These 'toons are unfamiliar

If you looked at world headlines lately and didn’t know about the furor caused by cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, you would swear something is about as not right as it can get.

Nigerian Muslims riot over cartoon protest, 16 dead
4 Wounded in Pakistan Cartoon Protest
Pakistan cracks down on cartoon riots
Police fire on cartoon protest in Pakistan, at least four injured …

People are killed and wounded in a CARTOON protest. Pakistan cracks down on CARTOON riots. At first glance one might think that all of this tumult is taking place in a cartoon rather than over a cartoon. Or perhaps that is the way my mind works when I glance at something that seems to be at odds with the world as I know it.

I will say this: I don’t understand what’s going on with all the rioting. I know what this is all about, but I don’t understand it. My suspicious Western mind believes these are not all spontaneous outbreaks. I don’t think that a large group of Muslims are running into each other on the street corner and saying to one another: “Hey, let’s go burn down the Danish embassy because of the cartoon depicting Mohammed.”

Beyond my suspicions, I just don’t understand people getting so bent out of shape over a cartoon. But then, I’m not a Muslim. I probably won’t ever understand it. I will know what the core arguments are, but fathom it I will not.

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