February 5, 2006 - The Arab-European League has come up with an enlightened response to the cartoon controversy. They have decided to fight cartoons with cartoons.
They have produced two cartoons so far: one denying the Holocaust, and another showing Anne Frank in bed with Hitler.
Here is their statement:
AEL Will Launch Cartoon Campaign
After the lectures that Arabs and Muslims received from Europeans on Freedom of Speech and on Tolerance. And after that many European newspapers republished the Danish cartoons on the Prophet Mohammed. AEL decided to enter the cartoon business and to use our right to artistic expression.
Just like the newspapers in Europe claim that they only want to defend the freedom of speech and do not desire to stigmatise Muslims,we also do stress that our cartoons are not meant as an offence to anybody and ought not to be taken as a statement against any group, community or historical fact.
If it is the time to break Taboos and cross all the red lines, we certainly do not want to stay behind. (Arab-European League web site)
Does the Arab-European League have the "right to artistic expression"? Of course. But look at what their use of that right says about them.
There are many differences between the AEL and the Danish cartoons (see right). The most notable difference is that the AEL cartoon is a lie. It is an attempt to deny the Holocaust, a favorite enterprise of anti-Semites. In contrast, the Danish cartoon used satire to tell the truth: that Islam is often used to justify violence. Need evidence? Just look at the violent demonstrations that have erupted around the world in response to the Danish cartoons. Anti-Semitic cartoons are certainly nothing new in the Muslim world; yet you will not see any Jews rioting in response to the AEL cartoons.
The other significant difference is that the Danish cartoons criticize a religion, while the AEL cartoons attack an ethnic group. The Holocaust really did happen. German soldiers did rape Jewish women, which makes the cartoon of Hitler and Anne Frank particularly loathsome. For an Arab advocacy group to claim these racist cartoons are in any way equivalent to the Danish ones only brings shame upon their cause.
And here is another point to ponder: Why are anti-Jewish cartoons an appropriate response to cartoons published in a secular Danish newspaper? Why attack the Jews every time something happens that Muslims don't like? Would anyone still care to deny that anti-Semitism is rife throughout the Muslim world?
Here are some new developments as of today:
Perhaps the Danish cartoonists were trying to warn us about something.
AEL Will Launch Cartoon Campaign." Arab-European League, February 3, 2006.
AEL Cartoon 1 (Anne Frank)." Arab-European League, February 3, 2006.
Associated Press. Mob Torches Danish Embassy in Beirut over Cartoons." Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2006.
News Agencies. Dutch Islamists Post Cartoons Depicting Anne Frank, Hitler in Bed." Haaretz, February 5, 2006.
Peace with Realism