The Cartoon Crisis, the Death of the Innocent Civilian, & the Future of Civilization
Javier Solana went off on a journey to Arab/Muslim countries last week as a humble supplicant and penitent, as if those 12 cartoons in a Danish paper justified the outbursts of Islamic rage and violence. Begging the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC], a certain Ihsanoglu, to tell him what could be done to end the crisis, he heard proposals that would curtail freedom of the speech and the press, and would cast the West as the guilty party in the affair.
Among the press responses to Solana's trip, Le Canard Enchaine [the Chained Duck], the French satirical paper, was the only --or one of only a few-- to perceive the true nature of Solana's mission and the potential disaster it represented. The OIC was demanding the right to censor any publication or public expression that might offend Muslims. I thought of this while watching the classic French play, Le Cid by Corneille, last week at the Comedie Francaise in Paris. Among other things, the play celebrates the victories of infidel Castilian armies over the Arab/Muslims of Spain, then called the Moors. Those defeats humiliated the Arabs at the time. Hence, could this play be banned from performance if the OIC gets its way? Now, if they can ban Le Cid or other hostile theatrical representations of Islam and the Arabs, then we Jews all the more so have the right to demand that Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice be forbidden to be played. This is something to think about for those who would accept the Muslim demands.
Let us now consider the problems raised by the Muslim reaction to the cartoons.
1) Muhammad was indeed a man of violence and this view of him, indeed his brutality and cruelty, are reported by the Muslim hadith [compilations of Muslim lore and legend about Muhammad]. So by reacting so violently against cartoons suggesting that Muhammad inspired terrorism, the rioting Muslims are following in the footsteps of Muhammad as Islamic tradition views him, and they are also supporting the assertion, made by at least one of the cartoons, that he inspired terrorism. In other words, they are rioting against the truth, as it is reported by their own tradition; they complain about "Islamophobia." But the truth itself is Islamophobic;
2) They are quite obviously assailing freedom of speech, of the press, and of expression. This in itself is a danger to civilization. This has been widely discussed.
3) They themselves regularly slander and libel others, especially Jews, in cartoons and in other ways. They are complaining about something which Arabs themselves regularly do. This aspect has gotten a fair amount of attention, though not enough, during the present affair. Aryeh [Arie?] Stav, an Israeli author, made a compilation of anti-Israeli cartoons published in the Arab press since the Oslo accords. Joel Kotek of Belgium wrote an essay on the subject for the World Jewish Congress.
4) The fourth danger, which has unfortunately been little --if at all-- discussed during this affair, is that by attacking the nation of Denmark, in word and deed, on account of twelve cartoons published in Jyllands Posten, they are helping to destroy the concept of the "innocent civilian," for they are saying that all Danes are guilty, or all French, all Norwegians, all Italians, etc. They are demanding collective punishment for the acts of a few which they consider offensive, rightly or wrongly. Again, this demand for collective punishment of whole nations is a threat to civilization. Now, recall that one of the charges so often made against Israel is that Israel conducts "collective punishment" of Arabs in Judea and Samaria for the acts of a few. However, the Arabs themselves and defenders of Arab terrorism in the West have often argued that there are no innocent Israelis, therefore Arab terrorism against masses of Israeli civilians is justified. It seems that they want it both ways; "collective punishment" by Israel, or anything that Israel may do that can be even remotely construed as "collective punishment," is reviled. On the other hand, the Arabs are allowed to carry out collective massacres of Israeli civilians, of men, women, and children, including little babies. One of the major offenders in that regard is the well-funded, well-connected "International Solidarity Movement," that seems to find it so easy to obtain permission to use the premises of American universities for their nefarious meetings, rallies, agitprop and organizing sessions, etc. In France, a major offender is the so-called "Committee for a Just Peace in palestine." The Arab acts of mass murder, widely reported throughout the world, together with the commonplaces excuses for or "understanding" of these acts in the West, both on the part of governments [Sweden, France, UK, Norway, the EU, etc.] and of insidious, well-funded "non-governmental organizations," whose funding sources often include governments, and very rich foundations and individuals, combine to put to death the very notion of the "innocent civilian" which they so commonly brandish as a propaganda weapon against Israel. Further, I am quite aware that while the mass murder acts against Israeli civilians were the first to gain notoriety and widespread approval, the same has happened in other countries. For example, there were Muslim terrorist attacks on the Paris subway back in 1996, which were guided quite conincidentally, by terrorist masterminds in Britain. Since then, mass murder attacks have come in the USA, Kenya, Tanzania, Spain, the UK itself, India, even the Arab kingdom of Jordan, Iraq, etc. The Arabs and their friends are murdering the very notion of the "innocent civilian." Meanwhile, they exploit the "collective punishment" notion against Israel.
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Coming: Le Canard Enchaine and Le Figaro on Solana's sinister mission to kowtow to the Arabs. Slaves captured from Darfur in the 19th century, the Jewish majority in Jerusalem in the 19th century, etc.