Sunday, February 05, 2006


Two links on the cartoon affair.

The British Alliance for Workers' Liberty proves again to be one of the few genuinely interesting outfits on the Trotskyist Left. Kudos for their stance for freedom of speech, in opposition to mealy-mouthed liberal inoffensive navel-staring, or even misplaced solidarity with reactionary Islamism. I may disagree with the AWL on quite some things, but their principled stance for freedom and secularism is what is needed for the Left to move forward.

Take a look at Maryam Namazie's weblog as well.

Merlijn de Smit

Saturday, February 04, 2006


You sick, sick bastards!

I'm talking about this.

And this as well.

I'm not going to waste too much words on the whole affair. Just this:

- If you live in a liberal democracy, you are going to have your beliefs satirized. Deal with it.

- Freedom of speech is [I]not something to be negotiated[/I]. There is no such thing as freedom of speech "within reasonable limits". That's an oxymoron. The West European politicians recently blathering about such a thing should be ashamed of yourself.

- You do not have the right not to be offended. You do have the right to be angry if I offend you, or hurt your feelings. However, this does not entitle you to threaten to kill me, or my family, or my compatriots, or to burn down embassies - just because you got your feelings hurt.

That's it. I am utterly sickened by the reaction to a few relatively innocuous cartoons in a Danish newspaper. I'm not that sickened by the usual gang of would-be martyrs waving about their kheffiyes and kalashnikovs and RPGs in Palestine, mind you. Them wanting to kill Danish is kind of a welcome change from their wanting to kill Jews or Americans. I am, however, sickened by the weak-kneed reaction from European politicians to the affair, including Muslim ones suddenly wanting to negotiate about free speech. They should know better.

The Danish PM has been a welcome exception so far. Glory to Denmark!

Merlijn de Smit

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