Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vive la difference!

"In France, there is a principle of freedom of expression, which should not be undermined," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Info radio. "In the present context, given this absurd video that has been aired, strong emotions have been awakened in many Muslim countries. Is it really sensible or intelligent to pour oil on the fire?"

That's the French government, mildly rebuking a satirical magazine that went on sale today with photographs showing a naked Mohammed, evidently in erotic poses. And this is France!  This is a country with no First Amendment (guaranteeing freedom of speech for purveyors of Islamophobic videoes, and freedom of religion for churches that don't believe in providing contraception and abortion free to their employers--lots of luck with either of those guarantees in 2012 America!). And France is a country with a significant Muslim underclass, playing much the same role in urban peripheries as ghetto blacks do in America. And a graphic depiction of a naughty Mohammed is certainly more insulting to the sensibilities of Muslims than a badly made video in a foreign language.

Yet France has kept its cool, and nobody has been hustled off at midnight for a chat with the parole officer. It's really humiliating that Washington has to take lessons in the rule of law from Paris.


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