Yesterday the Vatican joined the al-Azhar university in Cairo in condemning the republication of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s depiction of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban, but the Catholic state and the supreme institution of Islam in the Sunni world didn’t say a word about the foiled plot to kill Westergaard, who has been in hiding since November last year.
“Both sides vehemently denounce the reprinting of the offensive cartoon and the attack on Islam and its prophet,” the two sides said in a joint statement according to IslamOnline.
The cartoon was republished by 17 Danish newspapers two weeks ago in an act of solidarity with the 72 year old cartoonist.
“We call for the respect of faiths, religious holy books and religious symbols,” read the statement.
“Freedom of expression should not become a pretext to insult religions and defaming religious sanctities.”
Well, I wonder what the Vatican thinks of the freedom of expression demonstrated by those of its enemies who would like to see it turned into a mosque? Many of the denizens of al-Azhar University would welcome such an outcome, which the Vatican well knows. This pandering by the Vatican is embarrassing to watch. On the other hand, the Vatican - unlike the Italians who surround it - is not celebrated for its sense of humor.
This whole thing sounds like something the U.S. State Department wrote up for them. Or al Jazeera. It is the depth of short-sightedness, moral equivocating, and a dearth of common sense. God gave us all the faculty of self-preservation but it doesn’t seem to be operative in the vacuum we see here.
Mr. Rose says that Kurt Westergaard’s wife, Gitte, is not allowed to work at the kindergarten where she is normally employed, for fear of the children’s safety [Note: since this was originally posted, the kindergarten has backed off its original statement]. Given the adversary, I think that’s a sensible idea, but Mr. Rose and Mrs. Westergaarde’s wife don’t agree:
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…Today she received a call from the director asking her not to show up at work. A spokesman for the authorities in charge of child care in the county said that the decision to kick out Ms. Westergaard was made after several parents expressed worries for the safety of their kids.
“I am angry, disappointed and sad. The threats are against my husband. There is no security problem concerning me,” Gitte Westergaard told Jyllands-Posten.
“I understand that some parents may feel insecure, but I would never work at a kindergarten, if I had the slightest suspicion or knowledge that this would represent a risk to the kids or my colleagues.”
Mrs. Westergaard is exhibiting the same lack of understanding that shrouds the Vatican. Jihadists don’t mind killing children. In fact, they don’t mind using their own children as bombs. When dealing with the Brotherhood mindset, discretion is definitely the better part of valor.
Mr. Rose notes that the kindergarten, in having Mrs. Westergaarde on leave, is showing the kind of Hell’s Angels code of ethics that these people want:
If you don’t respect me I’ll kill you. Or if you don’t respect me I’ll scare the hell out of anymore who’s in touch with you so that they will cut off any contact with you. And it’s working: due to security concerns the Westergaards were kicked out of the Radisson hotel in Aarhus last week.
However, Mr. Rose should recall the horrors of Beslan. That could be repeated in Denmark without much trouble. We need to take these people seriously, and we need to keep them on guard by ridicule. The courage that mockery requires in the face of slaughter helps to knock small holes in the jihadist philosophy.
As Mr. Rose notes, shari’a demands that Islam’s adherents insult the kafir and his religion. What the killers weren’t expecting is that their opponents have - and use - the power to mock them back.
Go to the editorial to read about the scholarly atmosphere of al-Azhar University. If you can figure out the Vatican's rationale for linking with this antediluvian place, please enlighten me.
It is morally reprehensible that the seat of Roman Catholicism has chosen to ally with these haters, thereby cooperating in the downfall of the West.
Be sure to check out Mr. Rose’s bio here. He has led an interesting life. Unfortunately, his book, “American Voices,” does not appear to be available in English.