Monday, March 27, 2006

Dane In Vain

Peeps of pro-Dane supporters continue to be heard here and there; and while the concept of free speech -- specifically in this case, the freedom to offend -- is all well and good, has there been a less inspiring political spectacle? Tiny crowds of (mostly) white people waving Danish flags and blow-ups of the Muslim-bashing cartoons in question haven't done much to rattle the gates of power. But then, these people aren't really interested in confronting their own governments or statist personnel; they wanna show that they, too, can be nasty when it comes to towelheads, for if you can't publicly wipe your ass with pages of the Koran, then what is the point of Western civilization?

Now, in my view, newspapers, mags, websites, etc., should be allowed to publish or print what they want without fear of violent reprisal. That's a general given. And yes, I was aghast at the bloody riots that came in the wake of Jyllands-Posten's decision to run those caricatures of Mohammad. People shouldn't be killed over images, no mater how crude, offensive or racist -- and don't fool yourself, several of those caricatures were indeed racist, quite consciously so, and that was the point: to rub the Muslim Other's face in the crudest stereotypes of the Western, or in this case, Danish imagination; to show absolute contempt for Islam as a whole, and not with a specific wing or strand thereof. While there were, lamentably, violent reactions to this provocation, there were plenty of nonviolent protests in Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan. So the Muslim response was mixed, with tens of thousands doing little more than chanting anti-West slogans before dispersing.

One wonders if those who support the War On Terror (or believe that one exists) really desire any peaceful co-existence with the Muslim world, much less a peaceful integration of cultures. If so, then it seems odd that some would cling so dogmatically to caricatures that are guaranteed to offend and sadden Muslims who have no intent nor desire to wage war or otherwise commit acts of murderous violence. There's an almost adolescent insistence by the Danish flag wavers that they not only piss on Muslim symbols, but that they be applauded for it. These tiny Jyllands-Posten support groups are among the dumbest and most clueless pseudo-political gatherings in memory, which is why, I suspect, they remain so small. Despite their grand claims of Fighting For Freedom, they have nothing real to say about the world as it actually is, and are giving a pass to those in power who are doing far more than publishing offensive cartoons. When these twerps start demonstrating against, say, US forces denying Iraqi civilians (children among them) of their freedom to breathe in their own homes, as was done in Haditha and Balad, then perhaps we can better measure their supposed commitment to liberty.

And speaking of Jyllands-Posten, friend Jon Schwarz just posted a rather tasty editorial opinion from that paper's past, one that was forwarded to me a few weeks ago, but which I wanted to see confirmed before putting up. Seems it's the real deal. Concerning Kristallnacht in 1938, the freedom-lovers' martyred paper wrote:

"You have to admit Germany its clear right to rid itself of its Jews. But one must insist that it happens in a decent manner."

More about Jyllands-Posten's pro-Nazi feelings here. Wave your Danish flags over that.