Jihadi's Guide to Etiquette Rule 11: Never leave home without your matches, effigy-hanging sticks and death threat placards. You never know when they'll come in handy.
In Pakistan, dutiful followers of the jihadi guide have found a new pretext this week for an anti-Western bonfire party: the knighting of author Salman Rushdie in Britain. Muslim groups are burning Queen Elizabeth and Rushdie in effigy. The Union Jack is in flames. The Religion of Perpetual Outrage strikes again.
It's not just some obscure spokesman for a "tiny minority" objecting to Rushdie's knighthood and leading the renewed calls for Rushdie's death and Britain's submission. Pakistan's religious affairs minister, Mohammed ljaz ul-Haq, bellowed: "If someone blows himself up he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West?" He says he was misunderstood, but the message is as loud and clear as the inscriptions on the infamous placards British Muslims waved around during last year's conflagration over the Danish cartoons:
"Behead all those who insult Islam. Slay those who insult Islam. Butcher those who mock Islam."
Pakistan's parliamentarian affairs minister Sher Afgan Khan Niazi piled on: "I demand the British government immediately withdraw the title as it is creating religious hatred." On Monday, Pakistan's Parliament passed a unanimous resolution "deploring the honor as an open insult to the feelings of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims." Mufti Muhammad Basheer-u-Din, Grand Mufti of Kashmir, didn't mince words: "Because of his blasphemy, Salman Rushdie remains an apostate and aggressor on Islam and punishment for such offences is death." Lord Ahmed, the first British Muslim member of the House of Lords, blamed Rushdie for violence past and violence to come:
"This man not only provoked violence around the world because of his writings, but there were many people who were killed around the world. . . . Forgiving and forgetting is one thing, but honouring the man who has blood on his hands, sort of, because of what he did, I think is going a bit too far."
Yes, you see, it's always the fault of the accused insulter. Never the fault of the sword-wielders, fatwa-issuers, fire-setters and blood-lusters.
It's always the fault of the Western "extremists." Never the fault of the "moderate" followers of jihad.
The deaf and blind will dismiss this latest episode of manufactured Muslim outrage as a marginal outburst. But Rushdie, the target of death threats dating back to 1988 over his book "The Satanic Verses," has seen enough performances of Jihad Theater to take proper precautions. He has requested police protection after an Iranian group put a $150,000 bounty on his head. Forouz Raja'ee-Far, secretary general of the Headquarters for Honoring the Martyrs of Islam World Movement, offered the prize because, after all, "it is an obligation for all Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie even if he repents from the bottom of his heart and becomes the pious man of the time."
What does the Council on American-Islamic Relations have to say? Their website has a special "incitement watch" and "action alerts" section for its (dwindling number of) members -- but as of Tuesday afternoon, not a peep about the incitement of hatred and violence against Rushdie. They'll eventually pay lip service to The Religion of Peace, but do not forget Rule No. 5 in the jihadi's guide to etiquette: "You can lie if you do this for jihad."
Pakistani government officials are bleating about the need for "interfaith understanding" and sensitivity. In Washington for meetings with the Bush administration, Pakistan's foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri cooed: "When we talk of a globalized world, we have to be sensitive to each other's concerns."
As anyone with their eyes open through Rushdie's ordeal, the deadly Mohammed cartoons riots, the calls for beheading the Pope, Oriana Fallaci, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and defiant, ex-Muslim apostates around the world knows: "Sensitivity" in the jihadi world is a one-way, dead-end street.