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Any excuse will do

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the Cartoon War, and I've been thinking about other times the Muslim Street has shown this much spunk. And I think I see a common thread.

1) The Koran In A Toilet story, as dispersed by Newsweek. Wholescale riots swept the world, with demands for apologies and that the offending parties be turned over to Islamic courts for trial.

2) The infamous UK Burger King Ice Cream Lid incident. Burger King sold some ice cream with a lid that featured a stylized drawing of an ice cream cone. Because if you rotated the lid 90 degrees, it had a vague resemblance to the name "Allah" in Arabic, British Muslims were outraged. BK apologized and withdrew the lids.

3) The Muslim obsession with the foot as unclean has led to some interesting stories. For example, I recall one account of a sneaker whose tread left a mark resembling the word Allah that got some Muslims incensed. Or Nike recalling a bunch of shoes because the stylized flames on the toes resembled Allah's name.

4) Back in 1992, Yokohama had to recall a bunch of tires whose tread -- designed to improve traction -- also seemed to resemble the name of Allah.

What do all these incidents have in common?

They all provoked outrage over insults that were never intended as such, or incidents that simply didn't happen.

The most offensive cartoons, the ones that have the rioters most riled up, were never published in the Danish newspapers. In fact, the current line of thought is that they were commissioned by the very same Danish Imams who took the news of the "blasphemy" to the Middle East in the first place.

The Koran in the toilet incident never happened. It was utterly shabby reporting by Newsweek, debunked by anyone who actually thought about the physics involved in flushing a book down a toilet. To use a metaphor from another holy book, it'd be like trying to get a camel through the eye of a needle.

The Burger King logo had only the vaguest resemblance to the Arabic script. That whole incident was less about religion than power -- the protesters were wondering how far they could push a huge conglomerate like Burger King, and the answer was "pretty far."

The shoe incident? Again, much ado about nothing. The resemblance is a little more precise, but it's STILL a huge silliness.

The Yokohama incident? Again, sheer hype.

So, let's see. We have a bunch of religious zealots who have a history of getting hysterical over fabrications, exaggerations, and outright lies. Who also tend to see conspiracies against them everywhere.

Is there anything more dangerous than a horde of paranoid, sociopathic whackjobs who will believe whatever they are told as long as it will further fuel their rage?

Yup. That same group, used to getting their own way if they kill enough people, burn enough buildings, and threaten death and destruction unless their demands are met.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Any excuse will do:

» Dead Bloggers Society linked with Misdirected Muslim Outrage

» bRight & Early linked with Valentines Day Love Fest

» Say Anything linked with Islamic Hypocrisy

» The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 02/14/2006

» A Blog For All linked with Is It Really About the Cartoons?

» Whaddyathinkin linked with Islamo-rage roundup

» Don Surber linked with Tuesday's Best

» Hold The Mayo linked with Where Does It Stop?

Comments (28)

We were told by the MSM tha... (Below threshold)
Retread:

We were told by the MSM that the Arab Street would explode when we took on the Taliban in Afghanistan and again when we took on Sadam in Iraq, but who knew the way to really get their panties in a bunch was with cartoons? Typical bully behavior.

I know I'm too young to rec... (Below threshold)

I know I'm too young to recall 1992, but that Yokohama says too satirical to be true. And yet, here's the Associated Press on it...

Tokyo (AP) - A major Japanese tire maker has stopped making automobile tires with a tread pattern that resembles the Arabic word for Allah after receiving protests from Muslims.

Akira Mikami, spokesman for the Tokyo-based Yokohama Rubber Co., said that in Islamic countries his company will replace the tires free of charge.

The company also apologized for its lack of knowledge of Islam. Mikami said the tread was designed by computer to maximize driving safety and was not meant to blaspheme Allah.

That's crazy. It's just completely crazy. Company makes tire tread similar to Allah, and they apologize. Woman finds Virgin Mary on her grillled cheese sandwich, and she tells it on eBay. What next, people naming their first born "Buddha"?

Here's from Wikipedia, on a... (Below threshold)

Here's from Wikipedia, on a video game called "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time":

One of the songs, the original theme for the Fire Temple, angered the Muslim community, who felt that it was based on an Islamic prayer chant. In response, Nintendo redid the Fire Temple theme for later cartridges. Many fans prefer the original theme to the new one--the premium placed on the NTSC gold cartridges is in part because those cartridges have the original Fire Temple theme.

