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"Together Against The New Totalitarianism: Islam"
French satire newspaper Charlie Hebdo published a manifesto against Islamic totalitarianism, reprinted by the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten.

The manifesto was signed by a group of 12, including Salmon Rushdie, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (the Somali woman who wrote the script for Submission, by Theo Van Gogh, who is now in the Dutch government, and in hiding thanks to threats on her life by radical Islamists), a number of exiled Arab writers, and others. Here's my translation of the French (mostly accurate, I hope):

"After having vanquished Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism, the world is made to face a new global totalitarian threat: Islamism. We writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for the resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of liberty, equal opportunity, and secularism (laïcité) for all."

Actually, here's more, already translated into English, from the Jyllands Posten link above, printed in The Editors Weblog:

"The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values ... Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism."

The 'Manifesto' declares "We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam with stigmatisation of its believers. We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be excercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas."

Where are all the US newspaper editors? Too busy worrying that their obscene profits are now only grandiose profits? Aside from a handful of US newspapers, pretty much only bloggers are taking a stand against the barbarians at all.

Posted by aalkon at March 13, 2006 10:47 AM


Satire paper?
Like The Onion?

Posted by: Deirdre B. at March 13, 2006 3:57 AM

Well, not unless people have been threatening to blow up the offices of The Onion.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 13, 2006 7:48 AM


You may need to visit first... Well worth the trouble if you want to start off your Monday with a little extra righteousness.

Posted by: Crid at March 13, 2006 8:30 AM

I liked this line from the piece, which was right on:

Anyone who's spent any time in the Muslim world cannot help but be struck by its profound ignorance. The famous United Nations statistic from a 2002 report--more books are translated into Spanish in a single year than have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand--suggests at the very minimum an extraordinarily closed society, which in turn explains its stunted political development. For example, the editor of the Yemen Observer, Mohammed al-Asadi, wrote a strong editorial denouncing the Danish cartoons, but, like this magazine's editor, decided to show its readers what they looked like. As a result, he's now in jail. The point about Islam is that it's beyond discussion. No corner of the earth would benefit more from the ability to debate ideas openly.

And then there was this about Denmark:

Denmark was the first country to recognize the demographic and cultural challenge of Islam and to elect a government committed to do something about it. This is the imams' way of warning Norway and Sweden and Belgium and all the rest not to follow in the footsteps of their neighbour. Judging from the formal statements of Continental politicians, they got the message loud and clear.

It's often observed that when president Kennedy famously declared he was a Berliner he actually said "I am a donut." If ever there was a time to say "I am a Danish," this was it. Shame on all of those whose cowardice will bring disaster.

Newspaper editors and politicians alike. It's at times like this that it becomes clear what both jobs are really all about for most in them. A calling? Hah. For too many, their main calling appears to be maintaining their own power and keeping up payments on the McMansion and all.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 13, 2006 9:06 AM

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