The issue of the Danish newspaper [Jyllands-Posten], which disrespected our noble Messenger Muhammad - May Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him - has progressed from an issue of opinion and anger of the masses to being a real political issue. The U.S. president described the two parties to the dispute in his address Thursday night as: "The West and Islam."
In the weeks since the crisis broke, America has tried to reduce this to an issue of press freedom. Any civilized nation that has expressed anger over these cartoons was labeled extremist and Islamist. However, as matters have progressed, America and the West are now aware that the carpet they have laid down under the feet of themselves and those in the third world after 9/11 is being pulled out from under them, and very quickly indeed.
All of this is due to the pictures printed in a Danish newspaper and the spreading of them by other European newspapers.
These acts have effectively nullified all military action taken by American and international forces sent to Iraq and Afghanistan up to now. They have nullified all previous propaganda measures, such as the creation of radio and television stations and attempts to buy consciences.
[Editor's Note: It was reported last November that the Pentagon paid Iraqi media outlest and journalists to print positive news reports [RealVideo].
They have laid waste to all the best laid plans of U.S. intelligence to cut al-Qaeda off from the masses and terminate its influence on Islamic public opinion, and have deterred attempts to shut the terror group off alone in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Therefore, these disrespectful pictures of our noble Prophet have inflicted strategic losses upon America. These losses are due to the radicalization of the Islamic street, which is now all in one trench under the banner: "Whoever disrespects our Prophet Muhammad May Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him - then he is our greatest enemy."
This is the very thought that America has tried to remove for the past five years. It has tried to keep Western governments away from a confrontation with the Islamic street, because their plan was only to confront terrorist organizations.
In fact, al-Zawahiri [Osama bin Laden's deputy] addressed his latest message to the Islamic street and Islamic people, urging them to confront the West - which he described as colonialist and out to take away the rights of Muslims [Watch Below].
President Bush's indicated last Thursday night RealVideo, that the protests [over the cartoons] only benefit extremist countries, implying Iran and Syria.
But the reality is that the trends on the Islamic Street in the Arab countries, Africa and South Asia are devastating to Washington's plans for the Muslim world's future; a future that is taking shape in the shadow of the War against Terror. Recent events are badly undermining this agenda, intended to impose Western dominance behind claims of spreading Democratic values and ideals.
This is why America has suddenly moved to support the E.U., after Europe failed to quell the emotional discord over the [Mohammad] pictures. The European Union has had many responses since the crisis began.
Once they threatened to impose a European boycott, once they threatened to use the World Trade Organization, and at other times they have tried to suck up to Muslim governments to preserve their scheme for global supremacy, hidden behind the cloak of the war on terror. The European Commissioner for security and justice, Franco Frattini, suggested: "A media code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the furor."
But matters for Muslims have gone far beyond simply boycotting Danish products; rather it is a confrontation between the Islamic street - of Arab, Asian and African Muslims - and the West. This threatens the war against terror that the U.S. and Europe have used to shape Islamic public opinion.
All of this has pushed President Bush to respond - in his speeches and statements - out of fear that a connection will be made between the disrespect toward The Noble Prophet and Bush's war on terror.
It can be seen then that America's involvement in the issue of the Danish pictures has widened the scope of the confrontation. It is also clear that at this stage, a simple apology will not suffice.
As long as there are no concrete measures taken to bring an end to Muslim humiliation and the taking advantage of their present vulnerability, the crisis on the Arab street will continue to build.
<p>Edited by Louis Standish</p>