Flemming Rose’s Inexcusable Excuses only Epitomize Hypocrisy
By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
I thought we had seen enough of Flemming Rose, cultural editor of the sensation seeking right-wing newspaper Jyllands-Posten. I was wrong. He appeared in the CBS Sunday (February 19, 2006) program - 60 Minutes. Even the prestigious Washington Post published his article in its Sunday issue: “Why I published those cartoons.”
As usual, Rose has been anything but sincere or honest. Unlike his TV interview in which he misleadingly claims that his paper makes funs of all religions, in the Post article, he confesses that he is not a ‘fundamentalist’ supporter of freedom of expression, and as such, won’t publish materials that are unethical, offensive to some readers. However, he audaciously claims that the ‘cartoon story is different.’ He argues, “I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam.” To bolster his argument, he says, “At the end of September, a Danish standup comedian said in an interview with Jyllands-Posten that he had no problem urinating on the Bible in front of a camera, but he dared not do the same thing with the Koran.”
Once again Rose exposes his sickening demented and depraved self by not understanding that what is acceptable within an ethnic or religious group does not necessarily make it okay for other groups. So, e.g., when an Afro-American comedian like Chris Rock curses Blacks and makes profane, racial jokes about his own people, these are perceived simply as harmless jokes. But if the same words are used by a white American comedian to talk about Black Americans, they become offensive and insensitive. People often get fired from their jobs for sounding racist or insensitive. The bottom line is what is acceptable inside home does not necessarily make it right outside in the public. Unfortunately, rogue, uncivilized, arrogant, racists and bigots would only think differently. They try to dictate that they are on a higher plane to decide what is acceptable and what is not for the rest of humanity. Offensive as it is, they also insist that if we disagree with their biased litmus test, we cease to be treated as rational and normal human beings, as if we are from a distant planet or belong to a primitive human group.
Fortunately, our experience has taught us that racists and bigots have low IQs, and are intellectually weak and unconvincing. No matter how hard they try, they cannot hide their despicable stupidity and lamentable hypocrisy. It was, therefore, all too expected that Rose would try to find some lame excuses for intellectual terrorism that has resulted in deaths of dozens of civilians from Pakistan to Nigeria. He does not disappoint us there. In his evasive way, Rose tries to delude us with an alleged interview of a stand-up comedian. He does not tell us that in spite of less religiosity of the Danes in particular, or Europeans in general, his own paper never published the image of that demented comedian urinating on the Bible. So much for his wild, imaginative claims!
Most Europeans are less religious than Americans. But such lack of religiosity still made Rose to ‘self-censor’ offensive cartoons about Jesus (and the Jewish Holocaust). So why satirize Muhammad (S)? There is a name for such a behavior: Hypocrisy. Pure and simple!
As if those offensive cartoons of the Prophet of Islam are equivalent to cartoons about himself, Rose argues that his paper portrays its cultural editors as a bunch of ‘reactionary provocateurs.’ Should we, therefore, feel euphoric? Such silly arguments only unearth his own inanity and cannot fool anyone but his kind.
About the most offensive cartoon, portraying Muhammad (S) as a terrorist, Rose says, “I read it differently: Some individuals have taken the religion of Islam hostage by committing terrorist acts in the name of the prophet. They are the ones who have given the religion a bad name.” If he were genuinely concerned (not a chance!) about the image of Islam, he would have better served the cause with a cartoon of Zarqawi. But his paper did not do that. Instead of the obvious, it went for the most revered figure in Islam! He continues, “The cartoon also plays into the fairy tale about Aladdin and the orange that fell into his turban and made his fortune. This suggests that the bomb comes from the outside world and is not an inherent characteristic of the prophet.” I don’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for this pathetic liar. He is either grossly disadvantaged intellectually or a very disingenuous person who appears running short of his ‘bright’ ideas. I believe that he is the latter.
If these were not enough to understand the mind of an intellectual terrorist, Rose goes on to impudently claim that with the publication of the offensive cartoons, the message to the Muslim community was: “We are integrating you into the Danish tradition of satire because you are part of our society, not strangers. The cartoons are including, rather than excluding, Muslims.” What arrogance! It is like Hitler telling his victim: ‘I love you so much that I have to put you in Auschwitz concentration camps so that you could truly become part of the Third Reich.’ How insane and obtuse argument! Rose is similarly saying that “if you (Muslims) want to be part of Europe, be prepared to be treated as sub-humans the same way Jews were treated by Nazi Germany. Don’t complain. That is how we (Christian Europe) treat the ‘other’ people. It is in our European blood, tradition and culture to humiliate others.” No, thanks, Mr. Rose, we will not let that happen.
We should not be oblivious of the fact that Rose is an admirer of one of the most anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant neocon ideologues of our time who has been depicting the Muslim world as inherently terroristic. In recent days, Rose, much like a foot soldier for the neocon warmongers, has been propagating neocon’s brainchild - ‘clash of civilizations.’ At the same time, nor can we forget that Muslim rage did not start until the republication of these insulting cartoons in February in several European countries.
If these republished cartoons and statements (not just from Rose but European leaders also) are the signs of what are to be expected from ‘New’ Europe in coming years, the concerned citizens of this world, who are already fed up with untamed prejudice and intolerance, must be concerned about the rebirth of fascism and Nazism by its modern-day practitioners. They must ask: is Flemming Rose of Jyllands-Posten any different than Julius Streicher of Der Stürmer? Are Prime Minister Andres Fogh Rasmussen and Queen Margrethe of Denmark the 21st century reincarnations of Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Hitler? If the Nazi experiment was such a ‘great’ experiment to integrate Jews of Europe, why is ‘Holocaust’ a dirty word today? Why its mere denial is a criminal offence today in its birthplace?
Interestingly, as I write this, David Irving, a British historian who questions the number of Jewish victims (six million or not) during the World War II, has just been found guilty in a Vienna court as a Holocaust-denier and issued a 3-year prison sentence. Lest we forget, his argument since 1989 has been that there were many victims (approx. 40 million) outside the Jews of Europe. Nonetheless his views were deemed controversial, anti-Semitic and offensive to world Jewry. Per Austrian law, he was tried and found guilty of denying the Holocaust.
What Flemming Rose has done is no better. Through those cartoons (republished later by many European papers) he has accused all Muslims as terrorists. This is no small matter, esp. in the post-9/11 era of prejudice and bigotry against Muslims. It is a hate crime designed to mold mass attitudes and whip up entire non-Muslim populations into a state of hysteria against Muslims. Those cartoons are, therefore, the very symbols of intellectual terrorism crafted skillfully to prepare the European ground for the third Muslim Holocaust in Europe in just over a decade.
It is, therefore, important that this messenger of hate be treated no differently than his predecessors for encouraging mass murder. My fear is that the right-wing government of Denmark is not about to prosecute Jyllands-Posten, nor will the EU – although they could do so, given the existence of “hate speech” legislation signed into law in both cases. By failing to incriminate this modern-day Streicher, Europe will once again solidify her long disturbing image as a continent that epitomizes double-standard. Shame on Europe for refusing to learn from history!