Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, has been in Jeddah to talk about those cartoons. Here’s what he was told by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Conferences:
“People in the Muslim world feel that this is a new 9/11 against themselves.”
As the Pub Philosopher notes, maybe they have a point, sort of: “Of course, he is right. In the 9/11 attacks, Muslim fanatics killed people and in the Cartoon Wars, Muslim fanatics killed people. Somehow though, I don’t think that’s what he meant.”
Ihansoglu then came up with a disgusting analogy that, ironically, will also annoy the Holocaust-denying president of Iran:
“In Europe unfortunately Muslims have taken the place of Jews during World War II. “
So what does he suggest?
“There is a need for UN legislation and clarification of existing conventions.”
That’s a reference to the fact that the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is lobbying to include language against blasphemy in the tenets of a new UN human rights body.
And, although its difficult to work one’s way through the mess of obfuscation and ambiguity set out in this press report, it seems as if Mr. Solana thinks that Ihsanoglu might be on to something.
So much for standing up for free speech.