DANES FINALLY GET IT; WILL THE REST OF US?
Consequently, Jihadists and their supporters learned that they may demand both official and self media censorship as well as attack, kidnap and kill reporters with impunity. Indeed, the more outrageous their demand, the more eager the MSM will be to do their bidding. What is their bidding? Aiding and abetting their war against the free world by holding it responsible for the Islamists acts of terror. If Theo Van Gogh is murdered in broad daylight, it is because he deserved it. No, I am not writing in jest.
In early September I attended an invitation only EU co-sponsored conference entitled "Religion and Democracy in Contemporary Europe" held at the Van Leer Institute in Israel. It was a third in a series organized by the EU in response to the kind of value clashes between democratic and Islamist values brought to the fore by the Muhammed cartoon imbroglio. Not surprisingly Fleming Rose was there too. The most revealing moment came during the question and answer period which followed the presentation of Harvard professor Jocelyne Césari. Her talk was entitled"Islam and Globalization: Is radicalism the only path?" She posted the pictures and discussed the choices of a number of radicals including Theo Van Gogh's murderer Mohammed Bouyeri.
A young Dutch woman (protege of Peter Van Der Veer of Utrecht University), raised her hand and demanded to know why Dr. Césari failed to post Theo Van Gogh's picture too or take time to explain the unsavory and provocative character of the victim. Some members of the audience expressed their approval by clapping and nodding. Dr. Césari cooly assured the young woman that she was aware of Van Gogh's background. She was much too savvy to be surprised by the young woman's insistence on the moral equivalence between the murdered and the murderer or by the implication that Van Gogh deserved his fate.
"No problem" was the conference central motive. Neither Amsterdam nor Europe, Peter Van Der Veer assured me, have an Islamist problem for the simple reason that they are so few. Those who worry believe they are dealing with an elephant when in reality they are dealing with a mere mouse. The only serious dissent came from previously optimistic Giles Kepel though only on the last day of the conference when he could no longer keep silent in the face of the"naive" feel good rhetoric which permeated the conference. Solidarity with the victims of Islamist extremism was no where to be found.
It appears that this has finally changed in Denmark:
An editorial in left-leaning Politiken called the murder plot “shocking and troubling.”
“Their plans to kill Kurt Westergaard … are not just an attack on Westergaard but an attack on our democratic culture,” the editorial said.
“Regardless of whether Jyllands-Posten at the time used freedom of speech unwisely and with damaging consequences, the paper deserves unconditional solidarity when it is threatened with terror,” it said.
“That is why Politiken today … prints the drawing, even though at no time have we sympathized with Jyllands-Posten’s provocation.”
"Freedom of expression gives you the right to think, to speak and to draw what you like...no matter how many terrorist plots there are," conservative broadsheet Berlingske Tidende wrote in an editorial.
Berlingske Tidende had not previously printed the caricature despite the massive controversy that engulfed Denmark for months in 2006.
Is the Danish media act of solidarity a sign of a new trend or merely a singular gesture? Will the rest of the free media follow the Danish lead? Sometimes I think yes; then, no. Today I dare hope so. A Danish museum expressed it's wish to purchase the cartoons.
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