Sean LaFreniere

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Sean's Political Dictionary
So that YOU know what SEAN is talking about when he opens his big mouth:

 

Conservative:

Date: 1831. From Latin conservare, for "to keep", "guard", or "observe". A Conservative relies upon family traditions and figures of authority to establish and maintain values. 

A Conservative puts group security above personal freedoms. 

A Conservative believes that successful use and maintenance of power proves God's favor for the government. 

A Conservative believes that social values, religious rules, and forms of governments may only be altered gradually. 

Stability and continuity are the goals of government.

 

Liberal:

Date: 1820. From Latin liberalis for "free". A Liberal uses reason and logic to set personal, social, and religious values. 

A Liberal places personal freedom above group security. 

A Liberal believes that governments rule by the consent of the governed. 

A liberal believes that governments may be changed or removed at the will of the people.  

A Liberal supports rapid change in the pursuit of progress and reform.

Freedom and Justice are the goals of government.

 

Note: a nation, and an individual, may move back and forth between these positions often. They rarely sum up a personality completely. And they should never be permanent blinders for anyone to view the world.

When a people succeed in a Liberal revolution, for instance, they often find themselves in the Conservative position protecting these gains. Similarly a person might have a Liberal view on public financial assistance and then move into a conservative position once these demands are met.

One might say that Affirmative Action is a prime example. At one point instituting Affirmative Action was a Liberal position, it was needed to reverse decades of discrimination following the end of Slavery. However, today the Liberal position might well be the ending of Affirmative Action, as it has largely completed its task and now stands as a stumbling block to truly moving the nation beyond race as a discriminatory trait. Meanwhile, the position of defending AA is now actually a Conservative stance (whether its so-called "liberal" defenders realize it or not).

Another way to think about this is that these terms describe a way of thinking about issues, not the positions on those issues. That is a Conservative might support a war because politicians they respect urge it, because the enemy scares them, and ultimately because it just "feels right". A Liberal might also come to support the war in spite of the position of authority figures and celebrities, not because it feels right, but because hours of research and consideration support the cause.

Neither is a "better way" of coming to a position, necessarily. Sometimes too much thinking interferes with a solid moral judgment, such as on the Abortion issue. And then other times only rational examination can skip over the emotional baggage and come to the most reasonable decision, as we see in the Abortion issue.

I realize this might be difficult for some people to accept after a long time of hearing party dogma on the issue. Personally I find value in BOTH positions. On some issues I am myself rather Conservative and on others I am quite Liberal. The same with the terms Radical and Reactionary, noted below. I found that stepping beyond these labels opened up my thoughts and cleared my head of a lot of bs.

 

Reactionary:

Date: 1840. From Latin reagere for "to act". A Reactionary uses government pressure as a means of containing and responding to changes in society.

 

Radical:

Date: 14th century. From Latin radicalis from radix for "root". A Radical supports social movements and political pressure groups as a means of affecting change in government.

 

The Right:

Date: early modern. The term comes from  English Parliamentary Rules; which place the party in power on the right of the Speaker. As the Conservatives held sway for a long time, the term Right came to be associated with the "Establishment" and thus with Conservative politics.

 

The Left:

Date: early modern. The party in Opposition sits on the Speaker's left. The Left came to be associated with labor movements, the lower classes, and socialist politics. It has also come to be associated with Liberalism. This was useful for Conservative politicians, and Socialists as well, during the 60's. But I find this to be a big intellectual and political mistake.

 

Capitol Goods:

Date: circa 1639. From the French from Latin capitalis for "top", used in French for "principal" or "chief". (1) : a stock of accumulated goods; especially at a specified time and in contrast to income received during a specified period (2) : accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods (3) : accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income

 

Capitalism:

Date: 1877. An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

 

Socialism:

Date: 1837. From Latin socialis for "friend" or "companion" or "associate". Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods; usually there is no private property; in Marxist theory this is also considered just a transitional stage between capitalism and communism and it is distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

 

Communism:

Date: 1840. From French communisme, from Latin communis for "common". A doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed. It is the final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably. In its only examples of practical application, in the USSR, China, and Cuba it became a totalitarian system where a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production and the people are enslaved in production geared to support the power of this party.

