Saturday, January 27, 2007


Salamo Alaykom! It is very, very good to hear from you! Of course, I've heard all about those anti-Christian cartoons and the the riot that they caused at the Rogers Centre. Did you know that they're causing similar uproars among Christian populations all over in predominantly Moslem countries? I've even heard protesters have taken to the streets back in Kuala Lumpur, to what end I can't figure, though.

The images themselves actually seem kind of quite innocuous to me, but then I was raised in a secular Muslim household. So, it's like, okay, someone is making fun of Jesus, and so what? Isn't the all powerful Christian God a big enough deity to stand up to a bit of light hearted cartoonage? I mean, it's not like those anti-muslim illustrations published back in 2005 by Jyllands-Posten. I wasn't riled by those images, either, but those illustrations did appear to me to be consciously designed so as to bait the local Islamic community and cause a furor, which of course they did, ça va sans dire.

These new cartoons, however, while anti-Christian, simply don't strike me as significantly inflammatory. Sure, they're offensive, I guess, and people have every right to be angry about them. But so what, –they're just cartoons, right? Thing is, I don't think the publishers of these cartoons actually thought anyone outside their immediate readership would actually see them, and I say that because the publication they appeared in isn't even available in English or even French; it's only published as an Arabic language journal.

That's my two cents anyway.

btw you're absolutely right: I do share a bit of sympathy for the Pan Moslem Coalition, and especially, specifically, these young, sincere soldiers I'm embedded with now. The PMC is the injured party, and they are just after their man, so who can blame them. That's the way I see it.

Plus –speaking as an American– I would like to believe that when and if Lowell is caught, that even the residents of Boone will cheer these Muslim lads who bring him to justice. By and large, the people I've met In North Carolina are good, decent American people, and they also happen to sympathize with the victims of the 7/27 attacks in South East Asia, –just as these young men I travel with now sympathize with America's loss on 9/11.