Now five months after publishing the infamous Mohammed cartoons, Jyllands-Posten has published a manifesto further backing up their stand that we need to resist such threats to freedom, and a handful of notables have signed it, including Salman Rushdie. VQR has also commented on it. Here’s some select quotes from the manifesto. Excellent.
After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all….It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.
We reject cultural relativism, which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers. (emphasis mine)
The last paragraph is particularly good. "We reject cultural relativism" is the argument that missioniaries have made for years when accused of "ruining culture" by evangelizing. But culture is not sacrosanct – when a culture embodies anti-human values like the subjugation of women (and even xian subcultures have done this), or the killing of female children because they are "less valuable", the higher law of self-evident truth must be appealed to.
Culture may reflect a people’s history and geography, but if it also contains harmful values like, for example, hyper-materialism or sexual perversions, we have the right to introduce better ideas into that culture, even if from the outside. Now, if we are external, we need to do so with sensitivity and respect, but not the kind of politically correct and cowardly "tolerance" or "respect" that refuses to call moral failings and evil by their names.