By now we’re all used to the raging immature intolerance of the Islamic world when it comes to their own religion. They will not permit any “insult to Islam,” whether perceived or real — and are more than willing to resort to violence over it. They issued fatwas and death sentences against Salman Rushdie in the late 1980s over his novel The Satanic Verses. They rioted and destroyed property over the Mohammed cartoons in 2005. A year later Pope Benedict XVI dared quote the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, inciting more riots, death threats, and the usual vitriol.

But the latest example of this irrationality and immaturity took place in Morocco recently — and for no apparent reason:

The Moroccan government has banned the most recent issue of the French magazine L’Express International for insulting Islam.

Information Minister Khalid Naciri said Sunday that he had no choice but to ban the issue because of the offensive nature of the articles it contained. The minister said that Article 29 of the kingdom’s press code allows the government to shut down or ban any publication deemed to offend Islam or the king.

Note that the Moroccan government took this action without even bothering to explain the exact nature of the “offense” — making this particular example of Islamic intolerance even more incomprehensible than the usual example of furious intolerance (in which a reason for the outrage is cited, even though it usually makes no sense).

About the only good thing about this episode is that L’Express International hasn’t been firebombed or threatened (but it’s a little too soon yet to rule out that possibility). Someday the Islamic world is going to grow up and get over itself … but probably not in my lifetime, and not even in the next few centuries.

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