“Your freedom of speech, gives us freedom of response” -Osama Bin Laden.
“An eye for an eye make the whole world blind” -Mahatma Ghandi
I read a book called Freedom of Expression is No Offense. It basically gave different point of views from different writers about Freedom of Expression. I personally find the title rather stupid. I became interested in the topic of freedom of speech after the whole blasphemous Danish caricature of prophet Muhammad. The Danish government backed up Jilands Posten newspaper’s defence that Freedom of Speech is no offence in Denmark. Well, yeah maybe in Denmark, but they didnt really target people within their borders. They targeted a broad religion that reaches from Morrocco all the way to Indonesia. That freedom of speech triggered a freedom of expression, way beyond what people expected. There’s alot of things that happened behind the scene that we were not exposed to.
From the info that I researched on; the man that kicked off the rage was Imam Yusuf AlQaradhawi. He said on a friday prayers speech broadcasted on Arabsat (to all muslims) that the muslims should “rage in anger” as a response to the blasphemy. He also encouraged the boycott. So it would be safe to say that he trigged the response. Funny thing is, one main company was affected most. A company called Arla, which I did my final year project on. They are a dairy products firm that was doing excellent in the middle East, and not giving local production much chance. Next thing ya know, there is a new commitee formed to “regulate” and “control” the boycott, with the mission of imrpoving relationships between Islam and the Westerners. This committee was named Committee for the Support of the Prophet and included alot of inslamic scholars and imams. After they had their first and only conference, the result was that Arla was the only company exempted from the boycott. Why???
The reason is because Arla made an official apology on Arabic newspapers and distanced themselves from the Danish government and the newspaper. Funny thing is that they only published the apology letter in their strategically major markets. It was all about business. They also agreed to provide the committee with a “donation” for Palestine. I didn’t see any money going to Palestine! Where’d that money go? One important fact I should point out by now is who the head of that committee actually is. Yep, you guessed it, Yusuf AlQaradawi himself. The same dude that told people to “rage in anger”.
Here’s what I think happened, according to my various research. It is no secret to the people of the Islamic nations that their governments have been closing an eye on America’s agendas in the Middle East. But after the September 11th attacks, the War on “terror” was clearly getting out of hand. Bush stated on live TV that he wanted to wipe out people who were forced to go to mosques 5 times a day and cover up their women and leave them at home. It is no secret that this is a war on Islam, not a war on terror. The war in Iraq didn’t go as expected, the people were getting raged, turning against their own governments. The governments control whatever the Imam’s say. there is no such thing as freedom of speech there. They needed the attention to turn away from the governments, and focus on Anti-west. Its a rebound to how the Western governments are making their people hate the Muslims. An eye-for-an-eye. So they over-hyped the whole Danish caricature issue. Ever since Islam left Spain they have been having yearly festivals where they insult Islam and the Quran, how come that was never highlighted after all these years?? Arla was also stopping the growth of local dairy food production, they needed to freeze them from the market. Saudi Arabia now gives 1 million Riyal every year to support local agriculture for dairy firms. Only local ones.
This whole issue wasn’t about blasphemy and freedom of speech. It was about money, power, control, ignorance, revenge, defence, and the biggest sign that World War III was at its door step.
Freedom of expression is just a mean to get people to do what the higher authority wants. The more freedom of expression we have, the more people will misguide others. All you need is one leader and alot of followers. In today’s society there’s much more followers than leaders…