Plain Brown Rapper: What’s in a name?
KHARTOUM, Sudan (Associated Press): “Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied … in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a Teddy Bear ‘Muhammad.’”(Incidentally, did you know one of the students was named “Muhammad”? No one made much of that.)So, there they go again, those wild and wacky Muslims. MUSLIMS, not Islamic extremists who are so easy and convenient to hate. We’re talking here about rank-and-file Koran-thumping followers of Allah who not only brandished sharpened weapons for the cameras, but also paid bills, had children in school and put their pants on one leg at a time, just like all of us do.They are the Everyman Muslims, ready to riot whenever there’s as much as a cartoon making light of their Great Prophet.Yet they are weapon-wielding weekend warriors who have to get ready for work the next day. That’s the scary thing, when the mere mention of a prophet’s name in an irreverent way, or — Allah forbid — a newspaper cartoon, the Islamic extremist and their non-extremist Osama six-pack fellow travelers are ready to kill. To kill!What’s in a name?Here’s a bleak answer from the Netherlands: In 2004 (according to Paul Belien, writing for VDARE.com): “When 47-year-old Theo van Gogh (relative of Vincent von Gogh) was cycling to work on Tuesday morning in Amsterdam, he was overtaken by a younger cyclist, dressed in an Arabian djellabah. The 26-year-old, a ‘Dutchman of Moroccan descent,’ pulled a gun, shot and wounded van Gogh. The latter dropped his bike and stumbled across the street, followed by the younger man, who shot him again (despite pleas of mercy). Then the whole scene turned into Jihad. The assailant jumped on van Gogh, pulled a knife and slit his throat (almost decapitating him). He planted the knife into van Gogh’s chest and a second knife, with a note containing Koranic verses, into his stomach.”What were van Gogh’s crimes that spawned such ghastly results? He criticized the Prophet Muhammad in the 2003 book “Allah Knows Best” and a 2004 film documentary, “Submission,” which exposed the horrible way women are treated by Islamists.The aftermath?Daniel Pipes of the New York Sun reported, “The day after the murder, 20,000 demonstrators gathered to denounce the killing, and 30 people were arrested for inciting hatred against Muslims … (T)he next two weeks saw more than 20 arson and bombing attacks and counterattacks on mosques, churches and other institutions … giving the country the feel of a small-scale civil war.”While shooting, stabbing and slitting van Gogh’s throat cannot be compared to a teacher letting her class name a (no doubt cute and cuddly) teddy bear “Muhammad,” it underscores the point: What’s in a name?Well, in response to this madness, The Rapper is going to rename my Bombay cat, Ninja, “Muhammad.” Henceforth, my long, sleek miniature panther shall be known only as Muhammad.Unless Muhammad answers to his new name, he won’t be fed. When cradling and cuddling the cat formerly known as Ninja, I will whisper, “Ah, little black Muhammad, I love you so much. So does Allah. Would you like to try on your suicide Jihad collar now, little Muhammad, and ready yourself to go kill a bunch of innocent Christians?”But before some Agent of Allah does a Salman Rushdie on me, I’m actually renaming my cat after Muhammad Ali, the best recognized face on this spinning mud ball called planet Earth. The Louisville Lip has been a hero to me since the ’60s.Or, maybe, I’m renaming Ninja Muhammad after Larry Muhammad, ace reporter for The Courier-Journal, whom I’ve admired from afar for many years. He’s a Gold Standard journalist.So, free speech, baby. Get over it, Muslims.I don’t cringe when I hear a Hispanic named Jesus. That’s cool by me. I’m sure there’s no blasphemy intended. But even if offended, I’d not run to the cutlery drawer.But, Muslim brothers, you act like utter fools in response to a teddy bear named Muhammad.Allah could not be pleased by this bad behavior. And I doubt the Prophet Muhammad is anything but embarrassed. Barbarism is so five minutes ago, Muslims. Welcome to the 21st century.But anyway, I’m Carl Brown, Louisville’s Plain Brown Rapper, and that’s just my own damn opinion. If you don’t like it, kill me. Just leave my cat out of it. Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org