Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mendacity in the Muslim media

IslamOnline has a story today about Swedish Muslims' reaction to a judge’s rejection of their lawsuit charging Lars Vilks and the Swedish paper Nerikes Allehanda with “incitement to racial hatred.” The piece contains several blatant falsehoods:

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was quick to nip the crisis in the bud. He did not hesitate to condemn the offensive cartoon ...

He did nothing of the sort. He expressed “regret if people have been insulted or feel hurt” but clearly stated that “politics must not be allowed to interfere with freedom of the press and of expression.” Like the Pakistani government, whose press release declaring that the Swedish government “fully shared the views of the Muslim community” was denounced by the Swedish Foreign Ministry as “false,” and Syrian grand mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, whose claim that Swedish ambassador Catharina Mempel Kipp had “conveyed an apology” to him was also denied by the foreign ministry, IslamOnline is spinning a narrative of official Swedish contrition out of whole cloth.

The cartoon provoked peaceful protests by Muslims in the town of Oerebro, west of Stockholm, where the paper is based.

Peaceful protests, eh? Like the nocturnal burning of several hundred copies of the newspaper Muslims are mad at, and the arson attack on one of Lars Vilks’s artistic constructions?

Swedish Muslims also refused to internationalize the crisis, arguing that it was an internal affair.

Bunk. Protests and remonstrations at the publication of Vilks’s sketches came from Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, and the Muslim World League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, both in Saudi Arabia – all of which were directed at the Orebro paper Nerikes Allehanda, though several other Swedish papers had printed the drawings as well. Muslims in Orebro, where the most vociferous demonstrations were held, were clearly getting the word out to their co-religionists overseas.

The sheer mendacity of IslamOnline’s reportage neatly accords with “The Prophet” Muhammad’s declaration, affirmed in three hadiths (Volume 4, Book 52, Nos. 267, 268 and 269) of Bukhari, that “War is deceit.”

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