A pure delight was to watch Danish reaction when one of their newspapers slandered the Prophet and the Islamic world went ballistic. Not delight at the mayhem, of course, in which some people even died. Not even delight, because, for a rare change, the target of fury was someone other than the United States. But mostly delight at watching the Dane’s genuine astonishment. How could anybody dislike us? they agonized. We’re so nice!
It must be a misunderstanding! Yes, that’s it. Patiently, as if speaking to a slightly dull child, they explained: You see, in our country there is freedom of expression. Here we allow different points of view, even if we don’t agree with them! Surely, once the Arabs understand this, their anger will dissolve and they’ll marvel at our tolerance and broadmindedness.
Trouble is, they understand it very well, and want no part of it. Western culture and values to them means moral rot. It means family breakup, out-of-wedlock births, open prostitution, (sex workers, the West calls them) drug use through the roof. Who needs it?
And that may not be a misunderstanding at all. Hotheads get the upper hand, as they always do, and the reaction is more violent than anyone would have imagined.