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Media Cowardice to Blame for Attack on Westergaard

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Last night I watched CNN coverage of a shaken Kurt Westergaard, after he survived an attempt on his life by a crazed axe-wielding Muslim. Westergaard entered his panic room and called police. When cops showed up, the intruder threw his axe at them, and they shot him.

The courage demonstrated by a mild-mannered cartoonist in the face of global Islamic death threats is an inspiration. I wish I could say the same about our supposedly ‘free’ press. As the camera followed Westergaard around his home, it passed a framed image on the wall of his studio of the now infamous cartoons.

Damn if they didn’t blur the image! That single act speaks volumes about our collective cowardice in the face of a threat we neither fully understand nor have the courage to confront.

Fifteen minutes of the global newscast was filled with numbingly familiar stories of the ongoing terror and violence committed by Islam. It wasn’t just the attempted Al Qaeda Christmas bombing of a US jet, but the despicable slaughter of over 100 people at a volleyball tournament in Pakistan.  On the prior program, Christiane Amanpour was interviewing various Islamic scholars and radicals to determine whether Islam was a “religion of peace” and whether or not the Quran “justified violence.” This is the most ridiculous discussion of all.

But back to Westergaard. In the wake of the spasmodic 2005 Muslim tantrums over his cartoons–the torching of buildings and the killing of upwards of 50 people, the Western press decided the story was just too hot to handle.

Bad, bad idea.

The cartoons should have been published again and again until we were all sick of seeing them–by everyone who cares about a free press. Let the Muslims rage. Let them rage. Like any two-year-old throwing a tantrum, they would eventually have recognized they weren’t going to get anywhere. By not doing so, we capitulated, and the attention was directed back on Jyllands-Posten and Westergaard, who–incredibly–remain in fear for their lives five years after the event.

By blurring a passing shot of cartoons in the home of a cartoonist who’s just been attacked for drawing the very same images, we give tacit consent to the idea that there must be something wrong with what he did. We admit that there are some ideas which are just too dangerous and some groups (notably radical Islam) for which the price of criticism is just too high. We have completely given in.

Make no mistake, this is a desperate world war between Islam and human rights. At this stage, Islam is winning. Let’s call Amanpour’s question what it is: a variation of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. In other words, it doesn’t matter how many Muslims are moderate, and who think they are a “religion of peace,” a great many others use violence to get what they want.

They are all Muslims, so Islam cannot be considered a “religion of peace” until the moderates convince every last extremist to renounce violence. Prominent Islamic leaders could speed this along by issuing a fatwa disavowing violent passages in the Quran, and by loudly and publicly condemning each and every act of violence. This is altogether too rare. Which puts the ball back in the West’s court as to how to deal with the problem.

We can rightly try to isolate extremists and court moderates. But we must never forget that they all take their inspiration from the same book. It is the book which is the problem, and the book which must be de-legitimized.

One Muslim scholar quoted Jesus saying “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” And he is correct. Jesus was quoted as having said that. (Matt 10:34) Both the Bible and the Quran clearly have violent passages. Far fewer Christians than Muslims act on those words. But that’s missing the point. Christians who justify violence with scripture are just as crazy and morally bankrupt as Muslims. The key is to reject scripture as the arbiter of any moral standard, and treat it like the ordinary work of literature it is.

We must judge religions and the actions of their adherents based only on a standard of universal human rights.

Since we guarantee press freedom, there is no reason any cartoon should not be published. Someone said to me, “but there are a billion Muslims, and they’re not going away.” Precisely. Which is why in order for the West to coexist with people with such wildly different values, we need to strictly enforce and promote our own in our own societies. Let them flog and behead people in their homelands. Let them censor. Let them rage. We will have no part of it, nor will we participate in their idolatry of their ‘Prophet’ by making special exceptions to the rules governing public personas in how we portray him.

If we allow Muslims to impose their totalitarian rules in democratic countries, we have become cowards who don’t deserve to enjoy the hard-won freedoms we take for granted. And we endanger courageous commentators who are only stating the obvious in an undeniable way. We should ask ourselves if Muslims would be so upset about the cartoons if they weren’t right on the mark.

The truth hurts, and it also has the potential to set Muslims free. All we need is the courage to keep telling it.

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Comments (20 comments)

mikespeir / January 3rd, 2010, 9:31 pm / #1

Hear, hear! It's not just soldiers who should be putting their lives on the line for Freedom. Like it or not, all of us have to do that. We need to understand that there will be some risk. They're going to get some of us: fact of life. I don't want it to be me more than anyone else wants it to be them. But acquiescing won't buy us security, it'll only hand away our freedoms. We'll end up in a world where living isn't worth much anyway.

thechaplain / January 3rd, 2010, 11:35 pm / #2

Excellent post. The West's timidity with regard to Islam is infuriating. Unwillingness to publish cartoons, passage of blasphemy laws and the UN's consideration of a ban on criticizing Islam are ridiculous. Islamic extremists don't have to do anything to destroy Western freedoms - we're doing it to ourselves.

