Further to the Guardian’s Jakob Illeborg and his apparent belief that freethinking societies are best defended by doing a lot less of that freethinking business, at least with regard to Islam, it seems he’s not alone.
First, there’s the Pakistani ambassador to Denmark, Fauzia Mufti Abbas:
“It isn’t just the people of Pakistan that feel they have been harassed by what [Jyllands-Posten] has begun,” she said. “I’d like to know if your newspaper is satisfied with what it has done and what it has unleashed?” The matter of the cartoons, she said, was something Danes needed to reflect on.
I’m sure readers will spot the familiar supremacist assumptions and the consequent moral inversion. The deaths, riots and violence were, apparently, “unleashed” by infidels who drew cartoons satirising previous threats and violence by belligerent Muslims. Things of which we must not speak. Those actually doing the murdering, threatening and rioting are, it seems, “harassed”. Poor them. Thus, by the ambassador’s thinking, the fits of emotional incontinence and attempts to cow dissent become our responsibility and, conveniently, no-one else’s. And those who need to “reflect” on what has happened - and what will no doubt happen again – are infidels who are, as yet, insufficiently fearful. And, by the same logic, we must learn to pacify and accommodate people who are prideful, malevolent and insane. Or else.
Then there’s Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, who told an audience in Kuala Lumpur,
Mere condemnation or distancing from the acts of the perpetrators of Islamophobia will not resolve the issue, as long as they remain free to carry on with their campaign of incitement and provocation on the plea of freedom of expression.
Set aside for a moment the absurdly tendentious terms “Islamophobia,” “incitement” and “provocation” – remember we’re talking about cartoons here – and note the phrase, “as long as they remain free” – i.e. free to criticise Islam and say unflattering things. Even things that are both unflattering and true. According to Professor Ihsanoglu such things must be stopped:
“It requires a strong and determined collective political will to address the challenge,” Ihsanoglu said. “It is now high time for concrete actions to stem the rot before it aggravates (the situation) any further.” Ihsanoglu did not suggest what action should be taken.
No, he didn’t offer particulars, but he’s made his feeling clear. He wants “concrete action” and the “issue” will be “resolved” when criticism of Islam stops, or at least is made illegal and thus punishable. Perhaps Ihsanoglu is waiting for others to connect the dots and do exactly as they’re told, just as Mr Illeborg seems all too keen to do.
Others, however, are more specific in their demands.
Pakistan will ask the European Union countries to amend laws regarding freedom of expression in order to prevent offensive incidents such as the printing of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad… The delegation, headed by an additional secretary of the Interior Ministry, will meet the leaders of the EU countries in a bid to convince them that the recent attack on the Danish Embassy in Pakistan could be a reaction against the blasphemous campaign, sources said.
They said that the delegation would also tell the EU that if such acts against Islam are not controlled, more attacks on the EU diplomatic missions abroad could not be ruled out.
Peace, then, will materialise when infidels know their place.