Amending the observation for our time: satire is what incites angry Islamists to firebomb you, thereby closing your offices on Saturday night.
Admittedly, my version doesn't have the same brevity, that soul of wit, that Kaufman's does, but I think it makes an important point.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali would undoubtedly agree. In a Peter Worthington-penned column, the contemporary Cassandra warns that those of a violent, anti-blasphemy stripe are bent on getting us to willingly give up our freedoms--and are doing a pretty good job of it, witness the Time magazine reaction to the recent torching of a French satire magazine:
Hirsi Ali points out that offensive “scatological cartoons of world leaders and caricatures of Jesus and the Pope” rarely result in violent reactions.
The upshot of Time’s article is that “in a free society, a newspaper can ridicule and stigmatize whomever it chooses, except those who demonstrate a willingness to respond with violence. Extremist groups must be exempt from satire or criticism — or the blame for ensuing carnage falls squarely on the shoulders of the offending publication.”
In other words, self-censorship is the order of the day — something not unknown in the Canadian media when it comes to Islamic extremists.
Hirsi Ali cites examples of self-censorship in the U.S.: Yale University Press declining to reproduce Danish political cartoons of Muhammad in a book about the controversy — “fearful of attracting the wrath of militant Islamic factions.”
Random House cancelled the publication of a historical romance novel featuring Muhammad’s youngest wife, Aisha. “Comedy Central censored an episode of the TV program South Park that featured Muhammad wearing a bear suit.”Here's the irony--in a West obsessed with "racism," cowing and caving to violent Islamists is the most racist thing one can do:
Hirsi Ali says “fear of Islamist violence” has inhibited critical discussion of the Qur’an, and has “silenced those who would decry the treatment of women in some Islamic communities.”
Accordingly, the message is that “Muslims, in general, are violent so it is better not to provoke them … so let’s give them special treatment. What sounds like a well-intentioned and honourable message is, if you think about it, denigrating and racist.”We kafirs are often told by Muslims and others that we need more "education" about the true Islam, an altogether peaceable faith, in order to curb our "racist" tendencies. Seems to me it's the fiery and humourless Islamists who could use the education, since they're the ones making the rest of their co-religionists look bad.