The Islamic world is running a protection racket against the entire Western world. We are supposed to stay in line and pay up, or we can get hurt.
The part of Guido and his tommy gun is played by the “Muslim street”, that amorphous mass of people in the Middle East, South Asia, and more recently the working class neighborhoods of Europe. When the word about the latest outrage against Islamic dignity goes out through the mosques on Friday, the faithful are predictably offended, and they take to the streets to loot and burn whatever is required of them by the imams.
So don’t get out of line. Don’t interfere with the Muslims, don’t neglect to pay the “insurance premiums”, and above all don’t diss the Prophet.
This point is emphasized once again in an editorial entitled “Playing With Fire” from today’s Arab News. This time it’s the German Interior Minister whose knees are being figuratively broken:
The statement by Germany’s Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that European newspapers should reprint the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a show of support for press freedom is astounding.
It is difficult to believe that a supposedly responsible and politically astute politician could say something so irresponsible and dangerous — and Schaeuble is supposedly both. More to the point, Schaeuble knows perfectly well that there are hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide to whom the cartoons are not merely deeply offensive but an outrage. He also knows perfectly well what happened when the cartoons were first published — the wave of violent protest worldwide two years ago that resulted in dozens of people killed in riots and Danish embassies destroyed. The decision by Danish papers to reprint the most offensive of the cartoons has already led to Egypt protesting to Denmark, Iranian MPs demanding action against the country, mass demonstrations in Sudan and riots by outraged Muslims in Denmark itself.
Schaeuble cannot, therefore, claim that he did not realize the consequences of what he said or that he has been naive. This is no mere mistake or case of insensitivity. He knows the massive damage to Germany that can result from what he said — boycotts of German products, mass protests across the world, German diplomats in danger, embassies under attack — yet still he said it. He is being deliberately provocative.
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He should have kept his mouth shut, regardless of what he thinks about press freedom. In saying what he did and because he is the interior minister, his call to reprint is inevitably seen as Germany’s view. It is not for us to demand his resignation but it is impossible to believe that Germans will not do so. He has been grossly irresponsible. He is playing with fire. He has created a crisis for his country where there was none beforehand. He has sown division between Germany’s Muslims and non-Muslims and stirred up the potential for discord and disorder. That is hardly what is expected of a government minister whose remit is law and order.
Hat tip: TB.