The publication in the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten some time ago of cartoons depicting and satirizing the Prophet Mohammed has resulted in a widespread, sometimes violent and always astonishing uproar in the Muslim world. Even worse, the foreign ministries of eleven Islamic countries have demanded action from the Danish government, and several Arab countries eventually closed their embassies in Denmark in protest after the government initially refused to intervene or to apologize.Among the various acts of reprisal organized throughout the Islamic world, some are worth mentioning ? if not for their levels of excess:.
[ ] A large consumers boycott was organised in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Middle East countries.[ ] The Foreign Ministers of seventeen Islamic countries have renewed calls for the Danish government to punish those responsible for the cartoons, and to ensure that such cartoons will not be published again.[ ] The Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League have demanded that the United Nations impose international sanctions upon Denmark.[ ] Several Arab countries have requested that the European Union introduce blasphemy laws.
[ ] The buildings containing the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria were set ablaze.[ ] In Beirut, the Danish Embassy office was set on fire, resulting in the death of one protester inside.Muslim leaders say, that the cartoons are not just offensive - they are sacrilegious and blasphemous. This is so, because Islam forbids any visual depiction of the Prophet Mohammed ? an absolute taboo in Islamic secular theology. Personally, I neither accept nor condone the virulence of those manifestations, especially since blasphemy is more than sanctioned by Arab governments. The Muslim media, in fact, routinely run cartoons depicting Jews and symbols of Judhaism with icons and images that closely ? too closely ? resemble those used in Nazi Germany.
However, be as it may be, it is their faith and Muslims are entitled to express observance and abidance to their religion any which way they choose, in their own countries.But only in their own countries!.Things do take a different turn, when we see Muslim demonstrators in London, Paris, Berlin and Rome holding up signs proclaiming "EXTERMINATE THOSE WHO MOCK ISLAM" and chanting "WAIT FOR THE REAL HOLOCAUST TO COME".
Holocaust ? a European word par excellence.All Europeans are fully aware of that infamous date, November 9, 1938, known to the world as Die Kristallnacht or The Night of the Broken Glass ? officially the beginning of the Holocaust. I know for a fact that they know it.
I used to be a European myself.The Holocaust was geographically widespread and systematically conducted in virtually all areas of Nazi-occupied territory, where Jews were targeted in what are now 35 separate nations of the European Union. Names like Auschwitz, Dachau, Mauthausen, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Belzec, Sobibór, Treblinka, Birkenau, Chelmno, Majdanek, and Bergen-Belsen have become an integrant part of European contemporary history, and their ruins are there in Europe for every human being to see, including Muslims.They constitute together a testament to the deepest abyss ever reached by human beings of any kind in the past one million years.The Holocaust is so ingrained in modern European 'civilization', so cast into stone, that for the citizens of the country that perpetrated it, the Holocaust has become the equivalent of their second original sin ? no matter when they were born !.
The Egyptian Ambassador to Denmark, in a recent interview, has dismissed the Western innate right to exercise freedom of speech and expression. He has stated that exercising freedom of the press in this instance means that the cartoons will be reprinted, so that the European governments will never appease the Muslim world.Excuse me?.So what, if European governments will never appease the Muslim world? Freedom of speech is an integral concept of modern liberal democracies, and guaranteed under international law through numerous human rights instruments, one of which being the European Convention on Human Rights.
In fact, it seems to me that it should be up to Islam to appease the West, seeing as to how Islamic scholars have such a long tradition of threatening the free discussion of their religion in the West. And be it either for fear of political instability, threats to their own personal lives, social unrest or . oil, European leaders have always acquiesced to Islamic radical demands.Leaders of the European Union should stop prostituting themselves to each and every Arab sheik that comes into town.
European leaders have a moral duty imposed upon them to make clear, that although Muslims are more than welcome to come, live and exchange ideas with their European counterparts, they must leave their religious fanaticism, intolerance of free speech and policies of intimidation at home. European leaders have an additional duty towards their own citizens to stand tall in the defense of civil liberties, to the creation of which Europe has contributed so much throughout the course of two millennia. And they have a further moral obligation to set the record straight, by making absolutely loud and clear that also we, in the West, have our own taboos ? the Holocaust being among the primary. Ultimately, Islam needs European money just as much as Europe needs Islam's oil.All reasonable men will agree, that there is no reason to offend people of any faith arbitrarily. We owe all faiths deference and respect.
But the Danish cartoons were not arbitrarily offensive. And those who have found them offensive should be informed that freedom ? the very essence of it ? means learning to deal with being offended.And as much as Muslims may find it utterly blasphemous, a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb over his head does not even remotely come close to the blasphemy of the Holocaust.Luigi Frascati..Luigi Frascati is a Real Estate Agent based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
He holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics and maintains a weblog entitled the Real Estate Chronicle at http://wwwrealestatechronicle.blogspot.com where you can find the full collection of his articles. Luigi is associated with the Sutton Group, the largest real estate organization in Canada, and is based with Sutton-Centre Realty in Burnaby, BC.
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By: Luigi Frascati