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A complete non-meeting of minds

Back in November I commented on how some Islamists in Denmark were getting worked up into a lather over some cartoons run by the newspaper Jyllands-Posten in which the prophet Mohammed was portrayed in a less than endearing light.

Well it seems that this story is destined to run and run. People in Srinagar, the largest city in Indian controlled Kashmir, have gone on strike in protest over the Danish cartoons. Now am I the only one who finds this truly bizarre? It is hard to imagine a provincial Danish town, say, Esbjerg, suddenly downing tools to protest a comic saying rude things about Lutheranism in a newspaper in the Indian sub-continent.

Still, it does go to show that there truly is a globalized culture war going on and that is it has nothing to do with the “evil plots of the Bush-Hitler Illuminati”. The fact people in Srinagar even know about the Danish cartoons is remarkable. That the Islamists should have taken the bait Jyllands-Posten dangled in front of them is rather splendid because you cannot win a war, cultural or otherwise, by just defending yourself.

And this is a war we can and must win and, best of all, we get to fight it on ground of our own choosing because what the people of Srinagar have shown is that the enemies of open society can be easily goaded. It is not about ‘social justice’ or ‘economic deprivation’ or any of those smoke screens generally deployed by the Fisks and Galloways of this world when they make their apologias for Islamo-fascism, it is about confronting a culture of intolerance and refusing to tolerate that.

22 comments to A complete non-meeting of minds

  • Pete_London

    Perry – Yes, it is a war we can and must win and it’s good to know who is up for the winning and who is up for the appeasing:

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights understands the concern in Muslim countries over the 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad and expects UN experts on racism to deal with the matter. At the same time as Islamic countries in a meeting in Mecca are going to discuss joint action against Denmark, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has involved herself in the discussion. The leader of the UN’s work on human rights is saying in plain words that she is concerned over the drawings that Jyllands-Posten printed in September, expressing “apologies” for statements and actions demonstrating a lack of respect for the religion of other people. In a letter to the 56 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), she states: “I understand your concerns and would like to emphasize that I regret any statement or act that could express a lack of respect for the religion of others”.

  • gravid

    What a bunch of whimpering ninnies they really are. It really beggars belief. What if the Irish went on strike around the world because of “Irish” jokes? Nah, more bleedin’ sense! < Or maybe the pagans might rise up a seize back the christmas tree?>

  • Dave

    If only these people condemned terrorists as much as they condemn the cartoonists! ffs!

  • John_R

    Not to mention the utter contempt for freedom of the press exhibited. Do they really sit around and wonder why anyone could object to the U.N. controlling the ‘net?

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    I think a more appropriate title for this post would be “A complete meeting of non-minds”.

  • Ian

    Louise Arbour can go f*** herself. She’s not worried about the fates of women, gays or apostates in Islamic countries, so she’s got no right to go round bleating about people’s widdle feewings.

    But then that’s the UN all over, isn’t it? Ignore tyrannies the world over and pander to the pride of tyrants.

    I love the Danes. A very tolerant, easygoing, friendly people, but they know when people are taking the piss.

    Sheesh, I can’t believe it. We’re in the 21st century, we have the internet, mp3 players, the beginnings of space travel, and half the world’s getting worked up about some drawings of some ne’er-do-well who lived fourteen centuries ago.

  • veryretired

    The constant and various religion-based complaints from the Islamic world are, in fact, symptomatic of a much larger and deeper collision which has occurred over the last few decades. The culture of Islam, for all its world wide following, is small and exclusionary, while the nature of the emerging global culture is big, open, and inclusionary.

    It is no accident that the US is the “Great Satan” to those who wish to keep the lid on every aspect of their society. It is the reaction of the small village to the sudden building of a major freeway right through Main street.

    It’s not the disrespect that alarms and dismays Islam, but the relentless exposure to ways and ideas that are different from, and out of the control of, the well worn lessons of the Koran as interpreted by the local Imam.

    As communications, trade, and educational opportunities spread across all previous boundaries, intruding into the everyday lives of people who have never had to deal with anything more exotic than local gossip and official “news”, safely sanitized, it is not unexpected that there would be an enormous amount of strees and discomfort among those for whom all the questions of life had been settled.

    Now, they find out, there are endless other answers to these very same questions. And some of the answers are very different, and threatening, to what they had understood as “the way things are supposed to be”.

    The external manifestation is anger and violence. The internal reality is fear and desperation.

    After all, what is a suicide bomber except someone who is so utterly desperate to reject a world they cannot tolerate that they will blow themselves to smithereens to accomplish the separation?

  • Brian

    It would appear Louise Arbour does not have the slightest idea what Human Rights are. If this individual hasn’t been sacked by sunrise tomorrow, then Kofi Annan should be sacked. If Kofi Annan hasn’t been sacked by Monday morning, the United Kingdom, and all other civilised nations, should withdraw from the United Nations at once.

    There is really no reason why decent people should tolerate an organisation employing such individuals any longer.

