The Cartoon Jihad Continues

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On February 14-15, 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark was hit by two closely related terror attacks in the space of a few hours. The first one hit a debate meeting about free speech and religion. The second targeted a synagogue and a local Jewish community. The presumed perpetrator of these twin attacks, the militant Muslim Omar El-Hussein of Palestinian Arab heritage, was eventually shot and killed during a confrontation with the police.

Some early reports suggested that Omar El-Hussein was a “lone wolf” terrorist. This is highly questionable. It was probably he who fired the actual shots that killed two men and wounded several others. Yet that does not mean that he acted in total isolation.

Within a few weeks, five young Muslim men had been formally charged with aiding the gunman Omar in his attacks, either by providing him with equipment he used or by trying to get rid of equipment for him.

Omar the terrorist certainly was not alone with his Islamic beliefs. Originally a violent criminal rather than a religious Jihadist, he seems to have become radicalized during his stay in prison. He apparently shared a prison cell with a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Assertions have been made by media sources that the terrorist may have visited a radical Copenhagen mosque preaching hatred of Jews just one day before his attacks. These claims remain uncertain. What is clear is that his acts were motivated by commonly held Islamic beliefs, inspired by Islamic texts.

To some Muslims, Omar the murderer is a “great hero” who deserves “a place in paradise.” Hundreds of people attended his funeral. Not all of them were relatives. Some of those who were present probably attended Omar’s funeral not in spite of, but because of the fact that he was a terrorist and murderer. A few radical Muslims admitted this openly.

It is interesting to notice that Omar El-Hussein was a petty criminal before becoming a terrorist. It seems as if the step from violent crime to violent Jihad is not always that big. As I have observed in some of my previous essays, looting and stealing the property of non-Muslims has been part of Jihad from the very beginning. In fact, so much of the behavior of Muhammad himself and the earliest Muslims could be deemed criminal that it is difficult to know where crime ends and Jihad begins.

Muslims make up a vastly disproportionate number of prison inmates in countries such as France and Britain. Some Muslims become further radicalized in jail, while some violent criminals convert to Islam behind bars. The Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels has worked with criminal Muslims. He noticed that they rarely feel any sense of remorse for the crimes they have committed. Instead, they see themselves as victims of outside forces, scheming infidels or the will of Allah. Muslims are never guilty of anything. They are always victims.

Jyllands-Posten is one of the largest newspapers in Denmark. On September 30, 2005, it published a series of drawings of Islam’s founder and alleged prophet Mohammed. I was one of the very first people to write about this case in English. Already in October 2005, I was posting essays in support of Jyllands-Posten and free speech at my old blog.

Yet it took several months before the case really exploded on the international scene. Ahmad Akkari is a former radical Muslim. In late 2005, he traveled along with several others in Muslim countries to whip up anger over the Danish Mohammed cartoons. Unfortunately, this succeeded. In 2013-2014, Akkari publicly apologized to the Danish nation and distanced himself from his previous actions.

By early 2006, protests against the Danish Mohammed cartoons were becoming huge and violent in multiple Muslim countries. Several Islamic terror plots to massacre the staff of Jyllands-Posten have later been exposed and prevented. Some of the cartoonists have received death threats. One of the Danish artists, Kurt Westergaard, has been attacked by a militant Muslim in his own home. He managed to hide in a panic room and survived.

A decade after the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoons controversy, the Jihad against artists and writers continues. It claimed new victims in Paris on January 7, 2015, when two armed militant Muslims brutally massacred the staff of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The Jihadist terrorists killed 12 people because the magazine had published satirical cartoons showing Mohammed. An amateur video of the assailants’ subsequent gunfight with the police showed the men shouting: “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have killed Charlie Hebdo!” This was followed by attacks against Jewish targets in Paris.

On May 3, 2015, two Muslims attempted an attack in Garland, Texas on an exhibit featuring cartoons depicting Muhammad. Fortunately, the police killed the Jihadists before they could carry out a massacre. The event was organized by the group American Defense Freedom Initiative, led by the conservative Islam-critical writers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. It was attended by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Bosch Fawstin, a former Muslim, won the contest for the best Mohammed cartoon.

This attack did not trigger the same mass media sympathy as the attack on the left-wing magazine Charlie Hebdo had done a few months earlier. Some accused Geller, Spencer and Wilders of having provoked this Islamic terror attack. Even alleged conservatives such as the businessman Donald Trump, or Bill O’Reilly from Fox News, denounced Geller and Spencer.

