February 07, 2006

True Blasphemy

It is wrong for any religion to be lampooned by cartoonists, or by anyone else for that matter. In ordinary circumstances I could understand why the faithful would turn out in their tens of thousands, in capitals across the world, to protest such a blasphemy. But these are not ordinary circumstances, and they are far from ordinary times.

I ask myself: If all these people could organise themselves within 48 hours to mount such violent protests over a cartoon in a nondescript Danish journal, where were they for the biggest blasphemy of all? If the name of their prophet had been openly desecrated and his teachings abominated before the entire world, would that not have been cause for the most violent demonstrations, the burning of the perpetrators’ buildings and property and the issuance of fatwas calling for their capture and swift beheading?

If so, I ask myself: “Where were these protestors the day after 9-11?”

We seem to forget things so easily, but it is hard to imagine a greater blasphemy than the killing of 3,000 innocents in a single morning and the creation of thirteen hundred orphans whilst screaming: “God is Great!” What is this if not blasphemy in its purest and most blatant form? Sure, we saw the crocodile tears of Moslem clerics in the United States at the 9-11 memorial services, but where were the violent demonstrations against Al Qaeda? Where was the fatwa against Osama bin Laden and his associates? Why did no-one burn down the offices of Al-Jazeera, his mouthpiece of world Jihad?

No such thing! This king of all blasphemers is a hero. He is reverently addressed as the Noble Sheikh. And far from railing against the sins of 9-11, the faithful are now threatening more of the same with placards warning of a second strike in Europe.

History has consistently proven the old adage that ‘Jews are the canary in the coalmine of civilisation’. That what happens to us is just a taste of what lies in store for the rest of the free world. What Hitler started quietly with Jews ended up on a global stage. Similarly what started with the Palestinian hijack of an El Al plane in July 1968 became a commonplace in Europe over the next 30 years and ultimately mutated into the weaponisation of three passenger aircraft on 9-11. Suicide bombings in Israel are no longer a spectator sport for European audiences who have now seen and tasted this evil up-close in their own cities, where it continues to lie low, waiting for more holy orders.

Even the Arab boycott - over which we first fretted but then prevailed - has come home to roost in Europe. The Danish cartoonist stands to cost his country millions in lost trade though an Islamic boycott of its dairy exports. And so it goes on, and will continue to go on until the nations of the free world finally admit that this is now their problem just as much as it has always been ours. That acknowledgement alone will be the first step in dealing with the problem. Those who fail to publicly condemn the perpetrators of 9-11 and the bombings, kidnappings and beheadings that have followed in the name of Islam can expect neither respect nor sympathy for their hurt feelings.

For those who are genuinely concerned about blasphemy, there can be no double standards.

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