“We can look as far back as the 1930’s in the years prior to the Holocaust when Nazi Germany circulated hate-filled images of our Jewish brothers and sisters throughout society…It is necessary for all of us to stand together and speak out against this, as hatred does not discriminate against any color, race, creed, or religion; all it does is hate.”
No, this was not an appeal written by a Jewish person to protest the abominable depiction of Jews in Arab newspapers and on Arab news media. It was written by Maheen H. Farooqi, President of the Islamic Center at New York University in a broadcast email alert to the school’s Muslims about the display of the Danish Mohammed cartoons during a panel discussion on them at the university on March 29th, and to organize a demonstration against the event.
NYU President John Sexton caved in to pressure from this group and announced that if the cartoons were displayed, the event must be closed to the public, and only “members of the NYU community” would be allowed to hear the panel discussion. Subsequently, not only was there a demonstration by Muslim students, but many of them bought tickets to the event and destroyed them in an effort to limit attendance.
Meanwhile, in the real world of book retailing, Borders and its affiliate Waldenbooks have banned a forthcoming issue of “Free Inquiry” from their magazine racks because that number of the periodical will feature inside it some of the Danish cartoons. Cited were a fear of violence from radical Muslims and a desire to ensure the safety of the chain’s employees and customers.
Creeping socialism. Stealthy statism. The slippery slope of censorship and “responsible” public policy, also known as self-censorship. Someone please correct me, but I believe that Ayn Rand once remarked that at the rate the West is deteriorating, it will not end with a bang, but with a burp. The foregoing instances of submission to Islamic threats and pressure are warnings and guarantees of more to come.
If you have not already noticed it, endorsement of the display of the Danish cartoons — indeed, any expression of criticism about Islam — is steadily being equated with racism, hatred, and discrimination. And not only that, but Mr. Farooqi has the unmitigated but apparently effective gall to assert a “bond” with “our Jewish brothers and sisters.” His email “call to arms” is too long to reprint here, but it is chock full of gems.
The Holocaust? Does not Mr. Farooqi know that the president of Iran, Adolf Ahmadinejad, has denied that it ever occurred?
“We, however, would not encourage racism is (sic) any shape or form, and to us and many others, these cartoons are racist and we adamantly oppose their display.”
So, don’t look at them. No, that’s too easy advice to follow. It’s almost as though he and his protest organizers want to see them in order to whip the Muslim masses into a window and skull breaking lather. In order to frighten cowards like John Sexton into capitulating to their “demands.” In order to impose censorship.
Oh, no, we don’t want to impose censorship! Allah forbid!
“The event itself and the topic that the students would like to discuss is not problematic in any way, but the pictures themselves are just hatred and there is (sic) no justification in preaching something breeds that kind of hate.”
So, Mr. Farooqi and his “brothers and sisters” won’t mind a panel discussion of the cartoons, so long as the subject is not present, if it is unseen, invisible. Excuse me, but that ultimatum is problematic. If the subject of the discussion cannot be shown or displayed, what is it, then, that would be discussed? An abstraction that had no anchor in reality. It would be tantamount to a court trying a murder case but declaring all evidence of it inadmissible. And if the subject has already been deemed “hateful,” why discuss it at all?
What a formula for shutting down men’s minds for fear of provoking irrational emotional outbursts and threats to one’s life! What an appeal to submit to unreason!
And what an excuse for Mr. Sexton, Borders, the Wall Street Journal and others to turn tail and betray the First Amendment! With allies like them, who needs Islam to imperil the Bill of Rights?
But the chief interest here is the stress Mr. Farooqi and his colleagues at CAIR and other Islamic organizations are beginning to put on race, hatred and discrimination. Now, Islam is a set of ideas (if a random set of injunctions to kill or enslave infidels, together with contextless homilies, can be said to be a set of “ideas”), and to oppose it or criticize it is not synonymous with “racism.” Aside from the fact that numerous Caucasians, blacks and Asians have converted to Islam, it is beyond anyone’s power to deny that most Muslims are of Mideastern Semitic or of other large racial stocks. All intelligent, rational criticism of Islam has been targeted at the nature of the creed and its agenda of conquest, together with the fact that most jihadists and suicide bombers have been and will continue to be Muslim.
Consider also the near conversion to a saccharine Islam of the Canadian “peace worker” hostages who, upon release, did not thank the American, British and Canadian soldiers who freed them, and whose statements lead one to believe that they would have been perfectly willing to remain hostages until they rotted. Their selflessness was in the same league as any suicide bomber’s. Or consider the statements and behavior of American journalist Jill Carroll, who upon her release by her captors began spouting sympathy for the mahujadeen (Islamic warriors) who were only “defending their country against occupation” and who flaunted Muslim female dress.
It is those mahujadeen, otherwise known as “insurgents,” who are killing her fellow countrymen and thousands of the Iraqis she purported loves.
Were these former Western hostages brainwashed in captivity? No. To judge by their portrayals in Western news media before they were taken hostage, they were already selfless airheads, susceptible to conversion to Islam.
Mr. Farooqi wrote:
“These same cartoons unfortunately have lead to riots, protests, beatings, and deaths all round the world.”
And all that carnage, together with the burning of Western embassies and the fatwahs against the Danish cartoonists, who have gone into hiding, has been the handiwork of whom? Whose violence was being committed?
That of Muslims — Sunnis, Shi’ites, and other sects of that mind-suffocating, tongue-severing creed were the ones on the rampage.
Most Americans — indeed, most Caucasian Westerners — wouldn’t know a Muslim unless he announced the fact.
Do the cartoons foster hatred? It is healthy and life-preserving to hate something that is inimical to one’s freedom of speech and thought. But the cartoons do not foster hatred. They are mildly amusing; some are incomprehensible.
Islam, however, doesn’t want anyone to be amused by Mohammed. It wants men to fear him and obey his Allah, just as Winston Smith in Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was expected to fear, revere, and love Big Brother. Otherwise, how could anyone submit to his will? In that great film comedy, “His Girl Friday,” Cary Grant as Walter Burns shouts to his page editor over the phone: “Take Hitler and stick him on the funny pages!” That’s where Mohammed truly belongs, in the comics, in the company of Hagar the Horrible and the Wizard of Id. Or in a Monty Python movie. When was the last time a Scandinavian suicide bomber blew up a Christian church because Leif Erickson and the Vikings were the subject of humor?
Is dislike or fear of Islam discriminatory? Discrimination is anyone’s right, especially when it entails discriminating against mysticism and anyone who threatens physical force or terror in its name. Discrimination in this instance is not a matter of race or hatred, but of reason-based revulsion for a degrading, freedom-crushing creed.
No, the accusations of racism, hatred and discrimination are merely ruses, or strawmen, employed to deflect attention away from Islam’s goal of suppressing any and all criticism of it, to frighten men from any thought of opposing it lest they be accused of those things.
In the case of NYU and Borders, it worked. As a reward, alumni and corporations should refuse to donate money to NYU, and the school’s trustees should fire Sexton. And Borders and Waldenbooks should be subjected to a national boycott until its finds the courage to exercise its right of freedom of speech.
And the cartoons should be proudly and fearlessly displayed.