Denmark, Iran Near War Over Pastry Naming Rights

Mitchell SilversteinIran struck back against Denmark this week with a low blow to that nation’s most sacred symbol, the pastry known around the world as “the Danish.” In retaliation for caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, the Iranian Confectioners’ Union has ordered that the popular pastries be renamed “roses of the Prophet Muhammad.”

As expected, the insult has incited chaos and instability across Denmark. Danes have taken to the streets in riotous fashion, burning Iranian flags and threatening to attack the Iranian Embassy. A group of Persian immigrants sustained minor injuries after walking into a popular bakery in Copenhagen and ordering three roses of Muhammad. The bakery’s employees reportedly pelted them with Danishes.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen has expressed outrage at the insult to his country’s national pride, threatening consequences to all who disrespect the sanctity of Denmark’s blessed pastry. When asked if more cartoons would be published as a retaliatory act, he replied, “All options are on the table.”

Denmark’s supreme leader, Queen Margrethe II, angrily demanded a new name for Persian rugs as an initial counterstrike. After considering such names as “Nordic quilt” and “Viking mat,” the queen made a final decision. From now on, Danes will refer to the popular Oriental rug as the “sheath of Scandinavia.”

U.S. officials have thus far remained silent on the situation, possibly waiting to see if it escalates before issuing an official response. Despite hard questioning, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan refused to discuss the issue at Thursday’s press conference.

In order to get the inside scoop, I caught up with McClellan that evening while he was dining at a Capitol Hill cafeteria. “The White House feels that renaming a country’s most famous food incites anger and resentment instead of fostering a dialogue based on tolerance and mutual respect,” he said before turning back to his plate of Freedom Fries.

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