Friday, September 01, 2023

Danish government betrays free speech values

Mark Steyn relays the sad state of affairs in Europe, as the current government of Denmark is making it a crime to burn Korans, and it looks like only appeasing Islam is the concern here:
Many years ago, my compatriot Ezra Levant observed that one day the Danish Mohammed cartoons would come to be seen as a more consequential event than 9/11. Not in the overall death toll, obviously - although the corpse count of the Motoons continues to rise (Charlie Hebdo et al) - but in its lessons for a free society's enemies. 9/11 led to two decades of ineffectual warmongering in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and the goatherds with fertilizer soon had the measure of that. But the cartoons and the west's reaction to them told the world that we would not defend core liberties such as freedom of speech: You don't need to blow up our skyscrapers; we're happy to surrender to subtler pressures.

And here we are eighteen years later, with the Danish Government proposing to criminalize the burning of the Koran and make it an offense punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.

[...] As Marie said, the walls of Christiansborg are "thick and massive". However, I woke up on the morning of the event to find that both the US State Department and the British Foreign Office had issued travel advisories warning their nationals to steer clear of both Copenhagen in general and Christiansborg Palace in particular.

Indeed. You don't want to be caught in the shootout at a free-speech event, do you? I doubt either the US Congress or the British Parliament would have agreed (under any circumstances) to permit a conference to be held under a giant portrait of Mohammed [top right] at the heart of the Capitol or the Palace of Westminster. Katrine, Marie and a small but determined group fought hard against the remorseless, suffocating urge to appease. And to be sitting in the heart of the Danish establishment with the Big Mo scowling above me was itself a modestly encouraging sign.

But it was on a day without many others. As Katrine alludes to above, Jyllands-Posten marked the tenth anniversary by re-publishing a perfect facsmile of the newspaper page as it had appeared in 2005 - except with white space where the cartoons had been.

"So sad,"
said Katrine. "Violence works."

That day, I was protected, as I have been on all post-cartoon visits to Copenhagen, by men from the PET - the Danish Security and Intelligence Service. Marie had booked a post-conference dinner at a fashionable restaurant, but they figured out why we needed security and declined to honor our booking.

So by the tenth anniversary it was not just that once publishable cartoons are now unpublishable, but that figures even tangentially associated with them can't get a table in a restaurant.

We wound up in a pub called the Mouse and Elephant in what Douglas characterized as feeling like "a party at the end of the world". Indeed. Post-Christian Europe is a mouse that decided to get into bed with the elephant of Islam; eventually, the elephant will roll over - and crush the mouse.
Surely it's telling if the USA Congress - not to mention the UK's Palace of Westminster - would refuse to have anything to do with the Mohammed cartoons, and that doubt includes the Republicans. If they're not willing to organize free speech panels involving the Mohammed cartoons, in example, they're no better than the European counterparts who pathetically refuse to defend freedom either.

But this definitely makes clear the sad trajectory much of the globe is headed on. All because nobody had the courage to do what it takes to move the Religion of Peace out of any sane country, or do anything else to put an end to it altogether. As for a post-Christian Europe, I find it disgusting in the extreme that Jewish advocates did nothing to encourage people to try out Judaism instead, and make it attractive as a good, if not perfect, alternative. By that, I mean that, while the Reform sect obviously isn't a good influence even by past standards, those who're Orthodox shouldn't use the Haredi approach as an influence either; the standard Orthodox approach is good enough. And those Judaists who refused to make any courageous effort to improve foreign countries by promoting Judaism as a worthy religion for foreigners to convert to should be utterly ashamed of themselves for failing the masses.

Update: Giulio Meotti has more on this sad development.

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