Thursday, November 10, 2005

"This issue goes back to Salman Rushdie"

Today's Christian Science Monitor has a good article on the controversy in Denmark over the decision of newspaper editor Flemming Rose to publish satirical cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed:

"This issue goes back to Salman Rushdie. It's about freedom of speech and Islam," says an unrepentant Rose, who feels a culture of fear and self-censorship has taken hold across Europe since Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered for criticizing traditional Islam's treatment of women.

As accusations of racism and discrimination fly amid the ongoing unrest in France, European countries are being pushed to pinpoint the causes of - and solution to - the social exclusion of their significant Muslim populations. A key ingredient to the dialogue, Rose says, is making room for a frank discussion of the compatibility of democratic principles such as free speech, and traditional Islam.

"Some Muslims are asking for an apology pointing to a lack of respect," he says. "They're not asking for respect; they're asking for subordination - for us as non-Muslims to follow Muslim taboos in the public domain."

Unfortunately, the reaction among some Muslims has only proved Mr. Rose's point:

Among those who attacked the newspaper's lack of sensitivity was prominent Copenhagen imam Raed Hlayhel, saying "I will not tolerate this. If this is democracy, we disagree with democracy."

But despite the barrage of criticism, Rose defends his decision, which coincided with the arrest of seven Danish Muslims two weeks ago for planning a terrorist attack - the first evidence of Islamic militancy among Denmark's 200,000 Muslims. As evidence of the Islamic pressure for censorship, he points to several events in the last month. The individual who translated a new book by Van Gogh's collaborator, Dutch MP Aayan Hirsi Ali, has requested anonymity. A London art gallery removed a modern art exhibit "God is Great," which featured a Koran, for fear of retaliation. While in Copenhagen, a delegation of Danish imams asked the prime minister to force Denmark's media to supply "more positive coverage" of Islam.

One encouraging sign is that many other Danish Muslims have supported Rose's paper and their right to run the cartoons. Hopefully, this is aa indication that his courageous decision will lead supporters of free speech and liberal democracy to defy the climate of fear and censorship created by radical Islamists.


Anonymous Ed Merwin, Jr. said...

We beat them at Tours in 732, we may have to do it again.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Charles Martel said...

Big problem is that then there was no huge, angry, fifth column living inside the Frankish kingdom. Now the enemy is past the gates and claiming their section of town as their own...

Martel would be labelled a war criminal and cultural imperialist by the guilt-ridden left of today's Europe. Perhaps it will take people with Martel's FAITH, that salvation only comes through Jesus Christ, to save Europe. Even this year the kings and princes of Europe abandoned the confession that Europe is guided by a timeline that acknowleges Before Christ as the central point in man's history. Without this faith, Europe's secular non-faith will be powerless to stop the advance of militant Islam, which preaches a mission and plans to accomplish it...this century or next.

Charles Martel, in Maine

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Kriti said...

Wow y'all. Glad to know we're still in the Middle Ages and the Crusades are still underway. Please continue your good work in making the world safe for racist white people. And try not to get bubonic plague.

2:48 PM  

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