This is one side of the assault on the freedom of speech, which is the foundation of a free society. The other side are the cool, measured calls from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for the criminalization of “incitement to religious hatred” and the like. The goal is the same for both initiatives: to intimidate the West into adopting Sharia restrictions on criticism of Islam, which would foreclose on any examination of the jihadis’ motives and goals, and allow the jihad to advance unimpeded. And instead of standing for the freedom of speech and explaining why it is important, Western leaders and the mainstream media are temporizing and surrendering.
Note also the sheer insanity of these demonstrators: drawing Muhammad is the “worst act of terrorism.” Not, say, flying jetliners into office buildings, or murdering whole families as they sleep in their beds, or gunning down people in cartoonists’ offices and a kosher supermarket. But no one in the mainstream will mock this or even take note of it. To do so would be “Islamophobic.”
“‘Hang the cartoonists!’ Pakistani Muslims demand death sentence for Charlie Hebdo staff for committing ‘worst act of terrorism’ by drawing the Prophet Mohammed,” by Simon Tomlinson, MailOnline, January 15, 2015 (thanks to Anne Crockett):
Pakistani Muslims today called for the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists to be hanged for drawing the Prophet Mohammed on its latest front cover.
As worldwide protests continued for a second day, nearly 300 people from a religious group rallied in the eastern city of Lahore, carrying placards saying ‘Down with Charlie Hebdo’.
One banner read: ‘Making blasphemy cartoon of the Prophet is the worst act of terrorism. The sketch-makers must be hanged immediately.’
Cartoonist Renald Luzier, who drew the image, had argued earlier this week that there should be no exceptions to freedom of expression.
The rally came as Pakistani lawmakers staged their own demonstrations outside parliament after passing a resolution condemning the image of Islam’s prophet in the French satirical newspaper.
The front cover shows a weeping Mohammed, holding a sign reading ‘I am Charlie’ with the words ‘All is forgiven’ above him.
Like many other Muslim nations, Pakistan has condemned last week’s deadly rampage at the office of Charlie Hebdo which killed 12 people, including editors, cartoonists and two policemen.
But the authorities have also condemned the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, which many Muslims consider sacrilege.
Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Mohammad Yousuf said the lawmakers unanimously adopted the resolution condemning the publication of the images.
The resolution was mostly symbolic.
Yousif did not say how many legislators were present, but he stressed that lawmakers from all political parties backed the measure.
The resolution also condemned violence under any pretext.
After the vote, a group of lawmakers marched outside parliament, chanting: ‘In the name of the prophet, we’re ready to die.’
The minister said the resolution would be sent to all foreign missions in the country and to the United Nations, to register Pakistan’s protest against the cartoons, which ‘hurt our religious sentiments deeply.’
Islam generally forbids depictions of the Prophet Mohammed and many in Muslim-majority Pakistan view the cartoons as blasphemous.
The magazine has invoked freedom of speech to defend its publications of cartoons that many Muslims and non-Muslims alike consider offensive.
Meanwhile, Turkey also denounced the prophet cartoons as an ‘open provocation’.
‘Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to insult,’ Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara before heading for talks with EU leaders in Brussels.
His comments came as prosecutors in Istanbul opened an investigation into Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet for publishing excerpts from the first issue of Charlie Hebdo since the attack on its offices on January 7 that left 12 people dead.
The publications revived a controversy over freedom of speech in officially secular Turkey which has been run for over a decade by an Islamic-leaning government and pious Muslim Recep Tayyip Erdogan, first as premier and now president.
‘We do not allow any insult to the prophet in this country,’ Davutoglu said.
‘As the government, we cannot put side by side the freedom of press and the lowness to insult.’
Davutoglu said people were sensitive about their religion in the overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey and could not be expected to show patience towards insults to the prophet.
‘If some print cartoons that insult the prophet – and this is the situation and there is a sensitivity in Turkey – it is a provocation… it is an open provocation.’
Meanwhile, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has characterised the cartoon as ‘irresponsible and reckless’.
A statement from Jordan’s royal palace said ‘continuation of publishing the cartoon is an insult to the feelings of Muslims everywhere’.
The king, believed to be a descendant of Mohammed, added that, at times like these, there is a ‘need for wisdom, dialogue and open-endedness… and of working in a constructive manner to boost the values of respect, compassion and common values.’
On Tuesday in the northwestern city of Peshawar, a hard-line cleric led a memorial service for the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi who attacked the satirical paper and praised their assault.
About 40 people attended, with some carrying banners condemning the magazine and chanting praise for the Kouachis.
The magazine yesterday published a ‘survivors’ issue which sold out before more copies of an eventual print run of five million hit newsstands.
Copies have since been changing hands on eBay for three-figure sums as customers rush to get their hands on the edition.
But many Muslims believe their faith forbids depictions of the prophet and reacted with dismay – and occasionally anger – to the latest cover image.
Some felt their expressions of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo after last week’s attack had been rebuffed, while others feared the cartoon would trigger yet more violence.
‘You’re putting the lives of others at risk when you’re taunting bloodthirsty and mad terrorists,’ said Hamad Alfarhan, a 29-year old Kuwaiti doctor….
Surrendering to them is even worse.