February 06, 2006
European Islamists Counter Danes With Cartoons Depicting Hitler, Holocaust
A European Islamic organization called the Arab European League has countered the recent cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed with cartoons of their own, questioning the Holocaust and showing Anne Frank in bed with Hitler. This statement explains their rationale:
After the lectures that Arabs and Muslims received from Europeans on Freedom of Speech and on Tolerance. And after that many European newspapers republished the Danish cartoons on the Prophet Mohammed. AEL decided to enter the cartoon business and to use our right to artistic expression.While I'm reproducing one of the cartoons below in the spirit of fairplay, I certainly don't endorse the message.
Just like the newspapers in Europe claim that they only want to defend the freedom of speech and do not desire to stigmatise Muslims,we also do stress that our cartoons are not meant as an offence to anybody and ought not to be taken as a statement against any group, community or historical fact.
If it is the time to break Taboos and cross all the red lines, we certainly do not want to stay behind.
Israeli news source Haaretz reported on the AEL cartoons, including this information:
Denying the Holocaust is illegal under most European hate speech laws, which outlaw intimidating or inciting hatred toward groups on the basis of their ethnic, cultural, religious or sexual identity. Complaints about alleged hate speech are common but prosecutions are rare and convictions very rare.This statute is perhaps the best example of what is wrong with so-called "hate" laws. It restricts freedom of speech and expression by criminalizing opinions; a case of good intentions leading to a bad result. A "hate crime" is actually a "thought crime", but legislators might have a tough time selling such an Orwellian concept.
It's encouraging that at least one group of Muslims is reacting in the arena of ideas, rather than using violence, at least in this instance. Of course, the Arab European League supports the terrorist insurgency in Iraq, so they still have a long road to travel to be considered civilized.
Thanks to Greg at Rhymes With Right.