Saturday, October 21, 2006

LA Times report: Europeans wearying of appeasement

According to the Los Angeles Times, Europe is "betraying its ideals by trying to appease fundamentalists".

The article gives much reason to hope that Europeans on both the right and the left are fed up with tip-toeing around their immigrant Muslim population. A few examples of the current sentiment:
"It's a fear of brutality, and you submit to that brutality," said Henryk M. Broder, whose book "Hurray, We Capitulate" is a polemic on what he sees as Europe's submission to Islamists. "It's surrender to an enemy you're deathly afraid of…. Europe is like a little dog on his back begging for mercy from a big dog. The driving factor is angst."
[ ... ]
"We live in Europe, where democracy was based on criticizing religion," said Philippe Val, editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. "If we lose the right to criticize or attack religions in our free countries … we are doomed."
[ ... ]
Hans Neuenfels, director of the German Opera's "Idomeneo," had similar sentiments when the show was canceled: "Where will we end if in the future we allow ourselves, in foresighted obedience, to be artistically blackmailed?"
[ ... ]
"Europe has tacitly accepted that from now on the freedom of satire is valid for everything but Islam," Angelo Panebianco wrote last month in an editorial in Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper. "Now [Islamists] are aiming for a more ambitious objective to strike at the religious heart of the West, forcing us to accept that not even the pope is free to reflect aloud on the specificity of Christianity or that which differs from Islam."
[ ... ]
"We must have courage and not give in to angst," said Klaus Staeck, president of the Berlin Academy of Arts. "The freedom of opinion is a basic right laid down in our constitution for everybody. And this has to be defended."
I've got a trip to Europe coming up in a couple of weeks. I feel a sudden need to patronize the arts while I'm there.

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