Danish Cartoons: Islamic Chauvanism exposes hypocrisy Posted by: McQ
on Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Probably the most interesting thing to come out of this cartoon controversy (which now increasingly seems to be a controversy contrived by Islamic radicals) is the Islamic chauvinism it has displayed for all to see. For the irony impaired, Joseph Tartakovsky gives us a good accounting of the phenomenon:
Islamic chauvinism explains what would otherwise be a spectacular irony: in Europe, transplanted Islamic radicals, like Palestinian-born Ahmed Abu-Laban, the Copenhagen imam whose campaigning incited the boycott against Denmark, are demanding that the countries to which they willingly fled from oppression now accept the same habits and attitudes that fetter their homelands. Religious intolerance is just one of these attitudes.
Islamic chauvinism explains why Arab journalists, who continuously lament the censorship in their presses, now demand that European states punish privately owned newspapers. It explains how the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Turki al-Faisal, can tell Wolf Blitzer that matters of faith must “be handled with care and with sensitivity,” when the country he represents outlaws wearing a cross or possessing a Bible. Danish Muslim leaders, who appealed abroad to bring down Islamic wrath on their adopted country, decry Denmark’s coolness toward its Muslim minority—but they have not urged the thousands of Muslims now queuing up for immigration into tiny Denmark to shred their asylum applications in disgust. This is not hypocrisy. It is strategy.
While I agree with his thoughts I disagree with Tartakovsky's conclusion. Not only is it a strategy, it is rank hypocrisy. And it is the level and blatant nature of the hypocrisy which is shocking. You're left with your hands outstretched in appeal shouting "can't you see that!?" to anyone who'll listen.
But Tartakovsky is correct about certain elements of Islam using this hypocrisy as a strategy and he outlines it's effect by noting that while no British newspapers published the cartoons in question, it didn't save Britain from the protests by Muslims there.
And Britain’s reaction?
Many editors and politicians, like Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, have rightly been defiant. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, on the other hand, chose to reprove the European media: “There is freedom of speech, we all respect that, but there is not any obligation to insult or to be gratuitously inflammatory.” “Free Speech Go To Hell,” said a London placard carried by a covered protester, suggesting Mr. Straw has some thinking to do. And it was precisely to call attention to this dangerous state of affairs that the cartoons were printed and reprinted in Europe—and now in America.
Need I say more? If hypocrisy is a strategy, it seems to be working. While what Mr. Straw says is true, why did the government of Britain feel compelled to make such a statement if freedom of speech is a revered right there? Why also did the US State Department feel in necessary to lecture the world with similar platitudes if freedom of speech is an important right here? What drives governments in the west to issue such statements?
Fear. The desire for security. Certainly not liberty. While it isn't necessary to be stridently defiant in the face of such threats to our rights, it certainly isn't out of place to adamantly defend our right to free speech. What Mr. Straw and our State Department should be saying is "the right to free speech means tolerating speech we don't like. In fact, it's then when we should defend it the most."
Islam’s “hypocrisy as a strategy” has been successful in one regard. It has exposed the west’s own hypocrisy with respect to “freedom of speech”. And that’s not comforting in the least.
There’s more irony that makes one scream, "Why don’t they get it?" The offended are violently protesting cartoons that depict Mohammed, their spiritual role model, as a man of violence. By their violent response, the protestors are confirming the content of the cartoons they are protesting.
My question is whether this hypocrisy is an actual, conscious strategy, or whether it is just ingrained in their thinking. I have also been saying that Islam is a chauvinistic religion, which applies different standards to Muslims and non-Muslims. Is the hypocrisy that we non-Muslims see a strategy, or is it just part of their belief system?
My impression on this situation is that the free press is allowing itself to be controlled by terror. The negative images of the Muslims Prophet is not the fault of Denmark, but rather, the impression radical Muslims, such as Osama Bin Laden, have given Western society. In response to this, for the reason of defending the most basic of all rights, I have posted the 12 cartoons on my website, along with a game I created using one of the Danish cartoons. My intention, to make sure I always have the freedom to express myself. If you are interested in playing the game, it is free, and can be found at my website, http://www.obber.com.
If all it takes to get the press cringing in the corner of their offices calling on "Mommmmmeeeeee!!!!!!" and alternately claiming loudly they had nothing to do with the offending cartoons... is a little rioting, it’s kinda hard for them to argue that Bush is taking the Ilsamo-facists and their threats against western interests too seriously.
Not only is it a strategy, it is rank hypocrisy. And it is the level and blatant nature of the hypocrisy which is shocking. You’re left with your hands outstretched in appeal shouting "can’t you see that!?" to anyone who’ll listen.
Actually, IMO the blatant nature of it keeps it from being hypocrisy. Islam makes absolutely no bones about the fact that different standards apply to Muslims and infidels. It’s what the whole "dhimmi" concept is about. Having double-standards is not hypocrisy. Having double-standards and pretending you don’t is hypocrisy.
Of course, there are a few "moderate" Islamic groups that are hypocrites on this issue and that makes it a very good way to tell sincere moderates from the ones that are just giving moderation lip-service.