Sigmund has a very interesting post, here on dhimmitude, free speech, the press and what it all really meant when a Norwegian editor apologized to the Muslim world and Sweden went even further. Actually, in reading this, you even get a sense of what it FELT like, when these things occured. It felt creepy. It feels creepy to read, too, but read it you must. It is hard to excerpt, but I will, to tempt you:
“…on February 10, in Oslo, came a dramatic capitulation that seemed a classic case of sharia in action. For days, Velbjørn Selbekk, editor of the tiny Christian periodical Magazinet – the first publication to reprint the now-famous Muhammed cartoons from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten – had firmly resisted pressure by Muslim extremists (who made death threats) and by the Norwegian establishment (which urged him to give in). But then, on that morning – the day before a planned mass demonstration against the cartoons – Norway’s Minister of Labor and Social Inclusion, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, hastily called a press conference at a major government office building in Oslo.
There, to the astonishment of his supporters, Selbekk issued an abject apology for reprinting the cartoons. At his side, accepting his act of contrition on behalf of 46 Muslim organizations and asking that all threats now be withdrawn, was Mohammed Hamdan, head of Norway’s Islamic Council. In attendance were members of the Norwegian cabinet and the largest assemblage of imams in Norway’s history. It was a picture right out of a sharia courtroom: the dhimmi prostrating himself before the Muslim leader, and the leader pardoning him – and, for good measure, declaring Selbekk to be henceforth under his protection, as if it were he, Hamdan, and not the Norwegian police, that held in his hands the security of citizens in Norway.
Do go read it. Yes, it’s chilling. Yes, it’s coming, if our own press and leadership will not stop it. The press, in capitulating to fear, are almost inviting it in.
Speaking of the press, I had an email exchange with a big-time-professional journalist after posting this piece (no, it’s not any journalist you might be thinking of), and it went like this:
BTPJ: No one has yet come up with an explanation of what THEY would do if THEY were running a world wide enterprise like the Times or CNN and had thousands of workers to worry about. It is about fear and, I suspect, liability. If one of this Islamists blows up your foreign office in, say, Madrid, and kills a dozen of your employees because of this, can the survivors then sue the Times or CNN for negligence? What do you do?…We can sit and pontificate about the free press all we want, but no one is looking at the other side of this coin, which is how risky and dangerous publishing those cartoons would be – not just for a few people, but potentially hundreds. Which, of course, the terrorists know.
Of course, Bennett and Dershowitz are right. But I can’t say the editors and executives who are shying away from this are entirely wrong.
Me: I can’t either, I take your point (and I did display some sympathy for the newsman’s conundrum), but its kind of like some unpopular issues in Catholicism, right? Paul said ixnay on the irthbay ontrolcay and that IS the right and correct ideal – it IS a strong teaching, founded in truth and it SHOULD be what we all aspire too. But it’s an ideal. Reality is, people have fear, people want to feel in control, people lack faith, people use birth control. But that doesn’t mean the ideal should not be taught and aspired to, or that it is unachievable.
Just so with the press on this issue. Bennett and Dershowitz are speaking to and encouraging the ideal, because it is still the BEST thing.
BTPJ: Understandably, many in the media have little appetite for being martyred. Present company included.
Me: Well, shoot, I thought you’d compliment me on my analogy, though!
BTPJ: I hate it when you write in pig Latin.
Yes…there is absolutely a risk to newspeople, to papers, networks and reporters – to their livelihoods and even to their lives. A choice needs to be made, and soon, between standing and prostrating.