I may post another part tonight for Facing the Heart in Darkness. Or I may just crawl directly into bed. Depends on how sucky I feel.
I do apologize for the delay, but this stomach bug sucks.
Anyway, I've been seeing some discussion about the Danish Charicature Riots, especially among the Europeans on my FList. As I've been in and out of it pretty much for the past five days, I haven't really gotten involved in the discussion nor have I been able to really think clearly about it.
I did, however, find a very good write up about what happened this past weekend.
Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan who specializes in Middle Eastern Studies has the best, most balanced, and most level-headed take on the caricatures that riled the Muslim world that is very much worth reading.
I want to underline that few places in the Muslim world have seen violence over the caricatures, so far mainly Damascus and Beirut (which are unexpected in this regard.) Protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and elsewhere have been nonviolent. This is not to play down the seriousness of what happened in Damascus and Beirut over the weekend — acts which can only inspire horror and condemnation — only to set it in context. There are 1.5 billion Muslims. A lot of Muslim countries saw no protests at all. In some places, as in Pakistan, they were anemic. The caricature protests are resonating with local politics and anti-imperialism in ways distinctive to each Muslim country. The protests therefore are probably not mostly purely about religion.
I really recommend that you read the whole thing...
ETA: A Sign of the Times...
Once upon a time, you'd have to search someone's bedroom and find the diary when you had people like Jacob D. Robida, the New Bedford 18-year-old who attacked patrons in a New Bedford gay bar with a hatchet and a gun and then subsequently died in a shootout with police in Arkansas.
Now, you can always read Robida's My Space page to get a look inside the mind of a killer.
Anyone else just a little creeped out by this? Or is it just me?