The The White House issued a craven “we feel your pain” statement, this was a huge disappointment and an even bigger mistake. America and the media should have come out immediately in favor of freedom of the press.
Surrender to the frothing Mullahs, even under the guise of forming a more perfect multicultural union, will do nothing to ameliorate the problems revealed in the Muslim response to the cartoons, and will ultimately make things even worse for all of the Muslims worth saving from the Dark Ages. But even here the author does his purported constituency a profound disservice, though he may actually have done his readers the favor of clarification. For it is true that the masses who turned out to protest the cartoons, who burned European and American consulates all over the Muslim world, who carried banners promising butchery to anyone bold enough to break a ludicrous religious taboo – all these angry young men and women were surely not all jihadists in the Zarqawi sense, nor were they “extreme” in that they represented a departure from the average Muslim’s view of things.
What the cartoon fracas has revealed is both much more and much less than a “clash of civilizations.” In a way it is simply an updated example of civilization versus barbarism, the former represented by a flawed but ultimately decent secular modernity which enshrines skepticism and doubt and does not think societies should be organized around sacred texts written for tribal peoples millennia ago. The latter deifies suicide murderers, enslaves its women, and publishes routinely in both private and state-run presses the most vile slanders and caricatures on Jews and Hindus. “Clash of civilizations” assumes that two civilizations of equal status are in conflict. But the sad truth is this: a people, jihadist or not, that can't read something offensive to its faith without resorting to an auto-da-fe, is not civilized. Read it all
Ghastly Implications BY MARK STEYN
Fate conspires to remind us what this war is really about: civilizational confidence. And so history repeats itself: first the farce of the Danish cartoons, and now the tragedy — a man on trial for his life in post-Taliban Afghanistan because he has committed the crime of converting to Christianity.
[...]As always, we come back to the words of Osama bin Laden: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” That’s really the only issue: the Islamists know our side have tanks and planes, but they have will and faith, and they reckon in a long struggle that’s the better bet. Most prominent western leaders sound way too eager to climb into the weak-horse suit and audition to play the rear end.
Consider, for example, the words of the Prince of Wales, speaking a few days ago at al-Azhar University in Cairo. This is “the world’s oldest university”, though what they learn there makes the average Ivy League nuthouse look like a beacon of sanity. Anyway, this is what His Royal Highness had to say to 800 Islamiuc “scholars”:
“The recent ghastly strife and anger over the Danish cartoons shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others. In my view, the true mark of a civilized society is the respect it pays to minorities and to strangers.”
That’s correct. But the reality is our society pays enormous respect to minorities — President Bush holds a month-long Ramadan-a-dingdong at the White House every year; the immediate reaction to the slaughter of 9/11 by the President, the Prince, the Prime Ministers of Britain, Canada and everywhere else was to visit a mosque to demonstrate their great respect for Islam. One party to this dispute is respectful to a fault: after all, to describe the violence perpetrated by Muslims over the Danish cartoons as the “recent ghastly strife” barely passes muster as effete Brit toff understatement.
Descent into Dhimmitude (read it all)
[...}few reporters have ventured to describe the increasingly hostile climate that Muslim extremists had succeeded in creating in Denmark before the publication. In fact, an examination of Jyllands-Posten's own pages reveals why its editors likely decided to publish the cartoons in the first place -- as well as why the obscurantist rioters were so confident that they would prevail.
In late 2004 -- a University of Copenhagen professor of Moroccan Jewish descent -- was kidnapped in broad daylight and brutally beaten by three Muslim youths for the "crime" of having read from the Quran during a lecture. A few months later, a Danish publisher used anonymous translators for an essay collection critical of Islam for fear that any named assistant would suffer a similar fate. And in an incident immediately preceding Jyllands-Posten's decision to run the cartoons as a test of self-censorship, Danish artists refused to illustrate a children's book about Muhammad.