Monday, January 30, 2006

Muslim Fury At Danes Growing Over Prophet Cartoons

Good thing the great Clash Of Civilizations is just a neocon scam, or else I'd be getting concerned about this. Denmark has had to warn its citizens to watch their step in Islamic countries. This is because of some cartoons in a Danish newspaper making mock of The Prophet. The growing furor is being likened to that over Salman Rushdie and The Satanic Verses, though no religious death sentence has been handed down so far as I've heard. (Stand by for Western progressives to congratulate the Iranian mullahs on their "restraint" this time around.)(*click, clickety*; Oops, should have checked first; I was wrong.)

It's just the latest deadly tantrum by world-wide Islam, of course, in its furious incomprehension of the West's tradition of secular irreverence. A warrior faith gets its hackles up more quickly than a pastoral one, apparently.

Here's some literary contrast for you. This is a passage from the novel Silence by the Japanese Christian author Shusaku Endo.

[Father Rodrigues has been captured by the Japanese, while ministering to the underground church in 17th century Japan. He has been forced to listen to his flock being tortured in the pit, in order to get him to apostasize. Finally, he agrees to trample on the "fumie", the image of Christ affixed to a rough wooden plank.]

The first rays of dawn appear. The light shines on his long neck stretched out like a chicken and upon the bony shoulders. The priest grasps the fumie with both hands bringing it close to his eyes. He would like to press to his own face that face trampled on by so many feet. With saddened glance he stares intently at the man in the center of the fumie, worn down and hollow with the constant trampling. A tear is about to fall from his eye. "Ah:, he says trembling, "the pain."

"It is only a formality. What do formalities matter?" The interpreter urges him on excitedly. "Only go through with the exterior form of trampling."

The priest raises his foot. In it he feels a dull, heavy pain. This is no mere formality. He will now trample on what he has considered the most beautiful thing in his life, on what he has believed most pure, on what is filled with the ideals and the dreams of man. How his foot aches! And then the Christ in bronze speaks to the priest: "Trample! Trample! I more than anyone know of the pain in your foot. Trample! It was to be trampled on by men that I was born into this world. It was to share men's pain that I carried my cross."

The priest placed his foot on the fumie. Dawn broke. And far in the distance the cock crew.

Our Rock, our Refuge, and our Strength isn't afraid of some editorial cartoons. Nor of the seething mobs who are. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I hear a big tin of Danish butter cookies calling me from the kitchen...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please keep your comments civil and on-topic. Spammage will be cheerfully removed.