A few days ago the Danish rag Politiken wrote a piece comparing President Obama favorably to Jesus Christ. More than a few us noted that comparing Obama to Jesus rather than to Mohammed was a far safer (and wussier) bet. It didn’t take long for that to prove true.
Remember the Danish cartoons? A 27-year old Somali does:
Danish police on Friday shot and wounded a man trying to enter the home of an artist who drew controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The man, a 27-year-old Somalian who was armed with an axe, was caught trying to break into the home of Kurt Westergaard at 10pm local time, police said.
Police shot the man, injuring him in his leg...
Mr. Westergaard's cartoon was seen at the time as the most controversial, as it depicted the Prophet with a bomb in his turban.
"Controversial" but entirely vindicated by events since. To return to the theme of my post a couple of days back, a significant percentage of Muslims in the west do not understand concepts such as pluralism and freedom of expression. A further percentage understand them very well but reject them as loser fetishes incompatible with the requirements of Islamic supremacism - and have a shrewd sense that when, push comes to shove, a lot of these fine liberal concepts crumble to nothing. Is the percentage of Muslims who support Mr. Westergaard's right to free expression and the broader principles of intellectual liberty sufficient to make the importation of legions of "27-year old Somalians" a net benefit to Denmark?
The answer to that seems obvious. But Mr. Westergaard is 74, and I'll bet his half-century-younger attacker grasps however crudely the demographic symbolism, in Scandinavia and beyond.
I seem to remember that at the time the cartoons were published more people expressed disgust at the cartoons than at the literally murderous riots that took place in several cities in Europe. It struck me odd that the same people who defended Piss Christ and statues of the Virgin Mary smeared in dung were the same people who condemned the Mohammed cartoons.
It really does matter whose ox is being gored but beyond that, if you support free expression then support it across the board. But those who claim that their “out thereness” is brave are only brave when bravery is not required. A quick look at Memeorandum reveals that only right of the center blogs are speaking out on the attack against Mr. Westergaard. The left of the center blogs who consider themselves to be the champions of all things great and small are their usual silent selves when it comes to Westergaard’s right to express himself with the fear of being beheaded.
The Jawa Report
The Jawa Report