Do these people even realise that the reason such stereotypical views of them have such resonance IS THAT THEY KEEP DOING THIS STUFF?Or, well we may ask, do they really care?
He flags the link, which the left cannot ignore, between this issue and the fight against religious bigots like Tony Abbott:
Religious fundamentalism being forced on other people is a thoroughly unpleasant thing no matter who's doing it. We don't want to live in a theocracy of any persuasion.
Tim Dunlop points out that the Pope, while distancing himself from their violent methods, agrees with the fundamentalists' attack on basic democratic values. So a big Golden But in favour of the nutters from the Pontiff.
Given that violence and threats were used to terrorise galleries that displayed Piss Christ, this isn't entirely surprising. Anyone who defended that violence but then attacks the violent protests by Muslims here is a flagrant hypocrite.
Dunlop also reminds us of the hand-wringing approach taken to the outrageous Fatwa against Salman Rushdie:
If western leaders--political, religious and intellectual--had been more willing to defend Salman Rushdie back when The Satanic Verses author became the subject of a fatwa, maybe the recourse to violence by some Muslims when they felt affronted could have been nipped in the bud. Not only did that not happen then, but now with the Danish cartoon thing, we are seeing the same apologetics for violence being trotted out again, just as they were for Rushdie: what did he expect to happen? It's a bad book/cartoon anyway; people are right to be offended; it is always wrong to be mean about things people hold sacred; free speech is not an absolute; I don't approve of the violence, but...This issue may well prove a high water mark for leftwing tolerance and willingness to excuse the inexcusable.
This screamingly psychotic behaviour is an affront to the civil society project, it is an affront to true-liberalism, and it is an affront to the value of progressing beyond the dark ages at all.
It may also prove a watershed moment for moderate Islam, as the absurdity of the violence provokes those who, while probably being offended by the cartoons themselves, do not want to be dragged into the dark ages and do not want a 'Clash of Civilisations' either.
There have been strong and unequivocal counter-protests by moderates, certainly in the UK, calling for police to arrest those who carried 'death inciting' placards and angrily renouncing the extremists.
They need our support, as we need them to be strong, now more than ever.