Sunday, January 15, 2006

Jihad

The Brussels Journal carries a report of employees of a Danish newspaper undergoing a Rushdie-style Jihad.

"The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten is being protected by security guards and several cartoonists have gone into hiding after the newspaper published a series of twelve cartoons about the prophet Muhammad. According to the Islam it is blasphemous to make images of the prophet. Muslim fundamentalists have threatened to bomb the paper’s offices and kill the cartoonists".

And:

"Jyllands-Posten was also included on an al-Qaeda website listing possible terrorist targets. An organisation which calls itself “The Glorious Brigades in Northern Europe” is circulating pictures on the internet which show bombs exploding over pictures of the newspaper and blood flowing over the national flag of Denmark. “The Mujahedeen have numerous targets in Denmark – very soon you all will regret this,” the website says."

And further from the The Brussels Journal:

"...after last week’s rejection of their complaint by the public prosecutor, Danish Muslim organisations have announced that they will take the newspaper to the European Court of Human Rights over the controversial publication".

Letters in defence of freedom of speech seem to be in order. Might start with the editors of the various newspapers who were right-minded enough to print the cartoons and to our Danish embassy at lonamb@um.dk .

2 comments:

Leo said...

I don't understand what is the point to use freedom of speech to tease Muslim fundamentalists who can't understand democracy.

Making fun of their prophets to them is probably like someone libeling your family in public to you. You wouldn't call it freedom of speech. Of course you wouldn't bomb people for it, but I'm sure you would use the justice means at your disposal to stop it.

Using freedom of speech doesn't seem a clever way to fight them, knowing how they operate.

Carlotta said...

Hi Leo!

OK so I don't know for sure what the motives of the cartoonists were, but I doubt very much that it was an issue of "teasing" Muslim fundamentalists. My guess is that the intent was to highlight for the sleepwalking indigenous populace, the problems that we now face with fundamentalist threat to freedom of speech.

In this regard the cartoonists have done very well indeed, since the story has received a huge amount of publicity and people have woken up to this threat to their freedom as a consequence. People are now directly seeing the issue as a persistent and serious threat rather than just a strange anomaly, which was the way that many viewed the Rushdie affair.

(I incidentally certainly would call someone libelling my family in public a matter of freedom of speech. And you are quite right: I would not bomb people for it and would use the justice means at my disposal. There are proportionate means to deal with libel as part of the law of the land in most Western countries, so if you happen to live in those countries, you should expect to play by these rules.

It is a measure of the degree of mess we have got into with tolerating in the intolerable that rather than being prosecuted for incitement to violence, these clerics are taking their case to the European Courts.