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February 1, 2006
Sharia's global reach and a free press
A growing number of newspapers are standing in solidarity against the attempt of the Islamic world to impose Sharia law restrictions on the western press. A number of Muslim countries, clergy, community organizations and demonstrators are creating a situation in which no pictures of the Prophet Muhammad may be published, regardless of local law and tradition in the free world.
No matter what you may say about freedom of the press in your country, Denmark, they want it to be forbidden to publish certain things. The first item on the list is pictures of their Prophet, but you can be certain the list will only get longer, the more it succeeds in stifling free expression. And the countries in which the restrictions apply will grow in number.
They are creating a global norm. One that accords with their law. It is a step on the road to a global caliphate.
After Jyllands Posten published its cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, outrage ensued. Then a Norwegian paper re—published them. Today, news came of a French newspaper and now two German newspapers. UPDATE: now Italian and Spanish papers have joined the resistance. Some the papers are majors: Die Welt in Berlin and La Stampa in Torino (owned by the Agnelli family).
They are telling the Islamic world that its attempt to bully small Denmark won't work. They are telling the Islamic world to respect our traditions, and our sovereignty. We are not about to sacrifice our freedom to avoid their displeasure.
If the Islamic world confronts resistance from the free world community of nations, then their boycotts will not work.
UPDATE: Of course, none of this will work unless America joins the community of nations rejecting Sharia censorship. The more big trading nations which are targets of a boycott in that community, the less effective the boycott. It is simple math.
I have to wonder if Old Europe's press isn't seeing some of the handwriting on the wall, given recent events in France. The Danes, with their own history of immigrant problems, introduced what their government described as "Europe's strictest immigration laws" in May 2002. No wonder Jyllands Posten thought that it might sell papers with the cartoons.
The law made some big changes:
Denmark has run into flack for its clampdown:
By the way,
I guess by "descendants of immigrants" they mean unassimilated Muslims. I received quite a number of emails from Americans in Denmark married to Danes. I doubt their kids count in this total.
Plenty of bloggers has published the pictures, including megablogger Michelle Malkin. So far, nobody that I know of in the antique media of America has joined in.
Hat tip: Ethel Fenig and many others
Thomas Lifson 2 01 06
UPDATE: Rosslyn Smith writes:
I was most interested in the comments from some Danes about recent parliamentary developments in Britain on religious hate laws. Not only are the Danes a very tough people, but many of them have long memories about the British.
UPDATE: Bad news from France, via the BBC
Seven publications in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain all carried some of the drawings. Their publication in Denmark led Arab nations to protest. Islamic tradition bans depictions of the Prophet. The owner of one of the papers to reprint — France Soir — has now sacked its managing editor over the matter.