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Can Anyone Say Anything Anymore? 25 September 2006

Posted by David in Political Correctness Gone Mad, World.

Fanatical Islamists worldwide use free speech and enter another wave of protest and condemnation of free speech after the Pope addresses a German university.

On Tuesday, thePope Pope gave an academic lecture at the University of Bremen in Germany, the theme being rationality in religion and how violence is incompatible with God. Nothing controversial there then? Wrong. A quote in the lecture of a 13th Century Byzantine Emperor – who stated that Mohammed had brought nothing but bad to the World – has caused outrage across the Muslim world in scenes reminiscent of the Mohammed Cartoons row. But hold on a minute – a lecture on Tuesday. Took its time to reach the press didn’t it (Friday)? I sense some spinning from Islamic extremists here. Just as in the Cartoons row, where a delegation of extreme imams from Denmark travelled the Arab world with a dossier of the images (and apparently a few of their own spiced up additions) to stir things up a bit.

And stir things up it did, and has. Protests, effigy burning…all the usual stuff. They obviously haven’t got any Vatican flags to burn yet. I doubt whether anyone takes any notice, burning old scarecrows and shouting ‘Death to the West’ seems par de course these days whenever anyone says anything critical or semi-negative about Islam.

But has the Pope said something critical about Islam? If he had, wouldn’t we have heard sooner? And in these lecture of probably an hour or more, this one quote is the most insulting? A quote he distanced himself from and has apologised for three times. It can’t have been that critical a lecture then can it? Indeed, I doubt if any of the protestors, media or ‘Muslim leaders’ have bothered to read it.

On Sky News a ‘Muslim leader’ was getting very agitated under questioning, going off on a vitriolic rant about Christianity, how we’d all hate being insulted as Islam gets insulted, etc etc etc. But we have been insulted, indeed still are. The many protests, flag burning, effigy burning, anti-Western and anti-Semitic cartoons, propaganda and other items are all very insulting. We tolerate it as free speech. We draw the line at ‘Death to the West’ and ‘Kill those who insult Islam’ as inciting violence is rather different to free speech, although our pathetic Labour government does nothing (the cartoon protestors in London with the violence inciting placards, did we ever hear of their arrest?).

Indeed as insults go, I think 9/11 and 7/7 were particularly insulting. As indeed was the murder of Theo Van Goch (the Dutch film maker), the shoe bomber Richard Reed and the sympathisers to terrorist murderers among many others. Islamic fascism – and there is no other word for it than fascism – seems to be very widespread and growing in strength. Thank God we do not react so aggressively.

Strangely, this ‘Muslim leader’ wanted an “academic debate” – providing nothing “insulting” was said. I think that may cause problems, as we have reached a situation where we cannot say anything about Islam without causing an offence and disproportionate bully-boy retaliation (such as churches being burnt and 80-year old Somali nuns being murdered). A Danish newspaper publishes some cartoons, so Denmark in its entirety is violently targeted, boycotted commercially and suffers greatly as if the entire nation were responsible for the scribbling of one man. The Pope now gives an academic lecture and everyone starts hyperventilating again.

We in the West need to understand Islam far more. By ‘understand’ I don’t mean believe every word we get told (as that other evil fascist nutter Gorbles said ‘if you say a lie enough, people start to believe it’). I mean actually listen to what is being said, maybe even read the Koran (or a translation at least). As Bill Cosby used to say about racism ‘if you haven’t talked to a black man about it, you’re part of the problem’. It’s the same with this.

What you will find is surprising. Islam is not an entirely peaceful religion as we are told endlessly, not to say that all Muslims are violent, as texts this old can be read many ways. It comes with its own judicial and legal system (Sharia law) to which all other laws are deemed inferior or even illegal (man made instead of laid down by Allah). This includes a ban on alcohol, restriction on women’s rights, restriction of free speech and rabid homophobia. It states that all other religions are wrong and corrupted, that Islam is a constant battle (jihad means my endless struggle), and prophesises (hence the ‘Prophet’ Mohammed) all manner of things (including according to some I have met a third and fourth world war between East and West, and that the world is destined to become entirely Islamic). Thankfully most are far less extreme, but we must be aware this extremism exists.

A key concept we as a society have missed is the “umma”- translated as Muslim brotherhood. This is the belief that is held by many, which is at odds with our system of nation states. Believers see themselves first or even only as ‘Muslims’, part of a global Muslim brotherhood. Around 40% of Indonesia sees themselves as Muslims instead of Indonesians according to some polling research. They thus see us as ‘Christians’, or ’Westerners’ or whatever group they wish, regardless of our individual personage or beliefs, hence the vengeance against all Denmark for a Danish paper, all the West for Israel etc. To them, the disputes between Israel and Palestine, in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places are all an affront to the umma, and we are all to blame as the Western equivalent of umma. Basically it’s collective responsibility instead of individual responsibility.

Frequently Muslim extremists say “you think of yourselves as good Christians” – again referring to how we are seen as an equivalent of umma, and also showing how we are seen as corrupted and astray from religion. To Islamic fascists, they are on a mission to save us from ourselves, or eradicate us in trying. “We are all sons of Adam and should all follow Allah’s law” goes the frequent explanation. Another indication of ‘umma’ is when John Reid spoke last week about fighting extremism, a lot of Muslims agreed with him but an extremist burst in shouting “how dare you come to a Muslim area after you have arrested so many Muslims” – as if part of the UK is out of bounds for the Home Secretary, who arrests people himself?

All Muslims are not like this, but a large number are. It does not appear to always be the liberal, tolerant and peaceful religion we are told. Many I have heard believe they are here in the West to spread Islam. One of the 7/7 bombers pre-recorded messages explained himself by asking “how did our forefathers conquer territory?”. Another – at a protest in Trafalgar Square – exclaimed “we will not be happy until the flag of Islam flies over Downing Street”. Err, no thanks.

We have taken the word ‘extremism’ to mean that those with these beliefs are “very far or furthest in any direction, especially out from the centre” – at the extremity, implying small numbers. In fact a better definition is that of simply “very violent or strong” – something that can be widespread or even common opinion. From those I have spoke to, it is far more common than I or moderate Muslims would like.

The civilised liberal World must wake up. Look at the protests against Salmon Rushdie, the Danish cartoons, the murder of Theo Van Goch, and now the Pope. Muslim fascists don’t care if you read the Express of the Guardian, prefer BBC News or Fox, watch Rory Bremner or Baywatch… Do we really want to live in a World where freedom of speech is restricted?



1. Autophytes - 28 September 2006

hangout, relax (29) a big clay pot. (5) I, me, mine (1)

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