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Muslims violently protesting newspaper cartoons of Muhammad should consider their silence toward the frequent slander of other religions in Arab media, the White House suggested yesterday.
“We would also urge people who are criticizing these cartoons to speak out forcefully against all forms of hate speech, including cartoons and articles throughout parts of the Arab world, which frequently espouse anti-Semitic and anti-Christian views,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
With protests over the cartoons escalating — a total of five people were killed yesterday — the Israel-based monitor Palestinian Media Watch continues to document cartoons published regularly in Arab media that depict Jews as blood-thirsty, hook-nosed oppressors seeking world domination.
Cartoon published Jan. 7 in Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
The Muslim cartoon controversy erupted a week ago over satirical drawings of Muhammad published in September by Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten. The paper said it wanted to make a point about media self-censoring criticisms of Islamic terrorism. Many Muslims consider images of Muhammad, especially caricatures, to be blasphemous.
The Muhammad cartoons have been reprinted in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Jordan, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Norway and Poland.
One of the cartoons published in a Danish newspaper that touched off worldwide Muslim protest
Protesters in Turkey marched outside the Danish consulate, terror groups in the West Bank threatened Danish and European interests, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – an offshoot of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party – briefly kidnapped a German and thousands of Muslim demonstrators in Beirut clashed with police Sunday, storming the city’s Danish consulate and setting it ablaze. A nearby Maronite Catholic church also was attacked, prompting fears the protests could turn into a sectarian clash.
Saturday in Damascus, the evacuated Danish and Norwegian embassies were burned during protests that also damaged the Swedish embassy. Rioters trying to storm the city’s French mission were held off by police.
In a 2004 interview, Joe Kotek, an analyst for Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, pointed out Arab cartoons commonly use images of “the devilish Jew” to depict Israel.
“This image conveys the idea that Jews behave like Nazis, kill children and love blood,” he said.
Published in 2001, this cartoon from the Egyptian daily Al Ahram depicts an Arab being flattened as two Jews drink the blood.
Kotek said the major theme in Arab cartoons of the blood-loving or blood-thirsty Jew originates in Christian anti-Semitism. This libel, he said, alleged Jews needed Christian blood for their Passover service.
“Its claim is that the Jew is evil, as his religion forces him to drink blood,” Kotek said. “In today’s Arab world this image of unbridled hatred has mutated into the alleged quest for Palestinian blood.”
In April 2001, the Egyptian daily Al Ahram published a cartoon showing an Arab being flattened in a mill by two Israeli soldiers as blood pours out and two Jews, laughing, drink the blood.
The anti-Semitic cartoons haven’t been confined to the Arab world, however. In 2003, a cartoon that won first prize in Britain depicted Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon eating the head of a Palestinian baby with a burning city in the background.
Ariel Sharon depicted devouring a Palestinian baby in British prize-winning cartoon
Published in the Independent newspaper of London, it was one of 35 entries in the British Political Cartoon Society’s annual competition.
The prize-winner depicts Sharon saying: “What’s wrong? Have you never seen a politician kissing a baby?”
Shuli Davidovich, press secretary for the Israeli embassy in Britian, wrote in protest to the British paper: “As Britain commemorates National Holocaust Day, I am shocked that The Independent has chosen to evoke an ancient Jewish stereotype which would not have looked out of place in ‘Der Sturmer’, and which can unfortunately still be found in many Arabic newspapers.”
Palestinian daily depicts Ariel Sharon as devourer of Palestinian babies
As WorldNetDaily also reported in 2003a political cartoon depicting the Palestinians and Iraqis as victims of crucifixion by the United States was published in the Palestinian Authority’s largest daily, Al Quds.
The PA often uses imagery comparing Palestinians to Jesus, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
From PA’s largest daily, Al Quds
The figures are nailed to a cross back to back, with the Palestinian bearing the thought, “Brother from Iraq,” and the Iraqi, “Relative from Palestine.”
In another cartoon published at the same time in response to the deaths of Saddam Hussein’s two sons, the official Palestinian daily Al Hayat Al Jadida published an anti-American political cartoon portraying the United States as a shark-toothed octopus.
Published yesterday in Palestinian daily Al Hayat Al Jadida
The cartoon showed the obviously delighted creature removing Saddam’s arms, symbolic of the death of his sons Uday and Qusay, who were killed in a firefight with U.S. troops.