Once again we are subjected to the violent suppression of speech of others in accordance with Islamic law. Norway should tell Pakistan to back off – in fact, the West should make this perfectly clear to the Muslim world. We have fundamental freedoms in the West and we will not abridge over freedoms in submission to violent intimidation.
On November 23, it was reported that Norway’s Minister of Justice, Jøran Kallmyr said, “Prosecutors have determined that burning the Koran can become a crime.”
Kjell-Gunnar Eriksen, Norway’s ambassador to Pakistan, according to NRK’s evening news show Dagsrevyen, had been “called on the carpet” because of the Koran burning. Officials at the department of foreign affairs in Islamabad ordered Eriksen to convey to his superiors in Oslo the “deep concern” of the Pakistani government and people over the act of “desecration.” Eriksen, in response, underscored that Norwegian authorities utterly deplore the Koran burning and that the police had put an end to the demonstration. So it was that the representative of a purportedly free country fell all over himself assuring officials of an “Islamic Republic” that, at least when Islam is in the picture, freedom of speech and of assembly in Norway have their limits.
Worse still, Muslims around the world are praising the violent attack on rally organized by Stop Islamisation of Norway (SIAN) in the southern city of Kristiansand last weekend.
Bruce Bawer writes: Fourteen Years after Cartoon Crisis, Norway again Knuckles Under to Islam
- While one can hardly imagine the Pakistani government responding to Norwegian pressure to stop oppressing Ahmadiyya Muslims, Hindus, women, gays, and so on, Pakistan has not hesitated to complain about developments in Norway that offend its delicate cultural sensibilities.
- So it was that the representative of a purportedly free country fell all over himself assuring officials of an “Islamic Republic” that, at least when Islam is in the picture, freedom of speech and of assembly in Norway have their limits.
- Once again, alas, it appears that when the exercise of fundamental Norwegian freedoms causes offense, the powers that be in Norway have no hesitation about choosing the wrong side.
Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced. Putting up with being offended is essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a group will not bear being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed while everyone else lives in fear, while other groups curtail their activities to appease the violent group. This results in the violent group being able to tyrannize the others.
Islamic law forbids criticism of Islam, Quran, Muhammad. If they cannot be criticized in the US, we are in effect accepting Islamic law as overriding the freedom of speech. This would establish Muslims as a protected class and prevent honest discussion of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism.
Any criticism of jihad terror that examines its ideological roots in Islam is called Islamophobia, The word is used to intimidate people into thinking there is something wrong with opposing jihad terror. This deforms our response to terrorism by placing off-limits any examination of its guiding ideology, and effectively enforces Sharia blasphemy laws in the US by placing Islam, Quran, Muhammad beyond criticism.
If speech that offends a group is outlawed, that group has absolute power, and a free society is destroyed. A group that cannot be criticized cannot be opposed. It can work its will no matter what it is, and no one will be able to say anything to stop it.
I do not support book burnings. Nazis burn books. The antidote to bad speech is more speech. That said, I defend to the death, this man’s right to burn the book.
A free society is by its nature one in which people put up with others being uncivil and offensive. The alternative is a quiet authoritarian society in which only one opinion is allowed and the others are silenced, and ultimately sent to the camps.
Pakistan summons Norwegian Ambassador amid outcry over Koran burning at rally in Kristiansand
By RT, 25 Nov, 2019
Islamabad expressed “deep concern” and launched a diplomatic action over the burning of the Koran in Norway, while the man who tried to save the book earned high praise on Pakistani social media.
Last week, a young Muslim counter-protester tackled Lars Thorsen, the head of the Stop Islamization of Norway (SIAN), after he set a copy of the Koran on fire at an anti-Muslim rally in the city of Kristiansand. The video of the incident caused a strong reaction in Pakistan, where the man reportedly named Ilyas Umer was hailed as hero on social media for trying to “save” the most-revered book in Islam.
The nation’s Foreign Ministry even summoned the Norwegian Ambassador over the weekend to tell him that Thorsen’s actions “hurt the sentiments of 1.3 billion Muslims around the world, including those in Pakistan.”
The Ministry said that Koran-burning “could not be justified in the name of freedom of expression,” and urged Oslo to “prevent” such incidents from happening in the future.
Also on rt.com Norwegian anti-Islam rally turns violent over KORAN BURNING An online petition was launched, calling on the police to release the man, dubbed “Ilyas the Koran Defender.”
The army’s spokesperson Asif Ghafoor also took to his personal Twitter account praise him for trying to stop Thorsen. “Salute to brave #Ilyas for displaying courage to stop an absolutely deplorable action,” he wrote.
Salute to brave #Ilyas for displaying courage to stop an absolutely deplorable action. Such Islamophobia based provocations only promote hatred & extremism. All religions are and must stay respectable. Islamophbia is threat to global peace and harmony.#TheGloriousQuran#Norway pic.twitter.com/CRahq5mazf
— Asif Ghafoor (@peaceforchange) November 22, 2019
Meanwhile, protesters burnt Norwegian and US flags in Karachi, denouncing what they said was the desecration of the Koran.
Anti-Muslim actions overseas have in the past sparked demonstrations in Pakistan. In 2010, rallies were held in Pakistani cities after controversial Florida-based pastor Terry Jones announced plans to burn the Koran. Two years later, a massive protest was staged in front of the US embassy in Karachi against the American film ‘Innocence of Muslims’, which was deemed blasphemous by the local Muslim community.
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