Friday, December 23, 2005

They Don’t Blink in Denmark

Another update several days ago, from The Brussels Journal, which has been following the cartoon capers in Denmark.

First of all the storms of outrage: The Council of Europe (if you follow the link at Brussels Journal, it appears to be much like the Amercian Council of Churches, only without the spires and belfries. Since Europe is mostly atheist anyway, a Council of Churches there would be three people and maybe a candle) is mouthing the usual clap-trap.

This particular bloviation concerns the Danish government’s refusal to come down on the newspaper and the cartoonists who outraged the Muslims by drawing cartoons of Mohammed (the cartoonists) and then publishing them (the newspaper). One of the numberless “committees” in the Council condemned the “seam of intolerance” in the Danish media. “Seam”? You mean, like a small thread running through a garment so politically correct it stands by itself when you take it off? That “seam”?

The paper had originally decided to run the cartoon contest for two reasons: to aid an author who was having trouble finding anyone willing to illustrate his book, and more importantly, to test the freedom of the press in broaching such a forbidden subject. The Jyllands-Posten is Denmark’s leading newspaper. If they could not speak who would?

You know the rest, or at least parts of it. There were ther usual Muslim international outcries, street protests as far away as Pakistan, and letters of reproof from Arab countries.
     It also resulted in a diplomatic crisis when eleven ambassadors to Copenhagen, including the ambassadors of Bosnia and Turkey, asked to meet Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for an urgent meeting to discuss the matter. They wanted him to call JP to account for “abusing Islam in the name of democracy, human rights and freedom of expression.”
The Prime Minister wasn’t awed. He told them all that Denmark doesn’t interfere in the freedom of the press:
    “This is a matter of principle. I will not meet with them because it is so crystal clear what principles Danish democracy is built upon that there is no reason to do so,” he said, adding that those who felt offended should bring their grievances to the courts. “As prime minister, I have no power whatsoever to limit the press – nor do I want such power.”
Now the original printing of the cartoons took place in September. Here we are in December and the noise is still going on.
     Egypt cut off its talks on human rights with Denmark while the Egyptian Grand-Imam Muhammad Said Tantawy condemned the Danish government. Tantawy is the religious leader of Egypt, appointed by the Egyptian president, and chancellor of the prestigious al-Azhar University, one of the Sunni Muslims’ most important centers of learning. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised his Danish colleague during bilateral talks last month.
On 7 December, the 56 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) unanimously condemned Denmark for its refusal to act against alleged “islamophobia” in the press. In a letter to the OIC Louise Arbour, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, deplored the Danish newspaper’s “lack of respect for the religion of others” and announced that the UN experts on racism would take the matter up with the Danish government.
And would you believe it – of course you would – even Denmark’s own retired diplomats weighed in. Yes, just like their confreres in Foggy Bottom, they sided not with their government, but with international elitist opinion:
     Instead of supporting their government, 22 prominent Danish former career diplomats criticised Prime Minister Rasmussen this week. In an open letter to the national daily Politiken the former diplomats write: “It would have suited democracy in Denmark if the prime minister had met the request for a meeting that was put forth by eleven foreign ambassadors from Muslim countries.” According to the former diplomats Denmark is witnessing “a sharpening of tone, which can only be regarded as persecution of the minority that consists of Muslim citizens.”
Only tiny Hirsi Ali in the Netherlands could be heard above the din, protesting that Prime Minister Rasmussen deserved support in his stand on principle.

And then guess what happened? When Denmark’s Prime Minister refused to back down, the Danish Muslims decided to moderate their demands. Juste, the editor of The Jyllands-Posten welcomed their advances:
     Moderate Muslim groups in Denmark proposed to stop demanding apologies from JP and organise a “celebration” to show the moderate side of Islam. Juste welcomed the idea. “I consider it a chance at reconciliation,” he said. “While it’s important to protect freedom of speech, there is also a need among Danes to gain more knowledge of Islam and Mohammed.”
Lesson? Don’t back down. Muslims, like the rest of us, respect principled strength. Oh, they may not like it, but they respect it.

Danes One, Islamofascists Zero.


dirty dingus said...

Thanks to Samizdata I have a link to the cartoons on the web


But note as Samizdata says: sadly you will need a pop-up blocker and some anti-spyware defences because of where the images are hosted.

Merry Christmas to all

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You see, the Danes know how to refuse to pay the Danegeld.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

dirty dingus said...

I have now mirrored the cartoons in a comment at my own blog and website which has no popups or anything else nasty.

Jason Pappas said...

It starts with one person, standing tall and going against the crowd. Rasmussen is an inspiration.

When the Italian PM said Western Civ was superior to the enemy's excuse for a civilization (right after 9/11), he caved to pressure and apologized. Let's hope this Great Dane has what it takes.

Now if we can get something printed here ...

Chip said...

Unfortunatly the editor of the Danish daily involved in the cartoon 'controversy' (ie, death threats to non-Muslims) is beginning to crack under the intense pressure. He thinks we need to learn about Islam and Mohammed. I don't think that means what he thinks it means.

Nobody values the early days of the "Prophet's Traditions" more than Osama Bin Laden. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to face seething Muslims, but caving in to pressure is the quickest path to defeat.

Jason Pappas said...

We really need some so-called artist to create a provocative work that disrespects Islam. You remember these types who purposefully create, what shall I call it, pure crap that is solely intended to shock and “test” the limits of freedom of speech? Often this is done with taxpayers’ money—which it shouldn’t. However, if done with private funds it is covered under the 1st amendment. The government couldn’t do anything to stop this and it would make it clear to the enemy what we think of their religion. Such an act would force the government to take a brave stand on freedom of speech. Unlike the Europeans, there would be nothing the government could do to stop this. Even the left would have to concede this is so protected, despite their multi-cultural instincts. They aren’t ready to curb the 1st amendment … yet. This would set the right precedent.

Now, who could we get to do this that gets to attention of the press?

Baron Bodissey said...

An animated cartoon called "Mohammed the Pig", with the Prophet as a plump pig dressed in a burnoose, and all his concubines would be cute little veiled sows.

The characters could engage in a variety of amusing hijinks, most of which would revolve around the killing of Crusaders and Jews.

Jason Pappas said...

Not bad; perhaps with the old Loony Tunes style of drawing. Distributed online?

A comicbook might do as well. The life of Mohammad in comicbook form would certainly get attention; focus on the Medinan period. Don't forget to throw in the wives starting with the youngest. Oh wait, I'm against child porn! We'll have to leave that chapter out.

Krishna109 said...

How about this?

Jason Pappas said...

Very good, Krishna. It digs up all the esoteric absurdities of Mohammad.

Thanks for the link.

Baron Bodissey said...

That's great stuff, Krishna! It's good to see someone on the job.

Also, however, putting their lives on the line...

Das said...

Then there's always this: