Finger-Lickin' Blasphemy


The London Times reports from Islamabad:

Three people died yesterday as more than 70,000 demonstrators took part in Pakistan's biggest protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Police, who used teargas to disperse mobs that were ransacking franchises of Western shops and fast-food restaurants, were drawn into gun battles in several cities.

An eight-year-old boy was killed in Peshawar when a protester shot into a crowd, and a man was electrocuted in the same northwestern city when a power cable was vandalised by rioters. A 30-year old protester died in hospital in Lahore after being shot….

[A] KFC outlet was set ablaze during violent demonstrations. Although local fast-food franchises are owned and operated by Pakistanis, they have often been targeted as symbols of the West.

The link between Jyllands-Posten and Colonel Sanders is obscure to me, but then I always had trouble with the finer points of theology.

The best comment so far on the cartoon riots comes from a pseudonymous poster at The Comics Curmudgeon: "Who knew some Danish comics would start WWIII? I always assumed it would be Cathy."

NEXT: "I've certainly advocated declassification."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I used to work at a KFC while I was in school. I would bring home a big box of those biscuits and packets of grape jelly. Man, that was the shit.

  2. “That was the shit.” is a youth expression of approval.

    Space Ghost

  3. Who knew some Serbian though would start WWI?

  4. Deus ex Machina,

    German parnaoia lay at the heart of the onset of WWI.

  5. “Death to the in-fried-oils!”

  6. I wonder how they’d react to Davey and Goliath — a talking dog that spouts theology, there’s gotta be some kind of serious blasphemy going down there.

  7. Deus Ex Machina-

    Then again, who would have thought that, of all the many accusations against Clinton, the Lewinsky affair would be the one that would get him impeached.

    Yes, I know, I opened that can of worms the other day, and people showed up with perfectly good arguments for why it was in fact a big deal because it was really about perjury and obstruction of justice. OK, fair enough. The fact remains that he was accused of lots of things that were even nastier, as well as some other things that were of the same order of nastiness: Killing Vince Foster, giving military secrets to China, raping Juanita Broderick, using the FBI to dig up dirt on his opponents, etc.

    Now, those who want to can say what they want about the merits of each accusation or the lack of merit or whatever. And I know that some of those allegations weren’t widely circulated until after the Lewinsky stuff came out.

    But, the bottom line is that if you had told me in 1997 that Clinton would be impeached, I never would have guessed that it would have anything to do with a sex scandal. Yes, I know, one can say that it was about perjury and obstruction of justice. The fact remains, if you had asked me to predict which straw would break that camel’s back, I never would have predicted that the straw would have anything to do with a sex scandal. I would have predicted that Whitewater or the FBI files would blow up in his face, or something related to bribery.

    It’s very strange indeed to observe the sorts of things that finally push a situation over the edge.

  8. Jobriath: Whatcha making there, Gravey?
    Gravey: It’s a pipe bomb, Jobriath. For to blow up Planned Parenthood.
    Jobriath: I don’t know, Gravey.
    Gravey: I’m sick of your lack of faith. [lights the bomb and jams it into Jobriath’s mouth]
    Jobriath: [muffled] But Gravey!

    (And Todd does believe talking dogs are blasphemous…)

  9. The Big Pharaoh commented on the KFC thing yesterday. Shame on my peeps.

  10. The UAE is chock full of KFCs, Popeyes, and a local copy called Southern Fried Chicken. I shit you not. Of them, SFC has the best basic chicken sandwich.

    Anyway, there are absolute shitloads of Pakistanis in the UAE (doing all the work for the UAE nationals).

    I guess fried chicken follows subcontinentals around.

  11. I was in London in 2002 & 2003. There were a lot of mom-n-pop Fried Chicken restaurants, and they were very popular with Muslims. I got used to seeing signs that would say something like:
    TENNESSEE (or Georgia, or Texas, etc.) FRIED CHICKEN
    and below that:

  12. Most popular restaurants among Muslims overall and UAE nationals in particular in Abu Dhabi Mall:

    McDonald’s (the McArabia meal is evidently a big seller)

    Most popular restaurants among Western ex-pats and visitors in the same mall:

    Anything but the above, particularly the kebab place, the generic Middle Eastern place (kinda like the mall Chinese in the States), and the “Italian” “pizza” joint, similar to Sbarro (which they have at another mall in town).

