This is the image by Lars Vilks published in Nerikes Allehanda along with the editorial. With permission by the Artist. Via Wikipedia.Notice: There’s been additional news from Copenhagen through the day; please see below for updates.

Today there was another eruption of violence over cartoons that, supposedly, “insult” Islam and its prophet, and in the minds of many Muslims, are utterly forbidden to all (not just Muslims). CNN reports on this morning’s shooting in Copenhagen (WebCite cached article):

Gunmen in Copenhagen, Denmark, stormed a building where controversial cartoonist Lars Vilks and his supporters had gathered Saturday, killing one man and wounding three police officers before driving away from the scene, police and witnesses said.…

The attackers fled the scene in a dark Volkswagen Polo, according to Copenhagen police.

Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen tweeted that he was “dismayed and deeply concerned by the shooting,” which French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called a “terror attack.”

Lars Vilks has been targeted by Islamists since 2007 when he produced cartoons portraying Islam’s prophet Muhammad as a dog. There have been several attempts on his life, and in 2010, Islamists tried to set his house on fire (cached). This time they got a lot closer to him, and someone died because of it.

One thing 'Bombhead' by Kurt Westergaard / Jyllands-Posten's Muhammad Cartoons, 2 / Jyllands-Posten, via About.Comthat really needs to stop is for scholars, pundits, and media outlets to trumpet repeatedly that the Qur’an doesn’t forbid depictions of its prophet. Maybe it does; maybe it doesn’t. But even if it doesn’t, that makes no difference: Clearly there are Muslims in the world who think it does, and who’re willing to murder people over it. Nothing else is relevant here.

That said, Lars Vilks Muhammad cartoon, via GawkerI fail to see why a religion’s imperatives must be obeyed by everyone, even those who don’t belong to that religion. It seems irrational for Muslims to assume non-Muslims would adhere to the strictures of their faith and behave as though they’re Muslims. I really don’t get why someone could think that.

I can only assume this sort of killing is the result of infantilization. Unfortunately, religious infantilization is hard to defeat; it takes courage and effort to take on one’s own co-religionists, discipline them, and force them to grow the fuck up. Most human beings don’t have enough courage, and don’t want to put forth that kind of effort. So they just stand back and let the infantilization — and its attendant rage and fury, and occasional riots and killings — keep right on going. It’s much easier that way.

As I always do in cases like this, I’ve added some gratuitous Muhammad cartoons to this blog post. Maybe it will sanctimoniously enrage some more violent Islamists. Go ahead, little crybabies — rage and fume all you like. The more you do, though, the more you reveal yourselves as the overgrown infants you actually are. Wah wah wah.

Update 1: When I wrote this earlier today there had only been the one attack that I mentioned. But a second took place later on, near a synagogue. The CNN story reflects this news, but my quotation above does not (to see what it looked like when I first wrote this post, see the cached page; to see what it looks like as I added this update, see this cached copy). So, unsurprisingly, the Islamist tantrums over cartoons continue.

Update 2: I awoke this morning to discover, as reported by the (UK) Guardian and others, the suspect in these shootings has been killed (cached).

Update 3: Authorities named the deceased suspect as one Omar el-Hussein, as the (UK) Telegraph and other outlets report; he’s Danish-born and had a history of violence, including a crime for which he’d been released from prison only weeks ago (cached).

Photo credits: Top, Nerikes Allehanda via Wikipedia; middle, Jyllands-Posten via About.Com; bottom, Nerikes Allehanda via Gawker.

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  • SantiBailors

    While some Muslims might have taken issue with the fact that their prophet was depicted – and I totally agree that that is their problem only, because that's a (supposed) rule of their religion only – I am at the same time strongly under the impression that the problem for the vast majority of Muslims is not that Mohammed was depicted but obviously that he was depicted as a terrorist, a pig, a dog or whatever. The insulting intention of that should be obvious even to the most radicalized anti-religion person, and I believe you furtively ignored this in order to push your childish hate agenda. I would also be curious to understand why so many people use the excuse that it is not insulting because it is "satire": religious aspects aside, where is the funny part in depicting anyone like a pig etc. ? Does that really make anyone laugh ? It's as funny as farts in comedy.
    I think the following shows how childish you are: "…. the overgrown infants you actually are. Wah wah wah."

    • Re: The insulting intention of that should be obvious even to the most radicalized anti-religion person, and I believe you furtively ignored this in order to push your childish hate agenda.

      Interesting you'd tell me that I have a "childish hate agenda." Not sure where that could come from. I didn't slaughter anyone over a cartoon. Nor did I call for anyone to be slaughtered. It doesn't matter how "insulting" any cartoon is … there is no entitlement to massacre people over it. Call me any name you want, but that remains the case. If you can't comprehend how monumentally juvenile it is to murder people, over a mere insult, then you have a different definition of immaturity than I do. I guess. I mean, I consider "maturity" to be at least partly an ability to put up with insults and move past them. These are people who don't deserve to be defended, so I'm not sure why you would do so, or condemn me for pointing out how murderously infantile they are. But hey, it's a free country and I guess you're entitled to support the notion that "insults" are sufficient reason to murder people, if you want.

      • SantiBailors

        Of course these are people who don't deserve to be defended and should get the hardest punishment possible, where is the part where I "defend" those terrorists ? And where is the part where I condemn you for pointing out how murderously infantile they are ? I just pointed out that your condemning was done with an infantile attitude and tone, which is also reflected in other parts of your post; I didn't say these terrorists shouldn't be condemned, I don't know where you got that – actually I think you made that up in bad faith.
        And where is the part where I say or suggest that "insults" are sufficient reason to murder people ? Made that up too, huh ?
        This is exactly the problem with radicalized people like you: you better agree with them or else you will be labeled as one who agrees with their enemies. This is childish to say the least, and so tragically typical.

        • Re: "Of course these are people who don't deserve to be defended and should get the hardest punishment possible, where is the part where I "defend" those terrorists ? "

          You brought up that they were "insulted." If you didn't intend that to mean they'd been sufficiently provoked, then why was that even relevant? That the cartoons were "insulting" doesn't matter. As I said, there's no such thing as a license to kill over an insult.

          Re: "I just pointed out that your condemning was done with an infantile attitude and tone, which is also reflected in other parts of your post …"

          OK, so you're comparing what you've subjectively determined the infantile "tone" of my post with the murderously infantile motivations of people who kill over an insult? I don't see any comparison.

          Re: "And where is the part where I say or suggest that "insults" are sufficient reason to murder people ?"

          Again, you brought up that they'd been provoked by an insult. Why would you have done so if you hadn't thought it was enough? I get these people felt "insulted," but really … were they? I ask that in all seriousness. How, precisely, was anyone actually, demonstrably harmed by a Mohammad cartoon? Or for that matter by Piss Christ or any other art that some religions determine is "blasphemous"? In the end, there's no damage to anyone or anything. Blasphemy can't harm a religion, nor can it harm any of its followers. Religions always survive blasphemous incidents just fine, and so too do their believers. Why would you even have brought it up unless you considered the "insult" compelling enough, somehow, to justify killing?

          Re: "This is exactly the problem with radicalized people like you …"

          What bullshit. If I were as "radicalized" as these Islamists, I'd be out there killing people over my lack of beliefs. Give me a break.

          Re: "This is childish to say the least, and so tragically typical."

          What's "childish" here is your implication that I'm just as bad as Islamists who kill because their prophet was dissed.