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January 07, 2006

Creating a storm

I stumbled across a story recently that should sound warning bells for everyone in Europe and the Western world - particularly those who value what little we have left of freedom to express our opinions on a variety of issues. It seems to me to be a perfect case of over-reaction in every direction and one which highlights the idiocy of the advocates of politically correct meddling in some aspects of our lives.

The story begins in September with the publication by a Danish newspaper - quite a small one with a small circulation - of a series of twelve cartoons showing the Prophet Mohammed in a slightly less than complimentary light. Given that the total population of Denmark is no more than 3 million and the Muslim immigrant population is around 3% of that, you would think that most people would simply shrug their shoulders and that would be that. Not in this case.

The first problem is that the Koran (or Quran) expressly forbids any depiction of the Prophet. This is probably based on the sound principle that an image can very easily become an idol, so it has a practical purpose, but it is also taken extremely seriously by adherents of Islam. In fact there are a number of images of the Prophet available in Islamic countries, mostly commissioned by the Caliphs and Sultans who ruled most of the Muslim world for near on 1200 years. That doesn't stop the fanatics, though, from yelling "Jihad" and demanding that Denmark "punish" the cartoonists and the newspaper. Apparently even a "Fatwah" or two have been issued.

Eleven ambassadors demanded an audience with the Prime Minister, who refused and told them he was not about to interfere with his countries democratic principle of freedom of expression. That is where it starts to get out of hand, because Brussels jumped on the bandwagon and made some equally silly demands - which the Danes basically told them to poke somewhere painful. But, in parallel, the Islamic press has whipped up a storm about this "attack" on their faith and it has even resulted in a general strike - in Kashmir!

But, the teacup had not yet reached full blown hurricane, so - enter the UN with a demand that Denmark be investigated for "growing racism". Now we have a full blown hurricane, which could have been avoided if people of sense had simply taken the line of least said soonest mended. The cartoons probably are tasteless, but are they really worth a major international row? Are they really worth whipping up such a passion that we now have threats that a Jihad will be launched against anyone and everyone who dares to support the Danes on this?

One commentator asked how Christians would re-act to a blasphemous depiction of Christ, and went on to say that he knew of "no such assault on Christianity". Well, I don't know what planet he lived on when "The life of Brian" which even has the hero being crucified was launched. Or where he was when the "Da Vinci Code" was published. I certainly don't know where all the brouhaha is about some of the sillier depictions and jokes that float about with Christ as the butt of them. This is what is so very wrong with the entire political correctness agenda - it is hopelessly slewed by the lie that Islam is in some way the "victim" of Christian aggression. Given that whenever it is a Christian leader who complains the same bunch of PC morons in Brussels either ignore the complaint or pour scorn on it as being "counter to the EU's desire to be inclusive and put aside the wrongs of the past". Indeed.

Personally I am sick of this stupidity, it really is time for sensible people everywhere to say enough! You do have to wonder just how much of a fuss this would have caused if the Ambasadors had taken the trouble to write a polite note to the Editor of the paper concerned pointing out that they found this offensive and left it at that. What they have now is these cartoons on the internet and the world aware of just how silly their reaction looks.

An "own goal" if ever I saw one.

Posted by The Gray Monk at January 7, 2006 03:22 PM

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I notice you did not include a link to the cartoons... I will have to find a copy myself...

After all, it is terrible that these Christians keep bombing Muslim tourist areas in Indonesia (and the subways in London) and then they can't take a humourous cartoon.

Oops (as Vetinari) would say, I seem to have those last two around the wrong way.

Posted by: Ozguru at January 8, 2006 11:45 PM