"Reptiles smell using the tip of their tongue, and a forked tongue allows them to tell which direction a smell is coming from," explains Answers re the roots of the expression "to speak with a forked tongue," meaning "to say one thing and mean another or, in more general terms, to act in a duplicitous manner." (Cobra Snake Shirt from EverWonder)
"Meanwhile the radical imams have been exposed as liars, saying one thing to the Western media and exactly the opposite to the Arab press," writes Hjörtur Gudmundsson in the indispensable The Brussels Journal:
In the Western media they call for an easing of tensions, while at the same time they keep inciting hatred in the Arab media.
One of a number of examples:
Imam Mahmoud Fouad Al-Barazi said at a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen that he wanted to advance better integration, but in an interview with the Egyptian daily Al Ahram criticized Danish kindergartens for “indoctrinating” Muslim children with Danish culture.
Others were less equivocal:
Yesterday Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of would-be European Turkey, said that freedom of expression should be restricted. “The cartoons of Muhammad are an assault on our spiritual values. There must be a limitation on freedom of the press,” he said.
These radical imams and other Muslim leaders really DON'T get the freedom-of-speech thing. Our blogfriend Amba of Ambivablog had some worthy insights about political manipulation of mass emotion in the comments to our previous post re multiculturalism's fear-society dynamic:
It's all emotion, and particularly wounded pride, grievance and outrage. If you believe something to be true because it makes you feel good -- or more likely bad in a good way -- it's true for all intents and purposes. What we've called "truthiness" they take to truly grotesque extremes. (T)ruthlessness, perhaps.
Amba was commenting specifically about Arab manipulation of mass emotion, but she got us to thinking:
As I was reading your comments, the often hysterical behavior of the Democratic leadership -- e.g., Teddy Kennedy's and Charles Schumer's rantings at the Alito hearings -- came to mind. I think it comes of being out of power too long.
Is that, after all, the radical imams' and other forked-tongued Arab leaders' problem? Being out of power too long? For them it dates back to the 1400s and "the vanished gardens of Cordoba." Even so, all is not lost:
Yesterday the newly established network of moderate Danish Muslims urged Danish imams, who insist Muslims are being treated badly in Denmark, to move to other countries with societies more in harmony with their own view on the world. “If these imams think it is so terrible to live in Denmark, then why do they remain here?” Naser Khader, the leader of the network and a member of the Danish Parliament for the Social Liberal Party (Radikale), said in an interview with the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten.
"The imams should stop critizising the cartoons and instead critizise the terrorists that cut the throats of innocent hostages in the name of Allah and therefore abuse Islam. But on such occasions we never hear a word from them. Hence, they are hypocrites."
We couldn't have said it better, and coming from Danish Muslims, it carries so much more weight than anything we could say.