It is widely believed that the Swedish artist Lars Vilks was the primary target of the terror attack at the Krudttønden cultural center in Copenhagen on February 14, 2015. He had been an artist and art historian for many years. But then Professor Vilks decided to draw some cartoons of a man who may or may not have lived in the seventh century AD. As a result, militant Muslims want to murder him. Vilks has to be protected by armed police even when he visits the bathroom. He is now virtually a refugee in his own country.

Since the Copenhagen attacks, Vilks has now also been evacuated from his former home in southern Sweden. In the spring of 2015, a few journalists were able to meet him in a mobile home on a Swedish field. They were guarded by dozens of armed policemen and dogs, with a helicopter standing by. It was deemed too unsafe to meet Vilks anywhere else, so they settled for a caravan. Åsa Linderborg, a former Communist activist and now columnist at the left-leaning daily Aftonbladet, was present at this meeting. Linderborg questions how much the security surrounding Vilks costs, or should cost. There is obviously some security around the royal family and senior members of the government. Yet the most threatened person in all of Sweden today is not the King or the Prime Minister. It is a mild-mannered and polite professor of art history.

I have been fortunate enough to meet Lars Vilks several times. He immediately struck me as a very pleasant man, friendly to virtually everybody he meets. He is highly intelligent and educated. Yet he has none of the snobbishness you sometimes see in artists. Like Raoul Wallenberg before him, he is doing his best to save his nation’s honor in a dark age. And like Wallenberg before him, Vilks is paying a heavy price for doing so.

Meanwhile, every day Sweden lets in more Muslim immigrants who could potentially attack Islam-critics or others. The influx of asylum seekers is so large that the country barely has enough housing for all of them. At the same time, the understaffed police force can hardly keep up with the rise of foreign mafias and public gang shootings. A single Swedish city, Gothenburg, has produced more Jihadists fighting for the Islamic State than all of Italy, and a number comparable to that of the entire USA.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is one of the most brutal groups on the entire planet. They routinely engage in suicide bombings, mass beheadings, massacres of civilians, mass rape and open slave auctions. This savagery seems to attract a disturbing number of Muslims. It certainly does not repel them. One observer in Britain warned that the barbaric Jihadists of the Islamic State have become “pop idols,” similar to what The Beatles were decades ago: “The boys want to be like them and the girls want to be with them.”

In the 1960s, British youngsters were singing songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the English rock band The Beatles. Today, “British” youngsters are cheering for beheadings and Jihadist massacres. What a difference fifty years and a lot of demographic replacement makes. This transformation proceeded even faster elsewhere. Sweden went from Abba to Allah in less than four decades.

In response to this, Swedish authorities have engaged in very controversial policies of providing returning ISIS Jihadists with generous support from state institutions, including housing. Meanwhile, a decent, kind and honorable man such as Lars Vilks is homeless in Sweden, due to credible death threats from Jihadists.

Such is the state of freedom of speech today. The Jihad continues. Unfortunately, so does the appeasement.


For a complete archive of Fjordman’s writings, see the multi-index listing in the Fjordman Files.

13 thoughts on “The Cartoon Jihad Continues

  1. Hello Fjordman,
    Thank you for this essay. I am happy that you follow proper journalistic practice in characterizing Mohammed’s prophethood as “alleged”.

    Although it is tangential to your points, I note that you refer to “the conservative Islam-critical writers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.” What justifies the description “conservative”? I understand that “conservative” and “liberal” refer to locations on a political spectrum of beliefs about the proper role of government, ranging from left (socialist, liberal) to right (conservative, capitalist). What have these two writers ever written that would locate them at some point along this spectrum? Their subject matter is not politics, but Islam, toward which they take the same positions as any liberal should. To put it as a mathematical metaphor, the pro- and anti-Islam axis is orthogonal (irrelevant) to the political left-right axis.

    • Haha! You’re quite right — let’s see if Fjordman has anything to say about this.

      Maybe opposition to Obama is enough to make any American a “conservative”.

      • Opposition to neo-Marxism is enough to make you “conservative”. Even if you proposed some sort of anti-Marxist, materialist, and atheistic ideology with “scientific” claims then you would be labeled a “conservative”.

        Left originally meant opposed to monarchy, and right meant supportive of monarchy. Now left means supportive of neo-Marxism and right means absolutely anything that opposes any part of neo-Marxist doctrine.

