cartoonists are saying, “Threaten to kill us and we will mock your god.” Obviously, they’d like to stay alive, but their goal in this context is to see their work disseminated widely.
Now ask yourself, who is achieving their goals? Who is winning?
It looks to me like a few relatively obscure cartoonists are crushing the fundamentalist Muslim world. Those cartoons aren’t even that good, and they’re being published everywhere, even appearing on blogs.
Now maybe I’m misinterpreting the fundie Muslim position here: maybe their goal is actually to make sure the world thinks their beliefs are dangerous and stupid, and also ineffectual; they’re flailing pointlessly to suppress a couple of scribblings that would have vanished into obscurity, and have managed to turn them into icons of Islamic insanity. They’re doing a good job if that’s so. They’ve convinced me, at any rate.