 

Note: in Marxist theory these three systems represent a sliding scale, with Capitalism on the Right, Socialism in the middle, and Communism on the Left. A nation was supposed to move from one to the other over time. However, in practice few systems in the world have ever been purely one or the other. Most national economic models employ some of all three.

While the US and Europe are considered the paragons of Capitalism, they both retain many Socialist elements. Both the US and Europe offer state sanctioned monopolies of public utilities. The American Postal Service is a state owned enterprise, as are the European aerospace entities. Europe offers state run healthcare, as do many American states, and both regulate the health industry heavily.

Through out history Europe and the US have also held some Communist elements. The common grazing lands of town centers and the great unfenced Western plains were both representative of these traditions. One might say that Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Dole are also holdovers from our more communal days.

On the other hand, while China has long been a paragon of Socialism / Communism, it still has many elements of free enterprise. They allow small farmers and craftsmen to sell excess production on the open market, they have private telecoms and industrial companies, and now they have a stock market, the ultimate symbol and apparatus of Capitalism.

When one system or the other fails to serve a nation, many proponents argue that actually the system simply was not implemented purely enough. However, attempts to purify these systems require a heavy hand in government, education, and economic practice. And this has led to oppressive regimes and brutalized citizens.

 

Democracy:

Date: 1576. From Greek dEmokrati, from demos "people" + kracy "rule". A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections; usually accompanied by the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.

 

Republic:

Date: 1604. From Latin respublica; from res "thing" + publica "of the people". A government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who is elected by popular vote.

 

Note: that the root of the word Democracy is Greek, while the root of the word Republic is Latin. These terms are NOT antithetical, they do not even derive from the same language.

In common use they both have come to describe types of Liberal governments, specifically the one is a type of the other. It is possible for a nation to be a Democracy, but NOT also a Republic. However, a nation that is a Republic is ALWAYS also a Democracy. A Republic is a TYPE of Democracy.

The UK is a Democracy, but not a Republic, because of the Queen. Ireland became a Republic only after it dropped from the Commonwealth and replaced the Queen with an elected President

 

Fascism:

Date: 1921 From Latin fascis for "bundle" or group. Last, but not least, is this term, which actually combines the economic system and the political system entirely. In this system the state and large corporations merge, the rights of the individual are subordinated to the glory of the State, and all dissent is suppressed. It often utilizes a racial or religious cause to motivate the people into giving up their rights in the first place. These states usually rise out of an economic collapse or hardship with high inflation and unemployment.

 
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ingrid Bettancourt Captivity Year IV

Four years ago armed men controlled by colombia's drug dealing warlords took Green Party Presidential candidate Ingrid Bettancourt hostage. She is still missing.

Ingrid and her campaign manager Carla Rojas join 5,000 other victims who have not been found during the last 8 years.

"Colombia is second only to Sudan in numbers of refugees, with three million people forcibly internally displaced in the last three years," said Australian Green Party Senator Bob Brown.

Ingrid's father was Gabriel Betencourt Mejias who served as both Columbia's education minister and ambassador to UNESCO, and was a pioneer in international education.

Ingrid's mother is Yolanda Pulecio, who served in Columbia's congress, was ambassador to Guatemala and founded a shelter for street children.

Ingrid was a finalist in 2004 for the Sakharov Award, the European Union's most prestigious human rights honor. She was also nominated by France for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ingrid has dual French/Colombian citizenship - and Paris, Dublin, Brussels and Rome have each given her honorary "citizenship".

Now Ingrid's husband is announcing that he will run for congress in Columbia. Will he also disappear?

Not all anti-government forces are "freedom fighters". Kidnapping Green Party members is like kicking Buddhiststs.

Should we not support the government, one that actually has Green Party members, over these thugs?

Sean: Thursday, February 23, 2006 [+] |
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Act of War

In most eras most countries would consider this an act of war... According to a newsday article China is terrorizing dissidents inside the US.

Peter Yuan Li lives in Atlanta, Georgia, he is a naturalized citizen, and he works for a newspaper and Web site critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

Last week he was beaten, tied up, blindfolded with duct tape, and robbed of two laptop computers by three armed Asian men who spoke Korean and Mandarin.

They took his computers, a phone and his wallet, and also demanded unspecified documents and pried open two file cabinets, but they left other valuables including a camcorder and television.

The Chinese-banned Falun Gong spiritual party says there have been a string of such attacks in the US lately.

