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I think the Cartoon issue has ceased to be about cartoons, or about insulting religion. It has transcended real life causes, and has now become a matter of hypocrisy.

On the one hand, you have a culture built around free speech, where holocaust denial is illegal, people protest about the way in which Jerry Springer: The Opera was offensive to Christians, and the right to protest and boycott is regularly used.

On the other hand, you have a culture built around unwavering devotion to your God and his prophet, and the protection of religious dignity, where newspapers regularly publish anti-semitic cartoons, where the lines between religious leaders and violent extremists is often blurred.

We've got arguably one of the less mature cultures in the world having to take petty insults from one of the (allegedly) more mature cultures, because said culture has decided that it's allowed to do what it wants and that's that.

And neither side understands who the enemy is. In the West, the natural assumption is that all Muslims are equally offended, and that the acts of violence that are being committed are the will of the majority, rather than an extremist minority. In the developing world, media and government are so closely tied that people are unable to spot the difference. Demands for an apology by the Danish government are made largely under the false assumption that the government is in some way connected to the media.

So, to summarise.. The West mistakenly thinks all Muslims are violent and uptight, Muslims think that views expressed in the media are nationally held and government endorsed, the side that bases its policy on defense of civil rights is the one doing the insulting, and both sides are waist deep in hypocrisy.

And to think, before the Internard, it was so much harder to blow things out of proportion..


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