Amaterasu / January 4th, 2010, 1:17 am / #3

Brilliant article, thank you for speaking out about this frightening nonsense.There's too much namby-pambying around to this insanity.

CybrgnX / January 4th, 2010, 3:08 am / #4

It is even worse then you say. There are no moderates!!! Look at any place they have moved to, they set up their culture then start forcing others to accept them, their sarry law, and why do they make the women continue to wear the tent in England???? France??? Not because the karan says to cuz it don't, because they are bigots to their women. Like xtians you can tell when they become moderate—the women will show their faces and wear pants because the xtians would not let their women wear pants either pre-1900s and still frown on it now. We must in writing, cartoons, and public speach speak out against their delusions and violence.

Curtis / January 4th, 2010, 3:45 pm / #5

I totally agree with you about the cowardice of the western media and its pernicious affect.

I disagree with the sentiment that there is a war between human rights and Islam. Islam is a huge and divergent religion. Christianity encompasses Quakers and Branch Davidians. It would a farce to criticize all Christian for the beliefs of either group.

Islam also has its human rights heroes (e.g. Mahmoud Mohamed Taha of Sudan). It is clear that Islam has far more than its share of despicable, violent people but millions of Muslims are good, decent people. In their view, it is because of Islam not despite it. Clearly, some Islam sects are evil but other are not.

Roy Attree / January 4th, 2010, 5:41 pm / #6

Your article is one of the most interesting educating story's Iv'e read concerning the country's present problems.
I have now subscribed to Black Sun and look forward to more enlightening topics.

Webley / January 5th, 2010, 5:38 pm / #7

I'm not so sure. I read an article somewhere about the "good citizen,bad Muslim", where a person could be be a good citizen or a good Muslim but not both. The argument is that if an adherent (Muslim or Christian) were to literally follow all the tenants of the faith and remain strictly obedient they would be good Muslims/Christians but lousy citizens. Those "followers" who pick and choose what to believe, invent god in their own image, and act according to secular law can be a wonderful benefit to the societies they fill; at the same time they have in essence started their own new religion/faith using the old as source material, and by definition would be "bad" Muslims/Christians.

That's the awesome part of religion/dogma, you can't pick and choose what you wish from holy writ like some sort of menu. To be a true member it's hook, line and sinker or nothing. If an individual just accepts the nice parts and rejects the awful why call himself a Christian/Muslim etc? Why not just call yourself a good person and a good citizen?

Cheers

BW

Curtis / January 5th, 2010, 5:57 pm / #8

BW,

You make a good point and that is how fanatics see it. But my post was meant to say that not all Muslims are fanatics. In any case, every follower of religion picks and chooses which parts to follow. Fanatics may deny this but all religious text are ambiguous. The local sect chooses which parts to emphasize and which parts to ignore.

Your reference to Christians is telling. I know of no Christian sect which advocates stoning to death for work on the sabbath but that it what the bible says to do. According to the bible, all Christians are "bad Christians" for letting me live. The same lack of literalness is true for all Muslims, Jews, etc. They may not admit but it is true.

equalizerguy / January 6th, 2010, 8:30 am / #9

the atheist sins not only against God, but also against man…
Atheist:

have you for but a moment considered that you have adopted a position against 98% of the human race, both past and present?

do you think you are RIGHT and they are all WRONG?

WRONG
now listen to this arrogant puffed up son of a bitch….

youtube.com/watch?v=ilWM7jIEN_k

little scientist geek who would try to usurp God Himself!!!

VISIT:

sgodimaginary.com/forum/index.php/topic,40909.0.html

you really need to add comment moderation to your blasphemy…

jim smith / January 6th, 2010, 5:50 pm / #10

you are absolutly right. the west has given in to this violent political ideology maskarading as a religion.islam is about only one thing :absolute power. there has never been a moderate islam.there is only a weak adn a strong islam.when islam is weak it pretends to be nice but it is a lie. as soon as it is strong it will kill the infidel dogs pigs kuffar and rule. thats what it has done the last 1400 years in every county it invaded!! those who don´t see this are just blind and or see a personal advantage point,just like many supporters of hitler did.
the behaviour of the western press and politicians is just shamefull.they are cowards .we are in europe on the brink of cicil war but they pretend being nicde to the oppressor will do anything at all. islam has been around for 1400 years.what will these people say aftrewards ? we didn´t know ? that did work after hitler but now ?? anybody with eyes and half a brain can see thaqt islam has nothing to do with peace ,never had, but all with war and vilolence. one good look into the koran will show that !! i THERE IS NO EXCUSE OF NOT KNOWING!!

equalizerman / January 7th, 2010, 1:23 am / #11

the atheist sins not only against God, but also against man…

Atheist:

have you for but a moment considered that you have adopted a position against 98% of the human race, both past and present?

do you think you are RIGHT and they are all WRONG?

