Here’s hoping this is the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back, the point where the West finally realizes the ultimate goal of the Islamic world.
In a nutshell: Last week, a Swedish newspaper published a (very poorly drawn) cartoon of Mohammed’s head on a dog’s body. (I’d reprint it here, but it really, really is badly drawn. I approve of the sentiment behind it — defiance of the Muslim tradition of threatening those who violate Islamic laws with punishment, no matter where the offense may occur — but my own artistic sensibilities are grossly offended by the poor drawing skills of the alleged artist.)
(Oh, all right. I’ll stick it in the extended section, so I don’t have to look at it any more than absolutely necessary.)
OK, where was I? Oh, yeah, the newspaper published the cartoon, and — as is usual — the Religion Of Peace adherents reacted in their typical fashion: threats of violence and demands that the offending parties be punished. To hell with such niceties as separation of church and state, freedom of the press, freedom of speech — Muslims halfway around the world were offended, and they MUST be placated!
For too long, I’ve argued that in too many ways Muslims simply don’t understand the West, and needed to learn how we are. But now I see that, in some ways, they understand us all too well — and are using that knowledge against us.
One of the greatest triumphs of the liberal, PC movement that grew out of the 1960’s got its roots in Franklin Roosevelt’s greatest speeches — the “Four Freedoms.” (Freedom of Speech and Expression, Freedom of Religion, Freedom From Hunger, Freedom From Fear.) In that speech, he extended the notion of “rights” beyond the fundamental concepts of “the people can” and “the government can not.” He crystallized the concept of not only “freedom to,” but “freedom from.” In essence, he articulated the position that people need not fear the consequences of personal failure.
This was expanded in the 60’s and 70’s, where people started arguing that there were a lot more things we ought to be “free from,” forbidding others the right to do offensive things. “Hate speech” is the biggest example, when we started accepting limits on the words we use in the name of others’ rights to not hear some things.
The Muslim world was watching, it seems, and taking notes. Now they are asserting their right to not be offended by those who violate Muslim law, regardless of where in the world it happens.
This is extortion. This is a shakedown, a modern version of the Barbary Pirates, the first Muslims to threaten the United States. They are demanding that Western nations accept that Shariah law be not only recognized, but granted supremacy over their own laws.
There are some who will call my reaction extreme. They are wrong. This story shows that ambassadors of 20 Muslim nations are demanding that Sweden amend its laws to grant Islam a special legal status above and beyond any other religion or any other group or class. And not only are they expecting to succeed, they are threatening to unleash mob riots in Sweden and any other nation with a sizable Muslim populace to get their way.
Read the words of Egypt’s ambassador, the man that the government of one of the most “western” and “tolerant” Islamic nations has appointed to represent their interests and their state:
Egyptian ambassador Mohamed Sotouhi told news agency TT that he and a group of fellow ambassadors had agreed on a list of measures Sweden needed to take if it was to secure a long-term solution to the Muhammad cartoon controversy.
According to Sotouhi, “comprehensive measures” were required if Sweden was to prevent some “amateur artist” from reawakening tensions every other month.
“We want to see action, not just nice words. We have to push for a change in the law,” he said.
“Muslims need legal protection against the desecration of the Prophet Muhammad, maybe something similar to the protection enjoyed by Jews and homosexuals.”
While praising the “very constructive steps” taken by Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Egyptian ambassador said that Sweden had much work left to do.
“In the long term the school curriculum has to convince pupils that if they want to express their opinion they should do so in such a way that it doesn’t cause offence or hurt. This should also be part of journalism training,” said Sotouhi.
“A permanent parliamentary committee also needs to be established to tackle islamophobia,” he added.
The ambassador urged Reinfeldt to strive towards “reaching a balance between freedom of speech and taking responsibility to avoid offending Muslims or other religious groups in this society”.
“Everybody will compare his wisdom with the situation in Denmark, whose prime minister treated the problem with a sort of arrogance, or at least delayed taking action to prevent the problem from escalating,” he said.
Sotouhi described Sweden as a sophisticated country containing talented and creative diplomats.
“They know that proactive measures are necessary and we are ready to cooperate with them,” he said.
Here are the key points:
- The Swedish government must exert control over every single individual Swede to keep them from “offending” Muslims.
- Sweden needs to pass laws forbidding anyone from violating Islamic laws and traditions.
- Students — especially journalists — must be taught that they can not give offense to anyone, especially Muslims.
- The Swedish government must set up a permanent body to protect Muslim sensibilities.
- All other rights, including freedom of speech, must yield to the rights of Muslims to not be offended.
- If Sweden doesn’t comply — and comply quickly — then the riots, arson, and other attacks against Denmark last year can be brought back.
Another ambassador wasn’t quite so cautious and lets the mask slip a little when he uses a word he probably shouldn’t:
Algeria’s ambassador to Sweden, Merzak Bedjaoui, said the meeting “was an excellent initiative taken in a spirit of appeasement.”
That is what it is all about: appeasement.
Winston Churchill said it best: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
Will the Swedes stand firm? Do they still have the fierce strength of their Viking ancestors?
For their sake, for all our sakes, I hope so.
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