As leaders of the world's 57 Muslim nations gathered for a summit meeting in Mecca in December, issues like religious extremism dominated the official agenda. But much of the talk in the hallways was of a wholly different issue: Danish cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad.Could anything be more obtuse? You see your own people overreacting in the extreme to some drawings, and your response is all about how bad the drawings are? And your goal is to reverse the antagonism directed at you? I've been, I think, more sympathetic than most bloggers in trying to understand the depth of the offense felt, but at this point, I am left gaping at the insane disproportion and lack of self-awareness among the anti-cartoonists. Are there any bigger clowns in the history of free expression?
The closing communiqué took note of the issue when it expressed "concern at rising hatred against Islam and Muslims and condemned the recent incident of desecration of the image of the Holy Prophet Muhammad in the media of certain countries" as well as over "using the freedom of expression as a pretext to defame religions."
ADDED: As a commenter points out, my criticism of the communiqué isn't quite apt since it predates the really over-the-top reaction.