Friday, October 27, 2006

Hopeful Developments in Europe

The last several days have seen two small but hopeful developments regarding Europe's willingness to stand up against Radical Islam's war on intellectual freedom:

-In Germany, the Deutsche Oper announced that it will go ahead with its production of the Mozart opera Idomeneo. The production was canceled in late September in an act of preemptive self-censorship due to fear of a possible violent reaction from radical Islamists.

-In Denmark, a lawsuit against the newspaper Jyllands-Posten over its publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons was dismissed. Unfortunately, the reaction of some Muslims was less than encouraging:

"It is not up to the court to decide if Muslims will have hard feelings or not," Ameer ul-Azeem, spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami, told the Associated Press news agency.

His group belongs to an Islamic alliance that organised mass protests across Pakistan earlier this year.

In Syria, where a mob attacked and set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in February, legislator Mohammed Habash said the ruling would "widen the gap between the Western and Islamic world".

"What the newspaper did represents a true insult to millions of Muslims who do not follow Danish laws," Mr Habash, who heads the Islamic Studies Centre in Damascus, told AP.

(Emphasis added-DD)

The reaction of one prominent Danish Muslim leader is particularly illustrative of the problem:

"I'm not surprised, shocked or disappointed," said Ahmed Abu-Laban, a Copenhagen imam active in one of the organizations that brought the lawsuit.

"Freedom of speech has been the issue from the beginning. It is seen differently in Europe than we see it."

He urged Danish journalists to exercise self-censorship when dealing with sensitive subjects and said he hoped Denmark would pass laws guaranteeing "the dignity of people."

"Islam has been demonized and we pay a high price in discrimination," he said. "There is blasphemy and discrimination, but now it's interpreted to save the face of the government."

(Emphasis added-DD)

Is it really unreasonable to believe that the "European view" of free speech should be allowed to prevail in Europe?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the not so hopeful:

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the even less hopeful:

7:22 PM  

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