Photo: Johannesberg's Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes
Chalk one up for sharia in South Africa:
From the Mail & Guardian, an update on -- really, a walk-back from -- the South African Motoon story:
"This is not the Muhammad of the Danish cartoons"
Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes reiterated this week that the decision to publish Zapiro's controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad on Friday did not imply that the newspaper supported the "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" Facebook group that had sparked outrage in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. ...
Get ready for Nic Dawes, free speech
"I've consistently said I do not support the Facebook group, and would not have run the cartoon if it was racist or islamophobic. It is neither. It is a gentle attempt to enter the debate," Dawes said. "This is not the Muhammad of the Danish cartoons, with a bomb in his turban and a wicked grin. No one has suggested otherwise, including our staunchest critics."...
By implicitly conceding Westergaard's cartoon (for that is what he is talking about even if he has embellished it in his description with "a wicked grin") as being beyond the pale -- Westergaard's wholly apt caricature-critique of violence in Islam -- Dawes is no longer protecting free speech. He is merely negotiating with his Muslim overlords over what "gentle" attempts at "debate" may or may not be permissible under sharia. (Answer: none).
Meanwhile Dawes has expressed his "regret for the distress we may have caused our readers".
The editor, along with Zapiro, were meeting with the Muslim Judicial Council on Wednesday to further the discussion.
Point is, or should be, there is nothing to discuss. Facebook's prankish "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" comes, Pakistanis actually riot, Pakistan's government actually blocks Internet communications, South African cartoonist makes "gentle attempt to enter the debate." End of story. Or it should be. But no. By conceding grounds for "regret," by recognizing the need to "further the discussion," Dawes has only entrenched the sharia in his country.
Meanwhile, behold the dweadful old Danish cartoons (if you dare) that exposed the Free World for what it is.