Image by Bosch Fawstin
I keep scrolling up and down the interview of Bosch Fawstin at National Review Online looking for something that is amazingly not there.
Fawstin, of course, is the talented artist who in 2015 won the Draw Mohammed contest in Garland, Texas, becoming internationally famous after the contest was attacked by Muslims seeking to carry out Islam's death penalty for making images of Mohammed.
I keep looking for his cartoon (posted above) in the article, written by Andrew C. McCarthy. The cartoon, after all, is the raison d'etre of this interview concerning the infinite chasm between free speech and Islamic blasphemy law.
I see Fawstin's face, his Pigman comic, his quotation in bold: "I draw Mohammed because the enemy tells me I can't." I see Fawstin's Mohammed described thus:
not just a rendering, but a rendering of the act of rendering. Describing his winning cartoon, he explains: “I draw myself drawing Mohammed, and Mohammed with his sword in hand, yells at me, ‘You Can’t Draw Me!’ to which I reply (in a word balloon), ‘That’s why I draw you.’”
Wouldn't it be simpler just to show the cartoon?
Hardly. It is evident that National Review's editors decided not to publish Fawstin's Mohammed. This is a decision in compliance with sharia blasphemy law.
For U.S. media, this is business as usual. It is tragic just the same. The free press across the West has failed free-speech heroes Fawstin, Westergaard, Vilks and others for over a decade now by not publishing their pictures, by submitting to sharia norms instead. This is a story of suurender I've covered for years. To recap, here is one related discussion, entitled: "Kurt Westergaard Can't Stop Sharia Alone." Bosch Fawstin can't either.
I understand that it is fear that often drives such editorial decision-making. (Sharia-state money, or business is another driver.) Fear, however, is the basis of sharia and sharia-compliance both, and should be recognized as such. Jyllands-Posten, the tiny, brave Danish newspaper that found itself 99 percent alone in the West in rejecting sharia censorship when it printed a sheet of Mohammed cartoons in 2005, did exactly that when it openly admitted defeat in January 2015.
The Star Tribune reports Jyllands Posten, the paper that set out to prove that Denmark did not accept Islamic blasphemy law by running a page of a dozen cartoons of Mohammed in 2005, has not published the new Charlie Hebdo cover illustration of Mohammed.
“We aren’t republishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons because we are afraid,” Flemming Rose, former cultural editor or the paper, said. “But I know well that if you give in to intimidation, it works.”
There is no such disclaimer regarding the absence of the Mohammed cartoon in National Review's story about a Mohammed cartoon. I imagine we are not supposed to notice its absence -- and perhaps the editors themselves do not notice it, having embraced sharia norms in their dhimmitude. Such silence, such an omission, does not serve free speech or freedom of expression.
It serves to perpetuate First Amendment fantasies that disguise what we have already lost in exchange for Islam in our midst.