By Andrew L. Jaffee
Rome paid tribute to the barbarians clamoring at her gates. It didn’t do any good. Paying ransom only postponed the inevitable sacking, burning, and looting of the empire’s capital. The UK’s Neville Chamberlain sought to pacify Hitler, only to see Brits hiding in basements from the blitzkrieg a few years later. Instead of remembering history’s lessons, the Washington Post today indulges in feel-good, intellectual rationalization of Muslim intolerance and hatred.
In a 5-page manifesto entitled, “Anatomy of the Cartoon Protest Movement,” authors Anthony Shadid and Kevin Sullivan exercise unlimited poetic license, calling Islamist hooliganism “a rare moment of empowerment among Muslims who have felt besieged.” What sheer sophistry to label the Muslim rampaging, killing, and burning of embassies as “empowerment.” What precisely is Islam besieged by, except its own violent, intolerant, inner child? Is the murdering of Muslims by other Muslims, or the torching of Muslim-owned mobile phone shops, now to be reconstructed in the terms of the American civil rights movement?
Not even the BBC, well-known for political correctness, has gone that far:
But given the nature of the violence, few seem convinced the riots are either spontaneous or driven purely by public indignation at the satirical cartoons.
For one, most of the public and private property attacked by the rioters cannot even remotely be linked to the cartoons.
The buildings burned in Lahore and Peshawar included cinemas, a theatre, banks, mobile phone outlets, fast food restaurants, the Punjab assembly building, petrol stations, music and video shops.
Most of the vehicles set alight were motorbikes, which are owned mostly by lower middle class people.
Such targets have nothing to do with the cartoons but have historically been the target of choice for religious activists whenever they have had a reason to take to the streets.
The Post’s authors are missing the point. Here is their myopic sanitization of the cartoon controversy: “On one side is a defense of freedom of expression, on the other an unforgivable insult to a sacred figure.” Have either of these writers ever read the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or Federalist Papers? Do they understand the spirit, let alone the letter, of the term, “freedom of expression?”
The editor/writer who does get the point is Flemming Rose, of the Danish Jyllands-Posten which published the “unforgivable insult,” but who rightly did not see it as such:
This was a legitimate news story to cover, and Jyllands-Posten decided to do it by adopting the well-known journalistic principle: Show, don’t tell.
“Unforgivable” by whom? A bunch of uncivilized, insecure, Muslim rioters, or by the free electorate of the Western world?
Again, Flemming Rose:
Has Jyllands-Posten insulted and disrespected Islam? It certainly didn’t intend to. But what does respect mean? When I visit a mosque, I show my respect by taking off my shoes. I follow the customs, just as I do in a church, synagogue or other holy place. But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible with a secular democracy.
Images cached for posterity.
The civilized world endures this constant barbarity with amazing alacrity and aloofness, just as one would expect from free peoples. Such hand-wringing is never afforded to Western self-loathing, for example, the Piss Christ, or “art exhibits” which are always defended as expressions of “free speech:”
…the work …has a boat floating in a pool of red liquid…
But its Israeli-born creator rejected the [call for genocide] charge, saying the work had a message of openness and conciliation. …
Called Snow White And The Madness Of Truth, the installation features a photo of Hanadi Jaradat, a 29-year-old trainee lawyer who blew up herself and 19 Israelis in a Haifa restaurant in October.
The work is accompanied by a piece of Bach music entitled My Heart Is Swimming In Blood.
Who’s even heard of the Sweden-based “Snow White And The Madness Of Truth?” Anti-European-American, racist comments have been enshrined in a monument erected with taxpayer money in Baldwin Park, California. Kamau Kambon, visiting professor at North Carolina State University, called for the elimination of all white people on the planet. U of Colorado prof Ward Churchill labeled 9/11 victims as “Nazis.” Harry Belafonte referred to Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell as “Uncle Toms.” And Howard Dean quipped that African Americans are only good for the dirty jobs as “hotel staff.” What? No riots?
In fact, Jews who’ve grown up in Israel have shown how true, enlightened democrats deal with “insults” to their religion:
Amitai Sandy (29), graphic artist and publisher of Dimona Comix Publishing, from Tel-Aviv, Israel, has followed the unfolding of the “Muhammad cartoon-gate” events in amazement, until finally he came up with the right answer to all this insanity – and so he announced today the launch of a new anti-Semitic cartoons contest – this time drawn by Jews themselves!
“We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” said Sandy. “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”
NOW THAT’S ENLIGHTENED AND EVOLVED: Humor from a country in which the Islamists wish to commit genocide. But you’ll not hear of this. Mostly what you’ll hear about are the poor, mistreated, Muslims.
And I can assure you that most Westerners are now well aware of the Mohammed caricatures. Poor, besieged Muslims. In truth, it is the civilized world which is now besieged — besieged by an angry hoard of intolerant Muslims.
Islamists massacred 344 civilians — half of them children — in Beslan, North Ossetia. They killed 62 in Delhi, India; murdered 50+ in Turkey; and have killed tens of thousands in Indonesia, Algeria, and Nigeria. Al-Qaeda slaughtered 88 innocent Egyptians last July 23.
1,095 innocent Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists since September 2000. Thirty-thousand Iraqis, mostly Muslim, have been slaughtered by Islamist terrorists since the country’s liberation.
9/11 (3000 dead). Madrid (200 dead). London (50 dead). Bali (200 dead). Amman (57 dead). Three-hundred trampled to death in this year’s Hajj; 1,426 killed in the 1990 Hajj; 251 in 2004; etc. Sudanese Muslims have slaughtered 180,000 black Africans. Kuwaitis ethnically cleansed 400,000 Palestinians in 1991.
In countries like Iran, there is no figuring things out through consensus. There is the (Orwellian) Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He has ultimate control over all decisions. His thugs banned Western music in December (no more “George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper,’ Eric Clapton’s ‘Rush’ and the Eagles’ ‘Hotel California…’” and “…tunes by saxophonist Kenny G.”). Iran’s theocracy hung two boys for being gay last July. Last month, the mullahs banned access to the BBC’s website. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged that Israel be “wiped off the map,” has denied that the Holocaust ever occurred, called for Israel’s Jews to be moved to Europe (ethnically cleansed), and has planned to host a conference to “prove” that Hitler’s extermination of Jews (and gypsies and gays) was a “myth.”
Are these not all issues which should inflame Shadid and Sullivan? Instead, the politically-correct rant about the “cultural sensitivities” of Muslims — not those silly white-skinned peoples, and not those other silly moderate Muslims, whom do exist. No sympathy for Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who’s throat was slit by Islamists because he dared make a film about the mistreatment of women in Muslim societies? What about Hollywood producer Moustafa Akkad, blown to bits in Amman, Jordan by al-Qaeda last November? And now, Danish cartoonists — artists — are hiding for fear of having their throats slit by angry Muslims.
Shadid and Sullivan are not the evolved, introspective thinkers they would have you believe they are. These guys’ motivations are much lower and baser. They are just plain afraid of having their throats’ slit; losing their high-paying, cushy jobs at the Post; or having to suffer through the bombing of a Washington subway train by the Islamist “movement” that they attempt to placate… rather unsuccessfully.
Related: Arab/Muslim World, Islam, Political Correctness, War Against Islamo-fascism