Friday, March 6, 2009

Christopher Hitchens on offending Islam

Lou Dobbs, the host of this CNN piece about the UN resolution on defamation of religion (i.e. Islam), is irritating but the blessed Hitchens kicks in at about 4:30. He reminds me yet again of what the Times said about a famously thirsty minister in Britain’s Labour government of the 1960s, that “George Brown drunk is a better man than Harold Wilson sober”. (The standing pop-up at lower left, “F*** Islam and their bitch ass prophet”, is unpleasant as well as ungrammatical but I can’t find a better version of the clip.)

In this column on Slate, Hitchens explains that:
the U.N. resolution seeks to extend the whole area of denial from its existing homeland in the Islamic world into the heartland of post-Enlightenment democracy where it is still individuals who have rights, not religions. See where the language of Paragraph 10 of the resolution is taking us. Having briefly offered lip service to the rights of free expression, it goes on to say that “the exercise of these rights carries with it special duties and responsibilities and may therefore be subject to limitations as are provided for by law and are necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals and respect for religions and beliefs.” The thought buried in this awful, wooden prose is as ugly as the language in which it is expressed: Watch what you say, because our declared intention is to criminalize opinions that differ with the one true faith. Let nobody say that they have not been warned.
Monitor: Mick Hartley

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