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Published:April 6th, 2009 15:33 EST
Is The New Head Of NATO Appeasing Jihadists?

Is The New Head Of NATO Appeasing Jihadists?

By Robert Paul Reyes


"The incoming head of NATO called on Monday for a balance between free speech and respect for religious feelings after a dispute over his support for the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad had threatened his appointment.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who overcame objections from Turkey about his suitability for the alliance top job, said he will pay close attention to religious sensibilities when he becomes NATO secretary-general in August. His stance over the caricatures had angered Muslims around the world.

`I would never myself depict any religious figure, including the Prophet Muhammad, in a way that could hurt other people`s feelings,` the former Danish prime minister said at a conference in Istanbul, Turkey." CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA/ The Associated Press

In most Muslim countries other religions are banned, and speaking ill of the Prophet Muhammad is a crime punishable by death. Muslims living in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran have no concept of free speech, citizens must constantly guard their tongues lest they say something the religious police will find offensive. In these benighted theocracies "religious police" is not a figure of speech, there really are religious police in Saudi Arabia and Iran who will beat a woman if she`s "immodestly" dressed and for other crimes against Islam.

The West must never allow Muslim dictatorships to intimidate us from practicing free speech, which includes cartoonists drawing caricatures of Muhammad and editorialists lambasting Islamic penchant for shedding innocent blood.

In 2005 when cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad were published in Danish newspapers, Rasmussen who was prime minister at the time steadfastly resisted calls to apologize, citing free speech. For this reason Rasmussen is anathema to Muslims who will accept nothing short of submission and appeasement from the West.

But now the formerly resolute head of state is talking hogwash about a "balance between free speech and respect for religious feelings." Free speech isn`t always polite or politically correct, and it certainly doesn`t give a flying fig about respecting religious feelings.

The head of NATO shouldn`t be a wimp who gives in to "Muslim sensitivities", but a tough general who looks out for the interests of the countries that belong to the alliance. The last time I checked, only one Muslim country is a member of NATO.