Why do they hate us? Islamists and the West can no longer understand the question
Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Friday said the blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was unacceptable under any circumstances and demanded the world community to declare sacrilege a global crime.
A Christian will not be able cannot debate Islam or Christianity with a Mulsim. Any debate will be sacrilegious and illegal.
Addressing the Ishq-e-Rasool (Love for Holy Prophet PBUH) Conference, the prime minister said freedom of expression didn’t mean revered personalities be made a target, adding that protest against such despicable acts was a religious duty …The miscreants have targeted the greatest personality of the universe whom no power on earth could ever cause any damage.”
So. If the personality cannot be hurt, why the fuss over a 14-minute long piece of dreck on YouTube?
The West’s rule to live and let live. No?
Deborah Orr takes a view:
The right to offend is precious. The right to taunt large numbers of already resentful people is the acme of freedom, civilisation and sophistication. Apparently.
Pakistan’s foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar adds:
“It is not good enough to say it’s free speech, it should be allowed. I think if this does provoke action against American citizens or Americans anywhere else in the world, then maybe we do need to rethink how much freedom is OK,” Hina told CNN in an interview.
“Is freedom to the extent of harming lives also OK?”
Over in France, Charlie Hebdo magazine has published some more cartoons of Mohammed. Last year the mag created Sharia Hebdo, an act that saw its office in Paris fire-bombed. The magazine sold double its usual print run.
Hebdo editor Charb explains:
‘’The freedom of the press, is that a provocation?’’ he said. “I’m not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn’t go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe.’’
Fair enough. He does what he does. They do what they do.
I am happy to let Muslims arrange their own lives under whatever legal set of narrative values they prefer. That, to me, is the most vital western value – not the absolute and untrammelled freedom to shoot my mouth off, whatever the ghastly consequences.
“Muhammad isn’t sacred to me… I don’t blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law; I don’t live under Quranic law. I’m not the one going into the streets with stones and Kalashnikovs,” he said. “We’ve had 1,000 issues and only three problems, all after front pages about radical Islam.”
The US embassy in Cairo issued a statement: ‘
The embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions… We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
Free speech has limits. Although it depends. Hilary Clinton has seen the Book of Mormon, the stage play. But she’s not reviewed it. She is, however, happy to give her thoughts on Innocence Of Muslims, calling the film “disgusting and reprehensible”. Will she now review more films and plays?
The Feds then arrived at Nakoula Basseley Nakoula’s home in California. No, not to bring him in for making a film that has triggered scores of deaths. They brought him in because he might have violated the terms of his probation. They only looked tough in an orchestrated spot of theatre.
Obama’s administration looks indecisive.
What is the problem: free speech or the reaction to the film? The Obama administration and its PR handlers are trying to work out why the Muslims hate them. The Muslims – and these are the Islamists perverting a religion to impose their will – are trying to work out why the West hates them.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if the Islamists were allowed to march without obstruction, to smash things and rant and rage without any police or instruments of State stopping them. They would end up running about looking aimless. The explosion of rage looks like a reaction to the control that has gone in places like Libya and Egypt. Certainties have gone there as they seem to have departed her in the West.
When George W Bush looked at 9/11 and “Why do they hate us?”, he forgot to define the two sides. The enemy is hard to identify. And, if you look closely, so are we.
The Obama administration wanted to replace the phase “Global War on Terror” with “Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO)”. It might have been even less targeted than that. Bush one explained:
“We actually misnamed the war on terror…it ought to be the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world.”
World War 2, the Vietnam War or the War of Jenkins’s Ear it ain’t…