“By reprinting these cartoons we are heading toward a bigger conflict and that shows that both sides will be hostages of their radicals.” Our radicals print cartoons. Theirs burn stuff and kill people. And watch it, now: if our radicals keep printing those cartoons, their radicals will be at it again soon.
This is just organized thuggery. The OIC, by issuing this threat, shows itself to be an organization of thugs. Now is the time for Western authorities to stand up strongly and reaffirm the principle of free speech, and explain violent reprisals in the face of a perceived offense are irrational, immature, unacceptable, and will be dealt with in the strongest possible terms. Anyone up for that? Mr. Bush? Mr. Brown? Anyone? Anyone?
“Reprinting of Prophet cartoons sparks outrage,” from Lebanon’s Daily Star (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) denounced on Friday the reprinting of a Danish cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad, warning it could lead to confrontations between Muslims and Christians. “By reprinting these cartoons we are heading toward a bigger conflict and that shows that both sides will be hostages of their radicals,” OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turk, said in Istanbul. The Jeddah-based OIC is the world’s largest pan-Islamic body, with 57 members.
“It is not a way of improving your rights and exercising your freedoms when you use these rights for insulting the most sacred values and symbols of others and inciting hatred,” he said. “This is a very wrong, provocative path – unacceptable.”
No, Mr. Ihsanoglu, you are the one inciting hatred, by suggesting that violence in response to a cartoon is morally acceptable. Insulting the sacred values and symbols of others may be obnoxious, but what should be done about it? If you make it a crime to insult those symbols, you are in effect affirming their sacredness as a universal value: those who do not accept the sacredness of those symbols must behave as if they do, so their sacredness becomes a fundamental assumption of the culture at large.
If you make it a crime punishable by law in the West, which I know you want to do and which your coreligionists are already trying to do under the guise of “hate speech” laws, you will have forced Western societies to accept the sacredness of those symbols. And thus the openness to question this status will be removed, and free inquiry about these symbols will be foreclosed. Thus the West will have begun to accept the priority and superiority of Islamic values, which in the context of the total societal model that Sharia represents, means that it will have taken one large step toward its own Islamization.
I am sorry the cartoons offend you, Mr. Ihsanoglu, but I must stand and defend the right of the cartoonists to draw them, and — in the face of the violent intimidation coming from the Islamic world — defend also what has become the moral duty of publications to publish them. We live in a world where people in good faith come to differing views of religious truth and virtually everything else also. In a free society, those people live together in peace, being willing to accept the possibility of being offended as the price of being able to have their say also, even if what they have to say might give offense to others. The alternative is to demand that all people, whatever their own perspective, acknowledge and pay obeisance to the superiority and primacy of one value-system and belief-system over all others. And that, of course, is the goal of the Islamic supremacist imperative in the first place.