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Danish Cartoons, Double Standards and False Rhetoric of Islam and its Public Defenders  



The author of the caricature please contact Ali Sina. 

by K.W.

2006/02/03

The BBC, CBC, and NPR permit furious Muslim spokespeople and the Western Left to make apologies for Muslim boycotts and riots in reaction to Danish political cartoons; thus framing the dialectic as one between provocateur and provoked. There are two fallacies here- one of false dualism, and one of double standard. Danish and French use of speech is held to a higher standard of responsibility than what Saudi Arabia and Egypt permit Imams to teach every day in their countries- anti-Jewish hate for example. This unwillingness to address speech with speech extends beyond boycotts and riots of course- as the managing editor of France Soir, Jacques Lefranc discovered when he was fired for his decision to reprint the cartoons by the paper's Egyptian owner, Raymond Lakah- a man whose income derives from the French freedom of speech! When the exercise of a core Western value, free speech, is met with hostility by Islam or in the name of Islam; even American liberals such as myself must conclude that there is some merit to the claim that we are experiencing a clash of civilizations- each with mutually exclusive goals.

Muslims use Western standards of behavior against Westerners while also holding Westerners to Islamic standards of behavior; while at the same time never accepting Western standards of behavior. When Saudi Arabia is criticized for the lies and hate taught in its schools against Jews they demand we not hold them to our standards. When a Danish cartoonist mocks Muhammad, we are of course held to their standard. They do not dismiss the mockery of unbelievers- instead; many feel antagonized and make for the street. If they are condemned by Imams, one would need to read closely and often to detect it in the Western press. Even European Muslims felt antagonized and many have participated in the boycott against Danish goods. This is not the loyal dissent of loyal citizens; it's the use of coercion in an attempt to silence those who seek to publicly criticize Islam, as is permitted by freedom of speech. However, the validity of the speech itself is irrelevant- if Islam and its agents are permitted to impose their values upon Western nations, where and when will it end? This gives credence to the interpretation that Islam's goals are unlimited and that Islamic apologists are practicing al-taqqiya; the lying to non-Muslims. Should Jews and Christians boycott the Arab world until false depictions of Jews and Christians cease? Such a proposition is absurd, yet this is the standard the Islamic world and its spokespeople hold to the West. Those Muslim spokespeople who are forever demanding apologies from the West, tacitly support Islamic terror and aggression by failing to condemn and apologize for their co-religionists with similar rhetoric and volume. Muslim outrage against European cartoonists and the way that it is expressed, is nothing less than a denial of Danish sovereignty.

Affiliation to one's nation comes above any other affiliation; the rights of Muslims are protected in Western Republics because all citizens acknowledge the supremacy of the nation-state which in turn gives rights back to its citizens- including the freedom of religion. It's basic Rousseau: we give rights to get back more rights than we surrendered. When Muslim citizens of Western nations deny Western values on religious grounds they are denying the social contract that defends their freedom of religion. By depicting the debate as one between provocateur and provoked, the BBC, CBC, and NPR validate Muslim values while at the same time denying Western values: a perverse distortion of the debate. Freedom of religion- at least in the USA , UK , and Canada- ends where it encroaches upon another's rights. By failing to identify the full context of the debate- as one between Islamic and Western values- the motives of the offended are treated as having greater sincerity than the motives of a perhaps misanthropic cartoonist and his publishers- who are depicted as bigots. Never once does an interviewer ask a Muslim apologist "Who are Muslims to dictate terms to Western nations? Who are immigrants to Western nations to tell their hosts to change values in deference to Islam?" If Europe was alarmed when Russian gas supplies got cut off recently due to post-Soviet conflicts with Ukraine , then why doesn't Europe respond in a similarly proportionate manner when Islamic nations threaten to cut off oil supplies? Because the Russian act defied our values, while the Muslim approach of unofficial incitement gives Muslim governments plausible deniability of responsibility for their citizens actions.

So long as Islamic values are permitted to encroach upon Western values, without a concomitant and proportionate encroachment going the other way; a clash of civilizations seems inevitable. To deny Western values is to cut oneself off from appealing to those values. Those in the West, who continue to treat Islam as they would Buddhism, Judaism, or any other religious minority, extend rights to a party that refuses reciprocity. Those who demand from the West that which they are unwilling to reciprocate, seek to forcibly revise our values. In short they seek our submission- or in Arabic: Islam.

 

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