The Minute stresses the right to freedom of speech, describing it as "both a right and a responsibility", which "works best when it holds structures of power accountable and confronts misuse of power". However, it continues, "By the publication of the cartoons, freedom of speech has been used to cause pain by ridiculing peoples' religion, values and dignity." This misuse should nonetheless be met by "non-violent means like critique and expressions of firm disagreement."How many of the people drafting this statement have actually seen the cartoons, one wonders. First of all, the cartoons didn't ridicule Islam. Most of the cartoons didn't ridicule anything. Some of the cartoons adressed the fair criticism that Islam and Muhammed are too often used as a pretext for the most vile uses of violence. If that causes 'pain' then maybe those experiencing said 'pain' should look into the criticism and either counter it or do something about the causes of that criticism?
As people of faith we understand the pain caused by the disregard of something considered precious to faith. We deplore the publications of the cartoons.And then, like an after thought:
We also join with the voices of many Muslim leaders in deploring the violent reactions to the publications.'Many Muslim leaders', huh? Care to name three? No, three Muslim leaders, not heads of state of the countries where the fomented violence spiralled out of the control of authorities.
Anyway, where the press release is of the usual obligatory blandness we've come to expect from contemporary tranzi organisations the full text of the "Minute on Mutual Respect, Responsibility and Dialogue with People of other Faiths" clearly spells out where the WCC actually stands in relation to the cartoons and Islam.
Cast your eyes, dear reader, upon paragraph 5 of the MMRRDPF:
5. We recognise that there are more than just religious aspects to the present tensions. Failure to find a just and peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, reluctance to accept outcomes of free elections, together with the war on Iraq and the war in Afghanistan add frustration to historical experiences marked by crusades and colonialism. In many parts of the world people identify as being politically and economically excluded, and they often experience that dominant powers and cultures apply double standards in dealing with issues which are important to them. In many countries in the rich and dominant parts of the world, integration policies have failed to welcome new minorities. Instead, they meet racism, stereotyping, xenophobia, and a lack of respect for their religion.In other words: the real culprits are, the really, really guilty are, in order of appearence:
- The Israelies
- The West for having reservations about the election of Hamas.
- The West again, for freeing two countries of the most atrocious regimes in contemporary history
- The West again, for housing people who 'identify' as being excluded
- And the West yet again, for a number of broad-brush yet unspecified reasons
Especially the mention of 'lack of respect for their religion' gets my goat. Around the western world mosques are popping up like mushrooms on a wet autumn day, muslims get time of from work 5 times a day to bow before the great black stone idol an X-thousand miles away. Supermarkets are starting to sell halal food stuffs and God knows what else.
Yet in the countries where a lot of muslims hail from carrying a Bible or a cross or wearing a chamulke will have you spit upon, harassed, arrested and sometimes even executed. Copts in Egypt, Christians in Indonesia, Buddhist in Thailand, Hindus in India, they all suffer from harassment and murders by the hands of those believers that feel such 'pain' for the 'lack of respect for their religion'. Where is the respect for the Christian, Buddhist or Hindu religion? Where is the outrage over the desecration of the Church of the Nativity by those poor souls suffering from 'frustration' over the '[f]ailure to find a just and peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict'?
On a daily basis, around the world, Christian and other minorities suffer at the hands of the followers of the Prophet, yet the WCC only sees the 'pain' and 'frustration' of those that 'identify as being exluded'.
What is it our Dear Lord said about the splinter in the eye of others and the two-by-four in ones own? Actually, I think the term 'Church of the Left' doesn't do the WCC justice. 'Pharisees of the Left' would seem to be more appropriate.