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There’s No Clash Here: Only one civilization cares to put up a fight (On the cartoon wars)
National Review ^ | 02/07/2006 | Lee Harris

Posted on 02/07/2006 9:47:49 AM PST by SirLinksalot

There’s No Clash Here Only one civilization cares to put up a fight.

By Lee Harris

Does the so-called "cartoon war" represent the clash of civilizations?

I wish I could answer "yes," but I can't.

In order for there to be a clash of civilizations, it is necessary for there to be two civilizations, both of which are prepared to defend their deepest cultural values. Those in the Islamic world who are violently protesting the Danish cartoons clearly represent a civilization that is keen on maintaining its own deeply held traditions and convictions, as the Muslim rioters are prepared to do, even to the point of bloodshed. The Danish cartoons are an affront to their own religion and culture, and it is pointless for those in the West to wish that Muslims could learn to be less fanatic in their approach to their faith: What we call fanaticism is an essential element of their faith, and it is one of the reasons that Islam is still a living religion in a world where so many others are moribund.

But, again, to have a clash of civilizations, it is not enough simply to have one civilization that is prepared to fight tooth and nail to defend its own ethos; there must, in addition, be another civilization that is also prepared to defend, with the same depth of conviction, its own ethical principles. The evidence, unfortunately, is that the West is not even remotely interested in mounting a defense of its values in the face of Muslim fanaticism. Worse, there are signs that the West is even prepared to sacrifice some of its core values in order to appease those who have always despised these values — values such as the freedom of individual expression and the right of every man to hold views that others find offensive and even downright blasphemous.

Consider the reaction of the Danish government to the cartoon wars. Instead of taking a heroic stand and telling the Muslim world that in Denmark freedom of expression is every bit as sacred to them as Mohammed is to the Muslims, the Danish government has announced "that Danish courts will determine whether the newspaper [that] originally published the cartoons...is guilty of blasphemy."

Not so very long ago, the notion that a liberal Western nation, at the beginning of the 21st century, could threaten a newspaper on the charge of blasphemy would have seemed utterly ridiculous. It would have appeared unthinkable that any Western government would even consider using "the crime of blasphemy" as a method for censoring the freedom of expression that the West has struggled so ferociously to achieve. Indeed, every liberal Western nation would have immediately condemned the restitution of the charge of blasphemy as a throw back to a long superceded stage in the development of human freedom. Yet where in the West do you find any government attacking the Danes for having reintroduced a crime that the West ceased to take seriously since the age of the Enlightenment? If those who are trying to appease radical Muslims are prepared to bring back the Inquisition, all in the name of Islam, then where is the so-called clash between the Islam and the West?

The behavior of the Danish government does not suggest that we are in the midst of a clash of civilizations, but, rather, that we are watching a civilization that has lost its sense of purpose capitulating before a civilization that continues to believe, and to believe fanatically, in its own mission. A civilization that no longer believes in itself, and in its values and traditions, is no longer in a position to defend itself from the onslaught of a civilization that does. It is only in a position to appease.

— Lee Harris is author of Civilization and Its Enemies.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cartoons; cartoonwars; civilization; clash; clashofcivilizations; fight; jihad; leeharris; wwiv

1 posted on 02/07/2006 9:47:51 AM PST by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot
that Danish courts will determine whether the newspaper [that] originally published the cartoons...is guilty of blasphemy."

Gee, if they find them guilty maybe they can burn the editors at the stake. Actually, scratch that...their Muslim masters would probably prefer a beheading or a good old stoning.

2 posted on 02/07/2006 9:51:22 AM PST by Gator101
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To: SirLinksalot
Chilling piece, but it's hard to argue with it.
3 posted on 02/07/2006 9:51:27 AM PST by inquest (If you favor any legal status for illegal aliens, then do not claim to be in favor of secure borders)
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To: SirLinksalot

This is NOT a "clash of civilizations". It is a clash of civilization and UN-civilization.........


4 posted on 02/07/2006 9:52:49 AM PST by Red Badger (...I will bless them that bless thee and those who curse thee I will turn into Liberals..........)
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To: SirLinksalot

I have to wonder how much anti-Christian stuff you'd see going on today in America if Christians would have robustly protested things such as the Crucifix in a jar of urine, or plays about Jesus being homosexual.


5 posted on 02/07/2006 9:52:55 AM PST by Buffalo Bob
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To: SirLinksalot

A new children's book, "The Three Little Mohammeds" is about three pigs addicted to violence, who shout slurs at everyone else, shoot into the air, look scruffy all the time, burn flags, and who all built their religous faith houses on sinking sand.


