The Art of Being Offended: Part Two

The Islamic Variations

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The Jews have a long standing tradition of humor that some scholars say goes back to the Hebrew Bible. There are scholarly theologians that can cite passages from the New Testament that they say are humorous renditions of Christian teachings. While Muslims are eager to tell you that the Koran is also filled with humorous references, they will tell you at the same time that there are guidelines and restrictions as to what and what is not permissible in the expression of humor. That in itself has a certain amusing irony. Hey, we’ll tell you when to laugh.

I’ll admit that when it comes to poking fun at religion, Islamic countries in the Middle East are at a disadvantage. They don’t recognize, much less tolerate the practice of other religions, so they really can’t compare and contrast other faiths to their own. Consequently, their perspective is singularly narrow. And I suspect that some of these draw-a-cartoon-of-Muhammed people take some sardonic pleasure in the in-your-face aspect of their caricatured confrontations. The Islamic world is again at a disadvantage. They lack the understanding and appreciation that modern people in Western cultures take for granted: Religion can be funny.

Discussing political correctness in the context of Islam is a little tricky. It’s sometimes difficult to separate the religious aspects from the political ones. But such is the conundrum that the Koran presents to the world. Muslim religion and politics are inseparable. While agnostic liberals express their concerns about the possibility of a Christian theocracy rising in America, we already have a working model of a worldwide theocracy. It’s called Sharia law, and it’s a significant source of legislation for most Islamic countries. In many cases it’s the supreme law of the land—an absolute legal system, derived from the Koran. From this perspective, we might conclude that recent outrage over Muhammad cartoons has very little to do with spiritual devotion, and everything to do with political manipulation.

Just like their progressive counterparts in the West, Muslims will bully and threaten those who won’t submit to their ideology. Of course they take it one step further by adding murder to their politically motivated tactics. It’s a sinister veil of pseudo-religious outrage that is nothing more than a brutal political posture.

Here’s a fun visual example of just how phony the Muhammad cartoon controversy really is. Look at the following pictures and list the number of images you think would be offensive to Muslims.

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If your number is anything greater than zero, then you have an ultrasensitive overactive imagination. These cartoons are as remote to anything close to Islam as the planet Pluto. Now look at the following pictures and count the number of offensive images.

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You will notice a minor difference that completely changes the context of the cartoons. The art of being offended is about ignoring the substance of the content, and focusing on how one chooses to perceive it. The result is an intentional and calculated misperception used to manipulate others for the purpose of political gain.

Putting politics aside momentarily, what exactly is offensive and why? The Left will have you believe that it’s entirely subjective. If someone says something is offensive, it is by their definition, offensive. End of discussion. But that’s never the end of the issue. Once something has been arbitrarily labeled offensive, the offending item must be purged from the public consciousness, and those responsible must be silenced, censored, and punished. Whether you’re an outraged Muslim, or a posturing liberal, you can never escape the politics. It’s what being offended is all about.
 

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