The European Voice Of The Wall Street Journal

by Sig7. November 2012 20:28

The following article was written a while ago, however, I will post it together with others again for readers who have missed it.

By now regular readers of this blog know that the WSJ inspires me to post because their articles and essays bring up issues that have been residing within my ken, but were suppressed by often mundane problems that had to be solved immediately.

So, in the November 10, 2011 edition my eye was caught by Anne Jolis headline, A French Lesson in Free Speech. After political correctness has become the junk-yard-dog, barking on our heels whenever we truly say what is on minds, thereby imposing the new slavery of the left on us, with which it keeps us from criticizing what is wrong in politics, culture and religion. As long as we allow ourselves to be labeled and our voices to be silenced, certain politicians can get away with murder.

One such politically correct subject that no one is allowed to touch is Islam. You cannot point out that the religion needs serious reformation—like other religions have undergone—to bring Islam into this century. Most of the cultural practices of Islam are rooted back in the seven hundreds. So, one should not bring up FGM, for example, the pharaonic method of mutilating women’s vaginas. Do not dare make fun of Mohammed or a fatwa will be on your head. Why not—for God’s sake—I ask? He was, after all, just a man. Holy-yes, he founded a religion and dictated the Qur’an. But, if having thirteen wives, of which the last was a little girl, makes you more holy than the rest of men, then critiques will follow.

With that introduction we arrived at the heart of Ms. Solis article. The subject is Charlie Hedbo a cartoonist who publishes a satirical weekly in France. His paper’s offices were firebombed just as he was ready to print a “Shariah Weekly” edition. “The cover featured Muhammad as “guest editor,” assuring readers “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing!” so writes Ms. Solis.

She further writes that the French police, so far, has not discovered the suspects of the fire-bomb-crime, but she mentions that Turkish Muslims claim to have hacked Charlie’s web-site. Pretty bad that someone cannot go and blaspheme unhindered. What the heck has happened to all the good free speech we are all guaranteed?

Well, here we see the difference in the way the French and our American papers view the subject. Ms. Solis tells us that Bruce Crumley, bureau chief for Time Magazine in Paris, “did nothing to hide his contempt—not for the attacker, but for the magazine itself.” He goes on to lecture: “Not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses their author’s claim to proudly defy in the name of common good.”

Oh, Lord! A blasted sermon from Time Magazine. NPR, too, voiced disapproval. And this supposed “public voice of freedom” sounds as if they, too, would like to dispense with freedom of speech if it concerns Muslims. What is one to do? Allow Islam a special place among all other religions? One is not talk about unpleasant truth? Well the French, thank god, will have nothing of the sort. Interior Minister Claude Gueant proclaimed, “All the world, all Frenchmen, must feel solidarity with this newspaper that, with its very existence and way of being expresses the liberty of the press.”

So what did Charlie the blasphemer do? He put out a cover of the magazine showing a Muslim man French-kissing one of the male cartoonists. The caption read: Love is Stronger Than Hate.



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About the author

Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenweber remembers the horrific aftermath of Fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under Communism. Both of these totalitarian regimes left indelible marks on her psyche and a healthy distrust of government’s, usurping too many powers to control people, supposedly for their own good. After the Berlin Wall was built, she managed to escape the repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. To this day she does not speak French.

She holds degrees in medical technology, psychology and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Concordia University of Portland, Oregon for her trilogy "The Volga Flows Forever."

 Her first published book, “Escaping the Twilight,” deals with aspects of medical anthropology in an Islamic culture. In her trilogy the Volga Flows Forever, she brings to life Catherine the Great in her multiple roles as monarch, woman--lover, mother, grandmother and head of the general staff of the army, in volume one. The following two historical volumes deal with the Volga Germans brought to Russia by Catherine's edict.  The last book, “From Gulag to Freedom,” describes the lives of Russian-Germans and minority populations under Stalin’s regime and the systematic eradication of these minorities. The last part of the book is a comparison of communism, Russia, versus free enterprise in the USA. The heroin of the book settles in Fresno, California.

Three years ago she moved to Santa Rosa Valley, California from Portland Oregon. She has passionately embraced California together with her family that also resides here.

Always active, lecturing on historical and anthropological subjects and being a part of arts and culture in Portland, Oregon, she bestrode the same path when she came to California and is active on the Northwest Symphony League Board.

At present she is writing a memoir of her early childhood during WW I and later young adulthood under Communism.


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