Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Quale prezzo per la liberta'?

Continuiamo a non capire il silenzio dei potentati politici italiani ed europei di fronte ai soprusi a cui sono soggetti i Cristiani in varie parti del mondo. Il loro silenzio ipocrita e' sempre piu' assordante ed insostenibile. Hanno fatto di Calderoli, esponente della Lega Nord dimessosi (costretto a dimettersi) qualche giorno fa, un martire della liberta' di parola. Questo articolo e' apparso su The Counterterrorism Blog ed elenca gli ultimi attacchi dei fanatici islamici contro i Cristiani. Mr Solana & Co, Mr Berlusconi, Mr Blair, Mr Zapatero, siete voi in grado di difendere i vostri cittadini? Ditelo chiaro e tondo, perche' l'islamically correct non fara' mai parte del nostro vocabolario europeo, semplicemente perche' l'appeasement verso i mussulmani non funziona.
February 21, 2006
The Cartoon Riots: The Price of Freedom
As the violence that erupted over Danish cartoon depictions of Prophet Muhammad continues, an obvious fatigue is developing around this issue. Commentators have had their say, and many believe that little more thought is possible on the issue. Consequently, the public's interest is also waning.

Thus, I thought it beneficial to make clear the cost of the riots to date:

Deaths. At least 70 people have been killed and more than 280 injured in the worldwide protests. The numbers could be higher than this, as there is confusion about how many people were killed in some countries. The toll includes at least 49 people dead in Nigerian riots since this weekend -- but the number could be higher there. The Christian Association of Nigeria claims to have counted more bodies than the Red Cross did. Also, Reuters reports that 207 people injured in the riots are in critical condition, so the death toll could rise further. (It is worth noting that some Nigerian opposition politicians claim that the riots were not about the Danish cartoons, but rather were designed to protest a planned constitutional amendment to allow Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo to seek a third term in 2007.) In addition to the deaths in Nigeria, at least three people (including an eight-year-old boy) were killed in the chaos in Pakistan; at least ten people died in Libya after protesters tried to storm the Italian consulate; and police killed four people in Afghanistan when enraged Afghanis marched on a U.S. military base. There have also been significant instances of violence where, fortunately, nobody was killed. These include 300 Palestinians overpowering a police detail and attacking an international observer mission in Hebron; a confrontation between police and about 10,000 demonstrators marching on a Danish embassy in Bangladesh; and an incident where Kenyan police fired at hundreds of demonstrators, wounding at least one.
Targeting of Christians. Sadly, Christians living in the Islamic world have become targets of this continuing violence. The L.A. Times has linked the recent burning of a church in the city of Sukkur in southern Pakistan to the climate of unrest caused by the cartoon riots. The day before that, Muslims protesting in the city of Maiduguri in Nigeria attacked Christians and burned 15 churches. And shortly after the cartoons were published, a 60-year-old Roman Catholic priest was shot to death in Turkey in an incident that observers believe to be linked to the cartoons.
Death threats. The cartoonists have experienced death threats from many different quarters. A Pakistani Muslim cleric and his followers recently offered over $1 million to anyone who killed one of the Danish cartoonists who caricatured Muhammad. This is not the only bounty that has been placed on them.
Attacks on embassies and consulates. A large number of Western embassies and consulates have been attacked. In Iran, protestors threw a Molotov cocktail at the British embassy while protesting both the cartoon and also the West's opposition to Iran's nuclear program. The Danish embassy was burned in Beirut. Protesters set fire to the Italian consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Property damage. A number of symbols of the West have been attacked by protesters. The attacks in Pakistan have garnered the most attention, mainly for the odd choice of targets. These have included a Pizza Hut, a Holiday Inn, some Western-owned gas stations, and -- most notably -- a statue of Ronald McDonald.
Increased support for al-Qaeda. In Afghanistan, hundreds of students demonstrated against the cartoons yesterday, and Reuters reports that they "shouted support for Osama bin Laden and threatened to join his al Qaeda if Islam were insulted again."
The price paid due to these cartoons has been substantial -- and it is a price we must remember as the media loses interest in this story. Undoubtedly, some in the West will question whether our freedoms are worth the cost. But the reason these cartoons provoked so much violence is because there was a major problem in Europe even prior to their publication. As I have previously written, the speech rights of those who have been dubbed critics of Islam have been under assault in Europe for more than a decade and a half. To now sacrifice our rights of free expression would not buy us security. We would achieve nothing but a dangerous complacency.
Scritto da Daveed Gartenstein-Ross per The Counterterrorism Blog


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