Day By Day

Friday, February 10, 2006

Gunter Grass Checks In on the Clash of Civilizations

Die Welt prints an interview with Gunter Grass in which he argues that:
the West is entirely to blame and recommends that Islamic taboos be heeded. "We have lost the right to seek protection under the right to the freedom of expression. The days of lese-majeste are not so far behind us and we should not forget that there are places in the world where there is no of separation Church and State. Where does the West get this arrogance to want to decree what one can and can't do? I recommend that everybody take a closer look at the caricatures: they are reminiscent of the famous newspaper of the Nazi era, the Stürmer, which published anti-Semitic cartoons of a similar style."
Read about it here. Original [deutsch] here.

Indeed, Gunter, there are places in this world where there is no separation of Church and State, but Denmark is not one of those places. Yes, German publishers once printed anti-Semitic cartoons, but the main source of such filth these days is the Islamic press. And, why should you expect Westerners to conform to Middle Eastern standards in their homelands while exempting immigrants from the Islamic world from any obligation to conform to Western standards?

Since when has the Left ever respected religious taboos? Rigid adherence to anti-colonialist tropes and a "blame the West" mentality have made it impossible for many on the Left to understand that what they are facing is not the expression of legitimate grievances, but cultural imperialism and cynical political manipulation.

For an opposing point of view, from someone who actually knows what he's talking about, see comments by Ralph Ghadban in Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Ghadban writes:
A marked retrogression is observable in the Islamic world. The result of progressive Islamisation has been that stricter blasphemy laws people. are being introduced in an increasing number of countries. The aim of these laws is less to protect Islam than to combat and displace other religions. Fanaticised Muslims are attempting to use terror and violence to export their norms for blasphemy beyond the borders of the Islamic countries, and to gag or even killSalman Rushdie, Theo van Gogh and now the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten are the best-known examples.
Read it here.

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