March of Dhimmitude

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

From Auntie (HT: Aisha's Lost Doll):
The Church in Wales has recalled 500 copies of its magazine featuring a cartoon caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad.

The editor has resigned after the image was published in the Church's Welsh-language magazine Y Llan.
...
The Church in Wales printed the cartoon to illustrate an article in the February edition of Y Llan - or Church in English - about the shared ancestry of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

The drawing - which was from the French magazine France Soir - shows the Prophet Muhammad sitting on a heavenly cloud with Buddha, and Christian and Jewish deities.

He is being told "don't complain... we've all been caricatured here".
...
The Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan told the BBC: "The article was perfectly OK, but for some reason, the editor decided to print one of these cartoons which was a gross error of judgement. [Ed. note: Maybe the editor was tired of working for a church that is effectively no longer Christian, or maybe no one told him that, or maybe he's one of those bald-headed testosterone junkies...]
...
"We recalled all the papers, I personally picked up some from some churches and they have all been pulped.

"I've unreservedly apologised to my Muslim colleagues and they've been very gracious and I've said to them this in no way reflects the policy or attitude in the Church in Wales."

Dr Morgan also personally contacted Saleem Kidwai, the Muslim Council of Wales' general secretary, to apologise and to assure him that no offence had been intended.

'Unfortunate mistake'

Mr Kidwai said he regarded the latest publication as simply an "unfortunate mistake" and said inter-faith relations were very good in Wales and need not be jeopardised by the incident.
Up until about a hundred years ago, one could not receive a degree from Britain's leading universities (Oxford, Cambridge) unless one swore allegiance to the articles of the Church of England. That was arguably unfair to nonconformists and the law was thrown to the liberal winds. Now, however, it increasingly seems one cannot hold many professional positions in the UK unless you are willing to bend to the articles of Dhimmitude.

But, you might cry, you are talking about a Church publication and the Church has a particular responsibility to uphold respect for all religion. Well, I say, I guess that's what happens when the Church aspires to become the church, defender of the new ecumenicalism, which is a perennial temptation within the universalizing sibship of (ex)Christians. Prince Charles, rumoured convert to Islam,has even raised the question of whether he might swear to defend faith (not the faith) when (or if, hope hope) he accedes to the thrown.

True respect for all our particular differences requires that we be able to freely speak our minds about these differences, from our different perspectives, in respect of historical (institutional) differences, and yes even poke a little fun at the other as a sign of honesty in respect. Free speech is not the dastardly cry of some hegemonic western order secretly wishing to dis non-western faiths. It is itself a form of sacrality (that can itself be blasphemed) without which there is no hope for inter-faith dialogue or workable government of a multifaith society. As Prospero argues, government rests ultimately not on force, but on opinion, and the freer the latter is exchanged, the better for all being governed:
the violation of the sacrality of opinion, ultimately, cumulatively, has consequences every bit as devastating as any transgression against any Holy of Holies.
Once we give up free speech it will soon become clear that we (non-Muslims) are now in a struggle whose end can only be either our Dhimmitude (whether in traditional form or in some new, perverse hybrid of Islam and western statism) or the submission of Islam to our western will and dictates (say hello to your Lesbian Imam, Ibrahim). The only alternative is the defense of freedom, including the freedom to convert and leave one's faith.

UPDATE: On a related note, Muslims are challenging Britain's ban on polygamy

14 comments:

terrye said...

I remember years ago some white supremists left a bunch of flyers at the local court house depicting blacks as apes.

It create quite a debate here, some people saying they should be destroyed because they were offensive and racist, others saying white supremists have the right to free speech too whether we like them or not.

The flyers went in the trash and so far as I know no one ever really knew how they came to be there in the first place.

I sided with the 'throw them in the trash and never let the freaks who left them anywhere near the court house again' faction.

I certainly don't think that the cartoons can be compared to that, [it seems to me they are really very bland], but it also seems that certain Muslims do see them as being just that offensive.

I think we should stand up for freedom of speech, but I also have to wonder at the motives of some Muslim leaders using this debate. I still think the Danish imam and his ilk deliberately used the cartoons to create friction. It seems to me that they are going out of their way to draw that line....they want conflict.

They want us to see Muslims as weird and they want Muslims to think the west is out to get them.

I wish there was some way to deal with this without feeding the paranoia.

I also think there are people in the west who feel that these cartoons create unnecessary trouble. In fact I remember when the original cartoons came out and Hugh Hewitt was very critical of their publication saying it would interfere with our ability to fight the GWOT. He did say that the governments had to protect the papers who published the cartoons, but he seemed annoyed that they were published in tghe first place. I am not sure how he feels now. But I do think a lot of folks felt that same way.

Hell if I know, but it is not right to let a group of people dictate to everyone else.

truepeers said...

