Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Islamists use cybervandalism agaisnt libertarian site.

Islamists have hacked into and hijacked the web site of Swedish libertarian writer Johan Norberg. Once again religious extremists have shown contempt for the rights of others and are engaging, quite literally, in censorship. In this case they are using force and fraud to divert readers from Norberg’s site to some Muslim site that goes on about Mohamed and other such things.

The Islamists site posts a message in poor English saying: “While All Islam Word regard with reverence to your prophet and address him as Hz. ISA A.S. (Christ( putting a holy prefex in front of his name), You keep abusing, Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freed of speech. No doubt, Hz. Isa (Christ) would dislike and hate your nation. Be God’s Curse Upon You. We Will be Your Curse on Cyber World!” To see the actual message click on the photo to englarge. This is only the English part.

I have only meet Mr Norberg on two occasions I don’t understand him to be a Christian. So Jesus wouldn’t be his prophet. But then the Islamists are truly ethnocentric and unfortunately stuck in some primitive mindset that has nothing but contempt for individual rights.

I assume that at some point the problem will be solved. I guess we should be glad that cybervandalism is all these morons were able to do. At least they didn’t stab him to death or fly some airplanes into a building full of people. Of course given the opportunity I would be surprised.

Now the other half of the web page attacking Norberg was in Turkish. And considering that Turkey is anxious to get into the EU this sort of action doesn’t help their case at all. Nor does the recent arrest of Islamists bents on killing in Germany. It appears the fuses for the bombs they intended to use were smuggled into Germany via Turkey. A lot of people are very concerned about admitting Turkey into the EU since it would be an open gate for radical Islam. And linking Turkey to cybervandalism doesn’t help Turkey in their bid to join the Union.

For the record Mr. Norberg defended freedom of speech. He was not one to attack Islam or the so-called prophet they honor. I should clarify that they have every right to think Mohammed is a prophet just like some people like to think Jesus is one. Freedom of religion gives them the right to worship.

Here is what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t give one the right to escape criticism for one’s beliefs. It doesn’t give one the right to use forced, directly or indirectly, against others in the name of a faith. It doesn’t give one the right to go through life without ever being offended.

You are free to say what you want and other people are free to ignore you, listen, or even laugh at you. But no one is required to provide you the pulpit from which you preach. But if you do preach, using your own resources, then no one has the right to stop you.

That you believe in a deity gives you no special rights whatsoever. You don’t have the right to see your religious convictions turned into legislation. You do have the right to practice your own faith and associate with like-minded people. And others have the right to ignore you, or refuse to work with you, hire you, serve you or associate with you. Freedom of association protects your right to worship but also means others are free NOT to associate with you if they wish. And you are equally free, or should be, to NOT associate with people you don’t like. But that right extends no further than your property. You can’t expel them from their home or from public space but just as they should have the right to not associate with you, you should have the right to not associate with them.

Your freedom ought to be the same as that of the atheist, the Christian, the Jew or the any individual. It ought not be any lower than them nor should you demand more. Full equality before the law.

But for some reason many God-botherers seem to have trouble with this idea of equality before they law. The reality is that many of them, maybe most, assume that the belief that a deity is dealing with them gives them superior rights over others. Sorry to ruin your day. You’re just not that special. Your rights are no different than anyone else’s.

UPDATE: Norberg's website is back. He confirms what I assumed, that he is an atheist "and Jesus is not 'my prophet', and even if he was, I would still defend the right to mock him. That is freedom and civilisation. The enemies of free speech must think that they have a very fragile prophet if they think he is afraid of cartoons and needs their help to stop them."

Even more interesting is that the Islamic site to which the hackers eventually directed the traffic has condemned the action and denounced the hackers. They write that they had "nothing to do with those people who hack sites around the world and spread messages of hatred in the name of Islam... We denounce these acts as much as the readers of these hacked sites." Good for them.

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