Germany Cracks Down on Terry Jones and Innocence of Muslims

Germany's Interior Ministry Sunday banned the entry into the country of internationally-known Koran burner Terry Jones upon the invitation of the "fringe right-wing party" (Deutsche Welle) Bürgerbewegung Pro Deutschland (Civil Movement Pro Germany), as against the "interest in maintaining public order."  Jones was to travel to Germany in conjunction with a Berlin screening by Pro Deutschland of the film promoted by Jones, Innocence of Muslims, whose trailer on the internet has caused an international uproar in recent days in conjunction with often violent Islamic unrest around the world.  German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, whose ministry had proposed the entry ban to the Interior Ministry, commented that "preachers of hate have nothing to seek in Germany."  Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich in turn condemned the screening intention of Pro Deutschland as a provocation of Islamist groups in Germany akin to "pouring oil into the fire with gross negligence" and announced a determination to stop this screening with "all legally permissible means."

While much attention in recent days has gone to Muslim demonstrations at American diplomatic facilities, Germans have their own particular reasons to be concerned about Islamist violence, for Muslim protesters ransacked the German embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, on September 14, 2012.  For this particular attack local Khartoum imams had in the preceding days urged their congregations to protest before the embassy due to German acceptance of groups like Pro Deutschland publicly demonstrating before German mosques with copies of the 2005 Danish Muhammad cartoons.  Indeed, the Sudanese foreign ministry called upon the German government on September 13, 2012, to prohibit such public use of these caricatures.

Similarly, many observers believe that the various Muslim attacks on, and demonstrations in front of, American interests following the release of the Innocence of Muslims trailer were well-orchestrated, with the trailer merely serving as a pretext for incitement.  The well-executed, heavily-armed terrorist attack upon the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens and his entourage in Benghazi, for example, was most likely an act of revenge by Al-Qaeda affiliates for the American killing of top Al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya Al-Libi.   Islamist groups in Egypt also deliberately played the trailer on Egyptian television in order to provoke riots in front of the Cairo American embassy on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks upon the United States.  Already on August 30, 2012, before these broadcasts, Jamaa Islamiya, a State Department-designated terrorist group, had called for protests before the Cairo embassy to oppose the continued American imprisonment of Jamaa Islmiya's spiritual leader, the "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdul Rahman of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.  Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has even suggested that a number of the embassy protestors were paid. 

As noted Islam-watcher Robert Spencer of the website Jihadwatch argues, the "video did not provoke the riots.  The riots were orchestrated and planned long in advance, to get the Blind Sheikh freed -- and to intimidate the West into destroying the freedom of speech."  The evidence is increasingly proving Spencer and others right, showing that Innocence of Muslims has about as much to do recent Muslim outrage (and outrages) as the killing of German diplomat by a Polish Jew in Paris had to do with the November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht nationwide pogroms in the Third Reich.

The refused entry of Jones, following on a similar 2009 denial of a British entry permit to Dutch politician Geert Wilders (later overturned), and the official German intention to seek to stop any screening of Innocence of Muslims indicate that Spencer is right to claim that "terrorism works." 

While free societies around the world accept or even approve of gratuitous attacks upon faiths such as Christianity (consider the 1987 American photograph Piss Christ or, more recently, the Austrian film Paradise: Faith) or outlandish historical theories (e.g. Abraham Lincoln was gay), many Muslims around the world are demanding a special, untouchable status for Islam.  The ever-present threat of violence backing up such demands is what gives such eminently forgettable individuals and films such as Jones and Innocence of Muslims international prominence in the first place. 

As the Khartoum German embassy attacks demonstrate, though, once free societies placate Muslim demands with respect to one issue such as Jones' Koran burning or a film, there will always be yet another demand for submission to Muslim mores, with no logical stopping point in these demands before ultimate obsequiousness.  The sooner free societies realize that appeasing such calls for Islamic censorship only whets the appetite for further aggression, no matter how disreputable the person or object in question , the earlier they can develop the firm, ultimately unavoidable resolve to defend freedom, no matter the short-term cost.