"What surprises me is that in the US they could do such things."

... And get away with it. Indeed.

Sean: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 [+] |
...
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
MSM Blogs!

Did you know that CNN has a blog? Or rather Anderson Cooper has a blog that CNN correspondents post to. Wanna know what Anderson is doing during commercial breaks? Wanna know what Christian Amanpour thinks about the president of Iran? Click this link.

The posts range from the mundane minutae of a reporters' life to the more poignant...

Just arrived at the Capitol to cover President Bush's big speech tonight. The place is buzzing with police. They are about to lockdown the area.

I'm sitting in the Cannon House Office Building rotunda. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is a couple hundred feet away doing an interview. He will be testifying this week about his administration's response to Katrina.

It's always kind of surreal coming to Washington, D.C., for major events like this. It's such a completely different atmosphere than anywhere else....Oops I gotta move. A bomb-sniffing dog needs to sniff my desk. I will blog more later. -AC


Both such posts are enjoyable and enlightening.

It's always a rush to revisit Iran. I grew up there, left during the Islamic revolution 25 years ago, and now regularly go back on assignment for CNN. I went back recently for a series of reports on the country.

I never quite know what to expect these days...

One day, I head[ed] underground to listen to...a ROCK BAND!!!! The next day, I head[ed] to the mosque to hear the young hardliners wax passionate about the Islamic revolution that happened in 1979, as if it were yesterday, praising the new conservative government for taking them back to those values...

There are definitely two Irans. The dilemma for the West is figuring out which one to deal with: Who to punish? Who to reward? And how?

Each time I leave Iran, I don't know what I'll find when I come back. No one does. -CA


Thanks for joinging the party MSM, better late than never.

SPEAKING OF IRAN... a major Muslim association in Germany has invited the Iranian president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, to tour Auschwitz and deny the holocaust while standing in front of the ovens. Hero tag applied by Fark.

UPDATE: I am adding this blog to my sidebar, hey, so far it's been an interesting daily read.

Sean: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 [+] |
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Sunday, February 12, 2006
Historic Free Speech

Andrew Sullivan links to Die Welt, which ran a transcript of a speech by Hirsi Ali regarding the Danish Cartoon Controversy and the importance of free speech to Democracy. As Andrew notes, this speech is extremely important, chances are it will be required reading in universities of the future. You should check it out if you care about either women's rights, religious freedom, liberal philosophy, or democratic society. Read it here.

I am here to defend the right to offend.

It is my conviction that the vulnerable enterprise called democracy cannot exist without free expression, particularly in the media. Journalists must not forgo the obligation of free speech, which people in other hemispheres are denied.

I am of the opinion that it was correct to publish the cartoons of Muhammad in Jyllands Posten and it was right to re-publish them in other papers across Europe.

Let me reprise the history of this affair. The author of a children's book on the prophet Muhammad could find no illustrators for his book.

He claimed that illustrators were censoring themselves for fear of violence by Muslims who claimed no-one, anywhere, should be allowed to depict the prophet.

Jyllands Posten decided to investigate this. They -- rightly -- felt that such self-censorship has far-reaching consequences for democracy.

It was their duty as journalists to solicit and publish drawings of the prophet Muhammad...

We have been flooded with opinions on how tasteless and tactless the cartoons are -- views emphasising that the cartoons only led to violence and discord. What good has come of the cartoons, so many wonder loudly?

Well, publication of the cartoons confirmed that there is widespread fear among authors, filmmakers, cartoonists and journalists who wish to describe, analyse or criticise intolerant aspects of Islam all over Europe.

It has also revealed the presence of a considerable minority in Europe who do not understand or will not accept the workings of liberal democracy. These people – many of whom hold European citizenship – have campaigned for censorship, for boycotts, for violence, and for new laws to ban ‘Islamophobia’.

The cartoons revealed to the public eye that there are countries willing to violate diplomatic rules for political expediency. Evil governments like Saudi Arabia stage “grassroots” movements to boycott Danish milk and yoghurt, while they would mercilessly crash a grassroots movement fighting for the right to vote...(more)


My kind Danish professor blames the paper and the PM for provoking the Muslim community. He is a good guy and he means well. However, I believe that his view on this affair is shaped by the fact that he was born to a well-functioning Democracy in Northern Europe. His society has been largely homogeneous, comfortable, and safe for his entire life (he was born after WWII). Thus he feels safe inviting Muslim refugees (more than 50% of the 150k Muslims in DK are refugees) into his country and sees nothing wrong with extending them the courtesy of tip-toeing around their religious/political beliefs (let's face it, these are a single item in Islam).

