Live and let live does not have a good life expectancy in the Mideast. Freedom of speech is one thing. Freedom to terrorize is something else. If you can call me ugly am I free to threaten to kill you? Or fire you? A cartoon in a Danish newspaper draws the conflict strings closer together.
Newspapers throughout Europe have republished controversial images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The cartoon images originated in a Danish newspaper and started a firestorm of conflict and threats between the Muslim community and citizens of other countries in Europe.
What is going on? Freedom of speech is being exercised, both good and bad. Oh, there’s jet lag, too.
Apparently, the offensive images of Muhammad were published back in September by the conservative Danish newspaper Jylands Posten. Slow readers of the world took offense. Slowly. Call it literary jet lag.
By February, other European newspaper editors were republishng the offensive cartoon images as a defense of freedom of speech and expression amid threats from the Muslim community.
Jefferson Morley of the Washington Post reports that the editor of the newspaper France Soir was fired by the paper’s owner, an Egyptian, who apologized to the Muslims.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Palestine (I couldn’t find it on a map), militants threatened to make martyrs of members of Denmark and Norway’s diplomatic core. So much for diplomatic immunity.
Taking cues from the French, officials in Norway surrendered, uh, er… issued a quick apology (from a September 2005 event).
Deputy State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raymond Johansen said, “this is unfortunate and regrettable.” Especially the part about Muslims punishing the offenders and boycotting Danish products.
Do Danish hams sell well in the Mideast?
Of concern to many is the statement from Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, ““We must be prepared to do anything for the defense of the dignity of our Prophet Mohammed.”
“Anything?” See why the world is in a mess? Freedom of speech and terroristic threatening don’t walk hand in hand.
I still can’t find that cartoon.