If you had to read that headline twice, I don't blame you; I had to do the same, and I'm the one who typed it!
But yes, it's true -- The Religious Policeman quotes this article in Arab News, which states that the The Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers and Shoura Council ("Poodle Parliament") took time out from pretending to deal with the recent crowd-control fiasco in Mecca, and turned their attention to the pressing issue of cartoons in Europe:
JEDDAH, 24 January 2006 — Saudi Arabia yesterday denounced European newspapers that published cartoons denigrating the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and said such spiteful actions would spread hatred and animosity among people of different faiths...The Cabinet was referring to the caricatures published by some Danish and Norwegian dailies.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by the Regent Prince Sultan at Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, expressed anguish and surprise at the inadequate reaction from governments and people in those countries against such vilifications, despite their economic, political and cultural relations with the Islamic world.
In a similar statement, the Shoura Council also condemned the attacks of Danish and Norwegian newspapers on the Prophet and said such publications would unleash communal hatred.
In light of the Madrid bombings, the London Tube station bombings, and largely orchestrated mob-violence in France and Denmark, this statement sounds dangerously close to a direct threat. Is there something the Council of Ministers need to tell MI-5?
“Those who publish such cartoons do not know the consequences; they will spread hatred and division and create animosity between communities and religions,” the Shoura said.
Right -- terrorist cells are active all over Europe, innocent people have been murdered in London and Madrid, and Iran is now run by a Jew-bashing Holocaust-denier with nukes; but publication of cartoons in newspapers will "create animosity?" Did these Ministers come to work drunk?
The statement rejected publication of such obnoxious cartoons in the name of freedom of expression. “All constitutions and laws in the world call for the respect of Prophets and divine religions,” it added.
Whose "constitutions and laws" have these Ministers even read? Certainly not America's. Of course, if they had Bush's chum Karen Hughes explain our Constitution to them, then I can see why they'd get it wrong.
(The EU Constitution also has a freedom-of-speech clause, but it's so riddled with exceptions and qualifications as to be a total waste of keystrokes.)
Shoura Council Chairman Dr. Saleh Bin-Humaid urged intellectuals and peace-loving people of the world to stop such vilifications against the Prophet of Islam and punish its perpetrators.
This request is both appalling and funny: the Saudi Royal Family are too corrupt even to control themselves; their worst, most bigoted "students" have taken over the schools and are now policing the daily actions of people with ten times their intellect; anti-Semitism is standard in the curriculum; and their country is both an exporter and financier of the worst sorts of terrorists; but they expect "intellectuals and peace-loving people of the world" to keep those spiteful Europeans from criticizing them?
While they're at it, are they also going to ask "intellectuals and peace-loving people of the world" to help them enforce Khomeini's old fatwa against Salman Rushdie?
To illustrate the sort of "spiteful actions" the Saudis want foreign powers to help them suppress, our blogger has reprinted this cartoon from Denmark:
Followed by this:
Let's see if the Ministers "get it"...