Cartoons came front and center a week ago, with Muslims rioting and protesting. But Chi Trib took until today, Tuesday the 7th, to come up with a page one story "Why [they] sparked furor: Islamic tradition and freedom of press clash over artists' depictions of Prophet Muhammad," by its dynamic religion duo, and they are good, Margaret Ramirez and Manya A. Brachear, who clearly were given the assignment. It's a fine Saturday religion-page story, full of citations from various academics and ethnic ax-grinders -- it's what you do to provide what an ad saleswoman once told me is "editorial support," for church-page ads.
But this one is just below the page-one fold (on a Tuesday) and a vivid, vivid color shot of a burning Danish flag -- when was the last time you saw a really fiery Danish flag, a sure sign that's something's rotten in Denmark -- the entire spectacle beneath a sparkling quote from some Catholic professor, drawn, I hope out of context because it tends to make a religious act out of rioting and destruction: "In Muslim culture, there is a very strong sense of the sacred."
The sacred, yes, the last refuge of Islamo-fascists bent on destroying almost everything that makes life living, incited by clerics who phonied up cartoons of The Prophet to go with those that ran in the offending Danish newspaper -- the one tut-tutted by Boston Globe and other first-amendment heroes for its impolitic behavior -- and spread them around Muslim-land. The rioters doing it in countries where nothing -- nada, nihil. rien, zilch -- happens without govt say-so.
Chi Trib would have us think we really know why Muslims riot, offering various repetitive statements of what is old, old news by now, that the Muslim world is more religion-oriented than we. But nothing is said about radical imams who plot and scheme and incite riots. There are days when I want my fifty cents back from 435 N. Michigan.