        The status quo is now neo-Marxist orthodoxy rather than monarchy, and the right or “conservative” is absolutely anything that opposes that.

        • Monarchy, as in absolute rule over a people, may be safely locked away in the cupboard of bad ideas along with other forms of totalitarian government, which may be seen in modern terms as the preserve of the hard Left.

          Constitutional Monarchy, if that is what you mean, is a completely different system where the ‘monarch’ is only recognized as the titular head of the country without any political power whatsoever. It’s about as close to being a republic by the people without that actual title and is generally seen as holding the middle ground on the political spectrum.

          Australia is a Constitutional Monarchy.

          • No, I was actually talking about the original meaning of the terms from the French Revolution when “right” literally meant traditionalists in support of absolute monarchy, and “left” meant anything else.

            Now, the way the terms are used, left means Marxism and right is pretty much anything opposed to Marxism including libertarianism or advocates for equal standards applied to everyone.

            The propaganda tactic being used is to claim that anyone opposed to Marxist-derived beliefs is some sort of backwards absolute monarchist or tool of the aristocratic bourgeoisie.

            Essentially, Marxists have been allowed to redefine the terms to indicate little more than support for or opposition to Marxism, and to throw everything including the Tea Party and ISIS into the “right wing” category.

            This is where you get all the stupid comments about the tea party being terrorists. If you’ve been brainwashed into this false left/right dichotomy then everything that isn’t Marxist is the same as the Taliban.

    • Maybe it’s because America’s totally unaccountable and dysfunctional (only) two party system, forces every issue to be either ‘red’ or ‘blue’. Since ‘blue’ is (supposedly) for everything BUT Christians, whites, heterosexuals, and males then anyone who hates islam (no matter how much it deserves to be hated) is, by default, ‘red’.

      Geller and Spencer do a fairly good job of staying on topic. I’ve read excellent articles by other people like Shoebat and then the next article is about the ‘evils’ of abortion which totally turns liberals (and libertarians) like me off. I’ve never seen Geller or Spencer do that, although sometimes their capitalism and religiosity seeps through a bit.

  2. Pamela Geller was clearly influenced by Ayn Rand—not a conservative, but libertarian in outlook. I don’t think Spencer expresses political opinions that don’t pertain to Islam in such of his writings I’ve read. I wouldn’t hazard calling either of the two conservative, or even “mildly right-wing.” (Right-wing is now such a counter word…)

    • There are Lefties and there are the rest of us, most of this “rest” refusing any designation because they don’t quite fit. The Lefties believe in the ability of government to solve problems, despite what reality shows them. It’s more like a religion in some ways. Got a problem? Government projects, plans, and solutions will take care of it. Like it took care of poverty, the gap between the uber-wealthy and the growing ranks of the poor/mentally ill/disabled, and the dismemberment of our cities. The Left not only believes in solutions, but it is sure they can be permanent.

      Russell Kirk is considered the father of modern conservatism. It was his contention that conservatism was an adjective, not an affiliation. Conservatism is a way of viewing various facets of our world, beginning with its inescapable suffering. Thus there are those whose beliefs about culture and society could be considered conservative, i.e., traditional, because they believe the current zeitgeist is rotten from the top down. The only guardrails one can establish on a runaway, rotted-out system is careful rules about responsibilities and behavior, particularly personal behavior. If those are aligned, liberty flows naturally from their conjunction. Both are necessary – as the Baron says, “justice must be seen to be done”.

      If the definition of a mensch is someone who is both compassionate and tough, then conservatism would be a culture of mensches.

      Because conservatives value tradition and believe there are norms that ought be adhered to for the sake of the larger commonweal (and for the sake of those even larger consequences following on the playout of present unknown unknowns). They tolerate divorce as an unfortunate outcome of a hedonistic culture that doesn’t value putting down permanent roots anywhere. Instead, people pick up and move as the economy demands without a thought as to what harm this rupture might cause within their immediate family and extended kin.

      Conservatives usually find abortion destructive to the unborn and to the would-have-been parents in a manner similar to the effects of divorce on children who made it past the womb and their parents. No one wins; there are only survivors.

      In the Leftists’ ideal world, government would make the important decisions and all the decisions – including what to have for lunch – are important.

