More on the Hypocrisy of the West and Cartoongate
The Danish newspaper that published the caricatures of Muhammad refused to carry cartoons lampooning Jesus of Nazareth, The Guardian revealed on Monday.
‘ In April 2003, Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted a series of unsolicited cartoons dealing with the resurrection of Christ to Jyllands-Posten.
Zieler received an email back from the paper’s Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, which said: “I don’t think Jyllands-Posten’s readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them.”
The illustrator told the Norwegian daily Dagbladet, which saw the email: “I see the cartoons as an innocent joke, of the type that my Christian grandfather would enjoy.”
“I showed them to a few pastors and they thought they were funny.” ‘
I’ve gotten a lot of comments by email which have the structure, “Yes Europeans would be offended by X, but would it cause violence?” I presume these readers somehow consider the Irish not really Europeans.
As late as last September, we have an item like this from Belfast:
September 14, 2005
‘ Priest says Catholics live in fear after Protestant riots
After successive nights of extensive rioting by Protestant mobs in Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland, Catholics are living in fear, said Fr Aidan Troy of Holy Cross Parish in Belfast.
CLICK HERE”When rioting is taking place, members of this parish can’t leave the area, because access to the main roads is blocked. We’re supposed to be having a novena here this week, but speakers can’t get in to us because of the violence,” he told Catholic News Service.
Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde said the rioting was organised by Protestant paramilitaries – the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force – with disturbances breaking out in seven different locations in Belfast and five different locations outside the city in an effort to stretch police and army resources to the maximum. Protestant leaders deny the charge.
Rioting started last Saturday after the Independent Parades Commission ruled that a parade by the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternity, could not pass through a Catholic district.
Priest says Catholics live in fear after Protestant riots (Catholic News Service 14/9/05)
Irish Church leaders respond to renewed violence in Belfast (CathNews 13/9/05) ‘
Or let’s just consider this BBC item from 1986:
1986: Orange Parade sparks riots in Northern Ireland
Dozens have been injured in the second consecutive night of violence in Portadown, County Armagh.
Violence flared when Orangemen converged on the town yesterday evening after their annual marches to commemorate the Battle of the Boyne.
Protestant youths began throwing missiles at the police as they attempted to section off Catholic areas.
Disturbances are expected into the night with nationalist and loyalist rioters directing their anger against the security forces and each other.
Vehicles have been overturned and police have been attacked with darts, bottles and stones. Four were seriously injured including one who was dragged from his car and stabbed in the neck.
Dozens of casualties
RUC officers responded with baton charges and about 150 plastic bullets. A total of 127 police and civilians have been injured over the two nights.
Yesterday evening there were skirmishes between Catholic and Protestant factions as they hurled petrol bombs over wasteland in anticipation of today’s parade.
The march in the Portadown area passed off peacefully this afternoon after the Orangemen accepted a compromise from the RUC late last night.
The authorities expected trouble after sealing off the Tunnel section of Obins Street yesterday. This is the traditional outward route of the Portadown parade to Drumcree church.
When the RUC allowed Orangemen down Obins Street last Sunday there were angry scenes between police, loyalist marchers and Catholic residents.
Today, hundreds of troops joined the 1,000-strong force of officers lining the re-routed parade.
It took the 400 Orangemen from eight lodges 25 minutes to walk down the mainly Catholic Garvaghy Road. ‘
And that was over a Protestant Pride parade with reference to a historical battle, not something sacred like scripture! (And, yes, the Protestants were being deliberately provocative.)
There have also been clashes over rightwing religion in Europe. How about a riot at the Vatican in 1999 over the Pope meeting with a far rightwing Austrian politician, which left dozens injured?
‘ Riot breaks out as pope greets Haider – Pope John Paul II – Jorg Haider – Brief Article
National Catholic Reporter, Jan 5, 2001 by John L. Jr. Allen
Protesters, police clash, ending Holy Year in blast of teargas
When Pope John Paul II opened this Holy Year on Dec. 24, 1999, in St. Peter’s Basilica, no one anticipated it would end in a hail of smoke bombs and tear gas canisters a few hundred yards away. As it turned out, while the Jubilee year officially ends Jan. 6, many Romans will remember Dec. 16 as the day the year’s holiness evaporated in two hours of ferocious urban warfare.
The late afternoon melee on the Via della Conciliazione, the broad avenue that leads into St. Peter’s Square, was triggered by the pope’s welcome of Jorg Haider, Austria’s enfant terrible on the far right. By far the most violent protest directed at the Vatican in modern times, it left more than 30 protesters, 26 police and two journalists injured.
Haider, unofficial leader of Austria’s far-right “Freedom Party,” is Europe’s most controversial figure, in part for ambiguous statements about Nazism, in part for championing an anti-immigrant platform that many consider xenophobic. His party’s entry into the Austrian government nine months ago sparked wide international outrage and sanctions from the European Union, lifted only in September (NCR, Feb. 18).
The pope received Haider as governor of the southern Austrian province of Carinthia, whose turn it was to present the annual Christmas tree for St. Peter’s Square.
While Haider’s visit was the immediate cause of the tumult, participants insisted that it had deeper roots, reflecting mounting anger at the Vatican among some Italians who see it as an oppressive force. Many of the demonstrators believe the Jubilee Year of 2000 will be remembered more for a string of controversial political and theological moves from the Vatican than for any spiritual uplift.
In the moments before the violence exploded, many of the approximately 3,000 protesters, the majority in their 20s and 30s, voiced their anger in conversations with NCR. Some spoke of the Vatican’s staunch opposition to this summer’s world Gay Pride festival, which the pope called an “insult to the Grand Jubilee of the Year 2000.” Others said they regarded the Sept. 3 beatification of Pope Pius IX, controversial for his treatment of Italy’s Jewish minority in the 19th century, as a revival of Catholic anti-Semitism.
Still others voiced outrage over the treatment of women by the church, targeting especially the church’s opposition to the so-called “morning after” pill, which prevents implantation of a fertilized ovum. The Vatican has recently attempted to overturn the Italian government’s decision to make the pill available in pharmacies. Many objected also to what they see as high-level Vatican support for proposed immigration policies that would exclude Muslims. Such policies, proposed by Cardinal Giacomo Biffi of Bologna, have received support from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.
Some protesters pointed to the recent Vatican document Dominus Iesus, which stressed Christ as the unique savior of the world, as an example of religious intolerance.
“The visit of Haider to Rome is the logical conclusion to this Jubilee year, that has seen the Vatican embrace the right and discriminate against homosexuals, against immigrants, against women, against other religions,” said a young woman who addressed the crowd.
The protesters, a mixture of communists, university students, Jews, Greens and progressives, had planned to carry a large portrait of Auschwitz detainees with the slogan “never again” up the Via della Conciliazione to place it next to Haider’s tree. They were interrupted by a police line at the beginning of the avenue, in a small space named for John XXIII.
The violence broke out when a group of the protesters attempted to break through police barricades, using the portrait as a battering ram. The response was swift, with teargas blasts followed by waves of police swinging nightsticks moving into the crowd.
Some observers claimed the force was excessive. One man bleeding from a head wound told NCR he had been ordered by police to stop and had complied, only to be clubbed anyway. ‘
For those waxing holier than thou over the Muslim caricature riots, it is worth looking at the (very incomplete) Wikipedia list of riots for the late 20th century and early 21st century. The answer is obviously “yes” to the question of whether Westerners riot. Mostly over race.