Canadian Arab News,
|Nobody has the right to spread slander, libel or bigotry in the name of freedom of speech
February 16, 2006
Pay attention to the end of the above quote—“absolutely no public value.” The point is not that the cartoons of Muhammad insulted or upset Muslims—offensive speech is defensible—but they gratuitously and maliciously enraged Muslims by falsely equating Islam with legitimate armed resistance to Israel’s illegal Occupation of Palestine.
If the cartoonists wanted to satirize the resistance they could have used the image of someone like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Muqtada al-Sadr, but by defaming the Prophet, the cartoonists implicitly libeled every Muslim in the world as a terrorist. It would be tantamount to defining all Jews as terrorists by a cartoon showing a maniacal, cackling Moses strafing a Palestinian village, shouting: “Am Yisrael Chai” (“The People of Israel Live.”)
Truth of the matter is, Muhammad and Islam have no more to do with the activities of Muslim resistance fighters than Moses and Judaism have to do with Israel—a thoroughly secular entity that is a living blasphemy of the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. Unfortunately, the “freedom of the press” pseudo-argument has obscured the real story, which is the premeditated hatred behind the attack. This collective libel against all Muslims is but one act in the latest phase of zionist defamation.
During the early 1980s, when the Cold War was warmish and the Soviet Union had influence in Arab states, Israel formed its “special relationship” with the Reagan administration. The campaign against the Palestinians was now subsumed under the larger campaign against Arabs states.
By the late 1980s, the Cold War was over and Israel reinvented itself to the U.S. as a bulwark against the bogeyman of “Islamic fundamentalism,” which doesn’t exist in any Islamic sense of the word. Now the political attack against Arab states and stateless Palestinians would be conducted in the name of a grandiose, fraudulent “war on terrorism.”
Thus, we see how zionists started out targeting a specific people (Palestinians), expanded to a cultural people (Arabs), and now target an entire religious community (Muslims) by defaming Islam as a violent religion, which it is not.
Given the lack of any connection between armed Palestinian (or Iraqi) self-defence and Islam the cartoons of Muhammad must be seen as part of this deliberately inciteful defamatory campaign, and in the same league as the May 2005 incident of U.S. interrogators at Guantánamo Bay Concentration Camp flushing copies of the Qur’an down a toilet. As Tony Burman observed, the cartoons had absolutely no public value.
The man responsible for commissioning this travesty is Flemming Rose, cultural editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten. Rose is a Zionist Jew and has close ties to Daniel Pipes, arguably the greatest threat to academic freedom of speech in North America.
Rose denied that he intended to incite Muslims, but that lie is easy to debunk: Jyllands Posten rejected similar cartoons about Jesus three years ago because it said, “they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.”*
The inescapable conclusion, therefore, is that the paper believes that offending Muslim readers is acceptable and that mocking their prophet is funny. Alas, in the moral universe of our zionist press, this is the norm, and there are more than enough thugs to concoct sophistries to justify it.
In Germany, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung urged “Europe-wide solidarity” with Denmark and condemned “religious fundamentalists” for not respecting the difference between satire and blasphemy.”
Of course, this is a country where legitimate, scholarly criticism of Holocaust dogmata is a crime. It seems that in Germany, Austria and certain other European countries, governments are incapable of respecting the difference between scholarship and hatemongering. So long as the former is criminalized and the latter is openly justified, freedom of speech is a pious fiction, and that suits the Israel lobby just fine.
Like all bullies, these zionists are cowards. Without the censorship that prevents contrary views from being freely expressed, they could not survive. For example, if it were widely known that Israel was created by Nazi collaborators, or that Israel is politically and morally illegitimate, these gangsters could not extort international acquiescence to Israeli expansionism, stifle condemnation of the Occupation, or promote negative Arab stereotypes.
Not surprisingly, Jyllands-Posten’s editor-in-chief Carsten Juste hastily denied that the paper had an agreement with the Iranian daily Hamshahri to publish cartoons on the holocaust. Doubtless, Jewish sensitivities count for more in Denmark than do Muslim sensitivities, but one cartoon slated to be published had already appeared in the paper!—a Star of David, attached to a bomb with a burning fuse.†
Unfortunately, this kind of ignorance and ethical vacuity isn’t limited to Europe. Here in Canada, an attention-seeking professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax posted the cartoons on his office door in the name of academic freedom. The irony is that the professor, Peter March, teaches philosophy yet appears to utterly unacquainted with basic ethics.
To its credit, the university’s faculty union severely rebuked March and ordered him to remove the cartoons, which he did. Union president Steven Smith said the cartoons did not constitute “an honest search for knowledge.” In other words, they had absolutely no value.
Speaking of having no value, a rag called the Western Standard will brazenly feature 10 of the cartoons in its Feb. 27 edition. Propagandist-in-chief Ezra Levant defended the decision saying the cartoons represent a real news story, but nobody could ever accuse him of having any news judgment to speak of.
Levant is a noxious little pisher most notorious for spewing anti-Arab propaganda and pro-Israel apologetics from the editorial page of the National Putz. His decision to run the cartoon reflects, not the judgment of a journalist, but the opportunism of a bottom-feeding shill hoping to exploit hateful depictions of Islam to boost circulation.
The good news is, few Canadians share Levant’s taste in trash. Chapters’ bookstore pulled the magazine and Air Canada will no longer carry it, though why it did in the first place is a mystery. In New York’s The Jewish Week, lawyer Edward Miller eloquently demolished the “free speech” argument.
“The portrayal of Muhammad in a pejorative fashion is to them an inconceivably offensive desecration, on the level of what would be for us the defilement of a Torah scroll. Because it was done in newspapers across Europe, it was a slap in the face repeated thousands of times… Freedom of expression theoretically protects the right of a non-Jew to desecrate a Torah scroll. Yet we would all view freedom of expression as a hollow defense to such a vile act.…Regardless of whether or not the European press was constitutionally free to publish the offensive images, the act was a blatant and vulgar act of disrespect to Islam.”§
Vulgarity and disrespect towards Arabs are not new to Levant, though. Earlier, he repeated the libel against Liberal candidate (now MP) Omar Alghabra despite knowing that the originator of the defamatory comment, the B’nai Brith-run Canadian Council for Democracies [sic], ran a retraction, though not an apology.
As a result of the publication of the cartoons in the Western Standard and the Jewish Free Press, Canadian Islamic Congress President Mohamed Elmasry will soon be meeting with the attorneys-general of Alberta and Ontario.
If the CIC decides to pursue legal action, Levant will have to argue that reprinting defamatory cartoons depicting a false connection between Islam and Arab resistance fighters served the public interest. I'd love to see that.
Freedom of expression is not a licence to defame. Perhaps Burman can give Levant and March a lesson in ethics.
* Gwladys Fouché, “Danish paper rejected Jesus cartoons,” The Guardian, Feb. 6, 2006.
† Asaf Uni, “Danish paper cancels plans to republish cartoons about Israel,” Ha’aretz, Feb. 9, 2006.
§ Edward Miller, “The Respect Of A Cousin,” The Jewish Week, Feb. 10, 2006. See also Barbara Landau and Shahid Akhtar,“Drawing Muhammad,” National Post, Feb. 06, 2006. The authors are the co-chairmen of the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims.