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The Varsavsky Foundation
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The political blog of a social entrepreneur


Danish Cartoons and Muslim liberation: Where are the massive demonstrations this time?

You probably remember the uproar that was caused by the publication of Danish cartoons that some Muslims found offensive.  Demonstrations around the world were massive.  According to Wikipedia there were over 100 deaths. Now let’s leave aside the controversy over how offensive those cartoons were.  To me the point is that when Muslims want to organize and protest over something that is dear to them, they do.

Presently there are 16 million Muslims in the European Union who are watching their brothers getting massacred in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain and now Libya.  Demonstrators who die for the liberation of their country from cleptodictators who have been violating human rights and stealing for themselves and their own families for decades.  So why not massively demonstrate against them?  Muslims are a political force in Europe.  If Muslims organzed and obtained the support of the rest of society they could very well influence foreign policy in Europe towards democratization of North Africa and the Middle East.  Myself for example, I am a secular Jew, and I gladly would join a demonstration against Muammar Gaddafi.  A demonstration for democracy in Libya.  A demonstration for the end of violence and free elections throughout the region.  But so far demonstrations are very timid.  In London for example yesterday, as their people were getting murdered only 200 went to a demonstration for Libyan liberation.

As the Danish cartoons show it is not lack of organization that is preventing Muslims for demonstrating because that time they were very well organized and even extremely violent.  A violence that goes on even 5 years after the publication.  So what explains this lack of support for Muslim brotherhood?  Could it be that Imams themselves are concerned that these demonstrations in the Arab world are mostly political, secular and in favor of democracy and modernization which they oppose?  I know Muslim friends of mine in Europe are glued to Aljazzera and Twitter as I am on the issue of the Arab revolts.  Why don’t they organize and influence EU foreign policy?

Posted on February 25, 2011