The cartoon crisis continues
More developments on the Mohammed cartoon crisis.
cartoon editor is sacked
'No one will draw the Prophet'
London Islamists target Israel, Denmark
Muslim Cartoon Fury Spreads
Anger as papers reprint cartoons of Muhammad
European papers ignore Muslim fury over Danish cartoons
Danish news editor: Dark dictatorships have won
And from the Financial Times, the first warning that this cartoon will lead to more terrorism.
President Hosni Mubarak said the reprinting of the cartoons – originally published by Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, they were reproduced this week in newspapers across Europe – would lead to serious repercussions, inflaming sentiment in the Muslim world and among European Muslim communities. Insensitive handling of the issue, he said, would give more pretexts to extremists and terrorists to carry out attacks.
In Saudi Arabia, Prince Nayef, the interior minister and staunch conservative, said the cartoons were an insult to all Muslims, and suggested the Vatican should intervene to put an end to the spread of the cartoons.
Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey, a European Union candidate country, deemed the cartoons an “attack on our spiritual values”, and called for a limit on press freedom.
The statements of Hosni Mubarak and Tayyip Erdogan indicate how deep this cultural division is. At the same time many Europeans -- not most, but many -- are suddenly aware they stand on the edge. If they let Islamic clerics determine what Europeans can and cannot print in their own press through a process of intimidation and force, the Old Continent will have surrendered a large part of its independence and sovereignty. The holy grail of every agitator is to find an issue on which both sides are unalterably opposed. Radical Islam has found it the blasphemy of Mohammed and ironically gave those who would rouse the West a mirror issue of their own: the blasphemy of censorship and the extinction of freedom of speech.
Both sides now are in too deep to climb down without damage. For the European press the path to this confrontation has been imperceptible, absentminded and catastrophic. Yet all so terribly familiar. The old warnings come naturally to mind.
... descending incontinently, fecklessly the stairway that leads to a dark gulf.
It is a fine broad stairway at the beginning, but after a bit the carpet ends.
A little farther on there are only flagstones, and a little farther on still these break beneath your feet.
The fine, broad highway to Hell that is political correctness which has achieved the opposite of its intent: not the universal chorus of harmony but religious conflict at its most primitive level.
And do not suppose this is the end.
This is the beginning of the reckoning.
This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of the bitter cup,
which will be proffered to us year by year,
unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour,
we rise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.
But the words are only memories. The men who said them are gone and their heirs are not yet found.