When Muslims take to the streets in nearly 30 countries to engage in various degrees of anti-Western violence, something important is underway. Reflections on what this might mean:
The Rushdie Rules have gone viral: Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 masterstroke of imposing a death edict on Salman Rushdie has now spread and become the hum-drum response of Islamists to perceived insults. By telling the West what can and cannot be said about Islam, Khomeini sought to impose Islamic law (the Shari'a) on it. The recent round of violence has mostly taken the form of demonstrations and violence against Western buildings (diplomatic, commercial, educational) in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel & the Palestinian Authority, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, Syria (including the American-backed rebels), Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen as well as in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. So far, about 30 people have lost their lives. The Iranian and Egyptian governments both want to get their hands on the filmmakers of Innocence of Muslims, an anti-Muhammad film on YouTube they blame for the violence.
Islamists took over parts of Sydney's Central Business District on Sep. 14.
Anti-Islamic provocations have proliferated: Rushdie had no idea what he was walking into, as he explains in a book published this week. Others, such as the American soldiers who burned Korans in Afghanistan in early 2012, likewise unwittingly set off Islamist disturbances. But Florida pastor Terry Jones, the group behind Innocence of Muslims, and the French weekly Charlie Hebdo, as well as anti-Islamic groups in Canada and Spain, overtly want to rile Muslims. Thus have Islamists and anti-Islam activists developed a symbiotic relationship in which the one spurs the other....