Before my vast reading public is all over me for it, allow me to trumpet that I had a mental lapse and called Toronto by the antique name "Byetown" [in the post below], which is, of course, the antique name for Ottawa, Toronto's being "Muddy York." I was seduced by the lure of alliteration-- what can I say?
Speaking of Ottawa, my periodic chum, daily correspondent, and fellow foot-dragger on respective books waiting to be written, David Warren, has unearthed the following salient details (with an assist to the Wall Street Journal) on the pedigree of the current anti-Danish Islamist rage, to be published in tomorrow's Ottawa Citizen. It 'splains a lot (emphases added):
The cartoons were nearly ignored when they first appeared: there was one death threat from a Muslim immigrant, but police determined the man was mentally ill. Trouble began stirring when imams called attention to the cartoons, with incendiary sermons in Danish mosques. An imam in Aarhus publicly reminded the editor of Jyllands-Posten of what had happened to the Dutch filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh. But even that could have blown over.Score one for the Orcs-- that rampaging, stampeding, swarming hoard of lies.
From several sources, we now know that word of the cartoons was then carried systematically through the Muslim world -- to principal mosques, madrasahs, and government offices starting in Egypt. This was done by delegations sent by Ahmed Abu-Laban, the Saudi-supported Imam of Copenhagen. And in addition to the dozen cartoons that had actually appeared in that obscure provincial newspaper -- most fairly innocent, and one actually satirizing opposition to Islam -- the delegation's "media kit" included 30 graphics that had never appeared, and by their nature would never appear, in a Western mainstream newspaper. For instance, a photo of a man dressed as a pig, over the caption, "This is the real Mohammad."
The fake pictures not only outnumbered the real ones, they were much nastier. Many were in the style of anti-Semitic cartoons that appear frequently in Arab papers, but turned around to target Muslims instead of Jews. And the covering letter, which I have read in translation, was full of outrageous lies about events in Denmark, and misrepresentations of what had been said by Danish journalists and politicians.
It is this document, and not any copy of Jyllands-Posten from Sept. 30th, 2005, that is at the root of the Muslim riots, the Saudi-sponsored pan-Arab boycott of Danish goods, and various fatwas and other acts that put Danes and other Europeans, who had never previously heard of Jyllands-Posten, in peril for their lives.
Off to Newfoundland tomorrow, where the only true blasphemy is taking cod's name in vain.