  13. “Finger-Lickin’ Blasphemy”

    Hmmm … When I was just a young punk kid I had (or maybe a friend, it was a foggy, foggy time) a Thrill Kill Kult shirt; it had a skull topped with Mickey Mouse ears; read “finger fucking Christ”. Now that’s blasphemy.

  14. In a better world, this whole story would just be about fast-food restaurants popular in the Muslim world.

  15. If I ever start a chicken franchise I’ll call it

    Frikkin’ Chicken

  16. My friend Stevie Crowne (that’s Crown as in Crowne Royale) the spy has a penchant for marrying Asian women and importing them. Second to the last one was an aboriginal Taiwanese chick he met in Japan. Long story short, stopped by one night for some fried chicken. Dude, I thought I was in Kentucky. It sets up an incredible cognitive dissonance when you realize that people on the other side of the world are frying chicken that you would be hard pressed to differentiate from that staple of the American south. I’m gonna tell you what………..

  17. (And Todd does believe talking dogs are blasphemous…)

    Religion is the smile on a dog……

  18. Who knew some Serbian though would start WWI?

    I’ve always love the name “Danilo” from Danilo Ili?, co-conspirator. The wife won’t let me name a kid that though.

  19. Who knew some Serbian though would start WWI?

    Still less lame than some cartoons starting WWIII.

  20. Besides Franz Ferdinand had it coming. And without his assassination we wouldn’t have the beloved indie band we all know today.

  21. Oh, hell. Norway has apparently amended its criminal code to make blasphemy illegal. If the Vikings knew their descendants would all be such fucking wimps they’d’ve committed mass suicide.

  22. Before starting college I spent a summer in Taiwan and people over their couldn’t get enough america-style fried chicken. Popeye’s and KFC were both huge, and it was so popular McDonalds even sold it.

  23. There?ll be no WW3. That would mean another country would declare war on us and that ain?t happening in the next 10 years, and even then it would need to be China or Russia. Don?t you think Cheney and company would love a place to declare war on us which has an infrastructure to wipe out in the first 36 hours? Even the Iranian president isn?t stupid enough to trade a few missile strikes in Europe for the loss of every modern bridge and powerplant in his country..

    No, there might be many riots in the world, but no world wars over cartoons.

  24. err…’american-style fried chicken’ that is

  25. Jennifer: Do you have another source for that? All I can find online is reprints of that one story. (Granted, I haven’t looked very hard, but I’m in the middle of writing an article on something completely different…)

  26. Jesse Walker–

    A search on Google news brought only more of the same. I am hoping that’s because this story is somehow incorrect, but it may be simply that the story is still too young to have percolated through the rest of the media.

  27. Humorless Realist- yes probably not a WWIII, but maybe a modern day crusade?

  28. Actually, I would not have been surprized if Norway already had a blasphemy law. They are quite common in countries with state religions. It’s just that like church attendance and the like they are rarely observed and even more rarely enforced.

    Of course is it blasphemy if you defame a religion other than your own state religion?

  29. Of course is it blasphemy if you defame a religion other than your own state religion?

    Good point. If all religions are equally worthy of protection from insult under the law, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of religion in the first place? The whole idea is “My religion is right and the others are wrong.”

    Dante had a few rude things to say about Mohammed. I wonder if the Divine Comedy will be outlawed, or is it grandfathered in?

  30. Jesse Walker–

    Here is something else I found, but for me, at least, it further muddies the waters, rather than clarifying anything.

  31. guys –

    am looking for it in english, but here’s the link in norwegian (quick translation below)

    “Avviser oppslag i arabisk avis
    Oslos domprost Olav Dag Hauge avviser at han har sagt til muslimske religi?se ledere i Midt?sten at Norge har forbudt blasfemi etter at Muhammed-karikaturene ble offentligggjort.”

