Bill Clinton, in a speech recently stated that Muslims are now the new Jews, and deplored the replacing of anti-Semitic prejudice with anti-Islamic prejudice.
It was a surprise to see a boycott effort in the Middle East that actually worked [BBC]. Let's face it, if the Danish newspaper had the right to publish the papers, the Middle Easterners were free to boycott Danish products - whether it was right to do so is another matter - some Muslims disagree [Safiyyah's blog]. The loss of business forced these companies to complain to the government, which complained to the newspaper, which apologized. The boycott worked.
But what now that other countries of Europe has published the cartoons?
I believe this is a fantastic opportunity for the Arab world. Cancel the boycott. Announce that any European visiting an Arab country will get a free tourist visa, and can live with an Arab family. Start with the Danes. The Arabs are famous for their hospitality, and many locals will line up to have an European family stay with them. Dubai and other places are already hot tourist spots, this will be a perfect chance for people to people contact, for Europeans to see that Arabs and Muslims are not so different or scary after all.
UPDATE: My respect for the BBC has continued to grow. They did show some of the cartoons, but in the context of a news story, and shaded. The cartoons were not published to provoke Muslims or to make a point. They also hosted an interview with Dr James Zogby of the Arab American Institute in US. The questions asked by the news anchor were tough but fair and balanced, and they gave equal play to all sides in the dispute. This is journalism at its best, not sensational, tabloid journalism we have become used to from other sources.
The khatib at our Jummah place said Muslims should demonstrate their love of the Prophet Muhammad by not burning flags but rather following his examples - of generosity, of tolerance, of good behaviour.
Tags: Islam Muhammad (S) Cartoons Denmark