Lorne Gunter: If Islam were truly equal, wouldn’t Muhammad be fair game, too?

From The National Post:

During the controversy over cartoons of Mohammed that appeared in a Danish newspaper in 2005, I received an email from a reader insisting, “This is about treating Islam equally! I am a Muslim and all we want is for our religion to be treated with the same respect as other religions.”

The problem with his demand is that the cartoonists in question did treat Islam in the same way Western culture treats Christianity, Judaism and other faiths. The media typically reserves no special reverence or respect for the major Western religions (including their Prophets). And so if Islam were treated “equally,” then Mohammad would be fair game, too.

For instance, how many times in the past decades can you remember lib-left media commentators disparaging the way Christian fundamentalists propped up George Bush — typically in language and tone that implied Christian voters were less intelligent and sophisticated than most?

Read the Toronto Star on any given day and there will be two or three references to Christians and the Harper government that drip with sneering disdain for the views and brains of both.

Of course there are also Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ photograph and Chris Ofili’s Holy Virgin Mary, made in part out of dung, among other artworks that have challenged Western notions of faith and perception.

Few Western media outlets would censor cartoon or artistic depictions of Christ. Danish publishers merely wanted the same lack of courtesy extended to Islam and its prophet.

Muslims in the Netherlands who are pushing for the prosecution of Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders are drawing the same mistaken parallel between Mr. Wilders’ criticism of Islam and what they falsely perceive as the special regard paid to Western faiths.

Outside the Dutch court this week, where Mr. Wilders is on trial for spreading hatred toward an identifiable group, several Muslim protestors held up placards saying “Don’t Insult Islam.” Why? Is Islam more special than Christianity or Judaism under Dutch law? Have the Dutch courts used the same hate-speech laws trained on Mr. Wilders to haul in other Dutchmen who have called Christianity a superstition or uttered other “hurtful” portrayals of a belief system revered by nearly a billion people around the world?

No, nor should they. And these laws should not be used for politically correct ends by attempting to silence Mr. Wilders.

To be sure, Geert Wilders says harsh things about Islam. He has said it is more of an ideology than it is a religion. He also compares it with totalitarian ideologies such as Communism and Nazi fascism. He has equated the Koran with Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf. That is a serious insult of Islam — but no more serious than many of the insults against Christianity launched by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and other mainstream Western commentators.

In a 2007 letter to the editor of a Dutch paper, Wilders declared, “enough is enough.” He called for a ban on the Koran in the Netherlands, demanded all sermons be preached in Dutch, and added: “I have had enough of Islam in the Netherlands; not one Muslim immigrant more.”

That’s nasty, xenophobic stuff. But many Dutch citizens clearly agree with it. In the June elections there this year, Mr. Wilders’ Freedom Party won 24 of 150 seats, making it the third party in the Dutch parliament.

Moreover, if one uses the reverse test, no court would ever prosecute Mr. Wilders for saying similar things about Christianity and the Bible. Why, then, should courts, governments or human rights commissions accept Muslims’ outrage or hurt feelings as the trigger for prosecutions and investigations, when those institutions (rightly) would never dream of doing the same to protect Christians, Jews or others from offence?

Last week, Dutch prosecutors asked the judges hearing Mr. Wilders’ case to acquit him. This appears to be good news, but it may prove otherwise.

Two years ago, the Dutch courts overruled prosecutors and implemented charges against Mr. Wilders after prosecutors refused to bring another case against him. And this week, judges whittled Mr. Wilders’ witness list down to three, from 18, while at the same time adding to the witness list against him the Muslims groups that initiated the complaints that led to his arrest.

If there is any justice in the Netherlands, or enough backbone to defend Western civilization, Mr. Wilders will go free.

National Post

Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/10/20/lorne-gunter-if-islam-were-truly-equal-wouldnt-muhammad-be-fair-game-too/#ixzz139FjGzq6

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

3 Replies to “Lorne Gunter: If Islam were truly equal, wouldn’t Muhammad be fair game, too?”

  1. Looks like Wilders is thinking clearer then the author of the article, however he or she is starting to think clearly he/she stated that Islam is objecting because it is being treated like other religions.

  2. The fact that the news media is willing to talk about equal treatment shows we are winning a few small victories. I forgot to click the track back box so I have to make more comments.

  3. richard,

    I post on NP all the time… If I did not post all the time, the narrative would not change… If eyeballs don’t read facts while reading the comments, we all lose… Now I comment less at NP, more commenters know the score as well, and write the facts in a nicer way than I… the tides turn…

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