For once, it’s not American or Israeli flags burning in the sands of the Middle East. The cross of Denmark is aflame and “Death to Denmark” is a chant commonly heard from the Gaza Strip to Pakistan.
My, my, what has the Scandinavian country, well known for its social liberalism, done to inflame the Muslim world?
They exercised their civilized Western right to free speech. Those evil Danes!
In September, the Copenhagen-based newspaper Jyllands-Posten published an editorial cartoon depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed with a time-bomb in place of a turban on his head. In response, Saudi Arabia boycotted Danish goods and recalled its Danish ambassador and Libya has closed its embassy in the Danish capital. Ministers from most Muslim countries have threatened punitive action in one form or another. And, as could be easily predicted, Islamofascist terrorists are issuing fatwas and promising a jihad against Denmark.
Without bending over backwards, Denmark has tried to smooth things over. But a recent poll found that the great majority of Danes feel they have nothing to apologize for. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen did suggest to Jyllands-Posten that they should apologize, but has refused to offer his contrition on behalf of the Danish people. And recently, in an act of solidarity with their Danish counterparts, papers across Europe have reprinted the offending cartoon, specifically France, Germany, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands. A Norwegian magazine was the first to republish the cartoon last month.
Jyllands-Posten’s editor-in-chief, Carsten Juste, recently apologized: “These cartoons were not in violation of Danish law but have irrefutably offended many Muslims, and for that we apologize.”
The most relevant phrase is These cartoons were not in violation of Danish law. A free-thinking, independent, Christian-secular country has the right to exercise its freedom of speech and thought without answering to anyone. Of course the Muslim world, for which freedom in any form is anathema to their way of life, doesd not understand this.
The one country to separate itself from the European group hug is Great Britain which, with its deeply entrenched and out-of-control political correctness, will see Muslim-led protest marches in its capital while its foreign minister, Jack Straw, criticized the European decision to promote free thought. This is the same country, remember, that just passed a Religious Hatred bill, a ruse to give British Muslims immunity from their jihadistic actions, so it’s hardly surprising.
Apparently, it is our responsibility to placate these Muslims even further. An apology is not enough, now we must get on our hands and knees. At least according to Egypt. Well, I have a suggestion for Egypt and all these other like-minded Islamic countries: Why don’t you do more to placate us? Stop denying equality to women, jailing and torturing dissidents and all those who advocate reform and a liberal interpretation of Islam, electing terrorists and jihadists to positions of power, and denouncing Israel. Hold genuine, not jerry-rigged, elections and play your part in the War on Terror. Once you change your ways, we will have no reason to criticize your religion, your prophet or anything about you.
As blogger Robert Spencer has written here, “But if we cannot speak openly about Islamic militancy, we cannot combat it. And freedom of speech is certainly dead.” And how.
That editorial cartoon was making a point. Apparently, it’s lost on those in the Muslim world. And therein lies the real tragedy.