Kicking The Dog
Transference is a phenomenon in psychology characterized by unconscious redirection of feelings of one person to another. For instance, one could mistrust somebody because he resembles an ex-spouse in manners, voice or external appearance; or be overly compliant to someone who resembles a childhood friend. Everyone does it to some degree. The a-hole who curses at everyone in traffic for the most trivial traffic infractions, yet does not have the guts to tell his wife he hates her food.
It is what I call the "kick the dog" syndrome. Your boss yelled at you today and since you could not or would not respond, you came home and kicked the dog. The problem is, your wife's food still sucks, you still hate your boss and now you have made an enemy of your dog. Sucks to be you.
This is the Arab/Muslim world in a nutshell.
The despotic leaders who are heavily armed by the United States tolerate absolutely no criticism whatsoever. People are frustrated by high unemployment, filthy environments, crowded living areas, oppressive corruption, a rigid tribal class system that keeps the rich rich and the poor really really poor and so many other things. The cultures share the common trait of rigid authoritarian hierarchies, both within the personal and public spheres. And there is nowhere to vent. That is, until some no-name newspaper in Denmark prints an offensive cartoon of the prophet Mohamed and the dictators see a good opportunity for their people to blow off some steam and to direct it outside their country.
This entire overblown incident is not a debate between religious tolerance and free speech. It has nothing to do with Islam. It has nothing to do with European racism. It is a sympton of the ticking time bomb that are the Arab and Muslim worlds. You can only oppress people so long until they explode. It's like a teapot. If you don't remove the lid once it starts boiling, the entire kettle is going to explode and destroy your kitchen.
My recent trip to Egypt was both enlightening and disturbing. In a discussion with one of my cousins, we were talking about the horrid state of affairs in the country and she told me that the standard blame game is to blame America. Although I am no apologist for the U.S. and its disastrous foreign policy in the region, I told her that I cannot accept that America could be the cause of everything wrong in Egypt. Where is the personal responsibility? But that is the government line. It has to be since it is a crime to defame the country. Seriously, it is and critics of the government have been thrown in jail for it. So, keep quiet, blame America and Israel, and accept no personal responsibility whatsoever because to say sorry or admit a mistake is to show weakness. And that is quite typical in Arab culture in general.
This is the problem. Read anything in psychology about character-disordered people who cannot accept that they ever do anything wrong. Read about transference among passive aggressive people and you will understand why Muslims are making a big stink about nothing. Yes, the cartoon was offensive, yes it's insensitive, but if you keep denying that the Holocaust happened, why should anyone respect your sensitivities?
Show respect to others and they will return it to you.