The media, in all its forms, is (and has been for a long time) a very powerful force of change. It's television, newspapers, magazines and the internet that connect us to the outside world. It was because of the news media that the whole Prophet Mohammed-Denmark issue came to light (albeit 4 months late… Better late than never, eh?). It's also because of the News media that we have not been informed of other "Islamic" (As in, things that have to do with Islam) matters… and they've had their four months grace period.
So what is the issue? Take a look at these two news sources: Source One (Arabic – recent). Source Two (English – not so recent). Sadly, the recent English source was published in the Independent newspaper of Britain (this is according to the Arabic source and confirmed by myself) and one has to pay to get the article now that three days have passed since publishing. If it is what I think it is, the Arabic source has quoted heavily from the Independent and thus, I should be able to provide the recent story.
So the Saudi government is removing such archeological finds as the the Prophet's house, the houses and mosques of the Four Enlightened (translation?) Caliphs [The first four to come after the Prophet's death], graveyards in Mecca and Medina, not to mention the cave where the Prophet received The Message for the first time and Mecca's historic library.
Those ruins and relics that have been removed have been replaced with public toilets, hotels and housing for those that come to The Kingdom every year for Hajj.
Are you serious?! Does the Saudi government have one shred of decency?! They could show this decency by not being hypocritical idiots and demanding an apology from the Danish government whilst destroying some of the most cherished relics in Islamic Civilization.
The English Article brings up the biggest thorn and ugliest protrusion in this whole scharade; the Wahabi Clerics and religious institutions of Saudi Arabia.
Never having been interested much in Saudi Arabia (although I was conceived there), I had not bothered to research deep into its historical political and cultural roots. Thus, barring the occasional class or course I had to take in school or University, my knowledge of how their present religious and political system (beyond the founding of the state and its twentieth century history) was quite scant. I had heard though that the Al Saud Clan retained its political power on condition that religious decisions and affairs are handled by other Saudi Clans.
The Howden article brought this issue up again, so I suppose it must be true. Either way, this was post was meant to say one thing: Don't you dare go on about Denmark and how you were offended that some caricaturist and Editor-in-Chief decided to publish pictures of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist and then take out a sizeable chunk of Islamic History and Civilization in one go.
Just in case some of you claim that the two events are different, I will admit that they are… obviously. But, if you want to tell me that the relationship I drew does not exist, or that the Saudis are not Hypocrites… go elsewhere. I see obvious, huge, colorful, bright and shining (figurative) lines connecting both events.
And hold on a second. Where is the media in all this? Why does The Independent publish a story on this last May (Yup, that's May 2005) and not one single Arab newspaper (of decent circulation) rose to discuss the issue? Is it not news-worthy? Because, hell, if this isn't news-worthy, then the Danish cartoons sure aren't. Most people haven't even seen the cartoons. So the Media inflamed their passions, which of course local religious groups and leaders used to fuel the hatred towards the west, when it comes to pictures of the Prophet… but it's alright to bulldoze his house?
And that's the way I see it.