by John Hawkins | February 3, 2006 11:00 am
An angry protest in the West Bank over an unflattering cartoon of the prophet Mohammed was extensively delayed today when the angry mob realized they had no idea what the flag of Denmark looked like or where to find one.
Indeed, while flag burnings are as common as random gunfire in the West Bank, this marked the first burning of the Danish Flag, according to Qasim Batkela, a local historian who keeps copious documentation of all flag burnings, and presents a popular slide show each quarter to West Bank residents recapping the top burnings of the past few months.
Batkela realized he had his work cut out for him when he first heard about the cartoon.
“At first, we figured Denmark was a U.S. state,” he explained. “Then we found out it’s actually a country, with a flag and everything. We went down to Faruk’s Flammable Flags, and he had never heard of it. So we burned his evil store, praise be to Allah. Finally, Munsif Babar got through on his internet dial-up, and found the Danish flag. He got so angry at the sight of it that he set fire to his computer before we could print a copy, and we had to burn Munsif and his family as punishment, praise be to Allah. While many things were burning, the day was not going well.”
Finally, according to Batkela, a Danish flag was painted on a piece of cardboard and set afire, satiating the angry crowd.
Batkela watched the burning from afar, taking digital photos and making notes in a dog-eared notebook, and offering broader perspective on West Bank flag burnings.
“Israel and the United States are obviously our most popular, well-attended burnings,” explained Batkela. “We also have weekly burnings of the flag of Barbados because Abdul Shaneen went there for his honeymoon and lost his wallet. After that, strangely enough, we really like to burn the Swiss Flag, because it totally freaks out the Swiss if anyone is angry at them. Have you ever yelled ‘Death to Switzerland?’ Try it. The ironic juxtaposition is rich.”
But today’s flag burning marked a first for Denmark, a small nipple of a country whose major exports are lip-corroding chewing tobacco and Lars Ulrich of Megadeth. The country is best known for their Emmy-Award winning turn as a speed bump in World War II, when they set a record by surrendering to Germany in 3 hours and 12 minutes. After that, Denmark’s history is relatively quiet until Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen’s poignant 1985 portrayal of Ludmilla in Rocky IV. Indeed, the small, wet welfare state is not accustomed to the spotlight, but that all changed today.
This satire was used with the permission of RWN advertiser, Potfry.
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