Van Gogh Is Dead. Islam Counts Its Blessings

Theo van Gogh

One year after Theo van Gogh was murdered we are forced to acknowledge that that event has been a benefit to Islam. Anyone who is critical of Islam will still be branded as a “xenofobe” or an “Islamofobe.” Islamophobia is a newly coined word which has already been used by Kofi Annan.

Following the assassination of van Gogh, the Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, Piet-Hein Donner, proposed to reinstate blasphemy as a criminal offence. In the United Kingdom Islamophilia runs amok. The July 7 bombings, which killed 55 people, seem to have reinforced the taboo on criticism of Islam. The London police chief, Ian Blair (Tony’s parrot, though unrelated), said the bombings could not be qualified as “islamic terror” because “Islam and terrorism do not go together.” Politicians and opinion makers assure us that Islam does not condone terror and that we must support the “beleaguered” Muslim community. With every act of terrorism the press becomes more friendly towards Islam. The Guardian has virtually become al-Guardian.

The British government wants to make it a crime to insult Islam and the Muslim community. When the House of Lords rejected this bill the Labour Party, eager to win the Muslim vote, incorporated the proposal into its party platform. Private companies are equally eager to pamper Muslims clients. Piggy banks are banned, as are children’s books featuring piggies, as is pork on the menu in schools and prisons. History has been rewritten to blame the West for the Crusades and the conquest of al-Andalous.

Muslims like to complain about negative media reports. Research by Maarten Hajer and Justus Uitermark of the University of Amsterdam showed that the media are not at all anti-Muslim and that the assassination of Theo van Gogh did not lead to negative reporting about Islam. On the contrary. In spite of this the public is becoming increasingly negative about Muslims. This, however, has nothing to do with media reporting or commenting but with the simple facts: bombings from Madrid to Delhi, riots in Birmingham and Paris, gang rapes in Denmark and Australia, Muslims in Rotterdam and Berlin murdering their daughters for “disgracing” the family, the beheading of Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia, hate sermons in London mosques, and so on.


But how come van Gogh was slaughtered while certain critics of the ayatollahs and Osama bin Laden have not been bothered? Islam is an onion with different layers of sensitivity. One is allowed to mock the ayatollahs but not to touch the holy core. And even there distinctions must be made. As the Persian proverb says: “Ba Chodah diwana basj o ba Mohammed hosjiar!” You can have a laugh at the expense of God, but be careful about Muhammad! And, consequently, also about the Quran, the Prophet’s book. Van Gogh crossed the line in his movie Submission and we have seen the result.

To me the fact that Monty Python makes fun of Jesus and not of Muhammad is not a proof of pro-Islamic feelings, but simply of the fact that most comedians do not know much about Islam. I think that they are quite willing to tell jokes about the Prophet, but I fear that if they do they would soon regret it. Danish cartoonists who drew pictures of Muhammad, some of them not even offensive, had to go into hiding. Maybe the cartoonists were ignorant, maybe they were audacious, but it is a fact that Islam does not allow people to laugh.

There are some mild poems by Muslim authors such as Omar Khayam which were written to make the public smile, but laughter is not appreciated. My Moroccan neighbour never laughs heartily. He has been taught that the devil enters through the wide open mouth of those who laugh. The first blood spilled in the history of Islam was spilled in Mecca when an infidel laughed on seeing some members of the new sect of the Muslims pray with their backsides in the air.

If some of the leading politicians in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, those two former bastions of liberty, have their way, the British and the Dutch will soon not be allowed to laugh at Islam either. The Danish government, however, has set the right example. It has told the Islam lobbyists that it will not restrict freedom of opinion. Yes, laughing is allowed.

No laughing please, we're Muslims...

Koen Elst is sure right about one thing : Muslims don't enjoy a good laugh. I worked in a number of Muslim countries and even after years I never really figured out how to make them smile, let alone laugh. And the closer they live to Mecca, the worser it gets. It something that has been puzzling me for years, professionally I have to deal with different cultures all the time, and I never have any problems getting the laughers on my hand in an African, Latin-American, US, Central-European, Asian, East-European or whatever group, but in a Muslim group, I just don't find any...


These are the two schools of thoughts when dealing with hostility.

Chamberlain's was to appease, to concede, to retreat, to explain; in essence to surrender.

Churchill's was to confront, to oppose, to deny, to attack; in essence to say *we shall never surrender, whatever the cost may be*.

And this is the dilemma, the choice, facing Britain today (and Holland, though I'm not educated enough to come up with a similar analogy for that country). To pull a Chamberlain or a Churchill. We know which way they're going.

Why this cowardice, why this fear of confrontation, of standing up for what's right? What happened to *mad dogs and Englishmen?* What happened to the spirit of brave Dutchmen who sailed the world?

This *spirit of Dhimmitude* hasn't fully penetrated the USA, though our academic world is fully immersed. For now our people rather follow the fighting spirit of Churchill than the *appeasement at any cost* of Chamberlain.


Forgive me, one more point.

It's a funny coincidence that the prince and princess of Wales are currently in the USA.

For days all one has heard about this visit is how Prince Charles, on meeting President Bush, planned to wag a finger at him and tell him that the *anti-Islamic rhetoric in the USA after 9/11 was counterproductive*, how one had to *understand Islam*, *stop supporting Israeli agression*, etc, etc.

It's telling that this man will likely sooner or later become the British Head of State. Is this how Churchill would have reacted to 7/7?

I think not.

Churchill in peacetime

Is this how Churchill would have reacted to 7/7?

Probably not, but then Churchill was a much more controversial peacetime leader than he was in war.

Which is why the electorate kicked him out of office in 1945, at the very moment of military victory. Ungrateful lot!

Bob Doney

Double standards

"Islamophobia is a newly coined word which has already been used by Kofi Annan."

There are of course no possibilities that we will see a similar term introduced called "Christianophobia" or something like that. That is simply not in the spirit of the ruling political correctness. You can say anything you want about Chritianity and even call what you do an art and get state subsidies - but you can't so much as breath at Islam. Equality? Justice?


The Guardian has virtually become al-Guardian.

Has it? Try this recent article on the Guardian website by that well-known Islamist commentator, Nick Cohen (or should that be al-Cohen?). It gives a more balanced view of events in Birmingham than the anti-Muslim prejudices "running amok" on this site.,5673,1604802,00.html

And Islam isn't an onion. It's definitely an artichoke.

Bob Doney

The Artichoke of Islam

So you say that Islam is more of an artichoke than an onion. I heartily agree. It is spiky and unfriendly, with a tasty heart and a completely inedible choke at the center.

If Islam is an artichoke, then the Koran is the choke.

It mighta choked Arty, but it ain't gonna choke Stymie.


You forgot the buttery sauce. Tsk.

Bob Doney