Some peacenik types, practiced in the art of highly selective observation and quotation, bleat that all that America or the West need do to defuse the threat of Islamic terrorism is forbear from ever getting involved militarily in conflicts overseas.
It’s not that the Islamo-fascists hate our culture or freedom, nor that they wish and strive for a global caliphate. After all, don’t the Bin Ladens of the world even announce explicitly on their videotapes that, hey, all you have to do is throw in the towel in your war against us and all will be well? And we all know what credible truth-tellers the mass-murdering terrorists are.
Sure, the only problem is our foreign policy, not our culture and freedoms; but only, it seems, so long as our culture and freedoms don’t permit publication of the wrong cartoons. Per the most recent update of the situation published by The New York Times, thousands of Palestinians are joining other Muslims around the world in demonstrations against “European nations” that allow the printing of cartoons waxing satiric about Islam or Mohammed. Some have called for beheadings of the cartoonists and others responsible.
While the huge rally here in Gaza was peaceful — and many leaders warned against violence — some of the oratory was not.
“We will not accept less than severing the heads of those responsible,” one preacher at the al-Omari mosque here told worshippers during Friday prayers, according to wire service reports. Other demonstrators called for severing the hands of the cartoonists who drew the pictures, unflattering to Muhammad and to Islam.
The cartoons have outraged Muslims as being provocative and anti-Muslim, while many Europeans have defended their publication under the right to free speech. One cartoon depicts Muhammad, the founder of Islam, with a turban in the shape of a bomb.
Since being published in Denmark in September, the cartoons have been reprinted in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, as well as in Jordan. Editors at the papers in France and Jordan were fired.
So, it’s all about foreign policy? Tell it to the recipients of the latest Islamo-fascist death threats.
Guess all we and the Europeans need to do is actually two things: 1) never respond to any national security threats that transpire beyond our borders, even if the day-after-tomorrow consequence of the threat is something that may well transpire within our borders; and 2) outlaw cartooning (and also outlaw, as we’ve learned, documentaries critical of Islamo-fascism, the making of which can also get you killed; might as well add Salmon Rushdie novels to the list while we’re at it).
When a non-psychotic Westerner is offended by a cultural effluence, he organizes a boycott, holds forth at the water fountain, or, these days, blogs. Chopping off the heads of those you disagree with is not generally entertained as a reasonable option. What does this disparity of response tell us about cultural differences?
Sure, the vast majority of Muslims would never actually sneak up on and behead anybody, and let’s assume that most in fact do not agree with beheading as a way of answering criticisms. But why then aren’t the killers who do advocate such courses of action booed off the stages at the mass rallies and prayer services? Why aren’t there immediate and even more massive rallies by Muslims against such calls for beheadings than are being held against…cartooning? Why is editorial cartooning, or criticism of Islam generally, whether in bad taste or not, thus implicitly regarded as more offensive than murder, and by so many Muslims? Or is it that so many Muslims are too afraid of the terrorists in their midst to dare protest the thuggery?
Whatever the full explanation may be, anyone who reads these stories and continues to claim that murderous Islamo-fascist antipathy toward the West and America is all or mostly about foreign policy, and would evaporate if only the governments of the West never acted militarily overseas, is not being altogether honest.
David M. Brown is the publisher of The Webzine, and runs the blog for the Laissez Faire Books web site, where he has been posting about the Steve Kubby case, Google perfidy, and other burning issues of the day.