Oh comrades come rally

It’s heartwarming when authoritarian reactionaries join forces, don’t you think? The Vatican and Al Azhar university got together last week to forbid everyone to make fun of them. They included the usual dutiful and empty (given what always immediately follows – given the inevitable ‘but’) acknowledgement of ‘the value’ of free expression, but

Both sides vehemently denounce the reprinting of the offensive cartoon and the attack on Islam and its prophet. We call for the respect of faiths, religious holy books and religious symbols. Freedom of expression should not become a pretext to insult religions and defaming religious sanctities.

So they pretended for form’s sake to acknowledge ‘the value’ of free expression only in hopes of getting away with immediately rescinding that acknowledgement. In that sense I suppose one could say the open threats and demands for prevention and punishment that come from imams and the OIC and similar are preferable; they at least don’t open with that ridiculously hypocritical acknowledgement of something that they don’t in fact acknowledge in the least. There is something profoundly annoying about seeing people go trundling up and down the place announcing that they recognize the value of free expression when in the very next sentence they announce their hatred of free expression and their strong determination to see it done away with. You can’t recognize the value of free expression in one breath and then vehemently denounce the reprinting of an ‘offensive’ cartoon with the next. That’s just ass-covering, and it convinces no one.

Call for the respect of faiths, religious holy books and religious symbols all you like, guys; you’re not going to get it. You’ll get it from the people who already bend the knee to bossy clerics, of course, but you’ll get precious little of it from anyone else; on the contrary, you’re likely to inspire new and more fervent contempt.

Flemming Rose has some thoughts.

Yesterday the Vatican joined the al-Azhar university in Cairo in condemning the republication of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s depiction of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban, but the Catholic state and the supreme institution of Islam in the Sunni world didn’t say a word about the foiled plot to kill Westergaard, who has been in hiding since November last year.

Perhaps they think he deserves it. Bastards.

Kurt Westergaard’s wife Gitte works at a kindergarten; she’s been told to stay away because of security concerns.

Congratulations to the Vatican and Al-Azhar. This kindergarten have really shown them the kind of respect they are craving for. It’s the hells angels’ code of ethics: If you don’t respect me I’ll kill you. Or if you don’t respect me I’ll scare the hell out of anymore who’s in touch with you so that they will cut off any contact with you. And it’s working: due to security concerns the Westergaards were kicked out of the Radisson hotel in Aarhus last week.

And the Vatican joins forces with the rest of the Hell’s Angels. Pretty.

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