Do they STILL not get it?

A while ago there was a controversy in which British TV showed a documentary about the murder of a Saudi princess for some infraction of honour, and the Saudi government attempted to put pressure on the British government to get the TV station to pull the show. Of course, they told the Saudis that it couldn’t be done, that it’s not how things were done in this country. It seems that the Muslim governments have been putting pressure on the Danish government to do the same in response to a feature on pictures of the Prophet (sall’ Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). (Hat tip: Ginny.)

Now, I’d be the first to object to such cartoons, but you’ve got to understand that these are non-Muslims and Denmark is their country. The western governments are not in the habit of dictating to the media what they may or may not say. Even in the UK, where Americans might believe we don’t have freedom of speech, the only serious restriction is that the media must not discuss matters which are sub judice in case people’s trials are prejudiced. In some cases, the media have breached court orders not to mention certain people, like Flora Keays, Cecil Parkinson’s mentally-disabled daughter by his secretary, with impunity.

Denmark is one of a number of “post-PC” European countries which has passed legislation which affects everyone but is aimed at Muslims: in this case, laws banning Danish citizens bringing foreign spouses into the country if they are under a certain age. I suspect that a malicious motive may have been behind these cartoons - an effort to breach Muslims’ taboos for its own sake. Be that as it may, a lot of Muslims expect the non-Muslims to uphold the honour of our religion, usually by banning works of literature which goes against it. I had difficulty explaining to a Bosnian why Muslims couldn’t expect The Satanic Verses to be banned; in this country, works demolishing the native and established religion are freely published. Why would our religion be treated differently?

I don’t want to be an Uncle Tom, but our people are under threat across Europe, including in Britain from self-styled “muscular liberals” and from neo-cons who threaten to take over the Tory party. Our campaigns should be directed at protecting our rights: our right to acceptable meat, our freedom from state dictation of what is preached in mosques (other than preaching violence) and our women’s right to education without molestation. We should protest against insults to our religion by sending letters and withdrawing advertising, but we cannot expect non-Muslims to institute censorship to avoid hurting our feelings, and we must not jeopardise reasonable demands by making unreasonable ones.

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