And it could be smell of rotting Danish products as a result of the most recently implemented boycotts. Saudi Arabia is turning up the volume on the ante when it comes to the offensive cartoons that depicted the Prophet Mohammad pbuh in a Danish newspaper and more recently in Norway as well.The Saudi government recalled its ambassador and now there are boycotts for Danish products which may impact some 1.3 million Saudi Riyal worth of exports to the country.
What this all comes down to is this: Denmark has greatly underestimated just how bad this situation would turn out…
the Danish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Hans Klingenberg, said on Thursday that his government underestimated the crisis. “There is a risk that we in Denmark have underestimated the indignation and anger that these cartoons have caused in the Muslim world,” he told Jyllands-Posten. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen refused in October to meet with 11 ambassadors of Muslim nations to discuss the issue and reluctantly said in a New Year statement that free speech should not taken as a pretext to insult religions. [source]
Arla Foods is EuropeÃ¢??s second-largest dairy company and the leading Danish exporter to Saudi Arabia, where it sells an estimated two billion kroner ($328 million) worth of products every year. Ã¢??More and more supermarkets are taking our products off their shelves and donÃ¢??t want fresh supplies because consumers no longer want to buy our brand,Ã¢?Â Arla Foods spokesman Louis Honore told AFP. Ã¢??The situation is very serious.Ã¢?Â [source]
I’ve already written on this topic this week, specifically in the context of recent moves by the Jordanian parliament to condemn the cartoons officially. I have however yet to see (or hear) any moves on the part of the people in Jordan to do their part. It is highly unlikely that I will see (or hear) that. Specifically for two reasons (and I don’t know which one is more pressing):
1- Jordanians can’t even boycott Israeli or American products and they live next door to two occupations of two Arab nations by both those parties. Case in point, Starbucks is now big in Jordan even though it’s one of the biggest corporate donors to the Israeli war machine. (I hear if you can climb up to the roof on Starbuck in Abdoun you can actually get a good view of Palestine at night while you sip your latte)
2- Jordanians love their NIDO
I just wanted to point a few more things
First the origin of these cartoons stems from a Danish experiment. On October 12, 2005 in the Copenhagen Post, the Editor in Chief of Jyllands-Posten the paper which printed these cartoons, said they encouraged cartoonists to submit these drawings in an attempt to deliberately provoke and insult Muslims while testing the waters of “fundamentalism”.
The newspaper urged cartoonists to send in drawings of the prophet, after an author complained that nobody dared to illustrate his book on Mohammed. The author claimed that illustrators feared that extremist Muslims would find it sacrilegious to break the Islamic ban on depicting Mohammed.
To test fundamentalism? Ah! A lesson in Islamic fundamentals: why is it such a big thing to draw the Prophet pbuh?
Well there is nothing in the Sharia’ (Islamic law) which specifically says we can’t draw the Prophet pbuh (at least to my knowledge) and indeed it has been done in the past by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the former usually using a white light or white veil to cover his face.
However in Islam there is the fear that people, as they tend to do, will end up worshiping the Prophet or confusing him or mixing him with God. In Islam there is a strict separation between Prophet and God to the extent that even the Prophet pbuh was never allowed to have sons, out of fear that people would worship him as they worship the relationship of linage, such as King to Prince, as is done today. Art falls along the same line of thought, especially since Islam came at a time when people worshiped false idols such as stone statues. Today we see the same thing when it comes to other religions and pictures which depict Prophets, gods or demi-gods.
This Danish Experiment, which is what I’m going to call it because I feel like having a Danish right now, was done with the intent of being offensive, the cartoons themselves are obviously offensive in nature. The experiment had the purpose to test the waters or fundamentalists but in the process ended up offending all Muslims worldwide who despite any differences, share the same fundamental beliefs of Islam.
And this is why it’s no suprise to see any Muslim stand up to this despite how silly it may seem to non-Muslims.