  • Ian

    “regret any statement or act that could express a lack of respect for the religion of other”

    She’s got it entirely wrong. People’s rights are worthy of respect, not abstractions like religion. I respect the rights of Muslims to practise their religion, but Islam itself I say is a bogus, misbegotten, dog’s breakfast of a religion, which is hardly a position of respect. And religions have been disrespecting one another for years, as well as demanding a privileged position to castigate the rest of us for the things we enjoy.

    So I agree with Brian. The United Nations is bringing its impotence to bear against an innocent newspaper, acting entirely lawfully, for goodness’ sake.

  • RAB

    I think we are missing a trick here.
    Shouldn’t we be thinking up more ways of ridiculing these vile pea brained humourless fascists into their sad little corner?

  • Ember

    It’s not a war. Wars require two or more sides to be in open conflict, but our side is determined to avoid any such unpleasantness. The sentiments expressed by the UN officials are precisely those of the Labour Party and the Metropolitan Police – what a strange coincidence.

  • John East

    I think that we should launch a humour campaign against islamic fundies. Lots of jokes, satire, and cartoons should really stir them up to the point where they spontaniously explode or start ripping their own heads off.

    Here’s a starter.

    Q: What do Tehran and Hiroshima have in common?
    A: Nothing, yet.

  • John: excellent:-)

    “Louise Arbour can go f*** herself. She’s not worried about the fates of women, gays or apostates in Islamic countries”. Do you know this for a fact? She has her freedom of speech too, you know, and she is certainly entitled to her opinion. I just don’t want to pay for it, that’s all.

    Veryretired: I respectfully (no pun, really:-)) disagree. I do think that this is very much about respect and insult. A classic case of inferiority complex, in my view.

  • Paul Marks

    Evil as it may be, there is nothing about a radical interpretation of Islamic (“Islamist” as we are now supposed to say) society that has to lead to its collapse.

    Socialism (in the sense of control by the state, [or “the people” or whatever term is used] of the means of production) must eventually mean that a society undergoes longterm decline (although, in theory, such a society could take over the world before that decline became terminal).

    There is nothing about “Islamist” society that means that it must collapse – even in the long term.

    One can not (therefore) hope to defeat the enemy by simply saying “X, Y, Z about your society is nasty” (although one should do that – if it is the truth).

    One has to present a strong alternative society which can attract the support of people (and I mean their support – not just the desire to move here and collect various benefits).

    Surely Western democracy and openess are such a society?

    I do not believe so. I am not against democracy (whatever the posting I am about to write about Sark might imply), but to me it is simply a politial system (a method of choosing a government or, in direct democracy, a method of making political choices) – it is not a “society” in its own right.

    Nor is “openess” enough on its own (not that I have anything against it).

    To me the crushing taxes and endless regulations of modern Western nations make them look rather more like the Byzantine Empire than free societies – societies that could offer a long term alternative to Islamist society.

    And (of course) at least the Byzantines had real money (not just government credits) and actually had enough children to replace themselves – how many Western nations can say that?

    We have a joke fiat money and fractional reserve financial system (really a credit bubble pretending to be a financial system), a vast unsustainable Welfare State (what Americans call the “entitlement programs”) and endless (indeed “Byzantine”) economic and social regulations.

    Until when (and if) we sort out our own problems I will not be confident of long term victory over the radical interpretations of the Islamic faith that we call “Islamism”.

  • Hey the UN cares…they agree with Iran that Israel should be wiped off the map. Heck, they are even using maps that anticipate such a state of affairs.

  • John East

    Paul Marks, You are of course correct when you say that,

    “We have a joke fiat money and fractional reserve financial system (really a credit bubble pretending to be a financial system), a vast unsustainable Welfare State (what Americans call the “entitlement programs”) and endless (indeed “Byzantine”) economic and social regulations.

    But where I disagree with you is your assumption that if we in the West were all honest, honourable, and nice then we would set such a good example to the islamic fundies that they would all cast off their bomb belts and embrace us.

    The dark powers behind the islamic terrorist groups and Middle Eastern governments are only interested in power, they don’t owe allegiance to Mohammed or Allah and couldn’t care less about your desire for,

    ”A strong alternative society which can attract the support of people.”

    In fact, these Islamic dark forces are only matched in their cynicism by our own Western governments. This situation is fine by me, because the thought that the West was being defended by clueless, wishy washy, liberal hand wringers would really cause me to despair.

  • John East

    Paul Marks,
    On re-reading my post it came across as an attack on you personally. Apologies, it was not meant in that spirit.

  • veryretired


    I’m sorry, I don’t understand your comment.

  • Which part? (There are two)

  • The 12 famous Mohammed Cartoons created by Danish artists for the newspaper Jyllands Posten.

    There is so much talk about them, but who has actually seen them all?

    All 12 Muhammed Cartoons & English translation of texts.

  • igor

    Mohamed is a pussy!!
    A satanic pussy. Jihadists are cowards.
    Islam: building a bridge to the 7th century.