Sunday, February 19, 2006

"Incompatible with a secular Democracy"

This morning's Washington Post editorial pages ran a great article (may require login) by Flemming Rose. Rose is culture editor for Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper which originally ran the Mohammed cartoons heard 'round the world.

Mr. Rose goes to greath lengths, successfully I think, to justify his reasoning for publishing the cartoons. The article places the original publication in the context of ongoing events in Denmark and the rest of Europe in which the Muslim community, through acts of intimidation and outright violence, are attempting to impose their cultural and religious values on a non-Muslim society.

Mr. Rose gets to the heart of the matter with these remarks in the article:
"But what does respect mean? When I visit a mosque, I show my respect by taking off my shoes. I follow the customs, just as I do in a church, synagogue or other holy place. But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. [my emphasis] And that is incompatible with a secular democracy."
Submission. The very meaning of Islam, and the doctrine by which the religion was propagated from its inception. Islam's early adherents didn't adopt Islam or convert to it--they submitted to it, more often than not at the point of a sword.

The big question is, will Europe submit?

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