Anti-Cartoon Islamist Protests Not Spontaneous, Part of a Conspiracy, Former Spokesperson Claims


don't fatwah me, akh

Spontaneous protests over a depiction of the prophet Mohammed which led to attacks against multiple embassies weren't actually spontaneous and its organizers were intent on escalating the situation and introducing violence, according to the former spokesperson of a working group of imams who coordinated the response to a Danish newspaper publishing cartoons of Mohammed in 2005. Freedom House reports:

[As Ahmed Akkari] explains in his book [My Farewell to Islamism] and a number of interviews he has given since last summer, the protests and mayhem were not spontaneous reactions from the Muslim community. Instead they were produced by a calculated conspiracy between a group of Danish imams and ambassadors from various Muslim countries, who decided not only to appeal to influential Muslim states and clerics in order to put pressure on Denmark, but also to call on brute force from terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. The latter alliance probably led directly to the destruction of the embassies in Beirut and Damascus…

What is most surprising—and chilling—in Akkari's book is how willing the Danish Islamists were to escalate the situation, with no qualms about the possibility that it could result in violence. They deliberately played a double game with the Danish and international community, pretending to work for peace and reconciliation while covertly taking actions that could only lead to more confrontations. For the imams, a "clash of civilizations" was something to be cherished, not avoided, even if the violence became far more extreme than they had expected.

Our own Matt Welch wrote the Los Angeles Times editorial on the cartoon controversy, something he discussed on this blog in 2010, when outrage over the depiction of Mohammed—something prohibited in certain hadiths, or sayings of Mohammed, but not in the Quran, Islam's holy book, itself—came to the U.S. over the animated TV show South Park's attempt to depict Mohammed in a parody. Reason hosted Everybody Draw Mohammed Day after the cartoonist who first proposed it went into hiding because of threats of violence. Check out the winners here. As Nick Gillespie noted at the time, some of the foulest images of Mohammed used to stir up outrage in the Middle East over the Danish cartoons were actually created by the imams themselves.

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  1. Well…duh? I mean, no doubt Akkari is contributing valuable knowledge about the specifics of how this came about, but since it has been long known that the imams made their own cartoons that were intentionally even more inflammatory than the original ones in order to rile people up, it should have been pretty clear to anyone paying attention what the clerics’ real agenda was.

    1. Exactly. I mean, I thought it was pretty obvious…

  2. It’s just one more example of Taqqiya. It’s perfectly fine in Islam to lie to non-believers to hide true intentions. The West keeps making this mistake, I guess out of a desire to believe we all come from the same well-meaning starting point. They count on this and use it against us. It just amazes me how gullible most of us continue to be. Lying to us is a badge of honor in that religion.

  3. But they don’t hate us for our freedoms! NEOCONS ISLAMOPHOBIA

    1. It’s no more retarded to think that it (they’re hatred towards us) is only because America has put it’s dick in all over the middle east than to think it is just because we are some gleaming city on the hill.

      In reality, it’s most definitely a mixture of both with either one winning out depending on the individual.

      1. Nope. Evidence is pretty clear: they hate us for our freedoms. They’ve said exactly that. Look up the writings of a guy named Qutb from the 1950s. He hated us FOR OUR FREEDOMS.

        Lots of countries dick around in the ME with no blowback. France has done it for eons with no blowback. Russia only gets violence from Chechnya but not from its endless backing for Assad. Granted that could change.

        1. Well they shouldn’t worry about it too much. At the rate the US government is destroying its citizens’ freedoms, in a few more decades the Islamists won’t have anything to bitch about.

        2. I’ve read Qutb. And due the hours of my life I shall never get back wasted on reading the rantings of that closeted little bloodthirsty ignoramus, I can tell you that he did hate what he saw as Western “libertine-ism”, but he was also seriously pissed off about the involvement of the UK and France, on the Israeli side, in the 1956 Suez Canal Crisis.