    (Publisert 16.02.2006 12:04.)

    Denies report in arabian newspaper.

    “Oslos AG Olav Den Hauge denies that he told Muslim (religious) leaders in the middle east that norway has outlawed blasphemy resulting from the publication of the cartoons.”

  32. VM, I hope you are right.

  33. ‘nuther place:

    “Leder av Stortingets justiskomite, Anne Marit Bjoernflaten (Ap) sa i gaar til NTB, at en endring av straffeloven ikke stemmer.

    – Det har ikke skjedd noe i Stortinget i forbindelse med striden om karrikaturtegningene. Jeg ser heller ikke for med at det vil skje noe i denne sammenhengen, sier Bjoernflaten.”

    “Head of Parliament’s justice committee, AMB said to this paper yesterday that ‘changes in the law’ won’t happen (“is incorrect”).
    -Nothing happened in parliament in connection with the problems from the cartoons. I don’t see any need for anything to happen, either, she said.”

  34. for some of the most excellent lyrical blasphemy, I refer you to The Bloodhound Gang’s “A lap dance is so much better when the stripper is crying” from their album “Hooray for Boobies”

    (from memory)

    So Bambi’s going on about how she can make all my fantasies come true
    so I says, even this one I have where Jesus Christ is jackhammering Mickey Mouse in the doo-doo hole with a lawn dart as Garth Brooks gives birth to something resembling a cheddar cheese log with almonds on Santa Clause’s tummy-tum?

  35. I propose, as a means of extending an olive branch to the Pakistani protestors, that KFC get rid of Colonel Sanders, and change the spokesman to Colonel Mohammed. An actor playing him could do commercials saying things like “come and get it” and “finger licking good…like one of my child brides.”

    Change the name of the 24 piece crispy to “The Shanks of Infidels” and just watch the Pakistanis chow down.

  36. Wouldn’t it have to be right hand finger licking good?

  37. Biologist, my favorite lyrical blasphemy is the Type O Negative song “Christian Woman,” filled with double entendres about a woman who is in serious need of the Body of Christ.

  38. Vandalizing power cables… that’s a bright group of rioters.

    And I remember the band Steelpole Bathtub having a t-shirt reading “It’s Finger-fucking God” in the 80’s, and they were a much better band than Thrill Kill Cult.

  39. I know a couple of Colonel Mohammeds. They have beards, but I don’t think they’d like having them bleached.

  40. I don’t know if this applies to the Middle East as a whole, but many years ago I read that book “Not Without My Daughter,” and it said that in Iran, fried chicken is a delicacy.

  41. As far as I’m concerned, fried chicken is a delicacy in America, too.

  42. thoreau, who in the 20’s would have thunk that Al Capone would be sent up for evading taxes?

    The lesson to be learned from the Clinton impeachment is that we’re all criminals in the super-state. We’re all free at the pleasure of some functionary, more or less.

  43. Jennifer:

    that’s a good one, too.


    that reminds me of another song, or more specifically Frank Zappa’s rock opera “Joe’s Garage”, where the narrator explains that the constitution is being rewritten in very fine print so that people wouldn’t realize they were losing their rights, and in order to make everyone truly equal, everyone would have to be criminal. Since most people are too lazy to break the law, they made listening to music illegal.

  44. The link between Jyllands-Posten and Colonel Sanders is obscure to me, but then I always had trouble with the finer points of theology.

    What’s obscure about it? KFC is a symbol of The West.


    If memory serves, these are the same people we were bitching over not so long ago, because US forces killed 17 (or some similar number) of their “innocent civilians”.

    Where are those innocent civilians? Now that is obscure…..

    Oh, I know. We accidentally killed all 17 of them already.

  45. What’s obscure about it? KFC is a symbol of The West.

    Gosh, you’re right. There’s no sneaking subtleties past you, Kahn!

    As for the rest of your comment, thanks for the reminder that there are westerners who approach Muslims with the same deranged, bigoted attitude of collective guilt with which a Pakistani rioter approaches the local KFC.

  46. Allah forbid!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.