By contrast Ali Hirsi was born in Somalia in 1970. When she was 5 years old her she was circumcised in the manner common to Muslim countries in Africa. To be clear, those parts of her, given by Nature or God to make sex pleasurable and thereby assist in the procreation of the species and allow even the most poor and wretched human some delight, were cut from her body in an attempt to make her a docile toy for her future husband. When her father arranged a marriage for her to a man she had never met she fled (not before physical violence) to the Netherlands.

While working on her masters degree at university Ms. Ali worked as an interpreter in the Dutch-Moroccan immigrant community. She was shocked to find that the suffering of Muslim women continued unabated in Europe. Forced marriages, physical and sexual abuse, and abortions were high among the immigrant communities where Muslim women were forced to wear the veil and stay inside family compounds, just as if they were in their home countries. Although the men had fled poverty and war in Africa or the Middle East, they did not want to accept the new rights and freedoms of Europe.

Despite race riots in England and France in the 1990's Europe politely refused to discuss the problem with its immigrants until the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Then right-wing politicians and artist provocateurs began to air the dirty laundry. In May of 2002 the right-wing gay Dutch politician (sounds oxymoronic)Pim Fortuyn was murdered and the crime blamed on animal rights activists. However Mr. Fortuyn had been a vocal critic of conservative Muslim clerics for years, so one may doubt this conclusion. At the very least the conservative clerics he troubled were relieved by his departure.

Around this time Ms. Ali joined Dutch politics from the Left and became a vocal critic of Islam and immigration issues in Europe. Her book The Son Factory attempted to expose the way Muslim immigrant families continued to subjugate women even in Dutch society. In 2004 she worked with the controversial Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh (yes, related to Vincent). Their film Submission also focused on the oppression of women in Islam. In November Theo was found dead with an Islamic manifesto pinned to his chest with a knife. For the last few years Ms. Ali has been living under police guard in response to death threats and fatwas against her.

This week Ms. Ali came out of hiding to speak up on the Danish Cartoon Controversy. She said pretty much what I said to my Danish professor. Free speech is central to the functioning of a democracy, if you dont use it you will lose it, and the cartoons were just doing their job... biting political commentary of social and political issues in a graphic and often ironicaly humorous manner. Censorship of such speach by either the authorities, politic society, or the artist/editorialist themselves is dangerous to the overall health of Liberal Democracies.

Sean: Sunday, February 12, 2006 [+] |
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Thursday, February 09, 2006
Danish Opinions (Cartoons Part III)

I have now had the opportunity to speak with several Danes regarding the recent cartoon caper. I spoke with a young Muslim barista, a middle-aged shop keeper, a college professor, a bus driver, and a Christian professional here in Copenhagen. Danish opinion appears to run from "deport the Muslims" to "deport the journalists".

The Muslim barista explains that he feels unwelcome, even though he was born in Denmark (his father is the immigrant). He complained that he will never be accepted as Danish and that he is suspect by association with terrorists (he says he cant wear a beard with out causing alarm). And he says he really believes that the West is out to crush Islam.

The shop keeper thought that Muslims were not being good immigrants and that the war on Islam was baloney. On the other hand he allowed that the Danes don't really allow Muslim integration. He also agreed that the Jutland Post had succeeded in making it impossible for Danes to continue to ignore this issue.

The college professor was outraged at the newspaper and the Danish right wing. He is sure that the newspaper intended to offend the Muslims and he thinks PM Rasmussen should have met with the Muslim immigrants immediately and defused the situation. While he thinks the Muslim reaction in other countries is wrong, he expected it.

The bus driver thinks that the Muslim community brought their expectations of how governments should and do work, with them. He thinks they came to Denmark just for the education, health care, and better living, but they would rather force Danes to accept their rules than to accept Danish values. He was confident that most Danes support free speech and are growing weary of the immigrants.

The Christian professional noted that the Bible advises that people should not exercise their liberty in a way that harms others. He thinks that while Danes should have the right to say what they want, that they should avoid saying things that upset others. He went on to equate the cartoons with pornography, the offensive images should not have been published in a widely read newspaper. He also thinks that the violent Muslim reaction makes Islam look bad.

