Thursday, March 23, 2006

Media Watch 2

Is it just me, or is this a completely inappropriate comparison?
The strong Western response to a threatened death sentence for an Afghan convert to Christianity looks something like a mirror image of the Muslim reaction to the Prophet Mohammad caricatures printed in the European press.

There have been no riots or sackings of Afghan embassies, unlike the violence that marked the uproar in Muslim countries after the Danish cartoons were published, but the shock and mutual incomprehension expressed in both cases are similar.
The subtext is that there is a clash of cultures. Is that all it is, or is it a struggle between freedom and tyranny? We in the West believe in freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, etc. Islamism is anathema to our beliefs. All belief systems are not morally equivalent. Nazism was not just another belief system as worthy as consideration as any other. It was wrong; it was evil. Islamism fits the same mold. It is today's fascism.

Update: As Matthew M. says in the comments, a new version of this article has appeared:
Western political leaders and the media have reacted with mounting indignation to the news that a Kabul court threatened to impose the death sentence on an Afghan man who abandoned Islam and coverted to Christianity.

Two months ago, political and religious leaders in the Muslim world were rounding on Western European media and governments for printing and defending caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that they considered blasphemous.

The cases are clearly different. Western leaders from President George W. Bush down have spoken up to save the life of a man whose religious freedom is a universal human right which his judges say is secondary to Islamic law.

In the cartoons case, demonstrators sacked Western embassies in Damascus and Beirut, lives were lost in unrest and Muslim leaders demanded apologies and curbs on Western press freedom.