Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Rocky crumbles

The Rocky Mountain News of Denver, established in 1859, is shutting down as of Friday.

This is very wretched news indeed, for the paper was one of only three major ones in the United States to have run any of the Danish Muhammad cartoons during the international propaganda jihad against them in February 2006. (The other two were the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Austin American-Statesman.) Remarked editor John Temple at the time:

"This whole experience of publishing these cartoons has been enough for me to want to wear a Danish flag pin in solidarity with that country and to regret -- at least during this test of journalism's commitment to free speech -- my membership in the American Society of Newspaper Editors."

However that may have been, at least Temple had the satisfaction of doing the right thing -- of standing in solidarity with his fellow journalists in Denmark, of defending the freedom of the press worldwide, and of pushing back against Islam's odious demands for self-censorship. My own paper, the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Arizona, faltered in this regard despite my entreaties that it do likewise, prompting my eventual resignation in protest.

Today Temple told his staff, "To me, this is the very sad end of a beautiful thing." Amen to that.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Obama writes Ihsanoglu

BHO says the United States can work with the Organization of the Islamic Conference and that he will strive to improve relations with the group, according to a letter he has sent to OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

Really? And how does this promise of comity square with the conflict between our core value of free expression, affirmed by the First Amendment to our Consititution, and Item VII, Clause 3 of the OIC's "Ten-Year Programme of Action: "Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments"? (Emphasis mine.)

On the third anniversary of the outbreak of Muslim rage over the Danish Muhammad cartoons, and at a time when Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders faces prosecution in his homeland for his pointed criticism of Islam and its adherents, this is hardly an academic question. It is all the more acute in view of the OIC's proposal to hold an "anti-Islamophobia" conference in the United States this year, made by Ihsanoglu to the Malaysian government last summer. Ihsanoglu, according to Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, "said the United States was chosen as the venue for the convention because of the polemic on Islam in that country as well as the wide media coverage it would get." Moreover, the Malaysian newspaper The Star reported, the Malaysian government pitched the idea of this conference "to the US representative to the OIC during an earlier meeting in Kuala Lumpur."

BHO's letter to the OIC raises the question of how his administration will respond to the group's demand for laws criminalizing criticism, analysis, exposure and mockery of Islam and its followers -- particularly when said demand is being made in his own country. He will be under intense political pressure to accede to it; a pressure that his own truckling efforts at "outreach" will only have exacerbated.

Update: Jihad Watch, The Jawa Report and Atlas Shrugs now have posts on this. Many thanks to all for getting the word out.