Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the cartoon controversy in light of the larger jihad:
A poster at this website has asserted: “The reaction from Muslims is quite natural because it is their religion that has been made fun of. Consider a cartoon portraying Nazism in a favorable manner or even a cartoon that makes fun of Judaism.”
This is worth considering, since it is certain that many Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide, including Western countries, think the same way. The “reaction” by Muslims deemed “quite natural” by this poster so far has consisted of the following:
1) The forging and wide dissemination by Muslims themselves of three cartoons of Muhammad far more offensive than the very mild cartoons published in the Danish newspaper.
2) Demands for “apologies” from the newspaper and from the government of Denmark.
3) Economic boycotts, all over the Arab Muslim world, of Danish goods.
4) The recall of the Saudi and Libyan ambassadors to Denmark.
5) The demand by various Muslim states to meet with the Prime Minister of Denmark to express their displeasure.
6) The demand by the O.I.C. that there be a reckoning, and an apology, from Denmark.
7) The issuance of death threats to those at the newspaper, requiring the evacuation of the newspaper building.
8) The insistence that U.N. take up the matter and outlaw all such mockery of what the Muslims call a “religion.”
Is that a perfectly “natural” reaction? Is that how Christians and Jews have reacted to the daily Der-Stuermer like cartoons directed at them, and the editorials, and the staged atrocities (in Iraq or “Palestine”) shown on Al-Jazeera, or the Internet sites where you can see Muslims proudly beheading Infidels, so proud in fact that they use these as recruiting advertisements for the Jihad? Did Christians issue death threats when “Piss Christ” was constructed, and even put on display at a major exhibition? Do Jews issue death threats to the myriad promoters of antisemitism, not least in the Arab and Muslim world?
Is this a “natural” reaction? And why should the Western world, with its standards, change them in order to accommodate people whose ideas of human rights flatly contradict, at every point, the ideas enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Why would we wish to go backwards, to become more primitive, simply to accommodate those who, almost as an oversight by the Western world, managed in some numbers to settle behind enemy lines? If they continue to behave as the wild enemy, they risk being in the end be removed in the same spirit of justified self-protection that was invoked by Benes and Masaryk in 1946 for the Benes Decrees — by which more than 3 million Sudeten Germans were evicted from Czechoslovakia, an undertaking that no prominent Czech, nor any Western statesman, found fault with at the time, and come to think of it, none has since.
As for those “cartoons portraying Nazism in a favorable manner” — you can find those on the websites of crazed rightists in all sorts of places. And since the Nazis have a recent, well-established track record in mass murder, it is not inappropriate for Germany to ban their antisemitic propaganda. But cartoons about Muhammad are like cartoons about Jesus or Moses or Gautama Buddha. And entitled in the non-Muslim lands, at least, to the same freedoms. It is too bad that within the Lands of Islam, there is not the hint of an inkling that what ails Muslims is embedded deeply within Islam itself. A little making fun, or even mockery, should not only not be punished but should be protected from the punishment meted out by murderous vigilantes. It would be a good thing, a step up on the phylogenetic scale of civilization.
The same poster here continued: “If you slander me or my beliefs whatever they may be, I would do all in my power to stop you. We should not use free speech/press to hurt others and infringe on their rights.”
He is in the wrong country, and possibly the wrong part of the world. If that is his idea of what “free speech” is, he has not quite grasped the concept. In fact, it has eluded him entirely — and, no doubt, many other Muslims in the West as well.
Meanwhile, the egregious Diane Eck defends to the death, in the pages of The Boston Globe, the right of a known taqiyya artist, Tariq Ramadan, to enter the United States to conduct his soft-voiced propaganda. A true rustic, somehow Diane Eck managed, with her travelogue of a year in Benares, to climb that greasy pole and graspingly get tenure. She has done everything fashionably right. She is not a scholar of Hinduism, however (ask real Hindu scholars). She is a Defender of the Faith, the faith being Islam. With William Graham, the Dean of Harvard Divinity School, a man who never managed to receive tenure even from his own Middle Eastern Department, but as an administrator has apparently managed to pocket something like tenure (that’s the Modern University Today) and is himself not only a tireless defender, with Eck, of Islam, but simply a handpuppet manipulated, by all accounts, by the sinister smiling Egyptian Leila Ahmad, who has single-handedly prevented anyone semi-decent from being appointed as a scholar of, rather than an apologist for, Islam.
All over the Western world, the freedom to discuss, or to study, or even to mock if one wishes, Islam, is being suppressed, little by little by little. Muslim states boycotting Denmark and uttering warnings, Muslim mobs attacking EU sites in Gaza — Muslims all over Europe and outside Europe are attempting to change the most essential freedoms of Europeans within Europe. This includes even the plausible con-men like Tariq Ramadan. (And no one should be permitted to express, or even form, an opinion about Tariq Ramadan without having read both “Frere Tariq” by Caroline Fourest and the “Lettera aperta a Ramadan” by Magdi Allam, an Egyptian Muslim who, just like Ramadan, but from quite a different perspective, understands fully the aims and varied means of the Muslim Brotherhood.)
From the Saudis recalling their Ambassador and boycotting Danish goods, to those who have willingly been stooges for agents of the Jihad, this cartoon controversy is a worldwide campaign. What happens in Iraq will do nothing about that campaign, will have no effect. The Bush-Rice team does not understand this. It does not begin to understand the other instruments of Jihad. It cannot look beyond the Middle East and focus on the most important theatre — Western Europe. This shows the ignorance, the obstinacy, the narrowness, the ineffectiveness, of the worldview of those who now presume to defend us without understanding, without being able to identify properly or to speak openly and lucidly about the very menace that supposedly they have properly identified and are entrusted with dealing with, and according to them dispatching, for they tell us they will settle “for nothing less than victory” or even “total victory.” In this context, either phrase could be uttered only by fools, and believed by other fools.
There are plenty of those to go around.