Free speech has liberals tongue-tied
The Australian ^ | 8th February 2006 | Janet Albrechtsen
on 02/07/2006 12:21:02 PM PST
Danish cartoon controversy shows that the joke is on progressive
democrats around the world
some say Muslims just can't take a joke, it turns out the joke
is on us. Across large swaths of the Middle East and in the
West, the report card on free speech contains more F-words than
the dialogue in Team America: World Police.
a Danish newspaper published 12 cartoons of the prophet Mohammed
to test whether multi-cultural Denmark was committed to freedom
of expression, much of the Arab and Muslim world went feral
at the very idea of free speech and an independent press. No
surprise there. Any excuse for a fatwa against the West sums
up the hysteria sweeping the Middle East.
the West, we've also flunked the free speech test for our feeble
defence of those values. The West's recreational appeasement
of cultures diametrically opposed to Western values got us into
this mess. So it turns out the newspaper had a point.
countries are often held up as the bellwethers of progress.
In this case, it's more a case of Denmark pointing out where
progress has gone awry. To understand the slow surrender of Western values,
consider how this fracas over free speech began.
in September, celebrated Danish author Kaare Bluitgen was planning
to write a children's book about the prophet Mohammed. But,
alas, no illustrators were willing to draw the prophet for fear
of offending Muslims, who believe that depicting Mohammed is
this point another article not on this site for bandwidth reasons
revealed hundreds of Illustrations of Mohammed since the early
middle ages until the 1800’s none of which Muslims for 12 centuries
objected to. And among
these were a dozen or more images of Mohammed were drawn by
Muslims in the first few centuries of Muslimism and of these
images at least one of them was in an illuminated Koran of which
copies were made an distributed to mosques where they were used
and read. So it must be noted that the current extraction of
Muslim extremists do not follow at all the writings and beliefs
of their fundamentalists fathers, but instead follow more extreme
fables and traditions that have been made up in the last 50
the editor of Jyllands-Posten threw down the gauntlet
to test whether Denmark was committed to free speech. (I think they are rewriting history trying to en-noble an act and
wrap the issue around the constitution must as evangelists attempt
to wrap their corrupt acts with scripture) As part of an article on self-censorship, they
invited dozens of artists to draw a cartoon of Mohammed. Twelve
the rest, as they say, is history. A frenzy of bomb threats,
boycotts, fatwas and flag burning. Jihadists in the UK declared
holy war. Danish and Norwegian embassies were attacked and burned.
Cheesed off at the cameras moving from Iraq to neighbouring
Muslim countries, the media savvy supporters of Shiite leader
Moqtada al-Sadr went on a hunger strike in central Baghdad to
show their disgust over the cartoons.
in an especially neat twist, leaders in Arab and Muslim countries
began ululating about human rights. In this case, the right
not to be offended. But pointing the finger at Western insults,
while you go in for state and judicially sanctioned Bible burning,
eye-gouging, maiming, flogging and the execution of children
is not a convincing look.
hypocrisy aside, the reaction of many in the West to the Danish
cartoons is also short of the mark. While newspapers across
Europe reprinted the cartoons in a show of support for free
speech, the response by many Europeans has been decidedly Europeany
- one tentative step forward and two sissy steps back in defending
Western values. In France, when a Paris newspaper reprinted
the cartoon, the editor was promptly sacked.
the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who has taken
a strong stance in defending democracy and freedom of expression,
is not receiving much support from the Euro-elites.
in December Franco Frattini, vice-president of the
European Commission said: "I fully respect the freedom
of speech, but, excuse me, one should avoid making any statement
like this, which only arouses and incites to the growing radicalisation."
the past few days, it's been good to see other European leaders
- even Frattini - firming up on free speech. But his criticism
of the cartoons as "imprudent" is making headlines
in Muslim countries. Along with comments by the Council of Europe's Commissioner
for Human Rights, Alvaro Gil-Robles, who also criticised the
cartoons because "freedom of expression ... has its limits".
a bad sign when the cafe set of Europe echoes the Arab street
on free speech. A survey by the Khaleej Times in the United
Arab Emirates found that most people believed that "freedom
of expression is one thing, but it should not be confused with
acts of inciting feelings, which is what happened in Denmark".
inciting feelings has become the new benchmark for free speech,
we only have ourselves to blame for that misunderstanding. So many
of the incursions on free speech in the West are driven by a
well-meaning desire to create a world free of offence. (Read this as political correctness
– created the world over by the left, whose poster child is
feminism, abortion, and homosexuality all of which have been
given super citizenship in each culture and the Muslims are
now fighting for that super citizenship as well and the European
Union, and Canada have been close to granting them that right.)
