Friday, February 03, 2006
Buy more Legos!
Democracy doesn't seem to be winning many converts in the Arab world, evidenced by the hysterical reaction of many Muslims to the now famous cartoons that have been republished across Europe (sadly, they have not appeared in the neutered U.S. press). A boycott of Danish products is now underway as the fundamentalist hissy fit continues to build.
Arla, the dairy company based in Denmark, where the cartoons were first published, admitted on Thursday its sales in some Middle East countries had fallen to zero. Carrefour, the French retailer, said it had removed Danish products from shelves in its Middle East operations.
Other Danish companies targeted in the boycott include Lego, the toymaker, and Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceuticals company.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. State Department is siding with European appeasers who are willing to sacrifice freedom of the press to the whims of the intolerant. "Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images, as anti-Christian images or any other religious belief," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. Just what does he mean by "unacceptable"? I don't remember any caveats in the First Amendment.
Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary-general, said he believed "freedom of the press should always be exercised in a way that fully respects the religious beliefs and tenets of all religions."
Should these beliefs be respected?
"Butcher Those Who Mock Islam"; "Exterminate Those Who Mock Islam"; "Be Prepared for the Real Holocaust;" and "Behead Those Who Insult Islam." Those were some of the placards spotted at a demonstration in London spurred by the publication of the cartoons.
Apologies to Pat Buchannan, but there is a culture war underway, and we better win it. We won't if we keep caving in to extemists.