Stuff I think you should know

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Imam is a synonym for hate

In late December, a young Danish man flew to Beirut. In his suitcase was a package of spiral-bound booklets in green covers, neatly compiled using a colour photocopier. Their contents consisted mainly of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Ahmed Akkari, a young Islamic scholar and Danish activist, was on a mission. Having failed to get the Prime Minister to take action over the cartoons' perceived slight to Islam, he had sought reaction from hateful figures in the Muslim world, he says. The riots, he acknowledged, have placed his fellow European Muslims in a far worse position than they had previously known.

Over the next few weeks, he would hand copies of his green booklet to the grand mufti of Egypt, the chief cleric of the Sunni faith, leaders of the Arab League, the top official of the Lebanese Christian church and others. While the Koran does not forbid depictions of Mohammed, the prohibition stems from concerns the Prophet expressed that even well-intentioned images could lead to idolatry or show disrespect for Islam's founder. For his booklet contained not only the 12 depictions of the Prophet Mohammed that had appeared in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September. He also filled it with hideous, amateur images of the Prophet as a pig, a dog, a woman and a child-sodomizing madman.



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