The Saudis, their Flag and the Brothel.

Another headline that should prove to be google effective. Too bad the manager of, according to Spiegel Online, Europe’s largest brothel, Cologne’s “Pascha”, did not have to deal with google bots when he decided to apply the world cup’s motto “welcome to friends” rather literally and try to attract some football fans in need to discharge some tension by putting a giant poster featuring a scantily clad lady and the flags of all participating nations on one of the brothel’s walls. Unfortunately, the advertisement did not have the intended effect – but it did attract men from Cologne’s Muslim community who, enraged by the display of the Saudi Arabian and Iranian flag next to the depicted lady’s bottom, claimed that the poster amounted to an insult of the prophet Muhammad. Spiegel Online quotes the manager, Armin Lobscheid –

“On Saturday night there were 20 masked men armed with knives and sticks. They threatened to get violent and even bomb the place unless we black out the Iranian and Saudia Arabian flags on the poster…

The men had left before the police arrived. But to spare his establishment any more trouble, Lobscheid ordered a crane to black out the two flags…”

Now, it doesn’t really take an Islamic scholar to see that the depiction of a national flag next to a bottom can hardly be an insult of Muhammad. But could the relatively understanding way the European public treated the recent Muhammad cartoon row turn out to have had an incentivizing effect for this kind of behaviour? Coupled with more violent threats like the ones described above, could mentioning the possibility of having insulted the prophet Muhammad suddenly become sufficient to scare peopleinto compliance?

If that should indeed turn out to be the case, we should all call Lobscheid and ask for a sticker version of his poster.