Off Topic Messages

"We Are All Danes Now"

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:35 am

We are all Danes now
By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe Columnist | February 5, 2006
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editor ... danes_now/

HINDUS CONSIDER it sacrilegious to eat meat from cows, so when a Danish supermarket ran a sale on beef and veal last fall, Hindus everywhere reacted with outrage. India recalled its ambassador to Copenhagen, and Danish flags were burned in Calcutta, Bombay, and Delhi. A Hindu mob in Sri Lanka severely beat two employees of a Danish-owned firm, and demonstrators in Nepal chanted: ''War on Denmark! Death to Denmark!"In many places, shops selling Dansk china or Lego toys were attacked by rioters, and two Danish embassies were firebombed.

It didn't happen, of course. Hindus may consider it odious to use cows as food, but they do not resort to boycotts, threats, and violence when non-Hindus eat hamburger or steak. They do not demand that everyone abide by the strictures of Hinduism and avoid words and deeds that Hindus might find upsetting. The same is true of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Mormons: They don't lash out in violence when their religious sensibilities are offended. They certainly don't expect their beliefs to be immune from criticism, mockery, or dissent.

But radical Muslims do.

The current uproar over cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper illustrates yet again the fascist intolerance that is at the heart of radical Islam. Jyllands-Posten, Denmark's largest daily, commissioned the cartoons to make a point about freedom of speech. It was protesting the climate of intimidation that had made it impossible for a Danish author to find an illustrator for his children's book about Mohammed. No artist would agree to illustrate the book for fear of being harmed by Muslim extremists. Appalled by this self-censorship, Jyllands-Posten invited Danish artists to submit drawings of Mohammed, and published the 12 it received.

Most of the pictures are tame to the point of dullness, especially compared to the biting editorial cartoons that routinely appear in US and European newspapers. A few of them link Mohammed to Islamist terrorism -- one depicts him with a bomb in his turban, while a second shows him in Heaven, pleading with newly arrived suicide terrorists: ''Stop, stop! We have run out of virgins!" Others focus on the threat to free speech: In one, a sweating artist sits at his drawing board, nervously sketching Mohammed, while glancing over his shoulder to make sure he's not being watched.

That anything so mild could trigger a reaction so crazed -- riots, death threats, kidnappings, flag-burnings -- speaks volumes about the chasm that separates the values of the civilized world from those in too much of the Islamic world. Freedom of the press, the marketplace of ideas, the right to skewer sacred cows: Militant Islam knows none of this. And if the jihadis get their way, it will be swept aside everywhere by the censorship and intolerance of sharia.

Here and there, some brave Muslim voices have cried out against the book-burners. The Jordanian newspaper Shihan published three of the cartoons. ''Muslims of the world, be reasonable," implored Shihan's editor, Jihad al-Momani, in an editorial. ''What brings more prejudice against Islam -- these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras?" But within hours Momani was out of a job, fired by the paper's owners after the Jordanian government threatened legal action.

He wasn't the only editor sacked last week. In Paris, Jacques LeFranc of the daily France Soir was also fired after running the Mohammed cartoons. The paper's owner, an Egyptian Copt named Raymond Lakah, issued a craven and Orwellian statement offering LeFranc's head as a gesture of ''respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual." But the France Soir staff defended their decision to publish the drawings in a stalwart editorial. ''The best way to fight against censorship is to prevent censorship from happening," they wrote. ''A fundamental principle guaranteeing democracy and secular society is under threat. To say nothing is to retreat."

Across the continent, nearly two dozen other newspapers have joined in defending that principle. While Islamist clerics proclaim an ''international day of anger" or declare that ''the war has begun," leading publications in Norway, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have reprinted the Danish cartoons. But there has been no comparable show of backbone in America, where (as of Friday) only the New York Sun has had the fortitude to the run some of the drawings.

Make no mistake: This story is not going away, and neither is the Islamofascist threat. The freedom of speech we take for granted is under attack, and it will vanish if it is not bravely defended. Today the censors may be coming for some unfunny Mohammed cartoons, but tomorrow it is your words and ideas they will silence. Like it or not, we are all Danes now.

Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is jacoby@globe.com.

Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:18 am

Back in 2001 in the days following the hijackings the Onion ran a piece "Hijackers surprised to find they are in Hell" about the 9/11 hijackers not being greeted with seventy virgins but instead eternal damnation. I wonder what the response to that would have been had it been more widely known.

I think the "key" phrase here though is radical Muslims. Of course, as here the government or news publications should not feel compelled to appease a radical contingent or really any contingent at the sacrifice of truth and debate.

I do wish some muslims would stand up for funny and lightness. It would help their cause immeasurably.

Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:54 pm

HINDUS CONSIDER it sacrilegious to eat meat from cows, so when a Danish supermarket ran a sale on beef and veal last fall, Hindus everywhere reacted with outrage. India recalled its ambassador to Copenhagen, and Danish flags were burned in Calcutta, Bombay, and Delhi. A Hindu mob in Sri Lanka severely beat two employees of a Danish-owned firm, and demonstrators in Nepal chanted: ''War on Denmark! Death to Denmark!"In many places, shops selling Dansk china or Lego toys were attacked by rioters, and two Danish embassies were firebombed.



If they don't like democracy...they should **** off back to where they came from.

Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:40 pm

I read somewhere that the Philadelphia Enquirer grew a backbone and published the cartoons as well as the tiny New York Sun.

An editor at the small free weekly, the New York Press (a guest on MSNBC last night) resigned after his publisher refused to let him and his staff go ahead with the printing ...

Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:14 pm

Someone really needs to point out that this uproar is out of proportion to the offense. It's a cartoon. No one doesn't eat because of it. No one gets killed because of it. No one is without a home because of it. No one is without a job because of it. No one even loses their rights because of it. You don't have a right to not be offended by something. We live in a world where people disagree about things and offense is inevitable. Really there has to be some sort of call for perspective on this thing.

Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:28 pm

I say this as someone who values religious diversity -and the right to be agostic or an atheist, but I often wonder how the more devout Muslims handle seeing women walking around with no hats (or "Burka") , let alone prancing around on magazine covers like Vanity Fair or TV.

Talk about being offended at every turn...

Moreover, does this create a sort of seething anger at the very place that is now home? Not to be alarmist but it's very dangerous to have a "separate society" seething in the margins of society.

Interesting, the highjackers of 2001 allegedly were at a strip club before the attacks....

The sad thing is that people are getting hurt in the uproar over the cartoon. The damage probably isn't over yet.

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:04 am

the cartoon that that imam was passing around with the depiction of muhammad with a pig snout, was in fact a fake. it was a french pig squealing contest winner that had nothing to do with anything but a popular french contest where people squeal like pigs. the photo was made fuzzy, and it was like last years winner or something who was supposed to represent muhammad.

:lol:

talk about rediculous. that little snippit of information was on the radio this morning (roger hedgecock).

so everybody in europe who wants to unite with what the u.s. and blair have known for awhile...feel free. we welcome the danes.

perhaps the french will wake-up from calling their city burning a problem with disillusioned youth, and say what the problem really is...a community who has separated themselves from western culture and refuses to assimilate--this community was the muslims. though i suppose they should be starting to receive the message.

religious tolerance to the point of sacrificing a culture's beliefs and rights to let these people have what they want, is wrong. they are trying to change us. we have tolerance and they don't. they are using the liberal left to try to turn the world islamic...the only ones standing against them are the conservative right--those who will stand up for our rights as westerners and say when enough is enough.

the middle-eastern fanatics see us as weak. they see us argue about fighting the war (which we should all be united on, same with the way the allies united against hitler--it is the same--people attempting genocide). yet, we have more than half the western world basically kissing their asses.

the supporters of bush and blair, the israelis, the countries that support us by adding their troops, as well as the danes now...these are the people who are united to fix the problem. those against these people are the ones helping the muslims win.

i don't give a flying **** if you don't like that we invaded iraq to get rid of mass-murderer saddam. i don't care if you don't like bush. if you don't support the war effort and the troops, you have sided with the enemy. there is no middle-ground to which side you are on. put aside your affiliation and fight on the western side if you want to remain a free being that isn't ruled by a strict fanatic theocracy where nobody has any of the rights that we all take for granted...

...to the point where you can't even draw a pathetically unaffending cartoon.

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:30 am

the squirrel wrote:
HINDUS CONSIDER it sacrilegious to eat meat from cows, so when a Danish supermarket ran a sale on beef and veal last fall, Hindus everywhere reacted with outrage. India recalled its ambassador to Copenhagen, and Danish flags were burned in Calcutta, Bombay, and Delhi. A Hindu mob in Sri Lanka severely beat two employees of a Danish-owned firm, and demonstrators in Nepal chanted: ''War on Denmark! Death to Denmark!"In many places, shops selling Dansk china or Lego toys were attacked by rioters, and two Danish embassies were firebombed.



If they don't like democracy...they should **** off back to where they came from.


Squirrel, none of that happened. Read more of the article.

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:33 am

I am so angry at these barbarians, it's about time our western governments looked after their own people.

Because these dirty, smelly, murdering bastards take full advantage of our "free society" by using OUR OWN money grabbing lawyers to manipulate every loophole they can find in the "human rights" convention and use it to divide us.

These sick **** are abusing our very own "human rights" to take our's away from us......This needs to stop NOW.......or we will be well and truly ******.

Their "divide and conquer" agenda stick's out like a lime green turban at a bowler hat party........... and the only one's who can't see it are our very own governments.