Friday, February 03, 2006
Sparked by newspaper cartoons, of all things.
Furious Syrians set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies on Saturday as protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad showed no signs of abating..."We're at war", says this Frenchman? (But then Chirac himself has been talking about bringing out the nukes against ... who?)
Chanting "God is Greatest", thousands of protesters stormed the Danish embassy, burnt the Danish flag and replaced it with a flag reading "No God but Allah, Mohammad is His Prophet"...
...the issue had gone beyond a row between Copenhagen and the Muslim world and now centred on western free speech versus taboos in Islam, which is now the second religion in many European countries.... [Scotsman]
Alexandre Adler, author of "Rendez-vous With Islam," criticized the newspapers. "We're at war," he said, citing the Iraq insurgency and the electoral victories of the radical Palestinian group Hamas and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "And sometimes war demands censorship. In this context, anything that might strengthen the hate of the West is irresponsible."
It's War! Between medieval theocrats and modern heirs of the Enlightenment defending the fundamental human right to blaspheme!
Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament who has proposed a law that would ban women from wearing burqas in the Netherlands and has been the target of death threats, posted the cartoons on his Web site Thursday under this explanation: "What is the price of freedom? As a token of support to the Danish cartoonists and to stand up for free speech, we will place their drawings here." [WaPo]
It's gotten so bad that Denmark's government called foreign envoys to a summit in Copenhagen today to head off an Islamic holy war against Europe [as] hundreds of Pakistanis chanted, "Death to Denmark" and burned French and Danish flags this week...
But that was only the beginning.
On Wednesday, Europe's news media fought back as newspapers in Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands reprinted the cartoons. The BBC showed them on TV yesterday. Germany's Die Welt put the drawings on its front page and defended its "right to blasphemy." ... [NY Post]
And when the defenders of right of blasphemy realize that, impressively armed with cartoons and newsprint as they are, the theocrats are armed with bombs and guns and the will to use them...