      In a conservative world, important decisions are made in the immediate family. For them, both divorce and abortion would be rare and its survivors would be treated with care. Their concern is that not enough thought goes into the sequelae of abortion, or multiple abortions or of divorce. Human connections are fragile webs and sometimes the full effects can’t be known until it’s too late to mend.

      Social conservatives find the current hook-up culture – and the huge increase in STDs in young people – to be of great concern. Among young women the suicide rate is increasing (don’t have the link to something I read last week on the phenomenon). Our boys are being culturally castrated or turned into caricatures of alpha males…ugh. For both of them, the lure of asexuality is rising. They’re bowing out of the gender wars but as individuals they don’t know their individual aversions are becoming a new norm. It’s an elegant solution really, saying in effect, a pox on both your houses.

      The Left owns the public space right now, conquered and contained as it is by social Marxism/Darwinism. Every single intellectual niche you can think of is ruled by The Narrative, by The Settled Consensus. You object at your peril. Which is why Pamela Geller is a refreshing change – a pushback. It is not a task that can be undertaken without lots of wealth to support your views – one reason I am glad she is wealthy enough to protect herself from those who actively seek to do her harm.

      Compare her work with so-called right wing foundations, think tanks and corporations. What precisely are they doing to robustly address the tremendous wrong Islam is pushing onto the West? It’s no coincidence that the UK won’t let Ms. Geller in to speak. She would be addressing the disaffected, those without a voice, and she would do it lustily. The government can’t afford that.

      The various albatrosses of unintended consequences hang from the neck of the Left but they can move as though unburdened because they own the public media, the “education” system, mainstream Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, and most important, the unions and the huge class of government workers. It is often hard to distinguish the last two parts of the Left machine, that same machine which destroyed the American city and the American family. It is sad to watch the black victims shake their chains and cheer for those who put them on in the first place. Deluded doesn’t begin to describe the phenomenon.

      Interestingly, many of those who swear public allegiance to the Left and its power live their own private lives as though they held conservative views. Cognitive dissonance or what?

      Economic conservatism is another ball of wax. Maybe next time. Or just read the slim accumulation of work left behind by Frederic Bastiat. In him, the two converge, but the economic foundation is paramount.

      • Dymphna, this very well written and eloquent comment should be a post! I couldn’t agree more with what you have explained.

  3. According to “Mo”, remorse is a DEADLY SIN.

    The only inkling of “remorse’ one can expect from these tracer-bait is that they did not kill and maim MORE in each atrocity.

  4. I am coming to think the whole motoon pony show is a big mistake. I do not doubt that it is morally justified. I do not mean in any way to disparage the astonishing courage of people like Vilks. I broadly support Geller and Spencer and what they do. But this campaign is alienating the slumbering masses, and this does not help a counterjihad movement that remains, after all these years, marginalized, stygmatized and largely impotent. Without the sympathy of the average Joe nothing will change. So let’s stop trying to *lose* his sympathy, by pointlessly provoking Muslims with childish gestures that only really impress the like-minded. The only thing that matters is changing minds, and motoons are not making this happen. Plus, they are costing lives.
    The fact is, Muslims are in Europe ultimately at the invitation of Europe’s stupid and blind electorates. Most have a documented right to be there, whatever you think of that, and a right to practise their faith. Mocking the liturgical taboos of Islam is a waste of time, and it is tilting at the wrong target. New tactics are needed.

    • The problem is that you’re judging the motoon phenomenon based on its lack of intellectual content, and the secondary factors of people being turned off by it and such.

      The primary concern is that what you actually want (some sort of intelligent criticism and discussion) is impossible as long as we have media and government self-censorship barriers in place and widespread psychological denial of the issues. Whatever tactics are needed to break this are worthwhile, even if they seem silly.

      The spotlight is being placed on both media self-censorship and government censorship. These cartoons make such things very obvious as people wonder why reporting on them doesn’t contain the images that they would otherwise expect to see, for example. Then they wonder what else they are not seeing. As a result, a lot more not-so-silly discussion is taking place.

      If you’re running into people who are upset about “needlessly offending” or “provoking” Muslims, the best thing to do would be bring up the real issues that matter such as the censorship barriers to criticizing mainstream Islamic doctrine in the news media, public advertising, and elsewhere. For example, is intelligent analysis and criticism of Islamic doctrine also “needlessly provoking violence” from Muslims? Ask them how the Renaissance could have taken place if everyone had decided that criticizing religious doctrine were considered to be “needlessly provoking violence”.

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