Most Danes are displeased that their small nation is in the media over the rather impolite actions of the Jutland Post, but they point out how much they give in aide to the Middle East (Danes give 2% of their GDP in foreign aide, more than any other nation and some have now suggested that they should stop). They wish they could assimilate immigrants better, but complain how unreasonable the immigrants are when they expect special treatment. They don't like being a target of scary people (they now understand how Americans feel) and they are certainly afraid (many now expect a terrorist attack in Copenhagen), but most say they will not live in fear and that they should not "give in" to terrorist threats.

The fact that the Javier Solano and the EU are now considering official press censorship may be yet another problem for Danish participation in the "European experiment" (Denmark retains its currency and voted against the latest expansion/constitution). On the other hand, Denmark is the most "European" of the Nordic, Scandinavian countries and is physically connected to Germany. The problems they now have with Muslim immigrants are shared in France and other European nations. The only value in the cartoon controversy is that, like hurricane Katrina, it makes it hard to ignore the underlying European social problems.

Sean: Thursday, February 09, 2006 [+] |
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Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Image Architecture

During my first week in Copenhagen I sneaked over to the Opera House at Holmen, the former Royal Naval Dockyard. The neighborhood is a maze of canals and old warehouses and I got very lost along the way. I practically stumbled upon the royal academy of architecture now housed in the dark brick barracks.

The opera house sits by itself between two 17 meter canals, on a man-made island that currently contains a parking lot (smallish), a water taxi dock, and one line of trees. It is approached by two wooden bridges and the entrance to the building faces neither approach.

The opera house is a gift to the people of Copenhagen from the Danish shipping magnate Sir Maersk McKinney Moeller. It is named for Queen Maragrite and was presented in a gala ceremony. In a fit of modesty Moeller sited his new building at the end of a visual access with the Marble Church and the queen's palace at Amalienborg.

The main feature of the building is the blade-like roof and its 32 meter long cantilever over the front entrance. The exterior is clad in German limestone and the main facade is a rotund glass and steel cage. From most angles it looks like a big-box retain store, but whenever the front cantilever and glass is visible it looks like a space ship or a Japanese lantern.

The lobby is paved in white marble and contains many overlapping bridges, staircases, and several large glass globe chandeliers. The bright red maple walls of the auditorium bulge into the lobby space and look something like a pumpkin with straws sticking into it. The overall effect is light, airy, and expensive.

Inside the theatre is more red maple and a domed ceiling covered in gold leaf. The seats are modern and comfortable and for reasons of acoustics the distance from the stage to the back wall is only 32 meters. The theatre can seat 1400 people and a performance cast of more than 100 and is enhanced with mechanized set modules and a disappearing ballet floor.

The entire opera house contains over 40,000 square meters of space and cost more than 300 million Euros. Sir Moeller insisted that it be designed by the famous Danish architect Henning Larsen, which it was, and he only interfered in the design once by insisting that the glass of the exterior be shuttered in order to offer the well-healed patrons some privacy at night.

This the ultimate in "image architecture". It sits apart from its urban surroundings, it's even on a man-made island, and this is an awful location for a public building. However, the building serves as a marketing icon as well as for opera. At night, when walking home from school, I rather enjoy seeing the building glowing from across the harbor.



Approach by watertaxi.

The building's manmade island site.

The monumental porch and overhanging roof.

The all important view across the bay to the queen's palace and the marble church.

The expensive looking lobby.

The many bridges into the theatre.

Holmen and the architecture school.

Typical warehouse along Christianshagen.

Link photo: Steen Larsen

Sean: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 [+] |
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Monday, February 06, 2006
Danish Cartoon Controversy Part II

The controversy over the Danish cartoons does not appear to be going away. Therefore some explanation as to why the newspaper published the cartoons in the first place might be appropriate.

From Wikipedia:

On September 17, 2005, the Danish newspaper Politiken ran an article under the headline "Deep fear of criticism of Islam". The article discussed the difficulty encountered by the writer Kaere Bluitgen, who was initially unable to find an illustrator for his children's book "The Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad's life". Three artists declined Bluitgen's proposal before an artist agreed to assist anonymously.