Sure enough, I popped in the original, and there's the chanting. One source says people were outraged because "Allah Akbar" is chanted, but I don't hear it.

Okay, so it didn't result in world-wide rioting, but it still shows another change in line with the shoes and tires. Someone should compile a list of things affect like this due to religions. Remember with Disney's Aladdin, where the DVD now has part of a line somewhat muted after complaints?

Ah, I'm triple posting, but... (Below threshold)

Ah, I'm triple posting, but I recalled another, mentioned on the same Wikipedia page:

Nintendo was later forced to change the crescent moon and star symbol of the Gerudo [a tribe of desert people in the game] to an original design in the GameCube re-release, again due to Muslim protest.

So, if you ever plan to make a video game, make sure you don't offend culture on the planet first!

I think the point is being ... (Below threshold)

I think the point is being missed here, Jay Tea...You have to continue your line of thought one more step. You got to the point where you recognize that the Muslims get murderously, destructively riled up over, essentially, fakes and lies thrust upon them by their own leaders (usually religious ones, oddly enough), but you have to take it the next step and realize and, frankly, come right out and say, that the outrage itself is a lie and is merely a front for their ongoing hatred and intolerance of Jews (or, as they are called in the Muslim world, 'pigs'...correct? Or was it some other sort of animal?). No matter what the reason, whenever they hit the streets the signs always end up reading, for example, "DEATH TO ISRAEL AND USA and maybe Denmark". The riots always seem to disintegrate at the core into riots about Israel (and the US, which supports Israel). Seriously, what do Israel and the US have to do with Mohammed cartoons in Denmark? Didn't stop them from blaming the US and Israel for them. Like the Danish artists that triggered the editorial drawings, people are censoring themselves to avoid stating the obvious, that this was just another excuse for them to get riled up about Israel.

Hey bethright, maybe you sh... (Below threshold)
Mark A. Flacy:

Hey bethright, maybe you should get your own damned blog if you are going to vomit some hippy preacher's sermon in the comments section.

Editor's note: The comment Mark refers to has been deleted. Anyone who cuts and pastes whole pieces of others' work, without a single original word of their own, into two different comment threads can expect likewise.)

Islam is really missing out... (Below threshold)
Geoff Parmer:

Islam is really missing out on the huge religious icon market. When a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary sells on EBay for thousands, you gotta wonder where the Mullah's business sense is.

I think we need to start a ... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

I think we need to start a contest: "Find Ten Everyday Objects In Your House That Are Offensive to Islam!" It's sort of like "Where's Waldo", except it's "Where's Muhammed". I'll go first:

1. There's a stain in the carpet, near our front door, that is offensive to Islam because it's approximately the same color as the Prophet Muhammed's (peace be upon him, or PBUH for short) beard.

2. My stereo headphones are offensive to Islam because they are shaped like a human head, and as we all know, the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) had a head.

3. There is a teaspoon in my kitchen that is offensive to Islam because it came in a silverware set that also contained some knives, and as we all know, knives are used for beheadings, which goes against Islam because Islam is a Religion of Peace, in the words of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

4. There's a basket in my closet that holds change. As we all know, change is also often found in piggy banks, which of course are evil Western imperialist representations of pigs, which are unclean in the words of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH); therefore, the basket with the change in it is offensive to Islam.

5. Standard U.S. electrical outlets are offensive to Islam because, if you stare at one long enough, it could sort of look like the face of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) if someone were to sneak up behind him and shout "Boo!". Which leads us to the next item...

6. Urethane insulation is offensive to Islam because it's used to, among other things, make RG-58 television cable, which might be used to carry evil infidel brainwashing television programming like "Iron Chef", "Pimp My Ride", or old reruns of "Are You Being Served?".

7. My washing machine is offensive to Islam. No, it's not what you think... Have you ever noticed that, when you wash a load of towels, when you open the lid after the load is done, the towels are all in a random squiggle pattern? Well, if you look hard enough, it sort of looks like the word "Muhammed" ("PBOH") might look if it were written out in Arabic by someone holding colored Sharpies between their toes.