        3. “Aside from this example of blowback, they’ve gotten no blowback”

    2. Phobia is an unreasonable fear of something. What do you call a reasonable fear?

  4. What difference at this point does it make?

    1. Exactly, we know it was a You Tube video now!


  5. Danish cartoonists should man up and face their punishment.

    1. I’ve always found Danish cartoons to be rather cheesy.

      1. No, no! That is Swiss ones.

        *runs from room, cackling*

    2. You know who else used cartoons to inflame the people?

      1. Thomas Nast?

      2. Thomas Nast?

      3. You know who else used Thomas Nast to inflame the people?

        1. Notorious G.K.C.?

        2. Mrs. Thomas Nast?

      4. Chip Bok?

        1. Rats!

      5. Chip Bok?


        FLAME ON!

  6. That guy just ruined his chances of ever being a commencement speaker at Brandeis.

  7. Why should I believe Akkari isn’t just making this up to get into the news so he can pimp his book?

    1. Why should I believe didn’t just make that up to get a comment on Reason and pimp your blog?

    2. I don’t know if statement X is true, but until there’s evidence it isn’t, imma believe it.

      1. “I don’t know if statement X is true, but until there’s evidence it isn’t, imma believe it.”

        The irony…

    3. While some commentators have questioned Akkari’s motives and accused him of self-promotion, it is hard to see how much Akkari can gain from his revelations. He has alienated his circle of Islamist friends, who now call him a traitor and liar, and spawned a burst of death threats that have forced him to live under permanent police surveillance. He says that he is revealing all this because he wants to clear his conscience and repair some of the damage he has caused. Also, he had become incredibly disillusioned by the hypocrisy of the Islamist organizations he had been involved with for 15 years, having been recruited as a 16-year-old refugee from Lebanon.

      “The one divine path I had preached and tried to find all these years, was an illusion and nothing else. I had spent many years of my life living a lie,” he says.

      “At times the consequences can be daunting,” Akkari writes at the end of his book. “Still, I have no regrets. I am doing what my conscience bids me, and perhaps the situation for me and other critics of Islamism illustrates better than anything else, why my message is important. Now, I have to live in hiding. But I do not mind living in hiding, as long as it is as a free man.”

      1. ” it is hard to see how much Akkari can gain from his revelations.”

        Well, here we are talking about his book because of these revelations.

        1. Here we are not *buying* his book ….

      2. Is he the guy who converted to Christianity?

        1. That was Saul of Tarsus.

          1. I haven’t read his book but did read some of his letters.

            1. Well done.

          2. I heard some guy on some radio show about a month ago talking about Islam in a similar manner, and he wrote a book, too, but it sounded like he was now a Christian of some sort. Guess it wasn’t Akkari.

            1. Jesus? He’s back?

              No one told me he was on the Michael Savage show! That’s awesome!

              1. Well, first of all, I can’t stand Savage, even for seconds, so it wasn’t him. I think it might’ve been Hugh Hewitt, who I’ll occasionally listen to on the drive home, depending on the topic.

                Second, Jesus didn’t write any books. Which is too bad, because the gospels are hard to reconcile with one another. If he does come back, he should write a tell-all biography.

                1. I think He is due to retcon the four bringing them all into continuity.

                  1. Just no Abrams, please. I can’t stand the weak plots and lens flares.

                    1. But the part where they go back in time and this time Peter dies on the cross while Jesus denies him three times doesn’t whet your interest?

            2. Maybe you’re thinking of Walid Shoebat?

      3. So much fucking this.

        Stormy’s baseless assertion that this is some attempt to monetize his previous career and make money is absurd. This guy now has a huge target on his back, as he is considered by the Islamists as an apostate (even though he still appears very much Muslim, merely a moderate one). One does not simply walk away from a radical movement they were recruited into at a young age and associated with for half their lives to gain a few extra bucks.

        1. “Stormy’s baseless assertion”

          Wouldn’t the ‘base’ be
          1. that he was involved in the original lying itself
          2. this revelation clearly has garnered the kind of attention booksellers want.

