Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 08:02:54 -0500
From: David Virtue
Subject: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

by Daniel Pipes

New York Sun

February 7, 2006

The key issue at stake in the battle over the twelve Danish cartoons of
the Muslim prophet Muhammad is this: Will the West stand up for its
customs and mores, including freedom of speech, or will Muslims impose
their way of life on the West? Ultimately, there is no compromise:
Westerners will either retain their civilization, including the right to
insult and blaspheme, or not.

More specifically, will Westerners accede to a double standard by which
Muslims are free to insult Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and
Buddhism, while Muhammad, Islam, and Muslims enjoy immunity from
insults? Muslims routinely publish cartoons far more offensive than the
Danish ones . Are they entitled to dish it out while being insulated
from similar indignities?

Germany's Die Welt newspaper hinted at this issue in an editorial: "The
protests from Muslims would be taken more seriously if they were less
hypocritical. When Syrian television showed drama documentaries in prime
time depicting rabbis as cannibals, the imams were quiet." Nor, by the
way, have imams protested the stomping on the Christian cross embedded
in the Danish flag.

The deeper issue here, however, is not Muslim hypocrisy but Islamic
supremacism. The Danish editor who published the cartoons, Flemming
Rose, explained that if Muslims insist "that I, as a non-Muslim, should
submit to their taboos ... they're asking for my submission."

Precisely. Robert Spencer rightly called on the free world to stand
"resolutely with Denmark." The informative Brussels Journal asserts, "We
are all Danes now." Some governments get it:

* Norway: "We will not apologize because in a country like Norway, which
guarantees freedom of expression, we cannot apologize for what the
newspapers print," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg commented.
* Germany: "Why should the German government apologize [for German
papers publishing the cartoons]? This is an expression of press
freedom," Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble said.
* France: "Political cartoons are by nature excessive. And I prefer an
excess of caricature to an excess of censorship," Interior Minister
Nicolas Sarkozy commented.

Other governments wrongly apologized:

* Poland: "The bounds of properly conceived freedom of expression have
been overstepped," Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz stated. *
United Kingdom: "The republication of these cartoons has been
unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it
has been wrong," Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said.
* New Zealand: "Gratuitously offensive," is how Trade Negotiations
Minister Jim Sutton described the cartoons.
* United States: "Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is
not acceptable," a State Department press officer, Janelle Hironimus,

Strangely, as "Old Europe" finds its backbone, the Anglosphere quivers.
So awful was the American government reaction, it won the endorsement of
the country's leading Islamist organization, the Council on
American-Islamic Relations. This should come as no great surprise,
however, for Washington has a history of treating Islam preferentially.
On two earlier occasions it also faltered in cases of insults concerning

In 1989, Salman Rushdie came under a death edict from Ayatollah Khomeini
for satirizing Muhammad in his magical-realist novel, The Satanic
Verses. Rather than stand up for the novelist's life, President George
H.W. Bush equated The Satanic Verses and the death edict, calling both
"offensive." The then secretary of state, James A. Baker III, termed the
edict merely "regrettable."

Even worse, in 1997 when an Israeli woman distributed a poster of
Muhammad as a pig, the American government shamefully abandoned its
protection of free speech. On behalf of President Bill Clinton, State
Department spokesman Nicholas Burns called the woman in question "either
sick or ... evil" and stated that "She deserves to be put on trial for
these outrageous attacks on Islam." The State Department endorses a
criminal trial for protected speech? Stranger yet was the context of
this outburst. As I noted at the time, having combed through weeks of
State Department briefings, I "found nothing approaching this
vituperative language in reference to the horrors that took place in
Rwanda, where hundreds of thousands lost their lives. To the contrary,
Mr. Burns was throughout cautious and diplomatic."

Western governments should take a crash course on Islamic law and the
historically-abiding Muslim imperative to subjugate non-Muslim peoples.
They might start by reading the forthcoming book by Efraim Karsh,
Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale).

Peoples who would stay free must stand unreservedly with Denmark.

1 comment:

  1. Muslim groups have the right to protest, including boycotts, but excluding violence and property damage, when something they regard as holy is desecrated. Yes, even if it is hypocritical, they still have that right. The media have the right to publish such material, but they should exercise care when dealing with people's deepest feelings, which often reside in their religious beliefs, Muslim or otherwise.