But you’re not a real ___

Kenana Malik told a poignant little anecdote in his talk on multiculturalism at the Secular Conference last weekend.

The Danish MP Naser Khader tells of a conversation with Toger Seidenfaden, editor of Politiken, a left-wing Danish newspaper that was highly critical of the Danish cartoons. Seidenfaden claimed that ‘the cartoons insulted all Muslims’. Khader responded that ‘I am not insulted’. ‘But you’re not a real Muslim’, was Seidenfaden’s response.

Ahhh, not real. So to be “real Muslim” you have to be offended by the Danish cartoons. So a real Muslim = someone who is offended by the cartoons. So the core of being a Muslim becomes [the state of being offended by the cartoons]. It’s no longer an incidental, or a possible outcome of being a particularly devout or ardent Muslim – no, it’s the thing itself. A real Muslim just is someone who is offended by the cartoons.

It’s a strange move, taking something so obviously constructed and contingent, something so worked up, as definitional of something as large and sweeping as being a real Muslim. It’s not as if [being offended by a particular set of Danish cartoons about Mohammed] is one of the five pillars.

It’s a strange move for an outsider, a non-Muslim, who seems to be thinking of himself as a champion and defender of real Muslims, to define real Muslims as willing to be nudged into being offended that easily.


  1. Decker says

    This is an example of why people are so disillusioned with leftists.

    Had those cartoons lampooned Christianity or any other religion, I’m quite sure this chap would have found them brave and transgressive.

  2. M can help you with that. says

    So apparently if I think Seidenfaden is being ridiculous, I’m not a “real leftist”? Maybe Khader and I should hang out and bemoan our apparent inauthenticity. He probably thought that being a Muslim made him a “real Muslim,” much like I thought being a socialist made me a “real leftist” — how wrong we were!

  3. johnthedrunkard says

    So the Real Muslim IS the violent terrorist. But it is somehow ‘progressive’ to maintain a discrete silence about it.

    It has been reported elsewhere, but the 12 cartoons were published in an Egyptian tabloid newspaper MONTHS before the frenzy. While they weren’t exactly approved of, the Professional Offended Outrage was nowhere to be seen.

  4. says

    Real leftists probably loved Piss Christ, but would hate Piss Mohammed.

    Real leftists would probably think that both would be mediocre art, offering only shock value.

  5. says

    I was offended by a couple of the cartoons.
    Does that make me a Muslim?

    If I was offended by your offense, would that make me a leftist?

    I don’t like this game! It makes my head asplodey!

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