THE CARTOON ROW
Thank you Mr. Roberto Calderoli, the Italian reform minister, for your expression of free speech which has lead to at least 10 deaths in Libya. I hope your arrogance is a bit dented by this loss or heightened with the notion that "Yeah.. we have nailed another 10".
Martin Jacques wrote in the Guardian:
Europe has never had to worry too much about context or effect because for around 200 years it dominated and colonised most of the world. Such was Europe's omnipotence that it never needed to take into account the sensibilities, beliefs and attitudes of those that it colonised, however sacred and sensitive they might have been.Martin warns:
Racial bigotry is on the rise, even in countries that have previously been regarded as tolerant. The Danish government depends for its rule on a racist, far-right party that gained 13% of the seats in the last election. The decision of Jyllands-Posten to publish the cartoons - and papers in France, Germany, Italy and elsewhere to reprint them - lay not so much in the tradition of free speech but in European contempt for other cultures and religions: it was a deliberate, calculated insult to the beliefs of others, in this case Muslims.
This attitude of disdain, of assumed superiority, will be increasingly difficult to sustain. We are moving into a world in which the west will no longer be able to call the tune as it once did. China and India will become major global players alongside the US, the EU and Japan. For the first time in modern history the west will no longer be overwhelmingly dominant. By the end of this century Europe is likely to pale into insignificance alongside China and India. In such a world, Europe will be forced to observe and respect the sensibilities of others.There is no respect for others without humility in one's self.
Meanwhile more lunacy drama continues as a Pakistani cleric announced a $1 million bounty for killing the cartoonist who drew Prophet Muhammad. To put things in perspective, blogger Karim Elsahy urges Muslims of the world to ask their Imams to condemn this in the next sermon.