One artist declined, with reference to the murder in Amsterdam of the film director Theo van Gogh. Another declined, citing the attack on the lecturer at the Carsten Niebuhr Institute in Copenhagen (In October 2004, a lecturer was assaulted by five assailants who opposed the lecturer's reading of the Qur'an to non-Muslims during a lecture at the Niebuhr institute at the University of Copenhagen).

The refusal of the first three artists to participate was seen as evidence of self-censorship and led to much debate in Denmark. The comedian Frank Hvam declared that he did not dare satirise the Qur'an on television, while the translators of an essay collection critical of Islam also wished to remain anonymous due to concerns about violent reaction.

On September 30, 2005, the daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten ("The Jutland Post") published an article titled "The face of Muhammad". The article consisted of 12 satirical caricatures (of which only some depicted Muhammad) and an explanatory text, in which Flemming Rose, Jyllands-Posten's culture editor, commented:

"The modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings. It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where you must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule. It is certainly not always equally attractive and nice to look at, and it does not mean that religious feelings should be made fun of at any price, but we are on our way to a slippery slope where no-one can tell how the self-censorship will end. That is why Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten has invited members of the Danish editorial cartoonists union to draw Muhammad as they see him."

After an invitation from Jyllands-Posten to around forty different artists to give their interpretation on how Muhammad may have looked, twelve different caricaturists chose to respond with a drawing each. Some of these twelve drawings portray Muhammad in different fashions; many also comment on the surrounding self-censorship debate.


We should keep in mind that the publication of this Danish newspaper is for domestic consumption in a country that is not Muslim and does not follow Islamic laws (although some Muslim immigrants do live here). They did not send copies to the Middle East in order to make people angry (and they responded politely to the domestic Muslim population). Rather, it was a legitimate editorial discussion of a domestic issue that only tangentially touched on Islam - namely typical Protestant censorship of difficult issues.

Additionally we should remember that the controversy actually erupted two months after publication, when the Prime Minister refused to discipline the paper or to apologize for its actions (as he noted he does not authorize its publication). This was seen in the Middle East as a sign of official support for the cartoons and an intentional offense by the Danish government against Muslims, since in the Middle East there is no freedom of speech or independent press.

In the end the newspaper, and other European governments, did apologize or make conciliatory gestures, and the United States government called the cartoons irresponsible. Today there are many Danes who would like to discuss this controversy but will not out of fear. However, the Danish PM continues to defend their freedoms and rights, now Denmark really "has a dog in the fight".

Sean: Monday, February 06, 2006 [+] |
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Thursday, February 02, 2006
Welcome to the Dhimmitude*

The controversy continues over the publication of 12 Middle East themed cartoons (some which might be construed as depicting Mohammed) in a Danish newspaper.

Jyllands-Posten published the single-image cartoons in November as a test of the limits of free discourse in Europe in the 21st century.

One cartoon shows a man with a bomb in his turban, but given the fact that an explosive device has been detonated in the name of Islam daily for three years in Iraq (and for decades in Israeli pizza shops, in French cafes, and German discos) I don't think the cartoon is surprising.

The Muslim community in Denmark promptly erupted and demanded that the Prime Minister explain why he did not have the paper shut down and its editors arrested.

Perhaps they do not realize that when they escaped oppression in their home countries they left that kind of fascism behind as well?

The wider Muslim world also became enraged once the media and their local Imans told them about the offense against Islam committed by Denmark.

Yet, other papers in Norway, Sweden, Germany, and France bravely reprinted the cartoons in solidarity with their Danish comrades.

Then teenagers in the West Bank stormed the EU office (which pays their welfare checks) with machine guns and made death threats against Europeans on television (proving that portraying Muslims as violent is unfair?).

And today CNN explains that Jaques LeFranc, the principled French editor who decided to reprint the cartoons, has been fired. In the article CNN notes that it has decided not to reproduce the cartoons in question "out of respect for Islam".

The question posed by the Danes has been answered. While the world is free to ask if America is evil, if Democracy is for everyone, and if Jesus bore offspring via Mary Magdalen, they may not discuss Islam with out worrying if they meet the standards of threatening Muslims world-wide.


NOTE: the image above is from a pro-Islam cartoon for sale on ebay, evidently not all depiction of the prophet Mohammed is cause for death threats.

*Dhimmitude defined.

Sean: Thursday, February 02, 2006 [+] |
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