Copenhagen – The Danish newspaper editor who chose to publish controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 was on Monday awarded a free press prize for his “determination and courage”.
The Danish-based Free Press Society awarded Flemming Rose the inaugural international Sappho Prize, which comes with 20 000 kroner ($3 568).
The publication of the 12 cartoons in the daily Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 prompted an international storm.
Lars Hedegaard of the Free Press Society said the prize honoured a “journalist who combines excellence in his work with courage and a refusal to compromise”.
Another free speech prize recipient last week: Daniel Pipes. Cheers:
On March 10th 2007 Dr. Daniel Pipes was awarded the Danish Free Speech prize by the Trykkefrihedsselskabets [Free Press Society]…Professor Hedegaard lauded Dr. Pipes for his “unwavering defense of free speech” pointing out that “where too many others are willing to bend to pressure to take the easy way out…Daniel Pipes has stood firm.”
He said that Dr. Pipes book “The Rushdie Affair – The Novel the Ayatollah and West” was the reason for the award adding that “his achievement in writing this book will always stand out.”
[The book was published in 1990, one year after the fatwa and analyzed the historical significance of the edict by Ayatollah Khomeini against The Satanic Verses’ author Salman Rushdie as the opening gambit for imposing Shari’a on the West an event that came full circle 16 years later with the Danish cartoon jihad.]
The theme of Dr. Pipes’ acceptance speech was “The Rushdie Rules” and addressed the question, “Will the West accept Islamic law…is the Enlightenment over or will Western civilization survive?”
Over the course of half an hour [and two standing ovations] he explained the nature of the threat the West was facing, asserting that free speech was the key to establishing the immutability of our core values over Islamism.
Dr. Pipes said that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s edict set a precedent because it was “the first time a Muslim religious figure [was] involving himself in Western cultural affairs [where] a head of state [was] calling for the execution of a writer in another country.”
Most importantly Pipes stated, “it was an attempt to apply Islamic law to non-Muslims.”
…He reiterated what is at stake, explaining that, “this recurrent pattern of Muslim uproar, of threats of violence, has a goal that goes well beyond prohibiting criticism of Islam” that it “implies special privileges for Islam” instead of being subject to “the same discussion, as any other religion.”
To illustrate this point Pipes quoted Flemming Rose, the cultural affairs editor of the Jyllands-Posten who made the decision to run the cartoons in his paper and who said that Muslim censorship of the cartoons meant that he as a non-Muslim, was being expected to submit to their taboos, thus “they are seeking my submission.”
Dr. Pipes pointed out the paradox, that while demanding the acquiescence of non-believers to their rigid norms, Muslims themselves “routinely say and do things that are far more offensive to Westerners than “what we do to them.” To illustrate the point he quoted an Algerian leader who referred to Western civilization as “syphilization” adding that “they murder Jews just for being Jews like Daniel Pearl and Ilan Halimi” [the French Jew tortured to death by Islamists in 2006].
Dr. Pipes then questioned the “one-way street” by which Muslims are “allowed to offend and attack while themselves being protected from any such verbal and cultural indignities.”
He went on to state:
“Accepting this imbalance means that Westerners accede to a double standard. [Whereby] Muslims can freely insult and assault others while keeping Islam, Muhammad, and the Qur’an free from insults. Should this position, this imbalance, this double standard continue then we will see the emergence of the ancient Islamic notion of the dhimmi status…a historic phenomenon which lives on in the minds of Islamists…The pressure coming from the Muslim world had taken three forms, threats of violence actual violence in the West and in the Muslim world.”
He then posed two of the most urgent questions of our time, “Are Westerners ready to acknowledge Islam as superior” and “are we about to accept second class citizenship in our own countries?”
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