Jylland-Posten defending its freeedom of speech
With a delay of a few days, I follow the call to the Blogosphere by Les Chroniques de l'Etrême-Centre to support the Danish Newspaper Jyllands-Posten in its defense of its freedom of speech. This newspaper is facing tremendous pressure since it published caricatures of the prophet Mohammed. I've already spoken here on this issue in German. I'd like to underline though that I find that some of those caricatures are of a particular poor taste. However, not agreeing with a cartoonist is of course no sufficient reason at all to prohibit him and his newspaper from freely expressing themselves. Not agreeing with someone or not appreciating his ideas and nevertheless let him speak and express them is the prototype case for which freedom of speech has been "invented".
I hear that the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, has appointed two U.N. experts on racism to carry out a detailed investigation into what Arbour characterizes as a "disrespect for belief". Coming from the U.N. this doesn't really surprise me of course. But it shows that in the name of human rights, totalitarian abuses are carried out, in this case silencing an unpleasant newspaper in the name of a religious community's "feelings". Finkielkraut was right in saying that anti-racism is sometimes comparable to communism insofar as it is a source of violence as well: it is frequently misused to arbitrarily violate fundamental liberties and is therefore of a totalitarian nature. Miss Arbour would better investigate against the infinite amount of anti-semitic newspapers and TV stations in the Arab world. I however never considered Miss Arbour as being very credible. She's the one who asked Israel not to defend herself against terrorism and to pull down the security fence that has already saved many civilian Jewish lives. But initiating this latest one-sided "investigation" against free-speech while fully tolerating the antisemtic hate-propaganda in the Arab world proves that the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights prefers rather to focus on relatively harmless issues like a Danish newspaper than to deal with the real problems: the total disinformation and the antisemtic propaganda that rule the Arab media world (for an idea on what Arab newspapers an TV broadcasts currently look like, visit MEMRI, MEMRI TV; MidEastTruth, Palestinian Media Watch or the Anti-Defamation League - maybe Louise Arbour should bookmark them as well).
But this one-sided and weak hypocrisy must be some sort of U.N.-disease. That's also why they should not get hold of the Internet.
Thanks to Nihil obstat for the appropriate English text.
UPDATE (21.01.2006, 0:45): The Danish newspaper has published an open letter trying to smooth some people's ruffled feathers. I wish them luck.