WRONG

now listen to this arrogant puffed up son of a bitch….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilWM7jIEN_k

little scientist geek who would try to usurp God Himself!!!

http://isgodimaginary.com/forum/index.php/topic,4...

you really need to add comment moderation to your blasphemy…

equalizerman / January 7th, 2010, 3:28 am / #12

the atheist sins not only against God, but also against man…

Atheist:

have you for but a moment considered that you have adopted a position against 98% of the human race, both past and present?

do you think you are RIGHT and they are all WRONG?

WRONG

now listen to this arrogant puffed up son of a bitch….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilWM7jIEN_k

little scientist geek who would try to usurp God Himself!!!

http://isgodimaginary.com/forum/index.php/topic,4...

you really need to add comment moderation to your blasphemy…

equalizerman / January 7th, 2010, 3:47 am / #13

why delete the TRUTH….

the atheist sins not only against God, but also against man…

Atheist:

have you for but a moment considered that you have adopted a position against 98% of the human race, both past and present?

do you think you are RIGHT and they are all WRONG?

WRONG

now listen to this arrogant puffed up son of a bitch….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilWM7jIEN_k

little scientist geek who would try to usurp God Himself!!!

http://isgodimaginary.com/forum/index.php/topic,4...

Bobby Digital / January 8th, 2010, 4:49 pm / #14

lol u are one ignorant fool.. you think the things you read is the violence that actually goes out in the world.. you really think its all muslims?? LOL!!! ur so dumb and ignorant… get a life bro.. I converted to Islam and I know for a fact its a religion of peace.. u guys should read the quran in english

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgMOOwlOsnM

BlackSun / January 8th, 2010, 4:56 pm / #15

Bobby, you must have skipped these sections:

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/cruelty/l...

jim smith / January 9th, 2010, 6:58 pm / #16

looks like you got brainwashed . your peaceful new religion has killed 270 million people.as of now. thats a historic fact! eat that . you just don´t know what you are talking about.
look at the violence and the wars right now happening in the world. 85% has direct islam involment.and thats another fact . not ideology like your book.its the way they walk not the way they talk that matters in the end.
and i have read the koran in english !thank you very much.

jim smith / January 9th, 2010, 6:58 pm / #17

looks like you got brainwashed . your peaceful new religion has killed 270 million people.as of now. thats a historic fact! eat that . you just don´t know what you are talking about.
look at the violence and the wars right now happening in the world. 85% has direct islam involment.and thats another fact . not ideology like your book.its the way they walk not the way they talk that matters in the end.
and i have read the koran in english !thank you very much.

RCimT: Putting-off-shovelling Sunday « Lousy Canuck / January 10th, 2010, 8:03 am / #18

[...] at Black Sun Journal, the author blames the media’s cowardice and assent to Islam for Westergaard’s being attacked. I can’t disagree, [...]

TPO / January 11th, 2010, 12:00 am / #19

I couldn't agree with you more…well said!

j.p.christiansen / March 25th, 2010, 12:12 am / #20

====================================================
Democracy Calling Islam.

If you prefer freedom for thought, word, and deed,
of the kind not physically destructive to others,
and not silencing or intimidating to mind,
you must be concise, and to the point,
of not allowing the theistic thugs of Islam their way,

and you must be the thinker not afraid to show
your displeasure and condemnation of a ‘holy book’,
i.e., their all-revered Koran of hate and infamy;

you must argue that their theistic impulse
is nothing less, or more, than mind’s bankruptcy,
and you must bear witness to the facts,
and then on to religion, in general, as it goes.

Those of contemporary European culture
who believe this is a debate for armchair philosophers,
wishing to leave bad enough alone,
likewise display a bankruptcy of mind.

They come across as intellectual cowards,
forgetting what we owe those who down through centuries
were tyrannized, tortured, burned, and killed,
directly as a result of religion and its thug-popes,
thug-prophets, and their henchmen thugs.

What do we owe them for their suffering,
which today ensures that we are free in mind and body?

How dare the apologists distance themselves from, e.g.,
an artist and his cartoon depicting a mentally disturbed man,
whose followers today are challenging our European values?

These theorists argue that the debate must move on,
and that accommodation must be found
for the inanities of the religion of Islam.

No ~
those who must move on are the Muslims,
the adherents of a belief-system incompatible with freedom,
and freedom is what this is all about preserving,
in honor and memory of those whose lives were taken.

No ~
compromise on the part of Western culture isn’t required;
only a clear and unequivocal “No, to yours!”,
and if it takes the re-printing, again and again,
of a cartoon of a mentally imbalanced individual
with a lit bomb in his turban, let it be so,
until finally his head is blown off.

Now,
dear sisters and brothers of Islam,
it isn’t easy to shed an identity
fed on the offal of a doctrine 1400 years old,
but you must grow up, and fast;

as the children of Aristotle,
and still in your juvenile years,
the civilized world is waiting,
and Democracy is calling!
==============================================

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