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January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
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German Cartoon Riots: Clubs, Bottles, and Stones

Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands Posten who published the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed which enraged Muslims around the world

Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands Posten who published the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed which enraged Muslims around the world
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90

In response to Project “READ!” PRO-NRW launched a cartoon contest under the motto “Freedom Instead of Islam.” The contest, which ended on April 25, generated dozens of submissions. The winning entry was a cartoon depicting a Christian church surrounded by six minarets (Muslim prayer towers) with the caption: “I think the church in Germany has integrated itself very well.” Some of the other submissions can be found at a German free-speech website called Politically Incorrect.

As Muslims have said they feel offended, and as Europe prides itself on being multicultural, left wing politicians have converted the “Freedom Instead of Islam” cartoon contest into protest against free speech. After releasing all but two of the Salafists responsible for the brawl on May 5th, the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ralf Jäger, cast blame on the democratic — and peaceful — PRO NRW. He ordered police to prevent PRO NRW from displaying anti-Islam any more cartoons during the final phase of the state’s regional election campaign, to be held on May 13th.

Jäger, who is a member of the center-left Social Democrats, characterized PRO NRW as a “far- right extremist group” and said the group’s cartoons had been a “deliberate provocation” that had triggered the attacks by the Salafists.

The guardians of German multiculturalism, enabled by the German mainstream media, invariably label PRO NRW “far-right” – presumably to dismiss its views rather than examine them. Ironically, most of the PRO NRW group’s members, including its senior leadership, hail from the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and could never — even with the most extreme exertion — ever be considered extremists.

PRO NRW’s members have, in all likelihood, just been frustrated by the refusal of the mainstream center-right parties to push back against the steady Islamization of Germany; they describe themselves as a citizen’s movement (Bürgerbewegung), possibly akin to the Tea Party movement in the United States. The group’s members say they love their country and are upset about the direction in which politicians are taking it.

On May 6th, administrative courts in the towns of Arnsberg and Minden ruled that Jäger’s ban on PRO NRW freedom of speech was unconstitutional, and authorized the group to continue its campaign activities.

PRO NRW, in a statement, declared that the favorable court decisions were “predictable, because the law and our Constitution have not changed overnight. The only amazing thing is that an Interior Minister who has sworn to uphold the Constitution keeps enacting unlawful decrees.”

PRO NRW also reminded politicians that they have “the responsibility to provide the police with sufficient human, financial and material resources” for them to do their job. Spokesmen for the organization said, “It is unacceptable that, as was the case in Bonn, too few police officers were exposed to an aggressive mob. Where were the water cannons or the dogs? Unfortunately, 29 injured police officers have paid a bitter price. They have our sincere sympathy. To Mr. Jäger and other responsible politicians, we have only one thing to say: Resign immediately.”

Free speech lives on in Germany… for now, at least.

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

About the Author: The writer is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.


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