Another update several days ago, from The Brussels Journal, which has been following the cartoon capers in Denmark.
First of all the storms of outrage: The Council of Europe (if you follow the link at Brussels Journal, it appears to be much like the Amercian Council of Churches, only without the spires and belfries. Since Europe is mostly atheist anyway, a Council of Churches there would be three people and maybe a candle) is mouthing the usual clap-trap.
This particular bloviation concerns the Danish government’s refusal to come down on the newspaper and the cartoonists who outraged the Muslims by drawing cartoons of Mohammed (the cartoonists) and then publishing them (the newspaper). One of the numberless “committees” in the Council condemned the “seam of intolerance” in the Danish media. “Seam”? You mean, like a small thread running through a garment so politically correct it stands by itself when you take it off? That “seam”?
The paper had originally decided to run the cartoon contest for two reasons: to aid an author who was having trouble finding anyone willing to illustrate his book, and more importantly, to test the freedom of the press in broaching such a forbidden subject. The Jyllands-Posten is Denmark’s leading newspaper. If they could not speak who would?
You know the rest, or at least parts of it. There were ther usual Muslim international outcries, street protests as far away as Pakistan, and letters of reproof from Arab countries.
|It also resulted in a diplomatic crisis when eleven ambassadors to Copenhagen, including the ambassadors of Bosnia and Turkey, asked to meet Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for an urgent meeting to discuss the matter. They wanted him to call JP to account for “abusing Islam in the name of democracy, human rights and freedom of expression.”|
The Prime Minister wasn’t awed. He told them all that Denmark doesn’t interfere in the freedom of the press:
|“This is a matter of principle. I will not meet with them because it is so crystal clear what principles Danish democracy is built upon that there is no reason to do so,” he said, adding that those who felt offended should bring their grievances to the courts. “As prime minister, I have no power whatsoever to limit the press – nor do I want such power.”|
Now the original printing of the cartoons took place in September. Here we are in December and the noise is still going on.
|Egypt cut off its talks on human rights with Denmark while the Egyptian Grand-Imam Muhammad Said Tantawy condemned the Danish government. Tantawy is the religious leader of Egypt, appointed by the Egyptian president, and chancellor of the prestigious al-Azhar University, one of the Sunni Muslims’ most important centers of learning. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised his Danish colleague during bilateral talks last month.|
|On 7 December, the 56 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) unanimously condemned Denmark for its refusal to act against alleged “islamophobia” in the press. In a letter to the OIC Louise Arbour, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, deplored the Danish newspaper’s “lack of respect for the religion of others” and announced that the UN experts on racism would take the matter up with the Danish government.|
And would you believe it – of course you would – even Denmark’s own retired diplomats weighed in. Yes, just like their confreres in Foggy Bottom, they sided not with their government, but with international elitist opinion:
|Instead of supporting their government, 22 prominent Danish former career diplomats criticised Prime Minister Rasmussen this week. In an open letter to the national daily Politiken the former diplomats write: “It would have suited democracy in Denmark if the prime minister had met the request for a meeting that was put forth by eleven foreign ambassadors from Muslim countries.” According to the former diplomats Denmark is witnessing “a sharpening of tone, which can only be regarded as persecution of the minority that consists of Muslim citizens.”|
Only tiny Hirsi Ali in the Netherlands could be heard above the din, protesting that Prime Minister Rasmussen deserved support in his stand on principle.
And then guess what happened? When Denmark’s Prime Minister refused to back down, the Danish Muslims decided to moderate their demands. Juste, the editor of The Jyllands-Posten welcomed their advances:
|Moderate Muslim groups in Denmark proposed to stop demanding apologies from JP and organise a “celebration” to show the moderate side of Islam. Juste welcomed the idea. “I consider it a chance at reconciliation,” he said. “While it’s important to protect freedom of speech, there is also a need among Danes to gain more knowledge of Islam and Mohammed.”|
Lesson? Don’t back down. Muslims, like the rest of us, respect principled strength. Oh, they may not like it, but they respect it.
Danes One, Islamofascists Zero.