Curse of the Moderates by Charles Krauthammer: ....What passes for moderation in the Islamic community -- ``I share your rage but don't torch that embassy'' -- is nothing of the sort. It is simply a cynical way to endorse the goals of the mob without endorsing its means. It is fraudulent because, while pretending to uphold the principle of religious sensitivity, it is only interested in this instance of religious insensitivity.
Have any of these ``moderates'' ever protested the grotesque caricatures of Christians and, most especially, Jews that are broadcast throughout the Middle East on a daily basis? The sermons on Palestinian TV that refer to Jews as the sons of pigs and monkeys? The Syrian prime-time TV series that shows rabbis slaughtering a gentile boy in order to ritually consume his blood? The 41-part (!) series on Egyptian TV based on that anti-Semitic czarist forgery (and inspiration of the Nazis), ``The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,'' showing the Jews to be engaged in a century-old conspiracy to control the world?
A true Muslim moderate is one who protests desecrations of all faiths. Those who don't are not moderates but hypocrites, opportunists and agents for the rioters, using merely different means to advance the same goal: to impose upon the West, with its traditions of freedom of speech, a set of taboos that is exclusive to the Islamic faith. These are not defenders of religion, but Muslim supremacists trying to force their dictates upon the liberal West.
And these ``moderates'' are aided and abetted by Western ``moderates" who publish pictures of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung, and celebrate the ``Piss Christ'' (a crucifix sitting in a jar of urine) as art deserving public subsidy, but are seized with a sudden religious sensitivity when the subject is Muhammad.
The mob is trying to dictate to Western newspapers, indeed Western governments, what is a legitimate subject for discussion and caricature. The cartoons do not begin to approach the artistic level of Salman Rushdie's prose, but that's not the point. The point is who decides what can be said and what can be drawn within the precincts of what we quaintly think of as the free world.
The mob has turned this into a test case for freedom of speech in the West. The German, French and Italian newspapers that republished these cartoons did so not to inform but to defy -- to declare that they will not be intimidated by the mob.
What is at issue is fear. The unspoken reason many newspapers do not want to republish is not sensitivity but simple fear. They know what happened to Theo van Gogh, who made a film about the Islamic treatment of women and got a knife through the chest with an Islamist manifesto attached.
The worldwide riots and burnings are instruments of intimidation, reminders of van Gogh's fate. The Islamic ``moderates'' are the mob's agents and interpreters, warning us not to do this again. And the Western ``moderates'' are their terrified collaborators who say: Don't worry, we won't. It's those Danes. We're clean. Spare us. Please.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Posted by Mike's America at 2/15/2006