8. The floor lamp in our den is offensive to Islam, because it's tall and skinny, like some of the minarets in Mecca, and of course it is forbidden in the architectural drawings of the Prophet Muhammed (PBOH) for infidels to depect Mecca, or anything that looks like it, or even a TV antenna.

9. Your average Bowflex machine is offensive to Islam, because if women were to use it, they might become more shapely creatures and therefore require a more shapeless hijab to avoid offending the Prophet Muhammed (PBOH), especially if it made them look less like 9-year-old girls. The jury is still out on old Tae-Bo tapes.

And finally, #10: My entire house is offensive to Islam, because... well, it just is.

I share Falze and another f... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I share Falze and another frequent commenter Robert's opinion that the real target of Radical Muslim's wrath is Israel and Jews in general or (as those Muslims would say the continued occupation of Palestinian land by the Israelis). However, at the same time I think we are missing the point when we continully equating Islam with Christianity or other religions..They really live their religion. We on the other hand, like Jay (and me) don't. Even most Christians have a sort of bemused regard to the different interpretains of the teachings and historicity of the prophets in the Judeo-Christian tradition .. Most Muslims on the other hand, it would seem, take any irreverence shown to their prophet, as a personal attack on them, since Mohamed is probably more important to them than members of their own family. I remember in the debate in 88, with George Bush senior Dukasis said he would still be against the death penalty...if his wife was raped and murdered..and he was derided ( in the turning point of the election for his mild tone)..So equally are those moderate Muslims who don't have the pulse of their followers.. so perhaps we shouldn't condemn them too much for not speaking out too forcefully.

Steve,Jay is agnosti... (Below threshold)

Steve,
Jay is agnostic. How does one not live agnosticism?

It's a bully, male-oriented... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

It's a bully, male-oriented macho attitude. We don't need diplomats to deal with them we need child psychologists. They carry a million different chips on their shoulders and I for one am sick and tired of apologizing because THEY knocked it off.

They are immature little children ranting at every imagined offense and want the world, literrally to bow to them. When you see a 5 year old behaving the same way you usally think the child needs to be taught how to behave properly and not like a spoiled brat. Why do we accept such behavior from supposed adults.

The radicals are bigots and we are tolerating it. If Israel ceased to exist does anyone really think their hatred would stop? Hell no, they'd just find something else. Jews aren't the reason they are just the convenient excuse.

When the cartoon flap first... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

When the cartoon flap first started to really get going I was worried that liberal leaning newspapers in the U.S. would republish them just to see Bush squirm. Now that even the Muslims see how their overreaction to cartoons is more defamatory to Islam than the cartoons themselves, I kind of expected conservative leaning newspapers to reprint the cartoons in hopes Muslims would continue to disgrace themselves. The only reason that hasn't happened is probably because there are no conservative leaning newspapers.

So, let's see. We have a... (Below threshold)

So, let's see. We have a bunch of religious zealots who have a history of getting hysterical over fabrications, exaggerations, and outright lies. Who also tend to see conspiracies against them everywhere.

Oh, you mean the Democrats?

Is there anything more dangerous than a horde of paranoid, sociopathic whackjobs who will believe whatever they are told as long as it will further fuel their rage?

Yep. It's the Democrats for sure.

SCSIwuzzy: Tough one...be b... (Below threshold)

SCSIwuzzy: Tough one...be becoming a priest, maybe?

I figure it's only a matter... (Below threshold)
Paul Zrimsek:

I figure it's only a matter of time before this label starts showing up on the stuff I buy:

THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS SUBSTANCES WHICH HAVE BEEN FOUND BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA TO BE OFFENSIVE TO ISLAM.
*sigh* "'by' becoming a pri... (Below threshold)

*sigh* "'by' becoming a priest"

Take that one more step Jay... (Below threshold)
JEW:

Take that one more step Jay and let them have a nuke!

Mac Lorry, Actua... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
Actually I got onto this wizbang site in the first place looking for the cartoons to see just what all the hoopla was about. But guess where I saw them, on FOX news, I guess you agree this is a "right leaning network" and that they might be trying to piss someone off. But who?
By the way, enjoyed our other discussion.
Happy Valentines Day from a "left leaning" individual.

