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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Humor: the Deadliest Weapon 
22nd-Mar-2008 08:09 am
When would that be true? Is it the Monty Python skit about the world's funniest joke?

No -- it is radical Islam that faces the firing line of humor. Make fun of Mohammed, laugh at him, and suddenly you have nothing left.

The rule of thumb in a fistfight is when you land a blow which makes your opponent yell, hit him there again. And the louder he yells the more you hit him in that particular area. Osama Bin Laden has just said "ouch".

Doubtless there will be those who will argue that Bin Laden's warnings are a reason to suppress publication of the Cartoons, either to demonstrate our moral superiority or to manifest our sensitivity; every precept of political correctness argues to cease and desist. That would be a big mistake.

What makes the Mohammed Cartoon attack on radical Islam so potent that Bin Laden himself must oppose it, is two things. First, anyone can make fun of radical Islam. Second, the Cartoons are aimed at the weakest point of the Jihad: it's sources of authority. It is paradoxically true of all organized nihilisms that they rely upon their unquestioned authority to negate. For example, whereas Bolshevism could regard humans as expendable, dogma was sacrosanct. The real message of organized nihilism is that "everything is permitted" except to make fun of nihilism itself. Every act is lawful in radical Islam: to bomb markets, kill children, lie, cheat and steal. Everything: except to publish the Mohammed Cartoons.

So here's the challenge: youtube, Simpsons, Islamic Rage Boy, Numa-Numa Mohammeds, Mohammed dart boards, and, the most successful so far, a Danish cartoon drawing.
22nd-Mar-2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Dean Ing made the same comment, directed toward terrorists in general rather Islamists in particular, in his novella "A Very Proper Charlie," at least 20 years ago. Too bad nobody picked up on it -- then.
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