Monday, August 18, 2008

Serbian Muslim Community Commits Act of Stupidity in name of "Tolerance"

Even as Random House caved in to fears of Muslim anger over the planned publication of a novel on Muhammed's child wife, a Belgrade publisher has taken similar action due to complaints from Serbia's Muslim community leader:

Serbia Withdraws Book amid Muslim Anger

This is exactly not what is needed; and shame on the leadership of Serbia's Muslim community for playing up fears of Muslim "anger" and outrage; not only is this a blow against freedom of speech, it only reinforces stereotypes about Islam that nationalists use against normally moderate Slavic Muslims. A very depressing and disheartening episode all around.


Well, it appears that the Grand Mufti is happy with the publisher's decision to cower in the face of religious extremism:

Serbia’s Muslims Hail Withdrawal of Book*

This quote was particularly disturbing:

"Zukorlic assessed this was a good opportunity for the people, regardless of their religious beliefs, to point out the fact that there are values which are not subject to marketing and which must not be desecrated."

Freedom of thought is not possible when some ideas--and yes, some "values"--are considered untouchable and beyond criticism or discussion. This is a bad day for democracy in Serbia and for Islam in the Slavic world.

*It should be noted that, just as Serb nationalist extremists shouldn't be allowed to speak for all Serbs, it's not clear how many of Serbian Muslims actually agree with this pious asshat.


Anonymous said...

this is not in the name of tolerance, it is the conservatives everywhere distorting the idea of tolerance.

the problem for me are not the conservatives, but the progressives allowing it.

for the serb muslims, this is like shooting themselves in their feet.

for the progressive serbs it is a step back.

Srebrenica Genocide said...

There is nothing wrong with (a novel on) Muhammed's child wife. She was 8 years old and at that time it was normal to marry a child. One cannot apply 21st century values with stone age moralism. At that time, these types of marriages were normal and common all over the world. If they married, it doesn't mean they had sex.

Anonymous said...

yes, but people are now trying to falsifie History by giving a sense of continuity between things that happened more that a thousand years ago in Arabia and the way childhood is perceived nowadays in the developed word.

such incidents are very damaging to the overwelming majority of muslims worldwide, but not only to them.

in the case of serbia, this issue is closely related to the clericization of society that is occurring.

such process does not relate only to the orthodox church, it affects also the muslim community, who, in Sandjak is becoming deeply divided because of the way political parties in Belgrade played one faction against the other.

the appearance of radical movements within the community plays into the hands of serb nationalists.

while the most dangerous nationalists are now out of power, let's not forget that these people are pacient. they will wait 20 years if they need to, but meanwhile they will get back to their intelectual activities to prepare the ammunition for the next round.

so, this episode reveals a serbia that does not know how to become an open society... that's a problem we have to worry about.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this.

Anonymous said...

Unknown said...

I understand the upset. Publishers in the 21st century have given in to bullying by a
'so-called' pious religious faction. A faction that represents some of the most violent, irrational acts perpetrated on the planet today: ongoing suicide bombings, videotaped be-headings of men and women, countless fatwas, jihads and the dehumanization of women. Islam, once the religion of scholars, has turned into a religion based on FEAR and OPPRESSION in every area of life. It is the surrendering of intellect, liberty, empathy, brotherhood and love. It is Male Supremacy gone mad.

That said, why don't the publishers distribute the book through the last democratic channel, the INTERNET? Away from the control Mullahs and Ayatollahs.

Anonymous said...

mm.. thank you for this thread :)