A Tonic

For a restorative, there is this from Delaware.

In the end, the cartoon battle is not about respect or disrespect. The fundamental conflict behind the rioting is over the idea of blasphemy. That requires belief. But you cannot blaspheme what you don’t believe in. Islamists demand that laws punish blasphemers. That cannot be done in secular societies. How can a society be free if the law requires you to believe?

And there is Ayaan, peace, freedom and secularism be upon her.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali said it was “correct to publish the cartoons” in Jyllands Posten and “right to republish them”…Ms Hirsi Ali, speaking in Berlin, said that “today the open society is challenged by Islamism”. She added: “Within Islam exists a hardline Islamist movement that rejects democratic freedoms and wants to destroy them.” Ms Hirsi Ali criticised European leaders for not standing by Denmark and urged politicians to stop appeasing fundamentalists. She also said that although the Prophet Muhammad did a lot of good things, his decree that homosexuals and apostates should be killed was incompatible with democracy…Ms Hirsi Ali said the furore over the cartoons had exposed the fear among artists and journalists in Europe to “analyse or criticise intolerant aspects of Islam”.

Artists, journalists, and politicians. Which is worrying.

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