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The cartoon controversy: A small world, Danes!
The cartoon controversy: A small world, Danes!1 Most Muslims believe that the Danish paper issue should never be forgiven: ’apology is not enough’. It does not matter that the committers of the ’mistake’ did it unintentionally, or so claim. They believe that the Danish state is guilty of allowing this to happen/not severely punish
Wednesday, February 15,2006 00:00
by Ayman Helmy
The cartoon controversy: A small world, Danes!
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Most Muslims believe that the Danish paper issue should never be forgiven: ’apology is not enough’. It does not matter that the committers of the ’mistake’ did it unintentionally, or so claim.
They believe that the Danish state is guilty of allowing this to happen/not severely punishing the committers.
According to the dominating culture in the Arab and Muslim world, a State is responsible for everything. It is always manipulating and wielding everything, this is why IT is to blame.
 
It is absolutely different in European or Western countries, where you can find that the individual has a sort of ’regulated’ freedom enabling him or her to act responsibly and thus be answerable.
 
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What Muslims demonstrate against, in fact, I believe, is the freedom of _expression stated in the Danish Constitution.
 
The Danish State and businessmen have nothing to do with the ’crime’. It is the freedom of _expression and the constitution for which the European community struggled for long to make. If any person misuses such an advantage, called freedom of _expression, only he or she is to be punished, not the whole society. It should also be based on a court’s decision.  
 
Otherwise, the European community and the USA, for example, can punish the Arab or Islamic countries for the terrorist crimes or suicide bombings committed by Muslims or persons with Arab nationalities. We can notice that Muslim and Arab countries and their peoples likewise did not enact laws criminalizing such acts; nor can they stop such violence and killing. Can we pronounce them guilty?   
But what about such abuse, in this example of the Danish Newspaper—why not use a logical, tolerant and wise reaction, like filing a suit against the Newspaper and its editor. Who should do this? The Danish Muslims of course.
But what happened?
Muslims worldwide burn the Danish flags, boycott the goods, attack the embassies and demonstrate against Denmark.  
 
Why are they so willing to die and adopt a stern position against their States?
Two reasons I think are behind this. This fury is a kind of release of emotions of anger and rebellion against their turbulent political situation, searching for an outlet. Furthermore, when people live in lands where they are not treated as ’citizens’, they may take refuge in religion as the substitute home. Man needs to belong.
 
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A good point mentioned by Muslims is the Anti-Semitism legislation, against speech and behavior that is derogatory to ‘people of Jewish origin’. One can hardly say that the legislation does not fetter the freedom of _expression. The difference between the two cases, in my opinion, is that the Jews introduced evidence that there is a need for this legislation (does not matter if it is false evidence), while Muslims introduced nothing but the idea that their image is misconceived and they are misunderstood. Jews were smarter in this context—but it another story.   
 
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Well, Europe and USA, with our global networking, satellite and unprecedented technology, we live in a small world, in fact, a too small one. It is globalization.
 
Freedom, democracy, fraternity, equality, liberty, luxury and progress, which are the European achievements—and partly the human ones—are threatened by globalization. The Danish media and newspapers are no longer only for Danes. The freedom of _expression enables them to write whatever they like, but the problem is that these words now can be read by people who know nothing about freedom of _expression, people who do not want freedom of _expression.
 
Now Europe has the choice, to restrict the freedom or face the Muslim rage. It has to reluctantly make such a setback. The world is no longer the same; any democratic or developed community can no longer enjoy its achievements, so long as there are retarded cultures and tyrannical regimes. It is a small world! Tyranny, injustice, ignorance and poverty have become the burden of MAN not only the third world countries’.
 
It is a war. It gets fiercer, while the world gets smaller and smaller. God bless our souls! 
 

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