Robin,By ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Robin,

By the way, enjoyed our other discussion. Happy Valentines Day from a "left leaning" individual.

Darn, there goes my nasty conservative reputation :) In all seriousness, few contributors to Wizbang has lived through the things you have told me about. The fact that you are still alive and willing to share your experiences and insights deserves respect. Guess some of what Ryan posted got through to me. Lets not chase away the very people who actually know something about Islam and the middle-east. Without their point of view all we are doing here is preaching to the choir.

Peace!

Mac Lorry, Thank... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
Thanks for the compliment. I didn't mean to "destroy your reputation" (just kidding). In all seriosness though, I am more than willing to engage in dialog with conservatives, especially those of your caliber who are willing to exchange rational ideas without the vitriol I have witnessed on so much of this. Name calling, slander and threats to others does not make for a good meaningful exchange and that's what I was trying to do.
Without destroying your reputation again, Happy Day! I'll be watching and maybe join in if I see an opening. Thanks again.

I took a dump the other day... (Below threshold)
moseby:

I took a dump the other day and the turds spelled "Allah" and I figured everything was pretty much alright with the world.

Moseby: Maybe yo... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Moseby:
Maybe you should call your proctologist because that is deffinitely a sign of deisease in your own rectum!
Just to let you know all you people out there who are spewing this bile, there are thousands and thousands of Americans who work and live overseas amongst the peoples of those foreign countries. Just like the hatred spewing from the mouths of fundamentalixt jihadists endangers moderate Moslems abroad and here in the US, THIS kind of speech above also endangers the lives of our own citizens abroad. If you cannot shut up and stop this because you are so filled with hate, at least go scream in the shower (or at the toilet as Moseb did) because it endangers the lives of our own citizens.
And where is this coming from you ask? From someone who has experienced living abroad in Europe and the Middle East and had to put up with being suspected of everything hateful that you people speak. You are all putting Americans abroad in jeopardy because any of these nuts could be reading this and it only breeds more of the same. And no I am not anti-free speech, I am anti-HATE!

The comments posted here ar... (Below threshold)

The comments posted here are filled with hate and racism.
Many of them are anti- Islam. It is because of people like you there is so much violence. Reading some of the comments here made my blood boil with hate. Such evil words incite violence.
Me and several other Muslims are offended because of such things. You'll need to learn to respect us. If not you will be forced to face our wrath. We need peace so racists better start counting their days, because we need to wipe them out.

Whoever is reading this: I... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Whoever is reading this: I am totally new at this but I am well aware that all you have to do is post another name in the name column and log on as someone else. Yesterday on another site I noticed someone who said they are an insider knew that various log-ons purporting to be different were coming from the same email address. If the person above is up to some kind of "malicious mischief" it is obvious and only shows that they would rather provoke more hate than come out from under the rock they are hiding. My above statement came from sincerity and knowing that when you act like the typical"ugly American" it puts other Americans abroad at risk. So Moseby or whoever you are, be a MAN and go check your toilet again for the blood your words can spill.

Moseby or whoever you are,<... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Moseby or whoever you are,
I am not so silly to think that Moslem terrorists are reading your inane comments, but I DO watch the news and know that they are hacking into sites concerning the cartoons. They've got much bigger fish to fry, those Americans working abroad who in many cases are sitting ducks and our military who suffers every day at their hands. So call me an idiot if you want to but these are the FACTS and you better darn well stop and think about it.

Hoo-Hoo Rob-Bin...Tell em F... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Hoo-Hoo Rob-Bin...Tell em Fred!!

Moseby, Fred, Turdblossom o... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Moseby, Fred, Turdblossom or Whoever
I have absolutely no idea what you mean by your above ignoramous statement, but if you wish to contribute to some intelligent dialog I am willing to participate. Just beware that I have a whole lot more experience on this subject matter than someone like you who confesses to seeing images in his stool!

I work for a Japanese car c... (Below threshold)
de:

I work for a Japanese car company that uses Bridgestone tires.

The allah tread issue was real, but it was a Bridgestone tire, the model 604VEQ to be exact.

We had to have that tread changed in 1993 because of complaints from Saudi Arabia.

This is totally real.

It cost us a fortune to clean out our warehouses, and to change the design to a non-offending pattern, (which was not as effective).




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