2006-02-09 10:20:00

Boris Klin.
Jihad in Europe: to be or not to be? (A reflection on how the provocations of would-be religious wheeler-dealers can generate a serious international scandal)

Most of politicians, religious leaders and analysts have agreed that the ‘cartoon’ scandal lasting for a second week now has been initiated by journalists of the Danish Jyllands-Posten who took a liberty to publish cartoons offensive to the Moslems. One can hardly disagree with them, but the responsibility for the raids on embassies and the pacification by shooting lies not only with them. The world mass media have almost overlooked the report that a delegation of a Danish Islamic organization when on its tour of the Middle East demonstrated to Moslems not the 12 cartoons from the Danish newspaper but 15, with three cartoons of unknown origin. Never published in the European press, these three cartoons were especially offensive and scabrous. The press secretary of the Council of Muftis in Russia, Ms. Gulnur Gaziyeva, commenting on this report, said that it did not matter ‘how many straws, 12 or 15, were there in the burning wisp thrown in a stack’. But is that so? As a matter of fact, what exactly blew up the situation - 12 cartoons, which did not ridicule the Prophet Mohammed but the ideas of him held by pseudo-Islamic terrorists, as their authors insist, or the three other cartoons, which were extremely vulgar, absolutely unfunny and certainly offensive for Muslims? The latter seems more probable.

The Danish Extra Bladet reports that it asked the press secretary of the Danish Islamic Community, Ahmad Akkari, why the unpublished cartoons were shown and why the faithful were never told that these drawing had noting to do with the Danish press. The answer was: we just wanted to show how badly they treat Moslems in Denmark. Incidentally, Western sources report that this organization unites not at all 200 thousand but only 15 thousand Moslems in Denmark. But they can be even fewer. Nobody can say with certainly in fact who various ethnic and religious public organizations represent. It is unknown how many people stand behind such associations. But the functionaries of these shady outfits like good and plentiful food. And they need money for that. Brothers in faith and blood are very reluctant to donate to their self-styled ‘representatives’. But there are metropolises which have their own political and economic interests. There are also well-off diasporas. And there is a long-tested technology of detaching money ‘relatively honestly’. One should simply demonstrate to remote compatriots and brothers in faith one’s miserable life as an oppressed minority. The three disgusting forgeries is a good means of knocking out money.

There is a plenty of such characters in Russia as well. Just as in Europe, we have our own ‘professional Muslims’, and they also work to prove to their sponsors the need for donations in favour of ‘the oppressed’. But the reassurance that Russian embassies are not burning yet is all in vain. It is a mere luck. An occasion is needed and Russian provocateurs will easily find it. Here is a fresh example: in spite of the calls of the Council of Muftis and the Central Moslem Board in Russia to restrain from protest actions, one of the Islamist web-sites has issues a call to Moslems to come to one of the mosques in Moscow for an action in protest against the published cartoons. A certain Moslem peace center plans to piquet the representation of the European Commission on the same day and a protest rally on February 17…

The editors may not share the author’s views.