Michael van der Galien

Liberal Muslims Call for Free Speech Demonstration

Posted on January 6 2010 6:08 am
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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It was not wrong that the cartoons of Muhammed were published, and in any case this doesn’t justify violence. Muslims have as much interest in defending freedom of speech as anyone else. Therefore Muslims should also support Kurt Westergaard.

So says Shakil Rehman, spokesman for the LIM (which stands for the Norwegian words for Equality, Integration, Diversity), to the newspaper Klassekampen. Rehman is hoping for a reaction from the Islamic Council of Norway (IRN) after one of the Muhammed cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard, was attacked with an ax in his home on New Year’s Day. The LIM has challenged the IRN to arrange a demonstration in support of free speech. If the IRN doesn’t do so, the LIM will:

I’m afraid that they won’t take up our challenge, because they don’t want to lose face in the Muslim world. But if they support freedom of speech, they must also be able to show that they mean it in practice.

In all likelihood, Rehman’s suspicions that the IRN will give its proposal a thumbs-down are correct, precisely for the reason he mentions. Of course the IRN would lose face in “the Muslim world” — namely, in that world that is qualified to control and direct how the world’s Muslims should conduct themselves. Moreover, if they held such a demo, they would be giving up their most important tool — namely, the assertion that they have been offended.

Read more at Pajamas Media.

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