A universal nanny state where all is peace
and love, and never a cross word is spoken.
an impossible dream. Indeed, it's a nightmare. People invariably
differ and it is debate and difference of opinion that drives
have already gone way too far in restricting free speech in
an effort to protect people from offence. (At the expense of everyone else) Tony Blair's
religious hate bill is aimed at protecting Muslim sensibilities.
And last week, it was only watered down because the British
Prime Minister failed to hang around to vote in the House of
Commons. By a single-vote margin,
the bill is now free of key clauses that sought to outlaw "abusive
and insulting" behaviour inciting religious hatred. But
under Blair's bill, these silly cartoons could have been deemed
an act of religious hatred.
to home, Victoria's religious vilification laws
(These were passed in Autralia
as similar measures were passed in Canada) are working in ways that make the place look like an Islamic state-in-waiting.
Recall the two Christian pastors hauled
into a Victorian court and threatened with jail time for daring
to criticise Islam. Publish these cartoons south of the Murray
in Victoristan and you too might be charged with religious vilification.
It's a state overflowing with rights. But freedoms - such as
free speech (For
the common citizens) - are thin on the ground.
freedom of speech means anything, it means the right to offend
the sensibilities of others. (To be able to freely preach the
Gospel of sin righteousness and the judgment) Standing up for the right to express namby-pamby,
inoffensive opinions is the easy part. It's defending the confronting,
offensive and insulting stuff that tests our commitment to free
commitment is looking rather threadbare in Australia, given
that only Queensland's Courier-Mail has published the
cartoons. And why have the commentators, lawyers and artistes, who were so loud
in condemning sedition laws as an incursion on satirical free
speech, gone mute?
Because these liberal forces the world over hate with all their
heart souls mind and strength God, the church, and the bible
and therefore they hate any law right freedom or privilege that
is drawn from these and they hate western culture because it
is drawn from God the church and the bible. For the last century
they worshipped communism and with the falling of the Berlin
wall and the break up of the Soviet Union their god has crashed
and burned. So these moved on into the green party and the environmental
movement and their cornerstone for becoming the dominant power
in the earth the Kyoto Treaty was halted and now has become
rejected by most western nations and seen for what it was so
this now has crashed and burned. It must be recognized that
these people so hate God, the church and the bible they will
hand all of Europe and western civilization over to the Muslims
for them to kill burn and pillage (reminiscent of a Stalinist
purge) in order to cleanse the world of God the church and the
Australian says publishing these cartoons will add nothing
to the debate. But if 12 silly cartoons are enough to
spark the hysterical over-reaction by Muslims, then this is
a confrontation we need to have. Not publishing the cartoons adds to the debate
by suggesting we will walk on eggshells in appeasing Muslim
sensibilities. The spontaneous reaction across the Middle East has morphed into planned
intimidation of the West and its values. And it seems to be
working. Those opposed to free speech are learning that the
louder they shout, the faster we surrender.
this is building the war cry in Muslims to destroy all of Europe
and all of its people. – And make no mistake this is what this
is all about. The bombing in Spain that flipped its government
to be pro muslim and to naturalize over 1 million illegal Muslim
immigrants – that are now at the same time all EU citizens,
the riots in France, and now this – the appeasement that is
sought is super citizenship. And behind the scenes a liberal
forth column is at work to help their Muslim gods to come into
power – these is the spirit of this age – this is the spirit
of the antichrist at work dramatically at work and dramatically
created the stage upon which he shall appear – so naturally
all constitutions that guarantee rights of citizens particularly
freedom of speech freedom of press freedom of assembly freedom
of worship must perish and must be removed.
This is not a political fight this is a spiritual fight
that begins with a backslidden church that for at least 40 years
now has not preached the gospel to its own generation and we
see the results of this while some preach a relatively new doctrine
of spiritual warfare fighting principalities and powers from
a prayer closet. We see little evidence of this in scripture,
the Gospels, and Epistles or in the writings of the Apostolic
Fathers. Instead what
we see is the warfare – the spiritual warfare is fought in Scripture,
the Gospels and Acts with boots on the ground.
We see actual believers (Christ himself and the Apostles
and others) fighting the good fight of faith, and displacing
these principalities and powers with the preaching of the gospel
and demonstration of the Spirit.
we're talking about ideas - and religion is, after all, just
an idea - the touchstone of free speech should be that old nursery
rhyme: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words
will never hurt me".
need to protect us from violence, but not from hurt feelings.
By all means, apologise for the offence caused to Muslims by
the 12 cartoons, but not for their publication. The former is
good manners. The latter is free speech.