Today, 5 years have passed since the Danish “Jyllands-Posten” printed the “Mo-toons”, along with an article by cultural editor Flemming Rose about self censorship and freedom of speech :
PDF for larger view: Jyllands-Posten, September 30th. – 2005
Every morning on the way to work I grab a couple of these free newspapers, and I became aware of this 5-year anniversary, when my eyes caught an announcement on the frontpage of “MetroExpress”: “Big section – (tema) – about the Motoons”.
Now, I usually go through these free papers during breaks later on in the day, but I just could not wait to see if there was a reprint of any Motoon..
As I had expected, this was not the case, – the only “offence” was an over-sized photo of Flemming Rose himself. You see, nowadays no-one will print Motoons, not even in Denmark, – or, perhaps one should say in particular not in Denmark. Considering the extreme personal “price” editors etc. are risking, – i.e. death-threats, plus a deluge of shaming from “responsible” fellow citizens, this di facto state of complete self-censorship is easy to understand, but I’ve got to tell you: It simply makes me “sick”, – angry, frustrated.., and the statements I’m making here is one way for me to deal with this.
It is a sad fact, as it also said in the paper, that “there appears to be a race among terrorists, – (cells and individuals), – to be the first to “succeed” with a plot to bomb the Jyllands-Posten head-quarters”, – or strike down anyone on the Al Qaeda death-list, and there is of course a tremendous pressure on everyone to keep a low profile.
I can understand that much, but the question is: Does it make any difference what-so-ever ? – Obviously not in the case of Jyllands-Posten.
Molly Norris, – who came up with the idea of “Everybody-draw-Mohammed-Day”, very quickly got cold feet and has since tried hard to back out of it, but none-the-less, she remains on the Al Qaeda Hit-list, and the FBI has advised her to go into hiding.
It appears, that keeping a low profile is to no avail at all: Punishment is inevitable, – a “criminal” act of blasphemous offence MUST be met with proper measures : DEATH !
Now, – fear, threats, etc. are of course not the only motives for being “responsible”. These days you merely have to utter a few critical words to earn yourself the title of racist, Islamophobe, nationalist, etc., – and most of us shy away from such personal condemnation, – it tends to spoil family /social cohesion.., and not all of us have sufficient courage and self-confidence to be totally honest about one’s true opinion..
On the other hand, approximately half of the Danish population will positively not dream of offending anyone’s religious, or other, sentiments, at least not “un-necessarily”, – either 1. When it has personal consequences, – or 2. When it hurts anyone’s feelings.
Judge for yourself, to which extent we are witnessing genuine concern for fellow human beings..
People have had endless discussions about which negative/positive motives are the pre-dominant, but everyone agrees – and regrets –, that our little nation has been torn apart by the Motoon-crisis. It has split us into two groups: The one half being the “I-am-good-you-are-a-racist”, and the other the “I-am-a-freedom-fighter-you-are-a-miserable-coward”.
So where do I stand, personally..?
Well, – I think such a clear-cut division is really not very help-full, and, in modern language: a threat to social cohesion.. – I must admit, that I count myself with the ranks of the freedom-loving, – and I do consider a number of my fellow citizens to be without backbone, but actually I think of myself as a bit of a coward too..
I am an Islamophobe, no question about that, – but I will be utterly furious if anyone dares call me a racist. I am working with immigrants of 25-30 different nationalities, and I get on with each and everyone just fine, whether they are Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, – (Orthodox, “born-again”, etc.), – Communists, Atheists, – even Hooligans ! -und-so-weiter..
My “phobia” concerns any of these groupings, when they degenerate, – yes, degenerate, – to self-acclaimed supremacy.. – Well, actually not.., – it is ok for anyone to believe themselves superior, as long as they don’t try to bully the rest of us, – who just may have different opinions !
When I mention Islamophobia, first and foremost, that really ought to not needany explanation /justification. The simple fact is, of course, that ONLY Islamists are threatening to kills those of us, who refuse to comply with Islamic laws and who insist on the right to be “blasphemous”, – those who, – indeed, – view “blasphemy” as an important and powerfull tool in any fight against any type of tyranny, be it religious /religulous , “utopist” , fascist etc.
Freedom, then, is my “religion”. “All men/women are equal” appears to me as self-evident. Cultural diversity gives spice to life, absolutely, – anyone is free to believe just anything, – and I could go on making similar statements, but the one thing that I can absolutely NOT accept, is tyranny, threats, bullying..
Ok, – so this was written in defence of the right to express any thought and opinion, but in complete opposition to the right of anyone to “express” themselves using degenerate, amoebic physical violence.