Andre Glucksmann spør om det er en gyldig sammenligning: hvis profet-tegninger må godta, så må også karikaturer om jøder og Shoah godtas.
Why are jokes about Mohammed permitted, but not those about the genocide of the Jews? This was the rallying call of fundamentalists before they initiated a competition for Auschwitz cartoons.
Offence for offence? Infringement for infringement? Can the negation of Auschwitz be put on a par with the desecration of Mohammed? This is where two philosophies clash. The one says yes, these are equivalent «beliefs» which have been equally scorned. There is no difference between factual truth and professed faith; the conviction that the genocide took place and the certitude that Mohammed was illuminated by Archangel Gabriel are on a par. The others say no, the reality of the death camps is a matter of historical fact, whereas the sacredness of the prophets is a matter of personal belief.
This distinction between fact and belief is at the heart of Western thought. Aristotle distinguished between indicative discourse on the one hand, which could be used to reach an affirmation or a negation, and prayer on the other. Prayers are not a matter for discussion, because they do not state: They implore, promise, vow, and declare. They do not relate information, they perform an act. When the Islamist fanatic affirms that Europeans practice the «religion of the Shoah» while he practices that of Mohammed, he abolishes the distinction between fact and belief. For him there are only beliefs, and so it follows that Europe will favor its own.
Denne distinksjonen mellom tro og fakta er vesentlig. Uten den blir det umulig å føre en diskusjon, for hvis de er sammenlignbare, hvilke målestokk skal gjelde?
It is high time that the democrats regained their spirit, and that the constitutional states remembered their principles. With solemnity and solidarity they must recall that one, two, or three religions, four or five ideologies may in no way decide what citizens can do or think. What is at stake here is not only the freedom of the press, but also the permission to call a spade a spade and a gas chamber an abomination, regardless of our beliefs. What is at stake is the basis of all morality: Here on earth the respect due to each individual starts with the recognition and rejection of the most flagrant examples of inhumanity.
THE CARTOON CONTROVERSY REVISITED.
Separating Truth and Belief
by André Glucksmann