6 posted on 02/07/2006 9:54:07 AM PST by right right
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To: SirLinksalot
Those in the Islamic world who are violently protesting the Danish cartoons clearly represent a civilization

How representative they are would seem to be debatable. It took months of prep work to get them to vent their "spontaneous" outrage.

They seem more representative of a minority position that seeks to control events by a few dramatic instances of violence that are used to intimidate the remainder of their own society and ours.

7 posted on 02/07/2006 9:54:40 AM PST by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Buffalo Bob

We've protested those things. We just didn't burn down embassies. Of course, our protests were called "intolerant" and "hateful", while the mohammadiens burnng down embassies and rioting in the streets is called "a legitimate expression of outrage."

That's the independant media for you.


8 posted on 02/07/2006 9:55:55 AM PST by OldGray
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To: SirLinksalot
I want will all my heart to say he's wrong. But sadly I can't.

In Europe we have learned only one trick - to roll over. Soon we will be taught to beg.

I just don't want to be defeatist. so despite this we will keep our flag flying as long as we can, take every opportunity to turn the tide....I and many others will not be chained to Islam. We will never bow. That is the bottom line.

kind regards
9 posted on 02/07/2006 9:56:14 AM PST by vimto (Life isn't a dry run)
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To: SirLinksalot
Years of PC indoctrination have caused the West to believe that its values are not better than anyone else's, and may in fact be worse, or that if there is a problem, it must have been caused by us.

When you believe all this, there really is no reason to put up a fight.

10 posted on 02/07/2006 9:58:55 AM PST by CaptRon (Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: vimto

Keep that stiff upper lip.


11 posted on 02/07/2006 10:04:02 AM PST by 300magnum (We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us)
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To: SirLinksalot
Those in the Islamic world who are violently protesting the Danish cartoons clearly represent a civilization that is keen on maintaining its own deeply held traditions and convictions, as the Muslim rioters are prepared to do...

There are those of us who maintain that the fanatics are simply not civilized. We note that violent and civil are diametrically apposed concepts.

In conclusion, the author is well "off target".

12 posted on 02/07/2006 10:07:16 AM PST by GingisK
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To: SirLinksalot; Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; ...
Lee Harris:     It takes two sides to clash.

...In order for there to be a clash of civilizations, it is necessary for there to be two civilizations, both of which are prepared to defend their deepest cultural values. Those in the Islamic world who are violently protesting the Danish cartoons clearly represent a civilization that is keen on maintaining its own deeply held traditions and convictions, as the Muslim rioters are prepared to do, even to the point of bloodshed.  ...The evidence, unfortunately, is that the West is not even remotely interested in mounting a defense of its values in the face of Muslim fanaticism. Worse, there are signs that the West is even prepared to sacrifice some of its core values in order to appease those who have always despised these values — values such as the freedom of individual expression and the right of every man to hold views that others find offensive and even downright blasphemous...

...we are watching a civilization that has lost its sense of purpose capitulating before a civilization that continues to believe, and to believe fanatically, in its own mission. A civilization that no longer believes in itself, and in its values and traditions, is no longer in a position to defend itself from the onslaught of a civilization that does. It is only in a position to appease


Nailed It!
Moral Clarity BUMP !

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You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about). Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

13 posted on 02/07/2006 10:09:11 AM PST by Tolik
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To: SirLinksalot
What we call fanaticism is an essential element of their faith

The concept of 'Ethnic Cleansing' makes more and more sense to me every day.

14 posted on 02/07/2006 10:09:50 AM PST by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
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To: SirLinksalot

Maybe the "deepest cultural value" of the West is not to have any cultural values?

We have been fighting here the war of secularism vs. traditional morality for a long time. In the OT, when the Israelites lost their way, God sent vicious enemies like the Assyrians against them.

History repeats itself, over and over.

"For it is the doom of men that they forget". - Merlin, from Excalibur


15 posted on 02/07/2006 10:34:58 AM PST by I still care ("For it is the doom of men that they forget". - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: SirLinksalot

Here's what the Queen of Denmark has to say:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1571930/posts


16 posted on 02/07/2006 10:38:08 AM PST by Just Lori (Oh my soul, be prepared to meet Him who knows how to ask questions.)
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To: SirLinksalot

Get ready people. It's coming this way also. Lock and load!


17 posted on 02/07/2006 10:48:40 AM PST by hophead ("Enjoy Every Sandwich")
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel.

..................

18 posted on 02/07/2006 10:49:38 AM PST by SJackson (elected members of Hamas: businesspeople, professionals, not terrorists. Scott McClellan)
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To: SirLinksalot
Ahhhh, so the Muslims have a better ethos that the rest of us. I guess that's why they call for tolerance while denying it to others. I guess it's also why they insist nobody fights them during their "holy" days/seasons, yet they will gladly fight and kill on our holy days/seasons, and even on their own. I guess it's also why they claim their mosques and the Koran are so holy that only an infidel would harm them, but they go ahead and bomb mosques, that most likely contain a lot of Korans, and kill their own. What an ethos!