          I mean, what’s the ‘base’ that he’s telling the truth?

          1. Do you think he’s lying about the Danish Imam’s double dealings?

            1. I can’t say one way or another, his initial lying makes him rather suspect. I guess I have always had the view that paranoid android says above that surely some cultural leaders like imams were involved in some way in fanning the flames.

              1. *Argument by insinuation*

            2. I think he’s lying about the extent to which the actions of the little group he was involved in can be considered as representative of a vast conspiracy among the Danish muslim community in general.

              1. a vast conspiracy among the Danish muslim community in general.

                Where did you get that out of this:

                conspiracy between a group of Danish imams and ambassadors from various Muslim countries

                1. I get it from the fact that after the initial reference to a “working group” of 10 or 11 people, he repeatedly references “the islamists” as though the entire Islamic Society in Denmark (which has hundreds of members) was involved.

                  He basically was a member of a terrorist cell that infiltrated a much larger group, and is now trying to imply the entire group was complicit in HIS crimes.

                  He wants to make things better? Fine. Let him plead guilty to his involvement in the embassy attacks and do some jail time. But as long as his contrition is limited to his book tour, I’m not buying it.

                  1. he repeatedly references “the islamists” as though the entire Islamic Society in Denmark (which has hundreds of members) was involved.

                    That is a non sequitur. “Islamist”, as the word is commonly used (in English; remember Akkari probably gave this interview in Danish, so there might be nuance lost in translation), refers to those who hold radical, usually jihadist, views. There might well have been an Islamist faction within the ISD, but it doesn’t follow that by using the term “Islamist” Akkari is necessarily referring to the entire ISD or the Muslim population of Denmark, as you claim.

          2. I mean, what’s the ‘base’ that he’s telling the truth?

            That there are much easier ways of making money that don’t involve hanging a giant “fatwa me” sign on your back?

            1. I guess, but this looks like this fellow’s 15 minutes here. People do crazy things to be in the spotlight.

              1. I dunno, maybe we should hear from someone else who had to deal with the living in constant fear that Akkari has now subjected himself to?

                Last week he even apologized in person to one of the cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard, who has faced multiple death threats and murder attempts from extremists. Many Muslims consider Westergaard’s drawing, which depicts Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban, as the most offensive.

                “I met a man who has converted from being an Islamist to become a humanist who understands the values of our society,” Westergaard said of Akkari. “To me, he is really sincere, convincing and strong in his views.”

                1. Did Westergaard look into Akkari’s eyes and see his soul?

      4. It seems more credible to me than not. He’s apparently had a Road to Damascus moment. Could be full of crap, but that’s a fairly dangerous road to walk to get some publicity.

  8. Yeah, but – religion of peace still. So….

    1. Last time I checked, it didn’t take much to set these guys off anyway. It’s like they’re all a bunch of ticking time bombs waiting to explode.

      1. The vests help with the “explode” part…

  9. You know who else wrote a book about his struggles….

    1. Lance Armstrong?

      1. Cardinal FANG?! Read the charges!

        1. You are hereby charged that you did on diverse dates commit heresy against the Fatherland. ‘My old man said follow the–‘

    2. “The latest prisoner of SugarFree’s Dungeon”

      1. Thomas Nast?

        1. The book was called Nast-y as I Wanna Be.

    3. St. Augustine?

    4. Warty Hugeman?

      1. HIS struggles, not his victims’ struggles


  10. Speaking of everyone draw Mohammed Day, Steyn has some interesting points to make (from “There is No More Molly” )

    As for whether it’s “easier to condemn”, I assume that’s aimed at me. Well, when you’ve got as many death threats as I got just from one tiny lie by Khurrum Awan and the Canadian Islamic Congress – that I called Muslims “mosquitoes” – then we can discuss who’s got the easier life. Nobody asked you to cook up “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. You chose to do that – and, if you didn’t understand what you were getting into, then where have you been the last nine years? Kurt Westergaard, who’s 74, could have bailed after 48 hours and whined that it’s all getting way more attention than he ever expected and drawn a picture of himself in a peace-sign T-shirt. But he didn’t.

