What a strange malaise has come over politicians in the Anglo-spere. Christopher Hitchens says:
The incredible thing about the ongoing Kristallnacht against Denmark (and in some places, against the embassies and citizens of any Scandinavian or even European Union nation) is that it has resulted in, not opprobrium for the religion that perpetrates and excuses it, but increased respectability! A small democratic country with an open society, a system of confessional pluralism, and a free press has been subjected to a fantastic, incredible, organized campaign of lies and hatred and violence, extending to one of the gravest imaginable breaches of international law and civility: the violation of diplomatic immunity. And nobody in authority can be found to state the obvious and the necessary—that we stand with the Danes against this defamation and blackmail and sabotage. Instead, all compassion and concern is apparently to be expended upon those who lit the powder trail, and who yell and scream for joy as the embassies of democracies are put to the torch in the capital cities of miserable, fly-blown dictatorships. Let’s be sure we haven’t hurt the vandals’ feelings.
(Hat-tip Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler)
Actually, Jack Straw, Britains craven Foreign Secretary, has gone completely the opposite direction.
"My remarks were this, to say yes, of course I understand the right of freedom of speech but the right of freedom of speech in all societies and all cultures has to be exercised responsibly and does not extend to an obligation to insult or be gratuitously…."
That is a distortion of the situation worthy of the Imams themselves. No one I've read or heard suggests that newspapers, magazines, websites or News channels have an OBLIGATION to publish material that insults Islam. I can't believe I'm actually going to have to write this down, its so obvious. But of course, those newspapers and magazines will occasionally publish things in the course of their normal activities, that annoy or insult some part of the population. Thats how free speech works. Later in the same interview, Straw says
"I also think, if people look at these cartoons and were to replace the images of the Holy Prophet with images of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary, they can see that even in our culture if they were directed at the Judea or Christian traditions, there would be similar outrage."
What a load of unmitigated crap. By the way Jack, you might want to make that Judaic or Jewish rather than Judea, but never mind. The unfortunate and dispiriting fact is that Christianity is constantly lampooned, insulted, blaspemed against by a significant portion of what might be termed militant secularists in Britain, with virtually no riposte. But Jack Straw's moral equivalence gland is working triple-time.
Note: Jack Straw has one of the highest percentages of Muslim voters of any constituency in Britian. Should this man be Britains spokesman to the world?