Terrye, i'd never argue that you have to protect the publication of someone who has simply dumped it in some public place, without any kind of license or official permission. The fact that it was hate literature is almost besides the point. Garbage in garbage out.

What bothers me most about the present case is the extreme sensivitity of the Archbishop - which suggests the loss of the kind of calm reason that depends on normative moral foundations which, it seems, no longer exist for him. The editor seemingly was forced to quit his job for some innocuous cartoon. That's scary.

Skookumchuk said...

truepeers:

Well, no, a universal moral foundation seemingly doesn't exist for the Archbishop. And obviously the pasty-faced vicars are also just quaking in fear. Time to hit the sherry, I guess. Add to this the fact that they no longer have much of a doctrine to speak of. Ancient stained glass windows falling apart every time a jet passes over and some dog-eared Henry Purcell sheet music and that is about it.

And it goes without saying that the depth of intolerance on the other side is truly astonishing. The Afghan case of Abdul Rahman, who as we all know may die for converting to Christianity, is a case in point. The fragile leadership must have known how this would be received throughout the West and undoubtedly debated the decision at some high level, yet still could find no alternative to handing down a death sentence.

It is true that there seem to be elements within the Islamic world itching for a fight. No question. At the same time, if Moslems for whatever reason are seen to always spurn the Enlightenment's gifts,then all bets are off. We seem to be going through a very long series of little tests - for both sides. And the Church in Wales just flunked their test for this week.

terrye said...

skook:

Today I was reading about sati in India. That would be the tradition of throwing the widow on the funeral pyre. It was outlawed in 1829, but it came back. It has been banned as recently as 1987, and it is said by some that it is still practiced in some rural areas. Even after all these years and advancements some women in India are still burned alive. incredible.

My guess is some cleric in some particularly fundamentalist region deliberately brought this charge just to create this situation in Afghanistan. I don't really know the details, but our mission in that country is part of the UN and NATO, it would seem there should be something that can be done.

But we can not just abandon the place to the Taliban and AlQaida.

Sometimes I think that is what the crazies want. Do something the west will find so outrageous they have to attack local custom or leave. Very very touchy.

terrye said...

truepeers:

Yes, this is not a case of Profiles in Courage.

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

My guess is some cleric in some particularly fundamentalist region deliberately brought this charge just to create this situation in Afghanistan. I don't really know the details, but our mission in that country is part of the UN and NATO, it would seem there should be something that can be done.

Very probably clerics did push it. The question - the test - is whether we can do something about it. We'll soon see. Hope so.

truepeers said...

There are all kinds of interesting east-meets-west negotiations going on.

The Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan recently shot and killed someone on a motorized rickshaw who came too close to their position for comfort. They offered the family thirty thousand dollars in compensation. The family is demanding, in turn, the right to immigrate to Canada and be educated here.

terrye said...

I saw an interesting report on the opium in Afghanistan. There is a "wilt" that will destroy those poppies, In fact make it hard to ever grow them again. But the Afghan government is afraid to use it. It seems the amount of poppies that is grown has been cut by about one third and while Karzai promises to cut by another two thirds in the next 5 years it would be so much easier to just spray the damn poppies. kill them.

But they are afraid to do that for fear they will lose support so they slowly try to bring people along to growing something else. But what else pays like drugs?

You know it is just so hard to be patient.

Rick Ballard said...

Skook,

The penalty for apostasy is death. It has been for 1200 years. I know Christian missionaries that worked in Afghanistan prior to the Russian invasion and who have recently returned from two year stints. They say it was easier in the '70's than it is now and that conversion occurs but that the church in Afghanistan is about at the same place as it was in Rome under Nero. Think quiet meetings in the catacombs.

Maybe this guy can be saved - the sentence was the big thing, not the actual execution.

Skookumchuk said...

rick:

There is probably some huge behind the scenes struggle between the State realpolitik Arabist types who wouldn't mind a decapitation and those who think stopping this barbarity is central to keeping the US public on board. It will be interesting to watch.

gumshoe1 said...

"President Bush now probably realizes that he must stay in front of the cameras. This is the best way for him to get his message out."

terrye -

sounds like a very good time for
John Bolton to make some minor comments about the
UN's Declaration of Human Rights
over there in 'ole Turtle Bay.

gumshoe1 said...

(man, and edit feature would be nice...take two):

"My guess is some cleric in some particularly fundamentalist region deliberately brought this charge
[Afghani Christian on trial for apostasy to Islam,Death Penalty pending]just to create this situation in Afghanistan. I don't really know the details, but our mission in that country is part of the UN and NATO, it would seem there should be something that can be done."

terrye -

sounds like a very good time for
John Bolton to make some minor comments about the
UN's Declaration of Human Rights
over there in 'ole Turtle Bay.

terrye said...

gumshoe:

I agree. It is.

benning said...

You could have titled this "How A Church Commits Suicide". The Church In Wales is dead. Spiritually, if nothing else. And in a Church, what else is there?