Fanatic Muslims Want To Kill Us
If there were any lingering doubt that large numbers of fanatical Islamic adherents want to kill us or bring the democracies of the world to their knees, these past weeks should have settled the issue.
Last September, a Danish newspaper published 12 cartoons or caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad – the one receiving most publicity depicting the Prophet with his head and turban looking like a bomb fused to go off. Four months later, riots, looting and killings by Muslim mobs are being organized around the world.
According to The New York Times, the cartoons have been republished in “Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Hungary, as well as in Jordan.” The U.S. State Department, according to The Times, “defended the right of the Danish and French newspapers to publish the cartoons.”
According to The Times, “Major American newspapers, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, did not publish the caricatures. Representatives said the story could be told effectively without publishing images that many would find offensive.” Surely, that excuse is inadequate, as columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed out in his brilliant column of Feb. 10, that American media published pictures of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung and celebration of the “Piss Christ” (a crucifix sitting in a jar of urine) “as art deserving public subsidy, but [these newspapers] are seized with a sudden religious sensitivity when the subject is Muhammad.”
So why the reluctance to report the real story? Some observers suggest that the newspapers fear physical attacks upon their buildings, presses and worse still upon editors and journalists
One can only wonder what arguments were made when the decision was made not to publish the Muhammad cartoons, when the basic principle by which all of these guardians of the First Amendment pride themselves and constantly evoke is their commitment to provide all the news that’s fit to print, without fear or favor.
Bill Bennett, who was Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan, and John Zogby, President of the Arab-American Institute, were interviewed on this subject by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Feb. 9. Zogby sought to explain, but not excuse, the violent response in the Muslim world, saying, “As [the publication of the cartoons and the face of Muhammad] spread into the Arab world, another sensitivity, insecurity took over, and that was the fact that there is a deliberate insult against Islam. And Muslims are an iconoclastic religion. They don’t use icons, and they find them deeply insulting.”
At that point, Blitzer interjected, saying to Bennett, “You can understand, Bill, that feeling among many Muslims, that this is beyond the pale when you insult the Prophet Muhammad.” Bennett, as penetrating and brilliant as Krauthammer, responded, “Sure. And if I were a Jew watching what CNN just led in with [anti-Semitic cartoons used in Muslim countries], I might be a little upset, too. But CNN doesn’t have the solicitude for Jews it has for Muslims. Your policy is not to show these cartoons that were shown in Denmark, but to show one after another of the most anti-Semitic cartoons they could come forward with…the Virgin Mary in cow dung, that was fine.
We can show that everywhere. Now, the Islamists have won, in that they have intimidated the major news media from showing these cartoons. They have lost, however, in the wider world, because people see that this is just totally nutty behavior, that these cartoons are shown and people, as a result, want to kill people, behead people, burn buildings down…people get a good, close look at this and say, you know, these people are unhinged.”
Bennett’s most important comment was, “I promise you, they have won…these mobs have silenced the mainstream media, who are afraid of the mob.” Later on in the discussion, Bennett said, “One of the difficulties with the cartoons is, they hit pretty close to the bone…Is there no suggestion that, in the name of Islam, in the name of the Koran, in the name of Allah, people are having their heads cut off? These things hit their target.”
To me, that is the crux of the matter. There is a war of civilizations being waged in the world with the Islamic fanatics subliminally seeking to storm once again the gates of Vienna, where, in 1683, they were defeated. If by threats of terror against them, the great media institutions can be brought to their knees, we are in big trouble. Before this occurred, I had no doubt that, no matter how difficult, no matter how long the war we are now engaged in continues, the democracies of the world would win, as they did when first facing Hitler and later Stalin. Today, I am no longer so certain.
That Bush-haters Cindy Sheehan and Harry Belafonte seek to sap our strength as a country does not worry me with regard to outcome. But when the greatest, most important institutions in the land – the free press – get frightened and surrender, as the German press did under similar assault in Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s, I worry about the final outcome.
For years prior to the outbreak of World War II, Hitler and his Nazi party made their murderous agenda very clear, while frightened democracies refused to heed the warnings and kept their heads in the sand. Today there are new ostriches in our land. They refuse to take terrorists at their word. The Times reported Feb. 4 the comments of a cleric at the Al-Omari mosque in Gaza, “We will not accept less than severing the heads of those responsible.”
Regrettably, many Westerners don’t take Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden’s principal deputy, at his word when he said, “Killing the infidels is our religion, slaughtering them is our religion, until they convert to Islam or pay us tribute.”