Geoffroy Slams West's Double Standards Over Cartoons

The West's handling of the Danish cartoons crisis with the Muslim world has exposed its double standards when it comes to the freedom of expression, prominent French writer Eric Geoffroy criticized on Tuesday, February 7.

Geoffroy Slams West's Double Standards Over Cartoons

"When it [the West] tackles religious issues or values, then it is freedom of expression but when Muslims do the same then it's a reprehensible conduct," Geoffroy told

"What do you call such an act? It is double standards in the broad sense of the word," said Geoffroy, an expert on Islam and Sufism who teaches Arabic and Islamic studies in the University of Marc Bloch in Strasbourg.

He served some criticism for Arab and Muslim countries over respect of freedom of expression.

"Freedom of expression, no doubt, is not respected in some countries that call themselves 'Islamic,'" said Geoffroy.

"But the West also does have its own invincible methods of censorship."

Twelve cartoons of a man assumed to be Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), first published last September by Denmark's mass-circulation Jyllands-Posten and then reprinted by several European dailies, have caused an uproar in the Muslim world.

Several European newspapers entered the fray last week by reprinting some or all of the blasphemous cartoons, including the French daily France-Soir and Germany's Die Welt.

Some said they were printing the cartoons in support of Jyllands-Posten, while others said they were used to illustrate articles on the dispute.

"Insignificant Values"

The author of several books and many articles on Islam, Geoffroy believes that the "unharmonious" secular West is comfortable with violating religious or moral values.

"Some Westerners have no boundaries or criteria when it comes to religions," he added.

"Hence," he added, "we can understand that values have become meaningless in the Western viewpoint as those Westerners question or mock everything of noble or sacred nature."

Geoffroy attributed this largely to nihilism, a philosophy which gained ground after the period during which the Christian current dominated the West.

He said the West should give a second reading to the role of media in circulating stereotypes.

"The media should at least steer clear of inciting hatred, which is considered an offence in France."

"Intolerant West"

The French expert said the West is in no position whatsoever to accuse the Muslims of being intolerant.

"Some newspapers which published the cartoons claimed that they were testing the boundaries of free speech in the Muslim and how tolerant Muslims are," he said.

"The Islamic culture needs no lessons in tolerance from the West and history stands as a witness.

"The truth of the matter is that the West has proved intolerant when it went on publishing frenziedly these cartoons, paying no heed to the sanctity and sublime values of the other," said Geoffroy.

"In contrast, Muslim countries -- though they do have their own shortcomings –- do not attack sacred and religious figures of the West," noted the French intellectual.

He went on: "The West, unfortunately, doesn't remember the famous philosophy: 'one's freedom ends where other's freedom starts.'

He asserted that one must respect the other to enjoy his/her right to free speech.

Geoffroy described Prophet Muhammad was a great man, noting that Muslims hold him in high esteem just like other prophets.

He cited, in this respect, a verse from the Noble Qur'an about Prophet Muhammad which reads: "We sent thee not save as a mercy for the peoples."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16