“What kind of civilization are we… if we refrain from mocking and ridiculing bin Laden and his followers?” Flemming Rose responds defiantly to the latest threat against freedom of expression in Europe.
Osama bin Laden has been celebrating the birthday of the prophet Mohammed by calling on Muslims to kill people like me, cartoonists and other “blasphemers” who have dared to publish and republish cartoons of a man who lived 1,400 years ago.
Actually, this is nothing new. Bin Laden addressed the cartoon issue two years ago, in a little-noticed speech, when he called the cartoons of Mohammed the worst possible attack on Islam.
“The response will be what you see and not what you hear and let our mothers bereave us if we do not make victorious our messenger of God,” said the voice from the cave in yesterday’s message.
“You went overboard in your unbelief and freed yourselves of the etiquettes of dispute and fighting and went to the extent of publishing these insulting drawings. This is the greatest tragedy and the reckoning for it will be more severe,” it added.
The man from the cave said that the republishing of Kurt Westergaard’s cartoon depicting Muhammed with a bomb in his turban was part of a crusade against Islam. And, according to bin Laden, Pope Benedict XVI is playing a key role in this confrontation, even though the Pope has denounced the publication and republication of the famous cartoon. [...]
Explaining his call for the killing of heretics and blasphemers, bin Laden cited the example of Mohammed himself who is supposed to be a role model for every Muslim. The prophet ordered the killing of Ka’b ibn Al-Ashraf because he had written critical poems about Mohammed.
The latest message from bin Laden has been analyzed by Walid Phares: [...]Change your laws on liberties and freedom of expression or else. “If there is no check on the freedom of your words then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our hearts.” [...]
What should the response of Europe be? More cartoons or less cartoons? What kind of civilization are we, after all, if we refrain from mocking and ridiculing bin Laden and his followers?
A fearful, confused, and cowed one, and that is what we are.