Sissified descendents of our distaff ancestors in the old country -- the once fearless, albeit gloomy Finns of sisu fame -- have apparently thrown in the towel, submitting to YKW [PBUH].* Editorial heads rolled after publication of a cartoon drawn by Ville Ranta [detail above], "whose aim was to lampoon the Finnish president, prime minister and foreign minister for their cowardice during the cartoon crisis. The prophet was masked, because, as the cartoonist said, 'I do not wish to incriminate myself by drawing Mohammed’s face,'” reports The Brussels Journal.
"In Finland the editor of the cultural magazine Kaltio was fired yesterday after publishing a cartoon of a masked prophet Muhammad," reports The Brussels Journal:
Apparently the reason for sacking the editor, Mr Jussi Vilkuna, was that some of Finland’s large financial institutions withdrew their advertisements from Kaltio. Olavi Nieminen, the chief lawyer of Pohjola, a non-life insurance firm owned by OKO Bank, said the posting of the cartoon were irresponsible and a wrong way to defend free speech.
Finland has had a tradition of neutrality since the 1940s and apparently wishes to continue this tradition of “Finlandization.” The Finns’ neutrality was not voluntary, but was the consequence of the appeasement by a small country towards an aggressive, dangerous neighbour (the Soviet Union).
Our knowledge of Finnish history is sadly lacking, but we swell with pride over the reported valor in the name of freedom of the Bronson-Alcott-like pater familias of our own maternal grandmother, Grammy -- AKA JuJu -- as ferreted out by the family's official Genealogy Tsar, sister-in-law and mother of our nieces, Ellen. From the Fitchburg Daily Sentinel of December 13, 1912:
Few people of Fitchburg [MA] or the places in its vicinity, with the exception of those of his own race, are aware of the fact that there now resides in Lunenburg, within a short distance of the center of the town, a man who played a very prominent part in the general uprising in Finland, in 1905, which was known, throughout the world as the general strike, but which was in reality an uprising for the purpose of wresting from the Russian government what might be termed "home rule," and which was successful. As a result of his activity in that uprising, this man, who was for some years a resident of Fitchburg, had a heavy price placed upon his head by the Russian government, but after victory had been won, he escaped through other European countries and eventually found his way to the United States, in which he has traveled extensively and done much to arouse among his countrymen and interest in Finnish affairs.
That was our great grandfather. We never heard much about his political exploits from his daughter -- our grandmother -- Julia, who preferred to reveal the less heroic side of his nature as husband and father. All that is history now. Be that as it may, we are wicked ashamed of Finnish leaders' response to the Cartoon Wars.
Meanwhile, we are more than elated at the Vatican's "practice what you preach" announcement this week:
After backing calls by Muslims for respect for their religion in the Mohammad cartoons row, the Vatican is now urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance towards their Christian minorities . . .
After criticising both the cartoons and the violent protests in Muslim countries that followed, the Vatican this week linked the issue to its long-standing concern that the rights of other faiths are limited, sometimes severely, in Muslim countries.
We've loved Benedetto with all our heart and soul from day one when we learned of his passion for Mozart and cats. He inhabits an intellectually rigorous and emotionally rich world of faith and ritual we will never know. Even so, as we wrote here recently:
We agree with Oriana Fallaci -- the renowned Italian Journalist indicted last year in her native country for vilifying, as the law says, a "religion admitted by the state," in this case Islam -- that "You cannot survive if you do not know the past." In an Opinion Journal interview with Tunku Varadarajan last June -- blogged here -- she said "I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. It's that simple! There must be some human truth here that is beyond religion."
Our doting, contrarian Finnish grandmother, Grammy/JuJu used to call us Sissypants. It was a term of endearment then, but now that sisu has been sissified in dhimmitudinous submission to Islamicism, it speaks only of contempt.
*YKW [PBUH] = You Know Who [Peace Be Unto Him] = the Muslim prophet Mohammed [formerly known as Mohammed]