Thursday, July 15, 2010
Anwar al-Awlaki is an ironic idolator. No, I said that.
I just read over at Pharyngula (h/t) about how wacky al-Awlaki has decided to put out a hit on the cartoonist who sort of started "Draw Muhammed Day" (but then totally took it back!).
Let's get this completely straight, now. This smug instigator, who was supposedly the guy who counseled a handful of would-be jihadist screw-ups, is actually fatwa-ing the cancellation of the breathing-ticket for a person who was just playing around with the idea of mocking the religion of which he has made such a horrible example? Oh, please.
If I understand this taboo against the permitting of graven images of the Prophet, it is so that he is not inappropriately worshipped in the place of Allah, who is the actual deity. And yet, this al-Awlaki is such an idolator of the image of Islam's prophet, he is willing to suggest other people make their jihad over an image of Muhammed that doesn't even actually exist.
People across the internet offered ironically-labeled stick figures and cartoons and in some cases, make cutting remarks about the substance of the religion that the Prophet Muhammed founded. I would guess all of them were unbelievers in the creed of Islam, and therefore felt no particular compulsion religion-wise to refrain from this act. Their intent was not to mock the entire Ummah of one billion believing Muslims, so much as to say that there are about five billion people who aren't Muslim, and there are many people who do not believe that an infraction of that religion's laws should be a death sentence for anyone.
But poor prickly al-Awlaki is taking this so personally. His idol--his unassailable religion that should not ever be criticized or maybe should not even be submitted to an honest ijtihad, where the sources of the thought of historic Islam are considered before being a knuckle-dragging ass who issues nonsensical jihadi propaganda, to cause weak minds to further make fools of themselves and the religion he thinks he's defending--is still alive, still practiced, still reveres the Prophet. So--no harm done?
Except: he so very much wants to be this big Mahoff (as we say here in Philadelphia) in the terrorist jihad movement. Does he get donations for it? Do people go out of their way to kiss his thuggish ass for talking so tough? And this Internet business was so big that Facebook got blocked in Pakistan. Whoo. Front-page news.
Does al-Awlaki want to make the non-existent, ironic, fake representations of Mohammed engendered by a protest against exactly his particular form of stupidity the idol he sends some mentally distraught or even immature person to possibly die over? Or is the idol he wants people to respond to his own dogmatic self? It seems he doesn't want to defend Islam, but his own murderous and retributive, and might I add, attention-seeking version of it--the precise thing the "Draw Muhammed" protests were about.
Instead of worrying that Islam is being mocked by outsiders, perhaps he should consider what mockery he himself makes of it by representing the worst, least thoughtful, and most reactionary elements of it.