"Just two days ago, Associate Dean of the College Judith H. Kidd sent an e-mail to the [Harvard] Salient, warning staff members that “some segments of the campus may be sufficiently upset by the publication of the cartoons that they may become dangerous,” reports The Harvard Crimson. So much for freedom of speech on the campus of the nation's most prestigious institution of higher learning. At a Harvard Interfaith Council forum Thursday, Salient Publisher Travis R. Kavulla ’06-’07 (above on The O'Reilly Factor the same night with our beloved Tony Snow subbing) said “There is a journalistic obligation for the mainstream media to show these things.” Hey, New York Times et al, if you know what's good for you, get this young man on your editorial team ASAP.
"I do not know if hypocrisy is better or worse than the second most common position encountered in liberal circles: openly siding with Islamic fanaticism and putting the blame fully on the cartoonists and their editors, as Bill Clinton did, Kofi Annan and the Foreign Affairs spokesmen of the Bush and Blair governments," writes Koenraad Elst in The Brussels Journal:
In the Brussels weekly Knack, the Belgian equivalent of Newsweek and Time, with a weekly circulation of 160,000 copies, the editor, Karl Van den Broeck, launched the innovative conspiracy theory that the Neoconservative cabal, with tentacles stretching from Washington DC and Tel Aviv to Aarhus and Brussels (this website!), had planned the whole cartoon riot incident as the trigger for the Clash of Civilizations and the invasion of Syria and Iran, no less. Well, not all that innovative: a similar view was expressed by Ayatollah Khamenei . . .
The Newspeak notion of ‘verbal violence’ is an attempt to vitiate the debate by pretending that strong rhetoric amounts to, and is somehow equivalent to, physical violence. Again this is a trait which is typical of dictatorships, where dissenters are routinely criminalized as ‘trouble-makers irresponsibly sowing conflict in society,’ and the silencing and incarceration of dissidents is justified as ‘necessary for the people’s well-being and social peace.’ In fact, it is precisely the so-called ‘violent’ speech that is protected by the principle of freedom of expression.
Carrying the argument to its logical conclusion, Elst makes toast of "anyone who, like [Brussels government-funded 'intercultural' lobby group] KifKif, demands restrictions on publications that cast the Muslims' prophet in a negative light":
What does KifKif propose to do with the Hadith collections and the Quran, ban those books in toto or merely excise the parts that testify to Muhammad’s acting in contravention of the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights]?
But, as with all fans of fear societies, logic and consistency are beside the point. Control over the speech of those one disagrees with are where it's at. And speaking of control over the speech of those one disagrees with, we were more than a little intrigued with Elst's dhimmi-lite apologia:
Please note that in the present article and in other publications, I have practised a reasonable degree of respect for the founder of Islam. Of course I have not used any sycophantic or reverential appositions every time I mentioned his name, such as “Peace Be Upon Him” or “PBUH.” But at least I have repeatedly referred to him as the “Prophet,” and capitalized, no less. As a non-believer, I would have been entitled to describe him each time as “the so-called prophet.” Since I am not in the business of annoying people with such pedantries, I have refrained from exercising that right. It’s just a question of sensitivity, you know.
As we advised in his comments, referencing our post "Arabic names won't go into English, exactly":
May I suggest the perfect polite but non-sycophantic solution to the infidel's toe-curling "the prophet/Prophet Mohammed/Muhammad" dilemma: "The Muslim prophet Mohammed."
Respect, always. Submission, never.
Update and Instalanche: "To paraphrase Tom Wolfe, theocracy is forever descending on America, but somehow it always lands somewhere else," notes Glenn Reynolds.