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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am
Christopher Hitchens on the damning of the Danes:
The incredible thing about the ongoing Kristallnacht against Denmark (and in some places, against the embassies and citizens of any Scandinavian or even European Union nation) is that it has resulted in, not opprobrium for the religion that perpetrates and excuses it, but increased respectability! A small democratic country with an open society, a system of confessional pluralism, and a free press has been subjected to a fantastic, incredible, organized campaign of lies and hatred and violence, extending to one of the gravest imaginable breaches of international law and civility: the violation of diplomatic immunity. And nobody in authority can be found to state the obvious and the necessary—that we stand with the Danes against this defamation and blackmail and sabotage. Instead, all compassion and concern is apparently to be expended upon those who lit the powder trail, and who yell and scream for joy as the embassies of democracies are put to the torch in the capital cities of miserable, fly-blown dictatorships. Let’s be sure we haven’t hurt the vandals’ feelings.
Which is the general tone of commentators at an Asian security conference:
“This cartoon crisis reveals a blind spot which we have not really seen before and sends a bad message to the Muslim community about democracy at a time when we are trying to advocate to the moderate community that Islam and democracy go together,” said Dino Patti Djalal, spokesman for Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Bruce Lemkin, US deputy undersecretary for international affairs in the US Air Force, said that while freedom of expression should not be limited, it must be balanced with sensitivity.
“Globalisation has changed the effects and the consequences and we must understand that,” Lemkin said. “There is a responsibility to educate not only our populations but our media.”
Mr Clinton today said it was important to find out what was behind the cartoon and the reasons for their publication.
“Does anybody here know whether that cartoonist knew that it was blasphemous when he did the picture of Mohammed?”
UPDATE. Prophet and loss:
Denmark’s Aria Foods is reporting a $20 million loss ever since controversy erupted over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
But Mecca Cola is selling like the proverbial cakes of hotness:
Sales of UAE-based Mecca Cola have tripled since the cartoon row began.
UPDATE II. Another newspaper in trouble:
Saudi Arabia has suspended a youth daily that carried cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad that have sparked violent protests around the world, journalists from the newspaper said today.
UPDATE III. Local Muslims disappoint.
UPDATE IV. Oh no! The EU’s credibility is under threat:
OIC Secretary-General Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on Tuesday called on the European Union to invoke its existing law on offensive material over the publication of blasphemous cartoons and cautioned that failure to do so would put its credibility at stake.
How very alarming.
UPDATE V. Forty-two scholars have their say:
“The sacrilegious cartoons represent a crime of aggression on the Islamic nation that helps to torpedo the process of interaction among civilisations and peoples,” a statement issued by the prominent clerics said …
“The Danish government and people should respond in a just manner by condemning the aggression, otherwise Denmark will have to live in isolation from the rest of the world community.”
Bossy little customers, aren’t they?