– fordi tiden kræver et MODSPIL

21. Feb 2006

Svar på tiltale

Flemming Rose har forklaret sit syn på sagen om Muhammedtegningerne i et indlæg i Washington Post - Akram's Razor er klar med et skarpt og præcist svar:
I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam. And I still believe that this is a topic that we Europeans must confront, challenging moderate Muslims to speak out. The idea wasn't to provoke gratuitously -- and we certainly didn't intend to trigger violent demonstrations throughout the Muslim world. Our goal was simply to push back self-imposed limits on expression that seemed to be closing in tighter.

At the end of September, a Danish standup comedian said in an interview with Jyllands-Posten that he had no problem urinating on the Bible in front of a camera, but he dared not do the same thing with the Koran.

As is to be expected, Mr. Rose is comparing apples to oranges. He neglects to note that most Danes are far more secular and laid-back about religion than many if not most Muslims (especially those in the diasphora), which makes such an act, however tasteless, far less likely to actually do emotional harm. He also neglects to acknowledge, much less factor in the significance of, the different social and psychological dimensions to an act of protest by fellow member of a community concerning his religion or tradition--e.g., a non-Muslim Dane, who is most likely of Christian background, defiling the Bible--compared to an act of protest by an outsider publicly denigrating another group's religious traditions and background. If he thinks that Danes, secular leanings or no, would have indifferently shrugged off a Muslim publicly urinating on the Bible, he's incredibly naive.
Still, I think the cartoons now have a place in two separate narratives, one in Europe and one in the Middle East. In the words of the Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the integration of Muslims into European societies has been sped up by 300 years due to the cartoons; perhaps we do not need to fight the battle for the Enlightenment all over again in Europe. The narrative in the Middle East is more complex, but that has very little to do with the cartoons.

That trite provocateur and ill-informed propagandist speaks for a handful of marginal intellectuals and has about as much impact on or insight into the Muslim community as Bozo the Clown. Her bitter and tenditious analysis is laughably irrelevant.

And she is either blisfully uninformed on or utterly indifferent to the impact of this tragic conflict on the cause of intercommunal harmony in Europe, as this has only polarized the debate even further. And it has strengthened hardliners in both sides of the divide.

But she wants more more more. Like some emptyheaded skinhead, she seems to be eagerly awaiting the the Great Race War where the civilized West finally puts these uppity brown people in their place. Someone should inform her how well her zenophobic allies on the Right will treat her when that glorious day of Aryan glory restored arrives. Perhaps she has a point, though. It's often been noted how the Enlightenment paved the way for the grossest forms of intolerance in the name of Rationality and Freedom in the 20th century. For example, it's been argued that there could have been no Holocaust without the Englightment. To the extent these fateful cartoons do move us towards the dawn of some new era, I suspect rather than moving 300 years forward we've moved 7 decades back, much closer to a Kristallnacht against the new "Jews" of Europe.
Well ... go read!