Anjem Choudary and Friends Are Mad About the 'Muhammad in a Wheelchair' Cartoon
The rage over Innocence of Muslims, the Islam-baiting film that makes The Room look like a Palme d'Or winner, has continued for a second week, with a major outbreak of violence in Islamabad claiming the lives of at least 15 people and injuring over 150. The anger intensified this past Wednesday, when the French magazine Charlie Hebdo published a selection of cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad as an invalid, being pushed along in a wheelchair by an Orthodox Jew, under the tagline "Untouchable 2". Real tactful stuff.
The reaction has been less than positive from pretty much everyone with an opinion; even people who would usually be first to champion freedom of speech thought that the publication was misguided at best. The cartoons prompted the French government to get involved, with foreign minister Laurent Fabius announcing that "Freedom of expression must not be infringed," then backtracking, adding that there was "no point in such a provocation." French interests abroad were given extra security and their embassies put on high alert, while the editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stephane Charbonnier, was given an armed escort. He was later quoted as saying the cartoons "would shock those that wanted to be shocked" and that the magazine "does caricatures of everyone every week, but when we do it with the Prophet, it's called provocation."
The world lay in wait for the expected wave of protest at French embassies around the world, but they've generally failed to materialise so far, with the Innocence of Muslims drama hogging all the rage elsewhere. But never fear; always one to capitalise on any anti-Islam news, Anjem Choudary made sure to have his voice heard. The EDL's favourite sparring partner and his mates descended on the French embassy in Knightsbridge on Friday to wave placards around and shout at people who probably couldn't hear them.
Anjem kicked off preceedings with another one of his rousing speeches: "Today we raise our voice to say we will not stand idly by when they (France) occupy our land, steal our resources and kill our brothers and sisters. And now they insult our prophet. You talk about freedom of speech, but what about the freedom of the Muslims in Guantanamo Bay?"
Everything had a slight hint of confusion and deja vu about it, with the group essentially swapping out the target embassy from last week's protest, but using the same speeches and dismissing the issue of freedom of speech while using that exact privilege to call for an end of freedom. *Sigh*.
The protest didn't go down too well with locals, either. Plenty of passing motorists told the group to "fuck off" and one woman shouted, "No one cares. It's 4PM, get out of your pyjamas. It's a fucking cartoon – get a grip." A profound piece of analytical commentary from a resident of London's wealthiest borough.
One of the last speakers left the embassy with a warning: "We will not tolerate any insults against Muhammad. They have banned the demonstrations in France because there's no freedom of speech or expression for the Muslims. This is why we say democracy is hypocrisy. The French are well known cowards – look at World War II. The Muslim army will take France in one day and we will not stop speaking out until we see the black flag of Islam on the Eiffel tower." Guys, I'd happily pay for you to give that a try.
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