Friday, February 03, 2006

At what cost peace in our time?

Sometimes a comment can mean more than someone really intends it to mean:
Mona Omar Attia, Egypt's ambassador to Denmark, said after a meeting with Rasmussen that she was satisfied with the position of the Danish government but noted the prime minister had said he could not interfere with the press... "This means the whole story will continue and that we are back to square one again. The government of Denmark has to do something to appease the Muslim world," Attia said.
"Appease" is the perfect word. Appeasement. Just like Bush using the term "crusade" exposed the disconnect between the Western perception of the Islamic world and the reality of the Islamic world, the user of the term "appease" exposes the disconnect between the Islamic world's perception of the Western world and the reality of the Western world. Kowtowing to Muslim concerns on this issue would be just that: appeasement, a debasement of, I would argue, the core value of the Western world, the freedom to speak your mind and express yourself and your opinions, however discomfiting, offensive, or outrageous someone else might find them. Attia and the others demanding that the nation of Denmark apologize for what citizens of a free nation say or write completely miss that point.

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