Thursday, February 09, 2006

Freedom in Dubai

It's curious to watch how the Left is portraying the cartoon drama - most seem to view the cartoons as the product of a rght-wing paper trying to cause trouble. And that's about as far as it goes. I guess it's hard to hold onto their meme of a "tiny minority of extremists" when there are so many riots, embassies being burned to the ground, people being killed and terrorist attacks and murders being threatened.

In the midst of it all an American teacher at a school in Dubai has been fired for showing the cartoons to her class of students. The Minister of Education for Dubai had her sacked and in doing so he displayed a rather curious concept of freedom of speech:

Shaikh Nahyan emphasised that there is freedom of opinion and expression in the UAE, as well as academic freedom enjoyed by all educational institutions, but what happened in Zayed University does not relate, in any sense, to any relevant concept of freedom.

He pointed out that what had happened was an individual act and that Zayed University and all other educational and academic institutions were functioning within the framework of total compliance with Islam.

"We can never accept any offences against Islam, or any of its teachings and noble values," he said.

Free speech is okay- but not about Islam. The worst thing is that that's not just the message coming out of Dubai- but also the UK and USA where the cartoons have (virtually) not been published.

Funny that the Left is so adamant about the threat to freedom that Bush poses, so dedicated to the cause of freedom of speech- except when it happens for real. Then, there's silence. I've heard an awful lot of nonsense about Bush and his plans for a Christian theocracy in the United States, where true freedom will be trampled under the jackboot; but when a real religious theocracy suppresses freedom of speech, when a religion demands that nothing ever dare be said about it anywhere in the world, the Left is strangely silent on the matter. The message seems to be- "we'll stand up against you dangerous Christians who get upset at attacks on your faith, but these here Muslims- hey, we have to respect their faith. Those guys might hurt us."

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