The Spectacle Blog

Fatwah For Dollars

By on 2.17.06 | 10:15AM

Danish cartoonists, this is your life -- worth $25,000 and a car. No indication of whether Pakistani "prayer leader" Mohammed Yousaf Qureshi will spring for an auto fresh off the lot. And why would he, when "a local jewelers' association" goes beyond the call of matching funds with their own blood money donation of a cool million?

This unreal barbarism has no need to sweat the details: the AP reports quite drily that no "representative of the association was available to confirm it had made the offer." Even better, "Qureshi did not name any cartoonist in his announcement. He did not appear aware that 12 different people had drawn the pictures" -- and who, indeed, need draw distinctions between individuals, when an a la carte jihad is at stake?

The BBC reports Qureshi's bounty as $125,000; Pakistan, as tens of thousands vent spleens, throws different hothead Hafiz Mohammed Saeed in the drunk-with-power tank. Details collide and contradict; news rushes on headlong. Where is the terminus of the Cartoon Intifada? What dervish of fate whirls its way toward Bethlehem? Is this how "events spiral out of control?" The real possibilities of chaos unleashed by Iraq appear in porcelain miniature compared to the garish grotesque of the future. Dangerous times indeed, when Russia and Pakistan are the keys to international peace and security.

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