    That’s why we’re all down on you. You took a bad situation and made it worse. You announced that at last there was a liberal progressive who was going to stand up to Islamic intimidation – and then you caved, in nothing flat. And even then I could have forgiven you, if it weren’t for the final self-humiliating coup de grace of your crappy peace-sign T-shirt. I’d love to have glimpsed the stage of the creative process at which you thought that would be just the ticket. Good luck betting your future on that crapped out obsolescent talisman.

    1. You may have noticed that Molly Norris’ comic is not in the paper this week. That’s because there is no more Molly.

      On the advice of the FBI, she’s been forced to go into hiding. If you want to measure the decline in western civilization’s sense of self-preservation, go back to Valentine’s Day 1989, get out the Fleet Street reports on the Salman Rushdie fatwa, and read the outrage of his fellow London literati at what was being done to one of the mainstays of the Hampstead dinner-party circuit. Then compare it with the feeble passivity of Molly Norris’ own colleagues at an American cartoonist being forced to abandon her life: “There is no more Molly”? That’s all the gutless pussies of The Seattle Weekly can say? As James Taranto notes in The Wall Street Journal, even much sought-after Ramadan-banquet constitutional scholar Barack Obama is remarkably silent:

      Now Molly Norris, an American citizen, is forced into hiding because she exercised her right to free speech. Will President Obama say a word on her behalf? Does he believe in the First Amendment for anyone other than Muslims..?

      No one should lose his name, his home, his life, his liberty because ideological thugs are too insecure to take a joke. But Molly Norris is merely the latest squishy liberal to learn that, when the chips are down, your fellow lefties won’t be there for you.

      1. Two fucking SNAPS and a head shake.


      2. What an awful story that more people should know.

      3. The West’s failure to punish and end Iran’s regime over Salman Rushdie was a body blow to our freedom of expression.

        1. As someone quite sympathetic to Rushdie, are you suggesting we should have ‘ended Iran’s regime’ over that?

  11. Wow, you don’t say? It’s almost like there’s some worldwide criminal conspiracy/political death cult hellbent on world domination masquerading as a religion, or something…

    1. You mean AGW?

    2. What do you mean, “masquerading”?

      1. Well, Lizard People have the inherent ability to shapeshift, no?

  12. ” As Nick Gillespie noted at the time, some of the foulest images of Mohammed used to stir up outrage in the Middle East over the Danish cartoons were actually created by the imams themselves”

    I find this concept of “latching on to isolated incidents in order to express wild and exaggerated outrage at pre-conceived targets and demand instant and aggressive retribution before any discussion or debate is had” to be intriguing. I wonder where I might have seen this sort of thing before…

  13. Aside from some who make half-hearted excuses on their behalf, who is surprised that people raised in a stone-age culture behave like savages?

    What puzzles me is why some do make excuses for them.

    1. A stone age culture would be better – these guys have written texts – often transmitted on the Internet – and modern weapons.

      Some have called Islamism a modern movement, or at least an attempt to import an idealized version of the Muslim Good Old Days (which probably never existed) into the world of nukes and airplanes.

      1. It is indisputable historical fact that there once was a Muslim golden age where they lead the world in science, art, literature, and medicine; however these numbskulls can’t make the connection that this time was also the time when the Muslim world was cosmopolitan and open, with her merchants engaging in lucrative trade from Andalusia to Indonesia and large populations of Christians, Jews, and Hindus lived within her borders peacefully and with less restrictions then what’s left of these populations do today.

    2. “people raised in a stone-age culture behave like savages?”

      Not to split hairs…

      …but given that Islam is ‘younger’ than Christianity, and they had a period of ‘secular and scientific’ society while the West was in the Dark Ages, ‘stone age’ is probably the wrong term.

      I’m just saying this because I don’t want to give the Flintsones a bad name.

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