Mohammed spreads in the press...
I am sorry to have left you all in the middle of this, but real-life work takes up most of my time these days. But back to business.
Over the last two days, the islamist threat against freedom of speech has produced a wave of reactions across Europe, after an initial embarrassing silence. Papers in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Iceland have reprinted the drawings. Even a paper in the Middle East, in Jordan, has printed the drawings. The accompanying editorial read, in part:
Moslems of the world, be reasonable. ..What hurts islam more: these drawings, or pictures of a hostage tager who cuts the throat of his victim on camera, or a suicide bomber who blows himself up at a wedding in Amman?
It seems as if France is where things are happening, though. It started out with the French paper France Soir printing the Mohammed-drawings. The response soon came, when the papers´ owner, the French-Egyptian Raymond Lakah (right) fired the papers´ chief executive Jacques Lefranc, showing true dhimmitude as instilled by his family´s living 1400 years as dhimmies in Egypt (hes a coptic christian). Curisously enough, editor-in-chief Serge Faubert, who trumpeted it as striking a blow for freedom of speech, was left untouched. My guess: firing him would be too obvious a sign of kowtowing to extremists. As Faubert said in yesterday´s Jyllands-Posten:
You always have reason to fear for your life, but freedom of the press is an important thing to fight for. It is necessary to react, and I am proud of my paper and my editorial office. We have shown the flag for freedom of speech. .. This is a test case. Some people are trying to force upon western societies some rules and bans that we do not agree with. We have for two centuries since the revolution fought to make the French catholics accept, that we do not share all their views, and that it is allowed to make fun of them. Moslems have to learn that, too.
Speaking about the islamic profession of freedom of religion, he says:
The world has been turned upside down. No, we will never apologise for having the freedom to speak, to think and to believe.
After the firing of Mr. Leblanc, the political establishment in France also showed character. The French socialists (yes, thats right), condemned the firing, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the most likely candidate for the next presidential election in France, went to the press, condemning the calls for self-censorship.
The world waits to see whether the moslems want to boycot countries other than Denmark and Norway.