Taken to its natural conclusion, the rest of us should slaughter any Muslim we can get at, but he would probably then claim we are attacking a people much more noble than the rest of us.TWADDLE!

19 posted on 02/07/2006 10:50:23 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: SirLinksalot
Does the so-called "cartoon war" represent the clash of civilizations?

I wish I could answer "yes," but I can't.

I agree with this statement.
You have to be civilized to have a civilization.
Muslim extremists have no civilization.
The Arabic world, as a whole, barely have any civilization anymore.

So is this a clash of civilizations? No.
It is, however, a very telling point on the Muslim religon.
(And no, you don't have to have a civilization to have a religon.)

20 posted on 02/07/2006 10:54:34 AM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: right right
A new children's book, "The Three Little Mohammeds" is about three pigs addicted to violence, who shout slurs at everyone else, shoot into the air, look scruffy all the time, burn flags, and who all built their religous faith houses on sinking sand.

Hey! I'll buy a copy. Sounds like a great book!
J

21 posted on 02/07/2006 10:55:56 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Tagline Repair Service. Let us fix those broken Taglines. Inquire within(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: SirLinksalot

22 posted on 02/07/2006 11:00:07 AM PST by FormerACLUmember
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To: hophead

Aye, aye, sir. Scope calibrated, ammo clear ...


23 posted on 02/07/2006 11:03:32 AM PST by NearlyNormal (Our military wins wars, only the liberals and their MSM loose them)
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To: NearlyNormal
I posted this on another related thread

Other than some outside-the-box intellectuals like Harris, and a bunch of grass-roots conservatives, and Michael Savage and a few talk-radio hosts, the people in general don't see a problem. They are not even aware that there is a culture to defend, or that other people have other ideas they are ready to impose those ideas on us. With guns, with slow motion invasions, with multi-culti demands, grinding immigration and suicide bombings.

Therefore I am resigned to suffering additional outrage. I hope and pray it's not where I live. I won't consider living in places that I consider "ground zero" for the inevitable, like NYC.

I think a lot about what comes next. So, we sit here watching the Iranians, eventually their overwhelming desire to nuke an American city happens. BOOOM! We lose New York (or 1/2 of Manhattan, or whatever).

What happens the day after? That's the really interesting question. Even then the left will be saying "Bush's Iraq war caused this" "We supported dictators in the past" "not everyone in Iran is to blame" etc.

What does President Hillary say? What does she do? What do we do? Agree to emergency taxes to rebuild the city?

24 posted on 02/07/2006 11:50:21 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: SirLinksalot

I submit Islam is not a "civilization".

Is it progressing? Is it developing beyond the mere primitives stage?

Is it really a civilization it is founded on reverting all humanity to a wandering dessert lifestyle. Where ignorance is institutionally mandated.

Hardly "civilized".


25 posted on 02/07/2006 12:16:11 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: longtermmemmory

I'll second that.


26 posted on 02/07/2006 12:57:28 PM PST by crazycat
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To: Gator101
Gee, if they find them guilty maybe they can burn the editors at the stake. Actually, scratch that...their Muslim masters would probably prefer a beheading or a good old stoning.

Anyone who thinks "it can't happen here" is living in a dream world. The history of humanity has many more killer totalitarians than proponents of democracy. It's time to stand together...

27 posted on 02/07/2006 1:00:56 PM PST by GOPJ (NFL Super Bowl halftime - When groupies are rehearsed to look star-stuck, the thrill is gone.)
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To: SirLinksalot
Danish courts will determine whether the newspaper [that] originally published the cartoons...is guilty of blasphemy."

How ya know when the Muzlemofascsits have successfully taken over your nation......blasphemy vs free speech

When the state declares free speech to be blasphemy you are officially under Sharia law and

You Have Been Assimilated

imo

28 posted on 02/07/2006 3:46:00 PM PST by joesnuffy (A camel once bit our sister..but we knew just what to do...we gathered rocks and squashed her!)
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To: SirLinksalot
Not a clash of civilizations, a civil war in the West with the Muslims as a weapon of the left. The problem isn't Islam, it's the "anti-racism" left who are committing genocide against their own people.
29 posted on 02/07/2006 10:00:34 PM PST by jordan8
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To: jordan8
The problem isn't Islam, it's the "anti-racism" left who are committing genocide against their own people.

That's about the best summation of the problem I've heard so far.

30 posted on 02/08/2006 8:02:01 AM PST by inquest (If you favor any legal status for illegal aliens, then do not claim to be in favor of secure borders)
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