The Corner

Orchestrating The Cartoon Intifada

Amir Taheri tells how they managed the feat:

[T]he whole rigmarole was launched by Sunni-Salafi groups in Europe and Asia, with Ahmadinejad and his Syrian vassal, President Bashar al-Assad, belatedly playing catch-up. …

In December, a group of Danish Muslim militants filled their suitcases with photocopies of the cartoons and embarked on a tour of Muslim capitals. …

The Danish Muslim group also did something dishonest — it added a number of far more derogatory cartoons of the Prophet to the 12 published by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, and misled its interlocutors in Muslim capitals into believing that all had appeared in the Danish press. …

[Al Jazeera’] chief Islamist televangelist, Yussuf al-Qaradawi (an Egyptian preacher who is also a friend of Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London), was all too keen to issue a “fatwa” to light the fuse. He then mobilized his network of Muslim Brotherhood militants in Europe to attack the cartoons and claim, falsely, that images were not allowed in Islam and that the Danish paper had violated “an absolute principle of The Only True Faith.”

Thus the call for Jihad received its supposed “theological” green light. (Ironically, the section of the brotherhood headed by al-Qaradawi is financed by the European Union as a non-governmental organization.)

As the first rent-a-mob crowds appeared on global TV screens, Ahmadinejad realized that here was a cow worth milking.

For Denmark is set to assume the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council — at the very time that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to refer Iran to the Security Council and demand sanctions. What better, for Tehran’s purposes, than to portray Denmark as “an enemy of Islam” and mobilize Muslim sympathy against the Security Council?

To regain the initiative from the Sunni-Salafi groups, Ahmadinejad quickly ordered a severing of commercial ties with Denmark, thus portraying the Islamic Republic as the Muslim world’s leader in the anti-Danish campaign.

Syria was next to jump on the bandwagon, again for mercenary reasons. The United Nations wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and five of his relatives and aides, including his younger brother, for questioning in the murder of Lebanon’s former premier, Rafiq al-Hariri. …

As with Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian dossier will reach the Security Council under Danish presidency. To portray Denmark as “an enemy of the Prophet” would not be such a bad thing when the council, as expected, points the finger at Assad and his regime as responsible for a series of political murders, including that of Hariri. …

Tehran and Damascus have launched a diplomatic campaign to put the issue of “protecting religions against blasphemy” on the Security Council agenda. If that were to happen, issues such as Iran’s quest for the atomic bomb and Syria’s murder machine in Lebanon might be pushed aside, at least as far as world public opinion is concerned. …

[T]he overwhelming majority of Muslims, even if offended by cartoons which they have not seen, have stayed away from the street shows put on by the radicals and the Iranian and Syrian security services. …

The Muslim crowds that have demonstrated over the cartoons seldom exceeded a few hundred; the Muslim segment of humanity is estimated at 1.2 billion. …

The Danish Muslim gang who lied by adding cartoons that had never been published has done more damage to the Prophet and to Islam than the 12 controversial cartoonists of Jyllands-Posten.

The fight between Denmark and its detractors is not between the West and Islam. It is between democracy and a global fascist movement masquerading as religion.

Clifford D. May — Clifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...

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